Sometimes I see a really great photo of someone, the wind is in their hair, the lighting perfect, stoic chin that matches their stoic nature, or beautiful smile that matches their charm… and say to myself, “That’s the one they’ll use at your funeral!” But I stop myself from telling them that, because they might take it the wrong way.
See, what I’ve learned is that there is a trick to giving people compliments. The compliment has to make the person feel good about something related to them or their self-esteem, but most of the time shouldn’t reference their impending death.
It’s like the great Phil Huxtable once said to his daughter’s suitor. You might be a nice boy, but you’ve come into my life the wrong way. To paraphrase, he said, “You’re a steak covered in a delicious mushroom sauce, but you served it to me on the lid of a trashcan.”
Now, the trouble here is I’ve delivered you a really good metaphor that perfectly explains how not to give a compliment, but all you’re thinking about is Bill Cosby being an unrepentant rapist.
Doesn’t it kind of make Bill Cosby an extra huge monster that he drugged women as a famous person? I mean, isn’t sexual promiscuity one of the perks of being a celebrity? Think of a douchey guy at a bar who drugged someone, and we would absolutely slaughter him in public if given the chance. He let his desperation for sex cause him to do a terrible thing, because he wouldn’t get laid otherwise. But when you’re one of the most beloved people in the country/world who could sleep with all the women you want, and you’re drugging women to sleep with them? Bitch, you a monster. That is some evil, evil shit. Man, fuck that guy. He should rot in prison until he dies sad and alone.
But who knows if anything will be done about it? Our justice system is beyond fucked up when we’ve imprisoned black men like we’re collecting Pokemons and this one black guy who, like, admitted to drugging women in 2005 is still out in public doing comedy shows and saying some pretty awful stuff… all because he was really funny.
I never played Pokemon. Is this a Pokemon? Gotta catch em all!
And then you think of all the funny people we have to work so hard to keep alive. Chris Farley, Mitch Helberg, so many dead comedians. It was Robin Williams’ birthday the other day, and we were reminded that he killed himself. You see, for most comedians, their internal lives are really painful. They laugh because they have to do something to turn the suffering down for a moment. A lot of them grow up feeling weird and different and making others laugh is how they manage to make friends. Then people put an expectation on them to always be funny. “Don’t show us your real self. Just make us laugh. You’re the guy who always makes us laugh.”
When you try in small ways to show that you struggle, no one cares or reaches out. Your pain makes them feel uncomfortable. You’re the faucet that always runs hot for them. Now it’s cold, and they are angry. When normal people show that they are are in pain, people try to help them, but when comedians do, they are silently punished in many small ways and neglected. So they go back inside, they do drugs and drink to numb the pain, and eventually, when they can’t take it any longer, if they haven’t overdosed yet, they finish the job the way Robin did.
This ended up sounding more like a cry for help than I intended. All I was trying to say is, I am not very good at giving compliments.
Now write a caption for this photo.
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