Video Game Ideology

September 30, 2006

Remember when you were a kid and you used to play video games, like a role-playing game and right before you shut it off, you would save it? Because if you didn’t save it it would be like what you just did never happened. And that would be bad. But wouldn’t it be awesome if we could live our lives like that? Like if we make a bad decision one day, to not save and just repeat the day over again the next day? It would be like if you were playing the stock market and you made a bad trade and lost all your money, you could redo that day and make a better decision. Hell, you could keep redoing that day until you had the one that’s perfect for you.

But life doesn’t work that way, does it? And it’s a shame because I believe that we would be more inclined to take risks and be who we truly are. Without being afraid of the consequences of our actions, we could do anything and then just not save and the day would start over. And we’d be able to make it all right again. Because you can’t usually make something right if you screw it up, so if we could somehow adopt this into our lives, we’d be able too expand on ourselves to the point of becoming amazingly powerful.

Some of you may be saying, “It’s like Groundhog Day.” No, it’s not like Groundhog Day because if you do make progress, you can save it. In Groundhog Day, no matter what he did, he couldn’t save any of it, except his memories of the day. With this, you can save each particular day you find to be to your liking, and if not, you just restart that day. It’s kind of like a video game. Just some food for thought…

It would be like you get a second chance, a third chance and even a 105th chance at each day if you so desire. I really think it would be something to put into consideriation if we could all make this happen. Peace.


Speechlessness of the Mind

September 30, 2006

I guess you could say I’m speechless.  I have nothing to say.  So let’s talk about that.  I think it’s pretty moronic to write a post about how I have nothing to say, but let’s do it anyway.  I always write about something.  Why not write about nothing?  It’s worth a shot.  Utter nothingness can be very soothing.  It’s like a pause in your day that no one can take away from you.  Take that sort of time each day.  In a society that’s so rooted in efficiency and the go-go pace of America, it’s good to just go speechless once in awhile and take some time off.  It’s a great way to let your brain accumulate some moss and be more fertile to unlock more of your creative juices.  It’s doesn’t have to be a long period of time, maybe twenty to thirty minutes.  I find this is an amazing process that really does wonders for me. 

Yesterday I spent about forty or so minutes just sitting outside and observing nature.  I watched the birds and the butterflies, as well as the various insects fly around me and I just took deep breaths.  I guess you could say this is some form of meditation.  I’m not sure, but after I did that, I was amazingly funny. 

I had a two hour conversation with one of my friends and I was funny 95% of the things I said.  My usual rate is about 85 or so.  But I just felt “on.”  And whenever I do this, I really get the clarity I need.  They key is to be thoughtless when you do this as well.  Just observe the environment around you.  Don’t think about anything.  Quiet your mind to the point where all you hear is your breathing.  Then maintain that state to the best of your ability for as long as you feel necessary.  And afterwards, my mind is so much clearer.

I guess what it does is it gives your mind some time to relax and get rid of all the wasteful chatter that is inside your head.  All the things that you don’t really need or don’t need to remember.  And that leaves room for more stuff to come in.  I use the word “stuff” because most of it is just stuff.  But your mind has intense filtering abilities.  It will let you know.

Don’t be afraid to take some time off.  It’s not like you’re spending the whole day doing this, although I wouldn’t advise against it.  Just a way too get yourself rested in mind, body, and spirit.  Make this a daily practice and it will be more than worth your while.

Flyers Update

September 29, 2006

I’ve finally found a place to put my flyers on the web!  DeviantArt.  It’s a very cool site for placing any pictures or whatever on there.  I really think it will be something cool.  But I’m eventually going to put an additional page on this blogsite with links to each individual flyer.  It’s going to be fun, I sure hope so.  But it’s going to be a long and arduous process, so don’t expect the additional page with links up yet, but the link to DeviantArt should send you to my profile page.  So enjoy!

Chaos vs. Society

September 29, 2006

Which would you rather have?  A chaotic, dangerous world that had no rhyme or reason to it or a law enforcement-controlled, sticler society?  It’s a question I often wonder about.  What would it be like if there were no rules?  Well, to do that, I just look at all of the world leaders.  It seems no matter what they do, there are little consequences.  Certain leaders could gas half their country and they’ld be looked at as heroes, mostly because the other half does not want to be gased as well.  But look at our president.  If he wants to go to war, he goes to war.  It doesn’t matter what the reason is and as long as he gets approval from Congress, he can go ahead into war, even if it’s just to bully a smaller country into submission.  It’s like anything he wants to do, he does and gets away with it.

Let’s face it.  The only reason most people (not including myself) don’t do things that are considered wrong don’t because they fear of being punished for what they did.  Otherwise, there would be no reason not to, unless they have a conscience.  But if one day the law enforcement was abolished, there would be an insane amount of chaos and everything would go downhill.  Up would be down, black would be white.  We’d be so out of it, it would be like we’re no better than the rest of the animals, but they never kill one another.  But just imagine what would happen.  There would be terrible things going on, but I do retain my thoughts that some people wouldn’t change their behavior at all, except to ensure their survival in a much harsher world.  A world like this would have lower life expectency and all that stuff, so maybe it’s not the best thing to go about doing.

I’m kind of segueing this into censorship on television and radio.  What would an abolishment of censorship do to those media outlets?  Would every show all of the sudden swear three hundred times an episode or would they be exactly the same.  I know that some people value censorship because of their children.  They don’t want their children to be exposed to bad language on television, even thouggh they are exposed to it at school.  Eventually, they are going to be exposed, so why not just get it out of the way.  The same goes with nudity.  Did you know in other countries, it’s no big thing to see a naked human on TV?  It’s commonplace.  Because they make it seem so bad in America, one slip-up by Janet Jackson in the Super Bowl can totally throw a nation into preoccupation.

But we are starting to get away with more.  Cable channels and pay channels are allowing more foul language on TV, which isn’t necessarily a good thing all the time, but sometimes a script calls for something to really exentuate the mood.  And you can’t do that with TV-safe words all the time.  You have to go outside the structured box and understand that once in awhile there should be some flexibility in the FCC’s regulations.  I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the phrase, “Sticks and stones maybreak my bones, but words can never hurt me.”  If the people who said this really believe this, then there wouldn’t be so many complaints every time the word “shit” or “fuck” appears on netword TV. 

What I’m really defending here is the First Amendment.  I have a right to say what I want to say how I want to say it.  And there should be nothing you can do to stop me.  Sure, I may not even choose to swear at all if I get on TV, but I should at least have the possibility.  No, it won’t crate chaos.  It will just allow for people to express themselves in a manner that is true to them.  I’m tired of people judging someone every time they let out a profanity.

Just last night, I was at work and I was about to go home and a woman who works there was counting my register and another woman that works there was standing beside her and they were talking and one let out the word “fuck.”  The other woman said, “You’d better put a quarter in the swear jar.  We don’t tolerate profanity here.”  Now, I’m one who hardly ever swears at work unless it’s under my breath.  I’ve done my share of that.  I also swear sometimes to one person that works there to enahnce the conversation.  But I don’t do it that much the same way I don’t say “exentuate my bustline” that much.  They’re all just words.  I use different words in different frequencies.  Not because I was conditioned to do so, but because I have ways to express myself in a more poignant manner than the swear words.  And that’s fine for me.  But other people who can get their point across with a swear word have every right to do so without being judged. 

So just remember that all words should be created equal and that no matter how someone says something, they should be able to do it.  You know, I don’t think I swore in this whole post except for the examples of words I used.  That’s just great.  Peace.

Knowing When to Hold Back

September 28, 2006

I remember that a couple of times I told a joke that was questionalbe in its offensiveness and it’s funniness.  I decided to tell them anyway, no matter what the response will be.  Sometimes things like that can be funny, but sometimes they can be deadly.  This is why you have to consider who or what the joke is victimizing before you decide to tell it.  My advice to you is to avoid victimizing the following groups unless you are one of them:

  1. Mentally Retarded People
  2. Black People
  3. Jewish People
  4. Handicapped People
  5. People Who Have Recently Died

The reason is that most people will think you’re just mean if you tell a joke about how handicapped people don’t know how to park.  Because they feel tha handicapped people have enough trials in their life, why victimize them again.  And don’t joke about the Jews unless you are one because they’ve certainly been through enough.  With respect to people who have died, if they were loved and national celebrities, don’t joke about them for at least ten years.  And if the person is John F. Kennedy, wait about seventy years.  Try not to seem mean unless it’s really funny.

How can you tell if it’s really funny?  Well, do a reality test.  Tell five to ten people the joke, but don’t tell them it’s a joke, just weave it into the conversation.  If they say, “That’s awful!” you can decide not to do it.  But if at least 75% laugh and they’re not all part of the KKK or in jail, thn you culd definitely give it a try.  But sometimes a particular audience doesn’t cater that kind of joke.  Like if you were performing at a Catholic church, I wouldn’t recommend talking about birth control and abortion.  And don’t say anything that will get the congregation chanting, “You’re going to hell!” 

But it’s all about what kind of spin you put on the joke.  You can joke about things that would seem bad if you put a positive spin on it.  For example, if you want to talk about homeless people, point out the advantages of it.  Don’t let a great premise become dead because of social conditioned values.  I’ve done a joke about Alzheimer’s.  It’s funny because the joke has good intentions and it’s funny at the end.  It’s bad in one way, but it’s good in another way. 

Slavery isn’t funny either.  Don’t joke about slavery unless your ancestors were slaves themselves.  And don’t talk about people who are lower in status than you and make fun of them for having no money.  Only joke about them if you are one of them.  It’s common sense.  Also,, don’t use the N word unless you’re a minority.  Unless you want the cast of Showtime at the Apollo chasing you off the stage, you’d better not tell anything to do with that.

These are some of the unwritten rules of comedy.  And I did you all a favor by writing them down.  It’s about time.  I’m surprised no one did this sooner because I’m sure it will help people decide what kind of jokes to tell and what to tell.  But always try them out on people you trust and know before going out with an offensive joke and losing the entire crowd to an angry mob that is about to attack you.  I sure hope this helped.

What Are You So Afraid Of?

September 27, 2006

I don’t know why, but many people have this overwhelming fear of going on the stage in front of people.  That is the number one fear.  There’s nothing that people fear more than public speaking.  Death is second.  Second.  Can you even fathom that peopel would rather die than speak in front of an audience.  I can only assume where this fear is coming from.  It must be that you’re scared it won’t go the way it is supposed to go and the audience will think bad thoughts about you and that will in turn cause you to screw up even more.  It’s built on the assumption of non-duality.  The fact that those people out there are different from you and are making judgments based on how you’re doing.  Now, that’s one way to look at it, but it can create an amazing amount of fear because it’s like 100 people to one-you.  Now I can understand that something of that framework can be very frightening, but if you look at it a slightly different way, you can eventually transcend fear.

This is a technique borrowed from Steve Pavlina’s podcast about Overcoming Fear.  He said that what if the assumption about there being other people out there is wrong?  What if this life is only a dream and those people are you just like the stage and your body are you?  Meaning that everything in your awareness is you.  So imagining that the people in the audience are making naegative thoughts about you will create that becasue the people in the audience are you.  That’s why if you go out there confidentlly and imagine positive thoughts in the audience’s minds, then this will eventually shift into a reality.  Even if you don’t believe in this way of life, using it to transcend fear is very valuable.  I’ve tried it myself and it’s worked wonderfully.  There is no need to imagine the audience in their underwear.  I only do that for specific audience members. 

I recall Jerry Seinfeld once saying that comedy is not a monologue, but a dialogue with the audience.  Do you think it’s possible to have a consistent dialogue if one of the participants is afraid of the other?  I doubt it.  I’ll admit that the first time I went onstage, my whole body was shaking and I felt like I could screw up and forget my material.  To date, however, it was one of my better performances.  I got quite a few laughs and a lot of clapping.  I was very happy about my first performance.  So I kept going and going and going. 

Other peole have a fear of success.  They think, “How can I top the last performance?”  Well, if you’re not so glued to external outcomes and just go up there to have a good time, you’ll probably be looser and not have so much trouble remembering your lines.  I remember one time I went onstage with no material whatsoever.  I had just heard of a gig and I was unprepared, but I still went on.  After I said a couple of safety jokes to start it up, I just admitted I had no more jokes.  So I just mingled with the audience.  I’m pretty good at that sort of thing.  Being very loose and with no pressure, I was able to tap into my intuition and give some very quick and witty responses to audience comments, making my performance go over even better. 

That’s why being a comedian is full of adaptations.  You have to be adaptable to different circumstances.  If things go wrong, they go wrong.  Don’t worry about them before they happen.  If the mic goes dead, then you’ll have to shout your act.  Or you can do whatever comes natural.  If that ever happens to me, I’ll mime my act.  It should get a laugh or two.  But getting onstage is very crucial in your step to becoming a stand-up comic.  Otherwise, you’ll just be this guy with a bunch of jokes on his computer that nobody’s ever heard of.  And that would be a damn shame. 

Don’t Lie for a Laugh

September 26, 2006

Don’t lie for a laugh because it will not get as big a laugh.  The whole basic concept in comedy has to come from some enthusiasm that what you are saying is something you actually believe.  Now, I’m not talking about the act-out, punchline, or the mix.  I’m talking about the basic premise for the joke.  Don’t sacrifice your credibility for a laugh.  For example, you could joke about having a child when you don’t but that’s just stupid because it won’t sound the same coming from a non-parent.  This is probably because you’re putting on a fake front.  It’s much harder to manufacture enthusiasm about a joke if you’re not feeling the way you tell it.  It’s easier to joke about something you’re genuinely enthusiastic about than just pull something about of the air.  I mean, the punchline can be crazy and hit has to be surprising to some extent, but don’t make it something you can’t really believe.  For example, Judy Carter wrote about one of her students saying she lived alone her whole life on stage and the material was really funny, but it didn’t get any laughs.  So after the show, Judy talked to her and found out that she’s happily married with three kids.  I finally understand the whole analogy that comedy is therapy.  You have to pull out from your personal experiences and observations. 

Comedy is, in a nutshell, just noticing things that other people don’t ususally notice.  Things like when someone tells you “You can’t have your cake and eat it too,” you question that fact.  If you have cake, why wouldn’t you eat it?  It’s there.  It’s not going anywhere.  It’s things like that and other trivialities that you notice and become aware of that make you a genuine comic.  Do you remember when you were a child and when all your friends were doing something that you wanted to do, but your parents said no.  And you begged and they said, “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?”  And I said, “Yes, I would.  I don’t want to be some loser with no friends.”  And it’s just another way of looking at things.

But you need to cultivate that genuine enthrusiasm.  You shouldn’t try to be someone you’re not.  I’ve seen comedians joke about how they do nothing whatsoever and it’s brilliantly funny.  Norm MacDonald jokes about how he isn’t that funny and it’s hilarious.  I remember his half-hour special on Comedy Central.  He dies and goes up to heaven and his uncle and grandmother say, “You have to go back. You have to do a comedy special.”  And he’s like, “But I’m not that funny.”  “We know.”  And it was great.  That’s why you have to remain true to yourself. 

Another thing is when you’re doing bad onstage, don’t deny that fact.  Be honest with the audience.  Let them know that you are aware of it.  Because if you don’t, they’re going to think you’re insane.  Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but don’t let your ego get in the way of admitting how your performance is going.  And if something isn’t working, do something else.  Anything else.  I remember one time I just started talking like one of the characters I made up and it got a bunch of laughs that I otherwise wouldn’t have gotten.  You can do some improv.  The best way I do improv is going in with a blank slate and just rolling with it.  I love the fact that when I do that, I don’t know what the next word will be.  I just say it and usually it’s funny.  I really don’t even think about it.

Be who you are up there on stage.  Convey attitudes that are you, not someone else.  You can create characters, but make sure they know it’s a character.  Don’t just act like it for the hell of it because it will confuse the audience.  Do what feels right to you.  Don’t sacrifice your ethics and credibility for a laugh.  You will have this immense passion for telling what you actually feel.  Just tell it the way you know it best and you will eventually get laughs.  If not, then you’re just not that funny.  But we all know.  Peace.