American Culture

Kathy Griffin badly miscalculated. Or did she? Enquiring minds want to know…

What did Griffin think was going to happen?

Kathy seems to have gone Fukushima on us. She lost her CNN gig and an endorsement deal for some kind of potty product (that she even had such a deal by itself tells you how far down the celebrity pecking order she was to start with), among other things.

Comedian Kathy Griffin tearfully apologized in a Friday press conference for posing with a fake bloodied and severed head depicting U.S. President Donald Trump, saying that she felt her career was now over and that Trump “broke” her.

“I don’t think I will have a career after this. I’m going to be honest, (Trump) broke me,” said Griffin, 56, a two-time Emmy-winning performer known for her deliberately provocative brand of humor. She added that she had received death threats.

“I’m not afraid of Donald Trump, he’s a bully,” adding that she intended to continue making jokes about the president.

“What’s happening to me has never happened ever, in the history of this great country, which is that a sitting president of the United States and his grown children and the first lady are personally, I feel, trying to ruin my life – forever,” she said.

Woman, what did you THINK was going to happen?

Griffin has obviously seen enough of Donald to know exactly who and what he is. Bullying? Trying to “break her”? Trying to ruin her life? Duh. Of course he’s going to try to destroy her. This is like accusing Shaquille O’Neal of being tall.

I’m frankly a little baffled. As @Doc noted the other day, Kathy Griffin isn’t funny. It’s beginning to look like she’s not very bright, either. Which I hate, because I am more than willing to support people who will drop the gloves with Der Orangefuhrer. But if you drop the gloves, get slapped in the lips, then run crying… I mean, what the fuck is that?

You may have heard to old adage: If you’re going to shoot at the king, don’t miss. Let me add a corollary: If you don’t want the secret police setting the dogs on you, don’t shoot at the king to start with.

An Alternate Hypothesis

Unless. Unless…

Maybe none of this is real. What if it’s all carefully crafted Kabuki aimed at transforming a no-talent, but brighter-than-she-seems F-list also-ran relevant again? What if one of her F-list agents, said “yo, K-Grif – I know how we can make the world notice you again!”

I mean, notoriety is better than nothing. People are talking about her today, and while she may have alienated 75% of America, if she can make some hay with the remaining 25%, well, that’s better than what she had working for her this time last week.

If she finds herself getting invited on shows and maybe getting some bookings once the furor dies down, we’ll know we been played.

Jesus is coming, children, and his agent is taking calls…

2 replies »

  1. Kathy always goes one step beyond my comfort, but that’s her shtick. When I first saw the image, I thought she was making a political statement such as, “It’s time for a revolution.” I had just read a book taking place during the French Revolution, so that’s where MY head was. I didn’t see the problem, except that it was gross. I mean, really, Trump doesn’t have a clue about the needs of the people he is supposed to serve and represent, and as usual, he’s only thinking about himself. Perhaps Madame Guillotine isn’t the answer, but I thought it made a good statement of a serious need for change.

    I just saw on Time’s website that the following was her actual intention:

    Griffin said she was was mocking Trump’s previous remarks about Megyn Kelly having “blood coming out of her wherever” when she posed for what became a widely condemned photo. She was trying to interpret the “sexist” remarks Trump made last year after a Republican debate in which he said moderator Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes.” [Her lawyer stated Griffin was trying to turn around Trump’s words, portraying HIM as the one with blood coming out of his eyes “and whatever”.]

    I never saw this as a threat to Trump or a reason to incite violence toward Trump or his family, unlike the old lynching props hung up in regard to Obama. Once again, I think this story is being blown out of proportion for convenience. What are we being distracted from now, besides the obvious daily follies of Herr Gropenführer?

  2. As I wrote elsewhere:

    Wow, this Kathy Griffin stuff is friggin’ tiresome. It’s not that it’s blowing up my FB. It’s that so many news outlets are covering everything from the severed head in effigy to her apology to the presser about the apology to the press about the presser about the apology, that it’s almost like somehow Kathy Griffin is news.

    No.

    Kathy Griffin is not news, any more than Carrot Top is news, any more than Vince McMahon would be news, any more than Howard Stern is news. These people aren’t important.

    What is news is that a president had an un-credible threat made against him. Like Nugent’s against Obama. Like other nutters from all sides/no sides before and since. The issue is whether or not it is ever publicly, socially, and legally acceptable to depict the President of the United States suffering bodily harm or untimely demise. Most of the time, people stupid enough to do this are complete nobodies. We don’t hear about the vast majority of the cases. Only the occasional nuttier-than-average kook gets their devalued fifteen minutes of fame with a 30 second bit on the evening news only to be forgotten tomorrow.

    When celebrities do this, it isn’t a teachable moment. We can tell by watching people rally reflexively around their pre-determined flagpoles, facts be damned.

    And I don’t see this as a free speech moment. This strikes me more like yelling “Fire!” in a theater than a question of artistic merit. Hell, it’s controversial when a movie (a work of fiction) depicts a fictional sitting president getting whacked.

    So. Is this about preserving some sense of what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to the office of the presidency? Because if it is, I found a list of presidents it would never have been cool to threaten, credibly or otherwise.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States

    Other than that, the one potential flaw I find in the OP is the notion that this is a stunt to get future relevance and bookings. CNN might be utter crap as news is concerned, but what booking could she muster in the future that would be superior to that one? As for the guestimated 25% of Americans she didn’t alienate, I am so over them. We’ve got tremendous existential crises to address, potential asteroid hit, industrial climate disruption, potential nuclear annihilation, garden variety wars “against” terrorism to breed more terrorists to perpetuate the arms industry’s profits, disease, famine, poverty, racial and ethnic discord, and the actual oppression and subjugation of women. Seems to me the relative few (which I estimate at far, far below 25%) Americans that would rally around her of all people have their own valid little parochial issues, sure, but to the degree they let those issues get in the way of getting the bigger issues being sorted out, I’m done. I seem to have come full circle to my early youth when I was both too conservative to be liberal and too liberal to be conservative. In this case, she strikes me as exactly the kind of flagpole identity politics junkies will rally around, and they’ll be too busy whining about their safe spaces and mysterious right to put penises in any ol’ damned room they please and to hell with the feelz of the majority who don’t want penises in every room, and…lord, I could wear myself out trying to type up the litany of whining shitheads, any of whom I could side with on general principles of justice and liberty, but damn, taking their causes and their style and identity issues one by one to the exclusion of much bigger and graver matters at hand? Uh uh. I’m too old and crotchety for this shit. Fuck ’em.

    And the commenter above? Meh. It’s never been appropriate to depict the wounding or killing of the president, by which I mean the person sitting in the office of “The Presidency.” KG’s stunt doesn’t get a pass. It shouldn’t get a pass. It’s not about artistic merit. Piss Christ? That had artistic merit. That was challenging. But KG puts the lie to the artistic merit claim with the explanation of what the stunt signified. Sorry, but I remember 8th grade language arts class when I first encountered symbolism. For symbolism to work, there has to be *some* way for the reader to make the connection, and the connection has to be at least a little coherent. Maybe she would have done better sitting on an effigy of Trump grabbing hir own bleeding pussy. See, *that* would be a coherent, relevant, and challenging statement, and arguably would have boosted her career instead of ending it.

    But no. I mean, Ted Nugent managed to out-class her. Fuckin’ Ted fuckin’ Nugent. When he was (unsurprisingly) a total asshat and issued a far more credible threat (by a hair, but still) to the sitting president at the time, at least he had the yarbles to not back down and issue a shitshow of a pseudo-apology, and then hold a pity party press conference. It took KG to make Ted Nugent look even that tiny bit more respectable.

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