Shit that Pissed me off – 10/12/18

Man who Strangled Woman and Then Ejaculated on Her Receives No Jail Time

So what this guy did was technically not sexual assault. He just strangled a woman until she was unconscious and then masturbated on her because that was the only way he could get off.

Now if you look at this scenario, you think “dude is going to do this shit again.”

And I realize the law has limits unless you are a black man convinced of marijuana possession. At which point we should put him into solitary confinement for twenty five years.

It’s what Jed Bartlett would do!

But it really does send a message that we don’t give a shit when the victim is a woman, doesn’t it?

And I know what you’re thinking. “Tim,” you think “isn’t it true that we don’t really give a shit when the victim is a woman.”

Well, random person on the internet, it shouldn’t be true but in a case like this where everyone involved seems more concerned about this fine upstanding family man who couldn’t get hard unless he strangled his victim unconscious than they do about the next woman he strangles.

“Innocent until proven guilty” seems to have given way for “innocent even if proven guilty.

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 10/5/18

Buckle your seat belts, y’all. This week. Holy shit this week.

Also, possible trigger warning because I do talk about sexual assault in very general terms.

Trump Corner

Let’s just start here with our shitbag of a President. What has he done recently?

Well, he mocked a sexual assault victim, he said it is a scary time for young men in America, and he said the King of Saudi Arabia wouldn’t last two weeks without American military support.

That last one might actually be true but what a way to undermine one of America’s strongest allies. And yeah – the rulers of Saudi Arabia are awful and I could get behind any President who had the courage to say so but that’s not what Trump was doing.

I’m really done being polite about this asshole. He is a sexual predator (no those women did not make their stories up). He’s a bully. He’s a racist.

And in spite of all of it, there’s a possibility the Democrats won’t win this fall because…hell I don’t know why.

Ahhh! Brown people!

Because people enjoy supporting a man child who delights in punching down at women, minorities, and the poor (who vote for him anyway)? Because they are such evangelical zombies that they will follow any man who claims to be the same (unless he’s a Democrat)?

I don’t know. Everyone of every political persuasion (with the exception of white supremacists) should hate this man. They should hate everything about him.

And yet they don’t. They go to his rallies. They laugh with him at victims of violent sexual assault. They show up at the polls to vote for whomever he tells them to vote for.

If the rest of us aren’t willing to show up at the polls and fight back this November, I’m out of ideas, folks. Because Trump and the rabble who blindly follow him into the abyss of humanity need to lose. Badly. And often.

There are more of us who are against him, aren’t there? There have to be.

So listen to me: if you think he is a good man, you are wrong. If you think he gives a flying fuck about you and your problems, you are wrong. He is interested in making money for himself. That’s what this Presidency is about. It isn’t about making America Great Again. It is about making Trump richer than he already was.

And he doesn’t give a shit who he hurts a long the way. This week it’s Christine Blasey Ford. Next week it might be you. And there will be stadiums full of people laughing right along with him.

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Shit that Makes Me Happy 9/21/18

I turned 51 this week and while I usually fill my weekly blog with things that (I believe rightly) annoy me, for the last few years, I’ve devoted my Birthday week to things that make me happy. So if you will indulge me, to celebrate 51 years, here are 51 things that don’t piss me off.

#1: I just saw “Hamilton” yesterday. I mean, I knew I was going to love the show and I did but you know the moment that really sealed it for me? “Immigrants – we get the job done.” Fuck yes they do.

 

#2: After reading an article about Chevy Chase (in which he is shown to be kind of a pompous dick), I was reminded of this video and so I watched it. Chase is kind of a jackass. But I still love the video. As a bonus, the next video to load was Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel.

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 9/14/18

Dallas Police Officer Enters the Wrong Apartment and Kills the Black Man Who Lived There

More problematic than the fact she apparently approached the wrong apartment and shot the guy who lived there is the amount of victim blaming that has happened since.

I mean, police officer or not, she is the one who screwed up. Right?

It wasn’t her apartment. The door was ajar so she just walked in unaware she’d entered the wrong apartment. She saw a person and shot him.

Turns out she shot someone in their own home for doing nothing wrong.

I can honestly understand how a woman in this country would freak out if they walked into an apartment they thought was theirs and there was a strange guy in it. I mean, that would scare the shit out of me and I’m not a woman in America.

But.

He wasn’t doing anything wrong. She apparently gave him verbal commands and he didn’t obey them (probably because he was confused since he was in his own house).

So I’ve seen people blame the victim (Botham Jean is his name) for leaving the door ajar. That one started with “I don’t want to victim blame but…”

Then there is the whole “he should have done what she asked” narrative that ignores the fact it was his house. He was probably about as freaked out as she was.

Oh, and now there is a report that he had marijuana in his house! Holy shit! No wonder she accidentally walked into his house and shot him!

This definitely would put an off duty police officer in immediate danger.

The officer is currently charged with manslaughter and I expect the Blue Lives Matter apologists will continue to blame Botham Jean for having the audacity to be a black man in his own home (with WEEEEEED). Even if she is eventually convicted.

Was the officer drunk? We don’t know because the arresting officers didn’t check. Did she issue verbal commands? Witnesses suggest that her story is not 100% accurate. Did she actually wait for him to comply before shooting him? I doubt anyone had a stopwatch.

So another black man is dead. And this time, all he did wrong was go home after work.

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 9/7/18

Nike and Colin Kaepernick

Here’s where we ask ourselves the question “why the fuck does the President of the United States keep inserting himself into this shit?”

I mean, that’s what we would ask if it wasn’t becoming so commonplace. But Trump has already made it clear that he is standing up for the American Flag against Kaepernick, who famously chose to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice. He has chosen Football as a battleground and Kaepernick as the opposing general.

But let’s back up.

This weekend, Nike released the following image:

I’m going to say something that may be polarizing.

Nobody should have a problem with this.

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2018 Fringe Festival Wrap-up

I saw 34 shows at the Fringe Festival this year and appeared in ten. I had a hand in writing three shows.  I watched one show twice because it was that good. I most likely missed at least as many good shows as I ended up watching.

The Festival is a glorious orgy of creativity. To expect any one thing beyond many different interpretations of theater is foolish.

I love that it takes nothing more than $30 and an idea to have a chance to be in the Fringe. Hell, you don’t even need an idea. You just need to apply. When you get in, maybe the idea will come to you.

Or maybe it won’t.

I saw some truly great shows this year. They were great not just by Fringe standards but by theater standards. I produced work that I was immensely proud to have created.

The experience is energizing and life changing. Every year.

Here, then, are my top ten shows at the 2018 Minnesota Fringe. As I’ve no desire to rank them, I shall list them in alphabetical order. Narrowing the list down to ten was a painful task but I’ve opted to go with ten rather than five because five was agonizing.

I should also note that these shows were, for whatever reason, my favorite. I saw many good shows that didn’t make this particular list. Some of them might have been objectively better, but these are the ones that will stay with me the most.

Blood Nocturne

Have I written about this production enough? Apparently not.

The only show at the Fringe I watched twice, “Blood Nocturne” was, to me, a masterful piece considering the difference between how history oft times redefines reality and how women with power are frequently vilified for no other reason than because they are women.

Starting with what we believe we know about the Countess Erzsebet Bathory, the play used music, folk tales, dance, and even (sometimes) humor to show how much much we don’t know.

Meticulously staged, sharply written, and brilliantly acted, this play was never boring and frequently compelling. It grabbed me from the moment the lights dimmed until at least ten minutes after I’d left the theater. There was not a single moment in the show that felt out of place.

This show will be one of the last things I forget when I have Alzheimer’s.

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2018 Fringe Reviews – Days 10 & 11

Fringe is over for another year and while I shall miss it terribly, eleven days is a good length.

Saturday was only the second day of the Festival where I didn’t have a performance and Sunday all three of my shows closed, one right after the other. So on the final weekend, I didn’t see as many performances as I would have liked.

Much as I wasn’t thrilled about Fringe Central this year, I actually spent Saturday night there and instantly regretted having waited so long. I mean, I’m still not nuts about the Red Stag. But I got to talk to artists whose work I enjoyed and finally introduced myself to the new Executive Director.

It was all very lovely and while I didn’t much care for the Red Stag, I remembered why I really like Fringe Central.

So even though Fringe is over, here is my final batch of shows I saw/appeared in on Saturday and Sunday. Tomorrow, I’ll try to do a round up post.

Not Fair, My Lady!

Watching this show will either convince you that something needs to be done about the treatment of women in musical theater or – gosh – you are a horrible human being, I guess.

Looking through the lens of roles for women in a lot of classic musicals of the mid 20th century that are still, for some idiotic reason, being produced, they point out the puzzle of being an actress looking for roles in musicals. I mean, you can love the music of “Carousel” but have you really ever thought about the play?

And what about that last scene in “Grease?” The one where Sandy changes everything about herself to get her man?

Maybe you knew all of this already. But the show doesn’t just point out the horrible misogyny in musicals you thought you loved. It points out how that misogyny manifests itself in the choices of the musicals that are produced, the types of actresses producers are willing to cast and the way women are treated at auditions.

We theater people think of ourselves as woke and yeah – I guess we are more liberal than your average non theater person. But most of us are still white and most of us are still gatekeepers when it comes to giving roles to people of color, women who are outside a very narrow age and body type standard, and recognizing that “Carousel” may be a classic but holy fuck is it awful.

The show was filled with great performances, emotional stories, and fantastic singing (of a lot of disturbing lyrics). The message was on point.

I was listening. I hope a lot of other people (in the position to do something about the problem) were as well. Read More…