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Construction Hours, Facebook-Sponsored Funerals, and the Cultural Appropriation Prize

A graphic of Tony Nappo edited to appear as multiple people sitting in a circle as a spoof of Alcoholics Anonymous. At the top and bottom of the image is text that reads
/By / May 23, 2017

Nappoholics Anonymous is a weekly column featuring twelve random thoughts by actor Tony Nappo. Some are funny, some are poignant, some bother him, and some make him weep from sadness while others make him weep for joy. Here are his thoughts: unfiltered, uncensored, and only occasionally unsafe for work.

1. There should be an exercise in theatre school called Matinee Curtain Call where you try to get six or more actors to bow and exit the stage before an entire audience of eighty-year-olds stop clapping.

2. It’s not much to go on, but the willingness and speed I observe in people when giving up a public transit seat to the elderly signifies to me that even though we seem doomed as a species, our ending may be, at least to some degree, somewhat humane.

3. If you were running for Mayor of Toronto and you promised to make all road construction take place after 9 p.m., you would be the next Mayor of Toronto.

4. This guy was in front of me at the Tim Hortons drive-through. It’s not that his truck had balls that was impressive. It’s that he followed his own misspelled philosophy.

5. I dreamt I had a Facebook-sponsored funeral and Albert Schultz showed up in a T-shirt that said “I never LIKED him” with one of those upside down blue thumbs up signs on it. Even in my dreams, he’s a clever fucker.

6. Mother’s Day Gift for Me:

My mom- Do they have “Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog” in there?

My sister- Ma, it’s the fucking internet. Everything is on here.

Mom- Well, I don’t know.

7. Giving me a single napkin to eat an entire shawarma with is like giving a woman a single tampon to last her entire period.

8. Caught Tie Domi on TV in the film Men of Means. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for anything bad I may have said in any previous column about Joe Piscopo’s acting skills.

9. Every time I drive by the sign for the town of Oro-Medonte I think, “Who lost that fucking bet?” Why didn’t they just name it the town of Just Keep Driving or the town of We’d Rather Not Say. Even if I had established the town myself and my last name was Oro-Medonte, that fuckin place would just be named Tony.

10. Producer of the film I’m working on- It really smells like pee over in that area by the ambulance.

Me- That’s maybe because I just peed there.

The moment that followed was more awkward than when Peter Mansbridge wears jeans to interview someone, trying to come off as a regular guy.

11. Whenever an addict dies, under any circumstance, I am always amazed at how little people generally know or understand about addiction.

12. Because it was suggested to me by Sugith Varughese and Fab Filippo that saying nothing about the Cultural Appropriation Prize in this column would actually be saying something, I will say something. But I really struggled with this. If I condemn it outright I’m just saying what everyone has already said and being safe. If I defend it, I am another white male asshole being heard from and I am dismissed. It seems to me that this is an extension of every other fucking thing that is happening in the world right now: you are either with us or against us. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground.

For what little it’s worth, here is what I observe happening. There has been a lot of forward movement in terms of diversity in the arts over the last year, which, for the record, I do support. Hal Niedzviecki’s proposal was offensive, disrespectful, entitled, and disgusting, but at least he said it. He didn’t say one thing publicly and another off the record. I am not saying I respect him or celebrate him for it. But I am noting it. It is my belief—and this proposal is a concrete example—that there is a growing resentment and fear amongst white artists and institutions that something is being taken away from them, something that I have been aware of for some time, amidst the progress that is being made in terms of the diversity movement.

I don’t expect much of the pushback will be as overtly stated or publicized as this proposal was. I expect it will be subtler. Or it will be denied. But it will be there. And not unlike what we are witnessing in America in terms of decades of suppressed racism boiling over, my personal concern and fear is that there will be an entitlement-fuelled backlash against diversity that results, in the end, in an even further ghettoization of our artistic communities than had existed before the diversity movement gained its present momentum and yielded the long-overdue results it has. I don’t know what the answers are or even if there are any but I do know this isn’t just a case of one guy being a dick.

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Tony Nappo

Tony Nappo

Tony is Italian, he’s from Scarborough, he’s an actor, he’s a father, he’s a really good house painter, and he doesn’t believe that most things matter, ultimately, at all.



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