The Self-Abasement Tapes
An Atlanta comedian's blog.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Zimbabwe Shaking Toner Again
In his recent Independence Day speech, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe noted one of the problems with printing more and more money in defiance of inflation.
"Our mint is out of toner. We must print more money to pay for new toner. We will try shaking the old toner again. We will pass a law forcing the Harare Cartridge World to accept smeared and faded Zimbabwe dollars so we can buy new toner.
Also, Morgan Tsvangirai is a tool of the west."
Monday, April 14, 2008
I was on a hotel balcony in Amsterdam once with jazz trumpeter and vocalist Chet Baker and Second City Improv guru Del Close. Del turns to Chet and says “Fall, then figure out what to do on the way down.”
So Chet fell, but all he could think to do was let out a detached, achingly delicate “Ohhhh Shiiiit” that was the very essence of cool.
I said to Del, “You irresponsible prick. You’re always trying to glamorize self-destruction. Suicide is not good theatre. It’s solipsistic, self-indulgent and shows no concern for the community at large. If anything, suicide is film.”
Del said, “You’re negating again. You’ve got to learn to Yes, And.”
At the time I was in a short-lived Improv troupe called The Mumbling Introverts. It was a couple guys from my Social Anxiety support group and me. We did it as an “exposure exercise.” Instead of Yes, And—the discipline of accepting any choice a scene partner makes and adding to it—we tended to No, Neither—negating each others’ choices plus something else for good measure. A typical scene went like this:
Dave: Uh… so ... um … (unintelligible).
Dave: I said, aren’t you like a doctor or something?
Me: ...No … And I’m not gay neither.
That was always the second thing I’d negate. Our scenes were very short.
Today, I'm trying to go with the flow a little more and negating life less. But I still think Del was an irresponsible prick most of the time.
His skull was willed to a Chicago theatre to play Yorick in productions of Hamlet. Turns out his skull wasn't quite right for the part and a stand-in is used. Chet's skull was rendered down to about 2 ounces of ash and nearly a full kilo of black tar heroin. And my own cranium is about 5 years away from its first aneurysm. But what can ya do?… and scene.