Virginia Jones is an LA-based comedian, actor, and writer. She can be seen on Portlandia, CNN’s History of Comedy, and if you stay up late enough, on an Australian tap dance infomercial. She is a unique comic voice, by turns ingenious and absurd. Her comedy is keenly feminist and subtly radical. During lockdown, she created a Instagram TV series called Covid Delivery Scumbag, which has over 2000 views cross-platform. She’s glad to be one of Jackie and Laurie’s Comics of the Week. She documents her various adventures and plots on www.badinia.com
My Joke of the Day:
Most common Quarantine Activity:
I have been playing a metric ass-ton of guitar. Does that mean I am good at guitar? No. But I’m better than I was before we had to stay in the house all the time. I’ve been writing dumb letters to send to friends, making masks for people. A million little craft projects.
Favorite Quarantine show/movie:
I really loved Midnight Gospel and Space Force. I’ve been watching lots of weird British comedy on Britbox, Inside No. 9 is great capsule comedy horror from two of the guys from League of Gentlemen.
Favorite Instagram accounts:
I really love @diet_prada and their fashion snark, my friend Todd Masterson’s hilarious @gayfatfriend, and @jonwurster for rock trivia and #mynewworstfriend posts
Favorite quarantine meal & drink:
I’m enjoying refreshing homemade vodka sodas, and when Magpies softserve opened for pickup in Silverlake I called my manager to make sure he knew.
Most Questionable thing you’ve seen or heard recently..
A friend of mine called me driving home from a covid hookup, and said “I can’t wait until this goddamned pandemic is over!” and I’m all “bitch you’re not helping!”
First thing you’ll do once isolation is over…
Pet all the dogs, do all the shows, go to all the parties, and make out with strangers in the street!
Lady Bloodmeadow joins Tinder. If you want a goth girlfriend, please watch her video. She really only has one requirement for partners. If you’d like to see more of Bloodmeadow, check out her Youtube playlist here.
Well, hey, to determine what’s good, we first have to define it, right?
Good can mean morally good: that is, what a society decides is moral. Right now, in this moment – on a Tuesday in March- it is good to sit inside by yourself. It is bad to go outside in large groups. Usually, the opposite is true. It’s good to help others and bad to hoard toilet paper.
We think that being a good person is to be of service to others. To do what is moral, which we pretend is a constant and not something we made up.
500 years ago, it was good to follow church doctrine and bad to question it, as Martin Luther found out. It was also good to give virgin brides away to strange monarchs, but which someone would probably ask about today.
1000 years ago, it was good to burn heretics at the stake, and it was good to be strong. The whole world was amassing armies and conquering land. China invented paper printed money, which is what power is based on now.
A second meaning of good is the aesthetic meaning. This can either mean something that you personally enjoy, or something of superior quality. The first meaning is subjective. The second is a societal construct, but we confuse them with each other, and with the moral meaning of good.
To say that something is aesthetically good is to say that based on my background, life experiences, and context, I value it. My peers, who might have similar background and life experiences, may also value it, which makes me value it more.
The Last Man On Earth and The Good Place
In The Last Man On Earth and in the Good Place, characters value objects that nobody else appreciates. Phil’s hoard of art in his mansion, or Eleanor’s excitement over a bedpan from a wrestling match: they have to explain to the people around them what makes these things good. That means they’re not.
The second meaning of aesthetically good is that something is well-made, as in: is the new Avengers movie any good? Well, does it have a bunch of characters in shiny outfits and a scary CGI monster? Is Robert Downey Jr. snarky in it? Does Thor not understand something about Earth despite and we all laugh at him, even though he’s handsome? Do the Avengers get mad at each other but then they fight the CGI monster and they’re friends in the end? Is there a rock song in it that was expensive to get, but which is played a little too loudly during a very exciting scene? Well, then, that’s what we expect, and it’s good.
When you say an Avengers movie is bad- what were your expectations? Did you hope that a character would arrive at a universal truth about human suffering, and that the actor portraying that character would get an important award? That’s not the yardstick we measure Avengers movies by.
In performance, to be good is to conform to the current fashion. A hundred years ago, a good singer would sing in a high, reedy voice, and now we like a wide tone and someone who does a lot of vocal switches, which we used to call yodeling.
Good acting in Shakespeare’s time was planting your feet at shoulder width and yelling your lines as loudly as you could.
Sometimes we get confused about the two meanings of “good” in art. This is idea that because you did not personally enjoy something, it’s not good- but in the surfer relativism of The Big Lebowski, that’s just, like, your opinion, man. Your thoughts on a thing does not really affect its value. If people ever really understand that, Twitter will wither and die.
What’s Good In Fine Art?
Most art needs context of some sort to be judged- Jackson Pollock paintings are considered good because they were the first really well-known abstract paintings, and because he died only a few years after his best work was made. The value of the paintings his widow was selling to MOMA shot up because, as she pointed out, there wouldn’t be any more, and that sale created the market for modern art in America, and his peers got rich.
If we showed the paintings to an alien or a Maori tribesman, they probably would not consider them good, because they don’t look like anything in particular, but sort of look like lots of things, and why are you putting colors on a fabric square anyway?
The last episode of the Good Place finds every character trying to achieve their definition of good: Tahani believes that being able to do everything beautifully is good. Chidi thinks understanding everything is good. Eleanor determines that being good is helping others. Jason achieves his definition of good the earliest, as he gets the perfect score in Madden, but reaches yet another level of perfection years later, through achieving inner peace and oneness with nature.
I’m a middle-class white woman raised in the South with religion and MTV, so things I think are good are:
The musty smell of clothing in vintage shops, and the smell of old bookshops.
The moment in a song where the drums syncopate with the guitar, and it sounds like a little machine.
Black clothing and shiny things, because my visual aesthetic was made by 80’s postpunk music videos.
Cookies n’ cream milkshakes.
Petting a dog who has just dried off from a bath and he’s very soft, that’s good. He’s still unhappy that he got the bath, but being petted afterwards makes it worth the bath, sort of.
They’re not universal, except maybe the dog one, but to me, they’re good.
I got to do an episode of the incredible Dork Forest Podcast with Jackie Kashian, whom I inundate with Labyrinth trivia. We also try to help her figure out the difference between David Bowie and Billy Idol. Jackie is a legend and I love her, I love Labyrinth, and I love all of you.
MONDAY: It picks up the silk kimonos from the cleaners. It checks the ticket very, verrry carefully before it gets back into its Geo Metro, to make sure it has the right number of kimonos. We do not want to punish It like last time. It’s harder on Us than on It.
TUESDAY: It sorts tax receipts. It puts mileage receipts in the blue envelope, it puts business purchases in the pink envelope, and it puts tattoo-and-piercing related expenses in a manila envelope. IT DOES NOT SPEND ALL DAY FUCKING AROUND ON FACEBOOK! Nobody wants to see a photo of what It ate for lunch, the food makes It look and smell disgusting.
WEDNESDAY: It brings a fruit plate for Jenny’s baby shower. It chooses a fruit plate with a lot of strawberry and pineapple and not as much melon or kiwi.
THURSDAY: We apologize for saying that it smells disgusting. It sometimes does not smell very bad. We still need It to dust the house, and also to collect all loose teeth into a Mason jar.
FRIDAY: It gets paaaaid. Yayyyy. It can buy all the tacky blue mascara and Lee Press-on Nails it wants. It cashes Its check right away, so that it does not appear outstanding on our bank balance. It is on call all weekend, so It does not turn Its phone off! Its phone is never off!