Friday, April 29, 2016

Clinton Voter: "Progressives are the real misogynists," basically.

I got into this brief, frustrating exchange on Facebook yesterday. I think I made my point pretty clearly, but that was at the expense of burying my rage and fury. I suppose this is the healthiest outlet for it.

I'll start by saying that I understand where this person is coming from. Those are some trying life experiences. How they relate to this presidential race, however, seems tenuous. But that's where this person's anger comes from, and that's why I held back.

I take exception to the Trump fear mongering. One of Clinton's biggest selling points going into the primaries was that she'd be the best possible candidate to go up against Trump. However, if the primaries have proven anything, it's that this is not true. 42% of the electorate is independent (no party affiliation), and Sanders is favored amongst this group. This group, by the way, was barred from voting in most primaries because most primaries are closed. I've always thought this was silly. The whole point of a party system is so that all Americans and their ideas are represented. The parties are not supposed to be exclusive clubs. Even if you identify and are registered as a Republican, you should still have the option of deciding which Democrat best represents you, and vice versa. If we really wanted our presidential elections to be a respectable and intellectual battle of ideals, and less of a cult of personality popularity contest, I think this would be a great start.

And while we're at it, let's get corporate money out of politics. That would also help a lot.

So please, for the love of democracy, don't you (mean lady on Facebook, or anyone else who agrees with her) dare blame progressives for Donald Trump. If anything, to "piss away your vote" would just as much be to vote for the primary candidate who is less likely to defeat him in the general as it is to vote in the general for the candidate who best represents you and your ideals (despite the apparent unlikeliness of their victory). It is inherently anti-democratic to shame people for voting for who they legitimately believe is the best candidate. I'm sorry that I'm not interested in playing a game of political ass-fuckery.

You make Trump possible by supporting a system that perpetuates this ass-fuckery, election after election, by not taking a stand for yourself and your fellow citizens. I don't really care what activism you've engaged in for what specific cause, you're presently perpetuating the oligarchy, and as far as I'm concerned, all our other troubles stem from that. You could try to convince me otherwise, that these issues are not as intertwined as I see them, but all you did was whine and bitch about how tough it used to be and how today's women aren't afraid enough of a single orange douche in a suit.

And yeah, Trump is pretty deplorable. But he'll veer toward the center in the general election, as most candidates do, and we'll forget about a lot of what makes him so ugly. This is America, after all, and we citizens have the collective memory of gold fish. I'm not saying this in defense of Trump, but I think we're overestimating exactly how much he'd be capable of accomplishing in four years. You mention "his cronies," but I'm not sure who those are. Are we talking about his potential cabinet? Do we believe a substantial amount of congressional candidates will label themselves as "Trump candidates"? Aside from Trump's own lack of experience and political ineptness, we generally overestimate the power of sitting presidents.

Besides, some shitty women-harming* laws were recently passed in Oklahoma. What is Hillary Clinton going to do about that, exactly, beyond mere lip service? What can a president do that the current president hasn't already done regarding equal pay?

So while I view Hillary Clinton as a president who would engage in needless conflict around the world, do nothing to make college more affordable, do nothing to address income inequality, do nothing to make healthcare more widely available (and that includes women's healthcare, ya stooge), and pat herself on the back for the kind of "incremental change" that only ever really benefits a fortunate few, you view her as someone who simply won't fuck up what we've achieved so far with regards to women's rights.

There is a reason why the majority of millennial women do not support Hillary Clinton. It's not because they're not afraid enough. It's because they're living the lives you are privileged enough to only pretend to care about. It's no surprise you view mere lip service as something substantial, because that's all you yourself have to offer to women who aren't exactly like you: old (by your own admission), white, and probably upper-middle class (I get to make an assumption about you after all the nasty ones you made about me). Young women do not need "incremental change," they need their change to be drastic. This is what someone like Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein actually offers. This is why we support these candidates. But I must just enjoy lording over women. That's why I'm so pro-woman, right, ya twunt? That must be why so many women my age feel exactly the same as I do, because they're actually men. I didn't say it, you did. The armchair psychoanalyst inside me is having a ball with you accusing me of wanting to feel smug.

The DNC can continue to ignore young people at its own peril. We owe them absolutely nothing, because, again, it's not a club, and elections are not games.

*Apparently, at least one Oklahoma lawmaker views this as a loophole.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Where is my headshot? Also, comedy.

Seriously, where is my headshot?

When I post links on Facebook, I'm given the option of using a thumbnail image preview. I'm no SEO or social media expert, but I'd wager that a photo improves an article's "clickability" quite a bit. I used to have this option when I attached links to my blog. This is no longer the case. If you found this article on my Facebook page, you probably noticed it was absent an image. I'm not saying my smiling face is what brings anyone to this blog, but it certainly helps make the link look less like spam.

So for that reason, along with a few others, I'm probably going to be changing platforms soon. Where should I go? I have some ideas, but I'm interested in hearing yours. Let me know in the comment section of this post or on Facebook.


Since I moved to Portland, I've been hitting the comedy open mic circuit. This is noteworthy because there actually exists a comedy scene here, and I previously tried really hard to be a comedian while doing as little standup as possible. Longtime readers of this blog will recall how frustrating an experience the Comedy Walk was for me. Knowing what I know now, that was one of the dumbest and bravest things I've ever done. I don't regret a second of it. 

Okay, I have a lot of regrets, mostly in the form of "what I should've said was..." fantasies. But you know what I mean. Starting off with what was arguably the toughest and stupidest way of trying to make people laugh gave me a thick, calloused skin. 

Tangent -- the weird thing about the internet is that I'm nowhere near what I would ever deem as successful, but here I am talking like a pompous ass about something educational and bold I did to further myself. Maybe this will fizzle out and I will ultimately fail. Sure, I've had some victories along the way, but maybe I won't have accrued enough points to stay near the top of the table by the end of the season. 

Oh well. I'm having a lot of fun. 

I may carefully select which photos and links I share on social media, but I have no interest in fooling you about who I am or where I'm at. That's my "brand," so to speak, and I can't think of any better medium or platform or art or whatever through which to build this brand than comedy. I'm glad I have friends and family who are genuinely supportive, or who are at least curious. That's really the only reason I'm sharing any of this right now; I want to let you all know what's up. 

So I'll leave you with an anecdote about my aspirations. Last weekend during Bloody Sunday Comedy Night at Rose & Thistle, a nice looking family was finishing their dinner as the comedy started. I was surprised at how long they stayed, and how respectful they were to the performers. However, you could tell the older members of the family were uncomfortable. Why wouldn't they be? There were rape jokes. People told plenty of other gross jokes, but, like, come on, rape jokes are doing the "offensive material" heavy lifting here. That is, after all, what Bloody Sundays is (are?) all about, not rape jokes, per se, but otherwise unacceptable blue and black humor. 

A few comics made light of the awkwardness before and after the family left. One comic mentioned how the oldest looking lady heard a vagina joke and promptly pushed away her Scotch egg plate. To paraphrase, "that had to be hard, because Scotch eggs are delicious." (If anyone remembers who this was, I'd like to give proper attribution.) 

Most comics probably dream of selling out theaters around the country, landing a sweet late night gig, or moving on to a more "respectable" profession like acting or pitching biscuits and gravy in the frozen section. I have a more inclusive dream (and yes, that makes me a little better than you). I dream of a day when old ladies and their families not only laugh at Elizabeth Teets while she talks about vaginal tearing, but stay for the whole show, *and* finish their Scotch eggs. 

Meanwhile, there was a booth of young people closest to the stage. They were loud and disruptive most of the time. By the time I got onstage, one of them remained. She felt like she had something to add to my opening joke. She did, but not in the way she expected