Sunday, October 22, 2017

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Odd Man IN

This is a baseball analogy that (hopefully) explains why you can't respond to the #MeToo movement with "NOT ALL MEN", because sometimes we (men) learn things from baseball.

First of all, let's assume you really are a good guy. You don't abuse or even harass women. You never have and you never will. Good for you. That's a pretty easy-to-meet minimum standard, but it counts. You ARE a good guy and the horrific experiences that inspired the #MeToo movement don't apply to you as an individual. Awesome.

But you're not exempt from taking a share of the heat currently coming down, because you are part of a team. And your team kinda sucks right now, at least in this area.

Let's say you're a Major League Baseball player and you're very good. You hit .346 with 21 home runs and 81 runs batted in, plus you're an exceptional fielder and you routinely deliver in clutch situations. This means you're very good because this means you're Jose Altuve.
And he's very good.
The problem is you play for a bad team. It's a team that has had significant success in the past and is not without charm and other positive attributes but has also struggled quite a bit over the years and is not doing well right now. Basically, you play for the New York Mets. Your team is lousy because they're stocked with lousy players. Not all of them of course. there's you and a few other guys who are pretty good. But enough lousy ones to safely say the team itself is lousy. And the results in the standings bear that out.
In this scenario, your team has just been swept at home in a three-game series. Last place, 15 games out first. Lousy pitching, dumb fielding errors, non-existent offense. Could have won all three, didn't come close to winning one.
Not you, though. You were a stud! You went 5-for-12 (.416) with two homers. It's no wonder you're the one kids look up to. Kids should look up to you. But the team you're on still stinks. The media points that out every day and most of the fans agree. Is it appropriate for you to call a press conference to point out what a great season you're having and how it's not your fault the team stinks? Of course not. You wouldn't do that because only an asshole would do that.

For one thing, it's just not a good look. Nobody likes the guy on a team who draws individual attention to himself, even if it's merited. You can be Jose Altuve on the New York Mets, but it's not okay for you to point out that you're Jose Altuve and they're the New York Mets.

For another, that doesn't help your team get better and that's what needs your attention right now. You need to get the rest of these clowns on your level. That may be difficult, it might not even be possible. But it's what you need to do, even if people continue to say mean things as you try to do so. Like it or not, you're a member of this team. Their sucking may be sucking you down with them but you're part of it. Pointing out that the criticism directed at your team doesn't apply to you helps nobody.

By all means, keep being Jose Altuve, but try to get your teammates to stop being so New York Mets-ish.

I hope this helps. Have fun out there. Good hustle.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Some things to consider when protesting protesters

This is not yet another hot take on athletes and the national anthem.
There are no takes to be taken on that topic, hot or otherwise. You're either okay with it or you're not. Your rant is going to be received enthusiastically by people who agree with you and rejected outright by people who don't. This renders the necessity of all of these rants invalid.
Of course, all of the rants are going to keep coming; I'm just pointing out that this is not one of them.

Your views are yours and you're entitled to them. It's not even appropriate for me to challenge why you feel the way you do. I'm just happy that we (currently) live in a nation that allows you to have and express your opinions.

But (oh boy, here we go), I would like you to take one thing into consideration:
If part of your argument refers to professional athletes as "spoiled millionaire crybabies" or some similar dismissive description, you're demonstrating that you lack a level of empathy that discredits the validity of your argument to a degree.

  • For starters, not all professional athletes are millionaires, so your description is factually inaccurate. If your point is that they're overpaid, especially in relation to what people like firefighters, school teachers and others who provide life-changing/saving services make, that should be an entirely separate argument, one that can be effectively countered with the fact that they make what their industry determines they can make. And in that case, if you're a fan who buys tickets and merchandise, or you watch on TV and patronize sponsors, you're part of your own "problem".
  • More importantly, they're people, and they're entitled to how they feel about things the same way you are. Being paid money (whether or not you think it's too much) to play a game doesn't invalidate their access to the same rights you have because you don't get paid to play games. If your point is they shouldn't be protesting at work, on company time, that's also separate from the point I'm trying to make about marginalizing them for how they make a living.
  • Technically, they're not paid to play games; they're paid to entertain people. If people aren't interested in watching athletes play games, nobody would pay them to do it. But that's splitting hairs.
  • Is it possible you're just jealous of professional athletes, and if so, isn't that a whole different thing that should be addressed outside of this? Maybe?
When you're angry at "spoiled millionaire crybabies" who play games for a living, you're dismissing them outright as something less than people. And if you're unwilling to demonstrate enough empathy to do that, then you're certainly unwilling to consider what factors might inform another's views. And THAT says you haven't really considered all the sides to the whole issue itself and aren't even willing to do so. And THAT speaks to YOUR credibility and the validity of your argument.
  • "THEY SHOULD BE OUT DOING THINGS IN THE COMMUNITY!" Do you know that they aren't?
  • "THEY'RE ONLY DOING IT BECAUSE THEY SAW SOMEONE ELSE DO IT!" Isn't that how most things start, from political movements to dance crazes?
  • "THEY'RE JUST DOING IT FOR THE ATTENTION!" A lot of that attention manifests itself in death threats directed toward them and their families. None of it manifests itself in endorsement opportunities. Do you really believe that anybody wants that kind of attention?
  • "THEY SHOULD BE GRATEFUL FOR WHAT THEY HAVE!" Do you know that they aren't?
Again, I have no interest in trying to change anyone's mind. I don't believe that's even possible. I already know how I feel about it and I'm pretty sure nobody's going to change my mind, either. I also don't believe these arguments are going to stop. What I want is for there to be enough understanding between individuals who see each other as people so there can be good, reasonable, thought out arguments.  

Remember, you can empathize with someone without agreeing with something you find objectionable.
The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Drag yourself to this show!

Sunday night, I'll be competing in the Wigs and Wit Showdown at Punky's in St. Petersburg
"Join us every second Sunday of the month for this unique style competition. 3 comics. 3 drag queens. Comedy, lip syncing, hilarity.
Get dinner, stick around and watch the best new gig in town.
3 comics will do 10 min sets, and the 3 drag queens will judge each set 1-10. Each drag queen will perform and the comics will judge their performance 1-10.
The top comic vs top drag queen square off as the comic lip sings and the queen does a 5 min set! Winner takes home $100"

The concept was dreamed up by my buddy Jeff Klein and I think it's a genius idea. I've been dying to be part of it since he came up with it and I finally get my chance this Sunday. Win or lose, I just can't see how this won't be a totally fun night. Plus, I've never been to Punky's but I hear the food is good.

The other comics will be Travis Pickett and Kevin Taylor and the queens will be Stephanie Stuart, Alexis DeHaven and Omahyra Murad.

Come on out, if you can. This is as close as you can get to a guaranteed good time.
Sunday, October 8 - 7PM
3063 Central Ave. St. Petersburg

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

My gift to women

I'm old, so I'm old fashioned.
As such, I consider myself a gentleman and believe a gentleman should give gifts to ladies.
My most recent example of this was the other day in a parking garage. A woman and I were both on the fourth floor, waiting for the elevator. When it got there, I pretended I suddenly needed to be on my phone and let her take it by herself.
Why? Because I know for many women, being in an elevator with somebody like me, even for a few seconds (the time it takes to go down four floors) is a waking nightmare. That's justified in that bad things happen often enough in scenarios like that where you have to question why a woman wouldn't dread it. I can say I'm a good guy who would never hurt a woman, but do you know who also says that? Bad guys who hurt women. Maybe this particular woman didn't have any anxiety about being confined in a tight space with a big, ugly creep for a few seconds, but the safe bet is that she would feel better otherwise.
You're welcome, ladies.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Two for the show

Generally, I'm okay with being alone and doing things by myself. Often, I prefer it. It's easier to relax and enjoy myself when I don't have to worry about burdening someone else with my presence and the annoying behavior that comes with that.
Other times, I feel like I need companionship.

My original comedy mentor Tony Gaud has made a feature film, a horror/comedy titled "Billy's Got A Bad Brain" and it premieres on October 15 at the Tampa Improv in Ybor City. I'm in it and I have a significant role. I'm only bragging a little bit; I'm mostly mentioning it for context. There's going to be a red carpet at the premiere and being as I'm prominent in the film, I don't want to show up and possibly have my picture taken unaccompanied. Maybe that's an outdated way of thinking about things, that someone attending an event is going to be thought of as less than if they arrive sans accompaniment, especially a guy. But I know I would feel more comfortable if I had someone there with me. Due to circumstances beyond my control, the person with whom I would have liked to attend is unavailable, which presents a problem. And what's the best way to solve any problem associated with loneliness? Why, with ads on Craigslist of course!

This one went up last Wednesday:
Brilliant, hilarious actor seeks temporary arm candy - m4w (Ybor) Hi! I'm in a movie that premieres on October 15 at the Improv in Tampa and I need a glamorous babe to attend with me so I can be photographed arriving on the red carpet with a glamorous babe.
YOU: Glamorous, fun, pretty good actor (you have to convince people that you like me)
ME: Not so glamorous, lots of fun, hilarious, charming, great actor (you'll see, when you watch my performance in the movie)
Do you like playing dress-up? Do you like attending movie premieres? Do you like watching locally produced independent films FOR FREE? This could be the greatest night of your life! Or at least a pretty good one. Probably not terrible. Maybe.

I got exactly one response and this is basically what happened next:
HER: Hello! I believe I am a good fit for your "acting scenario girlfriend" for the movie premiere... I am a very sweet, funny, well spoken person, intelligent...I am 5'2" and 118lbs...Pretty...but that would be your decision... if you would like to contact me, we can go from there...
ME: Thanks for replying! I will give you a call later this afternoon.
HER: What's the compensation for this?
ME: Oh, there's no compensation. But you get to see the movie for free!
HER: I just remembered I have my kids that weekend. Sorry.

So this slightly less ambiguous one followed last Friday:
Pseudo-movie star still seeking classy (temporary) companion - m4w (Ybor City) Hi. I'm in the movie "Billy's Got A Bad Brain", a locally produced horror/comedy which will premiere at the Tampa Improv on October 15th. I'm looking for a glamorous dame to accompany me so I don't have to have my picture taken all by myself on the red carpet, like some clod who refers to a lady as a "dame".
YOU: Fun, classy, able to pretend that you like me for a couple of hours.
ME: Fun, low key, pretty funny (professional comedian), good enough actor to be featured in a locally produced horror/comedy film.
There's no money involved and no creepy hidden agenda. You basically have to dress up kinda nicely and be seen in public going to a movie with me. There are worse ways to spend a Sunday evening.

This also received exactly one response, this time from a very nice lady who seemed to understand exactly what I was looking for and I'm sure we would have had a great time. However, I actually found someone else (via not Craigslist, and she's pretty terrific so I'm excited) before she replied, so it looks like I'm all set. So now I can go back to using Craigslist for its intended purpose: access to unregulated prostitution.

So here's a gratuitous plug for the event itself: There are tickets available now to attend for just ten bucks!
"When volunteers from the college begin to go missing, no one really notices. That's great news when you're looking for victims.
Dr. Billy Brackett, a brilliant brain surgeon from the University, will try anything to save his wife, Becca, from her coma... and he does. Professor Arthur Bixby soon finds out how far Billy is willing to go.
Billy's got a bad brain and he's not afraid to use it."
The whole thing was shot here in Tampa and the cast and crew is comprised entirely of local actors and mostly comedians so it should be a lot of fun!
Check out the IMDB page!

Monday, September 18, 2017

No blog post this week either too (with brief explanation)

I didn't post here last week and the reason for that is my access to resources was limited due to hurricane Irma.
That's also the case this week. As of this past Sunday morning, I was one of approximately 2000 people (1.4%) in the area who did not have power restored. So, once again, no blog post this week.