On Vanity Deaths, Larry David and Jesus' Good Fortune..
On May 5, 2087, the moon's first colonists are paid a visit.
OK. So this week I was dead set on creating the best, most thought-provoking, stylishly written post in Blaxplanation's short history. Then I realized that I'm kind of lazy and that, like many Americans, I'd rather watch television than do any real thinking. So this freestyle is what those of you who choose to read this blog are left with. Enjoy it if you can.
As most already know, Kanye West's mother, Donda West, died a few days ago. It is suspected that Dr. West's death was caused by post-op complications after she endured a botched plastic surgery. The only photo that I've seen of Jan Adams, the doctor who performed the surgery, is a mugshot that was taken after he had been arrested for a DWI. At the time of this writing, the portrait that is being painted of Adams is that of a Beverly Hills Butcher who has a history of disfiguring his patients.
One of the most disheartening parts of this unfortunate incident is the criticism of Dr. West that I've been hearing for the past couple of days. Supposedly, Donda West was initially advised not to undergo surgery because of concerns for her health. She, apparently, balked at the idea that she would have to postpone her surgery and sought another opinion - that of Dr. Jan Adams. I've spoken with more than one person who feels that Donda West brought this on herself. They liken her demise to that of those who, emboldened by their own "celebrity," foolishly court death. Her's, according to this opinion, was little more than a vanity death. Also, she was an educated woman. Shouldn't she have known better?
Well, to me, even if the rumors of her being forewarned are true, this is a pretty rotten and judgmental rationale. Was the decision to ignore a doctor's advice and press on with elective surgery a good one? Obviously not. But most of us have acted irrationally at some point during our lives and are fortunate enough to not have died as a result. I don't doubt that one of the main reasons that some people feel this way has to do with the fact that Dr. West elected to have plastic surgery. Many people assume the moral high ground when it comes to this procedure. They claim to believe that one shouldn't alter one's appearance if one doesn't have to. This strikes me as oddly judgmental, considering the fact that the number of elective plastic surgeries climbs significantly every year. Also, many people in general, and women in particular, have a terrible self-image when it comes to their bodies. We're living in a world in which the quick fix has become the norm so it shouldn't surprise us that a wealthy woman, doctorate or no, would find a way to get a perfunctory tummy tuck. I guess I also shouldn't find it surprising that some folks would find a way to blame the victim.
According to a newly-released study from the Pew Charitable Trusts, if you're a young black person, you're broker than folks were at your age. The Washington Post reported that - while the black/white income disparity has decreased - black Americans are actually less prosperous now than their parents were. No wonder my mother is still mailing me birthday cards with money in them. So much for the growing black middle class I've been waiting so anxiously to join.
On Sunday night the last two minutes of the season finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm moved into that rare stratosphere of comedic genius.
A couple of representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints paid me a visit a few days ago. I wasn't expecting them. However, after I found out who it was, I answered the door for two reasons. The first is because I'm a relatively hospitable dude. The second is because, like Inigo Montoya, I've been waiting years to say something to the next Mormon proselytizer that I came across. Here's exactly how it went down:
LDS: *Ding, dong*
ACT (answering door with the Book of Mormon in hand): Hello! Are you guys LDS?
LDS (looking genuinely surprised): Ha! Yes sir we are!
ACT (chomping at the bit): Great! Well I know why you're here and I just want to say that I've had many conversations with members of the LDS church. Now, before you begin, I think I should tell you that you might want to consider using your considerable powers of persuasion on someone else.
LDS (trudging right along): Well, we've come here to..
ACT (going in for the kill): Oh no. Believe me, I know why you've come - to spread the *tapping meaningfully on the Book of Mormon* Good Word. Well, like I said, I've already heard it and until one of you guys can explain why 2nd Nephi chapter 5 verse 21 - a clear cut celebration of white supremacy - is included in your book of worship then you should probably keep it moving. Take care.
Which brings me to my last thought. If you had to die in order to save the world would you do it? I was about to go to surveymonkey to establish a poll on this when I realized that I didn't need to. It's a no-brainer. Of course most of us would. Only a selfish, misanthropic bastard would choose himself over 6 and half billion people. Why then do the Jesus groupies with whom I occasionally come into contact act as if Jesus did something so noble? He was lucky. If I gave you a choice between a) dying an agonizing death to save the souls of every single person who will ever inhabit the known world, for which you will be eternally recognized and worshiped or b) working for 30 thankless years in a middle management position, which would you choose? That's not even taking into account the fact that millions of people have succumbed to deaths that were at least as tortuous as Jesus' for nothing at all. Am I the only one who feels this way?