Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

I'm cheating. It's really 2:25 Sunday morning. But I've got to grab the Saturday time/date stamp so as to not miss a day. Not really. But I'll give you something good on Sunday, I promise, so I feel like it's okay to fudge the date.

I went and saw some pretty mediocre stand-up comedy with some friends. That's generous. It was pretty crappy stand-up comedy. Bad stand-up comedy is frustrating to watch. None of the performers actually had a personality, a character, a compelling story that made me like them. They were all just telling standard stand-up-comedy shtick that's not particularly enjoyable to watch. All of them (except for one, who was borderline tolerable and sometimes even funny) had variations on the same jokes. About cigarettes, about smoking weed, about blow jobs, and about getting arrested. Is this what stand-up comedians do? Are they all drug addicts who get arrested all the time? Because if good comedy comes from real experiences then it would seem they all are. One painfully awful female comedian had a bit about how she doesn't understand cloning -- aren't there enough people already? It is dreadful when you can't even set up a good premise to a joke. It is hard to feel like laughing at this joke when mostly you're just wondering if she really doesn't know why scientists are trying to clone people. Now if she'd bought some smart points by saying something clever at any time during her set, I might have given her the benefit of the doubt, but no. Oh, man, being a stand-up comedian must be the most horrible job in the world. I think I'd even rather be a lawyer.

But I don't really want to write a dissertation about stand-up comedy, especially not at 2:30 in the morning when if I'm going to bother writing at all, it should at least reveal some of my innermost thoughts and feelings -- you know, stuff I'll feel stupid in the morning for having written. So here you go. This may be a function of where I fall on the introverted/extroverted continuum, but if given the choice between spending time with 1 or 2 or 3 people versus 7 or 8 people, I'd usually pick the smaller number. There's something about doing stuff with a larger group that I find somehow less enjoyable. The conversation all becomes sort of superficial, and just having to stay engaged can start to feel like a chore. Not all the time, but some of the time. Maybe there are two kinds of people. Some people want to get all their friends in one room and have a big party. Some people would rather do stuff with each of them in smaller groups. Maybe there are people who like them both. I feel like people are more interesting one-on-one, or in groups of three or maybe four. But bigger than that and I feel like it never gets past a certain level of small talk that just isn't that compelling. I don't know. Part of it is that I feel like I sort of shut down in larger groups and find I have nothing to say, and either force myself to say something just for the sake of saying something, which is never smart, or I just sort of withdraw. It's the introvert/extrovert thing, maybe.

Part of it, to go on a quick tangent elsewhere, is that I'm not always good with new people I don't know. Sometimes we click, and then it can be great. But I feel like I have pretty good intuition; that pretty quickly after meeting someone I have a sense of whether or not he or she is a good person, a decent person, an interesting, introspective, compelling person who I think I'd like to be friends with. And I end up quickly dividing the world into two categories -- people I like being around, and people I can live without. And I don't know that I'm particularly tolerant, inside, of being around the people I can live without. Not that I think I'm outwardly hostile to people at all -- I think I'm rarely outwardly hostile, and at worst I'm probably just somewhat disengaged. But the flip side is that with people I enjoy being around, I actually do enjoy being around them, and am in turn probably much more enjoyable to be around, since I'm actually interested and engaged and not just going through the motions. But the group starts to get bigger, and then I start to shut down a little, I think -- not because I want to, but just because that's what happens. I don't know if this makes any sense, or is interesting to anyone except the little person that lives inside my head and makes the brain go 'round. But it helps to write this stuff down sometimes, I think. Just to sort out what I'm feeling so I don't have to keep flipping it around in my mind and can get it out there and move on to other stuff. So that concludes the latest in the "what's going on in my head" series. Now it's time for sleep. Very much so.