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[California Seething] Shark-noir-do

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SPOILER ALERT: This post may contain details and information that could spoil the experience of watching Sharknado 3. Then again, it would be hard to imagine I could possibly spoil the experience of watching Sharknado 3 Cal Seething- 081115- handsawany more than the bozos who made the movie already have. And therein lies the biggest mystery of Sharknado 3. No- it’s not whether Tara Reid lives or dies at the end- I guess they’ve just left that up to Twitter to decide- so do yourself and America a favor and hashtag “#AprilDies” on everything you Tweet – because the most believable part of her performance is her prosthetic chainsaw attachment which is the most human thing about her. But, anyhow, the biggest mystery about Sharknado 3 is – how did they manage to ruin something that was already so terrible to begin with? Look at it this way, any chef can screw up beef bourguignon- but it takes a special kind of incompetence to fuck up Ramen- and that’s exactly what the geniuses who made Sharnknado 3 did. How the hell did they manage that? All they had to do was take a cheap, pre-packaged shark movie, boil it in shlock til it was dumb enough to be funny but not so long that it was reduced to a brainless mush, and add in a shiny flavor packet of Gen-XCal Seething- 081115- ramen in-jokes (Ian Ziering is cinematic MSG) and voila- a Sharknado 3 that doesn’t suck. Just a tasty little movie with no nutritional value that’s even more delicious when you’re wasted. They followed this recipe and produced two perfectly good (or, let’s keep it real, perfectly bad) Sharknado movies- but they messed it up badly with the third one.

First of all, they overcooked it- going well past the “brainless mush” stage until nothing was left but a gelatinous glob of gore and idiocy. Then they emptied an industrial sized canister of celebrity cameos into the glob (David Hasselhoff is cinematic Cheez Whiz), deep fried the whole thing in product placement and served it with a side of cynical self-awareness- like oh oh oh- we know it’s dumb so that makes everything ok. Well, I’ve got news for you guys- it doesn’t. Dog shit with parsley is still just dog shit- and yes, I realize I just pulled off the extremely rare “metaphor inside a metaphor”- the blogging equivalent of the flashback inside a flashback. And, yes, I realize that was actually a metaphor FOR a metaphor- which is even more rare- as rare as a unicorn or a Lincoln Chafee supporter or a transgendered Republican reality TV star. Come to think of it- why isn’t Caitlyn running for president? I mean – Olympic champion, successful businessman, conservative Christian,Cal-Seething--081115--voltr pop culture icon and now a WOMAN??? That’s something for everyone! She’s a one woman Fox News debate! She’s five candidates in one- she’s GOPTron! Hell, she’s even got a black son in law (or, ex-step-son-in-law- close enough). Now if she can just get Khloe to marry Pitbull she’ll be UNSTOPPABLE.

Which gets me back to my original point- how did the producers manage to screw up Shaknado 3 so badly? The movie starts with a tornado full of sharks hitting Washington DC and destroying the White House- could there be any better metaphor for the election??? I mean, come on – 10,000 sharks hit DC and not a single one has Trump hair- how did the producers miss that? It’s like striking out at kickball. Sure, there was a tiny nod to political satire with Cal Seething- 081115- cubancoulterPresident Mark Cuban and Vice President Anne Coulter (easily the scariest part of the movie) but they could have done so much more. For instance: Obama orders Congress to evacuate- the Republicans refuse and are eaten by sharks. Trump says the sharks are murderers and drug dealers that are attracted by Megyn Kelly’s blood. Bernie Sanders has some great ideas but #SharkLivesMatter shouts him down at a rally which the mainstream media won’t cover. Jeb Bush claims he’s half shark, Fox News claims the science is still out on sharknados, Jimmy Fallon says the sharks can eat more than Chris Christie, Marco Rubio compares the sharknado to an abortion, and a shark eats some lion no one’s ever heard of in Zimbabwe and Facebook loses it’s GODDAMN MIND. Meanwhile Hilary hangs back and doesn’t say a damn thing cause she knows sooner or later the sharks are all gonna Cal Seething- 081115- hilaryeat each other and, when the storm clears, she’ll be the only one standing. Yup- that’s Hilary- President of a ruined nation, its institutions of government destroyed, standing knee deep in shark guts- but- hey- at least she got to be what she always wanted to be when she grew up- so the American Dream is still working for somebody. Slow clap for Madame President. Credits. And THAT’S how you make a Sharknado movie in Washington.

Sadly, though, that’s not what the producers of Sharknado 3 did. Instead, they expected us to believe that Mark Cuban is leader of the free world, an action hero and a passable actor- in ascending order of implausibility. Seriously, Cuban hasn’t been this unconvincing since he met with DeAndre Jordan. And then, after Cal Seething- 081115- iwojimaour heroes raise the American flag Iwo-Jima style in order to impale a flying shark, the worst thing to happen to Veterans in this country since the VA, the movie leaves DC for Universal Orlando- a perfect example of cynical corporate interests ruining something that pretty much sucked to begin with. Hey- come to think of it- you could say the same thing about the Republican party- so maybe this movie is a sly political satire after all!

Anyhow, back in Universal Orlando, Tara Reid is about to give birth to Ian Ziering’s baby (the Cal-Seething--081115--bodersecond scariest thing about this movie) and is hanging out with her mom, Bo Derek, who, in the movie’s only pleasant surprise, looks refreshingly human for an actress her age. Things just get dumber and bloodier from there and the whole thing ends up in outer space with Ian Ziering, David Hasselhoff – who turns out is a former astronaut (one of the less plausible things about the movie) and also Ian Ziering’s dad (one of the most!) and Tara Reid, who was fortunate enough to find a petite maternity space suit at the very last minute. Actually, that’s not really so surprising – what’s surprising is that they take the opportunity to do product placement “Finn- I don’t care if I am pregnant. If you’re going into space to save the world I’m going with you. And besides, I found the cutest little space suit at Pea in the Pod, and I’m just dying to try it out!”

Anyhow, they are launched into space by NASA on a secret space shuttle with the intention of creating a huge explosion which will somehow end the sharknado, which is TOTALLY PREPOSTEROUS. I mean, everyone knows if you want to blow something up in space you hire Space X. But anyhow, the explosion thing doesn’t work and they have to use the old SDI (“Star Wars”) satellites from the 80’s instead to fire a laser pulse into the heart of the giant storm. Well, before the ghost of Ronald Reagan can say “I told you so- wait- what were we talking about again?”, Hasselhoff leaves the shuttle to float out to theCal-Seething--081115--hoff satellite and hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete on it so that it can fire the laser- even though he knows it means he will die in space because the shuttle doesn’t have enough fuel to come back and pick him up. Which I guess is supposed to be heroic, and I guess we’re supposed to be inspired by his courage when one of the movie’s final shots shows him standing on the surface of the moon- but I have to wonder – if he could float 240,000 miles to the moon how come he couldn’t float 50 feet back to the space shuttle? But then again, I suppose I too would rather suffocate in the infinite blackness of space then spend ONE MORE FUCKING MINUTE ALIVE with Tara Reid #AprilDies.

Anyhow, sharks in space, something something something, space shuttle destroyed, Tara Reid gets swallowed by a shark, Ian Ziering goes in after her and she gives birth to her baby while plummeting to earth in the belly of an enormous flaming shark, ultimately slicing it open from the inside with the buzzsaw attachment on her hand (man, that thing can act!) and handing the mewling infant to Ian Ziering before slicing her way out of the carcass of the beast. And it’s perfect cause this is exactly what she wrote in the birth plan she gave her doula except for the Enya and aromatherapy candles.

Oh yeah, sharks also eat the cast of the Today show but spare Kathy Lee and Hoda because they’re in recoveryCal Seething- 081115- aprildies and at the very end of the movie, a giant hunk of space debris falls out of the sky on Tara Reid and, we, the viewers get to vote on Twitter if she lives or dies – and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AMERICA, I’m begging you once more to tweet #AprilDies. An America that doesn’t want to kill Tara Reid just isn’t an America I want to live in.

Alright, so, yeah, Sharknado 3. Total crap. The worst movie of the summer not featuring Planned Parenthood. I’ve already written 1500 more words than that fucking movie deserved. And maybe the reason I’m being so critical of it is that I’ve been obsessed all month with the TCM’s Summer of Darkness- DVR’ing 24 hours worth of film noir classics every Friday in June & July and slowly working my way through them. Now, some of you may not be aware of what film noir is or have any knowledge of classic cinema- and that’s OK. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being a culturally illiterate philistine wallowing in the excrement of your cinematic ignorance who thinks that being a sophisticated movie goer means spending $15 to see Pixels at the Arclight in Sherman Oaks. You know, per se. Hey, it’s your money (Mazal Tov, BTW, to the fast food workers of New York State for their recent minimum wage increase. They’ll be earning no less than $15/hour state-wide by 2021, which is perfect as it gives McDonalds exactly enough time to perfect the robo-cashier. Just hand over your money to the animatronic clown, kiddies, then never stop screaming in your sleep.) If you want to spendCal-Seething--081115--pixel your hard earned cash watching Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Josh Gad (add Jack Black and you’ve got the Mount Rushmore of Ugh) fight classic video game characters in a movie that’s been hacked to pieces so that it be sold to the Chinese (I suppose it’s only fitting. First we ruin Chinese food to make it palatable to Americans now we ruin American movies to make them palatable to the Chinese), that’s your terrible choice to make. Who am I to judge? (GUILTY!) Hey, we all have our taste in crap- I liked the first two Sharknado movies and I’m a sucker for the Fast & Furious franchise. But, sometimes it’s good to know that there’s something better out there and that’s when I turn to TCM. Because like Monterey Park hot-pot in a world of Panda Express- TCM has the real thing.

So what is this film noir thing anyhow? First of all- it’s important to know how to pronounce it- it’s not “Film New-ahh” with a silent “r” like it’s en francais or something – it’s “Film Newarrr” with the “r” pronounced American style. Cause while the name may be French, the film movement is as American as French Fries or French Dressing, although to be fair- the stories are actually told through the international language (film- what were you thinking?) Anyhow, there are a million ways to define Film Noir (or “freedom flicks” as Lindsay Graham called them in the mid 2000’s) but I like to start with this quote from Walter Neff, protagonist of Double Indemnity, the best film noir of all Cal Seething- 081115- nefftime:

“Yes, I killed him. I killed him for money – and a woman – and I didn’t get the money and I didn’t get the woman. Pretty, isn’t it?”

And, weirdly, enough, it is pretty. Cause that’s what film noir is all about- making bad choices while looking good. And while I realize that could also be the logline for Models, Inc, it’s nevertheless true of film noir. Now, some of these choices can seem innocuous at first- pick up the wrong hitchhiker, notarize the wrong document, go home with the wrong guy and, boom, just like that your life can be changed forever. In these movies, fate can seem arbitrary and cruel- like a pop-quiz from the universe designed to test your character.

But in most film noir, the choices are not so innocent. Take our friend Walter Neff. Now, Walter has things pretty good. He’s a charming, handsome bachelor with a good job that allows enough flexibility to go bowling in the afternoon (my lifelong dream) and an apartment in Hollywood with underground parking- which in and of itself is something worth killing for (“I killed him for off-street parking- and an open-plan kitchen- and I didn’t get the parking and I didn’t get the kitchen”- House Hunters Noir!)

But he is dissatisfied. He’s restless. We’ve all felt it. This country was founded on restlessness and dissatisfaction- it’s at the root of the American Dream. But it’s dangerous. Hell, there’s nothing more dangerous than restless, dissatisfied white people- just ask anyone we haven’t killed yet. Now for the first 150 years or so of this country’s existence the answer to restlessness and dissatisfaction was always “go west, young man”. But Walter Neff finds himself in sunny Los Angeles- as far west as he can go. I mean, technically, I suppose technically he could move to Santa Monica but then he’d have to give up his underground parking spot and THERE ARE LIMITS. So, what does he do? He goes slightly north-east instead to the home of Mr and Mrs Cal Seething- 081115- walterandphyllis.Dietrichson somewhere in the hills. He is hoping to renew Mr Dietrichson’s car insurance but ends up concocting a much deadlier plan when he meets Mrs Phyllis Dietrichson, a very sexy woman with a really unsexy name.

In fact Walter and Phyllis sound less like a couple of sex crazed killers and more like my grandparent’s friends from Congregation Beth Emeth. Sure, Phyllis hosted a killer Hadassah luncheon and Walter was a hoot at the Brotherhood breakfasts, but my grandparents had to cut them off when they caught Walter cheating at canasta. He couldn’t help himself. He’s no good. He’s rotten. That’s the reason why most noir heroes and heroines make the terrible choices they do in response to their dissatisfaction. They’re rotten. And it’s the only reason we viewers need- we don’t need to know about their terrible childhoods, we don’t need to hear about how they are victims of society, how they suffer from FFS (Femme Fatale Syndrome.) Everything we need to know about their backstory is wrapped up in this quote from The Hollow Triumph – “It’s a bitter little world.”

The men and women of noir have been kicked around their whole lives and so they are shitty people with poor impulse control who are likeable because they are so damn cool. It’s a blast to watch them try and get away with stuff the rest of us barely dare to think about and cathartic as hell when they fall on their chiseled faces with success just tantalizingly out of reach- tripping over their shoelaces at the finish line of the marathon. Or- better yet, they cross the finish line and feel warm and safe all wrapped in the shinyCal Seething- 081115- marathon insulated blanket of success only to fall into an open trench reaching for someone to hug.

And in the best noir flicks, what trips our heroes up is not their wickedness but their inconvenient humanity- the shot they can’t take, the heart they can’t break, the home they shouldn’t try to go back to but can’t help themselves, the lover they can’t leave behind, the betrayal they never see coming. And sometimes, it’s just the fact that they can’t live one more day with their horrible, rotten selves and so they jump in to that open trench with a crooked smile on their face and leave the rotten world behind.

As for Walter Neff- I won’t tell you exactly what happens to him. Suffice it to say he makes some bad choices and they don’t turn out well. He doesn’t get the money. He doesn’t get the woman. And he’s probably gonna lose his parking spot. A bitter little world indeed.

There’s a lot more I can say about film noir and, in fact, I’m going to say it! In my next post, though because I’ve already wasted your whole fucking lunch hour (sorry). Why not? What am I supposed to do instead of wallowing in the great films of the past- deal with reality? Seriously??? Have you seen that place? There’s random violence, Cal Seething- 081115- debatesanctioned brutality and a perfect storm of right wing lunatics gathering in the skies above Washington threatening to strike the White House in 2016 (GOPnado). And since Shitnado 3 was such a major disappointment and I refuse to gorge myself on the globs of orange chicken being vomited out in 3D from IMAX screens, I turn to noir for distraction instead- a cool, dark cafe away from the blazing sun. And you know what, it’s nice in here. I think I’ll stay awhile. I mean, just look at what’s waiting for me in the outside world- armed white supremacists marching around Ferguson,  Trump gaining in the polls, the Jets punching each other in the face- why not live in the past??? The present blows! But the sad truth is that sooner or later I’m gonna run out of noir flicks on my DVR and I’m going to have to return to the present- and in anticipation of that terrible day- allow me to just say one thing- #AprilDies. It’s the least I can do to make the world a little less bitter.

[California Seething] Confessions of a Clipper Fan- 2015 Choke Edition

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Here’s the new stuff- added May 25, 2015

It used to be that I could wear a Clipper hat and no one would say anything. Well, to my face anyhow. Behind my back- it was all “Is that guy wearing a Clipper hat???” and “What is he trying to be funny or something???” and Billy Crystal“Wow, Billy Crystal’s really letting himself go.” Then, after carefully assessing the situation, most people would just assume that I was some sort of dimwitted charity case who had gotten the hat for free and didn’t know any better, like a Haitian kid in one of Sean Penn’s refugee camps (Are those my Haitians in there? ARE THOSE MY HAITIANS IN THERE???) with a brand new World Champion Seattle Seahawks t-shirt.

But, then, a few weeks ago, everything changed and suddenly my Clipper hat was a magnet for conversation- and it was great! People would say: “Do you really think we can beat the Spurs?” and I would say “The way Blake is playing- anything is possible.” And then, a week later they would say “Oh my God- did you see Game 7??” and I would say “Holy shit- I can’t believe Chris hit that shot!!! Amazing!!!” And it kept getting better after that. They would say “Dude- we’re seriously killing the Rockets!!!” and I would say “The way we’re playing- we could go all the way!!” and then a week later they would say “Are we gonna close them out tonight?” and I would say “Hell yeah- the Rockets don’t stand a chance!!”

And then, then, then…..well, things took a turn. First it was “Oooh- did you see what happened last night?” and I was all “Yeah- no big deal- we’ll finish them off at home.” And then it was “How did they manage to lose last night??” and I was like “Wait- what? They lost? They were up by 19 when I went to bed??? What the fuck?????” and then, finally it was “Oh my God- did you see Game 7?” and I was like “Oh yeah. We looked like shit. I can’t believe DeAndre blew that dunk. Embarassing.”

And now. Well. Now they don’t say anything anymore. They just give me a sidelong glance of pity, like “can you Cal Seething- 052515- tattoobelieve that guy actually paid MONEY for that hat?” like I’m the grinning putz who actually paid money for a Seattle Seahawks Back to Back Champions tattoo “He must have thought the Clippers had a chance. Ha!” and then they go right back to talking about who the Lakers are gonna take with the #2 pick in the draft.

Well, listen here, smug Laker fan a-holes- first of all- unless the Lakers use the #2 pick to get Doc Brown and a Delorean and go back to 2002, they’re still gonna be a fucking lottery team next week (or Loteria team, as they say during NBA Hispanic Heritage Month) and the Clippers are still gonna be one of the best teams in the grueling Western conference. It’s sort of absurd, BTW, that to get to the Finals in the West teams need to go through the Spurs, the Warriors, the Rockets and the Grizzlies- which is like pushing a peanut with your nose up a mountain made of pepper, and all LeBron needs to do in the East is beat the Chicago This is Some Bull-Shits, the Atlanta Pigeons and the Solomon Schechter Day School All Stars (Celtics) .

Anyhow- just to set the record straight, I’m not some bandwagon jumping Clipper fan. The Clipper bandwagon, BTW,Cal Seething- 052515- dadip is officially the Least Jumped On since the late 90’s campaign to make Da Dip the new Macarena and the Tiny House movement. Speaking of which- I think we can all agree that the people on Tiny House Hunters are absolutely THE most loathsome and repellent of all the House Hunters idiots, since they combine the usual House Hunters overdeveloped sense of entitlement with a noxious level of smug self righteousness- a combination not usually seen outside of a Millennial Lives Matter March (there’s no such thing, of course. It’s never been called into question that millennial lives matter AND THAT’S PART OF THE PROBLEM RIGHT THERE.) So, yeah- in order of doucheyness, it goes: Tiny House Hunters, Island Hunters, House Hunters International (but, like, the ones with the Americans who are looking for a vacation house and seem totally shocked that houses in the Nicaraguan rain forest don’t have open plan kitchens, spa showers and a view of the beach), House Hunters Off the Grid, House Hunters (just, like regular House Hunters), House Hunters International (but, like, the ones with the Europeans who are just super-duper excited to find a fifth floor walk up with such amenities as “bedrooms”, a “shower” and a view of “nothing”), and House Hunters Renovation Cal Seething- 052515- tinyhh(because we get to watch them suffer a little, and that’s always gratifying. Ahhhh the suffering of others. That’s the stuff.)- with honorable mention given to Caribbean Life and Beachside Bargain Hunt cause fuck those people for wanting a cheap house near the beach. Who do they think they are, anyhow?

Usually on Tiny House Hunters, there’s some bug-eyed dad in the throes of a midlife crisis who decided to buy the tiny house only after reluctantly turning down that sweet winter caretaker gig at the hotel in Colorado who is dragging his put-upon squeaky voiced buzzkill of a wife who’s all “blah blah we need indoor plumbing whine whine no composting toilet nag nag nag” and their 47 kids into his Tiny House nightmare. This poor, misguidedCal Seething- 052515- zoo fool watched We Bought a Zoo one time too many on TNT while he was waiting for the Clipper game to start and popping Abilify like Mike and Ike’s and now he’s convinced the tiny house will bring his Minecraft-at-the-dinner-table family together, when really, all he’s doing is providing source material for his daughter’s inevitable one-person show Tiny Fun Home, opening August, 2021 at the Complex, which, of course, will be filled with one person shows since that’s all anyone will be able to produce. Thanks, Equity! Meanwhile, throughout the whole episode, their “Keep it Real-tor” spends the episode rolling her eyes at the couple’s idiocy and seems less concerned about selling these dingleberries a house than trying to convince the viewing public that she isn’t the crazy one by saying stuff like “normally, I would never think of showing a house like this for a family of six- but- hey- this is what they wanted so…..good luck to them”. And invariably at some point in the episode the husband looks around one of the houses and says with dismay “wow- this is really small”….cause…yeah…it is small….it’s tiny…it is, in point of fact a “tiny house”…which, if I’m not mistaken is EXACTLY WHAT YOU IDIOTS Cal Seething- 052515- tarantulaWERE HUNTING FOR. I mean, if the show was called Tarantula Hunters you wouldn’t be all like “Ewww- what are all these fuzzy spidery looking things?” No- you’d be like “Oh hey- look at all these tarantulas. I am happy to see so many tarantulas here because that is EXACTLY THE THING I AM HUNTING FOR.” And THAT’S why Tiny House Hunters is the worst of all House Hunters shows. I rest my case.

Except, wait, that wasn’t the case I was making. CRAP! Worst lawyer ever. The case I was making is that I’m not some bandwagon jumping Clipper fan. Hell, I’ve been going to Clipper games since the Michael Olowokandi days, since they were giving away free tickets with a $25 purchase at Foot Locker, since the best players on the court were the 5th graders playing at half time, since they were the NBA’s equivalent of the Washington Generals and they actually made the Knicks look the Globetotters. That’s right- I chanted MVP for Elton Brand, Cal Seething- 051514- shawncheered when we gave Chris Kaman a big contract, and watched my hopes shatter like Livingston’s leg as he went up for an uncontested layup and came crashing down right along with the Clippers’ season. Oh-what? I’m sorry? Are you confused? Don’t get these references? Have no idea what I’m talking about? THAT’S RIGHT- BITCHEZ!!! Because you’re not a real Clipper fan and I am? And is that something to be proud of? OF COURSE IT’S NOT- why would it be? They were a fucking embarrassment. But because of some….totally cryptic reason, I’m proud of it anyhow. I can’t explain it.

And also- just to be clear- yes, yes, yes, I do, in fact own a Tiny House BUT I DIDN’T DO IT BECAUSE IT WAS FASHIONABLE. I did it because we wanted to buy a house on the west side of Los Angeles and the types of houses available to us were limited to “tiny” or “van” – and, clearly, we weren’t about to try and live in a van – not with the parking in our neighborhood. Though I am excited for an all new season of Van Hunters (“she wants a 1970’s Cal Seething- 052515- vanairbrush design of a coyote howling at the moon and he’s looking for a classic dirty white kidnapper van”).

So- right- like I was saying- I’ve been a Clipper fan for a while- and, as proof, I offer you the post below, written in the depths of last year’s Donald Sterling mishigos. And, if you still don’t believe me you can read this post from the old Fierce & Nerdy days in which I pay tribute to the two cities that co-exist in Los Angeles- the ritzy-glitzy Lakerwood- epicenter of rhinestone jeans, selfie sticks and cornball California cliches and, the hard-working apartment villages of Clipper City- where dusty jacaranda blooms mingle with Carl’s Jr. cups on the sidewalks, every dented beige Toyota Corolla on the street has a hood streaked with pigeon shit and the guy selling corn on the cob out of a shopping cart causes a sensation that sends all the chihuahuas on the block into an absolute yapping frenzy. That’s the Los Angeles where I live- where my tiny van is proud to park- Clipper flags, pigeon shit and all.

And here’s the old stuff- from May 10, 2014

One of the hoariest clichés of male/female relationships is that women are attracted to men that are bad for them and that they just want “nice guys” to be friends. Now, I don’t know if this is true- though, I have to say there were so many girls in High School that just wanted “to be friends” that my first stand-up name as a teenager was “Platonic Man” – “sort of like Superman but Lois Cal Seething-050514-platonicmanLane just wanted to chat.” Wow. I just realized that if that joke were a person, it would be in grad school by now. Huh. Excuse me for one second (midlife crisis related crying jag) OK- I’m back!! Want to see my Corvette? Ha! Kidding, of course- no way I’ll ever be successful enough to buy a Corvette. Huh. Excuse me for one second (midlife crisis oh my god I’m a failure what have I done with my life midlife crisis related crying jag.) OK- I’m back!! Got Testosterone in my armpits and Just For Men in my hair and I’m ready to rock!! Ha! Kidding, of course. I don’t have nearly enough hair to be worth coloring. Huh. Excuse me for second (male pattern baldness oh my god I’m a failure what have I done with my life midlife crisis related crying jag).

Anyhow- like I said- I don’t know if this “Good Girls love Bad Boys” thing has much truth to it. Probably not- it’s just one of those remnants of the patriarchy something something something white male privilege something something bad (who’s got two thumbs and just read a scathingCal Seething-050514-nick critique of rape culture on Jezebel- THIS GUY!) but if it is, I can certainly relate because I’m a Good Fan who loves Bad Teams. I’m Molly Ringwald giving a diamond earring to the Knicks to piss off my parents. I’m Mallory Keaton waiting for the Jets take me away on their motorcycle to a 7-9 season. I’m Kelly Taylor in a torrid Beverly Hills romance with the team owner who wanted Paula Deen to cater his NAACP Awards Banquet. I’m Mindy Kaling who…uhm…has that guy she likes….you know….that guy….who’s kind of a…. jerk….you know…uhm….Excuse me for a second (totally out of touch with pop-culture male pattern baldness oh my god I’m a failure what have I done with my life midlife crisis related crying jag crying jag.)

And speaking of Sterling- I know V. Stiviano insists he’s not really a racist- but just look at what he makes her wear to bed:

Cal Seething-050514-mask

 

Come on. If you can’t hang out with a mixed race girl without making her look like Boba Fett- you’re a fucking racist. Actually, I’m not being fair. The mask was Stiviano’s idea- she was inspired by all those Clipper fans who were also embarrassed to be fucked by Sterling.

Cal Seething-050514-clipperbags

It was nice, though, to see Sterling express some genuine regret when he said “I should have just paid her off”. The most touching expression of remorse since Marion Berry’s “Bitch set me up” and Hitler’s “Scheisse! I knew we shouldn’t have filmed everything. Now we look like dicks”.

Anyhow- this isn’t all about Sterling- even if he did give out white hoods as yarmulkes at his son’s Bar Mitzvah and only invited Koreans. It’s a larger trend, a problem I’ve had my whole life. Show me a winning team, with humble players, a brilliant coach and a classy owner and I’ll be calling them “cocksuckers” and screaming at the television. How about you? Are you a Good Fan who loves Bad Teams? Just take this quiz to find out.

  1. This season, I’m totally psyched for:Cal Seething- 050514- Tim
    1. The Superbowl!
    2. The World Series!
    3. The Finals!
    4. The Draft Lottery.
  2. Watching the San Antonio Spurs is like:
    1. Poetry
    2. Ballet
    3. A symphony
    4. Death
  3. Derek Jeter is  Cal Seething-050514-jeter
    1. A great team captain
    2. A true champion
    3. A class act
    4. Douchey
  4. This offseason, I’m looking forward to:
    1. Getting some quality young players in the draft
    2. Getting healthy after a long hard season
    3. Adding more weapons on offense
    4. No new indictments
  5. My favorite part of going to a game is:
    1. Watching top athletes performing in their prime
    2. Cheering the home team to victory
    3. The emotional roller coaster of a hard fought battle
    4. NACHOS. Duh.
  6. Tom Brady isCal Seething- 050514- brady
    1. A leader on and off the field
    2. One of the great NFL success stories
    3. Handsome and charming
    4. Oh my God such a douche
  7. Word Association- when I say “butt” you think:
    1. Tush
    2. Ass
    3. Rear
    4. DAMN YOU SANCHEZ!!!!!
  8. My favorite AFC East team isCal Seething-050514-butt
    1. Patriots
    2. Patriots
    3. Patriots
    4. Losing to the Patriots
  9. The owner of my favorite team is
    1. A noted philanthropist
    2. An internet billionaire
    3. Not James Dolan
    4. Banned for life
  10. Peyton Manning is:Cal Seething-050514-peyton
    1. A brilliant offensive mind
    2. One of the top 10 QB’s of all time
    3. Still playing at an extraordinarily high level
    4. All of the Above. And such a douche

Give yourself 1 point for every “D” answer.

BONUS Questions:

Subtract 1 point for each piece of team attire that you wear unironically.

Did you download the Samsung LeBron James App? Subtract 10 points. Also, you’re dead to me.Cal Seething- 050514- bronapp

Add 1 point for every Ohio based team you like. Not from Ohio? Add 5 extra points. Also- seriously??? Are your parents from Ohio or something?? Did you go to school in Ohio?? Do you hate yourself?? Cause, I love underdogs, but everything from Ohio is crap and Johnny Football can’t change that.

Have you ever spotted Jack Nicholson at a home game? Subtract 2 points.

Have you ever spotted Billy Crystal at a home game? Add 2 points.

Have you ever spotted Tony Romo at a home game? Add 1 point. Was he starting at Quarterback? Add 5 points.

Do you like Tiger Woods? Subtract 5 points- unless you only like him cause he’s a sex addict, in which case add 2 points.

Are you secretly disappointed when a player you like thanks Jesus? Add 2 points.

Are you a Cubs fan? Add like a gazillion points. Seriously, dude, you should have said something- you could have skipped the whole Cal Seething-050514-cubsquiz. I mean, you just washed a handful of downers down with a pint of vodka- don’t waste the time you have left reading this.

 

Results:

1 – 3 points: You’re reprehensible. A star-fucking fair weather bandwagon jumper. A Duke fan. God, I’m jealous. It must be GREAT. I can’t even download the LeBron app on my BlackBerry.

3 – 5 points: You are knowledgeable and informed fan. You like teams that “play the right way”, players that are humble, and coaches who value hard work and discipline over flashy play and superstars. You refer to the golf course at Augusta at “hallowed Cal Seething-050514-whiteground”, put your hand over your heart during the national anthem and actually think it means something that “team” isn’t spelled with an “I”- even though, seriously, how would you fit an “I” into that word if you wanted to? Teiam? Teami? iTeam?? All terrible. You love Kevin Costner, U2, How I Met Your Mother, hamburgers and Disney. You are… the least interesting man in the world. You don’t always drink beer, but when you do, you always make sure someone else is driving and never have more than two Michelob Ultras. When comedians do their impression of white people- they’re actually doing you. If you were a flavor of ice cream, you’d be slight lactose intolerance. It’s actually boring me to write about you so I’ll stop.

5 – 8 points: You’re cool. Whatever.

8+ points: You have a problem. You don’t actually enjoy sports- you use sports to atone for your sins. And based on the teams you choose, you’ve got a WHOLE lot of sins to work off. Seriously, it’s all about masochism for you- hell, you don’t need a throwback jersey for your team- you need a hair shirt. The only joy you ever do get is cheering for the downfall of the teams you hate. This makes you an incredibly unpleasant person. Because you are a Good Fan who loves Bad Teams, like me- and we both have a serious problem to deal with.

I don’t really fall for teams that are consistently terrible- teams who fail miserably year after year and who are out of contention after the first month of the season. Those are the teams you elope with when you’re young. Everyone tells you that they’re no good- but you don’t care cause you know they just need the love of a good fan to make their dreams come true. But then, the years pass and failures mount and they just sit on the couch watching the playoffs and talking about how unfair it is that the calls never go their way and how great they could have been if they could have just stayed healthy and how maybe they could actually amount to something if they just got a little support and encouragement from the fans for a change instead of being criticized by the press all the time. Meanwhile that team you used to cheer for a little in high school wins championship after championship and opens a successful chain of hardware stores while you watch on your crappy old TV/VCR in the kitchen clipping coupons for Eggo Waffles and sobbing silently.

Cheering for those perennially terrible teams is like being an American during the Bush years. Yeah- sure, it’s embarrassing and Cal Seething- 050514-bushawful- but what did you expect? All you can do is hunker down, laugh it off and pray to the God of your choice that he doesn’t go to war in Iran.

No- I fall in love wiht teams with POTENTIAL, with EXPECTATIONS. I’m talking about teams like the Knicks- teams with talent and experience and money- teams that are just about to break through, just about to compete, just about to turn it around and to reward all of their miserable fans for their decades of pointless support. I’m talking about being an American during the Obama years. Cause this was supposed to be our time, our moment- the pendulum was swinging back and everything was finally going to change for the better, Democratic President, Democratic Congress- how could we fail- bring it on MOTHERFUCKERS! And then…..nothing. Well, OK- that’s totally not fair- he did a lot: ending Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell, the Affordable Care Act, ARRA, ending the Iraquistan wars- it’s just we wanted so much more- comprehensive immigration reform, major climate change legislation-  hell, he took us the Playoffs- but we wanted a RING. And now it’s only a matter of time before they blow up the administration and everything goes back to shit again. Huh. Excuse me (Horrible state of the world crying jag). There’s nothing worse about losing when you should have won. Just think of the Buffalo Bills- they make it to the Superbowl four years in a row and come away with nothing but a shitty Vincent Cal Seething-050514-buffaloGallo movie that makes them a metaphor for failure. Or ask Mark Jackson- dude guides his team to their best record since…well…. the Buffalo Bills were relevant (hello insult- meet injury) and gets fired for not going further in the playoffs. Or ask me- I got a fucking B- in French and my parents were all up in my shit like I should be doing better or something. You know, 25 years ago. It hurt, man. Having potential sucks. That also happened so long ago the Buffalo Bills were actually relevant. Sorry Buffalo. But you know you suck. You’re too close to Ohio not to. But I’m just lashing out. (Not living up to my potential and also not speaking French very well crying jag.)

And then, of course, there’s the other type of “badness”- bad behavior. Now- this is a tricky area- we all have our own deeply personal sense of right and wrong informed by upbringing, belief system, cultural norms and life experience. Fortunately, we don’t need to rely on any of that crap because we have ESPN and Twitter to tell us what to be mad about! #PitchforksandTorches So- for example- decades of discriminatory housing and employment practices- no problem- but an audio recording saying some vile hateful shit about Magic Johnson (NOT MAGIC!) Banned for Life! Cause everybody knows words speak louder than actions. And then there’s Jameis Winston- a few months ago everyone was all rape charges, shmape charges- but now Cal-Seething--050514--crabthat he’s been caught stealing crablegs?? THE MAN IS A MONSTER (he said the crab legs were asking for it) I mean, it’s not really a shock – women’s rights have always lagged behind seafood rights in the South- hell, Louisiana gave crawdads the vote in 1894. But still – it’s a new low, even for Florida.

Anyhow, there are bad teams and there are bad people and then there are the Clippers- a horrible team owned by a horrible person. The Clippers aren’t just bad, historically- they’re the best at being bad. They’re the William Shakespeare of Bad, the New York Yankees of Bad, the…well LA Lakers of Bad. And Sterling? Well, Dylan Farrow just picked him as the Worst Jew Ever. And Shelly Sterling’s no better- they’re the Bluths of basketball. But I don’t care- I love that team. I loved them when they really sucked, I loved them when they just sort of sucked and I love them now that they just might be good enough to win the honor of being crushed by the Heat. Blame Star Wars if you want. How am I supposed to cheer for the Evil Empire – no matter how well coached and organized they are (Darth Vader cuts the sleeves off his robe) when there’s a rag tag bunch butt fumbling rebels on the other side? So maybe it’s not really Bad Teams that I love, but Good Stories. Stories like Allen Iverson- who threw his body around like it was rented as he willed his Sixers into the Finals. Iverson- who was so good at being great and so bad at being merely human. And the 08 Celtics – three aging stars sweating blood for the only title they were ever going to get as they battled through three seven game series en route to beating the Lakers in six. I mean- come on- just look at how happy Kevin Garnett is?

Come on- ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!!! Doesn’t that make you tear up a little?? Hell, I started to cry just embedding this link into the post. How could you not love that unless you’re a Laker fan in which case suck it.  How can you watch this and say that you’d rather watch the Heat win year after year so that LeBron can exhibit his Samsung McJoy??  Cause to me, that’s the best part of sports. Not the statistics but the raw humanity on display- and speaking of humanity- if Sterling’s audio recordings made you lose faith in it- Kevin Durant’s MVP speech might just restore a little bit. Wow. I know. That’s inspiring, right? Do you know how hard it was to cheer for the Clippers to break his legs after watching that?? But I did it- because I’m a Good Fan- and someday- someday I’ll find myself a nice team that really appreciates my support and rewards me with consistent victory. But, you just know that when I do- I’ll probably just want to be friends.

Meanwhile LET’S GO CLIPPERS thump thump thump thump thump LET’S GO CLIPPERS thump thump thump thump thump.Cal Seething- 050514- clipperd If you think Clipper Darrell is happy now- wait til you see how psyched he is when Oprah owns the team. Celebrities in the stands, banners in the rafters, sold out houses night after night. Huh. Sounds terrible. Maybe I’ll become a Laker fan.