Sunday, December 27, 2009

Learning to Laugh

The emcee came on stage hopping around. He did a small choreographed dance. I was impressed by his synchronized movement. He danced, and shirked his body about to an inner cacophony. After a few moments he took the mike and began to regale the audience with his humor, mainly making jokes about Manny Pacquaio, how filipinos work in airports, and filipino height. I kept an open mouth grin marked on my face as his words flowed out.

I'd come down with two friends to see the filipino King's of Comedy at the Improv in San Jose. Having never been to a comedy club before I joined my filipino friends in the night out. The club demanded a minimum of two items from the menu (the water was almost as much as the beer; 5.75) and the ticket price was twenty dollars for the slightly over 2 hour event.

The first two comedians were the best of the five. The later funny men were stoned which may have impacted their ability to entertain the crowd. The first comedian of the night was a flamboyant gay filipino. He talked about his shoes for a while, getting ice cream eaten out of his ass, and an awkward ending. The second comedian did a dancing bit and some funny stuff on the microphone. One of the later comedians was pulled off the stage because he wasn't that funny. He was also wearing a shirt that said "Neenja Turtles." Perhaps a correlation?

I've had limited experience with stand up comedy. I don't watch much of it on television and have never gone out to a club to see it, sans saturday. I have had a brief acquaintance with it when my identical twin brother took a stand up comedy class at his liberal lefty shit college, as if the cost of his tuition wasn't enough of a laugh. For three weeks he called me up and told me jokes he'd found on the internet. Most of the jokes revolved around rednecks and tic tacs in his butt. I found myself embarrassed to look like him, specifically when he went to the corner pharmacy and asked for mint flavored suppositories.

The repeated punch lines I think went to my head, demanding pugilism.

Monday, December 21, 2009


I enjoy going to the movies. Perhaps it was a product of my time working in movie theatres that has made me crave going to see the latest piece of crap put on screen, or perhaps I just like watching pretty things move about. Either way today I saw Avatar, the new James Cameron flick. The movie, of course, was visually very interesting, particularly because I saw it in an imax theatre. I've never seen a movie in one of these rooms, essentially you wear 3-d glasses and stare at a screen that is as big as a fucking football field. While the movie progressed I looked behind me and saw rows of glasses staring at a screen, it was like the cover of society of the spectacle (the black and red edition). The movie itself was okay. The plot was long and drawn out and little more than an updated version of "Dances with Wolves." I recently read an article that attempted to make the movie an allegory for US involvement in the middle east. I thought it was more "Fern Gully" meets "Last of the Mohicians." Spectacle, spectacle, what pretty pictures you parade.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


When we were told that we had to evacuate because of the quarantine, I was terrified. I didn't think for one moment that I could leave my place. I'd worked so hard for it. The apartment, with its art minimalism, its baroque touches that she loved so. I just couldn't stand the idea of leaving a place that had been so... so... ours.

They knocked on our door in bio hazard suits. The contagion hadn't spread this far but they were taking precautions. They were emptying all the buildings, all the elevators, all the staircases, all the nooks and cranes, and putting everyone in separate areas that were deemed safe. It all seemed like one giant child's game. A game of kick the can. When found you were brought to a prison, but this prison was anti-septic, it was hygienic, it was pure, clean, it was everything that the disease was not.

I followed the biohazard suits out. They were color coded. The white for me, the orange for her. She followed them. We looked back at each other over our shoulders for one last glimpse. Could this disease really pull us apart, I thought as I took faltering steps forward.

"Move along," a white plastic box said to me. "We have to get you sprayed down, and then counted. You can communicated with your... loved ones later, via the several communication companies that are installed in the housing units." The suited figured sighed then continued. "Quarrycommuny has a particularly affordable package that allows regular correspondence in real time!" The suited figure looked up for a moment then began another rapid fire sequence. "Quarrycommuny allows excellent transmission no matter how much interference, whether technical or worse yet disease, there is. If you sign up now you will get a low cost but high quality dispatch virtually immediately." The suited figured let out an audible groan followed by a shudder. The figure pushed me along, nudging me with a stick that I knew could easily turn into an electric prod.

We got to the processing center and I was told to remove all my clothes. I stood in my nakedness along with a herd of others from my apartment building. Some of my neighbors attempted to make small talk. I couldn't get over the fact that I was seeing their genitalia. Something I never thought, nor wanted to see.

"Oh this will all be over soon enough," 1b said.
"My coworker actually went through this recently," 2b replied. "I can't remember if she's out or not, the workplace is so very big. It really is easy to lose track of people."
"I almost lose myself in my workplace, its so big, especially when I'm plugged into the interface. The computer just drowns out the rest of the world." 1b began to giggle.
"I know what you mean, I get lost in all the little games we can play. I just hope my boss never finds out how I'm spending company time," 2b replied.
"Time thief," 1b said playfully, slapping 2b on the arm.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Interview with James Cook

I just had an interview with professional muay thai fighter James Cook posted up on You can check it out here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

the enrage

Yesterday I left my house around 12:30 and biked up to the UC Berkeley campus. The previous evening wheeler hall had been occupied (an open occupation in which people, including cops, were allowed to come and go) during the night/early morning, the hall was raided and approximately 65 people were arrested. The prisoners were taken to Santa Rita, up north by Santa Rosa.

I saw a group of people with signs; "Support laid off workers," "Sociologists for Education," and other banalities and rode by them. I then circled back and figured, yes sadly, this was the follow up march/action to the previous evenings arrests. A group of about 50 liberals very in age, gender, and ethnicity (but bound together in their ability to withstand boredom) stood in front of an executive from UC Berkeley. The representative, who had some sort of public affairs position, fielded questions from the liberals. Most of the questions went along the lines of "The students have finals, they can't be in jail," or "I used to be faculty here and what should I tell my three year old kid about how my employer imprisons people for studying." The representative replied vaguely; "This is an unfortunate incident, but actions have consequences. We need to work together to find a solution." The protesters wanted to know the whereabouts of their comrades, and how to get them out of jail. They were given more ambiguous answers.

After fifteen minutes I grew bored of the encounter. The problem with talking to officials is that they will negotiate you to death. Dealing with bureaucratic processes isn't supposed to yield results it just sucks you dry. Its a method of stalling people to their demise.

The UC campuses have been having occupations pretty regularly, with Santa Cruz leading the way. Part of the reason for Santa Cruz's radical stance is that there is a small contingent of anarchists there who refuse to allow themselves to be stuck in meetings, in democratic procedures, and demand action after action. Additionally what I think Santa Cruz and some other places are doing that is actually really smart is turning the protests into dance parties. Add some alcohol and a confrontation with the police (or small scale rioting) and your normal party goer enters a state of anomie, of social deindividuation. They become politicized. Almost everyone hates the police, and a little alcohol and others acting in concert and everyone gets involved.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A week passes

And I totally haven't written anything. Here's a fucking youtube clip though. Suckers.