On Tuesday, May 30, comedian Kathy Griffin released a picture of herself holding an effigy of President Donald Trump’s bloody head giving the appearance that she had severed his head and was holding her “trophy”. There are so many things I could say about this ridiculous “artistic expression”. First, while I am not a professional art critic I am confident that this “expression” cannot begin to compare with art. I have seen some of the works of artistic greats like Michelangelo, Van Gogh, and Da Vinci and I think it is safe to say that, “Kathy Griffin, you are no Michelangelo!” This was not an artistic expression. This was an expression of disgust about someone Ms. Griffin hates! Any other interpretation of this “expression” is either naïve or an attempt to justify something that is atrocious.
Let’s be honest – If Keith Oberman and Chelsea Clinton think you have done something bad when you have criticized or belittled President Trump then you have really messed up.
Now, Ms. Griffin has apologized. “I’m sorry I held what appeared to be the severed head of President Trump complete with blood dripping all over his face in my hand and had a professional photographer take pictures of it and then had it leaked to TMZ so I could get a lot of attention for myself and show the world how relevant I am and get a lot of ‘Likes’. It was in poor taste but I am a comedian and this was just a ‘funny thing’ I did and I didn’t mean that I want anyone to actually do that to the President (who I loath and detest and wish he had never been born much less elected President). I’m sorry that people are so sensitive that they can’t take a little joke about killing the President. After all, it was just in good fun. Lighten up, people! I’m truly sorry and I apologize from the bottom (not really) of my heart.”
Now before someone starts having the “epizootics and the vapors” as my grandparents used to call them, I know that Ms. Griffin did not say all that I wrote above. However, that is what I felt like she truly meant. I know that it is dangerous to assume what someone else means when they say something but I don’t think I am that far off in my observation. Honestly, does anyone think she would have apologized if there had been no backlash? Does anyone think that had she been complimented and applauded and congratulated for “freely expressing herself through her art” that she would have apologized? Does anyone really think she is truly sorry for what she did? I’m sorry but I don’t think she is. I believe she is only sorry she got called out on it. She is only sorry she got caught. Had the mainstream media and her other actor friends supported her I believe I can say with almost 100% certainty that she would not have apologized. I believe she would have gone on the talk show circuit and all the morning news shows bragging about how relevant she is and how good she is at what she does. And had there been just a few people who didn’t like her picture she would have simply written them off as being too prudish or lacking an appreciation for her comedic talent. But since they didn’t come to her rescue she came to a microphone and apologized. “Sorry, but not for the picture but for the negative publicity.” “Sorry, not sorry.”
What if Jeff Foxworthy had done the same thing with President Obama? What do you think would have happened to him? People would have been calling for the end of his career. His address where he and his family lives would have been published and people would have gathered outside his home and threatened his family with bodily harm and possibly death had he “expressed his art” in that form. The outage would have been so much greater had it been Jeff but it was Ms. Griffin and she may get a little righteous indignation but that is about it.
Some would say that I’m upset because I don’t agree with Ms. Griffin’s politics. Whoever says that is ignorant! This has nothing to do with politics. I would be just as angry and someone done the same thing to President Obama or any other human! It has to do with the fact that Ms. Griffin did this with no regard for anyone but herself and her own self-promotion. She wanted the controversy in order to boost her own career. She just did not expect this kind of pushback. She expected some but not to this extent.
I’m upset – no, that is not true. As my 97 year old Mama Rena would say, “I’m just flat out mad” that Ms. Griffin would do something like that and my grandchildren would be exposed to it. Now before anyone says anything dumb like “They see worse on TV” you need to know that my grandchildren don’t. What they watch is monitored by their parents (as it should be) and they are not allowed to watch such garbage. But when Ms. Griffin put this out she knew it would be shared all over the place including social media. She knew it would hit Facebook and people would be reading it. Normally, anything on my Facebook page is fine for my grandchildren to see but every now and then something pops up like this that they shouldn’t be exposed to and that is what happened. My oldest grandson was looking over his mom’s shoulder at something on my Facebook page and saw Ms. Griffin picture with President Trumps’ effigy. It greatly disturbed him and now me and his parents have to try to explain what this is all about and why someone would want to do that to the President. I got so mad at Ms. Griffin that I (to quote Mama Rena again) “wanted to cloud up and rain all over her!”
But now everything is ok! She has apologized and now we move on with life and forget the whole thing. Right? Not so fast! I don’t think so. There is something wrong with our country when we simply let something like this continue to happen. How many people, including very famous people, have called for the death of President Trump? And they have done so with impunity. IT MUST STOP! Not because of politics but because it is just not right!
Why do we continue to give people a pass for this kind of stupidity? I believe it is because we have lost our moral compass as a nation. Now everything is accepted and if it is not accepted then those who fail to accept it are not relevant and contemporary. I believe in freedom of speech but I also believe in doing so with a standard of morality. What are we teaching our children? What if our children did the same thing with their toys that Ms. Griffin did with her picture? Would we think it is cute and that they were “freely expressing themselves artistically” if they brought in Barbie’s head with read crayon all over it and said, “Look, Mommy, I cut off Barbie’s head!”? Would we say, “You are just so creative and talented!” If you would say that I would like to suggest you take some parenting classes! And quick! Shouldn’t we expect adults to at least act in the same way we expect our kids to act?
To paraphrase – What Ms. Griffin did was not only in poor taste but it was also wrong and she should never have done it in the first place. As a people and as a nation I pray we get back to a set of higher morals that will help make this kind of “expression” the exception and not the standard. We do need revival in our nation! And quick!