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The Bible of Unspeakable Truths
By Gutfeld, Greg
Grand Central Publishing Copyright © 2010 Gutfeld, Greg
All right reserved.
You Can Do All Media-Related Jobs Drunk off Your Butt
So, there I was, lounging in my shorty robe made of sliced meats, watching my all-time-favorite television show—Make Me a Supermodel—when one of the contestants was sent home because “he didn’t photograph well.” Now, I’m no expert, but I think for a model, that’s not good.
The rejected mannequin—a handsome young man—did what every reality show contestant does when he’s been kicked off or disqualified: He swore he’d be back. There was no way, he said, that he would return to his previous life as a mechanic. Yep, God forbid he would return to an occupation where you actually did something that helped people.
So, when a young man considers being a male model as a more valuable job than that of a mechanic, do you think we’ve lost sight of what makes for meaningful work? More important: What’s a mechanic?
As a forty-four-year-old man who, to this day, cannot change a tire, I know that if my bright-pink, heavily accessorized Suzuki Samurai (the Malibu Barbie edition) broke down on 101, I’d rather have someone nearby who is handy with a wrench, not “working it” with a trench. It also wouldn’t hurt if he had great delts, but it’s not a priority unless I want to be carried back to the Red Roof Inn.
It chaps my denim low-waisted chaps that this dope spits out “mechanic” like it was a dead-end job for losers, when in reality it is the vacant, self-absorbed folk who strut their bony carcasses on runways who are irrelevant (unless, of course, you’re the always-gorgeous Tyson Beckford. He’s “fierce,” I have been told).
Seriously, is the ability to walk a straight line down a runway after a long night spent fending off Barry Diller really such a talent? And the fact that David Geffen once told you that you were “scrumptious” doesn’t make you a valuable human being. “Scrumptious” doesn’t pay bills, or come with a pension. “Scrumptious” doesn’t have a dental plan. In a few years, “scrumptious” becomes “old and fat.” I know from personal experience.
But this illustrates the difference between real work and fake work. Real work you have to do sober. Fake work you can do drunk. I’ve been a magazine editor for a good part of my life, and I can honestly say that I was drunk during most of it. Editors will never admit to this, but their jobs are so easy they can drink enough booze every night to kill a camel and still perform a solid day’s work. Because the work isn’t real. The same can be said for models, anchors, bloggers, marketing specialists, public relations directors, commodities traders, or anyone who chiefly lives and works in the world of concepts and computer keyboards.
Compare that to real jobs—bus drivers, mechanics, loggers, riggers. You can’t do those occupations drunk, or you’ll lose your fingers or maybe the whole hand.
You never see an editor with a hook for a hand. The most dangerous piece of machinery we deal with is the elevator. And when that doesn’t work—watch the glorious meltdowns in the lobby.
So try this experiment: For the next week, do your job drunk. If your performance stays the same, you don’t lose any limbs, and no one notices you’re soused, then your job is not real. But if your performance suffers, and you lose a limb, then congratulations—you have a real job and you actually contribute something worthwhile to society. You should be proud, even if you’re dead.
Reporters Are Always Fearless in Movies Made About Reporters
I remember a few years back, a polling company measured public perceptions of twenty-three professions, and journalists ended up ranked at the bottom. Just 13 percent of eleven hundred U.S. adults said the occupation of journalist had “very great prestige,” while 16 percent said it had “hardly any at all.” Meanwhile, 61 percent said the most prestigious job was firefighter, noting that they were also great strippers at bachelorette parties.
And yet, Hollywood has spent the last seventy years glorifying the role of journalists, while it’s made only one Backdraft (possibly two, I can’t remember). Robert Redford can play a journalist on the big screen, but we all know that in real life, journalists look more like me—pudgy, pasty drunks with moderate to unhealthy obsessions with unicorn porn (or uniporn, for short). Aside from those brave souls who really put themselves in harm’s way in war-torn countries—for the rest of us hacks—journalism is about as heroic as dentistry. And dentists have cooler instruments. And nitrous.
I know this, for I used to be a print journalist, it’s true. But I spent my time doing what all good journalists should do: trying to find my pants. If I could have cloned myself and created a press corps entirely of Gregs, I would have, but until then I refuse to learn how to read and urge you to do the same.
Katie Couric’s Life is More Important Than the Average College Freshman’s (Even If She Looks Remarkably Like an Elf)
Back in 2007 a stink was made (not by me, for once) over the idea that professors should be allowed to carry guns. The idea came on the heels of the tragedy at Virginia Tech, and many people were legitimately freaked out at the thought of teachers walking the corridors strapped with Glocks.
Like you, I don’t trust professors. Most of them are tenured twats. However, I am completely behind arming the faculty for a very simple reason: I dislike college students. Especially the ones that wear ski caps in the summer and wear charity wristbands in order to pick up chicks. If one of those chuckleheads mouths off, it should be completely legal to blow off one of his toes.
But there’s a more important reason why we should be allowing instructors to carry guns. It might save the lives of those college students. The fact is, every damn television network in Manhattan is surrounded by well-armed security. So who says Katie Couric’s life is somehow more valuable than that of a poli-science major? Why is Brian Williams protected, but not your college mascot? That one is a hairy little cheerleader doesn’t make its life any less valuable (I’m talking about the mascot).
It pisses me off knowing that nearly every major talking head advocates gun control, arrogant in their belief that most Americans can’t be trusted to arm and protect themselves without hurting others. Meanwhile, it’s these same talking heads who never have to worry about being shot at by a crazed lunatic, because the lunatic and the talking head are separated by five levels of security. I’m sorry: NBC is no more important than LSU—so if there are guns surrounding one, there should be guns surrounding the other. Or better, why not hot cheerleaders in holsters? Who says protection can’t be sexy?
To the Press, People on Death Row are More Interesting Than Their Victims
Part of the reason why a reporter becomes a reporter is for the excitement—and what’s more exciting than a ruthless killer in a jumpsuit, quietly awaiting his date with Destiny (note, that is not a stripper). But it extends beyond journalism, into all parts of pop culture and the arts. A year after his death, a play was based on convicted killer Tookie Williams’s life, staged by the Black Repertory Theater of Berkeley. The play was a re-enactment of the execution, staged on the first anniversary of his lethal injection at San Quentin State Prison. The actor basically lies there and, possibly, convulses. It would have been cool if they’d gotten Matt LeBlanc for the lead role. He could have used the work, and he does have that stoic quality needed for a corpse.
The play was written and produced by two women who were “two friends” of Williams, as well as death penalty opponents. There’s something about chicks who become obsessed with death row pin-ups—oh yeah, they’re fucking nuts. That’s the something.
Note: An article on the play describes a supporter in the audience wearing a “Save Tookie” T-shirt. Someone better get that genius up to speed.
I think there needs to be a rule made for anyone exploring the idea of doing a story, a play, a movie, a musical, or whatever about a murderer. He or she must be forced to devote equal time to the victims of the killer. It’s only fair. And it might help the artist learn that while killers may seem more glamorous than their victims, it’s only the artist who allows that glamour to take root. In my opinion, it’s far better to immortalize victims than their tormentors.
And if you don’t believe me, I’ll kill you.
With kisses, of course (seriously, if I press down hard enough I can pretty much kill anything!).
The Media Think Patriotism is Embarrassing
This is true, unless, of course, said patriotism is in any way tied to freedom of the press, or the absolute awesomeness of President Obama. That’s because, from the media’s point of view, the only two great things about America are the media and the absolute awesomeness of President Obama. Everything else, however, sucks (meaning: Gitmo, guns, religion, and any combination of the three).
I love it when a CNN reporter approaches someone with an American flag and treats that person, as my friend Denis says, like “a lost tribe of Americans,” like that dude with the Coke bottle in The Gods Must Be Crazy. But I guess the reporter is right—the fact is, patriotism and religion have no place in a world that already has Obama. He is a patriotic emblem and a religious icon rolled into one: a cocktail weenie of supreme greatness.
Anyway, back in September 2007, CBS Evening News anchor and sharer of too much information Katie Couric spoke critically of the war in Iraq at a seminar at the National Press Club—which, according to my sources, is actually a treehouse in Bob Schieffer’s backyard.
Initially, I was impressed by Katie’s newfound war expertise. She must be catching up on her blogs. But do I care what she thinks about the war? I mean, I’m really only used to looking to Katie for ways to cure my toenail fungus, or a low-fat recipe for blueberry muffins. Sometimes I get both of them confused and I have to go to the hospital to get my stomach pumped (and the berries removed from my toenails).
Couric is a typical example of the “elitist defeatist,” whose real problem isn’t why we’re fighting a war, but war itself, and how it makes her feel inside. Wars are so mean! And Katie isn’t mean. Unless, of course, you work for her (I’ve heard stories).
So it’s no surprise that when talking about those who supported the country during a war, Couric said, and I quote, “The whole culture of wearing flags on our lapel and saying ‘we’ when referring to the United States, and even the ‘shock and awe’ of the initial stages, it was just too jubilant and just a little uncomfortable.” So, to her, being patriotic is “a culture,” one that’s wrong because it implies you’re taking a side. Saying “we,” when dealing in matters of war, is icky. There’s no “we” in Katie. I know because I saw her colonic.
But for the purest example of how the media mock basic patriotism, simply recall how some major news networks and TV commentators behaved toward the attendees of the Tea Parties back in early 2009, calling them “teabaggers” and insinuating racism—the press looked at these flyover folks as goons and freaks, better to be gawked at in a zoo designed to amuse the oh-so-evolved liberals.
But what were these protesters guilty of? Was there any violence? According to reports I looked at, there was only one arrest made during the protests. So why were these folks ridiculed? What were they doing that was so wrong? Well, they were holding peaceful, picniclike gatherings to protest a bigger, more intrusive government. And that’s wrong—because when you’re protesting that kind of agenda, you’re protesting Obama, and the press who love Him.
So the press chose to mock these folks instead of, say, WTO protesters, who smash the windows of a Starbucks that reporters would normally purchase their lattes from. For a ridiculous contrast in coverage, compare CNN’s Susan Roesgen’s attack on Tea Party attendees with her solemn documentation of Michael Jackson fans at their makeshift memorials. For Suzie, the death of a drug-addled, kid-obsessed pop star required more seriousness than she was willing to give average working Americans. No wonder her contract wasn’t renewed.
Being a Jackass Isn’t an Illness, Unless the Media Deem It So
According to those lonely researchers from Harvard Medical School and University of Chicago, something they like to call “uncontrollable anger” is on the uptick—with 7.3 percent of the population identified as having IED, an acronym for intermittent explosive disorder (which I always thought was diarrhea). Having IED usually means you “suffer” from three or more aggressive outbursts—an average afternoon for Sean Penn. If you believe these researchers, roughly eight million adults had the most severe form of IED, carrying out forty-three attacks, often “lashing out violently.”
Frankly, research like this, and the way it’s reported in the media, makes me angry—angry enough, in fact, to lash out violently (perhaps forty-three times). Crap like this is designed by academics to get grants so they can “find ways” to get more grants. One way to do this is to create a definition for something that may or may not exist, then continue to broaden the definition to make it appear it’s actually growing.
Which is what this research does, I think. Worse, it makes being a jerk (or rather, an asshole) an actual disorder, when actually it’s just a character flaw that should be condemned rather than studied and “understood.” I understand it plenty. I have a mirror.
And while we’re on the topic of being a prick, being labeled a “creative genius” doesn’t excuse your being a prick. According to the Daily Telegraph (a funny name for a newspaper, by the by—you’re a newspaper, not a telegraph!), Albert Einstein had something like ten mistresses. In the article, experts claimed that the oddly haired icon was like other “intensely creative men,” in that he was “overendowed” with the joy of risk-taking.
Bullshit. We know why powerful men like Einstein had mistresses. It’s because they could. Brilliant men often possess high status, and women on average are attracted more to men with high status than to those with low status. So powerful men, regardless of whether they are married or single, are open to more options for sexual gratification—which then brings its own set of risks. As a friend once told me: “Most of us are only as virtuous as our options.” So, when it comes to Einstein, these experts put the cart before the horse, which I guess is far better than trying to get the horse back to your small apartment for a nightcap. They can be so petulant!
More important, if you try to use this “I can’t help it, I’m brilliant!” excuse to cheat on your wife, you immediately disqualify yourself from the realm of men who might qualify to use this excuse. Meaning, you’re an idiot.
The Only People Who Want to Read Stories on the Homeless Are the Ones Who Wrote Them
Back when I was a teenager/transgendered tennis pro in the 1980s, it seemed like every week some enterprising reporter for the local paper or TV station would put on his or her “serious face” and decide to do stories that “mattered.” Translation: “I’m going to sleep on a grate for a night, and then tell you of my amazing and brutal sacrifice.” So these dopes would throw a little dirt on their face, don some grubby clothes, grab a cardboard box, and find a reasonably lit street in the main part of town to sack out on. Of course, hidden in their penny loafers were a credit card and a hundred bucks in case things got hairy, or perhaps they wanted a blow job from the local transgender sex worker. (There’s always one. Give her my name, and you’ll get a discount.) Within a week or so, their story would appear, usually above the fold, with moving black-and-white photography of said reporter bonding with an authentic homeless person: possibly a Vietnam War vet, black, with diabetes. His name would be folksy—like “folksy Joe”—and he’d be really likeable. You know: the kind of homeless person you’d bring home for the holidays—which was a made-for-TV movie plot line in every melodrama between 1975 and 1985. There will be no mention of Joe’s substance abuse issues, his lengthy and violent criminal record, or his “folksy” habit of crapping in his pants and then smearing it on pay phones.
With so many of these articles being published, it got to the point that I became convinced that there were more reporters pretending to be homeless than actual homeless—and it occurred to me that this stunt journalism has to be the easiest, quickest way to get a name for yourself, if not a promotion. It’s a shame the newspaper industry has such low expectations for its readers—which I guess is why there aren’t any, anymore. Maybe we should let the homeless pretend to be reporters—then newspapers might be readable.
Silly Theories Kill More People than Guns
I saw it in the New York Times, so it’s got to be true: Research has suggested that violence is an infection, something you catch like hepatitis or Janeane Garofalo. It made me so sick to my stomach, I wanted to stab a shopkeeper in the neck. The writer focused only on gang crime, as opposed to other types, like shoplifting or houseboy dismemberment, suggesting that if gang murder spreads like an infectious disease, then it should be treated like one.
If only there was a word that describes this idea. Oh yeah. Batshit crazy.
Sorry, that’s two words. Or maybe three.
See, I wonder—if the crime were white collar or corporate in nature, would the Times call it a disease? Or would it just be another example of the perils of small government? After all, many feel that corporations like Enron are just as evil as the Crips. But the Times would never call that a disease because such a pronouncement would excuse its perpetrators, who are rich white men. And the Times would never do such a thing.
But the Times can’t blame gang members for gang crime, for in its eyes, personal responsibility only applies to whites. Implying that gang members are victims of a disease means it’s no longer their fault. They are simply helpless victims, like people with AIDS or malaria. Violent behavior is just a virus that makes you shoot people while wearing really baggy pants. If only we had universal health care, we could cure this!
As much as I hate this kind of thinking, I do believe the paper is on to something. There is a disease, but it afflicts writers at the Times. It renders them incapable of recognizing evil when it presents itself, whether it’s terror or street criminals. The disease causes its victims instead to fiddle around looking for root causes and silly theories. That disease is called self-loathing-moral-relativism syndrome. It first began to appear in the States in the 1960s, I believe. Maybe Mick Jagger brought it over.
Garry Trudeau Is an Untalented Sack of Poop
If Doonesbury did not relentlessly spout knee-jerk liberal tripe in every panel, it would not exist. It’s the only cartoon given tenure—in that the media cut Garry Trudeau slack because they all believe his heart is in the right place, even though his stuff sucks harder than something that really sucks.
But in our hearts, we all know the truth: The strip is neither amusing nor interesting. Worse, the dude can’t draw for shit. Essentially, Trudeau has been a recipient of comic strip welfare his entire career. No one has had the guts to cut him off. It’s too bad, because Funky Winkerbean really deserves his spot.
The Media Want Health Scares to Succeed
Here’s a simple rule: Anything the press describes as a coming scourge WILL NEVER, EVER HAPPEN. Remember the killer bees? How about the coming ice age? Global warming? Radon? Top hat cancer? Please. These stories were written by reporters who got their adrenaline kick by believing they were part of something huge.
The rule: Being a reporter is boring. Big stories make the job less boring.
Thing is, by the time they’re found out to be wrong, they’ve already moved on. I bet there are aging writers who are embracing the religion of global warming in the same manner they glommed on to the coming ice age thirty years ago. These people should probably be beaten about the face and neck with an old copy of Silent Spring until they come to their senses.
It’s just like Y2K, and at least one great blizzard a year: For the media, a hyped-up event without cataclysmic death is like sex without orgasm. So now we watch the swine flu. It was only a few years ago that we were told that the bird flu virus would leave our country piled high with corpses and feathers. But soon after, according to the director general of the Animal Health Organization, “the risk was overestimated,” and the pandemic lacked scientific proof. Big surprise. It’s just like all those other scares overblown by the media. Yawn. Razor blades in candy? HA! What about the return of fondue? I cheeseproofed my house and everything. And let’s not forget the coming scourge of “Pillowsis.”
See? You already have!
That’s because hysteria makes great press for the experts quoted and the reporters who quote them. Hysteria creates paid work for hysterics. Panics, like conspiracies, are also a great way to pretend you care about an issue when you’re only stealing from ominous headlines. And that can kick-start any cocktail conversation. Sadly, it takes more brains to debunk hysteria, and that’s why you never hear real doctors babbling about “the epidemic of homelessness” or global warming—they’re too busy working, instead of doing CNN.
Saying “Exactly” to Everything Will Guarantee Success in Media
I started doing television appearances roughly ten years ago, but in the first year I learned a valuable lesson: If you don’t have anything important to say, just say, “exactly.” Remember this if you’re ever stuck for words on a TV show: Even if you disagree with the interviewer’s question, or have no idea what he actually meant, just agree. But you can’t go halfway—“exactly” means you totally agree with the fact that all Belgians should be euthanized. You’ll be invited back. Even if you’re on a Belgian show.
That’s because whoever is interviewing really needs your validation, not your real opinion. Agreeing with whatever the host says makes everyone happy. In a way, it’s just like being married to a short, opinionated drunk like me.
Attractive People Don’t Write for a Living
Recently, a website for a British paper unveiled its list of the fifty most influential political pundits in America. All the usual suspects were on it. Like David Gergen. If you don’t know who David Gergen is, imagine a sock dipped in flesh. Also on the list: Howard Kurtz, a turtle in a hairpiece. And Mark Shields—who I believe was a mime back in the seventies with Lorene Yarnell. Paul Begala is also there, a giant thumb with sad eyes. And what’s a list without James Carville, a cross between a skull and a lollipop. Some believe he is actually a gibbon that Bill Clinton trapped and trained to speak.
If you look at the list you’ll find that they all have something in common—they’re hideous.
Is it my fault, as a pundit, that I am handsome, possess a natural healthy head of hair, and can bench-press at least two houseboys, depending on their country of origin?
I believe we live in an age where we can’t accept our pundits unless they look like pundits. This “pundism” has created a glass ceiling for handsome gents like me. If I were ugly, perhaps I would be a well-paid writer for the New York Times, instead of that dumpy Frank Rich, or that frumpy David Brooks. This is total discrimination, and I’m going to start picketing something as soon as I figure out which one of my muumuus goes best with a sign.
The Only Difference Between You and an Expert is Four Appearances on a Cable News Show
When I take public transportation, people come up to me and ask me the same question over and over again: “Why are you staring at me?” And also: “How come you don’t have experts on your television show?” The answer? It’s a glass eye, and experts are phonies.
The easiest way to pawn yourself off as an expert is to tell people you’re an expert. Then appear on a talk show. Sex experts, steroid experts, latte experts—they’re all shams.
Here’s why: With a thousand TV channels and countless talking heads needed to fill time, no one really performs background checks. Yeah, they’ll Google your name, but that’s about it. I have, after all, pawned myself off on a number of shows as a relationship expert. God, if you only knew how my exes feel about that! Thankfully, they would never admit to dating me.
Excerpted from The Bible of Unspeakable Truths by Gutfeld, Greg Copyright © 2010 by Gutfeld, Greg. Excerpted by permission.
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