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Last L.A. Show, #BlackProtestsMatter, and Robot Sex Slaves
Ma was born 75 years ago.
She passed 10 years ago but continues to live.
Here's the story of these images.
Reporting from My Universe
I am hosting my company's big ass comedy show in LA this Sunday. It will be my last LA performance for a long while, so tell your people. Comedy Hack Day invites comedians, developers, and designers to make funny things. We still have participant slots open so apply to join the fun-making, or attend the big show.
From my podcast About Race this week: our b-side follows up on our Bill Cosby discussion and asks if we need to coddle our oppressors in order to end oppression; meanwhile episode 11 is titled #BlackProtestsMatter and dives in to the recent protests of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Subscribe, and learn stuff. (iTunes)
So Here’s A Story
"What do you do?" It's a loaded question even in the best of circumstances. But when your career is a crazy quilt of activities that feed different aspects of your personality—in my case, stand-up, punditizing on news shows, writing, delivering speeches, and heading a fledgling company—the only way to answer is with a comma-separated list of titles. Meanwhile, inside my head, I am giving my interlocutor the heavy side-eye for trying to reduce me to just one thing.
A few years ago, I celebrated my mobility, flexibility, and refusal to be defined in this very magazine, proudly stating, "Uncertainty is the certainty. Change is the constant. Experimentation is rewarded. Stability is an impediment." Then, to be even more clear, I added, "If I could get a big check from TV, that would be cool. But I'm not desperate for those things." By "those things," I meant that one thing would answer the question of what I do in less than a tweet.
Then last fall, I got offered a job cohosting a TV show. Faced with a real-life choice between the gig economy and routine, I hesitated. The TV network, Pivot, was new and unproven. The city, Los Angeles, was not New York. The universe was testing my instability theory.
The more I considered it, though, the more I warmed to the idea of losing my geospatial flexibility. Airports didn't have to be my second home. I could have a daily rhythm, swipe in at a security desk every day, make small talk with the same people, and be able to predict my whereabouts beyond the next 48 hours.
On October 6, 2014, I joined Jacob Soboroff and Meghan McCain as a cohost of TakePart Live, a nightly issues-oriented news-talk show. It was weird having the same schedule every day (right down to eating my post-show Sun Chips and banana), but the work was fun and the intellectual range intense. I'd learn about the plight of Ugandan refugees and then explore the racial and gender politics within the latest TV shows. The format and rules of television at that pace were foreign to me, but I felt I was adapting to it all. Then, just nine weeks into my grand experiment with steady employment, our team found out that the network would not renew the show for 2015. "But I just learned the TV format and how to get my makeup off in less than five minutes!" protested my inner voice, adding in a forceful whisper, "And in New York, winter is coming!"
Read the rest of this piece in Fast Company. It's my latest back page column. Yeah, I just interrupted the story to send you to another part of the internet! Fun!
Media Objects In Which I Am
I returned to The Nightly Show on Comedy Central July 29th. Here's the full episode. And this is an extended cut of the panel discussion I was part of. It featured Rory Albanese and Bobcat Goldthwaite, and we discussed hunting and Cecil the lion.
"We have the ability to reach many more people than ever before in history with our stupidity" - something I said on Big Think podcast where we discussed sex robots, how are bandwidth and storage capacity are changing our lives and "personal brands."
I've been playing with the new Facebook Mentions app, which lets me post right to my Facebook Page. They recently enabled a live video function that's very similar to Meerscopetvnetbuzzly, and I took folks on a walking tour of East L.A.
I'm performing on Brooooaaadwaay!! And I'll probably take the A train to get there. This November, I'm hosting six nights of TED talks at the Town Hall Theatre in New York City. These will be the most affordable TED tickets ever, and free for students and educators.
The Not-Me Department
My sister keeps writing dope things like, "I feel passionately that yoga should not have a Tiffany’s price tag. It also should not be free." Belinda has been running her own yoga studio in Lansing for five years. She shares (painful) lessons about the cost of running a donation-based business.
My partners at Cultivated Wit launched a crowdfunding campaign: "A community effort to construct a 300-mile wall in one week and prevent Burning Man attendees from returning to the Bay Area." Check out the video and the website.
Death, Sex & Money did a great podcast on Siblings. Cristela Alonzo is interviewed about having her ABC show, and therefore "life" canceled. And Note To Self has a thoughtful discussion about the ethics of tech companies hacking our attention with interruptions and sales pitches.
My friend, comedian Myq Kaplan, is on America's Got Talent tonight. You should vote for him. There are many methods. Just trust me and do it. If you miss the voting window, it's ok. Breathe in and out 10 times slowly, with your eyes closed, imagining two sparrows throwing dirt in the face of a squirrel.
Ok. This is the end of the email. I hope you enjoyed it, and I sincerely wish you all long days and pleasant nights. I love some of you.