Justin Halpern: Sh*t My Dad Says

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Halpern, Justin. Sh*t My Dad Says (New York: HarperCollins, 2010)

After a breakup with his girlfriend at the age of twenty-eight, Justin Halpern moved back to his parents' house in San Diego and started tweeting his father's words of wisdom under the title "Sh*t My Dad Says" (blog, Twitter, Wikipedia). It became an online sensation, and this book--along with a sitcom, as I'll discuss later--is the result. Halpern's book is more than just a rehashing of the tweets; it weaves them into a narrative that fleshes out the characters of both Justin and his father, giving up a more rounded look at their relationship. The tweets are still the highlight, though, and here are a few of my favorites:

On My First Day of Kindergarten
"You thought it was hard? If kindergarten is busting your ass, I got some bad news for you about the rest of life." (p. 5)

On Slumber Parties

"There's chips in the cabinet and ice cream in the freezer. Stay away from knives and fire. Okay, I've done my part. I'm going to bed." (p. 33)

On Curfew

"I don't give a shit what time you get home, just don't wake me up. That's your curfew: not waking me up." (p. 78)

On Pringles Flavors

"I'm not eating something called 'pizzalicious.' That's not even a fucking adjective. You can't just add 'licious' to nouns. That's bullshit." (p. 114)

On Nontraditional Entertainment

"There's something to be said for sitting around and drinking a beer while you watch your dog try to fuck a punching bag." (p. 125)

On How to Tell When a Workout Is Complete

"I just did an hour on the gym machine. I'm sweaty, and I have to shit. Where's my fanny pack? This workout is over." (p. 139)

Gawker is less than kind to the "cliché-ridden pilot script" for the series starring (in case you haven't heard) none other than William Shatner. Here's a clip from the show, in all its laugh-tracked unfunniness:

It just doesn't work without shit and fuck--Hollywood has once again taken a decent premise and neutered its humor by bowdlerizing it. This should have been a slightly edgy late-night show, but instead it's been turned into...just another shitcom. In order to refresh your mental palate, here's an unvarnished discussion of eternity and mortality as my Quote of the Day:

"Jesus Christ. You need to take a fucking science course or something. What I'm trying to say is that what makes you up, it's always been around, and it always will be around. So really the only thing you should worry about is the part you're at right now. Where you got a body and a head and all that bullshit. Just worry about living, dying is the easy part."
Then he put down his spoon, looked at me, and stood up.
"Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to do one of the best things about being alive: take a shit."(pp. 101-102)

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on July 29, 2010 4:25 PM.

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