There are just some movies that should never be remade

I consider myself a bit of a movie buff. I’m a movie buff because it would be boring if I had no hobbies – but I don’t want to do any physical activity. As such, any hobby that allows me to sit on my ever-widening ass and feel productive is a good one in my book. So movies? Kinda my thing.

Like any movie buff, I have an extensive listing of movies that I loved in the past which could do with a reboot. For example, I would love to see a remake of “Beyond Thunderdome” with Beyoncé cast as Aunty Entity. You know that’s a brilliant idea.

At the same time, I think there is a pool of movies that should be locked in a vault and dropped to the depths of the ocean, never to be seen again. Number one on this list is the infamous 1986 feature – which has a surprising number of now-famous faces in it – “Soul Man.”

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While an image speaks a thousand words, let me give you a rundown anyway.

C. Thomas Howell plays a pampered rich boy whose parents decide to not free-ride him at Harvard. So he does what any reasonable person in his position would do; dons blackface so he can steal a scholarship from the United Negro College Fund. Let me make this clear. A rich white guy spends most of a movie in blackface to steal funds allocated to poor black students – and he’s the fucking hero!

To me, it’s obvious that a movie like that should never be remade. But then again, maybe it’s not. Maybe right now, some Hollywood director is going “Hey, you know what people like in movies? Blackface. Let’s remake “Soul Man!””

I bring this up because the number 2 movie on my list recently received a remake. That number 2 movie? “Overboard.” First off, I want it noted I’m not a romantic comedy girl. I take the George Carlin stance on romantic comedies.

If a movie is described as a romantic comedy, you can usually find me next door playing pinball.

So maybe I don’t know romantic comedies very well – but I am able to define when a movie is super rapey. And “Overboard” is super fucking rapey – whether you’re watching the 1980’s version or the new one.

Let me give you the rundown of the original. A rude, rich white girl (Goldie Hawn) goes on a boat trip. She falls off the boat and hits her head. Boat captain (Kurt Russel) then decides – instead of getting the girl immediate medical attention – he’s going to tell her she’s his wife and bring her home to raise his hoard of ADHD brats. In short,  a psychotic ship captain abducts a seriously injured woman and forces her to live with him as his wife – and his justification is she was rude to him.  Because apparently, kidnapping accident victims is completely allowed if said accident victim hurts your feelsys.

So what does MGM do with this questionable source material? They say, “we can use this script again. Let’s just reverse the genders! It will be much more palatable if a young, white single mother abducts a disabled minority and forces him to live with her as her husband.”

I fail to see anything either romantic or comedic about that premise. Rapey is still rapey, and it happening to a man this time around doesn’t make it funny. It makes it pretty fucking gross.

There are some movies that should never be remade. In some cases, they’re garbage to begin with. In others, they were naively made during a time before people recognized how offensive they were. You don’t see anyone suggesting a remake of “Mandingo,” do you? It’s because we’re smarter now. We know it’s inappropriate to use slavery as an excuse to film a loosely scripted porno. So why can’t we see it’s also fucking inappropriate to use kidnapping as a premise in a romantic god damn comedy, regardless of the gender of the perpetrator?

No Essa, you’re not being honest – you’re being an asshole

I use this blog a lot to call other people out on their behavior. Whether they’re complaining about not being addressed by their chosen pronouns, or anti-vax bullshitting on Jonas Salk being worse than Hitler, I’m always quick to put people on blast when they’re being stupid. But like most humans, I tend to treat myself like I’m somehow infallible. Somehow, I’m immune to my own objective opinion, no matter how stupid I act or how shitty some of the things I say are. But if I’m truly, truly an honest person, that means looking at myself. It means holding myself accountable for my own actions. And doing that is uncomfortable because it forces me to look myself in the eye and say “you know what, Essa? You’re kind of an asshole.”

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Tonight, I took the opportunity to look back at some of my old writing, at some of my blog posts and saw myself being incredibly mean. I said many intentionally offensive things in the past and I brushed those things off with a phrase that makes me cringe.

“I’m not being mean. I’m just being honest.”

I had this idea that somehow, me being brutally (and I mean brutally) honest all the time made it ok to also be an asshole all the time. To explain how I feel about it now, I’m going to quote from the finest movie ever to grace the silver screen – “The Shawshank Redemption”.

There’s not a day goes by I don’t feel regret. Not because I’m in here, because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then: a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try to talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can’t. That kid’s long gone, and this old man is all that’s left. I got to live with that. Rehabilitated? It’s just a bullshit word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don’t give a shit.

OK, so not all that applies but I love that damn speech and couldn’t bear to cut a single bit of it. Seriously, I have never wanted to bang Morgan Freeman as hard as I did during that particular moment.

Now that’s a good example of honesty because in that statement, I was being honest without simply using honesty as an excuse to be cruel. Sure, it’s a cringy statement. No one wants to think of my chubby ass going to town on Morgan Freeman, but it was honest in a good way. It was me admitting a vulnerability without shaming someone else for it.

Because that’s the problem with the “I’m just being honest” statement. You’re shaming someone else and then acting like they’re wrong for being offended. When I used to say it, it was because somehow, I got this idea in my head that being honest and being cruel were mutually exclusive. If you were being honest, it meant people couldn’t call you out on being cruel.

That’s a stupid, stupid thing to think.

If you honestly tell your mother she’s fat, it’s not going to make her lose weight. It’s going to make her cry. If you honestly tell your partner you want to fuck their brother, it’s not going to make them feel more connected to you. It’s going to make them worry about you fucking their brother. If you honestly admit to committing a felony, you’re not getting away with it. If anything, it’s more likely to send you to jail.

Honesty doesn’t undo the bad you do with your actions. The statement “I’m just being honest” is, ironically, you lying to yourself. You’re trying to convince yourself that being honest means you’re not a complete fucking asshole.

My point, past self, is sometimes you need to say, “fuck being honest” and keep your opinion to yourself. You’re not so god damn important that everyone needs to hear your honest, useless opinion 100% of the time – especially when that opinion will hurt them unnecessarily. There is a way to say things without being a dick. If there wasn’t, diplomats wouldn’t exist.

Past Essa, this is future, wiser and slightly less intoxicated Essa saying to you, you’re not “just being honest.” You’re just being an asshole. Stop it and grow up.

Welcome to Hurricane season

I wasn’t born and raised in Florida. I’ve only been here about nine years and only weathered a few named storms. Despite my complete lack of experience, I still manage to be prepared when the season comes, so I’m not one of those a-holes racing out to the stores at the last minute to stock up on canned food and water.

I’m one of those last-minute a-holes stocking up on beer and gummy bears.

But despite my inexperience, I need to call out more than a few of you Floridians based off what I’ve seen of you on the news. So let me cover this list-like, because people are stupid and will only listen when you make a list. Also, call me crazy, but I have a bad feeling about this season and feel this information may be useful for the 2018 season.

#1. If you abandon your pets or leave them outside you will go to prison

A new Florida law has established if you leave your pets outside and helpless during a hurricane, you will receive a felony charge. My Floridian opinion is you deserve it.

I don’t even understand the people that do this, but it needs to be said. It’s not cool to just leave your dog or cat alone on your property, to wander all by itself in the terrifying storm as you travel on down to Jacksonville to hang out with family.

Your pet is your family. The moment you decided to get a cat or dog, you became responsible for them and you have no right to leave them behind. There is a special place in hell for people who abandon their pets during a storm and you deserve to be there. As their natural instincts tell them to flee, your selfishness keeps them trapped and they sit there, lonely, scared and wonder where their fur mommy or daddy went until the storm kills them.

You must be a special kind of sociopath to do that to an innocent dog or cat. There are plenty of pet-friendly shelters in Florida, plenty of things you could do for those little dudes aside from letting them face the wrath of Mother Nature by themselves. Even the Hemingway House in Key West is somehow capable of keeping 36 cats alive hurricane after hurricane. You have no excuse for not being able to handle one dog or cat.

If you abandon them because you’re fucking lazy, you deserve spot one in Dante’s Inferno, getting eaten and shit out by the devil over and over again, just like Judas and Brutus. Because you’re a fucking traitor. You told that pet you’d protect them, then you turned your back on them.

Fuck you.

#2. When they say mandatory evacuations and you decide to stay – you’re on your own

Your right to emergency medical assistance in your area ends the moment the newscaster says “Governor Whoeverthefuck has issued an emergency, mandatory evacuation” and names your area. That’s all there is to it. After that, if you decide to stay, you are on your own.

Deal with it. Do not call 911 as the floodwaters rise, demanding they send out a bunch of paramedics to drown with you because they won’t. Mandatory evacuation status is not given willy nilly. It’s given when it’s fully established, based on FEMA standards, that remaining in the area will cause an immediate threat to life. As such, once a mandatory evacuation is given, 911 services shut down. If you live in Florida, you know that you’ve seen this commercial.

This was during Ivan. I checked out the verifiability of the commercial. Those voices you heard, those desperate calls for help? They didn’t make it.

They play this commercial often during hurricane season and they do it for a reason. It’s to make you understand it’s not brave to stay when they tell you to evacuate. It’s foolish.  You cannot ride the storm. You are not the old man and the sea, staring down an unforgiving ocean. You are a silly little civilian who forgot that nature’s wrath pertains to you too. This commercial is not dramatized. They make it very, very clear that once a mandatory evacuation is issued, they cannot help you.

They share this message – as a warning– on as many public access channels as they can. The best that FLA 911 services can do for you if you call them after you’ve been told to evacuate is tell you to write your social security number on your torso so the National Guard can identify your body.

Florida emergency services workers are not superheroes. They’re just people and there comes a point where they cannot help you because they will not risk further lives to help a hopeless cause. Those ambulance drivers, firefighters and paramedics are just as human as you. They have families that love them just like you and they are not going to risk their lives because you did something incredibly stupid.

When someone says mandatory evacuation either do it or drink yourself to death (leaving Las Vegas style) but do not expect the world to come back and pick you up. It’s not that they don’t want to. It’s that they can’t without risking their own lives too.

#3. Get your supplies ahead of time.

I created my first Amazon wishlist the other day. It’s not so much a wishlist as it is a package of items I purchase for hurricanes. MREs, flashlights, batteries, a hand crank radio – now is the time to buy them, not later. If you want the full list, IM me. But do it now, not one day before the storm. You need to live your life like every day is the day before a hurricane. Then, come what may, you’ll always be prepared.

Anyway, welcome to hurricane season. I also don’t usually do this, because I hate dealing with comments, but the issue is important enough to spread. I welcome you to share your own hurricane preparedness ideas (or complaints) in the comments. With any luck, we’ll all ride the storms together.

If you are disabled or feel that you are incapable of evacuating or protecting yourself in the event of a hurricane and currently live in Florida, please check out the following available resources.

https://www.floridadisaster.org/

https://trac.floridadisaster.org/trac/loginform.aspx

http://www.floridahealth.gov/

https://www.fema.gov/individual-disaster-assistance

 

 

 

Five Easy Steps To Working From Home

 

Multilevel marketing is not a pyramid scheme. It’s simply a product distribution system which uses a tiered incentive model to build on recruitment rather than actual product sales. That recruitment starts at a wide base, where the lowest earners begin. Each tier is narrower as you go up, indicating a smaller concentration of higher paid earners.   To give you a visual, it looks a bit like this;

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Wait – that’s a fucking pyramid!

I bring this up because I got this earlier.

message 1

And of course, my response;

message 2

I get a weird amount of these messages. I think because I pushed a human out of my body 15 years ago, I’m considered a prime  victim prospect for schemes like these. But the thing is, I already work from home and I didn’t even need to get sucked into an MLM scheme to do it. You can do it too. The steps are easy!

Step 1 – Select an area of interest that’s conducive to a work from home environment

Not all jobs can be done from home, so of course, you’re going to need to look for jobs that allow you to work with just an internet connection. Luckily, there are a plethora of opportunities out there and competition is very low because no one else wants to work from home. You’re the only one.

Just kidding. There are a limited number of opportunities that generally go to a small pool of candidates who have significant experience in their field. That brings us to step two.

Step 2 – Gain experience

This one is super easy. First, you just need to save up one year’s salary so you can support yourself as you work for a wide range of people who think that what you charge is too much and that you should just be working for exposure. At the same time, you’re going to need to go back to school so you can gain the certifications and education you need to stand out and charge rates on par with market average.

Now, it usually only takes about 10,000 hours of study to become an expert in your field. Sure, that sounds easy, but remember, you’re going to need to support yourself during those 10,000 hours of studying. That means taking on many, many jobs for cut rates as you compete with people from foreign countries who can afford to do it for less – and first world assholes who are doing it for free for the ‘exposure’ (while driving down the price of your work) . All of this is easily accomplished with a year or two of 80 to 120-hour work weeks.

That brings us to step 3.

Step 3 – Embrace crippling loneliness and isolation

While you’re working from home, alone, during these extended hours, it’s likely you won’t have the time, nor the money, to maintain most of your non-business relationships. On top of that, the long, lonely silent days will begin to get to you, until after awhile, you forget how to communicate with people at all.

You’ll begin playing true crime documentaries in the background as you work, just so the voices will create any kind of quasi-human connection. As you learn the details of literally every murder for the last century through osmosis, you will soon become convinced that everyone you have met or will meet in the future is a sex murderer. You will begin drinking to fill the hole inside of you – which brings us to step 4.

Step 4 – Cultivate Important business relationships

About 25% of a business’ net profit comes from 5% of its client base. That 5% represents the clients that you never drunkenly tell to fuck off – due to the aforementioned alcoholism developed in Step 3 – and will represent the majority of your business in the future. You will do anything for these clients and will stay up at night, crippled with anxiety as you realize these clients could have anyone.  Why do they stay with you? Is it pity? Is it laziness?

This will drive you to send an awkwardly worded ‘look, I just want to know where this relationship is going’ email at 4 o’clock in the morning. One of two things will happen. They will either dump you for your annoying insecurity or offer you a full time, telecommute position. That brings us to Step 5.

Step 5 – Profit

So really, all you have to do to work from home is save lots of money, take massive risks, spend hours upon hours upon hours working, give up all holidays, give up your social life, give up your dignity, health and sanity and maybe, just maybe you can work from home too.

Look, all sarcasm aside, what I’m trying to say is anyone who tells you that they have a great work from home, no experience necessary opportunity is a fucking scammer.    Actually getting to a point where you are able to work from home, in stable, gainful employment takes dedication, skill and is not nearly as fun as most people seem to think it is.

MLMs are scams. They are simply pyramid schemes with shitty products thrown in so they can meet some kind of legal loophole that doesn’t make them ‘legally’ scams. This allows the person at the tip of your pyramid to take all your money – completely legally — and write off all responsibility when the scam falls apart. Even now, politicians are funding their reelection campaigns with money directly from these pyramid schemes.

No, I’m not exaggerating. Look it up.

So MLM’s aren’t going anywhere anytime soon and neither are you if you sign on with one of these shady companies. If you really want to work from home, it takes sacrifice. It takes dedication. It takes complete willingness to make your entire life about work.

There is no such thing as a three-hour workweek. There is no such thing as easy money. There are no ‘easy’ steps to working from home. Working from home is hard.

If it was easy, everyone would do it.

If you have to say you are …you aren’t

Back in the day when I worked in insurance investigations, I had this supervisor who gave me some good advice. Specifically, he said the following;

“If they tell you they’re nice, they’re a dick. If they tell you they’re religious, they haven’t seen the inside of a church since the last time their mom made them go. If they tell you they’re honest, they’ve already started lying.”

At the time, I had a good laugh about it. He was a jaded dude who’d been in the insurance industry far too long, so he was used to people sucking. But as time went on, I realized he was right. If you have to tell someone you are something, it’s because you aren’t.

As an example, let’s take a look at the following message.

boilogy

Yes, a dude who claimed to have an IQ on par with Einstein’s was incapable of spelling ‘biology’—or holding a conversation without resorting to that obnoxious role play thing that 11-year-old weeaboos do.

Also, before you tell me it’s satire – if you have to tell someone it’s satire, it’s not. It’s you saying something stupid, getting called out and then trying to backpedal by calling it satire.

I bring this up because I think we need to start calling people out on their bullshit. I see a lot of these “my IQ is (insert some ridiculous number)” posts online but what I don’t see is people calling them out on it. Just a simple “no, it isn’t” would satisfy me.

Because no, that’s not your IQ. It’s a number that you made up to sound impressive or one given to you by one of those scam online degree sites. Either way, the fact that you drop the whole “my IQ is (insert some ridiculous number)” statement is actually what convinces me you’re an idiot. Smart people don’t have to tell the world how smart they are. They just do smart things like inventing nuclear energy or curing polio.

Same goes for being nice. If you have to tell someone you’re nice, it’s because you’ve never actually done anything nice to convince them you are. Doing the bare minimum to maintain your status in society does not qualify as being nice. For example, no, I would not punch a baby. This is not because I’m a nice person. It’s because it’s what people expect of me to maintain my space in a civilized society. Otherwise, yes, I probably would have punched at least one baby. To that baby — you know what you did.

On the other hand, I once knew a dude who gave up a well-paying career as a police detective so he could move himself and his entire family to the Ukraine to open an orphanage. During the entire process, he never once mentioned how nice he was.

Weird how that works.

Also, while we’re at it, stop trying to give yourselves degrees you haven’t earned. I once had a Walmart cashier tell me “I have a PhD level vocabulary” with a completely straight face.

You know how you know you have a Masters or PhD level knowledge?   You spend $90,000 and 200 classroom hours learning it. If you think that your life experience is transferrable as college credit, then there’s something called DANTES that you can use to get that credit.

Unless you actually have a degree from an accredited university, you don’t have a Masters or PhD level anything. Stop saying you do. It just makes you look stupid and it undermines the hard work of those who have actually spent the time and the money getting those degrees. It’s like me saying I’m a forensic psychologist because I like to watch “Criminal Minds.”

So before you tell someone you’re smart, or religious, or nice, ask yourself this. “Have I actually done anything that proves what I’m about to say?” Most often, the answer is no.

Because if you have to say you are, you aren’t. Those that are, they just do.

What’s “Literary?”

One thing I’ve found that is universally true is this – people lie about the books they read. Ask anyone what they’re reading right now and they won’t tell you the truth. They’ll tell you the thing that makes them sound smart or makes them look good.

Back before Kindle, I was taking an art class. Because it was art, we had a lot of time on our hands, so some of the students would bring in books to read. The girl who sat next to me was reading “Angela’s Ashes” – or so I thought. Because one day, I picked up the book, flipped it open and said, “you know, I heard great things about this book.” Before she snatched it out of my grasp, I saw the title page.

“The Greek’s Pregnant Mistress.”

Yeah, she actually took the cover of “Angela’s Ashes” and pasted it on the front of a Harlequin Romance to disguise it. Not that I can blame her. I eventually read the real version of “Angela’s Ashes” and it really could win an award for “Most Depressing Book Ever.” Can’t blame her for choosing a bodice ripper over that.

Also, what the fuck is a floury potato?

Anywho, this is just one of my weird random shower thoughts, but I think it’s true.  “Good for you” books are like “good for you” food.  Sure, you can tolerate them in a pinch, but you’de rather be reading something enjoyable. Most of us regular readers have our guilty pleasures and we have our ‘go to’ respectable books that we tell people we’re reading whenever someone asks.

That’s why when someone asks me what I’m reading, I claim I’m reading “The Bluest Eye,” by Toni Morrison, when really, I just got finished “Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland.” You know, that book from the Cleveland kidnapping victims. I must admit, it did give me hope. For once, the creepy dude keeping girls in his basement wasn’t a white guy. He was Hispanic.

Diversity, people. We’re moving forward.

The funny thing is I have read “The Bluest Eye” and really, it’s not too far off from Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus’ story. Both stories deal with girls trapped in horrible circumstances, ignored by the world and both end with escape. Of course, in “The Bluest Eye”, the escape came from the main character going batshit crazy, but it was still an escape.

But I ask myself, what makes one book literary and the other, not? What makes one book respectable and the other, not? Is it the prose? Because to be entirely honest, I found many a quotable moment in both stories. Was it the theme? Because both have the same theme if you’re willing to read between the lines.

What is literary fiction, exactly? What makes one book respectable and another not? Does the ending have to be sad? Does the story have to be fake? “Angela’s Ashes” won a Pulitzer and it was Frank McCourt’s biography.

Who decides the difference between literary and commercial? Sure, in some cases it’s obvious. Harlequin spews out like 500 “Greek Billionaire” titles a year. I get that. Those people are writing from an outline.

But why isn’t Harry Potter held up as a literary work? Why isn’t Tim Dorsey recognized as a literary figure for his Serge Storm series? Why is Lev Grossman considered a commercial writer while J. R. R. Tolkien is a master storyteller that we learn about in school? What’s the difference?

Mainly, I want to know why we feel the need to lie about what we’re reading. I want to know what literary is and why it gets to be that in the first place.

An open letter to my nice guy

 

I’m so sick of seeing the #niceeguysfinish last posts on Twitter. Yes, I’ve been Twittering. Well, kinda. I drunkenly online bullied some AT&T reps for not getting my service up again fast enough after Irma. But during the time I was Twittering, I came across that nice guys finish last hashtag far too many times.

And I realized ‘hey, that’s probably aimed at me’’ because I haven’t fucked a sad sack halfwit living in his mom’s basement in the past few months.  So, to the dudes I haven’t fucked —

Here’s the thing, sugar tits (I can be rude because I’m not trying to get into anyone’s pants), nice guys do finish last. Because when your title is ‘nice,’ that tells me that’s all you have to offer.

Do you think Porche sells their cars by saying “hey, they’re nice”? Do you think Coach has the audacity to sell a $15,000 purse because Victor Luis is so fucking incredibly nice?

No. They have a little bit more to offer than just being nice. But apparently you being nice, well that makes you special and everyone should love you just because of that.

But here’s the thing. Nice is not a selling point. It’s the bare minimum required for being a civilized human being. Everyone can be nice. Fuck, I’m nice every day and I’m a total asshole! It’s not hard and it doesn’t make you special. It just makes you a regular person.

Until you try to use it as a selling point. Then it makes you yet another asshole trying to cash in on doing the bare minimum.

So to my ‘nice’ dudes –

It’s not that I don’t love you because I’m crazy, (which I am). It’s that the only person who can possibly get me is another human being who is actually crazy. So as much as I love your support, I’m never going to love you because you could never possibly understand what it is to be me. That’s a personal preference that I stick to.

You being nice isn’t going to change that. It’s not going to make us compatible.

But hey, here’s a bunch of ways on how to actually be an appealing person that people want to hang out with from someone who knows nothing about relationships. As you email me every four weeks or so complaining that you can’t get a girlfriend, figured I’d forward them on. Because of as much as you’d like to pretend our relationship was one-sided, it never was. I always gave advice, always offered options.   Always made it very clear I was not one of those options.

So, your annoying emails about how I just need to ‘focus on me’ and ‘reevaluate my priorities’ as you occasionally point out what a nice dude you are have not gone unnoticed. They’ve been intentionally ignored. Let’s admit it. If I wanted to be with you, I’d be with you.

I know me, way better than you do. I’m not nice. Never have been.  I don’t need to use ‘nice’ as a selling point because I’m so much more. Nice is not a quality. It’s a basic requirement for being human.

It’s not my job to fix you. It’s not my job to finish you. It’s not my job to make you feel ok about being you – and I could literally give a fuck how nice you are.

Because right now, you’re kind of being an asshole.