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Michael Richards' Downfall and the Sterilization of Society

The fallout after Michael Richards' on-stage breakdown ironically showcases an extent of intolerance which miraculously stands beyond reproach: intolerance for honesty and expressed emotion in a solitary moment of vulnerability. 

Despite a decades-long career spectacularly devoid of any gaffes or blemishes, one isolated moment would ultimately define Richards' career and his legacy in the minds of many: that moment on stage when he shouted pejoratives at hecklers during his performance at Hollywood's Laugh Factory in 2006. 

Of course, those of the school of reason see it very differently. 

Every person is uniquely imperfect, and those imperfections are merely accentuated by one's placement under the spotlight. 

The average person lives out his entire existence outside the limelight, in the sanctuary of his home, the comforts of his selected social group, and the confines of his preferred echo-chamber. 

The average person, therefore, avoids the sharp scrutiny of being nakedly human under the public eye, which is eager to exploit any misstep. 

It is easy for the layman to cast judgment on another fellow's outburst, especially when that layman's personal flaws conveniently evade exposure. 

All of this simply keeps us from being honest about the subject, from operating in the reality of an imperfect world where misguided aspirers ambitiously seek to emulate impossible archetypes that exist only hyperbolically as caricatures for manuscripts, magazines or dramatic effect. 

Placed under adversity or discomfort of any kind, the average person will certainly succumb to temptations that he might otherwise capably overcome. 

The average person occasionally employs words that he later or even instantly regrets, and that is nothing short of being human. 

When faced with an opponent and immense frustration, the average person tends to seek out words that intensely describe the sensation. 

Again, this is only human. 

The popular denunciation of this strictly human phenomenon amounts to sheer naiveté around the nature of the human mind and social interaction; it amounts to a rejection of the human being in his most honest and vulnerable state. 

The disappointment stemming from Richards' on-stage breakdown is attributable to one's imaginative interpretation of his character, one's fantastical idolization of a fellow human being, and the unrealistic assumption that he is something more than human. 

The attending derision that targeted Richards' character, in addition to his words, originates from an unshakable focus on those words, their interpreted meanings, their assumed representation of Richards' character, and the collective self-righteousness of critics who fancy themselves impervious to uncontrollable emotional behavior. 

Ultimately, all of the fanfare projects a radically dishonest picture of life, the human being, and the meaning of tolerance. 

Whereas certain stand-up comedians garner praise for premeditatedly leveraging racial commentary to their benefit, oftentimes at the critical expense of a particular race or demographic, the current status quo — insofar as it is projected, at least — robotically rejects unpremeditated expressions of emotion that reference race. 

This appears congruent with a burgeoning trend of excusing the behavior of so-called victims despite their own actions, excusing the behaviors of some because of the unpopular words of others, and more broadly excusing the behaviors of some with an overwhelming preference for the words of others. 

In this sense, that status quo continues to prioritize words over actions and certain people — those of the so-called protected class — over others who are reportedly privileged

It appears to also prioritize fantasy over reality, setting expectations that are wholly unmeetable, while signaling an unwavering intolerance for all things offensive. 

Ironically, this entire movement prides itself as the paragon of tolerance, which appears to stretch only as far as their agreement. 

Beyond the limit of this agreement, this movement will not cease until every opponent is completely ruined, until every opponent isolates himself from the limelight to avoid offending that status quo, and thence until every aspect of the human experience has been sterilized to avoid offending anyone and to shy away from anything remotely human. 

Of course, that is not tolerance; it is fashion-wear for an agenda hinged to contempt for humanity.


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