Monday, August 10, 2009

Disappointment in the Lopez

The other night I watched George Lopez's Tall, Dark, and Chicano on HBO. I was greatly disappointed. For one thing, most of his jokes were just his old ones told in a different way, about how tough Chicanos are and how silly white folk are. The jokes were amusing, but they were nothing new. I heard them all before from his other shows and from other comedians who like to play the race card in their shows. All in all, the man was preaching to the choir because the audience howled and cheered with approval at every Latino Pride statement he had said, which he did more than actually telling jokes. The show felt more like a political rally than an actual comedy show.

I'm sure there are people out there who would say, "he's just a comedian telling jokes! If you don't like him then don't watch him!" There were some jokes that were good and made me laugh, but for the rest of the hour and a half I found myself smiling but thinking, "okay, when is he going to knock off the racial and political humor? This isn't all that funny." It's good that the man is proud of his people, but I think a good comedian should add more variety in his show than what Mr. Lopez had in his. If other people had a good time, then I'm glad they did. But as for myself, his latest show didn't strike my funny bone the way I had expected it to.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

One Fine Day at the Theater (Part 3: Worst Complaint Ever)

Things go wrong all the time. There's no helping it. Human nature and all that rot. So when things go wrong people complain or, to put it more politely, ask to see a manager. One night I was sweeping the lobby of popcorn when a customer came out of a theater looking upset. He and I made eye contact and then he asked me if he could see a manager. I made the mistake of saying, "there's no manager around right now, but can I help you?" At this point I had been working there for some time and had a good grasp of what people expected of a movie theater. Tasty popcorn, cold soda, a rat-free lobby, and a focused picture. I assumed that his complaint fell in one of these categories or something close to it. I was wrong. He complained about the pre-show ads, saying to me: "I did not pay ten dollars to watch commercials."

I was totally flabbergasted. What was I supposed to say to something like that? "I'm sorry, sir, but those commercials play at the beginning of most movie theaters ACROSS THE COUNTRY!" After a minute or so of listening to him complain and me saying, "mm" or "I see," he walked back in. Apparently, the man was not gung-ho enough to find a manager. Now, I can understand his kind of frustration. I get annoyed from commercials on TV when I'm watching my favorite shows, but there is a wonderful invention called the Mute button. We live in an age where we are constantly bombarded by advertisements playing to our emotions, fears, and dreams, trying to seduce us into buying certain products or services. Fortunately for us, we still have the power to tune out these messages if we so choose and to complain about it, like how this man did was idiotic. If he was so offended by Coca Cola telling him how he can open happiness by having a Coke, then he could have just waited in the lobby and waited for about ten minutes before the show started. Maybe he could have brought *gasp!* a book!