Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Podcasts and Being Mean

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With all the driving that I’ve been doing (and using Spotify at the same time), I’ve decided to finally come around to podcasts. 

Yes, it’s 2014 and I’m finally coming around to podcasts.

I have a really horrible attention span… huge focus issues.  Talking does not keep my attention!  Even if you’re looking at me in the eye and speaking DIRECTLY at me, chances are I’m practicing dance moves in my head or wondering what I’m going to watch on Food Network later on.  (The answer is probably Chopped.) 

But, I got bored listening to my Spotify playlists.  In the two-ish hours that I’m in the car every single day, it gets kind of old listening to The Supremes sing “Can’t Hurry Love” that many times.  I figured, I should make the time worthwhile and learn something.  And by learn something, I mean listen to my favorite comedians talk about their comedy stories.  Not like… math or something.  I don’t want to listen to math podcasts.  DO NOT SEND ME MATH PODCASTS.   

I started with Dick van Dyke’s WTF (with Marc Maron) because, well, I’m me.  I’m a 27 year old who’s in love with an 88 year old man who was way before my time.  But who didn’t grow up with him?  Who didn’t watch The Dick van Dyke Show on Nick-at-Nite?  Who didn’t watch Mary Poppins as a kid?  I read his book a couple of years ago and I just fell head over heels for his charm and his career.  I cried at the end of it because I was just enamored with him and how gracious he was for all the opportunities he was given in life.  And when Marc ended the podcast, he was in total disbelief that he got to experience that.  He literally said, “That happened.”  And I cried.  (And then I Google’d how to send Dick van Dyke fan mail and found his address and found out it was 30 minutes from my work and freaked out.)

And then I listened to Amy Poehler’s WTF.  She said something great that really spoke to me.   She was talking about how people didn’t like how mean other characters were to Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation, and she said nobody realized that was the case because “nobody wants to be mean to anyone, they just want to be funny.”

Whoa.  THAT’S RIGHT!  I think of all the times I would get frustrated or annoyed with people for throwing me under the bus in scenes (or, in life when people make jokes at other people’s expense.)  I still do think they’re cheap jokes at times, when people are real desperate for laughs.  But, at the heart of it, they’re not TRYING to be a douche; they’re just trying to be funny.  That’s their only goal.  They’re not looking to hurt you and they’re certainly not out to get you – they’re just trying to be funny!  That doesn’t make it any better, sometimes, but I guess it’s a nice little reminder to shake things off and take mean jokes a lot less personal.   

So, there you have it folks – my goal to make my driving time a little bit more productive was accomplished.  I learned something during my drive!   I learned that all those times the audience begged me to get off the stage, they were just trying to get laughs. 

Just kidding.  That never happened.  At least, oh God, did it?  Were those jeers towards me?  I have to go re-evaluate my life. 

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