Friday, November 28, 2014

Clarence Explains It All

Clarence is not a role model. He’s not even human. He’s a cartoon. Some of the things he does could cause a person to get hurt, expelled, arrested, possibly deported. To put it another way: Don't try this at home.

"When Black Friday comes, I'm gonna stake my claim. I'm gonna change my name."  
--Donald Fagen and Walter Becker

-- Donald Fagen

Some folks wait all year to get incredible bargains today.  For others, the thought of venturing anywhere close to stores today induces nausea.  Clarence, as you probably recall, loves to spend Black Friday waxing philosophical about stuff. This is in stark contrast to Rob's recent advice to do more listening and less talking. So be it.

Enjoy another edition of Clarence Explains It All.

Clarence Explains RGIII
For about a year now, I have held strong to one opinion on Robert Griffin the Third.  This man excels at one version of football offense, the read option.  Cue the 2012 overachievement footage.  Several disastrous plays that year led to two things: RGIII getting injured and Mike Shanahan getting vilified.  Cue the 2013 backlash footage. Save Robert by making him a pocket passer.  Except this isn't Rocky III and southpaws don't become proficient righties. My awesome hedge trimmer makes a crappy lawn mower.  Or something like that.  And this line can't hold blocks for more than 1.69 seconds.

Now that Washington is bottoming out yet again, Gruden's looming performance review is shaky at best, and Griffin either looks to be holding a clipboard or dumped for a song, please listen to what Clarence has been saying for a year.  Go back to the no holds barred read option melee.  Wouldn't each of the stakeholders involved throw most degrees of caution to the wind at this point and like to see what happens?  

Because here's what will happen otherwise:
  • Colt McCoy gets bludgeoned, same as any QB behind that line
  • RGIII is waived or traded for a 5th round pick
  • Whoever takes him runs the read option and he wins Comeback Player of the Year
I know Gruden doesn't run that kind of offense, or at least he hasn't in the past.  But ask Zman how much fun it is to see Marshawn Lynch dominate these days. (Hell, the Bills should be first in line for RGIII.) It will pain us to see this kid excel elsewhere.  

Clarence Explains UVa
Sorry for the left turn, but let's not be afraid to tackle terrifying subjects, people.  And I only have one minor point here.  As a semi-staunch lefty, I see some of my R-voting friends often grimace at the let's-just-see-how-stupid-the-American-public-is, right-wing rhetoric that emanates from certain media sources.  Like the Washington Times linking every natural disaster of the 1990's to the Clinton Administration.  Or more recently, this. (The Bobby Jindal clip is mind-numbing.) It's a means to a GOP end, so I understand it, but it's a bit much, and my level-headed comrades often shake their heads.

Similarly, Rolling Stone magazine often makes me do the same thing on the other side.  The publication's journalistic indictments of Republican leaders and their ilk often stray two or three steps beyond what I would call a practical assessment of the situation.  I'll admit some negative bias owing to this magazine's acute divergence from the being THE authority on great music into a $10/copy ragsheet featuring slanted political commentary and oh, by the way, here's a puff piece on an overreported musical act 15 years past their heyday.  But even objectively speaking, Rolling Stone makes me grimace with some of their takes.

The UVa story? As I read it, I couldn't help my preconceived opinion seeping in.  That the reporting might have been embellished and too fine a point placed on trashing one university for a pervasive campus problem.  But, and it's a Kardashian-sized but, even if that were true, and I hope it isn't, it's a means to an end.  If the shredding of the University of Virginia's pristine image had to happen to shed enough light on a fucking horrible, seemingly repeated ad nauseum (literally) phenomenon of atrocity at that school, then I am all for it. And Rolling Stone may have been the perfect vehicle to do so.  I just hope that we don't see any lawsuits pop up that poke holes in the story enough to diminish the momentum emanating from this edition.  It's weird to say.  As much as I wish the UVA story were fiction, I truly hope that the magazine didn't inject its common brand of liberal bias, as it's called, fictionalizing any of it in any way in order to take the account over the top.

Clarence Explains Men
Reading the RS story makes most any man feel ashamed for his gender.  Knowing that the perpetrators couldn't claim to be a gang of people whom life had stepped upon, whom education and understanding had missed, is even worse.  Males have been sexually assaulting females since we did so in caves.  Otherwise reputable men are undone by libido every day.  Whether God or science is responsible for the makeup of man, the male of the species is flawed.  In order to keep humans on the planet, we are physiologically wired to want women.  The desire has populated the planet since our inception, but it also can be dreadful.  It compels men at each stop on the intellectual continuum; from cognitively challenged to genius-level men, it's the great equalizer -- the testosterone gets us all, and we want sex, and sometimes, we want it right now.  Most of us keep that desire in check, but at the very least it has made us look stupid and unsavory more than once. Clarence is no exception.  The fact that we aren't the type of people who would even consider gang rape an option in our drunkest, most vicious frames of mind doesn't mean we aren't part of this flawed gender.  Casual flirtations, torrid affairs, even obsessions to porn or prostitutes -- they hurt women, too. Hell, the fact that men simultaneously denigrate hookers and keep the oldest profession alive and well points to a problem bigger than us.  The biology sucks, and I don't have an answer.  I'll probably get drunk tonight, want some sex, and act like an idiot to get it.  But we draw the line somewhere, as foolhardy as that may seem.  I confess to sympathizing when men, particularly ones who have a track record of good deeds and helping folks, negatively and irreversibly alter their lives with sex, be it a backseat blowjob or a years-long affair.  But I couldn't possibly conjure anything but nasty bile for men who take pleasure in harming women, and I guess that's how Clarence sleeps at night.

Clarence Explains Bill Cosby
Holy fuck.  This one hurts.  It falls into the latter category of the last section; if the Cos had merely fallen prey to the typical male's sex addiction* and gotten his rocks off consensually with women not his betrothed for 40 years, I'm shrugging.  Drugging and raping is not in the same galaxy, Dr. Cosby, and I'm wincing.  Not for him -- fuck him, and may justice be served.  For me, and for the headache we all get when we wonder whether we are allowed to ever enjoy Dumb Donald or Theo Huxtable or Jell-o pudding pops or some hilarious records or my college graduation commencement speech.  Do I have to boycott all of those things?  Can I just enjoy them objectively while discounting the human associated with them? It's disappointing, any way you answer that.

*Okay, that's two things in a row I can't explain.  But I will explain this. It's my belief that any man claiming sex addiction is full of shit. In our circle of friends, an affair was recently exposed.  The woman has been completely trashed as a home-wrecking whore, the guy claimed sex addiction, got some counseling, and was relatively unscathed. Generally speaking, the female gets the shaft in the court of public opinion on these matters, but this is total bullshit.  Nearly every non-eunuch man has a sex addiction.  See the last section.  It's how we keep the species alive.  We want it all the damn time.  Like right now.  Seriously, right now I want to make sweet, sweet love to a woman.  Call me, ladies.  So, dudes like Tom Sizemore, Tiger Woods, Charlie Sheen, Eliot Spitzer, and many more: stop copping out and being a pussy, and just own it.  You are a stupid, stupid man who wants sex constantly like the rest of us. You don't duck the thunder on that crap pseudo-diagnosis.

Clarence Explains Scott Stapp
Creed lead singer Scott Stapp is apparently broke and homeless and deranged. Among other things, he texted his estranged wife: ""Florida is not safe. Biological weapons on the way. U have to leave with kids and meet me in Atlanta." Clarence tells you that he is spreading this anti-Florida message that to get back at Otto Wolfcastle for making fun of him and his shit music.

Clarence Explains Ferguson
The more you learn about this story, doesn't it seem like this is one of those cases -- as most are -- where the truth is somewhere in between? Like Michael Brown and Darren Wilson were both wrong to some degree, and it cost one his life and the other his career (most likely), and it was an unfortunate incident through which we should advance relations via education and a cautionary tale but through which we will actually regress because people take out their misdirected aggressions, far worsening relations?  This wasn't Rodney King.  And people should remember: in the Rodney King mess, 11,000 people were arrested, dozens were killed, and Rodney was drunk and did elude police -- and some years later he drowned in a pool jacked up on most every drug. The truth of these stories is always way more complex than you can put on a posterboard.  This media-stoked fire just temporarily covers up the grief of an unfortunate incident with a whole lot of anger and hatred... which fuel further incidents. Two wrongs don't make a right, people, but three rights do make a left. Think about it.

Clarence Explains Gheorghe
I've had a weak year of G:TB output, and I'm not alone. The blog has been held together by a few, most notably Rob. Let's get Gheorghemas going and make up for that in a big way.  The holidays aren't what they once were for Clarence, so a fun distraction is needed.

Well, that's about it.  Have fun this holiday weekend.  Now back to your regularly scheduled dipshittery.


zman said...

I have a lot of thoughts on Mike Brown's death and they aren't all necessarily rational or well-reasoned so I haven't shared them here. That said, I think any time a police officer kills an unarmed citizen there needs to be an investigation with some kind of public explanation. Hopefully the grand jury transcripts will be released so we can see what was presented. I'm not interested in reading them, I just want to know that there was transparency in the process and that people are allowed to see the evidence presented.

I also think this story would be presented quite differently if the dead child was, for example, a white kid from McLean who had just graduated from St. Alban's and was two days away from heading off to Middlebury where he planned to play on the squash team. Stealing cigars would be presented as a stupid childish prank, not something warranting the use of deadly force. The cop would be branded as a rabid lunatic, stripped of his badge and pay. We'd be saying "Why the hell didn't he just mace the kid?"

I'm woefully biased in these types of fact patterns. If Mike Brown was your son or your friend and the police officer didn't even have to face a jury of his peers in open court to justify his actions, you'd be livid. I'm not justifying riots, but if you're an angry teenage kid and you feel that no one listens to you, not even the government that's supposed to protect and provide for you, then I can see how riots might happen.

Finally, I was waiting in line to pick up my turkey on Tuesday and the 60-somethings ahead of me randomly started talking about what a good job the prosecutor did, how great this outcome is, and what a nice young man the officer seems to be. Said one of them "It's not like he woke up that morning and said 'I'm going to go kill a black person today.'" This made me tremendously sad. The point shouldn't be black kid/white cop. The point should be dead unarmed kid. Period. But it always becomes black/white and people who talk on TV for a living try to say deep things while the guests on their show try to say deeper things, none of which brings dead kids back to life.

rob said...

that's some pent up wordsmansmith on your part, clarence. gonna need a few days to wrestle with it.

and z, well said. we can pretend we're a post-racial society all we want, but the facts argue otherwise. our society has a built-in - as in, structural, designed, intentional - bias that tilts toward white. we can fix it, but not quickly. got no answers here, but i suppose it's a small consolation when people begin to acknowledge it.

mr kq said...

Well played Clarence thanks for outing us.

Nobody drinking today? DC Brau Corruption here.

TR said...

I'm drinking. My kids' minds are being blown by ET. I never knew C Thomas Howell was in it.

Mark said...

I'm with Z on all of that. From the very beginning the entire situation in Ferguson has angered and sickened me.

Some of my sisters in laws were at her house yesterday and would probably get along with the folks Z overheard at the store today. I told my wife before we went to my sidter's house yesterday that I was immediately leaving the room if Ferguson of Mike Brown were brought up.

Mark said...

Ill be drinking soon. Had a couple beers post tattoo earlier.

One more Ferguson thing. My parents are from St. Louis and lived as a young couple in the town right next to Ferguson (Florissant) when one of my sisters was born. We've discussed the issue of race in that area many, many times with my parents bemoaning the general attitude of most whites. I'm lucky to have them in my life as exceptions to that rule. Judging by the FB comments I've seen by many of my relatives far more lucky to have those smart, progressive and unprejudiced parents than I even realized.

Ok, back to dipshittery. Has everybody seen the guy on St. John's who's bringing back short basketball shorts? Sexy.

T.J. said...

Bring on Gheorghemas

rob said...

on the dipshittery front, went to a new local brewpub after the high school football game. didn't eat anything after 9:30 am. rolled home at 5:30 or so after several really tasty beers. after 10 minutes back home, my youngest said, 'hey, i didn't know drunk daddy would be here today'. father of the year candidacy locked up an hour later when the family went to a movie (big hero 6 - it's great) and i ordered a beer at the concession stand.

mayhugh said...

Whether it's because it's his first year in Washington, or because he's a rookie head coach, or because he's just so damn glib when speaking on subjects we're used to the Shanahans answering like they were a matter of national security, Gruden has gotten a pretty significant pass on this whole RGIII thing.

I would not want to watch one more snap of Robert playing 3 step, 5 step, 7 step. One, because his line is made of pap-ee-ay mache, and two because he is clearly not proficient at it. But it's the blind insistence on throwing RGIII out there for several straight games and not varying the offensive strategy at all (at least, not to my untrained eye) that is unforgivable from Gruden. Part of coaching is tailoring your approach to the personnel you have. Gruden has been unwilling to go read option or roll Robert out. Sure, either of these limit his passing options, but that's probably not a bad thing. Robert needs one or two primary targets that he can cycle through and if neither is there, make something happen.

I do not believe he has gotten all of his tools back since the injuries, but I think he's capable of more than we've seen. Now when he runs his body language almost screams "uh-oh, I'm not supposed to be doing this." He's running tentatively and straight up. They should have just had him watch film of that break-away run against Minny in his rookie over and over. Or maybe the beach scene in Rocky III when Adrian tells Rocky to stop being afraid.

Unfortunately, I don't think he's going to get another opportunity in Washington.

zman said...

I would be deee-lited to have RG3 run the read option in Buffalo. I have no idea what his trade value is. The Bills don't have a first-round pick, but then again if the Skins would rather have Colt McCoy then Griffin can't be worth that much.

rob said...

there's no chance rg3 brings back a first rounder, z. i can't see anyone giving washington anything more than a third for him. so you're good.

Mark said...

Even a 3rd round pick is probably high. I bet you could hold out and get RG3 for a 5th rd pick.

As bad as the Bucs QB situation is, I'll pass on RG3.

TR said...

VA Tech - UVA got pretty good in the fourth quarter.
Grayson Lambert just got jacked up.

Mark said...

It did. It took a while. I'd make a quip about it setting offensive football back but I e been watching Will Muschamp coached football teams for four seasons now. One more game.

Danimal said...

Nice read Clare Bear, as always. There was another police shooting the other day with the victim a 12-year old African American kid carrying a bb gun. It was caught on video. The cop pulls up near the kid, gets out of the car and shoots him. This happens within about a 10-second window. No effort whatsoever to figure it out the situation and so a 12-year old kid's life is over. Fucked up.

I had 2 beers last evening. I was in bed and asleep at 8pm. I woke up at 4 to urinate and slept for another 90 min or so. I will own this day, getting much done including yes Rob, xmas decorations. I think that pain in the ass elf on shelf makes his first appearance this eve.

TR said...

Our house needs a Dad in the attic before we'll see an Elf on the shelf. Dreading that. My wife has about 97 bind of Xmas crap. I should've married a Jew.

TR said...

bind, bins, whatever.

zman said...

I refuse to put elves on shelves. Way too much effort. My kids should be doing all the Xmas efforting, not me.

zman said...

In other news, I ordered something for zwoman last night and this morning that vendor sent me a $100 of coupon. Bastards.

Danimal said...

My picks are in the blogger btw. Just finished a fast one w bike group. Lights going up now followed by gocery store. Come on people! Hop to it!