Monday, June 27, 2005

Speaking of Great Thinkers...Mr. Paul Mooney

A man finds a bottle and rubs it. A Genie pops out. The Genie says "I've been in there for centuries thank you letting me out. You get 3 wishes. I'm tired of talk - just think them and they will be." So the man thinks and poof: a mansion appears. Poof: naked women running around everywhere. Then poof: the KKK in full garb appear, take the man out and lynch him from a tree. The next day the Genie is at Starbucks talking with other Genies because that's where they drink their coffee. He speaks of the day before. "They all wish for the same thing: the mansion and naked women, but the 3rd wish was so confusing. Why would you want to be hung like a Nigger?"
--Paul Mooney

Tonight I saw Mr Paul Mooney. Comedy Legend. Friend of Richard Pryor. Writer of comedy ranging from Letterman to In Living Color and one of the most intense comedians you will ever see. People either love or hate him because he doesn't bullshit. He puts everything on the table from Race to Politics and is so cutting and insightful that it hurts. Its hurts so much that people leave because they feel offended or attacked. His comedy is piercing, well written, concise, demanding - I could only ever hope to be a fourth of the comic he is. I aspire to punch a person is the face with my words that say "Wake up this is the world we're living" that make you really look at things in a new way. Wow. See him. Whether you hate him or love him you will understand why he is one of the greatest of all time.

Don't you spray paint those walls you little Nigger you Puerto Ricans - that is graffiti! But a white man finds a mountain and puts his face on it. And that's history.--Paul Mooney

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Great Thinkers

In “History of the World Part 1" during the segment that took place in ancient Rome. Mel Brooks is standing in an unemployment line that leads up to the clerk played by Bea Arthur. When she asks him what he does, he throws his arms back lifts his chest and exclaims -
“Stand Up Philosopher”
Oh, so you’re a bullshit artist.

Think about that. Comics nowadays are quoted in every day conversations like philosophers. More so. You’ll hear quotes from the great thinkers like Chris Rock, George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, Jerry Seinfeld, Margaret Cho, Bill Cosby, Bill Hicks, Richard Pryor more than you hear the words of Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, Descartes, Sartre, Neitzche, Rand, Heidegger, Kant, and Keirkegaard..

Think about the comics you love and how much you quote them or even when you quote comics you know. Hell, I quote Ellen DeGeneres all the time. YES I’M A STRAIGHT BLACK MAN AND I THINK ELLEN IS A FUCKING GENIUS! FUCK YOU!

Comics are the now the ones who (more so than anybody) take the events and themes of our day and shape them in a way the we can process it with laughter. Laughter helps it go down and what makes us laugh has a stronger possibility of staying in our long term memory (Psych 101). Especially if you agree with it or it makes you see something in a different way. That’s where the comment “it’s funny because its true” comes from. That’s when the audience laughs en masse and people mutter under their breathe “so true, so true.” The news doesn’t do that. It present so called facts. But some Stand ups can arrange the facts in a way that makes you look at them differently. You get a perspective you never thought of. An angle you never considered and you leave changed.

To me it can be more immediate than the theatre. The Theatre has become elitist. We can’t pretend to say that “everyday people” go to it. We can say that those are the roots of theatre. For the people. To tell stories of humanity and such. It also seems to be the credo for every major theatre movement that followed. “We’re doing this for the people, man! Taking it back to the streets!" Still, a comedy room is where you will find people from all walks of life, or at least more divergent walks of life than the theatre nowadays. The direct address quality and informality of a stand up room gives it the potential to become more penetrating, more truthful, more immediate then the Theatre. Even though it is theatre itself. It’s the closest thing we have to the origins of Greek theatre.

That’s what it ws at first. Solo performers telling stories. Active audiences. The passive audience is a new ideal. Its only I’d say about a century old when (as a wiseman once told me), “some motherfucker turned off the lights” that the audience became passive. Waiting for the performers to do everything for them. I believe there should be more of a give and take. I believe that exists now more so in Comedy than any other form. Its right back to Thespis himself....

Hey guys! I just got back from Sparta and boy are my arms tired! I’m telling ya though, the ladies in Sparta really are something...something to be feared and run away from! Wow, can we take up a collection and buy these ladies necks or what? Seriously, they’re scary! Anyway, enough of me. We got a young up and comer here for you tonight. Fresh off a stint at the Solo Hole in Athens...Sophocles!

Hey! Alright! Thank you. Thank you very much! Round of applause for your host, Thespis. Working hard so the Gods don’t get mad! Lets get right to it...we all know this story...that’s right I’m talking bout Oedipus. Poked his Mom and then poked out his eyes. Now really, is that gonna solve the problem? I mean if there’s a body part you’re gonna punish for the crime, I doubt its above the neckline let alone the waistline. I mean, what’s his logic here? As long as I don’t see what’s on it, I’m not responsible? Come on!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Moment of Clarity #11

The debate really needs to start being about whether or not having sex with your own clone makes you gay.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

its amazing how'll much i'll do to not do

It really is. I've been avoiding writing for the last 4 days. I wake up every morning thinking to myself "I gotta write!" Then I make up ways to avoid doing something that I love for something I love. Interesting. They say "the hardest part of writing is beginning." They also say "it takes more energy to not do your homework than it does to do it." And course they said "why ask why? Try Bud Dry."

I'm happy to be writing this. Its been hard because I've got "From a Distance" by Bette Midler and "Idiot Boyfriend" by Jimmy Fallon stuck on loop in my head. One of those songs on their own has enough power to cripple a Yeti, so you can imagine how I feel.

The other night I had one of the strangest IM conversations I've ever had. (IM has been a contributor to me not writing) I thought it was an old high school friend of mine named Sarah. I quickly learned it was not and then proceeded to have some sort of psuedo cyber sex thing. I don't know who this is. I don't even know if it was a guy or girl. Well, read on...

ME: hello?

HER: hello?

ME: wow you actually wrote back. usually i get your away message - "fuck you, baron"

HER: this actually isnt sarah

ME: oh. well this is now awkward

HER: she was signed on on my computer

ME: ah. hope i didn't offend with my profanity. i'm very vulgar, you dont even know!

HER: its all good

ME: coo. you black?

HER: no

ME: haha, sorry. i got excited for a split second. ok i'll leave you alone

HER: lol. sorry to dissapoint

ME: its ok. we can't all be perfect

HER: im white and blond. but I guess im not your type now. well i love black stallions

ME: haha

HER: and dont tell my mom :-)

ME: i'm a stallion now. i like this

HER: i gotta say I'm picky about men. they have to be able to take it a little rough. so you better be able to back up the stallion

ME: well it depends what you mean by stallion

HER: as in hung like a

ME: hmm. well...

HER: taking a long time to think about it eh. not a good sign
(yeah people with big dicks don't think. they just blurt shit out as fast as they can -BV)

ME: i don't have much experience with other penises. but i've been told I'm a stallion. i say that because to be is to be perceived

HER: your mom doesnt count

ME: hey OOOHH (Ed McMahon).you're funny

HER: i try

ME: i'm hilarious, but you're funny

HER: not all blonds are dumb :-)

ME: never said they were (sure, they all have online chats with strange men -BV)

HER: well lets see how clever you are...can you describe yourself in a way that turns me on

ME: go ahead

HER: but only using food terms

ME: well girl (I don't even hesitate -BV)

HER: terms that have to do with food, its preperation, or its consumption

ME: i don't exactly know how you expect to to "produce" what you need, but seriously, if your oven is ready i got something for it

HER: i know it sounds cooky, BUT a really slick guy can do it

ME: make sure you preset it. it needs to be hot

HER: 3/10 so far (what is that? a score or the number of references i must make? -BV)

ME: of course I'll use a mitten. i'm always protected. but yeah you know i just wanna spread butter on you sheet girl

HER: im not good at it

ME: grease it up nice like

HER: ok now im a little too excited

ME: cause we cooking with gas. with all burners. you know, i just gotta sautee with your sauce, but don't worry

HER: theres something about the thought of a marble statue and food that makes me really turned on. (Yeah, put an apron on Michaelangelo's David and she will cream herself -BV) im too excited i need to calm down. good night

ME: my souffle won't fall


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I just got schooled... Moody McCarthy and Dan Allen. No me gusta. I learned that I'm not really out of shape. To be out of shape, you have be in some sort of shape in the first place. I'm more of a physical amoeba: no real definition and a gooey consistency.

Oh what a blow to the black ego to be stomped by 30something white guys named Dan and Moody. This is why I have a sense of humor. I was always the impress-you-with-my-quick-wit-talk-about-yo-mama-run-from-a-fight kind of negro, not the take-you-to-the-hole-mess-you-up-if-you-talk-bout-my-mama-look-at-my-biceps kind of negro. I realize this makes me sad.

Its been a while since I've played. Remember White Men Can't Jump? That's what people looked like last time I played. You could tell by my lingo...
"He's got hops!"
"Mess up his cravat!"
"54 40 or fight!"

I'ma work out. I'ma get bigger. I'ma get faster. I'ma get a shape. Then Dan and Moody have got it comin'

Monday, June 13, 2005

just the slightest bit disturbing (rant)

I went to the Museum of Sex the other day. Yes. I know. I'm a man about town. Indeed. Its quite an interesting place and one of the few places in NYC where you can look at a magazine with "dirty pictures" or as Helms and Strom would say "filth masquerading as art" without someone over your shoulder disgusted with you. Indeed.

((*note: of course Helms and Strom means Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond. Although it does sound like a great name for a Modern Conservative Vaudeville Team...
HELMS: What do you call an elephant that's late for a job interview?

STROM: I don't know, but I sure hate Niggers! (roaring laughter)

HELMS: Me too, me too...I mean seriously, they haven't been useful since the good ol' cotton picking days! (Strom starts barking and foaming from the mouth) Oops! I forgot references to those days make you rabid!

BOTH: Ha Cha Cha Cha!))

I was at the museum looking at the Stag Film exhibit. It was a historical recount of how porn films came to be. Back in the day, there were low grade movies of hardcore sex (dating back to 1915) and groups of men would get together to watch them while they drank and had a good time. The Stag Party was born.

They had the screens on the ground and the projectors on the ceiling. You had to walk around this dark room and look down over the action. If you looked around, you could see groups of people gathered around the screens with the light of the film just barely illuminating their faces. It felt gross.

As the day went on, it got more and more crowded and that's when I noticed a woman pushing a baby in a carriage. WHAT THE...? A baby, surrounded by hardcore sex films. I mean yeah, that's how the baby got here, but still. Then I had a strange sense of relief. I knew the baby couldn't see. Everything was blurry to it and even if not, it didn't know what was going on. For some reason, that gave me closure.

Still I'm not saying let's sit every baby in front of a porn movie, but we can't hide these facts from them forever. We kind of treat children like they're little retarded time bombs that have no way of comprehending the things they see. If we're not their to sheild them, their precious little heads explode and we have to clean it up. Here's my thing. Its seems when we sheild them, it create a taboo. Taboo creates curiosity. Curiosity killed the cat. Or made the kid grow up to try something they don't really know about because their parents were too scared to say something which results in some sort of horrible horrible tragedy usually a lot worse than whatever was being kept from them. Sorry, to get after school special on yo ass, but seriously folks.

So maybe that woman will let their baby grow up to see porn. And the kid will be like "what's that?" And the mother will actually sit down and talk to him/her about it. And (god forbid) be frank and answer questions about this thing the kid won't be able to stop thinking about when puberty comes. Perhaps it'll demystify some things. And maybe just maybe a functional relationship might blossom between child and parent. And when the kid is a teen maybe just maybe s/he'll trust (god forbid) that parent. Cynics?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Hip Hop Theatre

Yo, son...

I just went to the free gala opening of the Hip Hop Theatre Festival which is this week June 11 - June 18. It was invigorating. It was inspirational. As cliche' as it may sound, it was amazing seeing all different kinds of people coming together to create art that represented the culture and world we now live in. Yes, we can gain new meaning in these times of war from another production of Henry V, but why not create a new piece in which your entire arsenal of skill can be incorporated. It represents a "taking back" from the Institution what we call "the theatre." By the way, I'll be premiering my own solo piece this summer in the Midtown Theatre Festival. Watch out for it one person who reads this or as I call you "Mom."

Thursday, June 09, 2005

I Wish...

I wish I had something to say.

I do realize this: I need more material that starts with "I was walking down the street..."

This is the only way I want to be seen by the public - as a man on the go! No more jokes that start with "I was sitting" or "As I lay in bed last morning" or "I was relaxing in the bubble bath the other day when" NO MORE! No more weaving images of myself as a dashing young negro who never uses his legs for he is too busy soaking them. That's exactly what we need less of! We need less of these negative stereotypical generalizations of black people always "getting a back rub" or "luxuriating at a day spa" or "receiving a pore cleansing mudbath and seawed wrap" BASTARDS!

I was walking down the street the other day with a friend of mine. It was late, like 1:30 in the morning. I was walking her to her apartment in the west 30s when a woman approached us. I had noticed this woman seemed to be frantically searching for something. She came over to us and in her accent she asked "Have you seen this man over there?" and pointed toward 8th Ave. Notice how specific she was. Not "have you seen this man?" but "have you seen this man over there?" She'd showed the picture and there was a surprised looking white man (she was black) with round rimmed glasses and what appeared to be a chicken on his head. A chicken. Just sitting there. On his head.

I said "Have we seen him over there?" I pointed to 8th.

"Yes," said she.


This is the best part. After I said no, she looked me up and down with the utmost disgust and searched my eyes to see if I was lying! Not even a quick scan. A good long stare! She could not believe I hadn't seen him and then left us. TRUST ME. I DIDN'T SEE HIM. EVEN THOUGH THIS IS NEW YORK, I WOULD'VE REMEMBERED A GUY WEARING A CHICKEN ON HIS HEAD.

Maybe its because I specified 8th Ave. Maybe she knew I had seen him somewhere, but not where she suggested. Maybe she saw my not so subtle wink to my friend who knew we saw him on 6th Ave, not 8th. 6th Ave! Haha, we fooled her with a technicality! Another life ruined by my lies! Now to soak my feet!