I watched Iliza’s Special: Reposted from the Interrobang!

Posted Posted in comedy, feminism, Uncategorized

I Watched Iliza’s Special!

Virginia Jones is an intellectual, philosophical, comedian whose comedy swings from smart to absurd, and “has a lot of animals in it”. She came up in Portland where she returns to do the Bridgetown and All Jane Festivals, and as a favorite feature at Helium comedy club-with great talents like Arj Barker, Sebastian Maniscalco, and David Koechner. This year, she has also toured with great comics like Myq Kaplan and Auggie Smith. Virginia was a semi-finalist in the 2013 San Francisco comedy competition, a rare achievement for a comp that last saw a woman win in 1979. Her monthly show, Glendalia was covered in the LA weekly, and her first album, Gothic American, appeared on several best-of lists for 2016. Last week, Iliza Shlesinger made headlines for her comments about women comedians- particularly women who perform at the Improv. As one such comedian, Virginia Jones responds.

I WATCHED ILIZA’S SPECIAL AND I COULDN’T BELIEVE WHAT I SAW

Before this week, if anyone ever asked me what I thought about a woman comic whose jokes I don’t personally care for, I would always say, she’s making her space in this business and I respect her for that. This is a hard gig. Then Iliza Schlesinger let us know in an interview for Deadline that lots of us are bad for talking about sex or sexuality, and that we should be SMART like her.

“I could walk into The Improv, close my eyes, and I can’t tell one girl’s act apart from another,” she said. “That’s not saying that 30-something white guys don’t all sound the same sometimes, but I’m banging my head against the wall because women want to be treated as equals, and we want feminism to be a thing, but it’s really difficult when every woman makes the same point about her vagina, over and over. I think I’m the only woman out there that has a joke about World War II in my set.”

Since I’m a woman comic who plays the Improv, this annoyed me.

So I did a selfless thing.

I watched Iliza’s newest special, Confirmed Kills.
I wanted to see how a truly original comedy mind works.

SPOILER ALERT-it’s not even a WWII joke, it’s about a baby boomer coming home from the war to fuck and be racist. THANKS, STEPHEN HAWKING.

Here are my notes.

1. Dog walks across stage in a long ballgown. This is the best.
2. Establish that this is Chicago.
3. There is a Party Goblin in the back of your head and it is your Id. This is a more animated rehash of Larry Miller’s Ten Stages of Drinking from the 80’s. Five-six minutes. She uses this D&D voice and then a sorority girl voice. Those are the two. There is a lot of kicking, I guess so she can fit another workout into her day.
4. Instagram joke
5. People like to talk when they’re drunk.
6. She’s the alpha in her group of friends. OBVIOUSLY.
7. Racist joke about being in Chinatown.
8. Tag from Calgon commercial from before she was born
9. Dudes need to pick girls up on time or else we’ll put on body glitter
10. Not trashy, just doing trashy things
11. One of the difficult things about being a woman is everything
12. There’s four minutes a night where a woman feels comfortable in her own skin
13. Talks about lip-liner, refers to self as a Chola
14. Joke about balls
15. Needed to find lip-liner in a big bag
16. Joke about method of finding lip-liner in bag
17. This is essentially women be shoppin’
18. Oh lord this is about the shit in the bottom of your purse
19. I think Erma Bombeck covered this in 1968
20. If you use an open tampon, you’ll die on the Oregon Trail

21. Dumps out bag on dance floor, makes Helen Keller joke
22. Door guy has to be described as good-looking because she said he’s black, so she doesn’t get in trouble with the PC police
23. Door guy leaves her alone because she’s “white girl crazy”
24. She felt vulnerable bent over on the floor in public
25. Gets an applause break by saying “nay” in fake D&D nerd voice
26. Women feel vulnerable because they are not as physically strong as men, if we were strong, we would never have waited for the right to vote, weakness is why women have to be scared of rape
27. Does an extended and very appreciated series of poses to show off her extremely toned body
28. CrossFit is a cult
29. CrossFit exercises are weird.
30. Women are strong in childbirth
31. Act out of delivery, when your child is in danger you can draw on mother’s strength
32. Second reference to single women being afraid of rape
33. That’s why sexual harassment is a big deal: you can wear whatever you want, it doesn’t give the right for someone to harass you- and it’s about the underlying notion that he could rape you if he wanted
34. Hard to be a woman: when men sexually harass you and you find them unattractive. This is a great message. If he’s hot, it’s just flirting. Super funny and brave and smart. It’s OK for men to comment on your body if they’re hot
35. Women and men shop differently
36. Does a bit mocking women who are trying to be creative or find themselves
37. Personal body goals: never thin enough, wants to look like the starved child on the Les Miz flyer, and other weird ana-positive stuff.
38. Women have to be thin to be vulnerable so men will love us
39. Strong women are told to tone it down- wear high heels so you can’t run from your attacker, smoky eyes look like you’ve been choking on a dick
40. Men aren’t allowed to be vulnerable but too bad (Agree)

41. Some women die trying to be thin
42. You have to be the thinnest in your group of friends, pose-off between women. You want to be the kind of thin where your friends are worried for you. “I wear a youth large” Makes a weird joke about R. Crumb comics but thinner, has never seen a woman in an R. Crumb comic
43. It’s only the last 40 years that women of color have made it OK to have an adult body
44. It’s OK to bully and fat shame white women on Facebook (?) Is it?
45. WASP jokes
46. Black women have good self esteem (three women in the audience of a thousand respond)
47. She said “a black”, OK.
48. Iliza’s “Lean In” moment: you have to take respect, not wait for it
49. Iliza shares that whatever your body is like is OK, while she has spent the whole set demonstrating that it’s not, over and fucking over again. But be proud of your body! Even if it’s not as good as hers!
50. Commanding respect through the way that you speak
51. It’s not OK to talk about sex or sexual stuff and it’s not where your power comes from. If we talk about sex, it lets people know it’s OK to sexualize us (see 34)
52. Mermaid shaming
53. Fourth rape joke at 42 minutes in
54. Fifth rape joke and a joke about how the Japanese would eat mermaids
55. Little mermaid was a liar and a hoarder
56. Five minutes talking about how mermaids would have dreadlocks
57. More mermaid shaming #nomermaids
58. Mermaid anal prostitution
59. Jesus Christ, are we still talking about mermaids? This has been ten minutes
60. WW2 joke: what made America great was military men returning home and growing up, making families, not trying to find themselves

61. Pandering pro military statement gets lots of applause
62. Back to talking about white grandparents, baby boomers, rock and roll, Millennials showed up and invented Instagram
63. People are mean to women when they like themselves on Instagram, only fat girls can be on Instagram
64. Talks about how dumb her ex-boyfriend was
65. Men can date dumber and women can’t. Men will date a Popsicle stick in a wig
66. Makes fun of ugly girlfriend who rescues animals and has a great personality
67. “You want to be a feminist, but we have to get attention”
68. I’ve dated ugly guys who were funny and smart. YOU’RE A HERO ILIZA!
69. Women are chastised for talking a lot, this comes from caveman hunter and gatherer times and sharing of information
70. She will be a feminist and clarify: it means you want to be treated fairly and a lot of women don’t like to say that they’re feminists because it’s not attractive
71. Portrait of an unattractive woman feminist
72. Wage gap: gotta close it-but let’s start with porn, where a woman kicks in a door and demands oral sex. Sure
73. (She says that’s so gross, OMG that’s awful, that’s so off brand)
74. Have you ever been having sex with your boyfriend and gotten excited because it’s almost done and you can go to the farmer’s market?
75. Don’t talk to your boyfriend after sex
76. Goblin impression callback
77. What women think about during sex (lavender, food, your mom)
78. If you’re not happy, don’t stay in a relationship out of fear of being alone
79. We like to label single women negatively and we have to be kinder to women
80. #fuckbitchesgetmoney (I don’t know what this means)
81. Women spend so much time hating themselves and trying to meet someone and men can relax because they don’t have eggs
82. Shark Tank: I want a live episode of Shark Tank. (Giant act out closer)

OK, all in all- I respect her ability to churn twenty minutes of animated stand up out of a premise I have used as a tag.

She refers to herself as a feminist many times while mocking unattractive women, fat women, and letting women know it’s not OK to be sexual. (She keeps saying this word, feminism. I don’t think it means what she thinks it means.)

However, in this special, it’s true that she only mentions a vagina a couple of times.

5 Love Lessons I Learned Driving for Lyft- From LOVE.TV

Posted Posted in love and dating, rideshare, rideshare, rideshare, Uncategorized

5 Love Lessons I Learned While Driving for Lyft

 Buckle in for some magical ride oversharing.
Like a lot of LA denizens, I write and act and also drive passengers for Lyft rideshare.  I meet all kinds of people with all kinds of love lives, which many times they tell me about.  Here’s a selection of lessons I have learned from my passengers.The Ride With The PuppyDude gets in the car holding a pink box and a puppy, but looking sad.

Me: Oh wow! A box of donuts and a puppy! Are you gonna make someone’s morning or what?
Sad dude: well, I wanted to, but she threw the donuts back in my face.
Me: oh.
Sad dude: and the puppy. She also threw the puppy in my face.
Me: I’m sorry, man.
Puppy whines slightly.Lesson: Sometimes even donuts and a puppy won’t save you. If that’s the case, either it’s too far gone or you’re just not a good match.  You’ve tried the nuclear option and it’s time to move on, but do raise that puppy.


The Ride With Nicole  Picked up a drunk couple from a bar, they were on a Lyft Line so I headed to pick up the next person.

Girl: You’re going the wrong way.
Me: Oh, we’re gonna go pick up Nicole real quick!
Girl: Who is Nicole?
Guy: Oh, honey, I did Lyft Line.
Girl: What’s Lyft Line?
Guy: It’s like Uber Pool.
Me: Save a couple bucks, reduce traffic!
Girl: You cheap F**K.
Guy: Hon, are you really mad? We’re not in a hurry…A few moments pass, she seems to forget about it, we talk about other stuff.
Girl: Why are you going east?
Me: We’re…gonna pick up Nicole real quick?
Girl: Who the f**k is Nicole?
Me: She’s… The next rider on the Lyft line?
Girl: What’s Lyft Line? She sounds, sorry to say this, like a c*nt.
Guy: Um… don’t say c*nt?
Girl: And you can ignore him. He’s never even been in a three-way. I’ve been in like 30.
Me: That sounds like a real calling!
Girl: Plus, he’s the only dude I’ve dated who hasn’t wanted to move in after six months! What the f**k is that?
Guy: Uh.
Me: (Trying to lighten the mood) Well, I’ve dated guys for six months before I put their names in my phone!
Girl: WHAT are you SAYING I want to GET OUT.
Me: Oh, here’s Nicole!
Girl: Hi Nicole, where are you going?
Nicole: To No Vacancy!
Girl: Oh cool that’s a cool place to go to get f**ked by a 27-year-old white guy with no job
Nicole: OK?
Me: Ok, you guys are almost to your destination!
Girl: I don’t wanna go to his house.  Can you drop me at my house (gives address)
Me: Well… I can’t actually change destination on Lyft line, because, you know, we have to head near where Nicole is going.
Girl: You cheap f**k!
Me: (Last attempt at humor)No fighting in the cab!
Girl: I don’t want to go to his house EVER AGAIN!
Guy: (whispering) are you serious right now?
Girl: AND NICOLE THERE’S BAR LUBITSCH IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO GET F**KED BY A RUSSIAN DUDE.
Nicole: I don’t think I’m looking for that.
Me: (silence)
Me: (screeching brakes) OK here you are! Thanks so much!
(They get out, fighting because she wants to break up with him)Nicole: What was that
Me: Sorry, I know!Lesson: If you’re a nice guy and she walks all over you, she’s not worth being with.  If she loves you, she’s gotta love your spend thrift ways!


The Ride With The Lyft Valentine

My first ride of the day was a lady who grumbled a little when I told her happy Valentine’s day.Lady: Sheesh. Not for me. I just broke up with my dude of three years.
Me: That sucks, man. I’m sorry.
Lady: Yeah, my girlfriend banged him, so they both suck.
Me: They do, they suck. That sucks.
Lady: And the incredible thing is, this is her second time pulling this shit! Like, there are so many dudes, why can’t she stop screwing my dudes?
Me: You still kept being her friend after the first time?
Lady: Yeah, well, she said she was sorry and that she wouldn’t do it again.Lesson: If your girlfriend bangs your boyfriend once, it could be an accident.  Twice, it’s a hobby.


The Ride With The Late Night Romancers

I picked up a cute, fairly drunk guy at 2 a.m. in downtown Pasadena, and he gave me an address. We picked up a cute, fairly drunk girl and the magic began.

Guy: Let’s go to [name of bar].
Me: Uh, I think they’re closed, it’s 2 a.m.
Guy: I think it’s open?
Girl: I just think I’m a… real easy going person.
Guy: I know, I know. I try to live in the moment.
Girl: You just… have to.
Me: Guys, this bar is closed.
Guy: (to me) Oh! Let’s go to [restaurant]. Have you ever had a conversation this amazing happen in your cab before?
Me: (dryly) Sure.
Girl: You just came up to me and asked me to dance, and I couldn’t turn you down!
Me: OK, I’m sorry to say this restaurant is also closed.
Girl: I don’t even need to eat. I’m good.
Guy: OK, we’ll just go to In-N-Out and get a shake.
Girl: It’s like, you just… you took down all my roadblocks.
Guy: I know, I know. You told me.
Girl: All my defenses, just gone.We get to In-N-Out. It is also closed.
Girl: OK, I guess… Take me back to my place?
Me: OK.
Guy: Naw, we can get out here.
Girl: Oh… OK?
Guy: My house is right over there. We can hang for a little while and get another car later.
Me: OK, here we are then.
Guy: Isn’t she just so cute?
Me: Yup. Here we are!
Girl: I just can’t believe how strong we vibe on each other.(Moments pass. They’re just sitting in my car talking)
Me: You guys… Can you go fall in love in someone else’s Lyft?
(I find this hilarious. Nobody thinks it’s as funny as I do.)Lesson: If dude was in love with you, why is he hitting you up after the bars close?  You’re a late night hook up, girl.


The Ride With The Family Man
I pick up a dude who is holding a Starbucks coffee and a phone and looks shell-shocked. He gets into my car and says, “man, you’re gonna hear a conversation that’s kind of intense but I have to have it right now.”  

Me: No problem!

Dude: (on phone) Hey, baby, it’s me! You’re pregnant?! I’m so stoked! I mean it, I want to have a baby with you! You didn’t want to tell me? Come on, I’m your man! I’m your DUDE, I’m WITH you! Do you wanna get married, I mean, what’s your mama gonna say? Are you excited? Are you scared? Baby, I love you. I want to get married. I want to have a baby with you. I mean, I’m 40, what the fuck else am I gonna do? I mean it. I love you. I’m coming over. Yeah, I’m in a Lyft. Yeah, my driver is getting an earful. Yeah, it’s magic and it’s real and I can’t wait! I’ll see you soon!

Me: Wow, congratulations man!

Dude: God, I can’t believe it, but man, we were just at my friend’s house and he has this two year old girl and she’s so perfect and we were saying, man, he’s doing it, we can do this, and then she finds out she’s pregnant a week later, I mean, it’s magic time, man!

Me: How long have you guys been dating?

Dude: Six months, but I know, I KNOW this is my lady. But she’s a passionate lady, and we were together this afternoon but she flipped out on me and left, and now I know it’s because she was scared to have this talk. She just found out this morning.

Me: And when did you find out?

Dude: (Crying) She texted me that she was pregnant, and then I called you. I found out literally a minute before you got there.

Me: You can do this, man. This is sometimes how babies come. You can do it. (Also crying)

Dude: Yeah, I mean, I always wanted to be a dad and now we’re gonna do it! I’m scared shitless but I know we’re gonna be great!Me: Good luck. Be good. Here’s some tissues.

Dude: Five starrrrrs!

Lesson: Sometimes amazing things happen by accident.  If you’re with the right person, look in your heart and see if you’re ready to roll with it.

My Last Alcoholic

Posted Posted in love and dating, Uncategorized, Virginia Jones

My Last Alcoholic

I don’t like to say that my family is all alcoholics, but we have pretty strong numbers.  My grandfather was dead at 45, his liver rotted through, leaving behind a small family and a whole town of party buddies who thought he was really great.  It’s an established fact that alcoholism runs through families.  It doesn’t necessarily breed other alcoholics, but it breeds codependents and nurturers and excuse makers and people who seek out alcoholics as partners.

I’m not an alcoholic, and my sister isn’t, but we find ‘em and we date ‘em.  It’s what we’re good at.  She is of the opinion that there’s no man in the world who’s not an alcoholic, because she hadn’t met one yet.

I can tell when someone is an alcoholic or an addict without ever seeing them use. It is my superpower, because if you are an alcoholic or addict active in your addiction,

  1. I will find you attractive.  I will feel that magical flutter in my chest that only happens in the movies and which I now associate with fear.
  1. Alcoholics will tell you the same stories over and over, and they forget the things you tell them, because they weren’t listening. They tell you things when they’re drunk and they don’t remember when they’re sober.  This is your problem.
  1. Alcoholics may brush with greatness, but sometimes they don’t seem to have achieved very much. Maybe they were nearly in a big band, or they used to be in one, or made some great art when they were younger, but now they’re 40 and call themselves a photographer but the last time they took a picture was last year sometime, or they just keep losing job after job because everyone else is a JERK.
  1. Alcoholics don’t prioritize sex. Personally, I love sex, and if I love you, I really want to have sex with you, lots of it.  Alcoholics might have sex with you if they are able to after the bar closes and if there’s no booze in the house.  And that’s abnormal.  Science tells us that healthy men will prioritize sex over food, over sleep, over personal safety- but not over addiction.
  1. Sometimes you can tell someone is an alcoholic because nothing is ever their fault. If you hang around long enough, everything will become your fault.

6. Sometimes you can tell someone is an alcoholic because they are so charming and wonderful, and when they are nice to you, it’s the most wonderful feeling in the world, and it covers you in warmth and light, and when it turns off it feels like the planet Hoth. Alcoholics are two different people. You think that once they stop drinking, the bad selfish lying part will go away and the sweet smart creative will stay behind and love you, but the fact is that the second thing is a fiction that allows the first thing to survive.  The mean drunk is who they really are.

My last alcoholic was a super smart very handsome photographer that had been a TA for twenty years and wasn’t sure what had happened. He came to visit me from San Francisco and suggested we go to a bar in LA, and at the bar in a city where he didn’t live, everyone knew his name.  So I was concerned.

We had a couple drinks and some fun chit-chat and I told him I was ready to go home.  WINK.  You know, to have sex.   And he told me he was ready to have a couple more drinks.   And I said OK.  He was on vacation.   I would like to remind you: he was super hot.

Finally, the bar closes. We go back to my house.  We go to bed.  And we started to have the first sex.  Of our new connection.  First time.  All the heat.  All the desire.  I was on top.  I looked down at this man.  His eyes were closed.  He was transported by desire.    His eyes stayed closed.  For kind of a long time.  I leaned in to check.  He was snoring gently.  He had fallen asleep.  Not his dick.  Everything from the dick back was asleep.

I dismounted, expertly, passing one leg over his body to not disturb him.

He woke up a moment later, I guess because his cock was cold.

He smiled and started making love to me again, and was looking very handsome.  His dark, beautiful eyes locked onto mine, and then gently fell closed as he fell on top of me.  He was asleep again.

You know the old saying, fall asleep inside me once, trick’s on me, fall asleep in me twice, I’m going to pull the condom off and throw it away and go to sleep.

He woke up in the morning and turned to me and said, “I’m starting to think I have a problem with alcohol.”  And I said “yep”.  And he said, “you’re not even going to pause on that? You’re just going to say yep?”  And I looked in his beautiful face and I said, “I hope you have a nice drive home.  I hope you do examine your relationship with alcohol.   I’ve unfriended you on Facebook and blocked your phone number.  You are my last alcoholic.  Goodbye.”

The blessed lesson from this experience is: I know I don’t have to ask whether someone is or is not an alcoholic.  If this article was familiar to you, you don’t either.

I don’t have to wonder what life would be like with that person.  I know what it’s like.

I don’t have to ask whether I could help them stop drinking.  I know that’s not my responsibility.

And I don’t have to keep them in my life if they don’t want to get better.

– See more at: http://www.lovetv.co/you-are-my-last-alcoholic-relationship/#sthash.XlWtzcEE.dpuf

All Jane, Meet All Dick Envy

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

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.”