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Posts posted by illuminatedwax

  1. Let's face it: these trophies are for the parents, not the kid. Kids know when a trophy is just a "participation" trophy, and who the best players are, and who the best teams are. But I don't think this is nearly as common as the report about the one team makes it seem. A lot of people insist that this is endemic of some larger trend where kids don't learn about success and failure and expect to be handed everything, but honestly I think that's either just a bunch of old dudes complaining about "kids these days", or maybe people that live in LA assuming that LA culture is representative American culture in general.

  2. You should make a trip back to Chicago and get on a bunch of really good Chicago-based improvisors. There are so many teams out here that have been doing improv for years and years, and they do really amazing work. Also seconding the Cook County Social Club suggestion someone made years ago!

  3. One of the best episodes of the show, and listened to every episode, compulsively going back through the archives after I heard one. Very few podcasts can be this consistently hilarious and entertaining. Most podcasts are made up of huge amounts of excess cruft, with people just rambling on like a morning radio zoo show, but this one gives us over an hour of solid entertainment with no bullshit on a weekly basis. We're all lucky to have it, and we're lucky we can get such talented improvisors on the show!

    • Like 3

  4. That Crap on Youtube was hard to listen to, because it was two classic American suburban neighbor stereotypes facing off: the shrill, sanctimonious, overprotective lady against the redneck bully who is raising his kids to be bigger assholes than he is. I hate both of those kids of people.


    i was just kidding too.


    fuck. punk'd again!!

    • Like 6

  5. To be fair, though, you can get a lot of information from those YouTube clips. Those are clips that Razowsky himself has placed on his website to represent his best work. You don't expect to laugh out loud at recorded improv, but you can analyze the footage. For as much as he stresses REALLY listening and connecting with your scene parter, both the clips on his site and the one story we got from Besser show that he has a bad habit of stepping on his scene partner in order to get his ideas out. Forget "game" and slight differences between schools of improv, that's a basic principle everyone can agree on, and it's why Besser didn't want to perform with him anymore. Maybe that's not what he teaches, but it's what he seems to do. Add that to the footage of his class, where he endlessly rambles on about himself, and I think people should be forgiven if they come away with an impression of the man as a bit of a selfish performer. Also, he was bad-mouthing UCB, basically implying that it's more than just his taste, but rather impyling that the UCB is a second-class school.

    • Like 3

  6. Thank you so much to Matt Besser and improv4humans for letting me be a part of this! As part of that gratitude, I won't debate the points anymore, because as Master Blaster says, Case Closed means the case is closed.


    Sorry to everyone who thinks I didn't do a good job representing their side. Doing a call-in comedy show with 2 other callers AND 4 funny comedians is tough -- I wanted to let Kate and souprman talk and not hog the discourse, and I didn't want to talk over the host and the people actually being funny. There was a lot more that I had to say, but I said "thank you" before I heard Matt ask for final thoughts, and it really sounded like they wanted to wrap up, so I let it go. I sent souprman the rest of my thoughts in a PM, though.


    That said, listening back to it, I think I made the points I wanted to make, particularly in my opening statement. I think any more debating would have just been picking apart and re-explaining what I had already said, and probably even more boring to the people that didn't like the segment. I wish I had studied more into the realities of what the journalist actually did while getting an interview, but even if you assume she acted as is stated in the podcast, my position wouldn't change one bit. While I would love to spend more time talking to Matt to clarify what I was trying to say, we're not gonna solve sexism in a comedy podcast. So while I wasn't on the ball as much as I could've been, I don't regret the experience at all.


    PS To those people saying it was "wasted" on such a stacked cast, you realize that Case Closed episodes usually go like half an hour longer, right? I don't think we missed out on any comedy.

    • Like 9

  7. I think there are some aspects of this that hadn't been brought up.


    Don't you need to have people be outraged in order for punks to have any kind of value at all? If everyone and their mom is super into Johnny Rotten spitting on them, it loses all of its power. Without that outrage, it just becomes a Green Day concert. The same thing applies to Matt's "economics" argument: if no one is outraged at someone saying shitty things, then people who actually say shitty things will keep selling out shows.


    Offense is really just a measurement of what is and what is not the status quo. And it can go both ways. When NWA says "fuck the police" or Ice-T talks about killing cops, that's partially intended to be offensive, and it's offensive for the purpose of highlighting how shitty the police system is. But being offended can also be going against the status quo, too: when reporters go out and write the latest article demanding an apology from a comedian, it's for the purpose of saying, hey, I think this is something we should add to our list of "shit we won't put up with".


    I think it goes without saying that most journalists are not very good at this.


    Journalists don't realize who's on their side. If that one writer knew anything about Tim Meadows, they'd realize that he's on their side, and they have better people to write about. The age-old problem with going against conservative thought is that you get overzealous and start attacking people on your side. I have a friend who says "it's easier to punch your neighbor than lead a revolution."


    Journalists are also lazy as fuck, too. That journalist should really be taking a huge hit to her credibility for posting such a blatantly false article, but she probably won't. I think we need to be spending more time shaming journalists who write significantly factually incorrect material than shaming comedians at an open mic who haven't figured out the best way to get across to the audience that their latest joke is against racism or sexism or whatever and still keep it funny.


    I took some Second City classes, and they have a saying: stereotypes, sexism, racism, etc., are the swamp. And if you decide to go out into the swamp, make sure it's clear to your audience that you're going out there to get something valuable. The one comic who does all stereotype work -- is he doing it to show how bad stereotypes are and use irony to demonstrate how to explode that kind of thinking in our own lives? Or is he just doing it because ha ha, I've heard that stereotype before! Because that has a far greater impact on people without power in our society than people with power.


    What did Sun Kil Moon go out in the swamp for? It was to be petty towards a journalist that was rude to him. I don't know if it's misogynistic, but it is establishing power and dominance: if she hates me, it's only cause she wants to fuck me because I'm so great. But at the same time, I'm sure there are a lot of women out there who have dealt with guys who have used that exact attitude to put them down purely because they are a woman, so I think that resonates in a way with them that reminds them of real misogyny.

    • Like 6

  8. Now that it's out there, I'm not surprised it's a co-founder of the Annoyance -- Matt has had to defend his improv from them before. (EDIT: Man, watching his improv, he IS a very selfish performer. He just stomps all over anyone else on stage. And his "philosophy" just sounds like meaningless hippie-dippie crap.)


    I'm sorry to see that Doug's angry trumpet video has become a beacon for a bunch of racist, anti-semetic, Stormfront comments on YouTube. I'm guessing those communities are targeting it.

    • Like 2

  9. In the snow video, the voice of "John" sounds suspiciously like Alan putting on a voice later with his microphone -- the distance of the voice never changes the entire video, and you don't ever see John's face or see him move.


    Loved the Shaq stories. It was way too long before I realized they'd started a scene.

    • Like 1

  10. I think the music episodes are great: the songs are short, and even if I despised every second of a song, I think it's worth it just to hear the discussion about what the song means. If nothing else, that discussion is always interesting (and it's that fact that is kind of at the soul of improv).


    The Case Closed stuff is a different matter: it's not the same kind of material. If you find the argument itself is entertaining, it's in a totally different way than the rest of the show. If not, there's nothing really redeeming about it until they do a scene, and that can take forever. That said, I still think it's great. I'd say you have some choices:


    * make it a Bonus Episode

    * close the show and have everyone do their plugs, then make it clearer that Case Closed is the only thing left to listen to in the show. People that don't like it will be frustrated when fast forwarding trying to find the end of the segment.

    * edit or structure Case Closed to be much shorter and keep them in the episode.

    * interrupt the argument every so often to do a scene: more scenes per Case Closed!


    People love arguing on the internet. I think they only thing they love arguing about more is arguing about people arguing on the Internet.


    Offtopic, I don't understand the point of people saying "it's Matt's show, he can do what he wants." It totally is, and he is not obligated to listen to any of us assholes. But Matt wants listeners, and listeners can do whatever they want. He's got to play the game of pleasing the most listeners without bending to the will of the crazy few, or degrading the quality of his product (and it's never degraded, except maybe for that 4/20 show). Besser is a saint for wanting to step into that game, because it's not easy, and it makes my work day a shitload better whenever there's a new episode.

    • Like 1

  11. Medically speaking, the lines between psychopath and sociopath are both blurred and irrelevant.


    They're blurred because they're used to mean very similar things, and there was often confusion in the psychology community itself as to the distinction between them.


    I say "was" and "irrelevant" because psychologists don't use those terms anymore. Instead they use what the DSM calls "Antisocial Personality Disorder", which includes traits you might list for either a sociopath or psychopath.

    • Like 1