Boys, Sophomoric Humor, and Politics

There are a variety of theories attempting to explain the relative minority status of women in comedy, ranging from socialization (women are raised to laugh at others, not to tell the jokes) to courtship (men want to be the ones to make others laugh) to good old-fashioned sexism (club owners tend to be men and think men are funnier). At any rate, women tend to be less comfortable with, or at least less proficient at, off-color humor, which is why it’s so startling when they do get down & dirty (part of Sarah Silverman’s huge appeal is that she looks like a fresh-faced girl-next-door and talks like Lenny Bruce). Read More Boys, Sophomoric Humor, and Politics

Why We’ll Miss “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell”

I admit, I was a pretty infrequent watcher of the show. I watched the way most people now watch TV, through YouTube clips, funny recaps, and even the lowest form of TV watching, gif recaps. But the announcement last week that Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell had been cancelled was pretty crushing. Other sites have more thoughtful and timely responses to the show’s cancellation. But, ven though I’m a little late to the internet news cycle, it’s important to continue to share shows like Totally Biased which was unappreciated in its short life. Read More Why We’ll Miss “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell”

“But They’re Cousins, Identical Cousins . . . ”

It’s always astounding when two closely related things turn out to be complete opposites.  Like siblings who have totally different body types, books with matching bindings but one is Jane Austen and the other is Judith Krantz, or the time my father took his first bite into an avocado slice, not knowing what it was but assuming it was some sort of cucumber. Read More “But They’re Cousins, Identical Cousins . . . ”

The Definition of Insanity

For anyone who doesn’t known someone in 12-step recovery or who doesn’t have a folk-wisdom-spouting Bubbe (or Nona or Grammy or Nana, etc.), “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.” This perhaps-overused aphorism has so many useful applications, I won’t bore you with too many. (Let’s just say in our house, it applies to everything from why I don’t keep Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in the house, to our current search for an alarm clock guaranteed to wake a 17-year-old boy.) Read More The Definition of Insanity

Leaving On A Jet Plane (Air Travel and the Sequester)

Last week’s speedy Congressional action that gave the FAA more flexibility to deal with sequestration-imposed cuts was hailed by many as a great example of government functioning at its best. But I’m feeling a little like the little kid who insists the Emperor has no clothes; after all, wasn’t the pain of those cuts supposed to be the point?

Read More Leaving On A Jet Plane (Air Travel and the Sequester)

Political Memes – Symbols or Silliness?

Apparently, all three of the presidential debates can be summed up by one neat phrase or image. For the first one, it was “Big Bird” (as in Romney’s promise to cut all funding for public broadcasting, since it represented a simply unaffordable .01% of the budget). The second debate gave us the unforgettable “Binders of Women,” and the foreign policy debate spawned “Horses and Bayonets.” These ideas exploded almost instantly online, inspiring dozens of Facebook groups and Tumblr posts, and hundreds of clever photos with the familiar captions in white lettering. And as soon as the memes started spreading, the pundits and commentators chimed in, complaining that people were getting too tied up in cute phrases or semantic quibbling, distracting them from the important issues. Read More Political Memes – Symbols or Silliness?