The Washington Post isn’t the only daily D.C. newspaper to rave about Sandra Bernhard’s anti-Palin ranting. Wednesday’s Washington Examiner joined in, with the headline "Comedienne delivers enraged optimism." Barbara Mackay claimed "in the end, oddly and subtly, Bernhard’s message is positive."
That’s not the impression you’d get from the blog of Theater J, where Bernhard is appearing. It has video of Bernhard calling Palin "Uncle Women," a "turncoat b—h" and a "whore." One complaint on the blog that Bernhard crosses a line of political incorrectness draws a defense from Ari Roth of Theater J that really drops the curtain on how coarse this show is:
In fact, the play wears its politically VERY correct heart on its sleeve with its indictment of America as "A Man’s World, It’s a White Man’s World, It’s a F–ked Up White Man’s Racist World" and can only be suggested to be racist in its content if one is hell-bent on protecting White Folk for Sandra’s blistering indictment.When Sandra warns Sarah Palin not to come into Manhattan lest she get gang-raped by some of Sandra’s big black brothers, she’s being provocative, combative, humorous, and yes, let’s allow, disgusting.
The fact that the show has a few riffs like this does not — to my mind — make it a "disgusting show." there’s too much beauty, variety, vitality, and intelligence to label the entire show as "disgusting." I’ll agree with you that we produced this show because we did find it to be edgy — because we wanted to give right wing conservative Jews a good run for their money by being on the receiving end of some blistering indictments from Sandra.Does it go over the edge sometimes? On the gang-rape joke, yes. Sure. Not much else. It goes over the edge and then comes right back to the cutting edge. [Profanity editing is mine.]
Forgive me if gang-rape jokes don't greet my ears as oddly and subtly positive, as the Examiner suggests, and forgive me if gang-rape jokes aren't "a rotating sprinkler that a spectator washes in most happily," like the Washington Post insists.
Roth insisted to the complainer that the D.C. Jewish Community Center is loving their Bernhard show, and partied with Bernhard on opening night. They’re in tune with her right-bashing rage:
We’re proud of our producing -- proud of Sandra’s sense of timing -- taking the fight out to the house and to the street beyond, channeling so much of our rage and frustration at the bizarre recent twists of fortune since Karl Rove trotted out Sarah Palin for John McCain to briefly meet and then get in bed with.Sandra’s face is hanging 10 feet tall in a banner over the DCJCC steps and we’re proud that she’s a new emblem and ambassador for our theater and our center. She’s not the only one who represents us. But her large heart, her generous talent, and her big mouth are all a big part of who we are.
"Who we are" at this theater clearly isn't someone who's interesting in presenting anything other than rage. The video itself, presented like a commercial for the show, explains who the show is intended to please. The average person probably wouldn’t find it the least bit funny. But if you really, really hate Sarah Palin or Christian conservatives, this show is for you. Here’s some of what she says in the promo:
Now you got Uncle Women, like Sarah Palin, who jumps on the s--t and points her fingers at other women. Turncoat b---h! Don’t you f--kin’ reference Old Testament, bitch! You stay with your new Goyish crappy shiksa funky bulls--t! Don’t you touch my Old Testament, you b---h! Because we have left it open for interpre-ta-tion! It is no longer taken literally! You whore in your f--kin' cheap New Vision cheap-ass plastic glasses and your [sneering voice] hair up. A Tina Fey-Megan Mullally brokedown bulls--t moment.
Is it too broad an interpretation to suggest that when Bernhard attacks Palin's "new Goyish crappy shiksa funky bulls--t," she means the New Testament? It sounds like she's telling the Christian to stay away from "her" Old Testament, as if Christians don't have an Old Testament in their Bible. It's quite clear that the D.C. Jewish Community Center is not attempting an interfaith dialogue with this rantfest.