Monday, May 18, 2009
You Can Know You Suck Without Getting Up-Into White Guilt and it All Starts With Realizing You're as Full of Shit as That Other Paddy Bitch, Part 1:
I never expected to be as much of a pop culture commentator as I have been on this blog. And I really don't want to be one of those overly overt punks who makes a point to make a point about how uncool they think television is, but I really would rather be inspired enough to make a blog post without television wetting the folds and lobes of my brain with its sneaky brand of foreplay. But enough bullshitty, hipster-cred insistent self-effacement. Too much of it will stink my blog up with an artificial sincerity that you could get much more easily from comments left on your Myspace profile.
I watch television. Even if I didn't live with my parents I would. I own one and, although it isn't fancy, its completely mine.
I was watching VH1's Charm School 3 (with Ricki Lake) not twenty minutes ago. It was probably the last 10 minutes of the show. All of the girls lined up, wearing their school girl fetish ball costumes, in two segregated rows. The largely blond Rock Of Love brats lined up like a white picket fence behind the Real Chance of Love bitches. And, before you ask, NO! My choice of words, there, has nothing to do with the personal distinction I make between brats and bitches, nor does it have to do with my preference for bitchery over brattyness. My choice of words, as well as this entire blog post, has to do with race. It's a fun card to play and white people (usually the only people who live boring enough lives to read and write blogs) don't have much of a sense of humor about it.
As a white male with friends (actual friends and not just people I ride the bus with or work with) of many different ages, creeds and ethnic backgrounds, I often feel at liberty to say whatever I want. I'm usually wrong in this assumption, but I'm white so I act on my assumptions anyway, because I'm too insecure to ask a goddamn question. So, as one of these busted crackers who makes too many bad jokes, I feel I've made enough room for myself to say that I really have a problem with white women. There I said it. I've got half a dickful of patience for them and, me being white and all, half a dickful isn't very much. I may boast a fairly diverse group of friends, but that doesn't change the fact that most of them are white. Being surrounded by all of this whiteness should have helped me acclimate to their pissy, little nuances . . . but I have yet to come to a cultural understanding with my fellow skim milk drinking, cozy-up-to-the steering wheel driving, Asian baby adopting people.
Does it make me a misogynist expressing my frustrations with white women? No. Although I, sometimes, understand misogyny, I find no excuse for it. In fact, the only thing that would probably make me a misogynist would be if I were to keep my feelings about white women to myself and let them fester. Well . . . either misogyny or accidentally/subconsciously fetishizing women of other races, but that's a phase (and I still can't say for sure whether the fact that I'm single does or does not have anything to do with the fact that I have such a hard time with white women) I already went through and I think that ethno-fetishism is just as disgusting and ignorant as misogyny or any other kind of bigotry. I'm all about diversifying the gene pool, but I'm not willing to endorse an Asian or Black Chick/White Dick porn site under the umbrella of racial and cultural double-dutching. But I'm sidling the track I've laid-out for myself, a little . . .
I just witnessed a microcosmic example of how white folk pretending that racism doesn't exist can be used to enact fascism. Shit yeah, I'm observant. I even noticed that the black dude was acting as the caddy in that Capital One commercial where the banker knocks the small business people out of his office with a golf club.
To give a brief summary of Charm School, Episode 3.02; Kiki instigated some verbal altercations that made the white girls feel unsafe, Ashley locked the emotionally vulnerable and maybe mentally unstable Britney Star in the bathroom causing her to cry, freak-out and pray on camera, and somebody who I already forgot the name of got too drunk. When I saw Ricki Lake (the Headmistress) call the bottom three down, so she could expel one of them from VH1's world renowned charm school, Kiki, Ashley and Drunks-Her-Face stepped forward. When Tequila Rose and Ashley were told Ricki's reasons for wanting to send them home, everybody kept their composure and acted maturely. When it came to Kiki, the one black girl out of the three, Bratty Bacchus starts trying to provoke her with some catty body language. When Kiki tries to assert herself and insist she can have her turn to speak in peace, it becomes a shouting match with all of the white girls ganging up on Kiki. When the rest of the black girls try to defend Kiki, all of the white girls but Brittany Star begin freaking out. Farrah begins to talk about how threatened she feels around Kiki, while she eyes all of the black girls. Finally, Farrah says something about her coming to VH1's Charm School and not VH1's Real Chance of Love and storms off the set with Body Shot Barbie and Ashley. When everybody calms back down and the three "protesters" are called back in, Ricki Lake decides to expel Kiki. Apparently her verbal confrontations with the girls were more dangerous and harmful than drinking one's self half way to the hospital or picking the most emotionally unstable member of the group and locking them in a bathroom. So Hood realized what I did, as soon as the editor cut to her for a reaction shot & stormed off the set.
Ricki Pamela Lake, you were in Hairspray and you should know better than that. Oh, wait, I guess that sentence could make me as bad as her.
You can't let the fact that you did this for so-and-so or babysat for what's-their-face or stood up for the cause of such-and-such convince you that you're not racist. Yes, white people, you can have a black friend and be racist. Chances are that they know you're racist. Maybe you're a little racist. Maybe you're more racist than you'd ever want to admit. The fact remains, however, that you are uncomfortable around certain demographics of people and that's actually not all that bad because, chances are, that they're cool with it. There's a difference between being racist and being a bigot. Fascism is bigotry and it can even happen on VH1.
As white people, we've learned to reject change by appearing to embrace it. We cozy up and soften ourselves to black folk, so they don't feel so much of a spirit of dissent against us and, maybe, stop trying so hard to move into our neighborhoods and schools and offices. We make special immigration exceptions for Latinos, because - well - who wants to deport our worker caste?
We're spiteful. We're deceitful. We're underhanded and passive aggressive. Between the United States and England alone, we've got an encyclopedic wealth of information on how to simultaneously be a imperialistic megalomaniac and a worthless pussy fart in the same act.
White women, unfortunately, have this quality in spades. In fact, it's so effective that the only men who are really as good at it as women usually become politicians.
Using this characteristic tool, Ricki Lake was able to look completely justified, as she took the side of the mostly white Rock of Love team. Aggression can be intimidating, but passive aggression scares the butt-fucking shit out of me.
Passive aggression is one of the worst traits any human can have, ever. A passive aggressive person is tactful in the way they choose their words, but they do not necessarily choose their words with the intent of them being understood as they are. A passive aggressive person would rather have you unravel a curtain than pull it aside. It makes them feel powerful. A passive aggressive person asks a rhetorical question and expects an answer, because they've endowed their rhetoric with nuances that imply a whole different question, altogether, between the actual words they spoke. A passive aggressive person endows the people who they are surrounded by with guilt and shame, which is a pretty fucking satanic quality to have.
Unfortunately, white women have a really strong tendency to be passive aggressive. Like, really, really, really passive aggressive. I wish it weren't true, but it is. Not all black people talk in the movie theater, but I've never been to a movie in a "black neighborhood" that had a quiet audience. Not all Italian guys wear too much product in their hair, but I wouldn't want to sit behind your average man of Mediterranean descent on a roller coaster. Not every white woman is a fake-laughing, competitive, passive aggressive brat . . . but enough are to make the good ones look bad. There's enough awful white women in the world that there's an entire generation of girls who are on the brink of mistaken identity because they hate how catty girls are and they only befriend guys.
I guess the reason it frustrates me most, aside from the fact that the way a white person of any gender acts reflects on me in one way or another, is the fact that I know women are capable of a lot more than their given credit for. Not just by society as a whole, but by each other & by themselves. Females amaze me. I understand that being what they are, physically, endows them with certain limitations, but -really- those limitations are nothing. I almost feel like man was the prototype and woman was the final product. Their brains can do more. Their bodies look better (and I'm not just saying that because I'm a heterosexual male). A woman has the emotional capacity to kill with one arm and tenderly rear a child with the other. And those are just the cliches. I'm not even going to get into the finer points, because they still confuse me.
Women are so much my favorite people that I didn't feel completely comfortable with my masculinity until I was about 23. Yet, still, white women continue to hold themselves back and put themselves in an easily vilifiable spot with all of their passive aggressive and catty behavior. Why?
Why not say what you mean? It isn't insensitive. Transversely, I'd argue it's insensitive to say something with such a sidewinding delivery that it will cause the person to trip up and make you angry. It's insensitive to find sly ways of testing somebody with loaded questions and planted mini-mind fucks. It isn't just evil against the people you're trying to manipulate, it's evil against yourself and any woman you can name.
White girls, does a black woman get upset when she sees a black man dating a white chick because she's racist? Does she get all hot and bothered, because she can't stand to see the black race get diluted? I don't know. As far as I'm concerned, it's all Ethiopian to me. We've all got African roots, if you want to nit-pick, so the black race has already been about as diluted as it could possibly be short of people having transparent skin and hair. The wager I'm willing to make is that it has less to do with the blackness of the baby and more to do with the whiteness of you. That mad black woman is probably pissed off because she can't imagine the idea of a black baby being raised by a game-playing, side-stepping, double-talking, white mother. There's a reason that the cheating husband's mistress, the villainess and the antagonistas in a lot of black movies and television shows are molded from such a specific archetype. It's the Hillary Banks girl. She's not just "light-skinded". She doesn't just physically represent a departure from black culture. She talks like a white girl and she acts like a white girl. I'm willing to bet that the chances are pretty high that you've watched one of these movies and hated that yellow skinned, homewrecker. Is it because she reminds you of that friend you wish you didn't have, girls? Does she remind you of that friend that you can't wait to talk about as soon as she leaves the room? Or does she remind you of all the girls that broke your trust to the point that you find it difficult to even make friends with girls in the first place?
Maybe that's a little harsh.
I don't know.
You can be insulted and take offense . . .
. . . or you can grow the fuck up.
Not that I think I necessarily deserve her, but I'm still waiting for my prize bitch to come along any damn how.
I'll see you next post.
Maybe I'll explain that whole brat vs. bitch thing, then.
Bu----ut, I bet I won't!
Monday, May 4, 2009
If you want to hear some music, while you read, scroll down to the illegally hotlinked Myspace music module I've put at the bottom of this post. It will start playing on its own.Have you seen the man in the above picture? I haven't. Not ever. I used to talk to him pretty frequently, though. He's a spectacular line artist and a swell guy. He wrote and artistically rendered about two and a half years worth of material for New England Comic's famous, yet strangely not-that-successful series, The Tick. That isn't what made me like the guy, though. I actually didn't realize how much I appreciated his work, until I saw his non-Tick-related stuff.
Because of him, I sent in a submission package to New England Comics and, subsequently, never called them back when they showed interest, because I was "too punk" to draw what somebody else had written. Because of him, I found out about cool bands, like Cop Shoot Cop. Because of him, my parents found out I used to huff gasoline and other household ethers.
I never met Eli "5" Stone, but I miss him. If he knocked on my door, today, my couch would be his for the sleeping. I'd even consider taking the couch and letting him have my bed.
I haven't spoken with Eli in about seven or eight years. Our communications began to disintegrate, after he moved from Boston, MA to Venice, CA. He got married and, eventually, his e-mail address stopped working. He ran a flash site full of pre-production type stuff that he had laid out for a bunch of independent comic book projects. I kept checking on it, to see if he'd post anything new. He never did, though, and his domain eventually expired, as did the domain for distantcorners.com (a horror and sci-fi site for which he did a lot of design work). I found out that he may have done some layout work for Cartoon Network's "The Venture Brothers", in 2003, but where would that get me?
I thought I'd struck pay dirt, when I found his old friend and webmaster, from his old HTML site, Lee. I asked if he'd heard from his friend, at all. Not in years. This was discouraging, because Lee actually knew him in a four dimensional realm. Lee had seen him move through time and space just like the rest of us. Lee had heard his voice in non WAV file form. Lee may have even touched him, yet he did not know where Eli was. It was as if Eli had, altogether, disappeared.
Am I eulogizing him, right now?
Eli was a charming guy. He seemed to swim in a cocktail of problems, wielding a red, plastic sword and laughing about it. He was so public and open about how fucked up he was or may have been that the sickest bits weren't only acceptable; they were endearing. You never felt bad for him, and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't want you to. He'd invite you to share his problems. Encourage you to start smoking, drinking and doing drugs, but he never treated you like a snob when you turned down his terrible, terrible advice. He was a true bastard gentleman. I've met other human beings who have seemed as genuinely casual as Eli, but they've all turned out to be pathological sociopaths. Maybe Eli was, too, but I care about him more than all of the other pathological sociopaths.
I met Eli through what I have to say was the strongest influence on my storytelling style, at the time. He helmed The Tick for two-or-so years. When he stopped, I had randomly found his archive, online. It was chock full of old sketches he'd done, when he worked at a copy shop. Weird stuff. Stuff that was, frankly, a lot better than anything he'd done for New England Comics. I told him how much I liked his non-Tick-stuff and he sent me a signed copy of the first comic he ever did (a comic that he spent a rent check to print-up, just for the hell of it). He tucked a little sketch of the tick, on the inside. I still have them. I actually framed the sketch in a little, 3x5" frame.
He was 26 years old, when he started working on The Tick. He was at least two years older than that, when I started talking to him.
I was 16. I'm 26, now.
Every couple of months, or so, there's something that reminds me to look for him. I probably still think about him a few times a week but, every once in a while, there's something that will pop up and remind me of conversations I've had with him. The most recent one; the one that inspired this blog post was a picture of one of my friend's tattoos. It was based on a Derek Hess sketch. Eli was friends with Derek Hess. In fact, the conversation we had about Derek Hess is what got him started on telling me about Cop Shoot Cop. Derek had done art for the band & he was jealous of Derek, because he really liked that band. He also stressed to inform me that, even though Derek had drawn a picture of cops pointing guns at each other, the name of the band was not about cops at all but, rather, about the cyclical repetition of heroin addiction (copping dope, going somewhere to shoot up, and going back to the park, or wherever, to cop some more). I still have a lot of those e-mails printed out and filed-away, somewhere (including the e-mail where I talked to him about my former romps in the world of household inhalants that my parents had found)
For a while, it wasn't too hard to find Eli, online. I could never find a way to actually contact him, after his e-mail disappeared, but one could always find whispers of snippets of whatever he might be working on next, should one run a web search on him. There would be the occasional annoyance of some shitty band that shared his name. For the most part, however, there was always that glimmer of hope; that new piece of Eli data, that fresh breadcrumb, that link that might bring me one step closer to being able to say "hello" to my lost pal.
That all changed, last year, with the premier of ABC's "Eli Stone".
Really? A show about a character, named Eli Stone, called Eli Stone? What the fuck are the goddamn chances? At least it doesn't take place in Boston, I guess.
All I'm saying, though, is that it's really hard to find a reason not to hate the Disney Corporation when they even fuck with my own personal life. I was on my way to finding this bastard again, until this goddamn show ate a hole the size of Coca-Cola out of Google and any other search engine on the web. Now, I'm reduced to searching for Eli Stone on Facebook and sending personal messages to any one that might be him. "Is it you? No? Sorry."
Fuck you, ABC.
I mean it.
Like, really. From the bottom of my balls, FUCK YOU!
In the meantime, I implore anybody who might stumble on this blog to contact me, if they see a bald man who looks like he could be Grant Morrisson or the real life Spider Jerusalem drawing pictures on the bellies of young women.
You're my only hope.
Unless you work for ABC, then you're probably just fucking with me.
"You can't see me now, but I'm watching over you.
All the clocks are broken."
-Cop Shoot Cop
All the clocks are broken."
-Cop Shoot Cop