5 Times Famous People Had Zero Clue How Everyday Life Works
Fame is a distant galaxy, from which our idols only occasionally warp in to grace us with $50 autographs and pick up their latest golden statuette. But don't take our word for it. If you need proof that achieving a certain level of power makes you functionally an alien visitor to the real Earth, just look at how ...
Barbara Bush Thought Katrina Victims Were Better Off Having Been Flooded Out Of Their Homes
When her son, President George W. Bush, was taking heat for his handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005, former First Lady Barbara Bush simply had to step in. No half-measures here: Barbara and husband / former President George H. W. put feet on the ground and personally toured Houston's Astrodome (the temporary refuge of many Katrina evacuees). It was all going reasonably well ... until she declared the victims to be no worse for the wear, seeing as how they "were underprivileged anyway." Because, you know, a pup tent on the 50-yard-line was probably a veritable mansion compared to the shitty hovels they surely lived in pre-hurricane.
Bush also added that she'd overheard some evacuees desiring permanent relocation to Texas, and considered that prospect "sort of scary." It's all well and good for our sports stadiums, but it will not do to have minorities move into your neighborhood. Even if your neighborhood is literally the size of Texas.
Quentin Tarantino Thinks He Can Use The N-Word Because He, Quentin Tarantino, Is An N-Word
In the early '90s, Quentin Tarantino captained his ship of expletives across a vast sea of fake blood to loot Hollywood for all it was worth. Unsurprisingly, scenes like Pulp Fiction's "dead n****r storage" bit -- in which a character played by the director singlehandedly gives Jim-Crow-era Alabama a run for its money -- struck some ill chords. Spike Lee, for instance, called the scene "too much," and "not cute," while Denzel Washington chewed Tarantino out on a crowded movie set, thereby kicking off a seven-year feud between the two men.
In a 1994 Vibe interview, Tarantino presented reasoning for his use of the slur that was downright noble: "My feeling is the word 'n****r' is probably the most volatile word in the English language. The minute any word has that much power, as far as I'm concerned, everyone on the planet should scream it. No word deserves that much power. I'm not afraid of it." Not entirely right, but his heart was in a good place. If only he'd stopped there.
"When I was growing up in the '60s, 'n****r' was a fighting word. It never was to me because I always said, 'Okay, I can be identified as that, because it speaks volumes about who I am. It's somebody who's not to be fucked with, it's somebody who grew up a certain kind of way, who has certain kinds of traits that will get your ass fucked up if you step to them the wrong way.' I'm one of those kind of people, yeah."
Quentin Tarantino, a man so white he looks like the abstract concept of "accounting" came to life, once justified his frequent use of the N-word by saying he was "one of those kind of people."
Morgan Freeman Thinks The Fact That He Became Famous Means Racism Doesn't Exist Anymore
Morgan Freeman is the voice of God in the hearts and minds of all right-thinking people. Born in Memphis in 1937, Freeman came of age during the Civil Rights era. His great-great-grandparents were Deep South slaves, and his own mother was a teacher at the only 1930s Mississippi school which dared to enroll black women. That's why it's so surprising that he thinks all that "racism stuff" is pretty much over.
When CNN anchor Don Lemon asked Freeman if he thought there was a correlation between race and inequality in a 2014 interview, Freeman responded, "Today? No." He then gestured to Lemon -- also a black man -- and said, "You and I, we're proof."
"Why would race have anything to do with it?" he continued, presumably overlooking his entire life before The Electric Company. "Put your mind to what you want to do and go for that. It's kind of like religion to me -- it's a good excuse for not getting there."
Yes, the only thing standing between you and all of your hopes and dreams -- or, you know, a fair shot at that job interview, or a realtor willing to show you a house in the "good" part of town -- is you! All you gotta do is become massively rich and famous for a few decades, and wouldn't you know it, all that discrimination shit disappears.
Immediately Following His Mistrial, Bill Cosby Wanted To Kick Off A Town Hall Tour To Help Men Avoid Sexual Assault Charges
After more than 60 women stepped forward to accuse once-beloved comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault, he really had to work to see himself as the victim of the situation. But let it never be said that Cosby is afraid of a little elbow grease. Immediately following his mistrial (don't worry, there'll be a retrial), Cosby's representatives came forward to announce that he would be embarking on a nationwide town hall tour ... to educate young people on the dangers of sexual assault.
Oh, not the dangers of being sexually assaulted -- though that would be wildly inappropriate on its own. His proposed seminars would be on the dangers of being charged with sexual assault. As his publicist, Ebonee Benson, whom we must assume doesn't sleep too well at night, put it:
"Laws are changing. Laws are changing. The statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault are being extended. So, this why people need to be educated on a brush against the shoulder. You know, anything at this point could be considered sexual assault. It's very -- it's a good thing to be educated about the law."
Huh. "Brush against the shoulder" must be the new hip street slang for slipping someone Quaaludes.
Cosby's other publicists backtracked immediately, first saying that the tour was never intended to be about sexual assault, and when that didn't work, they whipped out the trusty ol' fake news accusation against the press. Those sinister press types, always exactly reporting the exact words that came out of the exact mouths of those exact publicists. That's just like them!
Bob Dylan Cheats Like A Clueless College Freshman While Penning His Nobel Prize Lecture
In 2016, the Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature to singer, songwriter, and unparalleled Sharpie master Bob Dylan. Dylan responded to the honor by utterly failing to acknowledge or even pick up the award, possibly because he learned there was a catch. In order to collect the $923,000 in prize money (so that's the exchange rate on that hilariously large coin!), Dylan was required to deliver a fancy, Nobel-caliber lecture within six months. Desperate to somehow tie the seemingly unrelated prize to his career, Dylan decided to center his lecture on The Odyssey, All Quiet On The Western Front, and Moby-Dick. Hey, it says "literature" right there on the front of the award.
Did you know works of literature are like, a whole lot longer than songs? They are! Perhaps that's why Dylan turned to SparkNotes -- the tech generation's version of CliffsNotes. After Dylan delivered his lecture within a hair's breadth of the deadline, author Ben Greenman had to question whether or not the songwriter yanked a Moby-Dick quote straight out of his ass. Further analysis revealed that Dylan had not invented a single quote, but had cribbed nearly the entire Moby-Dick portion of his speech from the questionably accurate SparkNotes summary of the book.
Though the Academy initially praised Dylan's presentation as "extraordinary" and "eloquent," they've since remained mum on the subject. Nearly as mum as Dylan himself, presumably because they're all still frantically reading the Wikipedia entry on plagiarism.
Archie Grimm has finally got a Twitter account, and wants someone to teach her how to use it. Stephan Roget writes at various locations about various things, including this location about this thing! Follow them on Twitter @StephanRoget, and check out their latest articles here.
You can avoid Bob Dylan's awkward cheating situation by trying something in his wheelhouse, like the harmonica.
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