As weíve discussed, itís just another way for the white man to remind me that Iím alone and throw that fact in my face.
But I become quite accustomed to ignoring the Valentineís merchandising suck-fest, so letís discuss a few other things that are, as my old man used to say sullenly, ďmaking my ass hurt.Ē
1. People donít know about Run DMC. I wear the vintage shirt to my day job and at least three times a day, some one asks me, ďWho is that on your shirt?Ē Initially I laugh, but I soon realize that these people arenít joking. This makes me weep tears for a country lost and for paths that are clearly headed in the wrong direction. The saddest part is that these same people know who Elvis is, and that redneck never did anything outside of repurpose the colored folkís music and die on the toilet. How can you not know Run DMC? Letís say, for the sake of argument, that you were born in 1990, well after the reign of the Kings from Queens. Youíd still have ďWalk This WayĒ in heavy rotation on the radio, at birthday parties and in commercials for all natural jellies! Itís not even their best song, but it was the most popular and Iím to believe that you HAVE NEVER HEARD IT? Youíve never been to a wedding or Chuck E. Cheeseís!? Go to your room.
2. This brings me to the Black Eyed Peas. Remember when they were just cool, bohemian hip-hop artists? Neither do they, because that didnít sell any albums. It was a great sound, but MTV didnít play it. So how did they fix it? They added an ex-meth addict with an ass like a bag of Honey Buns and started pumping out safe commercial-ready songs that could easily be slipped into ads for new fall lineups or sales at Target. And while I commend them for selling out and paying the bills, this leaves us with the music of the new and improved Black Eyed Peas. And itís not good. Itís loud and safe and flashy and ready for what passes for the top 40 in this hellhole of a day and age. There is lots of dancing. I used to love dancing, but the Black Eyed Peas make me hate it. Thatís a sin. When someone tells me that they genuinely enjoy the Black Eyed Peas, I feel pity for themóthe same pity I feel for Forrest Gump when he tells Jenny that he loves her and she ignores him. Your love for the Black Eyed Peas makes me want to cry. It makes me wish that God would turn me into a bird so I could fly far, far away from here.
3. Birmingham is boring. People try to prove me wrong on this point, but they have little or no ammo to fight with. Donít tell me Iím not bored! Iím bored. I have had 15 years of practice and I know it when I feel it! If you are me and you donít drink for recreation, then there is no reason to hang around bars, and that cancels about 80 percent of your options right there. Iíve seen Vulcan. Iíve been to the Civil Rights Museum. Whatís left? Donít tell me that Birmingham is slowly getting better, because Iím not. Iím getting older and less patient. I suppose I could go out and see some of my favorite hip-hop acts or see an independent film at one of our many art-house theatresóoh, wait... thatís Atlanta. Atlanta has those things. Not Birmingham. You canít root for things just because of some invisible loyalty. You need a reason.
4. College Football. Okay, I guess I understand. People like to root for things. Itís fun to pick a side and champion that side blindly regardless of its actual relevance to your daytime life. I like the Sith, myself, so I always root for General Grievous. And if the team that you faithfully root for happens to win the big game, you are allowed to take some undeserved credit. You earned it by shouting the appropriate team motto and wearing the appropriate colors. But preempting my nighttime dramas so that we can see the team exit a plane? Really? Waitóreally? Unacceptable. I mean, I love General Grievous but I donít need to miss 10 minutes of primetime Law and Order every time he kills a Clone Trooper. Its cool and all, but I can wait until itís on the news. Geez.
5. The other night I was tricked into watching some awards show. Iím not sure why they were giving out awards. Perhaps it was opposite day, because everything that was shit won and everything that was awesome lost (just like every other facet of life in America). That doesnít matter though, because award shows are biased and fixed anyway. The worst part comes at the end when some guy named Cojo who looks like The Lady in the Radiator (Google it) pops up and starts talking about whoís best dressed and whoís worst dressed. Look, I know we live in a world where people competing in contests to create ďfashionĒ that no one will EVER wear counts as good television. Who really decides whatís fashionable? Me, thatís who! Iíll give you a best-dressed list that you can apply to any and every Hollywood event from here to eternity Ready? Cleavage=best dressed. There you have it. How much did it cost? Where did you get it? Whoís the designer? Who gives a &%$#!? Cleavage equals best dressed and cleavage plus pantsuit gets honorable mention. One woman mentioned that I feel this way because I have no interest in fashion. Sheís half right. I mean, I own a black t-shirt for each day of the week, so Iím set for life. But I do care about amazing new ways to present cleavage on television, and Halle Berry agrees with me (Google Halle Berry + Golden Globes) Yow!
Jímel Davidsonís stories appear in each issue of Birmingham Weekly. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.