Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Banana Story

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Trigger Warnings

I tweeted about a news story on Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson, and in doing so I included a "trigger warning" along with the link which resulted in the following exchange (My replies in bold):

He sucks. but dude "trigger warning" come on, you're a comedian. cut that shit out.

Why? What could possibly wrong with letting people know that I'm linking to graphic descriptions of violence? And what does it have to do with me being a comedian?
My dad, a strong, intelligent man, can have his day ruined by 'Nam footage. He suffered trauma
It's wrong to help him avoid this?

Comedians and free speech go hand in hand. this guys a dick. people should be told he's a dick. when you have to give a warning about it you're just giving power to people to stop you from speaking your mind down the road

Wrong. Letting people who've suffered trauma make informed choices didn't stop me from linking that story.
The warning wasn't about calling him a dick. It was warning victims of violent trauma about graphic descriptions of violence.
The backlash against it feels like shaming them for being susceptible to triggers.

Some songs make me cry, do I need a warning for them? the world is tough, things will upset people, it sucks, but it happens.

You crying at a sad song is the same as what a victim of violent trauma suffers? Shaming, belittling. You know any such victims?

Not being able to report a story because it might upset someone is bordering on a creepy factor i don't understand.

Also, you still have failed to support the idea that it will limit what I can say in any way.
Straw man. I did report the story.
And the warning made it easier to do so, not harder.

I just don't get it. should every news paper and news channel need a trigger warning?
Do you have to give trigger warnings now before jokes? when i see comedians or anyone talk I expect I might be offended. NBD.

You don't "have" to do anything. When you're able to, and choose to, it's a kind and considerate action.
My act never has long, drawn out descriptions of violence. If it did, I'd probably warn people.
In fact, when I hosted Spike and Mike's Festival of Animation, I did warn people, and my warning was funny.
NPR often gives one. It's great. I don't see the harm. It allows them more freedom to deliver the hard news.
You compare being offended to what a victims of violent trauma experience. Again, belittling. Do you know anyone suffering PTSD?

Yes. And there's no escaping words/articles/pictures. We have to help people because you can't constantly be sheltered.

Sure. And when you're able to let someone know what's ahead, do so. I still don't see the harm in a friendly warning.

There's always something that will offend someone. Where does it end?
Yesterday a group was asking for people to do jazz hands cuz clapping was causing anxiety. Maybe I'm dumb, I just don't get it

You're talking about offense again. Straw man. I never warned people they might be offended. That's not what trigger means.
Yesterday other people were building sidewalk ramps to make my city more accessible. Some efforts are good, some not...
I thought we were talking about trigger warnings?

And that's where it ends. Please note, I did correct some grammar and one major typo to make it more readable. You can read it on Twitter if you wish, HERE: https://twitter.com/keithlowell/status/580751725746753536

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Workout Room

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Guess my dad's more of a Tupac guy.

My dad was at Wendy's. He told the girl he wanted his meal "Large".
She asked, "You mean biggie?"
He answered, "The largest size you have."
Her, "Biggie?"
Dad, "Yes."
Her, "Yes, what?"
Dad, "Yes, I want the largest size you have."
Her, "You mean Biggie?"
Dad, "Yes."
Her, "Yes what?"
Dad, "I'm not gonna fucking say it."
Her "... will that be for here or to go, sir?"

Snapper

My buddy, Craig, asked me, "Are you on Snap Chat."

I Said, "No." and then I asked "Should I be?" and I asked this before even asking what it was because I have an irrational fear of there being a thing that I'm not on.

Craig explained it to me. "It's fantastic. Women send you naked pictures."

I said, "This sounds like a great app."

He explained, "The picture is only on the screen for a few seconds and you can't save 'em. The app turns off your screen cap so you can't do that either."

I said, "Craig, that sounds brilliant."

And then my friend showed me the elaborate set up he rigged for using snap chat. "So look here, I have my tablet run into this large monitor. The pics appear there in all their glory. I keep my iPhone at the ready, and I take a pic of the pic on the monitor. I now have a huge collection of hot as hell nude pics stored away for a rainy day, a horny rainy day. What do you think?"

And I said, "Craig, you're what's wrong with the world. These women are kind enough to bare their bodies for you, and you ignore the conditions you agreed to under which they gave you this gift. That's so dishonest. You know creepy behavior like this and creepy men like you are why women need technology like this in the first place in order to feel safe and secure, and creepy guys like you are why it will ultimately fail. You make all of us less and less likely to see boobs. You not only hurt women, violate their trust, make them susceptible to public humiliation, but you cost men boobs, and frankly, Craig, I'm disgusted."

And Craig said, "So, do you want to see the pics?" and I replied, "Of course I do."

And then I realized this was wrong, obviously, and I said, "Can I just watch you procuring the pics, and I'll just look during the consensual part?"

Then I realized that unless he tells them I'm there this is still problematic, so I went home and masturbated to a shampoo commercial.

Ah, shit.

My boss and I were talking about how much we hated taking meds. I told him I often go off of mine just to see if I still need 'em. He said, "Yeah? What are the bad side effects?"
I answered, "None. The only effect of my drugs is that I don't shit blood."
"Then why would you not take 'em?"
I guess the answer is that taking my drugs feels like acknowledging that I'm broken and dependent. In political turmoil or a natural disaster, I'd be screwed. My position of privilege in the world is the only reason I'm not dead.
Good morning everyone. I hope you're having good shits.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Break In

I was sitting on the toilet.

It's a bit disconcerting how many of my stories now start this way.

"Keith, did you open the window and take the screen out?" My wife yelled from the living room. 

"No!" I shouted. "I'm on the toilet!"

"Someone's been in our house!"
I hurried what is normally the most relaxing part of my day, and raced to the living room. Someone had removed the screen and pulled a towel from a pile of laundry on the couch to cover the windowsill to make their illegal entry into our home more comfortable.

Then it dawned on us that we didn't know for sure that this person had left our house. "Go to Max!" I urged my wife, as our daughter was alone in our bed, having sleepwalked there sometime in the wee hours of the morning, possibly even while the intruder was in our house. Aluminum baseball bat in hand, creepy thoughts in head, I quickly checked our small flat for unwanted visitors. I then went to the front door, found it unlocked, and opening it discovered that our car was gone. 

It seems the thief had done a quick route, window to door grabbing a few goodies on the way, my wife's laptop and purse mainly. The purse contained the keys and they drove off. They walked right past my record collection. Didn't touch it, which is quite insulting.

It's an intrusion, a hit to your sense of security, a violation, all these things that people say yes, but then it's followed by having to allow cops into your house which isn't one of my favorite things either. An Asian cop and a Hispanic cop showed up and I was relieved that at least they weren't white. The main reasons I don't like dealing with white cops is that I'm afraid we might get along fine, and then I'd worry that it was for the wrong reasons. 'Hey, you guys are alright. Wait a minute... it's not because I'm white is it?' This may be why I've picked up the bad habit of persuading cops to hit me and arrest me and otherwise not get along fine with me.

They asked me if I had any enemies. I thought, "Well, you guys if you've heard what I say about cops in my act." but I answered, "I'm a stand up comedian with strong opinions. Plenty of people hate me."

We tried to get back to our lives as best as we could. I slept on the couch in the living room, or more accurately, I lay awake all night on the couch in the living room. We researched alarms, and we waited for our car to turn up somewhere, as we hear they usually do.
My daughter calls the car Zoey and she was very upset that it was taken. We did our best to keep her routine normal and to minimize the effect of the break in on her psyche. When she said to me, "Daddy, maybe the people that took Zoey were homeless and just really needed to get somewhere." I felt like she was processing it all okay, maybe better than us.

I was at work when I answered a call from my wife. "I'm parked behind our car right now."

Pretty sure the cops would do nothing and feeling powerless my wife took to the internet and read that most cars are found within 10 miles of where they're taken from. She grabbed my mom's van, gave our little one the rare treat of some french fries to buy her patience and began driving our neighborhood. 

She found the car a few blocks from us. After getting a ride from a coworker I wanted to grab the car and go but my smart other half insisted we call the police and wait until they show up. We were on stake out, watching our car.

A cop car pulled up, and the officer gave me some rubber gloves, since they'd be fingerprinting later, and welcomed me to check the car out. Our hope was that our child car seats would still be in the back. They weren't. A big flat screen TV on the other hand was, wrapped in one of our blankets that they'd found in the trunk. 

"Is that yours?" the officer asked

"No." I told her honestly, because I'm an idiot. "But I'll take it in exchange for the car seats they stole."

She laughed and took the TV to her cruiser's trunk after radioing in the serial numbers. I felt really good about that TV. We'd not been convenient people to rob. We'd soured a deal, gone out and found our car before they were done using it, right in the middle of a deal it seemed. I know they wanted that TV. I told the cop, "You'd think they, of ALL people, would know not to leave valuables in the car."

I was proud of that line. I repeated that line a lot, including just now, here in this blog post. 

They took everything from the car, even a small valentine that my daughter had received from a friend, with one glaring exception. They left behind my prized collection of cassette tapes. I know they saw them because they took the roll of quarters that was stored with them. Seriously, these folks do not know quality tunes! 

We now have an alarmed home, and an alarmed car, and a couple of security doors, and a motion sensing floodlight and we're slowly regaining a sense of security. A dog with big hears might be in our future too. We'll see. 

You'd think THEY, of ALL people, would know not to leave valuables in the car. HA ha. Oh, I slay me. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Atheist Survival Guide

Hey all,
A few years back I wrote a little book, had an awesome artist, Ben Walker, design a cover and then I did nothing with it. I've decided to just give it away free here. If I were to try and actually publish it there would certainly be a rewrite and several corrections, but I think there's some pretty funny and entertaining stuff as it is. I hope you dig it.

Here's the link:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5VGR3NdSDBtVEJzeXUxMmtzaU8xcnJoR1lmNTZIeGZBX1c4/view?usp=sharing
Click on that and you should have access to the book as a PDF.

If you enjoy the book and you feel like you "tipping" you can paypal me. My email address associated with my paypal acct. is keithlowelljensen@gmail.com.

You can also show your appreciation by sharing this blog post far and wide. I like that.
Thanks,
Keith


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Three Muslim Students Shot

Atheists are gonna be really defensive about the shooting of three Muslim students. It was apparently a fight over a parking spot and the shooter turns out to be an atheist.

While this seems to be a fight over a parking spot, not over religions, I think that those who are actually involved and active in the atheist community (or communities) should take this seriously. I think we are too tolerant of dehumanizing rhetoric about Muslims. I think racism and xenophobia IS an issue when it comes to the one major religion where many of it's followers are foreign to us in ways other than just their religion. I can't tell you how many times I've heard atheists, including the top (most well known) mouthpieces claim that Islamaphobia isn't a real thing because there are legitimate reasons to fear Islam. There are legitimate reasons to fear heights too, but we don't argue that one can't also have an irrational fear of heights, one which is hysterical.
Just as we on the left called on the right to tone down the rhetoric after Gabby Giffords was shot, I think it's time we without gods look at our rhetoric, and the rhetoric of those we champion, associate with, or even just tolerate.

I'm sometimes accused of being less hard on Muslims than on Christians. Guilty. I grew up Christian. Most of the people I know and share a culture with are, or have been Christian. So yeah, I tread a bit more carefully when dealing with people who I already have so many other cultural differences with. I will not apologize for this.

Do you know a Muslim? If you don't know at least one Muslim, actually know them as a person, try to fix that. Let's reach out to our fellow humans on things we do agree on. And yes, of course, let's continue to champion reason and to be critical of human rights abuses and bad science, but keep the dialogue intelligent and respectful. Find some empathy. Without it we're all screwed.

(I will be keeping an eye on the comments. Please refrain from insults, name calling, and other ad hominem attacks. Let's talk. But act an ass, and you will be excused. My thoughts on this particular case are still evolving and I look forward to hearing yours.)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Idaho

I was still in high school when I met a girl from Idaho and we flirted a bit and then she went back to Idaho.
She sent me a letter. There was a lipstick kiss on the envelope.I opened it and little red paper hearts spilled out. The letter was sprayed with strong perfume which hit my nose and immediately made me vomit up my oatmeal. I had to clean up oatmeal vomit with little red hearts in it. I never read the letter, I just had to get it away from me as quickly as possible.
So, um, sorry girl from Idaho. I really did like you.