Hitting Below the Belt
After two years on the Seattle comedy scene, I was convinced that no other profession could match our collective fixation with blow jobs, hoary stereotypes, and cynicism. But silly me—I forgot journalism! ["The Last Laugh?" Nov. 22]
First, Brian Miller and the Weekly's editors flog the "dick joke" angle for all it's worth, even though few of the comics mentioned in the article go below the belt. Then, Miller blithely dismisses Puyallup as a political backwater—"Bush jokes, out. Iraq war jokes, out"—after week one of the comedy competition. If he'd bothered to come back to Puyallup the next week, he would have seen some antiwar jokes—mine, I'm proud to say—receive what may have been the only standing ovation of the competition!
As for cynicism, shame on you for failing to mention that each Non-Profit Comedy show is a benefit for a different worthy nonprofit organization.
Alternative to what?
It was good to see an article on the comedy contest and also about "alternative" comedy in the area ["The Last Laugh?" Nov. 22]. As an art form, stand-up has been virtually ignored by the local press in the last decade.
Even though most of the coverage revolved around the Capitol Hill group, it was still coverage. Many of the comics profiled have yet to get paid for a comedy gig. Therefore, it might be a little premature to see how that "alternative" thing works out.
I don't see how wearing Value Village attire à la Cosmo Kramer and plowing through the same old 10-minute set is alternative. Alternative to what? It seems that there has to be an audience willing to pay to see the comedy if it is to survive. Playing to people just like yourselves is not very risky and is not a good indicator of whether or not you are funny.
I hope that your paper will continue to give comedy a way to expand our fan base and let people know there are other forms of entertainment than spoken-word and garage bands to go see in Seattle. Do a follow-up in a couple of years and see how many of these contestants are making a living doing stand-up and how many go back to their computer programming jobs when the novelty wears off. Thanks for the mention, even though no one alive today calls me Jim Heneghen; I appreciate the effort.
Bobby critic is wrong
I totally disagree with Jim Ridley's review [This Week's Attractions, Nov. 22]. I saw Bobby and found it was very well done. Full theater and everyone was very moved. Everyone cried. Most of the stories told were interesting and involving. The critics are too cynical to really see the movies.
Uptight, Out of sight!
Your column Ask an Uptight Seattleite is an instant classic and is now the first thing I look for each week. It has also been invaluable in explaining to my family and friends from around the United States what it is like in Seattle.
In his article "Midterm Muddle" [Nov. 15], Brian Miller misrepresents the liberal stance on issues like Iraq, Katrina, and economic disparity by oversimplifying the blame that liberals place on Republicans. My personal feelings for the last six years were ones of anger, disgust, and resolve, not superiority and condescension. Miller's satirical generalizations about "wimpy liberals" doing a whole lot of complaining and not much of anything else accomplishes nothing in the way of giving credit where credit is due. What Miller fails to mention is that the liberal rhetoric that he writes off was a power that directly contributed to real change.
vote to save schools
Wow, folks like Don Nielsen and Paul Hill want an appointed school board ["Board Stiffs," Nov. 15]. That alone should send big red flags about the agenda. Privatization/charter schools is still a threat to public education, and the unnecessary school closures the necessary step in that direction. An elected school board is the only way to insure a democratic and fair representation of directors for each region.
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