I should’ve watched Dave Chapelle: Sticks & Stones before going to Telluride, but I didn’t. Napping, shopping, watching a comfort film, distracted, caught up in this or that. And then Telluride happened. Then I returned Monday night (actually around 1:30 am) and worked yesterday. Then I finally watched it last night.
And I LQTM’ed all through it. Or at least, you know, smirked. I actually laughed out loud (not loudly but vocally) during the Jussie Smollet bit. But mostly I happily smirked. Partly at the material itself (although not at the “I don’t believe Michael Jackson‘s HBO accusers, and even if he did molest them he was still Michael Jackson” riff…I didn’t believe a single word of that) and partly in celebration of his skillful tweaking of the Outrage Police. Right now and for the foreseeable future, anyone and anything that riles cancel culture is good. And this, bless him, is what Chapelle does with casual but wonderful expertise.
“All The Worst White People Love Dave Chappelle’s Sticks & Stones“…really? I disagreed with a good 50% or perhaps even 60% of what Chappelle said during the show, and I loved it anyway. Because he agitates and aggravates the honorable descendants of Maximilien Robespierre.
Thank you, dearest Dave, for your snowflake imitation: “‘Duhhh…hey, duhhh…if you do anything wrong in your life, and I find out about it, I’m gonna try and take everything away from you….if I find out, you’re fucking finished.’ (To audience) Who’s that? That’s you. That’s what the audience sounds like to me. You are the worst motherfuckers I’ve ever tried to entertain in my fucking life.”
Old Chapelle: “I give all married men the same advice, gay or straight. Get a dog. A dog will love you all the time, but she’s not going to.”
Ten years ago I wrote a similar-sounding sentence — “life would be heavenly and rhapsodic if women had the personality and temperament of dogs” — and I’ve been paying in spilt arterial blood for that ever since. All I meant was that constant, non-judgmental love (which is what dogs and cats will give you if you show them tender love from the get-go) is a very soothing and comforting thing. My mistake was implying that I wanted to control women like some owners control their dogs. I’ve only had one dog in my entire life, and I never trained her to do a damn thing. I never said “sit” or “heel” or “roll over” to her…never. What I should have said was cats, not dogs. Because I’ve been a cat man all my life. Cats do whatever they want, but if you’re kind and loving they’ll always reciprocate in kind. And it’s wonderful to be loved without being judged and scolded and side-eyed half the time.
Chapelle is wonderful because he says risky stuff despite the risks. We’re all living through The Terror right now, and most people are saying “showflake twitter terror is wonderful because only the bad people are paying the price!” Chapelle knows this and says what he says anyway. I didn’t agree with half of what he says in Stick & Stones, but I love him for being who he is.