Friday, February 29, 2008

How Many Blacks In Jail = One Obama?

So yesterday the NY Times published some statistics on Americans in prison, and the numbers are particularly depressing for blacks. 1 in 15 are in prison, and 1 in 9 (!) between the ages of 20-34.

This is compared to latinos living la vida loca at a 1 in 36 rate. No word on whether whites actually get sent to prison or are simply sentenced to watching The Wire for a few days.

This report raises a constant debate TAN2 and I have about the state of blacks (usually we specify about black men) and whether we're trending up or trending down. In general I feel we're trending up, I point to Obama, more celebrities/rich black people, and the last white girl I slept with as positive signs of our growth. He points to statistics like the ones in this report as an equally effective counter-argument.

In truth I don't think either of us are wrong, but when reasoned this way it brings up a Quality vs. Quantity argument (something I'll probably raise tonight during The White House) and it essentially boils down to a formula: How many blacks in jail = 1 Obama? Or Oprah? Or Jay-Z?

10? 100? 100K? Is Obama priceless? In which case maybe we can just write-off all the imprisoned negroes on our (err, your) AMEX? Will our celebrity negroes serve as beacons of hope that eventually free us all from the system? Or are they red (err, black) herrings, superficial icing on a cake of gloom and doom?

I don't know, but if we can get a bead on that equation I suspect we'll be able to figure out how much weed we need to smoke and alcohol we need to drink to get our mind on our money and our money on our minds.

(I don't know if that last part makes sense, but I'm just ecstatic over not being in prison. Yay!)

1 in 100 Americans in jail [NY Times]

Kibbles 'n Bits 'n Bits 'n Bits ...

... now in roasted chicken, tangy beef, and fresh vag varieties!

mmmm ... smells delicious!

(man, I love the Germans.)

via: Copyranter

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

TAN Is Down With The White

My boy Elon James White, recently interviewed at Gothamist, invited me to fill a spot at the Black Comedy Experiment this weekend. I wasn't able to pull that together cause I'm still a little tied up with the Black Lazy Experiment. But I will be participating in His Bill Maher Politically Incorrect style show, The White House, with a panel of other entertaining and insightful negroes.

Here's where you can buy tickets. There might even be a Reparations Tax to write off, so you definitely want to use that link.

Even better I think Mr. White will be previewing his new series called White Girl Inc. which looks like it has all the makings for .... mmmm white girls. What was i talking about again?

vid via: CC

And Introducing ... The 'Ghetto' Dakota Fanning

Many say it's not about race, it's about class. To wit:

This is Dakota Fanning.

This is Dakota Fanning on poverty.

Girl Talks Tough on Webcam - Watch more free videos

Any questions?

(Seriously I think these two should do a precocious little girl version of Fight Club. Did I say precocious? I meant precious. But would that not be the greatest movie ever? I guess it could be a remake of Girlz N The Hood also. Dakota could be Cuba. And Lil J could be Ice Cube. Hmmm, I guess they could do anything really. Just get these two in front of the camera and watch the magic happen.)

HT: Lynne

Monday, February 25, 2008

Stuff White People Like Interview: Part 2

Subject: The new blog sweeping the internets, Stuff White People Like.

Launched barely a couple months ago, with a classic "why didn't i think of that?" model that creates a numbered list of satirical profiles on, well, on stuff that white people like. It's striking a chord and receiving shout-outs from everyone from the LA Times, to Kanye to Andrew Sullivan.

Mission: Being both a fan and practitioner of satire and poking fun at caucasians, I was interested in talking to the man deconstructing The Man. So herewith (a word I learned from white people!) is part 2 of my IM chat with Christian Lander, proprietor of Stuff White People Like.

(Part 1 is here. For Part 2 we disengaged from chat and converted to email Q&A.)

The Assimilated Negro (TAN): Any rhyme or reason to choosing your subjects/topics?

Stuff White People Like (SWPL): No. Basically, I just think of things I like, then I think of the things that people I went to school with like. If I imagine they would get psyched, it's a topic.

TAN: you think the aim/tone is more like "The Onion" or "wikipedia"? are you making jokes or seeking to inform? both?

SWPL: Both. In spite of the satire, I firmly believe that the tips offered are beneficial. If a robot were to follow the guide, I think they would fit in pretty well.

TAN: How many contributors do you have?

SWPL: 2 - me (clander) and my friend in Vancouver (Mylosh). Also 2 guest
columnists, Brian from Cats and Beer and Kristen Warner from the University of Texas.

TAN: Have you received a lot of caucasians looking to get on board or offering tips?

SWPL: YES. People are writing in more than I would have imagined. I read everything that comes through, but I don't have time to respond to all of them yet. Almost everybody gets where the site is going, and I'm getting some great tips. Usually, people are smart enough to send in tips for posts that are already in draft stage.

TAN: How long do you think this can go? Is there a finite amount of stuff white people like?

SWPL: White people are always finding new things to like. If we start to run out of ideas, we just go through individual films, books, and movies to create more granular knowledge. Although perhaps I will be excommunicated from the white community and I won't know what's going on anymore.

TAN: Do you think someone could do Stuff Black People Like, or Stuff Native Americans Would Like?

SWPL: Absolutely. So long as it's done in the right tone. My blog is not done to demean white people, it's meant to point out common experiences. I write about the things that I like, I'm implicated in all of this. So if someone were to start (and they have) a blog called Stuff Black People Like, so long as it's done to expose shared experiences, it should be fine. Of course, if it's done with malice or hate, it would be terrible.

TAN: Do you see any difference in response between whites and minorities/ethnics?

SWPL: not really sure. They are all email responses, so people could be lying. For the most part the response is positive from everyone. Most of the white people who write in are the ones being satirized, and they get the joke. The minorities who write in usually love the blog, they are also usually the first to go after white people who say that the blog is racist. The best response I've seen so far is someone who said, "there's a big difference, you haven't been denied a job because you like Yoga and Expensive Sandwiches." I think that put things into perspective pretty quickly.

TAN: The comments are pretty funny. Especially those that get their pants in a bunch. How do you feel about the commenters? Do you wish the PC police would go away? Do you think they all enhance the site?

SWPL: When I first started the site and we were getting a few comments, the angry ones hurt me. Especially the ones calling me racist. But I let them go, and watched as people stepped up to defend me and the blog. It was a good reminder that not everyone is going to get it, but the ones that do make it all worth it.

And in general, the comments are vital and essential to the site. I love seeing a mix of positivity and hate on there, people are talking, and that's always a good thing. Even if it's just on a ridiculous blog.

TAN: on comments, how about that the guy who does "stuffblackpeoplelike, stuffarabpeoplelike" ... do you hate that guy? is he on every post?

SWPL: Yeah. He wants to get a rise out of people.

TAN: Do you find a generational gap in terms of appreciating the humor, or people of all types enjoy?

SWPL: I think all generations seem to enjoy it. You see the original yuppies/baby boomers enjoying it, but I think it's certainly more popular with people in their 20s and 30s (aka the people the blog is about).

TAN: Who do white people endorse: Barack or Hillary?

SWPL: Barack. Post #8

TAN: How do you explain Bush? White people who love their prius, recycling, and being aware ... they can't like Bush, right?

SWPL: Bush was elected by the wrong kind of white people.

TAN: Whitest Movie of '07?

SWPL: Juno

TAN: Whitest Band?

SWPL: Vampire Weekend

TAN: you've mentioned mos def, probably one of your more spot-on posts, but he has nothing out musically right now. any hip hop group to recommend for white people?

SWPL: The Roots or Dead Prez

TAN: What's whiter: The Grammys or The Oscars?

SWPL: What the fuck are the Grammys?

Thanks Christian.

Stuff White People Like
SWPL Interview: Part 1
image via

Stuff White People Like Interview: Part 1

Subject: The new blog sweeping the internets, Stuff White People Like.

Launched barely a couple months ago, with a classic "why didn't i think of that?" model that creates a numbered list of satirical profiles on, well, on stuff that white people like. It's striking a chord and receiving shout-outs from everyone from the LA Times, to Kanye to Andrew Sullivan.

Mission: Being both a fan and practitioner of satire and poking fun at caucasians, I was interested in talking to the man deconstructing The Man. So herewith (a word I learned from white people!) is part 1 of my IM chat with Christian Lander, proprietor of Stuff White People Like.

The Assimilated Negro (TAN): testing ... TA Negro here.

Stuff White People Like (SWPL): hey. TA Negro makes me think of Teaching Assistant Negro. that's cash money... I used to be TA Canadian.

TAN: nice, and now?

SWPL: I'm in LA now.

TAN: cool .... so i'm going to organize this in 3 parts: questions about 1. you, 2. the site, 3. more extra-credit fun[ny] type stuff.

SWPL: ok. I'll do my best. I'm at work so I might be a few minutes for responses etc. did you see this?

TAN: ha ... no. you are everywhere. I think i saw you mentioned in my supermarket circular

SWPL: don't say next to the mayonnaise ad or I'll end this interview right now

TAN: ha

SWPL: man, everyone wants a post on mayo. Undercover Brother was more powerful than we first thought

TAN: indeed. i did a post on the washcloth once .... and somewhat inexplicably some commenters turned the thread into a convo on mayo.

SWPL: that wash cloth thing. my friend K (who is black, from Louisiana) could not get enough. I was like "what's wrong with soap on skin" and she just laughed for like 30 minutes. I was like, I guess some girls use it for their face and stuff.

TAN: yeah, its kinda funny .... i don't use a washcloth, and do use mayo (assimilation!) and some people have been puzzled.

SWPL: ha. the wash cloth debate has probably been hampered by the explosion in shower gels and such.

TAN: maybe .. but I don't know, the key seemed to be whether 1. you felt you needed material to properly get the dirt off ... so soap, shower gel whatever. and 2. how much bacteria dirt the washcloth itself carries so how do you clean it ...

SWPL: washing machine. I think like towels.

TAN: so its not just gels, loofahs and other alternatives hamper the cloth also

SWPL: remember how Eddie Murphy got cleaned in Coming to America in that opening scene. that was pretty cool too.

TAN: ha. yeah

SWPL: [re. multiple washcloth use] I have the same questions about deep fryer oil like can you only use it once?

TAN: no way. i'm clueless in terms of cooking, but i feel in my black roots there's an implicit sense of cooking oil getting better every time you use it ...

SWPL: that's what I would think

TAN: i know people keep bacon grease and stuff to dabble in other things.

SWPL: because it seems like a waste to buy a ton of peanut oil to cook like 4 donuts. man, I've been so tempted to get a deep fryer for experiments but I know it would ruin me

TAN: ha. only white people would buy peanut oil to cook 4donuts. Or an experimental deep fryer...

sooo first and foremost, are you white? And ... who are you, what do you do?

SWPL: ok. I am white. here is another non surprise. there are pictures of me on the site. I'm the dude recycling. and the guy at dim sum. and the guy holding the iphone. and the bicycle picture is my bicycle.

TAN: ha.... SCOOP!

SWPL: I work here in Los Angeles as a Copywriter/Corporate Communications person.

TAN: how old are you?

SWPL: 29

TAN: How did SWPL get started? Take us through the moment of inspiration, white people love knowing that. Behind the Blog, DVD Extras etc.

SWPL: IM conversation. about The Wire. simple as that. my friend declared he didn't not value the opinions or trust anyone who did not watch The Wire. we said "they don't watch because they are too busy doing yoga" and it just spit balled from there. or snowballed. fuck it, it just grew from there.

I just said blog time and up it went.

TAN: do you consider yourself aligned with the white people you profile? You're white, but are you whom you describe/study?

SWPL: oh yes. this site pokes fun at ME. that's why I use pictures of myself. those aren't taken out of irony. this is the shit that I do. I need to call myself out for all of the stupid shit that I take for granted. why do I need $300 bike rims? why is a $10 sandwich considered normal?

TAN: When did you become self-conscious about your "whiteness"? When do you think the white liberal guilt kicks in? Is there an age? a rite of passage? do you need to see some black comedians talk about it? all of the above?

SWPL: Well remember a lot of the white people I'm lampooning (including myself) always can laugh at the comic view stuff because we're like "yeah, those OTHER white people, they are ridiculous." I grew up in Chinatown, in Toronto East Chinatown. a neighborhood bordered by a housing project, greektown, and little india. the neighborhood was always safe, but it's gentrified like crazy in the past ten years. but I would say growing up there made me aware of whiteness right away. I knew most chinese slurs for white people by age 10. but at the same time, I wasn't isolated. Toronto produces some pretty diverse crews of friends

TAN: do you think you need ethnic/minority friends to fully get the science on white people, or can a white person untainted by projects or chinatowns still come to these truths ...?

SWPL: I don't think you need minority friends to get the science. I think you just need to really like lumping people together in very specific groups. not necessarily by race. and that's a toronto thing because there are a ton of white guys who try to be chinese, indian guys who try to be jamaican, etc. ... and then different types of white guys like my friends would gather and think about what kind of things and activities white thugs/wiggers like. what kind of things do "garbage malvern guys" like (these are the dudes who like tevas, camping, skiing, etc).

TAN: huh. i know a lot of the posts seem honed in on white AMERICAN middle-upper class ... do you think its the same thing over in canada?

SWPL: yes. screw what canadians tell you. left wing americans are canadians. period ... actually I have a future post called "Threatening to move to Canada," white people love doing that shit!

Stuff White People Like interview continues: Part 2

Midget Wars

Wow. Found this on Kanye's blog, and he's right, it's pretty amazing. Kind of like Tourette's Guy, you wonder if you should be watching (enjoying?) this as entertainment, but you can't look away:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

White People Are Like This, White People Are Like That

You won't see two finer paragons of Caucasian Identity than these two pearly-white gems:

1. A pitch-perfect spoof of guilty-white-liberal college kids organizing a Diversity Rally at their school:

The notebook flip @ 2:10 in response to the "brainstorm" is priceless.

2. This website:

Stuff White People Like

It's amusing.

I'm delighted to see caucasian thoroughbreds staring into the abyss and daring to report what they discover about themselves (and with a sense of humor!). Those who we would call the American majority continue to set an occasionally appropriate example for us minori-peeps; I love to laugh at their expense. It's a temporary distraction, like a trip to Vegas put on the credit card, but it does make everything else go down a wee bit easier. Three cheers, YT!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Come For Tennessee on Broadway, Stay For James on Viagra

Remember when Basic Instinct came out, and it was a pretty good movie but all anyone talked about was Sharon Stone's interrogation scene? Well, the same thing's about to happen to Broadway's upcoming revival of Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. On March 7, every reviewer in town is going to lead with the tour de force of tumescence that is James Earl Jones. Yeah, that's right. Say it again in a deep, harrowing voice so it resonates and scares all the children away. JAMES EARL JONES.
continued ...

James Earl Jones still has sex [Vulture]

About TAN: 1.1

Hi there.

My name is TAN (aka The Assimilated Negro). It's also Patrice Evans. Somewhere along the way I have lost track of who's who. Not really! But maybe a little?

I'm a moneylancing writer, producer of things creative or not so much. [insert joke here]. Ha!

I started this blog in the fall of 2005, and I've been fortunate to get opportunities and some sense of a platform because of it. More on that in a minute, but since you're here let me tell you what's going on:

I write a lot about race, and negro this and negro that. The Assimilated Negro. The Advanced Negro. The American Negro. TAN works in a lot of ways besides the darkening of one's skin via melanin release; that's why it's the greatest [negro] acronym ever. Generally speaking, I think we're over the surface/skin part of "race," but the psychology of it all is sort of endlessly fascinating. Since I'm not a psychologist or a PHD (unless the D stand for Drinking? Drugs? Dooin'itwell? then maybe?) I can only examine it in my way. So here's a digital rainbow of colorfast content you won't see anywhere else:

Black People: Can We Still Guilt Trip On Slavery?, Which Negro Are You: Kanye vs. 50, Blacks and the Stock Market, YG&B = N-Word

White People: TiVo or NEgro?, Cracka Crackdown: Cracka Rap, Sexism vs. Racism

Black People That Love White People and WPTLBP: Blipsters, Let's Talk Mandingo Parties, The Assimilation Exchange,

Keeping Hip Hope Alive: Songs To Know: Silent Treatment, TAN 25 albums, My Convo w/ Biz Markie

For the Sisters: Quest for Claire Huxtable, Ebony Porn Confessions, Mediocre Black Chick Conditioning Program

For the Crazies: TAN's Fables, Penis Letter, iNigs and such, and of course, the case of The Too-Curly Pube,

OH, and sometimes I suit up as the Black Weird Al Jankovic: 50 Cent, Eminem, Jay-Z, Ludacris,

And that just the tip of a big black iceberg ...

(ADD Break: Go ahead, think about some other non-race stuff for a second... Hilary/Obama: crazy, huh? Britney: crazy, huh? Tom Cruise: crazy, huh?)

Sooo yeah, if you need a funny, smart, gourmet Voce-de-Negro, then I'm your guy. Hit me up! Sometimes I'm annoyed -- and shocked! -- when all this leaves me pigeon-holed as a "race guy." But, whatevers. Dy-No-Mite, bitdges! (see how I updated that reference there?). I can't help it if when I hang out with people they're all, "Dude, that was awesome. It was like an episode of The Wire. And Chappelle's Show. And ... um ... Oprah! The realness, the jokes, the humanity! You rock!" I'm just being me.

(They say that or send me scary hate mail.)

If I did a "pro" site, and I think about this every day, it'd be some sort of Modern Negro blog-zine (innovative!). And it'd have great video content (revolution!). And music (revolution, not televised!). And it'd be for black people who like white people and white people who like black people. And asians! And for young people who see race, but aren't hung up about it. And old people who are still young at heart. And there'd be news and current events and smart, funny, insightful commentary/pieces on all of it. Only a smidgen of gossip though, sorry. I don't understand why we care about Britney's bloody underwear, and I only pay attention insomuch as it says something about us. Aww. Anyways, essentially it'd be like this blog you're on now except it'd be more voluminous, more organized, more pretty, and, HEAVI'LY; edited. Better writing too, natch.

But as is this site is semi-that, semi-personal ....*

(ADD Break: So, you seen Lost? Or any sort of reality television show? How about that Super Bowl, crazy huh?)

I got on the new media landscape when I started contributing to Gawker. Heard of them? If not, I used to be like you! If you have, then I'm like you now! First bit was a commentary on the lilly white media mag industry. Then Ghetto Pass column was a nice burst of energy, Ghetto Chinese Spot, Ghetto Pickup Artists, and Ghetto Person of the Year: You, Cacasians, were favs. This video on Don Imus is amusing. My Gawk Gallery is here.

I blogged for The Roots and Okayplayer. That was a cool name drop for a while. I just facebooked Questlove, waiting to hear on that.

When I started I often skewered Ebony mag for their antiquated Negro Digest perspective. Now I'm a contributor there. Go Ebony! After suffering occasional accusations of Uncle Tomming for Gawker, I've appreciated the chance to be an equal opportunity cultural rapist.

Speaking of, I just recently kicked off a column at AOL Fanhouse: Shirts & Skins.

I've written for some other sites and mags. Been mentioned in/on some as well. NY Times, Time Out New York, The Guardian, Penthouse, The Huffington Post, King, Deadspin, College Humor amongst others. Do you recognize any of these names? I sure hope so! My Press Room contains many of these things.

Besides the all encompassing spectrum of race, I'm interested in: sports, movies, music, boobies, advertising, sandwiches, new media trends .... pretty much everything except politics and economics. Which come to think of it are the two subjects most relevant to the world at large. But I say nay! I say Snotsicles!

I think my other primary love is ... you!**

... To Be Continued ... and/or Edited ...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

In Baltimore, Cops Might Be Taking The Wire Too Seriously

Wow, from the looks of this video things must be pretty tense in Baltimore, cause Officer Rivieri here appears to be one "Dude" away from getting his Rodney King on with a 14-year old skateboarder. Yikes.

If we must find a positive, at least we know that police harassment can in fact be of the white-on-white variety as well.

Gotta love the end where asks about the camera and presumably makes a threat about ending up on youtube. D'oh! Methinks someone's gonna have a little more free time to watch The Wirein the near future.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Making The Music: 1500, Show Me What You Got

So I think this "make the music while you watch" is going to be a *cough* beat for me. Peep this amazing drummer, 1500, getting fairly ridiculous over the Show Me What You Got horns. (from this okay thread, he might be the actual drummer Just Blaze used). There's another youtube claiming this as the "Making of," but pretty sure that's not the case. I personally thought the drums were programmed. Anyblaze, point is dude's amazing to watch fill in the beat. Peep:

if you get bored with all the yapping around the 2-3 minute mark, skip to the 5 minute mark or so, that's when 1500 gets it revved up again.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Prince Paul Always Keeps It Real

I love Prince Paul, and it's too bad I don't think I'll be able to get to this.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Dear TAN: N-Word Etiquette

I once started a neverending interview, but now we're switching to a "Dear TAN" feature. Send your questions/letters to theassimilatednegro [at] gmail [dot] com.

In this edition: I'm white and want to use the n-word!

Dear TAN,

As a person of Caucasian persuasion, can I do racial humor without being perceived as a racist? For example, I wanted to make the following joke regarding the return of American Gladiators and my gut feeling that Wolf is a racist:

You can tell Wolf is the type of guy that would call a black person a nigger to their face in a bar just to fight them.

But because of the loaded nature of that word, I instead played it safe and made some weak Teen Wolf joke.

Your thoughts?



Dear Jon,

Don't do comedy!

Ha. Just kidding. Well I'd never recommend any white person use/say the n-word. It's just too risky. And even if you're not lynched, it raises such an eyebrow you're sure to lose any of the intended effect (presuming it wasn't to be racist).

I have heard/read usage like in your example here -- i.e. you're not saying it directly, just relaying someone else saying it, or speculating -- and the person is not always killed over it. But still risky....

I wouldn't think you'd have to scrap the line. You can use "n-word" and keep the spirit of your original statement. But if you're relying on it as the punchline, so to speak, i couldn't advise it.

good luck!


Friday, February 08, 2008

Reggie Regg: Born To Denzel

Reggie Regg nails the 'Zel impression here. Morgan Freeman is a little off, might need a little more bass or something. But Mr. Washington in Training Day is air-tight:

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Giving Tree Incident

I’m not a big person for the question “what is your best [blank]?” I don’t believe in the "best” anything. I believe in the Perspective Evolution. I believe in the Eternal Now. I believe every day I wake up a different man ...

But, I understand the need to occasionally work within the system. It's an annoying conversation when you're just trying to have small talk with someone and they're all, "every day I wake up a different man." So if you ask me my favorite movie, I’ll tell you Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. And if you ask me my favorite book, I’ll tell you The Brothers Karamazov by my mizzah Fyodor.

But specifically on the book tip, my mind will invariably think about other potential contenders to the throne. I've cried every time I've read The Brothers Karamazov, and I think that's my primary factor in determining my best/favorite book. Crying, in my mind, is a tougher *get* than laughter, so if a book draws the tears out it receives extra points for difficulty. As such, the primary challenger to The Brothers K is a book I've only read once or twice, but sparked a memorable crying episode. And that book is: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

Now it’s quite possible that I read The Giving Tree as a child. But for whatever reason, I don't remember it. So for all intents and purposes, my first real reading of The Giving Tree came my freshman year in college. And it wasn't in a class, it was while hanging out with friends. On drugs, natch.

All my incidents with 'shrooms were confined to my freshman and sophomore years in college. The experiences I had were sufficiently intense enough that I’m fairly afraid to try them again. I could give it a shot -- I'm about 90% sure I could handle it -- but fantasies of what could happen in that 10% zone are enough for me to play it safe.

This particular episode was maybe my third or fourth time taking mushrooms. In contrast to my previous escapades where I was full of vim vigor and vitality, on this occasion I was sick. Not just a little sniffle mind you, I basically had the bubonic plague; fever, chills, and a few days spent in three sweatshirts under mountains of covers praying for death. It was also dead in the middle of winter in Connecticut. All the ingredients you need to officially call yourself miserable.

On the bright side, it was college. And so I had visitors. One friend came by and gave me 20 vitamin C. Others stopped by just to say hello, or to laugh at my dilapidated state. The sort of love and camaraderie you don't get (or at least I don't) once you leave school. My roommate "Teeks" was very sympathetic; when he stole a keg from a frat house and brought it back to our room circa 5:45 AM on a Friday night/Saturday morning he took great pains to keep it on his side of our 12x12 dorm room. The friends who came to the impromptu kegger jumpoff that followed were also kind enough to not jump on my bed or spill beer on me. Everyone's so considerate in college, I kind of miss it.

Now I had gotten sick early in the week, marinated in my own pestilence for a few days, and woke up on Saturday, post-kegger, feeling nominally better. Once out of bed I found many of my friends had gathered for a weekend 'shroom festival, and it seemed like every hot girl on campus was in on the action. I was distraught figuring there was no way I could participate. I kept thinking maybe I could push it, but when they said they'd be taking 'shrooms I thought, no, maybe some other drugs I could do, but not 'shrooms. I was too sick for that.

BUT, it was college, and in college if three people decide they're going to walk on their hands in traffic and ask you to join, you're like, hmmmm, I can't walk on my hands, and the traffic sure looks dangerous, but ... welllllll ok. You only live once, etc. etc. The memory is fuzzy, but I'd guess 30 minutes or so after determining I couldn't do 'shrooms in my condition I was scarfing them down.

Magically, as the 'shrooms took effect I was reinvigorated. My sickness, apparently, was no match for the power of hallucinogenic drugs. And even better it seemed the over-the-top trippiness was used up in combating my misery. I was slightly loopy, but very much in control, which in my weakened state was perfect.

As was the norm with 'shroom festivals, the large tribe of drug users splintered off into traveling sects. I was still conscious of not overextending myself and stayed in the dorm. I ended up in a room with three of my closer friends, two girls, one cup guy.

At this point we're just hanging around having normal college conversation, and somehow The Giving Tree comes up. My friends start debating the morality of the story, but I wasn't familiar. Somehow we located a copy and started reading.

Right from the onset I found the story incredibly gripping. I could relate to the boy. I could relate to the tree. I'm a sucker for stories/songs/fantasies of unconditional sex love, and this is perhaps the most classic of them all. So in my mushroom-enhanced emotional state, I easily immersed myself in the melodrama.

Now if you're not familiar with the story, there's basically a boy, and a tree, and the tree loves the boy, and the narrative tracks the life of the boy as he grows from child to old man and constantly takes advantage of the tree using it for his own selfish needs and never offering anything in return. First he uses the tree as a playground, then for shade to hang with his girl, then for apples to sell, then for its branches and so on. But the tree doesn't mind because the tree loves the boy unconditionally.

Towards the end the boy actually cuts down the tree to make a boat or somesuch, just leaving a stump in his wake. And as the good-for-nothing brat leaves to carve up the tree that loved him the text reads, "And the tree was happy." Followed on the next page by, "But not really."

The way the book is formatted, just one line to the page, I thought that was the end. I couldn’t believe it. I was crushed. I had been sitting on the lap of one of the girls who was reading the story to me and, oh chile, when I read those words I was inconsolable. The tears started streaming and I smacked the book out of her hand, got up, and just started bawling:

"This is a story for children?!? How can they let kids read a story like this?? It's horrible! It makes me sick! That poor tree dedicated everything she had to that boy. He carved in her, and played on her, and used her for money, and this is how it ends?!!?!? 'And the tree was happy. But not really.' What?!!? This is bullsh*t. What kind of devil book is this?? This story is what's wrong with this f'ing world. I can't believe you let me read this evil thing. The book should be burned and the author should be hung.... "

Or something like that. It was probably a lot less coherent.

Needless to say my friends were taken aback. Back then, as I am now, I was a fairly cool, calm and collected individual. Yet here I was having some sort of nervous breakdown prompted by a fictitious boy chopping down a tree.

But it's a moving story, and emotions are contagious, so next thing you know the two girls are welling up over my display. Meanwhile my guy friend was being sarcastic and mocking me for crying at a children's tale. I'm not sure, but I'm guessing this was all happening at the peak of our "trip."

Eventually they calmed me down and revealed that the story wasn't over. In fact, there was more to it.


I wiped the tears from my eyes and the snot from my nose and soldiered forward, fearful of being exposed to further inhumanity, but confident it couldn't possibly get any worse. Turns out the boy comes back one more time as an old man and while not totaling redeeming his lifetime of obnoxious behavior, he spends time with the tree (now just a stump) and the story concludes with the tree being happy. The End.

The finale was still bittersweet, and I remained a bit fragile until I came down from the 'shrooms, at which point my sickness returned. But now instead of hating the book, I love it, perhaps unconditionally, for the moment of raw, drug-induced, emotional release it afforded me.

I found two youtube renditions of The Giving Tree. One's a live action after-school special type deal. The other is a plain reading, much like the one that led to me exposing my malnourished heart one fine wintry day:

Shel Silverstein [Official Site]

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

How Racism Landed Santana

I make an argument for "Raceball" as a strategy for attracting free agents, creating team chemistry, and changing your team's "culture."

How fitting that on the day after Super Tuesday Mets fans will finally get to meet the man who will likely be their president for the next seven years, Johan Santana. Finally Mets fans get to see their new star in the flesh. They get to hear the new voice in the clubhouse. And they get to taste the dulce de leche icing on the latin cake GM Omar Minaya has cooked up in Queens.

Of course if we had a crumb for every article explaining how this moment came to fruition we'd be able to cure famine across the universe. But really all you need to know is this: Johan Santana wanted to be a Met. After all, this was a man with a no trade clause to control his destiny. He didn't have to go anywhere he didn't want to go, and he could wait a year to sign wherever his heart desired.

But his heart desired to play in the Latin Disneyworld in Flushing. And why not? There's money, opportunity to win, and a lot more players speaking his language. On Minnesota last year there was one Spanish speaking regular, Luis Castillo (who incidentally was traded to the Mets, much to Santana's discontent), and a couple players total. On the Mets there are five regulars, including Luis Castillo, and more than half the roster can roll their "r's" with ease.

In March of '05 NY Magazine profiled Minaya's building of a "Latin Dream Team" and positioned him as a contrarian to the popular Moneyball, a book with the tagline: "The art of winning an unfair game." Three years later the Johan Santana signing may be the final crowning chapter for the would-be manual on Raceball: The art of using racism to create a winning culture...

How Racism Landed Santana
[AOL Fanhouse]

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Best Gift. For Patriots Fans. Ever.

Seriously, I just want to buy like a hundred copies of this book and give it to all my Pats-fan friends for Xmas Eli Manning Day.

19-0: The Historic Championship Season of New England's Unbeatable Patriots [Amazon]
Giants Rewrite History [ESPN]

Giant Super Bowl Moment

At some point this week I thought, wow, what if the Mets get Johan Santana AND the Giants win the Super Bowl. Well this week we welcomed the Santanas, and I'm getting to post perhaps the greatest singular play in Giants history:

This particular clip is awesome, and seemingly made for TAN, because Stuart Scott calls Jacobs a "big ol' country negro" on tv.

Feels good to have this one for the archives.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Matt Damon Is A Pimp

Sarah Silverman recently debuted a hot and hilarious video, "I'm F*cking Matt Damon," on the Jimmy Kimmel Show (JK's her boyfriend if you didn't know. I could see some black people not knowing that.). Jimmy also has a running "Our apologies to Matt Damon, we ran out of time" gag. So that explains the little end bit (after the hip hop breakdown!). Anyways, it's pretty funny, and Matt nails (ha) his parts:

But it just reminds me that Good-in-bed Will Hunting is a muh'fuhkin' pimp because one of my favorite movies, Eurotrip, has one of my favorite songs, Scotty Doesn't Know, with a similar theme. Matt's wife will soon have enough songs to make her own mixtape:

Friday, February 01, 2008

Ladies Guide to Faking It For Super Bowl XLII

On Fanhouse today, I do a little guide to Faking it For Super Bowl XLII. Here's the lead:

Problem: Your guy has been reading Fanhouse all week, filling his head up with all sorts of talking points and analysis that he will use to annoyingly pepper you with all throughout Super Bowl Sunday. He's busy pounding his chest and asserting himself as king of the Super Bowl castle, meanwhile all you wanna do is get pregnant. LADIES, MY MERCEDES!

Solution: Here's the guide with all the counter-intelligence you need to reverse the momentum and set him back on his heels. Plus, I'm going to give you a couple extra lines that will either leave him all hot, bothered and unable to high-five his boys cause he has a boner, or flaccid and depressed because he knows his post-game will consist of nothing but a cold shower and a night alone with his Super Bowl wisdom. Here's how it breaks down:

The Boast
: Guys are just regurgitating the stuff they see on ESPN or read online. We give you 4 likely sound bytes of Football Intelligence you'll hear for the Pats/Giants game.

The Reverse: What they haven't considered, but you have. Now. The only football knowledge you'll need to turn the tables on Mr. Stupid.

Weird Look
: Obviously the guy is going to be taken aback when you up the ante. Here's what to say to make him comfortable in his manhood again.

Following the initial kick-off and return you have two options: One leads to hot sex at halftime. The other leads to his public embarrassment. The choice is up to you:

The Whisper
: Every woman's trump card. Here's the line to whisper in his ear if you want to derail his one-track football mind.

The Glare: The other trump card. Say this while giving him the glare-eyes and he'll know you're the Tom Brady to his Eli Manning.

So now you know the formation. We've got some plays after the jump. Ready, break!

Ladies Guide to Faking It For Super Bowl XLII [AOL Fanhouse]

50 and Paris Sitting In A Tree ... GET THE F*CK OUT MY TREE, B*TCH!!

Page Six provides an hilarious exchange stemming from 50 Cent's performance at a pre-Super Bowl party hosted by Paris Hilton. And as much as it saddens me that my model TAN couple are going through some apparent growing pains, I really wish I could have seen this:

When the princess decided to get onstage and dance, the hip-hopper quickly instructed her to "Get the f**k off the stage." She started to cry and tried to plead with the party's production staff to let her dance, whining, "But it's my party!"

Hahaha. Aww. I really hope they worked it out later that night.

50 Cent Makes Paris Cry [Page Six]

You Know Ecstasy Started Out As Not A Drug

You have ecstasy on you?

I have ecstasy.


Uhhhh ... everywhere?

Related Posts with Thumbnails