The Slap Heard Round the World is really bothering me. Not because I care about the incident itself, which is in isolation just another stupid bit of celebrity nonsense in a culture saturated with that particular commodity, but because at this particular moment in this country’s history, it’s a perfect little symbolic microcosm of a much larger and more important thing than celebrity nonsense in all its forms.
That thing is elite impunity. If I slapped a student or a colleague — the latter impulse is a temptation I’ve heroically resisted on more than one occasion — I would get arrested and then fired, and rightly so. That’s how the law works for anybody who isn’t rotating in the upper celestial spheres of the social-economic-celebrity complex.
If you are, then you can pretty much do whatever you want.
Donald Trump and his cronies tried to overthrow the government and literally nothing is going to happen to them.
Clarence Thomas isn’t recusing himself from ruling on any matters involving said coup attempt because fuck you that’s why.
These are just three of an almost endless parade of examples that jump immediately to mind this afternoon.
And this has been going on for a long time. At least a handful of Nixon aides did a few months or years at Club Fed. Since then it’s been pretty much nothing but total impunity for every connected guy and gal out there. Nobody was held responsible for Iran-Contra. The war criminals behind the invasion of Iraq all enjoy the sorts of splendid sinecures we reserve for The Quality. The banksters destroyed the economy, stole wealth uncountable, and all walked.
I’m not even going to start going over what’s been going on since 2016.
So yeah, Will Smith assaulting Chris Rock on international TV and then getting handed the biggest award in his line of work 15 minutes later is just a bunch of typical meaningless infotainment bullshit, except it isn’t just that. It’s also symptomatic of the age, and depressing as hell.
For another view, let’s ask fascist lunatic Marjorie Taylor Greene what she thinks about it all:
If I were World Emperor, this would be the planetary anthem: