Showing posts from August, 2015
Stephen Colbert Shares Why He Thinks Women Should Be In Charge Of Everything

In Glamour, of all places.

I have mixed feelings about essays like this. It's great to get acknowledgement from outside that no, you're not overreacting, people like you really are getting glossed over a lot and this is a thing that ought to be fixed. But words, as they say, are cheap. These these tend to be slacktivism at its most pernicious. Hey, I've raised awareness of something! Man, I'm tired. I've done my bit by pointing at the problem, and it's probably above my pay grade anyway, so I'll just go have a nap and let someone else make the actual changes.

Thing is, it's not above Colbert's pay grade. He could make these things happen.

Colbert is already signed onto a multi-year contract. He was told to bring his Report staff with him. IMDb lists him as executive producer for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, and he makes snarky reference in one of his toonified podcas…
Having watched a metric fuckton of (secondhand) news lately, I have spent quite a lot of time staring at channel bugs while Jon Stewart points out how shit their owners are at reporting these days. Mainly he picks on Fox for being intensely good at a terrible mission, CNN for being terrible at a pretty good mission, and MSNBC for being so terrible in all respects it's a wonder any of them get paid.

CNN has existed since 1980, and has the incredibly generic name of Cable News Network because at the time, it was the only one. It theoretically aims to provide a non-biased source of plain unvarnished news. On the rare occasion where they manage to actually report something, rather than giving endless time to talking heads, CNN still carries most of the big non-network names in news -- people like Christiane Amanpour and Anderson Cooper. Fox News and MSNBC were both started in 1996 as mortal enemies, Fox leaning hard right and MSNBC leaning hard left. They are both utter rubbish for te…

Saturday Serial: Superman #12

Ten years ago today, on August 28th, 2005, the mayor of New Orleans ordered the mandatory evacuation of the city. Hurricane Katrina had just been upgraded to a category 5 storm, and New Orleans was in the middle of its projected path, with a near-100% chance that the storm would tear through some part of the metro area, and an almost 30% chance of a dead-on hit.

I watched it unfold on the news, because my parents were watching it unfold on the news. My mother, at the time, was suffering from kidney stones so chronic they were incapacitating. She had brought it on herself, trying to stave off menopause by eating her weight in flax seeds on a daily basis, but that's neither here nor there; someone had to help her, and I was the unemployed child, so I was elected. She was in a terrible mood to begin with, and watching a major city get washed off the face of the Earth didn't help.

I don't really keep track of news personalities. The ones I know, I mainly know from having absor…
I signed a petition on earlier this week, requesting that someone get Jon Stewart to moderate one of the 2016 Presidential debates. I have absolutely no idea if he wants to; right now he's busy guest-hosting WWE events, of which he is a longtime fan, and stopping just short of going eeeeeeheeheeheheeee like a prepubescent fangirl whenever they let him into the ring. I wish to note, for the record, that 1) they don't let you get body-slammed by pro wrestlers unless you've practiced that first; 2) he's not doing too badly for a guy on the far side of fifty who routinely describes himself as "a hundred and fifty pounds of osteoporosis"; and 3) his dress sense, when not in costume as a news anchor, can be summed up in sexist meme terms as 'adjunct faculty in the humanities, whose wife has completely given up', and if he were one of my undergrad instructors, I would absolutely hit this man up for weed.

I know exactly why I want him to do it, whi…

State of the Author Address.

The past week of my life can be summed up roughly as follows: I went to deliver some documents to a lawyer, only to have his receptionist tell me she had no idea what I meant by, "I'm here to serve some papers." Then I went to the courthouse to drop off the clerk copy. Then I went all the way home from the courthouse, because they don't allow cell phones in the building, and they also don't provide any way to drop the damn things off at a front desk or in a locker. And they don't tell you this until you actually physically get there and can see the signs posted by the door.I spent a night working as a barker for a circus event, where one of the spinners told me (with great approval) that I looked like a Christmas present that had somehow escaped being opened, two people asked in some confusion if I'd been at the preview workshop for that show, as if they expected me to have attended and were puzzled that they didn't seem to remember me there, and a pe…

Saturday Serial: Superman #11


Some good things, finally.

"Sure, I'll give you a month of Atarax at a time."

Atarax (generic: hydroxyzine) is an antihistamine and anxiolytic with pharmacokinetics similar to the diphenhdramine and doxylamine used in various versions of Unisom. It's worthless for breakthrough panic, but it does work on my insomnia. It is dirt cheap and has no abuse potential worth speaking of, so the doctor is willing to shovel as much as I want at me. I just picked up a 30-day supply with 3 automatic refills, no questions asked. Hooray for small victories.
"We enjoyed working with you before, and would like to have you perform again this year."

I regularly get callbacks for local theatre groups like the Post-Meridian Radio Players and Theatre@First, but it's a whole different ball of wax when a producer actually hunts me down specifically to ask me back for something, no audition needed. Two of them have done it in the past two weeks. I don't think I'm allowed to say anything about either …
The landlady just came through with another workman. She gave us 21 hours of notice, which is not quite the required 24-48. Inasmuch as she was previously texting us the morning of, when both Jazmin and I worked swing/night shift, we consider this an improvement.

This woke me up five hours before I'm normally conscious. I lose probably 5-10 IQ points and a good 5-10% of my verbal filter for every hour of sleep I'm shorted. Given where I start out, this still leaves me dangerously intelligent, and now also with no ability to moderate what comes out of my mouth. I am lucky if it's both in English and not utterly, creatively profane.

Since Dudebro moved out, Jazmin and I have been finding the smoke detectors in random places. He smoked a variety of things and was too goddamn lazy to go downstairs to do it, so he just yanked all the ones in the apartment down and took the batteries out. The landlady was understandably unhappy about this. She asked me if we knew whether any of …
Hey, y'all remember that thing I was bitching about last week? Where every news article I was sent about Stewart's last episode of The Daily Show conspicuously avoided describing that thing he was doing as 'crying', even though it obviously was, for reasons that were unspecified but which I suspected mainly boiled down to him being a dude?

They're not doing it anymore!

Know why they're not doing it anymore?

(No, the press is not reading my blog. My stats are not anywhere near high enough for that.)

Because Stephen Colbert gave an interview in which he mentioned that making Stewart cry was probably his favorite thing he ever did on the show. In those words. On camera. Top of the piece, even. One article notes that it was taped at the Television Critics Association press tour, where he was presumably promoting The Late Show for CBS on August 10th, but the datelines on everything I can find that quotes him say the articles didn't go up until yesterday, the 17t…
After the rant about the crushing frustration of poverty the other day, I am now going to make myself sound like an ungrateful wretch by telling you all that I've just gotten a 3DS. I am delighted to own the thing, but somewhat less enthusiastic about the way I feel compelled to justify my possession of it by explaining how I got it, which is that I am on Moggie's equipment upgrade path. My birthday is in early September and, as Mog elaborated, "With [an amount of money she had handy], I could either replace my phone, or buy a New 3DS and a PSVita." So that decision pretty much made itself.

She actually asked me if I wanted it. I pointed out that this is a lot like asking the rats if they want this here food. The real question is not 'do you want this', but more 'where should I put this down so you don't accidentally get my hand when you grab it'. She was apparently worried that I'd be disappointed that it wasn't the new kind with the C-st…

Satuday Serial: Superman #10

People have been very nice to me lately. I try not to run around whinging about my medical issues, but I do try to explain the abridged non-technical version of what's going on when I have to cancel something I had planned. They always end by asking if there's anything they can do for me, and I always wince. There are things that need doing, but either I'm already doing them, or I've abdicated to someone else who can handle it better.

The long and the short of it is that what would really help a lot right now is money.

Nobody likes this answer.
I don't usually bother getting annoyed at the phrasing of things in news articles. Entertainment news is especially addlepated and mired in sexist dreck. I mainly register my protest by not applying my eyeballs to it, which denies them some tiny portion of the attention and ad revenue they need to live.

People have noticed that I am trying to distract myself by watching smart humans fuck around in front of a camera, however, and keep sending me links to things about Jon Stewart's final episode of The Daily Show. All of the US articles I've seen, and almost all of the Commonwealth ones, describe his reaction to Colbert's final thanks as "emotional". This is technically accurate, but suspiciously tactful from an industry based on publishing paparazzi photos of reality stars who are coked out of their minds, and police blotter items they dug up by seeing whose name Google can link to both "DUI" and "SAG".

Seriously. Dude's crying. Pretty …

Saturday Serial: Superman #9

I sat down and watched Jon Stewart's last episode of The Daily Show. I'm torn on whether or not that was a good idea. There are a lot of things going on in my life right now that I really just cannot handle, and he's leaving a job that he's worked the hell out of for sixteen years. I should have realized I was going to end up crying.

They got Colbert to do the farewell thanks. I don't know they would have even thought to ask anyone else. Various cast and crew comments suggest my guess was right: The two of them snapped together like magnets as soon as they got within range. Their friendship became one of the meta-laws of the Daily Show universe that was implied by the counterfactual narrative, like the acknowledgement that the comedians on the show were selected on the basis of being quite smart, even as the "correspondents" were written to be idiots and loons. The undercurrent remained even though the character of "Colbert" should logically hav…
When last we met, I was explaining a lot of things about election regulation in the US which were equal parts terrifying and mind-destroyingly boring. Now, I give you:

Part II: The Execution Thereof, or: The post where I link to all the funny bits.

It transpires, frighteningly enough, that not a lot of people in my age group quite get why Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert trolling the SEC was so funny. Non-estadounidenses are probably even more confused. The explanation is long and convoluted, but I promise to try to be amusing.

Part I: Shit You Need To Know First, or: Go pour yourself a drink, you'll need it.

I have never had much truck with religion, particularly the Judeo-Christian ones. My mother was not just atheist while I was growing up, but actively anti-organized religion of all kinds, also looking down her nose at gatherings like her sister's Wiccan coven. I never did figure out why. Something about running into a fundamentalist Christian group when she was younger, I think? I assume that understanding in greater depth than that would cost me SAN, so I didn't  ask.

My father grew up Roman Catholic, and left it right around when he left for college. I don't know all the factors involved, but I do know a large part of it was that his childhood best friend turned out to be gay, as did some of his favorite cousins, and the Church did not deal well with that at the time. Credit where credit is due, here; my parents don't have issues so much as lifetime subscriptions, but I do not recall ever having to be told that there was nothing wrong with being queer. It was so bori…
This week is not a good week. This week is the reason I argued with the doctor until she gave me a lot more Xanax. I am getting tired of explaining this week to people, and it's depressing to talk about, so instead I want to show you this. It is the last question Stephen Colbert took in an interview for Google, promoting his second book, wherein a lady asks him why he chose to go into comedy.

It is without a doubt one of the kindest things I have ever heard out of a fellow human being. I don't know if you could properly say it's unselfish to want for yourself the power to pull laughter out of thin air in an atmosphere of tragedy or failure, but neither do I think it matters. Joy is not a zero-sum game. I am glad to be reminded that this sentiment exists, and that he has fulfilled -- and continues to fulfill -- his life's ambition.

Now if you will excuse me, I have some rats to squish and overfeed. Those store brand Cheerios aren't going to hoard themselves.
Are you all having a good day? I hope so, because I'm not, and I like to fantasize that the universe has some sort of built-in balancing mechanism.

In the interests of making myself think about something less unpleasant, I am now going to intensely, bordering on fractally, over-analyze a joke.

It is always interesting to investigate what people think is appropriate to joke about, and what kind of snark is acceptable. I am of the mind that anything can be sporked from the proper angle and in the proper context, including the meta-analysis of when and where this is appropriate, which is probably why I tend to like comedians like George Carlin and Lewis Black and Frankie Boyle. All of them make a distinction between an abrasive stage persona who can get away with mocking just about anything, with creative profanity, and the person they are off-stage, who is generally horrified whenever they have to explain to other grown-ups the difference between comedy and real life.

There is a lim…

Saturday Serial: Superman #8