Meet the Mexican artist behind the Donald Trump butt plug

image via political
image via political

Donald Trump may be asking the FBI for protection against Joaquin Guzman Loera, the notorious Mexican drug lord known as el Chapo, who recently escaped from prison, again. But The Donald has already been attacked by a more formidable adversary who also hails from The Mexico. And his weapon of choice? Not bullets, not machetes, not gruesome torture…… Butt plugs!

Meet Fernando Sosa, the 32-year old 3D artist based in Orlando, Florida, who was born and raised in Puebla Mexico. Sosa, who came to the United States when he was 11, was enraged when he heard Donald Trump spew his racist vitriol about Mexican rapists. So he decided he would turn his anger into a product… a butt plug, made of “fully colored material with a coarse finish and a delicate feel,” more specifically, as his website explains. In case you don’t know, a butt plug is a sex toy that does exactly what it sounds like it does.

In an interview with me on this week’s The Katie Halper Show, Sosa explained that he was initially incredulous that Trump had said what he had about Mexicans.

In case you missed it, the Donald peppered his presidential announcement speech with the following:

When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.

I asked Sosa how he felt when he heard that and he said, “I was really enraged and I was like, what better way to insult him back than to make a Donald Trump Butt plug.”

Continue reading…

Laugh Lines – Katie Halper interviews Margaret Cho

The comedian on her radical education, the importance of safe spaces in the “hostile and dangerous world of comedy,” and when bad taste makes for good jokes.
Photograph by Mary Taylor.
Originally published on Guernica

Many comedians claim to challenge the status quo, question norms, push the limits, and speak (funny) truth to power. But few do it as consistently, as powerfully, and as hilariously as Margaret Cho. Whether describing her first colonic, singing about her love of receiving oral sex, or taking the ALS ice water challenge in a different direction (in enema form, to be precise), Cho makes it her business to offend, and often enrage, polite society.

Though her comedy rejects judgmental moralism, it does contain an undeniably moral and ethical code sewn from Cho’s personal experience and her sense of empathy and justice. As mainstream comedy continues to promote fat-shaming, rape jokes, and homophobia, Cho uses her work to create a safe space ­for the very people who find themselves the butts of other comedians’ humor. She punches up, not down, taking aim at the powerful rather than the disenfranchised.

Cho was born into a time of rebellion and transgression in 1968, to parents who had emigrated from Seoul to San Francisco four years earlier. She was bullied and unhappy at school, but found refuge and friendship among the men who frequented the gay bookstore her parents owned. Her other refuge was comedy, which she began writing at fourteen and performing at sixteen.

Cho’s very identity challenges the status quo—she is a queer, Asian-American, female comedian—but she also actively confronts injustice. After Robin Williams died, Cho decided to turn her grief into action: she began to busk on her days off to raise money for the homeless, and started a #BeRobin campaign calling on others to take up the cause of homelessness around which Williams had organized.

But while Cho is often political, she is not PC. At the Golden Globes this past January, she caused controversy by appearing as Cho Yung Ja, a North Korean army general, new member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and contributor to the fictional Movies Wow! Magazine. People accused Cho of coonery and minstrelsy. Instead of rolling over, she took to Twitter, writing: “I’m not playing the race card. I’m playing the rice card.”

Cho spoke to me over the phone from her house in LA, in the midst of preparing for her psyCHO stand-up tour, elucidating the crucial difference between comedy that offends without challenging, and comedy like hers, which offends to disrupt.

Katie Halper for Guernica Continue reading “Laugh Lines – Katie Halper interviews Margaret Cho”

Hobby Lobby Morning After Pill Baskets: The best jokes from White House Correspondents’ Dinner

image via youtube
image via youtube

Here are the best jokes from President Barack Obama and Cecily Strong during Saturday night’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. They take on Hobby Lobby, Dick Cheney, sexism, racism, police brutality, Islamophobia and Obamaphobia.

Originally posted on RawStory


“Asking For It”: A one-woman comedy show that skewers rape culture

image via
image via

Did you hear the one about the dancer/performance-artist/comedian who did a funny one-woman show about rape? 

Though the majority of rape jokes told at comedy clubs are neither funny nor empowering, I’ve always thought that rape humor, in and of itself, is not inherently and automatically off limits. In comedy, as in all forms of art, the issue isn’t the content, but rather the perspective and framing.

image via youtube
image via youtube

Adrienne Truscott’s one-woman show, “Asking For It: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy And Little Else!which I saw at Joe’s Pub, proves not only that rape jokes can be acceptable but that they can be powerful tools of protest and education.

Over the course of an hour, Truscott, a choreographer, circus acrobat, dancer, writer, and comedian, skewers rape culture, taking on Bill Cosby, Todd Akin, Daniel Tosh and more, while wearing a wig on her head, high heels on her feet, and a jean jacket/ rolled up dress/bra(s) above her waist and for almost the entire piece, absolutely nothing over the area between her waist and ankles.

Truscott describes her humor as twisted and dark, in an interview with Australia’s SBS2 The Feed (see the video below), but is careful to distinguish between humor which challenges rape culture and humor which perpetuates it: Continue reading ““Asking For It”: A one-woman comedy show that skewers rape culture”

Three Women Walk Into a Half-Naked Comedy Show About Rape…

By Judy Berman , Sarah Seltzer and Katie Halper
Originally posted on Flavorwire

Adrienne Truscott’s one-woman show Asking For It: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy and Little Else! is part burlesque performance-art, part stand-up comedy act, part feminist conversation-piece. But if there’s one thing the self-described evening of rape jokes is not, it’s shy.

Clad only from the waist up and ankles down for much of the show, with a stack of blonde wigs on her head, Truscott uses her bared lower body and a cheery Southern belle persona to challenge and re-appropriate humor and cultural myths about rape in a manner that feels deeply, provocatively feminist without being preachy. She uses photographs of male comedians like Bill Cosby and Daniel Tosh as props, and her bare body becomes a screen for projections of words and songs that comment on rape culture. All the while, she’s swigging beer and behaving in a way that challenges the assumption that anyone is ever asking for it. Like feminist comedians Sarah Silverman, Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, and Amy Schumer, Truscott is doing the work to reclaim comedic territory that was once aggressively hostile to women.

To intrepidly explore the radical potential of (naked) feminist rape comedy, two Flavorwire staffers and one feminist comedian attended a sold-out midnight performance of Asking For It at Joe’s Pub in New York, where the show will return May 30. A few days later, we discussed our reactions.

Sarah Seltzer: Did either of you have a favorite joke or gag or prop? My favorite was the rape whistle by the side of the stage that Truscott kept working back into conversation. (“Does anyone feel uncomfortable? Just grab the whistle!”) This running gag reminded me constantly of the futile and pathetic ways we try to make ourselves feel better as a society by “arming” women against rape.

Judy Berman: I was super into the framed Daisy Duck picture Truscott used to illustrate the wild connection she made between Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin and ducks’ decoy vaginas, which actually do have “ways to shut that whole thing down.” To me, the show can’t really be broken down into individual jokes, but that bit is a good representation of how it managed to be intelligent, political, and funny at the same time.

Katie Halper: One of the things I loved about the entire piece was how unapologetically humorous it was. Every time it seemed like she was saying something earnest and conciliatory, she would undercut it with a joke or a cringe-worthy statement. It was incredibly funny and moving at the same time, while never feeling trivializing or manipulative. Continue reading “Three Women Walk Into a Half-Naked Comedy Show About Rape…”

Comedy as criticism: Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah and the issue of Israel

via youtube
via youtube

Who, in the media, will have the courage to call out Israel once Jon Stewart leaves the Daily Show? (On Monday, the date of Stewart’s final show – August 6 – was announced.)

As a secular Jewish woman who has been called self-loathing for both my comedy and writing, I’ve always had a particular appreciation for Jon Stewart’s brave critiques of Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians and Israeli Arabs. Considering his background as a bi-racial, South African comedian who came of age during apartheid, the incoming host of the Daily Show, Trevor Noah, could bring a refreshing perspective to many political issues, especially the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But I worry that the same kinds of people who try to stifle legitimate debate about Israel with unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism will silence Noah. (I fear the silencing campaign has already started.) The irony, though, is that silencing the discussion around Israel is bad for both Israel and Jews. Continue reading “Comedy as criticism: Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah and the issue of Israel”