Part 2 of 2 (Part 1 here)
Another turn . . .
Why am I writing about Sarah Silverman in the first place? It’s because she has rebranded yet again, this time as an “anti-cancel culture” centrist (I guess?), and I think she may become dangerous in the future. She may even try to slither in our direction.
In October of 2020, Silverman made a strong denunciation of cancel culture from a liberal perspective:
In this cancel culture, and we all know what I’m talking about, whether you think there is one or there isn’t one or where you stand on it, and there’s a lot of gray matter there, but without a path to redemption, when you take someone, you found a tweet they wrote seven years ago or a thing that they said, and you expose it and you say, this person should be no more, banish them forever. They’re going to find someplace where they are accepted and it’s not going to be with progressives, which ironically means to be changed, progress.
She then issued a strong warning to her liberal cohorts about what would happen if something is not done about cancel culture:
If we don’t give these people a path to redemption, then they’re going to go where they are accepted, which is the motherfucking dark side. . . . I think there should be some kind of path. Do we want people to be changed? Or do we want them to stay the same to freeze in a moment we found on the internet from 12 years ago?
Now, I’m a professional propagandist, and as such, I can admire the craftsmanship of persuasive propaganda even if I find the message repugnant. Most liberal propaganda is made for blithering idiots, but sometimes I hear something that might be persuasive to a sane person of average intelligence. Whether she realizes it or not, Silverman has stumbled upon a rather novel angle with her rebrand that I think could potentially be persuasive to some people. After spending the last four years as a DNC shill, she has cut ties with the Left and has decided that she is now an independent. She’s still a liberal, but a non-judgmental liberal.
When I saw the first signs of this rebranding, I initially assumed it was cynical bandwagon-hopping. She was a nihilist when that was cool. She was an SJW when that was cool. Now the SJW thing is passe. All the cool kids are anti-woke Bernie Bros. Maybe she is trying to tap into that Chapo Trap House money. But upon further reflection, I am willing to believe that she has had a sincere change of heart on some issues.
The origins of Silverman’s new incarnation lie in the New York Times which, at the height of the #MeToo craze, printed an expose on Louis C. K. and his penchant for masturbating in front of female comedians who he had worked with.
I was never a fan of C. K., but there are some who considered him the Michael Jordon of standup. He was Chris Rock’s primary writing partner for most of his iconic standup specials, and he had his own critically-acclaimed cable TV series. But then the Times story went viral and all of that was gone in a flash. His series was cancelled and he was roundly denounced by everyone in the comedy industry, including by people he’d known for decades.
The nauseating aspect of the Louis C. K. controversy is that rumors of him jacking off in front of female comics had been circulating for years. There had even been a few blog posts about it. I had heard about it back in 2014. I’m not saying that the comedians who disavowed Louis C. K. were wrong for doing so, but I guarantee you that every single one of them had heard the stories and said nothing until it was safe to do so. Most of those same people had all kissing been C. K.’s ass 15 minutes earlier, hoping that he would throw them a cameo in his show, and only spoke up after it became trendy.
The one person who I can remember actually defending C. K. at the time was Sarah Silverman.
On an episode of I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman, she addressed the controversy and said that although he had done “bad things”:
So I just keep asking myself, “Can you love someone who did bad things? Can you still love them?” I can mull that over later, certainly, because the only people that matter right now are the victims. They are victims and they are victims because of something he did. So I hope it’s okay that I am, at once, very angry for the women he wronged and the culture that enabled it, and also sad, because he’s my friend.
That response was as tactically diplomatic as it could be without either minimizing the accusations or throwing Louis C. K. under the bus.
But in another interview shortly afterwards, Silverman took things up a notch and said that C. K. had masturbated in front of her all the time and it was no big deal:
I’ve known Louis forever. I’m not making excuses for him, so please don’t take this that way. We are peers. We are equals. When we were kids, and he asked if he could masturbate in front of me, sometimes I’d go, “Fuck yeah, I want to see that!” . . . It’s not analogous to the other women that are talking about what he did to them. He could offer me nothing. We were only just friends. So sometimes, yeah, I wanted to see it, it was amazing. Sometimes I would say, “Fucking no, gross,” and we got pizza.
You’ll notice that Silverman emphasizes that she and C. K. were “peers” and “equals.” Part of the controversy surrounding the affair is that he was a bigshot comedian and the women he wanked off to were a lot further down the comedy totem pole. C. K. had the power to make or break them in comedy, which put the women in an awkward position. Thus, Silverman is pointing out that he masturbated in front of women back when he had no clout and had nothing to offer them. I’m not sure how Silverman thinks that makes things better. I guess she is saying that at least C. K. wasn’t doing it as a power trip. Silverman was later forced to apologize for her remarks after being called out by one of C. K.’s victims.
I can be critical of Sarah Silverman for defending him, but I struggle to be cynical about it. She went above and beyond what she needed to do, and I can’t really find a cynical careerist angle in why she would do that. I guess you could say that she was making a gamble that he might make a comeback and remember her as the one person who stood up for him in his darkest hour and gives her a starring role in his next series as a reward, but in the grand scheme of things, C. K. was not that much bigger of a celebrity than Silverman.
There is poetic justice in that Silverman, who a few years earlier had sided with the SJWs against Jerry Seinfeld, then saw one of her best friends devoured alive by those same SJWs (not that conservatives would have approved of his actions). That said, I can respect Silverman for not throwing her friend under the bus. She had every incentive to go out and say, “He masturbated in front of me too and I’ve been traumatized by it ever since! I was so hurt and afraid!” That would have been the easier route to take and she would have gotten victim cred points, and possibly a job on The View.
As such, I am willing to believe that perhaps seeing her friend get his life and career destroyed by the cancel mob may have caused her to rethink a few things. It’s worth noting that her Hulu series ended a few weeks after her controversial remarks about C. K. and was not renewed. If defending her friend caused her to lose her TV series, again, I could see how that might trigger some soul searching.
Some time after the C. K. affair, Silverman claimed that she had lost a part in a movie because a picture surfaced on the internet from her earlier and edgier days in which she was in in blackface:
I recently was going to do a movie . . . a really sweet part and a cool little movie. Then at 11 PM the night before, they fired me because they saw that picture of me in blackface from that episode . . . So they hired someone else who’s wonderful but who’s never stuck her neck out.
There are many ways in which this story is implausible, not least because the picture was taken from her popular cable TV series from ten years before. It’s not like it was from some underground comedy show she had done in the early 1990s. So the real question is, why would she want people to believe that about her? Answer: She wants to be seen as having been a victim of cancel culture. That’s the moment I knew that we were witnessing a rebrand.
At one time, female comedians would make up a stories about being sexual assault survivors. Now we are seeing performers make up stories about being a cancel culture victim for clout.
This isn’t necessarily a good thing, however. Silverman started doing a podcast on her two million-subscriber Instagram account, and she has said a few things on it lately that have raised some eyebrows on the Right.
In March of this year, Silverman gave a teary-eyed speech about why she was leaving the Democratic Party:
It’s the absolutist-ness of the party that I am in that is such a turnoff to me. It’s so fucking elitist, you know. For something called progressive, it allows for zero progress. It’s all or nothing, no steps toward, all or fucking nothing. Again, righteousness porn. And I’ve been thinking about this a lot, just in general. . . . I just, I don’t know that I want to be associated with any party. I really, I think I don’t want to be associated with any party anymore.
Again, I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt that she may have had a sincere conversion. What irks me is that she accepts no blame for her role in the creation of cancel culture in the first place. She was not merely a passive observer, but an active participant. Only a few years ago she was siding with the SJWs against another comedian, but then all the college kids called her friend a pervert and said he should not be allowed to work in entertainment again, and then she decides, “Cancel culture has gone too far!” She at least could have added an apology instead of acting like she was betrayed by the party.
Maybe we should break up. pic.twitter.com/AbxLes3XjL
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) September 13, 2021
Silverman took this a step further last month and called for the United States to split into two or three separate countries. This caused some people to ask, “Is Sarah Silverman becoming based?”
Silverman’s new brand is as the tolerant Leftist who believes in love and kindness, even towards those crazy conservatives. After January 6, Silverman tweeted an appeal to QAnon adherents: “any MAGA or Q conspiracy defectors can come sit next to me in the school cafeteria . . . your past doesn’t have to define you.” Which seems like a passive aggressive jab at cancel culture.
From a propaganda perspective, this is good messaging. Liberals would be a lot more effective if instead of demonizing everyone, they took the approach of asking, “Don’t you get tired of being a social pariah all the time? Come join us over here and have fun with us!”
Liberals used to be more like this. It may be hard to believe nowadays, but there was a time not so long ago when liberals could credibly claim to be “the fun ones.” They weren’t weighed down by societal expectations and traditional morality, and so seemed freer. They got to sleep in on Sunday instead of going to church. They got to use swear words and tell dirty jokes. They got to listen to good music — there were people on the Right having moral panics about the evils of rock-‘n’-roll well into the 1990s. And liberal women tended to have very “modern” ideas about sex. Gen X grew up on 1980s teen movies about cool liberals teaching conservative WASP squares how to not be so uptight all the time.
It is that old Gen X liberal spirit that Silverman is trying to revive. The problem is that liberals can no longer play that card, because they are not actually fun anymore. They now have their own elaborate moral code that is more resistive and ruthless than the Christianity they sought to overthrow. You can still swear, but you can’t tell dirty jokes anymore. The sex is still there, but it’s no longer with some cool open-minded rebel chick who doesn’t care if you swear in front of her, but rather with a deranged brainwashed banshee who will flip out if you fail to use the correct PC terminology.
But as a propaganda tactic, it is more effective than merely chastising everyone, and I honestly can’t think of another person who is trying the same approach. It’s not quite Glenn Greenwald style red-brownism; she appears to be taking a more touchy-feely approach. I’m curious to see how far she goes with it. If she goes far, she will spawn imitators.
The troubling aspect is how viral these stories and videos went in conservative circles. I saw them posted by a few normiecons friends. Conservative Inc. media ate it up, too. FOX News, Daily Caller, Town Hall, Breitbart, and The Federalist all wrote about Silverman ripping on the progressive movement. The New York Post even troubled to write a response to Silverman’s calls for partition. From what I can tell, if Silverman wanted to defect to the Right, she would be welcomed with open arms by quite a lot people, and could even become a keynote speaker at CPAC.
Why do I think she would want to defect to the Right? She’s washed up. Her dramatic career has fizzled out. Her comedy comeback on Hulu ended after two seasons. People are going to be reluctant to give her another. She went from the cinema (Jesus Is Magic received a theatrical release), to cable TV (The Sarah Silverman Program), to a streaming service (I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman), to doing a podcast on Instagram. E-celeb is her only option left.
If she starts noticing that the “based” clips from her podcasts are going more viral than her “woke” clips, then she might start making even more “based” statements to keep the free publicity going. For example, national partition is generally a Right-wing talking point. It’s possible she made that statement and then promoted it with the intension of it going viral in Right-wing circles. After all, if your new brand is anti-cancel culture, there are a lot more anti-cancel culture people on the Right than there are on the Left.
It could also be that she is acting purely out of self-preservation. Maybe she thought her cancelation check is in the mail, so she is trying to build up some goodwill with the unwoke people before that hammer drops. Otherwise, if she got canceled, people would have no sympathy for her. She’s be some SJW bitch who got a taste of her own medicine. But if she disavows cancel culture before she gets canceled, she could more easily transition into some kind Bridget Phetasy-style based centrist. At the moment, she appears to be hedging her bets.
It must always be remembered that this woman is a snake, a Jew, an anti-nationalist, and a Zionist — but I repeat myself. Like many Jews, after sowing her wild oats in her youth, she discovered Zionism as she got older. I am sure that Silverman is aware that a significant portion of the population blames Jews for cancel culture. She may be trying to dispel the image of Jews as being pro-woke by becoming a prominent anti-cancel culture Jew. Or, maybe she just wants people to know that she’s not one of those Jews.
Silverman recently went on a rant about gentiles playing Jews in movies, particularly when the character’s Jewishness is central to their role. She called the phenomenon “Jewface.” You can take the Jew out of the Democratic Party, but you can’t take the Jew out of the Jew.
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