Altruism

I don’t know if I believe in true altruism.

We help people because it helps us and as long as you’re not hurting anyone or anything, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

We’ve all done thoughtful acts but rarely at the expense of our well being or even our comfort. I mean, why should we? To look like a good person? I’ve met a lot of really good people in my life but I’ve never gotten the impression that they were doing the right thing for the “greater good”. It just seemed like they were “good” people because it felt good to be a good person and that’s how they were rewarded by whomever raised or influenced them.  It wasn’t altruism.

Maybe I’m just a bad person and I don’t get it. I don’t know.

In all fairness, I don’t think it’s anyone’s fault that true altruism doesn’t exist. Our current system doesn’t reward altruistic behavior. Capitalism is not supposed to be a zero sum game, but in all games, there are competitors and those competitors either come out as winners or losers. Are you willing to be a loser for the greater good? Because that’s true altruism.

I’m not religious but I think that’s what our idea of Jesus is, a true altruist. We all think Tim Tebow is the second coming of Jesus but he ain’t. He’s probably a really good guy but the real Jesus is some guy in Oklahoma that takes care of his meth addicted sister’s kids and doesn’t have time for romantic relationships. It’s some guy we don’t know because he doesn’t want to be known. That’s Jesus and that’s true altruism.

I had the idea that mothers were the only true altruists but the more I thought about it, the more I was dissuaded. Sure, mothers perform selfless acts all the time but I think that it’s mostly because of social pressure. I think a lot of moms would leave little Johnny in a basket floating down the river if they had the choice but that’s kind of looked down upon now. Mothers are good to their children because if they’re not, they’ll look bad.

I feel like I’ll revisit these thoughts again one day. Until then, that’s all I have on the subject.

On an unrelated note, “#1 Dad” mugs aren’t for your dad. They’re for you. It’s a chance for you to say, “Hey, I got my dad a mug.” If you really just wanted to give him a mug, it would probably look cooler and not reference the fact that he fathered you.

Episode 153: A Little Smells

The guys try to figure out how fetishes are fashioned. Dean talks about doing the most time he’s ever done on stage and Zack decides he’s going to be hot again. Pornstar pussy spray, midget fighting and 10-15 years of being a loser.

Bas – Purge

Bloc Party – Real Talk

An Ode to Ari Shaffir

      We’re in the middle of a standup comedy boom. It’s never been bigger. There’s no one reason, as the soar in popularity of podcasts, roast battles and big budget Netflix specials have all contributed to this glut of laughs and comedic perspectives. However, there is one unsung hero who’s played a pivotal role in the mainstream success of comedy by bricklaying the foundation of the underground. That man’s name is, Ari Shaffir.

*I’m not an expert nor a historian but I am a comedy nerd so some of the names and references I’m about to drop may be a little obscure.*

For decades, there was a palpable beef between West Coast (mostly Los Angeles) and East Coast (mostly New York and Boston) comedians. New York and Boston comedians thought L.A. comics were vapid, shallow and showboaty while it seemed as if L.A. comics perceived their coastal counterparts to be unnecessarily gritty, brash and everything blue collar that they were trying to get away from. Ari Shaffir played and is still playing a major role in squashing this beef by bridging the two comedy meccas together via podcasts, a collaborative storytelling tv show and most importantly, live comedy shows.

Ari Shaffir, a.k.a. “The Amazing Racist”,  developed his chops at the world famous Comedy Store in Los Angeles in the early 2000’s. He had some moderate success around town, featuring for big comics like Carlos Mencia (big comic at the time), Tom Segura and Joe Rogan. In 2013, Ari started to gain real mainstream traction with the success of his storytelling web-series, “This Is Not Happening” presented by Comedy Central on Youtube which was later picked up by the network as a full fledged tv show in 2015. He also dropped his second special, “Paid Regular“, the same year and week on the network. Around that time, Ari started traveling back and forth between the two coasts before officially becoming a New York City resident in 2015. This catalyzed a new relationship between New York and L.A. comedians that has proved to be fruitful for both sides.

Most of you know who Joe Rogan is. He’s essentially an L.A. comedian who first gained mainstream fame for hosting “Fear Factor”, then as a headlining comedian but most of you know him now as one of the biggest podcasters hosting one of the biggest podcasts out there, “The Joe Rogan Experience”. Well, Ari and Joe are best friends. When Ari moved to New York, he made more friends..very funny comedian friends. With Ari’s endorsement he got Joe to put those friend’s on Joe’s podcast and boom, careers were made, saved and resurrected. People like Mark Normand, Joe List, Dan Soder, Big Jay Oakerson, Luis J Gomez, and Dave Smith were all introduced to Joe through Ari. These comics are all killing the underground scene, poised to be household names when comedy inevitably shifts back to the dark ages.

Ari didn’t forget about his L.A. comedian friends. He made sure they got in with his new community in New York as well. Old friends like Tony Hinchcliffe, Jayson Thibault, Sam Tripoli, and Bert Kreischer are almost all now touring the country (and some the world) as a result of their success on New York City podcasts and shows. This would have never happened without Ari’s backing. These comedians gained an entire new fanbase and opened up an entirely new market (the east coast) just by being associated with Ari. I’m simplifying their success way too much but even they would agree that Ari had a lot to do with bringing the two comedy communities together for the betterment of everyone.

I could go on and on about Ari but I feel like I’ve given you all enough of a reason to at least check out a few of his projects to get to know a little bit about why he’s such an important person in comedy. He’s not a household name because he doesn’t want to be but he’s a big reason why comedy is so good today. He’s free, principled and willing to do whatever it takes t get a laugh in the moment. Check out his podcast, Skeptic Tank and go see him live any chance you get.

Episode 150: Polyester Piss-Pants

Dean reveals his new “Stay Relatable” tat. Zack and the other neighborhood kid kill mammals. The guys talk about their out of town “open mic” experience and task the listeners with finding an open mic venue of their own.

Trippie Redd – Lil’ Wayne

The Chats – Smoko

Episode 149: Fuck Sauerkraut

The guys ponder whether or not their parents would be cool if they were gay. As always, the guys work out bits and just have a super time time good. Dean has a firm stance on sweet potato vs. pumpkin pie and Zack will never be likable.

Waylon Jennings – Never Been To Spain

Foo Fighters – Come Alive

How Black Are You?

“Like what percentage, isn’t it like half?” – I’ve heard some variation of this question countless times throughout my life.  It’s not that I mind people’s curiosity about my background, it’s that I mind the pervasiveness of misinformation when it comes to race vs ethnicity vs nationality…I have also noticed how many times I’ve had to hear someone else answering the background question with the coveted, “I’m 1/4 Egyptian, 1/4 Italian, 1/12 Jewish, 1/19 Irish, 1/256 Greek”…One, no one cares that freaking much when they ask…and two…okay maybe it’s just me that doesn’t care that much? Just say you’re white and/or black etc and call it a day?
Alright, there’s actually a number of things that bug me about this topic actually, so here’s just a short list to correct some potential myths. They’re not even opinion based so hear me out! 
1. You can’t know “what percentage” of any race you are based on what your parents are. Say your dad is black and white because he has a white mother and a black father.  That does not automatically mean he is half and half, or that you’re a quarter of each.  Genetics don’t work like that.  You can absorb more or less of either side (i.e. 30% black, 60% white or vice versa).  Same with your siblings.  Your full-sister can be genetically “blacker” or “whiter” than you.  
2. Your nationality/ethnicity is NOT your race.  If I say I’m Puerto Rican, or American for that instance, that’s not telling you my race.  If someone says they’re German, you probably automatically picture a white person – however, there are black Germans.  There are black Puerto Ricans, white ones, and generally hella mixed ones. There are black Spaniards, there are white Africans…You get it.
3. Companies like 23andMe, Ancestry, MyHeritage have a ways to go regarding accuracy of genealogy reporting. These companies simply compare your DNA to the DNA of other people with known ancestries.  In doing so, they look for evidence that you have common ancestors with people in the specified reference group (Spanish people for example).  The problem arises though, when we consider that every company uses a different reference group, and these reference groups are changing all the time.  This means you could easily get a result from one company that says you’re 3x more Polish than the other company reports.  What’s more is that the reference group information available for certain ethnicities is lacking, where it is mostly abundant in European/white data points.  Over time, the hope is that the more people participate, the more accurate the reporting will become across all ethnic groups.
That’s my hope at least, since I successfully transcended through ALL 5 stages of grief after my 23andMe pegged me as 60% white (with a Rican mom and biracial dad).  Until then, I’m making my first casserole and dry turkey this Thanksgiving. Trying to embrace this potential newfound identity.