Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Why is New Jersey so damn entertaining?

Q: What phrase should become more popular?
A: "Put a jersey on!"

Just so you know, many years ago there was an odd exchange after a Green Bay Packers / Tampa Bay Buccaneers game between Warren Sapp and Mike Sherman. The GB head coach did not appreciate the TB defensive lineman's actions during the game. Sapp's response was to keep repeating the line, "Put a jersey on, put a jersey on..."

Lately, I've put a jersey on (cue cliche record squeal) my television.
The following are two recommendations for your televisions.
Both involve the State of New Jersey.
Both have real people.
Both couldn't be more different from each other.

You should watch MTV's Jersey Shore

Especially if you are, like me, someone who loved all the True Life episodes documenting young people's antics in Seaside Heights, NJ. This show is a true extension of those gems. However, nobody on this cast is as great as the all-time great "Tommy." (<- that's a YouTube link to his stellar True Life appearance)

This is a reality show. Make no mistake about it. Sure, I'm sure a lot of it is staged. And, not being at all exposed to "that scene" it is sometimes difficult to imagine people are actually like this. I also feel very bad for the Italian-American Defamation League. I have less sympathy for Jersey Girls. This show tries to show real drama, but the result is actual comedy.

There's already a genre assigned for actual real life drama: documentaries...

You should watch Sundance Channel's Brick City.


I rented this from Net Flix, but I believe it's also available to a lot of people who have a Sundance option in their "On Demand" listings.

On the whole, this is a good story.
A success story.
But it's amazing how horrible success can appear.
Once again I'm reminded how incredibly lucky of an existence I have.
A freakin' blissful ignorance of a childhood with no threats of gangs, drugs, poverty, fatherlessness, violence, and a general unknowing if I would live to see 30.

But this series is not all about doom and gloom as a city, Newark, fights to feel good about itself again.

On the other hand, it's a document primarily about a charismatic Mayor who believes progress can continue.
A confident police director who's views his pursuit as more of a vocation than a job.
A young woman accepting her past choices and actively mentoring others based on her experiences.

And then there are my personal highlights: a band of people who struggle every day for small victories like a school principal in a new school, a member of a "Men Against Murdering Our Children" support group and an old man named Street Doctor who is the head of a large grass roots volunteer effort in Newark.

On multiple occasions I had to rewind to catch some of the amazing quotes and drops of wisdom captured during Brick City.

I'll only choose to share one here, for I don't want to spoil the experience I just had for you:
"They say the reward for suffering is experience."

----
And now, it's time for some hidden tracks.
Mindless insomniac rants I don't want classified in its own post.

By the way, it's 4 am now.

I've been better places mentally.
But I think these two Jersey related shows are helping me now.
My life has been without perspective lately.
I'm not a bad person.
You won't see me fist pumping in a club.
My anxiety is stupid.
I'm not hungry, I have a job, I feel safe.

I'm wondering if I should convert this to a "music only" blog
There are two concerts I went to that I want to review here
A potentially very large musical initiative I am considering
More and more music that I'm finding every day that I want to share

But that's not why I started writing almost five years ago
It was for nights like now, when I can't sleep
When I have thoughts that can't stop
Thoughts that I don't necessarily want to share with anybody specifically
But I feel need to escape from my own inner monologue

Stuff I certainly can't say when I'm starting to get anonymous comments
But don't worry, I have no plans on removing that option.
I consider myself very approachable, if you don't want to leave your name - fine.
People have been, thankfully, upfront and honest to me recently.

...I'm opting to quit here with tons more in my mind...

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