I started playing hockey at 6 years old. Man was I awful. I was not a natural. “Well Keith, most people at 6 years old suck at things” Thanks asshole. I mean I never scored goals, never was selected to be on the “top teams” I was usually stuck playing…
“I worked at McDonalds, and my first suggestion to Hannah would be this: get a fucking job. If you really want to have experiences to write about, go to work; and if you really want to be an artist, take responsibility for yourself and wait some tables. You might mature a little in the process.”—James Franco’s take on Girls.I take back everything bad I ever had to say about him. He’s won me over, completely.
“Anthony Henry, also an eighth grader from P.S./I.S. 323, was walking to school before 8 a.m. last month when a big jeep pulled up alongside him. Five cops jumped out, he said.
“And they were all like, ‘Put your hands up’ and stuff,” said Anthony. “They checked me, checked my book bag. They threw all my books on the floor.”
The police started questioning him about drugs and gang members. He said he didn’t know anyone in a gang. They took him home, and his mom started yelling at the cops, telling them they had the wrong guy. At that point, Anthony said one officer just patted him on the head, and said, “My bad.”
By the time his mom drove him back to school, Anthony had already missed first and second period.
“As I restart Radio, I’m reminded of something Wilson once said about the voices in his head. “I can still hear things like, ‘I’m going to kill you,’” he confessed. “Just usually negative thoughts or negative—”
The interviewer cut in. Ever hear them while you’re singing?
“No, not when I’m singing, no.”
When you’re writing?
“No, not then, either.”
When, then, would you hear them?
“When I’m not singing or writing.”
I'd Like to Spend The Afternoon With Lady Rosemary
I was brought up in a way which was rather Victorian, one was never late, never improperly dressed. So I had no sense of trepidation about being a Maid of Honour, no worry I might not get it right. Soul-searching and self-doubt is such a modern thing, as is casual dressing. Back then you couldn’t be seen in London without nylons, white gloves and a hat.
After my balcony appearance, I went home to Blenheim where we were roasting an ox in the garden. I was to be married two weeks after the Coronation in a ceremony with 950 guests. You took these things more in your stride back then.
Sarah moved to Omaha when we were in about the 3rd grade. She and I became fast friends, since we were both tomboys who liked to talk in funny voices and play video games. I used to go to her house after school almost every day. We’d walk home together while rapping memorized Salt N Pepa verses, then we’d play Sonic the Hedgehog, drink hot cocoa, and watch Beavis and Butthead. It was awesome.
She was a lot like the big sister I never had. She taught me how to put on nail polish, and make up, which I got in HUGE trouble for trying to wear to school once along with a midriff bearing T-shirt (by 7th grade I was every parent’s nightmare daughter).
We became the kind of friends who, after spending all day at school together, could come home and sit on the phone together for HOURS talking shit about people. This was cool for Sarah because she had her own phone line in her room (WHAT?! So cool!), whereas I had to sneak around the house unplugging all the other phones in order to receive illicit past-curfew calls. To this day I don’t think I’ve talked to any other human as much as I did Sarah.
During sleepovers at her house we’d watch Now and Then together, trying to pause the tape at exactly the moment that you can supposedly see a boy’s thing. We watched Scream when it first came out on VHS, and we were so fucking scared you guys, oh my God. Sometimes we’d walk to the convenience store to buy candy at like 10 o’clock at night and feel so grown up and bad ass. On New Year’s Eve one year her mother let us share a glass of champagne. We both found it absolutely disgusting.
In junior high, she got a boyfriend named Jon. And, not wanting to leave me out of this experience, “set me up” with his friend Mike. This meant we went to the movies together as a foursome and awkwardly stood around places at the mall. He was my first kiss, on a bench in front of the mall Santa, with Sarah standing there going “Just do it already!”
We ended up going to different high schools, but, even as we grew apart, we were still friends by the default of having known each other the longest. One night, when we were 15, we ended up at the Ranch Bowl, at 11 pm, on a weeknight, hanging out with a bunch of guys from local bands. It was just as sketchy as it sounds. My dad has probably never been angrier than when he showed up in his pajamas to get me. It was so cool.
6 years ago, on the Sunday before Memorial Day, my mom called me to tell me that Sarah was dead. She had taken her own life. It was a total shock. It’s something I still haven’t really figured out. I was living across the country, and I found out too late to attend her funeral, but I remember going to find her grave. If ever I had thought there was any glamour in death, it was gone when I saw the lonely headstone that was now all I had left of my best friend. Deep down, I’m always a little bit angry with her for missing out on all the rest of it, for leaving me behind. To this day I spend a lot of time wondering if I should have realized how quickly things were deteriorating for her, and what I could’ve done.
So it finally happened. I finally am going to go out and put on my nametag and shave my mustache and tell people that they can be gay and God will still love them and that women are powerful like gods and that we’re all gonna be saved in the end because God loves us and provides for us so do you want to read a Book of Mormon?
Don’t forget to mention that The Church of Latter-Day Saints’ racial discrimination policies only ended in 1978 after a “revelation.” Prior to that, members were actually excommunicated for protesting said policies. Mormon women can’t hold the priesthood because, per the Church’s president, ”the Lord has put it that way. It is part of His program.”
Can you be a Mormon and a Feminist? Sure. Can you be a Mormon and advocate for racial equality? Sure. The world is full of nuance and contradiction. But is it an odd look when you’re assailing others for their own nuanced feminist politics? Yeah. One thing the world needs more of: Compassion towards nuance. Vaya con dios, literally. Here’s hoping some of it goes around in the next two years.
Part of me thinks it’s too soon to be writing about this because I don’t think I’ve completely processed how I feel, but I also think maybe this has happened to other women and I should talk about it in as raw a way as possible. I’m still really embarrassed and ashamed and garbled up inside, but maybe this can start a helpful discussion in terms of women and comedy.
Last night, I was on a stand up show in the East Village. The show started out with a small crowd and the host did an amazing job interacting with them and riling them up. By the time I got on stage, there were about 20 or so more people in the audience and the place had really filled up. The show was still kind of loose because of the back and forth between the host and the audience, so when I got on stage, I riffed a bit about the stuff that had happened before and then talked to one guy on the side of the audience who the host had dubbed “Banana Republic.” All joke-y. All in good fun.
Then, I start my actual set and do my first two jokes, which go pretty okay. I start another joke that is vaguely sexual - not crude, not crass - mainly silly and that goes well too. The next joke I do is about my boyfriend.
At a comedy show, when you’re on stage, usually you can’t see the audience because of the bright lights. So I’m looking into pitch darkness. As I start the joke, someone yells, “Does your boyfriend know?” referring to the sexuality joke I’d just told. I stop, laugh and say that he does because I think it’s just more of the loose environment that’s been going on at this show. I attribute it to an audience member just having fun.
I start to tell the joke about my boyfriend again, and at the midway point, the same voice yells something else derogatory about my boyfriend, homophobic and misogynistic towards me. I stop, confused. I can’t see who is talking to me so I make a HUGE mistake and say, “Sir, if you’re gonna talk to me, you need to come to the front because I can’t see you.” I think calling him out like this will shut him up.
My friend Krista just shared this post with me. She surmised I’d “have a lot to say about it.” I do.
(Hear me out before you sigh and roll your eyes at the upcoming feminist rant, I have a point that doesn’t involve blaming men for the bad things that happen to women)
For one thing, this is a terrible, worst-case scenario for an open mic. I have done mics where there are crazies and hecklers in the audience. Most of the time this just means free jokes at their expense, albeit tense ones. One thing I’d like to point out is that Gabby here is a straight-up innocent victim, no bones about it. But she’s not just a victim of a crazy dude. She’s also a victim of the club/bar that failed to protect her from an obviously above-average threat (see my previous post on the responsibility I think good club/bar owners/managers should take for the safety of their performers/patrons), and she’s a victim of a society that taught her, from birth, to smile and nod in the face of that threat. And I quote:
When he first started talking, I had tried to do that thing women are taught to do where you’re distantly polite to a man who is attacking you in the hopes that things don’t escalate. “Just smile and make a joke so he doesn’t hurt you.”
Part of me is so sick of that line of thinking.
Me too. I’m crazy sick at that line of thinking. If there is one thing I hope to get out of life, honestly, it is the ability to react. To do something, say something, ask for help. To understand that I don’t deserve to be yelled at or threatened or insulted or intimidated no matter what the situation. Basically, to stand the fuck up for myself.
I’ve worked as a receptionist for many years, and before that I worked as a hostess in a restaurant. Setting my personal limits and sticking to them, even if it leads to an uncomfortable confrontation, is probably the hardest and most important lesson I’ve taken from my experience. If you think it’s hard to stand up for yourself to a stranger in a bar, try doing it when your boss is calling you a retard because he forgot his camera’s memory stick. Or when your boss at the country club you work at is describing to you, in graphic detail, how your outfit is giving him an erection (To this day I wish I had just started screaming and walked out when he did that, I did not need that job that much.) I remember once after being cursed out by one of our company’s clients for something that wasn’t at all my fault, I was close to tears. One of the head assistants came to me and told me flat out, “You don’t have to let people talk to you that way. Next time, just hang up on them. No one deserves that.” It had literally never occured to me that just because it was my job to be nice, it wasn’t my job to be someone’s punching bag.
I think it’s important for all women, especially women who perform in comedy clubs, to fully appreciate their right to be here. We have nothing to apologize for. We worked just as hard as anyone else to get here, maybe harder. We shouldn’t be afraid to ruffle some feathers for the sake of making that clear. We should realize that the people who set out to make us feel like freaks for demanding respect are themselves the truly freakish ones. Most importantly, we are not obligated to be nice to people who aren’t being nice to us, because we don’t owe anyone anything.
“If you’re young, try not to get involved with the “too cool” crowd. That quickly becomes the crowd that’s too cool to work hard, too cool to take chances, and too cool to succeed.”—(via humansofnewyork)
The Justice Department statistics report that 1 in 3 Native American women have been raped or have experienced an attempted rape, a number more than twice the national average.
Incidentally, House Republicans are against a bipartisan-supported provision in the Senate’s version of the Violence Against Women Act which would grant tribal courts greater authority to prosecute who are not Native American for abusing their Native American spouses and domestic partners. They have not included it in the House version of the bill and consider it a unacceptable expansion of tribal authority.
I remember writing a paper on Native American tribal authority in my Constitutional Law class. I remember it so well because it was the most difficult and confusing paper I’ve ever had to write.