Davin Comedy

Davin’s Den Comedy Tour Recap (Day 4)

On the road again to the final hotel of the tour.  I have stayed there before.  I arranged for the club to get the hotel at a special rate years ago.  It was an upgrade from the previous hotel the comics stayed at.  This hotel blows.  We walk in and the giant gum ball machine in the lobby is still chained to the wall.  The glass is still bullet proof.  The pool is still a puddle in the parking lot.  My soul is still crushed every time I come here.  Comics really are low maintenance as far as entertainers go.  At least on my level.  A decent hotel is one thing I want.  It shows you care.  This place shows we are as loved as much as a rabid pitbull.

My bill is more then it is suppose to be by a few dollars.  It is sad that a few dollars means so much but it does.  Gas is $4 a gallon all of the sudden.  It has gone up 30 cents in just a few days.  This is going to cost more then I thought.  This string of gigs I actually have to shell out some money for the hotel.  That is rare.  I email the booker and she says she will take care of it.  I believe she will try.  She is a nice lady.  I don’t know if it will be resolved in my favor.

Joe asks for an iron.  My rule is if the club can’t put me in a hotel with an iron in it then I can’t be bothered to iron my clothes for your audience.  It is a solid way to justify my laziness and indifference.  Joe on the other hand does not want to hit the stage with a wrinkly bowling shirt.  When he asks at the front desk they seemed shocked by this request.  They slide him an ironing board through the bullet proof glass window.  There is no pad for the board.  Apparently you can trade that for crack in these parts.  The lady is wondering why we are still there.  Joe has to ask separately for the iron.  Joe is a pain in the ass like that.

After a week of radio silence I hear from my girlfriend in Africa.  It is always nice to hear from somebody that loves me as much as the club I am working for this weekend.  In both cases I push down my contempt and smile and play nice.  One for the radio and one for the pay check.  In both cases it goes against my urge to tell them exactly what I am thinking.  It occurs to me just now that as truthful as I am the more and more I am really just a player in the game of charades.

We head on over to 1470 AM to do an interview to promote our Sunday comedy show.  It is with Tom Sumner.  I did a phone in interview with him over a year ago.  They do not have an internet stream which strikes me as very odd.  Anyway, Tom is great.  He knows how to interview a comic properly.  We are not running bits…although Joe inadvertently gets set up for one.  I see the look in his eye and step aside and let him do his bit.  I tag it and to the radio fan it all comes across very organic.  The hour and a half flies by.  That is good radio when that happens.  We discuss doing a cross promotion between our two shows.  That would be cool.  Tom is an old radio vet but he still gets it.  I want that for me someday.

We get to the club.  We are greeted with excitement of a herpetic outbreak.  I like the club.  I hate the apathy.  The crowd fills in nicely.  It is an older crowd.  I see a man wearing a purple shirt with a camoflouge hat.  Later I will point him out and say that he is a man that is on both sides of the Chick-fil-A issue.  It gets a huge laugh.  I find out we are doing a second show.  I am pleased because it means we get paid for it.  The manager is not.  She wants to go home.  She complains about Groupon and coupons.  I told her we promoted the show.  She said our promotion did nothing.  She has no idea what exactly our promotion did.  It will remain that way.

The microphone is hanging from the ceiling like you are about to announce a prize fight.  There is not enough chord to move.  They spend thousands on Christmas lights to decorate the inside but a decent mic chord is too much.  Sigh.  Joe tries to move with the mic and the chord becomes unhooked.  He will get a talking to for that error later.  Joe is rolling and gets several applause breaks.  They are digging his angry rah, rah stuff.  They should because this is the demo it is written for.  On these types of shows Joe is a very powerful act.

I hit the stage and they are a very pc group,  Not my type of audience but I am the headliner and it is my job to figure it out.  I push them, cajole, them, and prod them.  I will not come to them.  They will come to me.  They do come to me.  By the end they are right on board.  It is more work then I cared for but by all accounts the audience loved the show.  This will not translate into sales of merchandise.  It has been a brutal tour for merch but times are tough.

In between shows Joe is a bit more pleased then he expected with his meal.  But Joe is very displeased about the mic chord and the indifference.  He thinks this is terrible and out of the ordinary.  As for me, I am use to caring much more about the product then the people who run the place so it is just another day at the office.  I know at this point comics are expected to create a magical memory for the audience while everybody else can’t be bothered to strive for average.  My meal is good so I have that going for me.

We are told that this show is to be only an hour long because the owner does not want to pay the manager another hour for her hourly wage.  I don’t know how feel about that.  Once I am at the gig I like performing.  I feel every audience deserves a full show but I get that he doesn’t want to lose money on this.  Whatever, like the Germans I will just follow orders.

It is a crowd of 14, younger, and not married.  Joe is thrown.  He is flustered by everything and it is showing.  He is not use to the grind that the road is.  He is not use to the apathy.  He is not use to the variety.  I grew up on the road so this is just Friday late show to me.  Another audience, another job to do.  He knows not to do the marriage set.  He has enough other material where he does not have to do the marriage stuff.  He stubbornly does a lot of marriage stuff and getting older even though this crowd is full of youngsters.  I have done the same thing on many occasion myself.  Ignore the brain and plow ahead.  I laugh when one of his signature bits gets nothing from the crowd.  There is nothing better then seeing one of your buddies struggle on stage.  Joe is getting mad and yells at me.  I yell back at him and get a laugh.  I can tell Joe has had enough of this audience and this place for one night.

I hit the stage and mess around with the audience a bit. I goof on the fact that because of the mic chord I can’t cover the whole very small stage.  The audience laughs.  I have made a point.  I am sure either the manager does not care or will complain to the booker about me.  I know the drill.  Increasingly I am a meteor crashing to earth.  The flame is hot, the speed is fast but eventually it will end in a crash.  That is my comedy career right now.  I no longer have a filter or a desire to filter.

Joe is in no mood and yells something about a cop joke I have being stock.  He does it as he is walking out.  I proceed to eviscerate his stock joke about in our day parents let us play with dangerous things.  I get much more laughs mocking that joke then Joe did with it on this show.  I do not do the cop joke on this show.  I am just riffing and I mention that this club never has any black clientle.  Later I mention the ghost that resides here.  An audience member says that the black people are afraid of ghosts.  I say that is because they are called spooks.  Gets a huge laugh. Joe walks back in and all the sudden the crowd goes quiet.  It takes a few minutes but I get them back.  Joe & I yell at each other during the show.  The crowd digs it.  Joe is laughing his ass off.  I catch the manager yawning and call her on it.

The small little crowd is having a great time but they have called last call and the audience is not pleased about this.  They know they are not getting a full show.  This I can’t control.  I do my I will survive bit where I sing.  The song is getting a great reaction.  Inexplicably I decide to McClintonize the song half way through it.  Joe is losing his shit in a good way in the back.  The audience is laughing.  They laugh more when I explain why I am doing it.  I liked this show.  I liked this group.

The manager tells me I am her second least favorite comic.  Her least favorite has been banned.  I am not sure if she is kidding.  I know the audience has enjoyed me both shows but I also know that means nothing in this business.  I tell the manager I look forward to the email from the booker asking me what the hell did I do.

Joe is in no mood at all.  We go next door to the bar we went to last year.  I buy Joe a beer.  Things are looking up.  The five he has lusted after for over a year no longer works there.  Joe has had a bad day.  Fortunately for Joe I know there will be other shows where he will kill and there will be other fives that will bring him a beer so it will be ok for my pal.

As for me, well two hours of sleep and I am awake.  Joe is reliving his days as a lumberjack and cutting wood in his bed.  Now my night sucks.  I fight the urge to smother him with a pillow.  There are still some tanks of gas to fill up so he is still of use to me.  His wife will have to wait to collect the insurance for a few more days.

DAY ONE – BY PIP HELIX (Davin’s Den)

This is the first day that I don’t have a job to go to.  I knew that this day was coming for a month now, but it still doesn’t feel real.  It kind of feels like a Monday holiday, and then I will go in tomorrow and have extra work on my desk.  The Monday stack of mail is always big, and the day after a Monday holiday is even bigger, like punishment for having a day off.  I actually looked forward to plunging into the pile, seeing how fast I could figure out everything in the pile, and get it taken care of.
I found myself lying in bed, and worrying about the things that I hadn’t gotten to as the clock ticked down on my last days.  I left notes, I told several people where things are kept, I tried to give enough people breadcrumbs on how to get the important things done.  But, I was fired.  Why do I still care?  The remnants of my job pride are still there, still thinking of how to get all of the things done, and wondering who in the office is going to be able to take on all I did?  No one is irreplaceable, and I know that another person will soon sit at “my” desk, and do “my” work, but the feeling that it’s MINE is still there. 

I gradually cleared out the various things that had accumulated over the two and a half years that I worked there.  Took my certifications off of the wall, took the paperweights and geegaws from my professional association, brought home the k-cups and the cat mug given to me by a co-worker two jobs ago.  Almost all of the me is gone from the place.  Unfortunately, the place isn’t gone from me yet.
I texted a work friend and told her that since I was running late, I wasn’t coming in at all, lol, but I hope that it didn’t come off as self-pitying.  I’m not really in self-pity mode, just kind of trying to wrap my mind around it still.  This is the first time I haven’t had a job, ever.  Even when I was in school, I worked part-time and during the school breaks. I am going to tackle the unemployment application online today, and then work my way from there.  I have plenty of things to do around the house, so keeping occupied is not the issue.  I just need to figure out who I am going to be for most of the day from here on out until retirement.
It’s funny, I used to think that I would eventually drop dead at my desk at my old job, the one that I worked at for 28 years. I was really nested there.  But the atmosphere turned sour there, and I left to find something else.  Only to find out that I wasn’t “the right fit” at the next place, and that I wasn’t meeting expectations at the latest place.  I have to take a hard look at myself and figure out what I am doing that has made me a bad employee.  It’s a little difficult to go looking for work, appearing upbeat and confident, after having been kicked in the nuts two times in a row.  Three, if you count the long term job, where at least I felt the tide turning and got out first.  I still think that I am a good worker and have valuable things to offer, but I am pretty gun shy now, to be honest. 

The idea of sitting across from someone at a desk and talking myself up is excruciating at the moment. And I haven’t interviewed for a job outside of my industry in decades.  I’m nervous about the stupid things I hear about, tricks that interviewers pull, or questions like, “What kind of tree would you be, and why?”  I’m not great at playing games, I like to speak straightforwardly, and I’m afraid that the nuanced interviewer will go right over my head.
Well, I have a lot of youtube videos and interviewing websites to read in the meantime, and I’m going to try not to freak out, because after all, it’s only day one.

A DIFFERENT BREED – by Joe Currie (Davin’s Den)

I used to cringe when I heard the term of a comic being called an artist. An artist is someone who creates beauty and imagination where a comic creates dick jokes.

But both are forms of art. You are born to be an artist you cannot learn to be one. You can learn to be a better artist but it has to be in your DNA.

The same goes for a comic, you can learn to be a better comic but the whole being of comedic talent has to be in your DNA it cannot be learned.

A perfect example of this is when a celebrity or the latest pop culture icon decides there going to do stand up like you got fired from your job and you’re going to work at McDonalds.

The latest one to try to pull this is off is Stormy Daniels; she is doing a comedy tour. Does she realize to be a comic you have to spend years on stage taking it in the ass and not in films?  
It angers me to no end when celebrities or pop culture celebrities try standup they think it’s easy and the lowest rung in show business. A grand majority go up and do it, get their ass handed to them on stage and then comment “ Wow this isn’t easy”.

No it’s not easy, it’s the toughest art in show business where you’re working on your craft live as you work to perfect it. No other art in show business is done like this.

Take music for instance, when my band is presenting a new song live on stage it is a result of practice at home, rehearsal with the band going over everything, arranging the song, making sure we are all playing the chords correctly, making sure the vocals are tight and so on. When the band plays that tune on stage for the first time it’s all hashed out.

A comic has to do that as they go and what gets us through it? The DNA we have in us that makes this work.

A comic does not think like or look at things like a regular person. For example I’m at the bank last week making a deposit, there is a line and there are two customers are in front of the tellers that are available for what seemed for hours. People are just standing there in line looking at their phone or staring into space. Here is where the comic DNA kicks in. I am saying to myself can’t anyone just make a simple deposit? What are these people doing?? I imagine the one guy is a pirate “Arr I want to cash in these doubloons. Whether you think the joke was funny is not the point, the point is I can guarantee I was the only person on that line that thought in that frame of mind.

I was at the doctor one day and there was another patient there that was talking to the women at reception desk and asking the most stupid questions. The other people in the waiting area were sitting quietly as I was, but the difference is in my mind I was answering these guy’s questions in the nastiest and most entertaining way possible. It’s the DNA.

Also if you think you are funny you are not a comic. To be a comic you have to go up and do a set and have some success and then you are a comic. I don’t mean money and fame success,  what I mean is a room full of strangers, performing for them, and have them laugh success.
I have a friend who I love dearly who tells me she can do stand up. I think she is hysterical and cutting and I think she can. I do tell her that I don’t want to hear any more until she gets up there and does her first five minute set and has been baptized.

If you want to try standup I say do it. The art of taking an idea and performing it live is thrilling and nerve wracking at the same time whether you are an open micer or an Icon like Kevin James.

Kevin has been coming by the club Sundays to work on his new material along with the rest of us. He sits in the green room with us and together we all sit there hoping the same thing “Will this work tonight”.

And why are we all in this room together, the DNA.  

THE MARVELOUS MYTH OF MRS. MAISEL – By Davin Rosenblatt

Every comedian has a friend or family member that tells them they must watch Amazon Prime’s the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.  It is so realistic they coo.  Often the people who are telling us this seldom if ever see us perform live but they are experts.  I watched the show long after its enthusiasts had digested both seasons.  The show does get some things correct about life as a comic and it gets some things wrong.  I am not going to list chapter and verse which is realistic and which is unreal.  Really is it worth it to anyone if I did that? I don’t think so but there is one thing that I must delve into and set the record straight.  It is the creation of material and Mrs. Maisel’s “process” and the reality of what the process is really like.
I think I am known as very good improvisational comedian and a very good writer.  I know other excellent improvisational comedians and excellent writers. Comedians who have been at it for 10, 20, 30 years.  If you are a fan of comedy I am sure you have your favorites.  The two questions I often get asked after shows are do you write your own material and do you travel with that person in the audience who you were going back and forth with.  Yes I write my own material. No I never met that person in the audience before. What you witnessed was completely spontaneous and will likely never be repeated again.
If you watch Mrs. Maisel you would believe that almost all stream of consciousness material is brilliant and a success the first time it hits the stage and creating ten, thirty, forty-five minutes of material that wows the audience can be done in a very short amount of time. No and no.  All this in a year or less of comedy.  If only it was that easy.
Mrs. Maisel seems to have the ability to get on stage and riff and wow the audience. Whether it is a late show at a resort or a television telethon she just talks and it all works out.  A good comic can deliver material like he just thought of it on the spot. It takes years to seem that spontaneous.  If it was possible to just talk and have a killer set every time out more comics would do that. What comedians do you know that deliver a brand new thirty minutes every night? I don’t know one. I create a lot in the moment but I have material to fall back on. Often if I am going stream of consciousness it has to do with the room or situation I am in. I can’t do 45 minutes off the top of my head of the thing my Dad did today. Nobody can do that. Even Robin Williams was improvising off his material and things in the room.  Mrs. Maisel however can show up and spew and the audience loves every minute of it.
Mrs. Maisel experiences something  in her life and brings it to the stage and the audience loves it. Often the occurrence was earlier in the day and she delivers it shiny and polished.  It does not work that way, especially when you are brand new and trying to find your comedic voice.  Don’t get me wrong, we do experience things and bring them to the stage. They just don’t come out precise with unfailing punchlines.  Here is what really happens when a comic is as inexperienced as Mrs. Maisel.  We experience something. We think it will be very funny.  We write pages of material down about how this joke will be.  We are convinced that this will be our new closing bit. We are convinced that this will be the bit that launches us into stardom.  We know it with every fiber of our body. Every word we have written is necessary.  We rehearse the bit over and over again trying to memorize it. Trying to say it just as we wrote it.  In the best case scenario we get to bring it to the stage. We remember the gist of what we wanted to say and we get a few chuckles or laughs during parts of the story or bit.  There are many parts that the audience stares at us. If we are smart we record it and listen back to it. We then start to refine the words we use.  For a good joke every word has to be there for a specific reason. Words are not to be wasted as they delay the laughter. We trim away the “fat” or sentences that we don’t really need to convey the message and get the laugh.  When we are starting out as comics, if we are lucky the process will take weeks or months to get that finally honed joke. It is often a much shorter version than the original piece of material we excitedly wrote down.  However, more often than not, that story or experience we wrote down is never quite right for the stage.  What was funny to us and our family never translates to a room full of strangers.  This is especially true the first few years of a comedian’s career. Maybe the experience was never funny.  Maybe it is not right for the persona or person we present ourselves as on stage.  Maybe we are not good at editing ourselves and it still eats up minutes of time but never does get the laughs needed to justify its spot in a set for a paying audience.  Sometimes later on in our career we can come back to an old piece of material and make it work because we have the skill to edit it and we know who we are on stage. That really does not happen in year one.
Mrs. Maisel seems to craft a set of A material of thirty to 45 minutes in under a year. It does not happen that way.  The first year you are working to get enough decent material to get to 5 to 10 minutes.  Some comics work years and never achieve a killer 5 or 10.  The best comics in the world when they are motivated come up with a new hour in a year. First off, they already have their comedic voice because they have honed their craft for years.  They know what jokes they can tell and what jokes won’t work for them.  Audiences don’t want to hear Chris Rock talk about ham and cheese sandwiches and they don’t want to hear Jim Gaffigan talk about race relations. It does not work for them.  They know this because it has taken them years to figure out what works.  Comics like this spend hours writing.  Then they do 5 spots a night 5 nights a week ranging from 10 minutes  to I’ll get off when I feel like it because I am a big star.  They can get that stage time because they are stars.  New comics can’t accomplish this and Mrs. Maisel is new.  It would appear Mrs. Maisel wrote more jokes for her husband Joel than she ever does for herself. We don’t see the hours of writing.  We know she is struggling to find stage time because she is new and she has been blackballed by Sophie but magically almost every time we see her she has new, finely tuned material.  It does not work that way. Watch Jerry Seinfeld’s movie Comedian.  Even when you are the best of the best it is a struggle to get the new 10, 20, 30, 45, 60 minutes.
If it was that easy to create killer new material more comedians would not stop writing. Many comedians get to their 20, 30, 45, or 60 minutes and stop writing new jokes. Why? Because it is hard and it is risky. We are paid to get laughs. A paying audience has no interest on going with us on our artistic journey.  If we don’t get laughs then we don’t work. If we don’t work we don’t eat.  Even veteran comics can write jokes that land with a thud.  It appears Mrs. Maisel almost always hits a home run with everything she tries. Does she have a few rough moments? Sure but not nearly the amount a comic would have if they were performing brand new material every night.
Mrs. Maisel is a fine show. Just don’t tell a comedian that it is so realistic.  If it was everyone would do it.  Or if you go by Mrs. Maisel every Jewish person would do it. Tune in next time when I explain why the comedy condo on HBO’s Crashing was way too nice to be considered realistic.

Personal Worst – By Pip Helix (Davin’s Den)

At first, there is the very real, deep temptation to wallow. Curl up in the bed for hours, watch television and eat junk food, repeating to yourself every dark, self-destructive tape in your head.  You suck.  You aren’t good at anything.  You deserve this.  You will never be really good at anything.  Everything good gets ruined eventually.  There is no way out of this.
It’s difficult to avoid playing at least some of the self-destruction tapes, because professional depressives like myself are prone to go to the bad stuff before the good.  And if there is anyone ready to pile on the self-blame, well, who has two thumbs and already feels bad about themselves – most days, anyway.  Not about everything, and not every day, but it’s there, looking for any opportunity for a way in.  Boy oh boy, have there been opportunities this year.  So many more holes in the dam than foundation, it may as well be a net. 

Of course, this is not the worst I’ve ever felt.  I always tell myself that the worst day of my life was the day my Dad died, and I know that will always be the worst, and I lived through that somehow.  Sure, the day my brother’s foot was amputated was a new low.  The day my best childhood friend dumped me was terrible.  The day I had to tell my best friend and roommate to move out was gut-wrenching.  Each time a cat dies, they take a piece of my heart with them.  Getting fired, oh boy, that is an experience I came to later in life, and your self-esteem takes quite a hit.  Having your significant other go through terrible times is a heavy emotional blow.  Being ill is super hard.  Having a whole bunch of those things happen at the same time?  Priceless.
How do you build yourself back up?  First, you reel.  Then, try to take stock of what you still have.  What is the worst part?  How can you overcome that?  What are your first moves?
Of course, this is a terrible time to be between therapists, and it’s not exactly the right time to go find one.  So, I’ve navigating this gauntlet without a net.  Oh, except for the previously noted net of self-esteem.  It’s flimsy, but there is still enough there to get me back up.  My husband, friends, family, and a bit of savings are what is going to get me through. 
I’m down, really down, but not quite out yet.

THE GREEN NEW DEAL- A BIG BAD DEAL – By Joe Currie (Davin’s Den)

                                                   
One of Trumps campaign promises is that he is going to work on intrusive and job killing over regulation from the Obama administration and for the most part it has worked creating job creation and one of the factors of the economy is doing so well.

Alexandria  Ocasio Cortez has released the Green new deal resolution.

The new Green deal will be one of the most government intrusive programs and will be the leading factor to a socialistic society.

They are using the global warming issue as the rallying cry by claiming it will conquer global warming by eliminating fossil fuels in ten years. It is nothing more than a utopian socialist dream of federally guaranteed jobs requiring trillions of our tax dollars and massive government intervention.

One of these proposals is a carbon footprint based tax at around $20 to $60 per ton and this tax is to drive an economic incentive to bring alternative fuels to the market.

It is consumer demand and not a government imposed tax to being an incentive to alternative fuels or any product for that matter. 
 
A similar tax has been in France and has done nothing except spark rioting for over three months.

It is interesting they are doing this under the guise of global warming which are the first two pages of the proposal.

 It has been a big issue since the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued that Global Warming is our biggest threat, and we have twelve years to save ourselves from it. Never mind that a lot of these scientists are funded by the government and don’t want to lose their grant money or that the father of global warming studies said he no longer believes in it.

Some of the measures of this plan are to create millions of good High Wage Jobs and to provide prosperity and economic security for all people in the country. One of the ways they want to do this is to collaborate with the labor unions. Labor unions had their place in the beginning of the last Century. But they got greedy, killed the auto industry, and are one of the factors for companies moving overseas.

Let’s take a look at when the government creates jobs and does it through the unions. In New York it now costs seventeen dollars to cross the Verrazano and George Washington Bridges, with the other crossings costing between eight fifty to six fifty each.
 Each of these bridges a day make over a million dollars each, each bridge!
  
The MTA claims they are broke and are now proposing a toll hike claiming it is due to upgrades to the infrastructure, but what about the millions upon millions of dollars that you collect each year? They go to legacy costs negotiated by the unions for pensions and salaries and that’s way it costs so much to cross these bridges. And when you have the government and the unions work together the price to the end user is too high for a service that is substandard.  
It is interesting that Cortez and her ilk want High paying good jobs but at the same time want to stop Amazon from moving to Queens which would create Thousands of high paying jobs for the area. Why do they want to do this? Because of tax breaks to Amazon. Typical “tax but don’t give back liberal progressive”.

 Did she think of the tax revenue that all these new jobs would bring in? Did she think of the new businesses that would be created to support Amazon in the area.

Let’s look at the other facets of the Green New Deal and see how the government has been doing with similar programs.

The deal proposes- Affordable, safe, and adequate housing-

Let’s look at NYCHA which is the New York City Housing Authority. They provide affordable rents to millions of people in the city. It was created as a great social program to help the poor. The reality is these buildings are crime ridden, and these people are living in nothing less than squalor. The apartments have lead paint and have had problems with heat and hot water. Because it is government run, it is a bureaucratic boondoggle with the government officials pointing fingers at each other with nothing much being done.

The deal also proposes High Quality health care-

Let’s look at Obama care which a grand majority of the people do not like, and was a program that was forced on the American people with a tax to boot if you do not participate.
Is it high quality health care?? Depends if your Doctor is on the plan and quite a few are not. Do we need to do something about health care? Yes but not with the Government running it, just look at Medicare.

In addition they want to mandate that all existing buildings achieve maximum energy and water efficiency. Do you know how much money that will cost a company? The money that a company could spend on expansion, increased wages, and research will now have to be spent on a government imposed program. This will affect companies’ bottom line, will effect pricing, likely cause inflation, or may close businesses entirely which will cause a raise in the unemployment rate.
  
Working with the farmers and ranchers to remove pollution and greenhouse gases-
 The family farm is dying as it is tough to survive and adding another government mandated program will be another burden and will sure kill off these farmers which are fighting everyday to survive.

Ensuring a commercial environment where every business person is free from unfair competition by domestic and international monopolies-

I hope they know legislation has been in effect since the last century to combat unfair business practices.

In regards to dealing with international monopolies, these are the same people that are criticizing Trump over the Tariffs, and taking a stand on trade with china, and reworking NAFTA.

The Green deal is compared to Roosevelt’s new deal but where did that money come from back then? In 1929 when the depression hit the top tax rate was twenty four percent on top incomes. By 1932 it went to sixty three percent.

 Several key things happened due to this, the depression lasted longer as a lot of these people in this higher tax bracket that owned businesses did not want to hire or expand at that tax rate. In addition they moved a lot of their money to tax shelters which gave Roosevelt no choice but to create excise taxes on the middleclass and the poor from everything new cars to Coca Cola.
You cannot continually tax the rich in a tax and spend environment. With the rich taking tax shelters  that percentage of taxes to take will now dwindle. We are seeing it now in New York as tax revenues have fallen but the deficit has not.

The new green deal would be a socialistic failure and will lead the country into a depression. Why am I so skeptical, let’s take Venezuela which was the richest Latin American country and then went to the poorest thanks to socialistic programs.

For these reasons they are now fighting to end socialism and we here in the states should be fighting to stop it as well.

History has shown that Socialism leads to poverty, A society dictated by the Government through overreach and taxes will end the work ethic of people that have the drive and desire to succeed, a work ethic that has made this country great for over two centuries. 

And as they say, people that don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
God Bless America.



AMERICA’S REAL NATIONAL PAST TIME – By Davin Rosenblatt

Baseball calls itself America’s National Past time.  Football would argue they have replaced baseball as the national past time. I would submit that they are both wrong. America’s real national past time is arguing. It is something that everyone can engage in and gender, race, age, do not determine your access to this event.
I remember as a kid we would play games in the neighborhood; usually involving some aspect of athletic achievement.  Sometimes the games would have set rules like basketball or baseball or football. Sometimes the game would be created by us with its own unique rules. The one thing that was consistent was invariably we would spend a good chunk of the daylight time arguing. Were you in or out? Was it fair or foul? Did you foul him or didn’t you? Was that too high? Was it too far? Did you call time out? There was no objective official. We just had to sort it out on our own. When you are a youngster a do over is often the solution. It cuts down on the arguing so you can get on with the game. As you get older do overs become a less satisfactory solution.
What do you think most people spend their time doing on social media? For most of us it is not clicking like on kitten memes. Nope someone has an opinion and we disagree…vociferously and unrelentingly. It can be politics or sports or music or a recipe. We don’t need a topic. Make your point so I can disagree with it.
We have television shows that are centered around arguing. Most political shows are this way. A good amount of sports shows are this way. The same holds true with radio. The best calls are the ones who disagree with the host of the show.
I don’t know about you but my kid feels the need to argue. I mean she will eventually realize we are correct and have her best interest at heart but first it is an argument. Why? Because. That is her default setting. Even shows that depict our nation’s past feature this. I watch Little House on the Prairie and they didn’t argue in the Ingal’s house but they sure did at the Oleson’s Mercantile and home.
Today I got into an argument about the Super Bowl Half Time Show and how Maroon 5 did. There was more passion in the argument then there was in any Maroon 5 song. We all thought they sucked. I am sure Maroon 5 thought they sucked. But I was wrong. Some one thought the criticism was unfair and that Maroon 5 did well. Only in America.
Now some of you are going to say I am wrong about my evaluation. I have two things to tell you. One, you are wrong. Two, you are a fine American.

GASLIGHTED – BY PIP HELIX (Davin’s Den)

“She’s funny. She seems a little eccentric maybe, but really, I don’t think it’s that bad.”
I’m paraphrasing, but that is the gist of the comments I would hear when I finally would allow someone to come home and meet my mother.  I’d prep them, by telling them that she was a paranoid schizophrenic, and was liable to say various inappropriate things and have some strange habits, but they’d always assure me that it was fine, they weren’t there to judge.  I wasn’t afraid of their judgement at that point, since if I was letting them into the secret lair I had already figured that they were my friend, and could be trusted not to hold it against me.  I was just preparing them for whatever unpredictable things they might encounter.
There was Life of the Party Mom, who would tell joke after joke, and would be the most vivacious woman you ever met who seemed to not have a stop button.  There was Anxiety Mom, who would be smoking incessantly, complaining about what the neighbors were saying about her, and may take an instant dislike to someone.  Depressed Mom didn’t speak a lot, and would sleep on the couch and cry about how my father must be guilty of coaching my brother and I to avoid her, and of promoting alienation of affection.  Oh, there was Screeching Mom, a personal favorite, who would lash out at my father and accuse him of adultery, or yell and bang pots on the walls to let the neighbors know she was aware of their spying.  But the one I was most afraid would come out when bringing the very rare boy home, was Inappropriate Seductress Mom. Yeah, that was fun, watching my mother say racy things to the guy I liked.
For the record, schizophrenia is misunderstood to be a split personality disease, and I’m not trying to further that trope by describing my Mom’s various unpleasant and uncomfortable moods with titles, like they are separate personalities.  She absolutely had one integrated personality, but she was unable to tell reality from delusion, and that is the crux of the matter for the family of diseases that are under the umbrella of schizophrenia.  Mom’s particular variety was the paranoid type, where she believed that a nebulous “they” were after her and my family.  She developed a whole bunch of coping skills she believed would keep her and us safe from their threat, which were bizarre and sometimes extremely annoying to those around her.  For example, she kept to a secret schedule of habits during the day, where she did things at the correct time or in the correct pattern.  She used to count the number of steps taken from room to room, and if she found herself on a “bad” number before crossing the threshold into the next room, she would shuffle her feet until she was at a “good” number to continue.  If you have ever seen Three Stooges movies, and see how one would stop abruptly and the other would smash right into their back, you would see how annoying it was to try to walk behind her into another room.  The woman seriously needed brake lights.
Usually though, Mom was strangely able to pull herself together enough to be almost normal during these occasions when someone new would come over, since any visit was usually brief.  I spent the entire time waiting for the other shoe to drop, but she usually just behaved a little over-excited to meet them, as if we kept her locked in a cage most of the time.  Yes, there were some really cringe-worthy comments sometimes, and her constant smoking and stacked ashtray fascinated people, but nothing worse than you will see on the average sitcom these days.  In the moment, it felt worse than it may have been in their eyes, now that I have made the comparison to tv shows.  Just some lovable eccentric, they’d think.  Yeah, right.
I think what really got me upset was that she was able to fake being normal for new people, but we had to deal with all kinds of unpleasant versions of Mom during the rest of the time.  If she could make pleasant conversation when they were there, why did we have to listen to the litany of complaints the rest of the time?  It was infuriating to see that she had some degree of control over her behavior when she wanted to, and we were stuck with the shitty stuff.  It made it seem as if I was the world’s biggest exaggerator.  There were some people who hung around long enough to see her run out of energy to be on her best behavior, and turn back into the person we lived with.  It was almost perversely satisfying to see the light go on in a friend’s eyes when they finally REALLY met Mom.  At least I could finally be vindicated, and they would see why I would warn them before coming into our dark, secret embarrassing hellhole, I mean home.

2019 – By Joe Currie – Davin’s Den

                                             
As I start a new year I usually have goals or an agenda. This is the first year I really don’t. Six years ago January started in turmoil as I came to terms that I was not happy in my marriage or where my life was going.

The following years I worked on trying to save my marriage, coming to terms with my wife that we could not, and preparing to separate and the drama that goes with it. Soon after that I was getting my house prepared to sell then not having it sell for a year, being four months away from bankruptcy and then finding a buyer.

The next adventure was finding a new place; going through the ordeal of buying it and then moving in. This was then followed by the mourning of leaving the only place I called home since I was three, ending a twenty six year relationship, and starting a new life in a new place and living alone for the first time in twenty four years.

This year I can say that the dust has settled in my life and after all that has happened I just want to chill. Also for the first time in my life I am tired. My schedule with all my projects and the day program some weeks can be grueling, but I love what I do in all of them and it’s my choice. But I am starting to see some cracks in my armor.

When it’s a Friday night at eleven pm you have been up since 5:30 am and your are in a comedy club in Manhattan sitting in a stairwell freezing waiting to go on, you sit and wonder how long can I go on doing this? Wouldn’t it be better to be home watching a movie with a couple of cocktails?

When you are lugging musical gear into rock club and then tripping over yourself and everyone else trying to set up to play for thirty minutes in front of twenty people, you question how long can I go on doing this?

The radio show takes a toll on me as well, two and a half hours in rush hour traffic to go there, a three hour plus show, then two hours back home, no lunch as I am plugging the show and then outside of that, three hours to do the I Heart clips every week and then the two hours to write a blog every three weeks.

The day program also takes the life out of me with the stress and the customers and then coming to the fact I may never get out of there.

Actually I do have goals and one of them is I want to concentrate is my health. I always thought I was invincible but I am finding out I am not. I am a diabetic and I am now feeling the effects. But as always I still have that feeling that the fight has been brought to me and the only answer is victory.

Another goal is I would love to go a vacation this year. I have not been on a vacation in eighteen years. Please don’t think that going on the road is a vacation. I have been afforded to work at some nice places, but the fact remains you still have a task to complete, and that is a show.
I would love to go away for two weeks and get away from everything. No phone, no gigs, and no rehearsals. I would love to wake up in the morning and not have to do a mental rundown of what I am doing that day and what I have to prepare for and load into the car.

The conflict is the money to go on vacation, everything I do costs me money, and you may ask do you make money? Yes but it all gets funneled back into everything I do and I break even and in some cases lose money. Once again how long can I go along doing this?

With this one of my goals this year is to get my fiscal house in order and watch where ever dime is going. I had spent years with someone that took for granted and did not understand how much the bills were. I also spent last year spending money for a divorce, furniture, a new roof, and all sorts of new beginning stuff. Even though my wife did not contribute as much as she should with expenses she did help somewhat. Now it’s only me.

One thing I have been considering this year is quit doing everything, yep I am done. I don’t want any of this anymore. I am just going to go to the day program, come home, watch the TV shows that everybody watches and go to bed by 9:30.

 On the weekend no shows either, I am going to watch All the Family, The Jeffersons, and Barney Miller all afternoon. Then I am going to Stop and Shop and do my Grocery shopping, come home, eat dinner, and then watch a movie and then go to sleep.

Sounds great,,, No all the above to me is an existence and not in my DNA. I can’t do it. There is nothing I would rather be doing more than a show and so there lays the conundrum.
So what will I do?? I don’t know Barney Miller is on.
Happy New Year.
       

DON’T HIRE A COMEDIAN – By Davin Rosenblatt

You don’t want a comedian. I know as a comedian and someone who owns a talent agency that makes comedians available to restaurants, corporations, and private people I am not supposed to say that. It is counter-intuitive and it hurts my wallet.  Still, I think it best I save us all a bit of trouble and heartache.
You saw a comedian on tv or their video clip or in a club or have a vague concept of what stand up comedy is from the opening scene of old Seinfeld episodes and it looks like a good time.  You are correct, it is a good time. The audience in front of that performer knew they were seeing a comedian, wanted to see a comedian, and were doing so in an environment conducive to seeing a comedian. When you have those elements comedy can be magical. It is a good time. You want to bring that to the people you care or about or are tasked with entertaining. I get that. You are a good person and you just want to spread joy.
You contact a comedian or an agency and are eager to put this together.  However, a lot of the people at the event do not know a comedian will be part of the festivities. Surprise comedy is never a good idea. Tell the people that you are bringing in a comedian. That way the people who want to see it will be excited and those who do not can excuse themselves while the comedian is performing.  The comedian you saw was hilarious but they curse too much. There are some people  attending your event who are sensitive to some expletives. You would like comedian X but can they refrain from cursing you ask. Some of them can. Some of them can’t. You saw a video or them in person and they cursed a lot and you enjoyed that show and you would like that show but different. Does that really make sense? Do you go to a play and ask them to alter the dialogue?
Maybe cursing is not an issue. Maybe they don’t curse at all. However, you really enjoyed the show but their joke about race or religion or politics or Brussel sprouts or lawn chairs may offend some people. Can the comedian not talk about those topics? And while we’re at it let’s not talk about sex, gender identity, or Lady Gaga…just to be safe. But you definitely want to create the exact some feel and enjoyment that you experienced when you saw Comedian X…just none of those things he talks about. Does that make sense? Do you have your favorite restaurant cater your party but tell them not to serve the food that you enjoyed so much. If they could just do a more bland version of everything or have a menu of nothing you tasted and enjoyed that would be wonderful.
Why am I bringing this up? Because every day we are reading headlines of people or colleges or organizations hiring comedians who do exactly what they always do…their act and then being outraged that the comedian did their act.  There are plenty of comedians that can work without cursing or without taboo topics or even vaguely provocative material.  You will find many of them on cruise ships. Hire them. You will pay a lot for them but they will be very safe. Don’t hire the comedian who has a Netflix special that you love, for your office party, give, them no idea what is off limits until 5 minutes before the show and expect it to go well.   I know good comedians make our performance look effortless. News flash…it takes a lot of effort to make it look effortless.  When you change the rules of engagement right before the show bad things will happen. A lengthy conversation before contracts are signed can save everyone a lot of disappointment.
Colleges think they want comedians…you don’t. Comedians talk a lot of shit. We look at the world differently than you. We see humor in everything. It is why we are good comedians. A comedy show should never be a safe space. Even if nothing “offensive” happens part of the allure of live stand up is that something naughty could happen at any moment. It is the titillation. Comedians need that edge…even if we never approach it. If everything is off limits and everything is too much then maybe let’s agree that college is no longer a “safe space” to exchange ideas. Standup is an exchange of ideas. If our ideas are too much for you that is fine. Just don’t ask us to stand up there and talk about nothing. If I talk about Nike someone will be offended because they use poor child laborers or Colin Kaepernick  and now we are into the abyss of some one is offended. We really were just talking about how hard it is to get the new Jordans and when we were growing up we went to the supermarket for our shoes. Even when we are not making a political statement to someone we may be making a statement. And we can’t have that in college these days.
Don’t get me wrong. Stand up comedy is great in comedy clubs, firehouses, Elks lodges, restaurants, etc. Go see it! It is fun. It can be nice for birthday parties or corporate events. Just make sure everyone is on the same page way before the gig starts.
If you are unsure if comedy is right or you are unwilling to let the comedian be the comedian they are than I suggest, magicians, jugglers, pianists, face painters, palm readers, djs, etc.  There is much less chance one of these performers will say something that is “offensive.”  Please support comedy. See it live in the venues I mentioned. Bring your friends to see us in those venues. If you really want us for your special event we will do it but keep in mind stand-up comedians are much closer to tigers than we are to tabbies.  We are a bit dangerous and unpredictable. Please see us in our natural habitat. If you invite us into your habitat don’t be surprised if everyone leaves with a few scratches and bite marks. (I charge extra for the bite marks).