In which your faithful Arts correspond debuts a new column because it's 1 in the morning and her boyfriend is "tired" and her cat is being reaaaaally boring.
All the comics at Bridgetown are too busy drinking and fingerblasting each other to be obsessed with this Boston thing. Godspeed, brethren.
— Sara Benincasa (@SaraJBenincasa) April 19, 2013
As I begin writing this, it's 1:33 am on Friday morning, and news is breaking about the Boston Marathon bombers. I'm having trouble keeping things compartmentalized. My job as the Mercury's Arts Editor is to write about the Bridgetown Comedy Festival; my instinct as a human being is to keep refreshing Twitter, keep triangulating the people I follow—news outlets and individual journalists, friends and people who are good at making jokes—in order to come to some understanding of what is happening right now.
Earlier this evening, at the Tanker's reliably unreliable open mic, Todd Glass exploded on a heckler. Went out-of-bounds nuts on a girl—I didn't even catch why. All I know is that I was openly weeping because it was so fucking funny, and also a bit horrified with myself for laughing because the Tanker wasn't even that full, the girl was about two feet away from me, and she looked kind of nice and like she had maybe gotten herself in over her head, heckling wise.
It was topical, in a sense. It was spontaneous. Everyone was captivated.
A few minutes later, when Todd Glass was done and most of the room had stopped paying attention to the less-famous dudes onstage, a comic whose named I missed confessed he was hoping hard that the marathon bomber wasn't a Muslim.
I don't know how a comedy fest deals with real shit happening in real time. It is kind of a big deal that currently, Watertown is being evacuated; that apparently the marathon bombing and MIT shooting are connected. I don't need my comedians to respond to the news in real time. Twitter is doing that, and fucking it up like crazy. But I also can't pretend it's not happening, or that a girl talking during a set is the most important thing in the world. It'll be interesting to see how Boston is addressed for the rest of the weekend—if and when it's addressed at all.