i ain’t rich, ’til she is rich, and he is rich

Rejoice! Joseph Patel’s debutante entry into the blogiverse prompted still more obsessive listening to Kelis & Dre’s “Millionaire”, which is partially about communism, and totally about reparations. P.S. What is up with the Abstract Dynamics monopoly on some of my favorite website writers? This Blaze dude must be hot shit. (Actually, he is–check his beautifully designed site for updates on politics, art, economics, ephemera. Right now I’m bazonkers for his newly launched imaginary campaign ads.)
I HAVE SO MUCH TO SAY! I don’t even know where to start, except with the last 48 hours, during which I got 4 hours of sleep, staying up with Tiny Lucky and her Viggo Mortenson doppleganger companion in Chicago, passing out from exhaustion on a little floor cot in front of the fire, or rather the stove that heats the house, with Rjyan sprawled on the couch, slumber party style. We were missing S’Mores, only.
Earlier that day, we attended a taping of Chic-a-go-go, a long-running kids dance show on Chicago cable access, where babies dressed as ballerinas and Boba Fett dance awkward dances and spin until they barf, to Aretha Franklin or OutKast. Adults are invited, too, and some of them dress up. Guest musical acts are also invited to dress up, but may lip sync only, resulting in a sort of surreal all-ages soul train. Lip syncing is harder than it looks. Our special guest stars included Ernie Hines, who put out a couple singles on Stax after he realized that going secular was a good way to expand his audience and, even lip syncing, emitted that easy, classy smile that was the language of the first on-TV performers–the serene, soft-lipped confidence that betrayed even their own lyrics.
Bobby Conn’s full ensemble fake-played, wearing matching skintight denim suits with fringy fur coming out the ass crack, which Jessica swore they got at Rainbow Clothes for Hoes in the big girls’ section. (What Jessica is doing at Rainbow Clothes for Hoes in the big girls’ section, I will never know, but that’s what she said.) This Bobby Conn family band, acting out big, blue-glitter glam to the sound of their own CD, while a 2 1/2 foot tall, towheaded charmer dressed in a Storm Trooper costume and tap shoes spun curlicues around their violinist. Chic-a-go-go’s resultant fizzy chaos could only come from a situation where kids are let loose in front of TV cameras, flapping and swaggering like peacocks and who can blame them, anyway, because imagine being so young and unimprisoned by convention, that you not only ACT UPON EVERY KINETIC IMPULSE, but also know that PERFECTLY SANE ADULTS WILL FILM YOU AND PUT IT ON THE TELEVISION. Honestly, it’s not unlike having this MTPPS weblog, or more accurately, recording an album with people you love in your best friend’s kitchen in Chicago, where you have to use strapping tape to attach the mic to the top of the fridge and stand on a chair, cause you don’t have a mic stand. That’s some home recording resourcefulness shinola.
In addition to famous guests (which also included Califone and the drummer’s AFREAKINGDORABLE daughters hurling maracas to the floor), the show featured two recurring stars, Finesha and Porsha Jones, 14 and 16 respectively, who have been appearing on Chic-a-go-go for 7 years. They were wearing matching, Baby Phat-style denim tracksuits; Jessica did not venture to predict where they purchased them, but she had better soon, because wearing the same outfit as your friends/siblings, sparkle motion roller posse style, is totally hot (see previous post re: The Warriors). (Although, wearing the same outfit as your spouse/lover is not advisable, unless you are Scream Club.). So anyway, Porsha and Finesha lip synced “Best Friend” by Brandy, and it was really convincing and expressive, up to loosely synchronized choreography. Later in the taping, the older of the two, Porsha, came back to lip sync another song–and this is where it gets weird (as if Bobby Conn in a room full of children isn’t already–for the love of god, I was wearing a Fisher Price stethoscope and a shirt with a unicorn on it).
So Porsha comes back wearing a thin style of glittery prom dress and rhinestone jewelry, with a besuited male companion around her age. He is holding a cell phone. They proceed to interpret “Busted,” a song written by R. Kelly for the Isley Bros. and JS, in front of 50 kids, some old enough to just barely understand. The moments were heavy as I watched the blush drain from a 9 year old’s face.
For the record, in “Busted,” a man confronts his woman when she comes home at 2 am, “busting” her for infidelities, while she makes flimsy apologies/excuses/denials, explaining she was performing friendship counseling with her friend Shaquan, whose man has in actuality cheated on HER. In the end, he sings for her to “get the fuck out of here,” because it is painfully obvious his woman is humping the entire Southside of Chicago. It’s a dramatic song, in the way cheating songs are normally, but because it’s written by R Kelly, there’s a palpable, kind-of seamy, sexual-tension subscript that makes it sound like a scene from the Bold & the Beautiful. (It is not the sole song of cheating on the album, by the way.)
So Porsha and her unidentified young male counterpart acted out this scenario with theatrical blocking that could have scored them a couple Daytime Emmys–like they, in their mid-teen experience, not only comprehended its message, but had lived through it a time or two. Like identifying the parlance of infidelity was as old hat to them as aptitude tests and on-campus lunch policies.
The room was stale and silent. No one turned off the song. The ponytailed 9-year-old stayed mortified. I was reminded of being suspended for 2 days from sixth grade for bringing Prince’s “LoveSexy” album to school and flossing his naked body to my friends. Immediately afterward, the Seven Harkey band came on, wearing black turtlenecks, and lip-synced a Starbucks-ready song about the trials of being in love with someone whose true love is Christ. So much for appropriate children’s programming.
Chicago vacation was indeed spent four days straight in the kozy kitchen of the Tiny Lucky Genius, with the Slightly Bigga Geniuses R. Kidwell, Roby Newton, T. Kinsella, Cale Percussion Master, Andrea Also Tiny and Lucky, Miles Not Standish, and The Kid. Together, we are MUY ROMANTICO. We recorded 5 1/2 songs in four days; some of them are sincere and sweet, and some of them are straight loco. Roby challenges melismatic concepts on “Never Been” and emo egoism on “Lover I Don’t Have to Love,” Tim and Jessica and The Kid and Cale and I made a version of “Oh Yoko” to hang up in your kids’ bedroom like Garanimal wallpaper, no one will ever be able to yell “Play some Skynyrd” again if Rjyan’s version of “Tuesday’s Gone” is heard by the world. (HE freestyled the lyrics and INTERPRETED IT LITERALLY: “Monday and Wednesday weren’t meant to lie side by side… cheek to cheek… butt to butt…”) The whole situation is overwhelming and life-changing, and encapsulated thoroughlyhere and here, but what I want to add is that fearlessness is so valuable, both in life and in music. To get all Dead Poets Society in this houseboat, it’s really important to go beyond knowing thyself and traverse over into holistic self-actualization. You know, dial 1-800-Free-Your-Mind for a good time. I learned this while watching Rjyan and Roby and Miles and Andrea stand on a chair, stretch their lungs out and sing into a refrigerator, just as much as I learned it watching a kids on Chic-a-go-go bust out the Kid ‘n’ Play to a Califone dance jam. And so, even after suffering through the dismal State of the Union address, even after getting upset when two newspapers cover the same topic in very different ways, I cross my heart and hope to stay idealistic for as long as I live.
Finally, for now: the Portland Mercury User’s Group Yahoo Group actually STALKED us on the previously mentioned Portland Mercury date with the girls of the Mercury, and made a report, CIA style, here. My housemate is described as “high collared and slightly mulleted.” I am logged as smoking cigarettes and text messaging for ONE STRAIGHT HOUR. Photos included; our date looked like LANCE BASS, not Nick Carter. It’s sheer genius, and we had NO INKLING WHATSOEVER we were being followed.
Speaking of genius, Jay Smooth wrote a Ha-LAIR dis rap of Tiny Lucky, available on mp3. It is indeed the first blog rhyme ever; it’s also pretty good. Any man willing to get so dorky in a public forum deserves your support.
I’d also like to support spanky new Blazer Darius Miles, except NOW WE ARE SANS FREAKING MCINNIS AND BOUMTJE BOUMTJE!!!!! And even though we beat the Wizards tonight (FACE!!!!) (read the linked article: “Rasheed Wallace made an animated gesture, with perhaps a word or two added in, after a big basket.” Amazing), Rose Garden stoolies are still calling my cell phone begging me to come to games for like, $3.49, because folks are so unenthused by their performance this season. We could use a little Brooklyn-style stoke of passion, either way. Still, I will gladly take them up on the offer, if only because my beloved Sheed has probably about 6 more minutes left on our team.
Writing feels like peanut butter and I’m a starved tapeworm, but I’m making myself stop here so I can like, go out into the night light.

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One Response to i ain’t rich, ’til she is rich, and he is rich

  1. Drugstore says:

    I feel it is time to spend more time counseling and group counseling kids and spending less time on “coking them to the gills”. And I`m doing fine after my surgery. WBR LeoP

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