bad TV, celebrities, funny stories, true crime

Chris Rock’s “squirrel joke” ends with a slap heard ’round the world…

I don’t follow awards shows at all, and haven’t even been to the movies since 2018. Nevertheless, I woke up this morning to the news about how actor Will Smith smacked comedian Chris Rock at the Academy Awards last night. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard the story, here’s what happened. Chris Rock was hosting the Oscars show, and he made a tasteless joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, Will’s wife. Jada Pinkett Smith has a condition called alopecia areata, which causes patches of hair loss. Consequently, she’s almost bald.

Chris Rock made a crack about the alopecia, making reference to the film G.I. Jane, which starred Demi Moore, who was sporting a very short haircut. He says he expects to see Jada in G.I. Jane II. Jada Pinkett Smith’s response was simply to roll her eyes, but Will Smith went a whole lot further when he marched up on the stage, hauled off, and slapped Rock across the face.

That is what you call a bitch slap. He definitely didn’t hold back at all.

I’m sure Chris Rock felt his teeth rattle after that blow to the face. I have to give him props for shaking it off and carrying on. Especially as Will Smith then tells Chris Rock to keep his wife’s name out of his “fuckin’ mouth”.

I’m sure a lot of people had this reaction…

I’ve seen a number of reactions to this incident, and I’ve gotta say, I’m kind of shocked by how many people think it’s okay that Will Smith reacted with violence to Chris Rock’s crappy joke. I certainly agree that the joke was in very poor taste, and it definitely wasn’t funny at all. However, while I can understand Will Smith’s impulse to strike Chris Rock in the face for publicly insulting his wife, I don’t think it was the right thing to do. Smith committed a crime when he hit Rock, and there are literally millions of witnesses to what happened. Moreover, it just isn’t civilized behavior to give in to violent impulses, particularly in a setting like the Oscars. It was supposed to be a dignified occasion, not the fucking Friday night fights. These two men turned what was supposed to be an honorable and dignified occasion into something that was decidedly not family friendly.

If Smith had just kept his cool, Rock would have looked like an asshole. We probably would even be talking about what a lame, mean-spirited joke Rock made at Jada Pinkett Smith’s expense. Instead, we’re all talking about Will Smith’s thuggery, perhaps even taking a side as to which man behaved worse. And then, Smith wins an award and gets up to talk about “what God wants him to do” and “protecting” his family. He blames his violent actions on “the devil”, which I think was quite a cop out.

He says he wants to be a vessel to love… but first he needs to learn to keep his hands to himself.

There are times when a violent reaction to an action is completely justifiable. For instance, if Chris Rock was physically attacking Jada, I could understand Will Smith smacking Rock in the face… or Jada herself decking him. But Chris Rock is a comedian, and it’s his job to make people laugh. Sometimes, comedians go for cheap laughs by making demeaning comments and insults about other people. I’m not saying it’s right, but I do think it often comes with the territory of being a comedian. I mean, even Spongebob Squarepants once got laughs by insulting Sandy Squirrel, right?

I think Chris Rock could learn from Sandy Squirrel’s lesson for Spongebob.

I just rewatched this clip from Spongebob Squarepants and, seriously… it really is quite a lot like what happened, except Spongebob didn’t get his beating in public like Rock did. And Rock, astonishingly, somehow managed to keep his composure and the show apparently went on. But a better comedian can make jokes without hitting below the belt with comments about things other people can’t help. It’s not cool to make fun of another person’s body. So I think Will Smith should have just let Rock’s joke stand for the poor comedy it was, and kept his hands to himself. Or, if he really wanted to hit him, he should have done it at a time and place where the world wasn’t watching.

Chris Rock could press charges against Mr. Smith, and it’s pretty likely that the law would be on Rock’s side. I’m sure a lot of judges would have some sympathy for Smith, but it would be wrong to condone violence. I mean, we learn in kindergarten not to go around hitting each other, right? It’s one of the first lessons children learn in school.

Moving on…

We had a really nice weekend. The weather was perfect, and we got out a couple of times. And on Friday, I ordered new sheets for our bed… first ones since 2015, when I bought Comphy microfiber spa sheets. I remember writing about that purchase on my original blog. Those sheets have started developing a hole, so Friday, I decided to get new ones. I love Comphy sheets. They are my favorites.

Comphy doesn’t ship to APO addresses, so I originally wanted to purchase them and have them sent to my mother-in-law. I was able to do that in 2015. This time, I couldn’t do it, so I had to have them shipped directly to me. I ordered Friday morning and they have already gotten here! The credit card charge hasn’t even posted yet!

Granted, I paid a lot for the sheets. I bought an extra set of pillow cases, and a throw, so that all amounted to a pretty big bill. Customs and shipping were also pricey. BUT… they really are the best sheets I’ve had. They’re super soft and comfortable; they don’t wrinkle or pill; and they are very durable through hundreds of washings. So I don’t mind that they cost more than a month’s rent in my apartment in grad school.

I’m now giving them a preliminary wash and I heard the chime go off, so In an hour or so, I will be putting them on the bed… and I suspect, thanks to DST taking effect yesterday, in about three hours, I’ll be napping on them.


book reviews

Repost: A review of Laid Bare: My story of love, fame, and survival, by Gail Porter

This is yet another reposted book review. I wrote this one in 2014, after having had the book suggested to me by a reader. The review is posted in its unedited form.

I just finished yet another e-book, this time by Scottish presenter Gail Porter.  I’m not sure what made me download this book.  I had never heard of Porter before I read her book, 2010’s Laid Bare, though she is apparently famous in Britain.  Porter is about my age, was born and raised near Edinburgh, and is known for being on Top of the Pops, a show I do remember from my early years in England.  She was also a well-known pin-up model for men’s magazines like GQ.  

Known for being bubbly and cheery, Porter had a good career in television, although no one knew that she was suffering from anorexia nervosa and bipolar disorder. She eventually married Toploader guitarist Dan Hipgrave and, against the odds, they had a daughter named Honey.  Though she adored her baby girl, marriage and motherhood apparently didn’t make Porter’s life perfect.  The issues with eating disorders, bipolar disorder, and cutting continued until she eventually landed in a hospital after overdosing on pills and vodka.  Then her hair fell out when she developed alopecia.

I just finished reading this book this morning.  Porter’s writing is chatty and conversational.  I got a kick out of the British slang, most of which I managed to understand, despite being a Yank.  And I did find her story quite compelling.  I felt compassion and empathy for her, knowing how difficult it is to suffer from mental illness and emotional distress.  I have never been bipolar, but I have suffered from depression.  I know how crazy that made me feel.  Adding to her problems were unsympathetic doctors and long waits for treatment owing to the backlog of patients using the National Health Service (NHS). 

I don’t really feel like the book was finished, though.  As much as I enjoyed reading it, it seems like there was more to Gail Porter’s story and readers are left hanging.  I did enjoy Porter’s pluck, though.  She’s been through a lot, despite her successes, and she’s handled her baldness with grace.  I wish her well and wish that her book were a little more complete.  I am a bit of a sucker for celebrity tell alls, especially when they involve dramatic struggles with illnesses.  Porter’s story is even more intriguing, since she’s British and I find reading about the British healthcare system kind of interesting.

Oddly enough, no one on has reviewed this.  Maybe I should check the British site to see if I’m alone in my thoughts that this book felt a bit incomplete…  Or perhaps my readers from the UK can “weigh in”…  ETA:  Just checked the British Amazon site and one person gave it three stars.  They said it “lacked substance”.  I think I agree.  This book felt rushed and despite being plenty long, didn’t really offer the “meat” I would have expected in a book about such serious subjects.  But it’s certainly not the worst book I’ve ever read.  I think I’d give it three stars too.

A BBC interview starring Gail Porter…

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