Posts Tagged ‘ Ashton Kutcher ’

This Dad’s Love/Hate Relationship with American Pop Culture

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

14 months.

It’s amazing how much I don’t care about celebrities, yet I can tell you that Lady Gaga’s real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, that Russell Brand is 6′ 1″, that John Mayer is half Jewish, and that Beyonce is from Texas.

I don’t want to know how many girls Ashton Kutcher cheated on Demi Moore with or who Jennifer Aniston is currently dating.

Yet by proximity, I sort of do know these things because I am somehow constantly in the Thirty Mile Zone, exposed to the essence of all this useless knowledge about famous people.

Funny enough, the 2nd most popular article last month I wrote was the one talking about how I will not be watching The Bachelor with Ben Flajnik.

We all know that school teachers are some of the hardest working people in America, yet their earned income doesn’t support this concept. Meanwhile, the sports stars, actors, and artists we worship get paid by the millions.

The irony here is that while our government is ultimately responsible for paying our school teachers so relatively little, we as a society decide that athletes, actors, and musicians are worth the money they earn when we pay to be entertained by them.

I would love to believe I honestly don’t get all caught up in celebrity hype. Yet I think back to a few years ago when I happened to be at Whole Foods while Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman were having lunch there.

Where was I? Along with others who were trying to inconspicuously take a picture of them with their cell phones. But the picture was “for my wife.” She’s a big Country music fan…

That event showed me that I was still willing to contribute to the habit of A) worshipping famous people and B) degrading them to spectacles, rather than just another married couple that  happened to be eating lunch that day in an organic grocery store.

I’m not okay with worshipping rich and famous people.

Instead, I want to sincerely honor, both inwardly and outwardly, the people in the world who are great examples to us all. Not the people who have become millionaires by entertaining the world, but instead, the people who best demonstrate what it means to love your neighbor as yourself.

As a dad, I want my son to see that it’s the non-famous people in our lives who are most important.

It’s the people who don’t simply entertain us, but the ones who also motivate us and challenge us to become better human beings. The ones who give us direction. The ones who love us unconditionally. The ones we can never truly impress or disappoint.

Sounds like right now I’m describing the way I feel about my son. I am, actually.

Image: Russell Band Arthur Premiere, courtesy of Eva Rinaldi.

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5 Reasons This Dad Despises Two and a Half Men

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

One year.

This is one time I’ll openly admit in the opening line that my opinion in this blog post is completely wrong and off-base, as evidenced by the general American population. The sitcom Two and a Half Men has ranked among the Top 20 programs each year since its premiere in 2003. In a New York Times article back in February of this year, it was tagged as “the biggest hit comedy of the past decade.”

So now I shall commit to the heresy of condemning America’s favorite sitcom. Here are the top 5 reasons I despise Two and a Half Men:

1) It serves as the epitome of idiotic stereotypes for men. Alan is a pathetic dork with no game. His son Jake is an uninspired underachiever. And of course Charlie is a sleazy womanizer. These aren’t men.

The show should be called Two and Half Men You Wouldn’t Actually Want to Associate with in Real Life. Or even better, 101 Ways to Be an A-Hole.

2) It objectifies women as either A) sexy and stupid or B) shrewd and non-sexual. At least the show negatively stereotypes both men and women. Therefore, since it is equally sexist for both genders, I guess that means that technically it’s not sexist at all: All the sexism just cancels itself out.

3) I don’t think it’s funny. How many times can I laugh about Charlie being a man whore, Alan not “getting lucky” despite his best efforts, or Jake passing gas when he is asked a question?

Calculating… I’ve been able to stomach about 5 episodes of the show throughout my lifetime. There are approximately 12 “jokes” per minute and each episode is about 23 minutes long. So after doing the math, I guess the answer is… about three times. One laugh for each time the show’s only three jokes were introduced to me, for the first time.

4) The success of the show has only encouraged Charlie Sheen’s real life bad behavior. Again, in real life if you knew a guy like Charlie (both the character and the actual person) you wouldn’t be laughing- you’d be disgusted or at least annoyed.

Well, he is a real person, and despite the fact his character has been killed off the show, the real Charlie is alive and well; and very, very rich. In 2010, he was earning nearly two million dollars an episode. Money well spent?

5) It carries no redeeming value. Scrubs was one of my favorite sitcoms of the past decade. Its main characters, men and women, often were silly and outrageous. Yet at the end of each episode, Zach Braff’s character summed up the life lesson to be learned with “Sometimes in life you have to be able to…”.

There is nothing to be learned in Two and Half Men. It’s an insult to my intelligence and to the very concept of what comedy is supposed to be.

Yes, I am a very old, bitter man who isn’t even cool enough to have Internet on my phone. What is all this talk about Angry Birds?

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