Sunday, October 18, 2009

Comedy Is Like Brain Surgery

Irish singer Ronan Tynan has been brutalized in the press for allegedly telling an anti-Semitic joke.

One giant problem I have with the most of the news media (the Ticker Online, excepted, and I make sure of that) is that it generally displays all the funnybone of a random shooting, and this story was neatly trimmed of meaningful information to fill a headline, column-inches, or segment-time.

Note to any of those who haven't heard the following: read it, understand it, then go read my column in the Ticker Online...

Comedy theory states: Comedy is an uplifting surprise in a social context. Dry, I know, and not funny, but understand that and you know not only comedy, but maybe what you need to present to the gullible public before you do any finger-wagging.

Comedy needs a setup. Some kind, so the punch line gets the proper twist. You missed that. That's my teaser. Oh, and in addition: Even knowing that, the joke was a comment that had little to do with being Jewish in particular.

I'll get it all in crisp order so even you can understand it and not mislead your market and look like fuzzbrains, in the very next edition of the Ticker Online.

Let the embarrassment of my fellow journalists begin.


Evening The Score

I'm not a huge fan of teasers, but due to popular request, I'm going to jot down a couple here, with the idea that you'll read my column online or go buy a dead-tree edition. This is teaser #1:

Does anyone have any idea why major league sports have to schedule games so late, that kids are falling asleep in the bleachers and daddies are nodding off driving home after fighting the herd at the end of the game, which is probably around dawn?

There's nothing on this or any other Earth that beats watching on TV. You can catch a few minutes, then shut it off and let your boys win it or lose it without you-- because you have a life, you need your sleep, and you have personal things to tend to in the ayem, such as work or school.

These leagues need to get a message (and it doesn't have anything to do with the screaming wild insane cost to attend a live game, in case you haven't noticed this is the first mention of that teensy little issue.)

Message? We need to send them this: We need to be evening the score.

See my column for the knee-slapping finish. I'll reprint it here, later, if I get some interest.

This is my first-ever teaser. How did I do?


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Neverland Raunch

Excerpted from Not My Opinion, The Ticker Online, copyright 2009

I'm stuck in neutral on this man-child.

He was equally stunning as an entertainer and as one hideous human being. And I not only could be wrong on either or both counts, the noisies on either side of the commentary might be, too.

The denial on both sides is tearing at the unknowable truth somewhere in the center, and it's feeding a social tsunami that is sweeping up all sorts of flotsam. That center is so gray, one cannot use it to adequately justify the ends. One could see the showmanship, hear the musical talent, then also see the physical morphing into what no one calls a butterfly. And what filtered through the courtroom is a private life that--due to the magic of massive payoffs--will never be known in truth. The two questions that define every element of what was his life on this earth are: how? and why? Expand on those questions at will; everyone else is.

Between those who were into him for every coin they could extract from his actions on-stage and in private, and those who genuinely loved him and battled to steer him along a path of clean-as-a-whistle greatness, the whole story has turned into one of hey-what-about-me and some-of-this-is-about-me. What makes this large is not Michael Jackson, the one-and-only human being, but the swarm attaching itself to him.

Care to guess how many are showing up to the funeral just because it's an event? Care to guess how many fans are in denial of his depravity? Care to guess how many are either saddened he's gone through denial of the dark part of his life, or showing up to see off someone who they feel was a pervert who had it coming? And how many are sickened because they were either into him for a huge investment or see that their gravy train has made its final stop?

You can care or not care that he's gone. But the iceberg below is all those who are contributing to this Barnum-and-Bailey show that may melt one of these centuries. (I mixed metaphors on purpose, to reinforce my point.) We not only have to live among the herd, and likely never know what their individual standing really is in this, but it's impossible for this casual observer to tell if the real Michael Jackson is dead or alive. That could well be the real horror and sadness to this spectacle.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Revealing My Shorts

A few notes that will not blossom into a column:

A tricky thing about Twitter: If you're not careful with your character count, you can accidentally announce to the world that you're a twit

Boston Marathon: 6 hours, 23 minutes, 19 seconds, unofficially. To start and finish while on foot and without stopping for gas is the prize to keep.

Regarding the Roger Clemens explanation that he's somehow a blood relative of his step-father: Irrespective of whether those were B-12 shots in the hindquarters, we know for certain there's an intellectual gulf between "rocket" and "rocket scientist".

School is like anything else in life: Just get on top of it, and the way is smooth. The whole point of it--great or gruesome--is to learn handy new angles on crawling over assorted roadblocks in your journey on this rock. I'm told that one may be stunned in later years to discover just how useful a semester of Slam-Dunk Glassblowing will prove to be. We'll see about that.

I've been asked for some kind of quick logo or graphic to make as my own, above and beyond the too-ancient smiley face. I came up with a signet-like blend of my initials that's well-suited to a medium felt-tip pen. It's an autograph or stamp that can be thrown down in a hasty moment, and it's unique. If I can figure out the little clicky things at the top of the control space, I might post an image of it sometime. Surely your life is not such a void that you'll have to leave a haunting begging message in all caps, true?

For newcomers: My column comes first. I'm not on Twitter or MySpace or FaceBook and intend to stay off. I have events and practices of import in my life not involving those three. What I already immerse myself in is quite enough, but I appreciate the purpose and function of the abovementioned.