One thing I have always admired about the British is that they know when to quit. Just think of all the legendary British bands that broke up at the height of their popularity: The Beatles, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Police, The Smiths. I’ll even throw in Led Zeppelin. They could have easily replaced John Bonham with any drummer in the world they wanted and kept going. They had won the rock and roll lottery, selling records like hot cakes and with no signs of slowing down.
Or take Doctor Who. I would think that being cast as Doctor freakin’ Who would be a dream job for a British actor. The Doctor is sort of the beta male James Bond. James Bond is the holy grail of acting roles, but you have to be a Chad to land James Bond. For non-Chads, I would think the being cast as The Doctor, an iconic and quintessentially British hero, would be the pinnacle. Yet, British actors will get cast as Doctor freakin’ Who, do it for a few years, and then say, “Well, that was fun. But now I would like to go back to the theater.”
This sort of thing blows the American mind. Americans believe that you don’t walk away from a sure thing unless you know it’s to something better. Americans will look at The Beatles’ breakup and think, “Oh, so John and Paul didn’t like each other anymore. Do you think I like the people I work with? No, but I put up with it. If I can do it for 0.1% of the money, you can do it for however many millions, plus all the fame and groupies. No one wants to hear your stupid solo album!”
But as I get older, I see more wisdom in the British approach. All those British bands I mentioned walked away at the top with their legacies intact and are still revered today as legends. Conversely, I have seen so many American bands who made enormous contributions to music and were cultural titans of their day who then utterly destroyed their legacies by not knowing when to quit.
Imagine how much more revered Van Halen would be today if they had broken up in 1985, after David Lee Roth left. They reinvented rock and roll and had released six pretty good albums that revolutionized the way people play guitar forever. But Van Halen kept going and putting out increasingly embarrassing dad-rock albums until eventually you couldn’t hear their name without wincing. By the time Eddie Van Halen died, I was more relieved than sad, because I no longer had to worry about Eddie doing any more to tarnish his own legacy.
Then there’s Dave Chappelle. He walked away from a $50 million contract with Comedy Central for his own show in 2005 because he was displeased with the creative direction it was going in. He refused to take $50 million to be an Uncle Tom. Dave Chappelle has become a kind of legendary figure for this.
Dave Chappelle is someone I have a hard time having strong negative feelings about. He doesn’t seem like all that bad of a guy. He says a lot of things I don’t like — he did an entire special about the death of George Floyd, for example — but he doesn’t strike me as particularly malicious.
The worst thing you can say about Dave Chappelle is that he is overrated. He is not Socrates, nor is he the funniest man to ever live, and no one would be claiming that he is if he were not black. Nevertheless, for a celebrity, he is refreshingly authentic.
Chappelle comes from a long line of talented 10ths — both of his parents were university professors. He’s been married to the same woman for the last 20 years, a black one who he’s been with since before he was famous, which would suggest that he has some integrity. Is Dave Chappelle anti-white? Yes, but probably not any more than the average black person.
Most people are unaware that Chappelle’s Show, the program that launched Dave Chappelle into mega-stardom, was actually a collaboration between Chappelle and a white guy, an Irish Catholic kid from Philly named Neal Brennan. Brennan’s influence on the show has been the subject of a lot of speculation, as Brennan and Chapelle have a gentleman’s agreement not to reveal who wrote which sketches. If you ask me, it would seem that such an arrangement would be to Chappelle’s advantage. It would look bad if it were revealed that Chapelle’s white writing partner was better at writing black comedy than him.
It’s also worth noting that 16 years after the end of Chapelle’s Show, Dave Chapelle is still primarily known as “the guy from Chappelle’s Show.” That’s the crazy part. He followed up creating a landmark show by taking a decade-long creative hiatus during the prime of his life. I can understand not wanting to work with the corporate media, but there were a million different indie routes he could have taken. Instead, he did nothing.
This too works to Chappelle’s advantage, however, because it makes people see his more recent work as something distinct from, rather than a continuation of Chappelle’s Show, in the way you might think of George Foreman’s early and late boxing career as distinct sagas.
So why is a guy whose reputation stems largely from 28 half-hour episodes of television he created in the mid-Bush years still commanding so much attention?
I think a lot of Chappelle’s appeal comes from the fact that he is a reminder of happier times in race relations. The period between the O. J. Simpson verdict and the Obama administration was probably the high-water mark of American race relations. For a good ten years, there were no Rodney King or Trayvon Martin controversies. That was no BLM. Chapelle’s Show was the last of its kind: a show where whites and blacks could laugh at our differences together, and it was all in good fun. These days, you are not allowed to laugh with white people.
Chappelle spent the entire Obama presidency and the 2016 election in retirement. Not only is he an avatar of that bygone era, but he is not associated in anyone’s mind with what has happened since. When he began his comedy comeback in 2017, he was like an old friend from the Bush era coming out of cryogenic freeze, untarnished by all the woke wars that had been fought since then.
When Chappelle announced his comeback, people had high hopes that having this legendary too-big-to-cancel comedian from the pre-woke era back on the scene might mean that he would slap the SJWs around a bit and do something to help stem the woke tide. And indeed, Chappelle survived an attempted cancelation by the trans community after his last special. And in his most recent special, Closer, Chappelle caused controversy by poking fun at Jews.
In Closer, Chappelle is talking about how he got an idea for a movie after watching UFO videos online:
In my movie idea, we find out that these aliens are originally from earth — that they’re from an ancient civilization that achieved interstellar travel and left the Earth thousands of years ago. Some other planet they go to, and things go terrible for them on the other planet, so they come back to Earth, [and] decide that they want to claim the Earth for their very own. It’s a pretty good plotline, huh? I call it Space Jews.
For context, Chappelle is a Muslim. He converted in 1991 while living in New York, during the Public Enemy-inspired Farrakhan chic fad that swept black youth. He has probably dabbled in the Nation of Islam. I’m guessing Dave knows about the Jews and if anything is hiding his power level.
First, it is interesting that as draconian as censorship has gotten, criticism of Israel is the only one of our talking points that has been gaining a lot of momentum in the mainstream. During the recent Israel-Palestine conflict, a lot of A-list celebrities and comedians came out in support of the Palestinians.
I know the Dirtbag Left have a lot of ties to the comedy community. Part of how Chapo Trap House got its rep was by being the podcast that all the big Lefty comedians listen to (David Cross and Janeane Marie Garofalo were early guests). So it appears that some entertainment Lefties have been red-pilled on Israel from the Leftist perspective.
Chappelle is not breaking new ground here. In fact, on his HBO show last summer, John Oliver did a segment where he accused Israel of war crimes. At least one other famous comedian had gone full pro-Palestine and pulled it off, so Chappelle wasn’t taking that much more of a risk than if he had made the joke a year ago. However, Chappelle did go a step further than Oliver by calling the culprits “Jews” rather than “Zionists” or “Israelis,” and he questioned the legitimacy of the Jewish state itself.
So it seems criticizing Israel is now “safe.” Edgy, maybe, but not particularly risky.
The whole anti-Israel chic thing is something that I did not anticipate. It’s a welcome surprise, even if it’s mostly Leftists who hate Israel for entirely different reasons than I do. I think a lot of Lefties believe that Evangelicals are the driving force behind America’s Middle East policy and that Israel is a sacred cow of the Evangelicals. Thus, in their minds, by ripping on Israel, they are sticking it to the Evangelicals. That said, Jews and Antifa are so paranoid that they see anti-Zionism as a gateway to anti-Semitism, if not anti-Semitism masquerading as anti-colonialism — and here’s hoping that they are right.
The downside of anti-Israel chic is that I have seen a ton of Jews pointing to it as slam-dunk evidence that Jews do not control the media. To be fair, it does raise some legitimate questions. If the media is indeed controlled by Jews, then why would it be allowing so much criticism of Israel to be heard at the highest levels? This seems to run counter to our narratives.
Jews have proven that they can suppress stories and people if they so desire. There are examples of Jews forcing gangsta rappers into issuing formal apologies for their lyrics. If something is being discussed in the mainstream, it’s because Jewish gatekeepers are allowing it to be discussed. So why are they tolerating this?
There are several possible explanations, but the idea that the Jews don’t run the media is not one of them.
It could be that Jews are allowing some anti-Israel dialogue for the specific purpose of drawing away suspicion of the fact that Jews do in fact run the media. The problem with this idea is that th anti-Zionist wave doesn’t look to be astroturfed. It may be only a passing fad, but it looks organic to me.
Alternatively, I could see diaspora Jews throwing Israel under the bus to save themselves — but only if they were desperate. Jewish control of the media Is something that is only discussed on the outer fringes of the internet, so I don’t think they are there yet.
Another possibility is that while Jews may run the media, they are not all-powerful. There will always be people like Dave Chappelle who are so bankable and have so much clout that they can negotiate total creative control into their contracts. If you don’t hire him, someone else will, and perhaps the Jews accept that.
Affirmative action can’t be helping, either. A browner work force will naturally become more pro-Palestine, as the POCs look more like Palestinians than Jews. They can’t be guilt-tripped about the Holocaust, because they didn’t do it, and half the whites are communist Bernie Bros. So it’s just a matter of Jewish media outlets being increasingly staffed by people who haven’t got the memo. You have black female affirmative action human resources managers who are hiring creative directors who approve some anti-Israel stuff just because they don’t know that you’re not supposed to.
My own belief is that Jews in the media have decided to just ride this out. Suppressing pro-Palestinian sentiment would be too obvious, and would play into the hands of anti-Semites. A propaganda campaign wouldn’t work, either, because there isn’t a “woke” argument for Zionism. They could claim that Israel is more pro-gay than Palestine — but Palestinians are brown, and brown beats gay.
Besides which, deplatforming high-profile Hollywood celebrities and Instagram models or launching some counter-propaganda campaign would draw more attention to the issue. I think Jews are fine with people just ignoring Israel. They already have the politicians to do their bidding, so in a way, public support isn’t that important.
And yet they can’t suppress all the news from Israel because Jews in America want to know what is going on there, and in turn there will always be some blowback to that news. I therefore think that the Jews have simply made the cost/benefit decision to ride this out. The public has a short attention span. If things stay quiet in Israel for long enough, most people will move on to the next trendy political cause. Remember the Free Tibet movement? And isn’t it interesting that the abortion issue has suddenly been thrown back into play?
You’ll also notice that the kind of anti-Zionism the media is letting through is of the most tepid kind: the woke anti-nationalist Lefty kind that is rooted in anti-racism, not the USS Liberty/dancing Israelis kind.
Chappelle naming the Jew raised a lot of eyebrows, especially on the Right. Given his earlier statements about trans people as well, it might look like he is a useful tool against the woke mob. However, if you watch the entire special, halfway through he says that the only group he really has a problem with is white people. Apparently, he sees the LGBT movement and the trans scene as extensions of bourgeois white culture.
Later in the same special, Chappelle tells another Space Jews joke:
There was a black man who was in South Carolina during slavery who somehow got granted his freedom by his so-called master. And when his master granted him his freedom, he also gave him a plot of land. Now, it turns out this brother was brilliant. He had a good eye, good knack for farming. And he farmed this plot of land very successfully and made a lot of money. And this is where the story gets crazy. When he got all that money . . . this nigga bought some slaves. Have you ever heard this before? This is a true story. Not only was he a slave owner, he became a slave breeder, and employed tactics that were so cruel, even white slave owners were like, “Yo, my man!” He was a wild dude, but he did it just because that’s what successful people did at the time, and he just wanted to be down. What a fucking tragedy. How can a person that went through slavery perpetuate the same evil on a person that looks just like him? It’s mind blowing. And, shockingly, they’re making a movie about him. Ironically, it’s called Space Jews.
Note that he says, “he did it just because that’s what successful people did at the time.” If we assume that “successful people” is a code word for whites, the underlying message is that whatever misdeeds Jews commit happen because they are trying to emulate whites.
This is the sad truth about the Nation of Islam types. Most of the things that Louis Farrakhan says are perfectly sensible, and we share a lot of the same enemies — the Zionists, the media, the FBI – but at the end of the day, white people are still their number one enemy.
There was one other curveball in Closer. Chappelle does a bit about watching videos of black people beating up Asians and says the videos are like a metaphor for what his immune system did to COVID (he had an asymptomatic case). I was disappointed that he did not delve deeper into black-on-Asian violence, I was but surprised that he mentioned it at all given that the media has been trying to cover it up altogether.
Dave Chappelle opens Closer with a warning to the audience that it would be his last comedy special for a while. Something about this warning sounded ominous. Is he sick? Big #MeToo scandal about to drop? His statement suggests that he will return someday, and yet the name of the special, Closer, is a comedy term for the last joke of a show — which may suggest that he actually does intend for this one to be his last.
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