I’m writing this on the darkest day of the year, December 21, in regards to an Instagram post by SNL comic Pete Davidson that was about the very epitome of darkness.
To be honest, I wouldn’t have thought all that much of his Instagram post, as I sort of come from a family of sardonic and sarcastic people, except that I have actually gone through something similar, around the same time of year in fact, and it really can be a serious matter to deal with, I think. I mean, we all hope that social media is interactive, that the stuff we write on it will generate some kind of reaction which will then go to partially construct part of our “culture,” so to speak, in this day and age in which social media rules our interactive realms. That was part of his reasoning I think, probably, but it can also be threatening if it’s met by the public as an insult and not as such just a water testing, of sorts.
Well, I’m here to say, not that it should warrant saying, that people have been dropping the ball for a while on Pete Davidson, because he’s really funny. That SNL skit where he initially made fun of Texas congressman Dan Crenshaw was BRILLIANT. And part of why I’m not mad at him is that people can really be that mean in real life — I hear brutal jokes about people’s appearance being made all of the time. But since Pete Davidson is in a position of authority, dispatching from Saturday Night Live’s fake news depot the Weekend Update alongside the equally brilliant Michael Che by the way, he’s more culpable? That’s hypocritical. Sure, he’s reaching a larger audience by calling people “gross” on national television, but that in no way precludes that audience from already having been tainted, so to speak, by the social hostility that runs rampant in our country anyway.
So the big issue was with Dan Crenshaw, a former Navy Seal who wears an eye patch, being the butt of one of his jokes (referred to as a “hit man in a porno movie”), but there’s this other guy he calls something like “A penis that morphed into Bruce Willis,” or something like that. Where’s the uproar with that? It doesn’t add up.
Another thing people don’t account for is that Davidson actually makes fun of himself on the skit too, saying “I look like I make vape juice in a bath tub” and then “I look like a Dr. Seuss character that went to prison.”
I mean, THIS IS FUNNY, PEOPLE. He’s making fun of himself and it’s really da** funny, and what’s more EVERYTHING about this skit was perfect. It was a ridiculously well-orchestrated spot from front to back, starting with how he explained his newfound interest in politics by the fact that he moved in with his mom. Then, the pace at which he talks in the episode, also, is crisp and conducive of your attention — there is not a boring one second on the entire thing.
And yet, it left an uproar, making him apologize to Dan Crenshaw on the air the next week (an event which actually saw Crenshaw coming out on the set in a surprise appearance), even though, as I state earlier, at least one worse joke was definitely made on the same skit. Now, logic here would dictate a clear protectiveness of all things military or soldierly, which to an extent I sort of can buy, but do we really want to baby them like that? Is this potent groundswell of “concern” really a good thing for them? Anyway, I believe that what led Davidson to that cathartic Instagram post was, rather than an influx of guilt, a crushing disappointment in his audience and their hypocritical hypersensitivity to the feelings of this Dan Crenshaw figure. From the way the Washington Post reports, it sounds like Saturday Night Live itself made the decision to bring Crenshaw on and apologize, and that the impetus behind it was the realization that Crenshaw was a “war hero,” having lost that eye in combat. Everybody wants to extol themselves as patriots but nobody’s talking about how good of a skit it was that Davidson pulled off, and on an intrinsic level of the show’s very existence, that is a shame.