Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Sheriff Is A Ni(boonnnnngg)

There's a reason they say that comedy isn't pretty. Look underneath some of the best comedies in the world, and you'll find a pretty pessimistic mindset. This is as it should be, the world ain't that much to look at either, and what better way to acknowledge this than to recognize it and laugh it away. It makes us human, people. It helps us to cope.

The South Park movie isn't pretty. Borat isn't pretty. Zany, mad cap fare like It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World features venality as its central conceit.

The unfortunate aspect of all this is that in order to participate in it, in order to create it, you have to go to the outer edges of taste. Go back and look at and listen to The Aristocrats. Sarah Silverman's Jesus Is Magic is a (hilarious) parade of wrongness.

The loneliest and ugliest side of comedy is particularly noticeable in stand up. Literally, you against them, the pressure's immense, and you're constantly on the defensive. Hecklers add an extra dimension that comedy on the screen does not really have.

All of that said, it doesn't make what Michael Richards did and said any more excusable, but it makes it kind of understandable; god knows I'd lose my shit regularly in that setting.

I bring this up, because JJ's talking about it over at The Dirty Jester...Have a look, say something, if you're inclined.

Edited to add: Well, I just saw the victims on the Today show, and am happy to find out they weren't punks, and Richard's tirade wholly unfounded and even more tasteless. However, I'm struck by their attourney's spotlight-hogging greed. I'm sorry, but she's about as offensive as the original meltdown was to me right now.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Para Mi Abuela

It's funny, I had recently finished reading Sophie T's rememberance of her grandmother a couple of days ago.

And so, at an indeterminate time in the early morning on November 10th, my grandmother (the Abuela in the subject line) passed away in her sleep, after watching whatever passes for late night entertainment on Univision. (At least she went having a full understanding of whatever was happening on the screen.) She was theoretically 79 (give or take a couple of years. There's some disputing the accuracy of the documentation).

The family's reacting in the numerous ways families do; and for my part I'm recalling the fun stuff, the fond memories and all that, and whatever it is we choose to describe as "feeling her presence" that very much is happening with me right now. Hey, Abuela. Nice slippers.

She's from a simpler time and a simpler place, so a lot of my memories of her are of her in a day coat and slippers, working over the stove, with a cigarette dangling from her mouth. I recall her worrying nature, as well as the coffee cut with condensed milk and buttered hot french bread she'd give to me as a snack when I got home from school in PR.

My favorite memory, though, has to be the hilarious relationship she had with the Tom Hanks/Shelley Long vehicle The Money Pit, the broad physical comedy of which transcended the fact she couldn't speak English. I was fond of the movie myself (need to see how dated it feels now), so the house would watch it whenever it was repeated on HBO, which was very very often.

There we'd be, the sibs and I, laughing at whatever preposterous situation was playing itself out on the screen ("Two weeks," the contractor would say), and my grandmother would come in from the kitchen to see what was what. Inevitably, she'd get caught up in the story, and the next bit of physical comedy would come on, and she'd lose it. Whether it was Hanks falling in the sinkhole, or the tub crashing through the roof, or, spectacularly, the whole scaffolding breakdown scene; by the time the statue took a leak on Hanks' head, she'd be laughing uproariously.

And then, she'd worry about her heart condition, poor thing, and she'd leave the room with tears in her eyes. It never failed. The sibs and I loved her for it.

The last Xmas the fam and I had together, my brother in LA gave her a DVD copy of it. It featured Spanish dubbing. I truly wish I had thought of it first.

Now, I'm crying, so: Adios, Abuela. Te amo, ay dios mio, como te amo. Bendicion. "Que dios te bendiga, m'ijo."

B. Jones: Testify Brother Sherman!

I don't agree with all the man says, but overall? Sherman Alexie says it like it should be.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Le Splat

Driving by, saying hello, and really just taking a second to enjoy the political change in the air. I'll hold off on admonishing the Dems to not go off all cocky and shit, 'cuz there's a lot of work, but for right now? The most negative thing I have going is the fact that it took the middle so goddamn long to see the light.

However, if it hadn't been for the last six years, Rumsfeld's retirement wouldn't taste so sweet right now; and the prospect of having the Chimp in Charge suddenly be accountable, ohhh, it's delicious.

What also gave me a little frisson over the weekend:
Ted Haggard and the refracted focus on Colorado Springs, what could be called my hometown. I left a couple of years after the Haggard douschebag first made his presence known in the Springs (with CO's first anti-gay rights amendment push), and find it utterly hilarious that he may have been harboring desires to visit the Hide 'n' Seek (CoSpgs only gay club at the time I was there) after spending all day demonizing their clientele.

I hate that town almost as much as PalDeni hates Boston, the NY Yankees, or the upper classes. However, I have a hard time putting it into words; so, I'll let the fine folks at Salon do it for me. It's all there, from the coining of the phrase "liberal republicans" (e.g. military personnel who are against the idiocy known as Bush's Iraq policy), to the shuddering at the mention of "gay rights."

I really don't miss that place. Except Manitou Springs. If you're ever stuck in that hellhole, my advice is: Stay In Manitou Springs.

In other news, those of you who are familiar with my view on all things related to plastic, can just imagine my reaction to this friggin' Visa commercial. [Tip o' the keyboard to PalJJ.]