Shit that Pissed me off – 7/21/17
Meme that Pissed me Off
I love/hate anti Feminist memes because they are all insufferably stupid. Take this one:
OH SNAP! Clearly the 50’s woman was perfect and the modern woman is completely fucked up! Because that is literally what every modern woman looks like!
Not that it would matter if that was what every modern woman looked like because fuck you and your standard of beauty, oh haters of feminism. Not that the modern woman in this meme has anything to do with feminism.
I mean, I’m pretty sure there are women with shit tons of body piercings who would claim they are not feminists. Also pretty sure there are women who look a lot more like our 1950’s “ideal” who are loud and proud about feminism.
And how do you know the young woman on the right didn’t alter her appearance to please the men in her life just like the woman on the left? Both of them could be sacrificing their own identity. Or, maybe, neither of them are. You don’t know. You just grabbed a couple of pictures off the internet to basically say “damn, I wish women would just shut the fuck up and meet my standards of beauty and decorum because clearly we would all be a lot happier.”
Except maybe women but why the fuck should we care about that?
Shit that Pissed me off – 6/24
Britain Votes to Exit the European Union
The people have spoken. Democracy is a strange and wonderful thing. I guess.
Except I don’t think a lot of the people speaking really knew what they were saying. The majority of the concerns with membership in the European Union have to do with immigration and it’s pretty clear many English have developed some level of xenophobia.
Although the Brexit vote doesn’t necessarily mean that England is going to close its borders, it would seem that a whole lot of people were convinced that was exactly what it meant. They were convinced, of course, because that is basically what the pro Brexit camp was telling them.
Also, this week’s vote could result in Scotland finally severing ties with the UK. I imagine most English don’t care about that either because they have a hard time understanding what the Scots are saying.
I mean, I do too. But they sound damned sexy saying it. Maybe the Brits are just jealous.
The result of this vote calls to mind the England of Children of Men. And that isn’t a good thing.
Shit that Pissed Me Off – 3/28
Mitt Romney Could Have Prevented Russia’s Annexation of Crimea
Turns out Mitt can see the future! He can see it so well, he could have stopped Putin if he’d only been elected President.
I’m sure he was on the phone to Obama several times a week because fixing the problem would have been a lot more important that scoring political points, right?
Look, I know that the Republicans are contractually obligated to say that Obama does a bad job at everything. However, are they so stupid as to think they could have fixed the Ukraine situation?
No, of course they aren’t. They know full well that in the same circumstances, they couldn’t have done anything either. Thing is, they are assuming all the people listening to them are too stupid to figure that out.
And what really pisses me off is they are probably right.
Shit that Pissed me Off – 3/14
Get Raped at Pensacola Christian College and…Get Expelled!
Welcome to a right-wing Christian college! We want to make sure that you follow the straight and moral path so if your boyfriend abducts you and rapes you in a construction site, we’ll ensure you know it is because you are a spoiled vessel who doesn’t deserve to be around decent people! Especially decent men like your rapist boyfriend!
A regular by-product of fundamentalist religion (any fundamentalist religion) seems to be the shaming of women. It isn’t enough that you are subservient to men. You should, in fact, be ashamed of your gender. If you are raped, it is your own fault for existing.
As is frequently observed, this attitude is no more helpful for men than it is for women because it teaches men that they have no responsibility for their own behavior. Basically, if you are a guy who sexually assaults a woman, it isn’t your fault. You can’t control yourself. She is supposed to do that for you. If she fails to control your sexual urges, she should be punished.
Tell me again how religious liberty is under attack in this country.
Fringe Festival – Days 3, 4 & 5
I only saw a few shows over the last three days so I waited to combine them into one longer post.
Shelly Bachberg Presents: How Helen Keller and Anne Frank Freed the Slaves: The Musical
This is one of the most polished and professional shows you will see at the Fringe. The performers are uniformly great. The singing is sharp and precise. The show satirizes Michele Bachmann with wit and skill.
So why wasn’t I completely satisfied? I mean, it doesn’t matter really. Everyone else in the audience loved the show. It has already sold out one show and will probably sell out two more. My lingering sense of dissatisfaction is not going to hurt them any.
The reasons the show didn’t rate quite so highly for me were pretty nitpicky. I felt the music was too repetitive. In a fifty minute show, I don’t think you need quite so many reprisals. I thought the final medley went on too long. I thought the satire of Bachmann didn’t go far enough. It was like they only scratched the surface of her craziness.
As I said, this is a highly successful show. My lingering desire to have it be better than it already is will not cost them one ticket.
I’ve seen a lot of good shows at the Fringe Festival but right now, this show is my favorite.
Powered by Joshua Bjoerte’s terrific performance in the central role of Nathan, this comedy about finding love when you have crippling social anxiety is sweet, awkward and very funny. It finds humor in Nathan’s plight without turning him into a punchline. That is a tricky balancing act.
I would expect this show is going to start selling out. I hope it does. Everyone I talked to who has seen the show has been impressed. They should be.
Fringe can often be about finding unexpected gems like these. I expect Four Humors to put on a great show and they don’t disappoint. When you walk into a theatre thinking “well, I’m going to give this one a try” and you walk out ready to sing the praises of the show to everyone you meet, that is a great feeling.
I chose this show because if it’s proximity to where I needed to be at 10:00. I knew nearly nothing about what I was going to see. That can be risky. In this case, it didn’t pay off.
The show was written by a sixteen year old which does not have to be an indication of poor quality. In fact, Abilene Olson shows a lot of promise. But she’s not there yet.
The dialogue in this show was awkward and unnatural. At one point, a character launches into a monologue that lacks any connection to what people would actually say out loud.
Awkward dialogue choices aside, what really sank this show was the conceit of the character being attached by a rope. Instead of being interesting, this conceit was distracting. I spent more time paying attention to the rope than I did to the characters. It was an obvious and clunky metaphor to begin with but at times it became the sole focus of the show, requiring long scene breaks while characters attached themselves to the rope. It just didn’t work.
My final point is nitpicky but it is important: If you are going to play a guitar on stage, make sure you tune it.
A few other notes from the last few days of Fringing:
OK, I admit it: Matthew Everett actually exists
I’ve been involved in the Fringe since 2007. That year, Vilfication Tennis did a fringe preview that offended Matthew Everett so much that he wrote an entire blog entry about it. It surprised me because while we do an offensive show, we didn’t think that particular joke was so awful. But it was awful to Matthew – which is a completely valid response.
So that was a thing. It wasn’t a big thing and frankly, his anger at our bad joke helped boost our attendance so I have no reason to complain it took place. I kept meaning to meet up with Matthew at Fringe central just to say “hi – I’m sorry that we made a joke that you found hurtful.” I never did.
In the years since, I’ve never managed to talk to him. I’ve been told we were in the same room at the same time but since I don’t know him, I had no way of making a connection with him.
Heck, he’s seen (and liked) some of my shows.
For me, it had turned into a joke. I continued to say that I was unconvinced that he actually existed.
Well, I met Matthew on Monday. He’s a very nice guy. As a writer, he grapples with the same questions as me. As a Fringe enthusiast, he shares the unexpected finds with everyone he talks to.
The Fringe brings a hugely disparate artistic community together for a brief time and that is one of the things I find so cool about it. You are always meeting people who share your enthusiasms. They are your competitors and your collaborators and your friends. It is all just so amazing.
Fringe reviews can be helpful and not
I love getting audience reviews when they are helpful. Take, for instance, the reviews of Schrodinger’s Apocalypse that took us to task for having failed to create a convincing prop for “Action Comics #1.” Absolutely right. As the writer, I was frustrated by that myself. It was fixed by the second show in no small part because an audience member complained.
For A Brief History of Irish Music, we’ve been very conscious of complaints regarding the acoustics on the New Century Theatre. We have done everything we can to mute instruments so people can hear the lyrics to our songs. It isn’t enough but at least we are doing what we can.
Reviews of our August 7th show are pretty critical and that’s OK because we weren’t all that good. Our music was off and we blew a boatload of lines. The audience noticed. Not much you can do about that.
One complaint that always bothers me is the “too much swearing” complaint. What does that mean? When I have people swear, it is because I think they are people who swear. I don’t have people swear for shock value. I have people swear because people swear.
What you are really saying is that you don’t like swearing. Which is fine. I’m not sure it is fair to dock a show for your own biases.
People dock shows for their biases all the time. As an artist, you need to accept that.
But that is what audience reviews are all about. People get to tell you what they thought and you have to deal with it. I may not like getting told that I wrote a show with too much swearing but I have put my work out there and told people to tell me what they think. They get to tell me what they think whether or not I find their comments helpful.
It is remakably Democratic and while it can be frustrating, it is part of the Fringe experience that is irreplaceable.
Shit that Pissed me Off this Week – 5/31
Arizona State Representative was so Upset an Atheist Rep. Didn’t pray, he Prayed Twice
I missed this one last week, sorry.
So here’s what happened. Arizona State Representative (and secular humanist) Juan Mendez gave an invocation that did not include God. They take turns giving the invocation, it was his turn and he gave an invocation based on his beliefs. Which is totally his fucking right.
Representative Steve Smith was so upset about it, he offered up a special prayer the next day for “repentance of the previous day.” In addition to a prayer he’d already given. Because he had to make up for Mendez, I guess.
Now let’s step back for a moment and ask what the appropriate response would be had Mendez given a Hindu prayer. Or a Jewish one. Or an Islamic one. Would that have been OK because he’d mentioned a god or gods (even if they weren’t the right one)?
Assuming Smith’s response had been the same (two prayers to make up for the lack of a Christian one), would he have taken flak for choosing to disrespect any belief system other than humanism?
I’ll bet people would have been pissed as hell. Not just Muslims or Jews or whatever other religion he’d chosen to disrespect but Christians as well.
As it is, Smith will be applauded by the religious right for standing up to the godless left even though the godless left has had to tolerate Christian prayer in the Arizona state house for every day except one.
Shit that Pissed me off this Week – 1/11
Christian Football Fans Decide a Super Bowl ad Featuring a Gay Actor is Offensive
The ad in question features Neil Patrick Harris, who is openly gay, sporting the date of the Super Bowl in eye black. Like this:
That’s pretty awful, right? Christians should be pissed off because….um….Tim Tebow used to have bible verses in his eye black and since Neil Patrick Harris is gay it is the liberal media just waving their anti-Christian bigotry in the faces of every Christian in the nation…?
No. That’d be stupid, wouldn’t it?
Well yes, it would be stupid. That’s exactly the problem they have with it, though. Harris is throwing his gay agenda all over the Super Bowl! In the most Christian of all sports – football!
Never mind that Jesus Christ would go down with multiple broken bones in the first play from scrimmage. That scrawny little guy wouldn’t last a second. Besides, if you turn the other cheek, the opposing team is just going to strike that one too.
Hey Christians: I don’t know why I have to keep reminding you of this but you are the majority! By a lot! Even if this is, somehow, an anti-Christian thing (which it isn’t), you can take it. There’s still a prayer circle after every football game and every gay football player is still safely in the closet.
Shit that Pissed me off This Week – 12/14
This week will probably be pretty light as I was out of town for much of it and, as a result, not really following the news. A few things, as always, did manage to catch my eye.
Texas Man Carves a Pentagram into his 6 Year Old Son Because he’s a Fucking Loon
You just know that a lot of people are freaking about this guy because they think he did this because he’s a satanist or pagan or something. I’m unfamiliar with the religion that celebrates the holy day of 12-12-12 but I’m pretty sure that no matter what religion the guy follows, cutting up a 6 year old is not in the holy book.
The guy did it because he’s got a screw loose. Actually, he has a whole erector set full of loose screws. He’s the kind of crazy person who exists so other crazy people can think they are normal.
Normal people don’t carve pentagrams into their children’s backs. Normal people make their kids dinner and give them a hug and kiss before bed. I wish this guy had chosen to carve something less iconic (like a zebra) into his kid’s back. Then the comversation would be on how crazy he is – which is where we should be focused.
Shit that Pissed me off This Week – 11/9
Pakistani Couple Killed Their Daughter Because She Looked at a Boy
A 15-year-old girl looked at a boy on a motorcycle twice. Her parents feared she was going to turn out like her older sister who had already “disgraced” the family. She promised she wouldn’t do it again but it was too late because her mother had already thrown acid on her.
The good news is that her parents figure it was her destiny to die like that. It wasn’t really their fault, you see. They were just tools of destiny.
It was also apparently her destiny to die because her parents waited almost 12 hours to take her to the hospital after they threw acid on her face. They would have taken her right away, you see, but it was her destiny to wait.
Let’s be clear: religious fanaticism didn’t kill that girl.
But it sure didn’t help keep her alive, either.