a priori/a posteriori

Monday, April 25, 2016

Shout-Out to Recovered Hipsters

Hey guys.
Okay.  So this is the cool part, about being a (*god-like echo voice*) 

Stand-Up, COMEDIAN _____
Mostly, it's the little things.  You get to shout cool people out, on your website.  You get to give people a little bit of a thrill (hopefully), in their day.  And if things go just right, you help people take their lives a little bit less seriously. 

A great comedy show is a massage for the inner chutes and ladders of your brain. 
A great comedian is a real-life Ms. Frizzle, giving audiences a tour of the silliest and most ticklish parts of his or her mind, and letting each kid on the magic school bus decide whether to feel good because they are the same, or because they are different. 
In that way, stand-up comedy has never been about being funny.  It just hasn't.  It's been about being aware.  Because true self-awareness is such a rarity, such a shock to the rest of us, that it's mere presence is hilarious. 
Steven Wright has been exploring the limits of just how funny an "unfunny" person can be.  Have you guys heard of him? 

Here is a clip of his from the mid-1980s:

There is an absurdity to his thoughts, but he was never a bombastic performer.  But instead of trying to be someone he wasn't, he used his natural style to his advantage. 

He was still performing, of course, in his own way.  But that's just it.  It's in his own way.  Out of all the comedians I've watched and studied over the years, Steven looks as comfortable with himself as any of them.

Turns out, the reason he looks so comfortable is because he was so uncomfortable.  He talks a little about that in the first minute of this 2012 interview:

You said to suggest some comedians who might have slipped through the cracks, for anyone who was welcomed into the "stand-up universe" through the Louis window. 

You mentioned Patton Oswalt, and he's a phenomenal comedian.  Both of them inspired me as a person, trying to make sense of the world around us.

Steven is a different flavor, and you may not find him as resonating.  But he was a courageous comic in the 1980s, when so many comedians were trying to copy the successes of more-successful peers.  If you enjoy his absurd Magic School Bus rides through his mind, I can suggest a few other names that ventured out on their own, stylistically.
I didn't get into my own story today, and that's okay. 

I hadn't written a blog in a year -- not since I officially retired from stand-up last year,
and not since Butterfly, Dragonfly and I moved from New York in September. 

(we use code names on here.  you guys are now code name "Recovered Hipsters" 

I'm "Bumblebee."  That way I can keep my anonymity, here at brysonturner.com)
Anyway:  If nothing else, your collective coolness overflowed the cup, and got me writing again.  So thanks again for stopping by yesterday. 

Next time, bring the pet monkey.

Bumblebee and Butterfly

Monday, September 7, 2015

Pack 3

Butterfly cooks a Toaster Strudel, for Dragonfly.
Bumblebee asks if he can have one.
Dragonfly asks what kind he wants.
With a glare.
Glares aren't so bad, when they come with a yes.
See you in 4 years, Comedy Hajj.

Time to learn from Kelly Carlin.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Pack 2

I sit on our bed,
facing the headboard,

Promising i'll have better posture
In our new home.

I pick and choose habits to keep,
Like pairs of shorts, buried in my dresser.
There are emotions woven into this process,
I can feel I am not experiencing.

I have told no one but family.
I haven't been to an open-mic.
I haven't said a single goodbye.

For me,
it is a necessary sacrifice.

I am not ready to leave.

but just because we aren't ready,
doesn't mean it's not time.
Blueberry Redbull
chug glug burn
back to pack

Pack 1

Butterfly flutters into work,
fitting 9 years of goodbyes,
into 2 more shifts.

Dragonfly lies passed out in bed,
ready for her next chapter,
impatiently waiting
for life to turn the page.

Bumblebee writes.
Because it's easier to describe packing
than to shut up and do it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Drop-off laundry

It's hot and dizzy.

The fans blow the hot air in circles
adding noise,
changing nothing.

A colorful God sits in the corner

Meaning nothing to the patrons,
and everything to the owners.
I will miss these parts of Brooklyn.

These places that meant nothing to me,
everything to someone.
I took New York for granted, for most of 5 years.

The streets have been my hotel lobby.

This smelly sauna is beautiful, to the couple who owns it.

And they are right.
Best wishes, New York.

You beautiful, smelly sauna.


I wait in line, a second time.

The man in front of me shouts to someone.

they're too loud to understand
he screams into his phone,
and our ears.
A tired Jamaican mother yells at the old Indian lady behind the glass.

The glass is thick, like a bank.

Which says a lot. Because we're not exchanging money here. Just anger.
I submit again.

Swipe, code, click, done.

One payment down,
47 to go.

high school, here we come.