Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Our Song Reclaimed

A while ago I wrote a blog about being at a family outing. The proceedings were a love fest but the ghost of lost promise seemed to haunt our collective psyche. This was highlighted and perhaps facilitated by the song “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” being played. The song is a black anthem, my favorite song, but also a reminder of the promise 1979 held. Promise that the tumultuous and drug riddled 80’s and 90’s denied urban folk all throughout our great nation. Many of my oldest and most faithful readers say it’s my best blog to date. I guess what I’m trying to say is…read it!

On another note: I felt bad that I had a bitter sweet connection to my favorite song of all time. Alas, a song is not a destination but a journey and “Ain’t no stopping us now” is a battle cry for all people for all generations. I didn’t envision that not even 4 years later a new context would be forged to and by my favorite song. An association that provides a new promise and a new more pleasant and less ironic mental imagery that my favorite song will conjure up in my mind.

I am truly my mother’s child in that I share her aversion to sharing certain bits of information, especially anything pending. I barely told people about my pilot I shot for Comedy Central last year. (I’m getting better ;-) I also told few people that my little brother was in Medical school. A fact that warms my cockles way more that my very own pilot could, even if it had been picked up.

So, last Friday, my brother graduated from Medical school and he starts his residency in a month. We don’t come from the type of family that produces doctors but now because of my brother’s ability to conceive it and will to achieve it, we do. You couldn’t measure how proud I am of my brother or how grateful I am to him, my family and God with all the rulers in Staples and Office Depot combined. (or all the tea in China for that matter J)

The graduation was almost anti-climatic given the gravity of their accomplishment. We took pictures of the dignified ceremony, ate at Pio Pio and went home. We partied Brooklyn style the next day. We topped off the music and starch-a-thon with a slide show of pictures from the graduation and our families’ “journey.” Windows Media Center provided the snazzy transitions and Youtube provided the background music…”Ain’t No Stopping Us Now.” Thirty years later and the song was right…. And now it looks like things are finally coming around.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Please Don’t Pass Me By…

While cruising down Queensway in the Bayswater section of London, I was handed a flyer buy a guy dressed like a court jester or maybe a flying trapeze artist. Either way, he was dressed to get your attention for the purpose of handing you a restaurant flyer.

This kind of folly is common place in the US but I was a bit surprised to see it in England. And I wasn’t in a high tourist area where you could kind of understand it. I also wasn’t in a theme park, where this sort of spectacle should be confined to. I guess that’s my issue. These flyer businesses are trying to bring out the little kid in grown-ups. But I refuse to be excited by a drunk guy in a Statue of Liberty suit giving out flyers for a check cashing place that offers barely legal payday loans.

The amount of vomit you encounter near any English bar row on any Saturday night should have been proof enough that England isn’t too proud or dignified to make people dress up in 2nd rate mascot outfits to push lunch specials.

I wonder if dressing up to give out toothpaste promo cards is a stepping stone to being a proper mascot in Disneyland or for a sports franchise. Work your way up to the big time. More likely though your local leaflet presenter is on the way down. Guys who can’t cut the mustard at Six Flags any more but miss the rush of dressing like a bug suck up their pride and find a new outlet for their shtick. Albeit one that requires them to give handouts but at least keeps them from asking for handouts.

No matter where I am in the world, no matter what their selling, I always take the flyer. The quicker that person can give out all those flyers, the quicker they can lose the outfit and rejoin society. Do unto others…