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Reassessing My Life’s Goal

Reassessing My Life’s Goal

Yeah, goal, singular.  I’m too tired to multitask this kind of stuff.  More on that in a minute.  I need to spend a second complaining about how fucking sore my legs are – this is very likely critical information for both the casual and hardcore reader of this site.  I had a goal of running 100 miles this month, which is a pretty modest, but complicated somewhat by taking off ten more days off than I’d planned. I still have 26 miles to go.  At least after tomorrow I can go down to five milers if I want.  Standing up for 13 straight hours Monday didn’t help matters much, but at least the Red Bull is wearing off – the seizures are coming less frequently now.  I still live in fear of the fucking calf cramps that are only an awkward movement away.

Couple of other things – kudos to the lady who set the craps record at the Borgata.  But where the hell was she when I needed her?  Have to imagine if she rolled that many times that the aggressive bettors took down somewhere in the neighb of $200k – $300k.  Not bad for four hours.  Also, I have to give props to the Greyhound ride that we had to resort to last night.  Granted, waiting for the bus at the AC train stati0n is one of the least desirable fates in the world (unless you are a traveling circus recruiter), but the ride itself clocked in at two hours and fifteen minutes.  That’s faster than the fucking “train service” that inexplicably does not run on Mondays (but will be happy to drop you off at 2:00 AM Monday morn just in case you are looking to spend 4-5 days in beautiful Atlantic City).  The bed-n-meth bender places there are divine.

Anyhoo, back to my reassessment.  As I alluded to yesterday, I really needed to stop and take a look at where my life was headed.  I’m using past tense here because I did stop, I did take a look and I did reevaluate my plan.  As you might recall from my first real post, one in which I didn’t even know how to post a picture (semi) properly, I vocalized my seemingly lofty long-term plan to use this website as a springboard to full-time punditry.  Preferably at VH1, the El Dorado for undertalented comics/writers/models with a snarky take on pop cultural events.

But was I selling myself short with such a goal?  I, someone who had achieved a measure of average-to-below-averageness in a wide range of career paths?  Someone who had lapped at the golden trough of The Street (only to later become lodged under The Street’s urinal cake)?  And did punditry even offer a significantly greater long-term outlook than my other failed efforts?  For every Aisha Tyler, there’s probably ten Patrice O’Neals.  Who’s Patrice O’Neal?  He’s the dude who looks like former Knick and Hornet Larry Johnson, and who parlayed his VH1 gigs into a slot as one of the factory guys on The Office.  Where’s he at now?  Looks like he got some voice work on Emmy candidate Assy McGee, but fame/fate’s fickle hands bestowed all Office factory goodness on Craig Robinson.  Where’s Michael Ian Black these days?  Shooting web videos and guesting on Reaper?  I’m not sure that’s a better place in the world than anonymous internet hack/Yellow Tail connoisseur.  (And, by the way, “connoisseur” is pretty tricky to spell, even for someone who won his school’s spelling bee in fifth grade.  But let’s not discuss how the Tulsa citywide-bee went – damn you “obscured”!  You should have two r’s!)

I’ve decided I need to pursue something that provides signficant subsistence opportunities at all points in the economic cycle.  An occupation where I can leverage my pop culture knowledge and the writing skills I’m honing on this very website.  The chance to work with a diverse mix of forward-thinking intellectuals from across the social strata.  A career path that allows for both financial and spiritual growth – not just mad scrilla with no emotional or philanthropic fulfillment.  There’s really only one job I can think of that captures all these elements and would likely allow me to continue spending 15-16 hours a day sitting on my couch.  I am going to become a featured rapper.

ianblack patrice-oneal2



         From Pundits to Pundidn’ts?






If you are reading this blog, there’s a pretty good chance you are white, so you may be unfamiliar with this career choice.  Let me translate into something more digestible for those of you in this category: let’s say you are a contractor building a house: setting the foundation, putting up the frame…actually I don’t know much housing lingo, so you’re the guy who turns the bricks, concrete, lumber, etc into a fucking house.  You do everything but put up the mailbox, you have a specialist who does that.  The mailbox guy is like the guest rapper – he does like 0.2% of the work but gets outsized credit if the mailbox is extremely noteworthy, taking the house to a whole new level.  Shit, that might’ve been a weak metaphor or whatever.  Let’s say you’re a gigolo (or a prostitute for the three female readers of this blog: hi Mom!), you take some shriveled octogenarian out to a nice dinner, maybe some dancing (you’re no common whore), set the stage and everything.  You start sexing it up real good with the old bag, even holding in your vomit until just before the climactic/possible cardiac event.  Then someone steps in to finish the job.  See – that’s also the guest rapper there, the guy who finishes the deal.  Metaphorically, he will get significant credit for a job well done and little blame for a shitty job.  Doesn’t have to do as much dirty work, but still gets paid.   Is the tableau complete now for all my white readers?

There’s always a market for guest rappers – some songs might have seven or eight “featured” artists on each song.  I believe Lil Wayne alone has been featured on something like 4700 songs.  And you don’t have to do much as the “main” rapper has okayed the beat, chorus, pentameter and all those other musical things (so I’m not a contractor and know little about music, why do you think I’m writing this stuff instead of being constructive in some way?)  But, importantly, the featured rappers apparently get to write their own lyrics – that’s fucking sweet!  Hopefully I’ll be able to start with something with a pop vibe, where my ghetto sound will give it a little crossover appeal.  (My voice sounds very similar to the crack whores on The Wire, so I know my style is gonna be legit)  And I know most of the latest slang, since I listen to a lot of Cameo, Boogie Boys and UTFO.  Word.  Fingers crossed that I can get something done with Lady Gaga, on her next socially-conscious album.  I’m already pondering what rhymes with “rain forest.”  I’m thinking “Al Gore-fest,” since that dovetails pretty nicely with the whole global warming sitch.  (That’s slang for “situation”)

So I will still be working hard at this blog; as occasional featured rapper Eminem has proven, timely, satirical jabs at pop culture targets is all the rage in the rap world.  Watch out Speidi, I’m just waiting to spit some hot fire your direction.  Plus, in this bizarro world of rap, there really aren’t any featured rappers who are 40+ year old white guys with MBAs, so I think I will have a certain corner of the market locked up from the onset.  Like, if Fat Joe has a track about Black-Scholes, I will be a logical candidate to throw down some lyricism (“For those with a mathematical persuasion, it starts with a partial differential equation”).  I can go all day.  Let me (for like the eighth time) take us out with the greatest featured rapper debut in history, one that changed the annals of hip-hop, gin consumption and adding -izzle to every word, forever.   



Search Engine Mishmash

Search Engine Mishmash

One of the benefits of running your own website is you get tons of interesting stats to peruse – who’s reading your site, at what times, on what operating system, using what browser, etc.  That’s how I know I have so many peeps in Scandinavia (hi, Jack!) and attract so few Sun Solaris users.  The search engine queries are most interesting, as well.  Without question, the vast majority of people who find this site from Google or whatnot are here looking for candy-related content.  My Candy Bar Manifesto apparently struck a chord – like Ricky Gervais, one of my earliest efforts may mark my legacy.  I imagine the average person expecting a candy-focused website is quite disappointed with the poo-poo platter of Sriracha-drizzled nonsense found here (almost) daily.

In the last few days, however, my celebrity focused search engine traffic has really taken off given some more mainstream topics.  Initially the biggest source of search engine traffic , by far, in the universe was Dennis Bolze.  You are probably asking, “Don’t you mean Dennis Bove, the cinematographer of the riveting 2005 documentary The Sponge Divers of Tarpon Springs?”  No, I mean Dennis Bolze, a third-tier Ponzi mastermind from Tennessee, who once pretended to have won $100 million in the lottery and suckered a bunch of Europeans out of their dough.  Apparently Dennis has disappeared from the headlines since his arrest and some folks scrounging for any scrap of info on the guy have stumbled upon my website (no pun intended) after a tangential mention in the Marc Dreier piece.

But Dennis’ massive starpower has recently been eclipsed here by more traditional media stars.  This site is becoming a virtual reflection of society’s tastes, interests and hygiene routines.  So to appease my myriad advertisers, I’ve made an effort to tie all this unimportant stuff together to ease the search engine newcomers into the wpz universe.  How would our biggest search engine draws respond to the question “what’s the greatest candy of all time?”


Fuck the candy bars, can I get my money back for Hancock?
Fuck the candy bars, can I get my money back for Hancock?


Will Smith:  I’d like to say that every candy bar is delicious in its own right, and I’ve worked very hard to position myself to enjoy a variety of such candy bars.  I’ll need to conduct extensive research with my marketing team to determine what the least offensive, most congenial candy bar is before I’m able to adequately answer.  I prefer to hold off answering until I’ve had time to carefully consider all the facts and am promoting Hancock 2: This One Doesn’t Make Sense Either.

Translation: Hershey Bar.  Not the kind with almonds, either.  Some key demographics have high rates of nut allergies, you don’t want to ostracize them.


The swindler in happier times
The swindler in happier times


Dennis Bolze:  I’m pretty partial to Chick-O-Sticks.  I remember sodomizing a sixth grader with one when I was in eighth grade.  It was the best candy I ever had.

Translation: This sounds like either prison wishful thinking or one too many viewings of Your Friends & Neighbors.  Fuck it, chalk Dennis up for a Chick-O-Stick.  Those things are horrid, though.


"Toffifay, toffifay, hazelnut, caramel and chocolate all three"
"Toffifay, toffifay, my, my, my, my, my, my Toffifay"

Lady Gaga: In a world riddled with horrific problems from famine to vaginal mutilation to the massive pants surplus, how can I neglect my art for even one moment to ponder such an inconsequential issue as candy?

Translation: Toffifay.  “Poker Face” was originally a jingle for Toffifay.



Ironically, I cannot really blame it on the alcohol since I'm only drinking champagne
Huh, I guess he really can blame it on the alcohol

Jamie Foxx:  This sounds like it could be a hit song idea – throw in some autotuner, T-Pain…

“Claim that Snickers make your middle thicker,

claim that kit kat make your ass fat,

Three Musketeers give ya big rears,

But not in mod-er-a-a-a-a-ation”

Yeah, that’s sounds good, get Breyon on the phone….

Translation: No idea.  Seems like a Zagnut fan, though, if I were pressed for an answer.



OK, I'll admit, I'm not well-versed in their work.  But they fill a key demographic
OK, I'll admit, I'm not well-versed in their work. But they are part of a key audience demographic


Lissi Dancefloor Disaster:  At Uppsala University, we would sometimes enjoy some Ahlgren’s Bilar.

Translation: First ever vote for Ahlgren’s Bilar (Swedish chewy candy cars).  Crazy Swedes – who eats candy cars?


This post worked a lot better when I was conceptualizing it on the treadmill, but I’m far too lazy to hit delete and start over.  The joys of running your own show – you also run the quality control department!




The Haunting Poetry of Lady Gaga

The Haunting Poetry of Lady Gaga

A brilliant new voice has descended on the U.S. music/poetry/political scenes, and she goes by the name of Lady Gaga.  Words cannot properly capture her essence, but Lady Gaga can probably best be described as a combination of Bob Dylan, Maya Angelou and (a young) Madonna, but more ethereal.  Not content with just the narcissistic rewards of material wealth and worldwide fame, the Lady also uses her music as a political platform for important and pressing social issues.  A philanthropist and world traveler by nature, her concerns and passions are not bound by the geographical limits of her homeland – she has a truly global perspective.  It is likely that, when the epitaph is finally written on her long and distinguished career, her ice-encrusted sunglass-wearing visage will be carved into the Mt. Rushmore of socially-conscious singer/songwriters (with Lennon, Dylan and Kris Kristofferson).  Also, she generally eschews wearing pants.

As an example, consider her crusade against the genocide in Darfur.  Political commentary will rarely be as haunting as that of “Just Dance.”  Consider the lyrics below:

“I’ve had a little bit too much

All of the people start to rush

Start to rush by

A dizzy twister dance

Can’t find my drink or man.

Where are my keys, I lost my phone”

The protagonist in “Just Dance” is a poignant metaphor for a displaced Baggara nomad, continuously jostled and on the move to find water for his livestock.  Her eloquence here neatly captures the oxymoronic claustrophibia (and looming violence) felt by the nomads who are essentially trapped in wide open arid spaces.

Lady Gaga, understanding the complex nature of the social topics she addresses, rarely lays out a full plan of action.  Instead, she prefers to initially suggest a broad approach to a solution.  To wit:

“Wish I could shut my playboy mouth.

How’d I turn my shirt inside out? Inside out, right

Control your poison babe

Roses have thorns they say

And we’re all gettin’ hosed tonight”

Here, she almost literally suggests that the Sudanese military, the Janjaweed and the rebel fighters take a moment to silently reflect on the situation from their enemies perspective, with strong consideration given to the significant collateral damage to be suffered by all sides.  Ultimately, Gaga uses thinly veiled sarcasm to suggest that, barring compromise from the warring parties, a continued lack of strong intervention by the UN will result in perpetual revolution of the carousel of war.

“Just dance. Gonna be okay


Just dance. Spin that record babe


Just dance. Gonna be okay


Dance. Dance. Dance. Just dance.”

Disclaimer: I never said she was hot
Disclaimer: I never said she was hot

Lady Gaga’s song “Poker Face,” hit #1 in 20 countries – largely due to its powerful stance on global warming.  Not since “Fergalicious” have I been so moved.  In an inspired bit of songwriting, Gaga initially sings from the perspective of our planet itself:

“Oh, oh, oh, oh, ohhhh, ohh-oh-e-ohh-oh-oh

I’ll get him hot, show him what I’ve got

Oh, oh, oh, oh, ohhhh, ohh-oh-e-ohh-oh-oh,

I’ll get him hot, show him what I’ve got”

She brilliantly employs foreshadowing to suggest the sad outcome of our worldwide collective disinterest in excess anthropogenic greenhouse gas production.

“I won’t tell you that I love you

Kiss or hug you

Cause I’m bluffin’ with my muffin

I’m not lying I’m just stunnin’ with my love-glue-gunning

Just like a chick in the casino

Take your bank before I pay you out

I promise this, promise this

Check this hand cause I’m marvelous”

Here, Gaga ingeniously embraces simile, shifting to the perspective of the Kyoto Protocol and strongly implying that the long-term economic benefits of adoption will vastly outweigh the up-front costs of implementation.  The immense popularity of this song, and its robust political commentary, has led the Obama administration to strongly reconsider both Kyoto Protocol adoption and the U.S. approach to the December 2009 Copenhagen summit.

Lady Gaga, we at Wasted Potentialz salute your dedication and hope your Anti-Pants Protocol also becomes a worldwide standard.


If you liked this post, also check out:

The Ten Best Candy Bars Ever

The Top Ten Snack Chips

My Three Most Ridiculous Attempts at Entrepreneurship

My Top Three Reality Show Ideas (plus one from TDiddy)