Tag Archives: Gawker

Because the Internet: In Defense of Childish Gambino

7 Jan

A few weeks ago, Gawker featured an essay by Kyla Marshell as part of their ongoing “True Stories” series published every Saturday morning.  Ms. Marshell’s choice of topic was glaringly irrelevant, ill-researched, and all-around unnecessary.  With the anticipation of the release of Because the Internet, the third album by actor-writer-rapper Childish Gambino, a.k.a. Donald Glover, Ms. Marshell found it an appropriate time to attack the character of Glover, calling him a “sad black boy”.

The majority of her critique of Glover is admittedly ill-informed.  Marshell notes that hip-hop is not something she knows too much about:

I don’t know much about rap, so I’m not sure who the reigning emperor of pussy and bitches (what’s the difference?) is, but whoever claims the throne, they don’t need any more subjects. Which is funny, because he should make Donald their jester.

Marshell goes on to say that she saw Glover’s picture and thought he was cute, and that’s how she eventually ended up at one of his shows.  Clearly this is a poor measurement of a rapper’s worth. Then, Ms. Marshell takes a real jab at Glover:

Donald is just so awkward, so uncomfortable in his own skin. In addition to his posture problems and unwillingness to blink is the fact that he’s so caught up on his childhood. Childish Gambino could be fudged into simpler terms to mean Babyish Baby, and that’s apt. Donald’s childhood, I glean, was very similar to mine: an ethnically black child who grew up culturally white because of the surrounding school system and neighborhood. The difference between him and me, however, is that I found something else to say besides Ow.

This seemingly endless personal attack on Glover does nothing to substantiate any legitimate claims about his music.  Instead, the focus simply becomes how “awkward” and uncomfortable” Glover appears onstage.

I am well-aware of my minimal connection to Glover, but I somehow find the need to defend him and his work.  I first saw Donald Glover live onstage in a Hammerkatz sketch performance at NYU in 2006.  I was a freshman, and he was either a senior or just graduated, and already employed by 30 Rock.  I’ve always had aspirations in comedy, which I am currently pursuing, and I was thoroughly impressed to see someone who was making a similar dream and goals a reality for himself.  To young aspiring writers, especially those in comedy, Donald Glover is a model of perseverance and hard work and where it takes you when it pays off.  Not to mention that he is one of the most gifted people around today.  A lot of people try comedy, try to write, and try to act.  And many of them fail.  the fact that Glover does all of those things professionally and on a high level of success is something to admire.

Marshell’s observation that Glover’s stage performance overflowed with nervousness and tension is nearly irrelevant.  Given that Donald Glover is a seasoned performer, primarily in sketch and improv, perhaps it is natural for him to show tension in his nascent music career.  Because the Internet is a diary of contemporary disposable culture, wrapped in pretty rhymes and inverted wordplay.  This album is the birth of a truly great rap artist, and displays much more maturity than the previous Gambino effort, Camp.  Perhaps Glover is nervous onstage for a reason; not everyone finds their way in every art form the first time.  The progression of his lyricism speaks volumes about how seriously Glover is taking his work.

Gambino’s new album is a nonstop confessional of a fast come-up and the tangled mess of love and loss that typically makes up the experience of someone in their mid to late 20’s.  “Telegraph Ave. (“Oakland” by Lloyd)” is probably my favorite track on the album.  Gambino moves between singing and rapping a la Drake, but with what feels like a more genuine sense of depth.  Gambino is a more nuanced version of Drake, less about the platinum on his wrist, and more about the feelings he gets from his big come up.  There are flourishes of humor throughout the album, and it feels as though Gambino is purposefully twisting around some of the tropes of rap and making them all his own and inherently intellectual.

On “Sweatpants,” Gambino chants “don’t be mad cause I’m doing me better than you doing you,” reminding his haters that his grind is all about him, even if he is trying to be ironic.  Gambino also displays some fun wordplay on this track: “I’ve got a penthouse on both coasts, pH balance;” “I got more tail than that PetCo, you faker than some Sweet ‘N Low”.

On the final track, the most appropriately named “Life: The Biggest Troll,”  Glover makes the most important observation of the album: “Because the internet, mistakes are forever”.  This is essentially the new motto of the millenial generation.  In an age where everything is tweeted, blogged, Instagrammed, and Facebooked to death, our past remains in this odd little capsule, and anything we say can be used against us, especially the dumb things we say. Perhaps Kyla Marshell did not get this memo.

Because the Internet: 8.5/10

Rebecca Martinson is Writing Crap for Vice; Words Might as Well Die

17 Nov

Picture from TheFrisky.com

For those of you unfamiliar with Rebecca Martinson, which could actually be many of you despite the heady reputation Ms. Martinson believes she carries, she was the sorority sister who wrote a seriously deranged e-mail that is now the stuff of legend.  Made internet famous for her use of the phrase “cunt punt,” which was later read in dramatic fashion by Michael Shannon, Ms. Martinson is now writing a column for Vice.  As real writers with real things to say weep into their nightly bowl of Trix cereal, Martinson is making tens of dollars (I assume) for writing about what she deems her first “double blow job”.  Ick. It gets worse.  Not only is the title of this entry meant to shock, but what is even more shocking is that the content does not describe a double blow job at all, just the utter failure of one.

The piece details a trip Martinson makes with her friend Kiki (renamed to obviously protect the innocent) to Virginia Tech for a vodka and sex rendezvous with Martinson’s then-boyfriend, lovingly called “Douchebag” for the remainder of the entry.  Long story short, these three wonderful people get twisted on Burnett’s and Douchebag drops his pants to get a blow job from Rebecca and Kiki.  All because Rebecca promised a bottle of Burnett’s to Kiki if she blew her boyfriend.  Yikes.  That’s the equivalent of about $12.  Then Douchebag is unable to get hard, which, one would have to imagine, could have to do with many factors here.  Maybe Douchebag was just as fond of Rebecca as she was of Douchebag.  Maybe he just didn’t care.  In any case, this whole thing is gross and the fact that Vice ran this is the sort of even that makes you want to question the existence of the universe.

Rebecca Martinson is gross.  I really do not understand or want to understand why writing a story about a non-existent double blowjob which was not actually a double blowjob but an utter failure of a youth-tinged night of binge drinking deserves any attention at all.  Also, who is just that nasty that they think giving a blow job to their boyfriend with their best girlfriend is the idea of a good time?  Maybe I’m an old now, but I am not interested in the sex lives of any sort of frat boy or sorority girl or any college student for that matter.  These are the voices of our youth.  Excuse me while I weep into my bowl of dinner cereal.

If You Don’t Use Wet Wipes, Then You’re Disgusting

11 Jun

Everyone’s best friend.

I must comment on a debate that took place last week on Gawker.  John Cook came out in opposition to the use of wet wipes following bowel movements by grown adults.  This position automatically makes me assume that John Cook is a disgusting person who does not take any pride in his own cleanliness nor does he likely understand that women often use wet wipes, especially when they want to be fresh for ahem, extracurricular activities.

Really, a wet wipe is man’s best friend.  If you are not using them after pushing your digested meals out of your you-know-what, you are probably disgusting and no one wants to touch you anyway. So there. So suck it up and buy a cute little pre-packaged box of personal wipes. You need them.  Do not fool yourself into thinking that your two ply bulk toilet paper from Costco is good enough to keep things so fresh and so clean.

This message is especially important for all ladies.  Summer’s Eve and Always both make amazing feminine wipes to keep everything legit downstairs.  I’ve heard stories form guy friends about things that can go awry with ladyparts if one does not use wet wipes. Do not become a disastrous hygiene story that lingers for years. Wipe your shit! Literally and figuratively.

Team wet wipes forever.

This message is brought to you by indignation toward poor hygiene.

EDIT:  This post is primarily about using wet wipes after one takes a shit. Apparently, some feminist is upset that this post seems to be referring to women only using wet wipes. NO. Men, women and children should all use wet wipes to clean up after a movement. If you cannot understand this, then just go away.