Coco and Her White Co-Sign

The day after Thanksgiving I took my nephew to see Coco, the new Pixar masterpiece about the Day of the Dead in Mexico. It follows one boy’s quest to find his great, great-grandfather’s spirit and also his love of music, which has been forbidden by his family due to a long simmering resentment towards musical artists.  It is basically Pixar doing a brilliant mash-up of Ghost and Footloose.  My review would be an A or 4 out of 4 stars.  The animation was outstanding, the story was incredibly original (nice to see that Disney actually allows Pixar to do Pixar things once in a while since buying them, instead of another half-baked franchising attempt) and it provided accessible exposition on some of the Mexican culture that was the backbone of the story for an outsider like me.  I cannot vouch for how authentic it was culturally, but after reading articles by the filmmakers who went to great lengths to be accurate, and from the applause after the film ended from the majority Latin sold out crowd, I am guessing they did their homework and executed it well. In fact, Coco is now in my Pixar Mt Rushmore (which also consists of Toy Story (for those pleading for Toy Story 3 to be included, let’s just say the TS saga has a spot – it is the only story and franchise to date that Pixar has flawlessly executed, though with Disney shamelessly pushing Toy Story 4 out in a year it shows that they feel the need to cash in and potentially diminish a beautiful ending to the trilogy that would make Six Feet Under‘s finale writers proud), Finding Nemo and Wall-E).

So other than getting over my disappointment that Coco was not a 2 hour film about Ice-T’s wife (the name is for the main character’s great-grandmother), it seems like it was a pretty flawless cinematic experience – so what could J-L have to complain about?


Before every Pixar movie that I can remember (and I have seen all but two in the theater – Cars 3 and A Bug’s Life being the exceptions) there has been an animated short.  Usually about 5 minutes, and sometimes getting nominated for the Oscar for Best Animated Short, these mini-movies are often testing grounds for up and coming directors for Pixar to showcase or audition their talents in front of receptive audiences.  Well, before Coco, there was a 20 minute (at least), 3 song, mini-movie involving the character from Frozen.  For those of you that don’t know Frozen is arguably the most overrated phenomenon that Disney has ever produced.  It was a throwback the The Little Mermaid-The Lion King era of Disney musical movies, but a shallow and weak descendant.  Despite a great song from the wickedly talented Adele Dazeem, most of Frozen left me confused as to why it was such a phenomenon. Maybe cartoons and comic book movies had become so male, and even worse – adult-centered, that it offered a clear girl-focused story, even if weak by comparison to something like The Little Mermaid  or Beauty and the Beast.  So that may explain the success of Frozen, which is fine.

However, it does not explain why Coco required a 20 minute opening act involving Frozen, whose characters are so white, the Snowman almost passes as their black friend.  I only mention race, not because I have a problem with Frozen, which takes place in Scandinavia I think, having a white cast. But I don’t think there is anyway to read it other than an animated white co-sign for the first Mexican-centered Pixar film.  They broke every pattern of previous Pixar movies to do so, so the question is not if they did something wildly different for Coco, but why.

Obviously we live in polarizing times. The “President” is a racist and a white supremacist (I am still waiting for him to call out Jimmy Kimmel and Eminem the way he called out NFL players, Steph Curry, LaVar Ball and the mayor of San Juan, PR) and he began his campaign targeting Mexicans.  And there are still many people who support him in this country and I am guessing some of them enjoy Pixar films.  But Pixar, even with Disney’s money grubbing abuse, still has a track record of excellence that I think exceeds even that of Stephen Spielberg.  Their films are original, creative and work so well on child and adult levels.  They are all hits, almost universally critically acclaimed (ahem – Cars 2 and 3 please leave the room).  Basically if Pixar makes a movie all they should have to say is, “Hi, we are Pixar. Enjoy.”  But for some reason, in the 22 years since Toy Story graced movie theaters, the formula needed to be changed for Coco.  And it was even featured on the posters as if to say, “Hey I know this *whispered* Mexican *end whisper* story may not be the normal Pixar you are used to, but if you give it a chance, you also get a bonus Frozen movie that is so white it will make these Mexicans at least feel like light-skinned, GOP voting Cubans. So come see Ivanka Trump and Taylor Swift sing in the snow!”


Please give Coco a chance! We don’t usually beg at Pixar because we are amazing, but you get bonus white people if you come!

There is a benevolent interpretation to this move of course. Disney may recognize the political climate of our country and moviegoers’ tendency to ignore stories involving minorities unless they are comic book heroes or played by Denzel Washington or Will Smith. So maybe, taking a practical approach they said “This movie is great. We need to do whatever it takes to get folks to see it, even if it is pandering.” I appreciate that and in some ways think that that is good.  But what does it say about this country that either the biggest entertainment studio in America is too insecure or cowardly to let their track record and a new great film speak for themselves or the company recognizes that even in movie going, white people may not support a story that isn’t white no matter who is making it.  Because I am pretty sure many of those Latino people in the theater saw Toy Story, The Incredibles and many other Pixar movies with characters that didn’t look like them.

I hope Coco is a big success as it deserves to be, but the interminable Frozen movie before it was bad. On many levels.

My Dog Wants to Die… Here’s Why I Will…

Over the last few days Harambe, the majestic gorilla from the Cincinnati Zoo, has dominated the news cycle.  A beautiful animal in the prime of its life was sadly, but necessarily shot dead to save the life of a three year old child that had wandered into the gorilla’s enclosure.  The consensus is that the gorilla had every right to live and it is a tragedy that he is dead.  But the story of Harambe has made me think, what about animals that want to die?  Progressives in this country are always pushing animal rights and right to die laws for human beings, but who will speak up for animals that want to end their own lives?  I have to decided to take on this sure to be controversial idea to help my dog Cookie, who clearly wants to die, but is forced to continue living by a society obsessed with “doing the right thing” for dogs.  Cookie is a mixed breed dog about 1.5 years old and she just wants to end her life.

According to the journal Science, dogs think about suicide 48 times a day and try to end their lives at least once per week, whether it’s chewing down on toys until they become choking hazards or running into traffic or “curiously approaching” dangerous animals.  We have all added our own human spin on these behaviors, but they sometimes point to a clear desire to die.  That is where Cookie’s story begins.

Cookie was found abandoned in a Kentucky trailer park, presumably giving up hope for the coal industry’s comeback that Donald Trump is promising.  She was malnourished and full of mange. She was sent to a shelter with a high kill rate, but unfortunately for Cookie, her various breeds of dogs, none of which were Labrador or Golden Retriever made her look like a mixed breed golden lab puppy.  So instead of being able to leave this cruel world her “golden privilege” led her to be saved by a Golden Retriever rescue organization.  Less than 2 months later she was sent on a 14 hour van ride to NYC, which she has morbidly referred to as “The Middle Passage,” for her new life with me.

This is how Cookie greeted me in January. I thought she was "cute" but according to scientists, this look actually means "life is pain."

While in New York the hints came quickly and often.  Constant urination in my apartment. She might as well have been Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator screaming “Kill Me!!!!  Do it!!!! I’m heeeyaaaaaagghh!”  But instead I selfishly sought advice on how to condition her behavior and the urination basically stopped.

I began to take Cookie to the local dog park. At first she humored me by playing with other dogs and running around for exercise.  She even developed some solid muscle tone, but eventually she began to get bullied by other dogs and would often just retreat into a corner with a scared look on her face.  Most people just “awwww”ed at her, but i started to realize what she was actually saying to me: “Please Kill Me.”

Cookie's lack of will to live led her to interrupt fu*k sessions at the dog park to disastrous results
Cookie in her suicide corner at the dog park

I didn’t want to believe at first, but then her messages became clearer. Her Thunder Jacket did nothing.  Her face during bath time said “drown me” and all she would do was lie around all day, every day, often ignoring her toys.  Then there was the day I caught her trying to choke herself to death by chewing on a tennis ball. I felt like Clint Eastwood in Million Dollar Baby at this point.

Cookie attempting to asphyxiate herself.

Then I woke up earlier this week and realized, what is more progressive and respectful of the wishes of an animal than to respect its wish to end its life respectfully?  The messages have been clear and it would be selfish and cruel of me not to respect them.  Just this morning I saw her chewing her own paw, and she often chases her own tail, as if to say, “If these humans won’t do it I will have to hunt myself down.”  I am done fighting to preserve society’s old fashioned rules of who gets to decide when a dog should live or die.  I stand up today for Cookie’s right to end it all.  No more NYC traffic. No more cruel dogs at the dog park. No more treats and toys as opiates for the pain of a life not worth living anymore.  As tragic as the death of Harambe was, I think the only thing worse would be letting an animal live that clearly wants to die.  Donations for Cookie’s memorial service can be sent to on paypal.  Seeking to raise $10,000 to both honor her struggle and raise awareness for other animals who want to die with dignity.  #DignifiedDeathForCookie on Twitter

Cookie practicing self-mutilation. A real cry for help that cannot be ignored.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on iTunes and/or STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe for free!

The Origin Story of Cookie Cauvin

It is the beginning of a new year so it is a time for people to claim that they will attack 2016 with a new fervor and sense of purpose (they won’t) or to self-aggrandize through reflections on all they learned and grew from in the previous year (they didn’t).  I have opted for a different approach.  Rather than focus on myself I opted to adopt a dog. #Hero.  Her name is Cookie and she, to the best guesses of dog people, is half golden retriever, half beagle (sort of like the canine equivalent of Kathy Moriarty and Robert DeNiro’s marriage in Raging Bull).  I began my adoption process in earnest in the Summer of 2015, when I realized doing legal work from home AND having a comedy arc with less promise than Stephen Hawking’s MMA career provided me with a lot of free time that I could give to a dog in need.  I expressed interest in some dogs (always small – my building has a weight limit on dogs, usually pure breed golden retrievers and cis female (they are usually calmer than cis male dogs and call me old fashioned, but I didn’t want a trans female dog) – the organization Adopt A Golden – Knoxville – specializes in golden retriever rescue), but never was matched up because of high demand (and most people had large yards, kids, hope, etc. so they got preference for a lot of the dogs).

Sidebar – I never even realized golden retrievers needed rescuing – I thought they were like the busty blonds of the dog world – when was the last time you saw a chick that looked like Anna Nicole Smith or Pamela Anderson homeless?  I thought it worked that way with dogs too.  Apparently not.  There are several golden retriever rescue operations, though because goldens are the best dogs in the world – there is a lot of demand from people who want to tell you they rescued a dog.  Let me be clear – I didn’t rescue sh*t. I adopted.  #HonestHero

OK – so after missing out on a couple of dogs I started to get discouraged.  Then in mid Fall the organization got a group of golden retrievers from Turkey (I wrote jokes about this and then a month later CNN actually ran a story about how in Turkey Goldens were a status symbol, but then when people found out that puppies don’t stay that way they began abandoning them,  So I saw some of those goldens, but also a small mixed golden named Olivia.  She was not a Turkey dog, but rather, she was found abandoned in a Kentucky trailer park starving and scavenging for food. She had mange, a bad skin condition, and also was working as a stripper at a full nude club… on the day shift.  In other words, Olivia was living a very rough life.  But clearly she had a resilient spirit because she survived. However, she was sent to a shelter in Kentucky with a high kill rate (Southern states love the death penalty for all species). Hearing about this, Olivia was sent to Adopt a Golden – Knoxville who took her in to avoid her going from the pole to the electric chair.  They got her healthy of her skin issues, fed her good food and then got her into a foster home where she became a very sweet dog that liked to play with toys.  I expressed interest in Olivia and I think because I am mixed race, the people in Knoxville said (in Southern sheriff voice from the 1950s): “Pure bred goldens are for the WHHHHHHHITE Man. Give this mixed bred pup to the product of an unhhhhholy miscegenation!!!”  Or they just thought I would be a nice pairing with her.

So in mid December I got the word that I would be given Olivia, but I declared in a Roots like statement – “Her name is Cookie!”  She was then spayed and had to spend another 11 days recovering in Tennessee (or just wanting word to get to NYC that she could now raw dog consequence free – come on – a cute trailer park Southern chick? You know she is DTF until I get her back to a normal life #FatherFigure).

So on January 1st I drove with my girlfriend to Spring Valley, NY to pick up Cookie in a strip mall where an organization, Pooches on the Move, shuttles adopted dogs up North to waiting families.  It is like if Jeff Daniels from Dumb and Dumber ran the Underground Railroad. We arrived early, got some Burger King (“new me, new body” lasted 21 hours in 2016), and then waited in the parking lot (it felt more like I was waiting for a meeting with Waingro in Heat, than for a dog).  Then a large van approached at 10:20 pm and numerous people emerged from cars in this parking lot.  We all made our way over and, yes it was the van!  Now Olivia (YOUR NAME IS COOKIE!) was on the van for approximately 14 hours so when she came out she was excited, freaked out… and went to the wrong couple.  Yes, the woman in the van walked her over to the wrong people and they had a look like “we didn’t order this” so I asked one of the van women “Is that Olivia (YOUR NAME IS COOKIE – *whip*)?” And she said yes.  So already I missed that initial moment of joy of greeting Olivia (YOUR NAME IS COOKIE *whip* (tears)). Just proving she was a woman of ill repute from the south, thirsty for anyone to pet her.  Well, I took her leash anyway because I am a good man (like when Smith Jared hugged Samantha in Sex and the City, even after she had just gotten plowed by Richard the Gap-Toothed Hotel guy, while Smith was at the hotel waiting for her) and I jogged her around the strip mall before getting her into the back seat of the car.

So far she has sh*t twice inside my apartment, but she is on a 2 sh*ts in a row outside streak, which I hope will continue until one of us dies (I have Cookie in my apartment death pool, which may explain why she keeps telling me to eat more cookies), although she has yet to piss outside.  And a quick note to the makers of wee wee pads – either they aren’t “super absorbent” or my dog urinates the same stuff that dripped from the Alien’s mouth in Alien.  As expected she has nothing but happiness for my girlfriend and mixed feelings for me (I told her, I don’t care how they got down in Kentucky trailer parks, but she can’t get on or in my bed).  She is also terrified of fire engines to the point that this morning (Sunday – Jan 3) she forced her way out of her leash and sprinted one full avenue faster than I could ever run, even in college when I was playing basketball (I have since adjusted her leash to”Almost Eric Garner” level). The good news is that she ran right to my door and waited for the doorman to let her in.  The bad news is that she is fu*king crazy.  Maybe in Kentucky fire departments shoot dogs of color and she doesn’t want to be about that life.  Silver lining she is the fastest and strongest 40 lbs dog I have ever met – so if Petco offers doggy cross fit classes please let me know. At least if she reforms her whorish ways with exercise she won’t turn into one of those enlightened “spiritual” chicks.

Oh well, here is to the birth of a new friendship, new levels of stress and happiness and me having to say no to the 1.8 road gigs I am on pace to get this year.  Here is a pictorial history of Cookie in case you are illiterate and don’t enjoy reading the best comedy writing since Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain.

Cookie when she was moved to AGK. Her coat was nasty as hell
Patchy and terrified is how she looked when arriving in Tennessee
After some eating and medical attention she started to look a little better and cuter
After weeks in foster care (and getting spayed) she was starting to look very healthy


This is Cookie in the car leaving with us. Hey – why the terrified look again??!!


And this is Cookie on her bed in her new home. God help us all.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on iTunes and/or STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe for free!

Why We Should Treat the Girl Scouts Like Old…

Yesterday I went to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and it was every bit as awesome as I hoped.  As if blessed by the comedy gods I ended up lining up in an aisle seat (about a 1 in 20 chance) so I could stretch my Wounded Knees (my Native American name and condition) and had a great time.  The band was great (though seeing the tambourine player break his tambourine because he was “feeling the pretentious musical spirit” too much was pretty fun and Colbert was tremendous.  Missed Bryan Cranston as guest by a day, but Daniel Craig the week of a new James Bond film is not too shabby.  So, while I wish I could provide more details and emotions about the big day something much more pressing emerged in my life that I need to talk about.

The Food Emporium near my apartment (along with the whole Food Emporium franchise) is closing and it makes me sad.  In a city where neighborhoods don’t exist in the old sense (my old neighbors are nice, but then they die, and everyone under 40 appears to be buried in their phone and be uncomfortable with acknowledging another human being), the supermarket, along with pubs and diners are the only place to feel like familiar faces and smiles still exist in making Manhattan feel even slightly like a community.  Well the silver lining of the Food Emporium closing is that there are big sales on all items, including cookies.  However, all the Nabisco, Entenmann’s and Pepperidge Farm products were very quick to go.  By the time I went for my Cookie Looting Keebler was the only major brand still available in bulk.  Not only are Chips Deluxe incredible (flour, a stick of butter and chips per cookie), but there were tons of them left.  But then I noticed large stacks of cookies called Coconut Dreams.  My date to the Food Emporium (taking a chick for a Fage yogurt and ziploc bags is not so much my “Netflix and chill” as it is my “steak dinner and vacation” – times are lean with my comedy bookings/income) then said words that may echo the death knell to the cartel of cookies known as the Girl Scouts (ahem – cisgender girl scouts as they may later in life identify as something other than girls/women – WAKE UP CISGENDER GIRL SCOUTS – IT IS 2015!):

“Aren’t those Samoas?”


Much like the earthquake that sounded when Jesus Christ took his last breath, all sound stopped when I heard this question.  As you can see from the picture on the package, they are awfully similar to Samoas, so coupled with the discount being offered I bought a package of them.  25 minutes later the package of Samoas masquerading as Coconut Dreams was gone, vanquished to my belly, the same way the Girl Scouts’ monopoly was vanquished.

They are identical to Samoas, the cost less per package and there is no office guilt to support your co-worker’s daughter, who cannot even be bothered to make the sale attempt herself, and no wait time (if you are going to make the argument that I can order them on-line).  Samoas are the best cookie, possibly ever, and now, like Palm Pilot and Blockbuster video the antiquated and lazy monopoly of the Girl Scouts is over.  However, there is a problem:

The Girls Scouts are not old black men.

Yes, you read that correctly.  In our culture black people are stolen from constantly, from their bodies to their physical attributes to their artistic contributions. But stealing the inventions of black people, men especially, is part of American tradition.  But stealing from little girls, especially white girls, is pretty much the exact opposite – it is never done and almost certainly Keebler would be treated like Elvish Hitler if these cookies become more widely known.  That is why, in a Matthew McConnaughey-esque, A Time to Kill moment, we must imagine that the Girl Scouts are old black musicians.  Now, instead of thinking of the Girl Scouts as chaste angels worth our protection, think of them as old black blues singers that are road bumps on the way to our favorite white musical heroes!  No one wants to buy cookies from Muddy Waters, especially when the white Keebler Led Zeppelins rock so much better!

So go to a supermarket and buy yourself some Samoas – I mean some Coconut Dreams – the tasty white shreds from the old brown casing – HOW SYMBOLIC! They are delicious.  And someone informed me on Facebook that I was years behind in this discovery, but sometimes it takes a blogger/comedian of huge relevance to make it known to the wider public. You are welcome world.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on iTunes and/or STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe for free!

Salad Guys: The Celibate Bartenders of NYC

Bartenders have been doing well for themselves for decades.  You don’t have to look like Tom Cruise or flip bottles like he did in Cocktail to collect numbers, though depending on the establishment they usually stack the deck in favor of the bartender.  You hire good looking bartenders and women arrive, get intoxicated and look to bang the bartender.  It’s like a legal way of banging your Saturday night therapist. If you build it, they will cum. You get the vulgar point I am making. Whether it is the classy dude at the swank location, or the bro wearing sweatbands talking about how cross fit has changed his life, bartendinng is like being a firefighter in the vagina obtaining game, except unlike firefighters, bartenders put their clients in more danger, instead of saving them from it.  You may be asking, why is J-L talking about bartenders? Shouldn’t he exposing and overinflating an injustice in the comedy business?  Well, as my comedy career possibly winds down it is time for me to be exploring bigger injustices in the world, not just in the navel gazing comedy community.  And there is an injustice going on of epic proportions to the salad making community in NYC.  They are the bartenders of daylight, but getting none of the vaginal benefits of bartending. And this needs to change.

Every day for the last few months I have been going to Chop’t, a very popular salad chain (co-founded by a class of ’93 alumnus of my high school – just another way for me to feel unaccomplished on a daily basis while eating lunch) in NYC.  I have dropped a good amount of weight and have been very impressed with the workers at my local Chop’t.  They work with sharp blades and never get injured, they work at breakneck speed and they have to remember more salads than a Starbucks barista has to memorize coffee drinks.  But I have yet to see a phone number handed over by one of these demanding “tofu, hearts of palm, avocado, kale salad” ordering chicks (or guys – no judgment).  So let’s break it down.


In this day and age of obsessively healthy eating who is doing your more good?  The guy who makes you a $10 salad full of nutrients or the guy who “makes” you a $7 fireball shot?

Equality and Efficiency

At a crowded bar you can wait 5-10 minutes for a drink… and that is if you are a hot 24 year old chick.  Well at Chop’t it doesn’t matter if you have tits spilling out of your work inappropriate  outfit or if you are a grandmother with varicose veined cankles, the staff at Chop’t will deliver your product fast.  And there is no room for error.  At lunchtime during the work week people treat their break as sacred and will snap if things don’t move quickly enough. At a bar on the weekend, take your time Broseph – give me a watered down drink for too much whenever is conveninet for YOU!



Meat Market

At my Chop’t the ratio of male to female salad makers is about 11:1. And they are all Latin, a people generally known for their passionate love making.  So let me get this straight – you would rather go for the bro riddled with HPV who has his pick of the litter every weekend or Miguel, the guy working his ass off, starved for vagina because he is surrounded by dick all day, just looking for a woman to have his 8 babies?  For every woman that walks into a Chop’t saying they can’t find a man or are running our of time to have kids, Angel should cut off one of their fingers with the blade they cut salads with. (On a side note – having a woman chop your salad is fine – but try to avoid them picking the ingredients for you – they have small hands and cannot scoop as much chicken in your chicken salad as a dude. In fact, Chop’t should hire a 6’8″ inner city black teen basketball player as an intern and his job is simply to scoop chicken with his Kawhi Leonard hands – Chop’t gets associated with a potential NBA player while doing good for the community and I get 3 lbs of chicken in my salad. Everybody wins).

Latinos Are The Future

I have met very few Latino batenders in NYC.  However, Chop’t looks like a South American soccer team.  When Chad or Brint from the nighclub “Blessed” (doesn’t exist yet) turns 50 (if you make a go of it) and the magic is gone what are you left with?  A bunch of dumb kids that are good looking enough to pull some high school tail and then be underachieving, aspiring actors until you die.  You hook up with Carlos from Chop’t? You have a kid that speaks the language of the future (Spanglish) and looks like the future.

So basically it boils down to this: if you like a hardworking person who makes your life better, has the skills of a bartender and the hardware and tattoos of Machete, do the right thing and throw a bang in the direction of your local salad chopper. Either that or you are a dumb racist.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on iTunes and/or STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe for free!

To The Defense of “Girls” – It’s Not Its…

This past Sunday I watched HBO’s new show Girls.  It featured a perfect storm for me to potentially unleash new levels of hate and criticism. It was produced by Judd Apatow, who I think is the most overrated person in the comedy business not named Louis.  His movies always manage to take a 90 minute comedy premise and produce a 2 hour and 10 minute epic of inconsistency.  Then there is the critical acclaim for the show.  Nothing primes me more to hate something than universal acclaim.  My philosophy is simple – that many people can absolutely be wrong.  And lastly, the premise of the show: 4 white girls of varying levels of privilege trying to “make it” through life and love all with wit and and a few tears.  My assumption is that it would simply further influence the youthful dregs of Manhattan the way Sex and the City did (a classic that led to life imitating art) for young women.  In other words I just assumed that at the end of the pilot of Girls I would be saying, “They should have named this crap Cu*ts!”

Well I think I was wrong. I watched the first episode and I enjoyed it.  I thought it was fairly witty, thankfully lacking the Carrie Bradshaw puns, and because of the 30 minute length, Judd Apatow’s “More is More, which turns out to be less” style was impossible.  So after the pilot I thought, “Hey this show is worth a real look.”

But then I saw an immediate backlash among friends and comedians.  I felt like the main complaints I heard and read were misguided.

Four white girls of privilege in Manhattan do not speak for a generation or a city’s 20-somethings!

Why were there no meaningful people of color in the show?

Those two questions are good questions and they have a simple answer – rich, white people segregate. I went to, what is now, the most expensive private school in the country. I then went to an elite college and a top 20 law school. And I have been to a fair share of weddings where I have been the only person of (any) color or close to the only person of color. That includes guests, wedding party and plus 1s.  Walk into any bar in Manhattan and I guarantee you will see multiple groups of white girls only.  I have always maintained that racist white women have always gotten a pass for passive racism that racist white men, because of the threat of physical retribution that men have to deal with if they run their mouth with racist garbage, cannot (one of the reasons I liked the movie The Help – racist white WOMEN were the villains).  Now let me be clear, I am not accusing white people in white circles as automatically racist, but there is a segregation present all over America that people seem to ignore.  As Patrice O’Neal said, “White people now have that racism that black people can’t prove.”

The point of mentioning that is that there is nothing wrong or inaccurate about Girls. So they don’t appear to have friends of color? So what (acquaintances do not count)? The show has been written by a woman based on her experiences.  Those experiences, at least from my perspective growing up in NYC, seem entirely plausible.  Inserting a meaningful person of color, if not true to the creator of the show, would be the racist (or at least patronizing) thing, if only done to satisfy a quota (the way boy bands try add a beige member- I am talking to you Menudo!).  And Sex and the City was four white women of affluence.  Wealth just as easily insulates from societal changes as it drives change.  I think that is why Friends got more heat than SATC for its lack of minorities because Friends featured working class white people, who would be less likely to live in an all-white world.  I believe SATC represented life imitating art, given how women responded to it, but Girls feels more like art imitating life – an accurate reflection of a visible segment of the NYC population.

I won’t lie – I see a lot of diversity in various groups of my friends, especially in comedy, but to pretend like there is not de facto segregation all over this country, even in great melting pots like NYC is absurd.  The show is written from that background (would be my guess).  So be mad at society, but being angry at a show that comes from that truth seems misguided to me.

More offensive to me is be the casting of a show like The Walking Dead (my podcast interview with comedian Dan Soder about TWD is linked here – The wildly popular show on AMC takes place outside of Atlanta and for two seasons has had… 1 regular black character.  1 black guy in Atlanta??!!!  Of course, imagine if The Walking Dead had 6 black and 6 white characters in its ensemble instead of the 11:1 ratio they have?  America would not tune in, because a large part of the population would no longer look at it as a “zombie show” and would look at it as a “black show.”


HBO is not at fault.  They have provided minority-driven shows like The Wire for full series runs, despite bad ratings.  But as long as the market favors certain perspectives and certain narratives they will continue to provide those shows as well.

My point with Girls is that it is reflective of our culture, a culture we all seem to think we are better than or don’t exist in.  America is still segregated, maybe not in the work place or in the athletic field or in our Facebook friends, but in the places we keep closest it sure is. And that segregation is almost always exacerbated by wealth.  So don’t blame Girls, blame the market for which Girls is produced. It is the Girls’ world and we are just living in it.

Arby’s Is a Huge Piece of Sh*t

Well, I hoped to write my first blog of the week tomorrow about Charlie Sheen, but due to emergency circumstances I have to write today.  I arrived at the Microtel (the actual name of my hotel)in Des Moines this afternoon.  Despite the quite comfy accommodations, I was hoping to be near a shopping mall or at least a strip mall, but instead I am across a highway from a gas station.  The only two eateries near me and that won’t get me killed traversing a highway are Ruby Tuesdays (can’t eat every lunch and dinner there – I’m not made of money!) and Arby’s.

As I write this I just finished a “meal” at Arby’s.  It was the second time I have ever been to an Arby’s because, like the first time, I was compelled to by lack of access to another cheap restaurant or a bag of garbage.  I went in, starving and saw that I was the only one there.  I looked around to make sure there was not a hostage situation or something going on and then I realized it was worse than that – the cashier was a Western European Unibrow chick with limited English skills and even more limited Arby’s skills.  And she was a trainee.   If she was at least a south of the border immigrant I could deal with that because I have enough exposure to them in NYC, but this chick felt alien to me.

So 54 minutes after placing my order I got my meal and Unibrow gave me a knife and fork, possibly for my soda, or however they eat in Unibrowistan.  If you do not know about Arby’s they are the fast food franchise that lost a bet and were forced to dedicate themselves to the roast beef sandwich.  As the fry accompaniment they have decided to go with curly fries.  Here are the problems with this:

  • Roast beef, unlike hamburgers cannot be replicated to resemble their best product outside the fast food context.  A Burger King hamburger is still tasty, even if they use chemicals to get there, but Arby’s awful, slimy, undercooked roast beef will never come within 1000 miles of a Boar’s Head roast beef sandwich from a deli.  They add some awful cheddar cheese and a watery bbq sauce (I think that is what it was).
  • They dedicated their whole store to this awful “raost beef.”  By comparison, Chic Fil-A dedicated themselves to preventing gay marriage and chicken – a much more versatile meat product for fast food purposes.  They also added the under-used but excellent waffle fries to get privide support to the chicken, which brings me to Arby’s 2nd flaw…
  • Curly fries suck.  They were cool in college when the dining hall or snack bar would surprise you, just for variety, but they suck.  Curly fries were the highlight of this awful meal, however, so it was like Brook Lopez on the pre-Deron Williams Nets, a player getting his because of the terrible circumstances he found himself in.

And for the next 5 days I will be held hostage by Arby’s.  There is nothing around here.  It is like I am Johnny Fontaine and Arby’s in Woltz, the producer who denied him work in The Godfather out of spite.  I am surrounded by fields and highways.  I guess I will have to stick a horse’s head in Unibrow chick’s bed to get another cheap restaurant around here.