But despite all these accomplishments, something never felt quite right. Something always seemed to be missing.
As everyone knows, the pinnacle of any fledgling comedian's tenure in a city is to be given the opportunity to write an op-ed for a local paper. And I just reached the muthafuckin mountaintop. So brace yourselves for my thoughts on shit.
Some of you may be asking yourselves, "What the fuck is this? Who the fuck cares? What makes you think I need this in my life? Why would I ever let some un-famous local comic proselytize to me about liberal belief systems he himself was induced to having never fully done the research?"
Those are worthy questions and valid concerns, but I assure you that I'm very qualified to be doing this. Because if there's anything I've learned in my 25 years of being alive, it's that I have opinions on things. And if there's anything I've learned from the bullshit liberal jargon I've heard so lovingly endorsed by the fair citizens of this city, it's that my opinions deserve – nay – need to be shared with the world. And if the Huffington Post has taught me anything, it's that writing an opinion piece makes me a journalist.
That being said, it does seem a bit rude to dive right into it and start ranting about whatever comes to mind without first giving you some time to catch your breath and get to know me. So here's a brief list that should serve to let you know what you can expect from me once a week from here on out:
1. I'm excited to be writing for Willamette Week, but – as with any new enterprise – it's going to take me a while to find my footing. As I adjust to the weight of weekly writing deadlines and the stress of constant demands for fresh content, there's a solid chance I'll periodically take the easy route out by focusing on moth-eaten, go-to Portland talking points. For example: It's very white here? A lot of people have moved to Portland from California? Pot's legal now? A bar I never went to closed down and now I have to pretend to be bummed about it? My apartment is too expensive? There's carpet in the airport? These and more lukewarm takes on well-worn topics are bound to mildly entertain dozens of patient readers as I slowly discover what it takes to write something over 140 characters in length.
2. Alan Rickman. Abe Vigoda. Amber Rayne. No matter which character actor 2016 rips away from us next, I'll be ready to tell you all about how deeply they influenced and inspired me or whatever. After all, Tony Shalhoub isn't getting any younger, so it's a good idea to keep a tribute piece in the chamber. Just in case.
3. My editor has encouraged me to maintain a focus on matters of local importance, which means eventually I'll have to discuss Portland's grave homeless crisis. Thus, at one point I'll probably write a short piece about how I have a deep sense of empathy for a group of people I've never done anything to help. I am, after all, a registered Democrat.
4. Kim Kardashian is sometimes topless. Taylor Swift will occasionally do something racist. Every once in a while, a Black woman will express her opinion and the collective American consciousness will lose [clap] its [clap] entire [clap] damn [clap] mind. But in these ever-changing times of social progress, one fact remains absolutely certain: Female celebrities are inarguably the sole barometers for what feminism is supposed to be. Kylie Jenner's Instagram account is the Seneca Falls Convention of our time, and I'm here to write all about how her eyebrows influence my opinions on the wage gap. maybe if bell hooks would get her ass on snapchat things would be different, but she won't. so here we are.
5. I have this recurring dream where Ta-Nehisi Coates and I are trapped in a merciless fight to the death atop a tower of ash atop a mountain of flame atop a pile of dead white babies as we rage a ceaseless battle against each other – for only one Black man at a time may hold the ever-coveted Scepter of Black Thought. This is not something I would write an op-ed about, though. It's just a super-cool dream I have every Tuesday.
6. In an attempt to pander to my liberal demographic, I will use the word "privileged" as often as possible. Living in Portland has taught me that middle-class white people love to throw around the word "privileged." It reminds them that they went to college.
7. I'll do my best to be hip and en vogue. I want to represent the Portland-chic lifestyle you moved here to pretend to have. For example, it's mad trendy to talk about radicalism and revolution. And that's fine. I mean, I don't know how to build a fire or hunt or grow crops or kill a man with my hands, but one time I saw a bird land on Bernie Sanders' podium, so I think I know a thing or two about rebellion.
8. Once I get into the swing of regular journalism I'll start experimenting with Gonzo Journalism, which is when I write a short story on acid and then pretend it really happened.
9. Women in comedy: What's that like? Let's explore. I go undercover as a woman attending a comedy open mic and learn – much to my shock and chagrin – that being a female comedian is taxing as fuck. The article ends with me fully realizing the true importance of sex and gender diversity in the arts. Roll credits; fade to black. A thunderous roar rolls through Portland as I emphatically pat myself on the back.
10. I don't really care about that colonial-themed restaurant on Williams Avenue. We already lost that battle. America was colonized, Williams Avenue was whitewashed, and Donald Trump is running for president. The name of the restaurant – whether Saffron Colonial or British Overseas Restaurant Corporation – forces the folks of Portland to immediately recognize their liberal passivity and/or white guilt and/or POC discomfort, but a brunch restaurant by any other name is still gentrification.
As exemplified above, I am clearly capable of having an opinion and then writing it down. But there is one more, important matter I'd like to speak to before departing from this inaugural address. For, as is the case with any op-ed, going forward you're bound to disagree with me on certain issues. And that is because you are wrong. Please never forget that.
I look forward to reading your comments below – all of which I'm sure will be kind-spirited and delightful.
See you next week.