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Kenan Thompson: the Internet Outrage Machine’s Straw Man Villain…

Kenan Thompson, long running member of the Saturday Night Live cast recently gave the desperate, hungry beast known as Manufactured Internet Outrage (MIO, not to be confused with the drink additive that Tracy Morgan pitches) a morsel to feast on.  Saturday Night Live is particularly white and has always seemed to have a lack of women of color.  In a TV Guide article, Thompson said, regarding the casting issues (please hide the children and be careful reading the following sentence): “Like in auditions, they just never find ones (women of color) that are ready.”

Oh. My. God.

Obviously there could be many reasons for Saturday Night Live‘s  lack of diversity, especially in the women of color category. Perhaps they represent a small sample size of people available to audition (coming from the Stand Up, Sketch and Improv ranks it would not be surprising), perhaps Lorne Michaels is hugely racist or perhaps the small sample of women of color who may audition did not do as well.  There are many reasons both benign and pernicious that could justify the whiteness of the SNL cast over the years, but the response to Kenan Thompson’s quote is simply a desperate and angry overreaching of people craving a villain for the day. What exactly did Thompson say – that IN AUDITIONS, there never seem to be women of color ready for the spotlight?  So he is speaking of the auditions he seems to have observed.  He did not say black women are no good at sketch comedy or comedy.  He was very specific and not very harsh or definitive in his condemnation of sketch performing women of color.  But did that stop the Internet from finding outrage? Of course not.

“Kenan Thompson blames black women for lack of black women on SNL” – Jezebel

“Kenan Thompson Blames SNL‘s Diversity Issue on Lack of Talented Black Comediennes””- TV Guide

“Kenan Thompson Blames “SNL’s” Lack Of Black Female Cast Members On Black Women” – The Urban Daily

“Stephen from Django Unchained Calls Black Female Sketch Performers Worthless Trashy Hoes” – Huffington Post

OK that last one is fake, but this is just the latest example of web traffic driving the presentation of content, instead of the actual content itself. What Kenan Thompson said was not controversial or mean or sexist or racist.  It was a half-hearted explanation based on his personal observations.  This just represents this year’s “Girls” controversy or Eddie Brill situation where a group feeling slighted generally parses and latches on to something someone said to create a straw man upon which to place their anger.  Why not direct the anger at Lorne Michaels?  Because his show has been on for four decades and he is not going anywhere or doing anything he doesn’t want to at this point.  So let’s get mad at today’s straw man monster Kenan Thompson. ZUT ALORS!  And just remember the flood of women (under five I think) that have appeared to do stand-up on Letterman since Eddie Brill stopped booking it? I would look for a similar deluge on next year’s SNL.  Because sometimes there are bad people doing bad things, but other times there aren’t but someone still has to get blamed anyway.

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Despite The Nobel Peace Prize, The World Needs Obama…

In light of President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize I must encourage him to engage in a newer and more muscular form of international and domestic governance.

(warning – you need a working knowledge of the first two Godfather films to fully appreciate)

Afghanistan

New plan that should satisfy everyone.  After consulting my advisers (NY Times, my uncle, my mother, history books) I have come up with a plan.  Several years ago a jingoistic and bellicose colleague of mine at the Bronx DA’s Office had suggested nuking the entire Middle East because you could not reason with that part of the world (most likely save Israel, lest his parents become upset with him as a military advisor) And I thought he was nuts, primarily because invading a country that you had no business invading (Iraq) and then claiming them to be unreasonable savages when they fight back is hardly conclusive proof of a people’s inability to use diplomacy.

But Afghanistan has proven a clearer quagmire (giggity giggity) if that makes any sense.  They attacked us and we half-assed fought back because Bush and Cheney had dumber and/or greedier ideas.  My advice to Obama is simple on Afghanistan.  I believe that is the real front on terrorism and that leaving it alone will only foster another 9/11 perhaps 10 or 15 years from now.  But at the same time the corrupt leaders of Afghanistan are more than willing to talk out of both sides of their mouths, letting America fight for it, while badmouthing America and all the while not preparing and securing their country as best they can.  So my solution is simple.  We leave.  Pack up everybody. 

But at that point Obama should play Vito Corleone to Hamid Karzai’s Barzini, Tataglia, Strattchi and Cunio (seriously, who the fu-k was Cunio?).  We will denounce their heroin production as a dirty business which Karzai will insist on keeping among the dark people because they are animals anyway.  But then on to more serious matters – this Bin Laden business.  Obama should just stare at Karzai chillingly and tell him we are leaving and will let them do what they want, but if any harm comes to the United States in any form; if we should be attacked by terrorists finding safe haven in Afghanistan;or if our troops are harmed in another part of the world; or if Americans are struck by a bolt of lightening then this we will not forgive.  And we will literally erase Afghanistan from the map (I’m talking nuclear), or at least blow it into the 12th century, which may actually be an improvement in some respects.   But until that day we swear on Bo Obama that we will not be the ones to break the peace. 

Perhaps we need some measure of Corleone diplomacy.
Perhaps we need some measure of Corleone diplomacy.

The Senate

The Senate, except for a few members, is a group of whores and prostitutes.  They have been turned out by corporations and industries and are no better than the women who date investment bankers (I feel the crack whore stereotype needs to be updated).  Health care reform, gun control, environmental legislation and a myriad of other issues are blocked, not by the minuscule consciences of the Senators, but by their corporate pimps.  So, what the country needs now is term limits for Senators.

Someone once wrote to me that we do have term limits; they’re called elections.  Not when we have allowed money to infect and dominate every part of the process we don’t.  The longer you stay in the Senate, the more corporations want your ear because of your seniority and influence.  The corporations buy your money and then give you more money to keep it, which allows you to advertise more and gain a stronger and stronger foothold for re-election.  Your constituents gain from your seniority in the form of small pork projects so they remain pacified.  The cycle continues until you are a big, bloated fat (sometimes both literally and metaphorically) whore of a Senator.  The ironic thing about men like Ted Kennedy was that he was able to be a champion of the people because his money and legacy did not come from, or at least was not reliant on, an industry pimp.  He did not rely (though I am sure he used) the wealth of soulless companies and lobbies to get him re-elected so he had the rare luxury of actually prioritizing people over companies. 

Would the NRA really be the biggest lobby if Senators could only serve 12 years?  Think of how much more would get done for people if the Senate was not a de facto lifetime appointment. 

Needless to say this might require more of a Michael Corleone approach, more aggressive than the diplomatic Vito.  After all, Michael put Senator Pat Geary of Nevada in his place, so if Chris Dodd or Max Baucus wakes up in a sorority at Oregon State with a dead co-ed, I assume Joe Biden will be there to assure them that they are lucky it happened there because that’s President Obama’s Brother-in-law’s place.

Get tough with the Senate President Obama.
Get tough with the Senate President Obama.

Saturday Night Live

Make a call to Lorne Michaels and have Fred Armisen removed from impersonating you.  Yesterday I received a call from my brother.  My 2 1/2 year old nephew had seen a picture of Obama on the computer and said, “Uncle J-L”.  One of three things is possible:

  1. My brother has shown my nephew my YouTube clip way to many times.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAyUoDEX0GE
  2. Obama is leading a double life.
  3. Fred Armisen needs to step aside.

I think the answer is #3.  Make the call President on all of these things.  Especially the SNL thing.  Lorne Michaels, I think you know what happened to that producer Woltz.

Noooooooooo! Not Keenan Thomspon's head! Nooooooooo!
Noooooooooo! Not Keenan Thomspon's head! Nooooooooo!