Is Protesting a Civic Duty?

Is Protesting a Civic Duty? | Comic Wisdom

I’ve never been much of a protester myself. I’ve attended a small handful of them, but only in a journalistic capacity: I showed up to take some pictures and show support by posting them online, using my small amount of social media influence to help draw attention to those I saw as the real heroes—the people out marching.

 

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I Am Torn In Half: A Poem

I Am Torn In Half: A Poem | Comic Wisdom

I’m not saying it’s good, but I wrote it, and I felt it.  So here you go.  Have some hippie nonsense.

 

 

I am torn in half.

I am torn between the weight of genocide, of homelessness, of black eyes and brown skin

and the sometimes-unbearable burden of whiteness; the guilt; the knowledge that half of my ancestors and their kind ripped apart whole societies of people who looked like my other half.

We did this to us.

We still do this to us.

And in I, the individual, is the very paradox of humanity itself:

that in harming others we are also harming ourselves.

 

If you leave comments consider my fragile delicate feelings, s’il vous plaît.

 

Carrie Fisher: A Woman’s Loss

Carrie Fisher: A Woman's Loss | Comic Wisdom

I was born in 1990.

Growing up in the 90s as a young girl looking for her strength was…tricky.  Things were improving, of course, but female heroes were few and far between, and often the best ones were found in programs and movies that my sheltering parents kept me from anyway (shoutout to Xena and Buffy, I never knew ye).

 

Xena Warrior Princess | Comic Wisdom
Indeed, I regret the girl-power I have missed out on.

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Play “Would You Rather?” With Tim & Sam

 

Have you been listening to my podcast with Tim Baughman of That Tiny Website fame, Everyone Is Funnier Than Us?  If you haven’t, you should do that now.  We can be found on iTunes, Google Play Music, and Pocket Casts, and of course you can also listen in your web browser if you’d like!

We’re sorta funny!

Once you’re caught up to the latest episode, Ep. 8 – Science…Get On That (or hell, skip around, see if I care), play “Would You Rather?” with us!

We answered a series of 6 WYR questions on this week’s episode.  We each submitted 3, and 2 of them are holiday-themed.  They’re fun.  Play along by answering in these polls!

 

WYR: Give Hugh Hefner a BJ or eat a live tarantula?
Heffy BJ
0 Vote
Tarantula
2 Vote

 

WYR: Have one hand that is a bucket or one leg that is a ladder?
Bucket-Hand
1 Vote
Ladder-Leg
1 Vote

 

WYR: Christmas music and decor be up year round, or have to celebrate a different winter holiday than your usual (eg if you celebrate Christmas, have to celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa) from now on instead?
Christmas All Year
1 Vote
New Holiday
1 Vote

 

WYR: Have the mind of a 5 year old but the body of an 80 year old or the mind of an 80 year old but the body of a 5 year old?
5 in 80\'s body
0 Vote
80 in 5\'s body
2 Vote

 

WYR: listen to “Firework” by Katy Perry on repeat 10 hrs/day for the rest of your life, or subsist entirely on Saltine crackers and fried ants for the rest of your life?
I feel like a plastic bag, give me \"Firework\"
1 Vote
Saltines & ants, please
1 Vote

 

WYR: Be a mall Santa Claus once a year every Christmas Eve for three hours or be forced to watch your least favorite holiday film on repeat for the 24 hours leading up to every Christmas?
Mall Santa
2 Vote
Least Favorite Holiday Film
0 Vote

 

Thanks for playing!  We will discuss the results on our next episode, so stay tuned!

Tough Times for Comedians

Tough Times for Comedians | Comic Wisdom

I can’t be the only comedian out there who is having, like, a really hard time being funny lately, right?

The thing about funny people is we tend to make jokes to deal with awful things, not because our lives are going swimmingly or anything.  I mean I’m assuming most of you know someone who is a comic or at least tells a lot of jokes and I’m guessing they tend to tell jokes even during hard times.  Probably to the point of being inappropriate, just statistically speaking (comedians are assholes, is what I’m saying).

And if you don’t know anyone like that, just think of, say, Chandler Bing.  “Oh, my best friend is going through a divorce?  Better crack a joke instead of consoling him.”

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Why I Refuse to Do a “2016 Year in Review” Piece

Why I Refuse to Do a “2016 Year in Review” Piece | Comic Wisdom
  1. 2016 was BULLSHIT.  Like so much bullshit, I can’t even.  And I am normally quite able to even.
  2. I have more important things to do.
  3. Lit-rally everyone else is already on it.
  4. I only have the mental energy to, y’know…work full time plus side gigs, keep up with the news, write, Tweet, make my bed once in a while, fight fascism, etc.  The basics.
  5. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
  6. I’m already too busy thinking about 2017.
  7. Everyone was already paying attention for every goddamn second of 2016, it’s not like any of us needs the Cliff’s Notes version in case we, like, missed Donald Trump being elected or David Bowie dying or Jeb Bush being all “please clap.”

How do you feel about year-end reviews?  Are you doing a personal version, or are you more focused on the future?  Share in the comments!

 

My Path to Dissent

My Path to Dissent | Comic Wisdom

How I Realized What We Were Up Against in Donald Trump

 

June 16, 2015: Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President of the United States.  While I was shocked at his rhetoric as he called Mexicans rapists and called for a literal wall along the southern border, I, like the rest of the nation, laughed and rolled my eyes.  None of us thought he had a chance; we thought he was an extremist buffoon who’d drop out in the first couple of months.

August 6, 2015: During the first round of Republican debates, Donald Trump was asked to defend his ugly history of misogynist language by FOX reporter Megyn Kelly.  Afterward, he stated in an interview that he thought she was “bleeding out of her wherever.”  I watched this debate at a coffee shop, gritting my teeth to keep from shouting at the screen every time he spoke.  That was the last time I watched the debates in public.

October 1, 2015: Adam Tod Brown’s article on Cracked, 5 Ways Donald Trump Perfectly Mirrors Hitler’s Rise to Power, was published.  This was the day I began taking Trump seriously–both as a candidate and as a national threat.

November 13, 2015: 130 people were killed in a series of terrorist attacks in Paris, France.  In response, Donald Trump called for surveillance of US mosques and a national Muslim registry.  When asked to clarify the difference between a legally required Muslim registry and similar registration for Jews in Nazi Germany, his only response was “you tell me.” Read more

Stop Telling Me My Racial Identity is Wrong

Stop Telling Me I'm Wrong About My Race | Comic Wisdom

 

Listen, I’m not delusional.  I’m half Middle Eastern–my father is from Syria–but despite the olive tone, I got my mother’s European light skin.  You’d be forgiven for thinking I was Spanish or Italian, and for being surprised to find out my distinctive features are due to my heritage in the Middle East.

 

Stop Telling Me I'm Wrong About My Race | Comic Wisdom
Trust me, if it’s a brown or vaguely brown ethnicity, I’ve been asked if I’m it.

 

I’m not trying to pretend my skin is dark, and I’m not complaining that lots of people don’t realize at first that I have non-white roots.  I fully understand I’m what they call “white-passing.”  And I’m also not denying the privilege that comes with that.

My issue is with the people who hear me say “half white” (I do not consider people with roots in the Middle East and North Africa, including Armenians, “white”), question me, and then when I explain that I’m light-skinned but half Middle Eastern tell me that doesn’t count or nice try, you’re white.

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Resist

Resist | "Wall-Free World" | Comic Wisdom

I’m going to go into something here, even at the risk of sounding absurd. I promise you, I’m not an alarmist nor am I the type to jump to extremes.  But something extreme is currently happening in the United States, and is echoed across much of Europe as well.

Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States. Sure, fine, it’s embarrassing, absurd and dangerous that we’ve elected someone so buffoonish and deeply unqualified, but this alone is not why I’m so alarmed.

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How To Say Thank You to Elected Officials

Listen, people who are way better at this than I am are writing you speeches and letter drafts and collecting the phone numbers for you to dial and all this great organizational stuff for making complaints and asking your representatives, senators, mayors, police chiefs, and so on to make the right decisions to protect us.

That’s the number one priority and it’s insanely important, and before you do anything I’m going to talk about in this article, you need to do those things first.  Save those numbers in your phone.  Call every day until the requests are met.

Here are some excellent reads, resources and suggestions:

This Tweet:


This article from nymag.com links to a constantly updated spreadsheet with scripts and suggestions on a wide range of topics.

Here’s a great article on how to make the most impact with your call, from Vice.

 

How to say thank you:

Now I was a nanny for years, and also the eldest child in a big family.  I’ve learned a thing or two about the importance of positive reinforcement.  So let’s–now that we’ve scolded them into doing the right thing–thank them for it.

This will reinforce their willingness to do the right thing again.  It will also boost our own spirits individually as well as collectively; kindness, civility and appreciation for one another are some of our most important and precious assets.  So let’s do this!

There are a few different ways.  Calling on the phone and speaking directly with a staffer is by far the most effective, especially for getting things accomplished.  But for a thank you, it is also perfectly acceptable to write or email.  I’ll give you a basic script for how, as well as some contact information and resources for more contact information.  Feel free to expand on this as it’s very simple–but simple is all you need, unless you have more you want to say.

Ready?  Feel free to copy this word for word–though my site as a whole is copyrighted, the following script and letter/email draft I release officially to the public domain.

 

If you’re calling (they may ask you for your zip code, have it ready):

 

I am a constituent of _______ and I wanted to call to thank them for listening to the people in their jurisdiction regarding ________ .  It means a lot to see an elected official respect the feelings and opinions of their electorate and to stand up for what is right.  I hope they keep up the good work, and they can count on my continued input, support and vote.

 

If you’re writing an email or letter:

 

Dear _______,

I wanted to write to say thank you for listening to the people in your jurisdiction regarding __________ .  It means so much to see an elected official respect the feelings and opinions of their electorate and stand up for what is right.

I hope you keep up the good work, and you can count on my continued input, support and vote.

Sincerely,

__your name & contact info__

 

How to find their contact information:

Please note that while the first results you will find for your senators and house representatives are for their DC offices, this is not the ideal place to send letters or to place calls.  Find their local officesThis page has a handy list of your senators, and this page will help you find your representatives.  Don’t use their links though (they’re for the D.C. offices or for contact forms)…Google their names and find their local office contact info.  I will consider making a page with these links myself, but for now it’s up to you–it’s only one extra step, not even a hard one, and it’s worth it.

For mayors, governors, etc you’ll want to Google their names or go through your state’s official pages.

 

Any more suggestions?  Leave them in the comments or shoot me an email!