Sunday, June 24, 2007

Am I angry enough?

Larry David is such a curmudgeon! You know in real life he's an evil-spirited unfulfilled and angry human being.
But I love him. I think he's the cat's meow--well, sorta.

I always say, if you're going to be an asshole---BE an ASSHOLE! Don't hold back. I appreciate honesty and integrity.

You're thinking,

Lucy, there's no honesty nor integrity in being an asshole.

All comedy starts with anger. -Seinfeld

You're mistaken! You cannot be any more honest, than in being a total and complete asshole. There's no fluff or crap to sift through. You know Larry David's not going to bullshit you, he's not going to blow smoke up your ass, he's not going to fill your head with compliments and make you think you're better than you are.

This is what I love about him. You get to the core. I don't like social niceties. I don't like false compliments (which in effect are most compliments.) We all know that compliments are just another means of a playing up to someone to get something you want out of them. That's why I sparingly give out compliments. I'm still, in essence, a nice person. But if you hangout with me long enough, you'll notice that I'm stingy with my compliments. I don't like having to 'play the game.' I don't like pleasantries or platitudes. What's the point?

Here's a great short interview with Larry David on, Sit Down with David Steinberg.

...pleading ignorance isn't an excuse...

My friend pointed out to me the other day, that I'm "too deep."

Friend: When I get on the phone with you, it's never 'how's the weather?' you always start deep, like 'the meaning of the universe is'...

She mentions that the average person doesn't have the capacity for 'depth' all the time. In fact she said, it's too demanding to be "deep" all of the time.

I intensely disagree on two counts:

1) I'm not deep all of the time. I just don't like "small talk." My conversations on the phone usually start out with "Where should I meet you?" or "What time does the party start?" or "When can I get my book back?" Those aren't deep, just to the point.

I don't have minutes to burn (whether those minutes relate to cellular or life... both are precious!)

2) I believe people DO have the capacity for being deep more often in their lives, but are too afraid to get to heart/meat of the matter. Or they never learned that there was 'meat' to attain. But as they say, pleading ignorance isn't an excuse

...I want to make a lasting impression...

I'm pledging to do comedy that gets to the 'meat of the matter.' The sh-t that really gets to me, the sh-t we all ignore. And from my perspective--as a black person---as a female---as a black female--- as an educated black female-- you catch my drift. And I don't want this to be loaded comedy or dark comedy. I want it to open up some eyes, brains, and horizons--and make people think! I want people leaving the venue thinking 'damn, she blew me away.' I want my comedy to be dinner conversation. I want it to be broadcast over radio morning show airwaves. I want it to be the reason for someone to start a cover band or for it to be a theme at the next Gay Pride parade. Yes, I want drag queens dressing in tribute to the subject matter I bring up. I want to make a lasting impression. Catch my drift?



Did you enjoy this post? Buy me a warm cup of joe.


Blah Blah Blah said...

I'mma surface thinker... because I am too damn lazy. Plus, if it doesn't intrest me...what the hell do I want to talk about it for?

As for being an asshole... well...I am *head hanging low....sorta* Not because I can't be nice, it's because I just don't feel like blowing smoke up your ass (as you put it)... I mean for real...I don't smoke and I am not for going down on my knees for blowing... ummm, smoke that is.

I'm not stingy with my compliments...however, I don't say shit to be nice, I say them because I mean them... so aaa, dude, fugure it

nice blog ya got.

Cidersweet said...

Well said, Lucy... esp. the deep part :) So when are we going to hear/see what you've got??

Lucy said...

Cidersweet: My audio sets will have to suffice. Check out NYC Nudist, My Second Set, My first set.

Thanks for commenting. It's like pulling teeth to get my shy readers to make a peep.

Mile High Pixie said...

Interesting. I've wondered about this myself. When I was in grad school, some of us sat around the studio one day and talked about people who were married but acted single and who were single but acted married to their kinda date or SO. Someone said, "What's Pixie?" and my best friend said, "Pixie acts divorced!" I do have lots of anger and crankiness in my ideas/jokes/observations, but could I sustain that kind of crankitude for an entire set? I find that my crankiness tends to come from things in life that I find useless, ridiculous, or insulting to my intelligence. Perhaps that anger's not a bad thing....

Some Guy said...


I think you're trying to rationalize your reaction to an asshole, rather than understand that reaction.

When we are treated badly, our first impulse is to try to curry favor with the asshole. This is due to some hard-wiring we got in the millions of years that our ancestors succeeded in reproducing by gaining higher status than the next guy.

Being an asshole has always been one of the prerogatives of having high status. So, we react to bad behavior by assuming on a subconscious level that the asshole has higher status than we do, unless there are other obvious indicators to the contrary.

Incidentally, this status-seeking behavior explains a hell of a lot of things that seem illogical at first, like why a woman will ignore the nice guy and date the asshole, and why anyone on stage can get groupies pretty easily. (Having a bunch of people pay attention to you while you speak or perform is another massive status cue.)

You can get details of this from papers describing how people get sucked into cults: it's all about manipulating attention rewards.

Lucy said...

Mile High Pixie - Hilarious anecdote! I love it! I'm not an angry by nature. I'm always the blind optimist. Very few things piss me off, which is why if comedy stems from anger, I might not be as successful or I might not have a devoted audience out there for more. It looks like I'll have to carve out a specific non-angry specifically for me. LOL

Some Guy -
Okay, "Some Guy"... (I still don't understand why people are afraid to show face on the internet. Why not just leave an email address or web or blog address?) How can you feel confident enough to leave such a introspective response, but not feel confident enough to leave a return address. What you're saying isn't explicit or adult/pornographic in nature. Why not just be more open about who you are? (sigh) Oh well... okay back to your comment:

I would like to respond by saying, "You're completely over-thinking this." There is no gene-hardwired for "asshole." It's not something we grow. You either are or you aren't an asshole. Or you learn that you are and you change for the better. But either way, there has to be some self-reflection. Most assholes who stay assholes, don't look inwardly.

There are plenty of people in Top positions in companies, or who are famous, that aren't assholes.

Case in point:
- David Bowie (I just met someone over the past week who used to work for Bowie's company and couldn't stop raving about his experience working for him. Instinctively, I KNOW Bowie is a cool cat.)
- Bono (of U2)
- Meryl Streep (I've gotten 2 separate testimonies about people who have met her and were completely surprised to witness and be in the presence of her absolutely awesome personality.)
- Kevin Smith - (During his speaking tour, he really really wanted to reach out to people and on several occasions, even at my university, he overstayed the allotted timeslot and kept answering questions for the audience---into 1o'clock in the morning. (The show ended at 10 or 11pm.) HIS WIFE had to pull him off stage to get him going to the next location. Now does that trait define an asshole or a diva?)

Have you ever heard the phrase, "More money or more power, just makes you more of who you are"?

Larry David has ALWAYS been a curmudgeon. I remember watching interviews with him and he explained what his life was like before becoming famous, and he's exactly the same guy we see now---even more so now, because he's got money and fame behind him.

You're right that many more people with power gravitate towards "assholishness," because it's easier. And most people who are now assholes were assholes to begin with and money, fame, and power just brought more of it out. There are more negative people in this world than positive. Negativity seems to be more contagious. That's my justification as to why the numbers are skewed toward assholes.

You mention that I (we) try to curry favor to an asshole. Never. If you're an asshole, I'm not making any excuses for you--and I'm definitely not catering to you! As an asshole, you do what you need to do. The point of this article is that I'm saying I don't like people to be fake, because the assholishness is going to come out of the bag eventually. Why fake it now? We all know everything comes out in the wash. You can only hide your personality for so long.

I react to bad behavior the way an child-rearing mother does--I'll slap it out of you, until you learn how to act properly. If that still doesn't work, we're no longer friends. It's THAT simple.

You're thinking way too deeply about this. People act the way they act because they have FREE WILL--it's one of the benefits of living in this society, on this earth, in this world, in this dimension.

There are nice people in high status positions, as I explained above. I plan on being one of those nice people. But I also will keep those that try to take advantage in check.

Your example of women and dating the asshole:
The woman that ignores the nice guy, eventually goes back to him. She dates the asshole because they're bullies and yes, they do mostly end up getting what they want because they barrel their way through life pushing other out of the way and eventually get what they seek out. But who says their happy in the end?

And ultimately that woman ends up miserable. We all know the story of the lonely housewife who ends up seeking love and affection either with the pool boy or via divorce and hooking up with "the nice guy" they passed over years back. How many women do you see with not-so-good-looking men. Why? Because, more often than not, the good-looking guy is usually an asshole. And women ultimately want to feel comforted and a little catered to. Who doesn't? The nice guy is willing to sacrifice that--the asshole isn't (perhaps because he hasn't learned or doesn't care to.)

Groupies are people with no real thought-processes as to who they are to themselves. They don't look introspectively and think about their place in society. They haven't filled-in that box on the form when asked, "who are you? What defines you?" Instead, they hand it over to the most visible and loudest person in the room (the person on stage, the person on TV, the person that "always says the right thing at the right time.") They're letting someone else define themselves and their being. Groupies are essentially a blank check, and they allow the superstar/rockstar/sports star to cash it in. Why do you think Oprah has all these housewives going insane over her book club and TV show? They could easily make those decisions themselves--but instead, they look to Oprah to fill-in the blank FOR THEM.

Cult behavior stems from people not knowing themselves--the weaker mind is more easily manipulated. A lot of people don't understand themselves until deep into their 30s and perhaps 40s. All the pro-comedians I talk to mention that their comedy changes in their 30s, because they are more confident about themselves. And again, people change in their 50s. That's why we revere the WWII generation (our grandparents, etc.) because they SEEN everything. They've experienced it all. They now know how to navigate through life.

People who join cults are nowhere near that and never will be because someone is doing the decision-making for them.

Really I think your mixing two separate issues. Assholes do not equate to cult leaders.

I hope you this message finds you well. Thanks for your thought-provoking response. Keep 'em coming!