Former Saturday Night Live comedienne, Victoria Jackson is enjoying a banner year of sorts for homophobic statements she’s made on television and on her radio show. Until her exit from SNL, I don’t think Jackson has seen her name in print (or has had her agent book her so much). For the few uninitiated to her wisdom, Jackson decried the musical-dramedy, Glee for its positive portrayal of homosexuality, insisting that the gay agenda is forcing its opinion down her throat (a terrible image, I know). She got some heat (and publicity) for her verbal diarrhea, and got invited to some news shows, where she got to reiterate her silly/hate speech in her trademark helium trill.
It’s interesting looking at Jackson because, honestly, this sort of crazy that she’s exhibiting seems sort-of out of no where. That is until you do some research. As a fan of SNL, I picked up Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, As Told by Its Stars, Writers and Guests (it’s a wordy title, I know) by Tom Shales. It’s a great book, by the way, highly recommended, and the only reason why it hasn’t made an appearance on my blog before is because I read it years ago, when it first came out.
Jackson figures somewhat prominently in the chapters dealing with the seasons that she was a member of the cast of the famed sketch show. Oh, and just as a quick sidebar, she takes the credit for landing the brilliant Jan Hooks a slot on the cast – Hooks’ withering comments about Jackson are high-larious. But back to my original thesis, Jackson had exhibited some loopy behavior as recounted by some cast members who recount a meltdown that she had in an office, where she screamed at the other people in the room and basically lost her sh*t. She also is quoted as wondering rhetorically why her colleague, Nora Dunn didn’t stand up for her more and found a false hypocrisy in Dunn’s open feminism and her open hostility toward Jackson.
Also interesting when listening to Jackson is her terrible grasp of liberalism. For example, in a tortured strong of logic she says, “I just want to know why the liberals are pro-muslim and pro-gays. Muslims kill gays. That’s what’s confusing to me. And the only thing I can come up with is the Muslims hate God and the gays hate his word.” What??? So because liberals are “pro-Muslim” (whatever that means – what, we think Muslims should be allowed to practice their faith, and we shouldn’t be bombing their countries?) and “pro-gay” (again, whatever that means – what we think gays should be allowed to marry, keep their jobs and serve in the military openly?), then the answer is liberals hate god? Or do gays hate god? I think a huge problem with Jackson’s appearances on television is that unlike SNL, life isn’t scripted, and she doesn’t have a cue card to read off some sophomoric one-liner (yes, her sketches were some of the more tedious ones during the show’s history).
I don’t think Jackson is silly because she’s a conservative. There are conservatives I actually admire – Laura Bush, Megan McCain, John Warner, Gerald Ford. I disagree with their points of view, but they’re okay in my book. I think she’s silly because she allows herself to come off as a dumb bunny spouting these weird diatribes that would be dismissed as lunatic ravings, if it weren’t for her minimal celebrity.
I’m not a journalist so I don’t have to be fair and balanced (I’m not Fox News), but to be fair, Jackson has insisted that she’s not homophobic (a term she sees as a “buzzword”). She even has gay friends! Again, is it just me or does that positively smack of “Some of my best friends are…” And let’s say she does have friends who are gay – just like Sarah Palin reportedly has a close girlfriend who’s openly gay for over 20 years, or Michele Bachmann who apparently has a gay stepsister – what does she say to them when she sees them? I hate using this cliché, but I’d love to be a fly on the wall and listen to just how exactly would she relate to her gay friends after describing a same-sex kiss on Glee as “sickening.”
At the end of the day, this is America, right? Along with freedom of speech, we also have freedom of silliness – which Ms. Jackson is seemingly practising to the hilt. Or maybe, this is just a clever work of performance art, and she’s having a big laugh at the expense of all of us.