Roseanne Barr Appears on The Joe Rogan Experience
Ambien, Conservatism, and A Slew of Mental Health Issues, Most People in Politics Claiming to be About ‘Mental Health’ Couldn’t Care Less So Long as Capitulating to the Mob Keeps Them in Power
10/12/18, 8:36 pm EDT
By John Corry, photo from Variety
Comedian Roseanne Barr appeared on the The Joe Rogan Experience yesterday, six months after tweeting what many considered racist *TheMostRacist #SoRacist *TheMostRacist *SoRacist *SoRacist (please read to the end of this article to decry me as a demon) tweet:
FACT: ALL citizens care about the same issues. We just differ on ways to implement the solutions. Don't get divided-remember we are all the same.— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) May 27, 2018
Yeah, okay, what she really said was: ‘Muslim Brotherhood & Planet of the Apes had a Baby’=VJ’, Vj being a reference to former Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, two days after the tweet posted above, but it might as well have been just as controversial. Barr has a history of saying controversial things stretching back some time.
In the months since, Barr has insisted the tweet was meant to comment on certain policies of Jarrett’s which Barr didn’t like, and the fact that Barr thought it ironic that Jarrett was Jewish. In a very public mish-mash, Barr was immediately condemned for the tweet, and fired from her show, the aptly titled Roseanne, which had just been revived on ABC after more than 20 years since its last episode aired in 1997. It was also reported around this time that Barr would soon be appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience to talk about the ordeal in more detail, but she ultimately bowed out.
Until now. In the interview, Rogan grills her on what exactly happened the night she tweeted her life away, what it was like to be in such a high profile public lynching, and much of her life story. Rogan is a longtime friend of Barr’s, and immediately went to her defense when the shit hit the fan. His shows often run over two hours, feature nothing more than non-scripted conversation, and often exceed over a million views on YouTube (which isn’t to mention downloads or listens through other platforms).
As expected, in congruence with her original story, Barr says that she was on Ambien when the tweet was sent, that she was quite the fucked-up as a result, and that she didn’t mean it as anything more than a joke. She insists that what she said wasn’t racist, and that the tweet was blown out of context, at least in part due to Barr’s being a Trump supporter.
Now, I’m not here to make calls on what’s racist and what’s not. Frankly, I think that’s up to the person making that call, meaning: it’s never up to one person or even a group of people to tell me, specifically, what’s racist, racism being an inherently individual way of thinking, and one that boasts a more subconscious process than any process having to do more with any free-will/determinism dichotomy. Racism in the modern sense is really just tantamount to being a bigot for no good reason. People are different, and we all deal with that fact in different ways; when you try to tell someone else how to deal with that, or when you try to force the way you deal with it as the only way anyone can deal with it, that’s racist, or: that’s what puts the ‘ist’ in ‘race’. The intellect will deal with the insufficiencies of its content on its own; given how big it is, and how ‘part of it’ humans are, all one can really do is try not to get its way, and while that’s not to say that one shouldn’t fight racism when it comes up, it is to say that ‘racism’ isn’t so simple that ‘calling it out’ is what’s going to get rid of it–
Meaning: get pissed off when you think some asshole is being a racist piece of shit, but don’t freak out and try to argue irrationality, or mob mentality, as a virtue.
Obviously, Barr’s tweet was pretty shitty. Even with the Ambien and the political points she may have been trying to make, she was making a joke about someone looking like a monkey, which is just a shitty joke. It’s tired. Even outside of the offense, we’ve all heard it before. She tells Rogan that she was really just stoked on the most recent ‘Planet of the Apes’ movie that had just come out at that time, which is kinda funny, but especially funny to finally put together what someone on Ambien may have been thinking after watching that movie (I’ve never been able to figure it out). She also said that the reference was meant to iterate some modern comparisons between that movie and current world events. Either way, however, to say it again: it was a shitty tweet (I hate Twitter), because statements made in 240 characters are far more important than statements made in any other way.
To clarify: what Roseanne tweeted was shitty, and I hold sympathy for those who were brought to offense by it (‘offense’ defined: one-sided subjectivity (and therefore ignorant of potential objectivity) brought about through external misinterpretations of justifiable subjective emotion or objective knowledge).
Many have accused Roseanne of not just this one instance of total douchebaggery, but claim a career of racism and proof that she’s a horrible person.
It is to this point I will proceed.
In the first hour of the Rogan Interview, Roseanne details an event in her childhood which had a big impact on her: she was hit by a car at age 15 and spent many years following in mental institutions. She describes how, following the incident, she became a ‘totally different person’, suddenly sucking at math (which she’d previously excelled at), and walking in the middles of highways. She describes scenes of friends hanging themselves in the hospital at which she stayed, and how nowadays she copes thanks to a refined combination of medication and therapy.
Which isn’t to excuse her actions, but to put them more into focus: Does her history have anything to do with her apparent obsession with helping those with PTSD? Does it give her any possibility of redemption? Does that thought process have any correlation to the mainstream liberal argument for an equal representation of determinism in a world run on free-will over the past century (at least)? Does it explain her INSANE decision to vote for Donald J. Trump in 2016? (No, nothing could explain that.)
But the reaction in the media to her being ‘as she is’ (however objectively ‘shitty’ she may be (and which tends to happen when you’re on Ambien (again: not to lessen the effects of her actions, just to put them into better context))) explains something, a hard truth: people can claim to care about people for nothing more than selfish gain, and not even realize that they’re doing it. This is a tough one because if people are inherently good (Plato, Aristotle), one of the hardest things to do in life is realize when that ‘natural inclination for good’ is accidentally twisted by subconscious ignorance, or a natural proclivity to understand maliciousness or dishonesty as necessarily evils.
I’ve heard people who consider themselves liberal claim that they’re the ones who care about people with mental health issues, that they’re the ones who care about minorities, and I don’t doubt that they do care, but when you have Don Lemon on CNN suggesting that Kanye West’s mom is turning in her grave because her son finds solace with the president of the country, you have to question the potential for a subconscious motive. To clarify (again): I’m not saying that Don Lemon is knowingly driving those with mental health to go farther down the hole, I am saying that his self-riotousness in recognizing that there’s a problem there doesn’t give him the right to disown when he’s missed something, the same way he expects solidarity against Kanye or Roseanne simply because they disagree with him, and specifically not because they’re human (or in ignorance of that).
Roseanne is a person, and so is Kanye, but nothing makes money like demonizing people, and nothing makes you more okay with doing that than believing you’re helping people. That is what they think they’re doing (helping people), but they’re not; what they’re doing is monetizing mental health and trying to etch out what they disagree with through stereotypes and taboos guised as ‘care for the mentally ill’. They’re changing the stereotypes and the taboos, sure, but only in the particulars: the difference is that now we get to pick and choose who’s ‘mentally ill’ depending on whether or not we agree with the person /> a ‘mentally ill’ person pointing at the sky screaming ‘JESUS!’ is an under-represented minority whose voice needs to be heard and documented as fact for all eternity, while the ‘mentally ill’ person playing with apples on trees is a godless heathen (shout-out to muh boy Newton).
Right or wrong, left or right, and ‘crazy’ or not, we all deserve to be heard.
But if we don’t, who decides who does?