- Category: Paul Rodenburg
- Published on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 05:47
- Written by Paul Rodenburg
- Hits: 4103
Sometimes in life the biggest mistake a person can make is to first look at what others have done. I knew a guy once who decided that he wanted to become a bass player. He got a bass guitar and tried to learn it. It came slowly to him.
One day my friend went to a Primus concert. Les Claypool is the bass player for Primus, and you would realize with in seconds of seeing him play that he is one of the greatest bass players of all time. After the concert my friend gave up on his dream of becoming a bass player, because he realized that he'd never be able to play like Les Claypool.
Tonight I decided I might like to try to write a "bit" of fake inspirational sayings. It was all started when I thought up this one:
" Life is like a kick in the teeth, followed by another and another and another, until you're toothless and dead."
From there I moved into the next logical step, parody lines.
"In the end the Chlamydia you take is equal to the Chlamydia you make."
The first one line was an original thought to me. The second line was a parody of a Beatles line that I knew off the top of my head. Up until this point I was "good." Then, since I liked the parody line, I figured, "Why not look up some famous inspirational lines, and make them funnier?"
That seemed like an easy starting point. So I googled "famous quotes," and quickly found a section of quotes supposedly by Bill Cosby.
"Women don't want to hear what you think. Women want to hear what they think - in a deeper voice." - Bill Cosby
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." - Bill Cosby
"Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope." - Bill Cosby
"You can turn painful situations around through laughter. If you can find humor in anything, even poverty, you can survive it." - Bill Cosby
"Did you ever see the customers in health - food stores? They are pale, skinny people who look half - dead. In a steak house, you see robust, ruddy people. They're dying, of course, but they look terrific." - Bill Cosby
I found those, and many more. Much funnier, deeper, and making better observations on humanity and the human condition than I ever shall. And at that point I was no longer "good." I was, as the immortal bard once proclaimed in a grand and eloquent soliloquy, "extremely fucked."
My whole comedic bit that I wished to write was instantly sunk by the fact that I realized none of it could ever compete with the work of Mr. Cosby. That it is all pale drivel in comparison.
Hollow and empty. Like the work you see of oh so many fly by night comedy troupes in L.A. Filled with talentless, white middle class people who moved from across America to "Hollywood" with a dream to act. And whose idea of comedic improv is getting on stage and shouting at each other in mock argument. As tasteless and entertaining as a bowl of mush. And I apologize to any bowls of mush out there who I may have offended by comparing them to an L.A. comedy troupe.
This is the paragraph in which I guess I'm supposed to turn to some sort of "but" revelation or the kind of arm chair inspirational quotes and pictures that fools constantly share on facebook, like: "Everyone can do it!" "We're all winners!" "Like this or Baby Jesus will cry, and you will go to hell!" (I hate to break it to everyone and be a downer, but Jesus quit being a baby over two thousand years ago.)
But who knows. Maybe those people are right. Maybe it's about forcing yourself NOT to compare yourself to other's, but to speak with your own voice. Even Bill Cosby said, "In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure."
So I could just buckle down, and say outloud, "Fuck it, I am going to do this! I am going to take that creative risk, get out of my comfort zone and write the best fake inspirational lines that I possibly can!"
Ahhh, screw that bullshit. I think I'm going to learn how to play the bass instead.