Accountability to Your Words: Where’s Yours, Adam Carolla?

Posted on December 14, 2011 by


My college buddy Daniel and I would love to talk shit about people who were completely worthless.

People who were only interested in bettering themselves.  People we wanted to punch in the face because they didn’t contribute much to the world. People we knew whom we didn’t care if we ever saw again because they had nothing of substance to say.

In celebrity form, Adam Carolla has been one of these people, but till now, I couldn’t figure out why.

Now, I know why.

Recently, he offered his opinion on people who participated in Occupy Wall Street.

“Self entitled pricks who thinks the world owes them a live. And now we’re getting the first wave of these douchebags. And now they grew up, and its fine if you grow up in this little snowglobe of a life where everything is awesome and everyone gets participation trophies and theres no losers and everythings awesome. But then you get out into the real world and you realize – I’m a fuckin loser. You’re not doing that well. You’re not makin that much money. And they’re feeling shame. They’ve been shamed by life. Because they havent been prepared for life. Because they’ve had so much smoke blown up their fucking collective asses by the time they get out in the real world, they realize the real world doesn’t give a fuck where you’re from or what your mommy said you were or how pretty you were or what you do. All those lies that were told to your parents about how special you are and how nobody was created like you, and all this bullshit advertisements – Nike and all this ‘theres just one you!’ and ‘you take it all’ and ‘its your world’ and and all that Reebok shit – doesn’t mean shit when you get to the real world and you’re just looked at as pee-on #27 whos puttin in an application and guess what “I don’t like your attitude, douche. Get your fuckin feet off my desk and hit the bricks I’m not hiring you.” Now, your plan is to come back and throw a brick at my window. Thats your plan. This is whats going on. Its this envy and shame and theres gonna be a lot more of it.

Because it used to be father and son walking down the sidewalk and you see a guy go by in a Rolls Royce and the father says ‘there goes Mr. Jenkins. LOOK UP TO HIM. That guy works hard. That guy built a company. That guy built an empire. Now look at him. He’s driving his Rolls Royce up the hill.” But what do we do now? Now its like ‘oh look at him. Does he need that car? Whys he need that car? I’m driving a fucking Chevette. Whys he get to drive that fuckin car? You know what? Lets go up there and throw a rock at it.’ That ain’t gonna help you get out of the Chevette, ass douche. And by the way parents, society – we are creating a group of self entitled monsters. Knock it off.”

Carolla makes a number of implicit assumptions.  One assumption is that the guy acquired his (assumed) wealth in a somewhat “fair” manner (assuming that he’s white of course).  That is, the hypothetical guy didn’t cheat, steal, fudge some regulation en route to his journey for success.

Unless the hypothetical Rolls Royce driver individually wronged someone, it is highly unlikely anyone is mad at or envying the individual (unless they personally know him and he personally wronged them) for what Carolla defines as success.

Envy/jealousy is something you have for people who operate on the same scale as you do.  Envy/jealousy is something you would have for a classmate, your lover’s exes and husbands.

With much more critical education, people have learned to ask questions: how did the guy earn the Rolls Royce?   How have cars came to be a symbol of success?  Who did he fuck over to get to where he is, as is the norm, arguably an inevitability in this game of economic capital hoarding?

People are mad about things more substantial than petty comparisons to hypothetical successful individuals:

Like, the juxtaposition of these facts:

  • 14 million unemployed in the US
  • Corporate profits at an all-time high
  • CEO pay being 350x that of the average worker
  • Very rich are enjoying low tax rates
  • Banks are able to borrow money for free
  • $58 billion in bank profits for the first 6 months of 2011

I can anticipate what folks like Adam Carolla say. “Stop bitching!  Stop Whining!  “Get a job!”

People who rant like this, obviously know something I don’t: how to do well in this economy.

In fact, the blogger who agreed with Carolla and brought my attention to Carolla’s rant had this to say:

when you look at it from a different angle theres more ways to make money in this world than ever before. Look at me. I blog about donuts and adult onesies and my cosmetic physical shortcomings and I get enough money to live in New York City. Fucking Jenna Marbles works one day a week talking about her dogs and what happens when she gets fucked and she’s probably making enough loot to be considered 1%. This day and age, with the internet and social media and all that other jazz, there are infinite more ways to make money than the previous generations.

Carolla isn’t the only person in the world making these type of “tow-the-line”, “pull yourself-by-the-bootstrap” statements.

Recently, there was an article by Forbes writer Gene Marks entitled “If I Were a Poor Black Kid.”  Some white middle-class guy talking about how he would game the system, “only if.” My US history teacher use to say, “if the queen had balls, she’d be king.”

Essentially, the take-home message from Carolla, that random blogger, and Gene Marks is take responsibility for your own lives and stop whining.

Responsibility.  I didn’t like the word not because I don’t want any, but because it’s a word I often hear when someone wants to blame or accuse someone of something.

“Whose responsibility is that?!  “That’s not my responsibility!  That’s his job!”

“You were responsible for bringing the white on that rice!  Why isn’t it here?  How come it’s so brown?”

“Being responsible” has many meanings depending on context.  “Being responsible” in the American context of politics generally means being able to acquire things for your family.  Things like shelter, food, water, an education, and  luxuries.  If you acquire that with what you believe is “your” money, then you’re seen as responsible.

Adam Carolla and that blogger’s solution is essentially, just stop whining and find ways to acquire things with “your money.”  Being responsible essentially is something of an order, a command to acquire stuff with “your” own money.

Never been a fan of the commanding of people, but if you are, it’s usually because you are responsible for them in some way.  Example, your kids.  In our context, you take responsibility of them when they’re really little, that means you tell them that they can’t hold that knife, they can’t play with your iron elephant on their flat screen TV.  You make commands of them because you feel responsible for them.  And being responsible for them means usually you can provide something for them.

So my question to all-knowing entities like Adam Carolla if you make commands to a mass of people, what exactly can you provide to a mass of people? Can YOU get this mass of people a job?  What does Adam Carolla know that unemployed people don’t?

Wonder if he’s smarter than this guy:

Or are these calls and rants just some even self-serving narcissistic psuedo-paternalistic testament meant to exhibit/induce 1890s-esque social Darwinistic fitness?

Not saying I know something cause honestly I don’t, just saying that if you know something and how to do it, why not…do something about it?