Sunday, June 17, 2007

Back to the lab...

I haven't written anything in so long because I have been straight chilling between jobs. Got offered a couple, accepted one, and have been seriously enjoying staying at home mowing lawns and hanging out with my family before I start anew. Politics and the cluster-f*ck in Iraq is still something that makes me dislike the current administration and general political hypocrisy, but I haven't been as hot under the collar as of late. Maybe it's because I know election time is coming up, and I feel like we'll be able to start to move this country in a less hawkish direction. I think part of the problem is that most of the folks in office don't have their kids going to public schools...I'd imagine that most White House admin and Congressional kids are on the Exeter-Harvard track rather than boasting of going to a school with high APIs.

Needless to say I have been catching up on some of my DVDs. Some recent ones: The Prestige (awesome), The Illusionist (ladies, you'll love this one too, fellas it's got Jessica Biel), The Queen (awesome...although I'll always remember Helen Mirren from a childhood movie called '2010'), Re-Animator (Jeffrey Combs is a genius), and Dave Chappelle's 'The Chappelle Show' DVDs. The man is brilliant...absolutely brilliant.

Being roughly the same age as him, and having roughly the same cultural interests, I found his take on race, sex, music, sports and everything else he tackled couched splendidly in comedy to be some of the most amazing material ever.

It's easy to see why his comedy made so many people laugh. It's accessible on many levels, but at the core made use of comedy to illustrate how far we have to go before we're able to really consider ourselves 1) a loving and integrated American community, 2) #1 with 'global' substituting 'American'. He was shocking.

Consider 'The Niggar Family'. The title alone will make the most PC person shudder, but the piece demonstrates the duality of the hateful term implied by the sophomoric misnomer. Brilliant.

Or his response to all the heat he was getting for his racially charged jokes. And for the record, I've never been to a meeting where one of my female colleagues has ever tossed her bra off.

And one of my personal favorites...The Racial Draft.

He was making a killing. As you might know, Comedy Central offered him a $50 million contract after his second season. This was huge...he seemed a force unstoppable, and I for one was juiced that he was getting recognized for his work, and then all of the sudden he left...then surfaced in South Africa where he was taking a hiatus. He ended up turning down the contract and the show was cancelled. Comedy Central, a network force true to its nature, milked sales using partially filmed season three episodes, and that was it. No more Chappelle Show. I bet even Negrodamus saw that one coming.

I haven't heard a clear reason why he left, but apparently it didn't seem that he was all that fired up to not have total control of the show's content. My two cents: something happened between him and Neil Brennan, his co-writer. At some point, Dave felt that he was not being laughed with for his irreverent and scathing commentaries, but rather laughed at.

Since I've never had a hit show, and been offered a $50 million contract I can't really say that I understand the motivation to quit, but it must've been a good reason.

After watching some of his shows tonight, I felt really bummed that he's not doing what he was doing, but I have to respect his decision.

That being said...there's always tomorrow...and there's always another contract. In fact, my birthday's coming up, so if anyone wants to arrange for him to do a show on my patio, that'd be the best present ever. I'll host the Dave Chappelle Comeback tour.

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