Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dear Austin, I Continue to Cherish You with All My Heart!

You know, this middle aged shit is really agreeing with me. I'm not being cocky, I promise. I know there's always another shoe (and another and another ala Imelda) that could drop at any minute. But lately everything is coming up roses since I started applying myself to working less and playing more. The world seems not to fall apart without me sending long emails. The Internet seems to continue running despite the fact I have unsubbed from just about every mailing list I was on. And the perfect temperature and insane amount of green isn't hurting my annoyingly chipper attitude either.

Yesterday was ANOTHER PERFECT DAY in Austin, one that found me doing my Lou "Perfect Day" Reed impersonation as I drove along, my darling son by my side, him refraining from plugging his ears even! Let us take a look at how things went down. Perhaps my adventure will inspire you to play hooky soon and have some fun of your own.

I started off getting up at the crack of Tony Orlando and Dawn to do some PR stuff for Henry's about to drop record, EPISODE. Then, once Warren awoke, I brought him breakfast in bed. It might look a little messy in this picture, but damn, what a meal-- an omelet made with eggs from my own chickens, spinach from my own garden, local cheddar from Dos Lunas, and some sweet potato hash browns.

Then it was off to the dentist. Yes, that's right, I count a dentist day as falling in the VERY GOOD category. All sorts of reasons why. First, I LOVE MY DENTIST STEVEN VAN WICKLEN. Many, many, many years ago, when I was part of the Austin Chronicle's team of critics, helping to award Best of Austin designations, I gave one to SVW. I stand by that award to this day. I first met Steve on a Halloween, when he was wearing fake rotten teeth-- oh funny dentist man! Up until 2007, I had such a severe dental phobia (long story on how that went away) that I literally had to pump myself with anti-anxiety meds just to LEAVE THE HOUSE on teeth cleaning days. Steve and his team always have been extra gentle with me, recognizing my anxiety, coaxing me into the chair.

The man has also filled nearly every tooth in my head-- either with new fillings or replacing those old black ones. (Yes, I'm one of those people who grew up-- as Bruce Springsteen recently described at his SXSW keynote-- sprinkling sugar on top of my sugared cereal, and I also had some of those Horror Childhood Dentist experiences you hopefully have only read about. Anyway, my teeth totally sucked until Steve started working on them. Now they're all shiny and nice.) Steve also has been giving me great advice and insight over the years, like this sign below. He also always reminds me that too many blankets cause nightmares (a topic we discuss since I'm a tooth-guard needer at night, so badly do I grind my anxious teeth) and also he has been telling me forever IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO HAVE A HAPPY CHILDHOOD! I didn't always understand that. Now I do. Thank you, Steve.

Though Henry would've preferred I take money designated for the dentist and put it in his bank account, I was able to coerce him into a teeth cleaning, too. Hen's not a super huge fan of me writing about him, but right now he is allowing me a little leeway, since I am acting as his Big Mouthpiece to let everyone know about his NEW RECORD. Here he is, heading into the dentist, the Portrait of the Artist as Young Man Awakened Too Early by His Adoring Mother.

 After the dentist, we popped over to The Juicebox & Soup Peddler for a quick bite. I've been meaning to visit this place forever. It's owned by my amazing-haired friend, David Ansel, aka The Soup Peddler, whom I've known since back when he had about three customers. David is always a great reminder to me of what one can accomplish when one has a great vision and more than a little stamina.

 I had the tomato basil soup and the provolone pesto grilled cheese sandwich. Henry had the tomato basil soup and the muenster apple grilled cheese sandwich. WE WERE SO HAPPY. We sat outside in the gray drizzle looking out on Lamar and Happy Happy Happy was what I was feeling. I thought I couldn't get any happier until I noticed that the trash can at SPJB is rocking an excellent bumper sticker:

After lunch, Hen had to go to work, to the job he has had since he was FOURTEEN. Can we believe this? The same job for 1/3rd of his life and he's only 21? I have never had a job for more than probably, like, 1.5 months. Here's the view from the back of Farm to Market, where he regularly and cheerfully greets a steady stream of SoCo strollers.

Here are a few shots inside the store, including one of the softest t-shirts in the world and also, the camera shy Henry and his boss, Peg, who told me I could only take a picture if I did so from way across the room.

After that, I dashed over to a client meeting at Thunderbird on Manor. I had an Americano, and talked writing, and again looked out at the drizzle. It was so nice.

Then it was off to Cherrywood Coffee, aka "My Office" for three back-to-back meetings with prospective clients. I arrived laden down with books and mags to add to the community bookshelf and who opened the door for me? That's right! My new BFF and co-Cherrywooder, John Aielli. I unleashed my thanks to him and then, after the client meetings (all three couples hired me-- SCORE!) I stepped outside and right there, in the backyard of Cherrywood on Wednesdays there is the Pop-Up HOPE Farmers Market. Look at these beets!

And here's Colleen, who has a big hand in making the market happen. She also makes these amazing pies-- her company is Pie Fixes Everything and you need to order a pie RIGHT NOW!

Sadly, there are only 24 hours in a day, and by the time I was done at Cherrywood, I only had about 4.5 left. Fortunately, I can cram a lot into that period of time. So I headed over for some knitting and chatting with my buddies A & M. We solved the world's problems while eating delicious snacks and listening to Matt Reilly on KUT. And the whole time I'm thinking, I LOVE THIS TOWN! I LOVE IT! 

Matt's show ended at 11, but that didn't mean the fun was over. Ann and I headed down to the Continental Club to catch my old friend, James McMurtry, one of my very favorite Austin musicians, a songwriter of astounding talent. And he ain't half bad on the guitar, either.

I wound up extending the day into the next day, reluctantly leaving the Continental before James was done, knowing that Dante would, as he always does, wake me up at 6:55 am with big fat slobbery dog licks to my face. The drive home was the perfect way to wrap up the perfect day, as I had Congress Ave all to myself, and pleasantly recounted the old days, when the night was my magic time, because there is something very super excellent about haunting the streets when most everyone else is sound asleep. Sort of like the quiet you feel right after a big snow, when the world is pleasantly muffled, and any urgency subsides.

And so, once again, I say THANK YOU AUSTIN TEXAS. I love ya, honey. Let's stay 2Gether 4Ever.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Video Killed the Radio Star

So I think at least half of the six of you know that I do a video blog for KUT. It's called Whim City and the amazing Southpaw Jones wrote the all time best ever in the universe theme song for it. (Thanks, Southpaw!) The KUT folks do such a good job with this, with a special shout out to Mike Lee for the animation.

Meanwhile, inspired by my KUT comrades and egged on by my buddies Melissa and Damon in New York, I am at long last playing with doing some more video blogging. Let's think of these as sloppy interludes that keep us busy and hopefully entertained in between the Whim City episodes, which only happen once every few months. (You can click here to see the first Whim City, about the old air traffic control tower, and you can click here to see the second installment, about the Moustache Ride.)

And so I present to you below: Whim City #3: Hausbar Farms, the trailer for Tam Deli Makes Me Hot, and the actual Tam Deli Makes Me Hot (The Director's Cut). Thanks to Warren for help with the latter two.

Enjoy, my people. Enjoy.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: The Aliens at Hyde Park Theatre

Sometimes when I am sitting in my seat, waiting to take in a new play at the Hyde Park Theatre, I sort of steel myself. Not at all in a wincing-at-the-prospect kind of way. More like a fasten-your-seatbelts kind of way. Because as anyone who regularly attends plays there knows, HPT Artistic Director Ken Webster is mighty fond of taking the audience on dark and bumpy rides, adventures steeped in rich language and terrifying turns. For example—The Pillowman, A Behanding in Spokane, and St. Nicholas.

More recently, Webster’s been letting a little more light in, thanks in large part to the production over the past couple of years of a trio of plays by Annie Baker, a young and tremendously gifted playwright whose work has been performed internationally to much-deserved critical acclaim. I’m so grateful to Hyde Park Theatre for putting Baker on my radar. When I saw the first production of her work there, Body Awareness, I was bowled over, smitten, and so hungry for more I saw it a second time. Next came Circle Mirror Transformation, which, as with Body Awareness, prompts much laughter, some of it the nervous variety.

And now we have Baker's The Aliens, which opened last week. I’m seeing a pattern here—not just in Webster’s love of Baker, but my own. It’s easy enough to see how the play suits Webster’s taste—certainly there’s a darkness here, too. But a weird sort of light overshadows the darkness, an oxymoronic reverse shadow.

On the surface, we have three characters—two dudes who could be fairly labeled losers, and a third, younger man (not quite a man, actually) who shifts from being outraged and frustrated by their antics to fascinated, hypnotized and, it seems, oddly inspired to follow in their footsteps.

Let’s talk about the acting—Jude Hickey as KJ and Joey Hood as Jasper play the older two, a pair with a long friendship that seems glued together by much daydreaming and little in the way of measurable success. The entire play takes place in an alley behind the Green Sheep Coffee Shop—a truly stunning set created by Ia Ensterä--  where KJ and Jasper wax faux-philosophical about what was and what one day might be, while never really going anywhere. Hickey and Hood are two of Austin’s mightiest stage talents, and The Aliens lends further proof to this truth. They have a natural, easy chemistry that makes their characters’ friendship utterly believable, and watching them perform is a true joy.

New to the Hyde Park stage is Jon Cook, in the role of Evan, the Green Sheep employee who at first tries to shoo KJ and Jasper away, only to find himself eventually pulled into their drama. Really, this play could just as easily been called Circle Mirror Transformation, too, as the end loops back to the beginning, and Evan begins to ape his elders in the apparent hope of turning himself into one of them. Cook, a UT senior, does a truly amazing turn here—his face is so expressive, at turns so naïve, open, curious, confused, joyful and torn, as he totally nails the sort of real life coming of age characters that haunt coffee shops everywhere.

As a writer/reader/English major I have the sometimes annoying habit, when taking in a book/play/movie of automatically rooting around a work, as I am experiencing it, trying to pluck out meaning and metaphor on the spot. I know, I know, there are worse habits. But allow me an analogy here—sometimes, when you go hear live music, rather than single out the work of the amazing bassist or gifted guitarist, it’s far better to just let yourself be engulfed by the whole of the music. A great band will do that for you, override any hard work your brain is doing to separate out the parts. So it is with The Aliens. I wanted, initially, to carefully dismantle it in my mind, try to figure out where Baker was going, what meaning she hoped for me to extract. But then, pretty much against my will and driven by the outstanding performances of the actors under the direction of Webster, I just settled back and let the story have me.

That was the right choice. Now, if I wish, I can sit here and play with the thing all I want, assign meaning—History repeats. Life strives to suck us into the muck. There is light in the darkness, darkness in the light.—that sort of thing. But I prefer to just keep it whole in my mind as I sit, days later, the portraits of KJ and Jasper and Evan still burned vivid in my mind. 

The Aliens plays at Hyde Park Theatre Thursdays-Saturdays through April 21, 2012.  For more info and tickets go here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Little More Help with I WAS RAPED BY MIKE DAISEY, Please!

Welcome to our final installment of this week's series: I WAS RAPED BY MIKE DAISEY. A quick recap for those of you who missed the earlier episodes and/or those of you who have brain injuries and can't remember things for more than five minutes:

1. On Sunday, our darling Ira Glass came across the radio waves to announce that Mike Daisey, whose piece on This American Life in January garnered more downloads than any other ever, had made up a bunch of shit in his "true" story. Listening to Ira, Mike sat thinking, "Please don't eat the Daisey," while Spike sat at home thinking, "Jesus, this reminds me of days I waited tables and had to deal with couples who thought it was a good idea to break up in public"

2. Also on Sunday, Spike gave Ira a Kick Ass Award and rescinded her earlier invitation to Mike to, "Call next time you're in Austin!" which she issued when Mike emailed her after hearing that she'd been fucked over by some dumbass producer at The Moth. In fact, Spike told Mike he is banned from Austin.

3. On Monday, Spike announced she was preparing a show called I WAS RAPED BY MIKE DAISEY, which sold out, almost instantly, for the foreseeable future. 

4. On Wednesday, realizing that (fuck fuck fuck) now she actually had to write the show, Spike asked y'all for some help developing the plot.

5. Yesterday, acknowledging that she could not forge ahead with the writing until she decided on the right prop, Spike asked you to help her choose which glass to use in her performance. You sentimental fools overwhelmingly chose the Ira Glass. YAWN. Sooooo predictable, people! SO predictable!

6. Which brings us to today. Okay I really am just about ready to write now. But I need a tiny bit more help. It dawned on me that, while I do want my set to stay sort of true to Mike's set, and while Mike doesn't use anything more than a glass of water, a couple of sheets of paper, and an invisible Sack of Bullshit, I probably do need a little more than that. Because I want my audience to feel Mike up there on the stage with me, I need something symbolic of Mike so that his presence remains... well... present throughout the performance. Luckily, I got a degree in English from the illustrious University of South Florida (Go Brahman Bulls!) so I am well-versed in the ways of potent symbolism. In fact, I came up with so many options that, once again, as with needing help selecting the proper drinking vessel, now I need you to vote on which of the following props will best represent the Spirit of Mike Daisey as I take to the stage to present I WAS RAPED BY MIKE DAISEY. Are you ready? Great. Here we go:

I can already hear you saying, "Spike, Spike, Spike! Dressing like a daisy is a) entirely too blatant and b) will confuse your audience who will take you to BE Mike Daisey and you shouldn't wish that on your worst enemy." To which I say, "Good point. So how about this..." (see below) 
As the six of you who regularly read this blog already know, that's Rebound the Divorce Puppy. If Rebound had an IQ over 7, she would surely be offended to be standing in as Mike Daisey in the show I WAS RAPED BY MIKE DAISEY. However, fortunately at least in this instance, Rebound's IQ hovers at around 4, which means that, not only does she not have the capacity to be offended, but she could genuinely represent Mike's mental "prowess."
Or maybe we should forego the overly obvious daisy = Daisey thing and go for something more subtle. Like my Yeti hat. Probably I won't use this, but I am including it for your vote because I think it suggests, "Hey, I'm Mike Daisey! I'm a monster, yes! But I'm a cartoonish monster! I won't really hurt you too much." Also, it could suggest how Mike feels about himself-- a legend in his own mind!
As with the daisy costume, this one might be too blatant. Or hell, maybe it's too subtle? Do you get it? DO YOU GET IT? I am TAKING A BITE OUT OF APPLE!! 
I think this is my favorite representation of Mike, though to call him a chicken for not telling the truth is actually a pretty big insult to chickens. Plus, if I use my pet chicken for the show, I will likely wind up covered in chicken shit. Oh wait, maybe THAT could be the representation of Mike! Chicken Shit! And finally... speaking of shit...
How about this option, eh? Does this not perfectly capture the idea that Mike Daisey is full of shit? The only two drawbacks I can see to this option are that a) how can I talk with a mouthful of shit? (Oh wait, I know-- I can take lessons from Mike, who does it all the time!) and b) The Disintegration Factor. Ah, but if I go this route, the Disintegration Factor can represent Mike Daisey's story about China, and how it's all a bunch of shit that totally stinks and falls apart pretty easily. Not bad if I do say so myself!

Okay, y'all, voting ends at MIDNIGHT! Hurry up and let me know what your choice is. See you at the show! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Update: I STILL Need Your Help! Vote for Your Favorite Prop for My New Show: I WAS RAPED BY MIKE DAISEY!

This week, as some of you know, I've spent a lot of time (some would say entirely too much time) considering the whole Mike Daisey thing. I decided a show was in order, and I even came up with a title: I WAS RAPED BY MIKE DAISEY! Well, folks, the response has been overwhelming! The show is sold out well into 2013. But I have a problem. The truth is (and by truth, I mean the actual truth, as opposed to the pretend truth) that I have yet to write the show. 


As I mentioned yesterday, I feel like, before I can proceed with the writing, I really need to get my props squared away. In particular, I need to select just the right drinking vessel to set on my desk. As we know, even the most stripped down sets convey a certain message, a sort of je na sais quoi if you will. Proper props might seem irrelevant at first glance, but trust me, a seasoned monologist, they can pack a tremendous subconscious punch in your audience. The wrong glass could find them storming out of a performance, the way a bunch of folks stormed out of a Mike Daisey show. (I know, I know-- you're thinking, But Spike, those were right wing Christian nutjobs who walked out because of the whole "I fucked Paris Hilton" thing. Ah, but that's where you're wrong, people-- believe me, it was a subconscious revulsion to Daisey's overly simplistic glass that drove them away.)

The right glass, on the other hand, tells your audience something important. It relays a sense of who you are-- are you everyday folk just like them? Do you have a sense of humor? Are you slightly above them? Way above them? 

Now are you getting the picture? It is COMPLICATED.

This morning, I've been playing around with options. Below you'll find seven photos featuring an array of vessels. I ask you to please tear yourself away from using your iPhone to sign online petitions against FoxConn long enough to voice your opinion. Because your vote counts, people. And I cannot proceed to the all important writing of I WAS RAPED BY MIKE DAISEY unless and until I hear from you. Thanks in advance for your assistance on this pressing matter. 

Backstory: this is a handmade coffee mug I got at a local craft fair. I think if I go with this option it could convey to my audience that I support local, Made in America products. On the other hand, it might make me look like a dirty fucking hippie. Your thoughts? 
This stainless water bottle was, in fact, Made in China. However, the label insists that it was made ethically in China. So maybe if I go with this option, it will subtly scream: "I, Spike Gillespie, in purchasing this item, singlehandedly sent a loud message to the bastard Chinese government that I will only purchase ethically produced Chinese products, or at least products which, if not actually ethically made, come with a label to dupe me into thinking so, thus assuaging any momentary guilt I feel as I whip out my credit card." The potential drawback to this one? Well, if I use it, it could give the impression that I'm a yoga loser, or, worse, a LuLuLemon supporter. And we all know how I feel about LuLuLemon 
Note that this mug features a handle that looks like a lady's fishnetted leg! Also, note the serious look on my face. I'm going for the Study in Contrasts effect here, my facial expression saying, "Damn right I am a humorless feminist!" while the mug itself hints that I have a playful sense of humor about the objectification of women. What do you think? I worry that, consider the topic of the show-- I WAS RAPED BY MIKE DAISEY!-- it might get the audience thinking about how, if you dress a certain slutty way, you're just asking for it. 
I didn't save the label on this one, but I'm guessing it, too, was Made in China. On the other hand, it is a REUSABLE "disposable" cup. So there's the potential to give off a sense of irony. And, too, it could suggest that I Heart The Environment, because unlike other people who use throwaway cups, I know that this cup, when it eventually winds up in a landfill, might well be repurposed by the trolls living and scavenging at the dump.
Gilt-rimmed goblet! As noted yesterday, I'm pretty sure this would suggest that I'm part of the 1%, which would probably be off-putting to 99% of my audience. So I'm not going to use this one. But I wanted to show it to you. Isn't it so pretty? Too bad it reminds me of my last marriage-- it was a wedding gift-- and if you think Mike Daisey is a flaming narcissist, well, damn, you should meet my last ex-husband! 
A handleless teacup from Japan. It's pretty and delicate, just like me! And I think it says, "You know, there are LOTS of other places in Asia we can get stuff from."
And then there's this one-- my Ira Glass. What do you think? Too blatant? 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Please Help Me With My Show: I WAS RAPED BY MIKE DAISEY!

Think, Spike! Think! Think what kind of drinking glass will portray you in the best light to your audience!

Y'all, now that my new show, I WAS RAPED BY MIKE DAISEY,  is sold out for the foreseeable future,  I guess I'm actually going to have to write the damn thing. Fortunately, though I will portray myself as having actually been raped by Mike Daisey, I won't actually have been raped by Mike Daisey. (And oh-- meta of meta!-- I learned this fake reporting crap from the master himself!)

So far, all I have worked out is that I will sit at a table with a glass of water and a piece of paper. I think I will use a mason jar to hold my water, to give the set a folksy feel. Do you think that's okay? Or should I use a goblet? A sippy cup? Jesus, I don't know how these big shot performers do it-- coming up with that super authentic feel -- when there are untold choices out there. If I go with a cheery, brightly colored glass that was Made in China, I fear I will be called out in some monologue somewhere for not being sensitive to the working conditions in that country. If I go with something Austrian and handblown, then I might give off the wrong impression that I'm part of the 1%. Frankly, I'm sort of going fucking nuts deciding on this.

But I'm pretty sure I'll use regular old printer paper for my piece of paper, unless you think a legal pad would look more... uh... throwback and hipster? (Speaking of hipster, I've got this beard that's coming in which is just what happens to us pre-menopausal women. I fear that if I depilate I will give the message that I am a self-hating woman, afraid of the aging process, caving into the beauty myth. But if I keep it, it might look like I am mocking hipsters and/or the Amish and or Civil War re-enactors. So I probably need help with this choice, too.)

Meanwhile, as I continue to ponder all those technical decisions, there is the matter of CONTENT. I figure there are a couple of ways I can go with my description of Mike Daisey as Rapist. I could flat out make him into a monster, a total brute, not a shred of humanity in him, a narcissistic fuck who rampantly thunders through life concerned only for himself. But you know, that's already been done-- by Mike Daisey himself.

The other angle I'm working on-- and I know it's a stretch because, bear with me, even if it is far from the truth it might get to some GREATER TRUTH the way that some people lie and lie but do so, in their words, as a means of doing society a service-- well anyway, this other angle... I thought I might try to HUMANIZE Mike Daisey. Yes, yes, I understand how challenging this could be, given the antics of the real life Mike Daisey. And I realize the audience will find a sympathetic portrayal hard to buy, but think about the conflict it will create both in the narrative and in the hearts of the audience members if I pull it off! I could give him some backstory that sort of helps explain how he grew into a monster!

If I do go that route, I wonder if the following scenarios, provided I write them very carefully, could be accepted as truth by my audience (or if, at the very least, they would be willing to suspend their disbelief, the way Mike Daisey's own audience does). To wit:

1. I thought maybe I could give him a mangled hand! Or maybe two mangled hands! Probably just one mangled hand because if he has two mangled hands then even I would have a hard time believing that his victims couldn't easily escape him. I think if I do the mangled hand thing, it will really lend sympathy to his character. Currently, I'm considering proposing that he mangled his hand by dropping his iPad on it. Probably it would be better to have him mangling his hand by reaching into a Vitamix to rescue a fly that he notices is trapped on the top of smoothie ingredients, about to be sucked down into the vortex, toward the spinning blades. That would make him seem a lot more sensitive than an iPad accident, huh? Well, I guess there are all sorts of possibilities. So when you cast your vote for whether or not I should even bother with mangling his hand, if you vote yay, do let me know how you would like the hand-mangling accident to occur.

2. I want to work in an underage kid here. No, no, not as a direct victim of Mike Daisey. Even I'm not that big of an asshole, doing a show about a fake rape that involves a child. But I was thinking-- I could have Mike Daisey accost me and lock me in a room and have the room guarded by a gun-toting six-year-old. Or maybe I could talk about Mike Daisey's childhood and how his parents kept him locked in a room guarded by a gun-toting six-year-old? Or maybe I could have Mike Daisey, as he leaves me broken and crying on the floor, my hand totally mangled (this will be his signature move-- mangling his victims' hands to "see how YOU like it!") escape to a getaway car being driven by a gun-toting six-year-old. Again, I appreciate your assistance in helping me with this.

3. Finally (for now)... So, we all know that the real life Mike Daisey doesn't apologize, because such is the life of a narcissist, apologies are an ungraspable foreign concept to them. But as I have repeated ad nauseum, my goal is not to tell the actual truth, I want to tell the Big Truth, you know, the one built on lies. In which case I could actually allow Mike Daisey to apologize to me after the rape and hand mangling. Do you think the audience would buy this? Me, in my best Mike Daisey voice, quoting him saying, "I'm sorry, Spike! I'm so so so sorry! I didn't mean to do this to you, and the hand mangling has got to stop! But I am a sick man. A very sick man. I can't stop myself! You. Have. Got. To. HELP ME! HELP ME SPIKE!!! PLEASE!!!" (And then, of course, I could have him breaking down in sobs.)

I eagerly await your feedback. Show starts soon so I gotta hustle and get it written. Please send me your thoughts asap.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Come See My New Show: I Was Raped by Mike Daisey!

What can I say? I'm a rapist!

Exciting news! Like Mike Daisey, I, too, am a monologist. (Aside: I'm also a journalist, but for my new show, I assure you that I will not be acting as a journalist because unlike some dickwads, I actually know the difference, and when which form is appropriate). For my show, I will be using my sublime storytelling skills to reveal to you, in breathtaking, horrifying, graphic fashion about the time Mike Daisey raped me. Multiple times. 
I know what some of you are thinking. You're thinking, "But, Spike, Mike Daisey didn't actually rape you. If you claim that he raped you, not only are you lying, and hurting his reputation, but you are also doing a grave injustice to actual rape victims!"

To which I reply, FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE! I'm a STORYTELLER. I CAN DO WHAT I WANT. What? You never heard of poetic license? 

Look, people, don't be so fucking old school. Don't give me that truth will out bullshit. I don't want to hear it. Because if my work brings to light the horrors of rape, WHO CARES if Mike Daisey didn't actually rape me? I know my piece will be so great and so powerful that it will potentially lead to the end of rape altogether. How the hell can you argue with that?

I STAND BY MYSELF HERE! I will NOT back down. And the more you try to get me to back down or apologize for spreading false rumors, THE MORE I WILL STAND BY MYSELF, do you HEAR me you IDIOTS!

I am IMPORTANT! I do not need FACTS! I have heard rumors and innuendo about rape, and this is more than enough information than I need to bring to light what it really feels like to be raped.

For those of you who continue to support Mike Daisey's right to tell his story about all the things that he didn't actually see in China, and to point out that he nonetheless is doing a great thing, I am willing to give you a SPECIAL DISCOUNT on tickets. So be sure to use the promotion code: DUMBSHIT when you order tickets.

The rest of you-- sorry, full price.

And for the record-- I would like to say once more that I feel utterly justified in putting on my show
I WAS RAPED BY MIKE DAISEY! because even if he didn't actually physically assault me, technically rape is defined as a type of violation, and surely we can all agree that Mike Daisey is the ultimate violator?

See you at the show!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Let's Have a Group Hug for Ira Glass!


Hey Y'all,
After listening to this morning's broadcast of This American Life, I feel sad for poor Ira, who got duped by Mike Daisey. If you missed the show, you can listen to the podcast here. The short version is this-- ala Oprah and James Frey (who, ironically, Mike Daisey did a piece about), Ira got duped into believing a mostly fabricated story created by Daisey, and presented as truth, about the working conditions of the Chinese factory workers who assemble iProducts.

There are so many sad and stupid parts to this story. For example-- conditions for workers in factories DO suck, which has been established by reputable sources. So Daisey didn't really need to lie now, did he? But in the tradition of a long line of narcissistic fucks who put their own popularity ahead of the facts (I'm talking to you Jason Blair, James Frey, Stephen Glass and the whole lot of you assholes), Daisey was far more concerned with gaining accolades (and before he was found to be fraudulent, he got PLENTY-- the original episode of TAL on which he appeared was the most downloaded TAL podcast EVER), than presenting the truth.

What's Worse? When he was found out, and then brought on the show to explain himself, did he back down? Did he apologize? NO, NO, NO. In a sort of doublespeak of a level not witnessed since the Bush administration, he babbled incomprehensibly. He also posted a note at his blog-- where we are not allowed to comment (of course not) standing by himself.

Hey, Mike? Maybe you need to dump that water on your pants cause THEY'RE ON FIRE, dude.
Here's a kooky aside-- I actually had an email exchange with Mike awhile back. He was coming to Austin to host the Moth at the Paramount. I had been invited to perform in that show, but backed out when the dumbshit producer kept trying to push me into places I didn't want to go, trying to get me to shape my story with details she was inserting that weren't true to the story. Do we see a theme here? Mike was nice enough in our exchange, and I thanked him and told him to give me a holler next time he's in town, and I offered to promote his one man show. I AM OFFICIALLY RESCINDING THAT INVITATION MIKE. Do NOT come to Austin. Leave us ALONE.

Here's another kooky aside-- I have also had email exchanges with Ira, since I have been trying for about eight years to get on the show. Ira has always been super nice and super real.

So while, yes, TAL could have and should have done a better job of fact checking, the real problem is not TAL, it's Mike Daisey. I am feeling very bad for Ira right now. But I am also feeling the love for him. Because unlike Mike Daisey, Ira came out of the gates this morning owning up to TAL's responsibility in presenting this story, he apologized profusely, and he did so multiple times. He exhibited grace under pressure and so, though he can't turn back time and unrun the story, he did not run and hide.

It's okay, Ira, we all make mistakes. You still KICK ASS!
For this, I commend him and give him a Kick Ass Award. Thank you, Ira!

I invite all of you to post your Ira support here. I'll be sure to send him your messages.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Next Dick Monologues-- April 11th. Hurry! It'll Sell Out!

Hi Y'all,
I am so enjoying the revival of the Dick Monologues and our new format-- topic specific pieces. The Sisters Show was, I must say, totally WOW. Next up is our show about PETS! All proceeds go to benefit Austin Pets Alive. Here's the info:

Dick Monologues Presents: PETS!
Wednesday, April 11th
7 pm til 9ish (probably a little later)
Hyde Park Theatre
$10 per ticket

To reserve do NOT call the theatre. Email ME!

Hurry-- we're already on our way to selling out.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Leslie Day Proclaimed! I Was There!

So the turnout was pretty sparse when the City Council proclaimed yesterday to be Leslie Day. I chalk this up to the crappy weather, the short notice, and the fact that the proclamation came during rush hour traffic. But those of us who were there had a nice time. I stopped by Electric Ladyland ahead of time and bought twenty tiaras to hand out. Leslie's sister and niece both spoke-- they were overwhelmed by the kindness Austin has extended them and I got all choked up listening to them get all choked up. Oh Austin, I LOVE YOU! And when Leslie's sister said she wished she had a tiara, ta-da! I happened to be able to fulfill that wish. Here are some pictures of the day. There's a memorial on Sunday at 2 pm at Auditorium Shores-- please show up in your finest!