Shit that Pissed me off – 4/17

Atheists put up a Billboard and After Five Days, It Gets Taken Down

Apparently, the owner of the lot where the billboard was posted told the advertising company that they needed to remove the ad or remove the billboard.  I would seem Jesus was threatened by the following sign:

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Holy fuck!  They were telling people who didn’t believe in god that they might not be the only ones!  How offensive!

Let’s turn this around for a moment.  Had a billboard read “Believe in god? You’re not alone,” would anyone have complained that the message was offensive?  Had an atheist owned the land where that billboard was posted, would they have demanded it be removed?

Of course not.  But if you don’t believe in god and you tell people about it, that’s offensive.  You are attacking their faith!

Except you aren’t.  You aren’t saying “aren’t people who believe in god stupid???”

Because you don’t think that.  Unless we are talking about the dude who bitched about this sign.  I think he’s kind of stupid.

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The Sound of Your Voice

This weekend, someone told me that they hated the sound of their voice.  I replied with a much too flippant “everyone hates the sound of their voice.”

Flippant or not, I think my response was kind of true. Our voices sound different to us than they do to everyone else.  When we hear a recording of our voice, we are likely to have an Yzma moment. f30c7262c3ccfa8a271c83eb425477cf Yes, I’m sad to say.  That is your voice.  Nothing you can do about it except get used to it.  Because you want to know who doesn’t think your voice sounds weird? Everyone else.  Many of them have been listening to you for years and do you know why none of them have complained about how horrible you sound when you speak? Read More…

Shit that Pissed me Off – 4/10

Police Officer Shot a Man in the Back and was Caught Lying About it

If you click through to the link, there is video of a man being shot to death.  That’s important to know because you might not want to watch such a thing.

Early reports about this incident indicated that the victim tried to take the officer’s taser and the officer shot him in self-defense.  That was the story the officer repeated over and over again.  And it was a lie.

If I said I didn't like ice cream, it would also be a lie.  A harmless lie.  Unlike this lie.

If I said I didn’t like ice cream, it would also be a lie. A harmless lie. So when the officer lied to save his skin, it’s kind of like that, right?

Even if the victim had tried to take a taser before the video starts, it is obvious he posed no threat to the officer when he was running away and eight bullets were fired at his back.

Without that video, the officer would not be facing murder charges.  Thousands of people would be telling us that we weren’t there so we couldn’t know what really happened.  We should take the word of the police officer because why would he lie?

I don’t know.  Maybe for the same reasons as anyone else?

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I’m Not Funny

doubt.lNote: This is a post about self-doubt and self-exploration.  It is not a post inviting a bunch of people telling me that I’m awesome and it’s all OK and I shouldn’t be so hard on myself and I really REALLY don’t want any *hugs.*  I’m not broken.  I just need to say some things out loud.

I’ve had some nearly crippling doubts the last few months.  I’ve been on stage doing things that have, in the past, been very easy for me and I’ve found myself feeling inadequate.

As recently as this week, I’ve been recording a podcast recording and thinking “I have literally nothing interesting to say.”

I’ve found myself taking part in improv shows feeling as if I was simply not pulling my weight.

I’ve looked at the lyrics for some songs I’ve written lately and been annoyed because I’ve written way better lyrics than that.

And I start wondering, am I getting too old to do this any more?  Was I wrong to think that I should even be doing this sort of thing?  Am I letting the people around me down?  Can they tell that I’ve totally lost it?  Everyone loses it eventually, right?

These thoughts anger me because they are bullshit.

I know that improvisation is not about being the funniest person on stage.  I know that if you don’t have anything to add to a podcast conversation, the best possible choice is to say nothing.  I know that  none of these doubts are about real things.  They are thoughts that get in the way of being successful.

And they are thoughts I know a lot of performers have.  The best performers have them.  The best writers have days where they think they shouldn’t be writing the color text on their own dust jackets.

Every time I write a show, I’m worried that it isn’t funny.  To me, I don’t measure success in ticket sales nearly as much as laughs.  I could sell out every show and if my favorite joke doesn’t get a laugh, I feel defeated.  I know lots of other people feel that way.  At least I hope I’m not the only comedy writer this neurotic.

I remind myself that I’m extremely lucky a lot of talented people want to work with me even when I’m not my best.  I remind myself that best is subjective and I need to cut myself some slack.

But you know, I don’t want to cut myself some slack.  When I walk off stage feeling like I was the worst person up there, I want to demand we go out and do it again so I can do it better.

I’ve had a lot of off days in a row and I just keep asking myself if I’ve lost it or if I never really had it.  As if I know what “it” is.  That kind of thinking is poison.

Knowing it is poison and finding the antidote are different things.  I want to power past it.  I want to get on stage or try to write funny shit as often as humanly possible just to get that doubt demon to go fuck itself.

I haven’t forgotten how to be funny.  I’ve forgotten how to not care when I’m just OK.

The secret to good improv is to just fucking talk.  If you give a shit about saying something funny, you aren’t in the moment.

The secret to writing funny stuff is to just fucking write something down.  Write something down over and over and over again until writing funny stuff is second nature.

And you have to remember that everyone has slumps.  The best don’t give up.

I’m not the best.  But I’m good.  Sometimes I’ve been great.

I know I haven’t lost “it.”  I just have to stop waiting for that one good moment that will make up for all the unsatisfying ones.  I’m confident that moment will come as soon as I stop spending so much time worrying about the fact it hasn’t happened yet.

 

On The Myth of Laziness

tumblr_m1adwcveET1rr5t33o1_500I know people who honestly believe that if you aren’t making enough money, it is because you are lazy.

I usually look at them and ask if they think I’m lazy.  I spend most of my time writing or promoting my writing or trying to find new projects so I can continue to write.  And I don’t make a lot of money. Yet.

Even if I find a way to make this crazy writing career pay off to the extent I can afford to do it, it is not going to make me rich unless I accidentally write exactly the right thing at exactly the right time.  J K Rowling isn’t insanely rich because she is so much more talented than the thousands of other writers producing books right now.

She is insanely rich because she wrote the right thing at the right time and because she got a whole lot of lucky breaks.

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Kickstarting into High Gear

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I’m the head writer on a new web series called “Vermin.”

Well, I’ll be the head writer if we can reach our Kickstarter goal and with 16 days left, we haven’t even reached the 25% mark yet.  I still think we can make it but we are going to need help.  Whose help?

If you are reading this, yours!

I’m going to put this into perspective for you.  Over the last week, a pizza restaurant in Indiana publicly announced they would never cater same-sex weddings.  As a result of their public declaration, they found themselves attacked and threatened by gay rights advocates who were pretty angry.

Threats, by the way, are never OK.  The people who did that should rightfully be called out for their hateful behavior.

Because of the threats, the pizzeria chose to close their doors for a short time and a GoFundMe campaign was initiated to help support their gay unfriendly business.  In short order, they raised over $800,000 from 1700 individual donors.

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Shit That Pissed Me Off – 4/3

High School Orders Special Needs Student He Can’t Wear a Letter Jacket

The Principal of the school said he had considered everything and because the young man was only involved in extracurricular basketball, he would not be permitted to wear the letter jacket.  He decided to stick with official school policy.

Here’s what he said:

Teachers told the parents they would prefer he not wear the letter on his jacket. We have considered it, and our decision was no. We decided that it is not appropriate in our situation because it is not a varsity level competition.

It seems silly to me that anyone would care if a kid with Downs’ Syndrome wore a letter jacket.  If it helps that kid feel like a little less of an outsider, what’s the harm?  So you give those letters out as awards to other students.  So what?

The wrong person puts one of these bad boys on and the entire High School pecking order is blown to hell!

The wrong person puts one of these bad boys on and the entire High School pecking order is blown to hell!

Do you think those kids are incapable of understanding why that child who can’t participate in “official” sports would want, and deserve, a letter as well?

I just think it’s a shame that policy trumped compassion.  Whoever complained about this situation should have their hands smacked with a ruler.

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