Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Pleasant Sequence

Friday night I was hosting the Mainstage Comedy and Music Club here in Seattle. It was my first time back since I had been out of town and I had really missed doing time there. It felt great to be back, but there was definitely a part of me that was a tad bit bummed out that I was going to miss the Flipper show.

Both shows were super-fun, so let's move on from the show right away shall we? Awesome. As soon as the second show ended I dashed over to the Funhouse, the venue Flipper was playing at. As I walked in the guy at the door informed me the show had ended. "They might do an encore though, here, I'll stamp your hand and you can go in." He didn't charge me anything which was pretty cool. I go in, and there was no encore, however I looked to my left and saw Chris Cornell from Sound Garden, and then directly behind me was Krist Noveselic, ex-Nirvana bassist. Everybody at the venue at this point seemed to all know each other and be friends with all the bands. These were the people that probably watched Nirvana slowly become famous, they weren't 3,000 miles away and too young to discover anything until after Kurt had died like I was.

So, needless to say I was trying not to look like a total fool, but I couldn't help but feel a little star-struck. Plus, I was drunk. I got to say hello to Krist, told him I enjoyed his column, he thanked me and we shook hands.

The rest of the weekend went fine, but now I'm tired and in a lousy mood. Sunday nights are when I usually do most of my thinking, I think about what I'm doing and where I'm heading--I'm heading the same place we're all heading, hence reason to be in a lousy mood. This novel has been in the works for way too long, I'm either going to shit or get off the pot. I work on books all day for a living, so all too often I'm simply not up for working on my own. I've nothing to complain about though, I've just adapted a bad habit which I need to break.

Moving on, I managed to miss all of the Euro games this year. They were all playing at a Soccer pub right down the street from my apartment, but I still managed to miss every single one. I need to start using an alarm again.

I'm stoked for the new Batman movie, I'm beginning the process by re-watching Batman Begins as soon as Netflix delivers. I'm also stoked for the new Hunter S. documentary.

Ok, no politics or news jokes this round, I kind of just wanted to think out loud for a bit and document my weekend.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Two Words

We all have heard that Obama's big slogan is "yes, we can." Which, in my opinion, is a catchy slogan.

Today, John McCain's camp released an anti-Obama add referring to him as "Dr. No." Which, in my opinion, is unoriginal.

Political discourse in this country has been reduced to two words, not only two words but two words that have nods to accompany them.

Yes, it's true America, Big Brother thinks we're that dumb.

Obama says no on this, McCain doesn't say no on that, Obama says yes on this, McCain doesn't say yes on that. This black-and-white surface-oriented mode of logic is exactly how the people in power want you to think and exactly how they want you to vote.

Earlier today I spilled some coffee on my shirt and I haven't gotten changed yet. The life of a writer can be beyond isolating.

I saw "American Drug War" last night and I enjoyed it very much. There have been some incredibly quality documentaries released over the past year or so, and thanks to my new NetFlix account as well as Google Video and, I've been able to keep up on most everything for cheap.

Anyway, there are some great interviews from Ricky Ross and Tommy Chong, not to mention some in-depth comparisons between the U.S. drug policies and Amsterdam's. I highly recommend the film, I was going to write a review, but I've never been able to write decent movie reviews...I either recommend something or I don't. In this case, I recommend it.

I have a comedy bit I refer to as the anti-drug war poem. It's where I talk about being "Peter the Pill-Poppin' Penguin," and instead of trying to scare kids into not using drugs, I try to get them to educate themselves and question things instead. While it's a fairly radical bit on the surface, I think the overall message of education and nurturing versus fear and manipulation comes across. Meaning, I haven't gotten a negative response from doing the bit yet! I only close with it though, and I only do it if I've been on stage for 20 minutes or so, I never do it for shorter sets.

In San Francisco voters are supporting the idea of naming a local sewage plant after george w. bush. Personally, I find this insulting, there's no comparison between bush and a sewage plant, a sewage plant serves many positive purposes and benefits society immensely. Our lives would be worse if sewage plants didn't exist.

San Francisco, when will you end your fecal matter intolerance? Or as I like to call it, turdism.

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin

I refused to blog about it as soon I found out, I told myself I'd wait. I'd be too big of a downer otherwise, probably am going to be regardless but so be it. I found out last night, late. I had been hanging out with a few comic friends of mine, we went to the Solstice Parade in Seattle, got some Pho for dinner and then rented a movie.

Ironically enough at one point in the day I was at my friend's apartment and there was a Kurt Vonnegut book sitting on the couch. I said, "man, this is one of my favorite comedians, I remember when I found out he died." This sparked a conversation on the deaths of different icons and people that played inspirational roles in our lives even though we never met them.

So, I called my comedy friends when I found out Carlin died, they had just left my apartment so I knew chances were they hadn't heard yet. After that I watched clip after clip, and then I kind of just sat on my couch until I knew I was tired enough that I could actually fall asleep.

I don't want to get overly sentimental here, I get annoyed when I see people speaking of celebrities and public figures as if they actually knew the person. But seriously, just look at these last 5 years:
Johnny Cash
Kurt Vonnegut
Hunter S. Thompson
and now of course George Carlin...

Four voices that not only are gone, but gone at a time when they are needed more than ever, especially Vonnegut, Thompson, and Carlin.

It's hard to have a pleasant day when we need to deal with the realization that George Carlin is dead and george w. bush is still the president.

I encourage everyone to do something today that they enjoy doing, go to the lake, spend time with friends and family, make a few long-needed phone calls, we've all earned it.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

...And I thought George Orwell was a fiction writer!

I was wrong, in actuality he had the ability to look into the future.

Yes, the "compromise" surveillance bill has passed. Our civil liberties held at gun-point, our 4th Amendment, for the most part, non-existent. You know, when I read the news most of the time these days I can't help but think to myself, "damn, I'm not a good enough comedian to find anything funny about this."

This new surveillance law allows the government to wire-tap its citizens without court permission while simultaneously granting amnesty to the initial wrong-doers, namely the telecommunication companies and the bush administration.

"Surely Ron, there must be some provisions? The government can't just wire-tap whoever they want, that'd be unconstitutional wouldn't it?"

We'll find out once somebody digs the constitution out of george bush's garbage can.

But, there are in fact some provisions: The government can only spy on citizens without a court order if they would miss out on "important information" otherwise. Such descriptive language assures that our civil liberties would be protected.

Important information of course ranges from potential terrorist threats, international conspiracies against the U.S., and potential brownie recipes from Grandma Smith. Do you dislike the president? Talk on the phone about it and they'll find out.

This bill was supported by Barack Obama. It's true. Although, he doesn't agree that amnesty should be given to the telecoms...umm, then why did he back a bill that gave them said amnesty?

That's like saying "I support Taco Bell but am complete opposed to cheap, delicious, crunch-wrap supremes!!" Well, maybe you shouldn't support Taco Bell.

Maybe, just maybe, Obama shouldn't have supported this bill. A bill to enhance security in a manner that interferes with our civil liberties as little as absolutely possible is one thing, to give amnesty to people who broke the law, and give unreasonable amounts of spying power to government officials through vague wording is something entirely different.

The bush administration has literally pissed all over this democratic congress, and they've let it happen. From war funding, to oil, and now to our civil liberties, I wasted a night of celebration in November of 2006.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Check out this interview...

One of my favorite independent publishers, Vale's brilliant, was a mighty fun interview.

The Tabloids are coming!

And not a moment too soon. I was reading the news today, as I often do, great way to start of the day eh? Read the news, see what's going on in the world, come off just a little less hopeless than before, just a little, somehow get the gull to dress and move on.

Anyway, there was an article about Michelle Obama and her appearance in some of the tabloids. She's a great mom, never missed a child's recital, shops at Target, loves Sex and the City, just your average everyday middle-aged American female. Sure she's an essential part to the most significant presidential race in U.S. history, but who cares about that, where'd she get her latest wardrobe??

As Us Weekly Editor Jan Min said: "People want to know can you drink a beer with them, or, in the case of our reader, a cosmo." Great input Min, really. That's a spectacular question to ask, can I drink a beer with them? After all, that attitude produces wonderful results, just look at 2004.

Thanks to Jan and the rest of the tabloid-sugar-pushing wastelands I learned that Obama's favorite food is Chili and his preferred reading material is "Harry Potter." I'd like to think it would disturb us all that our potential-next-President's preferred reading is a children's book, but considering our current President, nothing should come as shocking or surprising.

I, personally, don't enjoy children's books. I know "Harry Potter" has had a very wide appeal and has done extremely well, which is fine. But it's not for me. I'm going to be dull here and stick with grown-up books. Besides, there are some crazy people out there that have written children's books---like Hitler and Bill O'Reilly.

In even less significant news, Burger King just launched the world's most expensive burger, costing $200. The burger is guess it...The Burger. Most people I know that go to Burger King refuse to order anything that's not on the dollar menu.

A BK spokesman said: "The Burger reflects our ongoing commitment for producing for a range of different pockets."

Which pocket does a $200 burger fall into? The "I have too much money and an instant artery-clogging death wish" pocket? Thought so.