Menu

Episode 20

The JV Club

Dannah Phirman and Danielle …

user avatar

The JV Club #20: Dannah Phirman and Danielle Schneider

Who ruined a competition for her whole team? Who showed up with a VERY surprising prom date? Does anyone actually like the word “horny?” Celebrate the dying of your taste buds with Janet and guests Dannah Feinglass Phirman (Word Girl) and Danielle Schneider (Players) in Episode 20 of the JV Club.

Tags , , ,

9 comments

  • I am a very nice person who was once a bully. I felt victimized by a girl in my elementary school named Trezana. It was so severe for me that I wanted to drop out of school. I don’t think she was actually that bad.. I am just a very sensitive person and any little teeny bit of criticism to this day makes my heart pound intensely and it’s just absolutely overwhelming for me.

    I noticed some girls in school who were very awkward. At first it was just one girl, Catherine. Then a new girl, Elizabeth, came to our school and she and Catherine became great friends. There was something about their awkwardness that just drove me insane. I decided it was impossible to avoid picking on them, so I began just really letting them have it. I definitely made Catherine freak out in anger one day, when I caused her to break a styrofoam hat she’d made for Crazy Hat Day, which was somewhat satisfying, but Elizabeth always just kind of took it.

    I can’t say for sure why I bullied them, but the strange thing was that I remember standing up for another girl around that same time as she was being bullied, so I know that I wasn’t all bad. This was at a time in my life when my dad was at his worst state of his bipolar disorder and had dropped off one of our cats at a park to die because he thought our cat would get us all sick. He was also recently taken out of our house on a stretcher when he attempted suicide by swallowing a bunch of pills. I was in therapy at the time too and was prescribed anti-depressants, which I swallowed the entire bottle of the day after my dad did. I can only assume that all of that fucked up shit is what caused me to lash out at those poor girls. And their exceeding awkwardness. Hiyo!

    i apologized to Catherine in the beginning of 9th grade and to Elizabeth on MySpace when I was 19 or so. I still feel like I need to do more, but I don’t want to make them relive it, you know?

    Sorry this isn’t about high school. I thought it still might be relevant.

  • I think weird, disconnected cliques can happen in any sized school. My school only had about 120 students per grade, and I was in the ‘leap’ stream, which meant that I often had the same group kids for several classes a day. One time, some kids were passing around a get-well card for a popular kid who was scheduled to go for heart surgery, and I realised that I wouldn’t have remembered his name if it hadn’t been written in big letters on the piece of paper.

    Also, licorice and fennel are gross.

  • Hey, I heard an Eric slipped into the shout-outs! I’m guessing that was for someone who comments on iTunes because it’s not an uncommon name, and I’m pretty new to the scene. But I’ll go ahead and pretend it was for me. :)

    Anyway, I knew this was going to be a really entertaining podcast as soon as I heard Danielle break out those goofy voices. You’ve been picking some great guests so far, Janet, and I think it really does help that you already know them a little (or a lot) because it means they’re more willing to open up about some of the things you talk about.

    The one thing that really stood out this week for me was the story about using ketchup to fake having a period. I thought it was disgustingly hilarious, and I just hope that image doesn’t pop into my head the next time I’m eating french fries or something.

    BTW, I watched Burning Love over the weekend and thought it was great. My favorite episode was probably the Homeless No Mo’ project. You made some great faces in that one, and I’m laughing just thinking about it. I’ve already been going out of order with the podcasts, so I’m probably going to listen to the one with Erica Oyama and Beth Dover next.

    Keep up the great work, and can’t wait to hear more about the launch of Huff Post Live!

  • I’m a long-time listener, first-time commenter. Janet, I love, love, love this podcast, and I think it’s become my favorite. There’s an atmosphere of sweetness, honesty and vulnerability that works so well with the focus on childhood and adolescence, and which is such a great complement to the sometimes impenetrable walls of macho wit put up by comedians on most comedy podcasts. And you seem like such an invested, empathic, and kind person who really wants to cultivate that atmosphere and make your guests as comfortable and open to sharing as possible. It’s great.

    Re: bullying, there’s a fantastic moment in the “Reunion” episode of 30 Rock where Liz arrives at her high school reunion, dogged by memories of being bullied by the popular kids at school, only to find that everyone resents her and perceived her as a bully. There’s an early flashback from her point of view of a cheerleader-type jeering “Hey, Liz how’s your telescope?” followed later by an extended flashback where we see her rejoinder: “I don’t know, Kelsey, how’s your mom’s pill addiction?” which leaves the girl in tears. I had a similar epiphany about my middle school experience, well after the fact.

    In middle school I was physically bullied and socially humiliated by conventional popular bullies, and as a bookish nerd, I (and most of my nerd friends) developed a scathing sarcasm that we used to “get back” but also to make fun of other kids, little siblings, etc. Because we ourselves had been victimized, and because our “erudite” “joking” sarcasm didn’t resemble the treatment we received from bullies (we were being verbal and witty, rather than physically violent or vulgar), there was never, ever a consideration in our minds that such mockery was just as much bullying. I didn’t make that realization until years later. We were using our victimhood to justify what was ultimately bullying behavior on our part.

    The irony is that the stuff “meathead” bully-types made fun of us about was typically just superficial or didn’t apply to us (I got called a “f-ggot” a lot, or they made fun of my glasses or something like that). But the zingers a clever honors-English kid could throw back at them could be exceedingly caustic, and pretty spot-on, and probably actually did a lot more damage. Luckily, while Middle School was largely a hellish Lord of the Flies situation where everyone was miserable and constantly sniping back and forth, high school was more low-key, with different groups more or less coexisting and mingling without taking pot-shots at each-other.

  • Ah, I’m glad you brought up Robocop. My dad brought me and my brother to see that movie when we were really young. If we saw it in the theater (I don’t remember this) I would have been 3 and my brother would have been 5. My parents were divorced and I don’t think our dad knew what to do with us. But after that, my mom decided we could watch whatever movies we wanted. Which was awesome growing up!

  • It’s shameful to say, but I did bully someone out of anger. I was going through difficult times at home, and was angry. I severely bullied this one girl in hopes of making me feel better, but I felt worse. What I did was in such conflict of who I really am and I couldn’t live with myself. A few days later, I walked up to the girl and sincerely apologized, to the point where I was in tears. I’m happy to say, though, that this girl is now one of my dearest friends.

  • Given that it was a faintly-remembered maybe-COSMO article, I wonder how much scare-mongering about a large clitoris might’ve played into the androgyny/intersex concern…and, of course, before he started writing and directing films about how to objectify everyone around your teen self, John Hughes’s most notably successful pieces for NATIONAL LAMPOON were the short fantasies “My Vagina” and “My Penis”, about teens of the inappropriate genders awakening one morning to discover the “opposite” sort of genitalia in place, and their subsequent adventures…I wonder how much these were still part of the school-corridor folklore by the time your vague noises were heard about such things by one of your guests, Janet…and congratulations on the new gig. Somehow, I’m also reminded of the FRASIER episode about confronting one’s teen bullies as adults.