Monday, December 20, 2004

Whoopi Goldberg, Linda Ronstadt & Chevy Chase

Kurt e-mailed this site: "I'm begging you to link this."

No problem, glad to do so. But before we do, WARNING: there is language on the page (such as the f-word). I could care less, I have the ultimate potty mouth. But I do want to be sure that no one ever gets in trouble for going to a site we link to. When you click on a link (and this includes permanent links) you do so knowing that you may be leaving a safe area.

Here's the link (you have been warned):

I want to thank Kurt for sending this in. I learned a great deal from Bartcop. His site was one of the first site's online that I was comfortable going to. MWO (Media ___ Online) is no more (maybe someday it will return from it's extended vacation) but that's where I learned of Bartcop. There were many insane days in 2002 when Bartcop was one of the few things that kept me sane and usually provided much needed laughter.

I had no idea that Chevy Chase (at a People for the American Way event) called Bush a "dumb
f__." For those who won't be able to click on the link due to work place regulations, the result of Chase's remarks is the usual fall out.

"Libs" rush to distance themselves while the right attacks.

That's really too bad. I haven't seen anything Chevy Chase has done lately (or any movie for that matter, Danny Schecter's Weapons of Mass Deception may have been the last movie I saw at the theaters -- and that's a great film so please check it out if it comes to your area) but, like many, I enjoyed Foul Play and other of his films.

But there's a desire for "libs" to do the usual "Oh, I'm not like Chevy . . . In fact, I'm appalled! Shocked and appalled!" dance. That's really sad. It took a lot of guts for Chase to speak his mind. Now some want to begin the shunning.

We saw it with Whoopi Goldberg and Linda Ronstadt and a host of others.

We don't shun people on the left who take a stand at this site.

Nor do we offer weak a-- remarks like, "Well, of course he's not my idea of funny."

When Whoopi Goldberg was dropped from Slimfast following her remarks at a Democratic fundraiser, I was appalled to hear some on the left feel the need to distance themselves with remarks like that. "I don't think she's funny but she's got a right to speak her mind."

I heard more support and endorsement for Eminem's right to free speech with regard to homophobia and misogny than I did for Whoopi Goldberg's remarks.

It's sick and it needs to stop. (My opinion.)

And some of the remarks came from people who should have known better, voices who had a platform in the media.

Goldberg's under attack and you want to be sure everyone knows that you're "humor" is different than Whoopi's? To those who have made a career out of comedy and felt the need to draw that line, let me draw it a little more firmly for them. You're humor is different from Whoopi's: Whoopi became an Oscar winner as a result of her humor.

If that seems harsh at least I'm biting my tongue to avoid naming names. But it was really sad to hear so many people who never reached her level of fame trashing the act that brought her that fame.

I'm sure someone's saying something similar about Chevy Chase now: "Well, I don't think it's a big deal . . . but I'm not a fan of his. I don't even like his comedy!"

You don't come off "cool" by doing that. You come off like someone who's unable to say what needs to be said: Chase did a brave thing, I support him. End quote.

With Linda Ronstadt, suddenly people wanted to make "jokes" about her weight while "defending" her. This is defending? This is their idea of support?

I think it speaks of their own f-ed up body image that they need to make fun of a woman who's in her fourth decade of entertaining. Do they expect her to go through life looking like the young woman who once sang "You're No Good" or "Some of Shelly's Blues?"

She's a mature woman and if she's escaped the obsession, the cult, of media-approved body image equating success & happiness then more power to her.

No doubt when Ronstadt spoke publicly (what so many of us hope we would say were we in front of a live microphone), she expected fall out from those who support the Bully Boy. But did she expect that she would be targeted for ridicule for getting older by some people on the left?

Is that how we say thank you?

Some also felt the need to "joke" about how her career wasn't a string of hit singles. They reveal their own ignorance with those remarks that they think are "funny."

Ignorance for not understanding that in popular music, you're not allowed to grow old and be visible. It's easier for a male but, even so, when's the last time you saw Paul McCartney with a top ten single?

You like a man with a future
You like a woman with a past
Well do you really believe that
I said to faces in the crowd
-- "Paper Doll" words & music by Stevie Nicks, Rick Vito & John Heron
(the song can be found on the boxed set The Chain)

Tina Turner's triumphant comeback in 1984 seems to have obscured reality for too many. Turner was a "ghost" to most pop radio listeners hearing "What's Love Got to Do With It." ("Let's Stay Together" had earlier done very well on the R&B chart.) She was a "new" face. That's what popular music relies on. (Joni Mitchell has spoken on this often -- and far better than I could.)

And as Turner became familiar, she didn't approach that success again. (Granted, putting "Don't Turn Around" on the B-side of "Typical Male" was a very dumb move by Capitol/EMI. The song had "hit" all over it and Turner's version was far less "peppy" than Ace of Bass' version.)

Bonnie Raitt's success wasn't about "man, I've rooted for her for years!" Those fans had stayed with Raitt (and continue to stay with her) through thick and thin and she could count on them to follow each new release; however, what put her in the top ten was the fact that she was new to the listeners of pop radio.

Until Madonna, the woman with the longest consecutive charting success on the top forty was Olivia Newton-John.

It's a little easier for males to log ten or more years of consecutive top forty singles. They can play the bad boy, rebel type. They can sing their songs of "I'm in love, it's the first time, it's so amazing" and people overlook it. They become "cool." Women just get older.

You saw that in the write ups over Diana Ross's legal trouble. "She hasn't had a hit in years!"

Who of her peer group had? Paul McCartney? No. Brian Wilson? No. Gene Clark? David Crosby? The Who? No, no, and no.

But it's "conventional wisdom" that her career is over. And it's "conventional wisdom" that Linda Ronstadt's is as well. I think we need to drop some of this "conventional wisdom" and try using some common sense.

But it sure was "funny" to "joke" about how Ronstadt's career was "over."

And that passed as "supportive" remarks. It's hard to imagine that the right was any worse than some of the pundits on the left.

So I'll say it again, Chase did a brave thing, there's nothing wrong with what he said, I thank him for it. End of quote.

And all the "funny guys" (which includes some women) who want to make jokes about Fletch or whatever else, you're not being supportive. You're not even being funny.

Chase's brave stand isn't an opening for you to weigh in with your opinion of a film he made or a skit he did or a talk show he attempted. Chase's brave stand is your opportunity to stand with him.

People can say whatever they want to. But don't think you're making statements of support if you're tearing him down right after you say "Well, I support his right to speak his mind."

Kurt heard the story "discussed" by some morning "shock jocks" on sports radio. One guy, according to Kurt, always takes the right wing position and the other always takes the left wing position. After noting their positions on Chase's remarks, guess which side went on to tear him down?

Did you guess the guy who's supposed to represent the left? You're correct.

Kurt said it was so bad that even the right wing guy (who'd said that Chase should apologize for his remarks and be "embarrassed for saying that") ended up feeling the need to jump in and say, "Now, Chevy can be funny." This is support from the left? When even the "shock jock" on the right has to step in to come to Chase's defense?

Kurt reports the "shock jock" on the left was laughing and tearing apart every film he could think of. And this passes for support?

Hopefully some day all these "funny guys" (and again, this includes some women) will be older and at home listening as someone "supports" them by tearing them apart. I wonder how "funny" that will be to them?

Tear him apart if you want, mock his career, but don't say you "support" him because you're comments aren't supportive. On this site, we just thank you, Chevy Chase, well done.