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Posts posted by MichaelStanford

  1. What I'm asking about, because I'm keen to understand and not because I'm looking to damn anyone to hell, is the disconnect between very forcefully progressive on sexual issues and accepting money from businesses that are profiting from the exploitation of sexuality.


    I think there's only a disconnect if your opinion is that porn is somehow diminishing to those who participate in it.


    If profiting from the exploitation of sexuality bothers you, then why don't you have a problem with sex toys?


    This is a broad generalization, but one I think is accurate: Middle to upper class producers, overwhelmingly male, relentlessly farm women that have been physically or psychologically abused, or had little access to education, or simply have no other economic opportunities, and have them perform in activities that glorify sexual domination and humiliation, which not only potentially harms the performers themselves but also the millions of impressionable viewers who interpret those images as validating at best viewing women as objects always ready for a sexual encounter, and at worst distorting sexuality into violence aggression -- all in the pursuit of the almighty dollar.


    That's incredibly assumptive.


    I'd be willing to bet that most porn actresses would disagree with you. I'd wager that they're empowered by their sexuality, and that they made a conscious choice to pursue the career that they're in. Equally assumptive, but that's the tone of the conversation.


    I don't think the types of people who view women as objects are doing it because of porn. They're doing it because they're shitty people who aren't able to empathize with others. They don't just treat women as objects, they treat people as objects.


    Of course, not every performer is a runaway from drug addict abusive parents, not every person who watches a DVD will go out and rape someone, but to say that this booming industry hasn't had some negative effect on the deteriorating sexual life of this country is naive.


    What 'deteriorating sexual life of this country'? What are you even talking about?


    If anything, the fact that we have porn should be celebrated as proof of our country's sexual openness, not blamed for whatever made-up statistics you're talking about.


    It is for this reason that I found is odd that Matt, who I remember denouncing angrily those insane Senators in the last election who had bizarre views on rape and abortion and other women's issues, would turn a blind eye on this issue, which I think is part of the same spectrum. I'm not saying he's a 'bad' person for doing so, I'm just curious what the rationale is.


    I can't speak for Matt, but to me these aren't at all a part of the same spectrum. The only common denominator is vagina.

  2. I figured, if I got mentioned on the show at all, Matt would make me out to be some kind of formerly bullied, oversensitive jerk.


    And yet, here you are, totally not being oversensitive at all.


    You're getting upset about someone's opinion on milk and posters. Chill out.


    I also figured I'd be misrepresented, which I was -- I had more to say than the single message Thomas read on the air, plus Thomas and I had a brief conversation via private message that further clarified where I was coming from. When Thomas asked me to be on the show, I said no not because I was afraid of being bullied, but because I can't recall a single listener/Twitter follower who's been brought on as a guest who hasn't been, on some level, belittled or shouted at. And I have better things to do with my time than be a punching-bag for Matt.


    So let me get this straight - you were afraid that you'd be misrepresented, so to combat that you chose not to represent yourself?


    It's hard to feel sorry for you. You were given the opportunity to have a discussion, and instead chose to take the internet equivalent of 'talking about him behind his back' by bitching on the forums.


    I don't believe Matt is guilty of bullying anyone. I believe you're guilty of being offended on behalf of someone who wasn't.


    They're two hot babes wrestling in a kiddie pool full of jello, and you're a strict Protestant referee with a thousand PSI asshole.


    Again - chill the f out.


    But I called it -- weeks ago, I'd said this to Thomas in a private message:

    Anyway, can't wait to hear Matt spin this as me being a coward who was afraid of a little shouting!


    Where was the spin? It seems like that's exactly why you didn't do it.


    You chose to circumvent the accountability of conversation and post on the forums instead.


    Let's rephrase that.


    You chose to talk about Matt instead of to Matt.


    Talking about someone is something that a bully would do.


    I also definitely believe that you were afraid to talk to Matt. Not because of a little shouting, but because you know you don't have a defensible position. Thomas didn't feel bullied, and you were upset on his behalf. There's really no argument to be made - your platform has no legs. You simply can't defend something that you can't defend, and you were afraid of that.


    But let's use your words.


    And I have better things to do with my time than be a punching-bag for Matt.


    You have 'better things to do with your time' than to defend something for which you pretend to have conviction?


    If you're so 'anti-bullying' to the point where gentle ribbing about milk-drinking sends you into an internet rage, then I'd think you'd have more passion about it. You'd want to spread your anti-bullying message on as many mediums as possible.


    But you claim to have no time for that. More to the point, you claim to have no time for Matt. As if you're above him somehow. As if he isn't worth your time at all.


    My point here is that one of 3 things is true -


    1) You're actually a bully yourself. You talk about people behind their backs and don't burden yourself with the responsibility of accountability, and you look down upon them as if they are inferior.

    2) You actually couldn't care less about bullying. Your lack of conviction is pretty glaring even though you continue to pretend to be upset about silly things like "someone's opinion on posters". It's all a show, and you're milking this attention as much as you can.

    3) You had a knee-jerk reaction to misinterpreted comedy and you're afraid to admit it.


    Whatever it is, man, one thing's for sure.


    You need to chill out.

  3. What's bothering you, humans?


    My wife won't stop watching reality television. Normally that wouldn't bother me, but the shows she's been hooked on lately are completely uninteresting. They're over-produced and the drama is so incredibly manufactured that it's hard to even call it 'reality tv'.


    Shows like Ultimate Dance Competition, in which a grown lady shatters the dreams of children and Real Housewives of whatever county, where literally everyone hates each other and there is no plot.


    I'm a pretty good husband - maybe even the best. But I have a hell of a time containing my rage when these shows are on.


    I've been trying to tune them out and focus on writing things, but they're like creativity vacuums. They're so uninspiring that they actually render me unable to imagine. Beer isn't helping.

  4. And you nailed the ending with the "awkward pause" line. So great! Congratulations.


    Hey, thanks so much! I feel like that line undercut the scene, though. It was a cheap laugh that would have broken the reality of the scene if it had been in the middle.


    Luckily it was at the end so we didn't have to try to recover from it.


    That's just my harsh personal judgement. I appreciate everyone's kind words on this, and it makes me happy knowing that I could make a few people laugh. You're all great!


    You guys, I can't tell you how much this book is worth. It's insane how much knowledge is packed into it. They did a great job in giving a holistic view of each piece of the improv puzzle, and each of those views can be broken down into pretty concise maxims.


    Please buy it. Support seven years of hard work!

    • Like 1

  5. Thanks guys, you're all very kind!


    I picture it as a 90's disney movie, like Rookie of the Year or something.


    There was an act of betrayal in there, too, when one of our members decided to go see Times Square and do tourist stuff while the rest of us went to watch shows, and then the reconciliation of that situation.

    And we also slayed a dragon.


    Holy shit michael! i was pretty much having a panic attack on your behalf the whole of the last fifteen minutes. you did an absolutely stellar job though, 3 months is ridiculous for the kind of pressure you performed under.


    Really, all the credit for that should be Matt's, Ian's, and Amy's. They're absolute professionals and they made me feel comfortable.


    Honestly, the entire weekend was amazing. We went into it expecting to be "those guys", but literally everyone we talked to made us feel welcome. Even though we were completely new to this thing that they love and have been doing for years and years, they didn't treat it like it was "their thing" and we were visiting. They made us feel like we were a part of it.


    Improvisers are the best people on the planet.

    • Like 5