Starting in September I came up with this idea. So here it goes. The 35 reasons why I'm single before I turn 35.
I look like a hobbit and a dwarf had a love child after a bad night at The Prancing Pony.
I canceled a date to watch the Trump/Clinton debate. AKA The Wrestlemania of political debates.
I enjoy the sound of my own voice too much. "I'm sure she said something very unique and interesting, but hey, can I chime in now?!"
Sometimes I Friendzone myself after I tell the girl, "Yes I do own a pet rabbit."
I'm not a big fan of sharing my food when we're out.
I put too much hope in Facebook quizzes.
I'm about as exciting & dangerous as a bucket of puppies on a bed of daisies, wrapped in a silk bow, prepared by Martha Stewart's mother.
Netflix and chill doesn't sound as productive and less stressful as Netflix and nap.
I'm a hobby/workaholic. If it wasn't coaching wrestling it was teaching. If it wasn't teaching it was comedy. Now if it's not comedy it's drinking. Gotta stay on track.
I feel like women would constantly have to defend being with me to their friends, family, strangers, and the news media.
I don't "fight" very hard for true love. If a girl isn't interested, I suppose there's a good reason. And I'm not interested in finding out.
I think I get the clowns tormenting the people. They just want attention. Maybe a date too.
I was told recently I'm too short to date. By someone shorter than me. It's always nice to be looked down at by someone who has to look up to me to talk.
I make enough money for a girl to want me to make more.
I just corrected a cute girl's verbal grammar.
I get off a three day road trip and I'm already planning the rest of my comedy week.
I seem to really like girls who like a very specific type. That type: Not Me.
I'm the antithesis of mysterious.
I'm not saying I'm self centered...but...yeah.
I make lists about being single.
Reason #22 & #23
I forget to do things sometimes. Like post reason number #22.
I once got called a very caring guy. Women are t into that as much as they claim. No one ever said...look at him. He looks so caring in that suit.
Women usually ask if they can be the designated driver when we go out.
I went to the doctor. Turns out I'm not actually as short as I thought. I'm shorter.
Most people try to set me up with my physical twin. Neither of us want that.
Every women worth dating is either married, engaged, or dating someone, or wants to be with someone who is married, engaged, or dating someone.
Reason #29 I'm single:
I get dragged into many more conversations at bars with drunk old men than any woman I see or meet.
I think I'm too big of a Star Wars nerd.
I'm very pushy because of Yoda. "Do or do not. There is no try."
Reason #32 I'm single.
Obamacare. Cuz that seems to be what we're blaming right now. And I wanna be in the loop.
I'm having a comedy birthday show during the trick or treat season. I'm not good with calendars. Or popping out on days of birth. Lol. People born in September and March don't have these holidays to compete with.
I like tacos. Too much.
As an evangelical, it is my responsibility to say "God's will" whenever I'm figuring something out.
I'm producing a very special show on my birthday! I hope you can come! Here's a link for 1/2 price tickets.
The Pew Research Center released info about a year ago stating Millennials are less likely to join organized religion, attend church, or see the overall value of faith. Many Baby Boomers seem puzzled by this, yet maybe the reason is because people between 50-75 years of age have done everything in their power to make faith anything but a spiritual experience.
I'm not going to address other faiths beside Christianity. Since that's my jam. But I think this is a start.
Here are three major reasons Millennials (1981-1996) have turned away from the church:
1. Church is seen as Judgemental.
Whether the issues be divorce, gay marriage, or abortion, older Christians turned sexual sin into the biggest sin.
"Forget pride, envy, etc. People are having sex! Signal the Batman!"
While purity is important in all walks of life, Jesus seemed more concerned with religious hypocracy than sexual
immortality. He clarified the position on divorce by stating the men are causing adultery by forcing women into prostitution, that sexual sin is forgivable and that he who is without sin can cast the first stone, and not one statement on homosexuality, which is interesting because the Old and New Testaments write about it with clarity.
Maybe be if baby boomer Christians were to not have been the most divorce happy group of people ever, their stance on everyone else's sexual lifestyle would seem less cringe worthy.
2. Older Christians Have Made Religion Too Political
Since when did Jesus become Republican? How would Jesus be a Democrat? If anything, Jesus would be a libertarian. A free choice Jewish rabbi who paid taxes and seemed pro death penalty. He never once asked Rome to take care of the sick, but he seemed feverish about healing them. He never handed out food vouchers, but he fed the 5,000. He seemed to live a life telling people to be democrats in their private life. 33% of Millennials want to vote for a 3rd party like Gary Johnson. Maybe because they see social justice as an individual opportunity.
By turning Jesus into a socialist or capitalist, Millennials smell bias. And that smell turned them off.
The final straw. Supporting Trump because he isn't Hillary. That's not a reason. It's an excuse.
3. The American Dream is not religious.
This idea of the American Dream has brought more heartbreak and disappointment to young Americans than any other ethos or pathos perpetuated by the baby boomers. The idea that we are supposed to have it all figured out by 22 is ridiculous. The plan of college by 22, marriage by 25, kids by 27, and all nestled in a house by 30 with a 40 year mortgage is not realistic to the modern young adult.
What's fascinating is how much baby boomer Christians turned Jesus into an American. Jesus would have been anything but a follower of the American Dream. He was an unemployed, long-haired, single guy who lived at home with his mother until his death at 33.
I can't imagine him doing well with the baby boomer generation.
Faith is both natural in comprehension, but supernatural in application. All in all, my challenge to Millennials is to look at the book and not the followers. Go read the four gospels. Watch how Christ is everything you loved about Bernie and everything you find fascinating about Gary Johnson. Those two politicians are not the Son of God, but they are closer to how Jesus would walk the walk and talk the talk policy wise. And if older Christians would have seen that, they would have realized there were better options (including John Kasich) but the baby boomers messed it up.
Have faith in God. Not man. People fail is. God catches is when we fall.
As the fall (aka Oscar) movie season begins, I tend to think about the most transitional year of my life, 1999.
In 1999 I graduated high school, started college, quit my first job, became estranged from my father, started coaching wrestling, and asked out (unsuccessfully) the first girl in my life. Yes. I wasn't a playa in high school. Don't act shocked.
I also fell in love with cinema. Truly. Madly. Deeply. Like the popular 1998 song by Sound Garden states. 1999 was a huge year for cinema. Star Wars: Episode I came out. So did Steve Martin's The Out Of Towners. But I'll skip that review for never.
1999 was the year of Hollywood's midlife crises films. Mostly about men struggling in this particular time and place. Y2k was looming. Cell phones were for "emergencies only." Terrorism wasn't a real national threat yet. The end of the tech boom and Clinton presidency was near. Numerous films were existential exercises in finding one's place in the universe and growing up. Most, if not all, of these films were about white men between 30-60 looking at where they stand in an ever changing America. What's interesting is that the two most iconic men of 1998 (The Dude and Truman Burbank) had less of a struggle but more natural conflict. Think about how these films reflected that idea that everyday life was really a trap:
White Privilege Films:
Breakfast of Champions
The Talented Mr. Ripley
I Hate My Job Films:
Any Given Sunday
Being John Malkovich
Bringing Out The Dead
For Love of the Game
Growing Up & Sexual Frustration
Eyes Wide Shut
Life Can Be Explained With The Supernatural
Thr Sixth Sense
The Green Mile
Of the above list, 5 of these films changed my life. They changed how I saw the world politically, religiously, sexually, and as a white male entering adulthood. All five were mentioned above. Though Dogma could have made this list. So here's the list and why:
Bringing Out The Dead
If there was one film that captured my emotional state of business, it was Martin Scorsese's ode to ambulance drivers staring Nicolas Cage and Ving Rhames.
The film is a manic depressive wet dream of a film. Cage spends the majority of the movie in a deep haze, trying to make sense of a world in which so much destruction happens around him. It won't be until The Weather Man (2005) where he'll capture that same everyone loneliness.
The line "it can always get worse," said by Rhames, still haunts the conscious part of my brain, and I know it looms in my subconscious indefinitely. On some level, this film showed me that adulthood is not necessarily to be glorified for its own sake, but that adulthood should be purposeful.
The he irony of the film was Cage played a savior of men who could not save himself.
In the summer of 1999 I quit my first job. I was at MANN movie theaters. Maybe this explains my obsession with film that year? It was literally my life. I quit because I hated the way middle management treated me. There was this one manager who was upset that the hottest girl that either of us had ever known (she was 18, and I was 16) thought I was funny and Friendzone-able (I didn't know about the Friendzone yet) and that he (19 years old) was creepy and not Friendzone-able. He wrote me up for stupid things that got reversed by upper management. He would put me on shifts and stations that involved cleaning bathrooms and carding people at the theater doors. By the way, want to become unpopular in high school? Card your friends at the movie theater. I hated that job by the end.
It would be these experiences that made me relate immediately to Office Space, Mike Judge's angry film about office politics and inefficiencies. I didn't see the film in theaters, but I did see it at my friend's house. When they destroyed the copy machine, I got the anger. I would later (as a teacher) understand the copy machine hatred even more.
What I gathered from Office Space was that there is a soullessness to working a cubicle job. I never worked one. Instead I worked outside at the gas station at Costco, the tutoring center at Moorpark Junior College, Border's bookstore, the YMCA, and then started an on again off again teaching career.
Many of my friends took on "office space" jobs, and many offered me opportunities to work with them there. I took the road less traveled by...
If there was ever a film that tapped into the idea of white privilege before it became a modern diagnosis, David Fincher's existential tale about the end of masculinity would be it. Brad Pitt became an icon and Edward Norton became our next Sean Penn with this film which argued men couldn't be men anymore in a post-feminist, post-modern, post-Christian, post-everything society. So what do men do to recapture the spark of manhood? They beat the crap out of each other. Hence Fight Club.
Of course the plight of Tyler Durden spirals out of control with alter-egos, conspiracy theories, and global terrorism. Of course, who is to blame? Poor Helena Bonham Carter gets the majority of the blame. She stands side by side with Norton watching the world burn.
I knew I enjoyed this film when I first saw it, but was unsure why. As a wrestling coach, I got the need to an outlet of male aggression in a newly designed Emo/Prettyboy society, but it wasn't until about 5 or 6 years later I really got the point of the film.
While all the above themes are central to understanding the thesis of the film, it was the anti-materialistic message I realized was so powerful. Pitt said, "We buy stuff we don't need to impress people we don't like." So true. And upon reflection, I minimalized so much of my life. I canceled my credit cards and lived off my debit card. Better to only spend money I have. Not money I think I'll have.
Fight Club never encouraged me to punch a stranger in the face, but it is the reason I haven't owned or used a credit card in my adult life.
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Some films do not look that good from the trailer, and Matt Damon's first major star vechile since Good Will Hunting was one of those for me. Was it a drama? A thriller? A period piece? Oscar bait? Yes. Yes. Yes. And yes.
But it the film was also emotionally cathartic. For every guy who felt the Dicky's (Jude Law) of the world got everything, while the rest of us fought for table scraps, this film about a murder who stole identities of more appealing men to be was interesting to 17 year old Paul Douglas Moomjean.
I I wanted all of those things the Law character had: wealth. looks. the girl.
But the method in which Ripley takes it was so wrong. So evil. So narcissistic. Yet all so truthful. If Fight Club touched on the frustrations and took it out on each other, Ripley was about going after the men we wished we were.
Setting aside the queer theory attached to the film, What I realized after the film was done, was that my desires were leading to the same actions Cain used over Abel. That if I'm jealous, I'll become a monster.
The cathartic power of cinema freed me from building up jealously or envy that would have lead to a place of no return.
If there was ever a character who would have voted for Donald Trump, I believe the disillusioned early version of Kevin Spacey's Lester Burnham. The final version would have been a #FeelTheBern guy, but the sad earlier version would have eaten up Trump's message to middle class white men that life was better when just being white and male was enough to be successful and happy.
Once Lester blackmails his boss, smokes pot, gets a fast food job and pursues the 17-year old (ironically virgin) sexpot his life becomes alive. His entire existence makes sense. His pursuit of happiness leads him to pure hedonism. But that pursuit brings on his tragic death.
Growing up evangelical Christian, this film spoke to me. I'd seen Christianity morph into some type of "Republicanity" with material gain being a proof of God's blessing, yet I've watched the older people in my life (I was 18) get divorced, cheat, quit jobs, pursue other ventures, etc. The sitcom level of happiness was the real illusion. Through this film I knew I didn't want to be Lester, but I also knew I didn't want to become some clone of a middle-America Reaganite.
It was the last words that got to me and the last sentence that put things into some type of artistic perspective:
...but it's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst... And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life... You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry... you will someday...
So there. The 5 films that changed my life in 1999. Never say it's "just a movie." That would be like saying Beethoven was just a music guy. Churchill was just a politician. Or that Jesus was just a rabbi.
My Life changed in 1999. And here is the written proof of such changes.
I haven't blogged in a long time due to numerous factors: I've been booked like crazy, I started a new job, and it's been a tough few weeks dealing with my new life as a comedian.
I love performing comedy, but as I perform more and more, I find "regular" life more and more mundane. The things I used to live for have become boring in comparison.
Going to the movies. Eh.
Watching TV. Blah.
Stalking my friends on Facebook. Forgetaboutit.
I'm a stand up comedy junkie now. I just want to write and perform. Regular life has become flavorless in many ways.
I'm pretty sure it's not healthy. In fact, I know it isn't. But when I reflect on regular life, an invisible life, a simple life, I seem to think I wasn't really thrilled with that either.
My life never really attracted much attention or people. Teaching. Coaching. Writing. No one seemed interested in my life. Not my friends. Not women. Not anyone really.
Stand up comedy does have some interest, but some people seem to be over it, while others seem to have moved on in their life without me.
If I got a nickle for every birthday or party I'm not invited to because people think I'm "too busy" I'd be worth a crap load of nickles.
On one level I understand, but on another level I feel like George Clooney in Up in the Air. I want to burn the backpack because we are not swans - we're sharks.
Maybe the reason I always got film was because the subtext was always the same. Regular life sucks. It's empty. It's pointless. It's endless. It's lifeless.
That's why Frodo must leave the shire after his journey. That's why Luke can't just get married and settle down after learning about the force. Andy Dufresne can't be caged even though he loves Red. And Rocky Balbo can't just go play golf.
Once I did the implausible it separated me from the world I knew. The tragic clown is not a myth. It's a lifestyle.
Paul Douglas Moomjean Blog's About What's on His Mind
Blogging allows for me to rant when there is no stage in the moment to talk about what's important and/or funny to me.