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Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones

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Chappelle’s Show (2003-2006) is a favorite of many Right-wingers for its politically incorrect humor and, in particular, its irreverent attitude towards race. (It is right up there with Curb Your Enthusiasm in the estimation of many of my friends.) Only thirteen years have passed since the demise of Chappelle’s Show, but the world has changed a lot since then. The pole up the butt of the Left has now expanded to Giant Redwood dimensions. The list of things that cannot be said now runs into several volumes. Not much is funny anymore, least of all comedy.

Yes, the world has changed – but not Dave Chappelle, whose most recent Netflix special, released on August 26, is essentially a giant “FUCK YOU!” to political correctness. (Townhall accurately described Chappelle as “The Middle Finger America Needs.”) It’s a 65-minute standup routine in which Chappelle impales one sacred cow after another, leaving a forest of rotting carcasses that would earn the admiration of Vlad Țepeș. It is obvious that the man is disgusted at what has become of the country and, especially, of the entertainment industry. He delights in the destruction he brings. Chappelle aggressively refuses to be PC, to spare anyone or anything from his wit. He also challenges his audience to grow the hell up. The very title of the special implies this: Sticks and Stones, as in “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me.” Stop getting your knickers in a twist over words, you sniveling brats!

At one point Chappelle announces that he is going to do an impression, asking the audience to guess who it is. He then adopts a vapid look and a dumb and dumber voice:

Uh, duh. Hey! Durr! If you do anything wrong in your life, duh, and I find out about it, I’m gonna try to take everything away from you, and I don’t care when I find out. Could be today, tomorrow, fifteen, twenty years from now. If I find out, you’re fucking-duh-finished.

When the audience fails to guess who Chappelle is imitating, he announces “That’s you! That’s what the audience sounds like to me. That’s why I don’t be coming out doing comedy all the time, ’cause y’all niggas is the worst motherfuckers I’ve ever tried to entertain in my fucking life.”

Having now skewered (apparently) the “#metoo movement” and “doxing” of all sorts, Chappelle goes on to proudly identify as what he calls a “victim blamer.” He explains this with the following examples: “If somebody come up to me like, ‘Dave, Dave, Chris Brown just beat up Rihanna!’ I’ll be like, ‘Well, what did she do?’ ‘Dave, Michael Jackson was molesting children!’ I’ll be like, ‘Well, what were those kids wearing at the time?’” An entire segment of the special, in fact, is devoted to saying the unsayable concerning pedophilia. (It’s the most irreverent thing I’ve seen since the Brass Eye “Paedogeddon” special from 2001.)

Chappelle goes on to jokingly excuse Jackson’s pedophilia:

I know more than half the people in this room have been molested in their lives. But it wasn’t no goddamn Michael Jackson, was it? This kid got his dick sucked by the King of Pop. All we get is awkward Thanksgivings for the rest of our lives. You know how good it must’ve felt to go to school the next day after that shit? “Hey, Billy, how was your weekend?” “How was my weekend!? Michael Jackson sucked my dick! And that was my first sexual experience. If I’m starting here, then the sky’s the limit!”

Now, I was laughing my head off at this, but that’s not because I think pedophilia is morally permissible. And Dave Chappelle doesn’t think it is, either. It is just such a pleasure to hear a comedian being wicked again. Comedians are supposed to be irreverent. They are supposed to have little or no respect for boundaries. A comedian who bows before the altar of political correctness is like a philosopher who refuses to question church doctrine: a pathetic sight, a castrato. Come to think of it, in fact, comedy really is a bit like philosophy. Just as philosophy can have no boundaries – philosophers must be free to question literally everything – so a comedian must be free to ridicule literally everything.

And, like philosophy, comedy reveals truth. So, while we can agree that Michael Jackson’s pedophilia cannot be condoned, it’s also true that meeting Michael Jackson really wasn’t the worst thing that ever happened to those kids. Chappelle dares to say this. And he dares to say much else. A good deal of his humor is directed at the LBGTQ crowd (did I forget any letters?) – who he refers to as “the alphabet people.” But I’m not going to get into that, just because I don’t want to spoil the show for those who haven’t watched it yet. (I’ve already revealed too much.) This show is a goldmine of un-PC humor. And half the fun is thinking about all the butthurt it has caused in all the right people.

Indeed, the response has been absolutely predictable. The discrepancy between the audience response and the response of professional critics has already been the subject of news coverage. On Rotten Tomatoes a whopping 99% of audience members (i.e, non-critics) rated it positively. Initially, 0% (yes, you read that right – zero percent) of critics gave Chappelle a favorable review. This figure eventually creaked up to 17% and has now peaked at a measly 27%. Fifteen critics are included in this survey, whereas more than 34,000 non-critics weighed in.

Writing for The Atlantic, someone named Hannah Giorgis says, “Sticks and Stones registers as a temper tantrum, the product of a man who wants it all – money, fame, influence – without much having to answer to anyone.” (Hannah is a woman of color with Roseanne Roseannadanna hair who looks like she just turned 21, and whose qualifications as a film critic are, shall we say, dubious.) “Sticks & Stones exists as a defiant design to intentionally offend large swaths of the audience Chappelle deems too thin-skinned and easily outraged, while serving up simple, low-bar yucks to anyone yearning for validation of their anti-P.C. stance.” This breathless mouthful comes from Melanie McFarland of Salon. Both Hannah and Melanie, by the way, have managed to achieve the status of “top critics” at Rotten Tomatoes.

“Author” and “transgender activist” Ian Thomas Malone opines, “Lacking empathy can certainly be amusing, but Sticks & Stones is a tired routine by a man who forgot to layer jokes into his act, too often sounding like a pundit on Fox News.” Allison Herman of The Ringer warns, “It’s a symbiotic cycle with no end in sight.” Right. Whatever the fuck that means. A few critics and media figures have been more positive. Probably the best tweet so far has come from American Psycho author Brett Easton Ellis: “Did I just watch Dave Chappelle save America from itself in 65 minutes on Netflix?” And a number of Chappelle’s fellow comedians have come to his defense.

The contrast between the comments of critics and those of ordinary folks could not be more striking. Here’s a sampling of what the ordinary folks posted:

Funny stuff from Dave Chappelle. I think the critics don’t know the meaning of sticks and stones.

Hilarious and brilliant. Don’t pay attention to the critics’ reviews.

Quite possibly the Best Stand Up of the last 25 years. What real comedy looks like and should be.

HILARIOUS! Anti PC for people that don’t know what “comedy” means. Something the culture needed.

Absolutely amazing! Perfect timing for what has slowly but surely become a clown world. Chappelle is dropping truth bombs left and right, and the critical score shows that, truly, the critics do not even understand the title of “Sticks & Stones.” Everyone needs to not only watch this but understand it. Dave, we love you!

All great comics through history have been subversive. They are at the front line of speaking truth to power. The mainstream progressives have become the censorious church lady of the past. They are religiously possessed by political correctness.

It’s hard to imagine a better illustration of how out of touch professional, PC critics are with audiences. And it’s also hard to imagine how one could need any more proof that such “writers” are given a platform precisely because they have passed a political litmus test, and precisely in order to push a political agenda. It’s a desiccated, humorless, tired agenda of which ordinary people have clearly had enough. And they are more and more willing to stand up and say so. They are also voting with their feet: tuning out and turning off TV shows and channels heavy with PC bias.

Dave Chappelle’s Sticks and Stones is one of the most heartening hours of television I’ve seen in a long time. Watch it (without delay) and you’ll see what I mean. I would like to appoint Dave Chappelle as Counter-Currents’ Honorary White Man of 2019, or any year.

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  1. Jimmy
    Posted September 13, 2019 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    Seriously? I watched this and is pretty much just as anti white as everything else in media maybe more.

    This is what we are to be thankful for as a blow against the poz? The least we can do is not write tributes to people that hate us and pretend something marginally sane on trannies (the most obviously obscene humiliation of everyday people, but far from the most destructive) is in any material way a win for us.

    Jef, I love your work, things are not so lost we have to celebrate art that is merely 80% anti white and not 100%

    • Douglas
      Posted September 13, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly. Two wrongs don’t make a Right.

    • Jef Costello
      Posted September 13, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Did you folks actually watch the show? I didn’t see much that was anti-white in there. Can’t think of anything, in fact.

      • Alex
        Posted September 13, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        For me the issue wasn’t the anti-white jokes, rather it was most startling to see the fervor to which the audience replied to even the weakest of the anti-white jokes.

      • Jimmy
        Posted September 13, 2019 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        His antipathy and hostility to whites dying of opioid addiction for instance, was sick.

        Frequent references to the apparent privilege and ease of white peoples lives. I didn’t take notes im afraid but wont be watching again for the sake of a more incisive internet comment.

        It’s all stuff 10 or 15 years ago I’d laugh off or ignore but not anymore. No longer am I prepared to be the butt of jokes. I know the left is serious about this shit and it’s no longer funny to me.

        Jef, seriously, this kind of article is what id expect to see at national review or the federalist. In fact, they beat you to it:

        We can do better than this jef. You can.

        Looking forward to your future work and comments made in friendship.

        • Steven
          Posted September 13, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

          That is exactly how I feel. Your world and everything you know is crumbling around you, you’re going to be replaced everywhere globally, I just can’t laugh at this kind of stuff anymore. Nor do I care to have some kind of racial camaraderie against “the left”.

          Adapting to this kind of “new world” just feels like normalizing our end. When you stop fighting what’s left but to accept the present circumstances?

      • Voryn Illidari
        Posted September 14, 2019 at 4:54 am | Permalink

        I sometimes feel that the readers of Counter Currents ALSO need to lighten up and have some comedy. Some of these comments come across as almost comically prudish.
        “We don’t watch such programs in MY house!” (clutches pearls)

        That being said, Jef, I think your comment that “meeting Michael Jackson was not the worst thing to happen” actually was a bit of a weird and icky statement. Maybe I missed your meaning though.

      • Petronius
        Posted September 15, 2019 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        I found it hilarious and worth watching too, but I noticed as well some “antipathy and hostility to whites dying of opioid addiction”, but Chapelle was at least brutally honest granting that now he understood why whites didn’t care about black crack epidemics either. And yes , there were “references to the apparent privilege and ease of white peoples lives” and blaming gun violence (in reference to school shootings) etc on white, making them look sinister and dangerous in general. I mean, if you love an offensive comedian, you shouldn’t complain if you’re getting on the receiving line as well, the problem is that no white comedian can do jokes like these about blacks and not get lynched instantly. So there is some “black privilege” at work here for sure…

    • Exile
      Posted September 13, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      Agree – haven’t been able to stomach Chapelle since his meltdown years back and even then he was a mixed bag. The fact that he was considered apex transgressive back in the day was a sign of how far the Overton Window had already shifted, not some dark genius or bravery on his part. I like Jef but here he sounds so starved for comedy that he’s settling for Dave’s table scraps.

      For those saying we’re taking this too seriously, there’s a serious side to comedy. In a culture war comedy is one of the most powerful weapons, and Chapelle’s swinging at us. I agree that we need laughs but having them at our own expense is aesthetically and spiritually self-destructive. Netflix can tell the difference between red and blue pills, and I’m not taking any pill they’re selling no matter what color it comes in.

  2. P. J. Collins
    Posted September 13, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    I am glad Jef watched this and wrote about it, because we don’t allow that sort of program in my house. Anyway I don’t see how the actual show could be funnier than the cherry-pickings in this piece.

  3. Ambrose Kane
    Posted September 13, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    “I would like to appoint Dave Chappelle as Counter-Currents’ Honorary White Man of 2019, or any year” – No thanks. Just because a Black man says some things that are politically-incorrect and refreshing, doesn’t mean I wish to elect him to anything, let alone as an “Honorary White Man.”

    • B Gustavo
      Posted September 13, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink


    • Jef Costello
      Posted September 13, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      That was a joke, genius.

      • Ambrose Kane
        Posted September 15, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        Actually, the statement from the author was somewhat direct and it smacked of the sort of thing well-meaning Whites say to praise Blacks when they break free from political or racial correctness. It could easily be taken in that way.

        I don’t know of any Counter Currents “Honorary White Man” annual awards, so I took it sort of tongue-in-cheek. My point was only to emphasize that under no circumstances – humor or otherwise – should such a notion as giving any Black guy an “Honorary White Man” award merely because he bucks the trend of liberal-‘woke’ rhetoric.

  4. Steven
    Posted September 13, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    I’m tired of PC/anti-PC back and forth, this Libtards/Repubelicans trite.

    If you wanted a release valve for political correctness you had Sam Hyde a few years ago.

    I just want a White country back. This Black man’s shock and awe seems to be the rallying point for “Dems are the real racists!” types. ” Lets squash PC culture together! A rainbow of diversity working together!”
    Nevermind that White people have lost their country, future, history, and culture.

    All the woke young conservatives chirping about anti-racism and the constitution will hop on board this. When a black man does it, its socially acceptable.

  5. BADmejr
    Posted September 13, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I know! Let’s all just cry about an article that gives some amount of praise to the parts of a black guy’s performance that were arguably praise worthy. ‘Tis better to condemn the whole (and any writer not doing the same) for the parts that were not. We are men; hear us whine!

  6. Dazz
    Posted September 13, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    One of the issues concerning White Nationalists as exemplified in some of these comments is a static serious mindedness, that frankly is tiring and boring to most people, this is not an article on child grooming or Plato, its about a comedy show and has a lighthearted tone throughout, react and respond accordingly, lest you behave just like the critics who ravaged the show for not being pc enough to your taste.

    I for one enjoyed the piece and its sealed the decision to bother seeing the show, so thanks.

    • Steve
      Posted September 13, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      I think a lot of people are bored of the lack of seriousness among white people. And this edgy comedy was more in place several years ago.

      I think I can go on being a White Nationalist, bored of Dave Chapelle and based black guys, and not become some Antifa style terrorist. There’s a difference between censorship and just not having a cultural interest in something.

      • Alex S
        Posted September 13, 2019 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        Hell, if you survey young white people today the vast majority of white girls are practicing how to twerk to the new rap album and the guys are downright wiggers. They jump at the chance to imitate their black “heroes”. It’s gotten to a point in which I believe white people just generally are submissive to Blacks and Hispanics on a natural level. They’re more rowdy, masculine, aggressive, violent etc.

        And then the people whom look down on them or are racially aware still jump at the chance to prove their not “hateful” (whatever that means today) or moral/anti-collective and put them on a pedestal (Obama, Thomas Sowell, etc)

        In a diverse country white people will be the awkward Asian kid in the lunchroom.

  7. Thomas
    Posted September 13, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    I disagree with the popular understanding of political correctness. PC has always just been a euphemism for the Left’s cultural revolution against whiteness. Of course Chappelle can say all of this, because PC only applies to whites by design. Chappelle’s assault on transvestites is certainly anti-PC, but he can get it away with it for the same reason Tracy Morgan wasn’t kicked off 30 Rock after saying he would murder his own son if he came out as gay.

    Moreover, not every form of restriction on speech registers as political correctness. In traditional socities, there is a strong sense of propriety and decorum which is meant to elevate and encourage healthy lifestyle habits. Much is considered sacred, and woe unto anyone who violates it.

    Of course, the Left has deconstructed traditional value systems across the white world. They’ve erected a new, cancerous slave morality to fill this void. Political correctness is simply the current year’s version of propriety, wherein their sick values are considered sacred.

    The distinction between propriety and political correctness is lost on most people. So we get this scenario where belief in even the slightest bit of decency is dismissed as political correctness. “You don’t like pedophilia jokes? What are you, PC?”

    The problem here is that opposition to jokes about pedophilia, rape, etc. is propriety. It’s actually not very politically incorrect to joke about these things. If anything Leftists, tend to consider discussion of pedophilia subversive and “brave.” At some point, criticizing it will be anti-PC.

    Most of the anti-PC movement is just blank nihilism, an anarchic belief that anything should be able to be said without anyone taking offense. Most of its adherents base their beliefs on ressentiment. They hate the Left not because they desire some alternative to it, but because the Left is overbearing and nannyish. Beyond that shared hatred, they really have no common ground with the Right.

    It might be a cathartic watch at parts and it’s always amusing to hurt leftist feelings, but I’ll stop short of the many people calling Chappelle based.

    • anon
      Posted September 13, 2019 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      I think your comment is really astute, although I disagree that “the anti-PC movement is just blank nihilism” and that its “adherents base their beliefs on ressentiment.” Liberals who used comedy to deconstruct traditional values did so during a time when Christian conservative social values (especially regarding sexuality) still held some sway, and they did it not because they were nihilists but because total dominance of their liberal value system required eliminating other, competing value systems. Once the moral competition had been vanquished, they could establish their own values as sacred and unquestionable.

      Similarly, I think many (though not all, probably not Chappelle) anti-PC types do have value systems, and use fake nihilism as a cover. People can’t openly say they think white people have a right to exist, or that they think transexuals and gays are disgusting, so they bullshit and say they just don’t like political correctness.

  8. Automatic
    Posted September 13, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Looking forward to this! I’d heard some squirming about it and was intrigues – color me piqued! Thank you, Jef.

  9. Bruno Bucciaratti
    Posted September 15, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    I watched it and enjoyed it, though I probably had my expectations set too highly.

    Chappelle has always seemed to have an understanding that blacks and whites are fundamentally different, and this is reflected in his comedy. Chappelle’s Show was fundamentally honest about race and made no attempt to hold blacks up to be some sort of angels, the way comedy written by our Hebraic overlords does.

    Regular whites are noticing the reaction of the PC Thought Police to this special. Now let’s take them that next step and explain to them what 2% of the population makes up 80% of the Thought Cops.

  10. nineofclubs
    Posted September 15, 2019 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Hadn’t heard of Dave Chapelle prior to this. Australia has quite a few non-PC comedians who are either ignored or disowned by the media. Possibly the best known is Kevin Bloody Wilson, who rocketed to infamy with his take on the Smokie hit song, ‘Living next door to Alice’. The Wilson version tells the story of an Aboriginal family that claims land next door to the mansion of former millionaire Alan Bond.

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