Thursday, September 16, 2010
My Heel Turn on Sarah Silverman
I’ve been a Sarah Silverman fan for many years, since her days on Saturday Night Live and her guest spots on The Larry Sanders Show. When friends have said to me – and they have - , “You only think she’s funny because she’s hot,” or “You only think she’s hot because she’s funny,” I have always argued that she’s both no matter how impossible the combination sounds.
I just read her book Bedwetter, which, for more than one reason, is an appropriate title. It’s a very funny book. Silverman claims to have been a bed wetter into her teens. True or not, it’s undoubtedly sexy, but that’s not what I want to talk about here.
The book went downhill for me when she started talking about her battle with Guy Aoki, the head of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, after she used the term “chink” on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. First of all, talk about holding a grudge for nine years. This happened in 2001. Mohammed Atta ruined everyone’s day since then and not a word is written about him. She printed the entire e-mail she sent to Aoki after the shit hit the fan and included excerpts from when the two were on that idiot Bill Maher’s show. Then she goes into similar controversies she found herself in over Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, which is not as interesting and, in fact, you wonder who the victim really is – Aoki, Hilton, Spears, or poor little Sarah herself.
Silverman goes on to say that Aoki would have been right at home anywhere from the 1930s, when The Amos & Andy Show was popular, to the 70s, when All in the Family was the top show. She says this because today racial comments are much more subtle, both when made by ingenious liberal comics like, say David Cross, Janeane Garofalo, and Silverman herself, and by the conservative right.
Now, I’m not one of these “Shut up and Sing” guys. Actually, I am. Whether you’re Bruce Springsteen or Ted Nugent, just sing the stupid song. What I am not against – as someone who is a huge fan of comedy – is comics getting on their political soapboxes. Whether it’s liberals like the afore-mentioned comics, or Margaret Cho or Marc Maron, or whomever, or right-leaning comedians such as Nick Dipaolo, Colin Quinn, or Jim Norton, say whatever you want, just be funny. I didn’t agree with everything George Carlin said, but he was a genius when saying it.
What I did not like about Bedwetter is Silverman going from playing the poor victim to playing big sister white person by labeling all available conservative outlets as racist. She says the right’s racism is just as hidden as the jokey ha-ha racism. The right doesn’t come out and say “nigger” or that the Ku Klux Klan is great, but they have “tea parties” and call Barack Obama a “socialist” and a “Nazi.”
I like to believe that Silverman is smart enough to know that Obama could be a white redneck from Mississippi, but if he had what conservatives see as a leftist agenda they would still protest him. It’s very easy to label the tea party people as racists. That’s the ticket the liberals won with an Obama victory: carte blanche to call every Obama opponent a filthy racist. If you’re anti-Clinton you’re a Republican towing the party line. If you’re anti-Obama, you’re a disgusting bigot.
God, is that simplistic thinking.
As for the term “Nazi,” Democrats spent eight years calling George W. Bush a Nazi. It was all good fun then. Frankly the term has been beaten to death by both sides. Maybe we can thank Seinfeld and the Soup Nazi for that, I don’t know. All I know is when conservatives do it and the alleged Nazi is black, it’s racist, albeit ironically so.
And socialism? Do liberals believe that conservatives think all blacks are socialists? How are any of these terms – socialist, communist, or Nazi – a substitute for “nigger?”
Silverman goes on to say that the entirety of Fox News’s programming, top to bottom, is racist. I guess, compared to the Jesse Jackson ass-kissing I’ve seen fellow bedwetting liberal Keith Olberman do on MSNBC, anything can be construed as racist. God, it must be so fun for liberals to point the racist finger.
Finally, Silverman has a go at Lou Dobbs for going off on “immigrants” instead of “filthy Mexicans.” First of all, Dobbs went off on illegal immigrants. Why does this not sink in with the left? The immigrant part is fine. As the libs like to point out, we’re all singing “The Immigrant Song” here. It’s the illegal part that might be a little not so good.
If I went to see Silverman perform her stand-up would I get in without a ticket? Wouldn’t I have to show the proper paperwork to get in? Otherwise I’m in the building what? Illegally. You guessed it. Give yourself a bell.
So, yes, Silverman’s soapbox juxtaposed with her battle with Guy Aoki completely ruined Bedwetter for me. If she had written one word about Don Imus and “nappy headed hoes” I’d have burned this stupid book and not given my library thirty bucks to replace it.