Tonight, Russell Simmon’s made a terrible decision. He decided to promote a video (produced by his video company All Def Digital) made by Jason Horton a white guy (his tagline: “The World’s Only White Male Comedian” because that’s clever). The concept of the video? Take a hero of American history, Harriet Tubman, who was literally responsible for leading hundreds of slaves to freedom and risking her life to do so, and attempt to make a funny viral video from that premise. The execution? A joke about the rape that thousands of African slaves endured at the hands of their white masters, fat shaming, and an appalling lack of sensitivity to both a woman who deserves more than to be a punchline in a viral marketing campaign and towards a people whose descendants ARE NOT Jason Horton.
[UPDATE] The full video has been re-uploaded by someone on youtube so here it is
The actual video was immediately taken down after intense backlash but here is the preview video (which is bad enough). I’m assuming it too will eventually be taken down but I’ll try to find a new version of it when it does go down.
Fellas, you had to know this was in poor taste? Like, everyone in the room during filming had to have been thinking that maybe this crossed some line. Right? I mean I know it can sometimes be hard to find out where the edge is between edgy comedy and plain old offensiveness but this is well beyond the gray area.
There are funny ways to depict history, and even funny ways to deal with sensitive topics but this… this is shameful. What a disgrace.
Taking a cue from her former “boss” Donald Trump, Katie Hopkins – best known for her general awfulness on “The Apprentice” – decided to take a truly awful opinion and make the case for it to a national audience. In this instance, her awful opinion was that as a self-professed intelligent and high class (read: arrogant) Englishwoman, she thinks its a good idea to decide who her children play with based on whether they have certain names (particularly if she thinks their names are of a working class nature).
Yeah, I’ll wait as you process the idiocy.
Her argument appears to be that since parents who would stoop to name their child “Tyler” (Oh, she really hates the name “Tyler” for some reason) must be unintelligent, uncivilized mouth breathers, their offspring must therefore be poison and cannot be allowed anywhere near her totally well adjusted, emotionally whole children. She literally admits to not allowing her children to hang out with working class families.
Again, this isn’t a disposition or an interrogation or a leaked internal email, SHE WENT ON NATIONAL TELEVISION TO SAY THIS. It’s hard to understand why she thought this would be perceived as a good idea, although maybe she was under the assumption that there is no such thing as bad press. I think it’s safe to say that we could make an addendum to that old maxim but adding: Unless you’re advocating class discrimination based on the name Tyler.
Luckily, the usual sense of deference towards even the dumbest of guests was soon forgotten as the sheer lunacy of the opinion and the complete and total smugness of the person expressing it washed over the hosts of the show as well as the actual, justifiable outrage of their second guest who was there to argue for the the controversial opinion that names have little to do with the character of the child or the parents (and yes, I’ve read Freakonomics, guys). What followed was a hilarious and brilliant take down, brick by brick, of the facade of superiority Katie Hopkins had tried to cultivate.
Thank you, This Morning, both for having Katie Hopkins on and then systematically exposing her vapidness. But folks, I beg you, please don’t stop allowing your children to play with kids name “Katie” just because of this bad apple.
Well, it happened. The inevitable Singularity between the real and the ironic collided spectacularly yesterday on Buzzfeed and the result was the most painful, pathetic article perhaps ever written. I give you: http://www.buzzfeed.com/bennyjohnson/ronald-reagan-yolo
For those visual learners it looked like this:
Yep. That’s former President Ronald Reagan with the words “YOLO” slapped over 31 of his pictures. It’s the inanest, laziest, dumbest thing Buzzfeed has ever produced. On a website that specializes in unabashed noncreativity, this has to be the low point. What could have motivated a person to write such an article or Buzzfeed, which presumably has even minimum standards of quality, to publish it? IT GETS WORSE.
The article in question was apparently bought and paid for by a Koch (pronounced “jerkoff”) brothers financed political group. I’ll let the website deathandtaxesmag.com explain:
Visitors to BuzzFeed Politics were greeted by a curious sponsorship badge at the top of its page Thursday. As ThinkProgress Editor-in-Chief Judd Legum pointed out, it appeared BuzzFeed pols had been sponsored by Charles Koch of Koch Industries, the second largest privately held company in the U.S. by revenue and notorious right-wing political power players.
So, in an effort to tap into the vast wasteland of “brain drain” that is Buzzfeed culture, a right-wing political group bought out the entire “political” page on it’s site and plastered it with silly Ronald Reagan propaganda. I can’t help but think if only the Soviets had thought of “28 Sorry Not Sorry’s from Stalin”, they could have preserved the Union and the Cold War would still be raging.
I cannot believe that this is real. I have to assume that the writer of this, Benny Johnson, is aware of how dumb this is. Like, while he was entering these photos into photoshop to add the word “YOLO” arbitrarily into pictures he found on the Reagan Library website, he had to have known that this was quite possibly the worst thing that will ever go up onto the internet. Which makes me think that he did it intentionally. You know, to be IRONIC.
But where the line of irony ends and sincerity begins is so fundamentally warped on a site like Buzzfeed that it’s hard to tell just what any of it all means. Is this an effort to make Reagan seem cool to teens? To lovingly poke fun at a hero to the Right? To parody the absolute ridiculousness of list websites, meme culture, and the lack of seriousness we muster for even serious topics? Who knows.
The idea that something is either ironic or sincere is apparently gone. We live in a post-sincere, post-irony world now that simply operates on the basic assumption that everything we do is a sarcastic, horrible, self motivated opportunity to mock and take advantage of a flailing society that doesn’t know how to quality check things any more. This article will be forgotten in 10 minutes, and why not, everything is forgotten in 10 minutes. It wasn’t meant to last. It wasn’t meant to inform. It was certainly not meant to say anything. It’s just nonsense, utter, tragic nonsense. But maybe that’s the point, you only live once, you might as well completely waste it.