Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Collective Jackass

By David Kearns

A buffoon, a doltish oaf, a blundering loud garboon. A witless dundering dullard.

Loggerhead, thickhead, lardhead, dummkof.

A nudnik, jerk, numskull, hardpan, dim-baggins, bonehead, stupid, nincompoop. A dunderbum, a boor, a botcher, a boner, a bogtrotter, a galoof, a palooka, a hayseed, a lummox, a hawbuck, and yes, at long last, the bottom rung, a jackass.

He has the unfortunate honor, and will go down in history, as the man to whom the President of the United States had this to say, "what a jackass."

Poor sod. In middle school years the teachers surely warned him "this will go down on your permanent record." And now the worst sort of nightmare in this regard, the Presidential seal of "Jackass," is upon him.

When historians sieve through the Obama papers, while compiling what will and what will not be contained within the Barack Obama Presidential Library, they will come across this little snipet of sound "... jackass" and it will apply to Kanye. Not Diddy, not Dre, not "F'ity" but Kanye. The first black president, no less. All your life you listened to the stories about MLK and Andy Young, and Jesse Jackson. All your life you aspired to something greater to make momma proud, and what happens?

One word: jackass!

Hey, who hasn't done something stupid on Couvoisier?

A little sympathy here: wake up from that hangover, slap your hand to your forehead and ask yourself, "did I do something on television the other night that resulted in the President of the United States calling me a jackass?"

Live that moment with him. Did you like it? Or were you ashamed and terrified.

Let's admit it: he didn't run over a child while drunk driving. Okay? He didn't blast off on Jews and Israel after being arrested for DUI. He didn't shoot anyone, didn't hit anybody, didn't commit a crime, didn't head-butt a guy in a club in NYC, didn't flash his junk to the paparrazi.

No, he walked up on stage at the VMA's and ruined the moment for another artist, a younger artist, a scared nineteen-year-old kid who might not ever get that moment back.

Actress Megan Fox said it best, it was like watching Kanye step on a kitten. Horrific, strangely funny, bizarre, grotesque, drunk, street theater insane and yes, it was a pure unadulterated, disturbing jackass moment.

He's had his. Done. We move on.

What about the little bit of jackass in all of us? Admit it, that beast is down there, waiting to get out. Release valvues for him or her?

I don't know, go to a gala function while swilling cognac straight out of the bottle. That might help bring him out. Go off your meds for three days and guzzle Red Bull and vodka, all the while downing bee-pollen supplements and linseed oil drops.

Think you can judge? Dare yourself to explore your own inner jackass. Days later, when the storm has passed; days after you fall asleep in your front yard with your underwear on your head and your shirt tied around your ankles, take a look at your neighbors across the way, smile and wave. Did they wave back? How did it feel?

The great part about all this jackassery of our young stars is, the whole world is watching what they do.

So their buffoonery becomes our buffoonery, on the world stage. They speak for us, following every sip of tequila or 151. They sing for us to the cameras, as they slam petulant fists into the steering wheel outside the home of their stalking victims, their last beau or gal-pal. They bring Americana into homes all across the world through the lense of TMZ and other tabloid outlets. The world hates us, through them, and we pay them for this service.

Handlers too intimidated, too bought by the cash, simply let it go, let it slide, do damage control; an apology on Orpah or Leno, take your pick.

So we can understand, then, a president's ire at all this, when the country seems bent on a course of self destruction, seems like that movie where five-hundred-years into the future everyone's IQ has dipped into the double, or ever single digits, going "Brondo's got what plants need!" We can understand him calling a young black man a jackass then, because he was acting like one, and should not have been. Because if Kanye's momma had been alive, that's exactly what she might have said to her boy, to help him straighten his ass out.

Let's hope we all can too.

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