Skip to comments.You'll Never Work In This Town... Again?
Posted on 12/18/2006 11:52:26 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Recently someone asked me what sort of people "qualified" as "white trash" given what passes for conventional wisdom in America. My response included such things as lower-income, undereducated whites with a preference for colloquial speech and occasionally, a proclivity toward racking up misdemeanor offenses. A healthy dose of low self-esteem generally helps, too. Indeed, as may seem obvious, it's much more about attitude and mindset than ethnic or genotypic qualities.
In as much as the above gives rise to subcultural niches, I don't have any problem admitting that I occasionally use the "n-word." That we've come to a point where I have to be concerned that using the word in a column might be edited down to "the n-word" is pretty absurd, in my view. I also don't have any problem admitting that I occasionally use the w, g, d, s, h and k-words (have fun figuring those out) when I find myself frustrated with the behavior of individuals who insist upon adhering to societally counter-productive, self-destructive and often offensive, irksome stereotypes.
Journalist Juan Williams versus gangsta rapper Snoop Dogg, for example. One is a black gentleman, the other, well... a quintessential specimen. I used an example of someone with whose politics I heartily disagree for the "gentleman," of course, lest I be accused of having a capacity for viewing only race-traitor, oreo conservative blacks as gentlemen. "Oreo" (used to describe blacks who act or think "white") is itself a racial epithet, but is largely excused because it is used by blacks to vilify other blacks. Why this doesn't count as racism -- why it isn't called "the o-word" -- is an example of our collective hypocrisy.
Leaving aside the bevy of activists and media continually perched like buzzards, waiting for an opportunity to foment or exacerbate racial tensions in the U.S., one would have to be comatose or taking the dirt nap to have missed the recent coverage of actor-director Mel Gibson's drunken, anti-Semitic tirade whilst being cited for driving under the influence of alcohol, or the more recent career suicide of comedian Michael Richards that involved extraordinarily derisive racial epithets hurled at two black hecklers during his stand-up routine.
While Richards' "performance" was abominable and his subsequent wild-eyed apology hollow, leading to the general consensus that we could stick the fork in him (as in "the bird is done"), many Americans and followers of this sort of thing (myself included) wondered what effect Gibson's escapades would have on the market viability of his new film "Apocalypto." Clearly, there were prominent figures in the media (or with access to it) who were thoroughly displeased with him and had no reservations apropos expressing same.
As important as such individuals may think they are, in the final analysis their opinions really don't count, illustrated by the fact that "Apocalypto" is a smash hit. While it's been relatively easy to observe stress in Gibson's face during the recent obligatory interviews in which the film is discussed, in those appearances Gibson has been candid and accepting of responsibility for his mistake; and a mistake it was, regardless of his true beliefs.
Whether Gibson or Richards hold racist views or not, quite frankly I could care less. I've been aware for a long, long, long time that quite a few high-profile entertainers who, in addition to having delusions of godhood, belong to a particularly odious, craven variety of bigots while maintaining the façade of ambassadors for universal brotherhood.
What interested me was the difference in the effect of the two incidents on the careers of these men -- and, more importantly, why the difference.
There was a time not too long ago where Gibson's antics might quickly and easily have done him in. When I was a kid, knocking Jews was something one simply did not do. I mean, I knew Holocaust survivors. The prevailing wisdom at the time was that the Jewish people had earned a good, long break from racist oppression, thank you very much.
Although the following statement often raises accusations of racism, the fact is that an inordinate number of power players in the American entertainment industry have always been Jewish. The odd aspect of this is that they've seldom been religious Jews, but secular liberals. As more and more drifted away from their religion and younger ones, wholly unschooled in their traditional faith, came on the scene, they ceased to identify with being Jewish at all.
One has to remember that those at the top of the Hollywood food chain breathe the same rarified, hallucinogen-laced air as do the entertainers themselves. Thus, as international socialist thought insinuated itself into mainstream American liberalism, Hollywood and the media's support for Israel and Jewish causes in general began to erode, to be replaced by animas toward Jews, Israel and Jewish causes in general. At this juncture, the biggest advocates for Israel in America today are Christians -- another group the entertainment industry at large considers profoundly dangerous.
The moviegoing public can forgive a guy who gets blotto and mouths off about Jews (his blotto-ness being no guarantee that he actually dislikes Jews), especially when he apologizes with class -- and makes truly excellent films. Indeed, there are millions of Americans who can identify with having said or done stupid and damaging things while intoxicated.
In much of Hollywood, however, there's nothing to forgive. Many of those in the industry likely agree with that which came out during Gibson's rant -- and it shows in their politics: What are we wasting so much blood and treasure in the Middle East for anyway? Why do we even need a foothold there? Look how many enemies supporting Israel has made us. They're a large part of the reason we are where we are. If we'd just bought the Arabs' oil and let them have their way in the region, we'd all be friends.
Of course, there would be no Israel, and probably several million less Jews on earth; obviously, you and I can readily see the bunker-buster missile-sized holes in this logic.
Blacks, on the other hand (whom Michael Richards attacked) are the darlings of American liberals -- assuming they're loyal and obedient liberals as well. Knocking blacks is something one simply does not do if they wish to have any friends at all. Blacks are given much more social latitude than any other ethnic minority in America, which is why there are Jesse Jacksons, Cynthia McKinneys, Al Sharptons and gangsta rappers thriving in the first place, all of whom can make pretty much any racist statement they wish with impunity.
Then, there are the other unfortunate points of fact:
1) Richards wasn't drunk at the time of his attack on the hecklers (as far as we know).
2) His on-camera amends were bizarre, pathetic and vacuous.
3) Although Seinfeld was a monster hit and Kramer (Richards' character) was memorable, Richards just aint the talent or the player Mel Gibson is.
4) Richards' attack was personal, whereas Gibson's was made to a police officer, whom people perceive as getting paid to endure abuse, regardless of whether a slur is directed at them or not.
5) Finally, there's the protracted, venomous, and graphic verbiage in what Richards said to the two black men -- which was subsequently broadcast over the entire globe -- again, and again and again.
"You'll never work in this town again!" was an oft-employed oath used in films when a character ran sufficiently afoul of the wrong people in Hollywood. While the verdict is still way out on Michael Richards, it's already apparent that at least one of the two offenders will have plenty of work for some time to come.
Once again, as with much of the increasingly absurd and unbalanced social convention in America, many forms of emotionalism, warped logic, human frailty and, of course, malignant sociopolitical machinations are in play. At the end of the day, I still see media-driven, socialist politically-correct dogma and conscientious Americans' faintness of heart in honestly addressing the phenomenon -- and elected officials who support it -- as being far more to blame than a couple of entertainers' one-time use of repellent and obnoxious forms of expression.
Note -- The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, and/or philosophy of GOPUSA.
Black Conservative Ping?
Do we have a white trailer trash ping list? ;)
lmao! Big hair too!
I spent thirty years working in Hollywood. I counted it as a rare year when I didn't get told I'd never work again at least once. Funny thing is, though, I kept working. If they need what you have, all is forgiven. It's that simple.
Black folks and Jews don't matter to Hollywood (especially Jews). Gibson and Richards are just lucky they didn't bad mouth gays. Then their careers would be over. The left in my opinion have no moral highground from where to address any type of slurr. They kiss the feet of dictators and throw in alliegence (if only rhetorical) with those who oppress and advocate the destruction of Israel.
Yet, the left keeps framing the debate...
I have a daughter-in-law who more than qualifies as white trash.
I hope my son one day wakes up.
"Jews don't matter to Hollywood"
Which is ironic...
"White Trash" are a complex mix of both genetics and cultural upbringing.
To start with, genetically, the largest part are Scots-Irish and English, mixed with German and Native American. In Louisiana and environs, there is a healthy dollop of French. And in the border States, some recent Mexican. Other interbreeding is much less common. As diverse as it sounds, it is actually fairly heterogeneous, as WT tend to breed with other WT.
Cultural upbringing is a lot more complex, but as a rule, education is downplayed and reproduction is done starting very young. Low self-esteem is less a problem than low expectations. There is also low prosperity consciousness, and money or goods beyond that point are usually wasted.
WTs are actually uncomfortable out of their environment. They cannot enjoy themselves as much living in suburbia or the city as in a trailer park, because it is just not their motif. Trailer parks are less an expression of economy than community, and today, many are as expensive as brick and wood houses. They also feel strong "tribal" instincts, (their word, not mine), and prefer to associate with their own kind.
There is actually a lot to appreciate in their lifestyle, but in a way their life has more freedom, if lowered expectations.
Don't know but this big thighed cow should be number 1 on it.
That's what you call moneyed white trash.
Interesting. I will say I have yet to meet a "WT" as you call them, with Italian or Nordic ancestry.
White Trash is the last socially acceptable racist slur. Of course calling someone that would not be accepted either and would probably result in a bloody fight.
My family, friends and I have never used the n-word. It was never used at any job I ever had and white people never used it when no blacks were around. I had no idea everyone else in America was sneaking around saying the n-word every chance they got. I'm so naive.
I enjoyed your post. Would you say that "white trash" is similar to "redneck," but more derogatory? I know people who are proud to be rednecks.
I know people who are proud to be called "white trash". It's part of what makes them "white trash".
"My Name is Earl" says it all.
My Jewish friends are proud of their white-trash buddies, and I should know.
Careful, you're on the verge of being offensive.
Now I know where the term, Dryin' the rent receipt, came from.
if anyone thought apocalypto would be a success, they just have no idea about business and the market in the US. Early on, I had put the gross at about $40-60m, and it looks like that's what it'll do. obvious landmines are simple.
Avoiding these landmines is at least half a step towards making a successful movie.
for your amusement: [ weekend numbers from Boxoffice Mojo]
Yes because we allow them to.
Most of my inlaws are Baptist, Mississippi hillbillies. They have their heads screwed on pretty straight and their priorities pretty much in order. Plus, they play a mean game of washers.
I have a lot more fun visiting them than other, more prosperous, and sophisticated parts of my family. I love the bobos in my family; but their priorities are way off.
I'll put it this way. If I had to choose someone to take care of my boy if something happened to my wife and me, it would be one of the hillbillies. People might call him white trash. But he'd get over that. What he might not get over is growing up thinking that the pursuit of money, curb-appeal, and power is more important that his relationship with his Savior.
You're not alone.
How is it insulting?
try it when you see a new movie come out. look at the list, and if there are 2 or more, assume $40-60m gross. Less, if it is not hyped. not often has this list been wrong.
if you know any landmines that should be on the list, please let me know.
My question to you is the same - what are you talking about?
It was a pic of Britney Spears appearing very white trash, but now the link doesn't work.
Some of the worst white trash I have met lived in mansions with swimming pools.
You are right . Especially in Hollywood.