Saturday, April 05, 2014

Two great articles related to #CancelColbert, by Michelle Goldberg and TBogg

First, Michelle Goldberg's piece "#CancelColbert and the Return of the Anti-Liberal Left", which is good throughout but features this very nice paragraph: 

"There’s a cure for this sort of thing, though it’s worse than the disease. When the right takes power, the left usually discovers the importance of unfettered speech. In the 1980s, with conservatives leading a crusade against the National Endowment for the Arts for funding projects deemed anti-Christian and pornographic, tolerance no longer seemed quite so repressively bourgeois. The same was true during the Bush administration, when opposition to the Iraq War got Phil Donahue fired from MSNBC and the Dixie Chicks pulled off radio playlists nationwide. That’s why the Colbert Report was so cathartic when it first appeared—his relentless mockery cut through the bombastic jingoism, the right wing political correctness, that was stifling us."

Next, TBogg, from "
An oppressive white privileged heteronormative look at Suey Park’s SQUIRREL! interview"
, that features quotes from the founder like:

 "I always paint my white characters to be singular, to be ignorant, to reverse the gaze onto them instead when they are our subjects, instead of always constantly saying people of color are fucked and a way to kind of always reinforce our subject’s location in reference to white men as some metaphor.I think it would be a more realistic socially commentary if I were able to joke about the totality of white supremacy, but I don’t think that’s going to happen on national television."

After which TBogg comments: "David Chapelle wept." Because people joke about stupid things white people do all the time on TV and no one really has much of a problem with it. Ms. Park wouldn't be a trailblazer there.

Both of these folks are progressive and are writing for progressive publications. Neither one are saying that you or anyone else should throw progressive policies out the window. What they are saying is that there needs to be an increased sense of real tolerance, in the original liberal sense of the term, instead of a renewal of the same things that Progressives criticized during the Bush administration. 

I would hazard to say that, in part, these articles, in particular Michelle Goldberg's article, captures in miniature much of what I've been trying to say with regards to the whole Decolonize Seattle/Occupy Seattle debacle. 

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