September 29, 2012

Kennedy Center Honors not vibrant enough

The Kennedy Center Honors are an annual orgy of self-congratulation aimed at the PBS pledge drive demographic. This year's award winners, for example, include David Letterman, Dustin Hoffman, ballerina Natalia Makarova, Led Zeppelin, and old bluesman Buddy Guy.  (You can see the marketing logic: "Zep will bring in the big-giving white male 45-65 demo, but they are white, so we've got to find some old black bluesman to give an award to, too.")

Not surprisingly, nobody at the Kennedy Center noticed they weren't handing out enough awards to meet their implicit Latino quota. From Washington Post:
Michael M. Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center, apologized for strong language that he used in a recent tense conversation with Felix Sanchez, chairman of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, when Sanchez criticized the lack of Latino artists receiving Kennedy Center Honors. 
“I am writing to apologize for the language I used during our telephone call. It was an unfortunate choice of words, and I deeply regret using them in frustration during our conversation,” Kaiser wrote ... 
Sanchez has previously quoted Kaiser as saying “f--- yourself” and abruptly hanging up the telephone when Sanchez pressed his point in the Sept. 14 conversation. 
Kaiser told The Washington Post last week that he had felt upset during the conversation because he understood Sanchez to be insinuating that he is a racist. ...
“Much of my career has been spent working with artists of color,” Kaiser said in the letter. “I have been passionate about presenting excellence and div­ersity in artistic and educational programming, and Latino arts and programs have enjoyed a dynamic presence.” 

A vibrant presence too, no doubt.

Here are some Kennedy Center Honoree demographics from the Washington Post earlier this year:
Total number of male honorees in the history of the honors: 133
Total number of female honorees: 52
Number of years in which only one woman was an honoree: 20
Total number of African American honorees in the history of the honors: 39 ...

Here's the complete list.

You'll notice that this earlier WaPo article on demographics didn't bother to count up the number of Hispanics, either.

Basically, white people don't want to employ black people, they want to give them awards, and vice-versa for Mexicans.

55 comments:

Mr. Anon said...

"This year's award winners, for example, include David Letterman,..."

They have an award for being a creepy douche?

Anonymous said...

nobel peace prize for all obama voters

Anonymous said...

There is any mexican-american that can win ANY prize?

Anonymous said...

I saw an infographic on this in a sidebar of a completely unrelated article on nationaljournal.com and was wondering if somebody was making a stink about this. They had a little stick figure to represent each person. Their count included latino/hispanic/raza, but interestingly, all of the stick figures were black. How racist.

Auntie Analogue said...

Except for military decorations, all of the U.S. government awards to civilians had their coinage debased long ago - long before Donald Rumsfeld was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom; and many a Kennedy Center honor has been nothing more than a sop to devotées of the Multi-Culti-Diversity Fairytale Narrative.

But even military decorations have been increasingly handed out like so many CrackerJack prizes: look a the parsimony of fruit salad on the left breast of the top officers who led vast armies and massive fleets and won the largest and most complex of all wars, WWII - men such as General Eisenhower, Admiral Nimitz, Admiral Halsey, General Bradely - and you see maybe three, at most four, rows of ribbons; then look at the nine, ten, and eleven rows of ribbons on General Petraeus and Admiral McMullen, guys who've never led more than a handful of divisions and, by comparison with WWII's enormous fleets, small naval forces, and then only in what have chiefly been constabulary campaigns - these guys wear so many ribbons that, with no more room to stack them on the left breast, the rows of them have begun stacking up above their uniforms' right breast.

Wasn't it Melanie Phillips who snarked, "All must have prizes"? She really hit that nail on its head.

But what should we expect in an age in which young children's sports are rigged to have no winners, and the whole adult world is schemed to lavish awards - including racial and gender preferences - upon innumerable undeserving? To paraphrase an aphorism on today's ludicrous suicidal immigration waves: When you reward the third-rate, you are third-rate.

stari_momak said...

My favorite year was when they had Rhiana, oops Beyonce perform in honor of Tina Turner. The song, of course, wasProud Mary, written by those white dudes from who were, like so much else at the time 'Born in the Bay Area'.

But I'm not sure it's pledge time yet -- usually they'll break out Celtic Woman and various Israel oriented travel shows for that.

Francis said...

It's just too late for Hispanics. Blacks have had the "Entertainer of Color" category wrapped up for sixty years now.

Anonymous said...

Offtopic:

Steve, just read your "Disgrace"-review and I think, I have a movie for you. If you haven't seen it already, you should watch Lars von Trier's "Manderlay"! It's about race, slavery and liberals! It's funny and the single best movie about this themes ever done! Watch it, I think you will be suprised!

garyinfh said...

So, to quote one of Tom Wolfe's characters in The Bonfire of the Vanities (Sheldon Lennert, an aide to the mayor of NYC):

[The Mayor:] "Whadda we got this morning, Sheldon?"

[Sheldon:] "Mainly plaques for blacks."

Anonymous said...

So, basically blacks are the minstrel/entertainer class of modern America (self-parodying to the nines with rhythmic foot-and-hand movements, jibber-jabber and 'quaint' acting out), whilst hispanicsa are the new slave class - little, brown munchkin like people from the forests of darkest Mexico, hard working, drone-like and silent, but alas, no 'amusing' entertainment type antics, not even 'comic' acting out and obstreptuosness.

Methinks that this all smacks of ancient Rome, dog-and-pony shows and bread and circuses. Look at the gifts that HBD and open immigration have given to America, the ideal worker-drone, alas discovered 300 years too late in the day, silent, sullen and invisible, and the ever amusing, ever antic-filled, attention seeking, entertainers.
Bread and Circuses.
What possibly is there not to like?

Anonymous said...

There is any mexican-american that can win ANY prize?

You mean aside from the lighter weight divisions in boxing? No, not really.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I love the humor you fuse into your posts. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Actually...... Buddy Guy is the ONLY person on the list who really deserves the honor. I realize most of you crackers aren't into the Blues, but that is entirely your loss.

Anonymous said...

I love it when the Latins call themselves or get called "people of color." Half of Hispanics consider themselves white, and rightly so, especially since a great majority of that half (like Steve's favorite Aztec princess, Xochitl) are quite literally as white as an Irishman. And the other half, the highly Amerind admixed half, either doesn't WANT to be "a people of color" because they don't want to be lumped in with the blacks or they are simply too poor and destitute to care about designations one way or the other unless it gives them freebies.

No, the only people using "people of color" to describe Mexicans and other Hispanics are the white and Hispanic elites who get cultural brownie points and cushy government-sponsored jobs to use phrases like "people of color."

PA said...

-- "Much of my career has been spent working with artists of color,” Kaiser said in the letter. “I have been passionate about presenting excellence and diversity in artistic and educational programming, and Latino arts and programs have enjoyed a dynamic presence.”

Not being a liberal means never having to abase yourself in this manner.

Anonymous said...

"This year's award winners, for example, include David Letterman,..."

Mr Anon:"They have an award for being a creepy douche?"

Only if they are really funny.

playrink said...

"obstreptuousness" is an apt coinage anchoring a pitch-perfection.

Anonymous said...

"Basically, white people don't want to employ black people, they want to give them awards, and vice-versa for Mexicans."

White people wanna employ blacks in government. Better to have blacks rob us in an orderly fashion than in a riotous fashion.

Anonymous said...

"There is any mexican-american that can win ANY prize?"

Maybe Mexicans won few Oscars but the trophy was modeled on a Mexer. It should be called Oscarez.

Anonymous said...

I suppose the Kennedy Center could give honors to, um...um... Wow, I can't think of a single living Latino who has made a discernable impact on mass culture. How about that Ugly Betty chick, or who was that actress who said she was disappointed when she sprung the $400 for a 23andMe genetic profile and found out she was 98% Euro Spanish? I suppose they could give the award to Raul Grijalva who played that crazy killer in Machete. Wait, that guy's actually the whitey hating politician who wants more Gringo gold.

Hey, this awards giving stuff is hard work.

Anonymous said...

"nobel peace prize for all obama voters"

Since the smartest people don't go into basic research anymore it's difficult to give away the other prizes, too. Soon the Chemistry and Physics prizes will be awarded to grant administrators and funding agencies.

pat said...

Basically, white people don't want to employ black people, they want to give them awards, and vice-versa for Mexicans.

Maybe the best single sentence you've written so far this year.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

I have no regard for these awards.

Letterman?

Anonymous said...

I've solved this problem after much mental anguish. Change Tom Cruise to Tom Cruz and then give him a Kennedy Center Honor. Risky Business was really good.

Big Bill said...

The people who built, support, and attend Lincoln Center get to pick who they want.

If Mexicans and Puerto Ricans ever spend money on the arts and build their own Arts Palace in NYC, LA, or Miami they can pick who they want. As it is now, however, they really don't make a cultural contribution of note.

Alternatively, they can just go back home to Mexico and Puerto Rico. All the honorees are either Mexican or Puerto Rican down there.

Gringos need not apply.

Big Bill said...

I can see it now. Live, on stage at Lincoln Center. Bill Dana: "Hello. My name Jose Jimenez." That would really light Sanchez up!

Anonymous said...

(You can see the marketing logic: "Zep will bring in the big-giving white male 45-65 demo, but they are white, so we've got to find some old black bluesman to give an award to, too.")


Those old guys love the blues players too, and bands composed of middle-aged White guys tend to play that style of blues rock. Lots of people under 30 are still into Led Zeppelin.

Anonymous said...

OT:

Vibrancy in the San Gabriel Mountains as Sierra Club types wring their hands over the mountains and rivers getting trashed by the teeming hordes from surrounding areas.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-trashed-river-20120930,0,5547567.story

Arturo Ochoa Sulbererro said...

2013 Kennedy Centre Honours: José Feliciano and Erik Estrada may finally get their due. Viva la Raza!

DaveinHackensack said...

"So, to quote one of Tom Wolfe's characters in The Bonfire of the Vanities (Sheldon Lennert, an aide to the mayor of NYC):

[The Mayor:] "Whadda we got this morning, Sheldon?"

[Sheldon:] "Mainly plaques for blacks."


You prompted me to pick up my copy of Bonfire of the Vanities last night read that scene again. At his best, Wolfe is funnier than Waugh. Maybe more prophetic too. Consider this bit from the scene:

"OK, so much for McCoy. Now, what's Bishop What's-his-name want?

"Bottomley. It's about that Episcopal church, St. Timothy's. The Bishop is black, incidentally."

"The Episcopalians have a black Bishop?"

"Oh, they're very liberal," said Sheldon, rolling his eyes. "It coulda just as easy been a woman or a Sandinista. Or a lesbian. Or a lesbian Sandinista".


Flash forward a couple of decades, and Episcopalians in Los Angeles elect an openly lesbian bishop.

mel belli said...

[Is there] any mexican-american that can win ANY prize?

Somewhere along the line Lee Trevino should have won an award for most entertaining sportsman.

not a hacker said...

most of you crackers aren't into the Blues, but that is entirely your loss.

I wish you lefties would make up your minds. George Carlin told us we're not allowed to like the Blues because we just don't have what it takes to appreciate them.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dcr8dm9Prkk

smead jolley said...

"I have been passionate about ...'

He's also duly feminized himself.

Svigor said...

Basically, white people don't want to employ black people, they want to give them awards, and vice-versa for Mexicans.

Hahahahahahahahahahaha!

Anonymous said...

The movie "People I know" starring Al Pacino and Kim Basinger is a little like Eyes Wide Shut in that it talks about big city multi-ethnic politics, black mail, prostitution, murder, and after hours boom boom rooms that the power elites who are connected allegedly use.

Was made before Elliot Spitzer was taken down as governor of NY over a prostitutionn scandal (by the way if he was the D.C. brothel's 9th most powerful client how come no enterprising MSM reporter has never sought out the identities of clients 1 through 8?).

Buried by the critics ... gee I wonder why?

Like Eyes Wide Shut and They Live it is pretty damn dark... like a darker seamier version of Bonfire of the Vanities if written by a total cynic without a sense of humor.

Surprised it got made...

Anonymous said...

"most of you crackers aren't into the Blues, but that is entirely your loss."

blacks don't listen to it anymore.

Anonymous said...


If Mexicans and Puerto Ricans ever spend money on the arts and build their own Arts Palace in NYC, LA, or Miami they can pick who they want. As it is now, however, they really don't make a cultural contribution of note.

Alternatively, they can just go back home to Mexico and Puerto Rico. All the honorees are either Mexican or Puerto Rican down there.

Gringos need not apply.


It's WHITE or mostly-White Mexicans and Puerto Ricans that get the awards, usually. Indios and high-indio mestizos just don't inspire or entertain anyone, even their fellows. They are generally dopey low energy people and not atractive to anyone.

Also note no Mexican is going to go over in PR or vice versa. They hate each other more than they hate gringos as a rule.

I made the mistake of putting up a Gloria Estefan poster at a place full of mexisteezers once. They defiled it promptly.

Anonymous said...

'Crackers' are almost all the blues audience now. The blacks old enough to like it are all dead now.

Anonymous said...

laugh all you want at mexicans but mana is a great band.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pkWeWDn25I&feature=share&list=PLE178FA4FE3EB0F56

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5VfcCLIvjU&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRK8h7jjXRk&feature=related

Anonymous said...

Mana is a great band. They are also a white band. Seen pictures?

And, as anyone who has been to a blues or jazz club in So Cal can tell you, young blacks just don't go in for blues or jazz these days. Maybe it's different in the south?

Anonymous said...

Once again, everything you need to embed a link. Read closely. A lot more people will view your links.

http://www.w3schools.com/tags/tag_a.asp

http://www.w3schools.com/tags/tryit.asp?filename=tryhtml_link

This is elearning in action.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

""This year's award winners, for example, include David Letterman,...""

""Mr Anon:"They have an award for being a creepy douche?"""

Only if they are really funny."

So why is Letterman getting it then? He's not really funny. He's not even funny. He has some funny writers, but he stomps all over their material with his tedious ad-libbed kvetching.

Anonymous said...


"Once again, everything you need to embed a link. Read closely. A lot more people will view your links."


Anonymous said...

" Anonymous said...

"Once again, everything you need to embed a link. Read closely. A lot more people will view your links."


9/30/12 7:26 PM"

I viewed that one. Good work. Lol. Show off.

ben tillman said...

Like Eyes Wide Shut and They Live, [People I Know] is pretty damn dark... like a darker seamier version of Bonfire of the Vanities if written by a total cynic without a sense of humor.

Surprised it got made...


Especially with the protagonist being named Jerome Eli Wurman.

Anonymous said...

People I Know... Never expected to see a movie about how jewish power works in the "liberal" cities.

peterike said...

I wish you lefties would make up your minds. George Carlin told us we're not allowed to like the Blues because we just don't have what it takes to appreciate them.

Ha! Carlin is just engaging in standard issue Liberal fetishizing of All Things Black. Oh yeah, whites haven't "suffered" the unique black suffering that only a very black black blues player can relate to and bring to the fore, in all its glorious black blackness.

The Blues? Lawdy. THE most over-rated musical genre ever. Tedious, repetitive, utterly uninventive with an artistic range from A to B, the blues would have sunk into oblivion ages ago were it not "exclusively black music" and thus subject to endless phony white praise. Liking the blues is just another fake status marker, like pretending you like avant-garde art (nobody, not one single person on earth, actually likes avant-garde art -- they are 100% of them pretending to).

The uncomfortable reality is that white musicians who "stole" the Blues did way more with it than blacks ever did. Like everything else, blacks couldn't get the blues out of its own ghetto. It took inventive white people to do that.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, whites haven't "suffered" the unique black suffering that only a very black black blues player can relate to and bring to the fore, in all its glorious black blackness. "

Oh yeah, no whites ever worked in sweat shops or meat packing or had their kids die or crippled by polio.

Oh, wait.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, whites haven't "suffered" the unique black suffering that only a very black black blues player can relate to and bring to the fore, in all its glorious black blackness. "

---------------

For anyone who really know something about the blues.... the blues aren't really about suffering and sadness. Not mostly anyway. They are about sex, raunchiness, and hot mamas.

And most of the 'suffering' is not about being called the n-word about how some lowdown ho done use her man and took off with another man.

It was lively entertainment music, not soberly reflective dirges.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wn4kzkDAiV8

Been downhearted baby
ever since the day we met
I've been downhearted baby
ever since the day we met
Our love is nothin' but the blues
Baby how blue can you get

My love is like a fire
Your love is like a cigaret
My love is like a fire
But baby yours is like a cigaret
I watch you step down on it baby and crush it
Tell me how, tell me how, how blue can you get

You're evil when I'm with you
and you're jealous when we're apart
Yes you're evil when I'm with you baby
Lord have mercy, you're jealous when we're apart
How blue can you get
Hey that's a writing in my heart

I gave you a brand new Ford
and you just said I want a Cadillac
I bought you a ten dollar dinner
You said Thanks for the snack
I let you live in my penthouse
You said it was just a shack
I gave you seven children
and now you wanna give 'em back

I've been downhearted baby
ever since the day we met
Our love is nothin' but the blues
Baby how blue can you get

Anonymous said...

the problem with whites and blues is not lack of 'suffering'. most whites don't have the voice and intensity. it's biological.

in fact, a privileged rich black would do the blues better than a white guy who suffered all his life. black guy would have the voice and intensity. most white guys wouldn't.

even funnier is japanese blues.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tD7b4_v9gFk

1:10.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I am a record collector ... I came across a bunch of old 78S once that contained what I would call Hillbilly country performed by White people in the South and South West mostly.

The songs seeemed to have been popular in he 1920s and 1930s and they aree laments about lost woman, bad luck, being poor and other common blues themes.

They were obviously the precursoror of today's country music... but with a blusier element (hey it was the depression).

The similarity to African-American blues in themes stuck out.

I don't hear much about this style much nowadays.

I advertised each record in the oollection ... and sold one to Elvis Costello (who has an immense music collection I heard).

True story.

Harry Baldwin said...

Hey, instead of Hollywood action stars, what if "Expendables II" were cast with Latina actresses, most of whom you've never heard of?

Somebody worked it all out and, wow, sure sounds like a winner.

Anonymous said...

Dave in Hackensack, the Episcopal Diocese in Boston elected a black lesbian, Barbara Harris, bishop back in 1989. It actually caused a schism in the American Episcopal church.

Dutch reader said...

"the problem with whites and blues is not lack of 'suffering'. most whites don't have the voice and intensity. it's biological.

in fact, a privileged rich black would do the blues better than a white guy who suffered all his life. black guy would have the voice and intensity. most white guys wouldn't"

Most black guys wouldn't either. I fully acknowledge the great achievements of talented black musicians, but the idea that a person's race dictates what kind of music he/she can or cannot play is preposterous. For starters, there are singers and there are instrumentalists, so even if one doesn't have a good voice for singing the blues it's still possibele to be a good blues player. And even then, a good singing voice isn't a black monopoly, even if there is a greater number of great black singers than white ones. Booker T ddn't record Green Onioms with Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn (both white) for nothing. Robben Ford looks like a nerd, but is a great blues guitarist who has worked with many great black musicians. And who is this Carlin guy to judge who can or can't play a certain kind of music - it's just pathetic.

Good musicians don't need some lame comedian or a self-appointed armchair "expert" to determine who can or can't play. Miles Davis wasn't too crazy about white people but he still recorded "Kind Of Blue" with Bill Evans.

Anonymous said...

"Good musicians don't need some lame comedian or a self-appointed armchair "expert" to determine who can or can't play. Miles Davis wasn't too crazy about white people but he still recorded "Kind Of Blue" with Bill Evans."

Good point.

I have never forgotten the Miles Davis interview when he recounted getting flack from Black activists (you know the Sharpton, Jesse Jackson types) for hiring so many White musicians as he started to do espcially in 1970s when his music became more electronic (Miles and Charlie Parker always had White musicians off and on in their bands if you carefully check out the personnel on their recordings going back to the 1940s).

According to Miles he told them to "F--- off" because music was his business and as a bussiness man he had to hire the best people available...

I always thought that even though he wasn't crazy about White people he had some integrity and common sense (in addition to being a great musician).