As Facebook slowly transitions away from a site where people say meaningful things about their lives to a site where people post the results of various buzz feed quizzes that report on important personality traits like your alignment (I’m chaotic good), what Firefly Character you are (I’m Luke Skywalker), how long you would survive a zombie apocalypse (I died of a heart attack when I saw the report on television) or what kind of ladder you use to change a lightbulb (a badly balanced stack of used video cartridges).
The most popular quiz for the last few days has been a 100 question quiz on how privileged you are.
Before I go any further, I’m going to ignore the fact that everyone taking the quiz should have scored at least a 20% because of the fact they had the free time to take a 100 question quiz on the internet. Right there you are doing a lot better than most.
So I filled out the quiz and my score was 68 out of 100. It seems like I’m fairly privileged. I was surprised, though, because as a straight white male with some amount of financial success, I expected I would be swimming in privilege. About the only way I don’t have privilege is because I’m an atheist and I am not part of the wealthiest 1%.
I probably would be if I sold those video cartridges.
I’ve known Windy more than half my life, I think. We met at the Renaissance Festival, helped form CONvergence, and have recently done a lot of theatrical collaborations. She is brash and self confident and filled with nearly limitless energy.
Windy and I are very similar and that means we’ve had some epic arguments over the years. It is a testament to our friendship that we have consistently managed to remain friends in spite of those arguments. Because I’m not kidding – they have been epic.
She is someone who is tenacious and will fight with all her might to achieve that which she has set out to do. Be it teaching, roller derby, dancing, singing, costuming, or being a mom, she doesn’t do things halfway. She jumps in with both feet and dares the cosmos to make her fail.
If you know Windy, you know that the cosmos would run and cower in the corner rather than cross her.
Her passion for life and for the things she does are always fun to watch. She’ll drag others along by sheer force of will. I’ve seen her come up with some crazy ideas and my typical response is “if anyone can make this happen, Windy can.”
And you know what? She always makes it happen.
If she’s afraid of failure, she never lets it show. Instead, she will focus her considerable talents on figuring out a way to get it done. If she does fail, she will never fail the same way again.
She also does an amazing Captain Kirk impression. I’m pretty sure Shatner himself would be impressed.
I’m pleased to have been able to call Windy a friend for so many years.
Sometimes I think it is hard to look at a good idea someone else had and accept that it is OK to do that thing too.
In music, that happens all the time. You hear a song that you like and you decide you are going to cover it. As an artist, it is tremendously flattering to have someone cover your music because it means what you wrote something that resonates with someone else.
I’m not talking about music, though. I’m talking about an idea.
My friend Levi Weinhagen started writing a friend a day blog series at the beginning of this year. The goal was simply to write something nice about a person in his life every day for 100 days. I was fortunate enough to have been one of those people.
When he started doing it, I thought it was a great idea. An idea I wished I’d had.
I’m a cynical guy. I try to write jokes for a living. There are many things I do well but being sincerely nice to someone is something that I can handle for an entire sentence. Maybe two.
To write four or five paragraphs of nice about the same person? Now that’s a challenge.
Talking about a challenge means I’m talking about the benefit I derive from such an exercise. The benefit to others is so much more than that. How cool is it to log on to Facebook in the morning and see that someone wrote an entire blog entry just about you? It makes you feel special and important.
And we all deserve to feel special and important every now and again.
The first thing I think about every time I hear the name of this movie is how you can conveniently turn it into a porno version without changing the name. Actually, you probably wouldn’t have to change the plot all that much.
Harry Ballahan is a tough cop who doesn’t play by the rules. He and his partner are upset because a gangster beats the rap in court so they double team the court reporter.
At the same time, a cop shows up and kills the gangster and everyone in the car. Then he goes home and his wife gives him a blow job.
Ballahan goes in to talk to his boss, Lieutenant Bangs, who is having sex with his secretary. They talk about the murder of the gangster while Bangs is having sex. Because he can multi task.
Then a couple of female cops have sex. Just because that sort of thing happens all the time during a murder investigation.
We switch to a gigantic orgy. For like fifteen minutes. Just tons of people having sex. They switch partners. They don’t use condoms. It’s just insane. And strangely boring.
Then the party blows up because it turns out all those people having sex were gangsters.
Ballahan is stumped. He has no idea who could be killing all of the gangsters in town. In fact, he delivers this exact line: “Damn! I have no idea who is killing all the gangsters in town!” He pounds his fist on the table and takes a swig of beer for emphasis.
So he orders a pizza. For some reason, it takes two women to deliver a pizza. And Ballahan doesn’t have any cash for a tip…
He goes to a really nice house with a pool in the suburbs to ask some questions. While he’s on his way, one of the killer cops breaks into a prostitutes room. She doesn’t have any information for him so they just have sex. Her pimp breaks in and he shoots the guy while he is still having sex with the prostitute.
The sex scene lasts for another two minutes and the entire time the pimp is lying on the floor dying. He’s still able to masturbate while watching them have sex. He ejaculates and then expires.
Ballahan arrives at the house with the pool and there is a beautiful naked woman swimming in the pool. He asks her if he can ask her a few questions. She unzips his fly and he says he has no time for that right now.
Literally. His line is “I have no time for that right now.”
Turns out he does though, because they have sex in the hot tub.
Cut to Ballahan’s partner, who is having sex with his wife. At least we assume it is his wife because she’s the only other black person in the entire movie.
They have sex for a while and then he goes to the bathroom while she masturbates. As soon as she finishes, there is an explosion and she screams. What I mean is there is an explosion in the bathroom. Like from a bomb.
Cut to Ballahan comforting his partner’s wife (his partner didn’t have a name because he was black). She tells him that she’s so lonely so they have sex. She feels a little better.
Then we cut to Lieutenant Bangs office. Harry tells Bangs that he knows who did it. Bang says really, who?
Again, that is the exact line. “I know who did it.”
“It’s you Bangs.”
“You’ll never catch me!”
“Like hell I won’t.”
Then Ballahan punches Bangs in the face. Actually it looks more like he punches Bangs in the shoulder. But Bangs falls down as if he was punched in the face.
Then the two lesbian cops show up wearing really short skirts, high heels, and shirts unbuttoned to their navels. He tells them to take Bangs away but they say they have a better idea.
The movie ends with Bangs handcuffed to a chair watching Ballahan having sex with the lesbian cops and complaining that he doesn’t have a hand free to masturbate.
After the credits, there is a credit cookie where the two pizza delivery girls show up. Ballahan looks at the camera and says “A cop’s work is never done” and we fade to black as the pizza girls start to take off their pants (but not their shoes).
See? Practically the same movie.
By that I mean that I’m not obsessed with my looks. I don’t think that there was ever a time in my life when I was considered “hot” and, at 46, I don’t think I’m likely to start turning heads now.
If I allow myself any vanity, it is in the fact that I have nice hair. My hair is thick and soft and shows no signs of receding. I’m going to have this hair long after any other attractive feature I possess has ceased to be an asset.
I remember a time when I was about twenty. My brother had decided he wanted a mohawk. I came home one night and my mom was sitting with him in the living room. He was wearing a hat.
She was wearing an expression of quiet disapproval.
His expression was one of gleeful triumph.
The conversation went something like this:
“Hello, what’s going on?” I said because it would have taken someone completely oblivious to miss the implication that something awkward was, in fact, going on.
“Your brother…” my mom began and then stopped. My brother can grin in a way that is extremely unsettling. It is the grin of someone who is prepared to do something entirely unpleasant (but non-harmful) at any moment.
That was the way he was grinning as my mom tried to answer my simple question.
“Oh…” she finally said, “just show him.”
David whipped the hat off his head to reveal a completely bald pate. He’d even shaved the stubble.
“I shaved my head!” he cried.
“It feels awesome! Here!”
This is when he charged across the room and began to rub his bald head against my bare skin so I could share in the experience of his baldness. It felt pretty weird.
“Isn’t that weird?” he asked.
The whole situation was weird.
This weekend, we recorded two podcasts at Die Laughing. On Friday night, we talked to local comedian Patrick Bauer about his favorite filmmaker, Quentin Tarantino.
I, of course, felt the need to discuss how Bill is completely wrong about Batman at the end of Kill Bill, Vol 2. Because if you are going to talk about the awesomeness of Tarantino, you need to spend a little while talking about his most egregious mistake.
We traverse the whole of his filmography, spending strangely small amounts of time on Django Unchained. As one might expect, I enjoy a nerdy film conversation so this one was a treat to record. It was also a treat to record in front of a live audience. Thanks to everyone who came out!