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Ron Bennington and the meaning of Karma
2015.04.15 19:32 bmorestoney Ron Bennington and the meaning of Karma
R&F fan since Dot com and JFK, have listened faithfully my entire adult life. Ron Bennington has been one of my intellectual and conversational lighthouses, he asks incisive, educated questions that seek discussion, and treats his guests with respect by doing his research ahead of time.
But one thing that always infuriated me is that he always misinterpreted the meaning of "karma". This has nothing to do with Reddit, btw. Someone would make mention of the concept and then say "that's not how it works", stating that karma is about another life and reincarnation - a limited view at best. Karma is the unfolding of the present into the future; it is effect that springs from cause. To simplify, it's the chickens coming home to roost, it's reaping what you sow
As examples, let's review the heavyweights and see where we've gone over the last 20 years or so
Opie and Anthony - Opie starts as a mincing sissy character on a morning show. He elevates to his own music jock position, then meets Anthony (the funniest guy talking to a basement of idiots in Long Island) on-air and discovers a special chemistry. They sell this lightning in a bottle in several markets, gaining heat by alternately imitating/lambasting Howard Stern, and cultivating an audience of fans that are united and thousands strong.
Jump to the end: Anthony is back to being entertaining in his house with his friends. His friends are more famous than when he was knocking tin, and he has more guns and cameras, but Anthony, the eternal jokester, lost the SiriusXM gig when he dropped "funny" for racist, hateful ranting without punchlines. He began as a humble man of the people, found himself doing crazy celebrity shit (dating Jill Nicolini, hair plugs), and ended up as the crazy old man cleaning his guns while you sit on his couch and wait your turn to talk
Opie began as the eager, fresh faced talker, joined up with Anthony, Jimmy, and a cast of funnier people. He settled into his niche as the heel of the show, a self proclaimed asshole who didn't care when he would get painted as a bad guy. Cut to years later and many of these relationships have dissolved, now Jimmy the free-agent is Jimmy the second banana, mediating and being an apologist for Opie. Opie takes hours of his comedy radio show to talk seriously about how it makes him feel that people seem to think he's the bad guy, and Opie "the Destroyer" ends up in tears. The only people who could divide and conquer O&A were O&A
Edit: also, Opie was the bane of many a bosses existence, and grew to become the boss #greggshells
Fez is a character, out, promiscuous, and flamboyant, in the funnest, gayest time in American history. He has signature bits (Fez a torials) and is never more than a sentence away from turning a thought on it's head or setting up a cripplingly-funny misunderstanding with Ron.
Jump to the end and the character Fez has given way to the man Todd; a southern religious conservative who dislikes the things about modern homosexuality that made the character Fez dynamic (being mean to other people, constant joking equating homosexuality with pedophilia, opinionated and unapologetic).
He was the guy who could sell any joke with his laugh, and any line with his delivery, then became the guy who would not laugh or deliver. Where Fez couldn't be wrong, Todd was petrified of not being right. Fez was driven by fun, Todd was motivated by fear.
Ron - does not study radio in school or "cut his teeth" as an intern->Jumps from comedy to radio overnight and becomes one of the greatest interviewers and opinion makers of the 21st century. He made an effort for a long time to keep his family out of the spotlight (he spoke on 3/23 of this year about how letting the audience into your life is reality show loser bullshit, not entertainment), and follows Ron and Fez with: Bennington, a show he co-hosts with his daughter, who made the news as a toddler when she overdosed in his home.
I don't know why I felt so compelled to share these thoughts, maybe I find it comforting to have things tie up in a tidy bow, but I did want to ask: did anyone else notice these ironies? Did you predict some other end for these people's narratives?
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