comedy, Gender, Indignant, Media, My favorites, race, Socialism

Conservative Bureaucracy

America’s Got Talent might be the worst show to ever exist. When I say that, I don’t mean that it is the least entertaining (According to Jim got 8 years of television time), and I don’t mean to say that it is badly produced (It is, but that’s not my point). I mean to say that is the most actively harmful show to ever be in America.

As Lady Gaga is finally proposing weirdness as a goal worth aspiring to in the pop culture world and Taylor Swift offering the opposite – a boring cliched approximation of what other’s have already said, but this time as a different overly small white chick – we have to start taking sides. This is more than (but definitely somewhat influenced by) sexism, and racism – but this is at it’s heart a battle for or against change. By letting ourselves fall into society’s booby trap of xenophobia we are accepting our world the way it is despite the fact that all good things have come from changing to something new. (Great article about how shitty Taylor Swift is)

I find it interesting that anti change is at the center of all of the talking points of the right:

1. Keep marriage the same as it has been.

2. Keep poor people poor, and rich people rich (aka- capitalism).

3. Keep women in the kitchen and the bedroom.

4. Keep people of color in different neighborhoods so that we don’t have to look/be scared of them.

5. Evolution doesn’t exist.

I guess this isn’t interesting, but rather obvious. Liberalism is defined as desiring change, and Conservatism is wanting things to stay the same, but it frustrates me that people can buy into Conservatism. How can anyone feel like the best thing to have happen is to have nothing new happen?!? Fuck our world.

Fuck America’s Got Talent.

This guy gets on and is doing something weird. Something new. Something possibly shitty, but possibly really interesting. They don’t even let him do his thing because they don’t like new talents, they like cute white boys pretending to be urban and aspiring to shitty shallow morals because it’s less dangerous when the kid’s dad is a CPA. The show demands that we only like things we’ve already seen before. And it tricks it’s fans into thinking that. It’s fans are mindless citizens of a dystopian future where no one is allowed to voice creativity unless they fill out the appropriate paperwork to make sure it fits some structure of creativity that has been previously determined acceptable. It’s interesting that liberals are the ones who get accused of being too into bureaucracy, when it’s conservatives who are demanding a form of social and cultural bureaucracy that is all encompassing, and that’s not as obvious.

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Indignant, Lazy, race

Alvin Greene and his Amazing Technicolor Dreams

I feel like I should write about Alvin Greene winning the Democratic nomination in South Carolina. I really have nothing to say. I still feel like I have to say something because this is about a person who is being hated on for not campaigning the way the establishment wants him to campaign when he should really be hated on because he’s a moron who can’t answer questions without looking like he’s doing a bad Michael Cera impression talking to a girl.

Not calling him a moron isn’t a matter of political correctedness, I tend to think that there is a certain level of PC that is necessary in order to make discussions productive and not have them turn into emotional yelling matches because people were offended. This is a matter of tactfulness, and tactfulness is stupid.

Getting offended over someone being politically incorrect is somewhat valid – you are not simply defending yourself, you are defending a race, gender, group of people who identify with something that was just reduced to a stereotype. Getting offended about a lack of tact is stupid. That’s just getting defensive because someone made fun of you. Deal with it. People may not like you, but that is one person’s opinion of one person. I think Alvin Greene is an idiot. I don’t think he was planted. I don’t think that the way he campaigned shows some destruction of our political system. I think he’s stupid. Him. Alvin Greene is dumb – that has nothing to do with some larger conspiracy or with some generalization we can make about anybody. Alvin Greene is his own person, and that person is not a bright person.

People don’t want to say that. People want to say “I don’t think he’s dumb, I just think it’s confusing how he got nominated” or “It’s not that he’s a bad person, it just doesn’t make sense because this is not how things are done.” NOOOO! He’s a dumb, bad person. Maybe not a bad person. He’s dumb. That’s fine. We need dumb people to make me feel smart.

Alvin Greene makes us feel smart. If he could win the nomination, then who says I can’t be happy. I’m glad he won.

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comedy, Depressed, Indignant, race

Fuck the Boring and Pretentious

My dad is now 63. I am now tired.

As I am my father’s son, I begin wondering what will happen over the next forty years that will lead me to owning a vaguely successful health food store. I do not look to be on that path, but I also know that is where I will end up. I have to. Maybe the series of accidental demolitions of bridges that I have set aflame will force me off to the woods where I will attempt to drag in some hip urban fad into this sleepy town because I miss the life of culture. Maybe thats the path I will follow. He had the first espresso machine and vegan microwave patties on my island. I’ll have the first storytelling and feminist burlesque show in Incorporated Township #6, Iowa.

There was a professor in college who hated me. I took a class outside of my two regular disciplines of math and theater because I was going through a phase of being interested in African American history. He was a moron. We had very similar beliefs politically – both thought socialism shouldn’t be perceived as some silly idealistic fantasy, wanted to have constant discussions about gender and racial identity, but he hated me. He hated me because he didn’t like the way I brought up topics in class. When I wanted to discuss something that was possibly problematic, I would throw out a theory that I wasn’t sure if I believed or not and asked that we discussed it. This is how I had been taught to analyze in mathematics. Follow a path until you find that it is not the right path and then you are allowed to turn around and start over. Even theater was about analyzing characters, both good and bad, and sometimes this meant that a character you originally thought was good was bad or somewhere in between.

He wanted me to have lengthy internal discussions and research before I said anything. It was his way of maintaining his importance in society. As a professor of an intellectually interesting but completely useless discipline, he was attempting to force his usefulness by demanding that people listen to him not only to hear the amazing amount of information his mind had amassed, but also to form their opinions because he must have better opinions as someone who had spent a lot of time and money studying.

I wrote a paper comparing Chris Rock and August Wilson, using 90s mockumentary CB4 as my main evidence. He hated this. It was a good paper. It was a paper that was well researched and well conceived. He hated it because it compared Chris Rock, a man who was some stupid comedian, to August Wilson, who was one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century.

It was pure pretension that led him to dislike my paper, dislike me, and be a white guy who wore African beads despite referring to African Musical Ensemble as a minstrel show. Pretension is comedy’s biggest enemy. I overheard this same professor once explaining to someone how there was a giant dinosaur in the Mall of America who was playing in front of these kids and how this was just another form of capitalist propaganda. I couldn’t agree with him any more. He said it with a serious tone because he demanded to be taken seriously. How do you not see the hilarity of that situation? It’s a giant stuffed dinosaur telling kids how to shop! That sketch writes itself. Comedy is not the absence of importance, comedy is the explanation of what’s important in a way that can be palatable to discuss. Comedy is not demanding that you be seen as important, intelligent, and god’s gift to humanity but instead focus on the actual issue at hand. Comedy is humility. Comedy is the opposite of pretension.

I am a professional bridge burner. All of this burnings have occurred because I refused to stop making jokes just because I was discussing something serious. Jokes help me get to the deeper truth. The jokes are typically at my own expense or at least taking our beliefs to the extreme so that we can see the absurdity of both our points of view. Others are stubborn. Others refuse to acknowledge any mistake they might have made. Others are pretentious.

Maybe I will follow in my dad’s footsteps. I’ll follow them in that I will have a group of people who hate me, and I will have a group of people who like me a lot. This will be divided along the lines of who understands my form of communication (aka: people with a good sense of humor). I’m comfortable with that.

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Media, race

Stop Speaking for me Republicans!

Jon Stewart has done to death the “I’m a real american too goddamnit” speech so I’m not gonna bore you with my version, but my anger has been reignited at republicans speaking on my behalf without my consent – speaking of an imaginary populous that I don’t belong to.

A couple of things:

1. How are we determining what defines a terrorist? Is it a murderer who’s Muslim? That’s what this seems to imply. Charles Manson believed in an ideology that was counter to what the United States stood for. Charles Manson convinced a bunch of people to kill a bunch of other people. Ted Kaczynski was the same way. They were both tried in court and both were brought to justice. Nobody complained. Now, I understand that there is no legal way to demand that these people get tried in some foreign court because they aren’t foreigners, but why is what they did different than what KSM or Osama have done? Sure, Osama and KSM have killed and convinced more people than T-Kaz and Helter Skelter, but the definition of terrorist does not lie in the magnitude of effect. The shoe bomber and the panties bomber were both terrorists who had very little effect but should definitely be defined as terrorists. If Culberson (R-Texas) wants to argue that KSM is so much of a bigger deal and should therefore not be tried like an american civilian then he has a point I just happen to disagree with, but if he wants to defend as position that terrorists are different than murderers, he needs to define terrorist differently. Right now, it just comes across as terrorists are murders who read the Koran.

2. At 1:28 Culberson states without evidence that Holder has a disconnect with “where the vast majority of the American people are.” While this is a very hard question to pose to the American people because a “vast majority” of them (myself included) don’t understand the intricate differences between a civilian criminal court and a military trial, the polls still do not show a vast majority of people disagreeing with the Obama administration. I will look at three polls that were done around the time of the announcement of KSM’s trial in NYC. There are large discrepancies between the polls. Part of that is that they used sample sizes of 1,000 so their claims of 95% confidence in a +/- 3 margin of error is while mathematically right if the data is truly completely unbiased in its sampling, is far off considering the ways phone interviews automatically bias your sample by only polling people who are home with house phones. (20% of Americans now use their cell phone as their main phone and those people had a 6.5% higher leaning toward Democrats in the ’06 congressional election and an 11.5% swing toward legalizing gay marriage)1 2. Let’s also look at the wording of the questions. In one poll the group was asked to identify themselves by party affiliation then asked if they think “it would be better to hold KSM’s trial in a civilian criminal court or a military court.” 59% preferred a military court. I can also guarantee that 95% of those people had no idea what the difference was but heard the word civilian and knew that that referred to themselves and didn’t want to be that closely related to KSM. Th next poll has a long unnecessary diatribe about how KSM was probably responsible for the 9/11 attacks before asking a similar question. 64% preferred a military trial and very few people had no opinion. This angry rhetoric about KSM will definitely change the thought process when most people are unsure about their true feelings about this issue. The third poll stated: “Do you favor or oppose the decision to try the terrorist detainees linked to 9/11 in a civilian court rather than before a military tribunal?” and only 51% said they wanted a military tribunal. This question is both a very truthful phrasing and absurdly vague. Barely anyone in the American public will understand this question and so I think this poll should also be dismissed. My point is that if taking out the person’s name and instead describing his crimes can change 13% of the people’s minds, we should not be making statements about what the American people think on this issue. We don’t know what the American people think on this issue because the American people don’t really think or understand this issue – that’s what we elect you to do.

3. I am a fucking American! This is my Jon Stewartesque rant about how you can’t keep claiming that the Obama is not paying attention to Americans because he isn’t listening to Joe the Plumber and Betsy the abused housewife and Roger the kid who shoots his dog with a bee-bee gun and Anthony the guy with a confederate flag in his truck. Those are all Americans too, and by no means am I diminishing their citizenship, but I am too. Me, with my vegan food and women’s clothes and barista/art job. And I know plenty of other Americans in the same boat. Stop saying that you identify with real people because you shoot baby deer. 51% of households in America don’t have a gun and 69% of adults don’t own a gun. 3 Both numbers are, according to Representative Texas-Real-America-Hates-Muslims, a vast majority.

When you pretend your views are populist views, you are using very basic propaganda. This becomes a major problem when you begin subversively adding in your other more radical, racist views into your rhetoric – when you equate desiring a civilian criminal trial for murders whether or not they are Muslim with being terrorist sympathizers.

This picture below only vaguely relates to what I have just ranted about, but I think it is emblematic of the republican propoganda machine. It is a screen shot from a warning that only plays for 2 seconds at the beginning of a video that has over 1,000,000.

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Media, race

Tyler Perry’s Hating on Tyler Perry

You are a racist. You are a racist if you hate Tyler Perry. I’m not saying this because I like Tyler Perry, in fact I haven’t watched a thing of his that I’ve enjoyed (To be fair, I haven’t seen Precious, which is a problem and I should see it and people who dislike that movie are racist too). His sitcoms are trite, obnoxious, and dull. His movies serve to ingrain gender norms in a way that is destructive to society. Medea is a stupid character. These are all valid criticisms that I agree with. That doesn’t make me hate Tyler Perry or his work. These criticisms are valid against most anybody making movies nowadays, the only reason people bring them up against Tyler Perry is because he’s Black and he puts his name on shit.

Nobody actually cares that he puts his name on shit, that’s just a made up reason so that people can feel indignant in their frustrations of not understanding African-American culture. Do we all know when a movie is produced by Judd Apatow? Sure, because it says from Apatow Productions. Or when some shitty comedy about smoking weed and doing dumb things comes out and says it’s a Happy Madison production, we know it’s made by Adam Sandler’s production team.

People like to hate on Tyler Perry’s movies because he’s Black. It’s the only reason left. You can come up with every reason you hate his crude drag, boringly simple morals, and unfunny jokes, but remember how long you ranted about Tyler Perry. Now remember how long you ranted about every other shitty sitcom that existed. Remember how long you ranted about every other Jennifer Aniston movie. You can pretend that it’s because you think Tyler Perry has a larger fanbase, but that’s incorrect. House of Payne had 1/3 the viewership of either Big Bang Theory or Two and a Half Men. Marley and Me made nearly 3 times the domestic gross as I Can Do Bad All By Myself. These are all movies and TV shows that I don’t like, and I don’t mind if you don’t like them either, but stop ranting against Tyler Perry until you start ranting against Gerard Butler and Charlie Sheen. They just seem harmless, right? But the Black man seems harmful? You look like a racist now, don’t you?

Cus you are.

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