Posts Tagged ‘The Daily Show’

Stock image of a house. Definitely not my condo! Photo by Binyamin Mellish on

As many of you know from reading in this blog, I recently bought and moved into a condo after six years in an apartment complex. And while at first it was a lot of stress, I’ve been enjoying my new home while at the same time updating it, repairing certain things, and thinking of more changes to make (I’m thinking of painting my bedroom green, and my office will definitely be black and white).

Yeah, I’m lucky to have this place.

I know a lot of other people in my age bracket aren’t as lucky.

Let’s face it, housing in the United States is in a crisis right now. There are a whole lot of reasons why that is: fewer affordable apartment buildings available or being built; fewer single-family or “starter” homes available or being built; Baby Boomers and Gen Xers downsizing and taking all the homes that are available because they have more financial resources; wages having not increased for years while the cost of living having grown steadily at the same time; local ordinances making it more profitable to build multi-family homes and homes for higher-earning families; and so much more.

I won’t go more into it because I’m not a subject matter expert, but these videos do a great job explaining the problem:

This one is from The Daily Show showing how desperate things have become and the factors millennials face.

This one from Vox shows how making affordable homes in the US faces more obstacles than just profits.

And Last Week Tonight with John Oliver shows the many problems that folks in many of America’s cities are facing just trying to keep a roof over their head. It’s as funny as it is troubling.

Like I said, I’m lucky. I have a good job and my paycheck has grown with every passing year. Rent in my city has, until recently anyway, been quite affordable and never got too expensive at my place. My student loans were paid off years ahead of schedule thanks to my paternal grandfather of blessed memory, and what was left of what he left me allowed me to really build my savings account. They were further built by putting away the stimulus payments the government gave out in 2020 and 2021. I didn’t have to put those payments towards necessities because my workplace had been doing work-from-home for years, so the switch wasn’t too hard on me and my employer. And I got my mortgage before the interest rate was hiked, so I don’t have to pay extra like a bunch of other people who will be borrowing money in the near future.

Again, I’m lucky.

But even with all that luck, I still had a lot of trouble finding a new home. In the six months I searched for a new home, I heard about high wait lists for apartments in the complexes I applied to. Especially the nice ones that were affordable, and those were few and far between. Most of the ones that didn’t look like they were dens of iniquity or poorly maintained charged well over a thousand dollars per month for one-bedroom apartments. And that was just looking for a place to rent! (I tried to keep my options open.) Of the seven houses and condos for sale I visited, I bid on five. And I was outbid on the first four, sometimes by several thousand dollars.

Getting this place, especially right as I was getting close to my move-out date, was a Godsend.

And I know plenty of my generation are struggling, and will continue to struggle, just to stay in a home. And for many, even a crappy apartment might be too expensive. As in the Daily Show video, plenty of millennials are buying fixer-uppers together, but for many even that is too hard.

And I just hope that, by talking about it, maybe something will change. Not on its own, obviously. What do I look like, the Pope? But maybe, if I join my voice to the chorus advocating for change, then maybe change will come. It’ll be slow, but I hope it happens. And if nothing else, maybe it’ll remind us how lucky we are to be in homes at all. And that nothing in life is guaranteed.

Well, that was a dark note to finish on. How about some photos of my new place?

My bedroom. I’m thinking of painting it green.
Jonesy hanging out on the wall near the kitchen window.
No surprise, my masks make this place so much creepier.
My first Shabbos celebration in the new place. Took a lot of unpacking before I could do this.
You like my new rug? Bought it with a gift card a friend gave me as a housewarming gift.
My new writing space. What do you think?
Finally, my new lamp. I like the meeting of vintage and industrial here.

Well, that’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. If there are any more updates on my home life that I feel like sharing, I will. Until next time, good night and pleasant nightmares.

I’ve come to this decision after only a little deliberation but with a heavy heart. Ever since I entered college, and maybe for a few months before, I liked watching new TV live, rather than watching it the next day or as reruns. I didn’t watch a lot of new TV live growing up, mostly because it was on late and I had to get my sleep for school or whatever else was going on the next day for me. When I got to college, I found it simple even with a full schedule of classes and work to fit in TV in the evenings and watch shows I liked. And if perchance I missed them, most were on Hulu or other websites the next day.

That’s changing this semester. Because in addition to five classes–all of which hand out homework, and a lot of it, usually–I’m writing a novel for a thesis, which takes up a considerable amount of time. Add in shifts at work four days a week, and my time is filled up with work, work, and…did I mention work?

So as much as I love all my shows (and I love a lot of them, believe me), I’m drastically reducing how much TV I watch so I can get through my workload with more ease and less pressure. I don’t want to, but I have to make my studies a priority in all circumstances, so it’s something I have to do if I want to keep my grades up and not get piled under a mountain of homework.

And on the bright side I have DVR, so I’ll be able to hopefully catch up on most of my shows over winter break or whenever I’m actually free from assignments, whichever comes first. Hopefully nobody spoils my shows in the meantime, which would give me cause to put a curse on them. And I’m quite capable of doing that too.

He’s screaming about my TV reduction plan AND my curse threat.

In the meantime, the only shows I’ll keep up with are The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (I can watch it during breakfast), Sailor Moon Crystal (airs every other Saturday or so, and yes they rebooted Sailor Moon. Believe me, that franchise is never going away), Doctor Who (you know why I’ll be watching that), and Saturday Night Live (you can guess why on that as well).

I’m also going to have to cut back on the movies I watch. Which makes me sad, there are so many good horror movies coming out this October! I don’t want to wait until they’re on DVD!

Whatever happened to the days when life was simple? Oh yeah, that’s right. They never existed.

Well, that’s enough of me griping. Just know that I’m staying focused on my main priorities, I’ll leave the entertainment for another day, and I’ll try and continue to blog at least once or twice a week.

In the meantime, I’m heading to bed. It’s late, and I’ve got a full day tomorrow. Goodnight, my Followers of Fear. Pleasant nightmares.

I may or may not have mentioned it before, but I’m a fan of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (or these days, The Daily Show with John Oliver, seeing as Jon Stewart is in the Middle East directing a drama). The show makes digesting politics a bit easier for me, the way they lampoon everything that’s happening in our broken political system. No subject is safe or free from exploration, and that can sometimes lead to some very interesting epiphanies on our society in general.

Last night I had one of those epiphanies. The show’s two women correspondents (and considering that every correspondent has at least a dozen different correspondent titles, from tax reform to royal family to fishing and wildlife to weird news, they really are the women correspondents for the show), Samantha Bee and Jessica Williams, did a segment on how people are afraid to talk about race and racism in this country, and how far we are from eliminating it. If I am successful, the video should appear below. If not, I apologize and I advise you to follow this link.

Although very funny, this video shows some incredibly thought-provoking things. For one thing, those who don’t experience racism on a day-to-day racism in New York–those with white privilege, in other words–feel that because of President Obama and other factors, racism is on its way to being eliminated. However those who experience racism on a daily basis–the members of the black panel–have a much more cynical view. And why shouldn’t they? They face discrimination, profiling, problems getting good jobs, and utter cluelessness on the parts of certain members of the white panel. I mean talking about race exacerbates the problem? Black people should be interested in your fashion-related job?

First off, does talking about the things in your life that can cause you depression exacerbate the problem? Therapists don’t believe so, and they’d advise you to discuss it rather than not talk about it. And as for black people not being interested in your job despite the job being fashion, does it seem a little stereotypical that you think that they should be? I mean, there’s more to white people than the clothes they wear, so why can’t it be the same for minorities.

And like the one panelist said, this affects more than just black people. Hispanics face the stop-and-frisk policy too, and crooked police will use this policy to intimidate, hurt, and deport Hispanics unfairly and on bulls**t charges. Muslims, particularly Arab Muslims, face a constant PR campaign to let the world know that only a tiny minority of Muslims actually have radical leanings, let alone terrorist ties or inclinations. And in many areas of the country, the LGBT community has to struggle not just for marriage rights, but for the right to housing, jobs, insurance, security, and other rights that their straight neighbors taking for granted.

And finally, to the fashionista in the white panel, even if an issue doesn’t affect you, you should still take part in it! Why? Because it’s the right thing to do. I’m pretty sure that the genocide in Eastern Europe during the 1940s didn’t affect mainstream Americans, but still it became a part of the war effort to stop Germany. And for a more modern example, though the tsunami in Indonesia, the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan, and the ongoing genocide in Darfur (yes, it’s still happening, and rapes over in that area have skyrocketed with it), we still intervene, even though it doesn’t directly affect us. Why? Because we have a moral imperative to do so.

So even if you’re not directly affected by the plight of minorities because of your race, your religion, your nationality, your ethnicity, your gender, your sexual orientation, or any other factor, you should still try to help. Otherwise, when you’re affected by an issue and nobody’s speaking up for you, you’ll feel pretty ashamed that you didn’t do a single thing to help others out in their time of need.

So let’s start that discussion about race. Here’s a start: racism is still a long way from being eliminated in the United States, no matter what race you belong to or where you’re from. What is something you can do in your community to fight against racism and foster equality?