Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Let The Choir Say Amen

When in doubt, I think any singer should bring in a black gospel choir, or African singers to sing back-up. Gotta hit record? Let some black women in kente Cloth sway behind you echoing your chorus. Now it's epic. Gotta a so-so song? Bring in the Chicago Mass Choir to belt out the la la la's. Now you have a mild hit. It may be a strength in numbers thing but more likely it's America's deep rooted love for motherly black women.

QSN: Motherly is the key. For centuries the symbol of domestic activitiy was a always a rotund friendly black woman. America's love for the “Around the Way girls” I grew up with doesn't run quite as deep. Although, I got nothing but love for 'em.

I wish I could test my theory. I truly believe Lou Bega could release Mambo Number 6 tomorrow if he had some strong black women singing back up. He just needs a little Mahalia in his life.

Great Elvis Costello song, Every day I Write The Book, made a little better by some groovy dancers one who happens to be a young Carol Wheeler from the group Soul to Soul.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Getting The Band Back Together

I would like to say I was in a hip mom & pop coffee shop that only sells organically grown coffee beans and uses a quarter of their proceeds to save the Rain Forest but I must say I was in Starbucks when this latest snippet catch aka ear hustle went down.

I'm sitting there stressing out about buying Christmas presents and doing all the dirty work my non-existent assistant should be doing; Updating my calendar, adding people on Facebook, ignoring people on Linkedin.*

Anyhoo, I'm expeditiously plowing through the tedium when I overhear a guy sitting behind me say...”I might do porn again” Porn Star says what?! Now there's a boredom buster if I ever heard one. By the way, “Dreaming of a White Christmas” was playing through the PA system. Yikes.

QSN: Why is every porn person a star? How come there are no Porn character actors. Where is the Steve Buscemi Porn equivalent? You know someone who may not be able to carry a movie but does a great job in every thing they're in ala Joan Cusack.

Without moving an inch, my ears perked up. I glanced over quickly just to make sure they weren't some yahoos faking a conversation just to get a rise out of folks nearby. They weren't. This porn Scrooge was killing the holiday vibe. My mother whispers on the phone when telling me mild family occurrences and these guys think porn work is appropriate Starbucks full-voice talk during the holidays?!

MY MOM: (whispering)You know your uncle got a speeding ticket?

ME: What?! I can't hear you. My knuckles need a cheese biscuit?...

To strengthen his case porn guy said to his friend. “I would rather do it for a ½ hour and make the same money as working a regular job all night”

Wow. Either porn doesn't pay much or this guy has a really low paying normal job. Every time you disrobe and get goggled at, a bit of your soul dies. Why lose a chunk of your soul just to avoid one night's work? It may not be worth it for any amount but definitely not for one night's pay for a film that will live on forever. Not to mention the Ghost of STD's past.

I guess Scrooge was just weighing his options going into the New Year. I just hope Scrooge remembers that he stopped his film “work” for a reason. Then again porn is a billion dollar industry and somebody's got to do it...I guess.

*Should I be on Linkedin? Perhaps this can wait til I actually get an assistant?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Strong Islands

I had a blast in England and it dawned on me that Jolly old England is similar to my hometown of Coney Island(CI).

QSN: Coney Island is actually a peninsula but it's hard to move shirts that say “Coney Peninsula” on them.

Similar in that little places sometimes over achieve. In England they say they punch above their weight. There was a time when the sun never set on the English Empire. This little country the size of Alabama basically had the world in a choke hold. The effects still linger. Ever wonder why the pound is still stronger than the dollar? Usually large sample sets breed greater competition and thus better quality. For example, the best pizza in New York City would probably be better than the yummiest pizza in North Dakota because they are probably 8 times as many pizza shops in New York City.

That's just basic math. But sometimes a smaller sample group focused on one thing can dominate. In my neighborhood we set our sights on basketball and a little neighborhood only 3 avenues wide and 18 blocks long runs the whole city of New York.** Seems improbable but there are 2 NBA players from this tiny place and scores of division 1 players and top prospects on the horizon. Lincoln, The local High School has won the city championship 4 times in a row. This is New York friggin' City we're talking about here! Even on the thug tip you won't find hoods with more legendary reputations, like Bed Stuy, for instance, coming to CI looking for trouble. The CI bunch is athletic and tightly knit. And our brethren from across town can't navigate the interwoven projects like the locals can. Being lost in an unfamiliar project block can be scarier than being in the wilderness with a bear breathing down your tent. Not that we would want it with Bed Stuy either. Shout out to Do or Die.

There's less to do in little places and what there is to do, everybody does it. Coney Island is the last stop in Brooklyn. We couldn't be in Manhattan in 15 minutes. Back then the train didn't connect to the bus for free. And even if you tried to walk far you had to brave Bensonhurst, a tough as nail Italian Neighborhood for those keeping score at home. Basketball anyone? I think this principle can also explain the Wayan family's dominance. A small focused group can do major things.

Another theory is that one special person excels and those around him excel by proxy. Keenan to the Wayans. Michael to the Jacksons. For Coney Island basketball the oldest Marbury brother set it off for not only that family but the whole Coney Island.

This was a case study more than a blog. I hope you enjoyed. Cheerio.

QSN: Coney means rabbit. Apparently there were a lot of Rabbits there at some point. Total number of rabbits I've seen jumping through the projects in my 20 years of living there?: Zero.

**Ive added nothing to the Coney Island basketball lore. I'm not much of a baller. I'm the Wiz Kid hoping to put Coney Island on the map for something else.

Monday, December 14, 2009

UPS Guy Goes Postal

So I ran into a post office last week and a UPS guy came in after me making a delivery...to the Post Office! Is that legal?...In bad taste? Someone had UPS deliver to their PO Box. It's fair to say the Post Office workers were a tad bit perturbed. I had already tested their patience walking in at closing time right at the strike of 5. My entry was welcomed with a...

POSTAL LADY: Ron! Can you please lock the door?!

Then she saw the UPS guy and the look on her face said...”Now This?”

The other people on line* all flashed looks of worry mixed with exhilaration. It was that look you have right before a girl fight is about to go down and you wish you had some popcorn to nervously gnaw on as the hair pulling commences. The people in line all moved forward and without any words our eyes cheered, ”It's on!” My money was on the Postal workers. You never heard anyone say they went all UPS on somebody.

In somewhat of a let down the parties were more civil than anyone expected. In fact, it happens with some regularity. The Postal Posse were a bit annoyed and slightly embarrassed but they begrudgingly accommodated Mr. UPS and no one got hurt.

It kind of looked like a funny commercial where even the Post Office uses UPS. As an aside, I recently auditioned for a UPS commercial where the Fedex Guy and Mail man are looking at the UPS guy with envious amazement. Funny ad but I like my real life scenario better.

I didn't get the commercial.

* New Yorkers often say “on-line” instead on “in-line” Just wanted to let you know that I know and also give a shout to NYC.