EVERYONE LOVES SALAD

I had a comedy show Tuesday night so regrettably I have to do a post that falls short of the usual in terms of length, originality, and overall cromulence. Some quick links and other things mixed up into a salad of mediocrity, because who doesn't love salad?

1. There is a stunningly large number of "comedians" in 2011 who base their acts on A) imitating ethnic voices (and not in a remotely sarcastic / satirical way; in the straight "Hey, Asians talk real funny!" way) and B) how women are stupid bitches who should shut up and stop yapping so much. Sometimes I feel like I am surrounded by the smartest people in the world when I'm doing comedy. Other times I feel like it's 1957 and I'm watching Henny Youngman's opening act do the late show in the Catskills.

2. I saw my pal Matt Gilbert, who is balls funny but didn't have his best night, absolutely destroy a heckler. Hecklers are best ignored or briefly mocked, but this person definitely deserved what she got. It reminded me of the excellent documentary Heckler, which explores the issue in depth. It's amazing how ignorant some people are. Even when the performers suck, the $5 you paid at the door does not give you carte blanche to get hammered on appletinis and start yelling shit at people on the stage.

3. Mike – yes, THE Mike Konczal, the famous guy from Time Magazine – nails this discussion of one of the biggest but least-discussed problems with the current labor market. The understandable focus on unemployment obscures the even bigger issue: a lot of the jobs that are still around suck. They suck not merely from the perspective of being low paid and offering no security or benefits. They suck because they're petty, dehumanizing, dull, dangerous, mindless, and generally demeaning. Kinda undercuts that whole "Dignity of Work" argument, no? No one who has worked a minimum wage service industry job would argue that it's a positive, character building experience, even compared to sitting at home with one's thumb stored rectally.

4. Way to not sound like a cranky, out-of-touch old white guy, Alan Simpson:

I think, you know, grandchildren now don't write a thank-you for the Christmas presents, they're walking on their pants with the cap on backwards listening to the enema man and Snoopy Snoopy Poop Dogg, and they don't like them.

Sometimes it's hard to believe that this stuff is real, that I live in a world where this person has power and I am not merely hallucinating.

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25 Responses to “EVERYONE LOVES SALAD”

  1. Sarah Says:

    2. I once sat through a comedy routine by a woman who, I believe the term is, "died" on the stage. She was on the stage for maybe five minutes and except for her routine there was dead silence throughout, not even any heckling. I felt very sorry for her.

    3. Here is a story which has been floating around Yahoo for a couple of days (and you've talked about this previously, too): http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110308/ap_on_re_us/us_benefit_envy

    What I have been seeing in these stories (and I find it a little irritating) is the implication that these workers are getting health insurance and pension contributions "free" on top of their base salary. Those benefits aren't free, they're part of the overall compensation package for which that person is *working*. I believe we are now at a cannibalistic phase where we will (figuratively) be eating each other on a society-wide scale, while the top 2% (who consider all of us expendable) sit back and watch.

  2. sluggo Says:

    Grandpa Simpson.

  3. Andrew R. Says:

    Re: Number 3. As I've continuously said in the past, Manufacturing is not the Issue. The destruction of organized labor is the issue. To a lesser degree, a pitifully low minimum wage is the issue. The Good Job at the Plant was as boring and repetitive as any, but if you have a union to fight for you so that you have a decent paycheck, that helps take a lot of the sting out of it. It's the loss of the unions, not The Plant, that we, as a nation, need to worry about.

  4. Bobbyk Says:

    I have to do a post that falls short of the usual in terms of length, originality, and overall cromulence.

    Cromulence? really?

  5. meagle Says:

    Just yesterday I was telling some people that I think Daniel Tosh is a dumbass and not even the slightest bit funny. My girlfriend insisted I watch some of his skits because they are "hilarious". I sat there for ten minutes bored and confused as to why people think his comedy is humorous. I will never get those ten minutes back. I think one of the skits fell into the "A) imitating ethnic voices (and not in a remotely sarcastic / satirical way; in the straight "Hey, Asians talk real funny!" way)" category.

  6. Del Says:

    So, do you deserve to be "destroyed" by the dude with the microphone if you are sitting there silently, but with a sour look on your face, during a misogynistic riff in his routine? Because that is what happened to me in a Houston club. It was twenty-five years ago and I can still feel the frustrated rage and humiliation. We would have gotten up and left, but we had paid to see the headliner (who this guy was not).

  7. Da Moose Says:

    Cool that you do standup. I'd like to try that but don't have the balls. Hecklers? I would never heckle someone who has the stones to get up in front of a crowd to basically let the crowd assess their wit or potential lack thereof. That deserves respect no matter how bad the material.

    It's curious to me as to how Alan Simpson knows my boss, Enema Man–a man capable of inserting himself up my arse at any given moment.

    Watched Galifanikas and Tosh standup routines recently on Netflix. I don't know what's more impressive, the twists and turns of their minds or the fact that they have the discipline to take notes as their mind's wonder during the course of the day and then subsequently hone their material for the stage. Perhaps it's important to have a shitty minimum wage job if you are doing standup. You can use the absurdity of your day to feed your routine.

  8. acer Says:

    Say what you will: Enema Man dropped a hot freestyle on that Tool record.

    I would guess that most of the standups in Athens aren't looking at HBO specials just yet. Entitled 20-year-old fratboys should stick to tormenting bums for YouTube.

  9. xynzee Says:

    Weird on the "Asians talk funny" topic a friend from S'pore showed me this of a friend's friend last night:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FzNXIZY1p0
    She's going through several different accents that one can hear through out S'pore. She starts with the American and then descends through all of them and finishes with a Filipino accent.

  10. Liebchen Says:

    Louis CK had an excellent bit about a heckler on his show, "Louie."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNRNCk3YwqE

    It was excruciating and hilarious.

  11. Brian Says:

    You don't win friends with salad.

  12. Fifth Dentist Says:

    I would have thought that at Alan Simpson's age the Enema man would be your friend.

  13. a Says:

    I always thought that Heckling was part of the comedy – give & take…
    Seriously, I don't go to hear:
    Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars but check when you say the paint is wet?

    I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

    Some people are like Slinkies … not really good for anything, but you can't help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.

    Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

  14. Matt Says:

    This is my all-time favorite response to hecklers, by the late Bill Hicks (warning: language not suitable for work, small children, or really anybody):

  15. Patrick Says:

    In an age where journalism has mostly been neutered, we ought to embrace the tradition of street theater and do all we can to help our opponents shoot themselves in the foot as much as possible. Every network ought to stick a microphone and train a camera on Alan Simpson. His turn as the vicious old corpse that he is does more to discredit him and discredit the austerity crowd than any amount of cogent, approachable opposition does. Ditto for whomever pulled off that brilliant prank call to Scott Walker.

  16. cromartie Says:

    how women are stupid bitches who should shut up and stop yapping so much.

    And the problem with this is…. (I keed I keed)

    /fix me a sammich'd

  17. bb in GA Says:

    Brillant call to Scott Walker (who really didn't say anything different in private to "Mr Koch" than he said in public) as compared to those dastardly O'Keefe confederates who ambushed the lovely and talented Mr. Shiller, late of NPR.

    mmm-mmm-mmm

    //bb

  18. Elder Futhark Says:

    RE: shitty jobs. Um. Could anyone tell me a time in history when jobs weren't shitty*? Thanks.

    *Huntering and gathering don't count, as they are pretty much pre-historic. And though I am semi-retired, my job is actually pretty sweet. It involves killing assholes. Remember that one asshole? And now he or she is gone? You're welcome!

  19. HoosierPoli Says:

    Oh bb, you're my daily dose.

  20. Sammy Says:

    Why is it that some people think we're there to see THEM and not the comedian? A recent show with two normally very good comedians was ruined by three rude bitches and one drunk asshole who thought it was "converse with the comic night". Even great attempts by the comics to disarm the disrupters (not hecklers, but people who just wanted to engage) wasn't enough to shut them up. I think the phrase "shut the fuck up" may have escaped my lips, to the despair of my wife.

  21. Nunya Says:

    Most jobs have historically been shitty; that's why we get paid to do them. That being said, there used to be rewards associated with hard labor and a realization that there are limits to mental and physical endurance.

    As soon as we killed unions, overtime, and any ability to have a voice in determining working conditions, these jobs truly became unbearable.

  22. Nunya Says:

    Oh BB, you never cease to amaze me.

    Scott Walker stripping the hard earned right to collective bargaining is to be congratulated but an impolitic reference by the head of NPR is heresy.

    I know you're from the south but I'm sure even you can tell that there's something missing in that logic.

  23. spaceman_spiff Says:

    I think, you know, grandchildren now don't write a thank-you for the Christmas presents, they're walking on their pants with the cap on backwards listening to the enema man and Snoopy Snoopy Poop Dogg, and they don't like them.

    I don't care if this exceeds the standards — I want this as my new sig file!

  24. Greg Says:

    Thanks for the link to Heckler documentary!

  25. bill Says:

    "They suck because they're petty, dehumanizing, dull, dangerous, mindless, and generally demeaning."

    Which is why I'll pass right over a job ad that talks about the "passion" that company's employes supposedly have for their work. If you've got a passion for working in customer service or administration or some other boring-but-somebody's-gotta-do-it line of work, you probably need to rethink your mission in life. Same goes for the ad writers who think "passion" is somehow important to the work that most people have to slog through every day. Just give me a job to do, get out of my way so I can do it, and then give me my fucking check when it's over, okay? I'll save my passions for the lady who sleeps next to me every night and for the few other things in life that truly get my hormones moving. The rest is just all the bullshit we have to put up with just to pay the rent.