Yin Yang Calamity (EDIAL in sheep's clothing?)

FIRST OF ALL: Don't forget about Free Darko's cause for the kids!

--Now let's set it off with the most important news of the year in FD-land, which is that Amir Johnson will be the Pistons' starting power forward. We promise there is more to come on this breaking development as the week progresses. This news, combined with the word out of Detroit that Curry is going to expand Tayshaun Prince's game, not to mention the progression of Stuckey, makes me salivating (pause) to watch the Pistons this year.

--A bit of overlooked intrigue on Gwen Ifill's "role" in the debate last week.

--I miss the old days, when we would have been the first to bring you this story, but no doubt it's probably getting pub on like thirteen blogs already. Most notable about this piece is that I forgot Stephen Jackson got RUN OVER BY A CAR.

--Have to link to Zill for his insight on Carmelo and the Nugs. Back when the T-Wolves were competitive, Carmelo + Denver were public enemy No. 1 for me. Now all I can do is shake my head at them for getting in too deep with Karl-ball, tossing Camby into the ocean, and digging a baby blue grave for Iverson. Not that this is the ballsiest of claims, but mark my words right now, after the Nuggets stroll to the All-star break with a barely passable .490-.510 winning percentage, Iverson will be shipped out to a contender and may even win his first ring this year. Could be Detroit, Boston, Dallas, or even Phoenix...I just don't see Iverson going out of this league quietly.

--On to the topic du jour, what Gawker has dubbed the "Jewish Civil War." I'm sure many of you last week got a chance to see Sarah Silverman's plug for "The Big Schlep," shown below:

Amusing, sure. I admit I laughed. But after the novelty wore off, I started to recall that every election year, famous people from Michael Moore to Ralph Nader pull a whole bunch of stupid self-serving stunts that are supposedly "for the cause" but really do more harm than good and generally don't make people vote democrat, and the Silverman video falls into that dump of stunts. (I will say, however, that the whole cringe-inducing Will.I.Am. "Yes We Can" thing shockingly is an exception...shit definitely caught on). Further unsettling was Jackie Mason's response to this video, shown here:

Now, regardless of what YOU think of Silverman or Mason or their videos, picture that small-but-critical block of elderly Jewish voters in Florida. Assume they are "active" online. First, which video are they more likely to see? Second, which video is more likely to sway them? Silverman is speaking to young fanatics who are already voting Obama and are gonna have a tough time convincing their grandparents to do the same. Mason is speaking to his generation, and actually sounds like a rational human being. It pains me to say it because I was a huge Silverman fan circa Mr. Show, but I am siding with Mason here in terms of effectiveness, utility during a critical election in which old people have been shat on (how is it ok that McCain's death is being discussed as an absolute certitude?), and is just plain right.

As an aside, I've been following Silverman over the years and (HATE TO DO IT BUT I HAVE TO) have become increasingly uncomfortable with how comfortable she is being racist toward blacks. What pisses me off is that it's generally under the guise of "hey I'm making fun of Jews and I'm Jewish, so I can make fun of [black people] too," which is such a piddily defense given that self-loathing is virtually the first principle of Jewish comedy and is therefore a given. Second, she has exploited her hipster cred to where she has clearly become a White Act and rarely places herself in any context where a black person would call her out on it (by the way, did anybody catch her and Jenny Lewis at the Apollo? Wonder how that went over). Third, she's simply doing more racist-at-black-people humor than anybody else. Exhibits A and B (of Z) below.

And of course there's the episode of the Sarah Silverman Program where: "Sarah has been denied entry to a tennis club, supposedly because she is Jewish, and argues with a man that claims being black is harder than being Jewish, Sarah tries to prove him wrong by putting on blackface." Hyuk hyuk. Look, it's not like Jackie Mason is any sort of a mensch when it comes to race relations either, but I find Silverman's brand of "cool racism" particularly annoying. Apologies for my rant, especially to those of you who have given us shit over the past few weeks for not focusing enough on basketball. But when the term "Jewish Civil War" comes up, best believe FD is gonna be there to resolve things.

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At 10/06/2008 2:10 PM, Blogger Carter Blanchard said...

I guess I'll somewhat reluctantly pick up the Silverman-apologist flag today: comparing the videos' effectiveness on elderly Jewish voters isn't exactly fair because, as you noted, the target audience of Silverman's isn't actually those elderly Jewish voters. The target there is the Obama voters, and on them, it just might be effective in getting a few of them off their asses to travel to a swing state to help the campaign. Judging by their facebook group that has 16,000 members, let's be generous and say a tenth of them actually go to Florida. Of that group, if just a tenth are successful in convincing 1 person to vote to vote for Obama who wasn't already planning to, swinging 160 votes is actually a ton as far as a celebrity mobilization effort goes in a swing state. While Silverman's video itself will be seen almost exclusively by partisans either amused or outraged on either side, effecting hardly anyone's vote directly at the end of the day. The bottom line is there's very little downside, but some potentially significant upside, making it worthwhile in my mind.

As far as the other stuff goes, I know there's not always an easily discernible distinction and it's certainly arguable that Sarah's comedy abuses the boundary, but I do believe there is a difference between making fun of minorities and making fun of people who make fun of minorities. I'm sure plenty of people use the pretense of the latter as an excuse to engage in the former, but I wouldn't want to lump all comedy that legitimately satirizes racism with racist comedy.

At 10/06/2008 2:19 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

More analytical comments later, I hope, but it seems to me that, although Silverman had a good idea (getting her audience to talk to their older relatives in FL), it's a little too cutesy.

At least Social Security is on The Great Schlep talking points list, but it doesn't really say anything of substance. More detail about things like McCain's plan to trash Medicare seems more useful.

And how can she fail to mention the Michelle's cousin is a rabbi? The day that I saw those links here, I got that info to my grandma in FL and asked her to spread the word.

At 10/06/2008 3:50 PM, Blogger Louie Bones said...

DLIC, I'm sorry you don't understand modern use of racist humor as a means of subtly pointing out the ridiculousness of actual racism.

At 10/06/2008 3:59 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

Well, I do think that Tropic Thunder did it the best out of anybody...

At 10/06/2008 4:04 PM, Blogger Louie Bones said...

Uh... touche?

At 10/06/2008 4:58 PM, Blogger MC Welk said...

yeah, she's homophobic too, like Baron Cohen (… not!); meanwhile the Mason response is truly disturbing

At 10/06/2008 6:40 PM, Blogger Matt Lundy said...

One of the things I look forward to most in this NBA season is that Nuggets defense. They were atrocious last season, even with Camby.

I think "Karl-ball" will come to mean "I can't handle J.R. Rider and Melo. I'm gonna let them get their stats."

At 10/06/2008 8:02 PM, Blogger Sweat of Ewing said...

Dude, the nuggets were not a bad defensive team, I don't know how many people have to say it before the rest start to catch on (hint: it'll never happen). They played really, really fast, and so their opponents score more, but they actually got quite a few stops. Yeah, Carmelo and Iver Anderson are sieves, but the rest of that squad did a nice job.

This year though they'll definitely be worse - no Camby will be a huge problem on a team without a good defensive guard.

At 10/07/2008 1:21 AM, Blogger Colonel D. Williams (Ret.) said...

She has an extremely weak comic mind. She could easily be working with Miller on Fox in a few years when she realizes she has no more audience.

At 10/15/2008 12:36 AM, Blogger Carter Blanchard said...

According to the Times, only 100 people made "the Great Schlep" on its opening weekend. Just thought I should own up to being a little overly-optimistic about the enthusiasm of a demographic consisting mostly of 20-something stoners.

At 10/15/2008 12:40 AM, Blogger Carter Blanchard said...

Felt I should probably clarify that I was referring to Silverman's fanbase, not Jews, as more likely to be stoners, just to avoid any ambiguity.

At 4/13/2009 1:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...




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