SHE SAID: Michael Jackson

June 30, 2009

Michael Jackson dying is the best thing that could have happened to him, as far as his celebrity is concerned.  He was going downhill on the wacko express pretty damn fast for a number of years, arguably since the minute he first saw daylight, but that’s nothing he could control given he was born into a pretty insane family.  Wallace Stegner wrote “I grew up poor in a rootless and spectacularly dysfunctional family” in which “stability was never more than a vague dream”.  Applicable to Michael as well, and perhaps even more so.

He was presented throughout his lifetime with remarkable opportunities but also required to make remarkable sacrifices.  A rigid and tragic dichotomy.  A star at a young age ridden hard by a controlling and abusive father.  A solo career with the best selling record of all time coupled with the isolation that life under the microscope mandates.

It makes sense, considering the leaches that must flock to prominence, that he would desire seclusion and seek to surround himself with the simplest and most genuine; children that didn’t judge and threaten or have ulterior motives.

It makes sense, considering that he never had a childhood, that he would fantasize about one that didn’t end.  The unknown of which he was robbed.  Those never-ending afternoons with lemonade stands and sticky, dripping popsicles and skinned knees from games of kick the can with the neighborhood kids that went late into summer evenings with mosquitoes and lightning bugs and “ollie ollie in come free” once the light has finally acquiesced to the evening.  Is it wrong to want every child to have that as long as they can?  Especially if you realize just what you paid for your fame?  Part of me likes that ideal.  The pureness and simplicity of it.

But, unfortunately, it isn’t that simple despite how much I want to leave it there and think happy thoughts.  So much of Michael Jackson for me is not about the music or his artistry.  And had he died years ago and joined the 27 year-old club, perhaps my memories would be about his genius and less about the creepy self-imposed biracial guy who so clearly hated who he was and where he came from surrounded by rumors of child abuse, plastic surgery, drugs, and other abnormal eccentricities.

I wish he had died after releasing BAD.  When things were starting to really derail, but he was still a genius and defendable.  Outlandish, but respected.  Before Lisa Marie and Prince Michael, the masks and the child abuse allegations.  Because it’s hard to see a childhood idol fall.  And it’s disappointing to realize they are a bit off.  And it’s depressing to see them flailing, dangling their son over a railing, grasping for the adoration they took for granted, feeling entitled to special treatment, understanding and acceptance of bizarre and erratic behavior.

The beloved became the exiled.  The hero became the beast.

This much we know, although the depths and reasoning are unknown.  And something tells me even Michael didn’t know or understand himself, his actions or his reasons.  His self loathing ran so deep that he eluded even himself.


HE SAID: Michael Jackson

June 30, 2009

Whoa, Nifer, I realize death is a serious matter, but given the amount of Michael Jackson jokes and links that were flowing this weekend (some provided by you no less), I would have thought we could make light of the situation, within reason.  I guess I was wrong.  I’m going to skip all my thoughts about why he turned out the way he did, because you did a pretty effing amazing job of getting it down.

What’s so odd about reading your post, which I did about 5 times before writing this, is that I agree with the entire body of your thoughts, but disagree entirely with the premise behind  your post.  The best thing for Michael Jackson was to die, at this point of his career? Really? When he was in debt up to his white/black ears, and nothing he has done in the music world has been respected since that weird video with Magic Johnson?  I think this was the worst possible time.  MJ had a come back left, lord knows it wouldn’t have been a throwback to his thriller days.  But I wanted to see if he could climb back up to at least a respectable level.

This actually got me thinking along the lines of my last post on why Brett Favre should retire.  In a way similar stories – one was the King of Pop, the other the best QB in the NFL for about a decade, and both fell off respective cliffs towards the end of their careers.  Oh yeah, and both were white (too soon?).  And so I started asking myself, ‘why do I want Brett Favre to retire so badly but I wanted to see Michael Jackson try to come back?” 

Well, I finally realized that I was clearly overthinking this because there is a world of difference in the steepness of the cliffs these two legends fell off.  Favre lost a step, lost some power in his arm and threw lots more interceptions, and just generally pisses people off now…Michael Jackson turned into a freak show that was accused multiple times over of touching little children.  Bottom line is Favre can retire now and people will still remember all the good, and the bad will fade away.  I’m a bit nervous that with MJ dying now, before getting a solid comeback chance, we will simply remember the bad, and forget all the good he did.  I mean, this is a guy that donated over $300 million dollars to charity over the course of his life.  Things like that, along with the Billie Jean video, need to be preserved.

MJ’s upcoming tour could have been his version of Sylvestor Stallone’s “Rocky Balboa.”  After years of wallowing in years of bad music and bad press (and Rocky V, the worst sequel ever made), MJ could have become a respectable individual again.  Sadly, we’ll never know.


HE SAID: Marry/Fuck/Toss

June 27, 2009

I don’t know about the rest of you, but the last few days have been crawling.  Literally.  I can’t wait for the weekend.

Jeremy, in the interest of fun and passing some time…here are three women for you to choose from.

Martina Navratilova, Billy Jean King, and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario.

xo, Nifer

marry-fuck-toss-billymartinaarantxa

Oh Nifer, you try so hard to gross me out with these pics, but you have to remember…I am a guy, and thus have far lower standards than yourself.

That being said I am not too enthralled regarding the task set in front of me.  One of them is an all to butch looking dyke, who would most likely still beat the crap out of me at the age of 65.  The second is another lesbian who would definitely beat the crap out of me at the age of 52.  And the third is apparently straight, but is possibly the worst looking straight player Women’s tennis has seen, and that’s saying something.  But alas, I must choose…

First up is the easiest selection, I am going to toss Billie Jean off a cliff for one simple reason, she scares me.  I fear if I married or had a one night stand with her I would be forever changed.

Ok, ten minutes has gone by and I’ve made my decision.  I am going to fuck Arantxa…have to clean off the keyboard I just threw up a little on it….and marry Martina.  Reason being – if I marry Aranxta I might have to fuck her more than once.  With Martina, she might even let me cheat on her since I would not fulfill her sexual needs anyway.  Of course, with my new glasses the women I’d be cheating with would probably be no better than Arantxa…it’s a vicious cycle.

On the brightside, at least you didn’t go here on me. Yikes.


SHE SAID: Marry/Fuck/Toss

June 27, 2009

It’s been a little while and it’s the weekend, so why not.  There was nothing on TV last night and I was reminiscing over the days when Baywatch was on all the time, so I figured I’d give you three staples.  First, we’ve got David Charvet, who carried the show through the middle years as Matt Brody.  Next there is the burly Jaason (yes, two ‘A’s’) Simmons who played the Australian Logan Fowler, who stomped all over Caroline Holden’s (Yasmine Bleeth) heart.  And finally, last but certainly not least is German favorite David Hasselhoff, who played the one and only Mitch Buchannon.  Actually, let’s be fair about the pic, here is a better one.

marry-fuck-toss-davids-and-jason

Ahhhhh.  Still waiting for the good one of these where the options don ‘t make my stomach turn.

I didn’t realize Fabio went by a pseudonym when he was on Baywatch.  Maybe the casting agent was laughing at him (not with him) while submitting Jaason’s information and hit the extra “a” by accident.  Or perhaps he’s so boring, it was the quickest way to make him interesting?  I mean, seriously, I know with my name I can’t really rip on anyone’s, but a gratuitous “a”?!

So for that alone, he’s getting tossed.  Although, this means I have to either sleep with or marry David Hasselhoff which is not ideal, but in this situation, clearly necessary.  Jaason can really draw out that “a” while screaming his name until he hits the ground.  Or water.  Or rocks.

I’m going to fuck David C. and marry the Hoff because odds are he won’t remember it whenever he sobers up and he won’t be able to sleep with me if I get him drunk enough.  In the meantime, I can try to get him to eat hamburgers while drunk and upload the videos onto YouTube.  Give his daughters a run for their money.

And then, when he does sober up, we can discuss what a terrible mistake we made and get it annulled before he gets a chance to go online and check my recent uploads on YouTube.


HE SAID: Dear Mr. Brett Favre

June 26, 2009

brett-favreDear Mr. Favre,
With all due respect, and remember I’m saying ‘with all due respect,’ please go the fuck away. I could stop there, because that is the bottom line, but I am one verbose individual so I’ll start from the beginning.

For about half of my life, I viewed you as a hero. I didn’t care about the painkillers, the Wrangler jeans, or the fact that you destroyed my beloved Patriots over a decade ago in the Super Bowl. The only thing I saw was a guy who was the ultimate competitor – you hated to lose, and you loved to win. No matter what. For too many athletes this generation they would rather have great stats in a losing effort than a subpar game in a win (eg – Vince Carter). Why? Because they are all about the big payday. And while I’m not going to sit here and pretend you didn’t care about a large paycheck, but you appeared to care about winning lots more. And appearances are all that matter when it comes to fans, because for as much as we’d like to pretend, we don’t really know you.

But now I’ve turned against you. I realize it’s a bit of a cliche, since the whole world seems against you now, but you’ve only yourself to blame. You mulled retirement after the 2005, 2006 AND 2007 seasons, effectively holding your beloved Packers hostage each time. Finally, after the 2008 season, you retired. Then what seemed like two days later you unretired and forced your teams hand into dealing you to the Jets (this I was secretly excited about, because as a Pats fan I knew you would bring extreme joy followed by immense sorrow to the POS Jets fans, and you did not disappoint)!

Then, after a brilliant start to the season in which people fell in love with Brett “the Gungslinger” Favre again the clock struck 12 and you turned into the over the hill quarterback we all knew you were. So, you retired, afuckinggain. And now you reportedly want to play for the Minnesota Vikings…why? To get revenge against the Packers, the team and city that embraced you for 15 years! The same team that by ‘mulling’ over your feelings you effectively ruined their chances at a decent team for the past five years.

There have been many athletes who have taken this route, and all have managed to tarnish their reputations (think Jerry Rice with Oakland & Michael Jordan with Washington). Please just call it a day, I want to remember you like this, not like this.

I know no one can ultimately tell you how to live your life, but sometimes it takes an outside perspective to realize certain truths.

Yours Truly,

99% of NFL fans.

PS – I was kidding about the Wrangler Jeans.  They suck and so do the commercials.  I tried a pair on and they are not Real. Comfortable. Jeans.


SHE SAID: Dear Mr. Brett Favre

June 26, 2009

Dear Mr. Favre,

I loved you in “There’s Something About Mary”.  I imagine you knew about the whole “Fav-re” bit and it was pretty funny, as was your whole role in that movie.

I get what it’s like to hold onto something.  I’m not a pack rat and there are pointless things I hold on to because someone special gave it to me, or things I hold on to that are damaged and will never be the same because I remember how spectacular they were in their prime.  You,  my friend, are in the second category.

It’s okay to retire and feel as if there is something left on the table.  To quote Neil Young and every high school year book senior’s page: “it’s better to burn out than fade away.”  You’re fading.  You had the chance to burn out.  You’re causing heartbreak and now, even worse, annoyance.  You’re the person on the deathbed that the relatives are saying, we just hope he’s out of his misery soon.  They’ve stopped regaling anyone who will listen with stories of your greatness.

It’s a fine line, I would imagine, as a top athlete, to realize when you should retire.  I think we would all agree you want to do it while you still have something to offer, but not while you have a lot left to offer.  And that will always be an unknown, again, ideally, once the decision has been made.

And yet, I understand how in the twilight of your career you’re having a hard time letting go just as I have a hard time letting go of my first pair of Seven jeans that have long since thinned out and ripped up the ass and been patched and repaired by my mom.  Because in our heyday, it was awesome and I have never loved a pair of jeans like I did and still do those Sevens.  The point is, I only wear them around the house.  I pull them out and look at the wash and think, “they don’t wash them like this anymore.”  Your career is like my Sevens.  Ripped and patched on the ass and worn so thin that if donned again the neighborhood will have nothing left to the imagination.  The difference being, you’re wearing them out of the house. No, no, Mr. Favre.

But this seems to be a lesson you are hellbent on learning the hard way which is unfortunate because it’s almost painful to watch.  I say almost, because your ego, on which this is all based, makes it less painful.

Have fun beating the dead horse.  Wear an apron, it can get messy.


SHE SAID: The Left Lane

June 24, 2009

left-hand-laneOkay. I know in order to be on the roads, drivers are supposed to have completed a driver’s ed course. Some of us got to read through the book and then complete six hours of driving time in the car with an instructor (the smoker who refused to roll the windows down was not required, although it’s what I got and I look back on those six hours fondly and still love hot boxing cars with nicotine on a regular basis), others had a course built into their high school curriculum. Whatever the case, you can’t just walk in and get a license, so I’m assuming most people on the road have heard what the point is of more than one lane on the highway.
Here’s the issue I have: there are two definitions and one is very very wrong.

The left lane on the highway is NOT the “fast” lane. It is the passing lane. This lane should not be utilized unless you are in the act of passing another car.

I have been in the car with friends who will say, “I am going plenty fast. I’m going 75. That’s fast enough.” I’m not arguing that 75 or whatever speed you’re going is fast enough or not, but I will say that it is not up to us to decide how fast the other drivers should be going. Unless someone reading this is a police officer. In which case, yes, it is your job and have fun with the lights and flashers and sirens and all that jazz while you’re pulling over those speeders.

While hanging in the left hand lane, those who are considering it the “fast” lane, you’re causing a lot of the bottle necking, the random groupings of cars together on the highway where things aren’t flowing smoothly. Pass and then get the hell out of the way whether or not there is someone behind you. Usage of the left hand lane should be minimal, effective, and quick. There is no need to hang out there for an extended period of time. The pavement on the other lane is just as good, just as fast and there shouldn’t be any stigmatization of being “slow” if you are in that lane.

Now, it’s fun for those of us who are trying to get around you, on occasion. It’s fun to envision it like a ski race with an ever changing course to get through, sometimes what you’re expecting to be an under-gate turns into a quick hairpin at the last second and if you’re in a car that handles well, that can be a little rush and it’s fun. But when you’re stuck behind a row of cars with one at the front going approximately one mile per hour faster than the four cars in the right hand lane, it’s not funny any more. I start working in some swearing, envision teaching a drivers ed class in which all my students graduate knowing the real reason for and definition of the left hand lane. I might even throw in a little sideways glare as I pass, when I eventually get there, that says, as much as I can in a glance, thank you for wasting the last five minutes of my life by hanging in the left hand lane. Not sure it’s always received well or that the message is conveyed, but I believe the smoldering resentment gets across even when I am donning sunglasses. My point is that this could have all been avoided if a certain someone wasn’t hanging in the left hand lane.

Please, for the love of all that is good in this world and for the sanity of those driving around you, unless you are passing, get out of the left lane and into the right.