I want to start this blog post by giving a shout out to THIS GUY Hasan Minaj. Back in 2007, I had the pleasure of interviewing Hasan on the Dr. Blogstein show when he was promoting his new comedy album, “Leaning on Expensive Cars and Getting Paid to Do It”. You can listen to it on Youtube here… (which apparently no one knows about as it has 5 views as of now).
Hasan was my #3 favorite interview of my time on the show (Jackie Collins and Coolio were my first, only because I was already familiar with them). Other then being totally hilarious, what stuck out to me was how much he knew about our show, who we had interviewed, etc. Also, it was very much a two way conversation, as opposed to a comedian just plugging himself. I told him the story about Coolio singing me “Happy Birthday”. For all these reasons combined, seeing him get a spot on The Daily Show was not a surprise at all. Not only was he talented, but his interview stood out to me amongst the dozens I had done that year.
What was a welcome surprise however, was the sheer pwnage Hasan bestowed upon Congress at the 72nd annual Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association Dinner on June 15, televised on C-SPAN. Minaj blatantly called out the bought-off members of Congress for blocking common sense gun control measures all in the name of pleasing the lobbyist… a dominating theme in today’s political culture. Hasan has officially joined the ranks of Jon Stewart, Larry Wilmore, John Oliver and Stephen Colbert. While I knew Hasan would go far, it never occurred to me for one second he would be a part of a significant part of the political machine blatantly calling out the corruption culture… to the very face of the corruption.
The interview I was so fortunate to be a part of was on The Dr. Blogstein show. Blogstein did most of the interview, my role in the Blogstein machine was a zippy one liner here and there, a job I did with pride.
And now a tale from the flipside…
Coming home from Albany I was listening to 2 gentlemen (I use that term loosely for one of them) speak in the seats in front of me.. well one of them was doing most of the speaking. If I had to wager, I would guess he was the other man’s boss.
This guy was running his mouth talking about how women just can’t deal with biology. He spoke of how “men don’t want a 48 year old woman with a law degree when they can have a 26 year old secretary who can still have kids”… he started speaking about a site called The Rational Male, a site that he lives and dies for…of course I had to look it up…It was, as predicted, infuriating. Much of the site was devoted to describing in detail how a woman loses value with age and has less options and how everything she does is rooted in fear of her depreciation.
The conversation turned to the other man’s new relationship. The Lizard Man said, “Well if your happy in your relationship that’s great…but you know as a man over 35 with a six figure income you have options…”.
Not proud of what I did next, but it had to be done…ok fuck it, actually I am proud.. I got on my cell phone, pretended to FaceTime a friend and started chiming in as if his misogynist rant were merely coexisting with a FaceTime chat with an old friend. At this point, this dude had been running his mouth for a good half hour and it was torture to listen to him.
Lizard Man then showed Normal Guy a picture of an Asian Girl on his cell phone… “She lied to me about her age…she said she was 29 when she was really 21. She said she was afraid I wouldn’t go out with her if I knew how young she was. I only date women in their 20’s but 21 is a little too young for me… I’m 52”, he said.
“THAT NEVER HAPPENED!!” I said from my seat… eyes glued to my phone as if I was speaking to someone on the other line. I knew that he knew that I was really talking to him, but there was no way to prove it.
My tactic worked… his rants were met with “That’s gross”. “Misogynist” and “Please shut up”. My eyes never leaving my screen. It worked, he started to shut up. Meanwhile the woman behind me (one of his employees) was making work calls. When they all said goodbye to each other in Penn Station, I imagined the sheer horror of having to work under this man day to day. As I waited for him to get off the train.. he actually stood over me for a couple minutes and stared at me… I kept my eyes on my cellphone as if I was still in a conversation. I imagined no one had ever challenged him before.
I don’t know if this man was a Government official, I don’t know if this man was a lobbyist. What I do know is this man was in a position of influence in Albany, where are laws are made. Bills that are passed (or that are never passed) that affect our day to day lives.. this man is part of the process and is clear about the fact that he finds women to be an inferior species. He is part of the machine that tolerated the gross injustices I have experienced over the last two years in the hands of a public servant and the mainstream media. For every one Hasan Minaj in the world there are way too many of these Lizard Men.
And that’s why we need you.