On F**king Profanity…

If there’s one indication as to how sensitive some people are, its in how we sometimes censor profanity.

I’m certain there are people who read the headline of this post and thought, “Oh thank god he didn’t spell out fucking!”

I’m amazed the the power of profanity can be completely obliterated by substituting a few letters with symbols, or a bleep, or even changing the word entirely to something similar. People know what you’re saying, but the fact that you didn’t actually say, or type it makes it somehow less offensive.

I honestly don’t understand that. The offensive word is out there, everyone knows it, but the fact that its eluded to is somehow okay to people whose sensitivities would be ruffled if the word was fully presented!

Now, that being said there are people who get offended by substitutions. I had some guy have a complete and total meltdown because I used the term mother-fracker on a FB post he was tagged in. (it wasn’t an insult post, just something humorous that happened in an improv class).
So I guess that’s okay if you’re going to be offended by profanity that you show the same level of outrage at substitutions as you do to the actual profanity.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I want to move on to the use of profanity in general.

There are people who feel that profanity is un-necessary. My mother has often said that profanity is for the weak….or something like that.

Much as I love my mother, I also love science. The latter tells us that people who use profanity tend to be smarter, healthier, more honest, and happier.
Don’t believe me…here’s a link! (sorry mom!)

Anyone who has spent any time with me know that I can, at times, be quite profane. That’s a fancy way of saying that I swear a lot. I admit it, I sometimes use f-bombs as punctuation. This basically means that according to science that I’m a fricking genius!!

I’ll admit that there are a lot of times when profanity really isn’t necessary to get a point across. But there are times when, no matter how large one’s vocabulary, nothing else suffices for emphasis.

For instance, lets say someone comes up with the idea of separating children from their parents simply because they sought asylum in this completely made up country called Southofcanada.

One could say that this idea is completely idiotic. Sure, kinda gets the point across, but how does that compare to:

That idea is completely FUCKING idiotic and the motherfucker who came up with it should have their fucking gonads locked in a vice in a burning building.

So I guess in closing I’ll put it out there if people swore more we’d be a lot smarter, healthier and happier!

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I Am a Proud Left Wing Liberal “Nut Job”

That’s right.

I’m not particularly bothered by those on The Right who make liberal use the words “Leftie” and “Leftist” as insults because I’m proud of who I am and the stand I take.

What does being a Leftie mean to me?

It means that I believe:

  • In taking care of those less fortunate
  • That not everyone who is brown is Muslim
  • That being Muslim doesn’t make someone a terrorist
  • That taking in refugees is a good and humane thing to do
  • That immigration and refugees make our country stronger
  • That if its between two consenting adults, its not anyone elses’s business (even if they want to get married)
  • That a traditional family is whatever works for those involved
  • That everyone deserves to be treated fairly by everyone else
  • That workers deserve a fair, livable wage
  • That everyone deserves shelter, food and safety
  • That we have a responsibility to our fellow humans to act with kindness, wisdom, and compassion

Thoughts after my 4th heart attack

So yeah, 8 days ago I experienced my 4th heart attack.
My third was only 27 days before that one.

Before I say more I want to talk about how I knew this was a heart attack…because it is a frequent question.

Imagine the pain when you twist your ankle. Now imagine the pain when you walk on that injured ankle.

That’s the pain, only its in your chest, and you can’t help it by rest, elevation and ice.

In my mind the most worrisome thing was how quick #4 came on. I was feeling okay, watching tv and talking to a friend. The conversation wasn’t contentious, but I was talking about past events that had made me angry.

The pain hit out of the blue. I knew immediately what it was but hoped that it was just stress or anxiety.
I took my nitro spray, no effect, same thing with two chewable aspirin. I took another dose of nitro with no relief.

I then told my friends what was happening.

My overwhelming thought during all this was how embarrassing, having a heart attack so shortly after the previous one.

So half the emergency services in my hometown showed up. Fire, 2 cops and finally EMS. None of that helped the embarrassment.

So I was rushed to my local ER where after a short stay they fired me back into an ambulance to the Cardiac Cath Lab at St. Mary’s in Kitchener. As they wheeled me in to the cath lab I joked with the cardiologist that I’ve been through enough of these I could probably just do it myself.

After that I spent a few hours in the CCU at St. Mary’s before being transferred back to Stratford where I was discharged the next day.
So, heart attack late Monday night, discharged Wednesday morning.

I’ve been struggling with the fact that death is no longer an abstract concept for me.

Sure, I could live for another few decades, but 4 heart attacks in around 2 years, the last 2 less than 30 days apart drives home one’s mortality.

I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to figure out how the wring the best quality of life out of however long it is I have left.

I need to reconnect with people. That means overcoming this thing that makes it hard to leave the house. That means road trips, day trips, even place trips to see old friends.

It means working to enjoy life instead of just existing….or, as I’ve put it, “Waiting to die”.

The other thing that occurs to me is the irony of it all. Up until a few weeks ago I was depressed and passively suicidal.

In closing I hope the people that I love know that I love them. I don’t say it often, but I try and show it when the opportunity arises.

How I Write Jokes

Even though I’m not a professional I’ve had a couple of people ask about the methods I use to write comedy.  I’m going to take this opportunity to talk about that.

Sometimes the material I use in my stand up routines just comes to me.  While they might need a bit of polish or a tag or two,  they are complete and ready for delivery.

In the first of the videos listed below, my joke about  telling my doctor I eat two bags of vegetables is an example of a joke born whole.  I was thinking about how my doctor doesn’t believe that bacon is a vegetable.   That’s funny, but it didn’t work as a joke, however both vegetables and chips comes in bags, so viola!

These are the two sets I currently have posted on YouTube.  I reference jokes from each below.

Set 1

Set 2

Other bits come to me as a concept.  My Pussy vs. Vagina bit (second video) started off as a comment to a friend to the effect of “Why would I insult someone by calling him something I’m rather fond of?”.  You’ll see that I’ve fleshed that out to about a full minute of material.

Other ideas start off with just the thought of “there’s a joke in there somewhere”.  The set up of my Star Trek bit, where I talk about the differences in the capabilities of the crew between episodes is an example of this.

Let’s use the Star Trek bit to illustrate one of the ways I come up with material.

Most jokes start of with a premise.  The ST bit’s premise is:

In one episode, the Enterprise rains death down from space, and in the next half the crew is wiped out by one guy!

Not very funny on it’s own, is it?

I used word association to help with this step.  Basically I listed things that I associated with Star Trek.   So my list contained things like

  • Sci Fi
  • Space
  • Campy Dialogue
  • Scanners
  • Tri-corders

Eventually I settled on scanner/tri-corder and campy dialogue, and the line became

In one episode the Enterprise rains death down from space!  It’s like [pretend to scan the planet] “Captain, we’ve located the Klingon and O-M-G, he hasn’t changed his underpants in 8 days!”

In the next episode half the crew is wiped out by one guy armed with a pointy stick and terrible dialogue!  [Overdone campy] “I would stab you thusly but alas, your tunic is not the red of an Adaluvian sunset, but the blue of a Best Buy Smartass!”   (the Best Buy Smartass is a call back to my opener for that set).

[aside]….at least now we know why they call them Klingons!

A good joke usually consists of a Premise, a setup,  a punchline, and tags.

Using my Star Trek joke again,  the Premise is “The thing I hate about Sci Fi shows is how inconsistent they are!”

This lets the audience know what I’m about to talk about, and leads me to the set up.  In the bit above there are two set-ups, and two punchlines  (the Andulvian sunset bit is the punchline).

A tag is a quip that you add to end of a bit or joke.  A funny comment,  maybe an observation, or an aside like I used above.  You can add as many tags as you want.  They’re a good way to close off a joke and move on.

You can also use tags if you’re running fast and need to fill out a few seconds.

You might be interested to know that a lot of times tags sound spontaneous.  They could be, but mostly they’re actually part of the set.  A true artist can make the audience think that they just thought of them.

That’s it in a nutshell.  If you’re interested in knowing more or discussing, reach out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RTOD: Salad Dressing

With everything going on in the world today, I want to take a moment and talk about something that I’m sure is on everyone’s mind….

Salad Dressing.
Specifically, who thought “Ranch” was a good name for salad dressing??

I’ve never knowingly tried Ranch dressing.

Think about it….you have French Dressing, which brings to mind the rich, flavourful palette found in French cuisine.

When you hear “raspberry vinaigrette” you think of something sweet and tart.

What comes to mind when you hear “Ranch Salad Dressing”??

Hay and Horseshit!

Anthems and Allegories

There have been points in my life where a song jumped out at me. Where the lyrics struck hard, sometimes reducing me to tears.

The first, as a teenager was the Blue Oyster Cult’s Great Sun Jester.   I’ll admit I don’t remember the exact lyrics without googling, but I was struggling with my identity and trying to find my path and place in the world.

Others include Bob Marley’s Redemption Song,  and Imagine Dragon’s Demons.

Some are associated with people,  The Cars’  You Might Think for my first wife, and Garth Brooks The Dance for my Irish doctor.

Its been a long while since a song spoke to me, but last week it happened twice.  Two different songs where the message are diametrically opposed.

“Simple Man”…Shinedown’s acoustic cover of Skynard’s classic hit.  I was listening to the randomized mix of songs I’d thumb’d up on Google Music.

As I was pondering the message of that song…to be a simple kind of man, the next song hit me with equal strength…The Struts, Could Have Been Me

Don’t want to go out in a blaze of glory,
Don’t want to live as an untold story!

There have been times when my anthems have confused other people, this is the first time I’ve been confused…

I’ll figure it out…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kharma is Weird and Wonderful

There is a Buddhist meditation that helps you pass on your good Kharma to someone else. I forget the name of it, but a few years ago when I first started meditating I did that for a dear friend who was going through a very rough time.

The other night I tried meditating for the first time in a long time. I remembered my passing on my good kharma, and, as things haven’t been so great for me, I tried to pull some of it back.

My friend and I have not spoken in years, but I know from mutual friends commenting on her posts that her life is much better.

The next day, through a series of events I won’t get into, I was two hours late getting home…or getting close to home.

As I was approaching the back road I usually take home (Vivian Line 37 for those familiar), I passed a car buried to its axles in snow. I looked back thinking I should stop to help.

I ended up missing my turn, and quickly pulled onto the shoulder to do a u-turn. A very icy shoulder it turns out and I too ended up mired in snow.

It took two hours before a tow truck came by and hauled me out and sent me on my way.

It was a clear cold night.
I had to pee, and decided to walk some distance from the car. I wasn’t sure where the tow truck operator would have to go, and didn’t want to pollute his workspace.
I sat in the car in silence. My musings interrupted several times by people offering to help.
I thanked all of them, and explained I had a tow coming.

So yes, and interrupted night where I was 4 hours late getting home.

A couple of days ago it occurred to me that the disastrous night occurred immediately after I asked for some of my good kharma back.

I was going to chuckle at the irony, but then things occurred to me.

It was a cold, clear, but beautiful night. I stared at the stars until I started shivering.

I didn’t play with my phone, or the radio. I sat in silence, taking the opportunity that was forced upon me to do some quiet reflection.

7 or 8 people stopped to see if they could help/I was all right. While yes, they interrupted my reflection they restored my faith in humanity. There are decent people out there.

Speaking of decent people both my friends Gord and Denise stood to without hesitation when I called for help. I know that any number of friends would’ve done the same. So I was reminded that even when I’m surrounded by vast cold, dark countryside…I’m not alone.

So it turns out that the inconvenient, time consuming incident wasn’t kharma chastising me, it was a gift.