opinion piece

(photo courtesy of

So here’s the thing: Modeling is hard. I’m not being facetious, I genuinely mean that. Well ok, maybe hard isn’t the right word–it’s tough I guess one could say. At any rate, the point is it’s not easy. There’s pressure in the air, tension afoot and it’s essentially one big, fancy endurance test of sorts. I should start from the beginning, I worked backstage for a fashion show last weekend–Fashionably Loud DC to be specific–using it as an opportunity to entertain my interests in fashion and to dabble in something I’m only partially experienced for. I was not ready for this at all, but I think I handled it like a champ.

Given what we (we being the other backstage helpers, the models and the designers) had to work with it well better than one would expect. The biggest trial I had to deal with was the models getting in and out of their clothes. Some payed me no mind, some felt a little uncomfortable. Both reactions are valid: I wasn’t about to be THAT guy at this time, yet at the same time, there really is no way for me to argue that I should be in there–it’s more than professionalism or trust, it’s about comfort. I think I handled it well all things considered, but then again, I can’t see my own face.

The actual clothes themselves were interesting: from simple sets of evening wear to more experimental showcases. Much like most fashion shows geared to the black audience,  the sets seemed almost trade-like. Not so much worried about being provocative or abstract but mainly geared toward showing off things ready to be bought already–which is fine. Sometimes, simple is the way to go. A worthwhile activity for sure and one that served to better get me out of the trappings of my comfort zone. Also, I fell in love. I don’t know her name but I know she looked like Whitley Gilbert and when she did her walk in a full out wedding dress, I never wanted to recreate this more than at that moment.

I’ve been pretty under the weather these past two days (Thanks bi-polar Washington weather!) and, as a result of not being physically motivated to move much, I’ve been doing a great deal of thinking. One of the thoughts that seems to worm their way into my psyche often is figuring out what exactly this blog of mine is, furthermore, what am I hoping to gain from it–if anything at all.

I still don’t really have an answer for you, I just know that I want this to be for me. For me to escape the banality of a so-far unfulfilling life by writing snark-like and candidly about whatever is on my mind or whatever I learn about from different outlets. This is far from a perfect place; really it’s just a place for me to zone out when I need zoning out from real-life (which, who doesn’t?). Ultimately, I hope if you decide to read this at any point it’s because, at some point, I said something that made you go, “me too.”

I mean that’s all we really want as humans right? For someone to understand where we’re coming from.

Genius is an incredibly relative term. We apply it to people who are skilled at a craft and we use it so much that it doesn’t really mean anything anymore. Everybody is a genius according to themselves and the 2-3 douchebags that they converse with–all you really have to do is have a rudimentary knowledge of any subject (or a really mediocre knowledge of EVERY subject) and you can be considered a genius. As a result, now more than ever, the power of the faux-intellectual is as strong as the stubbornness they apply to their ill-conceived notions. Faux-intellectualism would be endearing if it weren’t so pompous, arrogant and loud. It’s not enough anymore to secretly believe you’re the smartest guy in the room (like just about everyone does anyways), it is now imperative that we exercise our advanced theories of modern life at any given moment. who needs peace and quiet at a restaurant when you can endure a boisterous young go-getter breaking down the problems with the American government and social welfare programs and how, shit is like, not as good as the ’60s, you know, that awesome time that’s so awesome that they can talk about it’s awesomeness despite not being born until the ’90s. Maybe it’s the fault of social media that nobody believes in humility or just fucking keeping things to yourself and the few people willing to indulge you; maybe it’s the idea continuously perpetuated by schools and parents that kid’s voices and opinions matter and are special. Regardless, it’s always been my belief that you should always have enough self-awareness about yourself to know that there’s a chance that you could be wrong–and if you know you’re right, you better have the tactical knowledge to prove it. I only know three things about humanity: 1) We’re all animals with self-awareness at best 2) pie tastes pretty good 3) I don’t really know anything. I will always be a student at life and it’s getting kind of annoying dealing with a bunch of assholes who think they’re professors. I went to college and dealt with asshole professors for four years, I’m not here for you tools whose intellectual babble is the equivalent of a 7th grade writes-upon-request paper.

These past couple of months–in the midst of debates about women’s issues, women’s representations in congress and women’s bodies–I (and I’m sure many others) have been thinking a lot about… well, women. More specifically, I’ve been focused on how we look at women due to popular culture and our own ideas based on years of subconscious reinforcement. To go off on a tangent about every facet of popular culture, laws and attitudes that are clearly dismissive or think lowly of the female gender would be too extensive and complex to get into all at once, so for now I will focus on a specific subject–one that is, unfortunately, the most obvious and egregious offender: Rap. Discussions of the misogyny inherent in hip-hop is as old as time–pretty much anything that is, or started out as, male-centric will always come with inherent misogyny–the reason it continues to be a major talking point seems due to the fact that, in the roughly close to 40 years of its existence, it’s made very little progress. You’d think, with the advent of the internet and the constant flood of music daily, there would be more obvious examples of rap music showcasing voices that were unique and separated from the enslavement roles that have been placed on women (particularly black women), but even today you have to go to the low low depths to find that.

In reacquainting myself to indie rapper Open Mike Eagle’s 2010 album Unapologetic Art Rap, I was reminded with how unique I originally thought it was: from it’s stylistic wordplay laden with pop culture references to its all-out blitz on mainstream hip-hop and the corporate infrastructure that profits over the musical glorification of a black person’s worst attributes and thoughts. This is particularly pertinent with the song “unapologetic”, a 3-1/2 minute ode to the backpackers who “In ’96 they would have been De La Soul fans…” but in 2010, “…It’s My Chemical Romance.” Detailing the ideals of young black men who just want to have fun and create, and the corporate stooges more than willing too profit over it. Standard hip-hop (and black music) complaint; what I do find the most unique  about this song comes near the end:

“‘Cause my little brother never heard of Little Brother
‘Cause all the girls in their video kept their nipples covered
The only ones he can discover
Are the ones that please Viacom’s executive nigger lovers
So it’s another monkey-po gimmick
Sambo videos with country crows in ’em
Middle school virgins playing run-and-go-get-it
‘Cause they memorized songs about nuttin’ on women.”

This then leads to a bit of a rant about how “cool” it is that the most popular song out at the time contributes the line “superman dat hoe” which, for those not in the know, is essentially a euphemism for ejaculating on a young lady. “Real good message for the young ladies” he says. The first time I heard this I felt a sense of both pride and shame: pride because someone finally said it and shame because I knew that I was just as much part of the problem as those rappers being referenced. Most of us are part of the problem, and the ones who aren’t, God bless you, I’m truly jealous. For most of my life, my generation (as well as the ones after) has been inundated with images of pure sex. This is no different than most generations before us, but what made us unique was we were at the beginnings of the internet age. Sex came from every avenue now. No longer did young males find themselves enamored by dirty magazines like playboy or hustler, now the raunchiest of things was but a mouse-click away. We became numb to it and as a result, we upped the ante–to the point where rappers could make songs about ejaculating on women.

The problem with society and pop culture’s view on sex is it’s mostly (in most cases completely) unfair to women. It, more or less, perpetuates a hatred of women. Rap songs champion girls who act loose,  or are open about their sexuality or are just plain down to fuck whenever and wherever; at the same time, these same songs attack women who aren’t these things by labeling them as “stuck up”, “bougie” or “bitch”. Men write songs about having sex with any woman they want due to their fame, while lambasting those same women for only wanting to fuck them because they’re famous. Society has taught us to hang onto an archetype that says men are this way, women are that way and we should accept it. A whole social enterprise has been made of exposing the percentage gap between the number of men and women in the world, by insinuating that men should do whatever they want because “why not? There’s less of us than you, so you can either except it or be alone–which we know you don’t want to do because of your natural “emotional” state.” This is further capitalized by then exposing this idea by advertising dismissive “relationship manuals” that more or less apologize for this behavior but offer no real advice on handling or fixing it.

In a struggle to keep up with this heightening of sexual obsession, television (music video channels especially) have gotten dirtier. The most obvious example was the BET staple Uncut, a showcase for rap videos to hot for TV–featuring both underground rap artists, as well as some of the biggest names in the game at the time. Chances are when you think about Uncut, you remember the infamous “Tipdrill” video by Nelly. A video so hypersexual and demeaning that it proved to be the tipping point that led to the show’s cancellation, and the ensuing protest by students of Spelman University led to a stall in Nelly’s then skyrocketing career. This is nothing new, MTV used to get in the same kind of trouble during the heyday of 80’s glam rock where women were nothing more than lust objects either writhing around on sports cars or being fetishized like baked goods.On Ab-Soul’s fantastic mixtape Control Systems, He uses the track Double Standards to take aim at a mindset that puts a man and a woman in the same scenario yet congratulates the man and ostracizes the woman. “See the moral of the story is… she a ho, he a pimp” he raps, “My auntie told me always treat my lady right, my uncle told me only love ’em for a night, you can see the immediate disconnection, between a man and a woman, the reason for aggression. A staple as old as time, boys being raised to continue this trend of using women anyway we feel like while teaching women to behave “proper” and “lady-like” lest she shames the family name. What makes rap so interesting is that it’s a hyper version of what’s happening in our world. It’s hyper-aggressive, hyper-masculine and it showcases the anger and hatred of women inherent in us as men. When I say anger or hatred, I don’t mean it in an active sense. I don’t hate women, nor do I think these young men do; what I do know is that a hatred of women is in us subconsciously because we’ve been raised not to think of them as people–and their pursuit of rights and respect are bringing that hate out. If you’re familiar with the bottle episode trope used in television, you know it puts the main characters in a room together for a whole episode to bring out the tension that’s been boiling over. The hip-hop/top 40 pop club is a classic example of societies bottle episode: put people in a room together, mix in liquor for good measure and watch the tension between men and women boil over. There’s aggressiveness and well, let’s face it, a lot of sexual assault taking place–that’s its own article for another day.

This piece isn’t about bashing men or how terrible we are, nor is this an opportunity for meto act high and might about my progressive thinking. As I’ve said before, I’m a shameful pawn in this as well; I’ve absorbed hours of this stuff, I’ve lusted, I’ve been aggressive… and angry with women. My itunes is filled with misogyny. I’ve bought into generalized gender roles and fed off of the ideas promoted by music, TV and movies on how to regard women. Yes, I’m more than aware there are exceptions to the rule–there are awful women out there, because there are awful people out there period–and not everything is a man’s fault. This isn’t about blame or individuals, this is about an infrastructure. That’s the biggest problem with trying to talk to people about this–about anything really: racism, sexism, ageism, social class, etc.–is that people can’t understand that ideals are built into our society. It’s not enough to say we’re equal because it wasn’t ingrained in us to be so. Mindsets don’t just disappear because you wake up and say “ok everyone equal now.” There are no easy solutions–there never are–but it’s important that we talk about it. I don’t know what it’s like to be a woman and it’s silly for me to try to pretend that I do or that someday I will… my goal is to understand where they’re coming from and just treat them like the human beings they are. This is how I want to be treated as a black male and I’m sure this is how others want to be treated. I’m trying to do better with my issues personally; I hope others are too, especially in rap… because nobody–regardless of race, gender or anything else–deserves second-class treatment.

Time keeps moving. It just keeps going–like a freight train headed for a deadly, explosive collision. 2012 was not my best year–most of it sucked actually–but that’s alright, most years aren’t my best years. In fact, out of all the years that ever were, most haven’t been favorable to me. At any rate, I have the time to delve into some shit to distract me from the ever approaching, crippling onset of severe depression that is real life. Let me not be the cynical asshole of the party for once, let’s delve into something much less gloomy.

I think the most revelatory moments for me this year involved realizing how much I miss my family and also how much I no longer feel too strongly about hip-hop music. It was a pretty seamless shift to be honest, listening to so much of any kind of music over and over would make anyone go crazy. Yeah, there’s a lot of variety and all types of unique artists out there but after awhile it all becomes of blur of noise over the same exact 808. So while I’m quick to state that Kendrick Lamar’s chilling portrait of Compton life Good Kid, m.A.A.d City is one of the best records made this year and one of the best rap records I’ve head in a long time, that’s not really saying much. I’ve listened to lots of rap records in the past few years and I don’t remember much about most of them–even the ones I liked. It’s not their fault, it’s the generation we live in. Music has become disposable… in all genres yes, but rap has been affected the most. So while Big Boi, Killer Mike, Joey Bada$$ and Action Bronson had solid releases, it’s hard to fathom me remembering much about them a year-plus from now (Joey maybe).

On the whole, some of the best music I heard this year wasn’t from this year… and the stuff that was from this year are too sparse or obscure. As far as full albums go, it was a pretty average year. Jessie Ware, Fiona Apple, Kendrick Lamar (as mentioned above) and How To Dress Well made highly enjoyable music this year. On the R&B front, only 4 acts stick out in my mind as worth discussing–Frank Ocean, Miguel, Solange and D’angelo. Miguel had a strong return with his second album Kaleidoscope Dream; an album that continues to grow on me with each passing day. D’angelo gets a shout-out for the simple fact that his return to performing for fans and audiences was perfect–because it was on his own terms. He didn’t have to parade himself half-naked to a gaggle of people who only give a shit about one song of his; he went out there, brought the funk and catered to his own style. I’ll be forever jealous for never getting the chance to see it this year. Then we get to Frank Ocean and Solange, a pair I lump together because they both made two of the most buzzworthy releases in R&B. Truth be told, I will give Frankie his credit. Channel Orange was one of the best albums of the year. That being said, personally, it didn’t do much for me. I recognize it’s good, soulful, passionate and experimental enough to separate it from anything else released this year–it just didn’t affect me like it probably should’ve. Now if I were to pick my favorite R&B record this year, it would have to be the baby Knowles True EP. Before you start, I’m not trying to be a contrarian. I genuinely like Solange a lot and to compare her to her sister musically would be silly–inevitable–but silly. Beyonce’ will always be the Cheerleader Summa Cum Laude Prom Queen of music but Solange is like the black sheep sister who goes to that art school across the street, the one who got you into all your favorite obscure bands and movies that you’ll never convince to marry you because “that’s just not her style”. This just so happens to be my type of girl.

Movies were better this year than last, even the most mundane-seeming had its enjoyable moments (s/o to Premium Rush). Movies like The Avengers proved you can still have a fun, light-hearted superhero movie and it will be just as great as the super-serious new dark tone everyone wants to turn their comic book movies into. Speaking of which, despite the fact Christopher Nolan seemed to be exhausted after Inception and just went into auto-pilot and completely phoned it in with The Dark Knight Rises, once you chose to ignore its plot holes and decided against taking it as seriously as it begs you too, you find that it still makes for a grandiose yet fun movie. Tom Hardy as Bane will forever be the second best idea followed closely after Bane having that voice of his. Despite not getting to see The Masterduring its theatrical run, its divisiveness doesn’t surprise me. Paul Thomas Anderson has slowly but surely found himself turning into a new sort-of Stanley Kubrick, in the sense that they both made films in order to derive some sort of specific reaction–be it positive or negative. To me, I always figured The Master would be the Synecdoche, New York of this year. A movie too chaotic to just be discarded. It had to be dissected and deciphered by anyone who watched it, whether they hated it or not. Speaking of divisiveness, the two biggest harborer of critical commentary came at the end of the year. Zero Dark Thirty, while being a critic favorite, incited controversy about its subject matter (the manhunt for Osama Bin Laden) from both the conservative and liberal sides of the aisle–much the same way the director, Kathryn Bigelow, received the same type of controversy for The Hurt Locker. Then there’s Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino’s spaghetti western set during slavery. As you can imagine, the film has garnered its own share of animosity for its historical inaccuracy and it’s overall depiction of slavery. Basically, Quentin Tarantino is facing controversy for being Quentin Tarantino… you know, the same guy who did the exact same thing with Nazi Germany and the Holocaust in Inglorious Basterds. This then leaves me thinking, since not much was really said about that movie but a lot is being said about this one, I can only assume one of three things is happening: 1) nobody’s ever heard of Quentin Tarantino 2) a bunch of people are too in their feelings about the idea of using slavery as a backdrop for a story about a black bounty hunter killing slave masters rather than it being some overblown history lesson or 3) the subject hits a little too close to home here in America. At any rate, the movie I enjoyed the most this year had to be Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson’s finest movie since The Royal Tenenbaums. From the intense attention to detail to the color scheme and the character studies of young love and adult insecurities, it was classic Anderson. Anderson’s schtick may have lost some of its luster, but he still knows how to put together a wonderfully ecstatic indie faux-fairy tale.

Television continue to ride its golden-era out, with some of the best seasons of some of the most unique shows. 30 rock, after having slump season after slump season, went all out for the first half of its shortened final season; proving to be just as irreverent, tightly constructed and hilarious as it’s always been. Community experienced controversy after controversy, with the departure of showrunner Dan Harmon and the eventual departure of Chevy Chase, but still managed to have another wonderful and imaginative season–a season that served as a fitting end to Harmon’s tenure. Meanwhile, Parks & Recreation continued to be the best show on NBC’s (mostly) stellar Thursday night block.  Louie C.K.’s boundary-pushing character expose continues to be art disguised as comedy. Louie has almost perfected the act of making its audience just as unsure about things as Louis C.K. himself seems in each episode, while also challenging the notion of success and, as always, the bitter fight between happiness and depression. Speaking of which, Mad Men produced one of its most divisive seasons after being gone for 2 years. I fell on the camp that loved this season, a season which took the characters to dark places–in both reality and within themselves. If one word could be applied to this season, it would be worth. The worth of your soul, the worth of a spouse and the worth of self were all regular questions implied in episode after episode. Maybe that’s why I like it so much, the question of worth makes a regular appearance in my life as well. Speaking of the worth of souls, Breaking Bad continued to be the best thing on television. With an 8 episode half-season, Breaking Bad packed in as much as it could before its eventual finale in 2013; at times it proved hit or miss but when it hit it hit hard, providing some of the best television seen this year–including the gut-wrenching end to “Dead Freight”. The resolution to Breaking Bad in 2013 already makes that year awesome in my book, but the prospect of no more new episodes is a bad omen for 2014.

2012, much like real life, was uneven and maybe in the long run won’t be much to remember. Eventually nostalgia will be kind to it–like it is to every year, no matter how shitty. For me, it will be the year I got pushed to my absolute limit and came out stronger… but still not strong enough. It was the year I needed the best in entertainment to take me away from the life I was living and make me happy to be alive. It didn’t always succeed but it had a pretty good batting average. Here’s to 2013, let’s hope it’s a good one.

(Chris Brown: in terrorist form)

For the 2010 mockumentary I’m Still Here, Joaquin Phoenix plays Joaquin Phoenix as he retires from acting and purports to start a life as a rapper. Prior to the release, nobody really understood what was going on but we all agreed that Joaquin had lost it–and that letterman escapade validated it. It was performance art of the highest caliber and, whether you think it worked or not, it was pretty damn ballsy.

2012 saw the emergence of rapper Trinidad Jame$ and his now infamous music video. It also saw James Franco tricking people into thinking he was some kind of renaissance man; simply unhappy with being an average actor, he suddenly felt the need to be average in a bunch of other vein projects like being a professor of “something”, an artiste and a “writer” for–cheekily–Vanity Fair. It saw Chris Brown needing more hatred and vitriol, as the advent of people feeling indifferent about his existence simply wasn’t enough for him–and, finally, 2012 saw lil b being very lil b throughout the year.

Now one could get mad about this–outraged even. In fact I was pretty inclined to get agitated over these people time and time again. However, I thought back to I’m Still Here and it dawned on me: This was all a show. For you see, there’s no possible way that lil b is that self-unaware that he would give his cat a record deal. There’s no way that James Franco is that in love with himself that he simply indulges in any fantasy he deems “esteemed” enough–no matter how unqualified he is to do so. There’s no way a drugged-out Sly Stone look-alike would seriously make a video where he’s open-shirted and holding a puppy, rapping about gold as if that were a good idea and there is just no way that some guy who made like 3 good songs would actively bait people into hating him and still have legions of crazy fans defend him. No, there’s just no way. It’s all performance art.

That’s what 2012 was all about. Putting on a show to expose the the anomaly that is celebrity, and why it allows us to do everything we want without fear of vitriol from a set fanbase. They actively exposed how silly entertainment was and how silly we all were for feeding into it. You succeeded guys, Whether through hosting a class on yourself, threatening to “shart” in a female comedian’s mouth or popping mollys and sweating, you showed us all how stupid we still are. Can’t wait to see what 2013 brings.

(this post contains spoilers for last night’s How I Met Your Mother. Reader beware.)

Last night, as I sat through another episode of a mostly lackluster HIMYM season, I tried my best not to let my irritation with Barney’s pointless relationship with Patrice and Ted’s pointless feelings for Robin ruin what was a pretty decent episode. Then it happened. An ending  that, despite the fact that I kinda saw it coming near the end of the episode, still overwhelmed me emotionally to the point of giddiness. Barney and Robin were together again–engaged even!–and suddenly everything about what made this show a good one in the first place began to show its face again. Yeah, the all too familiar tropes were there–dramatic presentation, flashbacks, a theatrical indie-rock soundtrack–yet I reacted to it like it was all new.

Then I calmed down and started to hate myself. You see I thought I couldn’t bring myself to care about “will-they or won’t-they” anymore. We knew Barney and Robin would get together (even if it wasn’t revealed within the show already), so it wasn’t a surprise. Yes, the investment we as viewers have put into these characters play a large part in our reactions to what happens to them, but I think most people can agree that stretching the ultimate ending for these two out as long as possible got pretty annoying. In fact, that’s the problem with all the “will they or won’t they” couples on TV… it overstays its welcome.

Friends was the first abuser. Ross and Rachael were America’s favorite couple that weren’t… well, they were for one season, but that was it. The biggest issue with this one was that the two of them weren’t a couple for so long that you almost forgot about the whole thing. I remember watching the final episode and thinking “ehhh, I forgot all about that”. The U.S. edition of The Office sought to grip its viewers with Jim and Pam they same way the original U.K. series did with Tim and Dawn, and it worked… for 3 years. Rather than drag it out year after year, they brought the saga to a close with Jim asking Pam on a date in the season 3 finale and P am saying yes, it was the cutest damn shit ever and if that had been the end of the series I would’ve been fine with it. Instead the show went on–for years past its prime–and Jim and Pam became the boring couple that everyone remembers used to be cool.

But nobody was a worse perpetrator than J.D. and Elliott from Scrubs. Insufferable doesn’t even begin to describe it. It started great (as it always does), J.D. seems to like Elliott, Elliott seems to like J.D., so will they or won’t they? Then they did, for one–well 2 I guess–episodes. It was an interesting concept, following the initial honeymoon period of a relationship only to find that life, ego and personal insecurities get in the way of what you thought you wanted. Maybe it would’ve been perfect if it had stayed that way, maybe it would’ve still worked if they had worked through it (even if it was later down the road), but it didn’t work because they over did it. They broke up, got together, broke up, hooked up again, stopped, etc. By the time they back together (again) and J.D. realizes 2 seconds later that he doesn’t want her, I was officially done with those two.

As far as getting it right, that’s a little trickier. Maybe it’s because most TV shows last too long, but it’s rare that people strike the right balance. The Office U.K. got as close to perfect as you can get. Spaced was great because it was an open-ended story that worked best that way. Both Community and Parks And Recreation get points for playing around with the trope by having damn near every character hook up with each other at one point. Maybe it is just an outdated trope representing an old fashioned way of entertainment; but, as last night showed me, there’s still some magic left in that old bag of tricks.

If you haven’t gotten a chance, you should head over to the Washington Post and read Richard Cohen’s column on Bond and the “problem with male sex appeal in today’s world”. Now, I don’t know what poor girl didn’t recognize Cohen’s obvious intelligence and worth as amale back in high school, but whoever it was he hasn’t forgotten about it.

Cohen makes the argument that Daniel Craig’s James Bond represents some sort of Alpha Male, six-pack laden God that Hollywood and society seems to embrace nowadays; where as good-ole schlubs like that Cary Grant fellow represent a before-time where–apparently–when Hollywood celebrated the average guy by putting him in movies like North By Northwest where he got to be the hero. I’m not exactly sure where to start first.

Let’s first consider the fact that Cary Grant was a ridiculously handsome movie star… and that the definition of “in shape” was vastly different during the hey-day of NXNW… or the fact that Cary Grant was supposed to be an everyman trapped in a situation where he had to be adventurous whereas Daniel Craig plays the world’s toughest, most deadly secret agent so, yeah it would probably be a good idea to get some muscles. In fact, for the purpose of this article, let’s not even get into the fact that Hollywood has a history of pitting incredibly beautiful women with just about any “loveable” loser they can find this week. The problem with Cohen’s assessment is that he’s looking at the past through some sort of nostalgia filter that doesn’t fall in line with reality. I mean, do you seriously believe that someone at any point could like at Cary Grant and go, “well if he can get Grace Kelly, so can I!”.

All that considered, the real issue with this comes near the end, where Cohen takes into account Craig’s workout regimen by stating, “Every rippling muscle is a book not read, a movie not seen or a conversation not held.” Here’s where it becomes apparent that someone is still holding grudges from a like time ago. This idea that anyone who enjoys working out is wasting their time when they could be reading a book instead is pretty dismissive and snobby. Even worst, it fits everyone’s favorite motif that the nice, nerdy guy with a heart of gold finishes last. You know because all those girls who should totally be turned on by the books you check out at the library or your knowledge of world affairs are too busy chasing down football players in the weight room. As someone who’s still considered the “nice, nerdy guy with the heart of gold” I have to say that this idea is mostly bullshit. Nobody owes me or anyone like me anything because we’re nice or smart or whatever, just like everyone else, I have to work to attract someone and my decision to not work out doesn’t make me smarter or vice-versa. But fear not Mr. Cohen, beautiful girls who like books and regular guys like us do exist. I promise bro.

Look, I get it. Times are tough, people aren’t working and everything is shit–fine, whatever. However, let me just say this: In your haste to look for a job to support that record company that you swear you’re gonna get off the ground, have you ever thought about how much it would suck to actually have to go to work?

Listen, we all have dreams–and tightly written screenplays–that we swear are gonna happen one day soon; but until then you’ll take that telemarketer job or use that math degree to crunch numbers in some corner cubicle for a mid-level company just to keep the lights on, and you know what? You’ll hate every second of it. You won’t complain openly so as not to jinx it for yourself because “in this economy you’re lucky just to have a job” but everyday it will eat at you little by little until you wake up one day as the guy in your office with all the Dilbert comics posted on your wall. I for one say nay to this sort of existence, and instead make the argument that you don’t really need your job–you just need to know how to live broke.

Look, all you really need in life is food and shelter–maybe the occasional moccasins too, I mean, we’re not animals–and there’s no better guarantee for both food and shelter than the food and shelter available at your parents/relatives/friend’s house. Oh what’s that? You’re too good to live with your parents again, I beg to differ. Instead of wasting 8 hours each day at a job just to spend the whole paycheck on surviving, why not just live at home for free and really focus on that blog of yours that you just know will get you the exposure you deserve. If Steve Jobs can start Apple from his parents house and Kanye West can lock himself in a room, doing 5 beats a day for 3 summers, then there’s no limit to what you can do too.

We’re in a new age, how do you tell a kid the story about the American dream or about climbing the corporate ladder when people actually get paid a shitload of money for their bullshit tweets or for doing this. Now more than ever, we are in the age where everyone can be whatever the fuck they choose to be as long as they can pimp it out to somebody. This is the new age we’re in, so you can sit around and sulk about your office job or sulk that you don’t have an office job if you want, but it’ll probably do you better to just find something to be good at and make someone pay you for it–based on what I’ve been seeing it seems to be easier than it sounds, now if you’ll excuse me , I have more snarky posts to make on my pinterest in the hopes of getting “discovered”.

In, what I’m sure, comes as a shock to nobody paying attention: dating people from the internet is the future. (Hell, it’s the present.) The days of stranger danger and creepy perverts on AOL chat are… well, still there, minus AOL chat, but largely dismissed as social media has grown into an unstoppable monster deluding people into thinking they’re special. With this–and every type of dating site you can imagine–comes the skyrocketing of online hook ups. Now, we could look at this as glass half-empty and go into a hyperbolic fit about how this is the ultimate death knell for courtship and the “old fashioned way” that got your parents together but honestly, I’m already looking at damn near everything in my life as half-empty, let’s do this shit half-full.

Here’s the good news kids: you’re way more interesting online than you ever are in real life–trust me, it’s true.  The internet has a way of making even the lowliest of nerds who spend all day complaining on message boards about gaffes on last night’s “Parks & Rec” and writing “Breaking Bad” fanfic in their parent’s basement seem like the suavest of gentlemen with the right work. Vonnegut said it best, “We are who we pretend to be, so be very careful who you pretend to be”; in other words, when you pick that online persona you’ve been crafting so intricately for months in advance like it’s a character in one of those shitty scripts you aim to get made one day, make sure you choose wisely. On the flipside, if you choose to stay true to your roots, well, hang on because you may be shocked to find out there actually exists people who might like the nerd that you are (although, you should probably still keep that shit mostly tight-lipped the first couple dates ).

The worst thing about these social networks is that they’ve pretty much killed conversation–seriously I barely remember how to meet people in person first anymore–but on the one hand it’s also allowed for a new way to find out things about people and use that shit to your advantage. (Oh you liked The Dark Knight too? We should totally get together and discuss the political and social thematics strewn about the movie.) I mean it’s easy as shit for anyone to have game on the internet son, it’s great.

I’m here to help you guys. I’m probably one of the biggest nerds around–I’ll annoy the shit out of you with my encyclopedic knowledge of Simpsons references, (seasons 1-8 only, classic era forever!) and I’ve probably spent more time on this blackhole of information searching samples used in Kanye albums than you’ve spent doing anything ever. With that being said, of the last 5 girls I’ve dated, 4 came from Twitter-Caking (copyright pending). That’s just the name of the game now, people interact more on there and other social avenues than in real life; it’s not hard to comprehend really… you’re basically just inviting yourself to a conversation someone is having with their own self. So stop running from the inevitable and embrace it, get that persona together and make sure that’s really them on those profile pictures–cause these fools think they’re slick.

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