Saturday, February 28, 2009

Eastwood thinks political correctness has made society humourless

Ed here: I have to say up front that I've never been a fan of Clint Eastwood's. My opinion only and I may the only guy on the planet who holds it. I find his limitations as an actor grating, trying to disguise those limitations with the same few mannerisms used over and over again (the eye squint, the tight voice etc). I also find his movies to be missing something, soul maybe. They're competent and they're dramatic but somehow they never quite soar the way a Scorcese does or even, to a lesser degree, the way an Robert Aldrich or Joseph Lewis did at their best. My opinion only.

I say this because I want to make it clear that I'm not drawing down on Eastwood alone here. It's just that his statements encapsulate something I've always wondered about when they say "political correctness inhibits us." Now I have a narrow definition of pc. To me it's nothing more than being polite. What Eastwood and people like Limbaugh etc apparently advocate is going back to the days when it was acceptable to mock people. I remember reading jokes that said "A fag is the homosexual gentleman who just left the room." "A kike is the Jewish gentleman who just left the room." "A nigger is the African-American gentleman who just left the room." Etc. I'm not an honorable person. I have at least as many biases and prejudices as most of the people I know. But I do try to deal with them. And at the risk of sounding like a prig, I really do find these words offensive. And never funny.

I understand that there some subjects that are difficult to discuss. Race is certainly one of them. Pressure groups force certain subjects off the news--or insist that their version of it be put ON the news. This is inhibiting and we're all the poorer for it. But I don't think this has anything to do with political correctness. Not at all.

Life's a bitch for a lot of people, especially those who don't measure up to the standards of acceptability in our society. Where's the pleasure of rubbing their faces in it?

From Yahoo:
Eastwood thinks political correctness has made society humourless

Fri, Feb 27 01:15 PM
London, February 27 (ANI): Acting legend Clint Eastwood , 79, apparently believes that political correctness has rendered modern society humourless, for he accuses younger generations of spending too much time trying to avoid being offensive.

The Dirty Harry star insists that he should be able to tell harmless jokes about nationality without fearing that people may brand him "a racist".

"People have lost their sense of humour. In former times we constantly made jokes about different races. You can only tell them today with one hand over your mouth or you will be insulted as a racist," the Daily Express quoted him as saying.

"I find that ridiculous. In those earlier days every friendly clique had a 'Sam the Jew' or 'Jose the Mexican' - but we didn't think anything of it or have a racist thought. It was just normal that we made jokes based on our nationality or ethnicity. That was never a problem. I don't want to be politically correct.

We're all spending too much time and energy trying to be politically correct about everything," he added. (ANI)



JD Rhoades said...

Guess he's never seen The Daily Show.

Fred Blosser said...

Whenever someone starts to squawk about "political correctness" -- a meaningless term if there ever was one -- I wonder what kind of religious or economic snake oil they want to sell us. Your last paragraph says it all, Ed.

Anonymous said...

He may have a point. I guess there is a difference between inclusion and PC. We all have to lighten up a bit, American society has tighten us all into a compacted spring.

A good example is when Ken Burns was finishing his WWII PBS movie and the Latino community made an uproar because they were not represented in the documentary. Burns was "forced" to add a Latino contribution reference after the final cut.
Another is when Spike Lee started to throw what little weight he has in Hollywood, towards Eastwood on his depiction of U.S. WWII Soldiers (being White) in the "Flag of Our Fathers/Letters from Iwo Jima" films. History is history, why make it a PC event?
Later, Lee tried to make his own depiction of Black soldiers in WWII with "Miracle at St Anna." Which was the right thing to do, but he should of kept his mouth shut about Eastwood's films. Anyway, Spike Lee got it shoved back at him when the Italian anti-Fascist resistance veterans strongly criticized the film because of the "historical lies" it contained.
I guess that (and Lee's film being a huge bust) was enough to satisfy Eastwood, or he would of planted a right hook into Lee's kisser.

Ed Gorman said...

You're talking about a seperate issue I think. And one that's a lot more complicated than what I thought I was talking about. PC means treating other people the way you'd like to be treated. That's all. As the Eagles sang "There's so much meanness in the city now." That's what I'm talking about. We live in a society that loves shock and loves meannness. Sometimes it's funny, sometims not--at least to me. What you're talking about (I think) is the intrusion of agendas on the creative process. And we've been battling that at least since DW Griffith's Birth of A Nation. It was pretty hard to stomach a tribute to the KKK. He insincerely tried to redress this with Intolerance which was a solid ten on the snore-o-meter and was a hollow apology anyway. It's a dilemma and I think we can only look at it case by case. I didn't takes side on the Eastwood-Lee dust-up because I wasn't familiar with the facts. Thanks for writing.

Anonymous said...

Eastwood strikes me as one of those Hollywood "legends" who believes he's the guy he plays in the movies. John Wayne and Charlton Heston have always seemed that way to me also. Is the fact that all three lean toward the political right relevant? I dunno, but I can't imagine Eastwood telling a racist joke just to make me laugh.
Terry Butler

Dave Zeltserman said...

Eastwood's ethnicity would've made him his whole life on the giving not the receiving end of these types of jokes. What a shame he can't spend his days with his likeminded pals making racist and other such ugly jokes at the expense of minorities without the risk of being accused of being offensive. But then again because of this pc environment, he's spared from listening to jokes about 79 year-old senile fucktards who can barely act their way out of a paperbag.

Anonymous said...

That's a big leap saying Eastwood is racist. I'd like to see you back that up with facts.

Anonymous said...

Seems like a lot of hatred itself blowing here.

Dave Zeltserman said...

Did I say he was racist?? I implied those jokes tend to be. IT would be nice if you actually read what I said. But let's look at his statement:

"I find that ridiculous. In those earlier days every friendly clique had a 'Sam the Jew' or 'Jose the Mexican' - but we didn't think anything of it or have a racist thought. It was just normal that we made jokes based on our nationality or ethnicity. That was never a problem. I don't want to be politically correct."

Whether or not Eastwood's a racist, the jokes which he bemoans no longer being able to tell without being labeled a racist, are jokes that belittle and degrade minorities. Poor guy, can't tell jokes about Jews and Mexicans anymore, gotta feel sorry for him.

Anonymous said...

It's obvious what you are implying.

Anonymous said...

When you have to hatefully attack like Mr. Zeltserman did with his comments then you have already lost your argument. Eastwood's associations with Morgan Freeman, Sean Penn, numerous jazz artists, Roberta Flack et cetera should speak for themselves.

Anonymous said...

I remember Eastwood recently saying that Morgan Freeman is the "greatest actor in the business today."

Dave Zeltserman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Zeltserman said...

Mr. White, my comment "79 year-old senile fucktards who can barely act their way out of a paperbag" was meant as an ironic demonstration, and it pales in comparison to the kike jokes I've been told over the years by people too dumb to realize I was Jewish. But let's look at what I said:

'79 year-old', fact

'senile fuctard', that's the way I look at Eastward for bemoaning that he can no longer denigrate minorities with his jokes without being labeled as a bigot.

'act their way out of a paperbag', subjective opinion on my part, but one that is also shared by Ed, and probably others. I don't think anyone is going to confuse his acting range with folks like DeNiro, Anthony Hopkins or Dustin Hoffman.

What I find interesting is that you found my demonstration aimed at a single individual for his comments so offensive, yet have no problem with Eastward complaining about no longer being able to make jokes/comments that belittle whole groups of people.

Mr. Garnett, the only obvious implication I can take from your comments is that you feel people should be able to make bigoted comments without being called a bigot.

Anonymous said...

What? Where are you coming up with that?

Anonymous said...

I'm with Dave and Ed on this. Racist jokes just aren't funny, and often the black person, Hispanic person, gay, Jewish or Asian person enduring and embarrassedly chuckling along with the moron who is telling the joke is doing it because she or he doesn't want to seem uptight or angry. It's time for everyone, including famous movie stars and Mr. Garnett, to just admit that this is a new era, and one in which lame stereotyping of people based on their ethnicity or other traits is unacceptable.
Terry Butler

Todd Mason said...

FWIW, "PC" was originally something that leftists said of each other, when dealing with the kind of humorless person who attempted to guilt-trip their fellow leftists by not being perfect at all times...along the lines of How dare you enjoy the films of that misogynist Hitchcock, for random example. The concept was overtaken by the likes of Limbaugh to cover the kind of rudeness Ed deplores, and more...I tend to think of the quintessential Limbaugh rant as running along the lines of, "Those liberals in Washington want to deprive us of the opportunity to punch wheelchair users in the belly. Can you believe it? They want to criminalize such clean, honest fun as punching gimps in the belly! What is the world coming to? Why, as a boy, I couldn't imagine a day when I couldn't get up, eat a hearty breakfast, go to school and find one of the three kids in my grade who were sitting around all day in their fancy chairs and give 'em good shot in the plexus, and I know I'm not alone in this. And now those namby-pambies in the Capitol want to take this basic freedom away from us." Ad nauseum.

Cap'n Bob said...

A city councilman lost his job because he used the word niggardly in a report. The people who complained were ignorant of the meaning of the word. Even after it was explained he was forced out of his job because the powers that be were afraid that even the appearance of an insult wa sufficient to punish someone even though there as no insult to begin with. That's the kind of cowardly pc mindset I abhor.
I also recall the days when Italian jokes and Polish jokes were in vohue. I'm half Italian and one-quarter Polish and it never occured to me to feel slighted when the jokes were told. I agree that we should go around being rude and hurtful, but a lot of people need to lighten up.

Cap'n Bob said...

I meant "in vogue," above.

Todd Mason said...

I remember the "niggardly" account...I have to wonder why he couldn't explain "niggle" to the people involved, or why he wasn't suing everyone's ass off or wasn't, if he wasn't, bought off.

That ain't even's just stupid, if it went down as widely reported, and I should look into it.

I'm guessing the folks telling you "wop" and "polack" jokes weren't actually doing so out of hatred so much as an attempt at bad taste fun...How Naughty I Am. They were all pretty obnoxious, and oddly enough usually didn't actually depend on anything about the supposed ethnic group getting slurred. How do you get an Ethnic Slur woman pregnant?

Anonymous said...

Eastwood's a modest intelligence at best. The conservatives invented p.c. for christ sake--don't touch the flag, don't question religion,don't say anything about the police, the military, etc. etc...