Been thinking why Chappelle’s “8:46” special was so powerful. I loved the way he pins the cultural narrative around George Floyd’s murder back to his own personal life. It makes a nonsensical, far-out storyline feel up-close, human, and painfully intimate. This is why Chappelle’s style works. He cuts through the fourth wall, he brings you right into the room.
Also, it was a performance but not performative. It was raw and honest and I believe every word he says. Such a marked contrast from those ensemble celeb videos, where you can tell the actors’ sentiments are scripted and rehearsed like they don’t know where their make-believe profession ends and reality begins. You just know that deep in their phones, there are hundreds of throwaway takes alongside their second-rate selfies. No, this is very much non-fiction and it’s happening all around us now. Dave Chappelle can be problematic, but you can always count on him to give you his unbridled opinion. And that’s what we need more of now, because it’s all too real.
More truthfulness. Even if it’s uncomfortable and unpleasant. We’ve been living under darkness and self-deception for so long…