Goddammit, Symphony of Science.
Goddammit, Symphony of Science.
I’ve never – not once – asked a mutual friend how an ex is doing or where they are. It’s none of my business. My job is to get on with my own life, not live vicariously or obtain Schadenfreude through theirs.
So if you’re looking to hear stories about someone you used to be close to, or find you get some kind of satisfaction in their failures, you should probably know how sad that is.
Can’t say you’d be happier if you stopped comparing your life to those of people who no longer speak to you, but it might help. Or at least stop talking about it, privately or publicly, because mutual friends are rarely happy with bearing the queries, my friend.
I know because they said so.
And if you think for 10 seconds this post is all about you, well, it just might be.
But probably not.
Move along, nothing to see here.
I donated to a crowd-funded movie project by Mike Celestino last year. As a comedy fan and a huge proponent of free speech, I thought the film and its premise would be a good bet.
That’s Not Funny, “a dead serious documentary about comedy,” looks at so-called taboo humor. You know, jokes on race, 9/11, Hitler, rape, and other subjects some folks find anywhere from uncomfortable to outright offensive.
It was completed a few months back and has only played in three cities thus far – Los Angeles, Orlando, and Denver – while Celestino (presumably) enters it in film festivals and shops it around for distribution.
If you live in the Denver area and are wondering why you haven’t heard of this film or its recent local screening, I only caught it by happy accident myself. Sometime Saturday afternoon I saw a Tweet it would be part of the films brought by the visiting Freethought Film Festival Foundation at the Colorado Secular Conference.
And there we were, already at the conference – sweet serendipity!
Let me just say I couldn’t be happier with the investment. Celestino, as host and narrator, walks the viewer through a history of vulgar-yet-funny, hilarious-and-not-so, awesome-and-sometimes-just-awful politically incorrect humor, from blackface through The Onion and beyond. Nothing is sacred, save perhaps the patron saints of subversive stand-up, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, and Richard Pryor. The film doesn’t even back away from the problems with the recent on-stage tirades of Michael Richards, Daniel Tosh, and even Joan Rivers.
Of course, I am reviewing this as a comedy nerd who could name each and every movie, actor, TV show, and comedian in the film, sometimes down to the release year and episode number. As with all entertainment, your mileage may vary.
And I certainly want comedy fans to see it, but honestly, we’re the ones who get it already. We understand you don’t heckle at a live show – comedians are professionals who will OWN you by the time it’s over, regardless of the occasional (and rare) Richards- or Tosh-like crash-and-burn moment. We’re the folks who read and nod along to Patton Oswalt’s treatises on comedy without feeling the need to comment or correct haters and we don’t bother to write long posts about the worst of humanity we find on 4chan. We are fully aware humor is subjective and what one person finds funny another will find desperately offensive.
We are the choir – we don’t need the preacher.
Who does? The people who take comedy – and/or life in general – waaaay too seriously. You know them. They’re the ones who heckle jokes they don’t like, boycott TV shows they don’t understand, cry out for social justice because they personally find a subject too taboo for jokes, or walk out on an Oxford professor’s talk because they’re offended.
Meh. As with all such things, the people who need the lesson most will probably skip it. It’s just as well, too; to paraphrase Matt Dillahunty at the very same conference I saw the movie, no argument alone will draw a believer out of belief. Or, as my favorite living stand-up, Doug Stanhope, puts it, “That’s like trying to kick water uphill. It ain’t gonna work.”
I know it won’t. Kick when necessary and dream meanwhile.
Sometimes you run out of bubble gum.
I’ve added several links to my immediately previous post about Robin Williams. They’re in the comment section and most are from fellow comedians.
Lest anyone think I’m overwrought, I’m not. I just find what the best funny people in the business have to say about one of my all-time favorites endlessly fascinating. I should note the first comedy album I bought with my own allowance cash was this one:
It took me years to get all the jokes on it, which is cool, because it meant the recording was new to me every few years I listened. It’s like re-watching any MST3K after fresh input and new learning – you get a lot more of the jokes than you did the first time around.
I’m not mad at him. I didn’t know him. I don’t know what he was going through. No one does, not even those closest to him in life.
— Zelda Williams (@zeldawilliams) August 12, 2014
This is just one of those strange moments when, as a non-believer, I find myself wishing and longing for an afterlife, if only so he can see the outpouring of love and grief.
A whole human life is just a heartbeat here in Heaven.
Then we’ll all be together forever.
~ Robin Williams in What Dreams May Come (1998)
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
The arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
Unfortunately, some do resign to that.
I’ve successfully weaned myself off Facebook. I no longer even check in for events, as witnessed this week when it took a phone call from the Social Instigator to tell me of an upcoming club night. Which is slightly ironic, because she, too, is cutting back on her online social presence.
I’m filling my time with home projects, getting back to writing, a lot more reading, and restructuring work from the top down. After my initial panic about not being in touch all the time, I found my stress levels lower. I think that’s because I don’t take in so much Facebook negativity, from the single whiny post to the long, drawn-out arguments on politics or religion.
More importantly than all this though, is the people who want to be in touch with me remain so. I have a phone, I use text, and have several functioning e-mail addresses, as do those who use these ways to find me now. This is more eye-opening than it sounds; it means there are a couple of hundred people on Facebook I thought were important enough to follow – from the big stuff to the smallest minutiae of their lives – just aren’t.
And that’s okay, because it’s been years since my ego needed that kind of feeding. If yours does, though, such a revelation can be devastating IF you think, as I did, to turn it around: You are not as important to your friends on Facebook as you thought. That’s not a bad thing, unless you’re addicted to the attention.
Wait, are you?
Imagine, for a moment, that you must quit using Facebook forever, starting right now. No more posting to Facebook or checking Facebook for the rest of your life. But don’t worry, you can still e-mail all those friends. Does that make you feel panicky? If you’re panicky, it’s a clue.
I’ve been having trouble putting my feelings about quitting Facebook into words without sounding preachy, but I ran across the article from whence the above quote came today. The rest of it nearly perfectly summarizes my feelings. Thanks, Jessica Ferris.
There are life events, announcements, parties, and fun things I’ve missed because no one told me about them, but that’s not a bad thing. It just means some of my Facebook friends don’t contact or invite me by other means. It shouldn’t be taken personally, because remember, this goes both ways: I don’t call or write them, either. We aren’t friends, other than on Facebook. We’re acquaintances who spent time on a social network, nothing more.
I haven’t deleted my profile there yet, but it’s time. I plan to remove it soon, so if you want to stay in touch, well, you know where to find me.
The Alamo Drafthouse here in Denver is showing the pilot episode of Twin Peaks next Thursday the 14th, followed by an all-day, all-night, and into part of the next day marathon of every episode starting Saturday, August 16th at noon, THEN screening the grand finale Fire Walk with Me on the 20th.
Because they love us and want us to be happy.
I’m booked for the Colorado Secular Conference that weekend already, but still considering going for the pilot and at least part of the marathon. I’m definitely in for Fire Walk with Me, though, mainly because it’s been 20 years since I saw it in a real movie theater. There was no Interwebz back then, of course, so off I went, flashlight and notepad in hand. Then I spent hours in the library seeking answers.
Yeeeaaah, Twin Peaks? It’s like that.
As we cruised around town on our scooters last weekend, I noticed protestors all over the lawns of the capital here in Denver. The signs they had hoisted for the day indicated one area was pro-Isreali, the other pro-Palestinian.
I have my opinions on the issue, of course, but what occurred to me when I saw these particular folks was not which side I was on, but how impotent such a protest is. I mean, how do those people think they’re making a difference? If it’s just to get their opinion out there, well, we have the Internet for that now – no need to leave the comfort of home.
And because I’m not a very nice person, I felt like patting each protestor on the head and saying, “Yes, yes, you have an opinion. Good for you. Now, what are you going to do to help resolve the problem?”
If the answer is protesting at a local government building thousands of miles away from anyone in Washington, DC or the Middle East who could possibly help the situation, well, I can’t think of anything more pointless. Except, perhaps, raging about it online.
Then I went home and donated to causes that actually, you know, DO something to help the world. Because my opinion doesn’t mean shit without backing it up.
Talk is cheap.
If you’re familiar with popular Japanese anime, you’ve probably questioned the culture’s sanity on your own. Seriously, there is something really wrong with the land of tentacle porn and pixelated gang bangs. Their manga shows it.
No, I’m not gonna link those topics or other weirdness for you. Fill your own Internet history with it. I’ve done it enough on my own.
Anyway, I’m going to give you three examples which will make you doubt my sanity, my sense of humor, or – at the very least – the sanity of the entire country of Japan. (C’mon, you know you’ve already judged that small island’s collective mental health, and with good reason. Seriously.)
Super Milk Chan
Yes, I know the above are translations and, as such, may or may not have anything to do with the originals. Whatever. Translated or not, they’re dark and hilarious. More importantly, if you want to be close to me, you need to “get” why I find them so goddamned funny, with or without weed or other … “chemical enhancement.”
Evan Dorkin, FTW.
Last night, the TV show @midnight created yet another perfect storm for me, that is making a Twitter contest which combines a subject I happen to know a lot about with another subject I know a lot for punny goodness.
Ladies & gentleman, I give you #DogMovies. Enjoy.
20,000 Beagles Under the Sea
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (thanks, Bugs Bunny!)
The Devil & Spaniel Webster
The French Poodle Connection
Cat on a Hot Tin Woof
Much Cockapoo About Nothing
Pawfoot in the Bark
Only Rovers Left Alive
Waiting for Fido
A Fistful of Collars
For a Few Collars More (someone beat me to this one, though)
The Great Dane Robbery
Where Beagles Dare
What’s Up, Dachsund?
The Big (Bichon) Frise
For the Love of Basenji
There Will Be Bloodhound
Rime of the Ancient Weinmeraner
Solomon & Shiba Inu
Thank you, good night, and don’t forget to tip your wait staff 20%. Unless they put the tip on the tab already, cuz fuck that.
Don’t tell me what to do.