Attention Whoring, comedy

I Want to Be Funny So Bad

I’m a pretty useless person who feels the world is unfit for my presence. Or, more accurately, my presence is unfit for this world. Actually, I don’t think that’s more accurate. I don’t think it’s less accurate either though. I think I just wanted to repeat myself, but sometimes when you repeat yourself you sound super serious and I wanted to sound super funny.

Part of my problem is that I always want to sound super funny, but I rarely have anything funny to say. All of my thoughts are super serious. But I do love laughter and attention. Which seems to imply that I would have liked the stares I was getting for laughing out loud as I listened to This American Life on the subway. I didn’t like it. It’s not the right type of attention. In my head they were asking shitty questions in their head. “Why is he having so much fun? Doesn’t he know how miserable you are supposed to be while in transit? Can’t he contain his excitement out of respect for my boredom?”

Of course no one thought that, but I thought that they thought that and then I felt guilty for my imagined inspiration of their jealousy and then indignant at their annoying jealousy making me feel guilty. “Who are you to be frustrated with my fun? Why can’t you just let me be? This person talking into my ears is funny and I want to appreciate it fully, why won’t you let me?” I continued the conversation in my head with my imaginary opponents.

The subway is a really distracting place also.

There are too many exciting people to watch who don’t realize you are watching them. I once saw a man dressed in a full yellow suit looking at pictures of himself that he had just taken wearing the full yellow suit. I’ve never seen someone happier.

Image     Image

So I took pictures of him to share with the world. It’s so funny!! He’s so funny!! And all I want to do is share funny things, but I’m too serious and so I have to find funny things that aren’t me and take them down as evidence that I recognize funny things.

We had a put up circle in 3rd grade. Each day a different kid would go in the middle of a circle and the rest of the students would go around and say one nice thing about the one in the middle. In the midst of the barrage of “you’re nice”s was either a scattered “you’re funny” or “you have a good sense of humor” and I was consistently frustrated with the use of “you have a good sense of humor.” It was used to mean “you laugh a lot” which is the opposite of a discerning sense of what’s funny and what’s not. I have a great sense of humor! I don’t necessarily think I’m funny, but I know what is.

So, while I’m feeling embarrassed for laughing on the subway I notice something much funnier than This American Life. There is a man asleep on the subway. Not all that funny. His baseball cap is about to fall off. Still not all that funny. But I notice that he has his Iphone out and it is on his calculator app which is displaying the number 10.5864… This is very funny.

There is some epic story here of a man battling his demons trying to overcome the obstacle of sleep to do one last subway calculation – to find this number that will solve all of his issues, and just as he does he falls asleep. Or it’s less epic, and he was so bored by the bath he was doing that he fell asleep mid-calculation. Falling asleep mid-task is very funny to me, but especially when it’s a task that is necessarily completed on a calculator.

So I took a picture.

Or tried.

I held my phone up high as though the glare was preventing me from seeing which hilarious song I was listening to, then aimed it down to take a photo of my sleeping accountant. And I snapped the photo discreetly. Except that I forgot to turn off the flash and I awoke my subject, attracted more attention, tried to turn off the flash and ended up taking a photo of my feet with a flash, and had to rush off the subway two stops too early out of embarrassment.

Image

Also. His phone screen went to sleep right before I flashed my picture and therefore nothing is funny about this photograph. Nothing is funny about me.

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comedy, My favorites

Performance, Therapy, Science

I began performing because it was an opportunity to be sure that people were listening, and I kept performing because it was therapeutic to hear and see reactions to me. It was why I enjoyed comedy – it was why I was only able to do things that made an audience laugh or cry. They were the only performances that were really therapeutic because without a guttural reaction to watch as a response to me I couldn’t be sure that people were listening.

A girl transferred out of the democratic cooperative k-12 school that I volunteer in, and we held an appreciation circle.

1st. Whatever intention I had of rebelling against my parents’ vegan, swedish, kibbutz, health-food, anti-war, gender bending hippie upbringing has obviously been quelled.

2nd. About 3/4 of the way around the circle a boy began crying.

Height: 6’2″
Height with hair: A Little Too Much
Weight: 235lbs
Muscle Weight: Not Enough
Glasses Size: Smaller Would Have Been Better
Humor: Above Average
Sadness: Even More Above Average
Ability To Write Poetry: Good. He’s 16 Years Old, So, Don’t Stick With It For Too Much Longer, But, Y’know, Stick With It For Now
Ability To Care: Great
Coolness At A Regular School (Out of 100): 32
Coolness At The Commune/Child Labor/Educational Environment That I Volunteer At (Out of 100): 79

The amount he cared about this girl that was leaving was touching. Obviously. Also. We all understood that the genuineness of his tears was embarrassing. How we reacted to that embarrassment was different. A group of kids laughed. A group of kids defended. A group of kids ignored. A group of kids gave sympathetic looks. I cried.

It just looked like so much fun.

I think that’s why laughing and crying are so appealing to me. We think of laughing and crying as being extensions of smiling and frowning, but I see more in common with yawning. Real laughing and crying is an uncontrollable reaction – something that happens because you had to despite your best efforts not to. This lack of control is appealing. It is something we as humans are rarely faced with. Its rarity is the cause for our obsession with fate, our fixation on addiction, and our creepy interest in psychopaths. More interestingly though, the acts are contagious.

Seeing someone yawn makes you yawn.

Being around laughter makes laughter more socially and emotionally appropriate.

Watching someone cry always makes me cry.

3rd. The superior temporal sulcus (an area of the brain) is strongly activated when you yawn (proof). This part of the brain is connected to understanding the emotions of others and how those may differ from our own (proof). Kids under the age of four and people with autism don’t “catch” yawns (proof). The sounds of others laughing or crying activate the STS as well (proof).

This all implies that when we perceive laughter, crying, or yawning, a similar thing is happening in our brain, and also that that thing that is happening is making us subconsciously want to do laugh, cry, or yawn as well.

3rd(ii)) When a restaurant that I had worked at for a year and met most of my friends at and met my girlfriend at and had been the start of my life in New York City closed I cried. But only when I looked at my friend Claire and saw that she was crying too.

This also implies that there is some subconscious understanding of emotional dissonance ingrained within us as humans – that there is a part of our brain working without our knowledge aimed at finding those moments where emotions overtake our fellow humans and they are simply reacting to their surroundings. And when we are faced with this understanding that others’ emotional reactions are completely separate from our own we seek to correct this – we join them. We yawn because they yawn, we laugh because they laugh, we cry because they cry. We emote because they emote.

I perform because it is therapeutic to watch an audience’s superior temporal sulcus get activated because it will activate my own. I worry they will find a drug that does this chemically and I’ll no longer have to perform.

PS. They have found that the smells from Vanilla and Rotten Eggs activate the STS a little. Makes sense. The only two smells that can make you viscerally frown or smile come from STS activation.

PS(ii). This does imply that if they do find a drug that activates this part of the brain it could cure autism, right?

PS(iii). People with a larger STS have more facebook friends (proof). I think that’s important.

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comedy, Gender, Indignant

Where I Say Things Over Again

a) Comedy, Women

The greatest trick the devil ever played was not convincing a bunch of assholes that Kevin Spacey’s performance in The Usual Suspects is hands down the greatest acting performance that has ever fuckin’ happened, it was convincing people to argue about whether or not women are funny. I once got in an argument with a sadly misinformed friend who was claiming that men were funnier than women on average and I defended my opinion by using this graph:

I was wrong. So wrong. I was trying to say that there are a group of people that are super funny and they are evenly distributed between men and women, and below that are just people forced to be where they are on the funny line by social construction. Funny isn’t so continuous. It’s a word. Either funny or not. It’s binary.

90% of laughter is forced because we feel it socially demanded of us. This is the true construction that keeps this argument going. All the people below that dotted line do not deserve to be laughed at, but we have decided that it is important that women laugh and men get laughed at (e.g. All Sitcoms). Therefore we force laughter when we see a man do something that we know he thinks is funny and we force criticism when a woman tries the same thing. Stop forcing laughter.

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Attention Whoring, comedy, Indignant, Lazy, My favorites, Pathetic, Selfish

Honesty: My Excuse

I’m often reassured that I’m the only one that enjoys myself. The mirror is the only audience I respect because it is the only audience that reacts appropriately to my misfortune. I see myself as powerless not because I aspire to be the victim, but because I aspire to fit in with the majority’s perception.

These oversimplifying statements of self deprecation mixed with self pleasure aimed at analyzing my neuroses are necessary cathartic lies.

After every sentence I want to stop writing because it feels like saying anything more would be giving too much away – taking away the journey that a reader has the opportunity to go on and making them see what you see as an author, as a creator of this story that you are supposed to paint a picture of because you have taken up the responsibility of leading this audience and asked to be paid attention to – to take time away from others’ lives in order to participate in your own because you believe your’s to be far superior, at least for the time being, and with that great demand comes great obligation to maintain enjoyment, but isn’t giving them, the audience, an invitation to join you as the creator the most selfless way to enjoy an art with someone? Probably not.

I ask myself stupid questions about when form and message intersect because I’m a stupid person with stupid thoughts. My answer is always that they do, but typically it is not a premeditated desire. In my case it is nearly always an accident. I’m still pleased with the result.

My work is almost always reddild with mistakes. ecause I only want to write about what I’m writing aboute. I start feeling dishonest when I’m presented art that has been edited. If that art is about me, ten it must be about me. I typed this entrie paragraph with my eyes losed.

Mrs. McIntire was my typing teacher in high school. Later she would become the vice principal for a year, but for now she only taught typing – a class where maintaining a watchful eye over child-soldiers completing mindless, useless tasks is your only duty. I was and am a good typer (or typist depending on which one is correct) and was/am able to complete my tasks at such a speed that large portions of class time would be/are dedicated to me finding other ways to occupy my time besides staring at completed assignments. This led to the game Wiz3. Whose instructions read/read: Guide Wizio the Wizard as he journeys through a magical land. Collect the potions as you go to create spells that will help you on your way. Use the keys to enter locked doors and hidden treasures. Throw the levers to get to reveal new routes and bonuses. It was a great game that I played/play well and played/play loudly. I liked/like perceiving the anger Mrs. McIntire directed towards my playing loudly as jealousy towards my playing well. That made/makes the competition more fun. She won/wins of course. She was/is the teacher. She instituted/institutes a rule wherein every time a student finished an assignment she would have to check over their entire homework before they could play games. Those two minutes of class where she would be/is hunched over my shoulder breathing in my oxygen displaying my total inability for full control were the worst two minutes of school every day.

I struggle with tense often in my writing, which I think is because I’m never sure whether I’m reliving by writing or perceiving by writing. My biggest struggle with writing is which version of myself am I. Since I can only comprehend the idea of writing through a self-manufactured lens that looks upon myself, my goal becomes to bend the funhouse mirror in a new and interesting shape. It’s selfish: the inability to focus the mirror elsewhere, but focusing it elsewhere sounds mean. Maybe that person doesn’t want to see themselves in a funhouse mirror. I’ll take the bullet. The selfish bullet.

I worry that humans won’t exist when I die, but that’s only because I define humans as me.

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Attention Whoring, comedy, Indignant, My favorites

I Always Wanted an Origin Story

A show that has been over a year in the making is finally happening. It’s called Drawn Out Storytelling, though I’m constantly trying to get people to abbreviate it to D.O.S. or Drawn Out. This show, which if you’ve spoken to me at all over the past month you will be far too acquainted with the idea of, is a stretching of the storytelling genre into a fully encompassing experience where your visual and auditory senses are bombarded with all of the elements of a story that we can so that it feels like you are there… maybe?

I don’t think that’s the point.

I constantly struggle with the point.

Here’s the evidence:

I moved to NYC and was immediately entranced by the storytelling scene – it was finally that melding of life and art that I had been searching for. Honesty had always been important to me in art, but specifically how to stretch honesty. I then saw that there were people stretching this “honesty” and pushing it further into the boundary of art. There was Mimsy – the experimental improvisation troupe of storytellers. There was the BTK Band – a band that played behind a storyteller with gogo dancers in front.

Then it hit me that one of my best friends is a comic book artist and drawing stories out would be awesome. But it couldn’t just be literal. The art had to bring out a truth that wasn’t able to be brought out through words alone. Then I added music. The music had to stretch that honesty even further. Now I have ideas of adding cooking, science experiments, dance, computer programs, and the list goes on.

Why is mixing media so important to me?

I told you: I constantly struggle with the point. Stop asking me.

Sophomore year of high-school Mr. Schaffer took us outside to the awkwardly placed turnaround on the side of our parking lot. He told us to stand at different points around this almost-road. Some of us were behind bushes. Some behind other cars. Some right on the road. Some inside a building. He then explained how a hypothetical car-accident was happening.

None of us understood how this lesson was supposed to teach us how the truth was a matter of perspective because none of us were listening because we were in high school.

Art can attempt to approach honesty, but by virtue of it being on stage an audience has altered expectations. Therefore we can’t actually provide true honesty. That being said the biggest enemy of honesty in art is genre.

Genre defines more expectations. Genre creates more preconceptions without providing more art. Genre is just what you expect to see, and as an artist I strive constantly to undo the genre I am “participating” in. Mixing mediums of performance defies genre. It demands that as an audience you come in with an open mind. It demands that you approach a show allowing yourself to be influenced.

I really struggle with the point because I think the point is often not the point. The point is so personal. The point is what you take out of it as an audience member – in so many ways it has nothing to do with the creator of that art.

Do you want to see if this makes sense? Come to Drawn Out Storytelling and find out. Tomorrow at 5:30 as a part of the Comic Book Theater Festival.

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comedy, Gender, Indignant, Math, Media, My favorites

Women, Fun, Math – A New Thesis.

“When I’m Ira Glass I’m gonna have chapters instead of acts.”

-Me, Right Now

I’ve shared three videos on facebook recently. I think they are the three videos that perfectly describe what my life is. This realization comes on the heels of a change in the domain name of my blog – a long needed change as the contents no longer fit what it was called.

Chapter 1.

We change the way we view things based on the context under which we view them, obviously. Information is so free though nowadays that anything that is imbibed comes with a whole set of preconceptions. Therefore we can never know if Bridesmaids was truly a good movie or bad movie. We demanded to know if a woman could make a Judd Apatow movie because we were confused about our role as an audience member and then Kristen Wiig did it – she made a Judd Apatow movie.

Guy has chance to have something super hot and rich yet unhealthy with one girl, finally finds joy in something more interestingly attractive and healthier. Screws things up with it, but gets it back in the end. = Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Switch “guy” and “girl.” = Bridesmaids

Two best dude friends have a constant passive aggressive battle because despite the fact that they like each other, the one that isn’t as much of a conventional “failure” feels like the other is holding him back. The “non-failure” also wants to hang out with an annoying person who is more successful at the next step in their lives. The two dudes make up in the end after a big blowout fight where they decide not to be friends anymore. = Superbad

Switch “dude” to “chick” and “him” to “her.” = Bridesmaids

“Screwup” man has a failure business that he put everything into despite the fact that he didn’t put that much into it. He learns to try by the end of the movie because a woman that he likes does try. = Knocked Up

Switch “man” and “woman.” Bridesmaids

A bunch of male friends rag on a dude who has still not done something that the rest of them have done. That dude feels likes an outcast, but then feels less like an outcast when he becomes comfortable with his own pace of doing that thing that he hasn’t done. = 40 Year Old Virgin

Switch genders. = Bridesmaids

But is it more important because it’s women? We as a society, unfortunately, but obviously treat genders differently – as should be realized by the fact that I equated a male’s loss of virginity to a female’s wedding night, but because we treat genders differently do we have to reward genders differently?

I am a straight male who looks and acts like a straight male and that gives me a key to a safe space that I don’t feel safe in. A safe space that does not need to be designated as a safe space because it is the controlling space. Straight males are the people most frightened of admitting women are funny because they’ve been given the monopoly on funny and losing things isn’t fun. The most common defense of their monopoly when they see funny women being gross in order to be funny is that that type of thing wouldn’t work for a man because the bar is higher for men. Pooping is hilarious when anyone does it, it’s just also important when women do it. If you’re jealous because a woman can get a laugh by making poop noises while she has sex with a blowup doll and you can’t, then try growing up in a culture that tells you that sex and poop are shameful and still make shitfucking sounds. The humor comes from the vulnerability that is inherent in admitting your inability yo conform to society’s demands of you.

Apatow has made his fortune on creating male characters that don’t quite conform to the expectation of men in our society. Therefore, when we asked K-Wiig to do the same for women, we didn’t give her a chance to succeed. Freaks and Geeks came out with no expectations and was cancelled after a season. Same with Undeclared. 40 Year Old Virgin came out when Apatow was still known as a guy who had something to do with Anchorman. It was going to be an mainstream comedy with offbeat antics, and it turned out to have heart. Knocked Up looked sappy and romantic from the trailers and when it turned out to have bong rips and birth video footage, people fell in love with Judd. By the time Forgetting Sarah Marshall came out Apatow had created a new genre of comedy that was only missing one thing: Developed female characters. He tried letting Aubrey Plaza create it in Funny People, but the movie was still about two men’s relationship and Plaza’s plot got thrown do the side. Wiig took the reins. The problem being that we all saw her take the reins. This movie had to be funny in the same way Apatow is, but about female dynamics, but it couldn’t be just about chick stuff because then it wouldn’t prove that women could do universal humor, but it had to have heterosexual attractive women because it couldn’t buy into the stereotypical lesbian imagery of the 1970s. We expected all of this from Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo. What we expected, at best, from Apatow was dirty comedy with heart. His task was easier.

Then there is the even bigger problem of succeeding. Which Wiig did. She did it. She made the movie we wanted, but in doing that, we all knew what was coming. She simply achieved our outlandish expectations instead of surpassing them.

There are two people in this world that I don’t think it’s okay to be mean to: Kristen Wiig and Christina Aguilera. It’s not because I think they are the best people. It’s because they are doing what has been asked of them by the brightest in society – and doing it with talent. Being mean to them doesn’t make sense because you asked them to do what they are doing. Get mad at yourself instead.

Jacob said it best.

Chapter 2.

Artists should not be asked to conform to a role imposed upon them by an audience. Their role should be self-determined. I want Tyler the Creator and Hodgy Beats to be the new Keenan and Kel.

I’m not sure if that’s racist, but I’m pretty sure that it’s hypocritical.

Hypocrisy used to be my main exploration as an artist. At another time it was the relationship between logic and emotion, and at another time it was the correlation between confusion and comfort (it was a negative correlation), and at another time it was “why doesn’t anyone like me?!”

I think the word artist should be spelled F-A-R-T-I-S-T. Because of the word “fart.”

If we’re going to pick a correlation that sums up my fartistry right now, it would be the correlation between fun and importance. This time is different though. This time I feel like the correlation I’m creating fart about isn’t about pointing out an existing statistical anomaly, but rather is about forcing a correlation to exist that I desire to exist. Fun and importance should be highly positively correlated. The only way to get people to do things is to make those things fun to do – nobody does for others, so as long as we make important things fun and fun things important than we will have a successful world.

This philosophy is not one I feel comfortable taking credit for. This is a philosophy that I have appropriated from Keenan and Kel. The message of their fart was a message of fun. Never was a motivation anything beyond attempting to have more fun accomplishing the tasks they needed to accomplish. OFWGKTA is also a group dedicated to the motivation of fun. Guns, eating bugs, vomiting and frightening rape innuendos may not seem fun to you or me, but they are teenagers with an excessive number of resources and an even more excessive imagination. They are starting a sketch show, but just as The Keenan and Kel Show was a far superior spin off of All That, I feel as though (Futurely Named) The Hodgy Tyler: More Than You Show will be a more focused version of exploring fun than the Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All’s ragtag group of teenagers.

I just think people should have fun, and judging others’ versions of fun is rude.

Chapter 3.

Math education has been regarded as too unfun for too long. Math education could save our society. Math class from age 8-15 is the most important hours in the development of a child into a correctly functioning human. This has nothing to do with learning the quadratic formula or how to find the area of the space left over in a circle when a trapezoid is taken out, it has to do with a method of think.

Math teaches us how to discover. A good math education teaches us to find ways to learn from everything around us. It’s about understanding how to find a problem and then find the steps necessary to reach the solution of that problem.

1st Grade: Kids should be taught the coordinate plane. We need to understand what numbers are. How they interact. 1/2, one half, and 0.5 are not different things, they are all one thing split into two parts. Too often when I’m tutoring statistics to grad-students do they write 32.0650. That isn’t appropriate, and if people understood that putting a zero at the end of a number that has reached below zero specifics is useless than they wouldn’t do that.

Here’s a quick test:

1. Read this number out loud: 45.123

Did you say:

a) “Forty five point one hundred and twenty three”

b) “Forty five point one two three”

c) “Forty five and one hundred and twenty three thousandths”

If you said (a) you were taught numbers incorrectly as a child, if you said (b) you taught yourself numbers and are probably pretty good at math, and if you said (c) you are a goody two shoes.

2nd Grade: Kids should be taught long division. In the process of learning long division they are forced to learn addition, subtraction, and multiplication.

2. When you look something up on google maps do you:

a) Look at the directions on the left for indications of where to go

b) Look at the map for indications of where to go

If you said (a) you learned long division incorrectly and if you said (b) you learned long division correctly.

Long division is a unique step-by-step process unlike most processes that we see in our day to day life. Each step of long division takes the answer you found in your last answer and directly applies it to the next step to find the next step, and then repeats. Practicing long division is to logic what sit-ups are to your abs. Reading a map involves finding the connections between two steps and considering that connection to be a step of its own. Long division also demands patience and a respect for the journey toward the solution. Long division teaches you to care less for the final answer and more for the process getting you to the final answer.

Also, operations are not different. Multiplication is just addition done a bunch of times. Subtraction is just addition backwards. Division is just addition done a bunch of times backwards.

3. How would you say the following: sin(30), sin, 3*sin*10?

a) “Sine thirty,” “Sine,” “Three sine ten”

b) “Sine of thirty (I’m going to assume degrees),” “the word ‘sin,'” “that doesn’t mean anything, Nisse you are annoying, what is the meaning of this? I hate you”

Answering (a) means you never understood how operators (multiplication, division, addition, subtraction) work. Answering (b) means you understand how operators work. I hear so many students say “sine 30″ and when I clarify that it is “sine of 30″ they go “yeah, yeah yeah, whatever.” It’s not “whatever.” This is a very important distinction to make. Trigonometric functions are operators like addition, they are not variables to be placed wherever. They function only if they are of a degree or radian.

None of that needed to make sense to you. What needs to make sense to you is that finding new things is fun. A new operator should be an exciting adventure into a new way to deal with numbers.

3rd Grade: Give the students an abacus, a protractor, a compass, and a slide rule. Don’t teach them anything for an entire year. Put different numbers on the board each day. Let them play.

Math is fun and given the tools to realize that, kids will find that on their own. If we tell them that it’s boring, then they will think that instead.

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comedy, Gender, Indignant, Media, My favorites

Why Are There No Funny Men?

I’ve tried for such a long time to keep an open mind to all comedy – to respect that all people, regardless of gender, can be funny. I can’t do it any more. Men just aren’t as funny as women.

Don’t pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about. If we are going to have an open and honest discussion about the true gender divide in comedy, we have to all start at the same obvious conclusion.

I understand that this seems like a broad generalization, and it is. I don’t mean to imply that no men are funny, there are funny men, but for the most part they utilize gross exaggerations of the male ego for comedic effect or rely on jokes that point out feminine qualities (jokes that wouldn’t get laughs if a woman were to do say them). All male comedians that are decent fall into one of these two categories – they are overly masculine or feigning femininity in order to co-opt comedy. When Dane Cook or Daniel Tosh yell loudly about they’re penis or their erection, they are simply attempting to copy the women who have achieved comedy success through jokes about their menstrual blood and vaginas. Alternately, comedians like Michael Cera or Andy Dick enjoy humor-fame only because they fully commit themselves to femininity – awkwardly avoiding confrontation, refusing to take sexual agency: what’s more feminine than that?

Also Jews. Jewish males are allowed to be funny, but they are only funny because Jewish humor is inherently feminine.

Of course I’m no fan of the fact that when I go to comedy shows it seems as though there is some unwritten rule that you always have to have a male stand up performing about how his ex-wife is a cunt or how much pussy he can get or how big/small his penis is, but why I bring up this inherent comedic division by sex is because I see it permeating our day to day life. The average man just isn’t funny.

Obviously, there are far more terrible male comedians than terrible female comedians, but also I’ve begun to notice that the average male is drastically less funny than the average female. I can’t help but think that this has something to do with some sort of trickle down effect of comedy. Without funny comedian idols to look up to, how would any man become funny?

As a man interested in comedy, this troubles me. Is it impossible for me to be funny because the templates for humor contain curves and sensitive nipples? Does my hairy chest and flat ass prevent me from being able to provide laughter? No. I believe there is hope.

I believe that I can be both a man and be funny. I believe I can provide comedy without castrating myself. I just refuse to believe that comedy can only flow through fallopian tubes. I refuse to concede that testosterone is the biological antonym to humor.

So, please, give me hope. I ask each of you to look for a male comedian who will inspire me – who will not conform to the comedy of yesteryear- comedians equal, in any way, to their comedienne counterparts.

When will we have male comedians that stand up to the powerhouses of comedy like Phyllis Diller, Sarah Silverman, Joan Rivers, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Lucille Ball, Wanda Sykes, Kristen Schall, or Gilda Ratner? I pray for that day.

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comedy, Media

Mom/Dad

I friend a lot of my friends’ moms and dads on facebook. I am of the first generation of facebook – my college was within the second wave of people to get facebook and though I held off for my entire freshman year, I have been a part of f-book history. My generation is also the sons and daughters of people around 60 years old. 60 year olds are typically not very good at using social media, which comes from a burning desire to be good at it and a terrible lack of understanding of what it is.

I tricked my dad into getting facebook, and he’s the worst at it.

Rachel is my friend/comedy partner. My dad later called me and asked if Rachel was serious about going to lunch because he wasn’t sure he wanted to, it seemed like a lot of work.

Let’s update you on my other friends’ parents and their activity:

1. A mother writing a defensive post about how rejoicing at the death of OBL is valid

2. A mother posting earnest repost about special education week

3. A mother with a series of posts attempting to alleviate the “nasty situation” of accidentally asking all her friends to buy an I-pad.

4. A mother posting a series of right wing vs. left wing talking points being argued over comments on statuses between a mother and her brother.

5. A mother who only has two interests listed: Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, and What animal is your spirit guide?

I guess I’m friends with less dads on facebook. I am friends with my friend/comedy partner’s dad, but I don’t harass him nearly enough.

I think it’s hard to troll people who don’t understand how you’re trolling them.

Here’s what I see as the major problems for 60 year olds on facebook:

1. Earnestness.

2. Technology.

I was originally very confused when people started writing things on facebook that they meant – that they treated this vaguely anonymous online community as a place to spout their actual opinions and actual values. This didn’t make sense to me. Wasn’t this a place where we were supposed to say things that were silly and pretend we were in love with Harry Potter prequels or Macedonia? But now, they’re taking over.

They are the people of elderly affliction who believe in the necessity of honesty even in internet interactions.

They are right. If we are to make okTwitFace the main form of communication of our culture, then it should be one that isn’t laden with fake insults and sarcastic comments. One of my favorite facts is that sarcasm is the last thing that gets learned in a new language. Well, technology is a new language to these people and sarcasm is not learned yet. Because they mostly interact with each other, they aren’t learning it yet.

I don’t have a solution, nor do I think there is one. Maybe there isn’t a problem in the first place.

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comedy, Indignant, My favorites

Dear Jizzy Grey

I agree: Humor books are pretty stupid. I want to say that they shouldn’t exist, and I’d be right, but a thing not needed is not a thing that is at fault. Fault and unneed are barely even correlated.

Here are a list of things and their correlation:¹

Finding the problems in our world, exploring them angrily and destroying the self-esteem of the problems is very important. And good. It’s really hard to start projects because if you start a project you might not finish it and uncompleted things are necessarily failures unless some unforseen event left them unable to finish. Something like death.²

Lying is important. It isn’t good. It is that outlier on the first graph. The most important and worst kind is the self-kind. The only way to change is to admit a self imposed lie, and admitting you’ve done something so important and bad is hard because it forces the results to be monumental or wasted.
Change is, of course, both the most important and most good thing, but inspiring it in others is near impossible. Beyond the challenges of demanding the recognition of a self-lie, being heard as you try to get people to acknowledge the mistakes they are making demands being heard. People don’t like listening to those that aren’t talking to them.
There’s a kid playing little league in front of me named Lucian. He has long hair that has at some point been a rat-tail. I’ve never met a Lucian unwilling to try a rat-tail.
Humor books are stupid and they serve no purpose. Liking them makes you a dumb person and probably bad. But humor books and humor authors did not choose their role. They did not choose to be liked. They only distract in a boring way – force a lack of thinking because society demanded a thing that lacked thought – that distracted from fun. Humor books are a sign of society giving up, not a collaborator in  the destruction of effort. Quitting before finding that problem is just being a part of the norm of society.
1. I wanted to provide a hyperlink to the wikipedia entry on r², but I felt it was an overexplanation. If you got it, you got it, and if you didn’t, a quick read on basic statsistics and a n understanding of the creation of a correlation coefficient isn’t going to help you get anything from this entry.
2. This is a reference to DFW’s unfinished book. It will be the only reference to that annoying author.
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comedy, Death

Hypocrisy is Still Fun

Thanks to Scott for bringing this to my attention. I think that thinking about death is sooo funny.

It’s your last joke/prank – you trick people into thinking that you are still alive, but you’re dead!

This is really just a way to advertise my show that is happening tonight that is about death, but also to talk briefly about how much I think crying and laughing are similar.

They are the only two tangible embodiments of emotion we display. The rest is all people inferring. They are the only two that are obvious and guttural. That you can’t stop even if you try. I stopped doing theater because I wasn’t causing enough people to cry or laugh. Because people kept telling me that that wasn’t the point. That you could just think. But I didn’t want the audience to passively be approached and asked: “hey, do you mind thinking, now?” No. I wanted to throat fuck them with things they didn’t want to deal with. Actively demand that they react.

I like writing entries where I do the opposite of what I’m saying is good.

Come see my show to see me do what I say and not as I do.

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