the twitter stripper, the introvert’s penmanship, and the pale-faced play review

This is gonna be a long post, I reckon, to make up for all the short updates I’ve been doing.  It feels good to be writing again!

1.  The Twitter Stripper.  

A week or two ago I was walking to the bus stop from work, when I passed a young, attractive punk-ish looking girl walking a tiny dog and getting stuff out of her van.  She wore black tights and leopard-skin bike shorts, and a big leather jacket and a “fuck you” sneer on her face.  Needless to say, I was in love.  As I passed by I wondered if she lived at the house next to us — an older looking brown house with Halloween decorations  (tombstones, spiderwebs, etc) still affixed to the front lawn.  It seemed like a perfect fit.  But, alas, my poor social skills forbade me to talk to her.  Besides, she might punch me in the face or something.  She probably has a Billy Idol shrine in her closet.

So I passed her by.

The next day, on Twitter, I see this tweet from PDXPipeline:

Just saw Portland’s favorite exotic dancer, Malice,walking her mini Dobermans outside Creme. New hair color http://twitpic.com/1bge0

I, being a fan of pretty ladies, clicked the link.  And guess who it is?  It’s the punk lady from the other day!  Crazy hair and leather jacket and all.  I knew there was more to her than meets the eye (or less, I suppose, once she gets on stage…).

This led me to the following thought: What would I say to this woman if she was giving me a lapdance?  I’ve always been the Embarrassed Guy at the strip club (and I’ve only been to a strip club once, so we’re talking 100% success rate1), and all I could imagine was how I’d try to work in that I knew she was a stripper from Twitter.  Something like this:

SCENE: Strip club.  JOSH, sitting in a chair in a private booth.  MALICE enters, fully nude.  She clutches a twenty dollar bill in her teeth.

MALICE.  One of your friends bought you a lapdance, huh?
JOSH. It appears so.
MALICE.  Gotcha.

She plops down on JOSH’S lap, begins to grind slowly.

A beat.

JOSH.  So, how are you?
MALICE.  I’m good, baby.  How are you feeling?
JOSH.  I’m fine.
MALICE.  Are you ready for me?
JOSH.  Uh … yes?
MALICE.  Good.

Beat.  MALICE is lapdancing, JOSH is looking awkward.  He feels he must initiate some form of conversation, so that he can rise above the “average” lapdance receiver: the grimy dude with his front teeth missing or the fat trucker with the wicked mustache.  So:

JOSH.  You know, it’s funny…
MALICE.  What?
JOSH.  You live across the street from where I work.
MALICE.  Oh yeah?
JOSH.  Yeah.
MALICE.  That’s not very funny.
JOSH.  I didn’t mean funny “ha ha,” I meant funny strange.  But not strange strange, I mean–
MALICE (puts a finger to his lips).  Shhhhh..

She continues to writhe on JOSH’S body, making all kinds of noises that would turn a regular man on.  But JOSH is no regular man — he is a socially awkward nerd.

JOSH.  I saw you on Twitter.
MALICE (sighs).  What?
JOSH.  I mean, I saw you at my work, right, but then later on I saw you on Twitter.  That’s how I knew you were a stripper.
MALICE.  What’s Twitter?
JOSH.  It’s a social networking site.  Like blogging, but only 140 character.  Microblogging, they call it.

Beat.

MALICE.  Your time is up. 

The end.

And that’s how I assume that would go.

2. The Introvert’s Penmanship

All of these stories, by the way, are linked by Twitter.

And this isn’t really a story, it’s just a theory I had while working today.  Basically, my theory is that introverted people have bad handwriting, and extroverted people have good handwriting.  Why?  Because introverts don’t need attention from others.  The most typical introvert characteristic is that they (we, I should say, I’m pretty introverted) feel drained after being around people for an extended period of time, while extroverts feel energized.  Penmanship, I believe, is something that reflects this introvert/extrovert characteristic, because writing is ultimately viewed by other people.  Introverts can’t be bothered to write well, I guess, is my ultimate point.  Extroverts WANT to write well so that it (and they) look good to others, but introverts don’t care, because interaction with people isn’t important to them.

Something like that.  The idea makes sense in my head, but the English language is lacking the words I need to express myself, heh.

3. The Pale-Faced Play Review

Perfection, the play I am currently in, has been featured in the Oregonian twice:  once as a story about the meaning of the show itself, and now as a review.  I can’t really tell if the reviewer enjoyed the play or not — he says it ventures too close to “melodrama” and is “emotionally overwrought,” both of which aren’t untrue, necessarily (the play deals with a heavy subject), but he doesn’t specifically say that those detract from the show itself.  He insinuates it, of course, and insinuation is the reviewer’s best friend — the ability to say you hate something without saying outright that you hate it.

I don’t generally pay attention to play reviews.  I know actors say this a lot, and while I will admit that I think it kicks ass when I get a good review, I don’t get all distraught if I get a bad one.  I can tell if I’m in a bad show, and I’ve been in a couple2.

But in this review the guy said I was “intriguing” but looked “ghoulish” with my stage makeup and the stage lighting.  I guess this must’ve distracted him from my acting ability.  All I can think is that he added the “stage lighting” part because he must’ve realized, at some point in writing the review, that I can’t not be pale, and so he blamed it on something else.  My makeup can’t save my paleness; it has to be the same shade as my face or else it looks like I got a terrible fake tan.

Anyway, it just bugged me because this is my first show and the review for the show is that my makeup/the lighting sucks.  All the other castmates (save for Alex and Brian, who didn’t even get mentioned — what gives?!) got glowing reviews, but Josh is a pasty ghoul.  Le sigh.  I’m not planning on tanning any time soon, dude.

Helen, the playwright, is worried that the review will lower ticket sales, so we’re not sure if we’ll be playing past this Sunday.  Honestly, the reviewer’s stance on the play itself is merited — it is a little melodramatic, but I don’t know what else it could be.  It’s about sterilization of people, for Chrissakes!  That’s a tragic thing, and this is a tragic play.

I guess we’ll see what happens this weekend.  If you’re in Portland, you should come see the show!  Here’s the website for more details.

And now to work on Test Comic comics and FAWM songs!

  1. It was a Boise strip club, though — no actual nudity.
  2. They were all in college, though, so it doesn’t count

a twitter discourse on the war on terror

Apparently no one appreciates the Socratic Method anymore.  A snippit of conversation from Twitter:

brooksbayne: we did close it [it being WWII] successfully. that’s why u won’t find anyone arguing otherwise. learn from the successful models.

zornog: Do you think that the Iraq war has the same merit as WWII?

brooksbayne: i think the global war on terrorism has the same merit as wwII, of which iraq is part.

zornog: Okay, answer this question: When does the war on terrorism end?

brooksbayne: it ends when it ends.

zornog: And how will you know when it’s ended?

brooksbayne: as i said, it’s over when it’s over and not one day earlier.

zornog: Okay, so let’s say one day the War on Terrorism ends. Does that mean terrorism ends?

brooksbayne: u need to reread my last two tweets. i’ve been quite clear.

zornog: No, you haven’t. “It ends when it ends” is actually a very vague statement. I’ll ask again: when does the War on Terror end?

brooksbayne: it’s not vague. when a outcome is based on participation of disparate parties, it’s up to all. so, it ends when it ends, finally.

zornog: Vague vague vague. “It’s up to all”? To what? To win? How do you “win” a war on terror? Is a peace treaty signed?

brooksbayne: examine those questions within the context of my response. you’ll find ur answer there. it looks like ur close to getting it.

zornog: No, actually, I get more confused. You don’t understand my questions. My point is that the whole War on Terror is worthless

zornog: because it cannot be won. There is no way you can stop terrorism by fighting a war on it.

brooksbayne: says who?

zornog: Says me! I’ll ask again: HOW do you end the War on Terror? At what point is it considered “over”?

brooksbayne: forgive me for not putting much stock in ur opinion. the question has been answered. u simply don’t like the answer.

zornog: Are you kidding me? Are you actually being serious? You did NOT answer the question. “It ends when it ends” is not an answer!

zornog: Do you think leaders during WWII said “It ends when it ends?” No, they said, “It ends when we kill Hitler.” That’s a reason.

brooksbayne: lol, ur so close to getting it. ;)

zornog: Then why don’t you just tell me, O great leader of the free world?

brooksbayne: ”give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day; teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.”

zornog: Ohhh, so you think establishing democracies is going to end the War on Terror. Well, good luck with that.

brooksbayne: that’s not something i said or implied.

zornog: Then what? Christianity? What are you implying? Why are you being so vague?!

And he stopped replying at that point.  Leaving me with absolutely no answers whatsoever.

a quick update

Dudez.  Check it out: my “Simple Ways to Idolize Me” post was picked for the musicians.about.com weekly blogroll!

http://musicians.about.com/b/2008/11/23/weekly-blog-roll-5.htm

That is twelve times rad.  A big thank you to Heather for somehow coming across my post and thinking it valuable enough to be passed on.  This is the fundamental nature of music — you find something, you like it, you tell a friend, and the rest is history.

Yesterday, not realizing that that blog post would make such a splash, I decided to dedicate a whole WordPress page to it (my rationale being, why let a post get buried in the Archives when I could just make a page of it?).  So check that out, even though it is basically the same as the blog post.

I must give thanks to fellow musician and 50/90er, Ben Walker (fabulous musician, witty lyricist, wrote the somewhat famous “You’re No One if You’re Not on Twitter” song), whose website prompted me to write that post in the first place.  He was doing even more than me — getting direct responses from his fans through online forms about what he should do with his music, which I thought was pretty ingenious (not to mention, you know, actually playing gigs and such).  I wanted to do it myself but I thought it might come across as pompous and/or weak: that I would look like I didn’t understand “the biz” or what I should do to become popular, or, more importantly, heard.  Not fully realizing that we live in an age now where music has been flipped on its head, and no one knows what to do anymore.  Questionnaires are yet another way for a musician to tap into his audience and get feedback from them directly, which is pretty damn amazing.

I, of course, took an alternate route, realizing that many of the people who listen to my music are people who had never heard of last.fm and didn’t know what the hell to do with it.  I think 95% of the internet, and the people who run it, forget that there are lot (repeat, A LOT) of people out there who do not understand what it is you’re doing with them thar internets, and are either going to never get it, or would appreciate some help in getting it.  So I thought I would help!

Anyway, just wanted to say thank you!  I am humbled by the amount of response I’ve received in the past two months alone.  It’s really all Twitter’s fault, too.  Who’da thunk it?

website additions & other things

If you head over to my actual website (of which this is a part, technically), then you will notice that I have a mailing list and a twitter … thing. I decided to incorporate a mailing list because sometimes I don’t want to have to go through the myspace blog or the facebook note in order to get people’s attention about updates on my music or new shows or whatever. Plus I have a feeling that my family (especially the older ones who look at facebook like a monkey looks at a robot) will have an easier time reading a mailing list e-mail than churning through some social networking thing. So if you would like to be a part of that mailing list, then head over to my website and sign up. It’s through NotifyList.com, which is a nice basic (FREE) mailing list site.

I got onto Twitter because I thought if I ever was wrongly arrested by Egyptian police for anything, I could update my Twitter and get out of jail. That alone makes it a sound investment. So if you want to be my Twitter friend (that just sounds disgusting), then head over here and follow me or whatever it is you kids do these days.

Twitter truly is the creation of a generation of which I am not a part: the Google generation or whatever the fuck they’re calling them these days. Attention spans have dropped to the point where all kids need is 140 characters to write their life stories. Facebook lets you know about people instantly. Gone are they days of instrospective LiveJournal entries by skinny goth kids who write about how much it sucks being a suburban white boy; now, GothKid90 just jots “life sux” on his mobile phone and Twitter and Facebook send it off for all of his friends to see. Gone are the days where Alfred Hitchcock could get away with ten-minute long single takes (go watch Rope, it’s fantastic); now each scene is comprised of one hundred shots of a million different things, all of which detract from the plot.

Oh well. It’s hard to determine if this is a good thing or not, because I personally haven’t done any scientific studies comparing attention span and intellegence. My assumption is that having a short attention span does not mean you are smart, much in the same way that wearing glasses doesn’t mean you’re a nerd.

Kurt Vonnegut wrote Hocus Pocus entirely on scraps of paper, Post-It notes, napkins, etc. He was like Twitter 1.0.

On a side note, I started the mailing list because I got an e-mail from last.fm saying that their royalty program was in full effect, and I wanted to tell everyone to listen to my tracks on last.fm so that I could earn royalties for it, because that’s totally cool. So, uh, go do that.