Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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Funny Lady? Marti johnson

Erin Cowell - June 28th, 2010
Funny Lady: Martha “Marti” Johnson pursues her dream as TC’s first female standup comedienne
By Erin Crowell
“Do you know what they’re going to call the merger between Munson and
Spectrum Health?” Martha Johnson asks.
“Speculum.”
Of course, “Marti” (as her friends call her) isn’t being serious –
actually, the account executive at ABC TV 29&8 is always joking around
and making people laugh—so much so, that friends and family have
encouraged her to take on stand-up comedy.
It was something Johnson took seriously.
The Traverse City resident has already performed in front of two
sold-out crowds at Lil Bo Pub and Grille in town and anticipates an
additional mob at her next performance on Thursday, July 1, at the
same venue.

BRASS OVARIES
So, what does this 47-year-old single gal, living in Northern Michigan
have to say? Well, it’s all part of her routine titled “The Brass
Ovaries Comedy Tour,” the bit covers everything from career to pap
smears.
“Ever notice that everything that starts with the word ‘men’ has to do
with women?” Johnson asks. “Menopause, mental illness, menses…what is
up with that?”
On stage, Johnson recalls her experiences as a single career gal in
the world of online dating.
“I once got a marriage proposal from a guy in L.A.,” she laughs.
“Never even met him before. I was like, ‘For real, how did you find
Marti Johnson in the pinkie of Michigan?!’”
Not that she would have said yes, because as Johnson points out, her
standards are
set high.
“I’m looking for a guy with teeth and a job.”
Johnson’s routine is also about everyday life, particularly in
Northern Michigan.
“You know, there are two seasons in this area,” Johnson says. “Winter
and no left turn.”

MUCH NEEDED LAUGHS
As a TC Chamber Ambassador, Film Festival volunteer, NMC College
Scholarship Golf Outing Committee member and board member for
Michael’s Place, it was only a matter of time before this career girl
added something else to the platter.
Johnson has over 23 years experience in sales, which serves as part
material, part reason she is so comfortable on stage.
“I used to be a pharmaceuticals rep. I’ve sold everything from drugs
to radio and newspaper sales.”
With her type of career, Johnson knows that these are the times when
laughter is needed the most.
“It’s the most challenging time that I’ve seen,” she says. “People
need to laugh now more than ever. I love to make people smile.”
Johnson says she developed that ability through her father and grandfather.
“I’m a lot like them. I always have these one liners, plus I have a
great memory so it’s easy for me to recall a joke,” she says.
Johnson also draws her inspiration from comedians like Robin Williams,
but she says her style is all her own.
“My comedy is about life, it’s tragedy plus time,” she says. “Plus, my
routine is pretty clean; but, I might drop an F-bomb here or there.”
Friends have always encouraged her to get on stage, friends like John
Sohacki. He pursued his own hobby and now plays bass in a local band,
performing across the region.
“She has always made people laugh and I really encouraged her to get
out and try it,” Sohacki says. “All you can do is encourage and tell
them it’s going to happen. I give her credit because it took a lot of
courage. I’ve at least got some band mates to share the spotlight
with.”
But Johnson says she doesn’t mind being up there alone.
“It seriously goes by in a second. Of course, the shot of liquid
courage probably helped,” she laughs.
Her dream would ultimately involve performing at Traverse City’s
newest festival.
“My goal is to be the hometown humor girl – to perform onstage at the
Traverse City Comedy Festival,” she says. “I talked to a lot of
comedians at last year’s festival and they all told me that this is
how they started. You just have to decide to do it.”

Catch TC’s funny lady, Martha “Marti” Johnson and her “Brass Ovaries
Comedy Tour” at Lil Bo Pub and Grille, in Traverse City, on Thursday,
July 1. Show starts at 8 p.m. There is a $5 cover charge.

 
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