Monday, July 16, 2012

I'd Marry this Movie: Defending Your Life

Albert Brooks' Defending Your Life: there's a fair to middling chance that I may be obsessed with this movie. It's your typical "boy gets hit by a bus, goes to limbo, meets a girl, eats all the food he wants" story and did I mention, it has Meryl Streep it in? Because it does. Meryl frickin' Streep is in this movie and she is funny and she is delightful, and she glows like a thespian-Botticelli. What can I say? It's an existential romance and every time I think about it I put my hand on my chin and sigh.

Here are the reasons you should watch/marry it:
1) Daniel Miller dies on his birthday when he is hit by bus while listening to Barbra Streisand's "Something's Coming"(I'm in love with this movie already)
2) He ends up in an afterlife where he learns that he will have to go on trial to "defend" his life (cue the obligatory referencing to the title)
3) In this afterlife, people can eat all the food they want and never get fat or feel stuffed and the food is the best food you've ever had (hello, every fantasy I've ever had)
4) All the people being judged wear tupas (essentially mumus but with flattering belts)
5) Shirley Maclaine makes a cameo and it is the best cameo in the history of cameos
6) Rip Torn, Rip Torn, Rip Torn
7) It gives meaning to my life
This movie is sweet, smart, and funny and did I mention it has Meryl Streep in it?
(via youtube)
Meryl Streep eats a corndog. Can it get any better?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Cost of Rape Jokes

The Cost of Rape Jokes
Recently, comedian Daniel Tosh made a rape joke. It’s been in the news. You might have heard about it. I know I did. He’s apologized. Why the big hullabuloo? It’s partly because he made the joke, but, more importantly people laughed.
I have never heard a joke about rape that was funny. Never. You know why? Because rape is not funny. It’s just not. I wish it was. I wish it was the kind of thing that a victim could forget or that the sheer ridiculousness of forcing someone to have sex would appear so absurd that to even hear of such behavior would make you go “say, huh?” But, the truth is that 1 out of 3 women in the world will be forced to have sex, or be beaten, or brutalized, or yes, gang banged. That being said, I think comedians can and should be allowed to say whatever the heck they want, but then again, I think any person should always feel free to be an idiot (it makes me look smarter). It’s your right to be jerk. But, don’t, I repeat DO NOT expect me to laugh. Because my laugh is my vote. It’s my saying, “it’s alright and I know what you mean.” And I don’t know what any rape joke means except that violence against women (or men for that matter) is acceptable. It’s not.
So, here is what I propose. You want to tell a rape joke? Sure, go ahead. But, first take out your check book and write a donation to your local YWCA Rape Crisis Center(a foundation which offers counseling and support to survivors of sexual assault and their families). Figure out how much that joke is worth to you. $5- great. Now, take that figure and multiply it by every audience member who is listening to your hate speech. 200 audience members. Great, that’s $1,000. $1,000 that can go to buy blankets, tooth brushes, tee-shirts, fresh underwear for survivors of rape who sit in emergency rooms across the United States and have just had to turn in all their clothes as evidence. 
You want to laugh at a rape joke. Please feel free. But first, you might want to stop by the ATM. That’ll be $5 for a snicker, $20 for a laugh, and $100 for a guffaw (slap your knee & that’s an extra $10, and clap, well, that’ll be $50 more). 
Laughter is the most powerful tool/weapon/eye opener in the world. Rape is absurd. Make fun of the ridiculousness that we live in a world that might ever perceive a short skirt as an invitation, a passed out woman as a “good” date, or a vagina as a punchline. But, never make the mistake of portraying rape as ok. So, in closing:
“Knock, knock.”
“Who’s there?”
“Don’t tell rape jokes. Donate to the YWCA.”