Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Adam Carolla Dilemma

(This was written Wednesday.)

I sat behind this couple and their son on the plane. The couple was older. You could tell the son was their miracle. He was their life.

He told some joke that was not funny, and they laughed and laughed. They even roped the flight attendant into laughing. It was kind of sad. The kid thought he was funny. But he wasn't even remotely funny. His parents were acting. The flight attendant was acting. The boy was living a lie.

All I could think about was being Adam Carolla's kid. Adam Carolla wouldn't laugh at his unfunny kid. He would have told his kid "that isn't funny." And his kid might grow up to be really damn funny in an effort to please his dad. Or he might not. But the kid would know the difference between funny and unfunny.

The point here is that many kids are instilled with a false sense of confidence. I think this is partially Tiger Woods' problem. People have always looked the other way. They laughed at his unfunny jokes. There is no doubt that Tiger is/was a great golfer, but nobody told him "no" when it came to his personal life. You see some of this in LeBron James too. There is no doubt he is a great player. But it seems nobody has told him: "You're not funny. Pick a damn team and win a championship."

Adam Carolla's son will know the difference between "funny and unfunny." (I actually have no idea if this is true or not. Adam Carolla's son might turn out to be pampered.) But he might also have a ton of insecurities that keep him from his own personal greatness. The ocular block that Pat Jordan talks about is aided by this undying, usually delusional, confidence in oneself. Not knowing the difference between funny and unfunny helps sustain this confidence.

But I worry about the unfunny kid when his classmates and friends tell him how big of a loser he is.


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