Ah, another year has come to a close. And WHAT a year! In the past 12 months, we’ve seen oil spills, Mariah Carey’s belly fills (“And twins!”), former NFL coach Jimmy Johnson’s boner shills and M. Night Shyamalan’s cinematic swill.
Just about every website, television show and newspaper (remember those?) have squeezed the life out of political, entertainment and polititainment (but what is what anymore?) story. And in the spirit of giving, Diary of a Genial Black Man (DogBM never caught on, sadly) will do the same.
But how to celebrate the greatness in stupidity? Well, I’ve coined such fancies the “blurst.” Originating from an episode of The Simpsons where 1,000 monkeys on typewriters attempted to replicate Charles Dickens (“It was the best of times, it was the BLURST of times?!”), “blurst” describes hilarity in the absurd. And most of life is truly absurd.
With that said, do join me on the following journey into the year that was 2010 with the Blurst of the Year Winners:
Blurst Co-Opting of a Meme: Antoine Dodson’s “Bed Intruder” song
When Kevin Antoine Dodson took to the airwaves to describe the attempted rape by an intruder in his sister’s bedroom, culturally sensitive people collectively facepalmed their televisions and computers. A crazy black person in front of a news camera? Oh LAWD.
But Dodson made the best of a bad situation (the attempted rape and subsequent televised minstrel show) by taking control of an already feverish internet meme (whatever THAT means, young kids on the interwebs): getting proceeds from an auto-tuned version of the newscast; starting a website and asking for donations that helped move his family out of the Huntsville, Alabama housing project; and inspiring sex offender tracking apps for mobile devices.
Still, it took a terrible act and the shucking-and-jiving for the media for the story to have a happy ending — though the Bed Intruder Halloween costume that lets you play Aunt Jemima is kind of a step back. That all said, I hope there are no copycats screaming about shower stalkers or toilet peepers. One is more than enough.
Blurst Television Executive: Jeff Zucker
For somehow getting NBC “comedy” Outsourced on the air, NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker should have been exiled to Russia for a 7-year time-out. But oh there was so much more this year: the Tonight Show debacle, forcing out Conan O’Brien and canceling the atrocious Jay Leno show to move Leno’s comedy black hole back to late night television; filling in blank time slots with reruns and losing further ground to ABC, CBS and FOX; hiring Ben Silverman, the idea man behind MTV’s Parental Control and Date My Mom (though he also exported The Office to American TV) to run NBC’s entertainment division; and pushing critically-hailed comedy Parks and Recreation to January 2011 for… Outsourced!
The oft-reviled Zucker has made many enemies in his 24-year tenure with NBC, and yet he rose to the top like rancid foam on a poopuccino. The balls on this man to be arrogant with a lack of humility, talent and vision is a blurst train wreck to see. Good thing he’s no longer with NBC Universal.
Blurst Pandering: For the Ladies!
Are you one of those human females? Do you like to watch movies? Do you be shoppin’? WELL! Not only can you go to the movies, you can be subtly looked down upon by those same movies!
2010 saw Hollywood declare jihad on good taste and sensibility with, not one, but two movies about spoiled women that look for quick fixes to heal poor self-images and self-esteem issues. Sex and the City 2 dropped the first bomb strike in May, advocating empty consumerism, maudlin gay stereotypes (they LOVE fancy weddings and LIZA!), reinforcing American xenophobia by harping about and failing to understand Abu Dhabi (!) culture and shunning the same people that pay to see the movies. (The climax of the movie involves the four shallow flesh-voids trying to catch their flight to avoid flying coach! Oh noes!)
But that wasn’t enough to satisfy wrecking female moviegoer self-worth. August’s Eat Pray Love ushered the second wave of emotional detonation. Based on the best-selling book of the same name, Julia Roberts leaves her husband, has a meaningless fling she knows to be meaningless, and shutters her life in a storage garage to find herself overseas. While she eats, prays and loves her way around the world, she leaves a wake of people (her husband that was left behind suddenly, her boy-toy, and eventual love) in her midst as she lives out her mid-life crisis.The 6-hour running time was more than enough to cram in meaningless food porn, grating self-worship as religion and emotional neuroses appearing as fear of intimacy. But hey, there was great-looking food, right? Ooh, and the foreign locals were SO PRETTY! And that Javier Bardem — what a hottie!
In Eat Pray Love‘s defense, the message of bettering your life was inspirational. And I’m sure that Sex and the City 2 had a similarly positive message (… Asian babies are just as adoptable as other kids?) But they were both packaged in shallow, morally destructive, shiny packages that sucked out many a soul. (Though retailers would happily sell you themed merchandise to feel like you earned something!) So… gender empowerment? So blurstful.
Blurst Use of the English Language: Americans
While FOX News correspondent/Mama Grizzly/irresponsible windbag Sarah Palin uses her Twitter account to “use” new words, lesser people (the middle class and below) have discovered classic utterances. Have you heard people misuse the word “literally?” So have many others. How about the overuse of word “savory” to describe foods or flavors that are not sweet or sour? (“Those Doritos were SO savory!”) Or “hipster” to describe anything other than smug 20-somethings wearing cheesy fashions and creepy facial hair?
It’s great that Americans are rediscovering the English language. After all, racist politicians declare that we speak English here! So in the spirit of learning, let’s crack open Dictionary.com and learn some synonyms!
Blurst Use of Hypocrisy: Republican politicians
2010 was a banner year for the Grand Old Party regarding acting against the best interest of the American people. The ol’ filibuster got a lengthy workout on items like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the healthcare overhaul, and “is he/isn’t he” maverick John McCain spun more excuses about repealing DADT (which, despite saying he would in the right circumstances, he recently voted against) than Aesop spun fables.
The crowning achievement in hypocrisy came this past week when the GOP unsheathed the filibuster to strike down the 9/11 emergency responders bill, a measure that would have provided financial and medical compensation for service employees unearthing the damage at Ground Zero. The same party that trotted out 9/11 for every political grab repealed an opportunity to help those same people they supposedly stood behind.
Enough talking; I’ll let The Daily Show explain things.
Way to show us how hypocrisy is done!
Blurst Euphemism for Screwing Someone Over: LeBron James’ ‘Taking My Talents to South Beach’
Ah, The Decision. ESPN let NBA star LeBron James take to the airwaves in July to announce that he would be signing with the Miami Heat. Most — hell, 99.9 percent of — professional athletes let their employers proclaim financially-impacting news. The overwhelming narcissism on display to create the stage, the lack of self-awareness in how the televised airing would be perceived and disregard for the teams involved in the bidding process culminated in the jaw-dropping stupidity that unfolded in front of viewers — especially those Boys & Girls Clubs kids and Cleveland Cavaliers fans that idolized and praised the King of Akron.
So aside from the Boys & Girls Clubs organization getting a large check, the other positive was LeBron’s proclamation of his playing destination, the Decision itself. By uttering the words “I’m going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat,” the days of reckoning that followed — LeBron jersey burnings in Cleveland streets, becoming one of the most-hated athletes in professional sports, the single blurst use of Comic Sans font by Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert in a letter blasting LeBron — were biblical in how one man could be tarnished. All because he wanted to win a NBA title and play ball with his friends.
So the next time you want to get out of your responsibilities — a work assignment, a date, your marriage — in the most egotistical and unintentionally hilarious way possible, tell the other party that you’re “taking your talents to South Beach.” They might not understand what that means, but damn it, you’ll get what you want. And that’s so blurstfully blurstful.
There were many more news stories that could have been mocked, but they could fill another self-indulgent blog. I would take the time, but I’m taking my talents to South Beach. See you next year!