Andy Daly kills it in perhaps my favorite bit of stand-up comedy ever. It’s glorious. (The whole album, Comedy Death Ray, is excellent.)
Yay! One of my all-time favorites, too. The Paul F. Tompkins set that opens the album is also pretty unimpeachable. Speaking of, he has a new album coming out on 12/1 which makes me kind of sweaty w/excitement because his first album Impersonal is maybe my all-time favorite comedy LP.
I’m fishing with my uncle. We don’t even have poles or a boat or anything, just a 30-pack of Tecate and a pond that looks like it’s time to call the plumber. We’re throwing Pringles in there but they’re not biting.
I ask him why he never had any kids, like kids of his own that would maybe like to go fishing with him, like a real father-son bonding thing? Like instead of making me go?
And he says he got a Texan vasectomy. And I ask him what that is and he says: Marrying an ugly woman.
I drink my seventh beer and suddenly stop caring about whatever this fucking guy is talking about. High school starts in three weeks and that’s when the good life will begin for the kid here.
Being able to post something and get instant feedback is a big deal, and one of the reasons I’m still online after all this time. But, you know: You get twenty thoughtful responses and one crabby ad hominem and you’re going to obsess over the one, not the twenty.
I think that’s why much of what I read online these days feels so defensive. Because the naysayers are always a click away, it’s hard to get them out of your head as you write. So you start fending off potential attacks from imaginary jerks. “Yeah, yeah, I know the Jonas Brothers are lame, but.” “I know you won’t watch this video because no one watches videos on Tumblr.” “I like these socks and I don’t care what you think.”
Merlin begins an otherwise strong piece of writing with: “Yes. Long. Again. Deal. Thanks.” I guarantee he gets more idiotic feedback than all of us combined, but why kick off your essay by acknowledging the haters? Why give them that much attention? A comment like that is meant for a small percentage of readers but 100% of them have to read it before they even know what the post is about. Now I’m on the defensive. Don’t tell me to “deal,” dude. I’m on your side! I’m super nice all day long.
What I try to do is something that Merlin and Gruber talked about on this panel: I target my writing. I imagine an ideal reader. (Carla Gugino in pajama bottoms, smoking a joint.) And I try to get comfortable with the idea that what I’m doing isn’t for everybody, shouldn’t be for everybody, and certainly isn’t for people who would complain because it’s too long.
It’s not easy, and it doesn’t always work, but it helps to have a goal: Don’t weaken my work because of jerks, real or otherwise.
“It’s like the movie has ultra-oxygenated blood and sleeps upside down in a hyperbaric chamber and eats tiger penis like it’s its job because it has psycho endurance that feels GREAT in your brain.”—Mary HK Choi on 2012
I just had a dream there was a Square Pegs reunion in my backyard. It was great! Everyone was there! Even Johnny Slash and he’s dead now. Sarah Jessica Parker was sort of aloof and only stayed for a couple of minutes but Jennifer Love Hewitt was very friendly and gracious, and she wasn’t even on that show.
FlashForward is almost good, and tonight’s reason reminds me of the X-Files at their best. The genius is the episode formula: it starts when a proof of some recently discovered, horrible, usually monstrous, evolutionary hiccup, mutated murderer comes to the surface, and the mystery of him is solved and explained and the story being at least resolved with his being abducted by aliens, and then… the best episodes always ended with a cliffhanger reveal of something even more horrible, and menacing, and usually SECRET! And GLOBAL! that was happening unbeknownst to the heros on the other side of the globe. OOooOOOoooo! *clapclap* This last episode of FlashForward ended with the discovery, in the desert of Somalia, by a young shepherd boy, you dig, of a factory around which all birds died, their corpses encircling it in a black ring, and the final shot was of the exhaust tower, which was puffing out white clouds, puffing — literally puffing it out, like a cigarette, like god forbid we don’t understand what’s going on if they showed a realistic, steady flow of exhaust coming out of it. Like we wont “get it” without their help, so they decide to resort to the Bugs Bunny cartoon version of what a factory looks like to better draw attention to the exhaust — and I’m totally falling for it, like: “omg what are they putting in the air omg” — which, I’m sorry, would freak out any moderate to extreme environmentalist watching the show, although it made the Somalian context kind of… like a creepy George Bush, passive-aggressive racist thing, but touche, demographics — and this is, like, the third episode? Where does it go from there? Space? How far will this conspiracy reach??!?! OOOoooOOOooooo!
I love that device where that dude is going to die, and presumably be shown dying, on March 15, 2010. With five months of build its own hype! Who’s not going to watch that episode? I have a dream… I imagine it’ll be the Roland Emmerich version of the last episode of Twin Peaks… can you imagine? So awful and campy and wrong, and yet so, so awesome. And all the people trying so hard to make up for Joseph Fiennes’ overwrought performance are playing it as straight and intense as they can. There’s this scene where the police commissioner has come to give Harold instructions and Harold is all: “my head’s just not in the game, sir” and the police commissioner looks down on him and says “Look at me” and Harold does and the police commissioner says, with heavy pauses. “Get it… IN…. the game” and walks off like, like he shouldn’t be ashamed of taking this part in the first place, they should all be ashamed. But despite the lines, the police commissioner is smizing like Tyra taught him; he is intense, and this is important, and I need you here, Harold, god damn it! And Harold is smizing with all he’s got: “Well I’m sorry dude for being distracted but I AM GOING TO DIE ON MARCH 15TH OF NEXT YEAR” and they are just… whew. An earnest attempt of an actor trying to redeem one of the sorriest screenplays ever written, second, perhaps, only to The DaVinci Code. I mean, good try, guys. It touches my heart, right here. It’s a lost cause, but points for effort.
But anyway, having thankfully not read the book, which the always completely accurate online reviews have led me to believe is a bunch of barely concealed, passive-aggressive religious dogma (see how this just gets worse and worse?), and I really do not like that genre, I think I can say the television show has developed its own charms, it’s own level of fantastic, above and beyond the core story. The parts they get right are a joy of giggles and wonder, and the parts they get wrong they get so wrong that it’s a wonder to behold, a generator of smug self-satisfaction. But don’t get me wrong, I’m deeply ashamed to be watching it.
I’ve set up a Season Pass. It’s only on episode 6 — they’re showing episode 1-5 at hulu.com
We were playing spin the bottle in the parking lot and it pointed at Robby. When the girl was all ew he got mad and threw the bottle and it hit this guy coming out of the drug store. The guy dropped his plastic bag and out tumbled two boxes of Tampax and a bunch of Snickerses.
As usual Robby was instantly apologetic but the guy didn’t even get mad, he just sighed and picked up the bottle and went to his car, leaving everything else on the ground. Once he was gone we split the tampons and candy bars with the girls and someone said well now what.
I said we could keep playing but the bottle would only exist in our minds. The girls said Josh are you retarded or what which was kind of a catch phrase by that point. I pantomimed spinning the bottle and then eagerly watched the empty space between us. Look at him and all his acting, the girls said. Oh my god remember when he was in the school play.
Uh oh! I said. The bottle’s stopping … on … you! and I pointed at Robby. He looked at me, aghast, said: So your pretend bottle is pointing at me. You want to kiss me on the lips. And I said: No, but sometimes it points at a dude. Sometimes that happens and you have to deal with it. I want it to be realistic.
And everyone got up and wandered back to the bus stop and talked about something else. I cried out: I just want you to believe in my imaginary creation! And then twenty years later I made up this story and put it on the internet.