When I was a little girl I asked my mom why anti-Semitism exists, and her response was, “Well…Jewish people work really hard and are very good with their money. In times of trouble, people blame them because they’re jealous. But that’s not fair, because they work hard. They deserve all the money they make.”
One time we were driving through a downtown neighborhood and she remarked, “You know, black people are much better at sports than we are. They also have fantastic rhythm and they respect their grandmothers because their grandmothers usually raise them. They are very respectful of their matriarchs.”
Aaaaaannnnd, last night I told my mom about Honey Badger and she said, “Oh, I bet they’d love that in Japan. They love that crazy stuff like the Whiteout and Karaoke. They are so uptight as a people that they really know how to let loose and do silly stuff. It’s a great attribute to have.”
It’s not that she doesn’t like Magic. It’s that she projected suspect motives onto him, and wrote about it on the internet (by name!) as if he were doing something wrong. She says that he “infiltrated” dates. She got no class. She is a mean girl.
I’m not saying she’s totally innocent. It’s low classy to air out relationship stuff on the internet, but a LOT of successful and intelligent and well-respected people do. Tell me how do you feel about dating blogs like How About We? How do you feel about stand ups who talk about their significant others on stage? How do you feel about Julie Klausner’s I Don’t Care About Your Band? I guess the defense in all of those cases is they don’t name names, but for this specific article there was no point in her not naming him because he was easily searchable. If I’m going to be completely honest, I don’t think she’s really all that mean to him. The only two instances I saw as her projecting anything creepy onto him were when she says, “I thought he was normal,” and the “infiltration” part. It was totally bad taste to write this article with the specific “ewww…nerd” focus she used.
but why call him out and be like “ugh this nerd” to such a wide audience? seems like she’s just being catty
So, I re-read the post a couple of times and with the introduction it’s not clear what the source is. It’s not clear if the person who posted it on Gizmodo found it (and if so, from where? A personal blog?) or if the person who posted it is the author. If it’s the author, we could just be looking at a case of, “FUUUUUUUCK…I need to write something and this is all I have.” Again, I realize I’m defending her a lot more than you guys would, but that’s because I’ve seen such bitter vitriol thrown her way. For what? She looks dumb and the guy she went out with looks like a champion—which he already is. If anything I’m reading a bunch of tweets and posts from male nerd friends of mine who are treating her like she’s an evil harpy for rejecting their king. Personally, I think the backlash just doesn’t equal what she did.
Is she being catty? Yeah…I mean…duh. She tried online dating and the nicest guy she found was a nerd king (which is a turn-off for her) and who took her to a creepy ass play. She really should have switched the focus to her frustration with online dating (which is how she starts and ends the piece) instead of “Eww…nerd.” Is everyone online lambasting her being equally catty? For the most part, yes.
I think the most amusing irony in this back-and-forth is that the actual point of the girl’s essay was how we feel free to make snap judgments about each other. If you’ve carefully read the girl’s article and want to feel like she’s the living embodiment of evil, then go for it. I read it and was honestly ambivalent. I just don’t like it when people attack other people for having an opinion they don’t agree with. (Also, I’m dealing with my own personal angst about the nerd-dating community—but that’s a much longer and perhaps more incendiary post.)
Oh my god, my nerdy, wonderful and intelligent friends…back the fuck off this girl. If I had gone on a date with someone who’s whole life revolved around their fraternity and college football team—someone who now was on a professional football team—someone who also took them to a creepy one-act play about a murderer—and someone with whom I felt no sexual spark—and I told you I wish I had known from his profile that he was a professional football player because it would have made things less awkward, you would NOT fault me.
There’s nothing in this essay that suggests that she went on a second date because she wanted to mock him. She even states at the end (did you read that far?):
Maybe I’m an OKCupid asshole for calling it that way. Maybe I’m shallow for not being able to see past Jon’s world title. I’ll own that. But there’s a larger point here: that judging people on shallow stuff is human nature; one person’s Magic is another person’s fingernail biting, or sports obsession, or verbal tic. No online dating profile in the world is comprehensive enough to highlight every person’s peccadillo, or anticipate the inane biases that each of us lugs around. There’s no snapshot in the world that can account for our snap judgments.
So those of you who are complaining, “What a bitch, she doesn’t like Magic,” sit the fuck down. We all have our deal-breakers. For those of you saying, “This just highlights how finicky online dating has let us become,” sit the fuck down. SHE ALREADY MAKES THE SAME POINT.
I’ve read the article twice now and while I doubt I’d ever be this girl’s friend IRL, that doesn’t mean she’s a bitch. Bottom line is the World Champion of Magic couldn’t offer enough to this girl outside of being the World Champion of Magic to make her see past that one huge quirk. Dating is rough for everyone. The heart wants what the heart wants and the body doesn’t want what the body doesn’t want. Sometimes it’s not personal. Sometimes it’s just a matter of not liking card games.
I can’t remember how much I’ve talked about it here, but I created an improv form called “Honey Badger”. It’s basically a montage and the edits use some of the sillier aspects of the Honey Badger viral video. More than that, it’s a cast of improvisers who come from different teams and backgrounds. It’s open to all and the hope is everyone gets out of their heads and has crazy fun. There’s no coach, no director, no auditions and, because of the storm, no rehearsal.
It’s sort of been my baby and I was really stressed out about it. I didn’t even know if people would show up to be in it. I was starting to get really pessimistic about it.
But something amazing happened…it was a success.
At least I’m pretty sure it was. We had a great, fun opening team called “Ladies and Gentlemen”. My good friend from ImprovBoston, Mark, came out of retirement to do tech. I had to turn friends away from being in the cast because too many people wanted to do the Honey Badger portion. And at the end of the show, we had a 15 minute open jam with anyone who wanted to play and I think we had more than 30 people on stage. Most importantly, everyone involved in the show had tons of fun. People came up to me—friends and strangers—asking when we were going to do it again. So, I better get on that. It would seem that Honey Badger was a win.
My mom is obsessed with the idea of surviving things. She loves books about Native American warrior women, news magazines about surviving assault and made-for-television-movies about pioneers who have to boil leather to survive a winter in Montana. So, when news alerts told her that Hurricane Irene was about to strike the entire East Coast, she wasn’t just alarmed for my safety, she was in her element. Last night, she called me and in less than five minutes outlined an entire Hurricane Irene survival plan for me. I’m sharing it with you because I don’t like it when other people die.
"Remember to breathe." You can’t think unless you have oxygen going to your brain, and if you aren’t getting enough oxygen, you’ll panic. Also, if you stop breathing, you are automatically dead scientifically speaking. So, remind yourself to open your mouth every once in a while and then inhale and exhale.
"Fill your bathtub up with water." You never know if the water lines will go down. I don’t exactly understand how water lines work, but I know I want them to. If you have a source of fresh water in your bathtub, you can use that water to flush the toilet should you need to relieve yourself. It’s also a finite, though available, source of drinking water.
"Be prepared for the power to go out." Get candles. Lots of candles. Now is the time to finally not regret buying all of those tea lights for the oil burner you never use. Get a flashlight. Have batteries at the ready. Because I’m personally cheap, I just take batteries out of my remote controls and other kinds of electronic devices I wouldn’t tell my mother I own. Make sure your cell phone is charged!
"Plan your travel carefully." If you need to evacuate an area, make sure you know more than one viable route out. If you live in a city (like I do), make sure you do not need to take public transport to get anywhere.
"When the subways flood, all Hell breaks loose." There’s no advice here. Just a sage woman’s words of warning.
"Seek the higher ground." I live on the third floor of an apartment building that’s just outside New York’s Zone 3, so I should be okay. If you live in or own a basement, make sure that nothing of great value is on the floor or close to the walls. Sump pumps can fail. If you live in lowlands, um…I don’t know…pack your stuff and drive into Appalachia? Maybe you can spend the rest of your life cataloging folk songs like Janet McTeer in Songcatcher? The important thing is to be a survivor!
"Make sure your kitchen is stocked with non-perishables." Right now I have crackers and peanut butter, but I’m going to buy some canned goods, too. I’m thinking peaches, yams, cherries and other assorted pie fillings. In fact, I might do a lot of baking before the storm hits so I can live off cherry crumble and cheesecake brownies while the doom arrives. My mom didn’t mention the baking part, but it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to do a lot of cooking while your stoves still work.
"Be prepared for the worst, that way it probably won’t happen." When disaster strikes, the only law that matter is Murphy’s Law. It’s best to just be prepared for anything and anticipate the worst, so that way when nothing happens the worst thing is that you feel silly. If you’re not prepared for everything, something terrible will happen. That’s reassuring, right?
"Remember to breathe." This is so important she says it twice. BREATHE!
"And remember I love you." My mom may not love you, but that’s because she doesn’t know you. However, someone loves you whether you know it or not, so please be sure to be careful.
Very rarely do I post something this serious minded but it’s extremely important that it be read by as many people as possible. Also that it came from the presumably forward thinking alternative comedy community is especially of note.
Below are excerpts from the original post by Poupak Sepehri, audience member at the closing Asssscat of the recent UCB Del Close Marathon in NY.
I wanted to talk about ASSSSCAT, the show that closed the Del Close Marathon, a huge improv festival. During the show, comedians on stage invited audience members to tell a true story from their lives, and then improvised a set around it.
He started his story by saying that he is a cook/host at Second City in Chicago (justification#1 – he is supposedly part of the community). One evening, a very drunk (justification #2) and older (justification #3) woman was hitting on one of the waiters at Second City. This woman, who was from out of town (justification#4), gave her number to the waiter and asked him to call her (justification#5). The waiter, not interested, shared the story with the rest of the staff and practically forced this cook/host to take the number, even giving him money for the cab (justification#6) to show up at her hotel.
The woman opens the door to her hotel room thinking it was the waiter, but SURPRISE it’s the cook/host. She immediately asks him to leave, but he finds some BS excuse to go get her cell phone so that he can call a friend to come pick him up since he doesn’t have money for the taxi back (another murky part of the story). She goes to get her cell phone, and makes a HUGE mistake: she leaves the hotel room door open.
Thanks all, now back to your regularly scheduled Hollywood nonsense.
I hope this guy is identified. But in the meantime, this is so indicative of a larger problem. The big thing that stands out to me in this story is that he’s told it before as a funny anecdote. He doesn’t see anything wrong with what he did. And no one thought to tell him.
There’s so much I want to say, agree with, add, etc. to this, but I will try to be succinct (which we know is tough for me).
Like Gaby said, this whole story is indicative of a larger problem where some guys think this is funny. Which in and of itself is indicative of even larger issues. Those issues? Well, that we still teach children and adolescents that rape is a crazy man jumping a nice sober girl in an ally and holding her at knife point. Also, that because of that, we live in a society that thinks that sex workers, immigrants, intoxicated or “easy” women are “asking for it.” Those are issues. Also, remember my post on Kids in the Hall yesterday? I almost added a whole spiel about the reason it took me so long to find myself as a comedy person. Mostly, I would turn on Comedy Central—or another basic cable comedy outlet—and see men being glorified for being douchebags to women. Women were whores, women were shrews, women were silent supportive creatures. Very few strong, intelligent or three-dimensional women existed. The whole network seemed to tell me that comedy was not a nice place to girls. People weren’t nice to me on a day-to-day basis; I didn’t need a TV show to be mean to me as well.
Okay…there’s that. Also, it’s almost a blessing that there are people who still think rape is funny enough to talk about on stage. Why? Because no one is talking about it otherwise. Well, at least not in these terms. This monologue has opened up a huge forum of discussion among comedians and comedy fans. I first heard about this by following a twitter debate between female improvisers from Boston. One of them actually defended the guy saying (I’m paraphrasing) that she felt terrible for the woman, but the woman made some terrible choices. Except, I would say, it wasn’t her choice to be raped.
The good thing is most of the men and women I know are identifying it as rape. The good thing is that we are discussing this. The bad thing is that our words and emotions aren’t going to change the fact that it happened or that it’s going to keep on happening until our society changes. We could, as comedians, be pessimistic and say that won’t ever happen. Or maybe, we could, as a community of cultural taste makers (because at our best, comedians change culture by poking and prodding and shaming and teasing it), start doing work on and off stage to ensure that younger people aren’t socialized to think rape is funny or right.
Also—if you read the comments for Halle’s article on Splitsider, the guy is identified and it’s revealed that his friends didn’t know about the rape part of the story. Or so one commenter says…
“Mayor Michael Bloomberg says officials expect to shut down the city’s entire transit system at some point Saturday afternoon ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Irene, which is now forecasted to strike eastern Queens. He says service likely won’t be available again until sometime Monday or perhaps later.”—
“But in a city like New York, hurricane-force winds could break windows en masse, “especially in the taller buildings that would bear the brunt of powerful gusts that occur at higher elevations,” the Wall Street Journal reported in 2010. In a worst-case scenario, this could become a scene out of an apocalyptic movie, in which “the canyons of Manhattan could magnify the winds and would be a deadly place for anyone caught beneath the raining glass.”—According to the International Business Times, I’m going to die. If not in my tall glass walled office building, then drowning in the subway, and if not drowning in the subway, I’m sure the looters will take me in Queens.
“I need to look on the bright side. At least [the people I work for] haven’t figured out a coupon scanner can do my job. Also, if I was with you, I’d be contracting skin cancer.”—file under: texts I sent my boyfriend today after he sent me texts of him lounging poolside on vacation.
A few years ago, my friends and I were joking about which of the seven deadly sins we most suffered from. It was really funny until my friends pointed out that I am possibly the most envious person who’s ever lived. I really hadn’t seen myself like that before, but they were right.
“Are prosecutors really saying that anyone who has lied on an asylum application cannot be considered a credible witness in an unrelated matter, no matter how many years later and regardless of forensic evidence supporting their claims? This is surely setting the bar too high, as well as sending a message that some potential victims cannot expect the protection of the law. It’s well known that sexual predators often choose their victims with care, selecting girls and women who are “vulnerable” in some way…and likely to make less convincing witnesses.”—"Why rape victims must have flawless pasts to get justice" by Joan Smith | The Independent
“One Day centers on Dex and Emma, and essentially begins with their graduation from college, which Dex — with his tossled hair and laissez-faire sense of sexiness — believes is their first meeting. But bookish and bespectacled aspiring author Emma dutifully informs him that they have met before. Twice in fact…Dex decides to cash in on Emma’s obvious crush and promptly propositions her. The two end up back at her apartment where Emma accidentally kills the mood with one of the saddest seduction attempts caught on film, complete with a mournful musical soundtrack and her donning cap and gown over embarrassingly white and matronly underwear. It’s pathetic, and Dex quickly pulls up his pants and utters those three hope-killing words, “Let’s be friends.” However, he does spend the night cuddling with her –- and thus a long tradition of mixed signals and manipulation is born.”—
I have not seen the film, One Day, but I tried to read the book earlier this year. I couldn’t get past the first few chapters because it felt like I was reading an idealized version of how miserable my (love) life was before I was 25. Needless to say, I have had a Dex (three of them actually, but if you put them together, you build an actual Dex), and I was very, very Emma (but American). Reading this analysis of the film is terrifying because it makes me see very clearly a pattern of behavior I was engaging in and how it would have progressed had I not realized that I deserve to be loved well. The other terrifying thing is I think a lot of my notions about romance and what was normal have been—or were—defined by this genre of literature and film, and it pains me to think that we still romanticize the idea that pining for an asshole is okay because maybe one day the asshole will grow up and realize how awesome you are.
If ever you find yourself in a one-sided love, kill it. Kill it with fire. It’s not love; it’s fantasy. I can say this because I have had to do it (more than once), and because I did it, I’ve been able find myself in healthy relationships with guys who are not assholes. The guys who were assholes are still assholes and they still don’t see how awesome I am. Most importantly, my life has been a lot happier now that I don’t cater to assholes and everyone deserves to be happy.
About a year and a half ago, I made a promise to myself. I was tired of looking at Facebook photos of myself from parties and zeroing in on all the things I hated about how I looked. So I had the crazy notion one day that I would stop doing that. I challenged myself to play a game called “Find one thing about how you look in this photo that you DO like.”
Join me on my everlasting quest to like looking at myself. (I wrote this)