Friday, September 28, 2007

Like that guy who weeps over Britney Spears...

...I, too, am on YouTube! Yes, our new digital camera doubles as a camcorder, and took a pretty dandy video of my stand-up comedy debut. So, even if you weren't at the glamorous Comedy Cabaret on Wednesday, you can watch my nervous energy translate into these weird, Lady MacBeth-style hand motions!

Notice the constant glances at my set list on the chair...when I got behind that mic my mind went absolutely blank. I'm talking basic knowledge here, too, like my own name and swallowing, along with all my material. Argh. Also, check out my spacey, unfocused eyes; I couldn't see a damn thing except the lights in my face and absolute darkness behind them. Oh, and SuperTarzan, who was sitting about two feet from the stage. Yowza.

Although I can't say I enjoyed it at the time, later on I felt this real rush, and I understood why people do this. It's power, really, and for four minutes, forty-two seconds I had it.
And I spent it talking about having sex with John Kerry. Hmm.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Read on Red

I found this comment on, in a thread about Fred Thompson's now-you-hear-it, now-you-don't statement that, should he be captured, Osama bin Laden deserves due process of law. Naturally, such a statement was out of place in a Republican venue in which the candidates are vying to claim the title of Most In Favor of Torture. I'm quoting this comment here verbatim, for the ages:

Comment title: this is one case where we could learn from
the terrorists

they do, after all, know much more than we ever will about torture. Done properly, OBL could suffer immeasurable agony for an extended period of time.

Hey, I'd plop down the $19.95 for the DVD!

What's perhaps more scary is the follow-up comment, which I found too disturbing to quote in full here. Check it out for yourself, if you want something stomach-churning.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Just thinking

I've been thinking (Dan always groans when I start a sentence with that phrase) about the way Americans view democracy. There's this notion that democratic ideals and principles are luxuries, like power windows in a car, that can and should be discarded when trouble strikes. It's as if people think that autocracies and dictatorships are somehow intrinsically more efficient. I'll grant you that in times of danger you can't debate everything in committee, but at the same time I'm not certain that sacrificing the core principles of liberty really makes things more efficient. A dictator can act more quickly than an elected council, but that doesn't mean he's making the right decisions. Hitler's decision to divert some of his armor away from Moscow to the Crimea was certainly made with dispatch, but it may have cost him the Russian campaign. If he'd had to deal with press, public criticism and opposing political powers he might have been persuaded differently, but of course autocrats don't have to bother with that.

Democracy, to me, is a political expression of diversity, which we know from nature is a good thing. (If all life forms in an ecosystem are too similar they can too easily be wiped out by one cataclysm. ) In politically diverse societies all points of view get to vie for national attention, and even those that triumph are usually moderated by those that don't, thus ensuring against precipitate action. If this sometimes hinders complete victory it also prevents utter defeat.

On to new business. My first open mic is 9/26, and I'll email interested parties the where and when.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Overheard something really funny today

Whilst at a lunchmeat counter at the Reading Terminal, I overheard the following exchange:

Man: "Can I have a half-pound of the rotisserie chicken?"
Woman behind counter: "Chipped or sliced?"
Man: "Yellow."

I'm making bread tomorrow! I do this only once or twice a year because it's a real pain in the neck, but the results are mouth-watering. Tips for good bread:
  1. Refrigerate your dough for 2-24 hours.
  2. Wrap the newly baked loaves in aluminum foil so that the crust stays soft. Unless of course you prefer the crust, er, crusty.