Age and My New Worst Enemy

13 Oct

This week I had started to make peace with the idea that I’m just not going to reach the peak of my success until I get older. Probably a couple of decades older, just because of the craft I am committing myself to. Many stand-up comedians don’t tend to really “make it” before they near middle age. Carlin had been on TV for a while when he was younger, but I think most of what he’s really remembered for he did after hitting his 40s. Louis C.K. and Patton Oswalt, my current two favorites, have only started getting a lot of recognition in the last couple of years and both are in their 40s.

You get the occasional aberrations like Dane Cook, but basically he’s an Abercrombie and Fitch model who learned to yell with the right timing, so otherwise, the comedians who make themselves famous for smart and well-developed material do so after having taken a while.

That’s the nature of the beast, though. The comedians who get famous are the ones who really have something to say, and you have to have been alive for a while before you really have something to say. I think life experience is the best spice to flavor any creative endeavor. It’s explicitly most helpful when you deal with observational comedy, because, naturally, you’ve observed more, but I think it helps give any kind of humor a more mature and well-defined shape. I’m just now starting to write material that doesn’t seem forced and comes from a natural “voice,” and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it  happened after graduating college and starting to really live an adult life on my own. I’m not going to be at my real funniest until I’ve had more time to develop opinions and reactions to the real adult world.

However, just as I was about to accept and be happy with that, this thought crept into my mind: I am 22 years old. Do you know who else is currently 22 years old?

Nicole Polizzi, a.k.a. Jersey Shore’s “Snooki.”

For those of you who don’t watch Jersey Shore and are unfamiliar with Snooki, first, congratulations on being a worthwhile human being. Second, Jersey Shore is a reality TV show (first bad sign) on MTV (second bad sign), that is basically fixing a camera on the ape tank at the zoo, except the chimps have gelled hair and popped collars. Each episode is a collection of people cursing, drinking, fighting, and fucking, a magnum opus of America’s voyeuristic obsession with the dregs of its own society, like somebody with a rash on his balls spending an hour every day looking at it with a magnifying glass.

Snooki is one of the stars of that show, one of her most notable achievements being getting punched in the face by a drunk douche in a bar.

Guess what? She’s getting a book deal.

So let’s review here:

Me: 22 years old, Ivy League education, currently doing open mics in the back of bars trying to get recognized and struggling to find a part-time job that won’t drive me insane and still help pay my expenses.

Snooki: 22 years old, has no college education I can look up on the internet, is the embodiment of every stereotype you don’t want your daughter to grow up to be, and is a national television star with a book deal.

Sometimes you think age is a virtue, and then you see things like this that make you sit and think some people are just going to be handed the success you are putting in the hours to achieve.

However, I know being submerged in resentment is no way to live your life, so I am reflecting on the positives. I have been getting noticed, to a certain degree. In the past month, two people have expressed interest in booking me on the shows they run. In two years, I’ll have a master’s degree that will make me more marketable for a bigger job. In that time, Snooki might have finally exhausted all of her novelty and will desperately be trying to climb back to the top on the reality TV fame-rebound circuit–i.e. either Dancing With the Stars or Celebrity Rehab. I am someone whose talent is to produce and keep producing thoughts and ideas to be consumed, and that will last longer than any orange spray-on tan.

At the very least, my petty hatred can be my last motivator. If and when I have nothing left to keep me going, no faith in myself or my abilities, I will know I must get famous somehow just so I can destroy Snooki. I will develop a maniacal obsession with her and dedicate unreasonable mental energy to complex schemes just so I can be in the same place and the same time as Snooki and then focus my rage, envy, and bitterness into a psychic death ray pouring out of my brain that will rend her asunder, incinerating her into a cloud of dust that smells like cheap perfume and appletinis.

So in that respect, thank you, Snooki, thank you for being the Spider-Man to my Venom, giving the symbiote of my bitter resentment enough power to take over and drive me towards infamy. When I see you in Hell, I’ll take solace in knowing that “Jersey Shore” will still have been the only thing worth writing about in your obituary.

Wow, that shit got dark at the end there.

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One Response to “Age and My New Worst Enemy”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. An Unnerving Situation « Gay Muslim Abortion - 03/15/2011

    […] “The Situation” Sorrentino as a guest on his TBS show Conan. Now, if you’ve read my previous post where I declare his cast-mate Snooki my arch-nemesis, you can infer that I’m not a big fan of […]

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