Monday, February 15, 2010

TED vs. Sarah Silverman. A tale of tweet wars, spineless men and 'retards.'

You don't ask your drunk of a cousin to give your grandma's eulogy, the tone deaf student to lead the choir, or the one-armed deaf, dumb and blind kid to captain the baseball team. Unless you want a shit show. But sometimes you do want a shit show. Cause it's funny. And entertaining. And then you call in Sarah Silverman.
TED, the annual conference for smart and/or wealthy people who can understand and/or pay to pretend to understand giant and innovative ideas, invited Silverman to speak at this year's event in Long Beach. Silverman delivered her usual brand of subversive humor, peppered with politically incorrect banter and misappropriation of the word 'retarded.' This is highly offensive if you're not a fan of Sarah Silverman, insanely funny if you are.

Well, Chris Anderson, TED's curator and the person who would have orchestrated Silverman's participation himself, responded to her presentation with a scathing and incredibly inappropriate [and now deleted] tweet...


To which Silverman replied in true Silverman fashion...
Kudos to @TEDChris for making TED an unsafe haven for all! You're a barnacle of mediocrity on Bill Gates' asshole.
I could not have said it better myself. Though mediocrity might be too kind of a word to describe Anderson's professionalism. For a community of supposedly superior intellect, the TED folks have proven themselves to be a bunch of stodgy, pretentious white men with sticks up their behinds [or, in the words of Silverman herself, just plain 'retarded']. And Anderson has shown himself to be a spineless leader who, when confronted with the consequence of his own poor judgement, found it easier to throw out insults instead of defending his choice and his speaker.

As someone who has long dreamt of attending the TED Conference, I can now say that if and when I should ever be able to afford the several thousand dollar entry fee, I would rather spend a fraction of the ticket price for a front row seat to a Sarah Silverman shit show.

7 comments:

KELLY RYAN O'BRIEN said...

amazing!

Bil McMillian said...

Well put Ms. Rubin. I had always viewed TED as progressive. Unfortunately NOT.

Anonymous said...

Sarah Silverman is notorious for not delivering. She's had a few bad runs in England where cutesy and vulgar just hasn't cut it.

Honestly, Chris should have known better.

pinkcloud said...

I was at TED this year ... and I gotta say that it seemed like half the people didn't get Sarah Silverman at in Long Beach but pretty much everyone got it at TEDActive in Palm Springs (the young, hip TED simulcast event). One of the coolest things about TED is that there is an openness about ideas and stories - what works, what doesn't.

That being said, I 100% agree that Chris shouldn't have sent that tweet, and furthermore I LOVE the other SS's response... brilliant, as I'd expect.

But to backlash on all of TED and the amazing conversations, ideas, and actions that it launches every year is a bit dramatic and hasty...

kind of like Chris' tweet.

xxss

Tait Reimers said...

As definitely one of those "pretentious white males", I have always found Silverman's act to be crass and a little vulgar. Irrespective of having the TED perspective, Silverman's subversive delivery could easily, and probably rightfully so, be found offensive and undermining of TED's otherwise progressive thinking. Anderson's remark should not have been retracted as it seems he was just being descriptive of Sarah's usual overkill tackiness.

Kevin Newcombe said...

What kind of retarded name is Tait?

Anonymous said...

Silverman is "lowest common denominator". There's no depth to her comedy, she just throws around insults and plays the Long Island JAP princess card. She's Dane Cook with tits and a hook nose.