In a little over 20 days, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. Trump is a serially dishonest, thin-skinned, narcissistic bully, a despicable pig who admits to sexually assaulting women, and a fledgling dictator who boasts about wanting to start a new nuclear arms race and who was installed by a hostile foreign government looking for a puppet to help it bring down the United States. He’s an existential threat to our republic and for the first time represents an all-American contribution to the ignominious tyrannical despots of history. In other words, if you’re someone who cares at all about the U.S. as a liberal democracy, you should be doing everything in your power to either thwart the designs of the incoming Trump administration or, at the very least, not be giving him any ammunition he can feed his shock troops in their war against people for whom decency matters.
Enter Claire Landsbaum over at New York Magazine, who, during this crisis of unprecedented proportion, is leading the charge against, of all people — Steve Martin. Her complaint — and she’s not the only one throwing down the gauntlet on this particular grievance, as feminist Twitter is predictably alight with rage — involves the comedy great’s tweeted tribute to his friend Carrie Fisher, who died unexpectedly two days ago. As word of her death circulated, Martin contributed a heartfelt condolence, writing, “When I was a young man, Carrie Fisher was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. She turned out to be witty and bright as well.” It was both a statement about Fisher as someone whose looks were certainly noticeable but who was always so much more than that as well as a commentary on how young men evolve to begin paying attention to what’s truly important in a woman. It was a harmless, even sweet remembrance from one friend to another. At least that’s what most people would see. Not, however, Claire Landsbaum.
Landsbaum quickly penned what may very well be the fucking dumbest hot take ever to be published at an outlet that isn’t Salon. In a piece initially titled “Steve Martin, This Isn’t How You Pay Tribute To Carrie Fisher,” she bemoans Martin even mentioning that Carrie Fisher was gorgeous as well as brilliant. “Remember Fisher for her immense talent, her outspoken feminism and her moving commentary on mental health,” Landsbaum scolds. “Not for the way she looked onscreen.” She argues that because Fisher herself recognized that she was a sex symbol and wasn’t always pleased with that status, it’s wrong to comment on her looks. If you’re playing along at home, basically what you have then is someone who doesn’t actually know Carrie Fisher — but who is of course impertinent enough to feel special because she considers the actress and writer a feminist hero — shaming someone who actually does, calling his tribute somehow “wrong.”
Needless to say, a shitload of the usual busybodies on Twitter followed suit — enough so that Steve Martin actually deleted the tweet, thereby giving these idiots a scalp and indirectly signaling to them that they were correct in their outrage.
Except that they’re not. For fuck’s sake, of course they’re not.
Let’s put it in terms that make it especially easy to understand: If you’re angry about Steve Martin’s comments on Carrie Fisher — if you feel that you have even the 20 seconds it takes to fire off a pissy tweet on the subject — you’re a fucking idiot who has way too few actual problems in his or her life (as opposed to bullshit you’ve simply deemed “problematic”). And here’s the thing: If you care at all about justice and decency for all, you can’t possibly have too few actual problems right now, because, again, Donald fucking Trump is about to become President of the United States. If you’re someone who really thinks Steve Martin is some kind of sexist jerk for mentioning that Carrie Fisher was a beautiful woman, get a goddamn life already. Stay out of the discourse because you’re so obsessed with your own petty grievances that you have nothing worthwhile to add to it. You don’t deserve to be taken seriously. Period.
It goes without saying that Martin never should’ve deleted his tweet, mostly because the sentiment he expressed was benign and therefore wasn’t even close to being offensive but also because doing so gave dipshits obsessed-beyond-measure with identity politics a victory they didn’t deserve and shouldn’t be allowed to achieve, considering how frivolous their avalanche of assorted daily resentments are. At some point, reasonable liberals are going to have to start standing up to this kind of incessant scolding by the self-appointed social superintendent class. It doesn’t matter whether this horseshit bullying appears in New York or Salon or on Twitter or via some asshole’s Tumblr account, there’s too much at stake for anybody to give these whining children what they want anymore. On January 20th, we’ll see firsthand what, in part, indulging this kind of nonsense has gotten us. And it won’t be pretty. Enough already.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.