Saturday, January 05, 2008

Obama and what 08 really means for us

I just want to say that I am so happy Obama won in the first serious primary of the year. I am also pleased that Hillary came in third behind John Edwards. I hope this trend continues. I hope the country continues to endorse a candidate who seems to represent change and turns away from the expected front runner that Hillary is. She is Republican lite. She has had private lunches with Rupert Murdoch, owner of FOX. She voted in favor of the new Bankruptcy laws that make it more difficult for anyone to climb out from under crushing debt. Remember, the reason why most Americans go into bankruptcy is over unexpected medical bills that insurance would not cover. As someone who attempted to create national health care when her husband was president, she knows all this and still voted for the tougher laws. Why? She is just as much a part of the corporate structure as any other politician. Lets not forget that she also voted in favor of giving Bush unlimited authority to do with Iraq has he wanted to. And before you say, hey it was just after 9/11 and everyone voted for that, just remember that Obama voted against that little piece of history.
What is troubling though, is that the republican winner in Iowa is former Baptist Minister and Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee. Come on America, it's time to get smart again and stop voting for people who wear their religious beliefs on their sleeve's. The dude said in a national debate that he thinks the Bible is a literal description of how the earth was made. In a world where competition for resources and the education of future scientist's will decide the fate of nations both economically and intellectually, can we really afford to have another leader that wants to turn back education to what was commonly thought to be true during the dark ages?
I don't think we can. I think Bush & Company did a lot of damage to the soul of this nation. I fail to understand how you can call yourself pro-life when you started a war. A war of choice for Bullshit reasons and told the country that a "higher father" gave you permission to do it too. Did that Higher father also give the go ahead for torture? Did that higher father also tell you it was OK to shred the Constitution? Did that higher father explain to you that Muslims and Christians have the same God?
Jews, Christians and Muslims all believe in the same God kids. It is only the interpretation that we disagree on. Since God doesn't seem interested in talking to us all together at the same time to clear up any misunderstandings, it is left to us to fight it out in his name to see who is right.
Yeah, that sounds like a God that really cares. "You kid's figure it out. I'm busy."
When you lose your job in 20 years because China graduates 3 times as many scientists as we do, and one of them figures out the next great technological leap forward that leaves us in the dust because we were arguing among ourselves if intelligent design should be taught in science class, will you pray to your silent God for another job?
Someday, all of humanity will regard religion the way most of us think about Astrology now.
I hope.
Obama says he has a religious faith too. But he doesn't make it the sole reason to vote for him. Thats all Huckabee has. His record as Governor is not so good. Raised taxes and all that. But if America wants to elect a leader based on religious belief, then you can't be surprised when you watch your children work harder than you did for less. Thats the direction we are headed in. I fail to see how a man believing in myths is going to change that. We need compassion and understanding, true. But you don't need to have religion to have those qualities. We also need intelligence back at the highest levels of Government. Not ancient superstitions and a belief in a God who is supposedly powerful enough to create everything we see but cannot make everyone believe in him. Sorry, but thats a pretty piss pour God in my book. You made the entire universe in 6 days but a massive majority of the people on this planet don't think your real?
Why is that?
Free will.
Great answer. I have always laughed when people use that as a reason. Saying there is evil in the world because of free will is making the people who don't agree with you evil. How convenient then that the people we will fight are evil.
It's what referred to as, circular logic. You don't agree in my version of what I think is the absolute truth, so not only are you evil, you can now be punished for your lack of proper belief. Thats what "their" side does and thats what "our" side does.
My question then is, who created free will?
Blame God then. But you cannot be angry at someone for exercising their God Granted free will when they say there is no God.
Alright, I got a little off track. Seriously America, it is time to grow up and grow out of the need to be right and the need for a God. Has it helped us? Since having Bush, a self proclaimed born again Christian in the White Office, he has done the exact opposite of what he claims his beliefs are.
Social assistance programs have been cut across the board.
Help with heating bills for the elderly; cut.
Veterans administration rehabilitation programs in a time of war; cut.
Health care for underprivileged and financially struggling families; vetoed twice.
If Jesus is your personal lord and saviour, then I gotta tell you I don't think he would be too happy with you for cutting back on helping people while you throw his name around as a campaign slogan for continuing a failed war of choice that seems to have no other purpose than to drive the price of oil up.
Get smart America!
Most Europeans profess to either be atheists or agnostics.
They don't go into debt over health care bills either.
They don't feel the need to maintain military basses all over the world at a massive expense.
They also lack the rate of crime we have. They have much higher rates of literacy, lower rates of infant mortality and test twice as high as Americans do in history, math, science and number of languages spoken.
Under Bush, more Americans fell bellow the poverty line at a rate far above any other President this century. Home forecloses are at a rate last seen during the Great depression. Meanwhile, this self proclaimed believer in Jesus sticks to the mantra of the powerful by saying Government should not be responsible for helping people. They want to privatize all such assistance. All you have to do is look at New Orleans to see how well that works.
The dollar, once the international standard in all monetary transactions, has never been weaker. India just announced that because of the falling power of the dollar, it will no longer accept it at tourist attractions.
Saudi Arabia freak out economist when they said they might want to inventory their oil in euros rather than dollars. The euro is valued at almost twice what the dollar is. You understand how changing to a different currency makes them money? If it takes two dollars to make one euro, than just writing their inventory in euros will double the amount made when they sell that barrel of oil. In fact, even Canada has a higher rate of exchange right now. So even if you want to look at Bush as a strict economic conservative, he is a utter failure. I didn't even mention the fact that the entire Iraq invasion has been put on the national credit card. You understand that right? We borrowed money from China to fund this mess and because of that China now has more of a say over our economy than we do. Shit, all you have to do is look at the items on any Walmarts shelves to see who is making products. Fact is, this cannot continue. We cannot keep living in a country that makes nothing but shitty movies and jeans and expect the middle class to be happy with college degrees as they wait on tables.
Anyway you want to look at the last 8 years is up to you. But I am fairly confident that history will look very clearly at these last 8 years and see it for what it was; a take over by men with agendas for more powerful men with agendas to attain power and profit at the expense of the people. I have no illusions that Obama will turn everything around, but it sure beats the hell out of more insanity.
You want to believe in Heaven, Hell and Jesus as your personal Lord and saviour, go for it. But shut up and let the adults get busy fixing everything that kind of thinking has broken. If your right, then I am going to hell. If I'm right, we all go somewhere when this life is over. I don't know about you, but compassion for everyone sounds like something Jesus might of said. Besides, the only time he got mad was in church.
Who do you think he will be more pissed at if he ever comes back?
Me, saying I don't believe in him but I believe in the humanity of doing good, or you, condemning all non believers to eternity in a lake of fire because we didn't show up each week to put money in the basket.
Well, I guess we will never know.
Obama 08!

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Happy New Year.
Sometimes, for no reason that I can put into words, I will go on line to check the weather in the Montana town the X now lives in. The worse the weather is the more I smile. What is that? Pettiness? Perhaps.
New Years has such a built in mind fuck to it. We change the calendar and suddenly we all think about where we were last year and what we want to do this New year. So thats what I did. I thought about being with her last year and thinking how good it felt that things had been settled and we were moving forward with our plans to have a life together.
None of that happened.
I spent last year mourning the loss of that life. I say mourning but in reality I was sleep walking last year. Good things happened too. I got to go to Japan and tell jokes to our troops. I got to go to New York and film a short set for Comedy Central. But in each of those instances, I felt so alone.
That sucked.
Even alone a man should be able to enjoy his accomplishments.
2008 will be an interesting year to be alive in for all of us. The nation will elect a new president after 8 years of this born again nut job using white out on the Constitution while he continues a plan in Iraq that so far has only benefited his oil company pals.
I will turn 40 years old too. Not a big deal to the rest of the world, but it's a pretty big deal to me.
To tell you the truth I'm not sure. But I know this. I know 40 is a number you can't do anything with to make it seem smaller. There are no mind tricks you can play on yourself either. 40 might be the new 30, but it sure as hell is not 20 anymore. 40 also seems like a time when an adult settles into whatever it is they are doing with their life. So what am I doing with my life?
I am a stand-up comic. Something I take a great deal of pride in. Something I love very much. But I gotta tell you, after 16 years of being a comic and not having achieved some of the things I see people who have been doing this for 3 years get, I have to take another look at what I am doing. And maybe, maybe the answer is as simple as throwing in the towel. I don't know. I know that as much as I love being on stage, it doesn't matter. I don't say that in a poor me sort of way, I say that in acknowledgement of a industry where fame is not an indicator of talent.
2008 is my farewell tour.
2008 is my victory lap.
2008 is going to be my last year in comedy.
I think.
I sent a bulletin out on Myspace with words to that affect. I was amazed at the amount of responses it got. Amazed too at the kind words people had for me and their insistence that I do not quit just yet.
It is all very kind but the truth is I am also tired. Tired of the I.R.S. jumping on my tax return every year. If churches don't have to pay taxes then I don't think comics should either. We bring joy and understanding to people too. It's pretty easy for those ministers who preach that God wants you to have wealth when they don't have to pay any taxes. Seriously, why rake me over the coals for another two grand when 12 billion dollars of 100 hundred dollar bills were shipped to Iraq and no one knows where that money went. Go after those guys. Not the little guy telling jokes to a nation weary of such incredible news.
I am tired of dealing with Bookers who not only don't know whose who in the world of stand-up, but treat all comics like they are a dime a dozen. Not only that, but they treat their shitty one nighter crap gigs like its the holly grail of stand-up. Sorry dude, but for what your paying and the class of people your rooms attract, I can only laugh when you say with a straight face that I should be cleaner in your room.
I am tired of crowds who are too stupid to understand the comedy tools of irony, sarcasm or just a well written joke.
I am tired. I have spent the last 16 years of my life pursuing this dream at the expense of everything else in my life. The one time I dared to make comedy second was also the time when the woman I moved in with cheated on me. I am not doing that again anytime soon. I have to ask myself if a few hundred bucks a gig and the feeling that I killed is worth the cost to the rest of my life. I am not sure about that answer anymore. Usually I would not hesitate to answer with a firm, hell yea it's worth it! But not anymore. After 16 years of living with the expectation that success is just around the corner, it might be time to let that go. Not just that expectation either, but the whole damn dream with it. This may sound dramatic. I don't mean it to be. What do you do when your career is not where you want it to be but you have put so much time into it your not sure how to even let go if that is the right thing to do?
Life. What a bitch.
I am tired of everything my eye lands on somehow reminding me of her. I know I know. It's a God damn song lyric it's so cliche.
I am tired of thinking about moving back to L.A. or trying New York or even crossing the ocean and going to London. Would it make a difference? Who knows. Should a 40 year old man take his small savings and make that big of a jump? probably not. I am closer to 50 now and farther from 20. Yet I keep living like I am in my 20's.
I don't know where this blog is leading. I sorta feel like I am thinking out loud on this one.
Here is what I know. I know that I am a very good comic. Not great or the most original, but I'll tell you something that I don't think is cocky. I could be great. I believe that. If I could be on quality stages night after night to perfect my craft more, I could become one hell of a comic. I also know that in a business where youth is king, turning 40 is not so healthy.
I know that they key to getting clubs to book you is to have name recognition. I might give a hell of a show, but I am not the reason the crowd is showing up. How do you market in this age? I have asked the people who seem to do pretty well in that department and so far all I have learned is that they either don't exactly know either or they feel like giving away a secret like that will somehow hurt their career.
So thats that. There are the facts and feelings I am starting with this year. One positive note about quiting is not caring what comes out of my mouth on stage anymore. It might seem like I already do that, but I hold a lot back sometimes. Granted, no one wants to see a show and then watch a heated argument about religion break out. Course, that is a lot of fun for me.