Searching for Bono

In middle school, I was crazy obsessed with U2. Thanks to BMG Music Club, I had all their albums, I watched all their specials, and I listened to them every single night. I did all my algebra homework to War and spent Friday nights dancing to Zooropa.

I was so obsessed with U2, that whenever my mother left the house for ANY reason, I’d want to go with her, just in case of the very small chance I’d run into Bono.

It wasn’t just a casual flippant thought, it was relentless and obsessive. No matter what I was doing (MarioKart), I’d drop everything (MarioKart) and accompany my mother to the supermarket.

I was just old enough that this idea crossed out of the realm of silly kid stuff into delusional. Perhaps, if I lived in the cooler part of Miami, Brickell or South Beach, there might be a small chance of bumping into Bono at one of the trendier eateries, but a Publix in the developing suburb of West Kendall? No. Not a chance.

My mother had no idea why I insisted on accompanying her to every little mundane trip. Even when she pleaded that it would only be a 5 minute trip to the gas station or a 10 minute trip to the hardware store, I always found a way to throw on my shoes and go. Sometimes, I’d even make her wait for me while I showered.  After all, I can’t meet the darlings of pop looking like a greasy-haired savage. I was so afraid that the one time I didn’t accompany her would be the one time Bono decided to visit the Party City on Kendall Drive and 112th.

Is my slip showing? Gender and vulnerability in stand-up comedy

What does it mean to be vulnerable? This question comes up quite a bit in comedy. You might hear someone say, “oh, he’s so raw, so vulnerable…” It’s a common form of praise, usually for male comedians.

Former Late Show booker, Eddie Brill, named vulnerability as his favorite quality in a comedian. He seldom, if ever, booked women. Eventually, he was fired for his statements in the now infamous New York Times article. However, the crux of his argument was that good comedians reveal their weaknesses and women just don’t do that.

For most men, being vulnerable is a choice. Women don’t have that luxury, we don’t have to reveal anything to be vulnerable– we are vulnerable, simply by existing.

From the moment we are born to the moment we die, we are taught to stay safe, don’t go out alone, don’t leave your drink out, don’t drink too much, don’t stay out late, don’t wear provocative clothing, don’t threaten men. And those are just first world problems.