Death, Gender, Lonely, Math, Media, My favorites, race, Socialism

In Which I Qualitate/Quantitate

Don’t read this until you are ready to READ this. By that I mean, click on all links. You don’t have to read them, but they are an important part of the narrative. But do read the last link. It is the most important and is a news story and provides context.

c) I’m pretty sure that everything I think has been thought before.

That is simultaneously comforting and terrifying.

Often times our world is misled by what we think we think though. We then suffer under the great injustice that is our own misconceptions of ourselves. Specifically, the fact that 4 million more people watch Modern Family than The Middle. Both shows analyze the changing definition of the American dream, but one does it through shallow analysis of obvious xenophobia and one does it through thoughtful revelations about the inhumanity inherent in a capitalist society that refuses to empathize with struggle. Modern Family is a person who has not listened’s analysis, The Middle is someone who paid attention’s analysis.

1. I have had arguments with three people who have stated their frustration with the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Each of them went like this:
Them: “I agree with what they’re saying, I just don’t know what they’re saying.”
Me: “Have you been down to Zuccotti Park?”
Them: “No” and a bunch of more words that don’t matter.

2. I have a belief that Taylor Swift is doing the more harm to American society than Lady Gaga – specifically that Taylor Swift is doing the most harm and Lady Gaga is doing the most negative harm (negative used in the mathematical sense). This belief is challenged often. Typically those conversations go like this:
Me: “Don’t ask, don’t tell would have been repealed 3 years earlier if it weren’t for Taylor Swift.”
Them: “That’s ridiculous” They’re right “Lady Gaga isn’t even saying anything. She’s just the same mindless pop that we’ve had forever.”
Me: “Have you heard her new album?”
Them: “Um..” and a bunch of defensive lies about how they have an appropriate sample size that don’t matter.

3.

2. Frankie Heck – Patricia Heaton’s character on The Middle is a true hero of the Michael Moore union version of socialism. She is a lighthouse that shines light through all the cracks in the American Dream. Hard work equals hard work, but having money equals having money. Surrounding her is pain and suffering that is solely the gift of a desire for things she is told she deserves. And yet this could all be solved with a simple sharing of some wealth. It doesn’t need to be opportunity because we don’t all need to the freedom to try. We need the freedom to succeed. And success is not defined by being in the 1%. Then only 1% of us, necessarily succeed. I aim for 100%.

I like to play a game called turn concepts into rants for socialism in as few sentences as possible.

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comedy, Gender, Indignant

Where I Say Things Over Again

a) Comedy, Women

The greatest trick the devil ever played was not convincing a bunch of assholes that Kevin Spacey’s performance in The Usual Suspects is hands down the greatest acting performance that has ever fuckin’ happened, it was convincing people to argue about whether or not women are funny. I once got in an argument with a sadly misinformed friend who was claiming that men were funnier than women on average and I defended my opinion by using this graph:

I was wrong. So wrong. I was trying to say that there are a group of people that are super funny and they are evenly distributed between men and women, and below that are just people forced to be where they are on the funny line by social construction. Funny isn’t so continuous. It’s a word. Either funny or not. It’s binary.

90% of laughter is forced because we feel it socially demanded of us. This is the true construction that keeps this argument going. All the people below that dotted line do not deserve to be laughed at, but we have decided that it is important that women laugh and men get laughed at (e.g. All Sitcoms). Therefore we force laughter when we see a man do something that we know he thinks is funny and we force criticism when a woman tries the same thing. Stop forcing laughter.

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Gender, Indignant, My favorites, Socialism

The Worst People in the World Were on the F-Train

She had gotten a salt bagel with hummus because “we’re in New York, honey” but now the hummus was spilling out the sides. As her jaw clenched around her breakfast, the bagel clenched and the ground garbanzo oozed outwardly.

“Here, honey”

He began uncrumpling the white paper bag that their Brooklyn experience had been served in. He blew into the bag to open it. This did nothing besides convince himself that he had helped.

“Put this under your bagel.”

He handed her the bag turned cumbersome bib proud that he had figured out his own what all New Yorkers had to be taught when they started eating bagels for breakfast at 4 years old.

“Wait.”

He explained his new realization that the age old bag under the bagel could be improved by tossing napkins in the bottom of the receptacle to soak up the excess bagel filling. He didn’t explain his even newer realization that this made no sense and was completely unnecessary because he was still on a high from improving on being a native New Yorker.

He thought about how “He kissed her” is a really nice sentence, but “she kissed him” seems scary. Before he had to worry about this anymore he decided it best to kiss her on the cheek and also offer his seat to a woman riding the subway alone. SHE was 40 years old and able to stand for HERself. Obviously it was necessary for HIM to find a place for the bag full of napkins and preparation for excess hummus that never occurred and the three shopping bags of Macy’s items. His bag of napkins was proving difficult to store appropriately as it was a little greasy and he was worried about leaving a grease stain on the subway floor.

He worried that a real New Yorker would have just carried the bag instead of shoving it face down under the seat where the grease stain would be less bothersome to other subway passengers. Then he was distracted by watching his girlfriend’s nose point at his navel.

“Why’d you do that?”

She responded to his poking of her nose accompanied by an exclamation of “boop!” He wanted to tell her “because we’re in New York,” but he knew that that didn’t make any sense. Maybe it was just vacation that was making him so giddy, he thought as he retook his seat that he had given up out of chivalry. Luckily he didn’t have time to think as another woman was standing alone. SHE was nearly 60 years old probably, though it was hard to tell with the Asians. He knew this wasn’t a very New York thing to do (standing up for two different people on a subway ride), but there were somethings that just needed to be universal.

“Or either of you.”

He didn’t really understand why the man wanted to take his seat while the woman didn’t, but maybe it was an Asian thing.

“Oh my god.”

She mouthed to herself but within vision of her boyfriend to express how strange it was to sit next to an old smelly Asian man on the subway. It’s too bad she had to marry someone so nice, but at least her parents liked him.

 

I have an obligation to society, that if society gives me more, then I must give more. And to those given least by society, we give more. I once argued with a woman in a bar I was working about chivalry and she questioned my lack of chivalry by asking if I would stand up for a woman in heels after a long day of work, to which I countered “would you stand up for a man in heels?” Let’s please be understanding of the things we give. That if the real distinction to be made is between person in heels and person in flats, then let’s not associate that with anything else even if they are correlated. My favorite first year statistics lesson is the lesson on correlation where the student is asked to think about why we can’t exclaim that ice-cream cures the common cold because there are less cases of the common cold when more people are eating ice-cream. The student rightfully ascribes both the lack of ice-cream eating and virility of the common cold virus to the common cold outside. Therefore correlation and causality are not the same. Therefore ice-cream does not cure the common cold. Therefore person in heels does not equal woman. Therefore getting up for a woman on the subway does not equal getting up for a person society has forced to feel a need to be gotten up for. It is fine to treat different genders differently as long as it is countering the difference that those genders are treated by society. Also: understand: historical prospective. That as a straightwhiteman I have been given opportunities that others have not, and therefore – especially if we are not going to allow our governments to redistribute power through socialism – I have a obligation to society to give more back to members of society – specific members of society.

 

I bet you that they had aspirations to be in a country club.

 

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comedy, Gender, Indignant, Math, Media, My favorites

Women, Fun, Math – A New Thesis.

“When I’m Ira Glass I’m gonna have chapters instead of acts.”

-Me, Right Now

I’ve shared three videos on facebook recently. I think they are the three videos that perfectly describe what my life is. This realization comes on the heels of a change in the domain name of my blog – a long needed change as the contents no longer fit what it was called.

Chapter 1.

We change the way we view things based on the context under which we view them, obviously. Information is so free though nowadays that anything that is imbibed comes with a whole set of preconceptions. Therefore we can never know if Bridesmaids was truly a good movie or bad movie. We demanded to know if a woman could make a Judd Apatow movie because we were confused about our role as an audience member and then Kristen Wiig did it – she made a Judd Apatow movie.

Guy has chance to have something super hot and rich yet unhealthy with one girl, finally finds joy in something more interestingly attractive and healthier. Screws things up with it, but gets it back in the end. = Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Switch “guy” and “girl.” = Bridesmaids

Two best dude friends have a constant passive aggressive battle because despite the fact that they like each other, the one that isn’t as much of a conventional “failure” feels like the other is holding him back. The “non-failure” also wants to hang out with an annoying person who is more successful at the next step in their lives. The two dudes make up in the end after a big blowout fight where they decide not to be friends anymore. = Superbad

Switch “dude” to “chick” and “him” to “her.” = Bridesmaids

“Screwup” man has a failure business that he put everything into despite the fact that he didn’t put that much into it. He learns to try by the end of the movie because a woman that he likes does try. = Knocked Up

Switch “man” and “woman.” Bridesmaids

A bunch of male friends rag on a dude who has still not done something that the rest of them have done. That dude feels likes an outcast, but then feels less like an outcast when he becomes comfortable with his own pace of doing that thing that he hasn’t done. = 40 Year Old Virgin

Switch genders. = Bridesmaids

But is it more important because it’s women? We as a society, unfortunately, but obviously treat genders differently – as should be realized by the fact that I equated a male’s loss of virginity to a female’s wedding night, but because we treat genders differently do we have to reward genders differently?

I am a straight male who looks and acts like a straight male and that gives me a key to a safe space that I don’t feel safe in. A safe space that does not need to be designated as a safe space because it is the controlling space. Straight males are the people most frightened of admitting women are funny because they’ve been given the monopoly on funny and losing things isn’t fun. The most common defense of their monopoly when they see funny women being gross in order to be funny is that that type of thing wouldn’t work for a man because the bar is higher for men. Pooping is hilarious when anyone does it, it’s just also important when women do it. If you’re jealous because a woman can get a laugh by making poop noises while she has sex with a blowup doll and you can’t, then try growing up in a culture that tells you that sex and poop are shameful and still make shitfucking sounds. The humor comes from the vulnerability that is inherent in admitting your inability yo conform to society’s demands of you.

Apatow has made his fortune on creating male characters that don’t quite conform to the expectation of men in our society. Therefore, when we asked K-Wiig to do the same for women, we didn’t give her a chance to succeed. Freaks and Geeks came out with no expectations and was cancelled after a season. Same with Undeclared. 40 Year Old Virgin came out when Apatow was still known as a guy who had something to do with Anchorman. It was going to be an mainstream comedy with offbeat antics, and it turned out to have heart. Knocked Up looked sappy and romantic from the trailers and when it turned out to have bong rips and birth video footage, people fell in love with Judd. By the time Forgetting Sarah Marshall came out Apatow had created a new genre of comedy that was only missing one thing: Developed female characters. He tried letting Aubrey Plaza create it in Funny People, but the movie was still about two men’s relationship and Plaza’s plot got thrown do the side. Wiig took the reins. The problem being that we all saw her take the reins. This movie had to be funny in the same way Apatow is, but about female dynamics, but it couldn’t be just about chick stuff because then it wouldn’t prove that women could do universal humor, but it had to have heterosexual attractive women because it couldn’t buy into the stereotypical lesbian imagery of the 1970s. We expected all of this from Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo. What we expected, at best, from Apatow was dirty comedy with heart. His task was easier.

Then there is the even bigger problem of succeeding. Which Wiig did. She did it. She made the movie we wanted, but in doing that, we all knew what was coming. She simply achieved our outlandish expectations instead of surpassing them.

There are two people in this world that I don’t think it’s okay to be mean to: Kristen Wiig and Christina Aguilera. It’s not because I think they are the best people. It’s because they are doing what has been asked of them by the brightest in society – and doing it with talent. Being mean to them doesn’t make sense because you asked them to do what they are doing. Get mad at yourself instead.

Jacob said it best.

Chapter 2.

Artists should not be asked to conform to a role imposed upon them by an audience. Their role should be self-determined. I want Tyler the Creator and Hodgy Beats to be the new Keenan and Kel.

I’m not sure if that’s racist, but I’m pretty sure that it’s hypocritical.

Hypocrisy used to be my main exploration as an artist. At another time it was the relationship between logic and emotion, and at another time it was the correlation between confusion and comfort (it was a negative correlation), and at another time it was “why doesn’t anyone like me?!”

I think the word artist should be spelled F-A-R-T-I-S-T. Because of the word “fart.”

If we’re going to pick a correlation that sums up my fartistry right now, it would be the correlation between fun and importance. This time is different though. This time I feel like the correlation I’m creating fart about isn’t about pointing out an existing statistical anomaly, but rather is about forcing a correlation to exist that I desire to exist. Fun and importance should be highly positively correlated. The only way to get people to do things is to make those things fun to do – nobody does for others, so as long as we make important things fun and fun things important than we will have a successful world.

This philosophy is not one I feel comfortable taking credit for. This is a philosophy that I have appropriated from Keenan and Kel. The message of their fart was a message of fun. Never was a motivation anything beyond attempting to have more fun accomplishing the tasks they needed to accomplish. OFWGKTA is also a group dedicated to the motivation of fun. Guns, eating bugs, vomiting and frightening rape innuendos may not seem fun to you or me, but they are teenagers with an excessive number of resources and an even more excessive imagination. They are starting a sketch show, but just as The Keenan and Kel Show was a far superior spin off of All That, I feel as though (Futurely Named) The Hodgy Tyler: More Than You Show will be a more focused version of exploring fun than the Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All’s ragtag group of teenagers.

I just think people should have fun, and judging others’ versions of fun is rude.

Chapter 3.

Math education has been regarded as too unfun for too long. Math education could save our society. Math class from age 8-15 is the most important hours in the development of a child into a correctly functioning human. This has nothing to do with learning the quadratic formula or how to find the area of the space left over in a circle when a trapezoid is taken out, it has to do with a method of think.

Math teaches us how to discover. A good math education teaches us to find ways to learn from everything around us. It’s about understanding how to find a problem and then find the steps necessary to reach the solution of that problem.

1st Grade: Kids should be taught the coordinate plane. We need to understand what numbers are. How they interact. 1/2, one half, and 0.5 are not different things, they are all one thing split into two parts. Too often when I’m tutoring statistics to grad-students do they write 32.0650. That isn’t appropriate, and if people understood that putting a zero at the end of a number that has reached below zero specifics is useless than they wouldn’t do that.

Here’s a quick test:

1. Read this number out loud: 45.123

Did you say:

a) “Forty five point one hundred and twenty three”

b) “Forty five point one two three”

c) “Forty five and one hundred and twenty three thousandths”

If you said (a) you were taught numbers incorrectly as a child, if you said (b) you taught yourself numbers and are probably pretty good at math, and if you said (c) you are a goody two shoes.

2nd Grade: Kids should be taught long division. In the process of learning long division they are forced to learn addition, subtraction, and multiplication.

2. When you look something up on google maps do you:

a) Look at the directions on the left for indications of where to go

b) Look at the map for indications of where to go

If you said (a) you learned long division incorrectly and if you said (b) you learned long division correctly.

Long division is a unique step-by-step process unlike most processes that we see in our day to day life. Each step of long division takes the answer you found in your last answer and directly applies it to the next step to find the next step, and then repeats. Practicing long division is to logic what sit-ups are to your abs. Reading a map involves finding the connections between two steps and considering that connection to be a step of its own. Long division also demands patience and a respect for the journey toward the solution. Long division teaches you to care less for the final answer and more for the process getting you to the final answer.

Also, operations are not different. Multiplication is just addition done a bunch of times. Subtraction is just addition backwards. Division is just addition done a bunch of times backwards.

3. How would you say the following: sin(30), sin, 3*sin*10?

a) “Sine thirty,” “Sine,” “Three sine ten”

b) “Sine of thirty (I’m going to assume degrees),” “the word ‘sin,’” “that doesn’t mean anything, Nisse you are annoying, what is the meaning of this? I hate you”

Answering (a) means you never understood how operators (multiplication, division, addition, subtraction) work. Answering (b) means you understand how operators work. I hear so many students say “sine 30″ and when I clarify that it is “sine of 30″ they go “yeah, yeah yeah, whatever.” It’s not “whatever.” This is a very important distinction to make. Trigonometric functions are operators like addition, they are not variables to be placed wherever. They function only if they are of a degree or radian.

None of that needed to make sense to you. What needs to make sense to you is that finding new things is fun. A new operator should be an exciting adventure into a new way to deal with numbers.

3rd Grade: Give the students an abacus, a protractor, a compass, and a slide rule. Don’t teach them anything for an entire year. Put different numbers on the board each day. Let them play.

Math is fun and given the tools to realize that, kids will find that on their own. If we tell them that it’s boring, then they will think that instead.

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comedy, Gender, Indignant, Media, My favorites

Why Are There No Funny Men?

I’ve tried for such a long time to keep an open mind to all comedy – to respect that all people, regardless of gender, can be funny. I can’t do it any more. Men just aren’t as funny as women.

Don’t pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about. If we are going to have an open and honest discussion about the true gender divide in comedy, we have to all start at the same obvious conclusion.

I understand that this seems like a broad generalization, and it is. I don’t mean to imply that no men are funny, there are funny men, but for the most part they utilize gross exaggerations of the male ego for comedic effect or rely on jokes that point out feminine qualities (jokes that wouldn’t get laughs if a woman were to do say them). All male comedians that are decent fall into one of these two categories – they are overly masculine or feigning femininity in order to co-opt comedy. When Dane Cook or Daniel Tosh yell loudly about they’re penis or their erection, they are simply attempting to copy the women who have achieved comedy success through jokes about their menstrual blood and vaginas. Alternately, comedians like Michael Cera or Andy Dick enjoy humor-fame only because they fully commit themselves to femininity – awkwardly avoiding confrontation, refusing to take sexual agency: what’s more feminine than that?

Also Jews. Jewish males are allowed to be funny, but they are only funny because Jewish humor is inherently feminine.

Of course I’m no fan of the fact that when I go to comedy shows it seems as though there is some unwritten rule that you always have to have a male stand up performing about how his ex-wife is a cunt or how much pussy he can get or how big/small his penis is, but why I bring up this inherent comedic division by sex is because I see it permeating our day to day life. The average man just isn’t funny.

Obviously, there are far more terrible male comedians than terrible female comedians, but also I’ve begun to notice that the average male is drastically less funny than the average female. I can’t help but think that this has something to do with some sort of trickle down effect of comedy. Without funny comedian idols to look up to, how would any man become funny?

As a man interested in comedy, this troubles me. Is it impossible for me to be funny because the templates for humor contain curves and sensitive nipples? Does my hairy chest and flat ass prevent me from being able to provide laughter? No. I believe there is hope.

I believe that I can be both a man and be funny. I believe I can provide comedy without castrating myself. I just refuse to believe that comedy can only flow through fallopian tubes. I refuse to concede that testosterone is the biological antonym to humor.

So, please, give me hope. I ask each of you to look for a male comedian who will inspire me – who will not conform to the comedy of yesteryear- comedians equal, in any way, to their comedienne counterparts.

When will we have male comedians that stand up to the powerhouses of comedy like Phyllis Diller, Sarah Silverman, Joan Rivers, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Lucille Ball, Wanda Sykes, Kristen Schall, or Gilda Ratner? I pray for that day.

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Depressed, Gender, Selfish

Hey Nicki, you’re so fine, you’re so fine, holy Christ I wish I was you so bad.

It’s nice out, but I am not outside.

The reason is because I haven’t taken a shower.

The reason I haven’t taken a shower is because I’m busy being in bed.

The reason I’m being in bed is because my computer contains so much work for me to do.

Drawn Out Storytelling is happening. It’s happening, but we still need more money.

I’m proud of my art. I’m proud of the things I do, but sometimes I can’t do the things that are truly important. The things that are important are done by Nicki Minaj.

I can subvert masculinity or question the concept of gender roles/identification, but what I can’t do is truly be empowering because I am not a woman. Beyond that, I’m not talented, but more importantly: I have a penis. It sucks.

Specifically what Nicki does that Missy Elliot and Lil Kim did not do before her was maintain femininity. PINK. She is able to project her femininity as her power. She co-opted patriarchy without co-opting masculinity. She even sings as the heterosexual Nicki in it. Usually I’m opposed to when Nicki pretends to only like men or women, but her hetero status is important in this video because it gives her the power to comment purely on the power she can demand as a woman over men. PINK.

Did you know she’s a woman?

There’s no question. Cus she’s got boobs and curves and PINK. Pink jizz. She fucking jizzes her pink jizz all over some dudes chest and he makes that face. That face. The face that every girl in patriarchal pornography makes as she gets a face full of facefull. I can’t do this because my jizz, despite being pink, comes out of a penis. It doesn’t come out of a champagne glass, it comes out of an uncircumcised, barely average, left leaning (politically and physically) dick.

People have asked me why I have so many issues with my penis in the interviews that I hold in my head when I’m fantasizing about fame and this is the problem: What can/should I do?

I can’t ever do what I need to do, and that’s both okay and terrible. Okay for the world, but terrible for me. It’s hard to reconcile.

Also, watch this show. They’re doing the things I wish I could do but can’t because of my stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid penis. AND she lip syncs to Nicki well.

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comedy, Gender, Horny, Indignant, My favorites

Fuckin’ Adorable or Adorable Fuckin’

I told a story recently and am going to tell it again tonight about how I was very bad at attempting to have sex. You should go to the show to see me tell it. I was REALLY bad at trying to have sex.

The story is specifically about a girl I was desperately in love with despite knowing her for two weeks before I came to this conclusion. I was 18 and a virgin and she shared some interests with me so that meant we were meant for each other. If you want to hear the story, you’ll have to come to the show tonight, but the important part that I will tell now is that we don’t wind up together.

It’s an adorable story of me being as pathetic as possible and still not getting the girl. I love telling these stories. I love telling these stories because I think it’s important that people hear the romantic comedy archetypical plot from the supposed hero of these stories and realize that it is not a life that should be aspired toward.

I watch Chuck on Hulu every week. It is the worst show for television because it lauds this nerdy guy as some sort of backwards sex symbol who should both aspire to and succeed in getting the super hot girl who has not similar interests to him. This is not the only show that does this. Every movie with Topher Grace or Michael Cera or Jay Baruchel or Insert Scrawny White Guy Here is about how this guy who couldn’t get laid has a heart of gold and if he just tries hard enough than a girl should respect that and start laying him. The problem with this being, of course, that women should have agency and just because a man tried really hard does not mean that a woman should have sex with him. He might be annoying, ugly, or share no interests with her. In fact that is usually the case. If you base a whole romance on one shallow trait being shared or one band as a common interest then conversations will run dry very quickly. Yet we keep making these movies and tv shows under the assumption that because the man is nerdy he is an underdog and therefore can be rooted for and you are still being subversive.

Quickly put: the oversexualization of scrawny white guys who stammer when they get nervous and get nervous when they’re near hot girls has been made more destructive because people are able to trick themselves into thinking that they are going against the status quo, when in fact they are simply living out some lonely mans fantasy where he re-writes his past and gets to hook up with a girl he created in his mind.

So, I tell stories where I lead you on a journey that you’ve been led on before. Scrawny awkward white guy likes girl. Girl is too hot for him and doesn’t want to have sex with him. He tries really hard though! But then instead of the girl finally succumbing to his patriarchy and sleeping with him – I fail in some interesting way that continues to defy the status quo. In the video that I hope you clicked on above I make out with a man in a closet.

As I began this post: I told a story that followed this formula a couple weeks ago. I was then approached by two women. They were attractive women and they wanted to talk to me. Because I had accidentally oversexualized myself by presenting myself as the hero of their teen-movie fantasy. More interestingly though, was that after listening to my story that ended with me and protagonist female not together, the women asked if the girl I was sitting with was protagonist female. The girl I was with was a friend. A good friend, but far from the girl I had devoted a year of my life creeply obsessing about and wanting to sleep with. But they couldn’t wrap their mind around the idea that that girl was no longer a part of my life.

Me and protagonist female are still friends but not sexual/romantic. We talk on the phone sometimes, but she lives in another state. But that’s not how the story is supposed to end. I had put so much effort into trying to fuck her that if she wasn’t fucking me now she must be a bitch. But she’s not. She just didn’t want to fuck me. And that is her right as a person to not want to fuck me. She deserves that right. All people deserve the right to not want to fuck me. Not believing this is the same as believing in rape. It’s stripping away sexual agency from women in favor of whatever a man wants.

It’s funny. These two girls came up to me so blinded by hearing the beginning of a story they had heard before that they forgot to listen to the end. And even if they did listen they refused to hear it because it didn’t fit their fantasy dreamworld where me and protagonist female end up together with babies and happiness. They didn’t think she had the right to not want to fuck me. She must now be that girl that I am sitting with.

I think anger and hunger have forced this incoherence. The important thing to take away from it is that you should come hear me tell a story tonight at The Fifth Estate and then NOT try to have sex with me because of it. I won’t respect you.

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comedy, Gender, Media, My favorites, race

I Could Have Accomplished More if I Was Black

When I saw Win a Date With Tad Hamilton I was pissed. I wasn’t just mad because the movie was clichéd representation of gender norms in 95 minute form, but also because I wasn’t in it.

Topher Grace had stolen my life. I was supposed to be the too scrawny to be attractive awkward guy that ended up with the girl in the end but only after losing her multiple times to hunkier men who weren’t all bad, but weren’t as good either. When I said life in that first sentence of this paragraph I meant movie-life. I meant the person I was so good at pretending to be when I was 18 that I figured people would want to watch me on TV screens being that person. I wasn’t that person.

Though at 18 I was much dumber than I am now, I still knew that with that power came great responsibility and once I became famous for being nerdy but not too nerdy, awkward but somewhat charming, and vaguely depressed but only because I didn’t have you in my life I would have to find some way to subvert those expectations. Maybe I would also be gross because we aren’t comfortable enough with grossness as a society. Maybe I would be surprisingly cocky because it’s stupid that we find lack of confidence attractive only if it’s teamed with bumbling sentences and small muscles.  Maybe it would be simply be extreme leftist politics because these vanilla figures of teen-idolatry never took a real stance.

I’ve grown. Both in my understanding of teen movie worship and in facial hair. Both make my desire to manifest as a tween heartthrob only to  subvert any desires tweens had for me less appealing. Most importantly Drake came along.

He was on Degrassi. He didn’t quite always get the girl. Then he joined the most badass group of rappers in the US. Sings with the most badass chicks in rap. Had a video that prominently displayed boobs as its main feature. But most importantly he was still cute.

The whole time!

He was soo cute. He still is. Nobody looks cuter when he moves his gaze slowly from her thighs to her boobs.

He’s doing what I wanted to do, but so much better.

The key to the socially awkward, doesn’t get laid guy who gets the girl in the end is that he induces “awws.” Is that when you look at him you can’t help but crinkle your eyebrows and hold back a smile that says “man, I wish you were doing better.” Is that you root for him no matter what he does. Topher Grace, Shia Lebeouf, That dude from Can’t Hardly Wait, Jason Biggs. They all did it well, but then did nothing after. Drake does it while being a part of Young Money – rapping with Lil’ Wayne, Kanye, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, and every other person associated with the badass part of rap. A part of rap associated with drugs, tits, fucking, and gang violence. Yet he’s playing Topher Grace in Win a Date with Tad Hamilton.

Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) is trying to do the same thing, but why he won’t succeed is because he has two names. Drake is Drake – he is no longer Aubrey Graham who was in a wheelchair in Degrassi. Donald Glover will always stay an actor because he refuses to let go of his acting persona (Not that I think that’s bad, I think he’s a great actor). He’s just a shitty person with amazing taste.

I don’t want to go on a rant about how confused I am about my feeling about the Derrick Comedy star.

Drake is incredible.

Watch this video and try to not understand what I’m saying:

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Gender, Indignant, My favorites, Nostalgia, Selfish

My Dudes.

I like to claim that “dudes” is a gender neutral term to describe the people you hang out with most. I’ve also attempted to claim “bitches” is a gender neutral term to describe people you are excited to see. There’s a problem with both claims, in that interpretation largely forms the meaning of the word. If the image conjured up when I say “my dudes” is that of burly men on couches then that context informs how you read the rest of what is said about said “dudes.”

The fact that you have such a clear vision of who one is referring to when talking of “dudes” is the essential problem . When 90% of relationships represented on TV and film are between men, it is hard to not find archetype idols to follow. It’s tempting to simply fill in the template already created by society with slightly different traits in order to achieve uniqueness, as opposed to discarding the template altogether.

Problems arose when my group of “dudes” in college all grew facial hair. It may have been out of a mix of laziness, fear of being perceived as childlike, and an attempt to subscribe on only a minor level to the hipster subculture that was anything but a subculture at our school, but the result was that the conjured image of burly men on couches was fully realized.

Our common interests were hard to find. Each of us fashioned ourselves intelligent in our field, but our fields had little overlap. Psychology, History, Gender Studies, Mathematics, and Philosophy may seem connected, but only in that they all involve a college education. Instead our common thread became that we had all not had sex with girls that we had wanted to have sex with. Even our closest non-hetro dude (who unsurprisingly found our fulfillment of Apatow fantasies unfulfilling and began hanging out with us less over college) was connected because he was not having sex with men that he wanted to have sex with. So that became what we talked about. It’s not that I don’t like talking about that. I love talking about that. But it’s that that constant of a conversation begins to affect actions. Our other common interest was the nostalgic playing of Super Smash Bros. on N64. Since all we ever spoke of was our inability to achieve our sexual desires, the games became less about Falcon Punches and Down B’s of Yoshi and more about taking out anger on who we thought subscribed to the virtues of the book of “Not Getting Laid But Wanting To” worst – who was least dudely.

This was not a happy house. We once got into a screaming fight because half of us wanted to go to Noodles & Co. and half of us wanted to go to Subway.

Again I have found myself living in a world where my life revolves around a game and some men. Now, though, my conversations with each are different. They revolve around comedy & monogamy, fantasy sports & not getting laid, lady gaga & kanye, and granola & efficiency. I like every one of these conversations, but, more importantly, by diversifying what we talk about, our game (Settlers of Catan) stays about our game. When someone blocks a trade route t’s because that’s the best move for them not because that person has been backwardly bragging about the fact that they made out with some girl. They aren’t better people, and, honestly, I have no desire to hang out with good people, but our relationships are much healthier. The diversity of individual relationships creates a world where conformity becomes more difficult – where there is no template to simply fill in. Where you get to write your own template.

It’s not lost on me that my groups of dudes is significantly less heterosexual, but I think that has less to do with the differences than one would originally assume. Women obviously played a role in both groups, mostly that women became less and less interested in interacting with us the more and more our conversation revolved around our inability to have sex on them, but I think near the beginning of my college dudes’ group our relationship to femalia was similar. That’s all I’m going to say about other theories as to the quality of life because I like the theory that I’ve been writing about for a while and want you to think that it’s true.

Each of the men I’ve talked about from college and now are great people… great dudes, but Darjeeling Limited is a much better movie than The Royal Tenenbaums - relationships between individuals are more interesting than the individuals themselves.

I’ve often said that the only person I hate more than myself is all previous incarnations of myself. I hope that that continues to be true because that will mean that I’m always changing for the better.

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Gender, Nostalgia, race, Socialism

Recycley Unproductive III (Politics?)

On one subway ride and walk out of the subway I wrote four short essays. Here they are!

Sarcasm and Symbioticism
They were the odd couple. One guy’s zip up hoodie was white. The other’s was black. One guy wore blue jeans, the other word dark blue jeans. One gelled the little hair he had and placed on top a pair of Gucci sunglasses. The other donned his Armani sunglasses on hair that was too short to gel. One wore Adidas – black with white stripes. The other Nike – white with black swoosh. You couldn’t find two people were more different.
Don’t Call it a Construct
People told her that she looked like Rashard Lewis. He was a basketball player only recognizable by face to the general populous in her home town of Orlando because he was on every billboard facing the camera but hiding behind a basketball extended out in front of him at the length of his arm. She thought Rashard Lewis was cute, but she didn’t have high self-esteem.

Rashard Lewis had a little goatee. How could she look like a man with a goatee? Did she look like a man enough that people could easily imagine her sprouting facial hair?

When Rashard Lewis was a teenager he was called the “tallest bitch on the court.” He was 6’6,” but his face resembled many of the women that his teammates tried to hit on. He responded by learning to compliment his height and low post abilities with a deadly accurate 3 point shot. She hasn’t responded yet.
Capitalism Don’t Fart
I farted on the subway. It wasn’t a quiet fart, though it was still muffled by the seat and my jeans. I knew it wouldn’t be silent, I was aware of the rattling of my buttcheeks that was about to occur. These were subway people though. They sit net to dead homelessmen. they have no right o be scared off by a fart. It wasn’t hat they had no right that saved me. it was that hey had no desire to fight me. Who knew what I was gonna do? We need fear of the unexpected in order to keep us humble. We need that fear from a lack of protection or knowledge to keep us on level playing fields.
Struggles in Racial Identity Class and Court
He can’t ball. He has an I-pod though. None of them do. Does that make him better? Does that make him worse? Does that make him different? He figured the answer was yes. he wasn’t allowed to play ball with them no matter how hard he stared at the court. His hair didn’t naturally cornrow itself no matter how long he grew it and tied it back. He was so white that his shirt was purple.

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