Rss

Been & Going

[California Seething] Getting High on the High Holidays – 5776 Edition

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

Yom Kippur was last week, and so, in observance of this most sacred holiday I’m recycling a dumb post about how I used to get stoned on it. Sigh. Good times.

Post is pretty much the same as it was in 2011 (5772) with a bunch of random updates. Enjoy!

The Ancient Greeks didn’t worry about whether God loved them. They didn’t wring their hands over the fact that God allowed evil to thrive in the world and didn’t struggle with the way that God permitted the righteous to suffer while the wicked prospered. That’s because, in Ancient Greece, the Gods were dicks. It’s like someone based an entire religion on the New England Patriots. Speaking of which- you’ve really got to admire the Patriots commitment to being loathsome these days- first the cheating, then the Trump loving- and this past week, pointlessly running up the score against Jacksonville Next week, I hear, Tom Brady buys an AIDS drug and jacks the price up.

Anyhow, Zeus was particularly nasty. He was far less concerned with the meek inheriting the earth than he was in changing into a swan and boning the meek’s wife (they had a pretty loose understanding of zoology as well.) The rest of the gods were no better- just a bunch of mean spirited, petty, vindictive, narcissistic, spiteful bastards who absolutely didn’t give a shit about humanity. It must have been wonderfully liberating in a way- like having a Republican president. After all, when Bush and co. were in power, we didn’t wring our hands and wonder WHY they were leading us into one pointless war after another for the sole benefit of their rich cronies or WHY they were making disastrously short-sighted fiscal policy decisions. We knew perfectly well why- they were dicks. They did irresponsible, self-centered, evil, destructive, selfish things because they were irresponsible, self-centered, evil, destructive selfish cocksuckers- plain and simple. All we had to do was fear them, loathe them and mock them. Good times.

With the advent of Judaism, though and the election of Obama, things became more complicated. Now we have to wrestle with thorny and difficult philosophical questions like WHY does God allow bad things to happen to good people, WHY does God turn his back on his supposedly chosen people as they are persecuted and killed, WHY did Obama extend the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy or WHY does Obama continue to order drone attacks on civilians around the wold. It’s a far more complicated world to live in as these questions fuel our doubts and erode our ability to believe.

But then, much like a new Presidential Election restores my faith in the Democrats by showing me just how terrifying the alternative might be, the Jewish New Year draws me back to synagogue by threatening me with DEATH if I don’t show up and repent my sins. Yup, that’s right DEEEEAAAAAAATTTTTTTHHHHHHH. We Jews don’t fuck around. We observe our New Year with a prolonged period of repentance, contemplation and prayer- exactly the way that Christians don’t. Scholars agree that this is the single most boring and painful way to celebrate a new year with the possible exception of watching Ryan Seacrest host the Countdown (Dick Clark’s face moves more than Seacrest’s and he’s been dead for four years). It wasn’t always this way, though. Back in the days of the Ancient Temple of Jerusalem- you know, the good old days Before the Crappy era (or B.C. as it’s typically known) majestically robed priests would ritually slaughter thousands of animals as burnt offerings to God while throngs of ancient Israelites stood silent in the Temple trembling with awe and wonder and the tangible presence of the Divine deep inside the Holy of Holies. Plus- tickets were free! Beat that Congregation Beth Bite Me!

Nowadays, synagogues charge $300 a head and open up the partition wall that separates the Holy of Holies from the Synagogue Multi-Purpose Room (hail to thee o Accordion Wall- for Modern Judaism would be lost without you) so that they can pack in Israelites on colossally uncomfortable metal folding chairs (the Seats of Repentance) all the way to the rear of the Multi-Purpose Room stage and pray at them mercilessly for hours on end as if to punish them for buying tickets in the first place (like LA Opera did with the Einstein on the Beach.) The Israelites, meanwhile, gaze with awe at how fucking slowly the Cantor is singing and the sheer number of pages remaining before the end of services and wonder just how long the Synagogue President can tell corny jokes and babble on about Judaism and his iPad until he just gets it over with and asks for the goddamn money for the pledge drive so we can sing Adon Olam and go the fuck home already. And then, for an encore, we fast from sundown to sundown on Yom Kippur while we grovel before God for our very lives. Happy fuckin’ New Year!

The ritual slaughter of thousands of animals still plays a role in our worship, BTW, they are just converted into brisket and wrapped in plastic far from our sight. Not as entertaining as the old days, but significantly more delicious.

Clearly, then, holidays surrounding the Jewish New Year, typically called the High Holidays or Repent-apalooza (2015- Celebrating 24 years of hokey Lollapalooza puns- Happy Hack-apaolooza!) are not what you would call “fun” unless you are what I would call “crazy”- but, hey, I figure I’m stuck with them, so I might as well try and get something out of them. Here are some of the strategies I’ve tried over the years in order to get the most out of the High Holidays:

1. Better Fasting Through Chemistry

Look, I didn’t intend to come home stoned for Yom Kippur the first time I did it. It’s just that I was in college and it was a Tuesday so naturally I was smoking up with my best friend and that guy Ed with long hair and a tan who was either Native American or Chinese or possibly Italian and sold high quality weed to only the best potheads on the downtown quad first semester sophomore year. You knew he was cool because he cut out the part of the cracker box that said “Baked not Fried” and Scotch taped it to the outside of his dorm room door, much to the tittering delight of us all. Stick it to The Man, Ed! (“The Man” being the R.A., Stacey). Anyhow, by the time it came to head over to my parents’ house for dinner and the evening Kol Nidre service my friend and I were quite impressively stoned. On the one hand, this was good, because it meant that we had a significant appetite and ate heartily of my mother’s World Famous Unbelievably Dry Chicken and Twice Microwaved Potatoes (shit. I’m going to have to atone for that joke next year. Sorry, mom.) On the other hand, less than an hour into our fast we were starving again and giggling more than is, perhaps, considered acceptable in Temple on the most serious night of the year, much to the consternation of my very unstoned and very jealous sister.

With the sun down and a long day of fasting and prayer ahead of us, we realized that  we had no other option but to man up, buckle down and smoke our way through it, just like Playwriting class (the play I came up with was called Dude and it was about a couple of stoned guys who are basically stuck in a really bad play and trying to come up with shit to say to each other. Then, a bunch of people get shot and the whole thing turns out to be a super-violent Scooby-Doo joke with Nazis. God I miss the 90’s. Just me?)

It may seem like a bad idea to use a drug that causes dry mouth and increased appetite on a day when you can’t eat or drink anything- like treating impulse control with Jager bombs but it turns out that weed and fasting go together like hamburgers and fries, peanut butter and jelly, bagels and lox and a whole bunch of other food combinations that sound really fucking good to me right now because I’m fasting as I write this and hungry as hell. For one thing, being high makes playing everybody’s favorite game, “Man, I could really go for a ___________ right now,” a lot more fun- case in point:

Unstoned person#1:
Man, I could really go for a burger right now.

Unstoned person#2:
Yeah, I could really go for a sandwich right now.

Stoned person#1:
Totally. I could seriously go for like, a HUGE bag of Combos.

Stoned person#2:
Yeah, and a Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia milkshake

Stoned person #1:
Fed to me by a crazy-hot Viking chick

Stoned person#2:
With a huge metal bra

Stoned person #1:
Riding a lion

Stoned person #1 & #2:
A Flying lion! (break out in hysterical giggles)

Stoned person #1’s Sister:
(seethe) (rage) (gurgle)

Perhaps it was all this fantasizing over food that allowed us to resist the temptation of eating actual food- because we ended up resisting some serious temptation. Halfway through the day, someone had the insanely masochistic idea to go apple picking. There we were- surrounded by ripe, juicy fruit, ice cold cider and the sweet hot fat smell of fresh cider doughnuts . As the non-stoned among us broke one by one and gave into temptation, only the stoned stood strong and ate nothing (my sister didn’t come.) Is it any wonder this became an annual tradition?

2. Take your fast to go

Sooner or later, weed will always betray you. Sooner or later, instead of coming up with goofy jokes and imagining cool things to eat fed to you by Valkyries, weed just makes you think about how everyone hates you and your boss wants to fire you and your landlord wants to evict you and the cops are outside ready to burst through the door because you could have sworn that you saw a red and blue light flickering through the apartment window for a second and that suspicious black sedan parked across the street hasn’t moved in a couple of days so clearly the FBI is on your ass for telling the doctor that you have a back injury so he’d give you a Medical Marijuana card when your back is actually totally fine and you’re just a filthy, stinking, worthless liar who’s letting everybody down. At this point, it’s best not to smoke anymore and to find other mechanisms for coping with Yom Kippur and life in general. Travel is a great one. Not only is it mind expanding, but if you start feeling paranoid it’s probably because the gypsies are really trying to rob you. Stupid gypsies.

When I lived in New York, I worked at a non-profit Jewish organization (NOTE FOR ANTI-SEMITIC JOKERS: “Non-profit Jewish” is not, in fact an oxymoron- and, yes, I’ve fucking heard that one before) with my non-Jewish soon-to-be wife. Naturally, we got the High Holidays off- a gesture which my wife and I interpreted differently:

Me: I’m glad that this organization gives me the time off required to properly observe these very important occasions.

My Wife: WOO-HOO! Four day weekend! ROAD TRIP!!!!

So, there I was, fasting in a rented Ford Aspire (it aspires to be a car!) which we picked up at Newark Airport, heading to Philadelphia. Of course, we couldn’t possibly waste a perfectly good trip through New Jersey in a rental car without hitting Ikea. Now, you may think that you have fasted before in your life or that you know what it is to repent for your sins- but let me tell you, my friend, you don’t know shit until you observed Yom Kippur in the cinnamon-bun scented Swedish amusement park of particle board and pain that is Ikea. After all, Ikea is an incredibly annoying place to shop for incredibly annoying things- like a torture chamber where you have to buy your own Iron Maiden and put it together before your tormentors shove you inside and slam the spikes in your face- which is totally fine by you as long as you never, ever have to use an allen wrench again. Anyone who can maintain their fast in the face of such colossal unpleasantness- and the omnipresent temptation of meatballs and the gooey goodness of cinnamon buns should be forgiven for pretty much anything.

Ultimately, we reached Philadelphia, known as “The City of Brotherly Love” or “The City With the Really Ironic Nickname.” As we drove around looking for the restaurant I had pre-selected to break my fast, we found ourselves caught in an endless loop by the art museum. Now, I love the “look kids, Big Ben…Parliament” gag from European Vacation as much as the next guy, but if I’m fucking starving and the stars are starting to come out it gets unfunny very, very quickly. Finally we exited our vortex of irritation, found a random charming restaurant in a random charming neighborhood and had a fantastic meal.

So- do I recommend travel for Yom Kippur? Hell, yeah! It was an adventure- and adventure beats sitting in Temple like steak beats hamburger; bratwursts beat hot-dogs; rich, thick slaps of strawberry covered delicious cheese-cake beats Jello cheesecake pudding (did I mention how fucking hungry I was?). In fact, a couple of years ago, I drove home from San Francisco on Yom Kippur after I hit morning services in the Mission at the Temple Beth’s A Lesbian. Good times. I sent my sister a postcard (OK, that’s a lie.)

3. Score Free Tickets

Look, I get free tickets to stuff all the time- and not just to artsy crap like plays and operas. I’ve gotten Dodger tickets, Kings tickets, Clipper tickets- hell, I’ve even gotten tickets to see teams that DON’T suck, like the Lakers (oh, wait, that was supposed to be an example of “teams that don’t suck” -HA! . But, until this year, I have never received the Ultimate Comp- free High Holiday Tickets. Normally, these are about as obtainable as tickets to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory (sweet, delicious river of chocolate…drool…..) so I have to resort to hitting the Chabad House if I want free services and getting my Jew on with the Ultra-Mega-Super-Duper-Right-Wing-Black-Hat-Crazy-Pants-Orthodox in an overstuffed little sweatbox of a room. It’s a little weird and slightly uncomfortable — a bit like getting free vegetarian food from the Hare Krishnas — nourishing, warm and generous on one hand, but it doesn’t really taste like anything you’re used to. Everyone there is chanting and mumbling and wearing the same outfits and you can’t help feeling a little squirmy about the fact that you might be hanging out with a cult just to get a bargain — like joining the Moonies to save on your wedding, though fortunately, they can’t serve Kool-Aid on Yom Kippur (Went there!).

The past few years, though, thanks to my fancy-schmanzy, high-level, showbiz connections (I know a guy)- I was able to score some comps to a swanky Temple where I could repent in style and comfort. Hell, they even had a jumbotron in the back of the Multipurpose room, so you could see the Rabbi up close. I have to admit, I thought the Kiss-Cam thing may have been taking it a little too far but, you know, they’re Reform, so I guess it’s all good. And, the best part is, since they are Reform, there was no screwing around with the Service. It was like the NFL RedZone channel of prayer — just all the big highlights and none of that messing around and mumbling shit in the middle. In and out in under 3 hours!

Okay, so maybe it was a little too fast and efficient for me. I like a little ground and pound in my services, but it certainly beats hanging out with a bunch of aspiring West Bank settlers. It may even be better than watching my wife eat meatballs at a furniture store while I fast (OK, so she didn’t actually eat them in front of me. Call it “poetic license”- the only license I can get!)

4. Try taking it seriously for 5 lousy minutes

You’ve been an asshole this year. It’s okay. I’ve been an asshole, too. Probably a bigger one than you. Not as bad as Donald Trump or Tom Brady or Zeus, but definitely somewhere on the asshole spectrum. So, why not take a day and deal with it? Say I’m sorry. Forgive the people I wanted to stab in the face with a handful of sharpened golf-pencils. Think about being a better person- maybe not yelling at people so much on the phone when they turn out to be worthless morons who can’t actually help me- but, you know, they’re probably doing their best and not deliberately trying to give you an anger fueled stroke. Or maybe start actually giving a shit about Darfur or at least figuring out where it is on a map. Or…you know…something something Syrian refugees. I don’t know … anything to show that I’ve been thinking about repentance and I’m going to give it a little bit of a shot. Not so much because God cares or notices or even exists but because there’s a slim chance that not being so much of an asshole might in some infinitesimal way make the world a very slightly better place, so it may be worth trying.

I continue to find new ways of experiencing the High Holidays. In fact, the year I first wrote this, I observed Yom Kippur by fasting as I opened a heavy-metal, country and western, multimedia operetta with a huge cowboy shindig at intermission and an after party featuring chili shooters and Mountain Lion Margaritas — or as normal people would put it “going into the office on the holiday.” (aaah, I’ve Never Been So Happy- good times. And to think that back in 2011, I thought that was as wacky as things could possibly get! I guess I was about 3,000 boxes off on that one.) I guess our boring old religion still has some life in it, even if we don’t have animal sacrifices (sweet, delicious animal sacrifices. Goddamn it, I’m hungry) or a wicked cabal of evil a-holes controlling our fate (that’s Republicans are for.)

So…right, the whole atoning thing. Uhm…I guess I’m sorry to everybody who I might have accidentally offended last year. Except for Republicans….and Patriots fans….and Ryan Seacrest cause y’all can go fuck yourselves. (aaaah, the first appearance of the “I’m sorry…except” joke- since posted annually on Facebook. And to think I used it up this year on the morons who want to de-fund Planned Parenthood without even knowing that two days later there would be some colossal hedge-fund douche-bro who would jack up the price of AIDS medication. So many assholes, so few punchlines) . Oh, and Kobe Bryant really is a homophobic racist who should choke on a Cub-Scout’s dick (ahhh, memories. I’d almost forgotten how much I hated Kobe. It’s hard to stay so mad at him now that he’s old and useless- sort of like Ronald Reagan after he got Alzheimer’s). But, you know, I’m sorry to anybody who maybe didn’t deserve to be offended, like the makers of Lucky Charms. I’m sorry, I just don’t think it’s very good. I mean- hard marshmallows??? What the fuck??? (honestly, I’m not even sure what the hell I was referring to here. Seriously-does anyone remember?? Did I write something hateful about Lucky Charms four years ago? I have absolutely no recollection. Oh no- is this how dementia starts? Is this Karmic revenge for making an Alzheimer’s joke?? SHIT!!! Sorry, sorry, sorry- I’m barely even done with the fucking holidays and I’ve already got stuff to atone for next year. Plus it’s probably just all that weed – the Ghosts of Yom Kippur Past catching up with me.) Crap, I’m screwing this up already. Damn it. Maybe I’ll do better at atoning next year. I can at least aim for that. And, hey, I probably should apologize to my sister. We should have let her smoke with us.

So there you have it- Happy New Year- 5776! (That’s right- you read that correctly- Five-Thousand-Seven-Hundred-and-Seventy-Six. Our calendar could kick your calendar’s ASS.)

Originally published on October 10, 2011 on Fierce and Nerdy. Sort of.

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

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

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.