MY BRAVE BATTLE

Welcome to My Brave Battle, the Beatific Blog of Comedian Jared Logan. Here you will find: New jokes / News about all the HOT shows I'm doing / Inside info on what Jared Logan is wearing this season / Shockingly explicit run-downs of my most recent sexual conquests / Recipes / The Funny Thought of the Day!

Apr 12

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: OCULUS

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I saw Oculus. Or did I?

The tagline of the film Oculus is “You see what it wants you to see.” 

It’s a cool idea.  A haunted mirror murders its owners, throughout history, leading to the present day when it tries to murder hot attractive 20-somethings and Battlestar Galactica’s Katie Sackhoff.

The way it murders people is the best part.  If you’re near the mirror, you can’t trust your senses.  It can make you see things wrong.  Rat poison looks like food.  You think you called 911 but you really just called Pizza Hut. That’s not actually something that happens in the movie but it would have been funny if they’d done that.

The story is told in the past and in the present.  In the present, two siblings try to prove that the mirror is possessed by a supernatural force. In the past, the same two siblings, as little kids, watch the mirror drive their mom and dad totally zonkers. The dad has, like, a sexual affair with the mirror. And the mom turns into a…dog…monster…and eats rocks?  It’s a little unclear.

Oh, and that’s the problem with the movie.  The unclearness. The characters can’t trust their senses and neither can the audience. The mirror tricks everyone. Is he holding a knife or a banana?  Are they inside the house or outside of the house?  Is she driving a Dodge charger or appearing as Swanhilde in the Royal London Ballet company production of Coppelia?

In a couple of the scares, the bait and switch is done well.  You’re eating an apple…PSYCHE! You’re eating a lightbulb!  That’s actually the best creepy gross-out moment in the film and I don’t mind giving it away here because it’s given away in the trailer.  (STOP DOING THAT, TRAILERS)

When the bait and switch gimmick is clear, the movie is effective.  But toward the end, past and present fuse at the same time the mirror is making some things look like other things and some people look like other people and the end result is a big messy pile of who-gives-a-shit?

With such a huge flaw, I think it’s kind of amazing that I’d still recommend Oculus.  But the filmmakers get a lot of things right.  The performances are good. There’s no hack b-horror acting on display.  The premise plays out well at first and some of the scares are really memorable.

I’d say see it if you’re a horror fan, skip it if you’re not.

Final thought: if you’re a husband, software designer and father of two living in a modest two bedroom house in a california suburb, maybe don’t buy a giant 400-year-old black obviously evil mirror for your study?  What the fuck?  The guy had NO other furniture remotely like that.  They all would have been saved if they’d consulted the host of any HGTV show and made his fixtures all match.


Apr 11

Recently Read

1. The Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun

*****

2. Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre by H.P. Lovecraft

****

3. Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

**

4. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

****


The One Ringtone

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Your smartphone is like the One Ring.  

It’s there, in your pocket, tempting you.  Any time you get into a difficult social situation, or you feel awkward, or just bored, you run your fingers over it.

"I really shouldn’t pull my phone out" you think "Gandalf said not to."

But then the temptation becomes too great and you pull your phone out and you jack in to Facebook or Twitter or Gmail or Instagram and you disappear from the real world.  You become invisible.

And I guess also Sauron can see you and Sauron in this metaphor is the NSA?  

And eventually you become a PhoneWraith which is like a Ring Wraith only boring.  A Phonewraith is a lifeless shell of person who exists only to play Candy Crush and write irritating YouTube comments.  A thoroughly corrupt and evil creature.

I hereby resolve to only pull out my smartphone when I really need to, when I am in the utmost peril (need it for directions or some other practical function).

The rest of the time I promise to pay attention to the friends who are on this journey with me.  And one day, when I’m old, and my life is what I want it to be, and everyone and everything I love is near at hand, in my house or down the street, I resolve to toss my smartphone into Mount Doom.

Which in this metaphor is the wastebasket.


Jan 30

REBOOT

I’m going to start posting on this again.  Some (maybe all!) of the new blogs will be me really talking about things, as opposed to in the past where there were layers of irony there.  


Jun 3

What 10-year-old Boys Put on Their Viking Shields at Summer Camp

Last weekend, I went to a wedding at my girlfriend’s old summer camp.  There was food & drink & swimming & canoeing & bonfires & dancing in a barn. 

While I was in this barnI noticed that the walls were adorned with hundreds of hand-painted shields.  I asked what the deal was and one of the camp directors explained that when the 10-year-olds show mastery of a certain set of skills they are given a viking shield which they can then decorate any way they want.  It then goes up on the wall of the barn forever.  This has been going on for 30+ years.

What follows is a list of just some of the images I saw decorating these shields. It makes me smile really big for some reason.  Maybe because I was a 10-year old boy at one point.  I didn’t want to post actual photos because these shields are art and I don’t want to post someone’s artwork without their permission, but I think the list itself is amazing.  I might throw in a couple pictures off the web of some of the stuff the kids were recreating in paint on their shields.

Here’s what 10-year-old boys put on their viking shields at summer camp over a 30 year period…

1. Pac Man

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2. The Punisher

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3. Heckle & Jeckle (but with ‘The Black Crows’ written below the image.)

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4. Looney Tunes

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5. Stewie from Family Guy

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6. Neitzche (this shield just had the name ‘Neitzche’ on a field of black, then four white dots, and the message ‘Good = Bad’.)

7. Radioactive symbol

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8. Pink Floyd (Dark Side of the Moon album cover)

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9. Risk (board game)

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10. Green Day

11. Calvin & Hobbes

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12. ESPN

13.Beastie Boys

14. NBA

15. An image of music coming out of a tobacco pipe(?)

16. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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17. JHU Lacrosse (a high school Lacrosse team)

18. Led Zeppelin

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19. Spawn

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20. Happy Face

21. a Baseball Diamond

22. Bruce Timm Joker picture with the words “Why So Serious?”

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23. All-seeing Eye Pyramid

24. Yin Yang

25. The logo for the Hard Rock Cafe

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May 16

DOG BALLS

I went to do a gig at a college in Nebraska about a year and a half ago.  After flying out at 6am that morning and driving from Omaha to the school a few hours away, I was pretty beat.  I wanted to do nothing but answer emails and space out in the few hours I had before the show.  That’s usually when the phone rings.

One of the student government was on the line asking me if I’d like a tour of the campus.  I don’t know why every college I visit wants to give me a tour of the campus.  The more mundane the school, the more adamant they are about giving you the tour.  So I always end up shuffling around behind two kids as they regale me with extremely pertinent information like “This featureless cinderblock building is where we take science classes.” Wow.  Really?  No shit.

At this particular college, however, I was happy I took the tour because I came across something that infuriated me.  If you’re a stand-up comedian being infuriated is good because it gives you a new thing to talk about.  We were touring the campus and the kids took me to a statue of a bulldog, the school’s mascot.  Aside from being about ten times the size of an actual bulldog, every other feature of the statue was photorealistic, as if sculpted from life.  ”Check out this statue,” said one of the kids, “Notice anything funny about it?”

Of course I immediately leapt to the conclusion that the statue had balls.  But when I walked around to the rear end of the statue and looked between the legs, there were no balls.  No penis.  Instead, right there in the money spot,  there was a patch of rough stone where it appeared that part of the statue had been chipped away.

"What happened here?" I asked.  The students informed me that the statue had originally had an anatomically correct penis and testicles, but then parents of students had complained, so the "organs" had to be removed.  These people had neutered a statue.

I acknowledge that this is pretty funny, but at the same time I was angry.  These parents are afraid their college age children are going to find out that a dog has balls??  This is censorship taken to an absurd degree.  I asked the pertinent questions, just to be sure I hadn’t missed a detail.  ”Well, was the statue’s cock, like, huge and engorged?” I asked.  ”Was it erect? Were the statue’s nuts obscenely large?” 

My student tour guides seemed uncomfortable, as if I was asking inappropriate questions, but they answered that, no, both the penis and balls had been small and unobtrusive and weren’t really drawing any undue attention.  But they still had to be removed.

That night during the show I talked about it.  I asked the male students if they knew that they had balls.  A lot of them were aware of their own balls.  I told them that neutering the statue had failed.  Somehow these students had found out about their balls anyway! I asked them if they would mind forgetting that they had balls because their parents had gone to great lengths to hide the existence of balls from them.  One student remarked that it might be difficult because he is reminded of his balls every time he takes a shower.  I conceded this might be an issue.  A lot of the students said that they pretend they don’t know about balls to make their parents comfortable.  I told them that was very kind of them.  

One of the parent chaperones at the show (I guess 19 year old adults at college need chaperones?) was extremely offended by this conversation.  I was not being even remotely controversial.  The only ‘dirty’ word I used was balls.  The chaperone in question complained to the dean of students.  He called him while I was on stage.   The student government people had to scramble around trying to handle this while I was on stage for an hour.  They had to intervene to make sure the performance could continue.  If they hadn’t spoken up I guess the chaperone would have turned the lights on, cut short my performance, and sent me home. The students assured me they’d smooth it over and I would be paid.  They were true to their word and I never heard another thing about it.

Parents, you are neutering a generation of young people.  Once a kid is in college, you’re done raising him. This is their time.  Let them make decisions about what they want to see and hear and experience.  I can’t tell you how many college students I meet that seem like they have the maturity of a 10 or 11 year old.  This is your fault, parents.  Quit trying to stuff your kids back into the womb.  At age 18, step aside, and let the balls drop where they may.


Feb 19

"WHAT ARE YOUR INFLUENCES?"

I LOVE talking about my influences.  Influences are the comedians, musicians, bands, television programs, films, books, graphic novels, videogames, roleplaying games, musicals, straight plays, athletes, classical composers and iPhone apps that have helped to form my comedic sensibility.

Here’s a short list of my influences:

Velvet Underground

Snoopy

A River Runs Through It

Good King Wenceslas (the christmas carol)

Bob’s Burgers

all of Harold Pinter

Jan Brady

Night of the Hunter

Battle Toads

Patti Smith

early steampunk

The Warren Report

Holy Bible (New International Version)

Tender is the Night

Watchmen

Gilbert Gottfried

Monopoly (parker bros game)

Song of the South

Universal Studios Florida

Rock Center with Brian Williams

2 episodes of Community (The one with the guy from Best in Show and the second Paintball episode)

The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy

Uncle Scrooge comic books

Deep Throat

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

The Cohen Brothers

James Cameron’s The Abyss

Fruit Ninja

Fried Green Tomatoes (the book)

the Declaration of Independence

Richard Pryor

The Wizard of Oz (film only)

90s honky tonk

a homeless man I met one night in a bus station

All the King’s Men

Boston (the band and the city)

Pecker Neck (guy I knew in college)


"WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS?"

People often ask me where I get my ideas.

I used to pray for ideas, but the absence of God made this an inefficient method for writing comedy.  I would end up having to come up with the ideas on my own and then attribute them to God.

Today, I have a much simpler method.  I get my ideas from the Akashic Record, which is the theosophical compendium of all secret knowledge encoded in a plane of pure light that I access through trance meditation.

Anyway, it’s a great and logical question that doesn’t make a lot of strange assumptions.  Thanks for asking.


Nov 25

It’s called Black Friday because it’s the day that we mourn the death of our culture.

This year I noticed that Black Friday deals start even earlier than they have in the past.  My father works at a 24-hour Wal-Mart, where Black Friday deals went into effect at 8pm and 10pm the evening of Thanksgiving Day.  Now you don’t even have to spend a full day with your family!  You have an excuse to leave your loved ones and fulfill your true and proper function in our society: shopping.

So on Thanksgiving, the people who don’t work at WalMart are at Walmart shopping.  And the people who do work at Walmart have to go into Walmart to work.  So it’s Thanksgiving Day and most of the people you know are at WalMart.

Things are changing.  It gets more like this every year.  I’m resistant to destiny.  In the future there will be nothing but shopping forever, and none of this will seem as shockingly appalling as it does now.


Jul 30

Montreal 2012

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to perform in the 2012 Montreal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival.

I was on a series of shows they call New Faces, so it was kind of supposedly my coming-out cotillion in the comedy community.  I wore my best ball gown.  Sorry, no picture of that available.

The festival is a lot bigger than I initially thought.  It takes over an enormous chunk of downtown and hundreds of thousands of people move through all day long, eating at food trucks and enjoying the entertainment.

They even put big silly googly eyes on their gigantic arts center, as you can see in the above picture.

The entire city of Montreal is French.  Very French.  I imagined there would be a French section of town where they served French food and acted French.  No.  The ENTIRE town is French and people speak French first and try English later.  Some people I met couldn’t speak English.

 

Translated, I believe the name of this restaurant is “Oh My God, French Fries!” or “Holy Shit, French Fries!”

A “Couch Tard” is what you would call someone who eats a microwaveable pulled pork sandwich and a bag of ketchup-flavored potato chips because they got drunk and went back to the hotel at 3:30am when Couche Tard was the only thing open.

 

In case you didn’t know, French Canadians (well, all French people) have a very strange sense of humor.  What is this sign with the Hitler baby advertising?  I don’t know but it was all over the city.  And it will forever remain a mystery to me.


During the day there were lots of mimes and clown acts like these guys who did an entire comedy routine using a fountain.

Oh, and French Montrealians love puppets!  Puppets don’t terrify them at all!  I kept bumping into this horrifying band of puppet…things everywhere I went.  Chilling.

Montreal is a very liberal artsy city.  Ooh, “Bali Art.”  I wonder what we’ll find in there.  Let’s look in the window…

Oh, a bunch of wooden dicks.  Neat.

Montreal is famous for its strip clubs.  I didn’t go to any strip clubs because I think they are built with sorrow.  But some of my friends went and they came back with painful unfulfilled erections.

Good thing there are also enormous, imposing, European-style catholic cathedrals where you can go to hate yourself afterward!

Overall, I’d say the highlight of my trip was eating at a place called “Eggspectation.”  Haha.  It’s not even egg-themed.  There were a couple things with eggs on the menu.  Like two.  What the fuck??

Oh, and I bought a bunch of psylocibin mushrooms from this booth because it’s completely legal there!

But even though I had a lot of fun, I have to agree with this graffiti in the airport bathroom, which clearly states “Stop All Immigration Wow!”


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