The Kartel Klown represents the individual or organization that has taken action in the past week that allows them to stand out from the crowd as foolish at best. The Kartel Klown is an achievement for the week, but a title for eternity…
Growing up on the mean streets of Cambridge, Massachusetts in the late 70’s and early 80’s when the city was a hotbed of racial diversity, claiming approximately a 90% white population, Ben Affleck developed his understanding of racism in America. Affleck was cultivated in a WNL culture that he admittingly refers to as “very left wing”, resulting in a spoiled and privileged man that has always appeared to have skin with the density of saran wrap. These attributes have resulted in Affleck fitting in nicely with the Hollywood crowd, and were on full display this past Friday when he earned the designation of Kartel Klown of the Week (ending 10/04/14) for his performance on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher.
In a segment that featured author Sam Harris, Maher returned to comments he made the previous week related to Islam and how it is influenced by fundamentalists and radicals. Harris, a known critic of religion, began the dialogue with Maher as Affleck, Nicholas Kristof, and Michael Steele set at the table. While Harris is known to be a religious critic, he approaches the subject as a philosopher, unlike the vitriolic manner casual atheists are commonly known to display. Very early in the discussion, it became obvious Affleck did not find agreement with Maher and Harris’s claims that the common narrative of Islamic Fundamentalists only accounting for a very small portion of Muslims being false. It became obvious that Affleck provided nothing to the discussion as he quickly declined into huffing, beating down a few straw men, and making no obvious point. He resembled a teenager employing the empty debating style of “so you’re the expert”. It became so bad that even when Affleck attempted to inject little known facts into his argument that others at the table would likely be unable to object, he was uninformed. One example, Affleck stated “ISIS couldn’t fill a Double AA Ballpark in Charleston, WV…..”, but the Minor League Ballpark in Charleston, Appalachian Power Park, only seats 4,500 while conservative estimates from the CIA have placed ISIS fighters at approximately 30,000, and other estimates have approached 100,000 fighters. To make the statement worse, the Minor League Ballpark has always been home to a Single A team. Maybe Affleck needs to bring his spouse, Charleston native Jennifer Garner, to insert Mountain State trivia next time, and simply avoid complex conversations that he has neither the education nor knowledge to debate.
The most unsettling part of watching Affleck was he did not recognize how uninformed he presented himself. It is obvious that he usually debates individuals with similar viewpoints, and has a history of avoiding all other viewpoints. Affleck who spent a few months in colleges, yes a few months divided between colleges, claims to have dropped out once due to criticism from a creative writing instructor. He follows that claim by boasting that it was an early draft of the Goodwill Hunting screenplay, which is supposed to make one think he was so much smarter than the instructor, but maybe the early draft just stunk if the claim has any truth. Affleck often makes unchallenged claims such as this, then they are repeated by a sympathetic liberal media often resulting in acceptance of fact. There has never been confirmation of this episode, but makes a nice redirect for Affleck. It resembles the discovery that Affleck performed very poorly as a student, which Affleck responded with a claim that he earned a near perfect SAT score. This claim has been repeated by multiple media outlets without verification, but creating a circle of sourcing as each media outlet uses the previous as their source. None of these exclude Affleck from the ability to provide input, but his early groupthink environment and history of avoiding any challenge of thought is likely the formula that earned Ben Affleck the distinction, Kartel Klown of the Week.