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October 07, 2009

Virginia Tech

Last night I did show at Virginia (“Whatever you do, don’t mention the massacre”) Tech with the very funny Greg Giraldo. I found it challenging showing up at a school primarily known in my mind as the site of a horrible shooting rampage and not mention it at least once, which may be why I feel compelled to write this post about it. Forty years after Kent State, I’m pretty sure everybody there still says the words “bell tower” when they visit, so it was tough to bite my tongue only two years after this particular attack. Not that I think there’s anything funny about what happened at Virginia Tech. Far from it. But when a place is so closely associated with a tragedy, naturally your thoughts turn to that tragedy when visiting that place. I will never drive by Ground Zero, for example, without having the same thoughts. But those thoughts and “comedy show” aren’t necessarily compatible so I made a conscious decision when leaving home yesterday morning to keep my mouth shut. Even when the local news reporter asked me if I had heard of Virginia Tech before coming here, and what had I heard, I answered by saying “I heard you have a pretty good football team.” Which they do. Ranked number five. Out of six. (That was a joke. There’s probably more than six teams. There could be as mamy as seven.)

The students I met seemed to be happy and filled with school pride, which is good. Normally I’m not a fellow who takes school pride real seriously. As a Jew, any kind of tribalism leaves me a little squeamish since we’re usually on the losing end of it, but in this case I was glad to see how hopeful and normal those kids seemed. So go Hokies. I’m rooting for all of you, even though you have a terrible, terrible mascot. (Fighting turkey, pictured below.)

 

 Hokiebird1024

 

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Jason

The Hokie isn't just a fighting turkey. It's a castrated turkey.

The Naked Redhead

Whoah, whoah! Turkeys are pretty interesting creatures with complex social patterns and behaviors. They are also highly intelligent and loyal and have been known to make great companion pets.

That particular turkey, however, looks like he just escaped off the Short Bus and appears to be doing the "squat and bounce off rhythm" dance.

Reen

Yeah. When you think Virginia Tech, the next thought is "massacre".

If you ever performed at NIU, you'd find we face a similar legacy due to the Valentines Day shootings. On second thought, if you ever DID come to NIU, you'd barely be able to perform. I'd steal you away and make you eat Fatty's cajun potato salad with me until your knees wobbled!

Elizabeth

You coming to Tech may have been the best day of my life here! I've been a fan for awhile, but today I was in class and started laughing thinking about you skydiving
...it then got a little awkward when people turned around and stared at me, but at that moment I gave you a pat on the back.

Reen

*I* want to hear the skydiving story too! It's not ON the latest Risk podcast.

::adorable pout::

kc7999

No way around it...you did the right thing to leave the massacre out of the whole thing. Like, anyone needs YOU to come along and inform them as if they'd never heard of it before? BTW, I'm pretty sure the "bell Tower" you're thinking of was at a Texas school, Austin I believe, if the movie "Slacker" is to be trusted.

Ryalye

Sometimes I learn more from you than school. I've never heard about Kent State because nobody told me so I had to look it up just now. Like in school they're always like, "Solve for X." And I'm like, "...but isn't this history?" And they're like, "NO! It's Spanish!" And so I'm like, "I'm in the wrong class." It's terrible. Thank you for the education Mr. Black.

The more you know. Sponsored by NBC.

Zulema Quintanilla

All turkeys are beautiful.

Bailey

Turkeys make me think of Thanksgiving, not a winning team. Just saying Virginia Tech, just saying.

Billy

That's nice. Has your show been cancelled yet?

feliks.

kent state—national guard.
ut austin—bell tower.
ground zero—never forget.

Desiree

I was at the columbine shootings and it's not funny, but I know what is, YOU! TOFURKEY TIME

dharmit

Further correction:
UT Austin = clock tower
I can't believe you have all your decades-old massacres wrong!

Jaime

wtf mate -- first the Thanksgiving post goes poof, and now a link to a month-old post. I'm so confuuuuuused. I'm on vacation. I need Michael clarity. It is important.

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It is pity that something like that happened. It would be nice that those kind of tragedies won't repeat again.

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I definitely love costume parties. What I knew about turkeys is they cannot fly because their breast are thicker and heavier. But nonetheless, they're cute enough.

Elizabeth

Thanks for the tip-I'm loving that doing this allows me to distinguish my comments from my visitors' comments!

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What a great post! Just one suggestion:If you add some pics, it would be easiler to follow! I like the cartoon type logo! From what I have a playful spirit!

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