November 29th, 2006

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02:20 am - on efil4zaggin...

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[User Picture]From: kenoubi Date: November 29th, 2006 - 03:00 pm (Link)
You know, I have to say, I watched the video of Richards flipping out, and I was a bit baffled as to how he was acting. But for some reason I didn't take him seriously anyway. I guess no one is allowed to publicly be a racist these days, whether they are privately or not, and since a lot of people probably are and just don't say it, I viewed him as violating a societal taboo more than having an unusual contemptible viewpoint (though I do in fact find that viewpoint contemptible, primarily because I believe people should always be judged as individuals rather than members of groups, if possible), and I don't place much value on conformity to societal norms per se.

There's an episode of Seinfeld syndicated on a TV station that I watch just about every weeknight, and I haven't stopped watching or found Kramer to be any less funny of a character since this started. I guess I might be slightly more likely to pirate Seinfeld rather than buy the DVDs now, if I wanted to collect them, but honestly, they probably weren't that high on my list anyway. Point being, I don't seem to be motivated to punish Richards in any meaningful way for his behavior or views. I guess my moral compass is a bit weak (and of course, I'm rarely personally disadvantaged by racism, so it tends not to be one of my key issues).

I think I'm really tired of (and to a large extent, bored by) this whole "celebrity/politician scandal" pattern in general.
[User Picture]From: jameel Date: November 29th, 2006 - 03:25 pm (Link)
Most people aren't cut out for stand-up comedy. Michael Richards is obviously not. Someone who is cut out for stand-up would've spun that into part of their act.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: November 29th, 2006 - 03:39 pm (Link)
well, to be completely fair, if you watch the video, he actually was trying to spin it into his act. He's just lame, so it wasn't funny.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: November 29th, 2006 - 03:38 pm (Link)
well, I don't know that no one is allowed to be racist. Plenty of people are. The problem is that when you exhibit racist behavior you have to expect a certain relationship. You don't get to make hateful snide comments and then just say "oops, I'm sorry."

I mean, I say certain things here, and I expect the casual reader to respond to me accordingly. As a wrestling character I am an evil cheating bastard, and I expect people to respond to me accordingly. You can't really do what he did and expect no reaction.

Also, he just wasn't funny.
[User Picture]From: kenoubi Date: November 29th, 2006 - 07:25 pm (Link)
Sure, what I meant is that you can't be racist, express it in a way that is taken seriously, and expect to remain part of mainstream society, particularly the mass-media / pop-culture part thereof.

And you're right, that standup clip wasn't funny, and I probably wouldn't go see him as a standup comedian since it seems likely he just isn't that good at that. But I still think he was damn good as Kramer.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: November 29th, 2006 - 10:22 pm (Link)
exactly. The personal beliefs of Michael Richards, whatever they are, and his actions or mistakes he's made in the past 2 weeks have nothing to do with the character that was Kramer (as much a creation of the writers as Richards) from a decade ago. Hence my feeling that boycotting the show is actually kinda silly. I really just don't believe that he benefits in any major way financially from people buying the DVDs. I'm bettering he gets a much bigger check from the sale of soap or mcdonalds or cars or whatever is advertised during the syndicated run of the show.

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