I love Kathy Griffin.  I always have, and I imagine I always will.  I frequently tell people that I want to be the Kathy Griffin of the spirituality set.  I shamelessly use her bits in conversations with friends and family, sometimes even giving her credit.  I love her vicious mocking of celebrity.  On the surface it all seems so simple.  Kathy makes fun of celebrities.  Perhaps, I’m reading too much into her work, but I personally feel there is so much more to it than that.
 
Yes, the bulk of Kathy’s material comes from the examination of celebrities.  She harpoons and deflates the largest stars out there, such as Oprah, Tom Cruise, and Whitney Houston.  This kind of deconstruction of icons to expose their remarkably human flaws, such as vanity and obsession, is actually reminiscent of court jesters of the past.  Those savvy Magical Buffet readers know that the court jester is just another manifestation of the trickster god archetype.  The trickster god mocks those most important members of society to keep them in check.  In those terms Kathy’s humor would be suited for tackling politicians or royalty, but in this day and age, she has chosen to tackle the nearly deific realm of celebrity.
 
That’s why it came as no surprise to me that when given the opportunity to attack the most sacred of celebrity moments, the Emmy acceptance speech, she managed to take it to task.  Much like almost any story she tells about Gwyneth Paltrow.
 
“A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award.  I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus.  Suck it Jesus, this award is my god now!”
 
Is there a more perfect parody and take down of this holier than thou validation of celebrity?  Well hold onto your golden statuettes because the ride is about to get bumpy!
 
Responding to pressure from the Catholic League, Kathy’s acceptance speech will be censored in the taped airing of the awards ceremony.
 
“The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences reacted responsibly to our criticism of Kathy Griffin’s verbal assault on 85 percent of the U.S. population.  The ball is now in Griffin’s court.  The self-described ‘complete militant atheist’ needs to make a swift and unequivocal apology to Christians.  If she does, she will get this issue behind her.  If she does not, she will be remembered as a foul-mouthed bigot for the rest of her life,” Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, from their website.
 
Now, Jim’s, my husband, first response to all of this was, “Does that mean if Atheists raise a stink, the Emmys will edit out any celebrity thanking Jesus?”
 
Funny you should ask.  A quick visit to the American Atheist website will give you this tid bit from their president, Ellen Johnson, “It’s permissible to make religious comments at the Emmy Awards and other public events as long as they do not criticize or threaten the self-appointed ‘Religion Police,’” said Johnson. “Celebrities can go on national television to ‘thank’ Jesus, or Allah, or Scientology for their success, but an Atheist cannot make an honest and forthright statement that their success came from developing their talents and working hard.”
 
In fact, if you click here you can see how American Atheist is rallying support for Kathy.  Better still, you can visit http://suckitjesus.com/. 
 
Here’s a point I want to make.  In no way is she making fun of Catholics or other Christian denominations.  Seriously.  You really have got to want it to think she is.  Kathy doesn’t roll that way.  How do I know?  Well, for all the years of making fun of Tom Cruise, not once has she made fun of his fans.

Also, as Jim pointed out to me, everyone is avoiding the real issue here.  Does Jesus really rig awards?
 
By the way, to learn more about Kathy Griffin, click here.






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