Kevin talks about being disillusioned by Las Vegas. Edward Snowden’s recent AMA on Reddit is also discussed.
Kevin talks about his love for Pix the Cat, his hate for Mad Men, and how different people of different racial backgrounds reek differently after a few days without a bath.
I just saw Chris Rock’s “Top Five”. As in, I got out of the showing less than an hour ago. It was TERRIBLE. When a movie’s strength is its cameos (I miss Opie and Anthony on SiriusXM dammit, and Seinfeld and even Adam Sandler are great), it’s safe to say that the movie isn’t good.
I want to do more than just review the movie here, though. I want to analyze Chris Rock through the lens of the film and how it unknowingly demonstrates that fame and money aren’t worth anything if you don’t know how to wield them.
First, I’m just an asshole with a blog on the Internet. That’s it. I do know a thing or two about standup comedy and comedians in general. I try to know a little about a lot of things, and have always had a knack for deconstructing people. So these are just my opinions, and everyone has a right to my opinion.
Prior to seeing the film I read one pull quote from an interview Chris Rock did, talking about how if most people knew how really great rich people had it, there would be riots everywhere, and Rock gives personal examples of his privilege. I interpret this quote to mean he has some guilt over being successful.
The movie is about a stand up comedian who breaks into the movies. Rock’s character is days away from marrying a reality television star. The film apparently takes place on the Friday his first serious film is being released. The movie opens with a news segment to explain all the background to the audience, and then goes straight to a live interview on a college campus where Rock’s adoring fans ask fanboy questions and end in a standing ovation.
So things look good on the outside, but Rock’s movie is getting terrible reviews. His agent gets him to do an apparently all day interview with a New York Times reporter named Chelsea Brown. Rock reluctantly agrees to do the interview after arguing with his agent and what ensues is the female interview getting up in Rock’s business. It’s quickly revealed that Rock’s character is an addict in recovery and a flashback of Rock hitting bottom is shown.
Bear with me, because I’m only giving the background here to get to the point, and trust me, the movie is not worth your time seeing, but this post is worth reading.
In the flashback, Rock goes to a strip club where a comedy club promotor gets a couple of strippers to agree to go back to Rock’s room. They come back to Rock’s room and eat and talk and then they get it on. A 3-way! There’s nudity and having sex with multiple girls side by side on the bed….TO ROMANTIC 80′S BACKGROUND MUSIC. This is done to contrast the “comedy” that happens next, when the promotor comes into the room and raw dogs and spews semen everywhere to more of a hip hop beat.
Rock’s character says something like, “One minute I’m with these two angels and the next minute they’re the most repulsive girls in the world.” And Rock can’t leave the room because “I was naked, where was I to go?”
The girls end up not being paid and then say Rock raped them (comedy gold there, false rape accusations are ALWAYS hilarious) and Rock’s character goes to jail. Rock bottom.
Lesson to learn: Never pedestalize women, ESPECIALLY strippers.
That’s the setup for the first third of the movie, and the themes here keep repeating throughout the movie. The high-level plot line is predictable, Rock and interviewer chick are going to fall in love, and the film even ends on a fairy tale note where Rock wants to literally be Prince Charming to a woman who shoved a tampon covered in hot sauce up her boyfriend’s ass because he made fun of her credit score. As an aside, is getting unknowingly ass reamed by a hot sauce-covered tampon as a comedy bit proof that rape culture exists?
Here’s what the movie reveals about Rock: he has no control of his life and he hates it. The character is different enough than Rock so Rock can have plausible deniability, but there’s no mistaking it, the character represents Rock.
One of the themes of the movie is Rock’s character doesn’t want to marry the reality TV star because the wedding is about her, and not Rock. Even their wedding ring needs to play well on TV. The most realistic line in the movie comes from this reality TV character, and she says to Rock something like, “I’m not talented. I can’t sing. I can’t dance. I can’t do anything. I’m not you. This is all I have.”
Just like the standing ovation in the movie shows, Rock’s character doesn’t really believe he has “it.” He wants to be taken seriously, and not seen as merely a comedian, because being rich, famous, and funny somehow isn’t good enough.
I think in real life, Rock has had an issue with becoming famous for his OJ Simpson bit. He has never topped that bit and what was that, 16 years ago now? On top of that, it’s highly likely he didn’t write some of the funniest lines of that bit. So Rock likely feels guilty about being famous and trapped because he has to live for everyone else (the public, his agents, his movie fiancee who surely represents someone) while he simultaneously refuses to take control of his life for himself.
I can’t realistically convey bad this movie is. I knew within the first 5 minutes it was going to be a stinker and it was. I also know that the difference between a bad movie and a good movie sometimes isn’t that much. As much as the film suggests that relentless honesty is a worthwhile goal, Rock’s character never delivers it.
Had the movie been more raw and honest, and had Rock been willing to break through his guilt and totally take charge, this may have been a great movie. The elements are certainly there. And not only did Rock write, but he directed this as well, so when it fails, it has his name all over it.
Rock held back in the film, and if he doesn’t agree, then his problems are bigger than he can ever admit. Had he taken aim at things he truly doesn’t like about the system or the business, or how it’s very hard to please everyone and say “fuck it, I gotta do what’s right for me,” the film could have been profound. Instead, the highlight of the movie isn’t Chris Rock but Jerry Seinfeld, who, by making it rain on strippers, is showing Chris Rock exactly how not to give a fuck.
Rock is by all means famous, talented, and successful. The message I took from the movie is that it’s more important to Rock that he be Prince Charming and aim to be praised by the women of his life. Rock doesn’t love himself and thus he doesn’t earn the love he so desires, because he doesn’t believe he’s worthy of his success.
Rock’s dad is shown in the movie as a ball buster who hurts Rock’s feelings. His dad actually says, “Oh, so you can hurt other people’s feelings, but no one’s allowed to hurt yours?” In the movie his dad calls him a pussy. What does Rock do? He turns around and gives his dad all of the money in his pocket as a reward. Because again, he has to live with other people’s expectations of what he should do.
But what do I know, it’s just a movie, right? I’m really overanalyzing it and projecting my alpha desires on what the movie should have been. I’m just overreacting. Except Rock himself says it a few times in the movie: “It’s never just a movie. It’s always about something bigger.” In fact, the movie opens with this very dialog.
Fame and money don’t bring happiness, folks. But a sure path to unhappiness is living your life for other people all the time. That lesson, and Seinfeld making it rain, are the only redeeming aspects of the film.
Kevin goes to the holocaust museum and hilarity ensues. Two guys find a bug on a video poker machine and a SWAT team is involved. Kevin also has zero tolerance for zero tolerance policies and thinks he knows what the purpose of these stupid policies are.
GEEK ALERT: This is NOT like my other podcasts! You may want to skip it! Kevin talks about his musical idol, Yoko Kanno, and the story of how he met her at 2013’s Otakon convention in Baltimore.
I don’t have a lot of time lately. I haven’t updated my podcast in months. I’ve been working almost non-stop and when I’m not working I’ve got other obligations. So when Roosh released his latest book, Poosy Paradise, last weekend right before I was going on an eight-hour flight, I was delighted that I was going to have enough time to buy it and actually read it.
Chances are if you’re reading this you know who Roosh is. So I won’t give any of his background. I’ve read Bang: The Pickup Bible That Helps You Get More Lays, Day Bang: How To Casually Pick Up Girls During The Day, 30 Bangs: The Shaping Of One Man’s Game From Patient Mouse To Rabid Wolf, and Why Can’t I Use A Smiley Face? Stories From One Month In America, as well as lots of articles on his site and on ROK. I usually like what he has to say.
Poosy Paradise is about Roosh’s quest to find, well, Poosy Paradise. In his mind it’s a land of never-ending free-flowing vagina. His travels have taken him to a city in Romania and while he originally planned on staying in said city for one week, he had a really good first weekend and decided to stay a couple of months. He made a decision that could have affected the rest of his life based on one weekend. And the reason he had a good weekend had very little to do with the city.
Roosh’s flippancy is a reoccurring theme in the book. Near the beginning there’s a part where he talks about how he used to be able to drink any coffee at all, but now he’s an espresso snob who can detect the various flavors. He reflects on how ignorance is bliss and how his knowledge has made him very picky. With espresso. And women.
While the book is full of honesty I didn’t believe the self doubt Roosh wrote about having was as minor of an issue as he made it out to be…I believe it to actually be major issue for him, but I could just be projecting. There are a few paragraphs where he talks about getting older and how energy is more valuable than time.
His thirst for new pussy is insatiable and I believe that while he has no problem creating attraction with random females, he does have more of a problem actually bonding with them in a real, lasting way. In fact he doesn’t seem to want to bond with them for more than a few hours at a time. That’s not a criticism.
There are two girls he talks about at length in the book: Magdalena and Roxanna. Magdalena is cool and funny, Roxanna is loving and gentle. And after fucking them a few times, he gets sick of them. Until he goes a few days without having sex. Roosh is a slave to his dick and he knows it, and these girls, no matter how great they are, eventually know it too. He puts it best when he says that he doesn’t want what Roxanna has to offer, even though (or maybe because) he enjoys fucking her.
The book is very well written. It’s not a literary masterpiece, but it’s not trying to be. It is very straightforward and easy to pick up. It can be hard to write about your own experiences so casually and Roosh makes it seem easy. Any time you have a question (‘What city is he in again’) that question gets addressed.
I wonder what’s in the future for Roosh. Looking over his Twitter feed over the past year these pangs of ‘What am I doing’ and ‘Can I really keep writing these travel guides’ have crept in a few times. I think something has to change in Roosh’s life soon, as I can’t imagine him doing this at 45 and 55 (he’s 33 in the book). As I said, I don’t get the sense that he’s happy, but he’s also not unhappy either. What he does is very hard, though, and he does seem to have to motivate himself more and more as time goes on. It’s hard for some 20-year-olds to do that.
Think about the venue change. You’re on a date, you meet at a bar, then you go get some ice cream, and then you end up at another bar. You’ve done this in 3 hours but because of the change of scenery it seems like 5 or 6. Now, pretend you’re Roosh, and your life has been a venue change of cities every few months for what, the past decade?! Roosh has already had a lifetime of bangs, and he’s still not satisfied. At the end of the book, he seems OK with it.
But the perfect is the enemy of the good. He’s flippant from day-to-day and doesn’t seem to have a long-term strategy. By being so nomadic he’s likely set himself up to be unable to stay in one location very long, forget about being with only one woman. I went to over 25 schools in at least 7 different states between Kindergarden and 12th grade. This pattern continued for me after I was done with school. As an adult I’ve bounced back and forth all over the country. Eventually there came a time where putting down some real roots made sense to me. My work means I travel, but I am in the process of settling down and it feels nice having a sense of stability in my life nowadays.
For Roosh, though, settling in one location is as likely as settling on one woman. And while certain things may come naturally to him because he’s been doing this for years, a lot of what he does seems like real work, and I’m not talking about the important stuff like finding an apartment, a suitable gym, a good grocery store, making new friends, but even his nights out. When he explains the logistics of a club and how each is different and how he can tell the best spots to be due to the layout of the design of the club and where the choke points are I know he’s right and I’m also thinking, “Is it worth this much effort?”
Roosh is a PUA who talks a lot about TRP, and it’s great the he highlights mistakes he makes. One thing he seems to have a bit of an issue with is outcome independence. He also compares himself to others quite a lot (why is that schlub with that gorgeous girl when he doesn’t have the world experience that I have). These are recipes for unhappiness and I think it would do him good to focus more on things like how there’s balance and when good things happen to him it’s precisely because some bad things just happened. He does seem to make his own (good) luck quite a bit. He even has a friend who seems to tell him he should be happy: he’s living a dream that other men would love to have. He acknowledges these things, but to me they felt brief, and the negativity in the book was more prevalent to me.
But that’s the thing, since it’s his life, he always has to improve it. There’s always another notch to add to the belt, another city that could be Poosy Paradise. For me, the bigger picture is, is he truly happy doing this? At times it seems so, but underneath the persona, there’s a guy struggling to figure out what will make him happy. He goes through a lot of effort to do what he does. Is it because it’s his livelihood now, and turning his back on it would mean a backlash from his readers? Or is he really content with short burst of happiness and long bursts of instability?
Roosh is fascinating to me. He’s put himself out there so keyboard jockeys like me can do this sort of analysis. If I was 16 and reading about how he is raw dogging women hours after meeting them I would have been entranced. This really is his life and having sex with a stranger makes him feel great and he’s constantly chasing that high. Yet sex is also not a big deal to him, and even he goes home alone quite a bit.
The other bit 16-year-old me would have learned is how men blame women for rejecting them instead of blaming themselves. “The women here just want money,” is a copout and Roosh explains why. While Bang and Day Bang have great tips and techniques for being more natural with women, I think Poosy Paradise really shows the frame you should be in when you go out to try to find a woman for the night.
Still, I couldn’t get the feeling that Roosh is not as happy as he could be and likely never will be satisfied out of my head. Here’s a guy who is living life on his own terms and while he tries to be nice when having to let down a girl, he can be direct and an aloof asshole and this makes him more attractive to these girls, yet he still doesn’t seem completely happy. Being satisfied would likely make him lazy and his output would go down for a little bit, but then he may be able to figure out a whole new direction to go and take things to a whole new level.
When Roosh has sex with Magdalena, he can never make her cum. He orgasms and she’s immediately like, “I want more.” This is a turnoff to Roosh. What I think he doesn’t realize is that when it comes to having a stable life, he’s just like Magdalena. Even though they both want another round, there needs to be some rest in order to have a chance at fulfillment. Roosh eventually finds out that no man has ever made Magdalena cum from sex. I see the simile.
I enjoyed Poosy Paradise, but do wonder what his next books will be like. If his life doesn’t change, it’ll be more of the same. And maybe he won’t want it any other way. For now.
A couple of nights ago I went to see Disney’s Maleficent with my girl. This is one of very few movies aimed at women that I wanted to see. I knew that I probably wouldn’t like the story, but that I likely would like looking at Angelina Jolie, as well as the pretty awesome visual effects.
And of course I didn’t like the story. But it was for a reason that I didn’t expect and admittedly should have.
I’ve criticized fairy tales for a long, long time. I’ve always thought that they communicated unrealistic things to little girls–that message being if girls waited patiently enough, their Prince Charming would one day come to rescue them.
Fairy tales are powerful, and that message speaks to the very core of femininity: the need to feel safe and secure. Hence that message has lived on for hundreds, if not thousands of years.
I am also the father of a six-year-old girl, and we’ve watched lots of children’s movies together. While I’ve been prepared to tell her that Prince Charming is as real as Mickey Mouse, the current trend of movies is going to have me eventually persuading her that Prince Charming is even necessary. We’ve gone from “every woman will find their prince” to “women don’t need princes” very, very quickly.
For the uninitiated, “Maleficent” tells the story of “Sleeping Beauty” from the villain’s point of view. Taking a cue from the wildly successful Broadway hit, “Wicked,” the audience discovers that they were never told the *real* story.
While Wicked’s plot is all over the place (we are supposed to like the villian because she gets made fun of because she’s green and there’s a plot by the Wizard of Oz to remove animal’s voices that is never resolved [or even explained] but is supposed to make us feel a Greenpeace like sympathy for the Wicked Witch of the West), Maleficent’s story is fairly tight. Maleficent was wronged by her true love, a man who wanted to become king, when he drugged her and clipped her wings to become king. Maleficent gets her revenge by cursing the king’s daughter (Sleeping Beauty) to fall into a deep sleep on her 16th birthday. The king sends his daughter away to be raised by fairies while Maleficent basically oversees Sleeping Beauty’s rearing.
The moment that Aurora falls into her slumber due to the curse Maleficent put upon her, a curse that can only be broken by true love’s kiss, I turned to my girl and rightfully predicted whose kiss would awaken Sleeping Beauty. And I’ll give you a hint: the kisser doesn’t have a penis.
How did I predict this? Because I saw a similar movie late last year, Disney’s “Frozen”. Frozen had a similar trope, and when you start to dissect that film’s themes and compare to Maleficent, there’s a consistent message.
In both Maleficent and Frozen, men are not only secondary characters, but the majority of them are not trustworthy and are either evil or insane. Men are ambitious and want power no matter what the cost or who they hurt. Girls, on the other hand, can do anything they want without the need of men.
In Maleficent, it’s men who are evil and paranoid, uncaring about their daughters and wives. Women, be it fairies or otherwise, are innocent, nurturing creatures wronged by or trapped by men at every turn. There is a man who is at Maleficent’s side who is portrayed favorably, but that man was actually a crow that Maleficent turned into a man. He certainly was not born that way.
One of the first movies I ever watched with my daughter was “Tinkerbell and The Lost Treasure.” In this movie, Tinkerbell is tasked to build a scepter with a sacred moonstone, her friend/boyfriend Terrence helps her (but won’t break rules for her), she becomes annoyed with him, and due to her quick temper she breaks the moonstone and yells at Terrence. Tinkerbell then learns of a legend where she can be granted a wish if she finds a treasure far away. She sets off to find the treasure so she can wish the moonstone unbroken.
Tinkerbell is a CUNT the entire movie. I am not exaggerating here. She finally gets to near where the treasure is but doesn’t get a wish, and she breaks down and realizes that she’s been mean to everyone who has helped her along the way. At that moment, Terrence shows up to save the day, and they go back to Pixie Hollow and Terrence’s math skills make the shattered moonstone burn brightly and Tinkerbell is a hero. (My apologies for not beginning this paragraph with a spoiler alert.)
There is no lesson to be learned by this story other than, “No matter how much of a bitch you are, your beta male friends will always be there for you exactly when you need them.” There’s also a message about taking the shortcuts instead of owning up to your mistakes, which is also not an ideal to that I’d like to teach my daughter.
There are movies geared towards girls that I haven’t minded, so I am certainly not saying all girl movies are like this, but there is a disturbing trend among many of them. Brave was a story about a girl’s relationship with her mother. Men were involved but they weren’t the bad guys. While many people didn’t much care for that movie, it does show that having a strong female protagonist does not mean that feminism also has to accompany her.
When I was a kid, for every Rainbow Bright movie, there was a Transformers movie it seemed. But look at the box office numbers for Frozen. What’s the male equivalent of that? I’m not sure. Many summer blockbusters are certainly made for teenage boys, but for pre-teens, I’m not sure.
One of the biggest tragedies of this trend was Wreck-It Ralph. What a fucking bait and switch that one was! Before it came out, it looked as if Wreck-It Ralph was a movie about video games, geared towards teenage and pre-teen boys. Sonic, Bowser, Zangief, and others made appearances in the trailer. I was looking so forward to seeing it. And when it came out, what did I get? A movie about a misunderstood male villian who helps a misunderstood young female hero in a game world tailor made for young girls. Since 80% of that movie takes place in the girly cute candy world, it’s very hard for boys to relate, and even worse that they take a retro theme from many childhoods and then basically abandon it to appease girls. I honestly believe that Disney thought that they would get the young boys in to see Wreck-It Ralph and that they would tell their sisters about it, so that Disney could be assured of repeat viewings via word of mouth.
As I’ve been typing this I’m on an airplane without Internet access, I’ve been racking my brain trying to name a recent animated kids movie aimed solely at boys. I’m not coming up with one. But those aimed at girls? Many more. And of course there are plenty that are just aimed at kids in general, which is great. It’s just that on one side of the dividing line between girl and boy movies, we’ve got plenty of movies for girls. On the other side, I think we’ve got nothing, or at least very, very little for aimed squarely at boys. Nothing recent anyway.
And this trend reflects where both the money is to be made, and one area where our society neglects boys starting from a very early age. Hell, in many guy-oriented movies with a male protagonist aimed at adults, there’s usually the theme that the man is on a mission to protect/save his family/girlfriend/the world. There are countless examples. In “Wicked” the Wicked Witch of the West wants to let animals keep speaking and expose The Wizard of Oz as a fraud, and in Maleficent, Maleficent just wanted revenge against a guy who was a dick to her. There is no “greater good” being fought in these media. The “Man Goes On A Mission To Save My Family/My Country” theme appeals to men. The “I’m Going To Get Revenge On That Jerk” theme appeals to women. Yet more evidence that men are the more romantic, idealistic sex, even though we also like movies heavy on the boobies and explosions.
Not one female dies in Malificient (though one gets sick, we don’t know if she actually perishes, and if she does and I missed it, it all happened offscreen because the evil king didn’t even care about his wife). At least two males die, and both due to violence. And isn’t it weird that with both Wicked and Malificient that they’re different takes on stories where females were the villains? But then you watch these movies/plays and find out you’ve been lied to all along, and that you don’t know the whole story. The whole story being there are no evil women, no matter how evil they ever appeared in their previous movies. The evil they appeared to do was for a good reason.
One of the trailers before Malificient was merely a 3D-slipper, as in Cinderella, with the text “2015″ next to it. So there may be a Cinderella retelling and a Snow White retelling and why not? After all, these films will make the Patriarchy hundreds of millions of dollars and people will likely flock to them, because grrl power.
I’m just waiting for someone ballsy in Hollywood to make a movie about The Holocaust that shows how Hitler was really a good guy that was just misunderstood. And if they do make that movie, you can bet women will line up in droves to see it.
On this episode Kevin talks about food and rent and how the elite basically control us with both. Did you know that paying rent is now as accepted in society as single mothers? What? Listen and find out.
Kevin believes in meritocracy because he’s white and male. The new symbol of oppression is a five-tentacled androgynous octopus on a carpet with the word “Meritocracy” on it at GitHub. Patriarchy rules and thus Julie Horvath quits GitHub in this edition of the FOKM podcast!
Happy 2014 everyone. On this episode, Kevin discusses home loan applications, being in control of his life, the digust a redditor’s story brought him, and how Bill Burr’s great advice on his podcast last week shouldn’t be so lauded.