Home Lifestyle RAMBLINGS: Chris Rock right on society’s slights

RAMBLINGS: Chris Rock right on society’s slights

Watched the comedian Chris Rock’s live special on Netflix recently. Amidst the “colorful” language, I think the comedian laid out some interesting and often disturbing truths in our present society.

The comedian noted that he thought the country’s greatest addiction is the obsession for attention, however it can be attained.

Social media, he said, now gives a world-wide audience for the committing of good deeds or the most evil deeds imaginable. Thousands of responses give immediate re-enforcement and the perpetrator gets the highly desired attention.

In retrospect, when I was growing up and as a young adult, the most attention I wanted was the approval and hopefully a sense of pride I could give my parents. I was far from being athletic or particularly talented in any field. The most attention-grabbing thing for me was to try making good grades.

Growing up in a small Southern town, there were not a lot of outlets for attention — and if you did capture the attention of anyone, it had better been for something positive.

This attention addiction makes me think of the poetic lines (from Emily Dickinson):

“I’m nobody.
Are you nobody too?
Then that is a pair of us.
Don’t tell anybody.
They would banish us you know.”

According to Rock, humility is no longer a common or desired trait.

The comedian also spoke about the “victimization of society.” He said, “Everybody is a victim nowadays; it crosses every race, cultural background, and even sexual orientation.”

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Meghan Markel, he noted, was a good example of using “victimization” when she said she was surprised at the racism she experienced when she married Prince Harry.

“How could she have expected anything else?” he said. “England’s monarchy ruled over history’s most extensive colonial empire the world has ever known.”

I guess we can all say we have been “victims“ at one time or another in our lives if we choose to dwell on it … just part of life — but how we react to it is often more important to our future emotional development than the act or acts which may have contributed to our feelings of victimization.

Some of our greatest comedians and comediennes have come from marginalized groups that have experienced more than their share of discrimination and racism, i.e. the Jewish and African American communities. Maybe many of them learned at an early age how to use humor to deflect negativity and handle less than pleasant situations. So, Rock on, Chris.

Helen Cox is a former journalist and educator in Richmond County.