Friday, June 27, 2008

EWA

Straight up, I am the whitest person you will ever know. For real. It doesn’t get any whiter than me. Donnie and Marie got more street cred than I do. Pat Boone is a hard, pipe hittin’ nigga compared to me. I can name exactly two things on this Earth that are whiter than E: albinos and those aliens from Cocoon. Don’t believe me? Allow me to give you some of my history.

I’m from a small town up in southeastern Michigan. An area so remote that the population of that entire county is less than the population of the ten square miles surrounding me currently. If Northerners had a reputation for raping outsiders at gunpoint while demanding that they squeal like a pig, this is the town it would happen in.

At the time I moved there, the grand wizard of the Northern chapter of the KKK lived exactly one town over. So, if I had to sum up my childhood with one word...and today were opposite day...that word would be “diversity”.

There’s a joke by Emo Philips that sums up my town quite nicely:

“We had a blackout there the other day, but fortunately the police made him get back into his car before he got too far.”

Don’t take this to mean that I’m racist. Far from it. I can find a million reasons to not like somebody without having to resort to something as simplistic as skin color. My point is, although I don’t care about race one way or the other, I did not have an upbringing that focused on diversity. There was a black kid at my high school. He was a couple of years older than me. I don’t know that I ever actually spoke to him, but he was there nonetheless.

Race was never a factor in anything in my hometown. None of us were particularly interested in the Klan, and I cannot recall anybody having anything particularly nasty to say about any other races. It seemed we were all more or less ambivalent to issues of race.

Coming from an area like that, you can imagine that I’ve had very little exposure to urban culture, outside of movies and music. And even there the exposure hasn’t been all that great. I saw “Boyz n the Hood” once. I thought it was a good movie but it didn’t really speak to my life experience.

And why am I telling you all this? Do I have some grand point I’d like to make or some little slice of humanity that you can take away from this, feeling like a richer and better person? Ha, NO. I have no real moral or punch line to this story. It just occurred to me on my way home from work today.

One of the speakers in my car (back passenger one, to be specific) blew out on me a couple months back. As a result, everything I play distorts through that speaker like I have a 40 inch subwoofer in my trunk. It makes my car rattle when it does that, and generally makes me feel like one of those douchebags that’s always blasting his bass while driving down the road.

Well, as a result of my piece on Soulja Boy and some various reading I’ve done lately, I took an interest in listening to ‘Straight Outta Compton’ by NWA today. I hadn’t heard it in a long time and figured now’s as good a time as any. So I jumped in the fo, hit the juice in my ride. I got front and back, side to side.

As I was driving I couldn’t help but see the irony in the music I was listening to. Seriously, I’m as far from ghetto as you’re likely to meet. Ever seen the movie Office Space? I reminded myself of Michael Bolton at the beginning of the film, kind of shirking down and hiding any time someone would notice I was bumpin’ that shit.

As I neared the house I got stuck at a traffic light. I had NWA turned out respectably loud, but with the windows mostly rolled up so I wouldn’t bother the other drivers. But that little blown speaker was going NUTS in the back of my car and I ended up getting the stink eye from some lady the next car over.

It all felt like the ending of a Twilight Zone episode…

My god! The douchebag…..it’s ME!!!!!!

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