Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Welcome to the World

I just want to quickly thank everyone for the support so far, and hope that you will continue to check in going forward. Please do not hesitate to give me feedback or ideas. Also of importance, if you like what you read, PLEASE become a follower of the blog by clicking the "Follow" button at the top right of the screen, and signing in with your email. It is free, and would be greatly appreciated. If I get enough people following me, I will probably be able to do some podcasts and get some guests on here. Now on to the next post...
A former drug dealer who went to juvie for a stickup with a gun meets a girl who secretly has been abused by past boyfriends. Ignoring his tainted past, her previous relationship issues, as well as his other girlfriend from home and drunken tirades, she falls in love with him, before his thousands of dollars in drunken damage causes him to have to move.An adopted African American man has an easy going friends-with benefits relationship with a fellow African American woman. Both are completely cool with the other hooking up with countless other partners, knowing that if they come home empty, they always have each other as back-up. But when the guy is suspected of flirting with an acquaintance of the girl, the relationship falls apart. Luckily for him, he always has his friend, a white guy who grew up with an abusive father and is so innocent that dancing with women at clubs scandalizes him, to rely on for support.
A sweet and innocent girl meets the guy of her dreams, a frat boy prototype with the athletic build and southern sensibility she has always desired. Ignoring some of his bipolar tendencies, she comes to see the kind heart he has inside. Unfortunately, this fairytale comes to a screeching halt when she finds out from her mother and friends that he used to be on a website that, among other things, featured him performing homosexual acts with his male roommates.Do these stories sound a bit far fetched? A bit unusual perhaps? Well, then you clearly don't know what reality is like, because they are the story lines that have developed within a few weeks of the Real World Las Vegas this year! Now I know some of you may be thinking, "The Real World? Aren't you a little bit old for that?" I must admit, this concern is certainly valid. After all, The Real World has been around longer than I have even been living (no, seriously). I remember back in the day when I found the hot chicks and the "steamy" hook-ups to be the most arousing thing I'd seen. Unfortunately, this was a close second at the time.
                                                                 My first wet dream

What a classic mixup that was. But you live and learn. So yes, the Real World has been with us as long as we can remember, teaching us almost everything that we never wanted to do in life, and teaching us about everyone we never wanted to be. And yet, it was entertaining and amusing.

For most people my age (recent college graduate), I'm sure they moved on to other things. Hell, even MTV viewers are more likely to prefer to watch these people for inspiration in life. Class, true class. (P.S. If you're looking for people to be on the Real World, why wouldn't it be the members of the Jersey Shore? I look at that picture and I can't find a single thing fake about them. Everyone's tan, Ronnie's muscles, JWoww's boobs, Angelina's appearance as somewhat human, they all seem all natural to me.) (P.P.S. why does MTV still call itself MTV when it has zero music anymore?)

But I am here to tell you that it is time to return to a younger time, a time of innocence, a time where getting to witness girls shower on tv with their face and ankles visible, a time of reality. This year's season of the Real World, taped in Las Vegas, has arguably been the best I have seen. And just to be clear, I have watched almost every year, quickly giving up on it after 2-3 episodes. However, this year is must see television.

Some short elaborations on some of the best stories so far...

The drug dealer, Adam, was arguably the best character in Real World history. I'm pretty sure not a single thing he said to people was actually the truth. In almost every interview on camera, he confessed to not usually thinking the "correct" thing, but saying it anyways because he knows that it is what people want to hear. He announces to the other male housemates that he will get Nany, the mandatory hot chick on the show who of course has had a boyfriend of multiple years, to end the relationship to be with him. Of course, this happens. This all seems relatively normal, except for the fact that Adam is the worst drunk in human history. He holds his liquor about as well as this nice lady. He becomes beyond incoherent, can not walk, speak, or have basic motor skills, becomes violent towards Nany and any building he happens to be in at the time, and of course remembers nothing in the morning. Not to mention he never apologizes. Think of him as Mike Tyson, but with the coordination of this ass. After racking up literally thousands of dollars in damages at the Hard Rock Hotel, where the cast is staying, he is kicked off the show. In the process, he devastates Nany, who claims to be in love with him. Why? Well, she drunkenly admits that she has been hit before by men, so his drunken tirades are somehow justifiable. Later in the show, she becomes less enthused about Adam when she finds out he has had another girl friend  the entire time back home. Abuse? Fine by me. Another girl on the side? F*%$!!!!!!!

                                                     This guy doesn't have shit on Adam

Dustin from the very start of the show comes off as slightly insane. He is constantly judging other people, with moral and ethical standards that seem to have absolutely no consistency or logic to them. One minute he is harping on the problems with homosexuality because humans are only meant to procreate, and the next he is inconsolable because he lost a go-kart race to one of his roommates. Despite this, Heather, who I believe is the only relatively normal person on the show (so far), sees something in Dustin. They quickly become the couple of the house that, unlike Nany and Adam, do not disgust people because it's abusive, but rather because of how grossly inseparable they are.

Tonight's episode changed all that. Adam, who still talks to Nany regularly on the phone at this point, calls and tells her that he heard that Dustin is an internet pornstar. Around the exact same time, Heather's mom has found out this information and emails her about it. Admittedly, despite being a defender of the show, this is a thinly veiled attempt by MTV to arouse drama in the house, because they quite clearly told Adam and Heather's mom about it. Before long, everyone in the house knows about it and thinks that he has sex with other men on the site. Dustin attempts to explain that that is not the case, that instead it was simply a site where his whole life was filmed, including some nudity, but nothing homosexual occurred. This falls largely on deaf ears. Towards the end of the episode, he admits to Heather that he had oral sex with another guy on a different site, but is straight and was just doing it for money. The show ends with their relationship seemingly at an end, with the trailer for the next episode showing Heather rebounding by making out with Nany multiple times.

Skeptics might be thinking, "Well, that's all great, but you still haven't convinced me to watch the show." Hot hookups? There is porn for that. (And even Dustin for that! Sorry, I had to.) Ridiculous house interactions? Jersey Shore!

But what makes this show so great is that, unlike the Jersey Shore, it is marketed as being "real", in the sense that it is representative of what the average person in this country goes through. In truth, MTV just exploits the lives of some messed up individuals under the premise that you should actually be able to relate to the characters. Yet, if you can even grant that a small percentage of the things on the show are truly "reality", and not some concocted scene designed by MTV to cause as much drama and sex as possible, then it becomes the ultimate in reality television. It is wildly entertaining, with things that most of us would struggle to make up passing as plots, and yet, it's "real"! So check out this season on Wednesday nights. You won't regret it. Or, you can always watch MTV's "The Hard Times of RJ Berger", that features this bombshell, and has the basic premise of a nerd gets the hottest girl in school despite his awkwardness because he is oddly sweet and has a huge one-eyed johnson. Ah, MTV, the hits keep coming.

Anyways, that's all for now. I will hopefully be back on here this weekend. Thanks for reading, be a follower, tell others about it, and check back in! Good night.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The First Post - Intro and Basketball Yellers

First off, I just want to address why I am starting this blog. While it can't be reduced to one reason, there certainly have been a couple particular motivating factors. First, it is a way for me to get my thoughts out on sports (and sometimes other things). Second, it gives me something to do when I'm bored out of my mind.

For those of you who do not know, although this will probably never be read by anyone who doesn't, my name is Daniel. I am from Northern Kentucky, about 20 minutes from Cincinnati. I went to Notre Dame for college, and played tennis there for a couple years. Just to clarify, when I say play I mean I rode the bench. Now, I live in Chicago and work at a consulting firm. Even though I played tennis in college, my favorite sports has always been basketball. If you haven't already stopped reading and decide to check in here, you will quickly see I am obsessed with the NBA, and the Bulls in particular. I also am a big fan of the Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds, so for all of you who have already called me out for being a bandwagon Bulls fan, I would just like to point out that my other two teams have yet to win a playoff series/game since I can remember being alive. I had always loved the NBA, but never had a hometown team. Once I knew I would be living in Chicago, I adopted the Bulls. This was before they signed Boozer and improved their bench, and before they were more than a lower level Eastern playoff team.

But enough with the intro. On to the first post...

Basketball Yellers

As I just mentioned above, I love the NBA. I mean, I LOVE the NBA. So the fact that my first post is going to be something extremely negative about the NBA might be a little surprising, but I have to talk about what's been on my mind. Along with being lucky enough to observe the best post-Jordan season in the League, with superstars emerging everywhere, I have gotten incredibly annoyed with one particular aspect that has become far too prevalent in recent history - yelling.

Now, I have to clarify what I mean by this. I am not talking about complaining. As some of you may know, the Commish made it a "point of emphasis" to cut down on outward displays that showed up the refs. Unfortunately, this has resulted in players getting T'ed up for a thing that most of us know as emotion. How can you expect to have the general public to believe that players actually give a shit, and simultaneously expect them to keep a straight face when they disagree? I think under the current rules, Sam I Am would probably have received a lifetime ban. I personally don't have a problem with complaining. Thus, Dwight Howard will not be receiving the MVP award on my All-Yelling team just because he led the league in technicals.

Being a defender of the NBA, I am going to give the benefit of the doubt to the players, and assume that they have begun to yell as a more creative way to get attention from the refs. However, I think it is pathetic and ridiculous that players have begun to start yelling everytime they want a foul called. NONE of them did this in college/high school unless they truly got hammered, and it was a primal sound out of pain or exertion. Nowadays, you hear so much yelling and moaning that you'd think this guy had made the league. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, watch one of the playoff games this week and just listen for it. Almost every foul, especially on a star player, is inevitably accompanied by a random glitch where your TV draws the audio from the pay-per-view channel just in time for some guy to be popping wood.

Now that the definition has been established, here is my NBA All-Yell Team.

Center - Pau Gasol

Also the MVP of my team, Pau literally yells every time he touches the ball. It is borderline impossible to explain. I have thought about it for awhile, and only been able to come up with one possible story. Undoubtedly as a young child Pau must have touched a hot stove and burned his hand, yelling out in the process. His mom must have quickly taught him that to touch a hot stove would always bring about the same reaction. I think the odds are 50-50 that when Pau came to the United States, the Spanish translation of "stove" must have been "basketball". This would explain why he yells like a little girl everytime he wants the ref's sympathy. That's it, that's all I have. Pau famously has said he would be a doctor if he was not a pro athlete, but if every touch on him makes him yell, you can only imagine his howls of anguish the first time he had to operate on a wounded patient.

Forward - Dirk Nowitzki

This team is quickly looking eerily similar to the "All-European White Guys who are Ridiculously Talented but also Notoriously Soft" Team, but Dirk definitely belongs. Just to make this clear, I hate Pau, but I am a huge fan of Dirk. He has continued to improve his game over the years, going from an actual soft player to a clutch killer in late game situations and is willing to bang in the paint. He has averaged over 25 points and 10 rebounds in the playoffs FOR HIS CAREER. That is absurd. Everyone who blames him for the Mavs blowing a 2-0 Finals lead seems to forget that the Heat had arguably the two best players in the league that year. Dirk didn't guard Shaq and D-Wade. His scrub teammates did. So stop piling on the man. That all being said, he does scream and yell quite often. If you watch a Mavs game, look in particular for the awkward-off one leg-fadeaway he has somehow mastered, which he yells on almost automatically. To his credit, the shot is so awkward that it looks like he has gotten fouled every time, so yelling in this case somewhat makes sense. But I can't let him completely off the hook. If it's not strategic, maybe he's just yelling because he has closed his eye and is fantasizing about the good ol' days when he could has two other hilarious looking white dudes with him. Who knows.

Forward - Carlos Boozer

The runner-up for the MVP award on this team, it pains me to have to include him. When I was younger, I was a huge Duke fan (because they were good at sports and at school), and he is the first legitimate (alleged) big man that the Bulls have had in years. But his yelling can not be denied. He is also the only member of this team to take it to another level, not just yelling constantly, but yelling out a single, clearly audible word. "HEY!" is heard a minimum of twenty times every Bulls game, assuming Booze is even playing. You know it's sad when I type in Carlos Boozer on a Google image search and almost half of the pictures are of him in a suit on the sideline. His yell must be attributed to fear. He is so injury prone that perhaps he truly is scared that any contact will cause injury, and his yelling is just anticipating the inevitable pain. When this is your worst nightmare, then perhaps 7 foot black guys being near you is an understandable reason to be yelling.

Guard - Kobe Bryant

The deepest yell on the team goes to Kobe. I don't really need to give this one much explanation. Everyone knows he bitches and complains to refs overtly, but he too is guilty of the yelling syndrome. Along with the guard to follow, he also has developed a ridiculously loud scream when attempting to draw a charge. I didn't mention this for the above 3 players because, frankly, they don't play defense. What drives me most nuts about Kobe's yells, and subsequent bitching, is that he does literally everything on the other ends that he complains about. Like Boozer, he must be yelling because he has day terrors that mimic what his nightmares must look like. I mean, who wouldn't hate themselves when they got accused of taking advantage of this chick when they have Vanessa to go home to every night. At least Tiger cheated on a smokeshow with other really hot chicks. But I digress...

Guard - Paul Pierce

The last member of my team is none other than the Celtics leader. Side note: no one should buy that Garnett is the leader of that team. For one year he could qualify for that because he brought a renewed interest in defense to the C's, but besides that year it is Pierce's team. Paul isn't one of the most frequent yellers, but he certainly is one of the most ridiculous ones. He is like a less consistent version of Gasol. He yells, but mainly to get bullshit calls to go his way. He also has one of the most absurd "I'm fouled" faces I have ever seen. I can't help but laugh when I see it. It looks like he is getting stabbed to death. Why is that funny? Because people ACTUALLY TRIED to stab him to death. Is he serious!? Can he seriously be yelling and making that face because a player (who is usually a smaller guard/forward than him) bumped him a little after he was tough enough to survive getting stabbed multiple times?! The NBA, where death happens!

That wraps up my All-Yell team. Again, it is not the all-bitch team. If it was, guys such as Dwight, Garnett, Lebron, and Bosh would be taking some spots. If you don't watch the NBA or watch the NBA and haven't noticed this pathetic trend, good for you. I'm jealous. I love the NBA, and it is probably my biggest complaint about it. Pretend you never read this. But somehow remember to come back for more. Thanks for reading.