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Son of Roseanne Barr
Jake Pentland is a podcast host and the son of actress and comedian Roseanne Barr.
Content Warning: Transphobia.
Many of Pentland's comments during this interview were inconsistent with our platform's values.
BSV: Is it okay to compromise yourself in certain situations?
JP: Compromising yourself is an essential part of being successful, having people like you, and even being alive. Let's use dating as an example. You have to compromise when you're dating. You can't come out and say, 'Look, I like to smell my own farts and jerk off four times a day.' You just don't do that on a first date. You have to compromise yourself and come out like 'Oh, I love children and animals!' Then, when you get the person trapped and loving you, then you let it out, the real you.
I've done this. I did it on Facebook before I met my wife; I tried to date and went on an online dating thing. All my friends were telling me to come up with this better version of myself because 'that's what you do.' At the time I was younger, and I felt like, 'Well now I'm compromising myself; I want to be my real self and find someone that's attracted to the real me.
In short, I was myself, and I didn't get a single date, not a single email. I shit you not, not a single email. The one person that ever wrote me was a 700 pound Black girl in Japan in the army. I don't know how she was 700 pounds and in the army, but she was, so I cancelled all my accounts, and I started lying a little bit. Now I'm married. I'm one of the very rare people that tried to be his true self on the internet, and it does not work.
BSV: If you could change being born into a famous family, would you?
JP: That's a very good question. In a lot of ways, yeah, I probably would change it. But at the same time, I'm trying to do a radio show, trying to get attention to myself, so it works out in my favor in that sense. No, I would not change it because I think with fame, a little bit of fame, even if you're not your true self, you have the ability to reach a lot of people. It's just a fact. Part of the reason you can't be yourself on the internet if you're seeking fame is that you want to build up a list of followers, and you have to please a lot of people, so most times people have to be inauthentic in order to do that.
BSV: As a child, what did you want to become more than anything else? Does your life today resemble those desires?
JP: I wanted to be the quarterback for the Denver Broncos when I was a kid. Judging by my man boobies, I would say I'm not the athlete I was hoping so no. But I did always want to help people. You know, I'm one of those assholes that always says that - those people I can't stand - I'm one of those assholes. I do think my reasons are good. I want to have an impact on people, so yeah, I am not who I wanted to be as a kid, but I would not change anything. I do think there is power in fame. I do think if I were in my mother's position, I would handle it very differently.
BSV: Growing up in a family that was constantly in the public eye, what were the barriers?
JP: With any family, there's a family dynamic. I don't think it changes whether you family is famous or not. You still have a mother, you still have a father; they have their issues, and you have yours. I do think, regardless of being a celebrity kid or regular kid, I would have had issues doing what I wanted to do. I was the only boy in a family of women, trying to be as pro-man as possible, so I don't think that would have been accepted in my family, famous or not.
BSV: Are there disparities in the way celebrities present themselves in real life vs. on social networking sites?
JP: I'll put it this way. We all know how important how we present ourselves on social networking sites is. We all want to go from 200 followers to 1,000. You start thinking 'How do I increase that?' The difference between being a regular person and a famous person is in a famous person's case, 200 followers is just not enough for them. Whatever drives a celebrity or motivates them, 200 followers is just not satisfying, so they will do literally anything, sometimes questionable things to obtain a higher following. The biggest difference for a celebrity is that their livelihood, the very thing they want more than anything - their fame itself is their currency. They have to be doubly careful, for example, when Michael Richards said "ni**er" a thousand times, he hasn't been on TV at all since then. That directly affects his income and livelihood. While, if I said something racist, it wouldn't change my life. I'd still be working. So in some cases, they have to be one million times more careful because they're watched so closely.
BSV: Is there an authentic self?
JP: There's absolutely an authentic self in everybody. In 100% of us, there is a true, authentic self that we all know. I'd say we all know very well. What alters the authentic self is not just fame - it's whatever your own bullshit is, whatever your environment is, whatever your race is, whatever your parents tell you, whatever some bully says to you. Simply things that stick in your head and hurt your feelings or make you feel good. Those start tailoring, and you start getting away from your authentic self.
I'll put it this way, let's say you're a kid, and you have an uncle who punches you in the face or beats you. You're a victim. Now you start to get a little confused like 'What did I do?' Or you start asking yourself 'What did I do to bring this on?' or 'What is wrong with me?' because you are too young to understand that your uncle is a fuck up. You then start internalizing it, and you start trying to correct it for life. You want to be something that other people don't want to punch, so you'll start working more on your favorable parts of your personality. Then maybe that dysfunction there itself makes you come home at night and feel like you're not being your true self because you're faking everything. So now you have this double side of being a fake person.
Long story short, the authentic self - you're just a little kid when you get punched by your uncle, you like candy, you want to be a fireman, pretty simple. And that moment in time changes everything. Then you spend the rest of your life chasing and running from that moment. Now, the stronger authentic people that go 'Okay, I'm 35 years old. I'm drinking too much. I'm punching my nephew. There's probably a problem here; I'll start doing some therapy and talking about it.' Then they realize 'oh, the uncle's a big fuck up, it wasn't my fault.' They get therapy; they get cured. They then find their authentic self again.
Long story short, the authentic self is the person that pretty much we ignore. Whether you're famous or not, the thinking and wanting to be famous is not authentic by very nature. I will tell you this, and I'm not just talking about my mother. Every famous person I have ever met is extremely screwed up. If you were really authentic, what you would really be saying is 'I just want food. I just want a place to sleep. I want a few good friends and a suitable sexual partner, and that's all I really want. I don't need anything more. I don't need power. I don't need fame. I don't need any of that.' So the authentic self is pretty much your money. It's your inner animal. It's the caveman, the very simple food and fucking. That's your authentic self. All of this other stuff now, you know - politics, fame, feelings - it's all bullshit. I'm sorry, but it really is, and nobody wants to admit it. Here is why I get some mad when I hear things about Chaz Bono and cyber bullying. It drives me fucking crazy. You know what? I don't have any problem with Chaz being a lesbian or wanting to dress like a man. I don't care. I don't give a shit! But she's not a dude, and I'm not going along with this joke that she's a dude. I don't go to Chaz' house and tell her, 'Hey, you fuckin' psychopath'. I don't drive around her block and harass her because I don't really give a fuck. But when he goes on Twitter where he wants that interaction, and by the way I'm following him or her or it or shit or shim, and they tell me they're happy to see a guy in the mirror? That's when I crack. I can't take it anymore. I just can't take it. It drives me fucking crazy. I understand, there's probably a lot of gays and lesbians that view him as like a hero because he's in the public eye, and he's had a very public transformation. There are very few sex changes that are as publicized as his, so he's kind of a hero to them which is cool I guess. Again, I don't give a fuck what you do in your own bedroom. I don't care. If you want to shave your head and be a dude, fine. But, you still have ovaries. Your penis, if you ever get one, is going to be a sewn on piece of rubber, not a real functioning dick. So you can act like you're a dude, but you have a vagina with a glued on penis and ovaries. You just shaved your head. There's your answer for authentic self. Is Chaz Being authentic? No.
Interview Recorded: 2012 | Updated: 2022
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