Equality

I don’t understand the argument. I see people share quotes about feminism and males say they are one (please stop stealing their word). I see books, idols, and idiots all fighting. Fighting. For what? Not in the sense of, “There’s no point” but rather an honest question. What? Specifically.

When I plan my day, I think of tasks I want to complete. I then break them down into smaller tasks until they become extremely simple and small. I even do this when driving. A long trip goes from a singular drive to 4-5 smaller trips and/or turns. This makes things more manageable and is frankly nothing revolutionary. It’s written in almost every time management book. I feel this method also should apply to social change as it is also a task. But, in its enormity, entirely too difficult to plan. Yelling equality is like yelling fame or fortune to me. Good luck. No plan, no success. The smaller your objectives, the easier to think of opportunities to achieve them. You need to prepare for opportunity so it can be achieved. When do you think you’ll have an opportunity for equality? A vote maybe? Sure, someone will just draft and legislate all equality that’s totally enforceable. Think.

A little background to prevent people thinking I’m attacking. Make no mistake, I am, but not in the way those looking for a target might think. I first refer you to a lovely quote from the Kurt Vonnegut novel Hocus Pocus, “Cursing is just an excuse for those who already don’t want to listen to not.” Meaning, people will find their own reason to believe or not prior to anything I type and I have no delusions they will continue to do so long after they read the beginning of this, assume the rest of my meaning, and continue on their rampant vocal soapbox way (regardless of your side, a soapbox is still a high horse, get off it). But on to the back story. My mother was the smartest person I have ever met. Still. Today, I assure you, she was smarter. Nor have I ever met someone tougher than my sister Elise. Ever.

My idols, mentors, and gods of intelligence and strength were not men. They were/are women. My father taught what it is to be a man, but that meant a culture, not a limitation or aspiration. My parents taught me that if something doesn’t make sense, don’t believe it. Anytime someone said something sexist, it didn’t make sense. I knew it was wrong. Not wrong morally, but factually. That logically you’re willingly becoming less intelligent when you state a difference between people based on race/sex/language etc. etc. A sexist statement is tantamount to stating the Earth is flat. Momma didn’t raise no fool, I think.

I am lucky in this. I know that. I was also taught though to not argue with idiots. It’s pointless. Trick them, teach them, lead them, but do not argue. You’re expecting too much from someone who already just casually stated they believe the Earth is flat. For example, I was at work a few years ago and a good man I had known said he was looking for a nanny. He asked for suggestions of people. I recommended two men with experience working with children. He was willing to consider them, but said he would have to call them ‘M’anny instead. I said that denotes that only women could be nanny’s. He didn’t seem to have an issue with this. I argued a little too vehemently until work matters simply got in the way and it was cut short. He thought I was joking. But sexism is a slippery slope. It must be corrected like faulty grammar and logically taught. Every time without excuse. Needless to say this did not increase my popularity in the office, meh. I quit later anyways. This is not a you get a cookie moment, this was a simple normal occurrence and an example of how anyone can stand up for the issue regardless of the weight of it. I’ll leave out how heated the argument got when he suggested he wanted a female nanny to “look” at. Great, hostile workplace which may lead to his wife enacting the modesty doctrine because of his faults, woohoo.

But I digress from a personal example to the broader matter(get it?). My point is, unless you’re doing something about it, shut up. No one is going to legislate your equality. No matter what you think of equal pay, when did you argue for more? My mother and sister argued for equality and never felt victimized by any systematic oppression. They understood it was the work of individuals they faced that they could fight. And beat. And beat again. Proving their strength to their own standards where gender was never a consideration. While you are most certainly capable of changing yourself, at the moment, you don’t add up. No one deserves any rights they aren’t willing to fight for every day, every moment. When you shout for equality then do nothing about it and allow yourself to be trampled upon you prove them right. All the time regardless of the issue, change begets change. Inaction breeds indifference and ignorance.

In Ferguson right now, there’s a trend of people getting pulling over and remembering to record it and remembering to fight for their right to know, “Am I being detained?” and say “I don’t have to roll the window all the way down”. Good. Fight. That’s the only way you’ll get what you want. If someone walks up to you every day and gives you a dollar, you may be kind at first but eventually you’ll stop trying to return the favor. After all, YOU didn’t ask them. So eventually someone kind gets trampled on. Don’t expect to be treated well because you did nothing wrong, fight for it.

Make a plan if you really care. Something small, attainable, then break it down further until it’s one simple task you can do today. And do it. If you don’t, while it may mean nothing to you, I believe that your cause means nothing to you. You’re lying and hurting the cause by throwing out the belief that people can simply WANT change. This is merely meant to be a pep talk to turn pointless media shares into actions you can be proud of. Also, if you think this is from a privileged position, keep in mind two things, 1. I can’t change my position. 2. Arguing with me is pointless as I’m not the one in your way.

Here’s my response to your tweets, jokes, FB shares, and pointless cries for equality that always end in 0 action;

Get Over Yourself

Originally published on on ComedyOfChicago.com.

Here are 12 complaints you often hear at open mics…

I waited two hours at a mic.
Yeah. So did everyone else almost every night of the week. You got another dream to chase? Then go and stop whining because something amazing is hard to get.

People are cliquish.
You mean people you didn’t introduce yourself to that meet 10-20 new people a night don’t give a shit about you? Weird. Maybe you shouldn’t be doing a solo art if you want friends. I hear improv is pretty inclusive. Provided you paid, of course.

They said my name wrong.
So? Write it better next time. Louis C.K.’s last name isn’t C.K., idiot.

Why no bookings?
OH NO! Someone rejected your art? You’re probably the first one that’s happened to. No one cares about the shows you DO have, much less the ones you DON’T. Shut Up.

People who hang out get shows.
That’s almost evidence that, “Right place, right time” deserved to be a colloquialism. People have to have thought about you to book you. Turns out, people “think” of you more when they see you more! CRAZY! I’m not gonna remember to book a comic I never see. Don’t like it? Tough Titties, prick.

They bumped me at the mic!
Yeah. They also were there from 9pm-2am providing YOU a spot, negotiating a deal with the bar for YOU, and setting up and possibly purchasing equipment for YOU to put your stupid misshapen mouth on. Ingrate! You don’t like it? Start your own! Maybe then you’ll know what the fuck you’re talking about!

That mic banned me/was rude to me.
OK. Learn to play nice or make your own room. Everyone has a right to ask you to leave them alone. Not their fault you tickled that reflex when everyone else somehow managed to avoid it.

The audience was…
Just go ahead and shut up. Your job is to make people laugh. If you didn’t do that, no matter what the difficulty, you need to fix something. Nuh-uh! Yes huh. Stop blaming others for your problems. I don’t care if everyone did awful and the audience was jerkin off the whole time watching the Cardinals, deal with it and move on. Don’t blame them. They were what YOU signed up for.

But, that person isn’t funny! I should have their spot!
OK. If we really have to go over the whole, “Putting others down doesn’t lift you up” thing at this point in life, you’re immature and probably sleep on a mattress on the floor.

People were talking during my set.
Probably because you sucked and have no stage presence. If you can’t make someone pay attention to you while your voice is mechanically amplified, we were probably better off not hearing you anyways. Bitch.

I made it but they didn’t come.
Meh, you run a shitty show. Happens to all of us. You’ll learn eventually that effort is the only thing you can use to affect that. Did you put in the effort? Yeah? What effort? Oh, you gave out fliers? Did you send out press releases? Did you ask people you know everywhere you went? Did you hit on people and give them your number on the back of the business card for your show cuz you love double dippin’? No? Then shut up and stop saying, “No, it was better last week.” If you put in the effort AND no one showed, shit happens.

I’m exhausted.
OK. Then go to sleep and keep dreaming about your dreams instead of making them real because if you can’t handle performing every night, how were you planning to do it as a full time career?