When we woke up this morning, the pool atop the parking garage across from the bedroom had frozen, at least on the surface. We kissed, goofed around and I got out of bed to feed the dog. Coffee was brewed, futures and pasts discussed and then we drifted into the serious business of comedy. We talked about the Weinstein situation, NBC’s complacence and Lorne Michael’s imposed silence on the matter. It’s complex, and though I try to put it out of my mind and not let my rage turn into obsession, the details just keep pulling me back in.
SNL hasn’t said anything; this is a place where no one is safe—the president is regular fodder and monsters like Bill Cosby are used as punchlines. But, after last week’s revelations, followed by the Gal Gadot episode, there was nothing about Harvey. There was a tweet from an audience member that reported a Weinstein joke at the dress rehearsal, but the live show was dry of any mention of it. News stories started to come out with Lorne talking about shelving the material.
When asked about it, Michaels has said, “It's a New York thing,” and that’s where I lose it. Lorne Michaels cannot use New York as a defence for a man like Harvey and go in on Trump like he does. If New York supersedes all wrongdoing, then President Trump should be a golden boy to SNL, but he’s not. He’s the President, therefore he’s a target. Rightfully so, yet, Bill Cosby, at one time the most respected man in comedy, is instantaneously thrown under the bus for his crimes. Rightfully so. Cosby isn’t from New York, but he was Bill Cosby, as in Dr. Cliff Huxtable, not, Bill Cosby the human. It's the Old Boys Club showing it's Democratic bias.
“There’s nothing funny about it. If you get up there and you crack jokes about him, you’re just hurting people. You’re hurting him. You’re hurting his accusers. I was like, ‘Hey, I’m coming back to ‘SNL’ for the anniversary, I’m not turning my moment on the show into this other thing.'”
Besides the problematic word, “accusers,” he’s got a point. Yet, Lorne Michaels has proven that his show takes shots at those in power, those who have, for lack of a better term, fucked up, and give no quarter when it comes to the personal lives of any one they can touch.
Using New York as a defence is just complete horseshit, but it’s not my outrage to have. If someone used Alberta as a defence for rape and other harassment, I’d be fucking ashamed and compelled to correct that person’s thinking. But, I am not from New York, I haven’t been adopted by New York and I do not view it as mine. I’m across a continent. My outrage, separate from the feelings about Weinstein, lies in the hypocrisy and the disservice to both the people and the art and craft of comedy itself. Keeping truth and current events out of comedy at this stage of the game, in 2017, is irresponsible.
It’s been a weird morning. Before the deep conversations with my wife, I had sat down to write. I didn’t know what, but I was going to write something, damn it. Then we got talking and two hours later, here I am. The album Thumbs by busdriver has taken all anxiety from my belly—when I sat back down and put my hands on the keyboard, a panic began to build in my stomach. It pulled and somersaulted, it circled and jumped. The music neutralized it.
I’m unfocused and nervous. I really don’t know what’s happening today, when I stop writing the panic comes back. It just happened while I was reading about Mexican Jumping Beans. Did you know that they’re alive? I’m so creeped out right now.
Okay, I’ve got projects to work on. Have a good day.
Writer, performer, producer and musician from Alberta.