The Toronto Blue Jays

I’m writing about the Jays in a comedy blog because last night’s performance was clearly a joke.

And it started off that way too. Established veteran Curtis Granderson dropped a line drive off of Brett Gardner and two batters later, Giancarlo “Aaron Judge is not enough for the Yankees” Stanton hit a two run Jack to give the Yankees the lead.

It just got worse from there.

While JA Happ was providing the Jays with a respectable pitching performance, the Jays’ bats were as silent as a North Korean classroom taught by Kim Jong-un. The Jays had two hits for the game. And as good as New York pitcher Luis Severino was, the Jays missed every hanging slider possible. They could have gotten more hits. But they didn’t. They were pathetic.

Last year the Jays got off to such a bad start that they never recovered.

Please don’t do this again, Blue Jays. Last year was pitiful. This year will be the same if you don’t remove your heads out of your asses.

Anyways, the Jays have an opportunity to redeem themselves today.

But they need to act quickly. There are only 161 games left in the 2018 season.

Start worrying, boys!

 

 

 

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Terrorism and Mass Shootings: The Problem with Partisanship

Now, I usually write about comedy but I have nothing funny to write about right now. This doesn’t matter. Once upon a time, I wrote about political correctness and my utter disdain for it. This is somewhat relevant to that topic, but very relevant today.

America has a gun problem.

This might seem obvious to us Canadians, but I say this as one of the most right-wing people you could possibly know. I despise notions of equality (unless it’s equal rights under the law), multiculturalism, welfare, and mass immigration. And, I support Canadian values tests for new immigrants, most tax cuts, and school choice.

I also support freedom of speech, but I won’t be that pompous in this post. I know that lefties and righties generally support free speech. Unless it’s hate speech (but this is a different matter, FYI, hate speech is free speech!).

Oh, and I think most people should be able to own guns.

But it’s impossible for me to read into the current situation in the US and say, “Ya know what? Americans should just keep doing what they’re doing. Eventually, this will all die down.”

It never does.

With the recent shootings in Maryland, Florida, last year’s Las Vegas shooting, going all the way back to Columbine and even further, it’s clear that America has a problem.

Conservative commentators and outlets often point to a gradual reduction in homicides and gun crime (although there has been a spike recently, especially in large cities, like Chicago). Broken homes are another target of many of these people. Mental health is also pointed to as a reason for many shootings.

Sorry if you’re getting all linked out, I just want to show you that I’m not pulling everything out of my ass.

Anyways, I think these are all valid subjects to look into but I have a couple of problems with them.

  1. If you’re going to blame mental health for gun crime, then you’d probably have to support increased spending for mental health, which either means increasing taxes, turning America’s healthcare system into a single-payer format, or both. Few American conservatives support these initiatives.
  2. It’s a way of avoiding the real issue, which is people using guns to kill others.

Now, I will say that despite my current argument, there are some mistakes those on the gun control side make when arguing for it, simply because they are less likely to own guns or know as much about them as people who do own them.

  1. Gun-control supporters advocate for banning automatic weapons, and often point to the AR-15, which was used by both the Parkland and Vegas shooters. This gun is semi-automatic, just like a handgun.
  2. Handguns are used far more often as a murder weapon. Perhaps makes some arguments about controlling these guns instead.

This being said, I don’t want to diminish the argument of those who are sick of the gun violence who point to certain rifles as the problem. Besides, they have been used in mass shootings, which is what people have been up in arms (no pun intended) about.

Perhaps the most striking thing about the gun control debate is how much we think about the small scale of these crimes and not their nature.

I’ve seen people write and speak about how you’re more likely to die in a car accident than from a mass shooting.

This is true. You’re also more likely to die of a heart attack or be killed by someone you know.

But these kinds of arguments ignore how people are targeted in mass shootings — randomly.

While there is sometimes some reason for it, the people who are shot are rarely killed for anything other than being an easy target. Unlike say, drug dealers who are killed by other drug dealers, victims of mass shootings cannot avoid being shot. These people, rarely live in crime ridden areas (so they have no way of knowing that they are in a dangerous area), and they are not involved in criminal activity, or at least not in a sense that determines the reason they are shot.

No. These are people shot by psychopathic thugs and could not do anything to prevent themselves from being targets.

Whether they are targeted for being black or being white, or any other arbitrary designation, people who are victimized by mass shooters do not become victims for engaging in any risky or unlawful behaviours.

And it’s this extreme level of undeserved, random, and intentional punishment that rightfully makes people fear mass shootings more than gang violence or car accidents, despite the higher likelihood of being killed in these fashions than from a mass shooting.

People have zero control of their own destiny when it comes to mass shootings.

If your wondering when I’m going to discuss the parallels between terrorism and mass shootings, the answer is now.

As much as people like to ridicule the “thoughts and prayers” that come from many gun-rights supporters, many of the same anti-gun people said the very similar “Pray for Paris” and “Je Suis Charlie,” and other phrases of “solidarity” that are meaningless phrases that avoid the one thing many of these terrorist attacks have in common — Islam.

And this is because of partisanship.

Some people are completely devoted to one side of the political spectrum and thus, cannot criticize their own side when they are wrong or even provide an inkling of understanding to those with different views.

So, while I read social media comments from anti-gun people as they accuse those in the NRA or worse, Americans of not caring about child safety, I wonder about a few things. Mainly, what do they think about Islam? And I also think this about those who want to ban Muslims after another terror attack occurs. What do they think about mass shootings?

I wonder about these things because predicting political views these days is about as easy as predicting that another Islamist terrorist attack or American mass shooting will occur.

Those on the left usually are against guns and for Islam, and those on the right are for guns and against Islam.

So, when I read Facebook comments about the Maryland school shooting and how much Americans prioritize guns over children on an article by the left-wing, British online newspaper, The Independent, I think to myself, “I wonder what these people think of their own countrymen? Do they, as British leftists, also oppose Islam with the same tenacity? I mean, do Brits care more about being tolerant than being safe? What about their children? Do they not care about them? What about the Telford and Rotherham grooming gangs? Are these people ok with their own daughters being raped and turned into addicts? Are they more worried about being politically correct than they are about their own safety?

Of course they aren’t. Just like Americans don’t want to be gunned down by vengeful assholes. Pro-gun arguments and Pro-Islam or Pro-Muslim immigration arguments run deeper than that. The vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists and the vast majority of American gun owners don’t shoot people.

This doesn’t mean you can’t argue against their opinions. You can argue for gun control without hating gun owners or taking everyone’s guns. You can also argue for tighter, more selective immigration policies without hating Muslims or banning their faith from being practiced in your country.

And yes, I know that there are people who are both anti-gun and anti-Islam or pro-gun and Pro-Islam.

But these people are rare because the political spectrum doesn’t work this way. There are certain issues that are clearly supported more by certain sides than the other.

Ultimately, nuance is lacking on people devoted to either side of the political spectrum. Fortunately, some people follow facts more than partisan narratives.

 

 

 

Useless, cowardly, online publications

There is one major feature that shows whether or not an online publisher has any stones or if it is run by little cowards that are afraid of contrary opinions.

That feature is the lack of a comments section.

VICE has no comment section. The Atlantic got rid of theirs. Vox doesn’t. And CBC only leaves comments up on the blandest articles.

If the article is about a contentious court ruling, racial tensions, gender pronouns, or some other potentially divisive topic, CBC makes sure you can’t rip into their writers and columnists.

Perhaps they fear the wrath of those with opposing views, who shit on whatever narrative they push.

And I don’t mind when people push narratives. I just prefer that said pusher has the balls to allow someone to oppose their views on their own site.

Salon allows comments (or at least they did the last time I read a pile of weakass horseshit from Amanda Turcotte). The Washington Post allows them. Breitbart allows them. The Daily Wire allows them. So, it’s not just one side of the spectrum that allows comments.

But I have noticed that far more progressive-left sites have limited or no comments. Why is that?

I believe part of it has to do with how there are many more right-wing trolls than left-wing trolls.

Righty trolls are also more extreme than most lefty trolls. Right-wing trolls mock leftist publications by attacking effeminate men, making racist jokes, and toss nasty snarl words at the left.

Left-wingers call the right “troglodytes” and “Rethuglicans.”

Ouch.

So, if respectable publications like The Atlantic want to regain my interest, they should allow for debate in their comments section. There have been many times that I’ve read an article and then changed my opinion after reading one wise comment out of a sea of idiotic ones.

And that’s all it takes to turn an online learning experience from minimal to extensive.

If your ideas are right, why act like a fraidy cat bitch about it? Let people say what they think and provide alternate viewpoints. It’s the best part about reading online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not So Sober O’Toole: And Ode to Lem and Zas

Note: Some of the names of the characters have been changed to protect the identities of certain CreCommers from other CreCommers, who are bound to be jealous of the fact that they weren’t the ones who changed Stone-Faced Brent into Shitfaced Brent.

After completing one of the last major tasks of one of my last major projects, I decided to go down to a certain pub to celebrate. Once there, I found a table with Lem and Zas, two of my fellow peers. So, I parked my ass at their table, and thus began my gradual spiral into drunkenness.

I started off with my usual glass of Newcastle Brown Ale, and we discussed our projects, effeminate teachers, coke, Patty Schemel (the drummer from Hole for Christ’s sake), and many other interestingly bizarre topics.

After a while, Mel, I mean Lem decided to order shots. She told Zas and I about how people called her “Shooter Lem” because she bought so many rounds of shots that she helped them pay off their mortgages. I think that’s what she said. But I can’t remember very well. I was drinking and only had one hour of sleep the night before.

I felt a bit buzzed but I seemed alright. Then Manny, aka “The Goose” came. No, I’m not changing his name ’cause no one cares about Manny. Except me. I’m compassionate. The compassion oozes out of me like sweat does from an orphan making overpriced Nikes in Indonesia.

Anyways, Manny’s arrival sparked the beginning of my severe memory loss. Sure, I might have had three or four beers and seven shots of whiskey, but I’m sure it was his Dutch Mennonite charisma that got to me.

Flash forward an unknown amount of time later and Manny was guiding my hand towards the credit card reader thingy, trying to get my feeble hand, which is merely 50% Mennonite, to tap down on the device. After a few attempts, I paid my bill and followed The Goose to his old-timey car. I’m surprised Manny didn’t drive a horse and buggy, with a tray of rollkuchen in the back. No, this jalopy we were in just had a manual transmission.

I didn’t think much of the Dutch with the clutch, until we started driving. But when he kicked that puppy into gear, I was partially awoken out of my drunken stupor.

With the use of a stick of shift, we zoomed as if we were in Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Upon arrival at my abode, I thanked The Goose for the lift. I changed into clothes I got from a shop of thrift. When I tried to sit down on a chair, I did whiff.

With my ass quite sore, I promised myself, “I’ll drink no more.” Feeling near dead, I crawled into bed.

But when I awoke, I was a healthy bloke. Luckier than a four-leaf clover, I had no hangover.

Now, I can’t wait to get sloshed again. Thank you so kindly, Zas and Lem.

 

Sober O’Toole

Well, my project has officially come to a close and it feels good.

When I set out to make Sober O’Toole, I thought I was going to make nothing but edgelord comedy sketches. Pissing people off by mocking what they value, do, and look like is one of my favourite things to do.

It didn’t go that way. I certainly mocked some ideas in my sketches but what I mocked was so absurd that it wouldn’t even hurt the feelings of the most irrational, coddled, student-loan blaming, rich bashing, commie Millenial.

So, it all came out weird. I never thought that I’d do a posh British accent rap, or film the world’s most competitive game of Solitaire, but I did.

And in many ways, I preferred this to making jokes that Matt and Trey from South Park, or even Jim Goad would make. It allowed me to focus on the humour of my jokes rather than the message.

Classic sketch comedies, like Monty Python, Kids in the Hall, and Mr. Show all focused on absurdity over political and social commentary. And all of these shows are still funny today because they wrote sketches so ridiculous that anyone could understand the jokes, even if these people don’t know the context of the time.

 

To paraphrase Norm Macdonald, when was the last time anyone laughed at something Mort Sahl said about Eisenhower?

I’ll guess 1963.

What is the funniest show of all time?

Greg. The. Bunny.

Nope, just messing with ya.

I honestly believe it to be The Simpsons. No, I’m not posting this on here because I wanna brag about how awesome the Frank Grimes episode is or how The Simpsons is better than South Park despite being a mediocre show for a while now and no longer being relevant.

No. I’m doing this in the hopes of fielding any suggestions because of…that’s right, The Simpsons.

I’m now watching Season 14 because I overwatched the shit out of the classics and the show definitely loses a lot of its lustre after Season 10 out of 1,075.

I need to watch something else.

So, what do you think is the funniest show ever?

Please note: If you say Family Guy that’s fine, whatever. However, I’m going to tell you that I’ve seen it and while it has its moments, it’s just an inferior Simpsons knockoff. Yes, I’m aware that I’m a snobby elitist.

Also, I’ve tried watching Community and I just can’t stand it. Granted, I just saw one episode but it was lousy.

It was like watching a Millennial hipster talk about fair trade coffee. Absolutely nauseating.

So, fire what you got at me because I’ve finished watching The Simpsons and my VHS can no longer play my Mr. Bean tapes.

Thanks

 

 

 

 

High Anxiety

It had been a while since I saw a comedy film, so I decided to watch the under the radar High Anxiety by Mel Brooks. A spoof of Hitchcock film, High Anxiety combines silly, Airplane-esque ( ironic since its older than Airplane) humour with parodies of classic suspense films.

The film doesn’t have the same level of notoriety as Blazing Saddles has, nor does it have the acclaim of The Producers. Nevertheless, it is a film with timely laughs that is worth seeing.

Mel Brooks plays psychologist Richard Thorndyke, an ode to Cary Grant’s Thornhill in North by Northwest. He also has a vertigo like condition, hilariously named ‘High Anxiety.’

The film ‘s absurd tone is consistent throughout the movie and is probably the best part of it. Another highlight is Cloris Leachman, who plays the hilariously hideous Nurse Diesel. She is incredibly awful to look at, and utterly convincing in the role. This ultimately makes Nurse Diesel the funniest character in the film.

So, if you’re in the mood for a funny movie and don’t know what to watch, try High Anxiety. It’s a bit cheesy in some parts but the script is very funny and makes for an easy film to get into during this dreary time of year.