Archive for December, 2011
It’s been a big year. Confession: I like ranting. What I don’t like is complaining. I think the difference between the two lies in intent, and any good liberal arts veteran that’s taken philosophy knows that a lot of things can be explained through intent.
Ranting typically has a purpose or a larger message. Yes (blank) kind of (blank) but that’s because (blank) and we can do (blank) to keep it from being so shitty.
Or something like that.
Complaining typically lacks tact. When you complain, you’re doing it to let something out. You can really be talking to anyone, it doesn’t much matter. Someone with ears fit for raping can expect exactly that.
There’s a lot to complain about. As the ever optimistic philosopher Thomas Hobbes once said, life in its most natural state is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” I’m pretty sure he didn’t come up with that phrase to get chicks. If you look at anything you have good feelings about, I can pretty much guarantee the reasons you love it so much will be the same reasons you dream about suffocating it later.
What I am actively trying to pay attention to is this tendency to complain that I think resonates in everyone of my generation. Yes, everything sucks if you look at it hard enough. I don’t believe in a god or a heaven or a hell, but there is so much around me that I find awesome and miraculous, it’s hard to be sad for an extended period of time.
So I hope you all have a great 2012. I’m going to be doing some stand up regularly and getting booed. Maybe people will clap for me. Maybe people will call their mothers and tell her about me. Maybe by this time next year I’ll be so jaded by adoration that I’ll have to resort to self-loathing in order to feel something. That’s the beauty of time, friends – you never know what it brings.
So my resolutions for 2012 are few. Just these things:
1. Don’t complain when there are so many awesome things.
2. Eat more gourmet sandwiches.
3. Make people laugh.
4. More sandwiches.
Briefly touched on lady comics last post, and figured I might want to go into a bit more detail on that topic.
Disclaimer: I do not have a favorite comic that’s a woman. Yes, yes, I know that seems odd, especially considering that I’m currently pursuing that for myself, but part of why I am doing it is because I don’t relate to women comics. I don’t find them funny. And I would like to be the sort of female comic I’d like to see. So there’s that. But also, lady comics come in different categories, some of which I’ll outline here.
1. The Sexpot
Examples: Whitney Cummings, Chelsea Handler
The marginally attractive female comic. A proclivity for alcohol and slutty high jinks. A bit of a mean girl vibe. Clearly intelligent, but having relied on their looks for most of their lives, they lack nuance and insight. They also do a weird thing with their face I hate.
It’s the “I’m pretty but I’m making an ugly face”, er, face. I find this type of comic annoying mainly because there’s a lot more to life than boozing it up, waxing your h00-ha, putting on a dress, and getting on stage.
2. The Abrasive Loudmouth
Examples: Margaret Cho, Kathy Griffin
We know these women in daily life. They’re loud, they’re opinionated, love the gays, they probably play the penis game, and when they want to be heard, THEY SCREAM OVER EVERYONE.
They’re also proud of the fact that they’re so open with themselves, and by God, they will make you know it. They take the best parts of womanhood – grace, charm, intrigue – and they essentially do an upper decker on it.
But what makes this female comedian the most unfortunate, at least to me, is that they lose themselves in being outrageous. The sexpot at least knows how they got where they are, but the abrasive loudmouth spends so much time being the loudest, the most outspoken, the most unsettling, the most crass, and the most recognizable person in the room that they lose sight of what comedy does when it’s done right – it makes people laugh, it makes people see inside, it makes people sit in the moment and be entertained.
3. The “Were We Really That Shocked to Find Out They Were A Lesbian”
Examples: Ellen DeGeneres, Paula Poundstone
Being a female comedian is hard. I’m sure being a lesbian is hard. Being both of those must be tough. Your love life isn’t one that most women will relate to, and you’re not quite hot enough for the men to get on board with your sexy lady on lady action.
So what does a comic in that situation do? You can’t talk about sex, you can’t talk about love, you can’t talk about home, you can’t talk about your spouse…basically, the only thing you can talk about are the most sterile topics possible.
Not that their life isn’t exciting, but judging on their limited topics of discussion, their horrible shoulder pads and non-descript bobs are pretty much the only thing they have going. And I personally find Ellen DeGeneres to be fairly witty when she’s not focused on not acting too gay, but that’s the problem – these women can’t really be truly funny without alienating a group of people. Now, one could say fuck those folks that get offended or don’t want to hear it, and I’m sure these comedians would agree, but if you alienate people you’re a shock comic. And they’re just wanting to be like the comedians they grew up liking. So vanilla it is. (Sidenote: Paula Poundstone will never be funny).
4. The One That Can’t Be Bothered
Example: Janeane Garofalo
Just as this comic can’t be bothered to brush their hair or give a shit, I can’t be bothered to write something thoughtful.
Sorry, Les Mis fans. No music here.
So, in my long anticipated update to my website, I’ve opted to talk about something pertinant to my current state of affairs rather than a short story. And truth is always much more interesting than fiction. Hell, it’s why I majored in history.