The rubber-faced comic who saved the world by blowing up both the Stay-Puffed Marshmallow Man and an insane golf-course rodent is now the latest pop culture symbol of All That Is Wrong With The World.
At least if you buy into a commentary piece published by the StarTribune titled “What world, exactly, was Bill Murray presenting? His show “New Worlds,” which visited Minneapolis last week, seemed to leverage classic literature and music to celebrate — racism and sexism? Or at least that’s how it looked until we left.”
It seems Murray is on tour with a cabaret show that isn’t always giving audiences what they want.
In the article Murray’s gig is accused of promoting the standard litany of sins: racism, sexism, cultural appropriation, general insensitivity, etc.
Normally this dog bites man story would not be worth a post, but Murray is a Cultural Icon with deep ties to Hollywood, SNL & David Letterman to name just a few.
So when someone with such a liberal/progressive pedigree is singled out for a visit by the PC Khmer Rouge well, that’s worth a peek:
It started with nostalgia. My husband and I grew up with “Saturday Night Live” and goofy movies of the 1980s. When we saw that Bill Murray would be in town touring “New Worlds,” a show billed as an evening of American literature and music, we thought humor interwoven with culture would offer a few hours of escapism.
Murray started reading excerpts from Ernest Hemingway, George Plimpton, Billy Collins, James Thurber and Mark Twain. I enjoy these authors, but many of the segments Murray read were chosen as if to offend, as if Murray were snickering at us, saying, “I can say this stuff because I’m reading great literature!” With Murray’s skilled recitation, we were transported to a Parisian cafe with an older artist pressuring a young model to dine with him and then come back to his studio, followed by a trip to the Mississippi with Huck and Jim. Murray read not just any selection in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” but the most painful section in which Huck lightheartedly diverts the slave hunters away from Jim (submerged in the river at this point) with his tall tale. The scene that includes the N-word 10 or 12 times and portrays the child, Huck, coming across as the clever savior of his elder, Jim. As Murray read the passage to the 99.9 percent white audience, he seemed to relish the potential of offense.
All the way home we speculated whether Murray was clueless, racist/sexist, or exhibiting such subtle dry and ironic humor that the message got lost to us in translation. (emphasis added) Nostalgia had lured us to the theater and nostalgia as in — “Make America(n literature) Great Again” — is what we got.
So the author of the commentary went to a theater expecting to enter the usual safe space womb and, horror of horrors, ended up being treated to “Transgressive Performance Art” and not liking it one bit.
Welcome to Deplorable World sweetie.
Too bad you missed the point.