COMEDIAN / FILMMAKER / CARTOONIST
@alecrobbins - alecrobbins.com

 

racism at subway / flatizza™ commercial

I haven’t written anything about this whole Ferguson ordeal because i often discount the fact that the things i write sometimes matter, and also because i feel like as a white jackass i’m kind of outside the discussion. But a whole lot of other white jackasses are saying things that barely seem to add much and i’m funnier and more thoughtful than a lot of them sooooo

This isn’t really about ferguson but it is, i feel, related in a few ways

today i went to subway for my daily Pepperoni Flatizza™ and for a couple minutes it was a fairly standard subway advenure. That all changed when a (maybe?) homeless man came in while the guy behind the counter was making my Flatizza™. The homeless guy – he was black, that’s actually very important to this story – asked if he could use the bathroom but the subway employee – who is Indian, this is also important believe it or not – said no, sorry, it’s for customers only. That’s totally fair, i thought. It’s one of those “you-need-to-borrow-the-key” dealios so i get it. it’s a hassle and it’s chicago and it’s just a rule they’re allowed to enforce as an operating business. So the homeless guy scoffs and walks away mumbling obscenities under his breath like “fuck you” and “motherfucker” and basically just a lot of phrases with the word “fuck” in it. that’s cool. I like the word “fuck.” But it was definitely a little rude i guess.

I just sort of awkwardly stood there between the employee and the homeless guy, who eventually stopped at the open doorway on his way out and shouted “if i see you later i’m going to beat the fuck out of your ass” or something along those lines. A threat, though. That’s what’s important. He threatened the employee. Until now i was fairly neutral, like “ugh yeah i guess it sucks that he can’t use the bathroom and i’d be annoyed too” but also “rules are rules” and i mean i bet this subway employee would love to let anyone use the bathroom but it’s part of his job to enforce the rules. That’s what i have to assume.

Except now this homeless guy threatened the dude making my delicious Pepperoni Flatizza™ - who i am already endeared to for that reason alone – and so, as the door closed behind him and we were left alone again in this fluorescent mecca of footlongs and flat pizzas, i felt very naturally like i should relieve the tension with this poor guy who just had his life threatened. So i sort of laughed and shook my head and said something pretty light-hearted like “geez!” or whatever. Like one word, like “geez!” or “huh!” or “wow!” and we both shared a nice little moment until the subway employee suddenly ruined everything and said “Crazy, right? Black people always come in here and do stuff like that!”

And so i just sort of continued awkwardly laughing for a moment before thinking “oh no, am i being complicit in his racism by laughing? Is that, by definition, an agreement that black people do always come into subways and ask to use the bathroom and threaten employees with vulgar language?”

but it was too late. I felt like i should have spoken up and challenged him, but also i really just wanted to eat my Flatizza™ and not have to worry about, y’know, convincing anybody that racism is bad. I feel like that’s so obvious but i guess it’s just not. And so i paid for my food and sat down and started reading some funny Splitsider article that my friend casey texted me. It was a fake interview with one of the fictional characters on that old Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip show that got cancelled. It was an awful show and the fake interview was really funny. I got about halfway through it before two young-looking black dudes entered the subway with some flyers and they immediately came over to me explaining that one of their friends was killed and they were raising money for something that had to do with that? like a memorial or something maybe? I didn’t really want to give any money because i mean, sure, it’s a good cause maybe? Like honestly i can’t believe your friend was killed, that’s absolutely awful, how was he killed, i would love to know but for some reason this isn’t really the right context and i’m sort of just privately eating my Flatizza™ while reading this Splitsider thing on my phone and all i have is a $20 bill. But then they kept badgering me and they seemed nice so i caved and asked if they had four $5 bills so i could get change, and they said yeah so that was cool and then i gave them $5. They asked if i wanted to give $10 maybe and i laughed and said not really and that was cool, they thanked me, and i think at this point the subway employee was telling the other guy that they had to buy something or leave? So yeah this is when i realized “oh no, there could be some tension here.”

But i guess one of the guys just bought a small drink and the two of them sat down in the opposite corner of the subway and started loudly playing music on their phones which i thought was a little rude but honestly i didn’t give a shit. I figured the subway employee was probably getting annoyed at that but i was already tuning everything out again and focusing on my phone while i ate this great-tasting Flatizza™ from Subway.

I finally snap out of it when i hear one of the fundraiser guys angrily asking for a napkin. And i’m like “why is he so angry about this.” And i realize “oh, the subway employee is just absolutely refusing to give this guy a napkin for some reason? Probably because he’s black i think?” ugh wow this is just… this is just a real headache. I literally only want to read this Splitsider thing and eat my delicious, tasty Flatizza™ pizza. Now i’m an unwilling spectator to live racism.

Once it becomes excruciatingly clear that Subway guy is just NOT going to give one of these guys a napkin, i hear the following statement: “It’s because I’m black. You don’t want to give me a napkin because I’m black.”

Yeah i mean, that’s it. that’s exactly it. that’s fucked up, dude. I feel you. The subway guy doesn’t acknowledge this – he just keeps cleaning something behind the counter or whatever. At this point i’m really honed in on my cell phone, not looking up at all, but honestly I’m not even reading the Splitsider thing anymore, i’m just listening to everything unfold. I’m taking a bite of my Flatizza™, sure, who wouldn’t, it’s delicious, but it’s kind of hard to ignore what’s going on.

So i offer up my own napkin. “Hey, man, I have an extra napkin.” And at first he doesn’t hear me because he’s wrapped up in berating the subway guy, with good cause as far as i’m concerned even if he is being a bit coarse, but his friend alerts him to my offer and he graciously accepts. He seems super psyched that i gave him my napkin, like i popped out of nowhere to help him win this battle like a secret weapon. To be perfectly frank i feel pretty good about it, too. Like, geez, i just put out what could have become a pretty big fire. I felt like the bigger man. He said “thanks” and i said “don’t worry about it” and i was glad he didn’t drag me into the situation any further than that.

But then his friend says to the Indian Subway guy: “See, you goddamn sand-nigger? Check that shit out.” He points at me. Great, i think sarcastically. Great, now i’m involved. Let’s take a closer look at this Splitsider article. Let’s disappear into this Splitsider article where nobody can see me or hear me.

He continues. “This motherfucker is wearing nice-ass clothes, he’s got money and shit.” He’s right, i’m wearing some j crew clothes my mom and dad bought me and he’s right, i’ve got money. My parents have money and by extension i’m usually living pretty comfortably. I didn’t know it was that obvious i have money but i’m not surprised to learn that it is. “This motherfucker with the money helped out, and your sand-nigger ass didn’t. You wouldn’t expect the motherfucker with money to be the hero, that’s crazy.” Then he turned to me. “Thanks, dude.”

I mean, you’re welcome, i guess. Honestly i just want to eat my Flatizza™ and get to the end of this fucking Splitsider thing about Studio 60. That show was bad and i like when people make fun of it. but now i’m some pawn on a racism chess board, except just by nature of white privilege i’m sort of not even playing the game. I’m like floating above the chess board but somehow tethered to it. i can try to ignore it but there’s a lot of nasty shit going on down there and it’s certainly affecting me whether i want to acknowledge it or not. I mean, i am very very lucky. I have never really felt unsafe because of my skin color, nor have i ever truly had to worry about having enough resources to survive, nor have i ever been refused a napkin because i look a certain way.

And i mean, sure, i’m floating above the chess board, and sure, i’m not really playing the game, but that doesn’t mean i’m not a piece. Everyone in this subway right now is at fault. The subway employee is a real prick for generalizing negatively against black people, and those two black guys aren’t really handling the situation to the best of their ability. I mean, they’re being racist right back to him by calling him a sand-nigger, and i don’t think that’s cool but at the same time i don’t blame them, because what the hell else are they supposed to do? What do you do when someone is treating you so unfairly, so irrationally? I can’t imagine it’s easy to react rationally back, but then again i’m a fucking white male so i’ve never once had to really put myself into that situation.

I’m at fault because i’m just trying to politely get through my meal and not get involved in stopping what are clearly some pretty fucked up and impolite interactions. That’s not to say i could actually stop anything, or change anyone’s mind, but certainly standing idly by isn’t fixing anything. And yes, you’re right, it was super chill of me to offer that napkin up and wow, yes, i’m so great for doing that, thank you, you’re too kind, but if we’re being totally honest i probably just felt awkward and wanted the whole situation to be over. I can justify it as a heroic act but then i’m also just being the “heroic white guy” and that’s the same as those shitty “wow isn’t it great when white people are nice to minorities!” movies like Freedom Writers or The Blind Side. I hate those movies.

I’m just some dumb rich white kid who doesn’t usually have to deal with shit like this.

The two black guys left and called the subway employee a sand-nigger again on their way out, and it’s like… it’s like, dudes. Everybody. I know it sucks when people are mean and irrational but just… just be nice. Be the bigger person, i guess. Don’t do the exact same thing back. I left that subway feeling pretty negatively towards everybody i met in there, even the guy who hand-cooked my incredibly fantastic Flatizza™ meal. He was wrongly mad at an entire group of people because he obviously has a lot of fairly awful run-ins with humans who fit that bill. Those feelings are reciprocated by the people he mistreats, because, hell, he’s already mistreating them? Why be nice back? So everyone keeps stoking the fire and privileged people like me just sit back, eat our Flatizzas™, stare at our phones, and silently hope everyone else cuts out the bullshit

Flatizzas™ are available at most Subway locations and are available in a multitude of tasty varieties

poem about internet/teens/Fire Emblem/how big is my dick

are there any hot girls on this website

tweet at 12:39am on 8/16/14: i can’t decide whether to jack off or play Fire Emblem

i’m either going to jack off or play Fire Emblem
i have a husband in Fire Emblem
i played as the girl and they made me get married to a guy
i didn’t necessarily want to marry him but i’ve already put 12 hours into this game so i’m not about to start over now

is it illegal to tweet about jacking off

idea for mid-2000’s Spielberg movie at 12:44am on 8/16/14: In this action-packed family adventure, an elite force of the internet’s best warriors patrol the dark alleyways of the web and stop netcrime in all its forms. They hate netcrime and they stop it whenever they can. One of them is named Jackson he’s a hacker. He’s the top hacker in the world. He’s in love with Tamriel who is the second best hacker in the world, she’s Asian that’s not important but we’re including it in this synopsis just as a sort of additional bonus detail. They are WEB FIGHTERS 2000. (Keanu Reeves, Helena Bonham Carter, and Vin Diesel as Kroog. Dir. Steven Spielberg. Runtime 140 minutes.)

a wall of energy is crushing me into the smallest possible me
a thousand tweets soar past me above my head in the dark
my own personal stargazing activity
i chose every star in my feed, even the ones i hate

let me unfollow you
it’s the most romantic thing i can think of
to hate you so much i never want to see your thoughts again

i don’t unfollow you unless you’re special

unless i think about you enough to want to never think about you again

opacity of my urine in the toilet that doesn’t flush properly at 12:50am on 8/16/14: light yellow

i follow a lot of teens
it’s funny that i identify as teen
all the teens i follow on tumblr post a lot of porn GIFs
a swarm of empowered forward-thinking teens surround me and show me their favorite pornos
Daniel, a smart teen who can program, is showing me his favorite POV blowjob porno on Redtube
i tell him how much i like it, and i mean it. i really do
i ask him for the URL but Ashley, the school valedictorian and president of the after-school casual smash bros club, has stepped in front of him already and she’s showing me a nice porno about two gay muscle men fucking their penises up the butts of some other gay muscle men
i thank the friendly teens for showing me their favorite pornos but i try to explain that this is an uncomfortable situation because i’m 24 years old and i feel fairly strongly that i should not be discussing pornos with underage teens

“i won’t tell anybody though” i assure them. Daniel offers to shake my hand but i say no thanks. I don’t want to shake daniel’s hand.

iPhone distance from head at 1:02am on 8/16/14: about 7-8 inches because my glasses are off, one of my eyes is closed so i can focus better

when i was like 15 or 16 i used to measure my dick with a ruler. I used to start the ruler as far back under the shaft as i could go but deep down i kind of knew that was cheating. I measured flaccid and boner and compared the two and i was never really disappointed but also i had no idea what sort of numbers i was supposed to be looking for.

I haven’t measured my dick w/ a ruler in probably 8 years

I haven’t even measured it with anything tbh

I threw away the ruler
I like feeling sad more than i like feeling happy
If you could die on the internet i would like it a lot more

if you could die on the internet that would be great

here’s a short film i made called COOL NERDS about nerds that are mean

i hope you like it

i had a good and stimulating conversation about comedy with my friend casey stoddard (@casey_stoddard on Twitter)

mareodomo:

Internet Comics 2 pdf!
https://gumroad.com/l/FHKL
If you bought the print version, just like… take a picture of it and send me “FANMAIL” (barf) and i’ll give you a link to the pdf. Or you can give me $5 again. Either way is fine. Bye!


I love this comic so much, it’s one of my favorite little things in the world

mareodomo:

Internet Comics 2 pdf!

https://gumroad.com/l/FHKL

If you bought the print version, just like… take a picture of it and send me “FANMAIL” (barf) and i’ll give you a link to the pdf. Or you can give me $5 again. Either way is fine. Bye!

I love this comic so much, it’s one of my favorite little things in the world

a inforgaphic i made tracking ironic reappropriation through the typeface COMIC SANS MS

a inforgaphic i made tracking ironic reappropriation through the typeface COMIC SANS MS

Hahaha this kid won a national poetry award for poem he wrote about Waluigi

http://www.stalbertgazette.com/article/20120512/SAG0801/305129970

Hahaha this kid won a national poetry award for poem he wrote about Waluigi

http://www.stalbertgazette.com/article/20120512/SAG0801/305129970