3.29.2009



The Right One – Momma Said
The Good Guy
Nice Guys Do Finish First


He’s nice. He has a good job. He brings you flowers. He is faithful. He is honest. Okay, three out of five ain’t bad. Momma said he would be a nice boy, from a good family. Hopefully, a doctor, but not a lawyer. A banker, but not a broker. In insurance, but not in assurance. A police officer, but not a security guard. Mommas want so much for their daughters. They want the best of men. They want the staunchest of men. They want the most devoted of men.

There aren’t enough to go around. Somebody’s daughter has got to get the bottom of the barrel.

So why have your mother’s nice guys who have crossed your path over the years seemed like geeks? Like losers? Like nobody you’d want to date - ever? Maybe just because your mother told you he was a “nice” guy. These good guys, these nice guys, are storied in feminine circles to be highly desirable. But guys hate being labeled, “nice” or “good”. They see it as the kiss of death. Probably because once identified, they fear they’ll never get kissed. It is the kiss of death. Probably because once we have identified them, we fear perpetual boredom.

The Wrong One – Daddy Said
The Bad Boy
When A Bad Boy Can Be Good For You



He’s dangerous. He’s fast. He runs with the wrong crowd. He’ll get you in the wrong way. He won’t be faithful. He’ll leave you, or even worse, he’ll leave you with no money. And a vaginally disfiguring disease.

You want him badly.

If Daddy knew, he’d get out his shotgun. The thought is tantalizing. To be wayward and highly sexed in the same breath. It’s almost too much to bear. The eventual pain and loss means nothing (that is, until hit with their force). You gleefully jump, feet first, into the relationship, or liaison or screw fest (whichever it may be) with the gusto and naiveté of a child. You act like you’ve never seen his slithering ways before. You overlook the blank stare when you share your thoughts. You make excuses when he breaks another date. You rationalize his pathetic behavior in front of your friends. And it’s all good. He’s worth it. Your pain is worth it. But is it?

Do you care? Should you care?

Uh huh. Most definitely. Most assuredly. Hell yes.

No one really knows why the Bad Boy holds such an ambiguously exalted position in our cultural psyche. I don’t think anyone knows when he entered it either. The vogue for the last four decades has been to describe a dark (oh, the connotations that can muster) brooding man with a cigarette. Usually dressed in black (that “dark” connotation again) with rugged good looks and sneer. He hates the world, or, at least, has one hellava grudge against it. What this grudge is, no one in recorded history has been able to adequately explain. Yet, there he is, on a corner, leaning on his motorcycle, cigarette burning, jeans tight, his sexuality calling out to yours. He is irresistible and he knows it. He exploits it. You desire it. Some women spend most of their adult lives trying to shake him.

But let’s expand the definition of Bad Boy. It really includes men with high levels of toxicity of all types – emotional and physical. Traits in men that all women are all too familiar with. Having said this, it becomes clear that almost all women have some history with a Bad Boy. The question is why. Why have women been so attracted to men clearly not good for them? And once identified, why do we keep going back to the same fork in the road, in relationship after relationship and choosing the same treacherous path?

Well, if I knew the answer to that question, most certainly, I’d be a millionaire right now.

The Power of the Eye

The last month has been filled with ER retrospectives, pieces on Entertainment Tonight as well as newspaper articles about the long running show. I used to watch it religiously, but haven't for something six years. My favorite character was Dr. Mark Greene, played by Anthony Edwards, and when he left, I left. Okay, that's not true either. I actually checked out when his character hooked up with Alex Kingston's character (I forgot her name). That was after Eric LaSalle made a big deal that his character had to be with a black woman; in spite of the fact that his character (asshole) was a better fit with AK's character. They lost me at blackmale.

Anyways, I haven't watched the show and wasn't worse for wear for it. I found other outstanding television shows, namely The Wire & Deadwood, two shows that rank right up there for me as far as excellent in entertainment. But one ER episode holds, for me, the title of the best hour of television drama that I've ever witnessed. So, it warmed my heart this morning, perusing the Sunday LA Times (yes another reason why I read the paper everyday - but that's another post), to see an ode to that very episode this morning; "
Love's Labor Lost" the only TV show episode of any show I know the title of. The only episode of a TV show that can bring tears to my eyes by just thinking of it.

What's the episode about? In short, in addition to the regular cacophony that was the general background noise (but interesting background noise, nevertheless) of ER, it's about a pregnancy gone wrong; very wrong, really, really, really wrong. Mark Greene was the center of the episode and maybe that's why he's my favorite character (I got an autographed photo from him sometime in '96; still got it too). And, as I recall, it was the first ER episode I bothered to watch. I'm not much for medical dramas, but in that first year, ER had such buzz, I decided to tune in.

And tune in, I did. For the next how many years. That one episode convinced me that ER was a great show. So during the summer, I watched to catch up on the previous episodes I'd missed. And, after I saw the premiere episode, I know that if I had watched it, I still would have been hooked. That, my friend is the mark of something good; really good. There was a point, and I don't know exactly when, that ER was givng us, the poor non-cable paying public, some of the best scripted material to watch, period.

As I said, I don't know how the story lines fared in these last few years, but I do know that ER and LLL will always hold an exalted place in my heart - the television that should be done: smart, emotional, entertaining, and sometimes not a happy ending.

Farewell ER. You were a contender. Actually, you were a winner. Thank you.

3.13.2009

A Little Friday Dance - Shake It Baby!

FIONE Jon Stewart Makes Cramer Really Uncomfortable