Art As Much As Comedy – A Review of Sticks and Stones by Dave Chappelle

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Dave Chappelle’s “Sticks and Stones” on Netflix.

When it comes to Hollywood people like Dave Chappelle, I learned about him just like many teens were introduced to him in the mid 90’s, by way of a jeering comedy all about the one taboo that mattered at that time: weed. Half-Baked, an instant cult-classic about cannabis culture lambasted joke after recklessly high joke. It’s all the guys seemed to care or talk about at school, so naturally it would become part of my library of reach when referring to Chappelle’s work. Fast forward nigh on twenty years, and the showman’s landscape has changed. Of course there is the “Cancel Culture,” which is relevant to many stars,  but there is so much more. The #metoo culture, the racist culture,  the PC police, and the phantoms of white supremacy, global warming, conspiring Russians, and Nazi Hitler. Regardless of all these sexy, racy (no pun intended) topics, there is no way an audience member does not feel even slightly awkward and uneasy as Chappelle traipses through the topic of pedophilia and Epstein. In fact the opening salvo just vomits Epstein all over the audience, forcing them to refamiliarize themselves with that faint memory of a name spoken once or twice on the cable news networks. And what now? This name is falling out of Dave’s mouth? What comedian starts a show talking about a serial child rapist that “committed suicide” while gleefully hopeful for a sentencing deal when finally faced with real justice. It makes no sense. Either way, Chappelle does not side with or incite anything by talking about Epstein. The punch line, a thought-full and particular narrative, rounds out to the stoic topic of convo in a quip so sardonic it had me loudly laughing!

Anyway, pedophilia, top of mind. He talks about Michael Jackson, Epstein, R. Kelly. Some of these jokes are quite controversial, and, yet, somehow it seems that there could be nothing more so controversial than talking about the “alphabet people.” The LGBTQ…. I’ve oft heard that there is some sort of Gay Mafia, you know that some one like Kevin Spacey may have been associated with. But, in the end, there seems to be a mafia for everyone. So whatever or whomever these individuals supposedly are, one has to wonder why the myth prevails. So much so Dave must retaliate. Some of the jokes he told about the dynamics and personalities of the “alphabet people” were nigh spot on from my personal experience, but the ones that didn’t land, I could understand where he’d get the idea. As a member of the “Alphabet People,” I didn’t find anything offensive or hurtful in his show. Perhaps the most controversial, though, was the way he laid into the “T”s, as we know: transexuals. Nevertheless, the most important thing that stands out about this comedy act, to me, is the way Chappelle takes his listless audience from topic-to-controversial-topic, in the most lewd, politically incorrect, rampage, ushering them from genuine laughter, to edge the of discomfort, through thought-provoking and fleeting enlightenment, to fits of applause.

I appreciate that Chappelle is able to take on such major topics in a way not many comedians can or do (a la George Carlin or Bill Hicks). Dave is, obviously, no stranger to controversary, and has stayed away from Hollywood for many years, most recently from what I understand, the second time he’d been away in as many years. Still, I can’t help but feel that Chappelle doesn’t just get in trouble with minority groups and descent people, he probably gets in trouble with producers, politicians and the likes. He ambles in and out of topics like racism, abortion, and even Trump all while jarring the subconscious. Speaking of haranguing the people in power,  in one of the epilogues to the show, where Dave lets audience members ask questions, he goes into this story about how Chris Tucker visited with him and brought his ‘friends’ over, namely: Kamala Harris, the then governor of California, and some important news anchor.  Barrack Obama was a focal character of this yarn, and again appeared later in the show to round out the punchlines. Albeit many of these individuals are now mixed up in some stuff in Washington, the Epstein case being among one of the primary leads. But even addressing a topic like gun control can go either way at the dinner table, and ultimately, leave a bad taste in ones mouth. And let’s face it, as funny as his solution to gun control is, it’s still controversial to the virtuously sensitive. Anyway, this is masterful art. I think one of the most brilliant comedic pieces ever written that addresses present societal conditions in a remarkable commentary the audience can’t believe it agrees.

 

Sticks and Stones by Dave Chappelle, an Netflix Comedy Event, is available for viewing now.

“Comedy As Much As Art: A Review of ‘Sticks and Stones’ by Dave Chappelle,” is written by Michael Aaron Casares. All rights reserved. 

 

 

“A Quiet Day at School” by Michael Aaron Casares, Austin, TX

I found this on the internet. It was written about 2010, and published in 2011. If I had to go back and re-write it, I would. I feels a bit sophomoric (pun intended) in retrospect. But, it manages to convey my message. Enjoy.

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topic: 9/11 medium: TEXT

as submitted for the “9/11” Open Call

I was a sophomore.
It was after first period,
my second period class
was also homeroom
and lunch was next
so the T.V. was playing
in every classroom
from that point on.
As we all watched CNN,
FOX or MSNBC or local news
for updates and live minute-to-minute
coverage of the twin towers under attack
we wondered, Was it a bomb?
Did they shoot a missile into the building?
The reporter said it was a—
I saw on live television the second tower struck
by a winged entity shadowy and fast.
A brilliant plume of black dust and fire,
a chorus of gasps and murmurs.
People were afraid, because America
didn’t get attacked, and blood never spilled
on its soils. The fear ran deep.
Nobody had much to say that day,
we children more confused,
our teachers composed,
some…

View original post 184 more words

Augmentation Laud

Piercing beyond the veil,
the line of sight sees through
the projected understanding
constrained with at birth.
What was once flat, was raised
to depth, then tangible, and now
new perspectives are pushing
through, and changing every
truth given, and changing every
mind that once understood.
The fireflies phasing in and out
of existence, leave residual energy,
their light eternal between dimensions,
their light eternal to separate the thickness
of the dark forest. Voices rise, confrontational
and loathsome, angry and expectant. The
insatiable hunger for lucidity has escaped
them and as the trees become the forest,
their resonance becomes shadows
that haunt that tormented land.
The shadows become sentient,
and lounge around the living room
opting for leather couch and faux
as the focal point of their nexus,
desperate if not thankful for the living.
And the corners will continue to lie
to the eyes, but only now the eyes see
the truth. It is understood the omissions
that have stripped humanity of half
its natural gifts, leaving the strong
to endure the lack of tolerance,
leaving the confused to wash away
in the seas of apathy, and leaving
the weak to conform to self-immolation,
shall be spoken, and a restoration return
as the shadows become space, and the
torn fabric of humanity’s mind become
the stars, projecting the light needed
to rise the weighted vessels, shackled
and heavy, to transcend the snares
of dual energies’ magnetic gravity,
to ascend higher in the depth of
understanding, a welcome to the
eyes of discernment and wisdom,
and to reconstitute identity,
a declaration of independence
from the mortal coil binding us,
and a return of the memory lost
to us as we breached the walls of
this dimension, fully well knowing
that to succeed all we had to do
was remember.

“Augmentation Laud” is written by Michael Aaron Casares. All rights reserved.

Patreon Ready To Go

Good evening, dear readers. I hope you are well. Good news on the internet front. I’ve pretty much completed the overhaul of my Patreon site. Much of the free content is a reflection of what you read on The Root of Many Returns by way of poetry and short fiction. My ultimate goal is to provide readers with more stuff to read, and enough ideas to appeal to many. The idea behind the Patreon site is to give readers the ability to donate to my work if they’d like, but to also get something back in return. I designed this to be cost effective for those wanting to monetarily support my creative efforts.

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Join for $1 today: www.patreon.com/macasares

Granted I’ve just started to gain your favor, and only begun to prove my worthiness as a writer you want to read, this is the main reason I decided on this model. You can show your appreciation by joining my Patreon, and for only $1 you’ll help me grow on a foundation I’ve worked a number of years to create. As a way of saying thanks, I’ll share extra content I won’t necessarily share here on The Root of Many Returns. Stuff like rough drafts, behind the scenes material, original video content (there’s already a lot posted), digital downloads, serialized novels, novel chapters, novel rough drafts, and stuff like that. My goal is to get to where I’m producing at least one book per year. As you can tell, there are several modes I’m looking to explore. I’ll gladly have you along and am happy to have that added dimension to your experience. Check it out. Most things are updated, any poems and some of the fiction for patrons only will be become public once I share them here.

 

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There is a wide selection of original video content available on my Patreon now, as well as behind the scenes material, digital downloads, novel chapters, story artwork, and much more. So, be sure to check it out!

 


Visit today: http://www.patreon.com/macasares