Get Confident, Stupid

Happy America’s birthday, earthfolk.

This weekend I was listening to an old Howard Stern bit from right around the turn of the century featuring the Goo Goo Dolls, Jon Stewart and a bunch of gay dudes in thongs. The premise of the bit was essentially that the Goo Goo Dolls would play that “and I don’t want the world to see me” song (Iris, maybe?) and Jon Stewart, Howard and a few other dudes, who were all in sailor suits, would slow dance with all the thonged gay guys. I guess this was a re-enactment of a scene in the movie Philadelphia or something. Whatever, not the point. The bit itself hasn’t aged particularly well; it was pretty pro gay for the time, but has since shifted into mild fear-of-queers territory (particularly on the part of Jon Stewart, surprisingly enough). BUT ANYWAY THAT’S NOT THE POINT.

The point is, pre slowdance, they were interviewing the Goo Goo Dolls and Howard asked them about banging chicks on the road. The suggestion was that now that they’re a famous band, the caliber of ladies willing to suck their dicks must be through the roof. One of the dudes in the band responded something to the effect of “yeah, but these chicks are only here because we’re famous. I see these hot girls and I’m like “she wouldn’t like me if I was the janitor, you know?” to which I say, yeah, no shit. Of course not. But why the fuck is that a problem?

See, here’s the thing: straight men are dumb as hell. All we want, in terms of romance, are two things: for women to give us blowjobs and for them to love us for who we are, period. BUT, more often than not, men get blowjobs and then immediately shame the giver of the blowjob, thereby discouraging her from giving blowjobs, which is fucking stupid. And we’re just as stupid about the second part. Women tend to not care as much about physical appearance as guys do. This is a good thing, because we’re disgusting even when we’re good looking. This is also a good thing because we want women to love us just for who we are, which somehow means that no matter how fat and gross and sedentary and unambitious and resentful we become, they should still love us the same amount. It’s like a romantic’s excuse for not doing anything: She should love me for me, so what if I’m fat? She should love me for me, so what if I’m shy? She should love me for me. So what if I’m bitter? She should love me for me, so what if I’m a janitor? And so on. But the thing is, that’s a complete bullshit premise.

No disrespect to janitors here. Being a janitor is hard, honest work and it’s often pretty thankless. I think we can agree that a world without janitors is a gross and bleak one indeed. However, if you live, breathe and sleep janitorial work, you’re probably not a terribly interesting person to be around. You follow me here? Be a fucking janitor all day and all night, but at least have another interest. Be really into cooking or painting or clay or fixing cars or designing women’s shoes or reading or Judo, or animals or something. It doesn’t matter what. You just need some interests. Without interests, you have nothing, outside of the custodial arts that you can engage with someone confidently about, and (and I’ve said this before thousands upon thousands of times) women, all of them to the very last one on earth, are attracted to confidence. That is all. THAT IS THE ONLY THING THEY’RE ATTRACTED TO IN MEN. You think they like your abs? Wrong. They like the confidence that those lame abs (that make you look gay, by the way) give you. You think they like your band? Maaaaaaaybe, but what they really like is the confidence inherent in creating something, putting it out there and backing it up, and even more than that, they like the confidence that comes from total strangers coming up to you and telling you that they love you. That’s what they like, dude from the Goo Goo Dolls. The thing about the pussywagon pulling up to your band is that it’s not just about gold diggers and fame whores. In fact, it’s hardly about that at all. What it’s about is that you, Johnny Reznik have a confidence and swagger and a toughness and a vulnerability that’s all nurtured by your day job which just happens to be making middle of the road lite rock songs that are the soundtrack of moms masturbating in their Jacuzzi tubs worldwide. If you were the janitor, the implication would be that you had less ambition, less confidence and less of a dynamic range of a personality. I’m not suggesting that would actually be true, but that’s the perception, and when you’re talking about a girl walking up to you out of the blue and saying something like “can I suck your dick?” you’re pretty much dealing with initial perception.

Pro athletes are constantly up to their armpits in pussy, not because they’re rich, but because they’re dedicated and focused and intense and strong. Politicians, same shit. They’re confident and self assured and powerful and those are personality traits, and if I’m not mistaken, that’s what ‘the real me’ is, right? The sum of your personality traits.

Besides, what the fuck is ‘the real you’ anyway? If you take away Johnny Reznik’s interest in playing guitar, writing songs, his ambition to succeed, his worldliness that comes from seeing the entire planet, his confidence that comes from his art, his vulnerability that comes from his being brave enough to put some bullshit song like Iris out in the first place, what do you have? Some janitor in a Buffalo middleschool who, at first glance, has no interests or ambitions, and who is rocking a woefully inappropriate Jennifer Anniston haircut. So no shit, dude. Of course she wouldn’t like you if you were the janitor. Because that wouldn’t be you. She likes you for all the reasons that you are who you are. That’s how it works. God. How fucking pathetic can you be?

That’s all. Happy workweek. xoxoxoxo

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Congraduations Glads!

What inspires you? What’s the most inspirational thing anyone’s ever said to you? These are questions that get tossed around a lot, particularly if you’re in a creative field. The notion here is that at the heart of any great creative undertaking, there’s a spark of inspiration from which the entire many-splendored flower of creative genius blossoms. Technically, this is true, if only because nothing happens in a complete vacuum, but I was recently asked in an interview “what’s the most inspirational thing anyone’s ever said to you?” and as I was pondering the answer, I realized that shit like that doesn’t inspire me. In fact, if I really analyze my opinions on the matter, it turns out that ‘inspirational quotes’ by and large, kind of revolt and annoy me. To get slightly meta for a second, I guess it’s that very revulsion that’s inspired this here blog entry, which renders this entire exercise invalid, but let’s just put a pin in that idea for now and focus on the big picture of inspirational quotes, and the bigger, more insidious manifestation of the inspirational quote: the easy-answers-self-help-get-your-shit-together books that solve all of life’s problems with all the quippy, no-nonsense ease of a sassy gay friend doling out relationship advice. I think all that shit sucks. There. I said it. I don’t believe in inspiration, inspirational quotes or self-help books. It’s all garbage, and here’s why:

Every year universities hire celebrities to speak at their commencement ceremonies in the hopes that these beacons of megasuccess will be able to impart some inspirational wisdom to the young people who are about to be foisted upon the world to sink or swim, armed with nothing more than their university education and whatever advice Ashton Kutcher (or whoever) doles out at the commencement.  It’s fine, I guess. I don’t wanna shit on any traditions, but it IS more or less a waste of time and energy at best and at worst it’s a terrible platform for some dumb dick who lucked into a lottery-win caliber job to reinforce their own deluded notion that they understand how the world works better than everyone else (this is particularly funny because there’s almost no one less qualified to explain to young people how to make it in the world than people who get paid millions of dollars to pretend to be other people, write laws about other people, or play shitty pop songs).  The speeches are meant to inspire, but they are all, to the last, identical and predictable and serve only the interests of Upworthy and the ego of the person speaking.  You want an example? Okay, fine.

Jim Carrey recently gave a speech that’s all over facebook where he talks about how his dad was a funny guy who, crippled by fear, never went into comedy (who goes into comedy? How can you raise a family on comedy?) and instead became an insurance agent. When he was fired unceremoniously years later, young Jim learned an important lesson: You can fail at the things you don’t like doing, so you may as well go for what you love. Okay, Jim Carrey, fine. Great story. Good message for the new adults out there: go for it! Take a chance on the living! Take a chance on the love, goddamn it! People are posting this bullshit on their various social media channels with captions like “in one minute Jim Carrey will change your life!!!!!” as though this isn’t the most by-the-numbers, bullshit pabulum bit of advice ever given. Look, I’m no big city celebrity, and I’m no self help guru, but all of this shit, ALL of it, EVERY LAST BIT is the same. Let me save you some time and money and lay it down for you. Ready? Here are the secrets to a happy life (as enumerated by every smug asshole since the beginning of time):

-Don’t give up

-fuck the haters

-when life gets tough, you gotta get tougher

-you think that not having problems signifies that you’ve got it together, but you’re WRONG, jack! Everyone has problems! Having it together is figuring out how to best deal with the problems that come your way.

-Love. Let yourself love freely.

-Also, let yourself be loved. You are a snowflake wrapped in a fractal and there’s only one you!

-Treat yourself well

-but don’t load up on dingdongs, fatass. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind!

-Do some situps

-get out there into the nature. Suckle the teat of our green mother, the earth

-be inquisitive! The universe is HUGE! There’s always something to learn!

-Network. The puck moves faster than the man and you’ve got contacts who can help you get where you need to go. Don’t have any? Make some!

-Be nice to everyone. You never know what some dildo is gonna wind up making of themselves.

-be assertive. If you’re not for you, then who is? You need to be your own champion

-be humble. You’re part of a global village, and it’s important to learn from people around you

-your dreams are just absolutely the most important things there are! Never let them go!

-Let go of your dreams and figure out what you’re great at! You may just surprise yourself!

-Make time for a little “you” time. Listen to the most important person in your life now and then (yes, you ARE important!)

-Surround yourself with smart people! If you’re the smartest person in your group, you need a new group!

-Your job is not as important as your family/soul/life

-Don’t sweat the small stuff, bro.

-Don’t sweat the big stuff you can’t control

-share

-don’t punch people in the dick for no reason

-don’t pick your nose and eat it

-vegetables are your friends

-put on some goddamn pants you caveperson

-do some fucking. Fucking is good for the heart and soul and it’ll make you healthy, happy and you’ll live longer

-brush your teeth. As go the teeth, so goes the dog.

-keep a journal

-make a list

-follow your dreams

-follow your dreams

-follow your dreams

UUUUUUUUUUGH. Are you inspired yet? I just saved you a goddamn lifetime of reading dumb books and clicking on inspirational links. That’s really about 90% of it, innit? Don’t be a dumbass, be nice, keep it together, follow your dreams etc. The thing is, it’s all bullshit. The reason a lot of us don’t ‘go for what we love,’ Jim Carrey, is because we’ve been effectively phased out of the running by the time we get TO college, much less out of it. I mean, it’s noble to stand there and tell everyone to just fuck it all and go for it, but is it really good advice? Is it? You presumably have spent some time in Hollywood, a city so chock full of talentless delusional weirdos, all so hellbent on following their dreams that they’ve created an entire subsect of mental illness that people are allowed to laugh at. Should I still follow my dream of being in the NBA despite the fact that I’m 5’11”and almost 40? It’s a sweet notion on the surface, but it’s so insidiously horrible in practice. Should that dumb dick that comes into my bar and punishes me mercilessly follow his dream of being a standup? He sucks bad at it. Should he quit his job and go for it? Is that good advice? Jim! I’m talking to you, you snaggletoothed rubberfaced egotistical nutsack of human droppings!

Truly, there are people who are driven, who are gonna do what they’re gonna do, and all the adversity in the world isn’t gonna stop ‘em. Also, there are people who see life as is and try to navigate the storm that’s happening to them. THEN, there are dumbasses, and this third segment makes up the vast majority of people. This majority base is the only place where the above dumb, soulless potpourri flavored outlet mall of soul advice is gonna get any traction. If you’re not smart enough to realize what you need to do to get what you want…if you’re sitting there on facebook and all of a sudden, Jim Carrey going “You can fail at the things you don’t like doing, so you may as well go for what you love” makes you jump up and go “shit! I’ve never thought about it that way before! I’m gonna go out RIGHT NOW and become a [whatever your stupid dream is], lemme give you some REAL advice: it ain’t happening. Sorry. Getting fellated by an egomaniac pet detective via facebook isn’t the germ of inspiration that starts careers, it’s a way to make assholes who sit around on facebook doing nothing feel okay about themselves in a “huh…maybe I COULD have been a standup comedian” kind of way. That’s it. You think I’m wrong? Then YOU are part of the third group I mentioned above. Sorry. It’s true.

In conclusion, I graduated from Northwestern, which, at the time was the #6 school in the nation. I mention this not as evidence of my intelligence (which is obviously vast), but because you’d think that an institution with credentials like that could get some pretty sweet guest speakers, right?  You know who spoke at my commencement? Me either. I don’t remember. Because even then, I knew this entire bill of goods was fucking nonsense. You want a speech? Here’s my commencement address. Congratulations, y’all:

“Hey kids, some of you have it figured out already. Good on ya. Some of you don’t. You may luck into some shit here in a little bit, if so, congrats! If not, don’t worry. Nobody knows what the fuck is going on. Most people die without ever figuring it out, honestly. Be nice to each other because kindness is the only real currency that these souls inside all of us can really use. Beyond that, quit stressing about what you’re missing and what you need to do. You already know if you’re fucking up. If you’re drinking too much, drink less. If you’re crying every night, address why you can’t stop doing it even if it scares you. If your lover makes you hate yourself, leave. If you feel bad that you haven’t talked to your dad in a decade, call him. If you’re too stupid, learn. You know what’s wrong with you. I’ve never met you, so any advice I give you is, by definition stupid and a waste of time, and probably an insult to your intelligence. If you’ve never read The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass or seen Revenge Of The Nerds, you may want to check those out. I thought they were both great. That’s all. Oh, and always be respectful to the people you fuck. If you like em enough to mix your bodies together, you can be a fucking decent human being when you see em from across the room. Yes, this means for the rest of your life. Okay, get out there and try not to die.

Thank you.

BK

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