Monday, March 27, 2006

Ronnie James Bio

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"The grand wizard of classic rock. A poet of hope for the
downtrodden. The single most important vocal technician in the
history of heavy metal. All of these accolades have been garlanded
upon the royal roar known as Ronnie James Dio."

"The Dio canon is now regarded as above and beyond trend, one of
the few hallowed metal collections composing the very definition
of "classic rock". May the man preach, pontificate and power-chord
for many years to come. "


Troubadour. Truth teller. Sweater comic. Ish has been called all of these things. But perhaps more than anything else, he is a healer. He heals with his unique gift of laughter. He brings us together to celebrate our common humanity. He raises up the oppressed with his message of hope.

Ish may be the single greatest humorist in the history of mankind. He combines the cutting wit of Dorothy Parker, the folksy appeal of Will Rogers, and the incisive social commentary of Lenny Bruce. Immortals all, they look down upon us, titans astride the Olympus of American humor. But soon, they will be joined -- nay, eclipsed -- by Ish. And for the opportunity to watch his gift unfold we should be grateful.

He burst onto the comedy scene like a supernova, or some other similarly bright object. By turns sardonic and sincere, erudite yet unfailingly humble, he bypasses traditional performance interaction to connect directly with the souls of his audience. From the moment he first hit the stage, there was a sense that the comedy landscape would be altered forever, or at least for a fairly long period of time. His emergence heralded the beginning of a new age in comedy, when the very form itself would be reconceived and reborn. Comedians and critics alike were forced to ask themselves hard questions, such as "what is hack, really?", "did you ever notice?" and "how long has he been up there?".

His sets are not mere recitations of jokes. Rather, they transport you on a metaphysical journey that never returns you to the place you were, even if that's what you would have preferred since it was closer to where you parked.

His classic bits, such as "best study ever," and "banana/vagina" have already taken their rightful place in the firmament alongside such timeless classics as "Who's on First?", "7 words you can't say on television," and "you might be a redneck."

Watch. Enjoy. Savor this moment, for a giant walks among us.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I question the efficacy of medical marijuana

Here in San Francisco, the use of medical marijuana -- that is, weed prescribed by a doctor -- is fairly popular. It's used to treat numerous illnesses, such as glaucoma.

And they say it is effective. Fine. But I remain skeptical.

I mean, if it's so great, then why is it that since medical marijuana became available, the number of people diagnosed with glaucoma has SKYROCKETED?

According to records*, 6 in 10 San Franciscans have been diagnosed with glaucoma. And almost all of them seek to be treated with medical marijuana, many in my neighborhood. And very casually dressed pharmacists always seem to be available to attend to their patients' needs.

Nobody seems to get better, you know?

You just don't hear about people saying, "you know what? I think I'm better. I guess I can stop burning blunts." No.

What you are more likely to hear: "damn this glaucoma of mine. Why don't we spark up a prescription-strength fatty, eat some nachos and watch 'VH-1's Best Week Ever'?"

*I made this up. But it sounds plausible, no?

Sex is like riding a bicycle

"Sex is like riding a bicycle," so they say.

Maybe that's true.

There's the chafing, the cramping...

the scrapes and bruises, the helmet-hair...

...and sometimes when you're done, you feel like you need to convince yourself it was worth the effort.

"Phew! That was fun, huh? We should do that again."

H.L. Mencken Updated and Applied to Television

"As democracy [TV programming] is perfected, the office of president [prime-time lineup] represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people."

"On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House [ABC Tuesdays at 8/7c] will be adorned by a downright moron [Jim Belushi]."

- H.L. Mencken

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Friday, March 10, 2006

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people."

"On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

- H.L. Mencken

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Blog Dump

So it has come to this. I've become such a neglectful blogger that I have two blogs languishing, collecting dust. I suck at blogging.

I tend to get bound up at the thought of writing an entry-- I have to figure out what to write about, I have to write it, I have to decide which parts of it aren't so horrible that I shouldn't delete them. Then I have to obsess over what I need to add or change.

And then I worry about whether it's funny or not. Or more specifically, whether or not YOU will think its funny. That's right- you! Not me.

And it becomes so daunting that I do other things. Hence, my high degree of suck-tivity.

Well, I'll try not to let my fear of sucking get in the way.


So the other day, I got career advice from a man on the bus. We were the only ones on the bus, at about 10pm. Well, no, okay. There was the driver. But he seemed more like part of the bus, part of the mise-en-scene, if you will. (If you will allow me to use a french phrase, probably incorrectly.) And the driver couldn't very well participate in our discussion, since he was trying to minimize the number of pedestrians he hit. (That's a big initiative with MUNI right now- to cut down on the number of pedestrians they hit.)

Anyway, it was very enlightening. I will call him Dave, for no reason. Dave had two shoelaces - one in his shoe, the other holding a pair of broken glasses around his neck. I am guessing here, but based on his general jitteryness and tiny little pupils, he may have been have been experiencing the effects of methamphetamine. Though it could have been a french press pot of Peet's Coffee, since the effects are similar. But he only had about half his teeth, which is what nudged me over in to thinking yeah, probably the meth.

Hey... you that Russian guy?


You that Russian guy?


You look like this Russian guy, lives over in Potrero Hill.


What are you?


Are you German or English or what?

English, I guess.

(I tried to think: what answer is most likely to end this conversation? And the answer came back: none. Impossible. Nothing you can do.)

A lotta Russians come here, and they get jobs as security guards.


Yeah. They don't hardly speak English, but they have friends, see? Help 'em study for the test. And they pass it.


Some people come here, like Germans, they become electricians and stuff. It's good to have a trade, you know?


You know?


It's good to have a trade.


It's good. But some people, you know, they don't wanna work. They'd rather just run around in the streets.


At this point I got off the bus. But smarter than when I got on, you know?

You know?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

And the Winner Is, Part 2

It also just occurred to me that, for about the third year in a row, I will be participating in an Oscars pool without having seen a single one of the big nominated films.

The good thing is that this way, my own opinions don't get in the way of making picks. I don't have any stake. I can be totally dispassionate, and just pick based on the "buzz."

So I guess I will be voting for Brokeback Mountain in every category. Even categories in which it isn't nominated. When it wins "Best Animated Short," remember, you saw it here first.

The Winner Is...

#3. As we speak, printing presses are rolling.

I appreciate all of the nice (and occasionally naughty) feedback! Especially after the- well, let's call it "tough love"- I received over the first batch of headshots.

It's a little odd, being objectified in this way-- I'm not at all accustomed to it. Not saying I couldn't *learn*, though.

Now all I have to do is get funny.