The glorious Nina Storm had me do comedy on her all-woman variety show, LA Woman!
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!
The funniest thing about the 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.”
My talented best friend Pete Ellison (designer of my website, music impresario, DJ and artist- previously mentioned here, here, and here, and here and here!) has made this adorable t-shirt, suitable for you or your vegan/vegetabletarian friends and family!
It’s available in yellow, green, or blue, and is hand-printed in Pete’s home studio in soft, eco-friendly waterbased inks. I like this tee especially because it doesn’t have the “and you’re a dick” subtext of a lot of veggie tees, it’s just a fun burger that loves you and wants to be eaten, because everyone knows that tofu is a very masochistic food. Click HERE to order!
This first run is limited to 75 pieces! You’ll be wearing the only tofu burger tee in the whole vegan grocery/yoga class/tall bike ride/waterpark/DJ night/transgender dance party/coffee bean tasting/hula hoop class/laundromat dance party/bear bowling event!
It’s honest, is what it is. A cheerful, grinning pole dancer is the only female role model America really wants. That’s why Miley Cyrus got on on a pole at 16 at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards, and why she was cheerfully twerking on Robin Thicke’s crotch at the VMA’s in 2013. (And don’t worry, everyone acted like they were outraged in 2009, and her Dad acted embarrassed and said “I don’t know where she learned that” and the answer was, then too, “from her choreographer that painstakingly created the routine.”)
That’s why Britney was on a pole when she was 18 and one second. We might be living through another Republican White House if Sarah Palin had just dropped the soundbites and climbed a pole. These things don’t come from nowhere and marketing doesn’t lie. Don’t pretend you’re shocked. Don’t pretend to be surprised when teen idols play strippers, again and again- Performers do what is asked of them. Feminism has fallen down gone boom and we all need to pick it the fuck up.
For one second, think about whether you, as a person with lady parts, have ever said “It’s fun to go to the strip club an’ get attention from the dancers!”, or said “Those Suicide Girls seem pretty self-actualized, because having tattoos means you’re your own person!” and realize that you might be part of the problem. Being comfortable with your own body and sexuality has gotten confused with being porn-positive and chauvinist-friendly to an uncomfortable degree. Moby tried to bring up how misogynist the Robin Thicke video for Blurred Lines was, and everyone shouted him down like he was an asshole. I’m not talking about suppressing freedom of expression, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t do exactly what pleases you- I’m just saying, if you don’t like the society we’re living in, own your part in creating it.
And girls, you don’t have to let boys grind on you at a club if you don’t want them to. You don’t have to send them nude pictures on your phone. And for chrissakes, don’t laugh at them if they aren’t funny.
Hey! Serious for a second! That was weird, huh.
Besides, the VMA’s are where fake scandals are made. Sacha Baron Cohen putting his balls in Eminem’s face. Kanye cockblocking Taylor Swift. Russell Brand joking about the Jonas Brothers. Diana Ross grabbing lil Kim’s boob. Madonna humping the floor. Courtney Love dissing Madonna. Madonna kissing Britney. Lady Gaga wearing a meat dress. What’s it gonna be next year? More importantly, how long are you rubes gonna keep walking down the midway?