Sunday, February 18, 2007

General Babble

I was flipping through a paper on Friday and I saw an ad for an upcoming Ron White comedy show in St. Louis, and I mentally recoiled in horror at the promotional photo used. Then I promptly forgot about it until yesterday when I was walking through a bookstore and I saw his comedy book for sale using a photo from the same shoot, and again I mentally cringed. It was a gestalt feeling of wrongness and I felt I had to nail it down.

It really comes down to perception and image. How one perceives oneself vs how others perceive you. And in the case of Ron White, for me, there was a huge clash.

Lets look at the photos below, the ones from the photo shoot in question.

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I don't know much about Ron White other than he is a comic on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, which plays to a demographic of Hillbillies. Due to my inability to even watch the show for two minutes without changing the channel, I don't know what his role is, but based on the running theme I know, "You can't fix stupid," I'm going to go out on a limb and say that he's the "Wise guy know it all."

Anyway somebody signed off on these pictures because they thought the subject in question portrayed a certain image.

Lets deconstruct top to bottom:

Tousled hair

They see: Rumpled bedroom hair that gives the impression of one who pays attention to style, but not too much. A low maintenance Doo.

I see: greasy and in need of a wash. What's the deal with the ears? Who cut your hair? It looks like crap.

The Eyes:

They say: A knowing, roguish  glint with a hint of "Devil may care".

I say: kind of smallish, puffy and combined with those fat, pudgy fingers, beady and "piggish".

The Cigar and drink:

They say: "I am a sophisticated man of the world. I enjoy the finer things like a fine single-malt scotch and a good cigar. Isn't that right brother? You know what I'm saying?"

I'm thinking: Boozy, boorish and smelly. Woe be on to the poor woman on the other end of the exhaust-fan of his mouth.

Overall Image:

They say: "I am a guy's guy. I've got a great life. I wear natty pin-stripe suits, I get to drink the finest booze, smoke the best cigars. Here is a man who has seen life, who gets the joke and has still come out on top. My witticisms are thinly veiled criticisms at those who fancy themselves my social betters and are designed to take them down a peg or two. I mean look at me. I have the cigar and the drink. Have I got it good or what?"

Me: Rode hard, put up wet. I see a slob nursing a hangover at a shoot just on edge of vomiting in that left hand photo. Somehow, he is magically able to send out stench waves out on a visible wavelength. He has the puffy-face of a perpetual drunk, one who, if encountered at a party, would be the loudest talker with the most annoying, scratchy-phlegmy laugh and would end up groping the hostess (thinking she wanted him) before driving off into the night hopped up on Oxycontin and scotch.

When did Gary Busey start doing stand up?


There is an obvious market for the guy in that he exists in the Entertainmosphere, and I don't fault him for that. The economics of comedy will bear fruit. It's the cognitive dissonance of these photos that are doing nasty things to my head. When you promote, you accentuate the positive, you create and image that is appealing and attractive. If that is their purpose, then I have to ask, just exactly who are these images supposed appeal to?

HA! When I first looked I thought it was Gary Busy!!! And you hit it bang on. Ron White's routine is all about knowing more. I enjoyed it though. He's a-ight.
Don't worry Pirate, you aren't missing anything funny.I only rarely watch when he's on to see if he makes a sloppy drunk fool of himself.
Larry The Cable Guy does a similar hillbilly shtick, but it turn out he's actually quite smart and knows what he's doing.
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