Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Two Milestones

Milestone the First: WolfBlock closes its doors today, although I confess they made me a pretty good deal to stay on through the summer so I will not join the ranks of the unemployed until September. I may, however, become one of the 47 million uninsured Americans, because WB is closing the group health plan. That means no COBRA, no nothing. Back to the good old American universal health care system: Don't get sick.

Milestone the Second: Someone totally recognized me on the street today...for comedy, and not robbing a bank or something. I was on 12th Street heading north when a guy who was at Saturday's show at Joe cheered me. That made me feel better about having to go to work. A little better, anyway.

Speaking of Saturday, my two shows were, respectively, great fun and so-so. The crowd at Joe, two dozen strangers supplemented by about ten people I knew, was terrific, and I effortlessly did a twenty-five minute set. (OK, not quite effortlessly without a mic, but you know.) The Comedy Cabaret gig was a tougher nut, and I think I could have picked better material, but I got some laughs all the same, particularly on my heckler joke. And the Yoo-hoo bit worked again. I don't know why that joke has never failed me, but it's probably best not to ask why.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I am totally digging Toni Basil's outfit in this video. Electric blue, boxy, with an over-the-top hat...ooh la la! Anyone who wears this outfit to my Halloween party automatically wins a prize. Fuck the vote! Right in the mouth.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

There is no page you could turn, Mr. Steele

Evidently, Michael Steele thinks that four months is plenty of time to forget eight disastrous years.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele insists the GOP has embarked on a new chapter and says it now must offer genuine solutions for the ailing country.

"The era of apologizing for Republican mistakes of the past is now officially over. It is done," Steele said in remarks prepared for delivery Tuesday to state party chairmen. "We have turned the page, we have turned the corner. No more looking in the rearview mirror. From this point forward, we will focus all of our energies on winning the future."

An unnecessary war, a ruined economy, botched disaster responses and federal corruption on a grand scale...four months is not enough to forget that, sir. Four years isn't enough.

Friday, May 15, 2009


For the last few years we've all seen "WWJD" emblazoned on shirts, buttons, etc., and if you're a Christian it seems a pretty good lens through which to view moral choices, right? Wrong, says prominent evangelical Christian Gary Bauer. Get this:

“There are a lot of things Jesus wouldn’t do because he’s the son of God,” he said. “The more appropriate question is, ‘What is a follower of Jesus permitted to do?’”

The moral equation changes when the suspect is not a soldier captured on a battlefield but a terrorist who may have knowledge of an impending attack.

“I think if we believe the person we have can give us information to stop thousands of Americans from being killed, it would be morally suspect to not use harsh tactics to get that information,” Bauer said.

So let me understand this. Jesus, being divine (or part divine, or something...I have never understood it), can't torture people, but his followers, who are presumably not divine, are not only allowed to torture, they are morally obligated to do so. And so torture goes from an act of barbarity to an affirmation of one's dedication to morality. Holy cow.

Friday, May 08, 2009

You know it's bad when...

...the Republicans can't even hold on to Joe the Plumber. Hopefully, he won't follow Snarlin' Arlen's example and switch to the Democratic Party, because I really don't want him on my side.

WolfBlock is in its death throes, characterized by more angry emails about how the folks managing the wind-down don't care about the employees. Well, duh. Those people have jobs. Dan says I need to think about the people who invested 20, 30 years, and he's right, but I still have a hard time relating to those who viewed the firm as a family or something. The firm was a business, first and foremost; anyone who doubts that need only remember the speed at which the partners abandoned ship once they voted to dissolve. Except in rare occasions, your coworkers are not your family, they are not your friends, and they most certainly aren't putting your needs ahead of their own.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


As someone who used to regularly use the South Street Bridge, I was dismayed to learn that the city tore the thing down without deciding on what would replace it. I'm no municipal planner, and my event coordination experience is limited to two self-produced comedy shows, but I think I'd have done better. For example, I don't throw out my old sneakers until I have the new ones in hand, particularly if that's going to take two frickin' years.

Here's a question: If the army can build a bridge overnight that's capable of supporting tanks, why can't the City of Philadelphia build an equally stable bridge in less than two years? Maybe we should find some battalion to do the job for us.

Monday, May 04, 2009

And the truth comes out

My employers is mere weeks away from heaving its last breath, and now that the bigwigs have gone, the lower-ranked attorneys are bitching about the firm's dissolution via company-wide email. These messages are worth reading, let me tell you. Here are some choice excerpts:

"...the abysmal failure of leadership and a few greedy lawyers unwilling to cut back on high compensation..."

"...we are all now able to find new places with better leadership and management that makes better efforts to harness the talents of their lawyer with compensation that better resemble a meritocracy than the ponzi scheme that ultimately developed at Wolf Block..."

"...we had grossly incompetent senior leadership who practiced financial insanity and, together with outsiders who stood to benefit from large fees, led their partners like lemmings to dissolution..."

A new message, full of bile and helpless anger, comes in once every few hours, so today has been just the gift that keeps on giving. I'm tempted to reply, firm-wide, to say, "People, please...continue!"

New favorite lyric:

"Tom Cruise is so in love with Katie
At least all his people tell him so
And while he thinks that she's a very special lady
It's probably not the way he'd choose to go
But a lifetime of longing looks would cause too much distraction
Good thing that he's not gay anymore"

Artist: Jonathan Coulton (Jonathan Coulton)
Song: Tom Cruise Crazy
Album: Thing a Week