Saturday, November 6, 2010

My inner hipster or, how I liked Zach Galifianakis before everyone else

Even a benevolent soul such as I has the capability of hating a whole, generalized group of people for no particular reason. My hatred, however, is reserved for pretentious people. I use to call them pseudo-intellectuals, the kind of people that get off on their own self satisfaction. I do still have a personal vendetta against people I label pseudos. I flippantly dismiss anyone that gets on my nerves as a pseudo, the same way some people would call others phonies. Culture has given me a label for these folks though. Now, as the Joker says, I have found a name for my pain... and it is hipsters.

If you wear neon colored sunglasses I probably hate you. If you wear a knit cap during the summer I probably hate you. If you drink Pabst Blue Ribbon I probably hate you. If you shop at a thrift store, not because you're poor or cheap but because it's cool then I probably hate you. If you pretend to be all about a niche pieces of pop culture like Tom Waits (who I love by the way) or Eraserhead for a month then forget about it I probably hate you. If you list Kerouac as a personal hero I probably hate you. If you make up words in a conversation in order to sound smarter than you really are then I probably hate you. If you think that a cool hat or ironic eyeglasses are an excuse for a personality then I probably hate you.

And you thought you were just in for a Zach Galifianakis article.

I hate pretense and those that wear it so casually with ironic jean shorts and out of date clothing. I see myself as being earnest and, in that respect, the enemy of pretense. I am, however, an elitist. Not the coffee shop kind but an elitist all the same. I'm too self conscious to ever fully embrace it but I would be delusional if I said something on the contrary. Hell, I write a blog twice a week, how much worse can you get?

Anywho, today's topic of discussion is Zach Galifianakis, the fat guy from Hangover. I was in 8th grade when I first watched his stand up special on Comedy Central. He had just my kind of humor, weird and awkward but with the right sense of earnestness. He had bit parts in smaller films and always made the most out of whatever part he had. His five minutes of screen time in Corky Romano made for the only enjoyable part of that movie. Also, imagine my suprise when I was watching Bubble Boy and saw a relatively young Galifianakis playing a bus ticket seller.

Yes, this movie actually existed.

Another gem from Galifianakis' early career was Out Cold, a Casablanca homage set in a ski resort. It also had lots of poop jokes. All the same, it was his biggest role for awhile. While getting bit parts in movies he perfected his personal brand of humor on stage. One tour, which included Patton Oswald, Brian Posehn and Maria Bamford, had cameras following them. This footage was made into a movie and a television series called The Comedians of Comedy. Galifianakis found his way onto movies and music videos until his big break, Hangover. Hangover was a hilarious movie and probably one of the most enjoyable theater experiences I've had.

Hangover was awesome and Galifianakis was awesome in it. I'm glad to see him in a big movie and I'm sure he had a hand in that movie becoming the highest-grossing-R-rated comedy ever. I hate that he's popular now though. Now everyone knows him as that fat guy with a beard from Hangover. That means he's no longer MY fat guy with a beard.

Damn you adorable sunglasses baby. I'm sure it's your fault too.

The thing is, I've always appreciated him ever since I first stumbled upon him. Now everyone else knows him and I don't believe they can appreciate him as much as I (god damn, I sound like I'm talking about a girlfriend). He isn't one of my favorite comedians anymore. Now he is just a character for everyone to laugh at. Due Date, his new comedy that came out yesterday, is just cementing that. While a road comedy starring Galifianakis and Robert Downey Jr. sounds hilarious, it is doing nothing but pigeonholing him as "that fat dude with a beard." I'm glad he is making money now but I don't want to see him turn into the next McLovin'. So please, respect him and remember that I liked him first. And also remember I hate hipsters.

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