Thursday, 6 May 2010

Hollywood Babble On & On #503: Nutless Courage

Welcome to the show folks...

The people running the Comedy Central channel have reached a level of hypocrisy that I didn't think was possible, even for TV executives. Just weeks after folding faster than the Flash on laundry day to thinly veiled threats from radical Islamists, the cable channel has announced that they're developing a new series making fun of Jesus and Christianity.


Now I could go on about the blazing obvious double standard of these very same executives censoring a recent episode of South Park in the name of "religious and cultural sensitivity," only to go on and green-light what can only be interpreted a pretty blatant insult to the religion of 80% of the population of the USA. Other bloggers will probably do a much better expiation of that.

What I'd like to talk to you is try to explain why they did it. It's not necessarily a hatred of Christians, though some can make a compelling case for that with some people in Hollywood. I'm going to explain why this phenomenon affects those who hold no personal animus toward Christians and Christianity.

I call it "Nutless Courage."

Nutless Courage is doing something that will get you pats on the back for your "bravery" from your Hollywood colleagues even though you've done nothing that put anything of yours at risk.

What are the roots of Nutless Courage?

1. EGO. Everyone in Hollywood wants to be considered an artist. They all want to seen by their peers as visionary rebels who are mad, bad, and dangerous to know, instead of the cowardly hacks they really are. They could be like the creators of South Park, and challenge the prevailing shibboleths of people that can fire them, like their Hollywood peers, or people that are willing to kill them, like the guy who stabbed Theo Van Gogh to death. However, being like Trey Parker and Matt Stone can get you fired, or dead, and the Nutless Courageous don't like to take those kinds of real risks. So they lob a few easy shots at Christians and turn for their applause because of....

2. ISOLATION. Folks in Hollywood spend their lives surrounded by people who are either in Hollywood, want to be in Hollywood, or are, for some reason, in awe of people in Hollywood. As long as they pretend to have the same prejudices as their Hollywood peers, they don't have to fear being cast out of the magic kingdom. Differ in their attitudes, and they may find themselves shut out of awards, and even employment. Which is the last thing they want to lose, because their jobs mean they can play with...

3. OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY. One of the key reasons behind Nutless Courage is that the Nutless aren't going to lose their own money. The money comes from investors, banks, and other entities, and if it gets pissed away on... oh, let's just say.... a guaranteed to fail sitcom about Jesus on Comedy Central, it isn't going to cost the people behind it anything. In fact, it's failure is used as a measure of their "forward thinking," and "courage," so they actually want it to fail. This is because when you're among the Nutless, you don't have to be brave, because you have total...

4. SAFETY. Christians don't put car bombs in the parking lots of Viacom HQ because someone insulted their faith. Even the fringe dwelling crackpots of Fred Phelps' Westboro posse don't do violence, being the first to scream for the police to rescue them if there's even a hint of an ass whupping in the air (their own version of nutless courage.) So it's safe for them to go after Christians. They'll be praised as brave, when they're not, because everyone around them professes that same attitude, it's not going to cost them anything, because it isn't their money, nor will the offended parties do anything beyond write a few letters at most, or completely tune out at least.

South Park, and its creators, have consistently shown real courage since the beginning of the show. They've always attacked all sides of any issue, and even directly challenged the attitudes of their Hollywood peers, and the beliefs of people who actually do violence in response to any mockery, or criticism. They have nuts, Comedy Central, doesn't.

Anyway, we can all take comfort in the simple fact that this proposed show won't last long if it makes it to air at all.


  1. Well said.

    Make fun of Islam and you're racist and probably a homophobe to boot.

    Make fun of Christians and you're a cutting edge artist who really knows how to take 'risks'.

    Someone needs to tell these people that that word, 'Risk', doesn't mean what they seem to think it means.

    Call me when someone puts 'Piss Mohammad' on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  2. What a truly tasteless ,insensitive idea from Comedy Central. The media sinks lower yet again.