Killing, Dying & The Death Penalty

Death Penalty

Before I get into comedic related issues a quick statement on the death penalty (due to some Facebook chatter on my page).  I am against the death penalty in all cases.  The recent revelation in Texas that an innocent man was executed for arson and capital murder in 2004 for allegedly setting fire to his home, which killed his two young children should be huge news.  Can you imagine the man’s anguish (he never pleaded guilty)?  But I am against it even when the person is actually guilty (yes even if DNA and videotape corroborate it).  I think it is barbaric.  China, parts of the Middle East and the U.S. are the world’s executors.  No one else I believe.  

This doesn't say it all, but what it does say, it says nicely.
This doesn't say it all, but what it does say, it says nicely.

One argument for the death penalty I get is – what if it was your friend or family member they killed – you’d be for it then?  Well, being human I would want vengeance.  But the government is in place to elevate society (at least we hope) beyond Old Testament justice, not to enforce it.  It has no deterrent effect and I don’t think satisfying some sort of blood lust should be our main justification for imposing a punishment.  Isn’t that why people get to watch UFC and MMA fights?  This is to say nothing of the racial disparity in the application of the death penalty.  It is a flawed and barbaric system because it relies too much on passion and prejudice, which is exactly what the law is supposed to reign in.  There is a reason that a police officer can shoot someone during a potentially dangerous or lethal situation, but not when the criminal has his hands behind his back handcuffed and is unarmed.   Of course the person is not convictedof anything yet, but even after conviction does he/she pose any more threat to society locked away for the rest of his life than the unarmed person on the sidewalk with his hands cuffed?

Now with that happy start this has been a strange week in comedy.

Killing

Monday –

Had a great set at the Boston Comedy Festival (the one and only sanctioned kill in this blog entry).  Advanced to the semi-finals on Friday.  Was feeling great about comedy.  This was one of those days where I was saying, man comedy is great.  It almost feels good to be alive.  Oops spoke to soon – because here comes Tuesday.

Racially and metaphorically this was me on Monday.
Racially and metaphorically this was me on Monday.

Dying

Tuesday –

Started the evening off with the World Series of Stand Up at Carolines.  14 audience members.  Maybe 16.  I delivered my jokes with more disdain than usual (partly fatigue from Boston), despite a renewed effort to be more smiley when I deliver my jokes (“what’s  the matter boss, WE sick”).  The crowd laughed as much as they could at someone they probably did not like (the line “wow – thanks you guys I always wondered when the first time that joke would not do well would be” is not very endearing) and I lost.

Then I was off to a bringer at Gotham Comedy Club.  I learned an important lesson from my bringer.  If I am ever in a foxhole the people I can depend on are: my parents, my girlfriend, a few ex-co-workers and my barber – because in a pinch that is who showed up to support me.  The jokes were going fine until I risked a bit on interracial porn being racist.  It went over well with about 8 people in the crowd.  My joke, albeit still a little rough, focuses on the fact that a successful genre of porn is interracial.  I mean the categories for porn are things like: anal, orgies, urine and feces fetishes and interracial.  Shouldn’t one of these not be considered as much of a taboo?  Exactly, urine and feces are pretty mainstream now.  I will take the blame for that one not being ready Gotham, but deep down I think the 2.5 black people (my Dad, me and some dude) were not enough to make the 93 white people comfortable talking about race.

Then I went and auditioned at Comic Strip at 1115 pm.  It went well since there were still 6 people who had not yet fallen into a comedy show induced coma.  And of course I did not get passed.  I was told that my HIV joke was good.  I replied by saying it was not a joke and then stabbed him with a needle full of my blood.  I was told my joke about my height was a little too obvious, which I kind of agreed with except then I realized I had not told a joke about my height per se.  Maybe I just don’t know what words and sentences mean yet, but when I do I will be able to adjust my joke about Lane Bryant to not be so damn much about my height.

Size wise and metaphorically this was me Tuesday.
Size wise and metaphorically this was me Tuesday.

Wednesday

The Epilogue to this experience was that Time Out NY once again failed to list my show in their comedy listings page (for the next listing I am going to disguise my show and call it the ALTHOMOSUPERCALIFRAGILISTIC LOWEREASTSIDEOR POSSIBLY BROOKLNBUT ONLY COOL PARTSOF BROOKLYN EXTRAVAGANZA SHOW.

Resurrection?

Hopefully that means the end of the bad comedy karma and I can get back to doing well Thursday and Friday.  Stay tuned.

12 COMMENTS
  • ShmuelBreban
    Reply

    Shmuel Breban: I know this doesn’t change much, but there were actually 25 (24?) countries that implemented the death penalty in ’08, including Japan and many other Far East nations, as well as many African countries, and a (currently) tiny one in Europe…

    J-L Cauvin: Oh I think my memory was conflating who had it and who were the most prolific users of it.

    Shmuel is now going to his dictionary to look up “conflating”… And good luck at Round 2!!!

  • Lion of the Temple
    Reply

    Since 1976 death row inmates who have been executed have consisted of 56% white, 35% black, 7% latino, and 2% other in the United States the political cartoon that lead me to this site is factually incorrect. Which means the use of it for your argument and the inclusion of your caption “This doesn’t say it all, but what it does say, it says nicely.” is flawed and incorrect. Remember to check your facts before you say something, because eventually someone who has checked the facts will come along and swiftly refute your argument.

    If this one thing is factually incorrect then everything else you base your argument on is also thrown into doubt seeing as I have just proven you don’t bother to check your facts.

    Respectfully,
    Lion of the Temple

    1. J-L Cauvin
      Reply

      If your statistics are correct they do not disprove a disparity in enforcement and application of the death penalty, they just simply state that in a country where 65% of the population is white and 12.4% of the population is black (as of 2008 figures), more white people get executed. But as a percentage of the population, as well as greater application when the criminal is black or when the victim is white (see Justice John Paul Steven’s recent writings since retiring form the Supreme Court) my statements and the cartoon’s message are not incorrect.

  • Quentin Dergan
    Reply

    Holy shit, that would mean that the 12.4% of blacks make up 34% of who is put to death, that’s almost exactly 3 times more.
    That reminds me of the percentage of the population of blacks versus the percentage of people in the military whom were black, which again was much higher than their portion of the population.
    Lord Of The Temple: You got owned. 😛

  • EVILMANCOMETH
    Reply

    u can’t basethings on percentages, percentages don’t tell the whole story, in fact the only thing they serve is to blow things out of proportion, if thier is more people commiting a crime of a particular race then of course the percentages for thier race is going to be higher in comparison to anoher. whose fault is that? it thier fault,

    1. J-L Cauvin
      Reply

      what?!

  • waaagh
    Reply

    I agree with evil.

    Statistically African Americans are more likely to commit crimes than whites, violent or otherwise, so it should follow that they should have a larger proportion of executions.

    This is fact, backed with numbers. Saying anything against it without providing backing evidence is sheer political correctness denial, and some form of apologeticism.

    I don’t think we should release black people who have committed violent crimes out of white guilt. That seems foolish.

    1. J-L Cauvin
      Reply

      First point – is anyone advocating releasing African-American murderers? The answer is no, but perhaps in your mind that is what you envision happening. Second – your “facts” are based on your own prejudicial assumptions (since you cited zero facts in your own argument). Third – the argument is not how many blacks or whites are being executed, it is the fact that in murder trials it has been shown that the death penalty is disproportionately applied to black defendants at a higher rate and less when victims are black. I studied it in law school and I am pretty sure I have read more on it than you. But continue to cite your gut instinct as fact. Nothing to do with political correctness, just being well read.

  • Cody Brown
    Reply

    its funny because in the last 50 years more whites have been executed than blacks and more all black juries have been proven to have racial prejedice than white juries in the last 15 years (did a report on the death penalty recently)

  • Cody Brown
    Reply

    sorry i forgot to mention the percentage of white murderers put on death row was also higher…36% of whites convicted of violent murders vs 27% of blacks

  • Derp Derpity
    Reply

    Derp de derp derp derpity. Derp derp de-derp derp derp. Derp? De-derp derpity derp de-derp-derp derp. Derp derp derpity de-derp deeeeeeerp. Derp. Derp derp derp-de-derp. White Power.

  • Devon
    Reply

    I just have to say I support the death penalty. The prison system is flawed, it has no positive effect on the people on the inside. Why pay for them to have three square meals a day, most prisons are air-conditioned, have cable, and offer free college courses. Then again maybe I am being hard on them we also support most of them with welfare on the outside. So in conclusion, why is death such a bad thing?
    As a side note, other places in the world that deal with crime in a more extreme way then we do don’t have the crime rate that we have.

    {The world is over populated as it is}

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