Animal cruelty and social media

I’m putting out exceedingly short videos in order to give people an idea of what my show is like without revealing too much 

I’ve already put out 4 and here’s the 5th and final one. 

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Bad Comedian

Two years ago I was a bad comedian.

Actually that’s not entirely true. I wasn’t a bad comedian but in my own opinion I wasn’t good. I’d watch back sets of my own performances and cringe at myself. Thing is the audiences liked it, I was getting a lot of work and basically my career was on the rise but that only made it worse.

My problem was the material didn’t matter, I was doing jokes about stuff that wasn’t important to me. Sure here and there were a couple of bits about my family but overall it was a bunch of jokes about penises and poo. Again it’s fine for some comedians, it’s just that I’d wanted to be a different type of comic. I’d grown up with Billy Connolly talking about his childhood, Robin Williams discussing his addiction and mental health issues, Eddie Izzard opening the UK’s eyes to transgenderism and Victoria Wood championing feminism. Later on I would find Louis CK, Bill Hicks, George Carlin, Tim Minchin, Brendon Burns, Richard Pryor, John Oliver, David Cross, Maria Bamford, Mike Birbiglia and more but right there at the beginning of my love affair with comedy it was story tellers with issues.

I’d grown up with these people, I wanted to be like them, and right there in the middle of the career I’d worked so hard for I felt like I was failing. I started to hate my work, it wasn’t fun to write anymore and that meant the performance was all very stale. I felt like I was letting myself down but worse I was letting those iconoclasts of comedy down.

It couldn’t go on like that, I couldn’t hate doing the thing I’d loved my whole life. I’d worked so hard and it felt like the thing that defined me slipping away. I mean if I wasn’t a comedian what was I?

So I changed. I forced myself to write about subjects I felt like were important. You know what happened after that, you’ve followed me because of the change I made. Before that I was another comedian making jokes about the same subjects. It’s alright for some but for me personally it wasn’t enough and that showed in the work.

In no way am I saying that I’m even close to those heroes of mine that inspired me to do standup but I feel like I’m getting closer, that I’m on the right path. I went to see Louis CK last year and 3 of his jokes were similar to jokes I’d been developing for my show, that was incredibly encouraging. I mean I had to ditch 3 bits that I knew definitely worked but still it’s great to know you’re thinking in the same way as your idols.

This week I did a solo show at Leicester and it was full. People came who had seen me the year before or who followed me online. It was exceedingly flattering to be in a room full of people all agreeing that the comedian I was now was so much better than the comedian I was then. Those comedians I looked up when I was growing up changed my mind about a lot of things and I’m hoping that now I’m starting to make as much of a difference as they did.

Thanks to everyone that came on Tuesday, it was incredibly humbling. Next year I’ll be doing 3 dates because of how well it went. Until then here’s some very short snippets from the show.

Bigger tree?

While twitter went mad with whether or not you should torture a baby to save a terrorist, I’ve spent most of today arguing with racists. It’s really opened my eyes to how ignorant you need to be these days to be a bigot.

It started with this joke (thanks to Ignacio Lopez for the pic):

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A couple of facebook groups stuck it up and shared it with a few thousand people which is lovely. What isn’t lovely is loads of people saying Muslims are coming over here and raping everyone, I was like “Woah! Are they? I didn’t know?! They haven’t even asked me out let alone tried to force me to have sex with them, what’s wrong with me?” I was hurt. If anyone was going to be doing all this raping I should have at least felt threatened right? I had to check this out so I googled it. I typed in “Which ethnic group does the most raping in the UK?” and there it was first hit Government office of statistics and it turns out that the people doing the most raping in the UK was white British nationals at a staggering 86%. I was shocked, how could this person have been so sure of their numbers yet been so wrong even though it had taken me 0.0034 of a second to find the correct answers. I had to correct the guy because he was definitely going to feel embarrassed

So I go back to this guy, I cut and paste the statistics so he doesn’t even have to look at the site but I also link him there so he can know I’m for real and he comes back “they’re lying”. The office of national statistics AND multiple rape support charities are lying? Jeez ok so I do some more googling and find out that it’s the same from all areas AND 90% of all attacks are from people close to the victim meaning it’s not just people arriving from overseas suddenly coming over here and raping the first person they see.

Well he’s not happy about that, he goes crazy. He is not a happy bunny. It doesn’t make any sense though, he had a fact but it turns out that fact is wrong and I’ve found, with very little research, the truth. You’d think he’d be happy that he hadn’t said it out loud at a party and really embarrassed himself right? But no he couldn’t fathom that Muslim immigrants, by definition, weren’t rapists. Sure some are but so many more white British nationals were that it would be more accurate to say “White British men are rapists except for these ones over here”.

We live in a world where you can’t avoid information, it takes effort to be ignorant. Even if all you did was watch TV every day you’d still get a reasonably balanced point of view so in order to be a bigot you have to specifically IGNORE ALL INFORMATION. Why would anyone do that? Why would someone ignore correct information? The answer, as with everything, is fear.

We’re afraid of responsibility.

We can’t get a job because of immigrants, not because we haven’t spent time getting the qualifications or getting out there and trying to get a job or even starting our own company, No it’s immigrants stealing what’s rightfully ours. There’s crime in the streets, can’t be other people like me because then one day it could be me so it must be those other people who don’t look like me. There’s a long waiting list for me to have a routine operation, can’t be the government I voted for because that would mean they weren’t everything they promised to be AND I WOULD BE WRONG so it must be immigrants.

We live in a world where we don’t take responsibility if we don’t have to and when presented with facts contrary to our opinion instead of saying “oh wow I didn’t see it that way before” we get angry because it must be wrong, we couldn’t possibly be wrong it must be the facts. IF I’M WRONG ABOUT THIS WHAT ELSE AM I WRONG ABOUT OH GOD PLEASE HELP ME? There’s no God and the church covered up sexual abuse of minors? I REFUSE TO LISTEN!

It’s not just the right that’s like this, it’s the left as well. Here’s an article about how women empowering their sexuality is transphobic if that sentence made your head explode that’s because it’s ridiculous. Sure we’ve got a long way to go until LGBTQ rights are established and they’ve had a long hard slog of it but that doesn’t give anyone the right to take away someone else’s identity WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY’RE SAYING IS HAPPENING TO THEM! They don’t want to take responsibility for their own feelings, it’s easier to say “I feel offended, it must be those people who are offending me” rather than “Everyone has a right to feel empowered about themselves”. God forbid we ever let people feel comfortable in their own skin when we’re still struggling with our own identities, am I right guys/girls/other!

People say we’re post truth, that we live in a time where everyone can believe whatever they want and fake news is just as valid as real news in the general populace’s eyes but I say that’s inaccurate. We don’t want to know that the reason we feel this way is due to our own insecurities, we don’t care that actually we’re projecting onto a group or individual just to make our own fragility justified.

We’re not post truth, we’re post responsibility.

You realise Parent is just a contraction of “Pay rent” right?

I’m angry at other parents. Not all other parents I should point out just the ones who seem to hate their kids. I should elaborate.

Ok so if you have kids this’ll be easy if not imagine you have some. Your 8 year kid comes over to you and in their hands they have Hostel, that classic horror where there’s more blood and guts flying around than at a butcher’s filleting contest and a blowtorch scene that’ll make you never able to eat creme brulee again, they say “Mum/Dad/Person I love may I watch this movie, it looks like something I’ll enjoy” and because you’re too busy on social media or watching people eat testicles in a jungle you say “yeah sure just stop bothering me” and that makes you a bad parent. Ok stop imagining now.

The same with video games, if you’re letting your kid play games where they beat hookers to death or get tortured and eaten by robotic teddy bears you’re a bad parent. Studies have shown that while these forms of media do not inspire people to act them out, they would do that anyway because they’re psychopaths, what it does do instead is change a child’s brain chemistry so they now have a predisposition to mental health problems and potentially psychopathic tendencies. The reason these things have age limits is because your brain can literally not handle that kind of stuff without changing irrevocably, you’re forcing it to experience things it shouldn’t need to experience so it grows around them instead of building up to them.

People are always saying “nah my kid is mature for his/her age, she can handle it” THAT’S NOT A GOOD THING! Your kid being mature for their age doesn’t mean they should be exposed to murder, what’s wrong with you?! That’s like saying Syrian refugees can handle having missiles fired at them because they’re used to it. THEY SHOULDN’T BE USED TO IT!

Imagine a child’s brain as a tree, I know there’s a lot of imagining here but it’s necessary, normally it grows up towards the sunlight and down into the ground. Imagine adult movies/games/books/music/podcasts/magazines or whatever are a metal fence across the top of it, sure the tree still grows up and around the fence in a cool and interesting way but it’ll always have that thing inside of it and won’t be the tree it could have been. Ok that metaphor wasn’t the strongest but you get my point.

It’s always the same parents who do it too. The ones that think a red bull and a rice krispie square are a suitable breakfast, that shit is proven to cause cancer, increase anxiety and you wonder why your kid has behavioural problems? They don’t have a behavioural problem they have a parenting problem.

Look I get it you’re busy, you have a job, you have a house to clean, a dog to walk, you’ve got friends to keep in touch with and a million other things that need your attention but perhaps if you can’t look after your kids properly just don’t have kids. Either do the job right or don’t do it at all. If you have kids already this could be a problem, again I’m addressing the shitty parents here, so try harder shitty parents or be prepared to wake up in a room covered in sheet plastic while your kid stands over you with a blowtorch screaming “WHERE DID YOU HIDE IT?! WHERE’S MY WINGS?!” over and over.

I’m not like you

Don’t look at my skin and think that I’m like you. Don’t say it’s ok to be racist and suggest I do racist jokes because “they’ll find it funny too”. Don’t say “you don’t need to be PC here” when talking about treating people with a different ethnicity as equals. 

Don’t look at my gender and assume I think it’s ok to treat women as second class citizens, don’t shush a woman in a conversation with “shhh love men talking” and expect me not to verbally dress you down for your obvious misogyny. 

Don’t look at my body shape and assume I’ll be ok with you calling me and everyone else fat or thin or any other derogatory term you can think of for someone who doesn’t look like you and if we’re being honest you could stand to lose a few pounds too.

Don’t look at anything about me and assume I want to be a part of your hate filled world. When challenged don’t make out like it’s “just a joke” because I can show you millions of people repressed by those so called jokes.

In fact the only thing you should do is educate yourself or shut the fuck up. 

International men’s day

And the Internet groans with the same “but when’s international men’s day?” joke, like an overweight cat trying to get to milk, social media is bloated and incapable of moving beyond the living room threshold.

But really why the hell is there an international men’s day? What’s the point of it? What exactly are we celebrating? The fact that one gender has successfully repressed all other genders throughout history? Partition of humanity? The objectification of women and the glorifying of misogyny? Penises ? What does it accomplish?

I mean there’s not even a special card like with mother’s day. I’d love to get an international men’s day card with two dudes on the front cover and one’s saying to the other “smell my fingers”, that’s exactly the world I want my daughters to grow up in. I mean we’re already saying that sexism is fine, see Trump getting elected, misogeny is ok, again Trump, and sexual assault is something you can get away with as long as you’re a man, aka Trump, why not go the whole hog and just force women to wear Slave Leia outfits in every workplace? Anyone who disagrees is a crazy feminazi, it is all just locker room talk after all. Boys will be boys. 

Don’t get me wrong I don’t think there should be any “international … days” men, women, children should be treated equally and fantastically all year round. You shouldn’t need a special day where you’re saying to yourself “well I’ll make a special effort today, I won’t call anyone a slut, it’ll be tough but people will appreciate the effort”. I think mothers and fathers days are bullshit, a day when terrible children can assuage their guilt by buying shitty cards and crap flowers rather than just doing it off their own backs on random days occasionally. 

Can’t we all just be nice to each other every day? Is it so hard to walk through a crowd of people and smile at someone occasionally? Can’t we just remember all the great things all genders have done for this world all the time and not have to be reminded to not act like an asshole? 

I’ve got a suggestion, instead of these bullshit days celebrating one specific gender to remind us that we are all separate and the world is a lonely place how about we replace them with “don’t be a dick year” where we all don’t be dicks, how does that sound?

Except international talk like a Pirate day. That can stay.