Slog AM: William Shatner Is (Almost) in Space, New Renter Protections Start Next Month, and International Travel Is Picking Back Up



What Netflix workers are really protesting against is the uncomfortable fact that the majority of the country agrees with Dave Chappelle, or in fact believe things that are far more damaging. Taking down his special won't change that a bit. Publicly berating people for not following new rules made up in the last couple years and not even agreed upon in the queer community will likely make it worse.


It's telling about the state of our media that reporting the actual harm caused by those in power goes four or five blurbs below miniscule outrage over a comedian telling jokes at a comedy show.


I know this is a Captain Technicality comment, but Blue Origin flies to space (>62 miles). Virgin Galactic tops out at a little over 50 miles. Either joyride is out of reach of us mere proles.


You gotta admit, Shatner looks pretty darn good for a 90 year old!


You can’t tell a comedian what to write about, it’d that simple. You can choose not to buy a ticket to watch it or not tune into Netflix, but short of that, protest all you want I guess…

Comedians have always pushed boundaries of propriety and good taste - Chappelle (and others) makes fun of himself as well as skewering racial issues, etc…

I mean South Park has been hilariously un-PC for years and years - maybe the only mainstream outlet to actually portray kaitlyn Jenner in an appropriately grotesque and humorous way.

You can’t tell any artist what they can and cannot do, you can only choose to expose yourself to it or not. Think Cannibal Corpse should submit their lyrics and cover art to a panel before it’s produced? The latest rap album? Where’s Tipper Gore??!!

Looking for something to be mad about all the time must be an exhausting way to live.


Matt - consider it's two hours before your flight leaves from SeaTac because you overslept. Are you going to take the choo-choo or call Uber?


@5: "Looking for something to be mad about all the time must be an exhausting way to live."

Bingo! It's a very lazy coping mechanism to feel validated.


Chappelle reminds me of comedians like George Carlin, Dennis Miller and Bill Maher. Once upon a time they were brilliant comics with biting social commentary, then they just turned into cranky old men who try to stay relevant by saying outlandish shit that's not even funny. If you're going to make fun of a group of people, at least you gotta be funny about it.


@8: Or they're still funny but you've changed.


@8, if Dave Chappelle can be accused of transphobia, then judging by your comment, perhaps you can be accused of ageism. I can understand if folks like Chappelle or Maher aren't your thing, but you're not their audience. Kind of like all the people who were outraged that the NHL team chose the name Kraken. Those were never the people who were going to buy tickets and merchandise and watch the games.

That's a little beside the point, though. Suppose I agreed with you that Dave Chappelle is offensive and unfunny and an over-the-hill has-been. Even then, I'd be more troubled by Netflix cancelling his special than by his special. Of course, the trick here is, where do you draw the line? Like, how would I feel about a Neo-Nazi Comedy Roast?


Following up my comment @10, the thing I really wanted to comment was on the Port of Seattle commissioners pushing back against Lyft's demand for expanded automobile access to the airport. I'm thrilled to see that vote.

I'll tell you what would be even better: if they could put the brakes on expanding the airport itself.


Transphobes always come out of the woodwork when SLOG posts something about transgender people.

Is it funny? For spoken comedy to be funny, there has to be a kernel of truth to it. Chappelle is self-admittedly ignorant about the transgender experience. So his transgender jokes aren't funny because they don't have a bearing in reality. He can make jokes about a transgender woman in a dress stepping up to the urinal in the mens room, but while it may seem like a funny image to the uninformed, that's not funny because transgender women would never do that - just like cis gender women wouldn't do that. There were a couple transgender jokes that were funny. The vast majority were objectively not funny, only "funny" to the unknowledgeable.

Is it offensive? People are missing the distinction between not funny, and offensive. A joke can be funny but offensive. A joke can be not funny and also offensive. On top of the jokes not being funny, they were also offensive.

I watched all the transgender joke parts of his special because I wanted to have an informed opinion. They were mostly not jokes. They were screeds against transgender people (and gay people, and women). He takes his interactions with a minority of transgender people and projects it to the entire "transgender community". Just substitute black person for transgender person, and "black community" for transgender community. It would be the same thing. He brings out the token transgender "friend" as his defense (and then accuses the transgender community of killing her), just like the "I have black friends" defense when white people are being racist.

He attempts to make a big point about "gender" being a fact, when it is not. The biological "sex" is a fact. But he's ignorant of the difference. And his point is...? To attempt to make transgender people look delusional. Transgender people are not delusional. They know the difference between gender and sex. Chappelle does not.

He declares himself "Team TERF". He has declared himself as part of a group that denies that transgender women should be accepted as "women" - by association, he believes that transgender women should be excluded from the same space as cis gender women.

Should this guy have a platform? People are mixing up censorship with providing platforms for speech. None of the critics are saying he shouldn't be allowed to make jokes about what he wants to make jokes about. But whether Netflix should give a platform to those jokes is what the Netflix controversy is about.


"Shatner and some rich executives just blasted off......" Shatner is a fine publicity stunt but this may backfire on Bezos: All that 'Right Stuff' & 'Best of the Best of the Best' is now exposed as horse manure. If a tubby, 90 yr old actor can go to space, anybody can. And rich people don't pay for something anybody can do.

And yeah, @4, Shatner does look really good. At 72 I couldn't climb all those stairs without taking a breather on each landing.


@12 Unfunny people always come out of the woodwork when SLOG posts something that a comedien said.
It must be nice being so arrogant you have unilaterally declared what is and isn't funny. And anyone who disagrees with you is stupid. What a comfortable existence!


Matt completely agree that we should have a national health plan - but perhaps this wasn't the best story to use to rail against our patchwork network of private health insurance. Her transplant was denied by Nevada Medicaid. (In this case it is a problem with our patchwork network of public health insurance - coverage for her transplant was denied because it can't be preformed in Nevada.)


@13 Michael, "All that 'Right Stuff' & 'Best of the Best of the Best' is now exposed as horse manure. If a tubby, 90 yr old actor can go to space, anybody can. And rich people don't pay for something anybody can do."

Huh? You're projecting some sort of pumped up tech bro masculinity onto this. Rich people will pay for the experience because it's an amazing experience. Some Rich people will pay for the experience because very few have experienced it and they want to be part of that exclusive club.

Most people around here don't know anything about Rich people other than they're rich. The wanting to hate on Rich people for the sake of hating has gotten comically absurd around here.


@6, I've paid $140 for an $80 ride from Bremerton to SeaTac when I was in a hurry. But usually I take public transit & pay $1 for the bus in Kitsap & $1 for the light rail. There's good reason for both.


Pretty in Pink, excellent comment @12. Good job breaking apart the different things that tend to get conflated. From what you're saying, I'm sure I'd find Chappelle's special unfunny as well. Don't have a Netflix subscription. Have enough streaming service subscriptions for the sports I like to have on as background music.

Glad you took the time to write it. It was worth my time to read it.

Oh, and it makes me wonder if Chappelle isn't just mailing it in to be going after such an easy and obscure target as trans people.


@16, Can you deduct your home mortgage, your utilities (Gas, electric, phone, cable, internet, water, sewer, garbage), your transportation expenses (car, plane, taxi), family parties (children's birthdays, holiday barbeques, religious holidays), your makeup or personal grooming products, all your & your children's education expenses, & on & on down the line from your income before you figure YOUR taxes?

Believe me, the rich ARE stretching our anal sphincters on a daily basis.


@10, "I can understand if folks like Chappelle or Maher aren't your thing, but you're not their audience."

So it's OK for David Duke to spout his klan nonsense as long as it's only consumed by his own racist audience?

The last Chappelle special I saw was openly racist. He doesn't make fun of white racists. He calls ALL white people racists.

Chappelle is a poster child for the idea, "......But it's OK if black people do it."


@19 Michael, what does that have to do with Rich people wanting to go into space?

Please don't lecture me on how tax codes are regressive and benefit people with more money over people with less money.


@20 -- what I wanna know is
how'd Chappelle ever get
outta that Piano?


@16, there's a reason for all those cautionary expressions like, "Money is the root of all evil" or "It's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven".

And there's a reason that people like the Koch Bros who seek to buy the American political landscape, Trump & his life which is nothing but a total scam to grift money, are truly evil. They do it, NOT to better the lot of humanity, but solely to garner more money to themselves.

I once did the math. When Bill Gates gives $10 million to a charity, they not only put his name in the papers, they write entire columns about it. But when you compare net worth, Gates giving $10 Mil is like me giving $600......which I do more than once a year.

And nobody ever puts my name in the papers for that. Nobody buys my products & makes me richer because of that. Nobody ever worships me & aspires to emulate me for that.

Hero worship of the rich is a disease.



@21, I don't care who wants to go into space. You miss my point, which is solely that Bezos is selling something that ostensibly only a select few can do. And if people get the idea that ANYONE can do it, the commodity loses it's cache'.

But about the macho thing.....all through the 60 space program, we were told that it's only the Best of the Best of the Best of the Best who can be astronauts. And that only after extensive PHYSICAL CONDITIONING, PHYSICAL EXAMS, along with training & education. And 90 yr old guys in space, at least in a small way, puts the lie to that......and again, I gotta say that Shatner looks waaaaaaaaayyyyy better at 90 than I do at 72. (See you all at the Triple Door tonight.)


New renter protections start next month. Enjoy your shrinking supply of deteriorating rental properties as landlords abandon plans for maintenance/upgrades and sell out to big corporations who will raise the rent the maximum amount each period.

It's like none of you ever studied the laws of supply and demand. Social justice for all!


@12: I guess you didn’t watch the whole last 20 minutes in which he talked about a trans woman and fellow comedian he befriended and mentored who then killed herself after she endured online bullying from other trans people.


@28 hits on the lead in this review from The Atlantic:


Shatner and the rest of the passengers aren't expect to do complected tasks in harsh conditions that are life or death like the early astronauts were. If Bezos space peen fails there ain't no manual override, the passengers are just fucked.

Shatner probably started working his ass off as soon as this became a prospect and he had to have at least passed a fairly rigorous physical exam.


@23 Michael, and I still have no idea why you're speaking to me as though what you're saying has anything to do with what I wrote. I apologize for engaging with you, it was poor judgement on my part go have commented on your comment.

@25 Michael, no I didn't miss your point. Your point was just poorly thought out. It's obvious that you missed my point, and you're only interested in arguing about some imaginary point you've projected onto me.


@28 schmacky, uh, I guess you didn't read my whole comment, as I did mention that quite specifically.

But please feel free to share your thoughts on what that has to do with the "trans community" and whether Chappelle is transphobic and Netlfix should provide a platform for him.

I generally ignore you, but since you commented, I'll just take this opportunity to remind you what a mega asshole you are.


@27 Thanks for the link. I especially like: "Assuming that marginalized people cannot tolerate humor at their own expense is as dehumanizing as assuming they have no agency in their lives. It is a form of bigotry — of the left."


@6 The one that costs 3.50 please. I know how to set alarms so that gives me an edge in the game.


Which is correct about Dave Chappelle's performance?

@12: "He brings out the token transgender "friend" as his defense (and then accuses the transgender community of killing her), just like the "I have black friends" defense when white people are being racist."

@28: ".. in which he talked about a trans woman and fellow comedian he befriended and mentored who then killed herself after she endured online bullying from other trans people."


and then there's this

Dave Chappelle’s Brittle Ego

Mr. Chappelle spends much of “The Closer,” his latest comedy special for Netflix, cleverly deflecting criticism.

The set is a 72-minute display of the comedian’s own brittleness. The self-proclaimed “GOAT” (greatest of all time) of stand-up delivers five or six lucid moments of brilliance, surrounded by a joyless tirade of incoherent and seething rage, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia.

If there is brilliance in “The Closer,” it’s that Mr. Chappelle makes obvious but elegant rhetorical moves that frame any objections to his work as unreasonable.

Roxane Gay
Oct. 13, 2021

more at


@4 pat L and @13 Michael Clayton: All I see is a chubby nonagenarian celebrity participating in yet another senseless waste of fossil fuels while the remaining non-billionaire inhabitants and what's left of the Earth pay the price.


Forever a Star Trek fan. Good for you Bill!


@30, I'd be willing to bet that the only thing Shatner began working was a comprehensive computation of the odds of him dying vs the dollars he would be paid for his image in the rocket and his appearances following the trip. Believe me, at 72 I can assure you that no amount of exercise by a 90 yr old man, even over a year, will bring any significant improvements either to his muscle condition, or any cardiac conditions which have developed over the course of his life. (Why do you think the supplements industry is selling HGH to old men?) In fact, strenuous exercise is more likely to kill a man that age than to seriously improve his stamina. (Look up the name Jim Fix, and he was a relatively young man.)

If you think the whole Captain Kirk going into space thing is some historic saga, is anything more than advertising for Bezos, I have several bridges you might like to purchase from me. This is where we on the left fall victim to our humanity in the exact same way that Trump cons the MAGA crowd into believing his fairy tales.

I was 16 when Kirk first went where no man had gone. I'm old enough to remember that Gene Roddenberry wrote scripts for Have Gun – Will Travel & other series. I'm a fan. But Shatner on Blue Origin is nothing but advertising. Nothing wrong with long as you don't think it's religious truth.

@36, Amen. Which.

@38, Amen & amen.


"I'm not from Outer Space. I'm from Iowa".


@38: Be gracious and let Trekies and Shatner fans bask in this wonderful moment, you grizzled old bat!


@42.....said the trolling MAGA-stupefied incel hiding in his mom's damp, dark, Universal bat cave amongst the brown recluse spiders, mice, and canned peas. When does your ma call you upstairs for lunch? Nothing fancy, just sandwiches and milk----before you're due to turn on the Vacancy sign? 12 cabins--12 vacancies. That used to be the main highway, right there.....


@42..Gee..and all that BEFORE your hopelessly futile nightly FOX TeeVee rituals.
Same Bat Time--Same Bat Channel!


@40: If you're into sci-fi, don't forget a much younger, spritelier (then aged 32) William Shatner in The Twilight Zone episode Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (1963, last season of the series)---four years prior to becoming USS Enterprise Captain James T. Kirk.


@42: Seriously. I do believe that if Leonard Nimoy was still alive, he'd raise an eyebrow, and stoically say, "Highly illogical, Captain."


@45, Yeah, I saw the original first broadcast of that episode. Years later at midnight in the dorm, somebody would come through banging on all the doors shouting "Da Zone!! Da Zone." and we would all gladly stop studying to go downstairs to the TV room to watch midnight re runs of Twilight Zone. in '67-68 NO ONE had their own TV.

Which brings me to all kinds of questions I like to ask: Have you ever actually USED a rotary dial telephone? Do you know what a slide rule is? Have you ever actually used a slide rule?


@47: Yes. I know what a rotary dial telephone is and have used one many times growing up as well as a coin operated pay telephone. I also know what a slide rule is, but have never used one. I could identify one, though. I am among the tail end of the Boomer generation.

Since you're also a fan of The Twilight Zone I now have some questions for you:
Do you remember the episodes "Living Doll", "The Bewitching Pool", "I Sing the Body Electric", "Two", "It's a Good Life", "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street", "A Pitch for the Angels", "The Eye of the Beholder", "Time Enough at Last", "Kick the Can", "A Short Drink Form a Certain Fountain", "A Game of Pool", "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?", "Nothing in the Dark", "The Masks", "You Drive","The Night of the Meek", "The Hitchhiker", "The Twilight Zone: Elegy (1960), and "To Serve Man"?

Which episode was your favorite? Which was your least favorite?
"Living Doll", I Sing the Body Electric", "A Penny for Your Thoughts", "The Bewitchin' Pool" (the series' final episode, 1964) "Night of the Meek", "A Pitch for the Angels", and "Nothing in the Dark" were among my favorite episodes.
"The Twilight Zone: Elegy" and "To Serve Man" were among my least of favorites as they really creeped me out.