Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A moral, ethical and religious dilemma

I still have the truck I bought a few years ago and it still has this on it:
As was the case then, it's not intended to be any kind of great theological statement on my behalf; I just like dinosaurs and think it's funny. I can see why somebody might take offense and all I can say is that's not the intent. Sorry, but your right to be bothered by it doesn't negate my right to think it's funny. Kind of a First Amendment deal, I guess.
My advice would be don't take it that seriously because I don't.

Flash forward to last Thursday and found this note on my window:
I guess she doesn't know I'm an ordained minister
It says...
"Hello : )
I saw your dino & fish on your truck
God is real
God is good
God loves you & I'm praying for you"
And there was a $10 bill attached! In case this has never happened to you, $10 goes a long way toward alleviating any hard feelings about a stranger violating your personal space to impose their personal religious views. $10 is real money! That's a meal (at a restaurant with a value menu) or a tank of gas (if your tank is smaller than what's typically the standard found on most four-wheeled vehicles)! Am I saying my spirituality has a price? No. But if it does, the bidding starts at $10.

So here's my dilemma: Am I obligated to remove the dinosaur, because she felt so strongly about it and I kept the $10? I seriously considered donating it to a good cause. But ultimately, I didn't do it.
-or-
Do I leave it and start parking near churches to see if I can cash in off of similarly-offended individuals? I'll seriously consider donating the proceeds, but ultimately, I won't do it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

My new "Friend"

Are you on Facebook? I am! Of course you are and so am I. Everybody is on Facebook!
Do you wanna be "Friends"? Let's be "Friends"!
This person wants to be my "Friend":
She seems nice, doesn't she? My first observation is that her name is odd. Like she's listing herself in the phone book. Do you remember phone books? They still make them, every year! The latest edition was thrown into my yard. They couldn't even be bothered to drop it on my porch. Just threw it into the yard. Even the people who distribute the phone book don't give a shit about the phone book.
Back to this "Friend" request. I'm going to assume that she likes basketball. Basketball isn't my favorite sport, but I like it. Basketball is nice. I shared this with a friend that I actually know in real life and he said this means she likes black guys. I told him that was an unfair assumption based entirely on stereotypes and speculation. He's probably right, though.

She may not be a real person, though. I mean, those pictures are of a real person but this Facebook profile could be fabricated by someone with intent to commit fraud or some other nefarious act. We need to do some investigation here.

Let's look at her photos (there are only two of them):
Wow. Okay.

How about some of her other "Friends". We don't have any on common, which could be a huge red flag:
Hmm.
Speaking of stereotypes and speculation, while these might all be fine upstanding gentlemen, it's very easy for me to visualize every one of them sitting in their car in a Hooters parking lot after closing time.

All right, let's take a look at her latest status update, for the sake of not only seeing what's going on in her life but also her communication skills (vocabulary, grasp of language etc.):
Okay, obviously this is totally legit! Nice to meet you, Porter. My new "Friend"!

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Read all about it

Everybody has a self-indulgent lotto-winning fantasy, something totally stupid they would blow money on if they could suddenly afford to do so. Mine would be to publish a magazine. Getting into the print publishing business at all at this point in the 21st century is a foolish idea alone, but I would be producing a magazine absolutely guaranteed to fail.
It would be a weekly titled "None of Your Goddamn Business" and it would have exactly the same story subjects and headlines as "People", but every article would say exactly the same thing. Can you guess what that would be?
  • Scary Mommy Blogger; "My Husband Is Gay" - That is none of your goddamn business.
  • Brad's Life Now: How He and Angelina Finally Made Peace - Make peace with the fact that it's none of your goddamn business.
  • Will and Kate's Weekend in Paris - Oo la la, that is none of your, 'ow you say, goddamn business.
  • Exclusive: Savannah Guthrie's Baby Boy 'I Feel So Lucky' - I feel so none of your goddamn business.
  • And the big cover story: What Happened To Richard Simmons? - What happened to him is none of your goddamn business.
This would be on behalf of those of us who think people should have better things to do than worry about celebrities to the point of violating their privacy. And not from a telling-people-what-to-do-when-it-comes-to-harmlessly-spending-their-leisure-time standpoint, but from a leave-people-alone-because-gawking-at-them-like-zoo-animals-isn't-harmless vantage.
 
I might launch a somewhat more edgy sister publication that would be very similar titled "Who Gives A Shit?" magazine. You can probably guess what the format for that would look like.

I know these magazines would fail because the people at whom the messages would be aimed would never, ever buy a single copy. And there's obviously no reason for anybody else to ever pick one up. So, no sales means no advertising sales, so it's an enterprise doomed from the start. But what the heck, it would employ people for a little while so maybe not a totally self-indulgent waste of time and money.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Memes suck

Memes suck for lots of reasons. The main being that most of them just aren't that clever or funny.

That's literally a list of things I need to pick up at the store on a picture of Willy Wonka, but there are people who will laugh at that just as a conditioned response. Because for some reason, some people have come to believe that words + a picture of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka = Hilarious. I don't see it, but whatever. Humor is subjective and to each their own.

Worse are the ones that are conceptually and/or factually inaccurate. Like this one:
I get it. Of course I get it. It's an allegory, in which dogs represent men and how absurd it is that they're in positions of power when it comes to making decisions and setting policies for cats (women) and their healthcare. Where it falls down is that these are dogs. Dogs are compassionate, loyal and selfless. They are certainly not analogous to the male bureaucrats this meme is attempting to skewer. I'm not a woman and therefor unqualified to speak on their behalf, but I actually can't think of anybody who wouldn't benefit from these dogs looking after their healthcare. Look at them! So attentive. So eager to please. They want nothing more than the opportunity to make you happy. What other "public servants" can you say that about? Rex and Jingles even brought note pads! These are good boys!
See? This meme sucks.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Do what Renee say!

Hi there. My friend Renee Warmack recently wrote these very nice words about me on Facebook...

"I firmly believe in encouraging others and asking for support when I need it.Thus, here's a shoutout to my dear friend and gifted writer/comedian Clark Brooks:He is OFTEN hosting at Sidesplitters and doing his thing all over Tampa Bay (see his gigs here):http://www.clarkbrooks.com/events.htmlWords can't express how proud I am of him and how much I appreciate his love and support.As artists, we have to grind out each day at a time and stay true to our craft, amid obstacles.Clark embodies this and inspires me all the time through his example.Go see him tell jokes! He will make you forget about the baby giraffe and help you enjoy life!"
While I don't want you to forget about the baby giraffe (NEVER forget about the baby giraffe!!), I do want you to follow her advice (she generally has very good judgment on things) and come see me tell jokes, when you get a chance.

What do you know, here's your chance! I'm hosting for a couple of different headlining comedians at Side Splitters Comedy Club in Tampa again this weekend! Here's the schedule:


  • Thursday, March 30, 8:30 PM - Vic DiBitetto
  • Friday, March 31, 8 PM - Vic DiBitetto
  • Friday, March 31, 10:30 PM - Ken Miller
  • * Saturday, April 1, (4:30 PM) 6 PM - Ken Miller, special benefit performance (see below)
  • Saturday, April 1, 8 PM - Vic DiBitetto
  • Saturday, April 1, 10:30 PM - Vic DiBitetto
  • Sunday, April 2, 7 PM - Ken Miller
ABOUT THE HEADLINERS

"An incredibly powerful performer, comedian Vic DiBitetto churns energy, honesty and humanity into nonstop laughter. His pace is frenetic. His material vivid and true. He’s been called a cross between Rodney Dangerfield and Ralph Kramden. The bottom line is, DiBitetto leaves his audiences breathless with laughter.
Referred to by most other comics as a “killer”, it means you just can’t follow Vic onstage. And that has been uttered by many very famous stand-ups over the years... Vic has appeared on television's America's Funniest People (ABC) where he was a $10,000 Grand Prize winner as well as Stand-Up Spotlight (VH1) and Last Laugh at Pips and acted in a pilot with Woody Allen and Danny Aiello. In addition, he has warmed-up hundreds of audiences for hit shows such as Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and The Ricki Lake Show.
Vic has performed at many of the nation's best comedy venues such as New York City's Dangerfield's, Los Angeles' Laugh Factory, Las Vegas' Riviera Hotel, Resorts World Casino and Atlantic City's Borgata Hotel. His schedule is relentless and he is booked thru 2015 at every comedy venue imaginable in the New York Tri-State area. A Pay Per View special and major US Tour are in current discussions." - https://vicdibitetto.net/home


"Ken Miller is just PLAIN OL'FUNNY. In just a few short years he has stormed thru the ranks of comedy. From mcing, featuring to headlining. He has become one of the funniest comics in the state of Florida. He was the 2009 Comedy Central South Beach Comedy Festival winner beating out 88 other comics. After finishing 2nd two years in a row, he finally won the 2013 Florida’s Funniest Comedy Competition beating out over 200 comics. He was chosen to compete/perform in the 2011 Laughing Skull Comedy Festival/Competition in Atlanta, GA, World Series of Comedy in Las Vegas in 2012 and The Great American comedy festival in 2013. Ken was recently seen on NICKMOMs, MOMS NIGHT OUT on NICKJR." - http://www.kenmillerthecomic.com





* The 6 PM show on Saturday is a fundraising benefit for the Wiregrass Ranch High School baseball team (I think I might be the official comedian of Wiregrass Ranch High School), with a portion of all tickets sold going to that program. There will be activities in the lounge beginning at 4:30 with the show starting at 6.

Tickets for all of these shows are on sale now and everything happens at
Side Splitters Comedy Club
12938 North Dale Mabry in Tampa
(813) 960-1197

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Ah, the rewards of a life in professional stand-up comedy!


People often (and by "often", I mean "have never once felt the desire to ever") ask me, "Clark, what's the very best. most wonderful thing about being a professional entertainer person doing stand-up comedy?"

"Is it your name in lights?"
Or chalk, in very small print, near the bottom of the board, as the case may be

"Is it performing in front of huge crowds?"


"Is it having an appreciative audience listen attentively to your every word?"


"Is it having the respect and admiration of your peers?"
NOTE: That's Josh Santos on the left. That is NOT me on the right, believe it or not.


"Is it the glamorous travel?"


"Is it being constantly surrounded by pretty girls?"
Actually, that happens VERY rarely, but when it does, yeah, that's pretty great.
Okay, it happened once.
But it was pretty great.


Believe it or not, it's actually none of those things. It's this:
This is a thank you letter I received for being part of a line-up performing at a fundraiser for a high school's music program a couple of weeks ago. No money, but a I got to perform for a bunch of nice people who showed up to enjoy themselves and then I got this letter on the way out. Perfect!
It probably sounds corny, but it's 100% true: human beings conveying positive feedback (preferably in the form of laughter, but letters are nice too) is the best thing about doing comedy. 


Just kidding. It's the pretty girls.
That really was pretty great.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The End is near

I've mentioned here previously how much I love Ellen Mueller (due in large part to the fact that she's a mad genius) and her art and how much I enjoy participating in her projects.

"Ellen Mueller has exhibited nationally and internationally as an interdisciplinary artist exploring issues related to the environment, hyperactive news media and corporate management systems. She creates experiences that engage with social and political issues through a variety of media." - http://ellenmueller.com/
Now, here's an opportunity for you to be involved in her latest project:

"The End"
Four artist researchers are gathering individual views on the end of the world, both on a global and a personal scale. This information will be compiled into a pocket guide, available as a limited edition artist's book produced by Small Craft Advisory Press.

All you have to do is click this link: http://scap.art.fsu.edu/the-end/ and answer the four questions.

Welcome to being art!