Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Why Only Let the Straights Be Miserable?

Comedy and politics = a good thing. Justin Long and Mike White play a gay married couple who experience the same misery as straight married people. Hilarious.

It’s all for the cause of continuing dialogue about Prop 8. Go to makehomosexualsmarry.com to join the Facebook group.

Filed under: gay life, gay rights, government, marriage, , , , , , , , , ,

Betty White, Comic Genius

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Can we just take a moment to relish the wonder that is Betty White? And the five decades–five decades!–that she’s graced our television screens? And the mounting anticipation of her hosting gig tomorrow night on Saturday Night Live?

By now, it’s old news that White’s helm of SNL began as a Facebook campaign. White is surely a comic genius. Here’s hoping her appearance on Saturday matches the hilarity of her Golden Girls days.

Filed under: humor, television, , , , , ,

What are the rules of your interracial posse?

I’ve never seen this routine from Chris Rock, who I like an awful lot. He’s got the raunchy fearlessness of Eddie Murphy and Lenny Bruce, and the sharp cultural critiques of Dave Chappelle (whose “Racial Draft” (below) is one of my all-time favorites).

I like Rock so much because here he acknowledges our post-racial world. All his black friends have a bunch of white friends. And all his white friends have…

Exactly one black friend.

Rock recently interviewed African American women for a documentary called Good Hair (which he discussed with Oprah last September), and stirred–ahem–strong emotions from both black and white women. African American women felt almost betrayed by Rock, who showed the lengths black women go to to straighten, perm, and add extensions to their hair. It was a great dialogue in which women of many races conversed openly and honestly.

Perhaps most surprisingly, Rock asks the audience: “Can white people say ‘nigger’?

Check out Rock’s advice, then contrast with Dave Chappelle’s sketch on interracial perceptions that caricatures Tiger Woods, among others, below.

Filed under: comedy, race, , , , , , , ,

Margaret Cho: Lambert a “Queer Jim Morrison”

Margaret Cho, who it’s difficult not to adore, talks with Joy Behar about her refusal to adopt the label “bisexual,” her admiration for Adam Lambert’s queer rock sensibility, and her love of her wacky parents. My favorite bit is when she owns up to why she was kicked off the Obama campaign: she couldn’t stand Sarah Palin’s politics, but she found her so sexy.

Cho’s new concert DVD is entitled “Beautiful.” If you’ve never heard her perform, check out her unabashed, hilarious comedy.

Filed under: entertainment, gay rights, , , , , ,

Compare/Contrast: British Comedians Gervais and Brand

Vodpod videos no longer available.

James Parker presents a clear analysis of Ricky Gervais and Russell Brand, and their diverse approaches to comedy in this month’s The Atlantic.

As he points out, Gervais is a card-carrying atheist. Brand, too, may well be an atheist, but in Parker’s commentary on this clip, Brand is less focused on metaphysics and more interested in a bit of flirtatious humor with the interviewer. Or, as the author points out, Brand’s “sexual wattage of his grip.”

I admire Parker’s argument that Gervais’ schtick is centered on “littleness”: the details, the micro, the intricacies of his topic. Brand, on the other hand, is driven more by a post-modern, gender-bending approach to humor. Different approaches to a brainy sort of comedy.


Filed under: humor, pop culture, , , , ,



» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
February 2017
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