Thursday 21 June 2012

Men ARE Funnier Than Women. I Have Proof.

Recently Adam Carolla made headlines (for like, the first time ever) by declaring women unfunny.  Here's one of his quotes:

"When you're picking a basketball team, you'll take the brother over the guy with the yarmulke.  Why?  Because you're playing the odds.  When it comes to comedy, of course there's Sarah Silverman, Tina Fey, Kathy Griffin - super funny chicks.  But if you're playing the odds?  No."


He forgot to mention Kristen Wiig, Amy Poehler, Sandra Bernhardt, Janeane Garofalo, Rita Rudner, Carol Burnett, Maya Rudolph, Bette White, Wanda Sykes, Ellen DeGeneres, Samantha Bee, Sara Benincasa, Garfunkel and Oates, Aubrey Plaza, Kristen Schaal, Phyllis Diller, Whoopi Goldberg, Lily Tomlin, Gilda Radner, Catherine O'Hara, Mary Walsh and Cathy Jones to name only a very exceptional few.  (I wanted to also mention Roseanne Barr but he did remember her.  Apparently he thinks she is unmemorable).  But are there enough names here to justify taking risk with the statistical odds?  Because Adam thinks that statistically having a vagina = wearing a yarmulke and having a penis = being a brother.

Hey, why don't we have a look at some of our penis-having "brothers" who are more likely to be chosen for Carolla's All-Penis-Imaginary-Comedy-Basketball team?  There's just something about having a penis that just makes you more naturally funny, amirite?

1.  Carrot Top

Ah Carrot Top, you are a-may-zing!  Tell me, do you do birthday parties?

2.  Jeff Dunham

In case you are familiar with the humour of Jeff Dunham and can't stand to click the "play" button, allow me to provide you a sample of the lyrics in this hilariously witty little ditty, sung by Achmed The Dead Terrorist:

          "Ooooh, Jingle bombs, Jingle Bombs, mine blew up you see,
           Where are all the virgins that Bin Laden promised me?
           Jingle bombs, Jingle bombs, your soldiers shot me dead,
           The only thing that I have left is this towel upon my head.

            I used to be a man, now every time I cough,
            Thanks to Uncle Sam my nuts keep falling off.
            My bombing days are done, I need to find some work,
            Perhaps it would be much safer as a convenience store night clerk."

Which is of course totally, knee-slappingly hilarious and not at all racially insensitive/offensive.  I would not be at all embarrassed to have this guy on my All-Penis, statistically funnier, Imaginary-Comedy-Basketball team.

3.  Larry the Cable Guy

LMFAO!!!  Boobla Boobla is just hysterical.  And what did he name his brother?  Booble Bobble Booble?  And there is nothing funnier than making fun of a language you don't understand with nonsense-sounds and clicks!  I'm dyyyyyying!  Surely, this updated "Me so solly" routine combined with catch phrases (ie.  "Git 'r done!") must be the height of penis-superior comedy.

4.  Jeff Foxworthy

Hey guys, men are different from women!  And although it is seriously unfunny and sometimes rude for women to point this out, it's somehow better and edgier when it comes from Jeff Foxworthy.  Women are preoccupied with their appearances and men aren't because they have more serious things to think about.  If a man cared about his complexion he would look downright childish.  But that's okay because women are nice on the phone.  Ha!  It's funny because it's true!

5.  Andrew Dice Clay

I read an article about when Adam was on "The Talk" and Sara Gilbert asked him about some of his homophobic humour.  Adam says that comedians need to get a pass because funny is mean.  Nice isn't funny.  Adam doesn't hate gay people, he's just a moderately wealthy, straight white guy who needs to be mean to a marginalized group so he can be funny.  I imagine that Adam thinks Andrew Dice Clay must be the King of Comedy because nothing is funnier than than a moderately wealthy, straight and able-bodied white guy making fun of "cripples".  Andrew Dice Clay doesn't hate "cripples" (after all, he has sex with buck-toothed hunchbacks), he's just trying to make an honest living.

6.  Michael Richards

I have watched a lot of Richards' comedy out of respect for his portrayal of Kramer and I can honestly say without a hint of snark that this is the funniest he has ever been.  Literally.  Way to go statistically funnier penis-guy!

7.   Gallagher

Ah Gallagher, you are a-may-zing!  Tell me, do you do birthday parties?

8.  Carlos Mencia

Now I know men are funnier than women.  I hear the great Mencia only steals his shit from dudes, and a genius like that would only steal the best shit.

9.  Yakov Smirnoff

Yakov didn't let a little something like the fall of the Soviet Union ruin his career.  Here he is keeping it fresh and edgy by talking about how women are different from men.  Yes Yakov, women are amazing at baking cakes, putting on makeup and having babies all at the same time.  Your humour is refreshingly positive and empowering for women.  You make us laugh and think.  All at the same time.

10) Tim Allen

Adam Carolla was totally right about Roseanne.  If she were a dude she would never be on TV.  Because, as Tim Allen so clearly demonstrates, dudes are obviously just held to a higher standard than chicks.  It's kind of disgusting that chicks keep getting all these breaks because stupid affirmative action makes you hire a certain number of chicks when there are obviously so many funnier dudes running around.

And that, folks, is my short-list for Adam Carolla's All-Penis-Imaginary-Comedy-Basketball team.  I think it's pretty clear that the evidence here is overwhelmingly in favour of men being funnier than women.  It's comforting to know that when pulling snap judgments and blanket statements out of his ass, Adam Carolla has the odds on his side.

Thank you, Adam.  I used to waste so much time actually listening to a person's material before being able to tell if they were funny or not.  Now, all I have to do is look for a penis!

Wednesday 13 June 2012

Gay Pride and Religious Prejudice

I just found out about an ad campaign being run by the LDS Church and I think it's a great idea.  I've met a few Mormons and they seem like very nice people.  They always treated me with respect even though I'm not part of their faith.  A lot of people might have misconceptions about them because of their history and some of their, uh...different beliefs.  So I think it's fair that they be allowed to tell the world about who they are.  Here's an example:

Don't you just love the Clarkson family?  Cynical bitch that I am, I got a little choked up there for a minute.  I am literally rooting for this family.  I want them to succeed in life and be happy.  They really don't seem weird at all; they seem like a nice normal family.  Telling a story like this humanizes them.  It reminds us that most people are just like us.  They just want to live life and be happy.

But then I remembered other Mormon-funded ad campaigns.  Like this:

Don't you just want to punch that bitch in the face?  Especially knowing that every word is a slanderous lie that helped pass this odious proposition.

The LDS Church publicly and financially supported Prop 8 with 45% of out of state funding coming from Utah and 80-90% of the volunteers canvassing door to door being Mormon.  Because they already possess that skill set, I guess.  So now I'm confused.  It's a little harder to for me to love the Clarkson family at the moment because ads like the one above really piss me off.

But I do still love them.  Because now I can't forget that they are people just like me.  I identify with them and because I do, their happiness is still important to me even though I disagree with a lot of their beliefs.  I think the issue with how religious institutions feel about gay people is the fact that they don't really know gay people or understand their humanity.  Too often they are taught that being gay is an evil thing (or some variation of that idea).

That's what I think this guy was thinking when he started hanging out with the infamous Shirley Phelps:

Aren't they just adorable together?  Shirley is downright likable here.  Scoops made a series of videos of him hanging out in the Phelps home eating food, singing songs, and planning protests against himself.  How awesome is that?  The Phelps family were very nice to him.  It made me see Shirley with new eyes.

Shirley had probably never really known a gay person before.  Shirley's entire experience with gay people would have been what she was taught by her religion and then the LGBT community's justifiably angry response (which only further entrenched her beliefs).  Watching this makes me think there may be just the smallest of chances that Shirley Phelps could have an "evolving opinion" on how God feels about fags.

And if it could have that kind of effect on Shirley here, why not the LDS Church?  Why not any church?

Don't you think it would be great if there were an "I'm a LGBT Person" campaign?  Because I think a lot of people (*cough* North Carolina *cough*) need to be reminded that LGBT people are just like us.  They are people who want to live life and be happy.

Wednesday 6 June 2012

It's the Cute Little Creatures That Want to Kill You

When I was little Walt Disney taught me that woodland creatures are sweet tame-able things that dance and sing songs and help little girls escape evil queens.  But as I grew to have first hand experience of such creatures I learned that even the sweetest and fluffiest of them would take you and your family down in a heartbeat if given half a chance.

"Wanna go raid some nests?"

I had many little cousins born in my teens and so my babysitting services were in high demand.  One afternoon I was watching two of my little cousins as they frantically chased squirrels out of their trees in the yard.  I asked them why they didn't leave the adorable little creatures alone.

"We HATE squirrels!"  Little Joey proclaimed fiercely.

"What?  Why?"

"One time, when we were playing, we were in our treehouse, and there was this bird's nest, with little babies in it, and then a squirrel, he came and took a baby bird and bit its HEAD OFF!"

Oh dear God, the horror!

Apparently squirrels commonly attack birds' nests.  Now I know you're thinking, "So what? Squirrels are still no threat to human beings".  And I used to agree, but then I read this article describing a pack of Russian squirrels ganging up on a stray dog to kill and eat it.  That's right.  The squirrels are organizing to take down much larger predators!  They say this incident happened because of a pine nut shortage, but I think that the squirrels were trying to send a message.  Do not fuck with the squirrels.

Don't be fooled.  He's vicious!

When their Mom came home I mentioned the squirrel thing and she laughed.

"Oh, that's nothing.  Did I ever tell you about the killer rabbit?"

She proceeded to tell me about how one morning when Little Joey was just a toddler, he was playing in the yard while she was gardening.  She looked up and noticed a little bunny by her hedges not far from her son.

"Ooooh, look Joey, look!  See the bunny?  See the cute little bunny?  Look at his fluffy little-"

And that's when the rabbit reared on its haunches, bared its long teeth and claws and began hissing and growling and chasing Little Joey who began screaming in fear.  She also screamed, ran to Little Joey scooping him up and running into the house with the rabbit chasing after them.

Holy shit!

Nothing bashful about the skunks we encountered.

Wikipedia says that "Skunks are crepuscular and are solitary animals when not breeding," 


One summer Mummy Dearest found out that there was a local water park that also had campgrounds and figured it would be good to make a family camping trip there with her sisters, cousins and their kids.  The kids could spend the day on water slides and in wave pools and be completely exhausted at the camp fire, thereby allowing for more grownup time.

This was a great idea.

So we packed our things and made our way to the waterpark.  We got there by supper time and were looking forward to campfires and toasted marshmallows and roasted wieners.  As we were sitting by the fire my Aunt Joanne reached into her purse to get something and almost missed the fact that there was a black and white tail sticking out of it.  She screamed and dropped her purse and was lucky that all the skunk did was march insolently away from us without spraying.

Turns out that the park was dealing with a skunk overpopulation problem that year.

And these skunks were bold.

As the night got darker you could smell skunk all over the place.  You could see small troops of them marching by in the shadows.  We were afraid to leave the safety of our fire for any reason, even to go to the bathroom.  But if we did dare to venture away from the fire we were protected ourselves by making whooping noises.

(You see, my uncle Tom told my Aunt Melina that if we made loud whooping noises we would scare off the skunks and they wouldn't spray us.  I have been trying unsuccessfully to find evidence that this is a fact and I'm beginning to think my uncle was pulling her leg and probably pissing himself laughing at the fact that our whole family was walking all over a campground at night making whooping noises like idiots that did nothing more than piss off our neighbours.  Which is pretty much exactly what happened.) 

On the second night of camping I woke up at around two in the morning to the sound of my Aunt Melina crying.  I asked her what was wrong and apparently she was desperate to go pee, but every time she unzipped the tent it was surrounded by skunks.  She was now certain she was going to wet her pants.

I looked out the tent window and saw nothing.

I told her if it made her feel better we could go together making our whooping noises, it should be fine.  I looked out again and saw that the coast was still clear.

But when I unzipped the tent and stuck my head out I was suddenly faced with dozens of shining eyes in the dark.  There had to be at least twenty of them surrounding our tent door, tails waving menacingly in the air.  I zipped that zipper back down as fast as possible and began to pray:  "Please don't spray the tent, please don't spray the tent, please don't spray the tent."

We had to improvise.  Fortunately one of the cousins was potty-training at the time and his potty was just outside the tent.  I managed to get that potty back inside the tent without incident saved my aunt from having to pee her pants.

I'm not saying these skunks wanted to eat us or anything, but traveling in numbers like that they were clearly up to no good.

This is a very misleading picture.

One night my brother and I were alone at the house.  We let our dog, a Great Dane German Shepherd mix named Julius, out in the backyard and shortly after that he started making all kinds of racket, barking up a storm.  My brother went out to check on him and when he came in he told me that Jules might have killed something out there.  I went to look and sure enough there was a dead possum lying on the ground.

Possums up close are not cute.  I've seen lots of pictures of possums and they look adorable in them but this thing lying in my backyard looked like a big, bloated grey rat with a naked wormy looking tail.

Also, I thought it was dead so that just increased the "ick" factor.

Yes, I did say I thought it was dead.  I went back into the house to get a garbage bag to dispose of the body but when I came back it was gone.  Of course, he was only playing dead because he was afraid of my 180 pound dog.  When I told my brother this he didn't believe me.  We were about to back outside so I could prove it to him when we saw that the possum was sniffing at our back door.  Now that the possum was clearly not dead he thought it was kind of cute so he wanted to give it some bologna.

"I don't think that's such a good idea."

"He's cute!  It'll be fine"

He held the bologna out in front of him and slowly approached the possum making soothing noises when all of a sudden it got up on its hind legs, spitting, and made to attack my brother.  I yanked him back inside and slammed the sliding glass door shut.  We sat there in the kitchen as the possum clawed angrily at our back door, intent on getting at us just as soon as it could figure out how to get past the invisible barrier.

I know you're thinking that the possum just felt threatened and was trying to defend itself but ask this Mom who had to call the police to save her and her family from a possum attack.  The cops pepper-sprayed the possum which succeeded in doing no more than pissing it off.  They only got it to leave by chasing it with a toy rake.

This possum remains at large.

Canada Geese do not look like this.  Or wear bonnets.

I currently live only a five minute walk from a wetlands conservation area.  When we first moved I wanted to get to know our new neighbourhood and thought it would be nice for us to have a picnic there and maybe feed some of the geese and ducks.  So we packed our little picnic as well as a plastic bag full of stale bread and made our way to the park.

I had fond memories of feeding waterfowl when visiting Ontario Place in Toronto as a child and thought Frick would just love it.  What I didn't realize was that I had fed the geese while they were still in the water.  Geese in the water are much different than geese on land.

When we were in view of the park we saw several small flocks of geese walking around.

They also saw us.

As soon as they noticed the plastic bag I was carrying they knew exactly what was up:  Feeding Time.  I handed Frick an old bagel and started throwing crumbs of bread.  Then the small groups of geese began to merge into one very large mob.  Before I knew it we were surrounded.  Frick, who was only 3 and about the same size as the geese at the time, was being poked sharply and aggressively by very hard beaks.  I yelled at the geese, shouting at them to "Shoo!" but they didn't appear to hear me.

I scooped up my little boy and they started going after me.  There was a picnic table not too far away and thought it would be good to get over there to higher ground.  I was not able to defend us very well while holding up my three year old in the air to keep him from getting pecked.  There were so many of them and they were so aggressive I literally had to kick them out of my way (and by "kick" I mean I put my foot underneath them and gently heaved the beasts out of my way.)

They followed us to the picnic table, honking and pecking the whole time.  We were stranded there on an island of old wood in a sea of geese.  I hoped to placate them by feeding them all of the bread we had but it wasn't enough.  They fought viciously amongst themselves for every morsel and then honked at us for more.  I ended up having to leave Frick on the picnic table island while I jumped down an chased them away making big flapping gestures and loud cawing sounds.  Frick laughed at this and cheered me on.  I think I was a bit of a hero for him that day.

It is now illegal to feed waterfowl in Ontario.

Poor misunderstood Coyote.

Finally I think it bears mentioning my experience with coyotes, just for a little perspective.   Coyotes are quite common in Southern Ontario and have been known to threaten my in-laws' sheep during lambing season.  They are like wolves in that they are wild dogs but unlike wolves they do not travel in packs.  Out of all the animals I have listed here, the coyote might present the most threat to humans,  and though attacks on humans are rare some have been fatal.

One night back when I was in college and had fun on my weekends, I was walking home from the club and saw two coyotes standing on someone's front lawn.  They are actually quite cute and look very much like domesticated dogs.  So much so in fact, that stupid me started talking to them and holding out my hand to "make friends".

"Hello, nice doggie!  Hi!  Come here, boy.  Come on..."

Fortunately for me the coyotes just looked at me as if I was about as interesting as a tree and then proceeded to ignore me which gave me just enough time to realize the potential danger I was in because these were wild animals.  I froze for a minute but they were supremely unimpressed with me.

Once I came to my senses we all quietly went our separate ways and nothing else happened.

The lesson here?  Always respect nature.

Also, Walt Disney is an asshole.