Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Keith Olbermann Can Be Kind of a Douche Sometimes

There is an ad campaign on New York buses encouraging atheists to come out of the closet. I suppose it is ironic, a little, that the donor who paid for the ads has chosen to remain anonymous, but I think calling him one of the worst people in the world is beyond harsh.

Greta Christina has already succinctly argued why a person might want to maintain his or her anonymity in such a situation:

Coming out as an atheist can have serious real-world consequences. Parents get denied custody of their children for being atheists. People get harassed and vandalized by their neighbors for being atheists. Teachers get suspended for being atheists. Teenagers get harassed and suspended from school for being atheists. Politicians whip up anti-atheist fear to try to get elected. (And that's just in the US. I'm not even talking about parts of the world where atheism is a crime, punishable by imprisonment or death.)

I like Keith Olbermann, probably for the same reason that conservatives love Limbaugh or O'Reilly. The man knows how to rile up the base. And perhaps I am being hypocritical; would I have noticed - or worse, agreed - if he were discussing another group? I don't know. It's possible.

The Olbermann segment is below:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Clown Stigmata

Clown Stigmata is the name of my fake band. I got the name from my friend Liz, who told me a story about a class she took in clowning. One day after class she discovered that she had an intricate pattern of bruises around her body. She mentioned it to her instructor, who congratulated her for receiving her first case of "clown stigmata." Upon hearing this story my first thought was, "That is a perfect name for a band!" And for some reason it stuck with me.

I call it a fake band because there is no band; there is just me, my guitar and my computer. It's a hobby. Were I taking it more seriously I might say that I am to Clown Stigmata what Trent Reznor is to Nine Inch Nails, except that I have never played a show or sold a record. And I suck at writing lyrics - the vocal distortion is partly to cover the embarrassing lyrics, and partly because I think it sounds cool.

I've had a MySpace page up for a while now, but I had refrained from spreading it around too much until now. Why the change of heart? Dunno. I'm just proud of the new batch of songs I posted, and I'd like people to hear them, and I'd like to get some feedback.

So, If you're in the mood for some industrial rock with a metal edge to it, head on over to myspace.com/clownstigmata. I'd love to know what you think.

Friday, June 12, 2009

So Method

Busman's Honeymoon at Lifeline Theatre has been extended to July 26th. I'm having a fine time playing a Scottish douchebag named MacBride. It's a small part, but fun. I show up and act like an asshole. It's pretty great.

In one pivotal scene (pivotal because I am in it. Also, because it is the scene in which they discover the dead body) I have to sit on a couch and write some notes to myself in a little notebook. For about thirty seconds I amuse myself on stage by thinking of stuff to write. There are, I suppose, a few things that would be easier to understand if you were familiar with the show, which is why you should get down here and check it out.

I thought I might share a sampling with you, so that you might better appreciate what goes on in the actor's mind as he performs:
May 1
Holy crap. People here.
So far so good.
Butler = raccoon
What else today?
Lots of laughs
Missed a line.
Dead = Lame

May 10
Totally fucking up my
lines. What the hell?
Stupid press opening.
Still had trouble finding
notebook in case

May 11
Opening Night!
Pretty good so far.
Good house.
Working the briefcase better

May 15
I've got "Suicide Jag" by
Chemlab stuck in my head.
Opening reporter scene sucked
a little.

May 30 #1
WTF? Feeling weird on
this one. Timing's off. I
blame this diet. I'd kill
for a candy bar. I really
need to use the bathroom.

May 30 #2
Better this time. Almost
missed an entrance during
#1! Scared the shit out
of me.
Somebody brought cornbread
for dinner. Good stuff.

Fascinating, no? It's almost like haiku. Except, you know, not at all.

In other theater news, we had our first read-through for Treasure Island last week. I cannot wait to get started on this thing.