Tuesday, July 10, 2018

MEDIA: Hannah Gadsby is the 21st century's Jimmy Swaggart

Jimmy Swaggart is alive and well and living in the body of Hannah Gadsby.  We're not sure who's soul is in the 84-year-old husk of Swaggart today -- of if there is one in there --  but we're convinced he's in Hannah's body and we'll assume Prahka Lasa oversaw the transformation.

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"Preacher preaching love like vengeance, preaching love like hate," sang Joni Mitchell in her indictment of the hate merchants like Swaggart (1985's "Dog Eat Dog") and hate merchant was the most obvious term to come to mind for Hannah after watching her hideous NETFLIX special NANETTE.  It was supposed to be a comedy special, just like Swaggart's sermons were supposed to be about the love of God -- but both descend into hate.

And lies.

Especially lies.

Hannah likes to brag that she studied art history -- the same way Swaggart brags that he studied the Bible -- and thinks this makes her an expert on the topic.  She's just an imbecile.

Throughout the special, she likes to tear into Pablo Picasso.  At one point, she says she can't enjoy his work ever because he was with a 17-year-old woman.  17, she repeats.

Where's the history?

There's not art in her objection, but where's the history?

The woman she's referring to is Marie-Therese Walter -- referring to, and we'll come back to that later.  And, yes, the woman was 17 when she began her affair with Picasso.  She did that in France. The year was 1927 and she wasn't considered a minor and had more than reached the age of consent in France.

Those are called facts and, no matter how hard Hannah ignores them, they remain facts.

There was nothing untoward in 1927 about a 17-year-old having sex.  (In France today, the age of consent is 15.)

Marie-Therese Walter had an affair with Picasso which lasted approximately eight years.  She is the mother of their child Maya Widmaier-Picasso (born in 1935).

Again, these are facts and, apparently, they had to be ignored for Hannah Gadsby to deliver her sermon.  It's a sermon that a lot of The Water Cooler Set want to applaud.  Because it seems virtuous -- as did Swaggart's sermons to some.

But anyone with half a brain rejects sermons built on hate and sermons built on lies.

Hannah, she explains, hates cube ism as well.  It's why people won't call out Picasso, she insists, because he invented it.


Again, she claims to have studied art history.

Two people are considered the originators of cube ism -- Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.  If the art world wanted, they could simply erase Picasso from the scene.  Braque could be hailed as the sole creator.  But that's not going to happen because Picasso created great art.

That was his job -- an artist.

Hannah thinks she's an artist too and maybe, in a world that can publish THE ART OF THE DEAL, she is?

That's a book co-written by Donald Trump.

And, no, a deal isn't art.  It might be advantageous, it might be enriching, but it is not art.

Donald Trump pops in Hannah's little special.  Remember, she's virtue signaling.

She declares that he sexually assaulted young women -- that he admitted to it.

Again, like Swaggart, she traffics in lies.

To quote Dave Chappelle, "Sexual assault? It wasn't. He said, 'And when you're a star, they let you do it.' That phrase implies consent. I just don't like the way the media twisted that whole thing. Nobody questioned it."

But, hey, it's Hannah so there's no truth and no reality basis to the special.

At one point, she whines -- yes, it is whining -- that after a performance on her last tour, a lesbian approached her to tell her that there wasn't enough lesbian content in the show.

She goes on to mock the woman by saying it was her (Hannah) on stage the whole time.

Well it was her, Hannah, in her life the whole time too, right?

Because she also reveals in the special that her grandmother recently asked her if she had a boyfriend.  Oops, she says, she forgot to out herself to Grandma!

Sort of goes to the criticism that the women -- the lesbian Hannah mocked -- was making and if Hannah had any self-awareness at all, seems like she'd grasp that.

But she doesn't grasp much of anything.  Except whining, yelling and complaining.

She claims she knows how to play with tension.

Nothing in the NETFLIX special backed that up.

She attacked Woody Allen because he's been accused by one hateful woman of assaulting her when she was a child.  That's the same Dylan Farrow, remember who publicly attacked Diane Keaton.  We're racking our brains over that, trying to think of any self-stated victim of assault who's ever gone after friends of their alleged attacker?

We're not remembering Patricia Bowman, for example, attacking friends of William Kennedy Smith.   Tina Turner never went after anyone who was friends with Ike. Tyler Perry, hundreds of others, we don't see this desire that Dylan has.  It's a sickness and may go to other sicknesses.  Strange that Mia rushed Ronan into therapy as a young boy because he said he wanted to be a girl but never apparently got Dylan the help she needed.

Hannah rails at Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby as well.  Which really left us confused.

The special was taped in Australia.

She's from Tasmania.

What is with this obsession with America?

She reminded us of the thankfully forgotten Australian blogger Luke Whatshisname who used to daily attack Bully Boy Bush for the Iraq War but never called out Australia's prime minister John Howard.  Now we called out Bully Boy Bush for the Iraq War, but we're Americans.  Luke was an Australian blogging from Australia and he couldn't call out his own country's prime minister for taking part in the Iraq War?

He struck us an inept and incompetent -- like Hannah does today.

There are many men in Australia who could be called out for assault.  Certainly, the one getting all the attention ahead of her taping of the special was George Pell -- Cardinal George Pell, her country's highest-ranking Catholic official -- and thought to be "the most senior Catholic cleric in the world to face such charges."

Or Yunxiang Gao who was arrested earlier this year on charges of assaulting a woman in Sidney? Or the 2017 convictions of Bailey Joseph Hayes-Gordon, Nicholas William Jackson, and Jacob Michael Watson in Brisbane for using a bottle to rape a friend who was passed out?

It's strange how these don't factor into her comedy or her rage.

In fact, to watch her special, the only one assaulted in or near Australia would be Hannah Gadsby.  By the end of the alleged comedy special, she's yelling about how she was raped by two men.

She also yells about a man who assaulted her.  He thought she was a man so he was going to hit her.  Then his girlfriend told him she was a woman and he explained he didn't hit women.  Then he figured out she was a lesbian (yes, he was a little slow) and did hit her.

She was coming on to his girlfriend, as she admitted.  In front of him, as she admitted.  We don't support violence but we're also aware that, at the end of a drunken night at a bar, if you come on to some guy's girlfriend, whether you're a male or a female, the guy may get violent.  (That's also true for some women if you come on to their boyfriend or girlfriend.)

Maybe if she wasn't screaming so much, she could take a breath and think for a moment?  If she did, she might realize that she's not as blameless as she thinks.

Her screams may make for great therapy but do not mistake them for comedy or entertainment.  (As she herself admits in the special, her routine certainly don't qualify as art.)

What they really remind us of is BOB'S BURGERS or, more specifically, a female producer who likes the idea of the  show but can't watch it because, whether suffering from a migraine or just hung over, every time she catches it, the character of Tina is yelling and screaming so she turns off the TV.

Tina is one element of BOB'S BURGERS.

Sadly, Hannah Gadsby is the sole element of NANETTE.

At least she names Nanette -- some woman she thought would provide a ton of material for her act but that didn't end up happening.

Instead, she goes after straight, White men.  And we're left to wonder whatever happened to WASP?

Wealthy Anglo-Saxon Protestant.

When did that fall out favor as a term?

She really hates them while insisting that she is not a "man hater" despite having been called that.

We think she is a man hater or either she's incredibly stupid.

We have spent years here -- 14 and counting -- calling out the acceptance of male as the norm.  We stand by that.

We have not, however, whined about, for example, Ed Burns.  Men are usually the focus of the films he directs.  His women, supporting characters though they may be, usually have several levels to them.  Were that not the case, we would certainly call him out.

But if 'good' Ed or 'bad' Ed write scripts, they're not the issue.  The issue is studios that repeatedly releases male focused films geared to male audiences.  Or NETFLIX which repeatedly airs comedy specials by men and few by women -- or, worse, tries to pass off RAGE WITH HANNAH as a comedy special -- insulting all women in the process.

As a feminist voice, we support many other voices being part of the conversation.  We're certainly not calling for any men to stop writing or creating.

But that's really what Hannah wants and that does, yes, make her a man hater.

She rails against Picasso, referring to his art as nothing but "putting a kaleidoscope flower on" the end of his "dick."  And women?  Well he made them nothing but vases for his kaleidoscope flower and that's what men have done too often, rages Hannah.

Sorry to break it to her, we know she doesn't enjoy sex, she describes her orientation as "tired," but a lot of people like to f**k.

That's why erotica and porn are so popular.  That's why a club is crowded on a weekend.

People like to f**k.

Art grapples with this desire and always has.

This is apparently news to Hannah.

If Picasso, as she insists, did nothing but what every other White male artist (she insists) has done before and rendered women as either virgins or whores, that had to do with his sexual desire.  And an artist -- male or female -- can pursue that in their work.  There's nothing wrong with that.

What's wrong is when it's lopsided, when only one side is telling a story.

Picasso, Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby, Vincent Van Gough, large numbers of men are name checked in her special.


None have a name except Hannah Gadsby and, of course, Nanette.  We never learn a thing about Nanette, though.

She is furious that women are not represented in the arts.

Yet, in her 69 minute special (sshhhh, no giggles, we're sure it was unintentional -- remember, she doesn't like sex, she's "tired"), she doesn't do a damn thing.

Georgia O'Keeffe's not mentioned, Frida Kahlo's not mentioned.

We're really f**king sick of people like Hannah Gadsby.

'Woah, the world is wrong, it's so wrong, women are oppressed by White men, let me now name and obsess over these White men.  Now let me talk about myself.  Wow, an hour later I've accomplished so much.'

We started the piece quoting Joni Mitchell.  We've now named checked Frida Kahlo and Georgia O'Keeffe as well.  That's puts us three ahead of Hannah Gadsby.

As Alice Walker's long maintained -- words we take to heart -- if you don't like the way the world is, create the world you would like to see in your writing.

Hannah is all about Hannah and it's an act of useless rage.  Rage can be useful, it can inform, it can motivate, it can do many things.  But Hannah's rage is that of a child throwing a tantrum.  She's failed to educate herself -- despite the repeated bragging of having a degree in art history -- and she's failed to develop any insight into the world on her own.

Let's drop back to Alice Walker to quote her:

But what I'm also sharing with you is this thought: The Universe responds.  What you ask of it, it gives.  The military-industrial complex and its leaders and scientists have shown more faith in this reality than have those of us who do not believe in war and who want peace.  They have asked the Earth for all its deadlier substances.  They have been confident in their faith in hatred and war.  The Universe, ever responsive, the Earth, ever giving, has opened itself fully to their desires.  Ironically, Black Elck and nuclear scientists can be viewed in much the same way: as men who prayed to the Universe for what they believed they needed and who received from it a sign reflective of their own hearts.
I remember when I used to dismiss the bumper sticker "Pray for Peace."  I realize now that I did not understand it, since i also did not understand prayer; which I know now to be the active affirmation in the physical world of our inseparableness from the divine; and everything, especially the physical world, is divine.  War will stop when we no longer praise it, or give it any attentional at all.  Peace will come whenever it is sincerely invited.  Love will overflow every sanctuary given it.  Truth will grow where the fertilizer that nourishes it is also truth.  Faith will be its own reward.

That's from "The Universe Responds" (LIVING BY THE WORD).

What would Hannah think of that?  In her current state, she wouldn't.  She wouldn't think at all.  She's so paralyzed by rage that she can't.  Which is how she fails to name Marie-Therese Walter.

She never names the woman.

Oh, she goes and on about how awful Picasso was to sleep with this 17-year-old woman.  But for a woman whose show is about how women and other minorities are rendered invisible, she fails to grasp that she's doing the same thing.

Was Marie-Therese Walter not a person?  Does she not deserve to be named?  If you think she was victimized, then we would assume you would want to name her.

But Hannah just wants to rage.  In doing so, she accomplishes nothing other than leaving the viewer feeling like Chandler on FRIENDS when he is trapped at the one-woman show WHY DON'T YOU LIKE ME! where the playwright (Alex Borstein, Lois on FAMILY GUY) yells at the audience in the episode "The One With The Soap Opera Party" written by Shana Goldberg-Meehan, Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen.  A lot of The Water Cooler Set mistakes Hannag Gadsby's virtue signaling and rage for a performance.  They fail to grasp that she's crossed over into Jimmy Swaggart territory and that they're being duped in the same manner as the foolish who would send money to Swaggart.

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