TO GIVE A F*CK IS HUMAN.
TO NOT GIVE A F*CK IS DIVINE.
Q: What do Comedy, Parenting, and Politics have in common?
A: They're all F*ck it arenas. You can't give a f*ck, but you also gotta give a f*ck. So you're f*cked.
Lately I've been contemplating this give-up-the-f*ck conundrum. The f*ck-none-drum.
Maybe it's just me, but it seems like the world is obsessed with giving up the f*cks. There are books and podcasts about it. And f*cking blog posts!
I used to give WAY TOO MANY F*CKS. I'd over-edit or sensor everything I wrote, worried way too much about who I might be offending, and took way too long to get dressed because I didn't like my butt. I was an over-f*ck-giver.
I resolved to give up some f*cks.
I've been pretty successful at it, mainly because I remind myself that nobody else gives a f*ck. But it's still hard to give up giving a f*ck all together.
I don't know if it's possible or even desirable to give up ALL the f*cks.
We're wired to give a f*ck.
If you wanna be f*ckable (which is a human need or else we wouldn't be here), you give a f*ck. (This is especially true for women, which I'll get more into in a mo'.) If you wanna maintain relationships, you give a f*ck.
And when other people seem like they don't give ANY f*cks, we either admire them or detest them, depending on what they're saying and whether we relate. Also, they're probably giving more f*cks than we think.
The best comics seem to not give a f*ck what others think, but that could be a f*ck-it facade. A fu-cade. They've honed their f*ck-it material. Their f*ck-iterial. (I'll stop.) And if they've chosen this needy-for-laughs career in the first place, they must give a f*ck.
I've done over 100 open mics in the past year. The more I do, the less I give a f*ck about the outcome of any one of them. Not giving f*cks takes practice.
The more you do, the more you realize
a) you're not gonna die if you bomb and
b) no matter how good your set is, nobody else gives a f*ck.
I'm proud to say I give fewer f*cks than I gave a year ago, but I can't give up all the f*cks.
When an audience doesn't know you, you can't get up there and be all not-give-a-f*cky because
a) It's not real. We all give a f*ck if the audience responds to us, as we should cuz that's our job.
b) If they don't know you yet, there's an element of who-the-f*ck-do-you-think-you-are-not-giving-a-f*ck?
My friend who's a comedy poo-bah and has been dealing in funnies a lot longer than I have, says you're only comfortable on stage when you give up giving a f*ck. BUT it takes years to get there.
I don't give a f*ck what anybody else thinks... With the exception of you, fine people.
When someone seems to not give a f*ck what others think, we're either like "you go, gurl!" or "f*ck you!" depending on whether they're on our side.
But if you as a performer are basing your material on what the audience thinks, you're pandering. You give a f*ck.
And you want the laughs. So even though you don’t want to give a f*ck if they like you, if they don’t like you, you’re f*cked.
The goal for me has become: to give no f*cks when I'm writing material, and then give some f*cks when choosing material, based on who's listening and what mood they're in.
If it's a booked show that people pay money to see, comics should give a f*ck if people like it.
But no basing self-image on the laughs, 'kay?
You CANNOT let your kids think you give a f*ck if they like you. They will use it to get ice cream.
It takes a lot of discipline to care for kids without giving a f*ck if they like you.
We all give some f*cks about what our kids think of us. And we need them to respect us, yet wanting them to like us or respect us earns zero respect. I’m working on the boundary-setting, foot-put-downing, no-f*ck-mommishness, but as you may have seen from my Instagram and FB pages, my kids eat a lot of ice cream.
As for other parents, you REALLY can't give a f*ck what they think. You'd be miserable. I gave some f*cks in the beginning and I ended up throwing my kids under the bus (NOT LITERALLY!) for the sake of making other parents more comfortable.
I'd be all,
Oh, no, really! It's MY kid that needs to apologize for being in the way when your little cutie was trying to throw sand in his direction.
I had no idea how to parent and I figured other parents were judging me for my negligence. I fared much better when I gave up f*ck-giving and found the un-judgiest parents to hang out with (which, it turns out, is most of the parents I know).
We all care what our friends think of us. But the besties are the ones who don't give a fuck how f*cked up we are. And vice-versa.
Oy. I'd go bonkers in politics. How can you not give a f*ck what people think of you, when you need them to like you to vote for you? And how can you not give a f*ck if they vote for you, when the fate of the world depends on you winning?
The candidates of 2016 who seemed to give less of a f*ck were the ones who had less to lose. If nobody expects you to win (like Bernie or Trump) you can act as no-f*ck-giving as you want.
Ironically, DJT is probably the most f*ck-giving when it comes to giving a f*ck what others think of him. But since he didn't want the job in the first place, he could do and say whatever the f*ck he wanted. His brand was F*ck it. ( Fake brand.)
Also, he's cray. When you're cray, you appear to not give a f*ck but really you have no idea WTF you're saying.
It’s a lot easier to not give a f*ck when you have nothing to lose. It's harder when the future of women, democracy, and the earth hangs on whether you use the word “deplorables” (and btw, if she’d really been free to not give a f*ck, she would've used a more fitting word, as I postulated here).
I must also add that the ones who got away with not giving a f*ck were men. Women have a harder time giving up the f*cks about what others think of us. Women are EXPECTED TO GIVE A F*CK. We're expected to want others to like us, to choose us, to make babies with us and drink nice milk from our boobies. And when we choose not to give a f*ck, we alienate people whose opinion we're expected to give a fuck about. For f*ck's sake, we're so f*cked.
Holly Mandel, a teacher at The Groundlings theater in L.A., breaks this all down impeccably and encourages women (in comedy but also beyond) to say F*ck it. She does a talk that was a key part of my no-f*ckspedition last year. I'd had plenty of womyn's studies courses in high school and college, but this one gave me extra motivation to give up the fucks. Check it out. I have no stake in her talk, I just want more women to give up more f*cks.
How do we determine what's worth giving a F*ck?
Here's one question to ask yourself:
Am I worrying about what other people will think?
That's usually a sign you need to give up giving a f*ck.
a) we can't control what other people think
b) whatever they think is based on their own mishegas
c) Other people are probably not thinking much about it anyway.
So the "other people" might in your head. Your drive to do cool sh*t will be stronger if you tell the "other people" in your head to f*ck off.
If the answer's no, and you're concern has to do with hurting other people or breaking the law...
Then maybe you should give a F*ck.