Saturday, July 12, 2008

That Conversation again.

We have all seen the mixed message car. The bumper stickers and license plate holder have sayings on them that conflict in philosophy. Yesterday, I saw this.
The Jesus fish, I 'heart' the U.S. Army, and Go Army as Bumper stickers. Last but not least, the Peace symbol in camouflage.
Why hide Peace? Why disguise it? Like you would hide in a bush waiting to jump out at someone with Peace?
If we have learned anything over the last eight years, it's that Peace cannot survive in a Bush.
Then, add in the Jesus fish and army stuff and you have a four wheeled contradiction. How else can you explain it? I don't get it. There were a lot of armies back in his day and I don't recall most of them doing good things in the Bible. Do you? How did we get Jesus enlisted in the United States Army?
My friend says, "Why do people keep getting to use his name?"
Like it was a trademark issue or something that the courts and yet to resolve.
"Yeah. Why is that?" I sagely replied.
"People attach his name to everything."
I pondered this for a moment. I am an agnostic. That means I believe that their might not be anyone ignoring our prayers.
The polite thing to do at this point is to write something like, if you are a Christian and serve in the Army, thats cool. So there that is.
Is there a passage in the Sermon on the mount that mentions anything about making war? If there is I can't see it.
Jesus does not salute.
Is Jesus copyright protected? Is he considered intellectual property? Does someone own his image? These are the big questions.
How can I make money on Jesus?
Not saying that the Church and people with sincere belief have not done a lot of good, but everyone can name a few periods in history where his name has been attached to some horrific episodes. When the good stuff did happen, it was when Jesus was alive. When he showed people what he could do. They killed him.
So mixing the Symbols for Peace, Christianity and the Military seem a little strange. Or very American.
I beat up Jesus a lot in my blog. Not him really, but what has been done to his name. Jesus was not white. If he was, that might explain why he had such a hard time in the Mid-east two thousand years ago. Jesus is also not unique. Don't freak out yet if you are reading this with contempt. What I am saying is, the whole saviour for our sins, rise from the dead and even his birthday were all key elements in other cultures myths before his time.
In what is now Iran, the Persian people once believed in a God named Mithra. He was crucified to take away the sins of the world and was said to have been born on December 25th.
Tibet, also had a man known as a God and Saviour, Indra. He to was nailed to a cross, his mother was a virgin, he had to die for mans sins, he rose from the dead and was believed to be eternal.
These are just two examples. Almost every major culture has had the appearance of a 'Jesus.' Makes you think. Hmm?
My friend in the car happened to be a Christian. Don't ask how we get along. We manage. When I list off these various incarnations of what I see as an enduring myth that cuts across so many different histories, he says, "Maybe he appeared to them too. Who knows."
"Who knows? You do. You keep saying you know. You and everyone else who calls themselves Christians speak as if you know the truth and the only truth. You can't sit there after I have told you lots of other cultures had a Jesus figure with most of the same claims-he was born a virgin, he died for the worlds sins, he rose to Heaven and returned to life three days latter- doesn't that make you wonder a little more than, maybe he appeared to other people? Where is that in the book?"
He sits there with his eyes wide and uncomfortable. What is he suppose to say? I can't make one guy answer for a two thousand year old church. Can I?
He takes a breath and attempts a good natured smile. "I have always meant to ask, what happened to you?"
This only makes me more angry.
This usually happens. I talk about religion in my act a lot and in my blog because they interest me and I did not in fact have a very good experience with it growing up. But this, this question of what happened to you always infuriates me. Implied in the question is the idea that something bad must of happened to me as a boy to make me turn away from God. I turned away. You see what they accomplish in the argument with this? It is my fault that I don't believe or don't understand and not the creator of the universe whose son supposedly died for me and could work miracles. Get it? It's my fault and not God's even though he is much more powerful than any of us, it is still us. Hence the invention of original sin. The idea that we all enter this world with an automatic debt of having done something to offend the Almighty. That sounds like a God I can really get behind.
"Why do you think something bad happened for me not to believe in God?"
"Something did though, right?" He says with confidence.
"Actually, nothing happened. That was the problem. Everyone kept telling me to listen to my heart and guess what, God wasn't talking to me like my heart was a radio. I don't believe because I have not had the experiences you have had and history tells me that the Jesus myth is common to many cultures."
Now it's quiet. I think it's a fair statement though.
Then, right on time and as if it has been scripted, he makes the comment that everyone makes at this point in the conversation. "I feel sorry for you."
Is this written down somewhere in a play book for talking to those who don't share your faith?
"Thats funny. I was thinking the same thing about you."
Bumper stickers. Fucking bumper stickers.
Maybe in a thousand more years the bumper will be regarded as a religious icon. People will pray to it and question it and debate it. Who knows? Maybe it is really just a bumper or really it is something more than anyone could hope to understand.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Let Them Eat Pizza!

I think it is a commercial for Pizza Hut. Two men stand in front of a huge wall mounted weekly calendar in an office. They are looking at what fast food restaurants have deals for that day of the week. One place has four dollar Tuesdays. Another place has Seven dollar value meals on Friday.
His friend, holding a slice of pizza simply says, Pizza Hut always has five dollar lunches every day of the week. I'm not putting it in quotes because it was late and I was falling asleep. But as I nodded off I got to thinking about that sales pitch. The young good looking and fit spokesperson tells you with a slight smugness that you should just go to Pizza Hut everyday of the week. After all, it's just five bucks.
Thats an office I would love to work in.
"Why is there such a long line for the bathrooms?"

There not selling the product based on it's merit. They are selling you the product based on how broke everyone is. These are the times we live in.
With everything we know about nutrition, adds will always appeal to the higher anxiety. Being broke right now is the national anxiety. It might be shit food, but at least I can afford to eat it.

With the stroke of his pen, the President made legal what they had been doing for years illegally; wiretapping everyone. The one tiny provision they made is that the Government can only listen in on the conversation when it is a call originating from outside the United States by a known terrorist to someone in this country who has done business with them in the past.
By that definition, the Bushes and Bin Ladens have been doing business together for decades. I guess there is a lot of tape somewhere with conversations between the President, and them.
The Fourth Amendment has been killed.
That was the amendment that guaranteed us privacy, the right to be secure in our personal papers, safe from government intrusion in our homes, and freedom from any search by the government without probable cause.
A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the second amendment when it told Washington D.C. that the 32 year old ban on Hand Guns inside the city was unconstitutional. That got a lot of press and a lot of overweight white people holding misspelled signs of congratulations over their heads. Not only has the fourth amendment silently been destroyed, but the bill doing so granted immunity to the phone companies and Internet providers that went along with it. The worse part though is Obama voted for the law. Obama. Our great hope to restore all that Bush has done just voted in favor of a law that effectively demolishes every Americans right to privacy.
I guess now that we no longer have any rights to privacy, we might need all those guns.

This is the grand non-conspiracy at work. There never will come a time when the Government will knock at your door to take guns out of your hands. They don't need to. It is far easier to grant people the illusion of control than to use force. Great, you have a hand gun. Good for you. Do you know what the government has? A transcript of every web site you ever visited. A chat log of any conversation you had while on line. A complete list of phone numbers and recorded conversations. Satellites 42 miles above the Earth that can read vin numbers through clouds and the glare of windshield glass. Micro chips embedded in your passport. Get it? They don't need to take your guns because they already have the inside of your head. If they can make you believe attacking Iraq had something to do with what happened on 9/11, you have to ask yourself the much scarier question of what else did they pull off that we don't know about? That is not a fringe element crazy guy question to ponder at all. The fact is, we no longer have any privacy. We know this. But just like the lure of five dollar pizza lunches, we don't care. We will trade our privacy for porn, priceline, prescription medications, google, Youtube, Myspace and craigslist. So what if there is a vault somewhere sucking in all this information. Isn't it to keep us safe from those that want to hurt us anyway?
You will loose privacy, but you will get protection.
You will save money, but you will put on 15 pounds.
Same thing.
We always go for the bait switch. It's almost programed into us as Americans. There is an understanding that a con game is working on us, but we are strangely fascinated by it. And honestly what are you going do? Never use the Internet again? Throw away your cell phone? To a lot of people, the Internet doesn't seem real. You can't point to it. It is intangible. But a gun. It is solid, real, firm in your hand. The idea of that being taken away is easy to imagine. The idea of someone listening in to an instant message conversation seems far more distant. Besides, the reasoning goes, I don't have anything to hide. Right?
I will just eat five dollar pizza three times a week. That can't be that bad. Right?

If this trend continues, the Government giving it's self more power to monitor citizens that have broken no laws and advertisers pushing shitty food that will make you fat and constipated, then the people with headphones in the basement of the Pentagon are going to hear a lot of talk about diarrhea. With all the talk about "black outs," "dropping a bomb" and the next guy walking in and dying because of our "chemical warfare," a lot of Americans are going to end up on no-fly lists just cause there telling another buddy about the state of their bowels. That will be a lot of Americans ending up on the no fly list. Result? The airline industry, already falling apart, will go under all because the country is now a police state with upset stomachs from only being able to afford cheap food. Besides, a nation of fat people with guns is really not a problem for a government with flying drones equipped with heat seeking missiles. Enjoy the illusion of freedom, America. Enjoy the idea of being a free thinker in a land bombarded by commercials every where you turn. Enjoy your guns too. The Poor will not be wiped out with a hail of lead from masked SWAT teams at your door. The poor will be wiped out by coupons to Pizza Hut.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


There is a a girl I cannot to talk to anymore. Here is the reason; her lips are perfect. Don't read to much poetry into what I am saying here cause what I am saying is that I can only think of one thing when she is talking. It's crazy and absolutely understandable as more than a little creepy, but that fact remains, I can't hear a word she is saying because her lips inspire nothing but blow jobs fantasies.
I cannot be alone in this phenomena. Her lips are a shape and color that are so fucking hot that God love her, she might be saying some wonderful stuff, I just don't know it-her lips are that pornographic perfect!
Porno hot! I know, It's terrible. I'm a pig.
That is the greatest compliment one man can say to another man about the beauty of a woman; she is porno hot. More than primitive I guess, but the unspoken truth. It's a huge compliment. So know it when I say it, her lips are porno hot!
The world wants a blow job from perfect lips on a hot young girl. Who doesn't?
All those Billboards and magazine adds where a slender young girl poses near whatever it is they are selling, poised and confident with moist red lips around a slightly suggestive open mouth in an expression of surprise or wonder perhaps. Whatever. Just what do you think they are playing to when they give you shots like that? It's not your sense of economics.
What do you do when you are confronted with the real thing?
Honestly, not a word, not a single word do I remember from a "conversation" we had recently because thats all I could think about! It's like coming out of a black out or even missing time like alien abductess report.
Maybe thats all thats is happening in the case of UFO's. It's just porno hot women we see naked? I know what you will say to that. You will say, that can't be it because a lot of the sightings of UFO's take place in remote places and desolate areas. I would say to you, thats what makes it perfect!
Too rapey?
She might have told me the cure for cancer or the secret to life but it didn't register. What a curse for her. We must seem like dogs to her. She has to know that as she speaks, what she might read as active listening is just lust. Shameful very bad dirt dirty lust. Fuck!
No one is a winner here. We all lose. It's a horrible trick life has played on her. She should be thought of like a good person. A real person. A wonderful intelligent interesting person. Not the kind of person I imagine her to be; bad.
I hope so anyway.
Sure. It is wrong. But thats the beauty of it. It's fucking wrong! When will people understand that wrong is the biggest turn on in life?
Wrong is the reason we have at least 312 of the 834 know sex positions.
Yeah. There are that many!
I love you and want you to feel good as my partner who is equal in all things, was not the thought that went into 7 of my top 10 all time favorite sex positions. It was dirty Internet inspired acts of poetry porno perfect lips, a chair, and stockings. Fill in the rest with your own imagination.
I think this is honest. I think this is what starts to happen as you age too. Young girls walk by you in the street and you realize, thats never gonna happen like I thought it might some day. That time has passed. I am not saying that I did not have some luck in my day. I had a few hot girlfriends. Everyone should have the hot young girlfriend experience at least once in life. I highly recommend it. I have had the slutty hot girlfriend, the smart hot girlfriend, the young hot girlfriend and of course the crazy hot girlfriend. None of it ended well but it was a hell of a ride for a while.
Lips. Something as simple as lips and I can build a theme park in my mind around them. But I am realistic. There is not another young hot girlfriend experience waiting for me. I walked pass a couple waiting at a bus stop. They each held a greasy oiled up slice of pizza. All I could think was, If I eat that, I won't shit for the next three days.
I don't think you get wiser with age, you just spend more time in the bathroom reading. When someone can quote you a recent magazine article or an authors column, they need a laxative.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Weekend of Many Sets.

After a three day weekend complete with fireworks and crazy amounts of stage time, slipping back into the real world after playing rock star comedian sucks like you can't believe. Such is life I suppose. I manged to do sets at every club in town this weekend. I pulled off three sets on Saturday and two on Sunday. I love it when that happens! It made up for the disaster that was Santa Cruz last weekend.
A San Francisco 4th of July is basically a life lesson in let down for those who have not enjoyed the spectacle of watching clouds change colors when you wanted to see fireworks. Five minuets into the show, people started leaving. Little kids were perched backwards over strollers hoping for a glimpse of those hoped for explosions, only to be told, "next year, kid." by parents who now had to walk a mile or so back to where ever they had come from. It was a strange scene. Hundreds of people all walking with their heads down as thunder and color lit the clouds from inside. Red, blue, sometimes a sparkle, but no giant blasts of clear and easy to see fireworks.

Saturday night I pulled off a triple play. First, I did a show at Cobb's, then a set at the Clubhouse and then back to Cobb's for the late show. All this required cabs, luck and the generous offer of rides from a new young comic. There is something about doing multiple sets on a weekend night that adds an extra rush to the whole evening. At Cobb's I worked with Rob Riggle. He is a Daily Show corespondent and has an interesting problem. "People think that because I am on the Daily Show, they are going to see smart political comedy. Thats not me."
He is one of the nicest guys I have ever met. Almost the anti-headliner in a lot of ways. No trace of ego and an all around fun guy to hang out with. But, as he said, his comedy is not smart political stuff. It is in fact, pretty basic. I don't think he would disagree with that assessment either. In fact, he was an Improv guy for most of his career until he landed the Daily Show and saw his co-anchors hitting the road as stand-ups and bringing back nice checks.
Any degree of it can always be parlayed into stand-up appearances. It is the great thing about stand-up and the worse thing about stand-up. It proves everything that is good and bad about this business. Fame, as this weekends crowds learned, does not always mean great stand-up.
And so it went. I did my set at Cobb's and took off for the Clubhouse. I love the Clubhouse and it's funky almost home made club feeling that it has. Five floors up in a converted office space, they have manged to carve out a name for themselves in San Francisco. More importantly, they provide that much needed place where new comics can find their voice before hitting the bigger clubs and making a play for a larger career. That is my thinking anyway. I don't think it is the prevailing attitude of the owner. My intro was this, "You could of seen this comic tonight at Cobb's, but you were smart and paid half the money to see him here." Don't know how I feel about that exactly. The Clubhouse sees Cobb's and the Punchline as an enemy when those clubs barely know it exists. It's the L.A. San Francisco thing at a micro level. People in San Francisco will go off on how horrible L.A. is, but bring up S.F. down there and people just go, "I love that town!"
I did my set at the Clubhouse with an emphasis on trying out some new stuff. Mostly happy with how that turned out, I left the stage to be taken back to Cobb's by a young comic just starting to take classes at the Clubhouse. He was all smiles and nervous energy. Thanks Dude. Back at Cobb's, it was time for the late show where this time I waited for the crowd to leave so I could pass out fliers for me. Thats when temptation showed up in the form of three young hot girls who wanted to know why I wasn't the headliner. Oh hot young girls! You are my weakness and you know it. When they asked if I wanted to join them at the bar, I said I didn't drink. Well, that cock blocked me pretty efficiently. I would so like to come back to this world as a pair of girls jeans.

Sunday nights crowd at Cobb's was great! I got my check and was off to the Punchline where I found a dead crowd. They were OK for some people and then no where to be found for others. I followed a five minuet video that is best described as quirky. It's not that it wasn't funny, it's just that seeing a video near the end of a stand-up show is sorta like seeing a car commercial in a theater when you expected movie previews. You know? The crowd was done but with in a few minuets of loading and reloading the riff gun, they were on board and we all landed together in funny. I even manged to sneak in some bits before returning to a crazy Irish man in back that cackled like a gay Satan and shared with the crowd that his favorite drug was speed balls. That, and a guy up front who was very upset that somewhere in the middle of it all I made fun of Star Trek: Deep Space 9. Yeah. That was my weekend. I am a lucky Dude indeed to pull of sets at all three clubs in town on the 4th of July weekend and I know it.