End Stupid Stop Stubborn

Hot Fun in the Setting Sun

Hot Fun in the Setting Sun

 

More Off the Cuff Links…

We take you to the streets of London where students are marching for, “No tuition fees! No education cuts! No debt!” Let’s go to Milwaukee where what passes for progress we have this pathetic excuse for policy being implemented. Sorry folks we can’t get to the new economy everyone is talking about by dismantling our education system.

Dismantling programs isn’t policy, it isn’t even constructive politics. It is something else. While you were looking to the  left the right was running so far to the right that they’ve run out of room. And speaking of running out of room how about another Robin Hood in reverse episode. Speechless…

And speaking about criminals that never get charged, never are tried, and now no longer go to jail there is this nifty little bit of complaining by the Fat Cats. And Robert Reich explains how the big money boys do it. So, what do you do when the wheels on the bus that keep going round and round seem to be about to fall off the bus? Why you call the Vatican and ask the Pope to come speak truth to power.

Do you love answers to those persistent questions? Like for example how do you give a man a raise? By paying him more.  This “more” we are talking about only works if we don’t blow up the world’s economy. I’m not one of those doomsday machine types, but some of the policymakers in Europe are.

Finally, words of advice from one of the better minds in our country.

“I’m here in Mexico, Playa del Carmen. In my neighborhood there is a man who sells bottled water. Did you know he has a sister that sells hot water that a married man can never get out of?”

 

 

 

 

The Comedy that Will Not Be Televised

Riding the Range of Comedy

Riding the Range of Comedy

Sharp Wit and Bullet Holes

“And so capitalism being what it is jumps into action. These men of free enterprise build resorts. And the resorts, they’re not just for people that are in love, they are for people who might find someone to pretend that they are in love with.”

I went into the kitchen to feel the heat of George Carlin’s oven. He was roasting a few pet canards. Took a time machine way back to 1971 and caught Richard Pryor in the act of being a legend being born.

Seinfeld breaks it down into two buckets, you can do smart or you can do love, but you can’t do both. Compared to Carlin or Pryor it would first appear that Leno and Seinfeld opted for love. George was as the years passed driven to madness by what passes for civilization.

Comedy is commentary. It is sometimes observational. Some acts like Leno and Seinfeld anchor their material in social behavioral commentary. Other acts go further into the full anarchy of our systems tragic flaws. Carlin and Pryor do political satire on steroids where Leno and Seinfeld come up to the other side of the lake and rather than try to take the big fish settle for a more pastoral visit to this body of water.

Having spent the last eight weeks on stage working new material I have had to take measure of how far I might go. Topics I have been speaking about include: bachelors, honeymoons, vows, children, tequila, promiscuity, and lovemaking.

I have been dealing with stereotypes comparing what images come up in their minds when I explain that I am from San Francisco. They think of me as a German luxury car driving homosexual who smokes medically dispensed weed. If they are from Iowa I accuse them of being trapped driving “corn-pickers.” You got to give as good as you get.

The central fact of the times that we live in is that the narrative is up for grabs. The Berlin Wall falls and within two decades the victorious system called capitalism implodes, not once but twice. The oligarchs have been set loose on us and feudalism is like a mirage inside an economic crisis that’s birthed a radicalized survivalist movement driven to madness because they don’t want a country to be led by a black man. Can you disagree with any of what I just said?

And that my friend’s is what truth to power, comedy to an audience is all about. You had better well tell people the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the funniest entertaining truth you can. My work here is almost done. Now where the hell is my wine and who took my glasses?

“There’s no more playing around, no more hopping from bed to bed, all of that super-secret run silent bachelor life technology is soon to be nothing but useless scrap in a married man’s life.”

The Off the Cuff Links (I’m Not Making this Stuff Up)

The sovereign nation of the Sioux who just so happen to be located in South Dakota have had it with the Koch’s and their obsession with all things carbon. Have you ever heard of Little Big Horn?

But, damn it you see there is a little problem and it is called Iowa where a Republican Senator Chuck Grassley isn’t going along to get along, especially when it means taking the fall for the end of a renewable energy tax credit.

In a fact based world here we present to you the 2008 net worth of the Vampire Squid. Morally bankrupt now insolvent then. And speaking of insolvent. This just in from Kansas.

How to make sense of the scam called social media and the digital revolution. And let’s now explain why journalism has made a fetish of dumpster diving (what else is left?). Let’s jump across the pond and speak to a man in the Queen’s English where it seems there is something wrong with the narrative. This is of course is Robin Hood in reverse and let’s go to Sherwood Forest for the story.

And finally we give you a digitally stitched together decade in the making snap shot of our own Milky Way.

Clickity click click click Get it Here

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Get it Here

“This is a well written and amusing contemporary love story that touches every emotion. Dana paints a great story using wonderfully colorful characters in an unusual setting.”

 

 

 

 

Stupid, Dumb and Dunderheaded

 

Harvest Moon 2014

Harvest Moon 2014

“Your wallets gone, passport is missing and you’ve just received a note from the consulate. There is nothing they can do. You will have to live with your new tattoo and the sex change operation.”

Send in the clowns… they’re already here…

Working today on the stupid… I try not to do stupid, but sometimes you can’t help visiting the stupidity littering the landscape before us.

Fortunately I do visit with the gods and they remind me to maintain my stupid sense of humor. Thank you Three Stooges.

I make my living saying stupid things that on second appear to be smarter than they first look. Of course frequently I am dumber than I appear.

Still we wish the world of the future will be handed to our grandchildren in better shape than the way it was handed to our generation. This is looking stupid both in terms of hopes and the utter logjam of stupid that clutters the path to this goal.

Well, this is the sheer quality of this era of information. With all this power comes all this stupidity. People don’t just act stupid they go on and do stupid for all of their lives. Case in point would be everybody that thought Galileo was stupid. James Inhofe our stupid senator from Oklahoma reprises his moron and stupid. His stupidity is well paid for by a well-oiled not so stupid machine.

And that is stupid. We are essentially much dumber than our brilliance might suggest. It isn’t that we aren’t smart enough it is that we are simply too prone to dunderheaded choices. We are simply brimming with what I respectfully refer to as the ape shit crazy.

Is this too hard to understand? Can you say Fukushima? Dumbest idea we’ve ever had. Build it and they will come. What do you mean you didn’t know that there could be a tidal wave so big that…. We could turn around and go the other way but as smart as that turn might be it feels dumb to the stupid inside of us.

“You can hardly contain your excitement at the going away party; they are finally leaving for college. They come home for Christmas and want to know who the hell gave you permission to buy a new car.”

Hot Spring Honeymoon Front Cover

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 “BTW… I finished your book. I liked it. And I laughed.” Nick Nicholas Sensational Street Act

The Stupidity Links

Ultimately we are throwing our grandchildren under the bus…

Is it the deficits or is it putting people back to work? Come on really? You don’t know what to do?

This is your brain on mushrooms… 

 

 

The Great Dictator’s Curtain Call

tracks

Coatimundi tracks in Talum, Mexico

Oh, the shark, babe, has such teeth, dear
And it shows them pearly white
Just a jackknife has old MacHeath, babe?
And he keeps it out of sight

During hyperinflations grip on the Weimar Republic in the 1920’s Bertolt Brecht struggled with the question of how to dramatize the complex economic relationships of modern capitalism.

And then the wildly Canadian-Canadian Naomi Klein’s new book argues that for the world to do anything about climate change we will have to rewrite how capitalism works. We are finding it nearly impossible to change our economic model because vested interests will not surrender their present profits for future generations benefit. Those Canadian’s…

Since the global financial crisis profits have gone to the elite while virtually every other segment of society has watched while wages have flat-lined. Frustrated with Washington voters vented their anger by electing Republican majorities to both houses of Congress. I’m unaware of the newly elected majorities wanting to do anything that squares with what nonpartisan policymakers might suggest is best. Capitalism is complicated where anger is simple. The electorate vented their spleen. We will regret playing our politics on the basis of bile.

Like Brecht’s struggle to dramatize the complexities of the economy of his era our society has failed to implement the best policy responses to our present situation. Wall Street wants nothing to do with shrinking the size of our big banks, and they certainly don’t want any constraints to be put on carbon based energy companies.

Capital is ascendant and labor’s share of the pie is on the decline. The circular firing squad arrives and future profits are defended by the very people that are harmed by that choice.

This is what is so dangerous about booms and busts. They confuse and frighten people. In this emotionally charged state of mind people vote out of fear, the very fear that FDR suggested was the only thing we had to fear.

I am in the earliest stages of plotting the next comedy. What I am thinking about is the same thing that Brecht was thinking about. We want to understand the world we find ourselves living in and we want to know what path to take to fulfill our promise for a prosperous future.

When capitalism goes bust people go crazy. Depressions are depressing and extremists lurk in disguise at every gate luring the fearful into actions that might well result in tragedy. Chaplin skewered the wicked of his day with The Great Dictator. History might not be repeating itself but it certainly is flirting with the idea of rhyming.

There’s a tugboat down by the river, don’t you know?
Where a cement bag, just a’drooppin’ on down
Oh, that cement is just its there for the weight, dear
Five’ll get you ten Old Macky’s back in town

“The slacker dude no longer has to make an excuse about not having a good paying job because since the global financial crisis there are no more good paying jobs…”

Hot Spring Honeymoon Front Cover

Get it here…

“The story follows a cast of interesting characters in a small desert town as they work to save their local economy and play the games of love.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for fun yet heartfelt read.”

Relevant Links…

Let’s go to Berlin…   Story of internet activists hiding in Berlin from NSA

Modeling other capitalistic enterprises…   Let’s talk about Republican’s and capitalists at their birth

Prizefighting the Godzillas in the Room

Wives and Lovers...

In the Ring…

“As far as entertainment goes clinching a barbecue fork in my teeth and performing this stunt stands at least one foot higher in the minds of audiences than topless dancing does.”

The Godzilla in the room of a performer’s world is to know when to build new material.

A huge dividend is paid for having polished a routine. It is a reliable tool in the shows running order. Anyone who has honed their act to this razor sharp edge is reluctant to abandon the surefire for uncharted waters.

I have no such show. Twice now in my four decade career my performing dogs have retired leaving me to start all over from scratch. New jokes and stunts are devised. Most of the old show has to be abandoned in its entirety. A few pieces are cobbled together and survive. But that killer closer you’ve been doing for a decade is now an old flea bitten hound with cataracts and hearing loss.

This week I’ve had no less than two superb variety acts make no bones about it. They aren’t building material right now. “Thanks, but no thanks.” The shows working fine as is and it really just isn’t what they want to do. I was racked with envy. Talk about a couple of lucky stiffs.

Build new material? Of course not! It is a source of flaming pains in the ass followed by spiraling pangs of doubt that are halted once your confidence has been shattered beyond reach of repair. Unless the dogs died why in the name of vaudeville would you set out to make yourself so utterly miserable? Nobody needs to man-‘splain this. This isn’t fanny patting this is butt kicking welcome to your own personal little hell.

I am between rounds. Angelo Dundee’s in my corner. Half-way through the fight and I’m giving, as good, as I’m getting. When you are prizefighting, and when you are building a new show, you know you are in the ring and if you’re going to win the fight you’ll need to face the fact that you are going to take a pounding.

The lipstick on this pig is that I can see the light at the end of the funnel. Testing proceeds apace. I’m taking the now proofed pieces to my lego-comedy-puzzle and have near finished erecting the all shiny new framework.

Dundee slaps me across the face. I stand up off my stool. The bell rings. I’m heading back into the ring. It’s all fancy footwork and tactics now; my audience won’t even see it coming. I’m back and I’m packing a knockout punch.

Don’t believe me? Get in line. Buy a ticket. Put your money where your mouth is. Working cheap is for suckers, and winning fights is what you do when a career is on the line.

Drop by the slaughterhouse of comedy where this act works six nights a week. I either kill or I die. Last night it was the audience picking itself up off the floor. Damn right they deserved it. I worked hard for that victory. And that’s how a new show gets done. You got a problem with that?

in the round

“My volunteer will toss the orange into the air over to me. The orange may well miss. Continue across the room and land at this table where this beautiful woman is seated. If it does stay where you are; I’ll go over and get her phone number.”

Hot Spring Honeymoon Front Cover

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“The love scenes are among the funniest I have ever read — and what in this world is better than funny sex? The author’s strong, unique narrative voice and high-desert dialogue are seductions in their own way and sure to entertain.”

The Mystics Guide to Pointlessness

Light Show in Atlanta

Blinded by the light…

“She’s perfect, and you’re perfect, the whole thing is perfect even though you know there is no such thing as perfect and that’s perfect… It’s Fukushima with a happy ending.”

I use the Eastern psychological model when planning a novel. It is simple. Characters can be described as acting in a wholesome and skillful way, or they can act in unwholesome and unskillful ways. Fortunately for the sake of drama most of us make the simple mistakes that make for such enjoyable reading.

The Eastern model of mind allows me to scrub the psychological field of play of all sorts of useless and misleading terms that seem to come overloaded with baggage I don’t need my characters forced into carrying.

My characters inhabit a world of virtue and vice. They lapse into this or rise up to that. We don’t need to have this mysterious world of the unconscious mind of a person accounted for. Those dim corners seldom carry the narrative to much besides confusion.

Most severe wounds leave unspeakable chaos in their wake and untangling it is flirting with pointlessness.

In the world that I live in people succeed and fail all day long in quite ordinary ways. They run red lights. They might lust for someone. Perhaps they don’t offer compassion where they see suffering. We each have some degree of capacity to help or not to help.

A good person isn’t a perfect person. They may well be an awful person who happened into their better nature for a moment in time. We live across a continuum of skillful and wholesome means. There are no endings. There is really more of this incessant doing that keeps happening. The phenomenal is quite exquisite and complexity astounding, but the fewer the brushstrokes illustrating consciousness’s mystery the better. I like the way that sounds even if it is not always true.

Eastern psychology is smudged with a divine simplicity- this is the mystic laughing, it is revelation, the magic of mind unmasked. The spiritual explorer’s for centuries now have traveled into the deepest parts of inner space and have returned with the ultimate fact about the nature of mind. It is at its essence quite simple. Eastern psychologies framework is not complicated. It is based upon how the mind actually works. Imagine that…

 

“How does the world’s greatest lover stay on top of his game? By asking his partners to lie down on the bed first…”

Hot Spring Honeymoon Front Cover

Click and Get a Laugh

 

His depth and wisdom give the reader a surgically precise but comic look into the relationship between the sexes.

 We loved it.  Upon deeper reflection, “Everyman” merges with “Everywoman”  to become “Everyone” in a small, dusty desert “Everytown”.