Black Like We

    Chapelle's full monologue

    The one thing that hit me, with all the Kahnemann and Malcolm Gladwell I read this year, and other personal stuff going on, is all these people walking around, these bodies, me, are still 9/10 chemistry and raw emotions and psychological traumas and a bit of intelligent consideration, maybe a tiny bit of enlightened thinking thrown in, and perhaps humor or orneriness to scramble it up. I look at the Rayshard killing, and for 40 mins things were ok, and then in 15 seconds it went to shit. Most of these "Karens" videos (*not* the woman walking her dog in Central Park) are likely women running around doing thankless work, and someone with a phone catches them in their worst frustrating moments, situations that maybe they didn't understand or were too flustered to control, or had more of an explanation than we see. I have my moments, but no one so far has a camera in my face to record it for all time, all humanity. "Humanity" - we use that word to sound noble, but it's just one batch of troubles after another.

    Though actually things aren't that bad. Aside from Covid, the Trump years have just been about pissing us off every minute of the day. But there were no gas ovens. There was no drawn out Iran-Iraq War killing millions (though Xinjiang is bad). There were no famines in Ethiopia with wasting away babies (though pictures of cages from the border are bad). Gladwell talked about how people in London during the Blitz became immune to fear and troubles and danger. And under Trump, we became rather immune to good news. That cop putting his knee on George Floyd's neck, strangling him, and pretty much the entire world thought that was evil, even our usual racists. And even *that* was more or less criminal negligence, vicious uncaring mistreatment, sure, but not the ending that cop expected, was trying for. Those girls in that Birmingham church when I was a kid - those guys were *trying* to kill them. Those activists disappeared in Mississippi - those guys actively killed them. And the whole community largely approved, covered it up, denied these poor murdered souls justice.

    We've come a long way. Chapelle is playing a pose here, trying to push people - whites - out of their comfort zone (and coming to grips with conflicted feelings on a weird day). But I know he doesn't think blacks shooting blacks in Chicago is any better. But still we're talking about Floyd, talking about black shootings, talking about police, but also small businesses, with the idea that we can do better, that it's not a lost cause. I voted for Reagan over Carter 40 years ago, and would do it again, for the simple reason Carter felt like he'd given up, that we couldn't fight back against the Soviets, the Ayatollah, the energy situation, all these seemingly insurmountable problems, yet 40 years later we got through all these and have new ones to face and shrug off. Maybe that's why people voted Trump, some little spark of connection that overrode Carter's good soul, his Habitat for Humanity, his better angels. Or maybe it was just a normal patch of bad road, and we got through it and it doesn't have more significance than that. We'll just have our ups and downs - don't read too much into it. And thank your lucky stars you ain't black ;-)

    One thing Van Jones noted last night was that Trump actually got on the phone with some black leaders to discuss what could be done. Insincere, for sure, but it wasn't watered down with "all races should have equal opportunity" or some such. The Black situation is different from Asians, Hispanics, Natives, whoever, and we know it. I understand why Obama was reluctant to display "favoritism", but this particular pipe has a leak, and talking about replacing all the plumbing just slows us down.

    With Covid, we look at points of transmission, effective & ineffective treatment, which classes of people are most vulnerable, most endangered. Sure, lifestyle choices make a difference, but still, we see what we can do to save and protect who we can, approach it both humanely and scientifically. 4 years ago "I can't breath" was less important than a football game or a pledge of allegiance to a flag. In 2020, by accident or good work or just getting more comfortable with a foreign idea, we're more accepting that *something* needs to be done. It's progress. It's hard to expect too much more from a plodding, sometimes well-intentioned, but often dim-witted humanity. It seems we're evolving, which is more important than a particular election, however relieved we feel.


    “I can’t even tell something true unless it has a punchline behind it. You guys aren’t ready." 

    For me this is the thing. I don't think he's telling us something true. He doesn't just tell jokes, he acts like he has some insight into the issues of our time and has a humorous take on it. But I don't think he does. He avoids the real issue. He dances around it and I think he does to say something controversial for the publicity. But in the end he's not honest and if you're going to play that type of comedy game you have to have insight and you have to be honest.  It was much more apparent in his last much more controversial netflix special. I tossed out a short blog on it, but I think I failed to explain my ideas well. It's tough to write a blog on a video that others may not have seen without a transcript. I just don't think he's hitting the mark he's aiming at.

    I get your point. I think Chapelle has some insight, but this isn't a Master Class - he seems unsure of himself, some of the jokes were hackneyed, some not really jokes... But 4 years ago he made the point of white liberal people suddenly deciding things were terrible, which for a black person was a surprise/questionable. Now many've decided things are wonderful again, which again might seem hyperbolic for many blacks. I didn't recall things so great during the Obama years. I don't think getting rid of Trump in January gets rid of our Covid problem et al anytime soon. And racism sure could use some kind of fresh approach.

    I just think one should not underestimate the ability of the SNL brand to affect our culture. Yes, even after all these years, it seems to me to have a lot of power. It had viral power before there was "viral" and it still has viral power.It's not a question of Chappelle's talent or lack of it, but that they chose him knowing the type of act he was famous for, and then the reaction to what he said as effects filter down through the culture.

    It's not a question of Chappelle's talent or lack of it, but that they chose him knowing the type of act he was famous for, and then the reaction to what he said as effects filter down through the culture.

    So you have described a medium with a great deal of power to effect the way people think. You point out a situation in which the wielders of that power pick the message they want believed by picking the messenger.  Thanks for that example of  how propaganda works. 

    geez I'm sorry that's absurd, you're like calling everything on any media "propaganda". No it's called ratings, large numbers of people liking a thing or not. Free speech, choice of media, they can turn the channel. Populism, yes. Not propaganda.

    Yes, As much as I don't really like him Chappelle is popular.

    I'm not underestimating the ability of SNL or Chappelle to affect culture. But I can't say much about that reaction from other people's eyes. I can only discuss my reaction and compare him to other comedians who do that type of political social commentary/comedy like Carlin to reach into the past or Hannah Gadsby the newest face in the genre.

    It seemed to me Chappelle was a bit of the turd in the punchbowl, the kind of Debbie Downer reality check to what the whites & possibly many blacks are feeling. A bit of the "blacks keep whites honest - & stop them from dancing bad" is a bit pretentious, a bit retread dumb. But still, I appreciated that somehow as food for thought - I'm worn out after Trump, and Covid's still raging, so I'm not quite in the dancing on cars mood. That doesn't mean I wholeheartedly agree with Chappelle either - though I do also think some of these things like "Kung Flu" are overblown - the whole "you have to be an X to say something about X" seems sad, so limited. I mean, I'm happy if a non-leper gives me a new leprosy joke, or someone who doesn't suffer from an intestinal disorder gives me some new material for dyspepsia. It's like manna from heaven - I don't look to see who sent it. I just edit & repeat. Though gum disease and the shingles would be a bit personal. Prolly Chappelle does the same.

    On my point about the SNL brand's ability to influence culture, I see that lots of people watched the show-link to ratings report. I know Chappelle's hosting was well advertised in advance. (Interesting side point reading the whole article: these ratings comparisons suggest the apolitical Eddie Murphy is slightly more popular than Chappelle as Murphy had no big political event to create more draw?) Also note the popularity after views of the Chappelle monologue on YouTube, probably a bigger indicator of his message resounding as people share the link or embed it:

    [....] This is the highest SNL 18-49 rating in three-and-a-half years, since May 13, 2017 (with host Melissa McCarthy & musical guest Haim, 2.74) and the highest most watched SNL telecast since then, behind the  Dec. 21, 2019 show hosted by Eddie Murphy with musical guest Lizzo (9.981 million).

    Vs. the comparable 2016 post-election SNL (8.691 million, 3.15 18-49 rating), also hosted by Chappelle, this year’s show was +4% in total viewers and off a bit in 18-49.

    The 2.62 rating in 18-49 doubles SNL’s November average from last season (2.62 vs. 1.28, +105%). In total viewers, the increase is +3.031 million viewers or +50% (9.064 million vs. 6.033 million).

    With 1.1 million Total Interactions, the Nov. 7 Saturday Night Live ranks as the season’s #1 most-social SNL airing and #1 most-social late-night airing of the week.

    Among all programs on YouTube over the weekend, SNL generated the #1, #2 and #3 most-viewed videos, with Biden’s Victory Cold Open (10.0 million views), Chappelle’s Stand-Up Monologue (7.4 million) and Weekend Update: Rudy Giuliani on Trump’s Election Lawsuits (4.2 million).[....]

    Kinda like dancing on cars - people are primed to react, whatever the content.
    Though I'm not sure about "influencing" so much as being the daily bread of a certain demographic.
    Will anyone unpersuaded be persuaded by the program? If so, all those "won't hold my nose for Hillary" would have voted for Hillary, and presumably some non-liberals would watch SNL and be won over. I rather doubt it.

    In the past, over the decades I've watched and followed politics at the same time, I think they actually have hurt candidates politically with ridicule. Unless the targeted candidate is smart enough to show up in person and show they can self-deprecate, which counteracts that result.

    Except the right handicaps those smartass lib programs.

    I keep dropping by RealClearPolitics, and no matter how bad things get, they always have a blame the libs response. How that works in raleal Murika, dunno.

    RCP still has Biden at about 259 at the top of their page.

    taking your "things are not so bad" point further-and I think this also addresses part of Chappelle's point too-no Poor Boys bogeymen civil war looting, shooting rioting and raping libs showing up as of yet, just sad press conferences at landscaping cos. and all-hat-no-cattle from rightwing congresspersons:

    Look, at least millions of American storeowners can go to bed tonight without having to worry about an outbreak of violence and looting from the defeated candidate's supporters. That's a good thing, and one nobody will talk much about. The boarding up of Washington DC can stop.

    — John McGuirk (@john_mcguirk) November 7, 2020

    granted,.I may be speaking too soon. But I also suspect that if it happens soon, Joe would try to ameliorate somehow as he has declared victory. After all, he'd have to deal with it down the road anyways, might as well start now.

    Partly FDR's "fear fear itself" admonition is operable here? Unless true anarchist believers, "they" are just angry people. How they act out depends upon whether others' fear gives them power to act out.? Scare yourself silly about "the other" and they just might get the idea to take advantage of that.

    More fear of the bogeyman thing. I think she's right:

    This is pretty much the opposite of "incredibly dangerous"

    — Alice (@AliceFromQueens) November 9, 2020

    We had screaming angry right wing talk radio in this country since the 80's.  Only major violent result of  all the"Turner Diaries" nut cases was the counter-reaction of Tim McVeigh to Federal crackdowns on like Ruby Ridge & Waco? Am I right, am I missing something?

    We'll just forget about the plot to kidnap a Governor or the shooting death of a California sheriff's deputy by a Boogaloo member. Just off the top of my head.

    Move along, nothing to see.

    your problem is in the news bubble that you make for yourself of exclusively black grievances, you don't look at anything by Trump supporters. I do, they are as illogically frightened as you are and cherry pick fear mongering stories the same way you do. They never see it from the other side, just like you, and they are afraid, like you. Just ran across some here:

    You do the exact opposite of what the whole Chapelle monologue is about, looking at things as if in the other guy's shoes and hopefully seeing why you are frightened of each other.


    You do realize that Chappelle was doing jokes?

    At the end of the monologue, he said that whites had to rid themselves of the hatred.

    What steps do you encourage whites take to accomplish ending their hate?

    Yoy do a lot of projection from your bubble

    I give my opinion

    I have not put extra locks on the doors, purchased a weapon, guard dog, etc.

    McConnell says that he will block Biden.

    Few Republican members of Congress offered congratulations to Biden.

    The person in control of funding the transition team will not release funds.

    You have much to say about the Woke

    What is your message to Trump and the GOP?

    Chappelle's bit was trying to do similar to this?


    — Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) November 8, 2020

    Trump mixed culture wars with politics, or to be more precise he basically substitutes culture wars for politics, the politics are just thrown in once in a while as an afterthought. 

    And everyone is dragged along with this culture wars troll's framing just because he happens to be president and head of one of the political parties.

    And when you do culture wars, the war is on the other's humanity.

    The kicker: he was doing it for narcissistic goals only! No other reason.

    P.S. This is also apropos to our convo. on another thread. There are two types of people left on this here website, ones who desperately want to fight culture wars and ones who are looking for help decoding them. Is like mixing oil and water.

    At the end of the monologue, Chappelle talked about whites dealing with their hate

    When does that happen?

    here's just two more people sharing thoughts on it (since we definitely could use more of a mix!):

    We have to keep in mind that Chappelle told us to give Trump a chance when Trump was elected. Chappelle had to apologize 

    Days after Donald Trump was elected president, Dave Chappelle made his much-anticipated appearance hosting Saturday Night LiveOver 8 million people watched as Chappelle spent over 11 minutes on his monologue, commenting on everything from Harambe to Black Lives Matter, but it was his parting thoughts on Donald Trump that surprised viewers the most. After describing the hope he felt on a recent visit to the White House alongside other black, "historically disenfranchised" artists, he told the audience, “I’m wishing Donald Trump luck. And I’m going to give him a chance, and we, the historically disenfranchised, demand that he give us one too. Thank you very much.”

    Six months later, Chappelle is taking it back. During his set at the Robin Hood Gala in New York on Monday, he offered up an apology for those choice words during his monologue, according to NBC’s Willie Geist, who was in the audience. “I was the first guy on TV to say ‘Give Trump a chance,’” he told the crowd. “I f—ed up. Sorry.”

    I remember when Hillary lost, the message from Trump supporters was "F Your Feelings"

    I hope Biden can reach across the aisle

    I am not optimistic

    Look for Executive Orders

    Oh God, the only reason a comedian should ever apologize is showing his dick unasked to a colleague. Depending on how it goes over. Other than that, it's no holds barred. People dont like your act, they boo and walk out. Comedians best work is their edgiest. Sarah Silverman's best joke mixes semitic tropes with totally un-#MeToo values. The best joke I know I'm unable to tell pretty much anywhere for its ethnic shamefulness (no, it's not Southern - much more globalized), and the 2 or 3 competing ones have gotten me labeled in a few circles as a suspicious type. But the jokes are still funny. And horridly offensive. And even if they pull a fireside chat with a "let's get serious" heart-to-heart, it's still a performance. They're out to stir us up - make us laugh or cry or shock us or somehow be worth the $20 or $50 or however much it costs to see these acts. The worse thing that can happen is you go home unphased. Groucho Marx's anecdote about the guy in the Depression he told about their show. "Man, I only got a nickel left. But is it kicking?" Being a stand-up comedian is a real shit job - alone on stage, filling lots of silence, knowing you can't survive on baseball numbers, 3 out of 10 being great - you better hit 8 out of 10 or they'll boo and insult you off and you might never come back. I mean, Chappelle is far past that for now - he'll pretty well survive just by raising his eyebrows. But that's only after 10 or more years of work. Anyway, I liked things better in the punk era when *everything* was on the table. Did Lidya Lunch's career get ruined for throwing a used tampon at the Clash? hardly. That's entertainment. The Aristocrats.

    Chappelle, the guy who made the statement, apologized. He knew that he made a mistake.

    Most people want a peaceful transition

    The person in charge of releasing the funds for transition refuses to do so

    Few Republican officials have congratulated Biden on his election

    McConnell says that he will obstruct Biden

    We have crazy wingnut ministers telling their congregations that Biden is not President-elect

    What do Trump and the Republicans have to do to reassure the rest of us?

    After F Your Feelings, what is their responsibility to Biden supporters?

    Who is this robot droning at me?

    Do you speak English?

    Or just Listese?

    Which phrase book do you use?

    Yo tengo hambre.

    Banyo istiyorum.

    Comedians are apologizing because their target audience is essentially booing and walking out. The apology is their attempt to stop that. I don't really follow stand up comedians though I watch a medium amount of their work. What ever comedian gets a deal with the streaming service I'm subscribed to at the moment. I remember the names of those I think are great and forget the names of most of the rest. So I can't really name names and make comparisons. But there are still comedians doing similar schticks to Andrew Dice Clay. I watched at least some of their work though sometimes I just turn them off half way through their set. They're doing fine with their target audience and only get in trouble when they try to expand beyond it. They don't have to apologize. They can say fuck em if they can't take a joke. They can settle for the smaller market that likes their type of humor. They apologize to stop the bleeding and change their routine if they can to appeal to the larger market. Or to hold onto a market that has different standards that have changed over time. 

    To attempt to expand on this. Many years ago I went to see Michael Moschen perform his contact juggling show. He did several sets and between each one a clown came out and did a traditional slapstick routine. It wasn't offensive and it didn't bother me but I didn't find it funny. I'm a people watcher. I don't really understand why people do the things they do and I'm often trying to figure it out. As I was bored by what was happening on stage with the clown I looked around at the people. Almost no one was laughing at the clown. Except for this 13 year old girl sitting near me. She could not stop laughing. I tried to understand why.

    The clown with his over sized shoes had trouble walking and tripped. He tried to drink water and it spilled. When he tried to eat  the food got all over his face. Walked into a wall. Banged his shins on a low table. Typical clown routine that this child could not stop laughing at but no adult laughed at. I guessed that this was funny because this was the exaggerated life of the child. It touched her world. She remembered the struggles to walk, to eat, to drink. She was laughing at that pain, at her struggles.

    This is all old for the adult, they barely remember it if at all. It doesn't touch their life anymore. This type of humor no longer connects. They're looking for something more sophisticated. Jokes about religion, death, politics, cultural conflicts or absurdities, SEX. 

    We can extrapolate this differing level of sophistication between child and adult to adults with very different levels of education and thought patterns.What appeals to college students and higher is not likely to appeal to poor uneducated whites or blacks.  And vice versa. As we get more and more educated there is a greater demand for more sophisticated more thoughtful humor. And a rejection of humor that is more basic, shocking, or offensive. 

    Or per Heinlein's "we laugh because it hurts", for the adults dying hurts more than childhood, or these encounters, decades of weakness..  that's what's painful, that's what they fear. The kid's still in training shoes, hasn't even glimpsed death, barely knows embarrassment or ridicule or failure. Just clumsiness.

    nicely told anecdote and analysis, oceankat, I enjoyed reading it.

    Re: . Aside from Covid, the Trump years have just been about pissing us off every minute of the day. But there were no gas ovens

    Just ICYMI, on Twitter it's a theme for specialist types that calling Trumpism equivalent to fascism is a dangerous misunderstanding in itself. 

    Not an expert, assumed there were huge differences.
    But I'm actually more interested in the populism topic, so reading Richard Evans' transcript now.
    ETA: wow, he even makes my same point about gas ovens, and bolsters yours re: "racism" more frequently a type of nationalism when comes to populists.

    yeah that blood in the soil thing, thousand year reich--is actually very romantic, grows out of 19th century romanticism, why Jews have a hard time with Wagner. One thing about it that has always interested me going way back. Putin gets it for sure?

    comes to mind how I had this as a textbook around 1972 as a freshman/sophomore in Madison, Late 19th/pre-war 20th Century European Cultural History, author was the professor:

    Nazi Culture by George L. Mosse

    Mosse was like a classic hawk Zionist type, dressed like he worked with the Pentagon geeks on the other side of campus (Stirling Hall which was famously bombed not long before). But he was also somewhat a courtly European intellectual type.

    The point of the story: there were a lot of older students in the class, including SDS radicals--which I still idolized at the time--they'd get up and argue with him in righteous anger about socialism vs. totalitarianism etc (which we covered in the class as well, of course) He'd shoot them down every single time for faulty thinking. Little arta's mouth was agape...I never checked whether he was a Nazi refugee, sure talked like one...anyone who knew nazi-ism iup close and personal very very picky about the word fascism as well.

    The Way We Were

    go to Yglesias' new blog for more thought provocation on topic,, (should note this is no Dave Chapelle but an elitely raised and elitely educated kid of elite Spanish-Cubans and Jews, growing into an adult elite media person) Scroll down to 

    [...] Outside the BA bubble

    Trump’s victory in 2016 involved a significant number of people who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 flipping to Trump.

    Those voters were predominantly white people with no college degree who lived in the north and were not religious (southern and religiously observant non-college whites having gone GOP in earlier cycles). Discussion of their voting behavior swiftly degenerated into a stupid argument in which one side said they voted for Trump because they were racists and another side said they voted for Trump because of “economic anxiety” or as a “rejection of neoliberalism” or some such. The evidence, however, was and always has been simply overwhelming that cultural attitudes were what drove the change.

    Now words are just words and people can use them however they want. And certainly you can describe the cultural attitude of Obama/Trump vote-switchers as “racism” if you want to (certainly Trump himself said plenty of racist stuff and there are plenty of examples of Trump fans saying racist stuff and of racists praising Trump). The practical rhetorical function of that choice, however, was the anathematize the idea of trying to cater to their cultural attitudes at all even though whatever you want to say about those attitudes they were compatible with voting twice for a Black president [....]

    PP... Black Voters Matter in Atlanta

    You may find this interview quite interesting...

    November 14, 2020






    Blacks organizing, whites in suburbs organizing, will be an interesting runoff. I remember when Obama *didn't* campaign for a GA Democratic Senate candidate in runoff after 2008 election - maybe didn't want to damage his brand with a loss, maybe pivoting to "all Americans" for the crash bailout, not sure, but i still think it sent a bad signal to the party.

    We are in 2020, not 2008.

    Duh. And a full Dem effort to flip those 2 seats in January is appreciated, and a better signal for Biden going all out - President for all, but Democrats for close contests.

    just in case you're interested:

    This is a short clip without context. He signed a bad contract. People were streaming some of his work and he wasn't paid because of that contract. But there must be much more to this story. And other than he's happy that when he complained Netflix pulled his content we don't know his feelings and interpretation of each part of the story. Knowing a bit about Chappelle I can make guesses about that. They might be right, they might be wrong. I'll just leave it at that though and not speculate without the information. 

    I take a little comfort in knowing that not all African-Americans have written off the country as decisively as Ta Nehisi Coates has. Not that we don't need Coates.

    I take great comfort in knowing most of the blacks I've met in my life were pretty happy largely satisfied people, despite the obviousness that things could be better and sometimes awful things did occur. Fortunately I haven't had to derive my faith  and assurance just from online pundits working a 60s Afro-revolutionary heritage schtick ( i can get spicier, more animated words more direct from Baldwin, Dick Gregory, MLK, Malcolm, Alice Walker, Chuck D...). Yes, the poet who spoke yesterday got "the talk" from her mother at an early age, like most American blacks (and presumably a lot around the world). Though I will say some of us middle class folk got a similar talk, the "if you don't stay away from those redneck drug dealing friends of yours, you'll end up on the wrong side of the law", and indeed a number of them ended up dead, in jail, or shoveling shit for a living. Double that with our new breed of clueless protest idiots.

    a bit of news about Dave:

    4) in other news, Dave Chapelle has COVID. Not DC related but he did maybe superspread it at a party with other comedians + Elon Musk. Wondering if Musk is quarantining.

    — Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) January 22, 2021

    I just discovered writer and actor Ryan Ken, *folds arms heterosexually*, 48,500 followers and growing:

    I finally did that TikTok trend

    — Ryan Ken (@Ryan_Ken_Acts) March 22, 2021

    (only cause he liked my comment on an art journo's thread defending a museum, where it's clear that said journo was salivating over possible chance to attack) Ryan looks like a lot of fun.

    Good for you to say, but since I'm a white man, best be going out and doing bad things.


    Prince & basketball - as Dangerfield would say, "who knew?"

    Tim Scott's mom:

    also recommended by a Maggie Haberman "like"

    apropos of nothing except a surprise performance from Chappelle:

    or maybe as Yglesias sort of implies, it is a signifier of future culture?

    Fits the quality i expect from the Foo Fighters 

    (for a comedian should I say "don't give up your night job"?)

    Latest Comments