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I have always been jealous of my buddy Tony Jaramillo. While I spent my youth in Kingsville, Texas, he was coming of age on the east coast. Once upon a time, many years ago, he took whatever tunnel or bridge or ferry you take to go into ‘the city’ (I don’t know how it works) and he saw the Beastie Boys live, on tour with Run DMC, no less. He did also end up in Kingsville, where we met, so maybe I shouldn’t be too jealous.

the Beastie Boys chapter from my book, which at current rate may never be finished. I’ve been Licensed to Ill was one a fan of Mike D, Ad Rock and the of the first CD’s I ever bought, late MCA for over 20 years and which you can read about this on September 1st, me and about issue in an ‘encore’ printing of 200 other lucky Corpus Christinos will get to check out Rhymin N Stealin, the original Beastie Boys tribute band. Oddly, the first book I ever enjoyed reading, contained an essay on tribute bands (Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman) and was loaned to me by that same Tony. Not many people know this about me, not even Tony, but I can freestyle rap like nobody’s business. The reason this fact remains secret is because I have not nor will I ever freestyle rap openly, but for years, as I walked home from school I would...........… flow like a river --- your’re all wet --- Don’t you forget --- that these rhymes that I spit --- are… NO… NO. I’m not going to do that. I don’t have anything to prove to anyone. Like I said, I only drop lines……………… for myself --you can’t help --- the fact that you lose your mind when I spill out lyrics, try to comprehend --- but you can not hear it --- you’re deaf dumb and ugly --- and that’s just the start --- this started as writing but ended as art. [mic drop?] V

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Matthews Zombie Art by Russell Tippit Disclaimer:The Vent is a satirical publication and is not intended for readers under 18 years of age. The Vent uses invented names in all of its stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental. Any statements made expressed or implied in the Vent are solely those of columnist and do not represent the position of our advertisers, who do not accept responsibility for such statements. All characters, products, and photos published are trademark and copyright of their respective owners.



Rhymin’ N Stealin’ – The Original Beastie Boys Tribute Band – Sept. 1st What do you do with your life when you hit your 30’s after playing in numerous bands, traveling the world as a professional rollerblader, even competing in the X-Games and basically just having a tremendous time… obviously, you start a Beastie Boys tribute band and you do it all over again. Kyle Smith AKA Ad Rock told us how Rhymin’ N Stealin’ came to be and a little bit about how much he loves the Beastie Boys. Vent: Since you’ve never been to Corpus Christi, lets start by telling us what the crowd can expect from the show. Kyle: Well, it is a high energy, punch-you-in-theface Beastie Boys experience. We’ve been at it about 10 years, and we don’t take our selves seriously at all, but we take what we do very seriously. So it makes for a good show, and you know, we’re paying homage to - what we consider to be - one of the greatest hip-hop bands of all time. And our DJ painstakingly details and recreates the Beastie Boys Live Experience. He takes a lot of what Mix Master Mike did live and is recreating a lot of live stuff that he mixed in during live performances there towards the last 10-15 years of the Beastie Boys being around. V: Right on, have any of you guys ever met the real Beastie Boys or seen them live? K: Yeah, so we just played a show with Mix Master Mike. He’s the DJ for Cypress Hill now, and we just opened for Cypress Hill, The Pharcyde, Everlast, 2 Live Crew, Inner Circle, Slick Rick. It was a big old school hip-hop festival. So we got to meet Mix Master Mike and chat with him about what we’re doing and it was a lot of fun. V: So do you have a favorite song that you like to perform? K: Well, I do personally: my favorite Beastie Boys song, a song called “Shadrach.” Which is off of a record called “Paul’s Boutique.” But, you know, sometimes my favorite song to perform is not necessarily the favorite song of the crowd right? Sometimes crowds are really into it, and sometimes they’re like, “Aw man, this is my song to go get a drink.” So we don’t play it as much, and there’s a lot of songs we love doing. We love doing Pass the Mic is one of my favorites to do, I love

doing “Sabatoge,” I love doing “Get It Together,” “Sure Shot,” “Root Down”. There are so many great songs, we do a lot of stuff off of “Paul’s Boutique.” “Hay Ladies”, “Shake Your Rump”, ”Egg Man” We do a ton of tracks of that one. “High Plains Drifter” is another good one, deep cut, but it’s a good one. You know, those are fun songs to do, but I’ve got my own personal favorites. One of of my personal favorites is “Professor Booty” which is off “Check Your Head”. That’s a fun one to perform ‘cause it’s unlike most Beastie Boys songs. That song is three verses with just, you know, each guy, Ad Rock has a verse, and Mike D has a verse, and MCA has a verse. And it’s not a lot of back and forth, it’s just kinda like 3 little solo performances. V: What is the best lyric that you get to deliver? K: “Make another record cause the people want more of this. Suckers thay be saying they can take out Adam Horovits,” that’s a good one. Gosh man, there are so many good Ad Rock lines from every album from every era. “I got friends and family that I respect, when I think I’m too good they put me in check, so believe when I say I’m no better than you, except when I rap, so I guess it ain’t true.” That’s a good one. V: Right on, what’s a line that you wish was one of yours? K: You know, when I grew up, I loved most of MCA’s lyrics. “Like a lemon to a lime, a lime to a lemon, I sip the def ale with all the fly women.” Stuff like that, you know? There’s so many classics - MCA’s got such soul. And that’s why you’ll never see the Bestie Boys live again. There’s no replacing MCA. And he had so much soul and he had so many lines that are just classic Beastie Boys and classic MCA. I don’t wish they were my lines, we really enjoy each of the individual roles we play - but I really enjoy hearing them over and over when you do a show. V: What if the Beastie Boys did not exist? Who would be the next band on your list that you might do something like this for? K: Man, you know, honestly this came about - each one of us, or two of the four of us were improvisational comedians, and this got started by accident. We were in an improv comedy troupe in Dallas, and a buddy of ours had written a children’s book and was having it published



and was having a big party and there was like 300 people coming. And we’re like - we debated whether or not we could do some sketch comedy or some improve scenes... and me and a buddy were like, “Hey, what if we do a couple Beastie Boys songs.” And everyone’s like, “Oh yeah, man!” Highfive. Highfive. “That’s a great idea, everyone loves the Beastie Boys. Whatever.” So, we learned 3 songs, and you know I’d been practicing musically since I was 14-15 years old. So we did, Fight For Your Right “Paul Revere,” and we did “The New Style.” We did 3 songs, right… An people lost their minds. They were like, “When are you guys playing again? We want to see a whole show!” And we’re like, “We’re never playing again. This was a bit!” You know? Then a buddy of mine that owned a bar - this was in May - said, “Hey, come back for Halloween. Learn 20 songs, and do a show” I said, “Alright.” So we did it. We came back, and we did a show, Halloween. And a dude that wrote for the music periodical - The Dallas Observer was walking by this bar when we were playing, and he stopped in his tracks, came inside and we got nominated for Best Tribute Band, that year at our first performance. So we were like, “God, man I guess we’re on to something.” And then like a couple months later Vanilla Ice reached out for us and we opened for Vanilla Ice. And then a girl that was there booked for House of Blues and we got a call, and she’s like, “You gotta come play House of Blues.” And then since then we’ve played 3 or 4 countries, we’ve played in 30 of the 50 states. We’ve probably done 500 shows in the past 10 years. Yeah, all over. V: One of the first CD’s I ever bought - I remember buying it at a pawnshop - was “Licensed to Ill.” So I’ve been a fan for a long time of the Bestie Boys, since I was a teenager. So yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to this show. K: Yeah man, it’s a ton of fun. We really do work we’re very meticulous about recreating the whole Beastie Boys experience. From the way we move, to what we say, to how we banter with the crowd, and everything that goes along with it. And, as I said, we’re not a cover band, we are a tribute band, and we tribute to the Beastie Boys and pay homage to them. So, that’s something that’s really important to us. I hope you’re there and I hope you enjoy the show. Be sure to catch this amazing show at Chelsea’s on Labor Day Weekend. For ticket information call 361-906-6225. V



If you don’t want to read 2000 words about masturbation then feel free to push the skip button on this track. If you DO want to read 2000 words about masturbation, maybe you should re-examine your life a little bit. What’s the big deal? We all do it. Sometimes out of necessity or laziness other times out of boredom and of course just for fun. Come up with any circumstance and I can retort with strong reasons as to why masturbation is the best option to cope with it. You threw a last minute Super Bowl interception: the cheerleaders are still hot right? Your wife left you for her high school sweetheart: now you don’t have to feel bad about pulling it to her best friend’s Facebook pics. Death of a friend: some people pour out a shot of liquor for the departed, I say, save the alcohol and spill out something else. A crazed psychopath axe-murders your entire family: if you’re erect after that, you have serious issues. Get a hold of yourself, sicko - not literally! Coming to prison camp I had no idea what to expect. Sex was a big part of my free-world life. On the outside I was always trying to get inside-if you know what I mean. My dirt-bag tendencies have, a number of times, even caused me to balance my already shaky marriage over the fault line of some strange labia. I’ve been a real trashcan when it comes to that part of my life. I thought that going to prison would really mess with me in this department. I was worried that if I couldn’t seduce some chubby lady guard then I would for sure end up going gay. Luckily for me, not long after I arrived to camp my relationship with good old Rosy Palmer was quickly rekindled. Not that we ever stopped seeing each other. Now once again, by default, her and her five friends became my number one. Unlike a wife Rosy doesn’t care who you are thinking about when you do the seed deed. She also never gets tired and is



always in the mood because she knows that YOU CAN’T, YOU WON’T, AND YOU DON’T STOP. STRICTLY HANDHELD IS THE STYLE I GO… well, that’s not entirely true. It didn’t take me long to start experimenting in the self sex department. I’ve never had the freedom or need, let alone the budget to try the whole pretend-pink-parts thing. I’ve never had a near sex experience in which I felt like I should come into the (Flesh)light. The real thing has always been available in acceptable intervals. The last great time I had before leaving to prison was at the 2014 Moontower Comedy Festival in Austin, Texas. The performing comedians received Fleshlights in their gift bags so of course every single one of them had fake fanny material. Kurt Braunohler wrapped the fleshy part of his gift around his microphone and delivered his set into its now amplified lips. Rory Scovel simply read and commented on the instructions for use of the tool tool in a way that only he could do. The popular product isn’t as simple to maintain as one might think. It makes you grateful for the fact that vagina owners are usually responsible for their own post-coital clean up. It didn’t take me long to start screwing around on Mrs. Palmer with my homemade prison camp pocket pussy. Without concern for the added insult I even forced Rosy to be complicit in the construction of her replacement. What can I say baby… I’m just a real sonofabitch. I had to run several tests throughout the weeks of perfecting the design, which was constructed of Ziploc bags and rubber bands. Cont. page 7

Like many innovators, I had no choice but to perform human trials on myself. At times I was discouraged but with a tweak here and a jerk there… Eureka! I had it. The answer was in the bags-width. (If anyone got that play on a reference from the movie Antitrust, call me so we can be best nerd friends). Building a proper plastic punani is tough with the limited prison resources available. However, everything fell into place on Super Bowl Sunday when we were treated to an outside picnic so we could all watch the game. Our special to-go meal came with several 6-inch zip-lock bags of food. The only bags I had before this were the 10-inch bags in which we received our monthly laundry detergent ration. The 10-inch bag pocket puss could never hold under the pressure, It would always open and the water that shaped it would burst out. With a smaller bag I could create a water filled bladder within the larger bag. Rolled tight at the top and bottom then folded and rubber-banded on both ends –I now had a working prototype. AH YES INDEED IT’S FUN TIME. I should mention that this gadget is for shower use only. All interfering with yourself at the camp should be done above a drain and under running water. Hear that, guy in the fourth bunk from the door? NEVER ROCK THE MIC WITH THE PANTYHOSE or an old sock. Some masturbation conservatives even believe it should only be done in the shower stall at the far end of the row but I’M THAT KID IN THE CORNER, ALL FUCKED UP AND I WANNA SO I’M GONNA, use whichever stall is available. My friends and I have never really been the type of jerk-offs who discussed jerking off to any depth. The question of how much is too much may have come up once or twice or six times in one day. The answer, by the way, is the same as for sex-no much is too much. Luckily, if you need real sexual insight nowadays you can just tune in to Dan Savage’s podcast and keep the conversations with your friends within their normal parameters of Andy Kaufman’s resurfacing or how stupid it is that people talk about the Kardashians. I’m not sure what you think about when you are rocking the mic but I think of a lot of nouns. If you’re a NEWLYWED NOT A DIVORCEE, you might tell your girl that she’s the only one in your spank bank. If you really want to score points you can give her the old “her plus a clone of her at the same time” fantasy, but we know the truth, bruh. You are twisted. Probably the twistiest little pervert out there and EVERYTHING YOU DO IS FUNKY LIKE LEE DORSEY. (By the way thank you Beastie Boys for always making me feel like an idiot for never knowing any of the names you drop.) If my wife could read my brain during fun time she’d for sure say I’VE GOTTA STRAIGHTEN UP MY THOUGHTS I’M THINKING TOO MUCH SICK SHIT, but most of us regular guys know that, save for a few obvious caveats, not much is off limits when it comes to erection-ertainment. Judge me if you must but even I’ve never been able to account for my own tastes. I WANT TO SAY A LITTLE SOMETHING THAT’S A LONG OVERDUE. THIS DISRESPECT TO WOMEN HAS GOT TO BE THROUGH. TO ALL THE MOTHERS AND THE SISTERS AND THE WIVES AND

FRIENDS (by this, I of course refer to your mothers and sisters) I WANT TO OFFER MY LOVE AND RESPECT TO THE END. I’ll do this by including each and every one of you in my mental masturbatory rotation. I know you’re all flattered, no need to thank me. Reminiscing on my rated R memories usually does the trick for me, AND THAT’S A LOT BECAUSE I GOT MY SHARE. Actually… and that’s probably an average amount because I’ve gotten lucky a few times. My memories don’t always stick to the script. I might find myself thinking about that time 20-years ago when I was browsing the compact disc selection of the EZ Pawn in Kingsville, Texas. I came across my first dose of NYC white-rap medicine. This was before they kept the CDs behind the counter. A simpler time when the EZ Pawn Corporation could trust the people they were slowly ripping off one interest charge at a time. I took a copy of Licensed to Ill (or whichever one had the airplane cover art, every album was called something “ill”) over to the boombox section to sample it out. Then out of nowhere Jessica Flores, my 3rd through 9th grade crush appears, moving her body to She’s Crafty. She tells me that if I do sex to her she will cover the $6.99 for the disc… and the rest is fantasy. Before I was locked-up I looked at a lot of porn. A lot. If Malcolm Gladwell is right about 10,000 hours equaling expertise, I am an expert utilizer of pornographic material. As long as it had at least one naked woman in it I could make use of that skin flick like I was getting paid with benefits. I’ve created multimedia porn presentations for myself with aptitude that could easily merit a TED talk. Twelve QuickTime windows open across dual computer monitors timed to create including my own, a perfect baker’s dozen climaxes. I never cease to marvel at the human brain, that other powerful tool that can cure disease and navigate through outer space or if idle and depraved can find a million ways to get off. Pornography is very much considered contraband by the FBOP and can get you a disciplinary shot. At one point I had to decide if a few loose pages from a Joanie loves Chachi and Happy Days porn parody photo-shoot were worth losing my phone privileges. It took me a week to properly assess the risk and ultimately decide to deposit my kill shots in the biography section of the library for some lucky prisoner to discover later. I had to eat the cost of what I paid for the pictures which in this case was about five dollars in commissary trade. There are no refunds with inmate to inmate commerce and getting caught selling my old porn shots is probably an even worse infraction than simple possession. Some days the memories and fantasies are blurry and you might require some eye candy or eye meth depending on where you rate your habit. With no stomach for stashing real porn in my prison camp locker I had to improvise. A few times in the past, if I could not attain a nude shot of the object of my erection I might spend a few minutes making Photoshop magic… I’ve already admitted I have a problem, might as well just be honest now. That superimposing and super imposing graphic design job isn’t the same as the real thing but it will work in/for a fix. I don’t have access to my Adobe Perverted Suite in prison but as someone smart once said; creativity doesn’t flourish in freedom it comes from boundaries


and sometimes necessity, boredom or in my case perversion. You have plenty of time in here to art and craft yourself wonderful collages for your pulling pleasure. Design them to large ziplock bag size, which allows for waterproofing and helps them stick nicely to the walls in the shower stall. Some of my favorite PG-13 picks included some Lowrider and tattoo magazine hotties; a very curvaceous Essence spread of the mom from the sitcom Blackish; a couple of sexy shots of Danielle of American Pickers fame. Just for the heck of it I even included a few candids of the silver-foxy mayor from my hometown cut from my local newspaper. What? The photos were shot just after she walked the plank for the annual Buccaneer Days celebration and her soaked clothing was hugging her body like so many fingers around my… you know. Uh-oh, it seems this cougar talk has awakened the beast. Hopefully these pages won’t end up stuck together. WELL YOU SAY I’M (thirty) SOMETHING AND I SHOULD BE SLACKING BUT I AM WORKING HARDER THAN EVER AND YOU CAN CALL IT (w)HACKING-I KEEP IT ON AND ON-I’M NOT QUITTING, THINK IMA CHANGE UP MY STYLE JUST TO FIT IN - I GOT MORE ACTION THAN MY MAN JOHN WOO-I’M VERY ON, ROCK THE MICROPHONE AND THEN I’M GONEAND ON THE MICROPHONE-I-----COME----COR-----RECT! AH. Now that the demons have been exercised please don’t blame me if I lose all interest in finishing this chap… V


Last night I found myself typing: ‘If James Gunn had just fucked a child ten years ago instead of tweeting jokes about it, he’d be well qualified to direct a Disney film.’ - and had to pause a moment. Not for any concern for backlash or endangering some future career I don’t have, but to consider why I’m kinda worked up about this stupid blip of a non-news story. I guess it’s for many reasons. One - I love those Guardians movies. It’s stupid and just films, but I found the idea of flawed characters overcoming their backgrounds to do better was something important and worthwhile. Also raccoons. I fucking love raccoons. Then there’s the underlying issue of fatherhood. That line “He may have been your father boy, but he wasn’t your daddy!” hits home to me because I didn’t really have either. The reason I have to back off, is because over the past year or two I’ve come to the conclusion that people (and Americans almost exclusively), have reached co-dependent levels of entitlement when it comes to something as artificial and inane as movies and television. We demand so much more from these mediums than we do our actual real lives. Yes, the political landscape of today is a dystopian nightmare akin to the trench warfare days of WW1 era Verdun - but the passion people have over a Trump tweet eliciting possible nuclear war - pales in comparison to the fury generated from leaving a tense space chase to chill on a casino planet as a plot device. I’m not saying these mediums shouldn’t be challenged. Giving black filmmakers (other than Tyler Perry) an actual blockbuster budget instead of the six-pack and Lane Bryant gift card has clearly proven that diversity is both wanted and profitable. And speaking out against the intestinal worm of production that is Harvey Weinstein and his ilk has created the kind of conversation and awareness necessary for women to hold their own in an industry dominated by creeps and exploitation. But actors and movies does not a reality make. What we demand from our entertainment should not take precedent over what we should demand from our own lives It’s almost like we’ve moved beyond the show. The real entertainment is what’s behind the scenes more than the actual product. “And the Oscar goes to... TMZ!” We used to watch films like Rocky and be inspired by a fictional character overcoming all odds to win on his own terms. That even in defeat, there’s victory in following through with everything you have. Now people watch the drama behind the filmmaking regardless of whether or not the final product is good. We are rooting for crotch grabbing Kevin Spacey to lose his job so the talents of Robin Wright can take the lead role in House of Cards. That’ll make up for Trump stealing the election from Hillary! Never mind the fact that her character is a murderer with the


emotional range of white noise. We fume as beloved Mega-MAGA Roseanne is fired for innocently referring to a black woman as an ape. “But Roseanne’s not racist?! She swears, she thought she was insulting a kike!” Public discourse has turned into children fighting in the back seat of the car during a long road trip while the powers that be threaten to turn off the TV installed in the backseats because god forbid their fat stupid kids look out a window and contemplate their existence. “But HE said blah blah blah!” “But SHE said blah blah blah!” “Shut up the both of you - or we’re turning this country around and going back to the days of 9/11!” So this all said, I should probably just chill on the James Gunn thing - at least superficially, right? I mean, the dude is a millionaire and will work again. But the problem is so much more widespread than just this. For some reason, every time some amateur tweets something stupid and calls it a “joke”, every actual comedian gets thrown out with the bath water. James Gunn isn’t a comedian. He’s a filmmaker. Now idiots are scouring every minor celebrity’s twitter history looking for blog content to over sensationalize and profit. Fans of rival sports teams are currently sifting through years of old tweets trying to use them to stir up controversy and psyche out opposing team’s star athletes. What? Are you telling me that the jock Milwaukee Brewers’ pitcher had some problematic thoughts when he was 15?! Does this need to be a story? Do we really need to emotionally invest, becoming a rabid horde of personal at-home paparazzi? This can only evolve towards one direction: What made Milwaukee famous, killed Princess Diana Jokes. JOKES. Good or badly constructed. From professional to amateur. They’re just fucking words. If you don’t like someone’s humor or point of view, why the fuck are you clicking “follow” on twitter. That’s on you stupid. You made that choice. I know this is just the millennial version of ‘don’t like it, flip the station’ but here we are. I didn’t have to know this James Gunn twitter jokes story, but y’all gossipy bitches shared it MAKING ME AWARE OF CHILD FUCKING. Gross ass monsters that you are. All that said. Between James Gunn’s tweets and The Disney Channels thirty years of exploiting children in film, TV and music - who do you think has actually fucked children? Seriously, can you look at the husk of human flesh, pills and semen we call Lyndsay Lohan and think Disney didn’t have a hand in that creation? Disney is America’s creepy uncle. Showing


up to diddle and sexualize the youth under the guise of wholesome values and thoughtless bubblegum nonsense. And like any touchy uncle, the second you get a little hair and some maturity, they cast you off for something younger, innocent and delicious. Or are y’all really dying to hear new Joe Jonas albums? Disney is a monster that has gotten too big and too unaccountable and now society has to deal with the emotional public breakdowns of a Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan, Shia Lebouff and a long police lineup of other mouskateers. M, I, C...... K, E, Y.. Most have several D U I’s Who here should be held more accountable? James Gunn can’t direct Guardians 3, but Disney can continue to profit off movies like Powder? (directed by a child molester) James Gunn’s tasteless jokes from a decade ago warrants losing his job, but Walt Disney can profit in the billions while circumventing tax and land laws, replacing American workers with cheap foreigners, or subliminally animating dicks, tits and racism in their films? Janes Gunn’s real crime was not being as subtle as Disney’s Song of the South. Here’s an idea! Why don’t you unfreeze the corpse of Walt Disney and watch him freak out over how “You let that fucking Jew direct The Force Awakens?!” I’m sure he’d personally love the Gay and Lesbian themed days at the parks he built as the prototype for the ideal, fascist, unionbusting utopia he hoped America would one day become. Look - I get it. Walt Disney is our childhood. It’s the second biggest corporation in the world and currently holds the sole copyright on our collective imagination. Why would we hold them accountable now and risk facing all the boring and shitty things that permeate reality? What has reality ever done for us? Life is just a series of distractions until we die, why not let the Mouse dictate what is good art and let that replace reality? “Reality may have been your father boy, but he wasn’t your daddy.” - Walt None of this changes anything. Our priorities will continue to be shit - and because of this slavish attempt to have the most correct and performative online presence - we’ve exhausted ourselves from the changes we very much need in our own surroundings. We’re all content creators on an endless medium and there’s no hot take so bad that it doesn’t at least warrant a pop up ad. We’re a nation of snitches, snitchin’ on stitches. And the fact that this may just be another heap on the ‘shitting on Disney’ pile is not lost on me at all, but fuck it, what do I care? I grew up on Loony Tunes. V

Man, fuck tennis. There. It’s out there now. Fuck. Tennis. Is that the most popular opinion? I don’t know – I know nothing about the relevance of tennis to the everyday American. I know Wimbledon takes over my TV for what feels like a month every summer (although I am constantly informed by the announcers that it is but a mere fortnight) and I have to miss out on… well, nothing. There’s nothing else on in that timeslot except for soaps, the absence of which used to upset my granny to the point of swearing at John McEnroe and throwing peach pits at the television (this is the first Wimbledon she hasn’t been around for and I know she’s grateful for that), and other inane daytime programming. How many judges have their own shows now? I’m digressing. My point is pre-empted programming is irrelevant to why I’m railing against a sport rife with grunting and fuzzy, bouncy balls. Take away all the terrible TV you want with your vaguely erotic noises and summer sweat and sexy outfits. That’s fine. Just stop making me think about love. Yeah, love. L-O-V-E. Love. Seriously, just say zero. Or nil. What’s so hard about that? Never mind your weird scoring system that starts at 15 and somehow ends up at an unnamed number somewhere past 40 that could go up by 10 or 5 or 70 (who the hell knows with you, tennis?), you had to go and co-opt something we watch sports to escape? I know what you’re thinking: “But I love the Red Sox.” First off, get off my lawn you Bostonian wannabe. Unless you’re Jimmy Fallon


or Stephen King, I don’t want to hear about your love of the Sox. And if you are either of them, first off, thanks for reading my column it really means a lot. Secondly, though, I’d really rather talk about something else with you because that’s not the kind of love I’m discussing here.1 No, I am not referring to the kind of passionate love a man feels for a sports team, that live-and-die-with-the-wins-and-losses kind of emotional commitment. I am talking about real love. Romantic love. The kind of love you only feel for another person2 or particularly attractive goat. Tennis makes me question everything. For those of you that don’t do sports or aren’t particularly good at context clues like the ones I used two paragraphs ago, tennis scoring replaces zero, as in no points, with the word love. Except not always. See, zero only becomes love when one person (or one team if you’re playing doubles, but that’s another metaphor altogether) has scored. When nobody has anything, then the nothing doesn’t get a name. It simply exists without labels. But after scoring that first point, which is scored as 15 (which is around about the age we find our first love – interesting), the opponent ends up with love. It’s announced as “15, love” (or “love, 15” if the non-serving party scored) and begins messing with my head. What does it mean? Here’s what I’m asking: Why love? What’s the hidden message? Tennis is a French game and I’ve heard all kinds of theories as to it coming from their language – which is just so French – but I’m not buying it. The French are too esoteric, too bleakly romantic, and too arrogant to let it be that simple. Think about it. Pepe LePew was French. That’s really enough evidence to assign more meaning to this love thing than simple translation conveniences. Also, other countries call soccer football and fútbol – completely different words. Translating isn’t that big a deal. Hell, soccer isn’t even related to football – I’m pretty sure it was made up just to avoid using another country’s word. Love could’ve been


changed is all I’m saying. That leaves us with two options, neither of which are particularly attractive. The first seems nice until you look deeper. Tennis is saying that even if you think you have nothing, you still have love. Aww. That’s so sweet. Except you’re still losing. And as the score wracks up, again starting at 15, it moves on to 20, then 30, and then 40. It ticks up from the age at which maybe we first find love through the decades where we should have it. And after 40? Nothing. You lose. If by 40 all you have is love, you die. You’re broke and possibly alone because love can be unrequited. In fact, in tennis love is always unrequited – both sides can never have it. So while you still have love even if you have nothing, you get it all by yourself. No wonder Monica Seles got stabbed.3 The other option – the one I feel is decidedly more French – is that love is nothing. That’s it. It’s meaningless. Love = 0. I can picture some nihilist in a beret sitting at a café on the Seine in downtown Paris smoking a comically long, thin cigarette and spouting bad philosophy at three disinterested women who still seem to be hanging on him for some reason or other suddenly having an epiphany about the game he’s invented. “No, no, no,” he says, looking at each woman with each no. “I want you all, but you mean nothing to me beyond ze games we play. There is no love. Love is nothing.” Then he pushes all three women to the ground and stands proud and erect. “Zat,” he says, because accents are weird and he’s speaking English, “is how we must score ze tennis matches!” Then he probably eats a baguette or something, but he definitely goes on to have bitter sex with all three of them later that night. And it probably smells terrible. I told you, neither option is a good one. Tennis is absolutely the worst. That many lithe, young bodies in tiny clothes running around sweating and grunting with speed and power and athleticism… It’s just sex on the lawn. Or in the clay. Or on some rough concrete. It’s a kinky, erotic game where balls routinely get smacked around by racquets. And it reminds us that love is bullshit, even for people so perfect. So thanks again, tennis, for showing us that love is pointless. V


1. If, after reading the entirety of this article, you decide it is the same kind of love you feel for a team, please see your therapist before something bad happens. 2. Or multiple people – I know how some of *ahem* us work. 3. In 1993. By an obsessed Steffi Graf fan. A man with nothing but love to give. Jesus.



Vent Aug 2018  

Comedy. Culture. News(ish). Beastie Boys

Vent Aug 2018  

Comedy. Culture. News(ish). Beastie Boys