Patrice O’Neal

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Though his standup was funny I always thought he was even funnier off the cuff. Two of my favorite clips. 

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16 Responses to Patrice O’Neal

  1. AnonymousAtLarge says:

    Hilarious, and his analysis of white people music is correct. Neil Young IS a beloved white people figure, and white people ARE oddly emotionally drawn to the song “creep” (or at least, circa 10 yrs ago).

    The reason this is hilarious is because he is mocking the idea of white people as emotional beings, suggesting emotionality is inappropriate for white people to be moved by music, presumably due to the fact we control the world and enslaved black people. Like, it would be just as funny if he did an analysis of the emotional lives of robots, and the weird emotional rituals robots engage in.

    • eqv says:

      The reason this is hilarious is because he is mocking the idea of white people as emotional beings, suggesting emotionality is inappropriate for white people to be moved by music, presumably due to the fact we control the world and enslaved black people.

      What? That’s an awfully big leap. I think he’s mocking a very specific kind of emotion, the sort of glossy, fractured identity, guilt-and-angst-ridden stuff that he (very rightly) points out is at the heart of Fight Club and songs like ‘Creep’.

      • eqv says:

        Also: I think the emphasis he places on the “I wish I was special” line is pretty indicative of what he’s talking about in general.

        • AnonymousAtLarge says:

          But the fact he describes this as “white” suggests that he thinks the origin of it, is the history of europeans as enslaving and controlling other people/the world. He does not call this a human problem, but specifically a WHITE problem, which speaks volumes as to what he thinks the cause of it is (the “fractured identity/guilt and angst ridden stuff”).

          • Mister Michael says:

            That is another large leap. He is talking about American white people, not Europeans. To illustrate, although the song “Creep” was written by an English band, it was much more popular in America.

    • Guy Fox says:

      Are you sure he’s mocking white people’s emotions or their sentimentality? What’s the difference? Well, if ‘Creep’ happened to be the song playing on the radio when your spouse was squashed by a drunk driver while s/he was sitting next to you in the passenger seat, you’re liable to have an emotional reaction when you hear it. If you’re in a pub and ‘Creep’ starts playing, and you and the bloke over at the dart board start grooving in unison and getting all misty-eyed, though you have no attachment to the song or each other, except that you’re both moved to pull out your Moleskins/Ipads and record something poignant, it’s sentimental.
      As an unsystematic observation, “No Woman, No Cry” seems to have a similar effect.

  2. larrykoubiak says:

    I just lost an important part of my vocabulary when it comes to being a white male, because one of the masters of understanding what that means just died. And i do feel quite shitty about it for some reason, which is a bit ludicrous since i obviously don’t know the guy and usually don’t really care when someone far away dies, but there’s something about a comedian dying that just plain sucks, it’s like the world became more boring and bleak, now that one talented jester left it.
    I wish i could thank him for making dull life more bearable, but i can’t now can i…
    So i’ll shut up and just raise my glass to him, salud Patrice.

  3. claudius says:

    What an awesome guy. I was fortunate enough to have met him for a moment, let alone see him live. He made the entire audience cry with laughter that night. But what was really surprising was his reads on people – he had a bullshit detector that worked from a mile away. He was not just a comic, he was a philosopher. He had the ability to delve into the everyday activities of people and see something that was not only funny, but also true.

    Personal favorite:

  4. qubitman says:

    Hearing this made me feel embarassed for thinking I was alone in having that experience with the creep song, or the fight club movie, because it broke the illusion that the connection to these things set me apart from others. As a white male my ego is validated in part by having things that I think will set me apart. I am made uncomfortable when this illusion is broken by proof that I’m like all the others, not only because of my preferences, but because of my motives for having those preferences. “I like x because it’s proof that I’m different” 10 million voices say alone, in unison, unironically.

    All white people are the same specifically because they all want to be unique.

    • Mister Michael says:

      As a fellow white male, I think it’s fascinating that you reacted to “Fight Club” that way. I found it very uplifting. I thought, “There are more people like me. I’m not the only one who feels this way.”

      As an aside, I would like to know who you saw it with. I saw it with my father and brother which, I think, might have made me view it differently than I would have had I seen it alone.

  5. beerated says:

    I think what has happened recently is pretty ironic. If O’Neal was still around, and I’ve seen less than a half hour of his standup, I really think he would ridicule the hubbub about his death by people who didn’t care about him before hand. Like a martyr for white people, that they are somehow paying off guilt by appreciating him post mortem.

    • operator says:

      Alive, he is a potential threat or let-down for white people who acknowledge liking his humor (what if he decides to spin a series of white people jokes in the Jeff Foxworthy “you might be a white person if…” format? what if he reveals that he knows everything about white people?) – in death, he’s just a comedian.

      • beerated says:

        So is all the freaking out kind of a big, white sigh of relief you think?

        • sunshinefiasco says:

          No– he’s a comic.
          Anyone who’s legitimately threatened by any of his insights probably dismisses him as just another comic/just another “gangster” asshole/just another black comic asshole.

          What’s happening here is simple– a bunch of people who never cared to/got around to seeing what O’Neal was all about are now piling on to a discussion about his profundity/hilariousness/legacy, in part because it’s the topic of the moment/they feel like they should have watched more of his standup/whatever.

          That’s not a racial thing, that’s a somebody died thing. The only reason race is a factor here is because Patrice’s death is bringing his opinons onto the floor for discussion– something that didn’t happen before because he never did anything that got as much widespread attention as his death (which isn’t his fault… “gangster” agitated black man says “crazy” stuff about white people just isn’t that much of a story unless he’s advocating for someone’s death, and even then…”).

  6. nfm says:

    Y’all white folks here ever listened to Black People Music? Particularly the kind from the 90s onward? There are some common qualities to a lot of it, such as Objectification… Shallow Insincerity… Undeserved Bragging… etc.

    Are there implications here, aside from me being a racist?

  7. sdfijoidsj says:

    In The Fight Club, at the begining of the movie, the white guy went to medice seeking help only to realize that medicine can’t/won’t help him. Medice is femenine. The whole society is femenine. I guess black men know a lot about that.