Thursday, February 26, 2009

just in case you're not tired of the big pink letters yet...

This Saturday. February 28th. 10:30 PM. Comedy Worx. SUPER. SPARKLE. SHOWCASE.

i feel like i'm being rope-a-doped

I'm having a hard time believing that the Republican Party is actually imploding this hard. I'm a little late to the party for making fun of Bobby Jindal's hilariously and/or infuriatingly awful response to Obama's not State of the Union (which I'm also too late to the party to really get into).

What I can offer up, though, is that I'm baffled that no one in the Republican Party has come up with something other than what clearly lost them control of the government. Heck, the party that brought us misleading terms in order to frame issues to their favor ("death tax" and "pro life," for example) can't even bother to put a clever new name on their same old ideas.

I always think it's smart to keep track of what's going on with the other side of my political beliefs. That's why I will, from time-to-time, tune into talk radio. So yesterday, I spent a few of my lunch minutes with Rush Limbaugh to hear his response to Obama's speech. This is the man who masterfully and carefully (it doesn't matter that he used misinformation to do it, it just matters that he was good at it) undermined Bill Clinton at every turn. Even he was flailing. Just spewing bile and coming up with nothing more than to call President Obama a lying, power-grabbing, socialist. That's it. And when it came time to defend Bobby Jindal? He had even less. Just a vague promise that Jindal is "the real deal?"

I find that a machine that was once so careful and deliberate can suddenly be spinning out of control this way is too good to be true. Don't get me wrong. They're still out there enough that going to the misinformation playbook managed to neuter a good chunk of the passed economic bill. It just may not seem like it with all of the wild swings they political right seems to have been taking.

Maybe that's it. Maybe they're just playing possum. Undermining things where they can (see: stimulus) to make sure that just enough stays wrong so they can score the big comeback. I'm just a little bit scared right now that a party that used to seem a few steps ahead is suddenly eating it, and wonder what - if anything - they have for the long term.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

be careful what you wish for, you just might get larry the cable guy

Last time Comedy Central did a roast, we got the hilarious roasting of Bob Saget. Previously, they'd taken to showing embarrassing broadcasts where some of the meanest comedians out there took pot shots at easy targets like Flavor Flav and Pam Anderson. They weren't fun, and were only funny in an uncomfortable sort of way. The Bob Saget roast, on the other hand, was clearly a bunch of people who clearly cared about the guy making fun of him in a way that showed it. Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of stuff that was over the line, but the spirit behind it wasn't so - and I hate to sound like an 8-year-old - mean.

So anyone who listened would hear from me that Comedy Central needed to follow the Bob Saget roast pattern again. Find a comedian that had a lot of friends who also happened to be funny and let them go after each other in a good-natured, but still no holds barred, roast.

Unfortunately, I'll bet Larry the Cable Guy fits that mold. They'll bring in Foxworthy and the rest of the Blue Collar crew, and I'm sure they think the world of each other...but c'mon. Next time, I'll be more specific in my requests to Comedy Central.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

there were a lot of crotch punches

I'm going to be honest. Putting together a second run of the SUPER SPARKLE SHOWCASE is pretty scary. Trying to root through the first season and repeat what worked, cast off what didn't work, and find a few new twists while relying on a new cast of contestants leaves me nervous.*

Last night - in the midst of trying to find what will work for my character to separate him from an American Idol** judge, worrying that all of our contestants this time came from inside the Worx, and hoping that the audience we built will continue to follow the show this time around - we got together to do a photo shoot to get some publicity for the show running.

You know what? I had a blast. It's kind of nice to stop worrying about the how the show will go and remember why we do the things we do in that building. To put together something entertaining while getting to goof off with our friends? That's what it's all about.

* JMatt, the brains and major force behind the SHOWCASE, is likely somewhere so far beyond nervous that he wet himself laughing at how nervous I am for this show.

** Go Anoop! No, seriously, I'm kind of on the bandwagon this time around.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

you know what? i like pork. pork is delicious.

Well, it doesn't have the glitz of people hurling insults at each other in an election season, but the stimulus bill has at least generated some conversation. Whether it's because of an actual attempt towards bipartisanship or because we need a handful of Republican votes in the Senate, what would have been a pretty awesome piece of legislation has watered down because of accusations of too much pork.

For example, family planning. One of the provisions in the House version of the stimulus bill was for the expansion of Medicaid for birth control.

Medicaid is already the single largest source of public funding for family planning nationwide, according to the Guttmacher Institute. The stimulus provision would have made it easier for states to cover family planning for low-income women who currently make slightly too much to qualify for regular Medicaid.

Seems pretty striaght forward to me, but is it stimulus?

The birth control expansion would simply have simply made it easier for states to relax the eligibility criteria to cover more women. Providing more services, to more people, with more money supplied by the federal government is textbook economic stimulus.

Then why haven't we heard about this wonderful textbook economic stimulus that is going to help more people? Oh, we have. My apologies for linking to the admittedly politically biased Daily Kos, but it's the first hit after four pages of sifting through Google News results that didn't refer to this provision as "giving out free condoms." Oh, what's that? You have heard about the cutting of the free condoms from the stimulus bill and that's all you heard about it? Must be that liberal media.

Of course, health care and family planning aren't the only "pet projects" that have been stripped from the House's version of the bill. There are also frivolities like...oh, I don't know...let's say education? Good thing we took care of that:

Gone entirely is funding for higher education construction, which, under the House-passed version, could have meant up to $242 million for the University at Buffalo.

Silly job-creating, education-friendly construction has no place in a serious bill aimed at helping Americans. Especially when it's aimed at an area that was in a bad economic way even before the sky started falling.

Similarly, the Senate eliminated funding for school construction. The House bill would have provided $31.9 million for the district of Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo.

Oh, and who needs schools?

For the love of all things holy, the Democrats need spines now more than ever. "Hey, jerk, you don't get to cut health care and education...especially health care and education that will help the economy." No one?

"Hey jerk, you don't get to frame an entire bill aimed at doing something to get us out of the mess that your side created as 'free condoms for deadbeats.' Oh, and while we're at it, come with something stronger than 'tax cuts' or please just shut up and vote for the nice, helpful stimulus bill." Anyone at all on the Democratic side?

No? Crap.

So this thing might not work like it's supposed to. And it will be the fault of the Republicans who led the charge to make sure it didn't. And in 2010, when people go to vote, will they remember that? Nope. By then this whole thing will have been framed as the first major failure of a President Obama who went unchecked by the Democratic Congress. I think I'm going to be sick now.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

all it does is say "buy my book! buy my book!..."

There's a store. Buy some stuff from there. Wear it to the SUPER SPARKLE SHOWCASE season 2 premiere on February 28th at 10:30 pm at Comedy Worx. You'll be glad you did.

Coming soon(ish)...Brice Powers t-shirts.

Monday, February 2, 2009

things occasionally get changed forever

Remember when we used to go around saying that a certain date changed everything? We were chastised by certain politicians for thinking about the world as it was before that event. Well, that's the past now. "Why is that the past?" you ask? Because during last night's Super Bowl, this happened:

To quote one Ben Roberts: "Bruce Springsteen just teabagged America."

February 1st, 2009. Remember that day. Never forget that day. Everything that happens from here on out is a thing that must be viewed in a new light. We've all been teabagged as a nation, and we must band together and move on. And always, always remember.