Why Paula Deen was (accidentally) good for America, if not its waistlines

Categories: Funny Ha Ha

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As we all know by now, gluttony diplomat Paula Deen was fired by the Food Network last week after some weird details surfaced involving a plantation-themed wedding, where Deen allegedly wanted "a bunch of little niggers to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around."

Yes, this is terrible. But as Jessica Williams from The Daily Show put it: "Paula Deen's words aren't hurting black people anywhere near much as her recipes are." While this is most likely the end of Deen, her exit has granted us a brief moment to look at the two issues Americans can never have a sober conversation about: racism and obesity. And as with any other untouchable subject, the only people really moving the debate forward are comedians.

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There's an inevitable moment at almost any standup comedy show where the comic on stage will make a viscous joke about black or fat people, and without fail, all those who don't fit into this category will look to the one or two people who do, and check to see if they're laughing. If they are laughing (either out of awkwardness or sincerity), everyone else will. If they're sitting with arms crossed and heads shaking, the audience will give the obligatory "Ooooooh."

Either way, whether the comic was delivering a brilliant commentary or just being a dick, talking about these unmentionables through comedy penetrates the minds of an audience in a way that no politician or pundit could ever hope to achieve. It's a secret back door to the critical-thinking part of the brain. Even with the "ooooooh"s, there's still that four-to-six-second moment where the audience takes the statement in and chews on it for a bit.

As the whitest boy from the whitest part of the Midwest, I'm really not qualified to comment on racism (my home town had only one black citizen, and he was adopted into a white family), but I do come from the state that introduced the world to fried butter on a stick, so I know a thing or two about fat people. And just like people living in a place where real racism exists, we weren't really allowed to talk about obesity. Yet whenever a standup comedian came through town, all of the dumpy farmers would jiggle their jowls with laughter at the jokes about how they were eating themselves into an early grave.

And comedians will happily take on that role. Long before Paula Deen was exposed as a Southern simpleton with a nostalgia for owning humans, standups were having a blast with the hypocrisy of Deen being a closet diabetic while teaching Americans how to poison themselves with food on TV every day.

"I'm very concerned about celebrity chef Paula Deen, because her recipes are like a suicide note," Maria Bamford said last year. "'Ya, uh, we gonna be makin' some Sweet Dreams. Little balls a butta, shortnin', Crisco, fat-back-crackles, blubba, margereene . . . each day I wake to a fresh nightmare . . . Then we gonna roll that in some powdered sugar, candy-corn, gummy stix, salt . . . don't look for me, I've made a plan and I'm following through with it . . . then we're gonna drizzle that in some hot-fudge, heavy cream, whip-cream, sour-cream. Bon appetit, and goodbye.'"

I'm going to go out on a Caucasian limb here and say that overeating is a much bigger problem in America than racism. Now, that statement may piss some people off so much that it won't matter if I try and explain myself with any data about health-care costs over unjustified incarceration rates; some of you will have already stopped listening and labeled me an asshole. And that's fine. My only point is that if the same statement were wrapped in a joke and presented to you an hour into a comedy set with a roomful of laughing people, you may not have agreed with me, but you would give the idea some credence.

And this is why we need people like Paula Deen.

Without hysterical characters to spoon-feed comedians their jokes on things like drug abuse (Lindsay Lohan), sex addiction (Tiger Woods) and mental retardation (Sarah Palin...I was talking about her son!), we wouldn't be able to really get anywhere in the conversation. We certainly can't rely on academics and politicians to talk about delicate social issues, because no one will listen to them. So why is this dipshit intellectual still rambling on about this, you ask? Fair point. Why don't we just click ahead to the next page and take a look at some of the best comedy videos about Paula Deen?



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14 comments
taleeb9
taleeb9

I use "Nigger" a couple hundred times in my controversial book "The Un-Civil War: Blacks vs Niggers" and haven't had any backlash. Oh, that's right...I'm black. By the way, Paula was robbed by a Nigger but has Blacks working for her.

bugsycook
bugsycook

Be honest with yourselves, how many non-black people can honestly say the have never used the "N" word  at least once in their life or had the word float through their head? If everybody who has ever used the "N" in their life-time were to lose their job because of it this country would be about 75% unemployed.

Paula Deen should have done what everbody else does: Do not admit to it, and that goes for all the so called sanctimonious liberal jerkoffs too who are the 1st to cast the 1st stone.

Doug Hubka
Doug Hubka

The Right Wing always denies that attacks on Obama are Racist. Paula has made it very clear that Racism is alive and well in the USA. The simple truth is a lot of people can't stand it that a black is our President. Thank you Paula for making this clear.

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve topcommenter

She was shitcanned by the Food Network, then by Smithfield.  How long will it be before QVC, the Cooking  Channel and CMT go after her?

Michael Sink
Michael Sink

Westword. You have lost your fucking mind. How can you in all seriousness post a story that argues being fat is more of a threat than racism? That is absolutely absurd. Have you guys been bought out by the Koch Brothers? Because you been postiing alot of really stupid stories as of late.

Urban ProJex
Urban ProJex

Paulas cool and I'm black lol I'm sure she has never hung a nigga so I'd give her a pass she can freakin cook lets appreciate that about Paula black folks has heard much worse.... lol

Chris Weis
Chris Weis

what do you expect fro a lady that is 65, raised in the rural south. you should speak to my grandpa. he is worse. That doesn't excuse it, and I love the lady and her food, but to be fair once she found out she was diabetic she has started and always offered healthy options, just not known for it, her brother is really the one who is much worse.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Her actions wouldn't even bring a laugh if it were a 'Saturday Night Live' skit !!!

Good riddance !

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

U$A = a Nation Founded upon Racism, Bigotry and Genocide


bugsycook
bugsycook

I think just about every nation since the beginning of time has been founded upon Racism, Bigotry, Genocide and let's not forget Greed. Nothing new. The history of Western Civilization is complete with it.

American Indians tribes tried to exterminate other Indian tribes for control of territory. They also enslaved the defeated and captured. Tribes of the Oklahoma territory owned black slaves. America Indian guides out of greed led America troops in battle to other Indian tribes.

The Spanish also enslaved and extermiated indigenous peoples wherever they went. The larger African tribes sold the smaller African tribes to the white slavers, in Rwanda the Hutus committed genocide against the Tutsis.

Racism, Bigotry, Genocide, Greed aren't just a "White thing"

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@bugsycook ... the old "but other nations did it too" pathetic excuse.

Epic FAIL!

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