Ryan Alexander-Tanner

Listen, this is one of those weeks where I straight up don’t have any one big thing to write about. It happens every now and then, and I can’t force it. I was fidgeting uncomfortably here at my desk trying to come up with something, ANYTHING to spend 500 words on. It’s late summer for me, too. I’m not immune.

I got super stoned the other night trying to think of something to write about, and nothing came to me. Instead I ended up watching a movie where the Chairman from Iron Chef America used the Brazilian dance-fight martial art capoeira to save an inner-city high school in Miami. It was an amazing movie, but again, I was full blown out of my dumbass mind on marijuana drugs.

Right before I started writing this, I thought, “Maybe I should write a 500-word column on Nelly. How come we never talk about Nelly anymore? And what happened to Ludacris? Does he just show up in Fast and Furious movies and then go back into hiding?” Then it turns out that’s pretty much the entirety of my thinking on Nelly. Also, it’s pretty crazy how authentically cool I used to think Nelly’s band-aid was. Only two people have ever accessorized with bandages: Nelly and the Invisible Man, and the Invisible Man has been dead for years. Nobody else was thinking like Nelly! I almost wish they had been—I wish other rappers took bandage-based accessorizing and ran with it. Freeway shows up on 106 & Park with his arm in an ornamental sling. Chingy’s new music video is ALL walking boots. The Diplomats show up on the Summer Jam stage in full body casts. A (broken) arms race of band-aids. All of a sudden they start calling themselves the Wound-Tang Clan. (I’m so sorry.)

I loved Nelly’s band-aid, but I never loved Nelly’s band-aid enough to start rocking Nelly’s band-aid. I have never been cool enough to attempt a move like that—or, if not cool, I have never had that particular strain of try-hard dwelling within my spirit.

I guess that’s the one good thing about being kind of lame. When you’re just kind of lame, you’re kind of lame in the same way, which is to say forgettable. Everything cool, everything that requires intention or effort, will eventually become busted. (And then probably cool again at some point, unless it was truly busted in the first place, like maybe Nelly’s band-aid?)

I mean, let’s go back to Nelly. Let’s go back to his hit song “Air Force Ones.” At the time, for me, that song and those sneakers were the coolest thing on the planet. Now if you go back and watch the music video for that song, it looks like a bunch of actual circus clowns evangelizing a hospital shoe. I guess what I’m saying is never try, which is why I didn’t with this column. I’ll try to write something more long-term embarrassing next week. @IanKarmel