Sunday, November 26, 2006

November 26, 2006
Attended my first big, Tongan wedding in Vegas. Much surf dancing and watusi-meets-the-pony gyrations, but incredible as it may seem, not by me. More details later.

Had a one-and-one-half hour wait at Hoover Dam on the trip up. Took a bunch of photos, saw big-horn sheep, ancient lava beds, spectacular rock formations and a shimmering sunset. Funny what happens when you are forced to stop and look at stuff.

Stand-up Hypocracy
I submitted a comment for the "Plugged In" page in the Arizona Republic on Michael Richards (Kramer on Seinfeld) getting crucified last week for using the N-word in a comedy routine. I was pretty steamed when I wrote it because I hate the hypocracy in the usage of that word, especially in stand-up, and I didn't think they'd run my comments because I headlined my piece— "Free Speech, my Ass!"

Well, they went with it in this morning's paper, but they did the Dagwood symbols for the last word: *#%! Here's part of my comments: "I am so sick of this charade that we have freedom of speech in this country. Doesn't anyone see the lunacy that when certain ethnic groups can use ethnic slurs as comedy, while others cannot, that we do not—I repeat, do not—have anything close to freedom of speech? Jon Stewart can riff on Jews, Carlos Mencia can riff on Mexicans and Chris Rock can riff on, well, I can't use the word because I'm anglo. I'm sorry, that's totally pathetic (although kind of funny in a sick, honky way). I agree with the rapper who said we should all use the N-word until it loses its edge. But what are the odds of that happening? I'd say about as good as Michael Richards getting invited to perform at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem."

The bottom line is, until we are all free to use the words that some get to use, but not others, It isn't free speech, is it? You might call it semi-free speech, or maybe Free Speech Based On Race, but it ain't free speech and to pretend anything else is folly. Imagine if a martian came to visit and we showed him examples of our stand-up comedy. First off, I think he'd laugh his ass off, but then his reaction would probably be, "And you think you're different from Iran, how?"

"At least in Vietnam Bush had an exit strategy."
—a bumper sticker I saw on highway 93 south of Wickenburg

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