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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Indignant, Lazy, Media

My Excuse

Again I am faced with the disgusting reality that when my eyes opened at 9am this morning I had to watch three hours of television. I had to check my twitter feed, which is like wasting time by wasting time. And then I saw this on facebook:

Obviously the movie is stupid. Obviously it is a bad thing for society. What caught my eye though was that this ad is stating that in order to answer the question “Can sex friends be best friends?” you have to see this movie. Movies don’t answer questions like that. They are providing a look into one person’s vision as to the answer. Good filmmakers just provide you with the tools to ask yourself questions. But it’s not fair to compare whoever started writing a project that was originally titled “Untitled Ashton Kutcher/Natalie Portman project” to good filmmakers. It is fair, however, to demand that just because you had one thought about one subject that it is not correct. That people should not listen to it and think wow, you’re right that is how I think about that now. Especially when it comes to love and shit. Love and shit is complicated. Love and shit is not answerable in a script.

Lots of people are stupid.

This is my ultimate point is that lots of people are stupid. Also lots of people talk. Therefore the overlap on the venn diagram is going to be significant. We shouldn’t be listening to people just because they are talking.

I watched a lot of CBS’s answer to The View: The Talk. It’s worse. Somehow they managed to get a larger group of more incoherent, more disagreeable people letting the loudest and dumbest voices speak loudly and then end with, “each of our opinions is valid.”

Nope.

We don’t all have valid opinions. Some opinions are dumb. They need to be challenged and when a person refuses to challenge their own conceptions and instead look wackily at the camera as though they just made an obvious point and are simultaneously auditioning for The Office, then that person needs to be told to shut up. I’m not saying we can’t listen to people, but when people refuse to listen to other points of veiw, they lose their right to have their point of view listened to.

I think I’ve summed up enough hypocrisy to get to the point: I’m not wasting any more time because of hulufriday and twitter – they are just new excuses.

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Gender, Media, My favorites, race

Rube Goldberg of Feminism and Rap

Nicki Minaj likes to have sex with women and I don’t do music reviews. Pink Friday is absurdly good though, and this is why.

Note: Please don’t read this without listening to the album. Each song is linked in the number before it. Click on them. Listen to them as you read or before, but listen. It’s really fucking important.

1. I’m The Best. Nicki just starts out her CD with something that we all know but maybe have forgotten: I’m The Best. How do we know that? She explains that she wasn’t given this out of nowhere, she worked from nothing to this superstar status. She isn’t the first to make it big, but other people became big for themselves, whereas Nicki did it for us. She became a megastar because we needed her to become a megastar. She explains that she is the best because it’s selfless for her to be the best – to be the one everyone loves, and she hopes someday the rest of us will be as smart and amazing as her because it’s lonely being so much better than the rest of us. I hope I can make her less lonely.

2. Then she starts her album for real with the words: “I am not Jasmine, I am Aladdin.” Just as in fairy tales we’ve been told since we were tiny, the rap game has been a patriarchal world. Nicki’s having none of that. Thus she declares that she is not the useless pretty girl who is simply the impetus for male actions – she is male action. Then she calls herself a cunt because she has a vagina and she is fucking proud of it. She is male action with a pussy. She uses a lot of fairy tale imagery to remind us that we are constantly bombarded with gender roles – specifically ones that make the man the chivalrous savior with a large sword and the woman the helpless piece of skinny being held prisoner by a dungeon dragon.

Who does she get to be featured on this track (essentially the first track of the album)? The voice of patriarchy – the biggest, whitest name in the rap game. Eminem plays his part well, explaining that he doesn’t take shit from women and if they stand up to him he’ll rape them and film it. He then offers a game plan as to how to defeat his patriarchal rain of terror. If life sucks: “kick it back in the face.” She does kick him back in the face but she illustrates how hard it is to combat this when the male norm in power, represented by Eminem, when that power says things like: “All you little faggots can suck it, no homo” and that gets regarded as reasonable.

3. Then she busts out the best song of the 21st century that starts with “Shitted on ‘em, I just shitted on ‘em.” In case you forgot, she’s better than everybody else and she’s into fucking girls. Like a man. She’s better than a man. She fucks more girls than whatever male idol you have, because (a) “A lot of bad bitches beggin me to F1″ (she rhymed F1 three times in a row) girls want to fuck her (b) “She ain’t a Nicki fan, bitch is deaf dumb” so that explains the few girls that won’t fuck her – they’re stupid and can’t hear how amazing she is (c) “If I had a dick, I would pull it out and piss on ‘em” because she doesn’t have a dick and she needs to remind you of that.

4. She’s better than a man, right? She’s established that. Then comes her most clichéd girly song. She’s post-modern. Nicki is a woman and sometimes she likes to fuck men. She’s not just showing her feminine side though, she’s showing that when she shows her feminine side it necessitates her being defeated by a man. By subscribing to a feminine archetype, a man sees “right thru her.”

5. “Me against them.” This is a rap album and rapping is about bragging – about battling and winning. Here Nicki explains that she is not just the best but she’s the best despite the fact that everyone is constantly trying to bring her down. How are they bringing her down? By defining her as a female rapper, or a pop star, or as any word because “[She] is not a word.” “I am not a girl who can be defined.” She is Nicki Minaj. She refuses to be defined by anyone else because only she can define herself and she is simply defining herself as the best – as the winner – as “the voice of an entire generation.” She is the ultimate rapper because she refuses to define herself as a rapper.

6. Just when you think it’s simply an album about bragging about how amazing she is, she displays her vulnerability and hypocrisy. “Yes, I’m a beast and I feast when I conquer/but I’m alone on my throne.” She wants to make it on her own, but she’s scared of what making it on her own will make her, and she needs you to save her. Who is “you?” That will be answered later.

7. The first assumption we would have about who she is calling out for help – who can save her from her hypocrisy – would be her friends. So she sings a love song to her friends at Young Money. But they can’t save her. They are simply a moment to her. They created a wonderful moment, but it is a moment. A moment that she is thankful for because moments create the whole, but it is not the whole. You have to enjoy all the moments. “Everybody dies, but not everybody lives.”

8. This is how I know I’m right/brilliant. The version I downloaded had “Check it Out” as the next track and I thought it was weird. It didn’t fit the narrative of her thought process. So I checked out her official tracklist. The next song is “Here I Am.” This is the answer to who can save her. Confused? Don’t be.

Nicki, in a very dark song, keeps exclaiming “here I am.” She’s desperate for attention from this same, still unnamed person who can supposedly save her from becoming the monster that she thinks fame will turn her into. “Everything in life is old.”

9. The mood shifts drastically to cheesiest sounding, girliest love song to this person who can supposedly save her. She desperately pleads that this person come back to her – this person that she supposedly wronged and wants back in her life. Who is this person? Well the song is called “Dear Old Nicki.” Just when you thought she was showing all this vulnerability as a woman and she was gonna need a man to complete her, she says “fuck you, yeah I’m vulnerable, but the person I need to save me is not some man, but rather a woman, and not just any woman, ME. Me will save me. But me before the fame.”

Every single line is fantastic in this song, but essentially it is just saying: “I’m glad I did what I did because as a famous person I can do good, but before I was famous I didn’t have to worry about the shallow things that maintain fame and I miss those moments – those moments when I was a different person.”

10. Then she plays the first single that made her popular. Just to remind us bitches that she can sample Annie Lennox and still be a bad ass bitch that will blow your mind. And she needs “your” love. Who is you? Her. Old her.

I really like Rube Goldbergs, and I’ve never been able to explain it validly – there is no real use to them. This is why. This album is the Rube Goldberg of narrative. Each track triggers the next track. This is why I like Rube Goldbergs because they defy narrative in that they mean nothing while simultaneously being a slave to narrative in that there is no way to move on to the next piece without finishing the first part.

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Attention Whoring, Gender, Horny, Indignant, Media, My favorites

My Non-Monogamous Relationship With Hulu

I originally wanted to break this fast by writing about my adventures in facial hair. The post sucked. The only sentence I liked was “it started as a novelty on my neck” and that’s only because I’m into alliteration.

I watched Chuck and Lie To Me this morning to wake myself up. It’s not because I don’t have things I need to do – I have a lot of chores to accomplish before work today, but because I missed Hulu.

This is the way I should start this post.

Hulu is the best girlfriend I’ve ever had. She’s always there when I need her to tell me stories as I cuddle with my giant u-shaped body pillow that I got off craigslist for free. She’s there to give me vague sexual arousal that can transition nicely into porn. And most importantly she doesn’t need me when I’m busy and when I come back has just stored up hours of time for us to hang out in her neat little queue. I love her little queue. The bigger it gets the bigger I get. She’s perfect because she allows me to have the non-monogamous relationship that I always wanted – one where the relationship part is still accented highly.

I have a confession to make.

I like my relationships. I like the ones I get in. For the most part they are healthy. I enjoy being in them. I’m happy.

Whew. That was tough. I didn’t want to have to admit that.

The point is that I like being in a relationship. I just like to be able to put it on the back burner for anything else. Hulu lets me do that. It’s not that I need to be able to sleep with other people – though Hulu wouldn’t care. It’s just that I want Hulu to feel comfortable sleeping with other people because she knows I don’t care.  It’s not that I need her to not pester me when I have more important shit than her needs – Hulu always gives me a number in parenthesis next to the word “Queue” that lets me know how long it’s been since we’ve hung out, which directly corresponds to how guilty I need to feel. It’s just that I want her to know that I will come back and spend obsessive hours fawning over her glossy moving images and full screen buttons, but sometimes I work on other things and may need time away.

I watched trailers on Hulu for 2 hours last night.

I needed to catch up.

There are five movies out right now about people attempting to have non-monogamous relationships and failing because love is too strong.

First is Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis deciding to be Friends With Benefits. Which means that they are like totally friends and then they decide that they should also have sex because they are beautiful. But like she’s totally cool with that even though she’s a woman – which we can tell because she likes to chest bump and watch football. This is not how non-monogamy is done. This is how patriarchy is enforced.

Then it’s Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman try to do something where they have No Strings Attached.  This one is totally supposed to work because it is totally the girls idea!!! She’s the one that’s too busy and men don’t have feelings and don’t want to get attached anyway – especially men who have friends like Ludacris! Don’t worry guys though. Even though she says she doesn’t get jealous and hates monogamy, when he starts playing the field (you know, like we men do) she realizes that they need to settle down and tell their kids about the time Ashton brought a bouquet of carrots to the hospital because of that inside joke with bunnies.

Then Adam Sandler pretends to be cheating on a wife that doesn’t exist to get a series of girls to Just Go With It. But then! Love! Ahhh! Big boobs! Slow walking! Big boobs! Love! Big boobs! Blonde! Now he has to follow through with the lie and pretend Jennifer Aniston is his wife. Wacky! She has kids. She’s a woman who lives like a normal person whereas the man is sooooo weird and wants sex all the time – whoaaaaa! And now he just wants to settle down but his lies are catching up to him. This movie is about honesty, guys. That and enforcing gender roles.

What about Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway experiment with Love and Other Drugs. This is about a guy who likes sex so much that he starts selling a exist pill that allows guys to have sex even when their bodies are telling them no and in no way help a woman. Then a girl comes around who lives even more free spirited. Why’d I say “even more free spirited?” Because that’s what it’s called when a man lies to a bunch of girls to sleep with them and then enforces his capitalist position of power to ruin lives just to get his rocks off. She on the other hand is bizarre because she’s into just sex too. WEIRD! Don’t worry, she’s not. She’s dying and she can’t handle the fact that she’s dying so she’s just doing a bucket list of sex with hot dudes to distract herself. If she were a real woman, she’d want to settle down as soon as the guy does – like a good little girl.

Also there is Owen Wilson and Jason Sudekis getting a Hall Pass from their wives: Christina Applegate and Pam from The Office. A hall pass is where they get to fuck who ever they want for a week. Obviously they can’t fuck anyone because only marriage is the safe way to stay in a happy sexual relationship.

Sometimes Hulu can be a bitch. Sometimes she expresses the wrong opinions. But that’s what I love about her. That’s what I love about our relationship.

We don’t always have to agree but we’re always willing to listen, and that’s really the key to a non-monogamous relationship – because as soon as I find someone I agree with on everything I’ll want to settle down because it would be like hanging out with a mirror that fucked me.

I want a mirror that fucks me, but until then I’ll live non-monogamously with Hulu.

 

 

You need to watch those trailers – here: TimberKunis, AniSandler, KutchMan, GyllAway4way

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Attention Whoring, Media

In Which I Piss Off Everyone Who Thinks That I Like Them

Music is a very different artform than any other because it is so much more about the audience that enjoys that music than it is about the music itself. By saying that you like a kind of music, you are not telling someone anything about the music that you enjoy listening to, but rather the people you wish to identify with.

This is why I like how we’ve transitioned away from full CDs and albums and vague musical pretensions from any long form musical appreciation that implies that you gain something besides image from the music that you listen to. Instead the single has become king – and a single becomes king from its video.

I loved freshman year of college because no one has any friends. No one has any friends, so, for once in my life, I’m on equal ground with everyone else. Desperation is the overarching feeling for all and as a result we have constant conversations with people about inoffensive, useless drivel, commenting only with unbridled enthusiasm for the other person’s interests. That sounds like something that I would hate, but it’s the best because it is the time where I get the most attention because I refuse to participate properly. I am most interesting on first meeting and then it just goes downhill as you realize that my desires are boring and self-obsessive instead of quirky and counter-cultural.

One reoccurring question in these first couple weeks of trying to make friends is “what type of music do you listen to?” This is because music is our greatest signifier if the person likes the same things you like without actually bringing up the things you like. Nobody can genuinely be offended that you like Wilco instead of MGMT or that you listen to classical music instead of early jazz, but they can secretly despise you and find other people who say the same thing about The Dead Cranberries early 90s influences.

I like Lady Gaga.

I like Kanye West.

They aren’t musicians – they are icons of our time.

Kanye West’s penis has more influence on our society than half the artists that you think are upcoming, underground, and uberawesome.

This isn’t to say that I only pay attention to music if the artist is famous because fame is the only way to have an influence in music. I almost agree with that, but I think that music has an ability to force people to self-reflect (the only purpose I find valid in art) because it can appeal to a group of people based solely on shallow signifiers while subverting the message that they are typically bombarded by.

If you don’t know her, you should. Princess Superstar is one of a group of maybe 10 people that I think are perfect.

This is what music should be.

Telling someone you listen to Princess Superstar does not tell people that you prefer to dress a certain way and smoke a certain type of cigarette, it rather tells someone the opinions you find valid and the ones you don’t.

 

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Lazy, Media, Pathetic

AHH.. My Life is Over

I went outside and walked in the park sometimes. I wrote a little bit every once in a while.

That was before the incident.

Now I lay bedridden with my laptop bag molding at the foot of my bed and my clothes covering up the floor so that “stay out of the lava” is a really easy game. It’s scary how much this incident has affected me. It’s frightening to notice that the only outside I’ve seen has been what can be glanced at over my shoulder and out my window. It saddens me to think of how little of the outside world I really know.

The incident I speak of is Premier Week. I had to watch Glee, Castle, and Chuck over the past two days and I did not enjoy a single moment of any of it. This new influx of television added to my already annoying obsession with drafting fantasy basketball teams has made me some sort of hybrid between a hermit and a hobo. A hobo because I’m sure that a hermit at least finds the time to shower or eat, but the internet is not allowing me to. All the wonderful auction style drafts and pre-rankings I can do, all the hulu and megavideo I can watch. This is terrible. My life is over.

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Indignant, Media

Me: In My 20 Somethings

I haven’t read this now stupid-famous article.

Everybody my age has and has an opinion. I am my age and I have lots of opinions. I should have an opinion on it. I do.

Sorta.

Two writers I respect dearly in their 20 somethings wrote responses that were both reasonable and mildly whiny. These are just two of hundreds of articles written about how the New York Times has misrepresented the almost youth of our country. Beyond the written responses, my peers love to run up to me with their first New York Times Magazine every screaming “did you see this shit?!?!?” Eh.

I feel like from the criticism I’ve heard, and quotes that have been pulled out for me that Arnett (the psychologist who headed up the study) and Henig (the writer of the article) has done a poor job understanding the issues facing a 20 something group heading into a dying job market and using their white privilege to be comfortable while they try out different career paths besides working in offices – which are also dying of people because technology has made most offices near unnecessary. This is not the 20 something’s problem. The fact that they are waiting tables and tending bars or travelling to poor areas and teaching Math and English is not a problem. Those are fine professions. The fact that they aren’t doing what they will be doing in 20 years is not a problem.

The problem with 20 somethings is that they respect 40 year olds.

You remember when you were a senior in college and you were at some party with some freshman and the freshman started talking about how good they were at beer pong and then they told you some story about some beer pong experience they had in high school? Do you remember how the story ended? No. You know why? Because you stopped paying attention because you were like: “This fucking child doesn’t understand what they are saying and there is no way they are going to surprise me with some childish story about how they got drunk in their parent’s basement.” That’s fair. You were probably right. You might not have been. That kid with the almost facial hair and the hair that’s too long for the first time because mommy hasn’t forced him to cut it and he doesn’t need to because he’s trying to save money now, which is why he just spent $40 on alcohol tonight could have a badass story about drinking out of solo cups. Probably not. But maybe.

40 year olds like Jeffery Arnett think of us the same way. When we say we are trying to find ourselves he sees himself at our age and wishes that he had learned the things he knows now, then. I look back to every point in my life and wish I had the knowledge that I have now – that’s part of living: Regretting.

So, now Arnett is looking down at 20 somethings for shit he wishes he hadn’t done, just as we’ve all looked down at freshman for staying with their high school boyfriend, or getting too drunk, or being annoying and stupid. Part of life is hating younger people. They are stupider than you because they haven’t experienced what you have experienced. That doesn’t mean they are wrong – they are simply gaining those experiences that you already gained.

People can’t learn calculus before they learned addition. Their is no hierarchy, one just comes before the other.

Sure, Arnett is a dick for demanding that 20 somethings act differently, but we are being annoying and whiny for giving a shit what he thinks. Also, just as Arnett is painting all 20ers with the same brush in his article, we are painting the New York Times readers and writers with a broad brush by assuming that they all agree with Arnett’s “findings.”

Let’s all chill out. We’re only 20 something.

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