Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Chris Rock Netflix Special | Lefsetz Letter


Can you say that in 2018? Then again, when this was recorded Omarosa was still in the White House. But that’s what we depend upon from our comedians, the unvarnished truth, the way we would say it. With the F-bombs and the scatological comments. You’re drawn right in, the way you aren’t with the modern work of the classic rockers. Chris Rock ages and his material changes, musicians age and they sing the same damn songs about love under the moon in June. What’s up with that?

Now I’m not saying you’re gonna bust a gut watching this. Not that you won’t laugh, but Rock is in search of something different. Lessons. Education. What kind of crazy fucked up world do we live in where you learn more from a comedy special than you do in school? One in which a private school says it’s got a “No Bully Policy.” Rock says the world NEEDS bullies, and I agree with him. It’s a rough and tumble society and my father could not stop imparting lessons, that’s what he did best. Come to my baseball games? No! Discuss music with me? No! Watch television with me? No! Talk about my emotional state? NO! But when we were together it was an endless class in Life 101, the way the world really works.

And my girlfriends hate it. When I take the air out of their story. When I don’t believe what someone says. When I poke holes in the surface to get to the nougat. Guy drives a Lamborghini with no visible means of support? Either he comes from a rich family or he’s living on the edge with no money in the bank. That’s what life is about, finding out how the world really works. And most people are clueless. Either they buy the hogwash on TV and TMZ, or they believe everything they read in the newspaper. But the truth is it’s all artifice and it doesn’t apply to you. You’re on your own and no one outside your front door gives a rat’s ass about you. Oh, they might SAY they do, but they really don’t, especially if you’re a guy. Lose your job and see how many of those “friends” call or text, NONE! Oh, maybe once or twice to commiserate, but after that they move on to people who can do something for them, that’s the reality of males today, they only want to know you if you can do something for them, or get them in the club. Oh, don’t tell me about the sixth grade buddy you iMessage with all day long. Is he gonna help you get a new job? And when you’re in the shitter and need him to come over he’s gonna wimp out and say his wife won’t let him.

That’s another thing Rock drills down on, marriage.

You’ve got to make like you care. You’ve got to have sex whether you’re in the mood or not. Fucking and traveling, that’s what he says it’s all about.

And there you have enough four letter words to unsubscribe. But Chris Rock’s special was an inspiration, he was growing and being himself, isn’t that what artists do? It’s not about playing it safe, maintaining, but pushing the envelope. And when you get it right there are untold accolades. Along with money raining down.

The paradigm has shifted. You don’t want a sitcom, NOBODY IS WATCHING! That’s right, Marc Maron leveraged his podcast into a sitcom that no one watched and is now over. And the interviewer hates me and that’s all right, because Chris Rock dismisses cyberbullying. I mean come on, some dude you don’t even know, sitting at home in his underwear, is talking shit to a minimal audience?

But back to bullying, one of the insightful jokes is how when a real bully came along, i.e. Donald Trump, we didn’t know how to handle him. That’s right, Michelle Obama said when they go low, we go high. How did that work out for the Democrats? IT DIDN’T!

And Chris says a man is all about his job. You meet a new girl and your guy friends ask what she looks like. You meet a new guy and your girlfriends ask WHAT DOES HE DO??

Do nothing and you’ve got nothing. Even Michelle is bugging Barack, how’s that book going, what comes next?

There’s more wisdom in this hour than there is in a year of network television. Certainly more than there is in white rock. Hell, country music is lowest common denominator family crap and Chris trumps those crackers. That’s right, you can be politically incorrect when you’re right, the truth resonates.

And stings.

We want to hear what Chris Rock has to say.

And on one hand he’s telling us what’s happened to him since we last saw him. He got divorced, he stepped out, he hit on Rihanna. But unlike seemingly everybody else in the public eye, especially those in Washington, D.C., HE’S THOUGHT ABOUT IT! Isn’t it funny you can’t change your mind in politics when in reality life is all about learning, the lessons that help you get through.

As we venerate the youth in a looks-based culture where the old are derided for their age and there’s no center.

That’s right, there’s no center anymore, no water cooler. Not even Facebook. Never mind on every social media outlet everybody’s got their own friends.

And sure, some are communicating, but most want to become famous, and rich.

But few make it. They’re not willing to put in the hard work, the ups and downs with no safety net.

Chris Rock triumphed as a new comic on HBO and then failed on SNL. Took him a long time to claw back. And since he has, he’s not repeating himself, he’s trying new things, especially in his comedy.

White guys telling observational jokes… That’s why Seinfeld is lost in the nineties, he never grew, he never changed his act, he never became something different.

Chris Rock has.

And when you watch this show and the truth spits into your eyes and ears your brain starts to percolate, you start to think. And that’s what being a human being is all about, cogitating, sifting through the input to establish a course of behavior.

And for all the right wing put-downs of the African-American culture, as they step out and get abortions and divorces and then don’t want anyone else to partake of these privileges, it’s Chris Rock who is saying to stay married, that the woman is in charge, she rules the house, but really your family is a band, and if you don’t play the tambourine with gusto…

It breaks up.


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