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David Vs. Goliath: In Defense of My Friend’s Piece on Macaulay Culkin

It’s disappointing to me that well-known comedians I admire are going after a Boston-based freelance writer for trying to make the most out of being denied an actual interview, which would have allowed her to do her comparably low-paying job. The general consensus from these critics is that Macaulay Culkin and his joke band Pizza Underground are off limits from mockery because they’re “just having fun” and that taking the opportunity to comment on the pretentiousness of celebrity is “bitter” and “mean-spirited.” Ironically, these comedians utilize the same type of humor in their acts, but I guess it’s OK because they’re the little guys fighting against the big, bad media and faceless corporations. I see two problems with that logic: One of the comedians has 1.6 million Twitter followers, has appeared on network television programs and has starred in major motion pictures, and the other has 98,700 Twitter followers, has written for cable television and used to yell at and insult complete strangers on the phone weekly for his radio show, which was broadcast to (I’m guessing) hundreds of thousands of listeners via podcast.

Meanwhile, Boston Magazine has 63,300 Twitter followers, and my friend is a freelance writer with 675 Twitter followers who got laid off from a small weekly alternative newspaper two years ago and has trying to make a living writing about books and pop culture, which is all any of us are attempting to do—earn money for the thing that we enjoy. So maybe these comedians should step back and examine what they’re doing when they take someone to task on the Internet. Even if they have the most intelligent, respectful fan base in the world, they’re basically throwing fresh meat to the rabid wild animals that are online commenters who have attacked her for everything from her journalistic integrity to her first name (seriously??!!), all for what? Because she wrote something you think is stupid on a regional website about MACAULAY CULKIN, the millionaire child actor and star of the “Home Alone” franchise? Who’s really Goliath in this scenario? 

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It sounds like she’s saying “Don DeLillo.”

(Source: Spotify)

Tags: music spotify
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Freerange Nonfiction Reading Series on Tuesday, March 25th!

I’m overjoyed to be part of this fantastic lineup at Freerange Nonfiction Reading Series on Tuesday, March 25th, at Culturefix (9 Clinton Street, New York, NY) from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.). It’s free!

Lizz Winstead (author of “Lizz Free or Die: Essays,” co-creator of “The Daily Show”)
Clifford Thompson (novelist, author of “Love for Sale and Other Essays”)
Morgan Parker (poet, author of “Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up at Night”)
Melynda Fuller (essayist, freelancer for Bust and Bookslut.com)
Jeb Gleason-Allured (fiction writer, contributor to “Have a NYC 2” and “All Hands On: A THE2NDHAND Reader”)
Amber Drea (that’s me!)

Join the Facebook event!

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Do you think they would cast a 36-year-old filipino woman with no acting experience as Jem?

jemthemovie:

Announcing —  Jem The Movie! 

Yes, it’s really happening! Join us, submit a video to our Tumblr and be part of the team. 
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Sara Schaefer’s List Of Female Comedians

Comedian Sara Schaefer compiled a list of more than 200 female comedians, which you can find here. She posted the link on her Facebook page with the following explanation:

I made this list after some people recently asserted that the explanation for the low ratio of women on comedy line-ups such as SXSW or Comedy Central’s Half Hour season was that there are simply less women doing comedy. That the ratio you see on those high profile line-ups is reflective of the ratio of women doing comedy. I call bullshit.

When this debate rises (again and again, it seems), many blogs will release their obligatory list of “27 Funny Women You Should Know About Or ELSE!” These lists are usually stocked with the same names we all know and love - and those ladies definitely deserve to be there - but these (often times extremely lazily-researched lists) tend to perpetuate the myth that there only a few of us lone lady comic she-wolves roaming the wild. 

I think the conversation needs to shift towards this: there are TONS of ladies doing comedy now. We have come a long way, and more and more women are seeing enough women on their TV’s to encourage the dream, thus allowing us to see ourselves making a living doing this. (But seriously, if I hear one more reference to Bridesmaids as the reason everything is “even” now, I will knife someone.) But, it’s obvious: the sleepy, lazy, risk-averse industry hasn’t caught up with this shift. They think there are still only 2 women worthy to every 13 men. And that may have been an accurate ratio 10, 20 years ago. But not anymore. It’s time the bookers of the lowly bar shows all the way up to the festivals and the networks to realize that there are lots of us - and I’m not talking “Hey there’s a lot of lady open mic’ers you should watch grow over the next decade!” (Even though they ARE those, and yes, you should start watching talent EARLY! Don’t wait for Variety to tell you which already-successful Comics you should be Watching!), there are LOTS of women who have been doing this for almost a decade or more who are ready. Who are seasoned. Talented. Accomplished. Award-winning. Innovative. Awesome. 

This list has over 200 names on it as of now. I wanted a list that included every female comedian I could think of - from all levels and all walks of life. Even the ones I don’t find particularly funny. Even the ones who have been mean to me. All of them. Because there is power in numbers and now, looking at this list, you simply cannot make the claim that there are only two of us ready or available for whatever thing you’re booking.

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R.I.P. Everyone

"There’s a common sense that the Internet is just a collection of sad adolescent trolls hiding in their parents’ basements throwing digital feces through the proverbial bars, but the truth is much worse. Everyone is throwing the digital feces. The trolls just enjoy it a little more." — gabedelahaye 

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Women Behind the Still

I’m pretty proud of this feature I wrote for Market Watch magazine.

newyorkdrinkie:

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I profiled six female master blenders and distillers, including Rachel Barrie of Morrison Bowmore Distillers, Joy Spence of Appleton Estate and Maria Teresa Lara López of Casa Herradura, from around the world for Market Watch's January-February 2014 issue. Download a PDF of the story here (right click “save link as”).

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New Event: Freerange Nonfiction Reading Series - RESCHEDULED FOR 3/25

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***THIS READING HAS BEEN CANCELED AND RESCHEDULED FOR MARCH 25TH***

I will be reading a new piece of creative nonfiction at the Freerange Nonfiction Reading Series on Tuesday, January 21st, at Culturefix

Lizz Winstead (author of “Lizz Free or Die: Essays,” co-creator of “The Daily Show”)
Clifford Thompson (novelist, author of “Love for Sale and Other Essays”)
Morgan Parker (poet, author of “Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up at Night”)
Melynda Fuller (essayist, freelancer for Bust and Bookslut.com)
Jeb Gleason-Allured (fiction writer, contributor to “Have a NYC 2” and “All Hands On: A THE2NDHAND Reader”)
Amber Drea (that’s me!)

Doors open at 7:00 p.m.; reading starts at 7:30 p.m. 

Join the Facebook event!

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"The point of life is that it is arbitrary, except in its basest forms. Arbitrariness, or self-imposed meaning, is the only thing worth living for. It is the only thing that permits us to live."

Amiri Baraka (aka LeRoi Jones), “Gatsby’s Theory of Aesthetics” #RIP

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"One mark of an originality that can win canonical status for a literary work is a strangeness that we either altogether assimilate, or that becomes such a given that we are blinded to its idiosyncrasies."

— Harold Bloom, The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages