Thursday, August 21, 2008


It can be a dangerous business mixing metaphor with resolve. John McCain recently said he would pursue Osama, “…to the gates of hell!” Doesn’t that just wanna make you climb up on a pick up truck, wave the American flag around and blast a Toby Keith song? It sounds dramatic enough but there is no need to go to such extremes.

Obama has said he would go into Pakistan and get him. For saying this, he was criticized. It doesn’t matter that they are saying the same thing. It doesn’t matter that one is throwing bumper sticker solutions not grounded in reality to supporters. It doesn’t matter that every intelligence agency in the world places him in a tribal region of Pakistan. McCain has said over and over that he would not go into Pakistan to get Osama. Where would he go to get him? Well, to the gates of hell, fagot! That’s where!

Maybe if you look closely at a map of Pakistan, somewhere there is a tiny little region named, gates of hell. If that’s true, then they are saying the same thing.

You can’t use metaphors to stir up the patriotic and then mock the other guy who is saying he will accomplish the same thing in reality. McCain might as well have said, “I will pursue Osama to the forest moon of Endor!” or, “I will chase him into Morodor along side Hobbits and men to bring peace to Middle earth once and for all!”

I would love to write a John McCain speech.

“Today we have Sand-People and Elves standing together. Pod racers from Tatooien and residence of the shire, all-coming together to vote for leadership. As I stand here today on the deck of the Battlestar Gallatica, I promise that we will chase down our enemy no matter how far away or mythical a place Osama is hiding! If Narnia is harboring terrorists, or second life, we shall do whatever is needed to bring him to justice!”

He would have the sci-fi fantasy vote.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I don’t understand. On the day that Russia rolled tanks into the country of Georgia, the news talked only about John Edwards having an affair two years ago that his wife had already been told about. He is not running for public office or currently holding one. Besides, did I mention Russia invaded a country?
Now, with all that is going on all I keep hearing about is how offensive the movie, Tropic Thunder is. Like a lot of the people who are complaining about it, I haven’t seen it either. It just reminds me that here in America, we get very upset about words. It’s a pretty nice problem to have. Sorry to say so but I laughed every time I saw a network anchor or reporter refer to the word retarded as, “the R-word.”
The R-word? Seriously?
Do you remember growing up and ever hearing, sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me? What happened to that concept? Cause I gotta tell you, most of the world is going to bed hungry tonight and were arguing over words.
Retarded turned into disabled. Then it was special, differently abled and now the correct term apparently is intellectually disadvantaged. Fine. That describes the President pretty well.
At some point I believe America will start to drown in all the real issues we would rather deny. I have invented a scale to determine how close we are to social collapse based on the amount of letters in the alphabet that are used in place of “bad words.”
For instance, I think most people would know what word I was thinking of if I said the
C-word. Then of course there is the N-word and now we have the R-word. Those are just three letters of the alphabet. Granted, those are horrible words used to convey hate, but they are words.
I predicted that when 15 of the 26 letters are used in place of “bad words” we will be exprcing black outs and food riots.
20 out of 26 letters and it will be complete anarchy in the streets with whatever government that’s holding on about to fall. When all 26 letters can also be used to denote foul, racist or derogatory terms, we will start using numbers.
You get cut off by a driver and instead of yelling something or giving the finger, you just yell a number at people. “59!”
“I can’t believe you said that around children!”
My point? Rome is burning while we turn offensive words into single letters. No problem is solved. No war is ended or homeless fed. At least we can take comfort in the knowledge that right now only 3 letters stand in for “bad words.”
Just a note to my Uber Liberal friends, ever consider looking at the context the word is used in? I am just saying, sometimes you have to use the bad word in order for people to know what you are ironically making fun of. In fact, look up the word ironic and then get back to me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Medford, OR

Every once in a while you encounter a living metaphor. I spent the weekend in Medford, Oregon performing at a sports bar. That's not the metaphor part of this story but its close. Saturday afternoon, the other comic, Dax and I went for a drive. I had met Dax four years ago in the Seattle Comedy Competition. The first thing he said to me when I saw him was, "Are you still in love with that girl?"
I was teased constantly by everyone for having my cell phone always up to my ear talking with Samantha.
"No. I am pretty much a shattered man these days."
Funny how that sentence changes the mood in a room.
I wanted to get an oil change but when we couldn't find a place I settled for a car wash. Ten minuets and five bucks in quarters later, my car was free of the dust and mud a five hour drive put on it the day before. Less than a minuet after we left I pulled up to a light. Dax and I turned to look and there on the corner stood two cheerleaders going through routines as they pointed to a car wash sign.
Imagine that. Just half a block away stood girls in skirts holding sponges ready and willing to clean my car but I had already washed it.
Ah life! How you love to mock me!
You can't turn into a gas station for a hand wash from cheerleaders with water literally beading on your windshield. Well you can if you want to be an Amber alert.
We smiled at the girls who smiled back, all of us seeming to appreciate the irony of the situation. In fact, even the homeless guy standing on the opposite corner got into it. When he saw them dancing, he danced too, sign in hand. It made an affect on a guy riding his bike. He stopped and gave the homeless guy a dollar.
The light changed and we were on our way again.
Medford is a quiet enough little town just pass the Californian border. The shows, sponsored by the local classic rock station, went well. It was a classic one nighter gig. The crowd was rowdy, it was a riff-a-thon from word one and just up the street from us was a town named white city. What is white city? It is a trailer park where people are known for making and selling meth. In fact, more than a few people came up to me after the shows and said, "We call this place Meth-ford. Not Medford."
A place with meth and mobil homes could only be named White City if you think about it. That or they should put up a sign that reads, Irony?
All in all the shows were fun and the drive wasn't too bad. My little Honda handles the distance with ease. Once you get up toward Mt. Shasta, the scenery is beautiful too. It wasn't my first time doing comedy in Medford either. Driving around with Dax, I remembered staying at a Red Lion in town for a show that was canceled. The other club in town where comedy use to be done is named, Ground Zero. If it sounds like a stupid name before 9/11 then you have to wonder why they didn't change the name after 9/11. I had worked there about 10 years ago. It stands out in my mind only because I went home with a girl I met after the show. everything seemed to be on track for a fun night when I had to excuse myself from the girls room. I went outside and proceeded to spend the night vomiting in her drive way till morning when the other comic who went home with her friend came and picked me up. Ugh!
I vividly remember making the five hour drive home thinking I cannot drink anymore. As I recall, it still took a few more embarrassing instances before I actually did quit.
Back then all I wanted was to headline these gigs. These days I turn these gigs down more than I say yes to them. Between the cost of gas and the average crowds at these road gigs it just doesn't make sense to put the millage on you or the car. Not for what the average gig like this pays anyway. I took this gig because the pay was better than what you normally get for these. I also wanted to get in with the Booker who books a lot of stuff in the greater Pacific Northwest.
It was only once I was there that I realized I had been here before. That might be the lesson on this trip. Each time I have passed through Medford I have been in an agitated state of mind wondering about my career in comedy and my future. This time was no different. Maybe it's not about finding meaning or deciding where I want to be in comedy. Maybe it is just about acceptance. If I want to make a living at stand-up, the work is out there. Problem is there is a whole lot of other Medford's out there and what is required to make those gigs work is not always what you can justify to your sense of doing art.
Thats the lesson or, if you want to get a car wash, don't turn into the first place you see. There might be high school cheerleaders around the next corner!

Monday, August 18, 2008


Dear regular readers and those curious enough to stop by,
I find myself at an impasse in life. Turning forty in a few months has me thoroughly freaked out. Aren't you suppose to have an idea about where life is headed by now? Shouldn't you have something to show for being alive on this world after four decades? I don't know. I do know this; I want a new day job. I could survive on comedy but I don't want to just survive anymore. Not at this point in my life. I like having health care. I need a new day job. Something flexible enough to allow me to still take off for gigs when I need too, but also something with purpose. If I could work with kids or in a organization that does some good in this world, I would be willing to work for half of what I make at my day job now. A job that has slowly devolved into number crunching and paper pushing. So I ask you dear reader or fan, got any ideas? I am not giving up on stand-up. It is too much a part of my identity to ever stop, but if I am going to stay in San Francisco and only work the gigs I want, a day job is a necessary evil. Thing is, I don't want it to feel evil anymore.
If you have any thoughts please shoot me an e-mail.