Norm MacDonald is Racist and Sexist… Let’s Get ’Em Gang!
Norm MacDonald recently committed blasphemy in the Hollywood Reporter when he refused to call Donald Trump the Orange Hitler, said he believed Roseanne Barr was not a racist, and said that he was glad #MeToo was slowing down. Norm also said something sympathetic about Louis CK, suggested that women sometimes lie, and showed a stunning lack of respect for the Nerdist guy’s ex-girlfriend’s relationship experience with this shocking statement:
“Like, that Chris Hardwick guy I really thought got the blunt end of the stick there.”
The Hollywood Reporter interview isn’t the only source that reported MacDonald’s seething hatred. Other websites such as Vulture, The Hill, EW, Uproxx, and Business Insider ran stories about the interview . Then tweeters tweeted about those stories about that interview. And the followers retweeted the tweets about the stories about the interview. Some of the tweeters had blue check marks next to their names, and were mad as hell. I’m sure everybody read the entire article before having an opinion about it. I spent the day scrolling through all that and I’ll be using these opinions as sources for this “hot take”. That’s what’s considered “research” for bloggers, the chiropractors of journalism.
I don’t honestly believe anything I’m writing. I’ve been to college and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree. I’ve studied the great journalists, novelists, poets, scientists, economists, historians, and pop culture writers throughout the 20th century who’ve helped to shape the the American discourse. I know what I’m doing is crap. For all I know I could be an unwitting participant in a stealth negative-feedback campaign to promote Norm MacDonald Has A Show, debuting on Netflix this Friday, September 14 2018.
I tell you, it feels eerily nauseating and downright unholy to use serious issues like sexism and racism as motifs for fake-angry clickbait written in the voice of a 9-year-old spoiled brat. I feel like a gossip columnist in 1963 quoting Martin Luther King to critique a Henny Youngman nightclub gig. Now I can really drag that bastard through the mud for his sexist “Take my wife, please.”
At the same time it feels like I’m doing the right thing in shitting on Norm MacDonald based on one interview he gave. Everybody’s doing it. It feels like I’m doing something important and that I’m on the right side of history. I need strength in numbers.
This passage from Kurt Vonnegut’s 1973 novel Breakfast of Champions illustrates one of the reasons I’m participating in this manufacturing of consent:
Patty Keene was stupid on purpose, which was the case with most women in Midland City. The women all had big minds because they were big animals, but they did not use them much for this reason: unusual ideas could make enemies, and the women, if they were going to achieve any sort of comfort and safety, needed all the friends they could get.
So, in the interests of survival, they trained themselves to be agreeing machines instead of thinking machines. All their minds had to do was to discover what other people were thinking, and then they thought that, too.
I live in the real world. I know damn well Norm MacDonald is probably a decent enough fellow who might be slightly more conservative than I on some issues. But this is my path to fame. I’m crossing my fingers that this “hot take” will “go viral”, which sounds like I’m hoping my diarrhea is a symptom of a serious prolonged illness.
I’m not proud of myself. But how the fuck else am I gonna make a living? Our great American morning ritual is no longer picking up the paper from the front stoop and reading investigative journalism that took months of hard work, resources, and cheap liquor to complete. Our new great American morning ritual is getting on the internet and finding as many people to disagree with so that we can prove that we’re good and they’re evil. When I play into this childish fucking nonsense, I get clicks. With enough clicks, the blog sells ads. And if it sells ads, I climb higher up the blogger totem pole. Then I get more followers. Hell, I might even get paid a dollar or two.
My dream is to get enough followers to have a loyal book-buying audience, just like Norm MacDonald. I say this in all sincerity: I believe one of the great novels of literary history is Norm MacDonald’s Based on a True Story, A Memoir. But I’m going to shit on him anyway. When I get enough people to buy my book, I can use all the really profound, deep ideas I’ve been sitting on since before my first marriage. The type of readership I’ve been courting by shitting out sloppy pop culture click-bait most certainly enjoys sitting down with 500 pages on why the multiverse is a hallucination created by the pineal gland.
There are a very tiny number of people in our country who genuinely regard someone as evil simply for having a slightly different perspective. These people are called sociopaths. All of them are highly active on Twitter. They think they are on the opposing side of the other wing of sociopaths, but they are in fact one group with the same social disease. They can’t bear to be in the proximity of brains who don’t function as machines that agree with their brains. The left-leaning side of the puritanical outrage demographic is my target audience. Those who write for Brietbart or broadcast on Fox News target the right side of this loud and annoying minority.
If USA 2018 was a flight from New York to Los Angeles, the garbage politics demographic would be represented by two screaming rich kids: a bratty teenage girl and her younger brother, trading temper tantrums, angry but too dumb to know why. Instead of ignoring the attention seeking brats, here I am metaphorically handing them the flight attendant’s microphone so they can broadcast their nonsense throughout the plane. “Bobby is bad!” “No, Susie is bad!”
That way, reasonable adults — most of the American citizenry — people we see every day, people we work with, people we encounter at bars and coffee shops and gas stations, the cousin we love who is pro-life, the aunt we love who thinks Hillary is the bee’s knees — they’re all drowned out by screaming brats in place of what could be something resembling dialogue, decency, and culture.
But fuck that shit! I want fame, damn it! Fame is more important than contributing to the community with thoughtful observations and well-researched analyses. Fame is more important than mastering a trade! And I want to feel like one of the good guys, so I’ll tell Susie everything she wants to hear so she’ll approve of me. Alex Jones will fill Bobby’s head with conspiracy theories that the left side of the aisle is full of exploding ISIS robots planted there by the CIA.
Norm MacDonald has spent his career since the 1980s honing a craft with one mission: make people laugh. The audience he’s built recognizes his brilliance and his contribution to the world of entertainment. No matter how much a fame whore like me or Kathy Griffin tries to trash him, Norm’s fans will not abandon him.
Like most people with college degrees, I hate President Donald Trump. Since the 1980s Trump has courted controversy to force the spotlight on him when nobody asked to see him in the first place. His statements have always been designed to manufacture the most outrage possible in order to turn heads. He has chased fame like Ahab chased the white whale.
Am I so tempted by the white whale of fame that I am becoming that which I hate?