Comedy Recap: Sacred Cow # 2

It has been a while since I walked audience members, but like donating blood or having a cheat day during a diet, sometimes it is good to purge or shock the system to initiate a healthy replenishment.  That is what happened Sunday night at a show at Beauty Bar in Brooklyn.  First off the show had a huge batch of homemade butterscotch chocolate chip cookies, which were fantastic, but I only had 4, stopping short of my usual cookie limit known as stomach pain.  I then went up after the host and could tell from the fedoras, glasses, beards and beauty salon theme to the bar that this was a hip place.  So with a belly full of cookie confidence I decided to inflame the ironic passions of the room.   Let me say this about the Brooklyn room – for about 30% of the patrons – they acted like I entered a different culture, ignorant of their customs, and should have read my Fodor’s Guide to Brooklyn, which would have informed me that Louis CK, and more importantly Lena Dunham, are holy figures.  For example, a person could be stoned or beheaded  if they drew a likeness of Lena Dunham in Brooklyn.  So because my digital recorder audio cannot be transferred to my computer I will recap the short set in writing, which will be known as “Brooklyn’s 9/11”:

“I had a viral video get 250,000 hits, but don’t worry I am still humble and will not forget where I came from.”

What was the video of?

“I did a parody of Louis CK.  My favorite comment was ‘I hope Louis CK takes a shit in your mouth’ which would probably be more original than the one note of his last 4 specials.  WHAT??? I went there. Who wants some? (clearly kidding around/trolling – hence laughter from the side of the room not taking itself too seriously)”

(multiple grumblings) I like Louis CK!

a few minutes later…

“I enjoy the band Fun. with a period, not to be confused with the band Fun with no punctuation, but I am bothered that one of their band members is dating Lena Dunham.  Who makes it big in music and then decides ‘hey now that I am rich and famous I want to bang that gross looking chick from Girls!?’  Dude, you could have fu*ked her if your band didn’t make it!  Like if you were still working in a cool coffee shop and quit music you could pull that.  But now, thanks to you, there are hot whores with nothing to do on a Friday night because the bass player for Fun. wants to bang a manatee.”

(Lots of grumbling).  Girls is great! (the good news at this point is that the third of the room that was talking stopped, but only to angrily listen to their hero get made fun of)

“Girls sort of sucks.  Every 4 or 5 episodes something interesting happens, but it is very overrated show.”

Girls is great! (about 7-10 people get up and start leaving)

“Oh I am sorry that I attacked your sacred cow!  And I did not mean to call Lena Dunham a cow; it’s just a convenient coincidence in the analogy… and look at the woman with her hand over her mouth like she just witnessed the second tower falling.  Oh my God  5/5 in Brooklyn never forget that time a mean man made some jokes about Lena Dunham.  Never forget. I hate all Dunhams – Lena and Jeff!”

I then did a bit about hating cats and left the stage.

I am a left of center thinker, but I am not as conformist as many people might think.  I am more socially conservative than many of my friends, but still believe in more liberal fiscal policies (known in America as “virtually unelectable.”  I am all for free speech in comedy and I never criticize comedians for taking chances and attacking things I like as long as the take is an attempt at originality and funny.  But it bothers me sometimes that the most liberal folks (check out the comments section on my Louis CK video for confirmation) can abandon their attitude when it comes to one of their heroes.  Trash religion, religious figures or any notion of conservatism on stage and you are cool with these people, but get at one of their new high priests or priestesses of authenticity and all bets are off.  Like their celebrities get a pass that others don’t.  And in fact, I would argue what made the CK video successful and made me enjoy the Dunham quips is the very fact that many of their fans treat them like the higher beings so many of them have written off.  So I am glad I pissed those folks off.  I feel like liberals are the new conservatives when it comes to entertainment.  And no this is not a defense for a bunch of d-bag comics to start dropping nig*er, cu*t and f*g on stage for the sake of saying it, while trying to cloak themselves in the overused defense of being just “too edgy” for liberals.  Comedy can have dignity and that is a good thing, but I am not sure anything should be sacred.  Especially celebrities that rose to fame challenging and defeating previously held assumptions and sacred cows.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on Podomatic or iTunes


LeBron – Cleveland or… New Jersey?

LeBron James should go to the New Jersey Nets, IF he leaves Cleveland, which he should not –

But if he does leave Cleveland the New Jersey Nets should get LeBron (sorry Knick fans).  Here is why:

1) Unlike the Chicago Bulls, the Nets have no real star legacy (i.e. identifiable with one star), whereas the Bulls have the most identifiable star in team sports.  The six titles and the shadow of Jordan would almost guarantee that LeBron would have to settle for second best for his own team, regardless of how well he plays and how many titles his teams win, assuming he only wins 2 or 3 with Derrick Rose & Co.

Furthermore the Nets will be moving to Brooklyn, which will make him the equivalent of a Founding Father to the fracnhise.  And he’s friends with the minority owner (in percentage and race) Jay-Z.  But so is A-Rod so it can’t be that cool (I like A Rod, but I think he is a loser, not in the title winning sense, but just in a “dude, you are kind of a loser,” way).

2) The Nets new owner – Mikhail Prokhorov.  He is a Russian billionaire who will spare no expense.  Now there is a chance that the lap of luxury could create a team of coddled, lazy players who have the killer instinct Play Stationed and massaged out of them (if they ever had it) like Mark Cuban has with the Dallas Mavericks, but if he is willing to pay up to bring in top talent then it won’t really matter.  The Nets have the most cap room coming in to this new season (even more than the Knicks) and they have an owner who will not care about going over the salary cap if it means winning and creating a successful brand (and the Russian models and prostitutes on his private plane don’t like losers either).  So they have enough money to bring in another superstar to entice LeBron and still give LeBron max money.

3) Evan Turner – the Nets will probably draft Evan Turner, who most people think is the next Brandon Roy.  They may take John Wall, but they already have Devon Harris, who when healthy is an all-star level player at point guard.  That gives LeBron a much better backcourt than he has ever had in Cleveland.

4) Devon Harris and Brook Lopez.  Brook Lopez is already a top 5 center in the NBA at 21 years old.  Devon Harris (see above).  So before any free agents are even signed the Nets could potentially offer LeBron a point guard, a center and a shooting guard who have been or could be all be all stars in a couple of seasons.

5) Free agents.  The tricky part here is convincing a power forward to sign before LeBron signs, I think the Nets should make a big push for Chris Bosh (not sure if LeBron would want to play with Carlos Boozer given that he left town stabbing a blind man in the back and could have probably helped LeBron win a title in 2007).  If you are Chris Bosh, why not?  You still get to play with several very good players in the NYC area, which has to beat playing with several mediocre players in Toronto.

If winning matters to LeBron, as he says it does, how could a team built to win and only requiring LeBron at the small forward not be the most obvious place for him?  A starting lineup all under 30 all star level talent?  No weakness at any position.  I don’t think any other team will be in a position to give LeBron a better chance at a title than the Nets.

That said, if he leaves Cleveland there is something dick-ish about him.  But it would be forgiven because at least he would anger the thousands of slumbering Knick fans who are waiting to resume talking sh*t after a decade if he went to the Nets.

Next week I will get back to less sports centric- themes.  Have a nice weekend.


Mr. Cauvin’s Opus

This morning I spoke to three high school classes in Brooklyn about civil liberties and related issues joining the ranks of Mr. Holland, John Keating, Dewey Finn and Dana Marschz (Hamlet 2 – an underrated gem of a comedy).  At least that was the plan.  As a former prosecutor and person who now currently makes a “living” at speaking/entertaining strangers, a law school classmate recommended me to a friend of his who is a teacher in Brooklyn.  In other words I would finally be given an opportunity to crash and burn at the three professions that have ever crossed my mind in one morning(law – former profession, teaching – thought about seriously and comedy, the one that has made me turn to Crumbs cupcakes the way Nicholas Cage turned to booze in Leaving Las Vegas).

When I woke up this morning at 620 am I had flashbacks to what it was like to be a normal human being and I did not like it.  Then I started to feel anxiety with the knowledge that I would be doing law related stuff.  It genuinely made me tense and uncomfortable, which would manifest itself on the stairs down to the V train.

As I walked down the stairs, a narrow stairway, I was blocked from going down as quickly as I wanted because of a father who thought 815 am in midtown Manhattan was the perfect time to teach his 3 year old son how to walk down approximately 50 stairs.  I felt tension build up, but then eventually it began to recede.  Just at that moment, like two-thirds of the way through a science fiction or horror movie where the villain appears dead, but you look at your watch and go, “but that is so soon, uh oh…” a twenty-something bitch basically shoved me out of the way with about ten stairs to go (and no train in sight since the platform was visible at that point).  Although I wanted to send her the way of the Priest in The Exorcist down the rest of the stairs I settled for “Excuse you cu-t!”  Not my finest moment, but a truthful moment nonetheless.  Naturally I blame morning and the law for my poor attitude.

When I arrived at the school I was greeted by the following sign:

"No Weapons Allowed Beyond This Point" - Do you think there's money is establishing weapons storage facilities near schools so that kids can keep their guns safely and conveniently near school without violating pesky school rules?
“No Weapons Allowed Beyond This Point” – Do you think there’s money is establishing weapons storage facilities near schools so that kids can keep their guns safely and conveniently near school without violating pesky school rules?

I then went through the metal detectors and waited to speak to kids about the 4th Amendment.

They say that when a lawyer speaks before the Supreme Court he/she is lucky to speak for a minute before being interrupted incessantly by questions from the Justices on the Court.  Well, the same is true for speaking in front of 11th grade classes in Brooklyn, NY.  But overall, they were a great bunch of kids (it is amazing how childlike 17 year olds look to me now, which makes LeBron James’ old mug when he came into the league at 18 even more astounding) and here are the highlights of the experience:

  • These kids have a really bad perception of the police.  Not unanimously, but for most it seemed as ingrained as religious or sports team affiliations.  But many were very thoughtful and open to new points of view with respect to what constitutes a reasonable versus unreasonable search.
  • Reviewing the 4th Amendment for three hours led me to say the word reasonable more than that short, bald guy had to say inconceivable for The Princess Bride.
  • I got into a friendly argument about Kobe Bryant in the elevtor with two young men.  All was resolved when one of them told me he thought Utah’s Deron Williams was the best point guard in the NBA.
  • Kids find it as funny as comedy audiences when you refer to them by articles of clothing.  Which is very funny.
  • I am now being offered a movie deal called Reasonably Safe Minds.
  • And here’s a photo of the bathroom at the school – the bathroom was really the only thing that reminded me of the Welcome to The Jungle montage from Lean on Me (the school was quite safe in Park Slope, but the concentration of minority students is, I am sure, what generated the metal detector need that is miraculously not present at other Park Slope area high schools, something which the kids were quite aware of):
See kids, this would be an unreasonable use of toilet paper
See kids, this would be an unreasonable use of toilet paper

A very worthwhile time in Brooklyn.  Hopefully the kids got something out of it since I only addressed about 5 of 14 points I wanted.  Time flies when you are having fun I guess.