Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Michael Richards Thing

The media's all atwitter about Richards' epithet-filled diatribe directed at a black heckler at a comedy club. Condemnation has been pretty universal from what I've seen and heard so far. Can't argue with that. His language matched his mood. It was ugly.

I'm not going focus on dancing on the grave of his career though. What interests me about this whole thing is how technology has turned what once would have been a fart in a windstorm into a nuclear mushroom cloud.

15 years ago - heck, make that 10 - it's highly unlikely that Richards' verbal venom would have been caught on tape. Even if it had, it wouldn't have gotten national airplay except as a series of bleeps. Most likely, some few folks from the audience would have complained to the proprietor of the club and maybe fired off a letter or two to a newspaper.

The ripple effect would have been indiscernible.

Instead, a video camera, now as ubiquitous as a pack of cigarettes used to be, captures the event and within hours it's available for world-wide viewing via the internet. As a result, Richards is obliged to appear on national tv and apologize. And apologize. And apologize.

Nobody and nothing is private anymore.

I find that to be a lot scarier than a closet racist outing himself.


lanibear said...

I find it offensive firstly that you refer to this incident as a "thing". Secondly, the fact that you find it offensive that nowadays people are having to actually own up for their actions (caught on video) is what's scary to me. In a sense you are right - nothing is private anymore. And why would we want to keep private the racial slurs of a public figure? Or the sexual deviancy of a petophyle politician? Or the accepting of bribes by a union leader?

Frank Baron said...

Hi sweetabear.

I'm offended by people who comment on what they think they read, instead of what was written.

But thanks for stopping by anyway.

uniquematerial said...

I hear ya, Frank.

What might have been nothing much became something big.

Frank Baron said...

That's a big part of it Unique. It also bothers me that one day you or I might trip while crossing the street and a passerby with a cell phone camera will have the results on YouTube within the hour.

Andy Warhol was right.

Anonymous said...

Good post-- it's almost like we've become a collective Big Brother of sorts.

PS - you've been tagged.

Othmar Vohringer said...

Well said Frank and as you would have guessed it the very first comment blasts you by interpreting, reading between the lines.

The funny thing is. If a comedian loses his cool and shouts the “N” word it’s a scandal and called RACISM. Could that have to do with PC that made it a fashion to point fingers at everyone? Or is it an American guilt trip for what they have done in the past to the black people, pardon, African Americans?

On the other hand if a government administration (Bush and cohorts) call two nations “evil people” that must be killed for their own good and send their armies in to blast hundreds of thousands of innocent people into oblivion plus keep subjecting the nation to the worst kind of hatred propaganda then that is not called racism. It’s called HEORISM.

My answer. Get a live folks! If I where to get upset every time someone calls me a Cheese Head because of my Swiss nationality or a Nazi because of my German accent I would walk around most times with a frown on my face.

There are more important things to worry about than a comedian shouting the "N" word from the stage.

Interesting side note: Hardly any African Americans complained about the outburst. It was mostly "Whites" that where offended. Now that's funny.

Frank Baron said...

Hiya Amy. Hey Othmar.

For some reason, the email notification of your posts didn't arrive. I'll have to check into that.

I'll check out that tag too Amy. :)