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Friday, June 3, 2016

Respecting True Capital-I Individuals

~ Comedian Dave Chappelle - a true Individual

When it comes to admiration and respect, we at A&G have always felt the strongest towards capital-I Individuals

In this 21st century do-not-make-waves society, they are so rare that they should be put on some kind of endangered list along with Chinese pandas and Indian Tigers

Not sure how they all disappeared so quickly over the last couple decades - shot down in their prime like the American Buffalo of yore

Not shot literally by gun but shot down as in silenced with shame tactics and denied First Amendment Constitutional freedoms by PC scaredy cats, white-guilters, the 'get along-go along' crowd, the 'double standard' gang and of course employers.
We respect Individuals of all races, creeds and colors..

Its groups and collectives we've always had a problem.

Here's an example of what we mean by a true Individual..

We here at A&G live in a city where its local baseball team has an overweight, way beyond his prime ballplayer who should by rights have been released years ago or retired voluntarily to save himself and his legacy continued embarrassment
But this big pig had signed a 5 year/$135 million contract a few years back and he was going to make sure he collected every penny even though this former league MVP is hitting .150 and has been benched for poor play

So he keeps playing until the very end.. Until the last undeserved dollar is earned

Now in local sports media circles, everyone is completely empathetic to the greedy ball player and the argument among media and fan alike is it is totally understandable to basically steal from an employer who has paid and treated you so well over the years when at present you're hurting the team more than helping by playing..

So the defense is.. 'Who leaves that much money on the table and walks away?' followed by 'If you said you would, you are a liar'..
Now here's where that capital I individual deserving of admiration and respect comes in..

His name is Dave Chappelle.

For the few readers living under a rock over the last decade or so, Chappelle, a brilliantly funny comedian had his own TV comedy show on the network Comedy Central

The show may not have been a top Neilsen ratings show but it set records for DVD box sets sold for its Season 1 & 2 which for the network meant lots of $$ flowing in..

So to keep the good times rolling, the offered Chappelle a $50 million deal to continue the show

So much money.. nom nom nom..
And what did Chappelle ultimately do?

He decided to stop making the show, turned down the money and didn't look back..

Of course people, namely his fans could not understand such a decision so they accused Chappelle of being mentally sick or having a breakdown.

They accused him of being on drugs

They laughed and mocked Chappelle when he took a break and went to Africa to refresh his head, implying he was living like some 19th century Zulu in a tent out in the Serengeti

And many people started hating and disrespecting Chappelle as a person for turning the money down'
Their simple pea brains could not comprehend there's more to life than money.. that $50m does not make you 50 million times happier or complete than you may feel at present..  that it can't buy some people's soul..

Chappelle felt at the time that the wrong people were laughing at certain jokes and points he was trying to get across and doing so a little too passionate for his liking..

For instance, Chappelle mentions he was filming this skit to appear in the truncated Season 3 where he was making fun of blacks' fear of how they are perceived eating fried chicken and watermelon in public due to past stereotypes

And during filming, this one white person standing behind the scenes kept laughing very hard at the image between takes and this was jarring..
Also there was instances according to Chappelle where they'd want him to dress as a woman in certain skits and he was very sensitive to that image because historically black male comedians have degraded themselves dressing and pretending they were female..

Now personally we disagree about controlling jokes - once they're told and in the public domain, the joke teller loses the power/control to frame how hard or deep another laughs..

We could tell a joke about someone getting a tennis ball hit into the groin and expect a moderate chuckle but if someone is laughing extremely hard imagining her husband taking one ball after another to his crotch, who are we  as joke teller to say 'stop laughing'

So its not the reasoning we admire as much as the ballsy (pun pun) decision to just do what supposedly no one else would do
That is why Chappelle is deserving of great respect in our book

We don't have to necessarily agree with his reasoning and only he will know if that decision was the best long-term, but it took great courage and individual fortitude to do what he did

Something most do not possess today, certainly not that over the hill fat pig local ballplayer finishing out his last season making $154,320 per game whether he plays, sits or squeals in the mud.

When you come across someone in your life who swims against the tide, who will not follow others and walks to the beat of their own drum, we hope rather than it provoke tease and ridicule, you can see the strength it takes

And show that person some respect even if you would never follow that marching cadence