My cousin is visiting again, all he can talk about is this show and the songs he's been working on. Got to say though, he's really been at it so I bet this is going to be something to see. Uptown Arts Bar Kansas City Missouri Friday 5-19-17 10pm See you there!
A friend once told me about how his dog shit through the screen door. I can't stop laughing about it even though it's been over 20 years since I first heard the story.
Knowing it was a 10 year old scottie makes it a little funnier, but the rest of the details are unimportant.
We can deduce everything else. The owners usually take him out through that door to the yard periodically and one time they weren't there. The scottie holds it in, and holds it in, until he can't anymore and then he has to decide where his ass is going to be when the shit comes out, inside which he knows is wrong, or he can take his chances on the screen door.
It looks, in that moment, with the breeze blowing through, like all that shit might just magically fly out the other side and land in a neat pile. Those are tiny holes, shit goes through holes, so maybe, just maybe....
Thinking about this story now, and having felt like the scottie quite often in life, as I've found myself pushed and pulled in so many contradictory directions, I see it as a pretty great thought experiment for describing categoies of people.
I know, for instance, a lot of people who would find the scene of the poop in the screen door and the ashamed scottie and enter a rage, "How dare he! He knows better than that!"
If the dog would talk, he might say, "but I just couldn't hold it in any longer, and you didn't come to open the door, and-"
And this person would respond, "Excuses, excuses, excuses" or something equally reductionist and infuriatly dim, absolving himself from his obvious culpability. And in further meetings with higher ups the story would eventually evolve until it was simply, 'that ancient scottie just shits on things."
In a lot of power dynamics, this sort of thing isn't just allowed, it is the way business is done. Problems that the higher ups don't want to deal with, minefield tasks, for instance, get delegated to people who everyone knows probably can't handle them, but at least they might clear the beginnings of a path.
This is horrible for the scottie and new employees at a company, but really just another crass methodology of the modern corporation. What do you expect, didn't you know you were just a pawn?
I contend that when you find yourself in this kindof ambush, that you always immediately protest at that moment, vociferously and with pointed sarcasm.
Say "No. That's not what happened. You didn't do your job and that was the necessary condition for this mess, not my bowwel movement. This is a team effort unless you want to put a door handle down here, and you failed your team, so shit happened. Own up to it you douche."
Of course they will fire you, because they are lazy and cowardly, and can't stand cognative dissonance.
I contend however, you want people like this to fire you, otherwise you'll end up living in their upside down world where everything is your fault and it's only a matter of time before they make you fall on your sword so they can have a more pleasant picnic.
Professional life is the search for a team that won't fuck you over(and maybe you will be rewarded for your work, actually, imagine that!).
Once you get fucked over at a job, they are no longer any part of your professional career and you are free to move on without looking back. You have bigger fish to fry.
People don't change, they unmask themselves. This holds up over time.
Life is a gradual unfolding of what actual priorities and values really are, which can then be compared to your stated ones, across the past, present, future.
Where do I fit into the world around me? Is this stuff I'm doing really an expression of my desires or am I just doing this because it is the path of least resistance? Did I get into a bad habit a long time ago that is holding me back? Is my true self getting lost in all of these compromises?
Biology wires us for certain things. To breed, eat food late at night, own territory, fear death, feel something is owed us, be dissatisfied with our bodies, take our story really seriously and lots of other things too. You could easily just coast on by letting these motivations drive you.
As an artist, I want people to enjoy my creations.
As a system administrator, I want systems to work reliably for their users.
I would also like some credit for being someone who does both, not just for all the time I put into for which I get no other compensation but for the epic piles of crap and low behavior I have to deal with.
My motivation to contribute and the attendant desire for some recognition seem like different drives. If I didn't really work on them, going way out of my way. Dogs hump and maintain territory but they don't make albums or answer trouble tickets. They enjoy being helpful and positive attention, which is great but there are a lot more levels to the satisfaction humans get from pursuing their professions and visions.
I ask people this every chance I get, what would you do if you knew you could not fail? It's kindof a test for echo, I frequently get no response at all, only evasions. The accupuncture course that's always 6 months out is a common plan for someone to pretend to have when they have no plan at all, like people who use a single reiki course to somehow document they have a spiritual side.
It's really easy in american society to go through the motions, make money doing someone else's bidding and then that's it, nothing else is my problem.
I don't know what is wrong with me, if I were ever to get asked that question, there's like 10 things I'd do if I knew I couldn't fail, including a major rewrite of the united states constitution, becoming a kung fu master and making several feature films.
The Truman Show is a movie whose premise is continually haunting, like the one mathematicians premise that they were the only sentient being in the universe,or the feeling of anyone playing modern role playing game. How would you know if someone was an NPC? An automoton that is part o the environment, like fishes and birds, going on a programmed, predictable path of little consequence or worse, doing what is necessary to preserve the lies that limit your life.
Think about how many people you know that are busy all of the time, who don't do anything they haven't done before, who go to work, watch dumb shows and then sleep to repeat it all again. People on 5 year plans with "good jobs" of whatever variety, people who admit they 'have no idea what is going on' and/or who are just 'whatever.'
Yeah, they seem an awful lot like the farmer in that one video game who has this one quest you could do for him otherwise he just has a spiel, then asks you to get off his farm.
I don't believe in the solipsistic model, or the 'relive every life' model and I'm not exactly certain about any model except I try to keep my soul pretty light and avoid liars like the plague, but most people I have met in the United States of America could be replaced with a stepford wife without much trouble. They fit the description in Pink Floyd's "Time" of people who feel this immense feeling to communicate something profound but at the end of their lives only have a few cliche lines. I have a lot of sympathy and empathy for these people, they aren't there by choice but by the design of others.
This is not a culture of creativity and creation, it is one of rigid conformity and absurdity, the triumph of environmental queues and propaganda over individuality and authenticity. In the absence of any actual culture besides business goals, vicious manipulations and crass invasions permeate the atmosphere. People wear sunglasses and roll up their windows to keep the masses at arms length.
Everywhere I go I end up asking questions that are dismissed out of hand as being wrong, frequently also refusing narratives that are completely upside down, if convenient.
What I'm saying is, for all the thousands of billions of my readers across all time and space, hey now, this is for serious,
DON'T BE PART OF THE SCENERY
DON'T BE PART OF THE BULLSHIT WORLD
ESPECIALLY DON'T BE PART OF BOTH(i.e. bankers, insurance people, secret police, succubuses, cokewhores, scam artists, meter maids, collections agents.....)
Why? For starters, so I won't write a long mocking email that makes you cry and feel great about it.
The rejection of a salary is a ridiculous PR stunt. Fascist demogugues make all kinds of easy displays of virtue, and trumpet them from the rooftops.
I have said for years now the biggest issue is that the voting machines themselves have no integrity, the votes are counted secretly by people who have every reason to manipulate them. And bribery has been completely legalized here now, so there is no justice, truth, wisdom or any other virtue in public policy here, it is simply a giant ethic-free auction.
I have supported for a long time, efforts such as:
I have gone to many protests against bullshit, gone door to door for the democratic party, been president of an organization that works against the drug war, i aided occupy wall street the best i could, constantly criticize fascists in online forums and even camp with indians and hippies in the woods praying for peace. And a good half of all the songs i sing, stuff i write, thing i say on stage, are all counter to this stupid war and the absurd energy economy, the broken politics, the completely propagandized mass media, the apparent loss of civilian control of the military and all political and human rights, globally maybe.
So yeah, I support a huge range of american progressive and radical politics, I can't even keep track of them all. You could sit hear all day and say, 'oh why are you so obsessed with this one' or 'why are you ignoring the plight of the antelopes.'
The Israel issue is far from my hobby horse or obsession. I simply find that without american foreign policy taking the absolute one-sided approach to a very two sided conflict, and a bizarre pseudo-religious marriage between fundamental christians, intelligence services and petroleum traders, the world would be a lot better place. And that every time I mention israel in a critical manner, I get this huge wave of suspicion and anxiety from people.
The job of an artist, especially comedians and writers, is to find the elephants in the room, the sacred cows, naked emperors, the things people feel they usually have to talk about in whispers, etc.
And then make art about them.
There is a huge impending war right now, so I think anyone who isn't speaking about this issue is kindof dull. And I'm so sick of watching people skirt the issue that I kindof started to enjoy the way people squirm when I try to get them to go on record about it.
And I don't care what anybody says, the state of the american political economy is on the brink of utter disaster. I am around both sides of it, and it is like watching two groups of decent people being brought to hate each other to the point of arming themselves with fully automatic rifles over the madness they watch on CNN/MSNBC/FOX. I can't help but also notice that the open nature of our society has made it very easy for russia, china, and israel to influence our domestic politics behind the scenes.
I think it is a really dangerous time. 'free speech' looks like it is no more and it's going to be 'watch what you say' for a long while.
I do not think that german society is in the same way shaking at it's foundation, although what happens with the united states has the strong potential to swirl up everybody in it. And I guess now a right winger has a chance anywhere but Iceland. Am I wrong?
Don't be sad for me. I have a very rich life, I think. I like my job, I like my apartment, Im still writing songs and jokes and stuff. However, my long term dismay is giving way to some actual fear, the shadows of Trump are quite ominous. I could go to jail for tweeting. Ideas are going to be made illegal.
I hope the recount succeeds, I think it's obvious the counting mechanisms are shady as hell and if they are brought to light, well thats a lot of ifs.
Does it really look from afar like America is ok? Do people over there just expect things over here to just roll along like they always have? Am I overreacting? (at this point Im only writing on the internet, but some of the issue is also that there seems to be NO correct action, these negative trends advance as if automatically and you can sit for a week trying to think of something new to do that would slow them down and everything has been tried and failed.....)
What is the current form of government of the United States of America?
Cryptocracy. Not only do I not know the current form of government but whatever government is exercising power over the country, it intentionally and effectively obfuscates its true nature.
But we vote, everyone gets a say because it is a Republic or Democracy or something.
The American election system has so many anti-democratic traits that it resembles the fish at the end of Old Man and the Sea. Even if you can overlook the electoral college, gerrymandering, party manipulations and outright bribery, you still have to face the fact that the tabulations of the new voting machines are done in secret, unnaccountably, at the corporate headquarters of people who have every reason to manipulate the results. And statistically, the results of all of the computer tabulated districts, for over a decade, have been wildly different from both pre-election and exit polls. These issues are completely ignored by the central corporate news media although they air all right-wing allegations of ID related fraud and occasionally mention the difficulties people have obtaining their identification, etc. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both took advantage of the loopholes allowing themselves, basically, to count the votes of their own elections, on top of all the other sleezy manipulations the Republican and Democratic parties pulled in their favor.
In summary, to speak of the United States as if it were a functioning democracy or republic, or even as if it were a place where the popular vote legitimizes the powers that rule it in any meaningful way, or even as if an american citizen(perhaps yourself) were represented by their government as decreed plainly in The Most Orthodox History as The Core Principles Of The Constitution and Entire Reason The Country Was Even Founded In The First Place, is most certainly, obviously, utterly naive in the most dangerous and shameful way.
This is, of course, further complicated by the just as obvious fact that our own State Department repeatedly justifies the high altitude laser guided bombing and frequently outright invasion of numerous foreign nations for exactly the reason *that their governments do not represent their people.*
So, basically, don't talk to me about voting until we're talking about throwing out computerized voting machines, bribery(i.e. citizens united), the electoral college, and gerrymandering. (I'm helping the few people who are but the rest of you might as well be voting in a fantasy world of Rupert Murdoch's creation.) I have no faith in either presidential candidate to do so, neither any local party to do so. Nor do I have any faith any sufficiently large media organization is even capable of presenting such complicated ideas to its audience, even if the distant golfing owners were to become capable of repenting from the fact they are just stooge parrots torching the last vestiges of any non-bribe aspect of representation in the United States while loudly proclaiming themselves Humble Patriots.
How can the situation be that bad, aren't I eating a sandwich?
Yeah, I'm eating a sandwich too, but is that the full capacity of your analysis? We live in a vastly complicated world, the danger, as stated by some obscure non-successful comedian spouting off on his website, is that we become overtaken by what future historians would call a "Mania."
It's like an airplane or boat with a broken sensor on the tip of the wing, or you not being able to feel your legs. The pilot or the brain, whatever control center, starts to be out of touch with reality when the parts it coordinates don't send accurate information back. When those parts aren't *Represented* in the decision-making process. So when your leg fell asleep while you were sitting, when you get up and start to walk you curl your toes under your feet and sprain them, without noticing until later. For the moments your leg was asleep, you were not living in the real world of your body, a temporary circumstance where you take action based on some very wrong assumptions, or a mania, also similar to a schizophrenic ranting in the street at someone who isn't there, or alzheimer's patient repeatedly sweeping the same floor.
At first this is a nuisance, but eventually, in the absence of any actual care for the feet or other facts of whichever matter, the control center gets taken over by forces who think they may not even need the feet at all, that they are too much trouble, that it doesn't matter if they get sprained, or rug burnt. On a different scale, manias in large technologically advanced human societies start with things like, I don't know, the destruction of cities due to easily preventable flooding, poisoning of entire cities due to a political and economic inability to regulate clean water, wars against ideas like "Terror" or "Drugs," and eventually escalates until the power-mad leaders of nations sacrifice their own people in one way or the other. Jared Diamonds books repeatedly note food shortages, death cults and cannibalism and we can assume a million different fantasy causes for convenient wars and pograms.
So say you want to be really smart and cool and even have a chance at approaching what it means to be a Wise person, are you going to be caught up in a mania? In a mania, the wise people are always on the outside of things saying things like "Hey guys, are you sure that's a good idea?"
There are signs up everywhere saying 'Free Speech', but for some reason the person resisting the mania finds themselves out of work, unpopular and frequently in danger as their rights and well-being rank pretty low on the totem pole compared to the axe-men chopping down the last few trees on the island and building the Temple to Zordac or giant wall or embassy in Baghdad or miniature nuclear bombs...
Ok then, so you think you're wise-
Eh, I didn't say that. I aspire to be wise, I think everyone does. But I would never listen to anyone who called themselves wise. In fact, if you read closely, what I'm saying here is that there are a lot of things that I don't know. As a comedian I am a public person and public people have a duty, I believe, to not pollute society with stupid shit by reinforcing a bunch of trends that are markedly suicidal(that are also unfortunately at times markedly non-humorous in a "there is a mob outside my house" kindof way)
Then what mania is taking over the United States right now?
I think the most dangerous one, considering the Nuclear(and etc) Arsenal and global scale of the pentagon's military operations, is the destabilization of our political system. If there were another election fiasco like 2000, maybe not this year, but maybe four years from now, there could be a true constitutional crisis where no one knows who won this or that election.
Constitutional crises lead to dictatorships, not revitalization of democracy. Dictators exacerbate some or another mania, it's difficult to predict which one it might be though. You could expect the Pentagon and some large banks to pick some super-rube they liked, like Donald Rumsfeld(or the Bush de jour...ugh). But what made america work was the representation, not any smart decision made in Washington D.C. and every person outside of Washington D.C. knows that giving Washington D.C. more power is not going to fix anything. It's more likely to further assist bankers and generals as they squeeze everyone else for every scrap that can be appropriated for their yachts and bombers.
This will be exacerbated by ongoing climate crises, coastal flooding and huge storms. Civil order of any kind will only be maintained by military policing and an extensive network of secret police and informants.
Meanwhile central news will say and do whatever it takes to present a picture to those upper middle class folks in their gated communities and workplaces that the leadership is really pretty great and never does anything that bad, and you'll stop hearing about those pesky police abuses and the word whistleblower will become dangerous to even speak out loud.
This is the path we are headed down and it will get rolled up further in the delusional marketing, cruel ecocide, unjustified war, batshit religious fanaticism and quite a few others and they will all compound each other in surprising and very inconvenient(and for some, painful, and others, deadly) ways.
This is all well under way, I'm not going to waste much time trying to spell it out for people who just turned off the TV. The history of people trying to stop manias in their full swing is quite instructive on the results of spending too much effort curbing the profits of those profiting off the insanity....
So are you Politically Correct?
I have no idea what politically correct means. I must admit I despise the term, I think everyone defines it differently to themselves so in a way it acts like a universal dog whistle. It's kindof a mindfuck, because by even using the term you admit there is some ultimate judge of what is "correct" and that there is some court of opinion where some imagined group rules what is and is not acceptable.
But it is almost always used in the negative sense, as in, "I'm going to say whatever I want even if others say it is not politically correct." And as more people help each other get comfortable around each other going against the imagined group of others, they actually cement a bond based on what are often bound to be very bigoted personal beliefs and language that is deeply offensive to some people.
Where is there anyone actually defining politically correct or calling people out on being politically incorrect? To me it just appears some people want to stop hearing about it when they hurt other peoples' feelings and other people want to pretend there is a fantasy chorus behind them encouraging them whenever they tell someone else their feelings are hurt. Then add everyone who is acting out of some intention to help others when they don't feel anything one way or the other, then you have, what I call, a mindfuck.
So, due to it's uselessness and ease with which it is applied to manipulation, I recommend deprecating the term and removing it from usage. I will find people still using it from here on out, thinking they are adding some valuable commentary, to be kindof boring at best, maybe kindof annoying, but maybe intentionally using the mindfuck to their own advantage.
As a comedian living in a society that I find wildly and deeply insane, I fully expect to get called just about everything for waking up in the morning. I find all three major religions absurd and just about all military, and also banking, activity going on in the world to be a crime and the people involved frequently worthy of imprisonment, at best.
The difficulty of being a comedian is you actually have to say things. Most comedians have a picture of their face as their website, but here I go telling you my entire view of the world. Most, what some might call, successful, comedians do everything they can to avoid going on the record like I'm doing or, worse, have no analysis because they either don't have the courage or depth. Then there are the nihilists who allegedly don't believe in meaning at all(until it's them getting run over by the bulldozer.)
But I guess I'm a different animal. I know myself. I am not going to be able to do the game where I hide everything that I think while I dispense fluff the world over. My analysis always leaks out, just like my comedy.
And I think it's one of the best things about me, so if you're looking for fluff then make a 180 and turn that advertisement back on, there is a big story! Donald Troomp twooted something snarky, oh snap!
Calling all non-rubes, Calling all non-rubes.....
I've been pretty busy this month making my projects reality, and since the projects don't really overlap, it might take some explanation to get the whole picture.
Primarily, my J Michael Hudson Soundcloud is where I post my comedy and music that I would perform as myself.
Then there is my new podcast, Surgeon not the Butcher which you can find for free at Radio4all.net. I have recorded 5 hour long episodes and after each episode we made a little audio production as a capstone to the conversation.
Then there is Take the Tower's Soundcloud, my new video game theme band for Dota 2 and the associated kickstarter for help with some of the startup costs.
Then there is my burlesque character, Sheriff Smoothbone's Soundcloud, for which I will be making another kickstarter soon.
I also listened to Amanda Palmer's audio book and her TED talk and thought, well, I'm who she's talking about. I need a hand to take this to the next level. I can't produce studio recording sessions and pro video recording tools from thin air or 'save up' for them on 12/hr.
So I'm putting it to the test, I am putting myself out there, I am asking and we will see if Mrs. Palmer's stuff applies to me or just other people. I have put all I have in to this and risked everything to make people laugh with my creations, my songs and craft stand on their own.
I'm asking for a hand, what will the world say?
Are you an asshole?
If you're an asshole, probably. Asshole isn't a useful word for describing people. Today it just means "person who is not on board with my view of the world or otherwise in any way impeding my progress towards my goals." As I see it, assholes started using the word a long time ago to pre-empt themselves ever being called one themselves. In general, it is an overused word that implies lack of education and creativity in the speaker. I prefer to call people that anger me "dickwipe", "asswipe", "dicklicker", "turdgobbler", "tool", "chode", "leach", "sycophant", or just plain "fool." So yes, I am perfectly aware a lot of people are going to think I'm an asshole, it's just part of getting out of bed in the morning at this point.
Why do you criticize other comedians and the comedy industry?
Because I think and believe some public things and/or things spoken in public deserve to be criticized. The comedy industry is corrupt, backwards and weird yet comedians themselves hardly say anything about it out of fear for being punished by it. The moment I say to myself 'I'm not going to say this because I am afraid of reprisals' is the moment I stop thinking for myself, acquiesce to being an inferior and chop off my balls. The vast majority of comedians get nothing from the comedy industry but insane, I'm making something else and so I'm not going to participate unless it operates by principles I find legitimate, and also is fun. This goes basically for every social interaction I have, I don't know why it would be different for The Comedy Industry.
If you consider yourself a comedian, why don't I see you at X, Y, or Z bar shows and at the comedy club open mic "Grinding."
As much as I would like to sit there twiddling my thumbs for 5 hours for the chance of performing for 5 minutes for a bad audience so that everyone perceives me as a hard worker and Big Shot on The Scene while spending my own money on drinks at a place I have zero chance of meeting women I can date, I'm going to pass.
The scene police are always out there trying to categorize everyone as a poser and fake, to the point we all have that internalized. I have effectively dealt with that voice. There is no show or series of shows I could do or not do that would make me any less of a comedian. I am obsessed with comedy. I have spent years grinding on my own expense, I have spent a decade studying and writing comedy, I love it to the point money and status make no difference to me in its pursuit and even on a bad day I am prolific. The guy who does the same joke every time he performs at his weekly house comic spot is doing a lot worse off than I, and this is most of what The Comedy Industry considers success.
At the moment I am focusing on my writing submissions, my musical comedy, my directing, my acting, my characters, my dialects, and hosting a podcast. I have given myself the "Bar Open Mic" and "Club Open Mic" merit badges and every time my skills have been tested recently I have been pleased with the result. I am at the height of my productivity, I'm not going to waste it slowly sipping beers so I can be admitted to the pissing contest. Most days. But I am glad I did it for 4 years, it's a relatively fun thing to do if you don't know what else to do especially in LA and New York.
I hardly saw you at all for most of 2013 and 2014, where were you?
My mother has Alzheimer's disease and it progressed to the point where she needed in home care and so I dropped everything, I'm still trying to get back on my feet it's not like our society rewards people who do this type of thing. She is currently in Des Moines and in early 2016 we will have to move her to a full time care facility. I really don't want to stray too far from Des Moines so I can help my brother and his wife who have taken on the most responsibility for this stage.
Alzheimer's disease is an infuriating thief of life and my observation of the progress of the disease could fill a tome. I am not sure we ever get over the death of our parents, but my mother is the person who had the most faith in me out of everyone else, and sacrificed beyond anything I could have ever asked to help me be who I am today. I had hoped I would have more to show her by way of success, but the most I can do now is live in a way that honors what she was about.
Why don't you perform in competitions?
I don't believe art exists in competition mode, just like it doesn't exist in hide mode. "Winning" is not a valid motivation for art. When your goal is to win you cease right there to be doing art and are instead part of economic production or maybe just survival. What you get at art competitions are hosts, clubs, judges and who knows what else promoting themselves as the portion of the production involving the alleged art is shrunk to microscopic proportions.
An audition is not a competition, you aren't winning, you are being granted the capacity to make your art on a greater scale. There are auditions that are made to look like competitions(i.e. Project Runway) and competitions made to look like auditions(Last Comic Standing), and although I think Project Runway is legitimate and enjoyable, I do not like to muddy the waters of my art with drama(another reason I avoid the bar and club scene).
Besides, I am a loser, if I won some competition it would be like the sun rising in the west.
Why don't you have any standup comedy videos posted?
I don't think standup comedy ages well on video. I re-watch what I post a few months later and hate it, every time. I am a brutal critic of comedy, especially when it comes to myself. I listen to myself and see where I need to improve, but standup comedy is an animal that loses a lot when you take it out of the zoo. For the same reason standup doesn't work at bowling alleys, a 3 minute clip loses its essence. Standup is meant to exist in the wild and every replaying of my joke, or person who has already heard the joke in the audience, makes it less wild. I do hope to record a whole show and I also hope that there are some great clips in there that are timeless enough to leave up forever, but that is the type of thing it is working towards for decades.
Why are you boycotting Stoogeman's Comedy Club?
I boycott every club that charges artists to perform. This is the lowest of the low, you've got to be a real sleazebag to need to make profit off people auditioning for you. In just about all art forms this type of crap exists, where actors get better auditions if they just join this or that company for $500-$100000000 bucks. Yeah, I'm an artist already, I don't need to buy the feeling that I'm one and if your business is so strapped for cash you have to shake down the people trying to work for you, I can gladly live the rest of my life without your acquaintance.
Why can't you just go with the flow and be nice? Why are you always stirring shit?
The primary goal of every artist should be to become unique and loud. To tell a comedian that he is a shit stirrer is the greatest complement you could bestow. A comedian is the #1 person responsible for calling people out, especially people who have The Flow going with them. Because The Flow has been so horribly wrong, so many, many times. Show me a comedian, or any artist, who goes with the flow and I'll be taking a nap. I frequently fall asleep in comedians' 1 hour specials of late, that's how bad it's got.
Who do you think you are?
In 7th grade when we chose what occupation we would like to have for a life-planning social studies class, I decided, based on how much I enjoyed cracking wise and watching the Friday night standup show on my 13" zenith, that I wanted to be a comedian. When it came time to write down how much money we would make at our jobs, I had no idea, or who would even pay me that money. I admit in the last 25 or so years I haven't come much further on this plan. Although I did get through the denial, the decade in which I tried to be anything else and failed. I find the question 'who do you think you are' to itself be hilarious, it's always used by people who consider themselves superior as a way to browbeat people they find threatening to their status. It's one of the meanest things you could say, right along with, 'go back where you belong.' Like, I'm so superior I have the right to question the very mental and physical location of this other person. The prevalence of these phrases is a true sign of how sick in the head the people running the show have become.
But in my life, I've had over 50 different jobs, I've performed at least 500 standup shows, written 200 songs, got a degree and a B+ in Diff Eq, acted in plays and improv shows, written several books, 3 solid years of acting class, taught an acting class and I can rock the guitar and drums. Any simple definition is going to belittle my accomplishments.
Anyone sitting back in some kind of judgement that this isn't enough or even that they aren't impressed is simply trying really, really hard not to like me. This is, however, allowed. It is, after all, how I feel about myself most of the time but I have to accept the fundamental truth that there is no action or accomplishment that will make me impervious from the accusation that I am just a mediocre fake.
What kind of comedian are you then?
I'm a writer/director/musical/provocateur. But the word comedian is much easier to say.
Why do you have an initial for a first name? It makes me hate you, who do you think you are, it's so pretentious and the only people who use an initial for a first name take themselves too seriously and are really clowns.
Well, that's a lot more of a statement than a question. Again, anyone who thinks this way is going way out of their way to find fault and I doubt they apply the same rigor to every person with an initial for a first name.
My given name is Jeremy, I find it doesn't suit me. I personally think names like Jaime, Jeremy, and Jimmy sound like boys names'. I also find 3 syllables too many for a first name and seeing as how people frequently overuse my name in conversation, this gets on my nerves. Also, the name everyone knows me by from when I was growing up, Jeremy Hudson, belongs famously to one of Lady Gaga's backup singers and by all means, he should have it.
Wait, weren't you Michael Hudson at one time or another.
Yes. Before I had the guts to change my name to J Michael Hudson, for a short time I performed as Michael Hudson and this was ok for a time but there are just too many Michael Hudsons. There are two other J Michael Hudson's by my account, and then J Michael Strzysnksyi of sci fi fame, but I was able to get my hands on the domain and twitter first.
I also work sometimes under the name Michael Hudson when it is unrelated to performance. I guess I should mention here that since 2011 I have been working as Michael Hudson in the Information Technology field, as it is generally easier to make money solving technical issues for others than it is to entertain them.
If it were up to me, all parents would be required to give their babies singularly unique perfectly stage-worth names. I can't deny that the only people I have seen really succeed in the big time of comedy have perfect stage names. Louis C.K. is somewhat of an anomaly.
Wait, you make more money fixing computers than you do performing comedy?
Money does not determine what anyone is. Economics are a model of reality, not the reality itself. The primary failure of capitalism is that it fails to account for a huge part of human life. In the same way companies pollute the air without paying for it, comedians tell jokes without getting paid.
People also drive to work without getting paid, does that make them not drivers? Employers take 3 weeks to pay people, does that make them debtors?
When you set out to label somebody based on the flows of capital, get ready for smoke and mirrors.
But I am a comedian, a musician, and a writer, and it doesn't matter whether you can take it to the bank.
And what about all those people making money doing it that can't make me laugh?
Do I run around trying to make sure they are labelled correctly?
What does success look like for you?
I would like to release a series of comedy productions that accrue consistent revenue so that I have enough money to build some other things that are in my imagination. I would also like to be part of other peoples' productions to a greater degree and in general work together with people I admire.
But whatever I do will leave a trail of breadcrumbs so the path can be followed, there can't be any shady backroom deal or big sell out. What I am building is part of the next system, not the travesty we have today.
Are you gay?
No. Guys do not give me erections. I am however not afraid of male affection or grossed out by things gay.
What are the most difficult things to talk about right now in public?
There are two groups of people I have problems with, mean people and fanatical supporters of the state of Israel. There is clearly some overlap among the two.
I've also had problems with gay roommates being really mean people and it is difficult to criticize gay people because they can just say your homophobic, in the same way fanatical Israelites will say you're just expressing a hatred of jewish people consistent with other historical cases. And mean people will turn on a dime from being a bully to playing the victim.
As a public person this gets to be pretty intimidating and difficult to sort, and there are just going to sometimes be mobs with pitchforks who have no basic understanding of the facts.
But this is the job of a public intellectual, to wade into public discourse and say something intelligent about the problem. The alternative feels like hiding.
But mean people, especially mean homosexuals and mean Israel supporters, this is what I find most difficult to talk about in public.
So this is why I, in possession of my balls, talk about it in public.
So you're anti-semitic?
I find Judaism to be just a little more absurd and infuriating than Christianity and Islam, but not by much. As I understand it, arabic people are semites as well as jewish people, and I don't know how I could be categorically against all these people. I don't use the word 'semitic' because I find it, like 'socialism', to be difficult to define. I like using words that everyone understands and that are clear.
My positions on Israel and Palestine closely mirror Noam Chomsky's and I am not particularly vitriolic about it. But when my taxes go to bomb all those civilian buildings and expand a bunch of orthodox fanatics into new territories while treating huge geographic areas as prison camps, I am going to get pissed.
Therefore, I fully support the movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction(BDS) the state of Israel.
I also would like dual citizenship Israeli nationals to be excluded from American government service, I would like to see all political organizations related to Israel to be registered as foreign agents and I would like a law to be passed prohibiting the sharing of American communications spy data with Israel as well as the processing or routing of American communications data through Israel itself or Israeli companies. I hold every other country to the same standard.
Israel is not a trustworthy country, they are fanatics who believe in holy land and who use the history of the atrocities against them to commit atrocities of their own.
This disgusts me so they should expect plenty more criticism and mockery from me.
And I fully expect a lot of weak-minded blind-supporters of Israel to find ways to gaslight me.(blacklist me then deny it, etc)
I will also judge other artists by their stance on this, if you're avoiding the topic, you have no balls and shouldn't be doing comedy.
So are you with us or against us?
If those are the only choices, I will always be against you.
So you're a terrorist?
No one can define that word for me without also defining US foreign policy, which I have had no choice but to grudgingly pay for with my taxes. So the only way you avoid being a terrorist is by refusing to participate in and speaking out against those policies every way you possibly can.
So you're not helping with the War on Terror?
For the same reason I'm not helping with the War on any other idea, because you can't go to war against an idea. Because I don't believe the War on Terror exists, it effectively makes me a neutral party insomuch as I find ways to prevent myself funding it.
This is one of my hesitations to success as an American citizen, it would result in me channeling huge amounts of money to the foreign military adventures that are actually causing the problem now.
Terrorist is just another word for 'bad guy' or 'boogies man', or even 'people we don't like.' It has no objective use. It's supposed to mean the crazy guy in the movie who straps a bomb to his chest in the middle of a public place and starts making demands.
This is precisely what the United States is doing right now with it's nuclear arsenal. The world knows that if something really bad happens in or to the United States, all those missiles probably launch.
So give us oil at a good price, let our aircraft carrier park off your coast, believe our currency is in demand for legitimate reasons, let our banks do what they want, etc etc etc.
Yeah, I'm neutral, all this has to stop or it's the end of the species.
Are you a humanist?
My loyalties are to ideas and whoever is truly a part of my class of being will demonstrate loyalty to those ideas as their primary method of identifying themselves. You have to do more than wear a sack of skin for me to feel some kind of allegiance to you.
What are the most important ideas you have?
The most important thing that I have learned, the ideas that have proven correct every time I have held them to a test are as follows(maybe I should have started with this...)
People worth knowing are identified by the following behaviors:
-They do what they say they are going to do.
-They respect the time, space and ideas of others.
-They do not manipulate other people.
Do you use drugs?
Everyone uses drugs. What you mean is, do I use the drugs you don't approve of?(probably without ever having tried them yourself)
That is none of your business. Maybe if we were to hang out sometimes we could talk about this in more detail. In general though, I have studied and observed other people on certain drugs that offer pleasure or feelings of power, and have learned (without having to ruin my life) that most of them are bait-and-switch operators of the first order, offering great first time experiences with radically diminishing returns that include dependency and medical issues. There tends to, however, be a use case for nearly any drug where it could be handy in a pinch even though if you did it every day for a week you'd drop dead. The actual more dangerous problem is a mass attitude that oversimplifies and propagandizes the issue to the point that it inspires witch hunts and pill manias, which continue apace.
What's important to talk about in public is the War on Drugs, which is quite possibly the worst thing in the world. Just like terrorism, you can't fight a war on drugs, especially with beer and aspirin still legal, it's more like a war on consistent thought and sanity.
I propose legalization of all drugs and substances and further, I also propose the banning of the sale of all addictive substances and all mis-labeling of substances.
This would legalize heroin but you'd have to make it yourself or be in a coop that does, and it would outlaw the production and sale of cigarettes and coffee, you'd have to make it yourself or be in a coop that does. And all ingredients must be disclosed, no secret recipes.
Making money off the addiction of others is morally sick and is one of the true murdering forces on the planet, an idea that literally mass murders.
Are you ever going back to LA or NYC?
I don't know. To visit for sure, but I'm doubtful I would ever see it worthwhile to feel so crowded and pay so much for space.
All I've ever wanted was a 1 bedroom apartment with a media lab and that's what I have now, it's going to be hard to be the prices in Kansas City. It's just low overhead living.
What are you hopeful about?
I'm hopeful that we can decentralize culture, that disruptive technologies like bitcoin, encryption and basically the web as originally designed will enable new avenues to success that have a cumulative awakening effect on the planet.
The internet itself could be a great awakening, or it could be a great putting to sleep.
But this vision of the future where we could all have a little land, be self sufficient with our own energy production, yet still be closely in touch with a vibrant culture, seems so close you can touch it.
Throw in a little life-extention tech and space travel and it could be a fun future.
All this is under threat by mass surveillance, the threat of autonomous self-replicating mind-jamming killbots, nuclear weapons, fanatical religion and as always televised news and unfortunately it is still 50/50 on how it will turn out.
The work has to be done, so which side are you going to be on when it comes time to be counted?
The devils in the details of Internet.org are actually not very subtle, Zuckerturd and his venture capitalist suits are trying to pull a mind trick and redefine what the internet is. Internet.org answers the question:
"What free thing that appears charitable could be created to trap poor people into a system that will never change and which also assigns them to a subclass while redefining what constitutes internet service minus all those pesky aspects disruptive to oligarchic power?'
For instance, Zuck doesn't have a real facebork profile, he doesn't need one. He will never have his personal communications and secrets broadcast to every intelligence agency and permanent historical record. He has his own privacy and he offers a free privacy-opposite 'service' that essentially offers a little something(that is actually trivial given the actual capabilities of the technology) in exchange for making otherwise private people into very public people, if not super-public people. The service he offers others free is a low-quality product that comes with a ton of liability, something for the rubes.
So Internet.org, similarly, is pretending to be a non-profit even though they are going to perform massive commercial services funnelling customers directly to sellers of goods and services, while pretending to offer something akin to an always available free 911 emergency service on a cell phone but which actually is a huge advertisement for his businesses and those of his friends.
What he is offering in India is a form of free 911 service except your 911 emergency won't really get routed first to the police, it will first go to a private call center that will make sure that the ambulance service, the police and fire services and all the other attendant medical and legal issues are routed to the "right"(service subscribing) doctors, lawyers, and rehabilitation centers and that once there the people are labelled correctly so as not to get more services than their classification is rationed.
For a similar reason I have always thought it ridiculous that bandwidth speeds in the united states are not symmetrical, that web hosting from your home internet connection is a special extra service and that traffic through your ISP is subject to all manner of spying.
Sure, you get the internet, but any of the really cool stuff(your own site, the ability to offer services, actual privacy) is something you are going to have to pay a pretty penny for, even though it would cost them hardly anything to provide the service.
It's what capitalism always does, promise the moon and end up actually stealing from you, leaving you to see the reflection of the moon off your prison room wall.
Sure, everyone can be an investor and make millions! But now you need to hire an investment banker analyst/adviser to help you handle it all and unless you have over 100,000, you're going to lose most of your gains to fees. Then get ready for the bubble to pop.
Sure we are going to offer a bunch of entry level educational materials and sure we will offer great opportunities to the few who excel at them, and guess what we will put your genius children to work doing? Maintaining the social stratification.
Capitalism, our current global system, loves to say it provides an open playing field to even the poor people, but while in the shadows backhandedly doing everything they can to maintain the social stratification. Which actually means limiting and ruining peoples' lives, through no fault of their own, on an industrial scale all the while trumpeting that all the poor deserve to be so due to their moral failures, their actual lack of value to society.
Looking across the internet, it is pretty obvious which technologies are friendly to the social stratus and those that aren't.
Facebook - maintains social stratus
The Pirate Bay - disruptive
Etrade - maintains social stratus
Uber - maintains social stratus
Amazon - maintains social stratus
anonymity - disruptive
Microsoft - maintains social stratus
Apple - maintains social stratus
Bitcoin - undecided (the higher ups in the social stratus also want to launder their money, but they don't want the same available to the lower classes, so they are trying to design a form of it they can co-opt)
Silk Road - disruptive
Reddit - disruptive - seek and acquire(and then subvert while leaving the appearance of legitimacy)
tor - disruptive
encryption - disruptive
porn - maintains social stratus
asymmetrical home hosting - disruptive
privacy - disruptive
high bandwidth - maintains social stratus(only for those who can afford it)
Things that obviously threaten to disrupt the social stratus:
-sharing between people
-international trading without enforcement of law
-legitimate voting on popular public forums
AND GUESS WHAT INTERNET.ORG WILL NOT OFFER ANYONE:
Anything that threatens to disrupt the social stratus
Anyone with a political education should be able to see this for what it is, the designation of India's poor as a permanent subclass with the option of their smartest children to be safely plucked into the office buildings before they invent anything else disruptive that they have to spend time seeking and destroying, disguised as a form of charity.
Internet.org is NOT the internet. It is something very different.
The internet connects everyone to everyone. Internet.org connects everyone to Zuck and pals.
FWIW, I don't think Zuckerturd understands what I am writing here. I dont think he is a politically educated person so he is just a pawn. A pawn with a zillion dollars, but a pawn just the same.
"Better a free man in my grave than living as a puppet or a slave" - Jimmy Cliff
Pacifism and refusing to participate in a war where you detest both sides, are not the same thing.
Sure, ISIS is bad and a scary threat, especially to people who live near it. But I watched my country meddle in affairs on the other side of the world, committing atrocity, fraud and who knows what else, over the course of decades, until the people of the region hated us so much that they pretty much made a country around the whole idea of spending their lives trying to get retribution.
And then they are infiltrated by, involved with, trading with, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, who are allegedly the allies of my country. And these parties have had a hand in guiding all of the mistakes of my country as they brutalized and humiliated these people over the decades.
So now the narrative on TeeVee conveniently forgets all of history and wants to gin up a good ole war against The Biggest Evil The World Has Evar Knowne, and my response to them, and posts like this one, who imply that my lack of enthusiasm to put 'boots on the ground' and 'bomb them to the stone age', is itself a form of moral weakness if not equivalent to being a member of ISIS my own self, is, to anyone who wasn't born yesterday, a very predictable *&^?# %$^.
I am neutral in the War on Terror(which no one can define for me without describing themselves), have been for a while, and will continue to be.
And I will reiterate, the entire scene in the middle east is kabuki theater set up primarily to enable the territorial expansion of Israel and that no American civilian is getting anywhere close to an accurate accounting of events over there, and never has. One would be more informed after reading 1001 Arabian Nights or watching those Foreign Legion Looney Tunes than by watching CNN.
Money and guns go over there, things happen, a story is crafted for the rube American taxpayers, and then separate stories are crafted for the other countries, and any objective reporters die under suspicious circumstances.
note: this has been edited a lot between the months of October and December...
I am trying, with all of my artistic endeavors, including this blog, to reconcile deep opposition to the way the world works, with the interest of being an entertainer to the world. I've spent most of my adult life struggling with this question.
I have also called some people out for being mean, sometimes other comedians who moved up to the next level and who will no doubt will blackball me every chance they get. It torments me to know if I ever had a shot, it would probably be shot down.
I make fun of myself a great deal. I hurt my own feelings. Any attempt I make to explain any difficulty of my circumstances, brings immediate rebuttal, from myself, that given my gifts and abilities, and apparently even sis white privilege, I have no grounds to ever complain about anything whatsoever.
Further, any negative critique I make of jokes, shows or The Industry, for instance, why most of it doesn't make me laugh, and/or frequently morally angers me, makes it look like I am just making garden variety sour grapes excuses. Admitting my failure and exclusion, which may or may not just be in my head, I give myself solace by pointing out that standup comedy isn't all it's cracked up to be. And when I allow myself to speak my mind against the nature of the business, I'm also inadvertently slinging mud at the handful of comedians achieving their dreams who were friendly to me and the many, many facebork acquaintances who struggle like I do.
The end result of these internal dynamics is utterly paralyzing. I see myself for long stretches primarily through the eyes of my worst critics. I get through it with vodka and video games, one could do worse.
I think a lot of people spend most of their lives at this spot and a lot of people end up dying here.
While it is a legitimate part of growth to consider yourself from the eyes of your detractors, it's just not where it is healthy to live and you run the danger of getting stuck.
So for a second, I'd like to set aside this stuff and start from a different point. If we believe for a second that the last 10 years of studying comedy, drama, film, writing, music and culture in resulted in me learning anything, what do I have to say about the state of the art?
Comedy right now is overwhelmingly tame. It is an age of the court jester, where vast swaths of uncomfortable material is swept under the rug while endless arguments over what subcultures consider it is polite to call themselves warrants endless redundant commentary and while the victims of our society are further harangued for shallow chuckles and the money you get for picking low apples.
Meanwhile, another mysterious bomb flew from a robot airplane in the middle of the arabian peninsula, killing someone who may or may not be a threat to anyone while also killing 8 other people randomly nearby and enraging 20 more people to join the jihad against our country.
Meanwhile, the age of the internet is being subverted such that our own devices and access to information has turned modernity itself into a panopticon, where privacy is considered uncool and tedious.
Meanwhile, the same ecological disaster that has been going on my entire lifetime continues with no sign of slowing.
Meanwhile, a bunch of bankers bleed us dry while plotting the next crash and bombardiers polish their nukes.
We live in a great mania, a profound separation of masses of human minds from reality, from the consequences of their ideas and actions.
The people funding the violence are separated from it as if by magic, and when that spell gets broken, they get understandably upset and call for yet more violence and demand yet more easy comfort entertainment.
How can any one person keep track of all the illusory sacred cows so as not to shatter any of them for sport in front of their very eyes? How can I package a little bit of shattering the illusion into a commercially viable piece of intellectual property and squeeze it for all it's worth?
If I am on a stage, how can I bring what is actually in my mind about these serious things, and still be that guy that cheers people up?
I write as many jokes as I ever do, but I haven't felt like yucking it up at open mics lately. And I definitely don't feel like trying to climb some ladder of comedy so I can be a comforting parrot.
And I understand why. If there is ever going to be peace, and especially when this war gets much worse, we will have to look back on this time and wonder what exactly we contributed.
I know for instance that when the current issues of ISIS were started, by the invasion of Iraq in 2003, I protested loudly. I screamed at people in their cars. I gave speeches and was willing to get arrested but we apparently weren't enough of a threat.
So now when ISIS soldiers gun down people in [whichever city it is today], I know I didn't start that fire. I'm not going to throw any fuel on it now either, because I saw our present day as the future results of that action.
The future that will result from the present course looks even worse, and if you wonder why at a point in time I am having trouble being a good clown, now you know.