In competition, we really do live in a binary world. There's first, and then there's everyone else. Can you name the silver medal winning women's curling team from the most recent Winter Olympics? I bet you can't! My wife will tell you that the only reason why I know who they are is because she thinks I have a crush on the skip, "Annie." That's right, ladies and gentlemen, "the Garlic Girls,” South Korea's own homegrown curling team, stunned the world to take home the silver medal! And, my wife may be a little correct. I, like millions of others, became completely smitten with the owl glasses wearing, screaming, little skip who ruled her team with an iron fist. Who knew a glare and a scowl could be so damn sexy? When my wife glares at me, sexy is the not exactly the sentiment that comes to mind. More like testicular shrinking fear would be the appropriate emotional response from me. I think all wives are gold medal finishers in that situation, though. It's the only event I know of that would result in a multi-billion-person tie for first place. Spousal Fury, like synchronized swimming, is an event dominated by women. It is a sport older than wrestling and it will never, ever, ever be won by a man. So, Title IX that, shrews. I guess if I were married to "Annie," her glare would no longer be alluring, but it would be stroke inducing and result in sprinting away in fear. There is an urban legend that the origin of the marathon was Pheidippides running 26.2 miles from the battle site to Athens proclaiming a famous Greek victory. Archaeologists and historians have quietly discovered the origin of the Marathon was in fact a scared shitless husband running as far away from his wife, Mrs. Marathonos, as he could. His crime? He probably forgot to pick up the olive pits from the living room, or even worse, he got caught ogling the South Korean discus team in the ancient original Olympic games. He ran as far, as fast as he could, and when was faced with exhaustion he had the choice of stopping and confronting his wife, or running until he died. Like the wise man he was, he chose death, and now millions of runners every year try to test how far they could make it if they made their wives, sisters, mothers, daughters, or female friends and coworkers angry. What an odd little tangent we just went on!
Competition is kind of wired to celebrate the victors and to forget about the other contenders. The reason why is because there is a clear winner -- unless you consider competitive eating contests. Nobody wins those. Especially the audience watching them. But even then, there is most definitely a clear winner. Nausea. That shit is just disgusting. I like to think I'm competitive, but apparently, I'm nowhere close to competitive because I have never had the desire to inhale a meatloaf faster than any other human alive. So, competition exists everywhere and to the victor goes the spoils. “To the victor” clearly doesn't go a point to this fucking story, but don't worry, I'm nipping this in the bud and getting us back on track. Competition. Focus, man, focus!
You know an area that is competitive yet, the winners aren't always celebrated? The arts. Believe it or not, the English Patient won an Oscar. It beat out Fargo and Jerry Maguire. Can you believe that? I've tried to watch it several times in my life, and it's just bloody unwatchable. Not even Kristin Scott Thomas going the Full Monty could save that film. Technically, the English Patient won, but I would like to think that, similarly to competitive eating, the true winner yet again was...Nausea! Fargo and Jerry Maguire will be remembered long after the English Patient because, let's face it, Kristen Scott Thomas's boobs were terrible and couldn't rescue the movie.
Up to this point, I've talked about being first, South Korea, boobs, and the arts. You may wonder if I was lying and if I really am back to smoking pot again. Nope, I'm just running on very, very little sleep for the past month. I'm going to try and have everything make sense right about....now. There is a person who came in first(ish) who I think is somewhat like the English Patient. And that person is Margaret Cho, the mildly famous comedienne. She was a glass ceiling shattering comic and introduced the novel concept that Asian women could be funny. There were no mainstream female Korean comics before her, and she deserves a ton of praise for proving that it can be done. Just because she proved it doesn't necessarily make her the gold standard of Korean comics. In fact, I find her spectacularly unfunny. But, since she was the first, she gets all the coverage and fame. Lurking in the wings are some serious contenders who would dearly love to be mentioned in the same breath as Ms. Cho. Or ideally, even surpass her in esteem and fame. I happen to personally know one of those individuals.
When this blog got started, I stumbled upon someone who sent me a friend request, and when I went to accept, discovered something I didn't know could happen. You have a limit to how many friends you can have on Facebook. It's 5,000. I never knew that! Yet, when I went to accept the request, it said that we couldn't be friends. Now this reminded me of junior high all over again, so I thought I would explore this perplexing situation that I thought I had finally escaped. I sent this person a message: "Hey, you sent me a friend request but now it won't let me because you're too popular?" And thus, began a dialogue with a very helpful individual. It just blew my mind that someone could have 5,000 friends on social media. You have to remember, my own mother has unsubscribed to the blog, so I'm not exactly the Pied Piper with a throng of followers. It's kind of funny, because she doesn't know that I know she unsubscribed and I'm working on a really elaborate prank on her regarding this fact. Getting back to this situation though, 5,000 friends is a hell of an achievement. So, I wanted to pick this person's brain. As I learned more, I was delighted to discover she was a standup comic. I love standup comedy. I have no interest or skills to do it, but I can definitely appreciate it. And, I would DEARLY love to see someone take over the mantle of best Korean female standup comic. Not only is she funny, but she's also crazy supportive and will reach out and tell me when I wrote something that hit home or get all offended because I shit on rum and coke drinkers. It was her input that has lead me on a quest to find "my voice", which I still am developing. I'm a neophyte in these whole entertaining others concept, and I can definitely see that voice changing and developing. Like a teenager, who's voice is dropping and maturing, mine still has plenty of cracks and squeaks coming out. But, her voice shines. Her message is clever. Her delivery sharp. Her talent obvious. And like many great comics, her past and present offer plenty of painful experiences to draw upon and create true comedic gold.
You probably don't know who I'm talking about, and I am going to take my feeble steps to correct that. Her name is Karen J. Larson aka "onefunnygook." A fellow KAD, the remarkable thing about Karen is she uses her voice not to advance her own disadvantages and obstacles, but she tirelessly points out the injustices being experienced by others. And, I think that's kind of awesome. It doesn't surprise me that she would do this. She has a savior complex that rivals mine. We were discussing it last week after my post regarding how shitty KADs were at supporting each other, and I told her I wanted to change that. Please help me do so. If you really want to laugh, go check out her shows when she is performing. Go listen to WFNU 94.1 Frogtown Community Radio. Oh, you don't live in Minneapolis? You won't believe this, but you can actually listen to her shows via podcast, how fucking cool is that? Go follow her on Twitter. Like her Facebook page. Help me help her kick Margaret Cho's ass. Margaret may have been first, but Karen's voice is the one I hope stands the litmus test of time and becomes the better known and appreciated. Let's start supporting people who are still pioneers in their own right, and encourage the brave individuals like Karen who give a voice to the voiceless. And that is far better than talking about silly little things I discuss on a day to day basis. Except curling. That shit is important, too. Karen and curling. Go spread the word.