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Are Black Men The New White Girls?

For every sports fan or fan of athletic black men, for whatever reason, the LeBron James Reality Show is set to end tomorrow night when he announces on ESPN at 9pm where he will play next year.  I’m just surprised he did not select the Bravo Network to make his announcement. 

Thanks to magazines like Maxim, men began slowly creeping into women’s dominion over fashion, grooming and sexual insecurity over a decade ago.  In the interest of full disclosure I occasionally get manicures and do tear up at the movie Dead Poets’ Society, but it is starting to feel like there are no differences between women and men.  I think in work and other areas where equality is needed that is great, but in general society I think it is important to have differences and embrace and enjoy them.  But thanks to LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the impressively annoying Chris Bosh, the differences have been obliterated.  LeBron, Wade and Bosh are supposed to be alpha males and caricatures of male virility as elite professional athletes; so why have they become The Real Housewives of Miami?

First let’s start with Bosh.  Has a man ever sent more mixed messages?  His hair and imposing presence make me think he is hunting Arnold Schwarzenegger in a jungle, but his Tweets make me think he is one Cosmo from tweeting, “Miami is totes fab, having a quick vacay before heading to training camp with the ladies!”  Thank you Twitter for taking the position made famous by Kevin McHale, Karl Malone and Kevin Garnett and turning it into something Joel McHale can discuss on The Soup!  And if you think this is overblown, Bosh does have a documentary crew following him around.  I guess so future generations can actually witness the moment when a guy who looked like Predator became Bethany Frankel (even that I know who Bethany Frankel is is a personal crisis for me).  And all this for a player who has no business being considered a top 3 free agent.

You know what's a good way to celebrate signing with Miami? ORANGE MOCHA FRAPPACHINOS!

Then there is Dwyane Wade, who has the man street cred of having given a woman VD (not his ex-wife), but who also has a documentary crew following him.  Seriously is Oxygen or Bravo going to pick this up?  This has been like a bizarre romance between D-Wade and Bosh.  I can see them doing Real World confessionals with Wade saying, “If Chris wants me he can come to me,” and Bosh tearing up, “I just want him to want me.”  Oh wait, they may have already done that in their respective documentaries.

Then there is LeBron.  The alpha male of alpha males.  He is announcing his decision tomorrow night on ESPN.  I’m pretty sure that gay guy that does the Housewives reunion shows will be hosting it.  Where is Simon Cowell to call this “incredibly self-indulgent?”  Even Alex Rodriguez had a standard press conference when he came to the Yankees (Derek Jeter probably required it) and that guy is a cologne ad and a Men’s Health cover all in one (as in Metrosexual to the point of occasional exploration).  And A-Rod fu*ked Bethany Frankel, he did not become her.  But LeBron (and the media circus which have been willing co-conspirators) have turned this into drama that only reality show dregs can match. 

You can still be on fashion magazines if you stay in Cleveland.

And what reality show would be complete without tears and tomorrow night I expect them to be flowing from LeBron.  He can stay in Cleveland, which is his home, where he is the favorite son or he can go to one of the bigger glamorous cities.  Wait, wasn’t that the “plot” of The Hills?  See, I hate these shows and yet I am so inundated with the crap that I think I know what they are.  But I never expected the NBA to be this.  Now I may have to watch the WNBA for a more masculine version of the NBA, albeit, one with lots of layups.

But LeBron’s other options are New York, Chicago and Miami, all great cities.  If he goes to Miami I hear that Natasha Bedingfield has been commissioned to write a theme song. 

So, like I hear LeBron may go to Miami... what's like up with that? Maybe he should like go to New York because it's like really like cool there. Like Cleveland is so like, I don't know... (nervous laughter, vapid smile)

I hope he stays in Cleveland because I don’t think those other cities deserve him or will genuinely appreciate him the way that Cleveland will.  But this process has already done it’s damage.  Not just because it has turned NBA stars into trite starlets, but because it has forced me to further respect a player I do not particularly like: Kobe Bryant.  Hey, at least he’s still a man.  And if LeBron leaves Cleveland to form the Spice Girls in Miami I will do something I have never done – I’ll be rooting for Kobe in the Finals.

Yes, Kobe is still more of a man even in this pose.
Blog

Write Of Passage

December 21, 2012  has been touted as the end of the world on the Mayan calendar and by an atrocious 2009 film.  If that is the truth then a slightly less significant milestone will be missed, which is June 2, 2013 – my last day in comedy.  That’s right, like Oprah, Jay Z and Barbara Streisand I am announcing a tentative, likely to be ignored, retirement date.  That date means that I will have been performing comedy for exactly ten years.  Given a likely confluence of impending doom for my comedy career (1 term for Obama, personal bankruptcy, Type II diabetes if I continue to carry on an extra-relationship affair with Entenmann’s products, and a general sense that the brand of comedy I hope to perform (sans accent, sans unoriginal atheism, sans GPS and Viagra references) is going the way of journalism (my brother’s career which is also being sacrificed to society’s newest deities of impatience and ignorance).  So if you see me in Times Square wearing a sign that says The End Is Near you will know what I mean.

June 2, 2013?
June 2, 2013?

So given that my life as a comedian may in fact have an expiration date I have already begun my next quest to find an outlet for one of the remaining talents I have (and if you are reading this you may agree) – I have begun writing a book.

My life has been a perpetual quest for finding an adequate outlet for my particular semblance of talents and ambition.  Perhaps if I was born ten years later then I might have been stupid enough to pursue a reality television show instead of law school or stand up comedy, but I am where I am, with an education collecting dust, non-exploitative parents, some semblance of dignity and no contract with Bravo or E!.

I remember basketball being my first passion, but dreams of playing professionally seemed difficult for me since my hoops resume at the end of college would have basically read:

  • good at lifting weights
  • at 245 lbs can supply ample warmth for bench for people who play
  • 93.3% from the free throw line (true story I was 14/14 from the line and on the last play of my career – an and 1 dunk – I missed my only free throw.  This is also the answer to the future Jeopardy question: What is the most likely seed for J-L’s bitterness and sad outlook on life)
  • Microsoft Office skills
I missed the free throw and I didn't even have Mick staring me down as I shot it.
I missed the free throw and I didn't even have Mick staring me down as I shot it.

So after that dream came the reality of law school, during which I became so depressed that I turned to something that, like a mob loan shark, provided temporary relief, but long term headaches: comedy. 

So for the next three years and five months I will give it all that I can, and hopefully it does not end as a repeat of hoops, but it already feels like I have had my dunk (Craig Ferguson) and have been missing free throws ever since.  Who knows, there are examples of people attaining their dreams at late ages, Susan Boyle (who apparently at 48 has the same disease as LeBron James and Richard Harris, which adds 20-30 years of age to your mug), and the Holocaust museum shooter to name a couple.

It only took Susan Boyle 48 years to achieve her dream.  Sadly, I am not ugly enough to make my humor surprising, endearing or ironic.
It only took Susan Boyle 48 years to achieve her dream. Sadly, I am not ugly enough to make my humor surprising, endearing or ironic.

However, if comedy doesn’t work out, at least you will be able to have fun reading all about it.  If people are still reading books by the time it’s finished.

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Would John Hinckley Have A Reality Show Today?

Just as technology has exponentially increased the rate at which humans achieve scientific advances and breakthroughs (cell phones do not count), it appears that our society’s thirst for fame at all costs is increasing in a similar fashion, only faster.

Tareq and Michaele Salahi, the White House Crashers, are an especially shameful example of what otherwise is a fairly logical extrapolation from our culture.  Somehow fame has become a goal in and of itself in America.  I feel like fame used to be a by-product of the talented, the accomplished and the insane.  But now a fourth group has muscled its way into this group – the average piece of sh*t.

Anything Is Possible in America: A son of a Kenyan man and a Kansas woman can become the President.  Also possible, a useless couple of social climbers can meet that man and possibly get a television show.
Anything Is Possible in America: A son of a Kenyan man and a Kansas woman can become the President. Also possible, a useless couple of social climbers can meet that man and possibly get a television show.

And we are all accomplices in this culture.  With the exception of one reality series, which I watched during the time period of 2007, during which much of my rational decision making processes were impaired temporarily, I think all of these shows are wretched.  They feature trashy people catering to the trashiest impulses of viewers (basically it took 15 years for Jerry Springer guests to clean themselves up and become celebrities).  Not satisfied with giving these people a platform on television, viewers bolster the bank accounts of these talentless fools by purchasing their “books” and other items they are able to market (for the record I don’t consider shows like American Idol “reality television” since they are just contests).

The White House Crashers have managed to put this process on steroids.  They managed to disrespect the Office (and the man) of the President of the United States, in a way that I think is worse than Joe Wilson screaming “You lie” in Congress.  All in a quest to get on a television show.  There current fame is not a validation of hard work or talent, but a means to itself. 

I have been making the point that in this age, which seems more self-absorbed and concerned with self enlightenment and self-importance, with ever decreasing importance of religion and other formerly potent forces that stressed things other than the self, we are entering a very dangerous era.  We have things like blackberries and Facebook which present the illusion of more inter-connectedness and community, but deep down that is all a joke.  We are now sinking quickly into an era where the self is king and being famous is its commandment. 

My brother came up with a great scenario that could make me ok with what happened at the White House.  Michaele Salahi hopes to be on The Real Housewives of D.C. (The Real Housewives series could have been just called Cu-ts, but Bravo did not want to disrespect cu-ts in America with such a poor portrayal).  Well, Rahm Emmanuel, Obama’s Chief of Staff is the brother of Ari Emmanuel, the super agent who is also the basis for Ari Gold on HBO’s Entourage.  Here is how Ari Emmanuel’s phone call should have gone this weekend (in Piven-esque delivery) to the producer of the Housewives series:

“I am going to make this as clear for you and the trash you work with and employ.  If this Ann Coulter looking skank and her pus-y whipped husband get within 1000 feet of any AIDS infested brothel you call a reality television show, you will no longer work in this town.  You and all the skanks on your shows will be lucky to be hired to clean the lint out of Andy Dick’s taint if they are even mentioned on your entire so-called Network.  Not only have you insulted me, but you have insulted my brother, the President and this country.  Consider yourself warned and not just like that time I told you the condom broke. (Hang up) LLOYD!!”

If Ari Gold were in charge, The Real Housewives would all be dead.  What will Ari Emmanuel do?
If Ari Gold were in charge, The Real Housewives would all be dead. What will Ari Emmanuel do?

In light of how the White House crashers got so close to President Obama, security implications are more than a little frightening.  The last hit on a president was John Hinckley on President Reagan in 1981.  He was motivated by some delusional intent to impress Jodie Foster.  The White House Crashers (I even hate using a name they are probably hoping becomes a brand – have they trademarked it yet?) certainly did not attempt anything like that (which is only partially relevant), but how long before we get to the point where the next John Hinckley takes a shot at a President to get on Bravo or E!?  Sadly, I don’t think it is far-fetched at all.  Let’s just hope he’ll be allowed to Tweet from prison – wouldn’t want to miss all of their insights.

Blog

Another Sense Of Decency Bites The Dust

Tonight on Bravo, one of the many channels quickly destroying art, taste and the soiled remnants of American culture will debut a show called NYC Prep.  The show is supposed to be the “real” compliment to the popular show Gossip Girl, which shows what a bunch of horny and spoiled teenagers attend New York City private schools, or at least lets high school kids know that if they aren’t spoiled or having sex they are probably doing something wrong.  As Oscar Wilde said (and I often quote): Life imitates art.

1, 2, 3..6 Yep I got six cases of bad parenting.
1, 2, 3..6 Yep I got six cases of bad parenting.

I have a theory on the degredation of pop culture over the last 10 years.  Much like how Thomas Friedman has written that the fall of the Berlin Wall and the creation of the Internet were two of the main factors in creating a “flat world”, I proposethat the rise of Britney Spears and the cancellation of Sex and the City have created an irreversible and negative trend in television.  Sort of like the force that keeps getting Kal Penn work in Hollywood.

Britney Spears may idolize Madonna, but I think it was her pimp parents who allowed her to have the far more influential role on pop culture and be a sex object for men worldwide at 16 years old.   I may risk sounding like the Christian Right here, but teenagers are the most susceptible group to peer pressure and cultural influence, from smoking to violence to sex.  The question of whether shows are reflecting current behavior or influencing it is not so important when speaking of soda choices , but is important when it comes to other matters like drug use and sexual activity.  The problem is that these shows create an irreversible trend.  Just like guys of my generation could not go back to watching Charles in Charge once they saw Nicole Eggert get railed by the Coreys in Full Blown, you cannot expect young teens to go back to to the days of Happy Days once the kids on WB are getting happy endings.   Parents still have the big responsibility for sure, but I think that experiment has failed. Parenthood, I mean.  Parenthood is like the Robin to Home Ownership’s Batman in the American delusion that has been propagated.  If you can’t afford a home you should not be brainwashed into trying to buy one; if you don’t have the time or desire to raise kids you should try not to have them.  

Then there was the elimination of Sex and the City.  The most popular show not named The Sopranos in cable television history is a landmark.  Regardless of whether you like it or not it is a defining show for modern women.  But then it was off the air and has been followed by Desperate Housewives, Real Housewives, Kardashians, etc.  It is as if Sex and the City was the Saddam Hussein of television – a necessary evil (that I watched) that kept ridiculous show concepts that focused on four to six women, with “really different personalities” on the shelf or in the level of hell they were stored in because there was no market for them.  Now, with Sex and the City leaving a huge void it has been filled by a cornucopia of loud-mouth failed actresses.  Not to mention the fact that Sarah Jessica Parker had to go back to fronting for Twisted Sister.

Damn Matthew Broderick!
Damn Matthew Broderick!

And somehow born of this perfect storm of voyeuristically-exposed, unrestrained teenage libido and talentless skanks is NYC Prep.  Now I went to a New York City private school and attended the school with many wealthy kids (the kind of school where your friend with a Park Avenue apartment marvels at how rich the other kids are), but I don’t think I had an experience akin to NYC Prep.   For one I think my parents had me because they wanted me, not because they needed an accessory to complete their social profile.  As exhibited by one girl on NYC Prep, she and her brother have free reign of their Manhattan apartment because their parents live in the Hamptons and only come into the city one day a week.  Wow – that is the metaphorical equivalent of having your kid at the prom, but leaving the baby in a Gucci bag instead of a trash bag.

But we can’t sterilize people, poor or rich, no matter how terrible they will be as parents, but do we have to put these kids on television?  If my future/possible sons want to act as kids I will let them do school plays, right after I ask them if they are gay.  But they will not be on shows as kids.  End of story.  I mean when is there going to be legislation criminalizing putting your minor kids on reality television?  (Or the death penalty for all of those kids who were on My Super Sweet 16?)  It’s per se bad parenting.  Like a parent who buys their daughter breast implants because her self esteem is low – how can her self esteem improve if her Dad is buying them? 

 “What’s wrong honey?” 

“Well, Dad, with my small boobs guys just don’t want to fu-k me…”

“Well let’s turn that frown upside down sugar tits!”

But I think my main question is why are we watching this stuff?  Are we really that stupid and shallow as a people?  Or have we just lost our sense of shame?  Greg Giraldo has a great bit about people on shows like Jerry Springer having no sense of shame, in fact being proud of having made objectively terrible decisions in life.  But we are predisposed to laugh when the people are white or black trash, but not when they come from the upper crust of society.  Oh well,  I guess I do not have an answers to theses question, so I will leave them open to comment.  But hopefully this trend stops before we get to Bravo’s eventual reality show: My First Period.  And no, it’s not about early classes at school.

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I Am Pitching A New Reality Show For Bravo

It’s called “Chris Brown Beats Up The Women On  Bravo Television Shows”

If Bravo were a bar it would be a place where shallow women and shallow gay men could meet and discuss the lives of other shallow women and shallow men, both straight and gay.  Unfortunately it is a television channel that sometimes shows women with nice bodies and on my way from CNN to Comedy Central I am sometimes distracted – the same way an episode of The Bunny Ranch or Real Sex on HBO can sometimes derail me on my way to finding real programming.

Well I recently caught a few episodes of Millionaire Matchmaker, the genius show on Bravo that tries to match millionaires who are either ugly dudes with incredible arrogance/douchebagginess or decent looking dudes with no social skills with women in Los Angeles who, get this, are willing to date millionaires.  The matchmaker on the show claims to have a 99% success rate.  Why not 100%?  Matching rich dudes with shallow women is the second easiest job in the world after being Usain Bolt’s track coach (“run fast and try not to dance before the finish line”).  Bravo is actually releasing a companion show soon called Porn Star Matchmaker where I try to match female porn stars in their 20s with guys from New Jersey who are willing to date porn stars.

I also caught The Real Housewives of New York on Bravo.  I could not stomach a full episode, but here’s  synopsis:

  • These women do no housework. 
  • They all have children uglier than them because they married ugly rich dudes thus diluting their husband’s intelligence and drive with their shallow whoriness and diluting their looks with their husbands’ faces for radio.  What you get is a batch of mediocrity known as the bottom 50% of New York City private schools.

I admit this was only from about 30 minutes of viewing one episode, but I seriously could not watch more than that.  Perhaps I am wrong and these are real salt of the Earth people. 

My real questions is when did the bitches win?  I have had women tell me that bitches always win and nice girls finish or get taken advantage of.  Sadly, this may be true because these women hardly ever do any self reflection which might cause them to break down and realize their lives are shams.  But even if bitches do win and get their way, why are we celebrating them?  I keep seeing ads for The Bad Girls Club, which from the looks of it could literally be called cu-ts.  I know the language is a little harsh, but please correct me if I am wrong.  Rather than accepting these women as a sad part of society we are celebrating them. 

That is why I am proposing a new show for Bravo starring Chris Brown called Beat Down with Brown (other possible title is Brown Town).  The premise is simple – Chris Brown goes on dates with women from shows on Bravo (and throw in Bad Girls Club on oxygen for good measure) and then does his thing.  Does the date end in a kiss and a dance or a biting session?  Tune in to find out.   At the end of the season only one girl is left standing.  Literally.  Or in a shocking turn one of the girl/women’s fathers shows up (most of these women have to have physically or emotionally absentee fathers to be on these shows in the first place) in the season finale and beats the piss out of Chris Brown (which makes me question – does Rihanna have a brother or a father?  probably not if she’s subjecting herself to Chris Brown, who if it were my daughter or sister, would end up on the sidewalk like Carlo in the Godfather).

Hopefully Chris Brown gets word of this.  Everyone loves a comeback.