Friday Fives – the reality of it all

 

What is something you swore you’d never do, but ended up doing later in life?

Geesh, everything. When I was about 6 or 7, my only goal to growing up was to never get married or drive. Driving was the worst, it seemed. My mom had a stick shift. I noticed once it going to the store a couple miles away she would shift, like, 27 times. Man, did that seem dumb. WAY too much work.  Thanks, I’ll take my bike. I thought driving was supposed to make things easier. And getting married? Dumb! Room-mates are dumb, girls are dumb… there was simply no upside.

What’s something that got extremely popular that baffles you

The reality competitions. Not the reality shows, mind you, but the competitions. I don’t much watch the reality shows, either… but I get the appeal. I like to know how people would react to certain situations… and compare them to how I might act. That is why I loved Punk’d. I thought it was cool to see super successful, beautiful, and rich people be put in super awkward situations. How would they react. At a certain level of success, you are surrounded by ‘yes men’. People who fawn over you and praise you every move. As we know, this is often the downfall of super successful folks who are only surrounded by yes men.

Look at Michael Jackson. How did he not have people who said “listen, Michael, I know you love kids. I know you sleep with kids and you say it is innocent and natural. However, you have already been once charged and arrested for suspicion of having sex with little kids. So, it would be best for you to NOT sleep with little children. I don’t care what your motivation is, you can not do that anymore for any reason at any time.

I also really like aspects of the reality competitions for talent. I like the democracy of it. If you have a tremendous gift, you don’t have to be well connected or rich or have years of training. If you are willing to stand out in the rain or heat for a few hours, these people will give you a shot to show your gift. That part is super cool. To me, it defines what makes America great. Problem is, that is all programming now. We don’t have cable anymore, so I am stuck with the networks. They suck. 80% of their programming is these shows. They do it because there is virtually no overhead. Problem is, most folks (you and I included, btw) are marginal talents at best

Ok, last thing on that. When I see these kids get their hearts broken on national tv, they will say “he just didn’t know what he was saying. I AM better than all those others. I am the next Idol – or whatever. That is bad parenting. Your parents gave you too much self esteem. This is what your answer should be, always – “I appreciate the feedback. I am going to get better and I am going to practice my ass off. I will be back next year, and the year after that. This is important to me, and I will do everything in my power to make that happen. I will see you in one year, America.”

Simon Cowell was absolutely right in dealing with these people. Sure, he played that character up because it was good TV. But, his point was “I am not the villain here. The parents are for sending this kid out when they knew he had no ability”.

What is something that has peaked and is on its way out?

I think all of these reality show are. Do you know why they are so ubiquitous? It is because of the writers strike a few years ago. The networks knew they were going to lose access to their scripted shows for a long time… so they doubled down on these competitions. Then, they saw how cheap it was. You don’t need actors, scripts, unions… any of that shit. Put a microphone out on the street and watch people react. You don’t have to pay them dick, and people watch the shit out of it.

There is a new aspect of that, though, which I really don’t like. Because we are skipping through commercials, the networks have to do product placement. I get that, it’s our fault for skipping the commercials. We broke the social contract. Shows like ‘Undercover Boss’ and ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ are just thinly veiled one hour commercials for mega-companies. What is the take away from every single ‘Undercover Boss’? “Wow, that company really does take care of their employees. Its nice to see someone finally acknowledge the proletariat for a chance. You dumb ass, you just watched a 60 minute commercial for ‘Marriot’. If they are going to do this, they should at the very least not have commercials.

Lastly, on that topic, let me talk to the advertisers for a second here. Hi, come in please and have a seat. Its about your commercials. I DO fast forward them. You know why? It is because they are too fucking loud. I don’t have a DVR anymore, so I can’t zip past commercials. So, I mute them. Some time ago, Congress passed some law that said commercials can’t be louder than the programs. It made no difference. I can prove it, too. Being a musician, I have very and complicated sound meters. Every time the commercials are about 30% louder than the program they are sammiched in.

What’s something you would do if you were the first inhabitant of a new planet?

Food, shelter, fire. Then… or maybe ever before that, ascertain the skill sets of the people around me. Who can cook? Who can grow gardens? Who can build? I was chatting about this with my amazing and wonderful neighbor Jared* (for the purpose of privacy, we’ll call him ‘Jared’. Plus, it’s his name). We were talking about a neighbor who has a survival bunker. He wants no one to know about it. NO ONE. My guess is if the zombie apocalypse comes he doesn’t want a bunch of moochers. To me, that is the worst possible plan. If I am down there, I want diverse skill sets. Who can build, who can weld, who is a really good shot, who wants to handle security, who wants to handle maintenance. We can’t do shit on our own, and it’s a fool’s errand to believe any differently.

What something unwritten that people should know as a rule?

Be kind and nice and helpful. Every single person you encounter is going through serious shit in their life right then. Maybe a love one died, maybe their husband left them. Maybe they have cancer, or just got written up at work. Maybe they are suicidal… or homicidal. Everyone could use a kind word and a smile and a dumb joke. You know the ‘Golden Rule’, but this is better. I wish I could give it attribution. It’s the ‘platinum rule’. Not just ‘treat others as you would like to be treated.’ No. Treat others as THEY would like to be treated.

I keep a clipping on my mirror from a recent Psychology Today. It’s from a article by this gal. It is, without question, my guide to life. I have just never seen it said to perfectly.

“a bare minimum of one kind act a day should be our self imposed cover charge for living in this world”.   That is, in every sense, the social contract.

What the hell is the deal with Gary Busey?

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May 2020 > Gary Busey pet judge?  Of course, who else could you hand this too?  Where is Ashton?  Are we being punked?  Just pray he doesn’t run into Wade Blasingame.

SNL has been doing a bitlike this… so why the hell not?  It’s not like he can get weirder.  We crossed that bridge, baby.

*** update August 2018 – bottom

Hi, come on in.  Please, have a seat.  I am glad you came.  Listen, we have to talk about Gary Busey.  We are WAY past the ‘what the fuck’ stage.  Way way past.

So, I watch Celebrity Apprentice, Big Brother, Dancing with the Stars… all of it.  I blame my wife!  I am not proud of it, but I like to see how successful people interact with each other.  I am always curious if these people are dicks or not… and I get a pretty decent feeling from the show who is and isn’t.  Example?  Bret Michaels > not a dick.  Star Jones?  Monster dick!  Omarosa?  Second Worst person alive!

What really puzzles me is Gary Busey.  That guy is cooked.  Fried.  Absolutely nothing left in his gas tank.  He seems to be mentally retarded, with the capabilities of roughly a 6 year old.  Now, keep in mind that Border Collies have the intellect of a 3 year old human… and know more words than Busey.  So, I needed to know how long this has been.  Has he always been nuts?  Is he just famous for being famous?  I remember he did that Buddy Holly movie, and KILLED it.  I can’t think of a single other thing he has done of significance in acting.  So… was he a functional retarded person back when he did that?  I did some digging for you.  Well, actually I did some digging while chatting with Jamie, but I figured it was too good not to share.

I went back to 1978, when he did Buddy Holly.  There is not much I can glean from this time behind the scenes of his life.  The earliest I could find was this performance on Carson in 1985.  What do we have in 1985?  A handsome, beefy, and engaging Gary Busey.  Sure, the shirt is suspect, but this is a funny and decently likable guy.  So, he wasn’t always this dim.  That is great news, I think.


He has often talked about a very very serious and terrible motorcycle accident he had in 1988.  Apparently, this gave him brain damage and might have been what cooked him.  So, that explains it, right?  I am just an insensitive asshole making fun of an old guy with brain damage!  Nope.  Turns out that is not the case at all.  See this appearance below from 1990 on Letterman.  He is even more engaging, more likable, better looking, and even funnier.  This guy is a dream talk show guest on the top of his game.  He even quickly references his motorcycle accident and brain damage.  So, that isn’t it then.

So what was it?  I can’t figure it out.  I know he also had a very public overdose drama in 1995.  Maybe that, coupled with the accident, just cooked him.  I used to be so annoyed by watching him.  I thought it was an act.  It isn’t.  He is mentally incredibly feeble.  I seriously doubt that he can even take care of himself.  So, now when I watch, it is more like a sad feeling of watching a bird try and fly away after your cat ate its wings.

So when did he fly off the rails?  Was it a slow burn, or did he just wake up one day completely nuts?  I wrote this before the last celeb apprentice where he got booted.  He got booted because they asked him to demo a suite of LG products, and his plan to do so was a commercial about a robotic barking dog.

Good luck and god speed to you, Mr Busey.  I think to best sum up, we will go with a Hunter Thompson quote >

“There he goes. One of God’s own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

Update Sept 2015 > I get a lot of negative feedback asking why I am so mean, and insensitive to brain damage.  I am NOT mean.  I am not here to mock, I am super curious as to what happened, when, and why.  You are here because you, too, are curious.  Note, if I wanted to be mean, I could have found a thousand clips of him being a space cadet.  All my clips, carefully researched, are of an articulate and engaging Gary Busey.  I challenge you to find a more even handed look at the man.

He is making millions just being Gary Busey.  That is what he does, and it’s all he does.  He isn’t acting.  He is just being his creepy, sad, brilliant, childlike self.  His popularity, though, (we can all agree) is for the cruelest of reasons.  I think when people watch him, it is similar to slowing down to watch an accident.  I don’t watch him anymore, on any shows.  It freaks me out, and breaks my heart.  Leave Gary Busey Alone!  At least he is laughing all the way to the bank.

*** update August 2018

final thoughts on this piece

I wrote this years ago, as you can see.  As of August 2018, this post has approx 188K views… far and away my most successful piece. I am glad you are here! Here are my final thoughts, and they are awesomely contradictory

  • His handlers should be ashamed of themselves, and taken away. This guy ONLY gets jobs because he is infantile and sadly incompetent.  Trust me, I know he has handlers making these decisions.  I don’t know that he could feed himself or dress himself without help.  How could they just throw him out there for a few dollars to watch the world laugh at his foibles
  • But then I think – he clearly seems happy, and to be having fun. I think he is also (luckily) unaware that he has regressed to a child like state.  So, even if he is only being hired for some kind of schadenfreude… who the hell cares?  If he is happy, what business is it of ours?

Celebrity Rock Star Apprentice

I have hit a programming goldmine here.  Just go ahead and thank me now.  See, I watch Celeb Apprentice.  I am neither happy about it, nor proud of it.  I was talking with my buddy, who we’ll call ‘Jaime’ for this piece (since that is his name) about who we wanted to see on that show.  Then it hit me – an all rock star edition.  Even better?  Pit feuding rock stars against each other.  Like this

Elton John               vs                everybody

Axl Rose                 vs                Slash

Steve Nicks             vs               Lindsay Buckingham

Don Henley             vs                Glen Frey

Nikki Six                 vs                Vince Neil

Dave Mustaine        vs               James Hetfield

Dave  Grohl            vs               Courtney Love

Ted Nugent             vs                everyone

Eddie Van Halen     vs                David Lee Roth

Eddie Van Halen     vs                Michael Anthony

Eddie Van Halen     vs                Sammy Hagar

James Taylor           vs               Carly Simon

Joe Walsh               vs               sobriety and reality

This list could go on for a thousand years.  You would watch.  Music is the one thing everyone on Earth has in common.  This is good stuff, people.  Get me those eggheads from NBC on the line, stat!

You get the idea.  All these dudes who have talked shit about each other forever.  I want to see them compete in business.  Like Bret Michaels and Dee Snider, you would be surprised  how smart and capable many of them would be.  Like Nikki Six.  You know him as the drug addled freak show who does something in Motley Crue, but he isn’t the singer.  Nikki is the brains behind Motley.  As Hova would say “he’s not a businessman, he’s a business, man!”  It is his band in absolutely every sense of the word.  He hires and fires, writes the songs, manages the band, and makes the big decisions.  You look at this pic and just think he is wasted heroin addict who should have been dead years ago.  Yup,. that is true.  Also, though, dude is a CEO of a fortune 500 company.

Who else would surprise us?  And, who would prove to be the rock star version of Omarosa.  My money for that one is on Mustaine.

 

*** “just because we wear makeup doesn’t mean we can’t kick your ass!”

Nikki Sixx