Shit that Pissed me off – 8/21

Josh Duggar Wasn’t Cured by God

As a friend of mine pointed out online, Duggar’s apology about being “addicted” to online porn and looking for adulterous affairs was pretty good.  He took full responsibility and admitted he was a hypocrite.  So good for him.

I mean, he’s still an adulterer and a hypocrite but at least he realizes it.

But we all remember that he had some issues with sexuality in his youth as well, right?  And his ultra-religious parents used some sort of faith-based counseling to “fix” him, right?  It seems like he wasn’t fixed, doesn’t it?

I'm going to pray away your healthy sexual appetite!

I’m going to pray away your healthy sexual appetite!

But what if he was never broken?  I’m not talking about sexually assaulting his little sisters.  That’s fucked up.

But what I’m asking is this: if he didn’t live in a household where sexual repression is the norm, is it possible he wouldn’t be so sexually confused right now?  Is it possible he would have gotten involved with a woman who was interested in an open relationship so he could have had extra-marital sex in a supportive environment?

What will happen in the wake of this scandal?  No doubt Duggar will get more religious counseling aimed at “curing” him of having a sexual appetite that is deemed improper.  And it won’t work.

Because Josh Duggar likes sex.  And he lives in a community where that is not OK.

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Expecto Patreon

fc,550x550,whiteWhen I re-embarked on life as a freelance artist, my friends gave me a lot of advice.  All of it good.  Some of it more applicable than others. Joseph Scrimshaw suggested I put together a Patreon site.

I know about Patreon.  I have a couple of friends with Patreon sites.  Joseph is one of them.

I haven’t taken the leap yet because the whole thing is…complicated.

If you are unfamiliar with Patreon, it is a crowdfunding platform where artists can invite the public to help support them in producing art.

Say, for instance, I tell people I’m going to produce one self portrait a month.  I’m not going to do that because all I would produce is stick figures but let’s imagine that I could, in fact, do that well.

People then pledge a certain amount of money to be paid every time I produce a self portrait.  Maybe it would be a dollar.  Maybe it would be one hundred dollars.  Most likely, it would be closer to a dollar.

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Shit that Pissed me off – 8/14

Gunman Fires at Police in Ferguson Protests

The protests to mark the one year anniversary of Michael Brown’s murder (my bias may be showing in my selection of words) were mostly peaceful.  And then some asshole shot at the police.

Now this idiot was not a protestor.  He was an extremist who wanted to hurt someone and used the protests as an opportunity to do it. Even if he claims he was angry at the police for documented racism, there were a lot of people angry at the police for documented racism who didn’t bring a gun.

In this picture are dozens of people who didn't bring guns.

In this picture are dozens of people who didn’t bring guns.

When one guy does something stupid, though, it is as if all the other people who weren’t doing anything wrong become co-conspirators.  What they have to say is no longer considered important because of that one dude who tried to shoot the police.

So please, everyone, can we stop bringing guns to word fights?

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Fringe Festival – Day 11

WebI came nowhere close to seeing a show in every slot of the festival this year.  While I know some people have such a goal, I try to strike a balance between watching theater and doing – you know – other things.

My choices are driven a little by who I know but also what I know I’ll like.  For instance, everyone loves Transatlantic Love Affair.  They produce really good dramatic theater.  I think their theater is fine but I’m a comedian.  I like to laugh.  A really good drama is still a little bit of a waste of time for me.

It may seem strange that I’d rather watch a bad comedy than a good drama but the great thing about the Fringe is I can make that choice.  It is the theatrical equivalent of a really good brunch buffet.  Everyone is going to find something they like.

I find the Fringe one of the most enriching experiences of my theatrical career.  It has made me a better writer.  It has connected me with other artists I would never have known.  It has taught me how to be a better producer.

The Fringe is over but connections I’ve made this year will bear fruit over the next several.  And that’s while I’ll be back.

I saw four shows on the final day of the Fringe.  Here’s what I thought!

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Fringe Festival – Day 10

Duels! True love! Hypochondriacs! Chekhov's "jokes in one act" have it all. And we've got two!  Coming to the MN Fringe 2015

I’ve done the Fringe for a few years now and one thing I can say for sure: my name alone doesn’t get butts in the seats.  Audiences recognize the names of a few production companies (Transatlantic Love Affair, Four Humors) but it seems to me that at least part of what brings audiences back to the same artists year after year is the recognition of the personality.

Joseph Scrimshaw was a great example of a performer whose name drew people to his productions.  It was both his writing and on stage charisma that keep them coming back.

In most cases, I don’t think audiences notice who wrote or directed a show at Fringe.

They see my name and they don’t think “hey – I remember the other shows that guy wrote.”  They think: “who’s that guy?”

It’s my own fault, of course, for writing shows that don’t feature a part for me.  And for being more of a character actor than a lead.

It can be frustrating, at times, to feel like you have to win your audience back with each successive year.  Yet, that is what most fringe producers do.  Those who don’t have to do that aren’t lucky.  They are talented and consistent.

And I have to admit I’m just a little bit jealous.

I watched four shows on Saturday.  One of them was mine so let’s talk about the other three, shall we?

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Fringe Festival – Day 9

Niggas & Bitches: Black Men Celebrating Black WomenOne of the frustrating aspect of the Fringe is the way there is a flood of criticism in the first half of the fringe and then almost none in the second half.

For my part, I’ve always been lucky if my show was reviewed by one major news outlet.  With 174 shows, most of the press seems to divide up their choices rather neatly.  Certainly there are some shows that get reviewed by nearly everyone.

By the time the Fringe is half over, the press isn’t doing much reviewing any longer because the show only has one or two performances left. I always wish they would keep writing because if there is even one performance left, they can help the show.

Now writing reviews after the fringe is over is just silly.

But I’m going to do it anyway.

Here are the reviews of the shows I watched on Friday.

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Fringe Festival – Day 8

20150019My viewing patterns change as the Fringe draws on.  Early, I watch shows by friends because I want to make sure I don’t miss them.  I watch shows by popular producers because I don’t want to risk a sell out.

Later, I start watching shows that have been recommended by others or I just give something a try because I have an open spot on my schedule and nothing to see.

There’s a lot of excitement when one walks into a show you know nothing about.  It could be fantastic.  It could be awful.  It will probably be somewhere in between.

Fringe is a voyage of theatrical discovery.  The artists are looking to discover or expand their voice.  The audience is looking to discover new artists.  Over the last few days, I’ve been doing a lot more discovery as an audience member.

Here are the two shows I saw on Thursday.  One was a discovery and the other was by an old favorite.

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