Within the span of a week, a Netflix comedy special had the distinction of becoming the greatest threat to society since the Plague of Justinian ripped through Constantinople in the 7th century threatening to end civilization as we know it. It has climbed above the Hong Kong protests, another Ebola outbreak in the Congo, and the political crisis over Brexit as it seized the attention of every MacBook Pro-wielding gatekeeper and guardian of the Fifth Estate.
After almost two years of trepidation since his last assault on the already depraved social psyche of the world’s imperialist vulture’s nest known as Amerikkka, Dave Chappelle’s “Sticks & Stones” has irreversibly contaminated the art of comedy to such a degree that from now on all jokes must be reviewed by the MTV News on-duty editor and the corporate board of directors of Viacom and CBS. Since their merger is still in progress, it’s going to be a pretty sparse few months.
Stepping into the breach selflessly to shield the population from the noxious mind fumes of the hour-long Chappelle special was Taylor Hosking of Vice News, who bravely proclaimed: “You Can Definitely Skip Dave Chappelle’s New Netflix Special ‘Sticks & Stones’.”
Hosking’s courageous defense of the realm against the vile “comic” is but one step on her climb to greatness begun during her upbringing going to the exclusive all-girls Brearley School in Manhattan for her entire K-12 education (Tuition: $49,680). She then matriculated through the University of Pennsylvania (Tuition: $51,464) with a political science degree, interning at Philadelphia magazine, before receiving her political writing position at The Atlantic in 2017, and her second gig at Vice in 2018.
Naturally, those years of instruction at the feet of some of the brightest minds in comedy gave her the proper sort of gravitas needed to proclaim that Chappelle “doubles down on misogyny and transphobia” and to note how he “chooses to blatantly ignore the historic criticism against his style of comedy and new loud-and-clear criticism from the trans community.”
Who else could warn us of this reprehensible bile spewing forth from our LED screens? It is therefore essential that we hold her up as Atlas hoists the globe and prevents it from tumbling into the abyss.
Hosking has also advised the public that “the trans character in the Rocko’s ‘Modern Life’ reboot is a huge step forward,” so brava to her not only for warning us about what to avoid, but indeed reaching for sunnier vistas by giving us positive examples of what to watch!
The efforts of the intrepid Vice media critic, valiant as they are, are incapable of fully absorbing the hate of Chappelle’s hour-long special, but much to our serendipitous fortune the fetching Slate columnist Inkoo Kang also unsheathed her pen to proclaim, “Dave Chappelle’s Sticks & Stones Fights for the Rights of the Already-Powerful.”
In her compassion and mercy, Ms. Kang indulged Chappelle by analogizing him to one’s “rascally uncle” who never grows and matures from youthful gags meant to entertain the puerile tastes of children. Indeed how could Chappelle—risible although not laugh-worthy—ever pass the taste test of a brilliant mind like Kang, a graduate of the all-women Smith College (Tuition: $47,904) and UCLA (Graduate school tuition: $17,272 in-state, $32,374 out-of-state)?
Having written for Slate, Wired, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Miami New Times, Phoenix New Times, MTV News and a cornucopia of other prestigious press establishments, she is eminently and uniquely positioned to pour forth her sage counsel to the masses on the pernicious moral corruption of Chappelle’s transphobic stage utterings. And considerately she also recommends an appropriate alternative transsexual affirming series by reminding us that “In season 2, Pose became one of TV’s most urgent dramas.” And wouldn’t you know, Kang also has enlisted us through her Twitter account to “tell [her] about your experience making your own pickles.” Ah, the civic consciousness just gushes from the brine.
And last, but certainly not least, is Tonja Renée Stidhum of The Grapevine—the uniquely distinct and unequivocally avant-garde section of The Root—sustaining the honor of the African American people so shamelessly besmirched by Chappelle.
She asks the most obvious question, one that could not possibly be deemed inappropriate when posed to a person of color: “Did Dave Chappelle use those Sticks & Stones to Build Himself a Lazy ‘Shock Value’ Box?” According to Stidhum, Chappelle’s comedy while lazy, was not edgy at all.
As a communications major at Northern Illinois University (Tuition: $14,204 In-state, $23,670 out-of-state), Stidhum can decipher the codes of sloth logic and indolent intellects. But to ensure the proper expertise, she references Robert L. Reece, Ph.D.’s Twitter emission on the topic: “Making fun of trans people is easy. Antagonizing people who call you homophobic is easy. It’s not cutting edge. It’s not creative. It doesn’t push political or comedic boundaries. It’s stale, and it’s lazy.” And what is Reece’s work all about? Here is a sampling of his notable articles:
- “Whitewashing slavery: Legacy of slavery and white social outcomes” in Social Problems (2019)
- “Moving Beyond Metrics: A Primer for Hiring and Promoting a Diverse Workforce in Entomology and Other Natural Sciences.” in Annals of the Entomological Society of America (2017)
- “The Plight of the Black Belle Knox: Race, College, Web Cam Models, and the Internet” in Porn Studies (2015)
Oh, and . . .
It is fabulous that we have such a brilliant observer of the behaviors of dorm-room porn stars, the ethnic composition of insect biologists, and Chappelle’s own racial theories to chime in and validate Stidhum’s work, though I would humbly propose that in the future she cite a scholar from a suitably vanguard gender.
It is with great bliss that I shall wake on the morrow knowing that arrayed in opposition to the horrid inflammatory virus of Chappelle’s rhetoric (and, by extension, those of the equally incendiary stage predators Aziz Ansari and Louis CK) are such sentinels of the public’s common sanity as Inkoo Kang, Taylor Hosking, and Tonja Renée Stidhum.