Sit-ins and shut up

Congressional Democrats, led by civil rights icon John Lewis (D-GA), staged a sit-in Wednesday on the House floor to try to force House Republicans to put several gun control measures to vote. And I applaud Rep. Lewis for applying the tactics he honed during the 1960’s to this situation and House Dems for holding the floor (#hoflor). If 90% of Americans are for background checks, then why are nearly all House Republicans against it (that question is obviously rhetorical)? They can’t all represent the remaining 10% of Americans. The Dems definitely wanted the bills to pass, but equally important, was their desire to have get their Republican colleagues on record against safety measures like these in the wake of the Orlando attack. The fact that the protest happened the day before summer break means they can’t continue it until over a week from now, at which point their attempts to retake the floor will most assuredly be met with more resistance, and may cause them to appear more petulant than principled. It was encouraging, however, to see a portion of this Do Nothing Congress think outside the box to at least try and do something meaningful—even if it was unsuccessful in the short term. It got voters to contact their representatives and brought even more attention to the issue. And hopefully it was the first small step towards universal background checks.

Now as for that “We Shall Overcome” remix posted above?

Un uh.

That’s when the sit-in jumped the shark. I feel like we all know whose idea that was, and it was a gross misappropriation of that anthem. “We shall pass a bill someday?” Word? “We shall overcome hate?” That wasn’t even the lyric during the height of the civil rights movement. How about: “We shall overcome dependence upon lobbying dollars by implementing public campaign financing someday” or “We shall neutralize the NRA someday…”

Le sigh. I respect the effort, if not the soundtrack.

I got into a discussion on Facebook with someone who questioned the 90% of Americans for background checks (including NRA members and other gun owners) figure, so I posted the articles listed below for reference. Because I have no desire to debate facts. The “No Fly, No Buy” bill definitely has problems, but I think we can all agree as to the spirit of the bill. If Republican lawmakers were behind background checks, but opposed that bill based on absence of due process, etc. I could totally understand that. But to be against any and all common sense gun control measures, and be unwilling to work with their colleagues to try and improve upon it and/or find any common ground? To quote the great philosopher, Alanis Morrissette: “I see right through you/I know right through you.”


Donald Trump’s ascendance in the polls puzzled me. His continued domination terrifies me. This is certainly not the first time I’ve disagreed fundamentally with a political candidate, but it is the first time I’ve thought anyone this (blatantly) vile, with absolutely no political philosophy or knowledge about how government works, had a chance to win the White House. Trump has broken every rule of campaigning—of civility even. And his calls for a ban on Muslims entering the US and a registry of Muslims currently living here are in direct violation of (The First Amendment to) the United States Constitution, the most important set of “rules” in our nation.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

Many posit that Trump doesn’t actually want to be president, that he continues to ratchet up his rhetoric in hopes of “going too far,” losing support and being ousted by the GOP. I wish I believed that. Better, I wish I believed that lack of true desire to become president would stop this megalomaniac from trying to “win.” And even if this is his strategy, it’s backfiring. The more hate he spews, the more media coverage he gets, the more supporters he gains… Rabid, xenophobic (read:racist), dangerous supporters, unabashedly cheering his vitriol and fanning the flames of his narcissism. I want to create a registry of people who cosign his hateful ideas. Think there should be a Muslim database? Aiight, but I’ma need your name and address for a little project I’m working on. I deserve to know if I’m living near one of these bammas, Am I working with one? Let’s get an app up, some interactive maps… Where dey at doe?

As we’re still more than a month out from the Iowa Caucus, it remains to be seen whether his poll numbers will translate into primary victories. But if the idea of a Trump presidency doesn’t frighten you, you frighten me. If it does and you’re not registered to vote, get registered or go screw yourself. And if you’re not for Trump and you’re already on the voter rolls, you period must period vote period. Period. And if he doesn’t win the nomination don’t just go, “Whew!” and stay home on election day. The dude on deck behind him (Cruz) is no less dangerous; he’d be the Trump if Trump weren’t in the race.

This is real life, y’all. Act like it.


I appreciate all of the hoodie photos circulating the Web in honor of Trayvon Martin, but the real truth is THIS (registering to vote, voting in local elections) is the best way to fight for Trayvon, to honor his memory. I just saw this video that several fellow Howard classmates shared on Facebook. So proud of these young brothers.

I pray for comfort for this young man’s family, for patience, peace, justice, and most of all for change.

Getting to know you

“Being an actor is the art of becoming other people; being a comedian is the art of learning who you are.” Jerry Seinfeld

Simple distinction, but it’s a very profound quote.

Over the course of the past 8 years I’ve learned things about myself that I’m not sure I’d ever have learned were it not for comedy. I’ve learned what I am and am not willing to sacrifice for my career. I’ve learned how to lean on people. I’ve learned who not to trust. I’ve learned how other people’s belief in me has the power to propel me through the toughest of situations. I’ve learned that I work best with my blinders on. I’ve learned to do what feels right to me, and that what other people would do if they were me is irrelevant. I’ve learned that “Que será será” isn’t a cop out; it’s a universal law, the acceptance of which is integral to my continued sanity. I’ve learned that I’m way more motivated by the successes of untalented people than I am by those of the talented.

I’ve learned that the “Real Erin” is both hopeful and cynical. Not intentionally offensive, but not politically correct either. Often lonely, yet not crazy about inviting new people into her circle… And I used to be afraid of being all those things. On stage at least. I worried that if I let people see all that, they wouldn’t like me. But I now know that this job is 100% about saying, “Hey, this is who I am. You’re either along for the ride or you’re not.”

Life is 100% about that too.

This journey hasn’t been/isn’t/won’t be easy, but it’s been an invaluable (albeit sometimes unprofitable) one that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Thanks guys, for reading and for riding with me.


We all have them. All of us. You, too. Sure, some are more socially acceptable than others. But don’t judge someone for succumbing to their vice(s) without first examining how susceptible you are to yours. Our weaknesses don’t mean we can’t still be good people. With good hearts. Who have people who love and depend upon us. Our vices don’t negate our talent. Or the impact our lives have had on the world. In fact many times, they’re what fueled it. You may not think your vices have the potential to take you down. But they do. All of them. Yours, too.

Remember that when you think about how you want to be remembered.

“Let’s stop the bullshittin’/Til we all without sin let’s quit the pulpittin'” — Jay-Z

Someone stole my car. But they took so much more.

This is all that’s left of my car.


Someone stole it early yesterday morning. There were 7 car break-ins on my block, but mine appears to be the only one that was taken. As y’all know I need my car to do my job. Travel is a huge part of being a comic and if I can’t get from one gig to the next… well you understand.

The insurance company tried to comfort me by telling me that 65% of all stolen cars are recovered. But that means very little when I have to be in Jersey tomorrow nite and had to pay to rent a car on my own. And the 35% chance of having to get a new car (not new, new though. I’ll never do that again) when I have exactly no money is so frightening.

The thing I will never understand (and I’m aware that this is going to sound awful) is why people who don’t have much and live in the hood steal from other people in the hood… It’s like if you have to take sh!t, go to the high-rent districts where people have cars to spare. We’re over here trying to make it just like them. They stole my 10-year old Corolla which has been awesome and hella reliable but also had just 3 hubcaps, lots of scratches and a big dent on the right side. It’s pretty obvious that that’s all I have. The GPS I was gifted that helps me out when I’m working on the road, my video camera, tripod… all of that was in there. I have no idea how I’m gonna recoup that considering the Blue Book of the car is less than $2,000 and well, I’m a comedian who’s had a very slow summer. It was worth so much more.

They gotta find it. That’s it.

The Irish American Fraud and how I lost faith in the TV news media

I was watching the “Today” Show yesterday and Meredith Vieira was broadcasting live from Ireland. And she began her piece by saying that “some 35 million Americans claim Irish heritage, and that is very impressive, given the fact that here in Ireland there are only 4 million people.”

And I dunno, maybe I’m just overanalyzing, as I tend to do — but it sounded so conspiratorial?… “35 million Americans claim Irish heritage” … I swear at the end of the sentence I halfway expected her to be raising one of her eyebrows and giving one of those “we’ll see about that” nods to the camera.

Exhale… Maybe it’s because I grew up as a mini news junkie who had complete faith in the integrity of the news media, but as an adult saw firsthand how badly the news can be manipulated and how non-news is touted as the real thing that I’m completely cynical and suspicious of everything. Honestly, the Meredith Vieira thing was literally something that made me chuckle — the idea of people ‘passing for Irish.’ ;) Hahaha! As a comic I read a lot into things that aren’t there looking for the funny, but something about it jogged a whole bunch of memories I haven’t thought about in years like:

I was still working at CNN Washington during the 2000 election season. And in addition to awaiting Supreme Court decisions, covering the daily protests and camping out in the freezing cold to get a glimpse of the Cuban grandmas and find out whether Elian was gonna have to go back home, it was CNN’s 20th anniversary. And each bureau was commissioned to do a retrospective of the biggest news stories their organization covered over the years. I was on the research team so I spent my days pulling tape of all kinds of stuff — Bernie Shaw in Iraq, the Clinton scandal(s), etc. And I remember one day in the editing booth the producer refused to use some tape I pulled on the Million Man March because he was Jewish and was offended by Farrakhan’s anti-semetic views. There was some back and forth between the folks in the room about how despite his political views the March was a huge story, but the producer wouldn’t budge. And I remember thinking, “Really? What does and doesn’t make it onto the air can be decided by one spoiled producer who wants to huff and puff because Louis Farrakhan hurt his feelings?” And this is supposed to be NEWS?!?

In the end, the Million Man March did make the piece but without a single image of Louis Farrakhan, which if you were just watching it might not have stood out to you. But knowing the background, that has always stayed with me. I respect CNN as a pioneer in the cable news field. But ever since I left there, I’ve had a sour taste in my mouth. I’m still a news hound but I view it in a completely different light. I don’t watch CNN at all. I watch MSNBC almost exclusively, which at first may seem completely contradictory to everything I’ve just complained about. But the way I see it, if all news is corrupt and biased then why not just choose the network with the personalities I enjoy the most. I watch Joe Scarborough and Mika every morning. And as a comic (and huge sports fan) how can I not choose Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and Rachel Maddow over whoever-the-hell-else is on the other networks? ;)

And don’t even get me started on newspapers…

Exhale… Please pardon my early morning rant.