One of the curious by-products of the rise of the Media Class has been the appearance of the ‘celebrity’. Celebrities now proliferate and the distinction between celebrities and other Media people such as actors, models, peace activists and artists has become more than a little blurred. The nearest I can get to a definition of a celebrity is that a celebrity relies on the medium of television and exposes his/her emotions on the small screen for a living. I know that actors, actresses and peace activists also expose their emotions but it is not their core activity. Cindy Sheehan has been a celebrity and certainly seeks every opportunity to indulge in the exposure of her emotions of grief and anger, but her core activity is helping the enemies of the American people.
Oprah Winfrey and Paris Hilton are the two celebrities who have always come to my mind as celebrities par excellence. Oprah (she is so celeb that Winfrey is no longer necessary) not only displays her own emotions on TV but encourages other poor saps to give vent to theirs too. This little device, combined with her ability to appear larger than life, has made her one of the richest people in the world. It seems that many millions of morons watch her program and feel enlightened, entertained or emotionally enriched. Perhaps they have all three experiences. She now has many imitators presenting similar programs on the various TV channels and quite a large number of US citizens (mostly women) now feel cool about displaying their emotions in exaggerated form in public and employing lots of quasi-psychological terms like ‘closure’, ‘in recovery’ and ‘abusive relationship’.
The ability to project a ‘larger than life’ personality on the small screen is certainly a gift of sorts but requires personal attributes most of us would rather not have. It used to be called ‘showing off’ when I was young. It was considered an unpopular character trait. Grief and anger were also considered best kept private. Maintaining one’s dignity, at least in public, was what was expected of all grown-ups.
This last week a celebrity has hit the US media headlines in what is perhaps the only headline-making way that any celebrity wants to avoid like the plague. He is known as ‘Dog’ by his fans but his full celeb name is Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman. I was only dimly aware of this celeb until his unfortunate catastrophe came to light.
For the benefit of non-US visitors to our website, I should explain that Dog has been a bounty-hunter prior to becoming a celeb, just as Paris Hilton was an heiress before she became a celeb by not wearing her panties and thereby giving the impression that she was crazy for sex. There is no such thing as bounty-hunting in most parts of the world and I assume that its existence in the US stems from the Wild West past. Many places in the US offer financial rewards to anyone who can track down and deliver criminals on their wanted list. This is what Dog did and his success in doing so and filming himself at work culminated in him getting his own TV show and morphing into a celebrity. I have never seen the TV show, so what I write from hereon is only what I have learned in the last few nights by watching TV and reading Media headlines.
I have learned from his own lips that he was once in a Texas prison for a long time having been convicted of murder. Whilst in prison (and in Texas 80% of the inmates are Black) Dog, who is White, became something of an honorary Black man. He shared a cell (he calls him his ‘celly’) with a Black man and seems proud of this achievement even though he probably had little choice in cell-mates.
Dog is a big, physically powerful person who wears tight sleeveless tee-shirts that display his many well-honed muscles. He must spend a lot of his time on body-building. His face is old but his body is young. Apart from his biceps, his great source of pride is obviously his hair. Despite his age his hair is straw blond and may well be dyed. He has a large clump of hair that stands up above his forehead rather like a parrot’s. The rest of his hair is worn long down his back though cut in at the sides around his ears. Other than its color I would say his style is somewhere between Buffalo Bill (because of his beard) and a Holman Hunt painting of Jesus. It is a sort of work of art and even when in great distress he flicks it back on each side with his hands. I think he is well-tattooed. His face is very lined and worn and is no match for the hair. Despite the vanity apparent in his appearance he has a very ‘hang-dog’ (no pun intended!) expression, though it may be that his current troubles are making their mark.
I have described his outlandish appearance at some length since I am certain that it is part of his ‘celeb-ness’, just as Paris Hilton’s absence of panties is part of hers. One can see quite a number of US citizens who are modeled on him. Many ride Harleys at weekends though they do not follow his fitness routines. I think it would be fair to say that he lacks ‘class’ and dignity and he would most certainly not look right at a funeral even if he was wearing a three-piece suit.
Dog’s misfortune has come about because of a private phone conversation he had with one of his sons back some six months ago. This son had been in prison for some ten years and is out on parole for another ten years. It seems that Dog has produced a problem family. This might be expected given Dog’s history and appearance. I certainly feel fortunate that my father never looked and dressed like Dog. The subject of the phone conversation was the son’s choice of a Black girlfriend who Dog had never seen or met. Dog considers himself to be something of an expert about being human, being a parent, being a citizen and being a role model. In my days in social work I met a number of similar experts who felt that their disastrous histories (with never a lesson learned) gave them extra authority to hand out advice. As an expert he feels qualified to dish out directions and advice to his off-spring. Dog’s worry about his son’s new mate was that she might have been plotting to gain intimate access to the family and their TV and bounty business and tape record Dog’s off-guard talk and then sell it to a magazine. The son recorded his father’s rant and subsequently sold it to a scandal magazine called the National Enquirer. Thus, many months after the conversation, the Enquirer has printed excerpts from Dog’s rant. In it he uses the forbidden word ‘nigger’, though as far as I can tell he only used it once on the phone but everyone has concluded (correctly it turns out) that Dog uses this word amongst friends. It is only the use of this one word that has brought down the Media world on his head.
As far as the Media is concerned (and Leftists predictably march in lockstep on this) the N word as it is referred to, if used by a White male, is the worst crime in human history. We need to ponder this fact because soon there are going to be a number of words relating to sodomy and sodomists that will be accorded the same classification. It matters not that Black people in inner cities and rappers use it all the time. As people who have ‘victim’ status they get a pass. Dog’s mistake was to think that like Bill Clinton, he is an honorary Black Man, and therefore as a ‘Brother’ enjoyed the same victim status. He now knows better. He is neither a ‘Brother’ nor a Bill Clinton and so has not got a pass from the Media Class or from the race industry.
Dog has lost his TV program as from this week and apart from the media attention generated by the current furor has lost his ‘celeb-ness’. Like nearly all Republican politicians who have been nailed by the Media Class in an orchestrated ‘scandal’, Dog has made the fatal mistake of multiple apologies and groveled with public contrition. He (and it is hard to write this without falling off my chair with hysterics) has sought forgiveness from Al Sharpton and spent many hours with his Black religious councilor. He has also spent many hours this week in the TV studios and had lengthy interviews on Fox’s Hannity and Colmes Show. Each time he has wept copiously and required Hannity’s handkerchief. (I shall return to the word ‘wept’ later). Panels of experts have been in the studios interpreting and making judgments. All of them have been fatuous with the exception of two Black activists who appeared on Monday evening. They represented different organizations, though I failed to identify them. Both were dressed in dark suits and spoke with dignity and good sense and put the other silly panelists to shame. As one said, this is only about a word, it is a word used by our own people and it appears in many works of literature including Huck Finn. He seemed puzzled that he was not even permitted to use the word in this discussion.
I can understand why cultured African Americans find the word distasteful for it has connotations with slavery and its past enforcement of White superiority. It is not a word that I would ever use, even if I was surrounded by ignorant White supremacists. Similarly I would not use some other swear words, including the one that refers to motherhood and sexual intercourse and any that link Jesus and Christ with crudeness. The use of such words would show that I am ignorant.
However it seems to me both silly and dangerous to load any word that has been in common usage for two hundred years with such importance. I am sure there are a lot of African Americans and especially the ones Dog mixes with, who are not upset by anyone using it. There is a difference between not liking and not approving of a word on the one hand and being horrified and outraged by it on the other. I have to believe that the shock and outrage is manufactured artificially and for a more sinister purpose.
As it happens and having heard the whole of Dog’s phone conversation and the context of the N word, I am certain that he is not a racist. He mixes with street trash both Black and White where crude and shocking language does not shock and implies a tough manliness, along with the beard, the overdeveloped muscles, the flowing locks and the sleeveless T-Shirt. There was a moment when Dog was sobbing to Hannity and simultaneously preening his hair, where I thought he seemed effeminate. In the end, I had to conclude that the poor man is really a baby. He does not realize it (because all of his proclaimed insightfulness is shallow) but it is the end of his celeb-ness that is hurting. He is a celeb who believes that he is a lovable rogue, an honorary bro to Blacks (having crossed the divide that most cannot), a role model for the nation’s aberrant children, a ladies man, a man’s man, a guiding parent, a commercial success and all this without a compromise. He has not realized that Media celebrity is both temporary and flimsy and controlled by people who are extremely powerful – so powerful in fact that they can make and break Presidents. He occupied a bottom rung of the Media ladder and now he has been kicked off it.
We need to understand the Dog episode by looking at it through the Media Class microscope. The Media keeps the masses ignorant and makes them ignorant. It is dope for the masses and sometimes employs dopes to dope them with. During the week that the Dog story occupied hours of prime viewing time and was endlessly analyzed by Media experts, there was real news being made in the world, real scandals taking place and information around that good journalists could have been digging up. Instead we were given a warning about what can happen to anyone who utters a wrong word as defined by our masters.
I said I would return to the word ‘wept’. This week we were told that a charity that is funded by Oprah and operates in South Africa has been hit by a scandal. Some girls who were being cared for there have been sexually abused by a female on the staff. The Media has kept telling us that Oprah wept when she heard. Weeping is something more important and moving than crying, so Oprah wept. I couldn’t help feeling that Oprah has become the Media Class equivalent of a Royal personage. She is undoubtedly many rungs higher than poor old Dog. She might even be on a different ladder.