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Before and After

My latest trip into the Cancel Culture Blender is one I think is extremely important. Its actually one I'm proud of. Which I know sounds bizarre, but I will explain in a long winded blog. Fun! The Rundown from 2016 making the rounds with my comments from basically day 1 of the Colin Kaepernick protest discussion is essentially a "Before" picture when you're an out of shape piece of shit who's about to go on a diet and get shredded. That Rundown performance is a "Before" picture for my brain. When my brain was a fat piece of shit. I didn't know who Colin Kaepernick really was as a person. I thought he was a washed up quarterback causing controversy in the sports world. I didn't really know the extent of the police brutality/racial epidemic in this country. I knew about Eric Garner and Michael Brown but I didnt know the extent of those tragedies and how deep the problem ran. And I didnt understand the intentions and the power of protesting. I thought it was more a divisive act and I thought of protesting as an inconvenient, petulant display of complaining. Several years earlier I had made my bones clowning the Occupy Wall Street protesters who I thought were naive and unrealistic; or a slew of college student demonstrators who, in my opinion, were behaving in a childish way about their idealistic views on life. I stupidly lumped all that together under one umbrella of "protesting" and didnt acknowledge how justified and dire Colin's cause was. 

If you fast forward to 2020 and followed any of my social media or read any of my work regarding George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and the Black Lives Matter protest, you saw me singing a very different tune. When Colin Kaepernick's cause resurfaced following Drew Brees' comments, you heard me singing a very different tune on the very same topic from that Rundown back in 2016. And thats what I'm proud of. That "After" picture. I am 100,000% OK with being the white guy who was uneducated and confused by Colin Kaepernick in 2016, day 1 of the protest news, and now fully on board with him with a full understanding of his movement in 2020. I am proof positive Colin Kaepernick's protest worked. Proof positive his peaceful demonstration is one of the most, if not the most, successful Civil Rights protest of all time. At the time he took a knee, I was confused by the entire thing. I was confused by who Colin Kaepernick was - I viewed him as a fading athlete trying to stir up the sports world as an social activist, and I eventually learned he was first and foremost an activist who was trying to stir up the REAL world by utilizing the power of the sports world. I was confused by who he was racially - a half white half black guy with white adoptive parents who was leading the charge for the Black Lives Matter movement. I'll be straight up, as ignorant as that sounds, I was confused by that. I was used to reading tweets and jokes about Shaun King and Rachael Dolezal, and reading countless headlines and articles about Cultural Appropriation. I was a dumb white guy stumbling through all the do's and dont's of that shit thinking you had to look a certain way or have a certain background to be speaking out for a certain cause. Thinking that you had to be "black enough" to say innocent people shouldnt be murdered is just asinine. And last but not least, I was confused about his motivations - not realizing that it had nothing to do with hating America but more a peaceful and effective way to shine the light on this one, specific, tragic piece of America that has run unchecked. 

I'm the "wokest" I've ever been in my life now in 2020. I hate that word because its something people either use unironically to sound superior to other people, or its a word people use in a derogatory sense to try to make you sound lame for being educated. You can use woke as a catch all if you want, but I'll say that at this point in my life - 35 years old, 11 years in the blog game, 2 kids, 1 divorce, now 3 cancel attempts, having lived through a handful of the most pivotal moments in American history - I can confidently say I'm the most educated I've ever been, I'm the most empathetic I've ever been, I'm the most humble I've ever been, and I'm the most aware I've ever been. With a firm grasp on the way things used to be, and a clear understanding of how things should grow to be. And thats all thanks, in recent years, to the actions of a guy like Colin Kaepernick and all the people leading the charge of that movement. In a perfect world, we'd all be as selfless and have as much perspective as Kaep and any of the Civil Rights leaders, but we live in the real world. The world which Kaep was, and still is, trying to change by reaching people the exact way he reached me. He's not gonna convert any of the extremists of the world who are racist, hateful bigots. But he could, and did, reach a guy like me who was uneducated to a fault. Who was ignorant enough to the ways of the world to the point that he didnt even realize that his knee jerk reaction was a shitty and stupid one.

So, yes, hand up. I will admit it. I am brave enough to confess - Colin Kaepernick's Peaceful Protest reached me and changed me. Wish I didnt have to be "reached" and "changed," but I did, and I'm happy as fuck that I have. And I'm extremely happy to be living proof of just how successful the Black Lives Matter movement is. I wish MORE people would talk about this type of Before and After. Shine a light on me, folks. I think this is a success story. I know the Cancel Mob would be thrilled to just get rid of everybody like me, but I think its much more reasonable, realistic, and productive to embrace people like me. The PC mob, and their viewpoints on the political, social, and comedic opinions of other people, is the only setting where the "Before" matters more than the "After." You'd never look at someone who lost a hundred pounds and became infinitely healthier and harp on how they used to be a fat piece of shit, you'd commend them for acknowledging there was a problem and committing to fixing it, right? So then how come they look at someone's comments or beliefs  5, 10, 15 years ago, and tell them they still are awful when today's behavior completely aligns with what they believe and what they want in this world? I understand that its a lot easier to see the change in health, and a lot harder to believe the change in someone's mentality. I understand the skepticism in doubting whether people do actually change. But I'm example 1A. Living proof that it happens and it works. If you're not going to embrace that idea, then why even fucking protest in the first place? Peacefully protest to change people's minds, but when thats successful, you point to what they used to believe prior to the protest itself. How fucking stupid is that? Its pretty embarrassing that it took up until George Floyd for me, and many others, to finally get it. To finally understand. But I'd be way more embarrassed if I was one of the people who didnt get there at all. If you're making the type of comments I did back then, today in 2020, then raise your hand and I'll have Tommy Boy here come back there and hit you in the head with a tack hammer because you're a RE..ALLY STUPID ASSHOLE. Not gonna cancel me a 4th time, fuckers!

Which brings me to the second part of my blog...

(If you're on a computer, please press play while you read to set the mood and enhance the experience)

Well here we are again. The mob is showing up with the pitchforks and torches trying to Kill The Beast, but they have to get in line behind the last mob who's still outside my door for the last 3 years. And those guys were behind the first puny pathetic mob led by Jamie O'Grady and a bunch of free lance hacks. The torches of the original mob burning all the way down to the itty bitty bottom and the second mob sharpening their now-dull pitchforks while the newest mob is just merging into the old ones creating a super mob who's trying to cancel the most canceled man at Barstool. But you cant triple cancel a double cancel, LLOYD!

I've written this exact same blog about a hundred times now, but it bears repeating once again. If you hate me, and you're out to cancel me, theres nothing I can say thats gonna make you like me. If you dont like my sense of humor, theres no explaining that to another person. You either find similar things funny and understand that viewpoint on whats humorous, or you do not. I cant change you, nor should you change. Its like trying to tell someone why a food they dislike actually tastes good. Not gonna work.

If you dont like me because I cheated in my first marriage, I also cant change that opinion. There are the people in this world that view infidelity as one of the worst violations imaginable, and theres no changing that. If every time you read my work or hear my podcast, all you can think about is my marriage from a few years ago, theres just no way you're going to ever focus on the actual point or message or humor in my content. I cannot convert you into a fan, and if you're one of the people that take it to the extreme of actively trying to cancel me over these things, I cannot ever say anything thats going to make you stop. Theres no blog to be written or podcast to be recorded thats gonna make that group of people go "Huh, you know what? I was wrong about that guy, I didnt know all the details, and now I will resume laughing at his material!" There has never been, nor will there ever be, an attempt to convert the haters or reconnect to those lost fans.

All that I can focus on are the people who are down with me. The people who have a similar sense of humor. I dont know what it is - maybe you're around the same age as me. Maybe you're from the same place as me. Listened to the same music and watched the same TV shows. Maybe you're also a loud mouth New Yorker. Maybe you're a tortured sports fan. Maybe you've had similar life experiences and you can relate to the things I'm saying, so you like it. Thats why guys like me and Clem click. We are like brothers from another mother when it comes to all the shit that shapes you and your sense of humor. And maybe you don't judge me and everything I do professionally based on screwing up my personal life. Maybe you realize you realize that not everything is black and white in relationships, or maybe you just flat out dont care about another person's marriage. But these are the people that I focus on. And those are the people that I dont ever feel the need to apologize to. They arent offended by me, they do find it relatable, they are like minded, and they like to laugh at it. Or gasp at it. Or disagree with it and argue with me, but not cry over it. There's nothing to apologize for to those people. If theres a major issue like Kaepernick and racism and protesting, and I've changed my opinion on the matter, I'll tell you about it, sure. Thats what I do here - I'm an open book thats gone from a young single dude who thought he was untouchable to a washed up single dad who learned he very much was not. I've shared my highs and my lows, and when I change & evolve, or stumble & devolve, I'll be straight up with you. But do not ever mistake that for apologizing. I'm not sorry for any of my content, ever. I'm sorry to people in my personal life that I've hurt or fucked up with, but I have never been sorry to one motherfucker reading or listening to any of my content. If I've made harsh jokes or spoke bluntly...if I used stereotypes and vulgarity...if I've come across insensitive or shocking...that was all in the name of being entertaining and trying to make people laugh, or argue, or agree, or connect with somehow someway emotionally. They were all words and descriptions I either consciously chose, or that I fired from the hip instinctively, all with the intent of entertaining. And I wont apologize for that because theres a huge chunk of people who were entertained by it all, and as I said, those are the people I'm focused on.

I fully admit that the way entertainment is going, its not long for the approach I just described. Peer pressure amongst the audience, changing tides amongst advertisers, shifts in policies amongst the multiple platforms I appear on...all of this spells out disaster for a guy who operates the way I just described. I'm able to adapt somewhat, as evidenced by the whole first half of this blog, but for the most part I am smart enough to see the writing on the wall. What appeals to the Zoomers of the world is not my type of humor or mentality, and so I have two choices - sell out and change, or just ride this wave as long as I can before it crashes to the shore and you smash into the sand and dislocate your shoulder (shout out to the OGs who get it). Along with some half hearted attempts to fit in with the new world of content just so I can pay the bills, I'm pretty sure I'm just the type to ride the one wave until its over rather than catch the next, different wave that I'm not equipped to ride. Hopefully it lasts like 10 more years, but sometimes it feels like its closer to 5. And then the day will finally come - the day I am at long last truly canceled - and I can end this goddam carnival ride. Get off this roller coaster, get my feet back on solid ground, and live out my remaining years as a surly old man who people wont ever expect to change. Thats my version of Nirvana or Moksha or whatever the fuck you wanna call it. Achieving the state of mind where you never feel the need to change to make others happy. And hopefully by the time I achieve that blissful selfishness, I will have made some honest coin money and I will only be surrounded by the people who dont want me to change. 

What I'm trying to say is after I finally get canceled, I'll join Only Fans. 

PS - I see right through you, Kirk Minihane. You go on "vacation" for 2 weeks and this all happens? I'll give you a billion to one odds a Minifan is behind this. Kirky Cancel is at it again. Smh.