“How does 50 Cent not know what a grapefruit is? This guy’s been rich for soo looong- he has to run into a grapefruit every now and then! I do ok- I see grapefruits every fucking day! What happens when he sees a grapefruit? Is he just like ‘Wassup with those oranges?’”—Aziz Ansari http://on.cclol.com/1ecmMvL
I want Inside Amy Schumer to do a skit about drunk LinkedIn-ing.
I want Seinfeld to do an episode where Jerry obsesses to Elaine over how, while at dinner a couple nights before, he wasn’t able to tell whether his date was laughing or crying.
-Jerry and Elaine conspire for Elaine to “bump into” Jerry while he is on a date with the cry-laugher so that Elaine can see for herself what Jerry is talking about.
-Elaine agrees that it is almost impossible to tell weather the woman is laughing or crying.
-They pull George in on the action, and eventually Kramer, until all have witnessed the cry-laugh and are standing in Jerry’s apartment, up in arms over whether or not the cry-laugher is laughing or crying.
-Then we need some kind of confrontation between all of them and the cry-laugher…
—Maybe the cry-laugher has to come into Jerry’s apartment when they’re all there. Someone makes a joke about Jerry’s father, and the cry-laugher cry-laughs in response. After Jerry and co finish laughing, the cry-laugher is still cry-laughing. So, assuming she’s laughing, Jerry and co continue to laugh, attempting to make things less awkward. Unfortunately, this time the cry-laugher is crying- the joke made her think of her father who had recently passed! She takes them all for jerks and storms out of Jerry’s apartment, never to be heard from again.
I want Portlandia to do an episode about Carrie and Fred going on a day hike to a beach.
-Day 1: Carrie and Fred go to REI in order to pick up a couple of things, but end up buying everything, because they “need it.”
—“I need it! What does it do?”
-Day 2, Part I: Packing for the hike. Carrie and Fred wake up early to pack all of their new supplies- weeks worth of hiking gear for all weathers, 50 pairs of socks, sunscreen, dishware, a kayak, granola, a paddleboard with oars, bicycles, etc.- plus a couple more things, like a grill and their lawn ornaments.
-Day 2, Part II: Arriving at the trailhead. After a 2-hour drive (do something with the drive?), Carrie and Fred arrive at the trailhead and park their car. Noticing the sun was beginning to sit lower in the sky, Carrie decides to Google Map the distance between the trailhead and their destination. It turns out to be 6 miles. After telling Fred, they both decide it would be best for them to turn the car around and go home- they didn’t want to drive home in the dark and packing had taken up most of their day.
And I want Bravo to do a reality series called “The Beverly Hillbillies,” where they pick a random hillbilly family to live for 6 months in a mansion in Beverly Hills.
-Embarrassingly enough, I would definitely watch that.
-There are only a few glitches… For starters, there might be some licensing issues with that title. Then, it’d be pretty hard to find Beverly Hills neighbors willing to tolerate living next door to hicks for 6 months. And, even for a large cable network like Bravo, it’d be nearly impossible to supply a Beverly Hills lifestyle to a large family for 6 months. Most importantly, how would the “hillbilly” families be selected? Then again, if Honey Boo Boo happened, anything is possible.
Finally, I want Tom Haverford to be a real person, and I want him to be in my life.
I used to write indulgently. Like words grew on trees and I was the owner of the orchard. And arrogantly, as though the attention of others was owed to me. As if everyone was willing to wait for me to arrive at my point.
And I employed the diction of another’s. Using words that weren’t mine to protect ideas that were.
Then a teacher told me not to. That to be succinct was to be smart.
Then I took journalism classes that taught me how to be concise but creative.
And poetry classes that taught me how to employ techniques, and structure.
And classes in creative advertising that brought it all together. Finally, the need for creativity and uniqueness equalled the need to be concise It was the capstone experience in my education on “how to be a writer.”
And I read during all of it. Most importantly, I read Austin Kleon’s “Steal Like an Artist,” and I learned how to get inspired. How to look to others for guidance. How to find an idol, and then find out about their idols, too.
To make a family tree of creative influence.
And now, that I don’t have scheduled classes, I am free to continue my education in a way that I’ve never been free to do before. To create my own syllabus, and assign my own grades. To keep the challenges coming on a daily, momentary, basis.
I have never been more responsible for my own success.
Guess what! Punk’s not a party theme. It’s a way of life.
Oh. No… I’m just seeing that they made a Pinterest board called ‘Punk Done Well.’ What, like a steak? I’d actually like my punk done medium rare, please. With a side of blood.
If you’re punk, the outside of you comes from within. You don’t need to reference a Pinterest board, and you’re probably not spending too much time making them, either.
You can’t just dress up in someone else’s identity and call it a costume. No, I am not forgetting about all of the white people in sarapes on cinco de mayo. I don’t partake, but I don’t care, either. Name one Mexican you know who actually wears a sarape? Maybe that’s the problem… No one at the Met knows any actual punks.
There’s just nothing more embarrassing than someone trying too hard to be something, and the Met doing punk? I’m surprised the building’s walls didn’t blush.
Maybe they’ll do football players next year? Or manicurists? Or doctors!?Yeah, doctors! That’d be fun! You could make the place cards out of doctors masks! And the stirrers could be tongue depressors! Free flu shots if you arrive before 9!
It's All About the Choices You Make. But not this one.
I just went to the Starbucks on my college campus.
The barista, an old, country, black man, commented on the engorged price of the cup of fruit that I was buying. $3.99 for four strawberries and eight blackberries with a kiwi thrown on top. Looked pretty worth it to me. Compared to the sad looking yet equally expensive cup of melon, I thought my choice was as exotic as a trip to St. Lucia.
“You don’t look nothin’ like you need to be countin’ calories, girl! Why don’t you get a muffin. They’re cheaper and taste a hell of a lot better than fruit!” the man said.
I looked at him incredulously and replied, “Since I’d pay 10 bucks not to eat that muffin, I think I’ll stick with the fruit for 4. See? I make the right choices and that’s why I look like I don’t need to count calories.”
He smiled. “It’s all about the choices you make, ain’t it?” A semi-enlightened glow had formed around the man’s face, letting me know that he was quite pleased with the level of emotional maturity he had attained.
At this point, admittedly, he had me impressed. I explained to him that I had just realized the same thing a little bit ago while driving: it really is all about the choices you make. There’s no way around it. The big ones, the small ones, they all add up.
Trust had mounted between the two of us as our conversation progressed, inspiring the man to lean over the counter toward me, confession-style.
“Man, you know? I got this girl. She got these gay friends, right? She be wantin’ me to hang out with them, and I’m just [covers his face], I’m just not goin’ to! Now don’t get me wrong, I ain’t got nothin’ against ‘em*, it’s their choice, though, you know? They choose to be that way and I choose to stay the hell away from ‘em!”
My jaw was nowhere to be found on my face. I looked down and saw that it had made its way to the floor. Unfazed by my new disfigurement, the man continued: “My girl try to tell me it’s- what’s it called- hereditary? Naw, gen-e-gen-e-genetic! Yeah, genetic. But I don’t believe any ‘a dat bull crap. Are you a Bible person?”
“To each their own, to each their own. I just don’t see how what they do ain’t a choice! I coulda chose to be that way, but I di’nt! And I grew up with eight sisters, a mom, and no dad. Believe me, I coulda gone that way. But I did not want to choose it, simple as dat.”
I could feel the switch occur in my eyes, the one that transforms them from human to animal, betraying my emotions but strengthening my argument. The fire engulfing my face felt like it had reached my scalp, filling my nose with the scent of burnt hair. And my hands? My hands were shaking so conspicuously that, at that moment, I could have easily qualified for handicapped parking.
Finally, I managed to cultivate enough saliva to swallow the shock that had lodged itself within my mouth, debilitating the orifice’s purpose as could only a wad of cotton balls. After returning my runaway jaw to its resting place, I responded, ”Being gay is genetic and if you don’t understand that, you have some serious research to do.”
The man looked at me, taken aback. With views as dated as his (see the Jurassic Era), I’m sure that my little display of confidence had caused for him quite the alarm. Note: I am a woman.
Simultaneously encouraged and outraged by the refusal of the man’s face to register even a shred of understanding, I continued: “Do you really think they choose that life? All of the insane crap they have to deal with? The ridicule? The hate crimes? The risk of losing their families, or getting kicked out of their homes? Do you really think they choose to be regarded as lesser people? To be denied opportunities, like jobs, or marriage, just because of who they are?”
“I really don’t think anyone would agree to any of that treatment just to stick something up a butt.”
“You really think gay is genetic?”
“I don’t think it, I know it. I’m sorry. I’m a human rights minor and LGBTQ is my biggest cause.”
And on that note, I left, toting my hate-filled latte, while tears filled my eyes, taking me by surprise. I had no idea I cared that much.
Homosexuality is not something that anyone “chooses,” but participating in the fight for the equal distribution of human rights is.
Choose to fight for human rights. For yourself, for your friends, for everyone.
*”I don’t have anything against them” is a phrase most commonly used to prefix an admission of prejudice. It is your first hint that the speaker does, in fact, have something against “them.”