Representing

30 05 2008

One of the most annoying things about being black is the fact that, for non-blacks who don’t interact frequently with black people, the impression they have of the entire black race is typically based on the impression they got from the last black person they’ve seen.

Figure 1: And it’s always this guy.

As a result of this, conscientious black folks tend to look at themselves as ‘ambassadors’ for their race in a way virtually no other race does (or really has to). SBP (successful black people) and their nose-in-the-air EBP (educated black people)* counterparts are particularly guilty of this. In many situations, we take it upon ourselves to represent the true nature and capabilities of the race towards those whose impressions of black people come from loud and foul-mouthed children on the Metro and Yo MTV Raps. The worst part is…we do it unconsciously. At no time was I more aware of this than when I recently took a technical certification exam.

For those who don’t know, a technical certification is something you get after you take an exam to prove you know how to do something that you’ve probably been doing for years anyway. This is why technical certifications are fucking ridiculous. The typical experience involves you going to some lonely low-rent building somewhere staffed by employees who aren’t really used to people showing up. After 15 minutes of unanswered phone calls and banging on the door, someone finally wakes up and lets you in. Once you’ve filled out a little bit of paperwork, you are locked in a windowless camera-monitored room where you sit for 3 – 4 hours trying to do two things: a.) pass the test and b.) remember not to pick your nose, scratch you ass, or adjust your nuts because you know you’re being watched.

Figure 2: By this guy

You’re informed immediately whether or not you’ve passed the test, and you walk out to the office where the staffer already has your results printout which almost always has “PASS” or “FAIL” written in big bold letters somewhere. For all the tech exams I’ve taken before, I was absolutely MORTIFIED at the idea that I’d walk out of the test room and have this fucker sneering at me on the inside because I’d failed an exam. But for my most recent exam, I didn’t seem to care what the staffer thought. I had an odd sense of calm about the prospect of failing the exam which is highly uncharacteristic of me. It wasn’t until I’d passed the stupid exam and was on the train heading home when I suddenly realized why I’d been so calm:

This was the first time the staffer was black.

For each other exam I took, the staffer was asian – and my subconscious immediately told me “You are a representative of your people. If you fail this exam, you will make black people look fucking retarded. Asian people will have more trumped up evidence that black people are dumb and don’t belong in technical fields. The viability of career equality between the races hinges on you passing this exam. You must not fail. Martin and Malcolm are watching you.”

Figure 3: After I passed.

With a black staffer, though, I didn’t feel judged. The guy felt familiar. We cracked a couple of jokes while he was registering me. The exam was about me passing muster instead of being about the validity of all blacks in engineering. As I thought about the ridiculousness of this on the train, I began shaking my head and swearing quietly to myself. Some chick saw this and moved to the other end of the car.

Just think about all the incidents where you’ve found yourself ‘representing’ in front of non-blacks to break stereotypes:

  • Giving people extra friendly greetings in the hallway to counter the ‘angry black man’ stereotype
  • Intentionally and unnecessarily speaking foreign languages in front of other people to counter the ‘uncultured’ black man stereotype
  • Airballing a jumpshot to counter the ‘all black people love and excel at basketball’ stereotype
  • Walking around campus with your nose buried in a calculus book to counter the ‘all black people major in african american studies’ stereotype
  • Overdressing at clubs/lounges to counter the ‘black people only know how to dress ‘urban” stereotype
  • Refusing to buy a Cadillac, Ford Expedition, or other giant SUV (with or without rims) for…fairly obvious reasons
  • Ordering bizarre exotic food like ostrich, alligator, or shark to counter the ‘black people only eat chicken and catfish’ stereotype
  • Blasting Blink 182 or Foo Fighters (even if you hate it) to counter the ‘black people only like hip hop and jazz’ stereotype

Figure 4: Where I go to rest after a long day of fighting stereotypes…

* EBP is a term I’ve always had difficulty swallowing. In the pragmatic sense, it typically applies to black doctors, lawyers, and MBAs with stratospheric incomes which is fine with me**. Unfortunately, the literal interpretation of the term has also allowed idiots with multiple Ivy league English or Philosophy degrees and no prospects to apply the moniker to themselves as well. The fact that I would be lumped in with these clowns (and the truckloads of pompous shitbrickery associated with the balance of EBP outside of the clowns) is why I will never refer to myself as an EBP. Instead, I prefer the term ‘SBP’ which gives credit where credit is due – credit to those who have attained some sort of objectively measurable and responsible (this keeps out entertainers on Viacom’s payroll) success, regardless of education level (or, more realistically, level of pretense). Not every SBP is an EBP, and not every EBP is an SBP. Thank God.

** Except I have a well documented hatred of attorneys who aren’t a.) criminal prosecutors, b.) family lawyers, or c.) intellectual property lawyers





Feminism

29 05 2008

I imagine that my rather large female reader base is going to read the first three or sentences of this article, get incredibly angry, stop reading, and start sending me a bunch of angry emails that I will, to return the favor, also not read. But I’m doing it anyway. Fuck it.

My Conoy background has given me a perspective on gender issues that usually enrages traditional western feminists despite it being one that I believe would give women far more power than the standard notion of ‘gender equality’.

Figure 1: Typical feminist, five seconds after I’ve started talking

In the old days before white people came and fucked everything up, only Conoy men served as Werowance and Tayac*. Only men were the soldiers and the builders. Only men could serve on the governing councils. Women were sent away from the villages during their Moon** because of the cosmic power it represented (kind of a “we’re not worthy” thing). In the household, a man’s word was final.

On the flip side, women didn’t have the same TYPE of power as men – but they had power that was arguably equal to or even greater than that of men. Clan Mothers could have a Werowance executed as long as she could prove he was fucking up (if the U.S. was Conoy-run, Nancy Pelosi could’ve had George Bush killed years ago). Women were responsible not just for cooking, but for the land itself. It was the women (and children) that handled the entire planting cycle from seed to harvest and, though there was no concept of land ownership, land was considered to ‘belong’ to women. Inheritance was matrilineal. When a man and woman married, the man and the children became part of the woman’s clan and moved into the woman’s lodge, rather than the other way around. If a woman wanted a divorce, she grabbed up all her husband’s shit and tossed it out of the lodge…and this constituted a formal divorce.

Figure 2: Intimidating, yes. But a woman owns his nuts, I promise.

Unfortunately, this Indian brand of assigning gender roles would never work in the modern world because, at its core, it’s a system of checks and balances between men and women with roles assigned according to natural predispositions (men are naturally aggressive and outwardly dominant, women are naturally nurturing and inwardly dominant). Men had power over the world, but women had power over the men. Hyperindustrialized economies, unfortunately, render this system moot because gender is no longer a parameter in the socio-economic equation (except when it comes to prejudice).

In my view, western feminism has done a disservice to women because it’s actually eroded their real power over men. This is because western feminism is essentially based on the idea of turning women socially and economically into men***. The result of this has been very empowering for women (or so it would seem), but it’s come at the cost of removing co-dependence between men and women which, from a macro-societal standpoint, is a bad thing. Women don’t ‘need’ men anymore, per se – but now the men don’t ‘need’ women either. With men and women adopting the same socio-economic roles, the need (and power) that men and women have for (and over) one another has been degraded to a purely sexual one.

This is why chivalry is dead. This is why we always have to listen to stupid ass men accusing empowered women of “penis envy” and why we always have to listen to stupid ass women asserting their power over men with the “we have the vagina, and we know you want it” argument.

Figure 3: The current state of Chivalry…

Of course, I could direct my anger at industrialized economies rather than feminism, but I choose to attack feminism because its founders chose the first (and lower) of the two roads the ideology could have adopted:

  1. Empower women by adopting the boorish and aggressive qualities of men
  2. Empower women by making men adopt the more reserved and genteel (but not feminine) qualities of women

Both options are fairly unnatural, but I get the feeling that if feminists had pursued option 2, both girls and guys would be a whole lot happier. The ladies could’ve made it happen, too. After all, they have the vagina and yes, we do want it.

Instead they chose option 1, and how very sad it is to see that choice reduce men and women to mere baby makers in the eyes of one another.

*Werowance = Chief. Tayac = Chief of Chiefs
**Menstrual cycle
***I am not a feminist scholar, and am not well versed in what feminism is theoretically based on. I don’t give a shit about theory – I’m basing this claim instead on what I’ve seen and heard from actual feminists in day-to-day life





Movies

28 05 2008

There are two contexts under which a man will say to himself – “Oh my God, I can’t believe this is happening.” One is the ‘good’ context, such as in that which a man realizes he’s about to win the lottery or he’s about to have sex with two hot chicks at the same time. The other is the ‘bad’ context, such as that in which a man realizes his firstborn son is about to get hit by a freight train at full speed…or he realizes he’s about to go to the movies.

We (black people) all hate movies whether we’ll admit it or not. We hate going to the movies because we know that, in almost all cases, there will be some kind of fucked up treatment of blacks (or other colored folk) in terms of their roles, portrayals, dialog and, in many cases, the complete lack of all of these.

There are all kinds of categories of fucked up film to choose from when you’re looking at it as a black person. There are some that I’m not even going to get into because it’s so trite and obvious, like the category of movies where the only significant black character is the first to die.

Stemming from this, though, we have the category that evolved from ‘Only Coon Dies’ – namely, ‘Every Coon Dies’. This category was spearheaded by the otherwise fantastic movie ‘300’, in which literally every single black person in the movie is killed in some horrendously miserable way: kicked into a bottomless pit and beheaded by a bizarre creature with fleshy blades for arms, among others. ‘300’ saw fit not only to kill us all, but to give us the most ridiculously insane deaths imaginable in a movie predicated entirely on ridiculously insane death.

Figure 1: THIS! IS! RACIST!

There’s the ‘Supporting Negro’ category that we’ve had to deal with since Hattie McDaniel won an Oscar for it in 1940 for her portrayal as Mammie in ‘Gone with the Wind’ (anybody else find it completely fucked up that her character was actually NAMED after a specific stereotype?) As time went on, black actors were forced into supporting roles even when they were better actors than the white leads they shadowed (Will Smith in ‘Bagger Vance’, Bill Duke in ‘Predator’, Djimon in ‘Gladiator’, Morgan Freeman in every fucking movie he’s ever been in).

Aside: Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman gets the Oscar for “Most Fucked Over Actor in Hollywood History”. He MUST have the shittiest agent on the face of the Earth, because this guy is constantly coming in second place to an increasingly talentless band of white actors starting with Matthew fucking Broderick in ‘Glory’ and ending most recently with Steve Carell in ‘Evan Almighty’.

Sub-Aside: Morgan Freeman as God

‘Bruce Almighty’ and ‘Evan Almighty’ tried to cover up Hollywood’s persistent racism by casting Morgan Freeman as God. They figured black people would be so happy with a black man portraying God that’d we’d overlook the fact that Morgan Freeman was playing second fiddle to a pair of hacks. They failed. Fuck Hollywood and fuck all of L.A. for that matter.

Figure 2: Why does God need to wear a fucking suit?

End Sub-Aside

I can safely say that the only case where the lead actor was actually on or above his level was Tim Robbins in ‘The Shawshank’ Redemption, but I still claim that the movie would have been even more interesting if it focused more on the life of Freeman’s character. Enough of this shit already.

End Aside.

Let’s not forget, of course, those movies where minority roles are snatched away from minorities altogether and filled by whites. This used to be a category suffered almost exclusively by Native Americans in every movie from John Wayne’s ‘The Searchers’ to Daniel Day Lewis in ‘Last of the Mohicans’. Remember that ‘crying Indian’ from the Don’t Litter commercials? That fucker was Sicilian. Black people, however, are being newly banged in the ass with this category for the first time since the days of Al Jolson with Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal as a black man in ‘Tropic Thunder.’ I refuse to see this movie, because I know that as soon as I hear RDJ try to talk like a black person, I am going to go completely apeshit and stab myself with a barong.


Figure 3: Did they give you a bigger penis, too?

Usurping of roles isn’t the only thing blacks and indians have in common when it comes to reasons to hate film. There’s the even more pervasive (and far more infuriating) ‘White Jesus’ category. These are the movies that pretend to be about blacks or indians, but just turn out to be a way to make white people look good because they involve a white man ‘saving’ the colored group, usually from other white people.

Figure 4: Fuck you.

With these films, Hollywood wants to dupe people into thinking that a movie about coloreds = a colored movie. Here’s a hint, you L.A. fucksticks: any movie with a white protagonist is a white movie, you aren’t fooling anyone, and you can go straight to hell. Shining examples of this are ‘Amistad’ and ‘Glory’ for black people, ‘Dances with Wolves’ and ‘Last of the Mohicans’ for indians, and ‘The Last Samurai’ for asians. If I could go back in time and nuke these movies’ sets, I swear to God I would.

So if we nig-gars are so damn unhappy with the mainstream film choices, then why not be happy with ‘black’ movies like ‘Love and Basketball’, ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘The Best Man’, ‘Dreamgirls’, ‘Diary of a Mad Black Woman’, ‘Soul Food’ or ‘Waiting to Exhale’?

Simple: all these movies are shit.

Almost all black movies that make it to the mainstream simply MUST involve at least two of the following: gangsters, sports, cheating black men, bitter black women, music, and Soul Food – the last item, which has a movie of the same name, is probably the most ridiculous of all. Do you think Tom Hanks’ white ass would ever star in a movie called ‘Casserole’?

Figure 5: Would never happen

The only really notable exception to this rule was ‘The Color Purple’ which, I believe, was a great movie if for no other reason than it didn’t involve the typical monolithic cast of modern no-talent black actors: Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan, Morris Chesnut, Nia Long, Omar Epps, etc. Understanding WHY black films can’t break the shackles of stereotypical subjects is the most enraging reality of all: they simply wouldn’t work.

Anybody who needs proof that racism isn’t dead and that black people and white people are nowhere near being on equal social footing only needs to think to himself why black equivalents of historical epics (a black ‘Gladiator’), existential pieces (a black ‘The Truman Show’), non-musical/non-sports biographies (a black ‘Capote’), horror flicks (a black ‘Exorcist’), adventure films (a black ‘Indiana Jones’), or sci-fi (a black ‘Star Wars’) generally aren’t commercially viable – it’s because white people ain’t interested in that shit.

Why aren’t they interested? This is why

.





To My Readers: Sick as Hell

27 05 2008

All,

I feel like a bag of crap and am high on meds, so I won’t be writing today. Till tomorrow, please enjoy the following highlights from my weekend:

  • I pointed at two barely-dressed chicks outside 1223 nightclub and yell “LOOKA DEM HOOKERS!” They did not find this amusing
  • Chicken Jon spends the whole night referring to tech-savvy black people as ‘Niggabytes’
  • My buddy Mandrew, a freakishly strong but small individual (weighs 155, benches more than twice his body weight), picks up another friend of mine with one arm and body slams him on a bean bag chair for no particular fucking reason at all
  • I go out and down two carbombs, two white Russians, two B-52s, two black russians, a rum and gingerale, a shot of God knows what, and a long island. On an empty stomach.
  • As a result of my drunkenness, I give ‘the woman’ insanely bad directions back to my place. I am struggling the entire time not to vomit in her car
  • Back at my place, I vomit loudly and uncontrollably into my toilet
  • I wake up on the bathroom floor six hours later

Maybe this is why I don’t feel so good today…





Itis

23 05 2008

There are times when catching the itis can be a good thing. It’s best to get it during the holidays, Christmas and Thanksgiving in particular, when you’ve just eaten a shitload of turkey and passing out will keep you from seeing Uncle Fred flash your aunt to prove that he’s still ‘youthful and exuberant’.

Figure 1: Everybody has this uncle

The itis-induced sleep is also the best and most satisfying sleep you’ll ever get, notwithstanding the inevitable nightmares.

The rest of the time, getting the itis is a pain in the ass because you always get it at work. Almost all of us have the same daily routine: you eat a shitty low-calorie breakfast, the energy of which is completely burned off by the time you get to work. Now you’re fucking starving and will continue to starve for the next four hours. Maybe you think you’re smart and you brought a piece of fruit or some shit to stave off the hunger. You eat your banana or peach about 2 hours into the day, only to realize the damn thing just made you even hungrier.*

Lunch time rolls around 2 hours later. If you brought your own lunch, the effects of the itis will probably be limited. There’s something about homemade lunches (probably the fact that they’re smaller and aren’t filled with the semen of disaffected restaurant employees) that makes them pack less of an itis punch than the alternative: going out to get lunch.

There are two ways to go out and get lunch – you can go by yourself, or you can go with other people. If you go with other people, you can pretty much count on a full-scale itis assault because, for whatever reason, going out in groups makes you eat more food. This is likely because when you go out in groups you tend to go to nicer restaurants that serve bigger portions. If you go out by yourself, you’re prone to just go to a little deli somewhere and you’ll be relatively safe (the term ‘relatively’ is important here) as long as you don’t order the turkey sammich.

No matter what you do – dine in, dine out alone, or dine out with others, the itis is going to get you in one way or another.

Figure 2: Destiny

The form the itis takes will depend on which of the three options you picked:

1.) Dine In – if you dine in, then you open your sack lunch and scarf it down while screwing around on the computer. You may play excessively addicting games like this one or this one, or spend an inordiate amount of time on break.com or youtube, or maybe CNN. As you eat and fuck around, you slowly lose sight of the fact that you’re at work – and you also are unaware that your desire to do anymore work for the rest of the day is being completely shattered.

Finishing your dine-in lunch is the saddest part of your day, because you realize two things: 1.) you have to stop screwing around, and 2.) you are getting sleeeeeeepy. For about the next hour, you will stare blankly at your computer screen without a single thought in your head. The only thing in your mind right now is a thin background thread telling you “do not fall asleep and bash your skull on the keyboard” and another one saying “I wish I had another sammich.”

Lucky for you, you smallness of your lunch means that a quick run up and down the stairs is probably enough to jolt you back into productivity and keep you out of trouble for another day.

2.) Dine Out Alone – this option is about as safe as the dine in option in terms of minimizing the itis. You’re not at your computer fucking around on non-business related websites, so you never get the illusion that you’re at home (which is a HUGE catalyst for bringing on the itis). Offsetting this, however, is the fact that you’re going to eat a much bigger meal with way more calories that come in the form of butter, oil, and other itis-inducing shit cooked into your meal that you don’t really even see.

Figure 3: Say goodnight, fucker.

Unlike the in-diners, this form of itis takes a little while to hit you. Chances are that you walked to your restaurant of choice, so after you eat you walk back and this gives you a little boost of energy when you get back to your desk. You sit down and start to work for awhile, but in about 20 minutes you start to notice your eyelids getting heavy. If you’re reading something, you realize that you’ve been reading the same sentence over and over again for the last 5 minutes and you have no idea what the fuck it’s about. If you’re looking at your computer, you begin hallucinating and thinking that your desktop wallpaper is a real place.

You find yourself daydreaming before long, which is almost certainly the best way to get in trouble at work. Your best option at this point is to find the cleanest bathroom in the office and take a ten minute nap, because no amount of walking or running around is going to snap you back into shape.

3.) Dine Out With Others – you’re fucked. You and your 10 officemates decide that going to P.F. Chang’s is the best idea anybody’s ever had. You order everything: water, soda, appetizers, and an entree that’d blow up the insides of a bull buffalo. This itis starts to kick in before you’re even done with your meal, and when you actually get done – you know the show is over. You look as shitty as you feel.

Large groups tend to drive or cab it to the nicer restaurants. You fall asleep on the car ride back in the most embarrassing manner possible: head cocked all the way back, mouth wide open and, if you ordered the short ribs, there is a single line of drool making its way down your chin. You are awakened by uproarious laughter (directed at you) as your officemates pull into the parking lot and realize that you’re in the back seat looking like a fucking retard.

Figure 4: White girl with Itis

The walk to the office feels like the Bataan Death March. Your legs weigh 1000 lbs each and have no muscle in them. You make it to your desk and plop down in your chair, convinced that this is where you will die. Your eyes are rolling around in your head and your mouth is still open. If someone were to walk in on this scene out of context they’d think you were performing an exorcism on yourself. The thought that you’ll be in this state for the next four hours is making you suicidal. You WILL fall asleep at your desk and you WILL get in trouble if you don’t get the hell out of there.

The lone out-diners have the option of taking a quick nap in the bathroom, but you’re way beyond that point. If you fall asleep in the bathroom you will be there for hours and both your legs will be asleep from the hips down when you wake up. This’ll set you up for a public bathroom faceplant which is about the most disgusting thing that could possibly happen to anyone. Your only viable option is the car nap: you take your ass down to your car, park in the most remote corner of the lot, and fall genuinely the fuck asleep.

Try not to let the nap last more than an hour, or your ass is getting fired.

*This is kinda like “putting in the tip” instead of having sex. In the end, it leaves both parties angrier and wishing they’d never met





Red Lobster

22 05 2008

Most people probably remember Chris Rock’s skit where he proposed that Native Americans have bigger problems than Black people, and offered up this statement as proof:

“When’s the last time you ever saw TWO Indians? You ain’t never seen a bunch of Indians just chillin’ at Red Lobster”

Well, just imagine how hilarious I found it when, after doing a dance performance with a group from NMAI, 17 Indians actually piled into a Red Lobster for dinner afterwards.

Figure 1: A bunch of Indians (some more Indian than others, it would seem)

Going to Red Lobster always seems like a good idea until you actually get there. Then you see the masses of insultingly overweight people waiting in the lobby looking to compound their health problems and raise taxes on everybody. You also notice an equal or greater amount of fatness anchored at the tables in the restaurant. You see gigantic piles of fried food, butter, and other artery-clogging fatness-inducing swill…and you slowly begin to realize that all of these people are going to take at least 2 hours each to finish their meal.

There are three ways to entertain yourself during your excruciatingly long wait:

1.) Grab a beer or six at the bar and start getting fucked up

2.) Observe the large number of young couples at the restaurant. Try to remember that, when you were young and broke, Red Lobster was to you what Kinkead’s is to a congressman. In spite of your attempt to empathize, you choke on your beer a little bit when you hear some 18 year old sincerely tell her boyfriend “you such a baller, baby.”

3.) Mock the lobsters in the water tank in the lobby. Make strange 18th century-sounding declarations of criminal punishment like “for your crimes against oceanic aesthetics, you are hereby sentenced to boil until delicious.” For extra points, take one of the lobsters out of the tank and chase terrified children with it until you are arrested or punched in the face by an angry father.

Eventually, the hostess calls you and you sit down excited about the fact that you’re finally going to eat. Most of all, you’re excited about the delectable biscuits that you’re sure to receive within the next five minutes. You ignore your father’s comment about the tables being arranged in the shape of “a cock and balls” and take your seat.

Figure 2: Our table configuration. He coulda said it looked like an exclamation point…

The biscuits come out right on time, served to you by an 18 year old redneck girl named ‘Cindy’ who insists on calling you ‘honey’ and ‘sweetheart’. You respond to this by referring to her as ‘pop tart’ with your mouth full while eating your biscuits, but this does not seem to deter her familiar tone.

Figure 3: Pretty much the only reason anybody goes to Red Lobster

Since you’ve been waiting 45 minutes, you gobble down four of these biscuits and, after drinking two glasses of water, you realize that you’re pretty much full already. Not only are you full, but you feel like shit because your stomach is now filled with a year’s worth of butter and garlic. You’re at Red Lobster, though, and there is no time for weakness. You open up the menu and behold how delicious everything looks – especially the beloved Admiral’s Feast: a breaded, battered, Neptunian heart attack in waiting that could be considered the most humane way to slowly kill a person. The Admiral’s Feast consists of a big ass chunk of fried fish, fried clams, fried shrimp, and fried bay scallops with a side order of your choosing that’s supposed to delude you into thinking you’re eating healthy. There’s nothing more ridiculous than someone ordering the Admiral’s Feast with a side of vegetables, which is akin to asking for a candle and romantic musing while getting raped in prison.

If someone orders the Admiral’s Feast before you, then you have to order something else. You either go for the endless shrimp or the snow/king crab legs, which are exceedingly delicious when served with warm melted butter.

Figure 4: The awesomeness is rivaled only by that of pancakes

No matter what you order, you come to the understanding that you are going to be absolutely miserable for the next hour. The garlic biscuits and the hydrochloric acid in your stomach are having World War III in your insides to decide if your food is going to come out of your asshole in 3 hours or back out of your mouth in 3 minutes. Thankfully, God anticipated the creation of Red Lobster because it was he that made garlic and biscuits delicious, so he also made most stomachs strong enough to win the war – which is usually winding down by the time you receive your Admiral’s Feast or your crab legs.

As you eat (and you do so out of spite rather than hunger, because you are already full as a motherfucker), you watch with horror as some of the people at your table are somehow able to devour an entire Admiral’s Feast in 7 minutes. They are ordering dessert while you’re still plugging away at the fried clams. You know they’re delicious but, like a man having his 6th orgasm of the night, the pleasure isn’t really registering anymore.

If you’re lucky enough to finish your meal, you want to fucking die. You never want to see a Red Lobster, or food, or the people you’re with ever again for as long as you live. You push yourself back from the table, lean back by sliding your ass forward in the seat, hold your belly and loudly exhale “WHEEEEEEEEEW” like you just got done splitting wood for six hours. You look at the table and behold the disaster area that it has become. There are shells, napkins, half drank glasses of water, sauce, and other shit all over the fucking place. Despite the fact that you feel like shit and weigh at least a metric ton, this carnage gives you an oddly primal sense of satisfaction. That is…until the bill shows up.

Figure 5: Everybody acts like the bill is for this much.

Black people and Indians have at least one cultural trait in common: when the bill shows up, everyone looks around at everyone else like they have no idea what the fuck is going on. They look like a guy would if he just got head from his girlfriend and she sits up and demands $300. After lots of groaning, arguing over the tip, gross underpayment by some people, and an extra 30 minutes, you are finally ready to leave.

As you walk to the car, you realize that you just PAID someone to shorten your lifespan and make you feel like vomit. You are terrified that you will fall asleep at the wheel on the way home. You vow never to return to Red Lobster…even though you know damn well your black ass will be back in about 8 weeks.





Product Placement

21 05 2008

Not too long ago, I kicked back and started thinking about why I’m such a fan of historical epics, sci-fi films, and fantasy movies. I can watch Gladiator, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings over and over again until I’m half-starved and blue in the face, and the idea of this doesn’t seem to bother me at all.

While watching ‘Knocked Up’ last night, I suddenly realized why I love these three genres so much: NO PRODUCT PLACEMENT.

Figure 1: You will not find a Lockheed Martin badge on an X-Wing

I’ve seen Knocked Up at least four times, but last night was the first time I really noticed how heavily Apple Computer advertised in that movie. If you look carefully enough, you’ll realize that every computer in the movie is a Mac. This is fine, right up until the part where it becomes implausible. Namely, the five unemployed male losers that (whose ‘job’ is to create a website that tells when chicks get naked in film) that star in the movie somehow own a 17″ PowerBook – a laptop that costs at least $3,000

I don’t really have a problem with producers allowing companies to advertise in their movies, as long as doing so doesn’t cut against the grain of reality and as long as the advertising is subtle. At least Knocked Up kept the product placement relatively ‘soft’, albeit unrealistic. But it’s those movies that jam the advertising down your fucking throat that are just downright insulting. Here are the most recent offenders that I can remember:

1.) Minority Report: the only thing I really remember about this movie is the fact that it was a gigantic Lexus ad. Everybody was driving a futuristic Lexus, and all the buildings were awash in Lexus advertising. Minority Report was an entertaining film no doubt, but as far as I’m concerned I will forever know it as the one that wins the Oscar for ‘Most Effectively Blitzkrieged by a Single Advertiser.”

Figure 2: Uglier than Tom Cruise’s soul

2.) I Robot: this flick was virtually gang raped by product placement. From the money shot of Will Smith’s new Converse sneakers, to the even longer money shot of a JVC sound system, product placement is shoved handily up your ass throughout the movie with no hope of it ever stopping. The automotive dominance of Audi in this movie, combined with the dominance of Lexus in Minority Report, suggests that the future will be filled with crooked detectives able to afford luxury cars with kickbacks taken from organized crime. Maddox’s article on I Robot should be read by every person on the goddamn planet.

3.) Casino Royale: this fucking movie wins the Oscar for “Most Insanely Out of Place Product Placement.” The whole premise of the James Bond franchise is wowing men with things they will never ever have: a license to kill, futuristic gadgets, insurmountable cool, the ability to travel around the world, access to ferociously hot women and the charm to get them ALL in bed, and, of course, expensive cars. To the last item, then, you must remember that the first car Jimbo drives in Casino Royale is a Ford Mondeo, the logo of which the camera is fixated upon in extreme zoom for a solid ten seconds. If the rest of the movie hadn’t been so badass, the only thing I’d be able to remember is that MI6 had an enormous budgetary shortfall last year and couldn’t afford to put Mr. Bond in a decent whip.

Figure 3: Comes out of the closet James. We still love you.

4.) Sex & the City: a special award goes to this six-year orgasm of fashion product placement and brand name dropping. Prada, Dolce & Gabanna, Manolo Blahnik, Versace, Chanel, and countless other designers wrapped Carrie Bradshaw’s bony pale frame in a completely impossible shroud of Italian fashion. As evidenced in the episode where this vacuous bubbleheaded vagina pirate couldn’t buy her own apartment, she had a tiny income and virtually no savings – yet inexplicably owned a closet full of shoes costing upwards of $500 a pair, and seemed to add to this collection in just about every episode. There’s nothing more blithely irresponsible than a series/movie that suggests spending 60% of your income of footwear will lead to good things in your life.

Figure 4: Reality

Got other examples? This shit is making my damn blood boil this morning.