Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Imus Out The Window

A friend, we'll call him Sardou, brought my attention to Don Imus in the early seventies because he said he had a funny radio show, but I had soured on him long before he brought his act to MSNBC television. I always felt Imus was never as clever as he thought he was and was an arrogant and shameless self-promoter. What's more, he's a trash talking bully who seems to have infatuated all the Washington media types by saying things they would sometimes like to, but are restrained by common manners. That never stopped Imus. Maybe that's why they think he's so hilarious. But need I remind anyone of his universally panned performance at the White House Correspondents' Dinner a few years back? Everybody's a comedian.

In the 70s, it became obvious that Imus fell in love with two things; cocaine and Richard Pryor. Anyone who heard his disastrously unfunny comedy album, circa 1979, would realize that Imus is not a racist, he's just stupid. He believed in his delusional mind that he would be the Caucasian Richard Pryor and had a nightclub act filled with the same racial epithets that Pryor used, and the same chronic use of anatomical terms. Coming from Pryor, the outrage and the irony made it funny. Only from Imus' mouth, similar words sounded sour and mean spirited. He was fortunate to have the radio voice to fall back on, but what he really wanted was a career in stand-up. As we now know, he is humor challenged.

There are sure a lot of people making apology tours these days. First, Mel Gibson with the Jews, then Kramer's night club rant and Joe Biden talking about how "clean" Barack Obama is. If Biden wanted to score racial points, he might have said that Obama is, "tired, but he's clean." Then there was the hilarious Hillary Minstrels in Selma, where Mrs. Clinton did everything but talk about her junk in the trunk. But why is it that every time one of these cracker assholes goes off the deep end, they are from Hollywood and Washington? It used to be just Southerners who were villianized as racist, but people from the south seem to have more inter-racial contacts than people elsewhere. Imus' stupid remark about the Rutgers girls' basketball team being "nappy-headed ho's," shows two things clearly; He still wishes he had the "street cred" of a Richard Pryor by attempting to sound radical, and he has no black friends or acquaintances.

Here's a little rule of thumb from the South. Remember when they told you, "If you're a child, then don't talk back?" Well, "if you're white, don't talk black." It is a condescending insult to intelligent black people everywhere to believe you think in order to communicate, you must slip into some racial patois you heard on Def Comedy Jam. People like Michael Richards and Imus may claim they are not racist and they well may be right, but their behavior shows an uncomfortableness with people of different races and a clear lack of contact with anyone other than those like themselves. This self-segregation is one of the major factors contributing to our country's racial misunderstandings, and a faux cowboy like Don Imus can say what a decent human being he is all he wants, but remove his "thug" language, and he still managed to insult a group of teenage girls without cause or concern.

I'm enjoying watching Imus squirm. I love to see a bully get their comeuppance. And if Imus is knocked from his perch of political insider, who put him there in the first place? The MSNBC two-week suspension says a great deal about that network as well. During an unprecedented call-up of National Guard troops for duty in Iraq and the Justice Department threatening to collapse under the weight of "loyal Bushies," MSNBC devoted a entire half of their nightly program, "Hardball," to the Imus story. Don Imus makes too much advertising money for them to fire him, so they must not care a great deal about offending any listeners. But corporate America always does market studies before it makes a move, and they probably decided that black people weren't their target demographic anyway. So who cares if another middle-aged white man is amused by the misogynist lyrics and language of a small group of self-denigrating people who have somehow captured the public imagination? When the hip-hop "gangsta" culture promotes this view of black women and receives billions of dollars in profits and sales, why is it surprising that an aging Richard Pryor wannabe should be emboldened to try it himself. The saddest part is that if a black comedian had said the same thing, everyone would have laughed. Imus thought he could get away with using racial humor because he is emboldened by its all too common usage in the culture. Problem was, nothing he said was remotely funny.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I pine for the days when America was a free country. The days when there were no thought/word police poised to pounce on a person and destroy them for uttering any word that some group of people might find offensive. Any group but white, Anglo-Saxons, that is. It's open season on them. There is a double standard in this society now with regard to freedom of speech issues. The only people who deny this are the minions of the PC, thought/word police crowd and the political agenda for which they stand. There is the n-word, the f-word (for faggot), the s-word (for spic), on an on ad nauseum. Before long we won't be able to speak in ordinary sentences, what with all the hyphenated terms we will be using...they will run the gamut of the whole alphabet. Screw it all...be free and let the chips fall where they may. Let the hyper-sensitive whine, moan and wring their limp little hands. It's another manifestation of the feminizing of the country. The girly people are so easy to offend.

Anonymous said...

I saw Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and a couple other black leaders on the Today show this morning, calling for Don Imus' professional head. When questioned by the moderator about "calling New York Hymietown", Jackson (who got away with NO consequences for that slur) chose to avoid the question and call for a broadened approach to stamping out racism altogether.

Actually, I couldn't agree more. Let's broaden the discussion. Let's talk about rap/hip-hop. Let's ask the Rutgers women how many CD's of this type they own ... which ROUTINELY cast woman as "bitches and ho's". Did Don Imus create this term? Of course, he did not. Did he assume, because of the frequency of this term being broadcast internationally and constantly, that he was free to use these base terms also? Apparently he did.

NOT ONCE DURING THE ENTIRE TODAY SHOW DISCUSSION WAS THE RAP/HIP HOP SUBJECT MENTIONED. Not by the moderator, Jackson, Sharpton, ANYONE. It seems as though everyone is ready to accept Oprah Winfrey's premise that "it is impossible for a black person to be racist".

Can we eliminate the racist/gender bias from modern music? Probably not. Can we keep "good (or bad) people from saying bad things"? Not likely. But ... we can admit that racism is WRONG ... no matter whose mouth it comes from. Surely we can. The one-sided, hypocritical analysis of this situation which is now being parlayed in the media is nonsense. It's time to kill the double-standard and attack racism for the nasty concept which it is. It shouldn't be a career-ending event for Don Imus ... and "nothin' but a G-thang baby" for others.

Anonymous said...

Well spoken. I actually heard Geraldo Rivera on the O'Reilly Factor when he used the term 's-word' and then explained that it was a euphemism for spic. I guess everyone has heard the new use of the 'f-word' since Ann Coulter mis-spoke about John Edwards being a faggot. And the double standard runs amok. I am a teacher in the public schools and I can testify that blacks use the n-word with impunity, also, the term nappy-head...you name it. They'll shout these things and worse all day in the halls and classroom. They can call the white kids anything they want to...white cracker, white m-f, etc. and they can intimidate the white kids with no repercussions. I have thought on many occasions that if a white were to behave like this there would be a federal investigation... and these issues don't even make it to the principal's office. I won't push this any further, but anyone who works in public education (at least at the high school level) knows what I am talking about. Some people are definitely more free than others in this society. One group can say whatever they want, another group has to walk on egg shells for fear of being punished. I believe that this is part of a conscious political ploy, because nothing is being done to correct the situation and nothing ever will.

Ernest Placido said...

I've read the blog and the comments, all of which impress me with the writer's personal and honest view on the subject of what's really "right" regarding the presumed maligning of another identifiable group of human beings. The points made me think about something I think you'll all be able to connect with.....if someone who is your best friend makes an off hand comment you believe not to be intended to hurt or to cast aspersions, and you know his true self as an honest reasonable man with bearings that are fair and upright, you can laugh at what you can call his silliness or his outrageousness or outlandishness, but if someone you are carrying a grudge for, for any reason, says the same thing, he's an asshole and the worst kind. And he may be an asshole of the worst kind, but that's tough to call from the distance of not really knowing the person, or only seeing and hearing the reports of the guns who are quick to call him an asshole. An insult is a compliment and the other way around too often in just our usual relationships with women to know exactly how to bridge the sensitivity gap with any real aplomb. And I agree walking on eggshells is a crappy way to live and is false to the provider of the "kindness" and to the receiver of the "bullshit".

Anonymous said...

What? Did you just try to say something?

Anonymous said...

Mutant birthday clowns of America...unite! They are coming after us. There is a vast left and right-wing conspiracy afoot to eliminate us. It is time for all mutants to come to the aid of our kind. Just remember never to say the m-word, or the c-word, or the b-word, or the a-word, or the d-word, or the g-word, or the j-word, or the w-word, or the k-word, or the....

Anonymous said...

I say all the above Anonymous comments and ernest are "Right On".
God Bless America and FREDDOM of speech!

Anonymous said...

News alert!...Since Ann Coulter's infamous use of the forbidden word 'faggot' in regard to John Edwards, and the subsequent designation of that word as the 'f-word', some of you might have wondered what will become of the original use of the term 'f-word'. Well, the PC folks have straightened that out for us. The original f-word is now referred to as the 'f-word-classic', while faggot is now the new f-word. Is that clear? I will be more pointed. The word 'fuck' is now referred to as the'f-word-classic'...faggot is now the 'f-word'. We can all breathe easier now that that has been clarified. I just heard this distinction on a news talk show tonight. Absurd enough for you folks?

Anonymous said...

I believe that I heard the same talk show. There was a discussion about the Imus situation and about what words were not permissible over the air. They began discussing words that were forbidden for sure, and that is when the distinction between the 'f-word (classic)' came up to distinguish it from the relatively less forbidden 'f-word' for faggot. How much further down this lame path will we tread? What if they come up with a third forbidden 'f-word'...will it be called 'f-word III'?

Anonymous said...

Most of the people who get in trouble for mis-speaking are older. Rush Limbaugh, Imus, Joe Campanella, Jimmy the Greek, etc. These people are living with the delusion that America is still a free country. We are living in a new, less free America and this is just the beginning. We are on the slippery slope that will take us to a full-blown police state. Cities are increasingly using cameras in high crime areas and to moniter stop lights. I read where they are going to install surveillance cameras on airplanes. This sort of thing will expand exponentially. We will see the day when every home will be required to have installed within it a government issue computer that will monitor everything going on in the home. This will be passed off as a free government educational/home security perk. Then will come the microchip implant in every wrist. Sound far-fetched? Wait and see. That day will be here within the next 30 years.

davethedog said...

This is one way that the oppressive majority stays in power, by playing the victim card. It is such a burden to not be able to use racial epithets, that they can barely communicate. The solution is, HEY PALLY, learn a few more words. How many words will be lost anyway. So "Anonymous" what does open season on the rich white people consist of? You recommended that we "screw it" and let the chips fall where they may. I notice that you didn't have the courage of your convictions to explain the "N-word" like you did for faggot and spic. So who is the "girly" person now.

Also changing the topic to what Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson does. If they get to say a word, then it is unfair if we can't say the word also. Boo-Hoo! Hip-Hop is also not a good excuse, that is their perogative. It doesn't have anything to do with Imus or anyone else who speaks like this in public.

To say that this now means America is less free is bullshit. It is that the rights of freedom are now more evenly spread around. It's like the right wing Christians crying that they are being descriminated against. America is over 90% Christian, how are the 10% going to take anything meaningful from them.

What this boils down to is that some people resent a few restrictions to give a small amount of dignity to others. If you don't believe me, just think about what else went along with the use of the "n-word" in Memphis only 50 years ago. What, you think that couldn't happen again, that we are to advanced now?

Wait a minute, let me ask my relatives from Poland for their opinion. Oh, I forgot, they aren't here. So, notwithstanding the the "macro" issues, it is not asking much for people in one cultural group to NOT use language which would be hurtful to another group. Even if they get to call each other that very name. Imus was in the public arena and should have known better. He was made an example of, but he just got the cosmic shaft on that one.

I hope we are clear on this now. I want to give a "shout out" to the Blogmaster Extraordinaire. Randy you are my "MAIN KIKE"!

Word out from davethedog

Anonymous said...

Davethedog...so much for your liberal socio-babble. Your ramblings sound as though they came from an irrational and unsound mind. You are the type who will rationalize anything. I didn't expound on the n-word,because everyone knows that it means nigger...And I don't get what you mean by girly man. Did you think that I should have said the word 'nigger' with impunity to prove my manhood? Personally, I don't use the word out of deference to my black friends...I have no political motive. I don't get your reasoning. But then liberals are usually quite irrational. That is why liberal talk shows never have a following and why liberals usually look so foolish when they debate convervatives.