Why Are All My Comedy Heroes Scumbags?

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in comedy, feminism

First of all, this article is based on my own opinions and extrapolations from nine years performing in comedy, and many years before that of being a woman.  If it annoys you or makes you angry, I’m not surprised, but nor do I really care.

When Woody Allen married a child he helped raise, it threw us for a loop.  Some people stopped watching his films, and many of us continued but couldn’t enjoy them without any thought of his personal life.

Nothing prepared us for the Cosby allegations, spurred on by the comments of Hannibal Burress, and yet, the stories had been circulating for years and nobody paid attention to them.  There couldn’t have been a more shocking division of the private and the public versions of one man.

And now we have the Louis CK story.  Like Cosby, stories about Louis had been around: in 2009, I heard the account of two female comics being forced to watch him masturbate at the Aspen comedy festival, who were then advised it was in their best interest to keep quiet, but with Jen Kirkman’s podcast (now removed), it no longer sounds like a one-time poor occurrence.  And let’s be clear.  It’s no Cosby case.  It’s not serial rape.  But nor is it a kink.  He’s not getting outed for having a fun little fetish.  It’s for subjecting women to his cock who didn’t want to be sexually involved with him.  Why do men whose work we enjoy and respect keep letting us down?

There are a couple of forces at work here.

One is that women are garbage, and that women comics are even worse than that.  Cosby apologists let us know that women were liars who wanted money and all the kind of great attention you get from being a rape victim, the same happened to #yesallwomen.  So, that’s part one.

Louis CK defenders are pointing out that the only way women comics get ahead is by having sex with people in power.  A male comic friend of mine let me know that if a male comic asked me to go on tour, I should assume it’s because he wanted to have sex with me, because otherwise he’d just tour with a dude, like a normal person.

It’s irresponsible to say something like all comics have mental issues or depression or emotional problems or are full-grown man-children, but I have had friends who never dated before they did comedy, and for whom road ass is part of the payment of road work.  So, that’s part two.

If I stopped speaking with every comic who had been unfaithful to his girlfriend or wife, who’d sent unasked-for dick pics, who’d been predatory to new women comics, who’d felt entitled to sex with their female friends in comedy, who’d shit on their comedian ex onstage, who’d punched their wife, who’d tried to have sex with an unconscious friend on their couch, who’d laughed with their friends about passing women comics around like jizzrags, who’d judged women for sleeping with male comics but had never judged male comics, who’d had different women in every town before Facebook made the world transparent, I would have about five friends.

Part three is that when people get more powerful, that does not lead to being a better person.  You feel protected.  You have people.  You have representation, legal and otherwise.  Why would bad behavior improve?

Lastly, people are not entirely good or entirely bad.  That’s movie talk.  It is possible to enjoy someone’s art without agreeing with all of their opinions, behavior, or past.  It doesn’t make the problem go away, but being predators doesn’t make them not funny.

So, I’m sorry.  There may be other scandals involving your heroes.  They are happening because women are less-than and famous men are more-than.  I don’t know what else to tell you.  Hopefully, this gets better.  It’s not going to change without women getting angry, but guess what?  I am angry.  Hey, thanks for reading!

I’m So Plastic

Posted Posted in comedy, feminism, Gothic

(my friend Sal wrote a blog post about figurines and he reckons this one is me.  Here’s the whole post, if you must)

One of my favorite Facebook friends is a comedienne named Virginia Jones. When I saw this figure it reminded me of her. I recently heard her on an Internet radio program. She’s so funny! This figure was new, in-package, for only $4.99! Now I need the whole set!

Oscar Prep Tips!

Posted Posted in comedy, fashion, feminism, los angeles, women

Well, time to start getting ready for the Oscar party!

First step: Blanch skin in boiling water, shave all body hair.

Step two: Steam vagina with lavender, open pores with small diamond head drill

Step three: Get that pedicure where fish eat your feet. Leave feet in until can wear a size 6.

Step four: After weeks of fasting, refresh and relax by sucking on Acai flavored ice cube

Step 5: Slip arms into leather straps, lower into a vat of rejuvenating placenta. Whose placenta? Not my problem

Step 6: Have whole body airbrushed the color of the long-extinct light brown M&M

Step 7: Have hair ombré dyed, conditioned, washed, cut, blown out, flatironed, teased, finally shaved off and replaced with Bowie wig

Step 8: Time to contour! Highlight what you like and lowlight what you don’t until you resemble topographic map of Chile

Step 9: Bring makeup artist picture of Kim Kardashian and ask her to paint on middle of face, frame the rest with hair. Have a lady glue animal fur to eyelashes.

Step 10: Wrap body tightly in duct tape and Saran Wrap, tape boobs and ass together for out of this world cleavage

Step 11: Get fancy art manicure. Tell manicurist “I want something about the whitewashing of minority stories in Hollywood.”

Step 12: Get sewn into gown, adding special matching pouch for catheter bag so don’t have to take it off until midnight

Step 13: PERFECT! Now to be strapped onto gurney and wheeled into walk in freezer to preserve look until the Uber gets here!

Step 14: At the event, see all the tweets ripping you apart for being fat and ugly and not trying hard enough!

Bereet From Guardians of the Galaxy: A Meditation

Posted Posted in comedy, costume, feminism, Guardians of the Galaxy, women

folkbereetThis year for Halloween I went as Bereet, from Guardians of the Galaxy.  I dressed as her because it was, comparatively, a cheap and easy costume, because I really liked the movie, and also because I found her role in the film kind of interesting.

Guardians of the Galaxy is remarkable for having a full-on female action star hero in Gamora, a female baddie in Nebula, and a female political leader in Nova Prime.  It is that rare thing, a sci fi movie that passes the Bechdel test.  Gamora becomes the love interest, but not before Peter proves himself to be deserving of her attention and she of his.   She resists his well-worn come-on outside the bar in Knowhere, much to his surprise, and this elevates her from conquest to potential partner.

This is not true of Bereet.  Bereet is Peter Quill’s last casual hook-up before he meets Gamora.  He picks her up on Xandar (I assume, because she’s pink like the residents of Xandar) and he wakes up the and heads to Morag the next morning to steal an orb that the puts the story in motion.  As he makes his escape from the planet, he flips his spaceship and wakes Bereet.

Now, there are lots of pink people on Xandar.  People with jobs, people with families.  None of them speak or act like Bereet, whose voice and delivery is that of a brain-damaged Russian.  She doesn’t seem to understand technology, nor the manners of modern communication, because she is a sexual creature and a joke.  Peter doesn’t remember her name or even that she’s onboard, hours after seducing her and letting her sexily wriggle into his childhood t-shirt.

An hour later in the film, Peter risks his own life to rescue Gamora as her body deteriorates in outer space.  Meeting her, an independent woman who does not immediately fall to his seduction, makes him give up his playboy ways and become a fully functioning human being.

Bereet, despite being beautiful and pliable, doesn’t deserve any of this.  I know she’s a foil to show how much Peter grows up.  I’m not 100% a dick.   I just thought the difference between Gamora and Bereet was interesting to observe: In space, women are equal, but some women are more equal than others.  Sometimes my costumes are more about walking around as that character and person for awhile.  Or just covering myself in pink airbrush makeup.

Here is my Facebook album, The Several Moods of Bereet.

 

 

All Jane, Meet All Dick Envy

Posted Posted in Bridgetown Comedy Festival, comedy, feminism, gay, portland, Uncategorized, women

The funniest thing about this poster isn’t its existence.

The funniest thing isn’t the claim that all penises will be severed on site.

The funniest thing is that the guy who made it doesn’t know it’s funny, and doesn’t want his last name to get out in case his girlfriend gets mad.

Postscript: OK, this guy didn’t wind up protesting because he was “frightened for his safety.”  It was a little bit funny for us, looking around at sweet, cute, smart lady comics, people who wear cardigans and glasses, and feeling like we were in the middle of a gender war, but he also might have stayed home because it rained most nights.  Who knows?  Anyway, we never saw him.

All Jane got lots of great press from this threatened protest, from revered feminist institutions like Bust and Bitch, as well as the LA Weekly, Willamette Week, Portland Mercury, etc.  However, with the added visibility, we also started getting spammed by transgender individuals who were offended at the cissexist name, All Jane, No Dick (meaning: assuming there are only two genders.)  Never mind that the festival, its organizers, and its participants are trans friendly and supportive, never mind that one of the performers on a short roster is genderfluid comic Rye Silverman.  A volunteer had to spend a whole day deleting negative comments from the public spaces about All Jane, and lots of comics and organizers were shame-faced to have raised ire from the trans community for our name, even though we know it’s “edgy” and funny.  That’s what comedy is.

But I wasn’t ashamed.  I was mad.  In my unpopular opinion, whether it’s straight men telling women what to do or transgendered persons telling us what to do, it’s still men telling women what to do, and I’m sick of it.  The MOST gender-specific trait for men is telling women what to do, how to be good girls and not offend anyone.  We can make whatever we want, we can call it whatever we want, and we’ll do whatever the fuck we want.  If we offend people?  Good.  Don’t come.  Life is not about never being offended.  Riot Grrl Comedy!  Rant over!  We had fun!  And Sizzle Pie and Montage fed us and it was great!

Postscript: This year, the festival is just called “All Jane.”

Reading Between The Lines: Interpreting Craigslist Missed Connections Part Two

Posted 1 CommentPosted in comedy, feminism, los angeles, women

The lovely and vivacious Sharon Houston asked for my take on this Missed Connection, and it’s a doozy:

“Girl in the Planned Parenthood in Lakewood – m4w – 25
age : 25

I felt like you were trying to catch my eye, and Im not sure if you were staring at me in a good way or bad way haha let me know.  I was with a girl and wearing a black hat, black shirt and sweat pants with glasses. If this is you let me know what you were wearing, because I thought you looked really good but I just couldnt say it or stare too long because im a nice guy and was in the company of another woman (:”

First of all, we all know that hitting on a girl at a sex clinic takes brass balls, or at least a certain lack of both self awareness and social graces. To do so while accompanying another girl to the sex clinic is just phenomenal.

“Not sure if you were staring at me in a good way or a bad way…wearing a black hat, black shirt and sweat pants.”

LOL WTF She’s looking at you in a bad way, asswipe. You’re wearing sweat pants in public like a giant baby- and if you can’t dress up for your first abortion, what will you dress up for?

“haha let me know”

I am prone to faking laughter when things get awkward haha.  It’s how you can tell I’m an indigo child LOL.

“im a nice guy and was in the company of another woman”

And what amazing, punctuation-starved company that is!  I hope both your STD screens came out clean?  Yes, I’m pretty sure that waiting until you’re alone to post a missed connection is what nice guys and gentlemen do.

“Let me know what you were wearing”- I hope you remember what you had on every time some asshole stares at you in public. While we’re at it, what kind of phone do I have? What color are my eyes? What inconsistencies were circled in the Highlights magazine in the waiting room? Are you not the Sherlock fucking Holmes of strangers staring at you?

I’m kidding, kid. I hope you do find love with everyone at the sex clinic.

My first Missed Connection interpretation is here.