Saturday, August 09, 2008

RIP Bernie

The following things happened in a 24 hour period:

1) The Olympic Opening Ceremonies
2) Russia invaded Georgia (which took a very long time to explain to a room full of teenagers who were alarmed at an American invasion, except for one young man who wasn't that concerned because "Isn't Atlanta really far away?")
3) John Edwards confessed to having an affair
4) A horrible teacher at our school finally lost his shit and punched a female student in the face four times
5) Bernie Mac died

I'll miss Bernie Mac.

Once a few years ago a fellow teacher and one of my favorite people on earth got me watching Bernie Mac. He - a black American - and I had been discussing race on television. He said he didn't have any interest in watching Buffy because there were no black people on the show and so he figured he couldn't relate. This was pre-season seven.

I told him that was funny because I felt the same way about "black" sitcoms. I never saw any white people in the ads except for silly rich people acting all anal and goofy. That didn't interest me at all.

So we made a deal. He'd watch Buffy if I'd watch Bernie Mac. And we did. And we both came back the next day realizing maybe we could relate to shows that didn't necessarily feature members of our own race prominently.

Because Bernie Mac was fucking funny. I'm not married and I don't have kids and I'm not black, but the stuff he did on his show was universal enough to crack me up on a regular basis. He could say a million things with his face, and they were all expressing some form of disappointment in your behavior. I'll miss him.

I won't miss the horrible teacher who will undoubtedly be fired.


  1. I first saw Bernie on Def Jam, he rocked it hard, and then saw him in the Original Kings of Comedy, when he stole the show from more established names before him.

    He was something everyone could relate to, I think.

    Buffy, season 7? If I recall, my old classmate DB Woodside was on the show by then. So it wasn't true that there were no black folk on it . . .

    BTW, that horrible teacher should be more than fired . . . he should be jailed for assault.

  2. That's why I said it was PRE season 7. Season 7 hadn't aired yet.

    And I adore DB Woodside. Robin Wood is one of my favorite characters ever on that show.

  3. Bernie Mac was a hilarious guy; maybe the best reason to watch any of the Oceans movies....
    but seriously, let's talk about #4.
    Wow. I know ya can't write anything down, can't comment, legal yadda yadda- but what pushed the teacher over the edge?

  4. PS I'm watching Galaxy Quest right now.

  5. Oh, geez, in the limo- that's Rainn Wilson.

  6. And Enrico Colantoni. It's pretty much the best movie ever.

    About the teacher, this guy has no discipline skills and the kids just run ragged over him. They smoke pot in his room and run out of his class and throw things at his head. You know the type.

    So he told one girl to do her homework, she smacked his chest and told him to get away from him and he snapped.

    Sweet Jesus.
    As in, it's happened more than once?
    I can't even picture that happening in my classroom.

  8. Anonymous2:37 AM

    I can drink you under the table.

    RIP Bernie.
    RIP Issac.


  9. Unk, are you challenging me to a fight to the death?

  10. Uh, they throw things at his head? She smacked his chest? It's on at that point. If it was a male student, I would'a knocked the shit out of him for putting his hands on me. Yeah, I'd be fired. And it'd be totally worth it.

    I'm not a teacher, but I spent a great deal of time working with young people. Training them, helping them, trying to get them to be better workers and work as a team. I was more of a coach.

    I was strict, but fair.

    If an employee of mine threw things at my head, or smacked my chest, fuck 'em. Age doesn't matter at that point.

    In my situation I could've just fired an employee for that. And I probably would have, depending on the specifics. But a teacher can't, and it's unlikely a school will discipline a student these days.

    I say good job teach, just next time make sure it's a guy you're hitting. Hitting a girl ain't cool.

  11. I wish I thought Bernie Mac was funny, but I don't. It sucks he's dead, that's too bad. But I don't think he was funny. I always thought the Ocean's movies slowed to a crawl when he was onscreen. His stand up wasn't very funny. However, I never did watch his show. Maybe that's where his genius came out.

  12. I get your perspective, Matt, but to be honest if you're a good teacher students are very unlikely to think they can put hand on you. This guy has NO control over his kids and hates them and that's why they behave the way they do.

    Every teacher has bad days but he never has any good ones. And that's why he blew up.

  13. As someone who worked in a special classroom as a Para-educator and taught a bunch of other things in differing aspects, I wanna echo what Emily just said.

    Yeah, it's hard to control a classroom, but there are ways to do it without smacking someone.

    And if you're hit, there are ways to respond without punching back.

    These are kids we're talking about. They don't know how to act or respond like an adult. It's up to the teacher to show through action how that happens.

    Now don't get me wrong, I'm on the street and a punk takes a swing, I'll defend myself. I'm not their teacher on the street.

    In the classroom, it's a different story.

    There are always individual elements that may beyond a teacher's control, and that's when you call in for support. You call in the Supe or the Prince or whomever you need . . . everyone needs help once in awhile.

    But there are also teachers who just don't get it, and as a result lose the whole class . . . when this happens, it's on the teacher, not the students.

    Just my opinion, of course.

    Shoot, I'm now thinking of one of my fave guilty pleasures, THE SUBSTITUTE.

  14. I have been laughing to myself about Atlanta being far away all weekend. Of course, now I'm undergoing court ordered psychiatric evaluation...

    - Bill

  15. Sorry I'm a tad late getting here.

    I'll miss Bernie too.

    I loved him in the ORIGINAL KINGS OF much. In LIFE...he was hilarious.

    Isaac Hayes...BY THE TIME I GET TO goodness. Loved him.

    I was a server at an OLIVE GARDEN many moons ago. I waited on Isaac
    Hayes. Just a regular guy...with a wonderful voice.

    So I'm sad.



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