Monday, November 30, 2015

Oh look. He's plugging another show. Again.

Heck yes, I am!
It's my first time being a featured performer and it's happening at one of my favorite venues, the always funky, always friendly Kymatic Studios!
I'll be there along with:

  • Singer/Songwriter/Poet Chuck Terzian
  • Comedians Colin Means, Nick Rossi, Brad Fentmore and Tyler Horvath
  • And other artists like So Many Stylze, Abasi and Friends, Olivia Romano, AM2G (Geno & Doug) and Trevor Ware
The evening will be hosted by Mimi Leut and DJ Lock

How much does all this cost? NOTHIN'!! Kymatic makes all this entertainment available to you for the impossibly low, low price of zero dollars!
Get there! Be there! It's gonna be lots of fun!
Jam Night at Kymatic Studios
Wednesday, December 2 ~ 8:00 pm
2436 Emerson Ave. S.
St. Petersburg FL 33712

Clarketplace: Nature's Expression custom woodworking

Kirk Moss operates Nature's Expression from his shop in Seminole Heights where he offers custom woodworking. Check these examples out:

Tampa Florida
Kirk Moss

Friday, November 27, 2015

There's no place like Clarketplace for the holidays

Hi there!
Are you looking for something different to give as gifts this holiday season? Something maybe created by not only a person's hands but with their heart and soul? Something that really symbolizes that you truly care for someone so much that you picked something that wasn't a box sitting on a shelf in some brightly-lit warehouse?
Good news! There are people out there, many of whom might be in your own neighborhood, making things exactly like that who will sell them to you!
Over the next month or so, I'm making space available to these people so you can see their offerings. They aren't paying me. I'm damn sure not paying them. I'm just using this space to introduce you to one another.

First up...
Small Saturday Pop-Up Shop
Brought to you by 8-Count Studios at the Rialto Theatre
1617 N. Franklin Street, Tampa, FL, 33602

Support local small businesses while doing your holiday shopping this year and have a direct impact on our local economy. Avoid the crowds, enjoy the extra time with your families, and shop hop for some great deals, right here in Tampa Heights. The historic Rialto will be the backdrop for some local favorites that you may only get to visit online, local markets, and various locations.

Vendor list and offers:

  • Stay Humble clothing and accessories
  • Transformation Yoga health products and services
  • BooN seasonal product packages
  • Mejia Handmade jewelry
  • Inspire event planning, staging, and decor
  • Rialto Theatre offering 10% off event bookings
Established in 2011, 8-Count Productions, LLC became a brick and mortar as 8-Count Studios in 2013 at the historic Rialto Theatre in downtown-adjacent Tampa Heights.  Both owners have worked within the arts and entertainment industry most of their lives and share a wealth of experience and expertise to offer creative consulting and choreographed solutions for a variety of arts, entertainment, production, and event needs.  8-Count Studios at the Rialto houses an art gallery, artist studios, dance and photography classes, event, rehearsal, and production space.

Other cool links for 8-Count Studios and the Rialto Theatre

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Stuff yo'self

This week over at "The Unbelievables", my writing partners Jeff Hickmott and Michael Noble are sharing Thanksgiving side dish recipes! You won't have to worry about offending anyone because all of our recipes are ethnically ambiguous, just like this family:

I fear, however, that in our haste to share our favorite side dishes, we may have overlooked the main dish! So here's a recipe for that:

  • A turkey. Or a goose. Or a duck. Or a chicken. Or a ham (aka pork turkey). Or vegetables (aka not turkey), a big lump of them, made into a loaf shaped like a dead animal carcass, I guess
  • Stuffing
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. If there's stuff already inside whatever you're going to cook, take it out. All of it.
  2. Throw it away. Some people will tell you that you can use that stuff for gravy or soup, or in the case of vegetables, seeds, for growing new vegetables. Some people are horrible, filthy liars.
  3. Take your stuffing (Use my recipe if you want, or don't. I don't care. Stuffing is like God; it can be whatever you want, as long as it makes you feel good about yourself and the world around you and you don't try to impose your stuffing on others. Think I give a shit? I don't. No disrespect or anything but I have my own life to lead. Worrying about what you do or don't do when it comes to stuffing is something I just can't take on right now.) and put it inside of what you're cooking. Go ahead and pack it in there. You might have to carve a hole into a ham or the vegetable lump loaf in order to do this. That should be self-evident and I shouldn't have to tell you that.
  4. Apply salt and pepper. Once it's cooked, you won't know that you did it but it's something you do when you cook.
  5. I was just informed that you can't really stuff a ham. Sorry. Pull all that stuffing out of there and fill the hole up with the ham you dug out to make it. You didn't throw that ham away, did you? You idiot! That was perfectly good ham!
  6. Heat up your oven. 325° F. That's pretty hot and should get the job done. You probably could have done this while preparing the food to cook. Oh well. The moment has passed. You can't sit around now and fuss about just how much of your life has been wasted. That will happen later, when you talk to your family.
  7. If you don't have an oven, try a slow-burning box of some sort. No temperature controls on those so you're going to have to just eyeball it. I honestly don't know if that will work. I'm thinking probably not.
  8. Depending on the weight of whatever you're cooking, it's going to need to be in there for anywhere from 2 1/4 hours to 6 1/2 hours, however long it takes to get the internal temperature of the food to a bacteria-eating-your-body-from-the-inside-out-proof  165° F.
  9. If you live in a country that uses C degrees instead of F degrees, good luck because nobody knows what the hell that is.
  10. Take it out when it's done.
  11. Eat it.
If for some reason this or any other recipes don't work out, don't despair...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Adele-sgiving!

I'll admit it. I got caught empty-handed (or rather, empty-headed) this morning. I'm going to give myself a pass because we're all in holiday mode already and very little is going to get done between now and January 2nd. I did find this Thanksgiving video from Saturday Night Live, so there's that. I think this covers me even if I don't come up with anything at all this week, even though I probably will. Or not.
Either way, Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2015

My love affair with Kymatic Studios continues!

"Kymatic Studios is a progressive and versatile space in the Warehouse Arts District. We are an art gallery, a workshop, a music venue and teaching space. It is a space for more ideas to blossom then just what is already here." - Places to go in St. Petersburg

Hell yeah it is!
I've had the privilege of performing with and in front of really nice people in this funky, friendly space before and I'm excited about two opportunities I have to do so again...

"Late Night at Kymatic Studios"
Friday, November 20 @ 10:00 pm

"Late Night at Kymatic is an underground show in Saint Petersburg, Florida that showcases local talent, shooting in the warehouse art district and in the Kymatic studios with hosts Dan McCune and Jason Beck. The show comes to you every saturday at midnight. filmed by Don Becknell and music by RusselTamsen. The show tries to feature local artists of all varieties and businesses in the area."

I'll be a guest on the show which will be recorded tonight at 10 and available on YouTube afterward.

"Jam Night at Kymatic Studios"
Wednesday, December 2 @ 8:00 pm

They bill this as an open mic, but it's much more of an actual show than what you'll find at a typical open mic. Poetry, music, different types of performance art and, of course, stand-up comedy.

I'll be performing as a featured act that night, my first time having the honor of that designation.

The joint is located at 2436 Emerson Ave S in St. Petersburg. It's near Tropicana Field and not far from all the fun places up and down Central Ave. They love me there and I love them back just as much. Come on out and get some love too.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

No shame

Last Saturday, I watched as scores of people changed their Facebook profile pictures to blue, white and red in response to the attacks that took place in Paris the night before. I saw someone who didn't do it ask what the point was and someone else replied, "it's better than nothing". My initial response, which, thankfully, I didn't post was, "No, it isn't. It's the exact same as nothing. Because it is nothing." I was proud of myself initially for thinking that. Why? Because, like everyone else, sometimes I'm a dick.
Hard to believe, I know. But here's proof.
I'm not a fan of "slacktivism", which is what happened when everybody decided they were sick of the Confederate flag. Remember? People made a lot of noise about taking the flag down in places where it was still displayed, acting as though the removal of a visible symbol associated with racism was the same thing as eliminating racism itself, which is obviously not the case.

I mistakenly applied that filter to people changing their profile pictures, with the belief that these people weren't doing anything that would actually help the people of France, but just doing something to make themselves feel better.

Don't get me wrong; I still believe that's the case - because it is - but I now understand that that's okay.

What happened was horrific and has made people really sad and really scared. They feel like they have to do something, even if they have no idea what. If making this small, symbolic gesture does nothing but help them feel like they reached out and expressed some empathy, then that's enough. It's fine. There are other people out there, and I was this close to being one of them, who want to jump down their throats for not really doing anything but selfishly making themselves feel better. You can identify them by the way they say things like "Yeah, but what about..." and "Where were you when..." Those people aren't doing anything either. In fact, the only thing they're accomplishing is also selfishly making themselves feel better, only they're doing it by trying to shame people and make them feel bad. At least the first group, even if they're being totally self-indulgent, isn't being shitty to other people.

The sheer volume of so many awful things coming at us at the same time is frightening and causing us to be overly sensitive and defensive while simultaneously making us more predatory and aggressive. We're causing each other harm over the most ridiculous things. A prey-or-be-prey mindset seems to be taking hold among a number of us. Certain politicians are running for office with that as the primary plank in their platform. That's the opposite of what's needed right now. We're regressing when we should be evolving. This has to stop and the only way to make that happen is individual human beings, not faceless groups of whomever it is you consider your adversaries, changing their behavior. If not right here and right now, then at least sooner than later.

Some of us - most of us probably - might need to force ourselves to apply some reason to our thought process from time to time. We are capable of compassion and empathy on more than one level at a time. Just because Cecil the Lion makes somebody sad doesn't mean they don't care about kids being abused. Just because someone says Black Lives Matter doesn't mean they hate cops. Just because somebody thinks that a person who works at Burger King deserves to make more money doesn't mean they think paramedics should live in poverty. Just because someone puts a French flag on their Facebook profile doesn't mean they don't care about people in Kenya. It's not a competition, and Thank God, because how truly horrible would we be if it was?

It's simply impossible to devote equal amounts of attention to every single awful thing that deserves it. Some people put coins in a donation bucket. Some put dollar bills. Some might put nothing at all but might actually donate their time in service to a cause. You don't know their situation so don't act like you do. If you don't feel like putting any money in the donation bucket, that's all right. Just don't squat over it and take a shit in it.

People are sad and scared and struggling to feel good. They're doing the best they can. And even if they aren't, it's not your job to police them. If throwing up a French flag helps them feel better about themselves and lets them get through something that's stressing them out, just leave them alone and let them have that.

If nothing else, if you find yourself in a situation like this (or any situation, really) and you think you might be on the verge of being a dick, err on the side of caution and just keep your mouth shut. That alone will be an act of positive change.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Hey, thanks!

At the risk of coming off as unctuous or smarmy...

With the state of current events being as crappy as it is (You guys are aware that the state of current events is crappy, right? I hope so because this concept has no legs if you're not. You are? Oh good. I don't mean "good", I mean... never mind), it's truly a privilege to be given the opportunity to help a roomful of people who don't know each other laugh about stuff for a while. So to those of you who have come out to a show, those of you who keep coming out to shows and those of you have supported me in any way at all, Thanks for giving me the opportunity to provide a level of therapeutic relief from whatever crap that's making things crappy for you. It may be funny business but I take it seriously.

Sincerely, Thank You.

That's my time. Don't forget to tip your servers.

PS: Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I advanced to the third round of the tournament. More fart jokes and at least one silly video coming your way soon.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Tonight: Help prevent a car fire with your LOLZ

The other night, Cam Bertrand, someone I'm proud to say is a fellow comic and a friend, competed in the "Florida's Funniest" competition, which is a considerably bigger deal than the tournament I'm competing in tonight at Side Splitters, being as it is a statewide competition. Unfortunately, he didn't advance to the next round. Afterward, he posted this on Facebook:
"Couldn't be more proud of my comedy brothers Preacher Jovan Lawson Mike Charette and Rio Paris. The guys I had picked to win. Congrats family."
This kid: Class act.
Cam's a huge smartass but that was a classy gesture because down deep past all the smartass parts, he's a classy guy.

Here's the thing, though: I am not.

I'm a thin-skinned, petulant cry-baby with self-entitlement issues and I'm competing against Todd Stimmell tonight at Side Splitters. And if I lose, I'm going to set his car on fire. That's bad for two reasons...

  1. I've met Todd and he seems like a nice guy who doesn't deserve to have his car set on fire.
  2. I have no idea what kind of car he drives so the odds are that I'll be setting some random person's car on fire, somebody who's not even involved in the competition in any way.

So that means it's up to you. If you want to prevent an innocent victim (might be Todd Stimmell or a school teacher or a baby panda) from having to deal with a burnt-up car, the only thing you can do is come to Side Splitters tonight and, oh yeah, laugh at my jokes and then vote for me. As you are undoubtedly aware by now, you can do so for the low, low, LOW price of only $5 when you use my initials (CB) as the promo code when you buy online.

Tonight at 7 PM
Side Splitters
12938 North Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33618
(813) 960-1197

BONUS INCENTIVE FOR YOU TO ATTEND: Cam Bertrand, the classy smartass himself, will be your host for the evening!

Remember, if you don't want this on your conscience...

Friday, November 13, 2015

Necessary advice for those who need it

Take this as me talking to myself, unless you need a good talking-to (aka, a boot in the ass). Because we all do sometimes. I know I do.

I've said this before and every time I see somebody with a fresh take, like THIS ONE from Mark Manson, I'm going to post it. Bottom line, as always: If you really want to do something, you'll figure out a way to do it. In the meantime, stop wasting everyone's time (most importantly, YOURS) by sitting around and bitching about why you can't. Yes, your circumstances and obstacles are unique to your situation...just like everybody else.

You can do better. You owe that to yourself. Figure it out and get busy doing what you need to do already. We're waiting to hear what you have to say but we have shit to do and no time to waste on feeling sorry for you, especially when you're doing such a good job of that already.

A final plugola for Sunday's show

Remember the time you saw that old lady fall down and you laughed and then felt bad, but then she jumped right up and told everyone she was kidding and you felt better, and then she was hit by a truck because she had jumped up and into the street, and you weren't sure if you should laugh or not because she might be kidding again but you figured out eventually that she wasn't so you didn't? This will be a lot like that except it will be okay to laugh at everything because no old ladies will die*.

Sunday, November 15 at 7 PM.
Side Splitters
12938 North Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33618
(813) 960-1197

Click right here for the crazy-ass low, low price of a lousy $5, using my initials (CB) as the promo code.

(* There are no guarantees in life; one old lady might die. Maybe. Or two. Probably. Three at the VERY MOST. What I'm saying is I will be personally responsible for the deaths of at least four old ladies.)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Yes. the cup thing (among others) IS stupid

"The War On Christmas" is easily the dumbest thing that doesn't exist that people desperately wish was real. Equally dumb but unfortunately all-too-real are those who believe it. This applies to anybody bothered on any level by "Happy Holidays" or what is or isn't printed on a disposable coffee cup.
Here's your cup, dummy.

If you're taking your moral and ethical lead from somebody like Joshua Feuerstein, the Bubba the Love Sponge of evangelical trolls, you need to pull your head out of your ass and get your shit together on a general level.
"To be sure, there is a very real threat to Christianity.  Yet it is not atheists, homosexuals, Muslims, or even red paper cups that threaten Christianity.
It is shysters.
People with no soul who prey on Christian followers and rob them financially and spiritually not only hurt their flock, but give all religion a bad name by making it unpalatable for so many who see things like this and equate those seeking strength through faith as paranoid and stupid." - 'SemDem', The Daily Kos, November 10, 2015
Of course, the fact that I don't actually know anybody who is bothered by this stuff might mean the second dumbest thing that doesn't exist might be The War On The War On Christmas and that this whole deal with the cups could just be brilliant marketing by Starbucks. In which case, well-played coffee company.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A reminder about this upcoming Sunday...

In case you forgot, almost forgot or tried so very hard to forget in order to heal and get on with your damaged life...


Because this
Sunday, November 15 at 7 PM.
12938 North Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33618
(813) 960-1197

It's the second round of the Annual Stand-Up Comedy Tournament! If you have the Facebook thing, you can RSVP here, but you totally don't have to do that. Discount tickets are on sale if you buy online and use my initials ("CB") as a promo code when you hit the "CHECKOUT" screen, and you should definitely do that because they'll only cost a lousy $5.

Need further enticement? Well, okay. Look, we made a video for you...

Monday, November 09, 2015

Customers (like me) and the huge corporations (like Bright House) that love (hate) them (me).

I tried to use my phone Wednesday morning to access the internet and found myself having to log in to my account with Bright House, my cable provider. This proved problematic because it didn't recognize my user name and/or password. That took three phone calls and about 45 minutes to resolve but I was finally able to access my account on my computer. However, I still couldn't do so on my phone, and as a result, I was unable to access most of the features on my phone...

Okay, I just realized how "first-world problems" this is and I recognize that in the big picture, it's not that big of a deal. I have a roof over my head. I don't miss meals. There are no lives at stake here. Let's not focus on the admittedly whiny, bitchy problem but rather the level of "response" given to me, a paying customer, by a multi-million dollar corporation that spends a lot of that money on commercials, patting themselves on the back over how great their customer service is. Okay? Okay. I went on Twitter to bitch about it:
The change never took effect in regard to my phone, though. A rep responded, and offered assistance via a private message dialogue. And here's how that went. 

It starts to get weird right here, in more ways than one...

 I felt kind of bad. I work in customer service and I know it's hard when you're trying to resolve someone's problem and they're pissed off. I tried really hard to be polite and diplomatic. But I have an extensive history of not being able to resolve problems with this company.

Oh Goddamn it...

God DAMN it!!

God. Damn. It.

This all happened Wednesday (November 4) afternoon. Today is Monday (November 9) and I'm still waiting on that update or any further communication at all for that matter.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Save the date, save money, save yourself...with LOLZ!

I just found out last night, my date for the second round of the stand-up comedy tournament at Side Splitters Comedy Club is...
Sunday, November 15 at 7 PM.
12938 North Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33618
(813) 960-1197

The headliner that night will be Josh Sneed. He’s won a bunch of comedy competitions, had a special on Comedy Central and has opened for Dave Chappelle and Lewis Black among others.

The competition is into the second round now and the winner moves into the Sweet 16. My opponent will be Todd Stimmell. I've met him and I'm sorry to report that he's not a white supremacist or animal abuser. It would be so much easier to psych myself up for the competitive aspect of this whole thing if he were either or both of those things. But no. Both he and his wife Julie are nice people who have done good things on behalf of the Tampa Bay comedy scene. I mean, as far as I know. I've never actually personally seen either of them yell racial slurs at little baby ducklings. Hmm...

Anyway, discount tickets will be available some time tomorrow (Saturday, November 7) by CLICKING HERE. Make sure and use my initials (CB) to get the $5 price. I'm pretty sure those tickets normally go for $250 each (that's a ballpark estimate) so that's a considerable bargain.

So yeah, come on out next Sunday night to Side Splitters. It's just over a week away so prepare to be sick of hearing about it by then.
LAST TIME (August 16): "Yakkity yak yak blee bleh blah etc."

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

You're hostile? Me too. See how much we have in common?

I came across this essay titled, "Dear Liberal…Here’s Why I’m So Hostile" by Jeremy N. Choate the other day (it's over two years old but I haven't seen it before). It was presented by someone (I presume they hadn't seen it before either) who declared it "insightful" and another reader called it "...the most succinct description of the difference between liberals and conservatives that I have read."
With respect to those who made those comments as well as Mr. Choate himself, I'm not that impressed. In fact, it made me feel hostile. I'd like to ask your indulgence for the chance to take up a small chunk of internet in explaining why.

Mr. Choate begins by telling us all the terrible, stereotypical Conservative things he isn't:
"Lately, I must admit that my hostility towards your political ilk has ramped up, pretty dramatically.  No, it’s not because we, at this point in my life, have a half-black president in the White House, and I’m some closet racist who is becoming increasingly frustrated at the prospects of the White Man’s power slipping through my fingers."
Well, that's good. Somebody shouldn't be that. It's not a good thing to be that. It's also not good to put too much stock into stereotypes, so I can see why he would want to get that out there right off the bat. Nobody likes being painted in broad brush strokes.
This is a terrible portrait of me.

For that reason, it confuses me that he spends basically the rest of the article preaching to/railing against all the stereotypical traits assigned to liberals:
"...let’s establish who I’m talking to.  If you believe that we live in an evil, imperialist nation from its founding, and you believe that it should be “fundamentally transformed”, lend me your ears.  If you believe that the free market is the source of the vast majority of society’s ills and wish to have more government intervention into it, I’m talking to you.  If you believe that health care is a basic human right and that government should provide it to everyone, you’re the guy I’m screaming at.  If you think minorities cannot possibly survive in this inherently racist country without handouts and government mandated diversity quotas, you’re my guy.  If you believe that rich people are that way because they’ve exploited their workers and acquired wealth on the backs of the poor, keep reading.  Pretty much, if you trust government more than your fellow American, this post is for you."
See, I happen to identify as a Liberal and this description doesn't apply to me any more than the one above applies to Mr. Choate.

  • I love America and I'm very happy to live here. We're not perfect but we've accomplished lots of pretty awesome stuff.
  • I don't believe people who are successful should be punished or penalized for doing well for themselves. 
  • I don't believe that people who aren't interested in contributing in a positive manner to society are entitled to being taken care of. 
  • I don't even believe everybody who enters a race deserves a ribbon just for participating. Sorry, some things in life are a competition and there have to be winners and losers.
  • I'm not only sure our government is not always a model of competency populated by the Best and the Brightest but that they're capable... and guilty... of some severely heinous acts.
  • I don't want the government to take anything away from you (okay, for a few hours after the latest mass shooting, I fantasize about all of your guns disappearing, but I recognize that as pure escapism). 
But I have two fundamental beliefs by which I try to live my life and guide my decisions. One is that there are situations that are unfairly unjust and that efforts should be made to correct them. The other is that there are some good people who need help and that if the resources are available, efforts should be made to get them the help they need. Apparently, it's necessary to sort people into bins and those two beliefs land me in the one with an "L" on it. So be it. The decisions I make in life aren't duly influenced by that label, but whatever. I don't automatically embrace every person identified as a Liberal as someone who is intelligent, enlightened, compassionate and incapable of malice. I don't automatically disregard Conservatives as the opposite of those ideals either. I know some really stupid and mean Liberals and some wonderfully sweet and kind Conservatives (one caveat: I think Sarah Palin and Donald Trump are incredibly mean and stupid and if you're a supporter of either or both of them, well...)

Mr. Choate goes on to say:
"If I choose not to give to the poor for whatever reason, you won’t simply try to persuade me on the merits of the idea – you will seek to use the government as an instrument of plunder to force me to give to the poor.  If we are walking down the street together and we spot a homeless person, using this logic, you would not simply be content with giving him $20 from your own pocket – you would hold a gun to my head and force me to give him $20, as well."
What utter horseshit.
What simple-minded, paranoid, complete and utter horseshit.
Are there people who identify as Liberals who feel that way? I'm sure there are. No question. Probably about the same amount as there are Conservatives who believe that poor people should be burned as fuel. That leaves out a whole lot of people, including myself, who don't fit into those two narrow slots. And before you say that Mr. Choate was speaking metaphorically, he didn't give that level of benefit of a doubt to The Second Bill of Rights proposed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (whom Choate labels either "a shallow thinker or simply a shrewd, Machiavellian politician") in 1944, when he says: "You might protest that FDR only meant that we have the right to pursue those things, but that’s not what he said, and why would he?"

I'm not going to quibble the entire essay point-by-point. The reason I don't find it particularly "insightful" or "succinct" and why it makes me feel hostile is these two paragraphs which summarize the whole thing:
 "Everything that modern liberalism accomplishes is accomplished at the barrel of a government rifle.  You do not trust in the generosity of the American people to provide, through private charity, things such as clothing, food, shelter, and health care, so you empower the government to take from them and spend the money on wasteful, inefficient, and inadequate government entitlement programs.  You do not trust in the personal responsibility of the average American to wield firearms in defense of themselves and their families, so you seek to empower the government to criminalize the use and possession of firearms by private citizens.  Everytime (sic) you empower the government, you lose more of your personal liberty – it’s an axiomatic truth.

What angers me the most about you is the eagerness with which you allow the incremental enslavement to occur.  You are the cliched and proverbial frog in the pot who has actually convinced himself that he’s discovered a big, silver jacuzzi.  Somehow, you’re naive enough to believe that one more degree of heat won’t really matter that much."
Ultimately, this is just another cliched chapter in the proverbial Divide And Conquer instructional manual.  It's saying, 'these people are this and those people are that so we're inherently opposed to each other and that's just how it is' and 'one side is always right and one side is always wrong' and 'if you're a Liberal, you want to be a slave to the institution' and 'for God's sake, you have to pick a side!'. This is the kind of thing that keeps people from talking to each other as individuals who all want basically the same things in life and realizing they have more in common than their leaders (or people like Mr. Choate) would like them to believe (even if they have different ideas how to get there) and far more to gain from working together on important problems than opposing each other on every single Goddamned little thing. Keeping the people divided, ignorant and mistrustful of one another benefits the institutions, not the people themselves. So who's the one really advocating for willful slavery here?

Monday, November 02, 2015

Halloween wrap-up

I worked the "Ghouls Just Wanna Have Fun" Halloween party this Saturday night, presented by my friend Renee Warmack and her company, Renee Warmack Productions. She's a filmmaker and now in the business of throwing parties. I was excited to be a part of it, not only because I got paid, but I also got to wear a costume. Guys have it so easy when it comes to Halloween costumes. Look, a tie, some sunglasses and a hat and I'm a beloved movie character!
Not just a Blues Brother, a slutty Blues Brother
Actually, me wearing a tie technically qualifies as a costume.
Anyway, it was a lot of fun and I got to meet lots of celebrities...

Like Audrey Hepburn...
Sheila E and Prince...
And some Blues Sisters.

So that just about closes the book on Halloween 2015. Almost.
I'll bet you thought I forgot...
But I didn't! How could I? It's an annual Halloween tradition, the telling of the first actual traditionally-formatted "joke" I ever wrote. And here it is!

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Ow who?