A Rant On Anger & Ranting: Robots Don’t Rant

Grrrby Emily Schorr Lesnick

To plagiarize Joan Rivers, “Can we talk?” May I rant freely? Can I get angry and still be heard? Am I going to have to apologize for sharing my feelings and throwing a table later? Do I have to always be a giggilng ray of sunshine, even if I am pissed off? I need to rant about being angry and, well, ranting. I am frustrated with the dismissal of anger as “ugly” or “unproductive” or unfunny. The truth is, anger is a legitimate, important and motivating emotion for activism, personal development, and humor. Anger is important, anger is necessary, anger is funny.

It turns out being pissed off can really motivate and mobilize a group of people to work for social change. As a child, I remember hearing about the Black Panthers from the lens of my mother. They were militant (somehow this was a bad thing). They were angry (and that was an illegitimate, divisive sentiment). And they wore berets. The Black Panthers were angry because they had been silenced and oppressed for centuries, and rightfully so. The Black Panthers were (and are) not concerned with attractively packaging their feelings for the gaze of my mother and other White folks in power. They used their anger to connect with the anger and frustration that so many Black people felt. And they made an impact. The Arab Spring was fueled by some Tweets with smiley faces, but mostly by anger with corruption and a hope for fairer governments. And I do not believe that anger and hope are mutually exclusive. Now, I see many people involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement angry because they do not have a job, because they live in debt, and/or because of straight up correction coming from big banks and businesses. Their anger sparked a global movement that acknowledges the interconnectedness of people’s experiences and feelings. Social movements are pretty weak when they are not powered by hardcore, angry zeal.

On a personal level, anger is a basic human emotion, along with sad, glad, afraid (pronounced “afrad” in this case) and countless others. Sometimes those other emotions motivate us to reach our goals and grow as humans, and sometimes we are fueled by our anger. Maybe it’s irriatation from a mouse infestation that empowers us to clean the house (true story for me), or maybe the sadness and frustration sparked by a breakup that inspires us to get that dope haircut, firing or rejection of any kind empowers us to reevaluate our passions and work harder for them. And it’s certainly healthier than always being a rainbow bright cupcake on the outside and crying on the inside, and more realistic than being an emotionally controlled Stepford Wife.

When it comes to comedy, ranting is often a scandalous mistake made by a standup in the moment, a mistake that reveals bigotry and hate (Michael Richards’ use of the n-word and Tracy Morgans’ homophobic rants come to mind). But rants are often hilarious to watch, whether they be about something mundane like yogurt or something larger like stereotyping. Rants are captivating to an audience because we are drawn into the passion, the anger that a comic feels. You can’t phone in a rant. No matter how “ugly” a rant may be, a rant is a demonstration of both our human vulnerability and our passion and zeal. Commitment shown through anger and ranting proves we are not robots. Ranting shows we care and I do not want to have to apologize for my anger. When I feel anger inside me, it’s not fair to dismiss it as me being on my raging period. Sometimes I’m a positive ray of sunshine, sometimes I am mad as can be. Whether I am protesting, performing, or piddling about my rat-infested apartment, I try to embrace the rage within, mix it with some buttercream frosting, and slather it on top of a complex human emotions cupcake.

 

Emily Schorr Lesnick is a recent graduate of Macalester College, where she studied gender, identity, and comedy. Her writing has been featured on Splitsider, The Mary Sue, Funny not Slutty, Hello Giggles and Lilveggiepatch. You can follow her on Twitter @ESchorrLesnick.

Chris Coletti: His Life Is Better Than Yours – Creamed Chicken

Typically I’m very in control of my surroundings, but every once in awhile I slip up.


Standing in line with a friend at a local drug store recently my mind was becoming numb listening to her tell me why she would have loved to see Gandhi fight Betsy Ross. Trying to purge this nonsense from my mind I started to pick up bits and pieces of the conversation in front of me. Without looking up and still listening to my friend tell me how Mrs. Ross has the reach advantage on Gandhi I hear one of the women ahead of me mention how she needs to buy some creamed corn.


Without thinking, without hesitation, I muttered under my breath “I’ll cream your corn.”
Well, apparently I said it MUCH louder than I realized.


The line of at least 10 customers instantly became deadly quiet as I looked up to see every person in line staring at me like I just boldly announced my sweet love for dead puppy blood. Each person’s face having turned white with horror at my obnoxious declaration of creaming her corn, my friend’s face turned blood red as she tried to suppress the urge to burst out laughing at my stupidity.

“If Ghandi had fought Betsy Ross I’d still be able to buy batteries”


Then I looked to my left at the two women who had been talking and saw that they were both in their mid-70s (which explains their love for creamed corn), each of them looking at me with what can only be described as total disgust mixed with pure hatred. As the clerk gave them their change and they scurried quickly out the door, I moved up to make my purchase. The 30-something year old clerk who clearly hadn’t made the best decisions in her own life & was in no position to cast judgment on anyone glared at me with horrified revulsion and only said “What’s WRONG with you?” as I swiped my card & hurried off with my batteries.


Leaving the still completely quiet store, except for the hysterical laughter of my friend, and feeling the death glares of everyone in line beating down upon me, I realized I could never return to that store and that sometimes, on very rare occasions, my life really isn’t better than yours.


Of course, I then headed to the airport to fly to New York and speak to a sold out crowd of 450 people & then used my free tickets to sit 3rd row at Madison Square Garden to witness “Linsanity” firsthand and remembered that, yeah, it really is…

 


Chris Coletti

Since selling his production company, Digital Imagery Productions, in 2007 Chris spends his days kayaking, enjoying the beaches of California, searching for the perfect snowcone, & traveling the globe inspiring both young & old not to spend their lives being a waste of skin. There’s no doubt that his life is better than yours.

Museum of Morgan – Dancing In The Streets

Navigating The Music Video Landscape
Video: “Dancing In The Streets”
Artist: David Bowie & Mick Jagger
Year: 1985

 

dancininthestreets

Remember music videos? A now long lost art form thanks to MTV2 programming such as “Jersey Shore,” “16 & Pregnant” and “Teen Mom.” Now – we slink away into the internet searching for our fix. On YouTube lies all of the nostalgia that comes with lip syncing and staring directly into the camera (or away for dramatic effect.) I just so happen to love the bad ones.

Mick Jagger and David Bowie? Sign me up. Two of the kings of rock. I will now live blog my feelings through this musical journey:

Whistling in an empty warehouse. That’s a peculiar beginning.

I now hear Mick and Bowie each calling out different countries names as I watch fast moving feet.

Wait … What … the … FUCK!?

WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY DOING?!

WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY WEARING?!

WHY WAS THAT JUMP IN SLOW MOTION?! IS DAVID BOWING SECRETLY A JUNGLE CAT?! [Read more...]

Practical Advice Learned in The Bathroom – Number Two

Practical Advice Learned in The Bathroom

There are a scant few places on Earth that reveal more about a person, than the the places they piss and shit. Only a handful come to mind: bars, churches and opium dens. Still the bathroom and our activities in them, tells so much more.

Take for instance the time I had brunch with a South Indo-chinese war lord to haggle the price of “appropriated” human organs (it’s a bear market). Our exchanges grew heated, so, I excused myself to the restroom. It’s a classic negotiation tactic…and I had to take a dump.

Mid-crap, my mind drifted, away from the low ball offer I was given for kidneys, to the walls of my stall. There on the wall paper among the ugly rubber ducky wall paper, there was shit. Someone had written on the wall…with shit.

What trauma in life brings a man to write with his own dookie? A broken home? Desperation? A lack of shit colored pens? My mind reeled. The implications were enormous. Then, the paranoia set in. What else had this mad shit writer doodled on? I scanned the stall in a frenzy. Shit? Shit? Nothing. Just the wall.

I finished, washed my hands and pondered. Who was this shit scribbling freak? A chill ran through me. He could be anyone. He could be anywhere at anytime. In fact, he might have there with me. Possibly, lurking in the trash can. A round house kick to it’s side proved it empty.

Panicked, I opened the door and ran screaming from the restaurant. I’m sure my war lord friend was curious as to why. He never did settle on a kidney price. Such is life, I suppose, when walls are written with shit.

What did I learn from all of this? A good many things, let me tell you. One, no one understands the words “Poop, shit wall writing!” when you scream it. Two, there is a man named Poupschitz Walrighting who frequents the same restaurants as Indochinese war lords and three, I will be meeting his lawyers next week.

My advice is this: The world is a weird place, so, to be safe assume everyone has shit on their hands.

 
 

EltonElton, a steamy sexual dynamo, is a comedy writing loser from Pennsylvania. He’s the author of several failed attempts at books, cartoons and occasionally writes articles at Funnyordie for Will Ferrell to ignore. You can check out more of his pants shittingly funny mumbling at Elton Says Things (his super tits blog!) What that means…he doesn’t even know.

Chris Coletti: His Life is Better than Yours – Hand Molestation

I don’t like being touched by strangers.
Whether it’s someone putting their hand on my knee & uttering “I know good looking when I see it”(but that’s another story) or someone who just doesn’t understand personal space and needs to touch my arm while talking, I don’t want strangers touching me.
And there’s an epidemic sweeping the country called “Hand Molestation.” Thousands of people are afflicted by this scourge each day, chances are it’s touched your life or the life of a loved one. You innocently pay a clerk for a soda and their fingers rub against your palm as they give you change, you take your receipt and the cashier “accidentally” grabs your hand, you make a simple meth purchase and your dealer brushes his palm against your fingers.
To help you in the fight against this growing pestilence, I provide you with the 3 most common forms of Hand Molestation. Use this information wisely. [Read more...]

Practical Advice Learned in The Bathroom – Number One

Being your average, ordinary everyday bad ass, I have used many a bathroom in my time. Be it for the enjoyment of wash closet architecture and tiling or for their secluded enclaves to woo buck-toothed hookers, I’ve enjoyed them all, in one way or another. Though, mostly for pissing, shitting …and prostitutes.

Those same wash rooms have taught me a lot too. Things that, when learned and applied, have greatly enhanced my life. Like, never, ever trust a priest taking confession in port-a-potty, or that “glory holes” are not for recyclables or for glory and it’s impossible to speak to a stranger about your mother while urinating.

While those nuggets of wisdom could warrant a Reader’s Digest novella of scatological life lessons themselves, there are far more to be had. After scouring the world’s bathrooms on the tail end of hangovers, cocaine binges and burrito laden emergencies, I’ve amassed, a literal ass load of practical guidance…just for you. You don’t have to thank me. It’s been my pleasure in more ways than one. The trials and tribulations…the horrific sting ring. Okay, maybe not the sting ring.

Oh, the learned shit, the shits have wrought. There’s so much they’ve taught me. Like the time I was in the Memphis International Airport. I had recently arrived from Paris on a red flight, after selling pirated copies of “The Passion of The Christ” to nuns (don’t ask). On that flight, I had sex with a strange overweight school teacher. She fell in love. When the plane landed I ran. She’d come looking for me, of course, so, I “B” lined for the first bathroom I made eye contact with.

I hid in one of the bathroom’s stalls. A good deal of non-fat girl intrusion time passed and I noticed that no one else had entered the restroom. Weird. I chocked it up to my “manly awesomeness” repelling non-awesome men.

Suddenly, the bathroom door slammed open, then, my stall door was kicked in. It was a group of men in black S.W.A.T. uniforms and gear. I was exposed in all my cowered, whimpering glory. A man pulled me from my chubby girl-less, safe haven.

Believing I was about to be violated sexually, prepared myself. I worked at my belt buckle, but, to my surprise I merely incensed the men. They instead searched my person and the carry on bag full of condoms, miniature booze bottles and dental floss. “Is this it?”, the sex army leader sternly questioned. “The floss, yes. I’m happy to share. Please don’t rape me.”, I replied…vanquished. He looked me over in a puzzled and angry way, then, I was roughly escorted from the bathroom and taken to a security office.

After being questioned for hours, having my luggage searched twice (once by dogs) and receiving 3 body cavity searches (not by dogs), I learned what had happened. A sexually satisfied fat girl saw me run into the bathroom. Unable to breach the sacred barrier of the “Men’s Room” to cash in on a supposed “marriage proposal”, she sought other ways to have me extracted. She told them I was a terrorist. She has since been jailed due to being crazy. I was let go on the grounds of my awesomeness.

I learned a couple of words of advice from this situation. Some involving dogs, others involving fat lovers in confined spaces, still others involving fear pissing. The biggest lesson I learned, however, is that a bathroom is no safe haven when it comes to strange fat jilted mile-high club lovers. My advice…never bang a fat chick that needs a marriage proposal to get it on, because, in the end, there’s going to be a S.W.A.T. Team involved.


EltonElton, a steamy sexual dynamo, is a comedy writing loser from Pennsylvania. He’s the author of several failed attempts at books, cartoons and occasionally writes articles at Funnyordie for Will Ferrell to ignore. You can check out more of his pants shittingly funny mumbling at Elton Says Things (his super tits blog!) What that means…he doesn’t even know.

Chris Coletti: His Life Is Better Than Yours – Bathroom Adventure

bathroom stallIn my travels around the world as an internationally beloved speaker I’ve seen some terrible things: The ugly face of racism in the South, anti-American hatred in Europe, light rain & fog in San Francisco.  But nothing (NOTHING!) compares to the horror I witnessed in Denver, specifically their airport.  After a long flight & while waiting for my connecting flight back to beautiful California, I was literally inches away from being raped…possibly gang raped. [Read more...]

Matt and Nat – Mouse Story

scary funny mouse

Matt and Nat are funnier than you and slowly realizing that living with a lady/gent (that you are not sleeping with) makes you realize how much the opposite sex really does suck. Pick your side…but if you pick Matt’s you’re wrong. Just saying.

Nat says: Call me old-fashioned, but when there is a fucking mouse in your apartment, your male roommate shouldn’t be the one to jump on the couch and scream like a little pussy when it scurries past their feet right?

Right.

I thought that was one of the perks of living with a dude. I get to be the only who is allowed to act emotionally reckless for no apparent reason…while the male roommate kills the shit out of the mouse. And then I get to call him a heartless murderer when he drops the poor lifeless body of Fernando (I get to name the mouse, too) into a Tupperware container. Not the other way around.

And yet here I am, throwing out this perfectly good Tupperware container, because my male roommate is too much of a little bitch to properly handle the masculine killing of a mouse. I guess this is what the feminist movement was all about.
Guess whose doing the dishes tonight then, bitch. [Read more...]

A Short Runt Rant – Emily Schorr Lesnick

Attention: Just because I am “small” and “adorable” does not give you the right to pick me up. Ask my consent. I am not “bite sized” for you.

No but seriously, if a tall dude comes in for a hug with a grin on his face, I have reason to suspect that I am about to be lifted into the air, squeezed, plopped down, maybe have my head patted, and be told I am “so cute.” It has happened before and it will happen again. Sometimes they say “I can pick you up, right?” and completely take away my voice, which is too bad because I may have a little body, but I have a big voice. [Read more...]

Carolyn Meeks Video Diary: New Year’s Resolutions

Our friendly neighborhood ranter Carolyn Meeks counts down her goals for 2012.

 


jenn-dodd
Jenn Dodd

Jenn Dodd is a New York based character actress and comedian who loves to poke fun at mankind’s collective social awkwardness. Her character work focuses primarily on the wonderfully bizarre nature of every day people.