They're On The Teevee!

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Memo to mild cultural controversies: YOU ARE DUMB.

It's been a rough week for minor celebrities crossing boundaries. For some reason, it's a rougher week if you're a woman with a moderately poor idea than if you're an occasionally racist old white dude, but I'm sure whatever that reason is, it has nothing to do with endemic issues within our society.

I'll come right out and say it. The only thing that bothers me about Kathy Griffin's photo shoot is that it is unhelpful. For all their talk of "political incorrectness" and "outrage culture", there's nothing the right loves more than an offense like this they can milk for decades. This'll fuel their persecution complex quite nicely.

Was it ill-advised? Probably. Was it "wrong"? In an objective sense, yes, but we don't live in an objective world, do we? For some reason, whenever a Trump supporter uses phrases like "inappropriate" or "crosses the line", I find it difficult to take them seriously. It's almost as if they have one standard for when their ox gets gored and another when, say, Ted Nugent spends eight years doing all his Ted Nugent shit at Obama. And sure, that makes me morally inconsistent too, but going into the fight with one fewer standard than the opposition is just taking a knife to a gunfight.

Also, if Barron Trump actually thought the first time he'd learn his dad had been decapitated by a mid-range cable celebrity was the way this story came out, he needs some media literacy in his curriculum. Yes, he's only 11, but forced to decide between "traumatized pre-teen" and "invented story to exploit sympathy", I know where the odds lie.

I'm not surprised that Bill Maher thought it'd be OK for him to call himself a "house nigga" on Real Time with Bill Maher. He's spent his entire career lurching from one side of the "free speech vs. consequence-free speech" line to the other and treating each incident as a badge of honor whether it's worthy of being one or not.

No, what's truly amazing to me is that he thought going with the "-ga" ending instead of the "-ger" ending made it better. That's the kind of context-free thinking that also spawns the "but rappers in their rapping songs!" argument. When you're actually using the word in its original slavery context, it doesn't fucking matter what you do with the last syllable, it's still a shitty move.

In Maher's apology, he talked about how he spent the night after the show, as he usually does, going over the things he said in his mind and wondering whether or not they were the right things. Which is an interesting way of saying "following people yelling at me on Twitter", since there's never been any evidence before this that Maher has thought about the consequence of his words beyond knee-jerk defensiveness and I'm-just-being-real-ism. But whatever. He'll have plenty of opportunity this week to pick on Muslims and we'll all be fine with it.