Marc Maron

In a career lately revived by his popular WTF With Marc Maron podcasts (and Twitter, which he uses avidly), comedian Marc Maron has gradually turned away from the dark side. His jokes have grown less caustic and more humanist. Indeed, he sounds downright reflective when reached by phone at a Los Angeles Costco—a retail excursion that dovetails with today's Black Friday shopping day following Thanksgiving. "As a culture," he says, "there's always something to be thankful for. In the midst of all the pain and chaos and insecurity and despair, sit down and make a list of what you're grateful for, and it will protect you from complete despair and cynicism. Sometimes you just have to dig for it a little bit. I'm very excited right now that I was able to go to Costco and buy a seven-pack of nicotine lozenges for about half the price I would pay elsewhere. I'm grateful for my health. I'm grateful that the country hasn't fallen into some sort of insane, chaotic Road Warrior situation. Yet." But do we take the holiday for granted? Should there instead be a National Day of Ingratitude for Americans to celebrate? Maron replies, "Aren't they already? Isn't entitlement a certain kind of ingratitude? Isn't every day Ungrateful Day in America? Because everybody feels they deserve to have what is completely out of their reach? Because they actually feel they're on the path to the one-percent?" And of those in the bottom 99 percent, at Occupy Seattle and elsewhere, he notes, "Obviously, the roots of Thanksgiving are dubious, if you want to think about it on a Howard Zinn level. You're just basically celebrating the complete genocide or colonization of America. And that colonizing and the aggressive disenfranchising of the underclass still happens. It didn't stop with the Indians." Told how Issaquah-based Costco just got its Initiative 1125 approved, Maron sees a pattern: "Another example of how democracy works. People with the money can pay for their own initiatives. And it's a nice healthy outlet for those who are disenfranchised into the exurbs and underwater on their mortgages. Now they can be underwater with booze from Costco." BRIAN MILLER

Fri., Nov. 25, 9 p.m., 2011

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