Almost Dodged It Entirely

« April 2017 »

Memo to Roman Reigns, Guy Fieri, and, um, Bill O'Reilly: YOU AREN'T POLITICS.

It can't always be politics, right? Every once in a while, though less and less as the years go on and the insane-to-boring ratio has shifted drastically away from pop culture and towards the ruling class, but still. Sometimes. Outside of politics. IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS!

"This is my yard now." - Roman Reigns, possibly via Roman Reigns' writer, on Monday Night Raw.

Bear with me here, because stupidity in actual scripted drama hasn't been a regular part of this column for years now, but come the fuck on. This quote followed nearly thirteen minutes of booing. They were booing because Roman Reigns retired the Undertaker, because Roman Reigns was the one who got to retire the Undertaker, and because Roman Reigns retired the Undertaker in a match longer than a half-hour episode of a sitcom and more boring than a half-hour episode of Unwrapped.

But here's the thing, for those of you not even remotely invested in spandex soaps: Roman Reigns is not a villain. He could be a villain. He should be a villain. His character frequently ACTS like a villain. But he's not written as one and he doesn't portray one. But instead of following the audience's general inclination and making him a villain, he just announced yard ownership (ostensibly the nature of his dispute with Undertaker in the first place) and left. Nobody cares whose yard it is. Dozens of people appear in the yard for seven to ten televised hours per week. It's a very busy yard, is my point, so waving your deed-dick around doesn't mean shit.

"So if we look at all my restaurants and what I do, the band would be called The Guy Fieri Band. It's not all Guy Fieri songs. You have to be willing to be creative. Look at Sammy Hagar, one of my favorites: If you look at Van Halen songs, there's a lot of people that write the songs, and if you keep creative people around you, you all create the jam together. It doesn't have to be a solo album. Half the stuff musicians sing; they don't write." - Guy Fieri, who actually said this to a reporter doing a lengthy profile on him.

There was a time, not too long ago, when I would look at a quote like this, from a globally-recognized and widely-mocked douchebag, and wonder how they could possibly say something like that when they had to know it fit so perfectly in with everything that everyone hates them hates them for. Don't most people have an internal Don't Be That Guy governor that kicks in once they realize they're being that guy?

But that thing we all know about happened, where a guy who'd spent decades being That Guy somehow overcame all societal consequence for being That Guy. So I guess it shouldn't be surprising that Fieri can stumble his way through a metaphor that's messier than his food and more convoluted than his role in popular culture to justify either not being creative, being creative, or somehow both, simultaneously.

"In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline," he said. "I’m a father who cares deeply for my children and so I have to put to rest any controversies to spare my children." - Bill O'Reilly, responding to the latest news of multiple sexual harassment settlements, including recent one.

I really did try. I pored over celebrity and entertainment news for like half an hour. I went five pages deep on Google News with keyphrases like "celebrity controversy", and apart from a vaguely racist Pioneer Woman segment from five years ago that's making the rounds again, I didn't know who any of the celebrities were. But Bill O'Reilly is more of a celebrity than a journalist anyway, and since dozens of advertisers are abandoning him, it's not a bad time to check in on Captain Falafel.

This is a hilarious defense, because there are a "Fox News Human Resources Department" is a name about as trustworthy as "Guy Fieri, FDA Chief" or "President Donald Trump". These are not institutions you go to when you need help. "Were you sexually harassed by a sexually harassing host of a network run by a sexual harasser and devoted to promoting the interests of a sexual harasser? Well, we have people who take care of sexual harassment! Trust them! On the up side, if O'Reilly finally does suffer consequences for decades of being a horrible human being, it'll ultimately be the invisible hand of capitalism that grabs him nonconsensually by the balls. Poetic justice delayed may be poetic justice denied, but it doesn't make it any less poetic.