Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Pressure Cooker

True to form, I've found something else to blog about. Michael Richards (better known as Kramer from Seinfeld) went psychotic during a performance and racially insulted black audience members who were heckling him. And we're not talking Carlos Mencia stuff. We're talking serious, not funny, ni**er-hanging-from-a-tree-with-a-fork-up-his-ass kind of stuff.

I love racial humor, including risque racial humor, but this doesn't qualify because there was no context and it was very, very weird.

Then came the apology on Letterman. Dear God in Heaven. He is all kinds of crazy. He invokes Hurricane Katrina. He talks about the war. He pays homage to a list of pseudo-liberal catch-phrases and then demands that we believe he is not a racist after chastising the audience for giggling at the awkwardness of the entire situation. I was about to faint from the sheer lunacy of it all.

And this condenses everything that embarrasses me about pseudo-liberalism. It isn't that it is racist, but that it isn't NOT racist. I believe that Michael Richards is truly bewildered at how such things ever came out of his mouth. The problem, in my opinion, is that he has been steeped in liberal sanctimony for so long ("I oppose the war," "George Bush doesn't like black people," etc etc), that he instinctively felt he had risen above such niceties as refraining from expressing a longing for the days of lynching. What people like him fail to notice is that one thing has NOTHING to do with the other. They are anti-war, anti-Bush, anti-"conservative" for their own selfish interests as opposed to any true interest whatsoever in minority communities. They have convinced themselves that if they subscribe to the usual mantra of peace, love and social diseases, they are automatically immune to racist thoughts and feelings. "I'm a liberal. I can't possibly be a racist. Look. I'm going to call Condi Rice a house-nigger. See? No racism. I'm a liberal."

But they are racists. They think everyone but white people need a hand up and white people need to keep their superior mouths shut in order to level the playing field.

Nowhere was this more evident to me than NYC. I had a picture of Gwennie and Emma that I would show people. It was embarrassing to the point of squirminess the way people would try to ask me what race their father was without coming right out and saying. I can't tell you how many times I almost said, "He's a gook with a 3 inch cock. Small, I know, but it's better for anal" just to see their faces melt. Even worse was when Jeth and I were together and people would try to tell us how cool they were with us being married and try hard not to sound surprised that we were from TX. Although no one asked, I know they were wondering if we'd ever had a cross burned on our lawn (it was just a little one). The saddest thing is that I think they would have asked except that they didn't want their preconceived notions of the lands outside their myopic 12 mile radius obliterated.

Now it isn't that I have a problem with people being polite. I greatly appreciate courtesy. But there is something so weird and fake about tip-toeing around race issues. For God's sake. I am aware that my husband is Asian. I'm pretty sure he knows I'm white (although I can honestly say I don't know if he's ever looked above my neck). If you have a question, fucking ask it. But this hyper-racial awareness and condescending racial pandering is like a pressure cooker and it's going to blow in scaldingly unfunny ways, just like Mr. Richards.

Anyway, the hat tip for all of this info goes to Blowing Smoke. And if I haven't shilled for it yet, I've been remiss. This is a great blog. You can link it and check every day since they post quite often and their cultural commentary is sharp, merciless, and really funny - a truly beautiful thing. Jim Treacher is a daily contributor and he has the dubious distinction of making me run for the bathroom with trickles of mirth streaming down my legs more than anyone else on the internet. (That was hyperbole.)

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