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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.

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Stuff I’ve Been Watching

In keeping with today’s cultural trend I will provide some random and short quips today on television (I have been watching more because the book I am reading on Robert Oppenheimer is sort of heavy – side note – is it possible that if Mel Gibson were sober he might have meant to say “Jews End All The Wars” – based on how many were involved with creating the Atomic Bomb?):

I have seen documentaries on Rwandan genocide that made me laugh more than the debut of Saturday Night Live.  Lorne Michaels needs more black friends because maybe he is looking for their permission to fire Keenan Thompson.  That guy has taken more jobs from deserving black people than segregation and Jim Crow.

Fred Armisen does such a bad Obama impression that Secret Service should arrest him.

Did Lorne Michaels know that these men were ruining comedy and if so, when did he know it?
Did Lorne Michaels know that these men were ruining comedy and if so, when did he know it?

Bill Hader of SNL is extremely funny.  His Kieth Morrison alone almost makes watching SNL worth it.

Friday Night Lights is a great show (re-joined Netflix to catch up on some shows that I have heard are great – Breaking Bad is on the list).  So of course it has terrible ratings.   it is odd to me that a show featuring good looking young people and football could not be a success.  It is as if America is collectively saying – give us shallow things, but don’t you dare deliver them to us in anything that could be called high quality.

If Modern Family can keep up the pace from its pilot then it will be the best comedy on television not named Eastbound & Down.

I watched a 5 part mini series on Sundance called Brick City, on Corey Booker and his attempt to change Newark, NJ.  I am now working on a Corey Booker impression and once I have perfected it one of two things will happen: Corey Booker will not get re-elected and will fade into obscurity, or he will gain an even higher national profile and then Fred Armisen will do an impression of Corey Booker that is so bad, it will make his Obama look good.

Part 2 of my comedy tour entitled: Impersonating Light Skinned and/or Half Black Politicians. that's right Harold Ford Jr - you're next!
Part 2 of my comedy tour entitled: Impersonating Light Skinned and/or Half Black Politicians. that's right Harold Ford Jr - you're next!

The Cleveland Show was not good.

Family Guy premier was great.

Glee started strong, but I think it will fade, only bolstered by religious-like support from women and gays.

Cougar Town – see Glee, but eliminate the started strong part.  And the term Cougar is really just a brilliant re-branding of “she’s kind of old, but yeah, I’d probably fu-k her?”

I have only seen 4 episodes of Jay Leno’s show, but only Jim Norton stood out to me as exceptional.

Bored To Death, Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm provide a nice HBO Sunday night.

At 4 pm, if not at the gym or sitting at my desk staring at the wall, I prefer Ellen to Oprah.

On Saturday will be the 2 year anniversary of my appearance on Craig Ferguson (my national television debut).  Since then, based on travel expenses, web expenses and gigs I have made about -$450 dollars from comedy.   My comedy career feels like the final third of a Behind The Music special; the downfall part, but without the awesome rise and hedonism that precedes it.

Voice of Behind The Music narrator: October 3, 2007 seemed like comedy was working out, but little did J-L know that was all about to change.  Next after commercial.
Voice of Behind The Music narrator: October 3, 2007 seemed like comedy was working out, but little did J-L know that was all about to change. Next after commercial.