Friday, May 22, 2009

The No-Talent Bums All-Star Team.

Last week, while ruminating on the GOP's fascination with "savior/spokespersons", something occurred to me. People like Carrie Prejean, Joe The Plumber, and Sarah Palin, despite appearances aren't as dimwitted as they appear. In fact, these folks are quite intelligent, despite their lack of obvious talent. They're smart because they have one coveted talent that they possess which may not be discernible to the naked eye: Hustle. In short, these folks know the game, and how to pimp it to their advantage.

While I find Prejean reviling, Joe bewildering, and Palin strangely intriguing, I can't knock their hustle. In fact, I sorta admire it. Each of their cases (especially Palin's, because I suspect she's not as stoopid as she appears) involves some level of dumbing down to meet the lowered expectations of others. Mixing in some level of folksiness helps. So does painting yourself as a victim. Lack of melanin is the clincher.[1] Add all this together, and you got the perfect recipe for success, American-style: riches, fame, admiration, imitation (LensCrafters has sold millions of "Palin frames"), and damn near living-martyrdom.[2]

With that said, the aforementioned trio ain't the only folks doin' more with less. Here's a few more folks who've pimped the game in various arenas and made a great life (or at least 15 minutes) with marginal talent.

Diddy - Let's face it, what the hell does this guy actually do besides hype stuff up? He doesn't produce (see: The Hitmen). He doesn't write his own raps (see: Mark Curry, Sauce Money, Ness, Smitty, Aasim). He likely has little free time to design all that Sean John gear. He can't act. He hasn't discovered a talented, bankable artist since the Clinton administration. He used to be able to dance, but that's an overrated talent anyway. But he's managed to somehow make a 20 year career and millions of dollars by doing little but breathing on other folks' records and claiming production credits. Take dat'! Take dat'! Simply amazing.

Greta Von Sustern - Okay, she isn't an actual journalist. She talks like she's got a mouthful of potatoes. She has no heft or intellectual gravitas. I'll avoid all sexist claims by sidestepping her looks. Why does this woman keep getting jobs?

Paris Hilton - I suppose the country's continual fascination with dumb blondes could explain some of this, but otherwise, what's up? She isn't even that cute.

Kim Kardashian - See: Hilton, Paris. Add butt implants.

Ray-J - Hey, I'm on a roll, don't stop me now.

Jimmy Fallon - His "aw shucks" shtick wasn't ever that funny on SNL, it was only laughworthy when he was paired with Horatio Sanz. Now, Fallon's inexplicably gotten his own late night talk show, and outside employing The Legendary Roots Crew as his in-house band, boy does it suck! Isn't it about time for postracial America to have a non-white-male late night show host? Call Arsenio, I'm sure he's free.

Sanaa Lathan - Go ahead and start booing and hissing. But keep it honest with yourselves. Other than being aesthetically pleasing (which, granted, is actually a talent in and of itself), exactly what is this chronically overrated actress good at? I used to dig her, but seeing her in so terribly over her head that one season on Nip/Tuck gave away the secret: Sanaa couldn't deliver a line if she worked for Con Ed. She makes Nia Long look like Cicely Tyson.

Teyana Taylor - Nope. Me neither.

Soulja Boy Tell'em - I suppose those silly dances could be considered a talent, but my 12 year-old nephew can do them better, which again proves my whole "dancin'/sangin' is an overrated talent" theory. I don't consider this guy "the death of hip-hop" like some purists do[3]. I actually admire his hustle, and his use of technology to promote himself is very clever. But c'mon, have you actually listened to the lyrics of "Turn My Swag On"? A small child in Afghanistan dies gets a stomachache everytime this terriawful song gets a spin. Is that the laziest, most cockamamie "hit song" since "Whoomp There Is It!" or is it just me?

Boris Kodjoe - Yep, ladies, I already see you typing the word "hater". Nope, I do not care. This guy makes Morris Chesnut look like Sidney Poitier.

Sean Hannity - Despite being born with a silver spoon, and being expensively prep schooled, Hannity was such a f*ckup that he failed out of multiple colleges before going on tp such dazzling careers as bartending and general contracting. Like Beck, he continually spouts the very same 5 talking points ("European-style socialism", "taxing our children's children", "weak on defense", blah, blah, blah) even when they're irrelevant to the conversation, but has somehow convinced millions that he's a "Great American", and his ratings are through the roof. Odd factoid: The ACLU once helped Hannity get reinstated after he was once fired from a low watt radio station for telling a lesbian caller "I feel sorry for your child". Some thanks he's given.

Campbell Brown - I just don't get it.

Wolf Blitzer - Ditto. Don't get it either.

Katie Couric - Let's bat for the "clueless media personality" cycle, why don't we?

David Gregory - Homerun!

Jada Pinkett-Smith - I'm making the rare exception here. She's talented, she actually can act. She's just annoying as all get-out though. Can she make it through a single 30 second interview without saying the word "Will"? Argggh. Maybe "all-annoying team" needs to be another list.[4]

Akon - I've said it before and it bears repeating. T-Pain is talented. Very talented. He produces songs, can create catchy melodies, is naturally funny, and can actually rap even better than he "sings". Akon, on the other hand? His greatest talent is discovering T-Pain. Everything else he does completely perplexes and repulses me to no end. If you need audio-proof of this theory, just try listening to "Daydreaming" without gouging your eyes out with a Bojangles' spork. I double-dog dare you.

DJ Khaled - I've already gone in on Khaled, who is easily one of the most annoying persons currently living and breathing in the Western Hemisphere. For the sake or brevity, peep this if you need a greater explanation.

Damon Jones - The DJ Khaled of the NBA. A world famous weedcarrier who's managed to attach himself to some of the most successful players (Shaq, D-Wade, Lebron) in the league, effectively disguising the fact that he can't make any shot other than a 3 pointer, and even then, only at a 30% clip.

Glen Beck - This guy's bio reads like a slacker's manual for accidental success. He started out as one of those d-bag Top 40 morning show hosts, graduated to singing backup vocals for a blues band, did standup comedy, and somehow ended up with a Conservative talk show. Years later, despite not being able to make a coherent sentence, and despite being obviously faker than a $3 bill (all that damn crying. Nilla please!), Beck makes millions a year to spout tin-foil hat conspiracies. He is the real-life Dale Gribble.

Question: Any glaring omissions you wanna share? Still feel like typing the word "hater" for that Boris Kodjoe mention? Who is the Damon Jones of AverageNaton™?

[1] Cause let's face it, no Black person could get away with being so mediocre in the arena of politricks.

[2] Provided you don't become a Democrat, of course. Cause then you're just an America-hating traitor. Word to Arlen Specter.

[3] Cause let's face it, LCD Rap ain't new. They made plenty of it during the Golden Age too (ie: "Tha' Rappin' Duke" & "The Pee Wee Herman"). Let's not get all sanctimonious with the revisionist history. Everybody wasn't Rakim.

[4] And first on the "All-Annoying List": OJ The JuiceMan. Aye!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.