This man is not an asshole.
Or as he explains: “The reason I can act like an asshole is because I’m not an asshole.”
Comprehending the psychological crosscurrents of asshole-ology brings us to the faux-asshole in question, Adam Carolla, who’s triggered his share of controversy, yet doesn’t label his critics assholes … exactly.
“There’s just a whole group of ass-wipes out there,” he says. “All they do is grab your junk and twist it around and break it off into little snippets.”
Normally, Carolla doesn’t remind us of Senator Harry Reid, but the Senate majority leader’s whoopsie last week—cracking Asian-themed zingers while addressing the Asian Chamber of Commerce, then backtracking into an apology—makes us wonder whether Carolla should sign on as a Reid adviser.
Remember in 2006, when Carolla’s morning radio show spoofed the Asian Excellence Awards, emphasizing the words “ching-chong”? After Asian advocacy groups declared it racist, Carolla said the bit “crossed the line.” With utter insincerity.
“You have to fake an apology because your GM told you to. They go, ‘You pretend you’re sorry, and then everything will go away,’” Carolla says. “Then you say, ‘I’m a big supporter of blah-blah-blah community and personalize it a little, like my brother-in-law is blah-blah-blah and ‘I know these words can be hurtful.’ They don’t mean a thing.”
So the apologizers lack credibility. What about the complainers?
“It’s always a subgroup that claims to represent the larger group,” Carolla says. “The Asian group had one jack-off named Guy Aoki (co-founder of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans) who claims to have dominion over all Asian cultures—Japanese, Chinese, Pacific Islander, and he always wanted an apology. Meanwhile, the community that’s supposed to be offended, they don’t really care.”
Trust Carolla on this—he’s often run himself through the outrage/apology meat grinder. Like when he called Hawaiians “inbred” and “the dumbest people we have.” And called Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao “a fucking idiot” and said of his native land: “They got this and sex tours and that’s all they have over there.” And wondered about transgender people: “When did we start giving a shit about these people?” and then suggested LGBT be rechristened “YUCK.”
GLADD howled. Following the formula, Carolla responded: “I’m sorry my comments were hurtful.” GLADD dismissed the apology as “empty.” Can you say, “Duh”?
That’s the Bullshit Two-Step.
“Everyone who sidles up to a microphone these days thinks, ‘What is this joke or comment I’m saying, what Nazi-esque organization is going to try and put the word ‘hate-speak’ around it and say you’re anti-this or anti-that or homophobic or misogynist or racist?” Carolla says. “I don’t give a shit because I don’t like looking at groups. I’d rather look at individuals and say they’re good or bad individuals.”
Given his sweeping aforementioned generalizations, this could be considered disingenuous. Or clinically speaking, a steaming load of cow patties. Yet he insists he remains endearingly, sometimes infuriatingly genuine: “I don’t have anything to hide. I’m just myself.”
Whether that’s a 100 percent, all-natural asshole or a pretend asshole could fill an entire chapter whenever they write The Unabridged History of American Assholes.
The Adam Carolla Show with guest Rick Harrison of Pawn Stars, 9 p.m. Aug. 29, Treasure Island, $37.40 and up, 21 and older, TreasureIsland.com.