Lots of people are on Chris Rock’s case all of a sudden. The selected emcee for the upcoming Oscar festivities is up for lots of criticism lately, in general for his R-rated comedy routines (as if he just started cussing yesterday), and for this comedic line in particular.
"Abortion, it's beautiful, it's beautiful abortion is legal. I love going to an abortion rally to pick up women, cause you know they are f**king!”Abortion foes far and wide have derided Rock for this lone statement, including a blogger with which I often agree (warning: really graphic photo contain therein).
One of the things for which conservative pundits—both professional and amateur—often chastise liberals is lifting statements out of their context. This Slate commentary shows that liberals aren’t the only ones prone to this very human fault.
Far from an encomium [ed. Note: the dead-tree dictionary comes in handy yet again!] to fetus killing, Rock's abortion bit is an attack on women for the frivolous manner in which they decide whether or not to keep a child. "When a woman gets pregnant, it's a choice between the woman"—here Rock pauses, a mischievous grin barely restrained—"and her girlfriends." From there: "One girlfriend goes, 'Child, you should have that baby—that man got some good hair…' And the other girlfriend says, 'Child, why we even talking about this—ain't we supposed to go to Cancun next week? Get rid of that baby!' " And that, Rock says, "is how life is decided in America."See what happens when one doesn’t know the whole story?
The assumption is that women who get abortions are frivolous and irresponsible rather than poor and desperate, as a liberal might have it. Not much there to offend a conservative's sensibilities.
Another problem that I have with the hue and cry about the selection of Rock as the Oscar emcee is the complaint about his language in his shows. One doesn’t think Rock has at least a modicum of self-control why, exactly?
Two previous emcees of the Oscars, Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg, weren’t exactly known for their G-rated stand-up routines.
And to take the self-control issue a step further, as far as I know Rock hasn’t thrown his wife over to marry his son’s nanny, as Mr. Williams did. (How soon we forget.)
And, though it happened long after her Oscar stint, have we forgotten Ms. Goldberg’s pre-election Bush musings?
With all of this information at hand, I’m wondering what the so-called controversy about Chris Rock really is about.
However, the cynic in me says that this is what it's about: to get folks to watch the Oscars, silly! ;-)
(Thanks to Steve H.)
UPDATE: More Rock routine from Slate regarding single mothers:
"If a kid calls his grandma 'mama' and his mama 'Pam,' he's going to jail," Rock explains. To all the women who leave their kids at home so they can pop some bubbly at the club, Rock has this advice: "Go take care of those kids before they rob me in 10 years."It's funny 'cause it's true.
UPDATE: Welcome Roger's readers! I must reconsider my thoughts on self-promotion. :-)