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Thursday, June 01, 2017

Kathy Griffin and the Severed Head of Donald Trump

What passes for cultural news this week is a photograph taken of ex-comedian Kathy Griffin holding up a facsimile of Donald Trump's severed head. The blowback was immediate and brutal, both from conservatives, who clutched their pearls and were shocked, shocked! that such a thing could happen, and liberals, who groaned at the opening Griffin gave conservatives who claimed that Trump was being disrespected. Secretly, us liberals have no problem with the image, but would prefer that we take the higher ground.

Of course, there was no caterwauling by Fox News when images such as those to the right were seen about the land, with Barack Obama being lynched or burned in effigy. The most egregious hypocrisy is in the case of Ted Nugent, who called for the assassination of both Obama and Hillary Clinton (I believe he invited Obama to suck the barrel of his gun), yet was invited to visit the White House--in the Oval Office! Of course, Nugent was just joking and misinterpreted, while Griffin actually wants to decapitate Trump.

Griffin has always been like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. I'd call her the poor man's Joan Rivers, but that's insulting the poor man. She had to do the apology thing, but it cost her perhaps her only visible gig--co-hosting New Year's Eve with Anderson Cooper on CNN. She may be consigned to oblivion like Michael Richards, but he has a lot of fuck-you money, and she, I'm guessing, does not, by the virtue of her endorsing a product called Squatty Potty (she lost that gig, too).

This is one of those classic what-were-you-thinking-moments. It's somewhat worse that what Obama faced because those lynching pics are by true yahoos and a washed-up rock singer who keeps his name in the paper by making outrageous statements. Griffin, as unfunny as she is, is an actual celebrity, even if she is on the D list. For a few days there, she set back the liberal cause.

But, as we learn with Trump, she's almost been forgotten. Trump kicked her off the front pages by tweeting while sleeping, gifting us with the word "convfefe," which has enjoyed a vigorous round of memes. That has in turn been replaced by something not so funny--the pull out from the Paris climate accord. It seems that Trump's stupidity really does know no bounds, so imagining his head cut off is something that isn't entirely unreasonable.

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