Haven’t seen any episodes of Boss yet. DVDs are working their way up my Netflix queue. Seems like my kind of show. And I’m sure Kelsey Grammer’s great in the title role. He’s a brilliant comic actor and Tom Kane sounds like one of those comic monsters that ought to be funny but isn’t because of his real power to hurt people. Comedy and tragedy are reflections of life viewed from different sides of the mirror and the fact you can imagine Kane pretty much unchanged as a character in a comedy and even as the good guy makes him all the more terrifying. So I expect I’ll be wowed by Grammer’s performance. But, like I said, I haven’t seen it yet so I don’t know.
Kelsey Grammer knows.
He knows he’s doing a great job.
He knows he deserved an Emmy nomination for it.
He didn’t get one.
But he knows why he didn’t get one.
Because he’s a Republican.
Out in Hollywood they discriminate against Republicans.
Ask Clint Eastwood.
Man gets no respect.
I guess this means Grammer wasn’t a Republican when he won his other five Emmys.
Ok, looking over the list of nominees for Best Actor in a Drama Series, I can see room for Grammer. I can see room for Timothy Olyphant too. Doesn’t really matter who’s nominated besides Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston. Cranston should win it going away. But I wouldn’t scratch Steve Buscemi from the list. Michael C. Hall? He’s not been phoning it in but it’s been several seasons since he did his best work as Dexter. Similar point with Jon Hamm. It’s not that Hall and Hamm shouldn’t have been nominated. It’s that they didn’t have to be nominated for what they did in their respective just completed seasons. The Downton Abbey guy, though, I can’t help suspecting he’s there as a sop to the Brits or PBS. And I haven’t heard anybody talking about Damian Lewis or Homeland. You can’t go by me, though. Still, I understand why Grammer might have had his hopes up and why he’d look at the list and think “I should be there!”
I think he should have been gracious about it and kept his mouth shut. I think he should have looked at the list and thought, “Hey, can’t nominate everybody and those other guys are really good actors too.”
I think---or I would have thought---he’s smart enough to realize there might be a dozen reasons he was “snubbed” and none of them was his political affiliation. Liberal Hollywood has a long history of not just tolerating but celebrating Republicans and conservatives in its midst. Besides Eastwood, John Wayne, Charlton Heston, Jimmy Stewart, Ginger Rogers, and Bob Hope didn’t suffer much as martyrs to their cause. I haven’t noticed that Robert Duvall, Robert Downey Jr, or Jon Voight have gone without work or recognition. Grammer hasn’t either. His being a Republican isn’t why he wasn’t nominated this year for an Emmy. (Wonder what he’ll say if he’s nominated next year.) But I’m thinking his being a Republican explains why he thinks he was discriminated against because he’s a Republican.
The Republican Party has become the party of white guys the world doesn’t love enough.
That’s one of the factors uniting Tea Party types with Wall Street corporatist types, the sense that they’re owed something THEY are taking from them. THEY being everybody who isn’t themselves.
Republicanism feeds into these feelings of entitlement and grievance. The GOP really has become Richard Nixon’s Party.
But that’s just it. It’s Nixonian in its encouragement of self-pity, sure. But it’s also Nixonian in its providing excuses for personal failings.
As a Republican, the greedy man can congratulate himself on being a generous benefactor of society. As a Republican, the dependent man can pride himself on being a self-reliant hero. The weak man can feel strong and tough. The coward can bravely advocate for war. The racist can complain of being the victim of discrimination. The morally slothful man can boast he’s a paragon of virtue and the sinner can proclaim himself a saint.
Grammer is a terrific actor, but he’s a vain, self-important, self-infatuated human being. Which is to say, he’s an actor. Yuk yuk. He’s something else though. Self-destructive. He’s constantly making a mess of his personal life. From time to time he’s been able to pull himself together, but he just can’t hold it together. It’s not surprising, then, that he’s adopted a particular brand of politics that encourages him to believe he’s things he’s clearly not---strong, reliable, responsible, disciplined, sound of judgment and an exemplar of traditional values and domestic virtues. (Let me stress I’m talking about his personal life. The irony here is that professionally he is, at least as far as I know, reliable, responsible, disciplined, and sound of judgment. If and when Hollywood starts discriminating against him, it’ll be because he’s begun conducting his professional life like his personal life. You can vote any way you want as long as you show up to work on time, know your lines, hit your mark, and make an effort when the camera’s rolling.) For Grammer, being Republican substitutes for being successfully grown-up. It is the Daddy Party, after all, isn’t it?
And that’s the thing, generally. Republicanism has become a substitute virtue, a way to feel successful even when you’re not. And then, when it turns out that at the end of the day, you aren’t a success, when you’re not rich or strong or brave or a hero in the eyes of others and, more importantly, in your own eyes, you’re given the excuse. It’s THEIR fault. THEY resent you. THEY envy you. THEY want to take away all the things you deserve because you are you.
There’s no way Kelsey Grammer wasn’t nominated for an Emmy because those other actors are doing better jobs than he is. It must be because THEY are spitefully refusing to give him what THEY know he deserves. THEY resent him. THEY envy him. THEY are taking it away from him because THEY’RE a bunch of liberal meanies who discriminate against nice Republicans.
Couple of asides before I wrap it up here.
There was a period when Hollywood actively and devastatingly discriminated against people because of their politics, from the late 1940s into the early 1960s.
Those people were not conservatives.
And, speaking of Richard Nixon, take a look at that picture of Grammer up top again.
Somebody’s got to cast him as Nixon and soon!
Updated as part of back-room deal: Steven Hart, who knows a thing or two about corrupt political bosses, has written a post that makes me think I won’t like Boss as much as I’m hoping to and Kelsey Grammer isn’t as good in it as I’m expecting him to be. Read Cry Me a Chicago River.