a priori/a posteriori

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Most Offensive Police Video I Have Ever Seen

Of all the police surveillance videos I've seen these past few years, this one was the most offensive.

It is of a cop pulling someone over for speeding, and then helping him tie his tie.

Here is the footage:


When the driver stops, he

1.  opens the car door
2.  walks out of the car
3.  walks out WITH A BAG IN HIS HAND

After talking to the cop face-to-face, about two feet away from him, the cop begins to tie his tie while

1.  the driver re-opens the driver's side door
2.  reaches into the driver's side of the car, giving the officer NO visual of his hands
3.  then walks around the car and opens the passenger-side door, then
4.  SPENDS SEVERAL SECONDS REACHING FOR SOMETHING

while the police officer continues to focus, mesmerized, on trying to tie his tie.

Freeze frame this video at 1:32.  Tell me if you've ever seen a police video that with that freeze-frame, when there is a black driver.
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This clip ended up going viral.  It was an example of a "great cop."

Fine.  Give him a parade.

But also, understand:  we live in a racist society.

Because there are no such clips with black drivers.  They are not afforded the same trust.  They are not given the same benefit of the doubt.  That kid might be dead right now, if his skin was darker.

There are reasons to defend the actions.  Pick a reason why "this is different."

He has a nice shirt on.  He is in a college town. 

You don't have to go far down the list before one of those reasons is "and it doesn't hurt he's a white kid"
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I used to think that "racism" is when minorities get treated poorly.

It's not. 

Racism is when minorities get treated differently.

And more than any other violent or disturbing clip I've seen, this clip tells me WITHOUT A DOUBT that there are two very different Americas.

If you disagree, I'm willing to change my mind.

Just send me that clip you have, of a cop tying a brown kid's tie.

If I Die During February (You feel me?)

I have about 90 minutes, before I take a one-month hiatus from this website.

I don't expect to die during that one-month,
but if I do:

I enjoyed my entire life.  I was overly-sheltered as a child, but I don't hold that against my parents.  I got a late start to adulthood, but I have a good attitude.  I would take that trade again.

I was a hipster for a while, there.  I wanted to be a comedian.  But almost all comedians are hipsters, it turns out.  At least from what I knew of the industry in the early-to-mid 2010s, they were.

I don't actually know that.  I just know that I was.  And so I project.
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I avoided a lot of major adult responsibilities.  I wish I hadn't.  I think I would have been proud of every difficult step I took, as a grown up.  Life insurance.  Credit scores.  Volunteering for Meals-on-Wheels.

When I died, (if I died), I was just realizing that after each difficult task, the next one got easier.  And I got more and more confident.

There were moments when I had a really smooth jump shot.

I will always be proud of what I did with Mr. Morris, Sean Dreher, Ryan O'Malley, and all the amazing people at NATV. 

I wish I would have been less judgmental of my friends on my high school basketball and volleyball teams.  And I wish I would have gotten involved with the drama department.  I thought I had to pick sports or performance.  I had no idea how WIDE OPEN the world of high school is, if you just stop worrying about that thing called your "reputation."

I hope for as long as we mistakenly separate "humans" from other animals and other living things, we strive to be kinder to everything we see as the "others"

I hope whatever happens after I die, it helps fill the world with guttural, healing, cleansing laughter.
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I hope nobody ever remembers me, if that's what makes the world a better place.  I'd rather be forgotten clean water than remembered pollution.

I hope somebody treats Vanessa like a queen, and I hope Dragonfly finds someone who would walk to the moon for her.

I hope Vanessa gets to paint and write, full-time.  And do everything else she wants to try.  Because everything she does, it ends up making the world better.  She is humble, and beautiful, and brilliant.  Like a Supernova Star.  To be around her was to be charged like a battery.

I was proud of these past few years.  I have struggled mightily, to get my life back on solid ground.  Even if only a few people saw the progress, I am immensely proud of it.  I could have quit, a few years ago.  And I didn't.  I decided to start the long, slow, embarrassing journey -- back toward adulthood.

I was still on the journey.  There will be no parade for me.  But I am still proud.  My effort made a difference.  The world is in a better place, than if I'd quit. 

If I die during February, don't worry.

It probably means I knew I would.

So I packed a year into January.

You feel me?

In February 2017, call me an "American Resin Mosquito"

I thought I had a clever political post, last week:

In 2017, call me an "American Political Frog"

I patted myself on the back, and went back to life.

2017 Activism:  check.
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I no longer feel that way.

And I'm realizing that in the Internet Age, a country may fall apart much more quickly than any of our History Books suggest.

So I may feel differently, each month this year.  My feelings, as an American citizen, may evolve quite quickly.
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On this last day of January, 2017,

I feel like an "American Resin Mosquito"
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In Jurassic Park, they found a mosquito from 50 million years ago.  It had just sucked some blood from a dinosaur, and then it got stuck in some sap on a tree.

The sap hardened, and the mosquito was preserved perfectly.

That's what I feel like, right now.

I feel like I'm just going about my daily business, not paying attention.

But at the same time, somehow,

I feel like there are a team of scientists, studying me, 50 million years from now.

I feel like I am about to be frozen in time, and none of my daily decisions will be remembered as important.  I will only be remembered for the time I lived in, not the life I lived. 

There were monsters around me, and I wasn't one of them.  So I thought I was safe. 

I took pin-pricks from the monsters.  I told myself I was hurting them. 

But the monsters were where I got my food. 

So I made sure I never said anything.  I just kept flying. 

One meal at a time. 

The monsters could do what they want, as long as I could get my little bit of blood, too.
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In February of 2017,

call me an "American Resin Mosquito"
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And call me scared for March.


What I Want for my Birthday (Dear Brother Andrew)

Hey Andrew.

Maybe your first thought is, "Why did he write Brother Andrew?  We're cousins."

That's one thing you realize, when your dad dies. 

Cousins are brothers.
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Always trust your own thoughts.  That's healthy.  But my view has changed, the past 6 weeks.

Your dad and my dad were brothers.  And still are brothers. 

I never really thought about it.  But now as an adult -- even a part-time one -- I realize how big a deal that is.

If my brothers have kids, those kids matter to me.  Because my brothers matter to me.  If I can help them, I will.

I'm realizing all of this after a decade of selfishness.  But I'm not worried about the past. 

Let me break down that decade, which you got to see up-close in Brooklyn:

5 years thinking I mattered more than everyone else combined. 
5 years feeling guilty for thinking that.

On and off, back and forth, I struggled for a decade.  Never just shutting up and getting a job.

It put a strain on my brothers, and a strain on my parents.  It's not a past I can change, but it is a future I can avoid.
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That's why I'm asking you to take my request seriously.

I'm asking you for money.
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You wished me a happy birthday last week, and I appreciated it.  Aunt Daphne is still on Facebook, and she said that 80-some people wrote some variation of "happy birthday" on my wall. 

I quit Facebook 3 years ago. 
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I got 2 birthday texts.  You were one of them. 

That's why I think you may be willing to support my writing career.  Because you are making a real effort to connect.
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Maybe me asking for money on here seems crazy.  But I don't think it is.

When I released my first special a few years ago, your brother bought it the week it came out.  It was available for free.  But he chose to send me a message:

"Hey dude.  I see you working hard.  I've been working hard, too.  Which is why I have some money.  And I want to give a little bit of my money to you.  Just so you know I see you."

I italicized the two keys.  Don't give me money, unless you see me putting in the work.  Unless you "see" the reason why this site is worth money.  Unless you see your world as a little more inspiring, because I'm somewhere out there, working my butt off.

And don't give me money unless you want to.  Unless you think about how much it would say, and how much it would mean, if you choose to.  Unless it literally makes you excited to think of the result of your kindness.

Unless you realize that when you give me $2, it feels like $2 billion.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Internet is Just So Gawwwww--shh darn Distracting

Sorry for being a part of it.

I think we all kind of got caught in here, like a kaleidoscope filled with likes and

blue thumbs
blue thumbs
blue thumbs
blue thumbs
blue thumbs
blue thumbs
blue thumbs
blue thumbs  blue thumbs blue thumbs blu
blue thumbs  thumbs blue thumbs blue thum
blue thumbs
blue thumbs  blue thumbs blue thumbs blue t
blue thumbs  mbs blue thumbs blue thumbue
blue thumbs
blue thumbs  blue thumbs blue thumbs blue
blue thumbs  thumbs blue thumbs blue thu
blue thumbs
blue thumbs  blue thumbs blue thumbs
blue thumbs  blue thumbs blue thumbs

This is not as important as my wife's birthday gift.

I'm on time-out for February.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

I'd Rather Hear Your Story than your Tweets

If your tweets are funny, then your mind is funny. Which means if you just told your story honestly,

The funny would show up in it,

And some of your experience would probably echo with mine.

But I'm busy working. Your tweets are cute, but they don't change anything.

Your story is harder for you. Scarier for you.

But it's better for me.

And probably better for you, too.
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I wish someone had explained this to me, back when I was doing stand-up.

But they didn't have the time. See they had these things called "jobs," and 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Adidas' New Slogan: "half as cool as Nike--but a quarter of the price!"

I've got stock in em, so I guess I might as well sell out.

These new Adidas sneakers I got feel terrific -- which is almost half-as-good as they look!

They may have three stripes, but they have 5 big stars, in my heart.

They'll look so good with my Adidas shorts!!!
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Adidas' new slogan:

"half as cool as Nike-- but a quarter of the price"