Good Times for Pimps

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Though an avid film buff, I stopped giving any semblance of a damn about the Academy Awards a few years ago. The times I would care to watch any of it would be more out of the kind of morbid curiosity one feels when driving by the scene of an automobile accident on the interstate'you know you really shouldn't, but yet you just can't help but slow down and gawk. This is my view of American popular culture generally these days: One big massive pile-up of wreckage that I can't help but just gawk at every so often in spite of myself, just to take in the sheer spectacle of flames, gore, twisted metal and crash victims suffering from massive head trauma.

This year, however, I sat through the whole Oscar telecast, miraculously stifling the urge to vomit the entire evening. Perhaps the snide remarks I kept muttering throughout helped to keep down the bile. If not for the fact that it was an occasion to have a couple of friends over that evening, whom my wife and I had not seen for quite some time and who are also big 'cinephiles,' as the pretentious artsy-fartsy types like to say, I would not have sat through a single moment of Hollywood's annual orgy of tedious self-congratulation. I was quickly reminded of all that grates on my nerves about the so-called 'Dream Factory.'

Truly one of the most laughable highlights of the evening was George Clooney's acceptance speech for the best supporting actor prize for his performance in Good Night, and Good Luck, which he also directed. Taking his cue from a joke made earlier in the evening by host Jon Stewart (who was the only saving grace of the whole broadcast) that the rest of the country perceives the West Coast filmmaking community as essentially a Sodom and Gomorrahesque abyss of drugs, easy sex and generally bizarre behavior that's out of touch with the rest of America ('I have no joke here, I just thought you should know that's what people are saying'), Clooney claimed great pride in his allegiance to that institution of pop culture we ubiquitously refer to as 'Hollywood.' After all, said Clooney, it was the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that in its infinitely egalitarian and progressive wisdom saw fit to bestow the best supporting actress award upon Hattie McDaniel in 1940. Hattie McDaniel was black, you see, and her being granted one of those little golden statues for her portrayal of an antebellum house slave in Gone With the Wind was fine moral instruction for the rest of the country at that time, which Clooney seems to believe was uniformly dominated by vicious racists who everywhere begrudged black people front row seats at movie theaters. So if Hollywood is 'out of touch' with the rest of America, said Clooney, then so be it. Hey, someone's gotta teach you bigoted ignoramuses the many errors of your ways!

I suspect it was at that moment that Hattie McDaniel literally spun in her grave as a result of the shock upon learning that she was awarded her Oscar not due to the quality of her performance and acting talent, but because she was chosen as an unwitting pawn in the Hollywood establishment's agitprop production on 'racial equality.' Most certainly, the sight of a black woman named 'Mammy' on the silver screen running about a gothic Southern plantation mansion wearing a do-rag and screaming 'I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no babies!' taught valuable lessons for Americans everywhere on the evils of racism, particularly for any black patrons sitting in the backs of movie theaters [correction].

The most entertaining moment of the evening, however, had to be the presentation of the award for 'best song' in a film, and let me emphasize the words best and song. The award was for best song, and the wise and noble members of the Academy decided that the best song used in a film was'drum roll, please!'It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp, a hip-hop number from the film Hustle & Flow. Prior to the announcement of the award, Three 6 Mafia, the group that had recorded it, performed their little ditty live on stage complete with dancers, most of them black and Latino, playing the roles of scantily dressed prostitutes and cartoonish looking pimps, bemoaning the hard times upon which pimps have fallen. Silly me, I wasn't even aware of the plight of the American pimp, so at least I learned something new that evening. Now that I think about it, I guess these tough economic times would hit the pimps especially hard. I mean the average pimp's 'bling-bling' budget alone must be the equivalent of the economy of a small country. Who knew pimps had it so rough? Perhaps Three 6 Mafia will combine efforts with Snoop Doggy Dog to organize a 'Million Pimp March' on Washington to heighten consciousness of the historic injustices suffered by pimps down through the centuries.

Do you think George Clooney, who earlier sung the praises of the Academy's oh-so-wise progressive moral instruction on matters of race for the rest of the country, might have cringed in his seat at the spectacle of walking self-perpetuating stereotypes strutting about the stage and being rewarded for it? Judging from his Hattie McDaniel speech, I suspect the irony was utterly lost on him.

'You know what? I think it just got a little easier out here for a pimp!' joked Stewart afterward.

Indeed. Things are far from difficult for pimps, which is evidenced not only by Three 6 Mafia's Oscar victory. Everywhere one looks these days, pimp culture in fact reigns triumphant in America.

The Pimp-in-Chief can now spy on any American he personally deigns to be a threat to national security and not have to answer for it to anyone. And it just so happens that he's pimped out a $385 million Federal contract to one of his most loyal 'private sector' whores, Kellogg Brown and Root, to build cozy little camps in which to detain not only illegal immigrants threatening to compete in the American labor market, but 'potential terrorists' as well. Focus on that vague and broad word, potential. How high do you think the standard of proof would be in order to determine if someone is a 'potential' terrorist, especially when the Head Pimp alone is judge, jury and jailer? Judging from the standard of evidence held against those imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, they could probably jail your grandmother as a 'potential terrorist' if she doesn't mind her Ps and Qs.

But the U.S. House of Pimps seem to think that the greatest threat to Americans is not the danger of an infinitely powerful and dictatorial Chief Pimp, but rather it's a company based in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai, which has acquired a British company that has the job of managing U.S. ports. Them pimps went crazy over that one. Why, that city is a hotbed of Islamic radicalism! Two of the 9-11 hijackers were from Dubai! The Dubai banks were conduits for terrorist financing! Sort of like suspecting anyone from Chicago of being a mass murderer or serial killer because of the Richard Speck and John Wayne Gacey killings. Was the bank where Timothy McVeigh had his checking account ipso facto a tool of terrorist financing? All this sloppy reasoning was just the House of Pimps' way of saying, 'We don't want to outsource the security of our ports to any Ay-rabs!' This went over quite well with certain media whores, many of whom are of a, shall we say'neoconnish'nature, who continue to flail and flop about in their attempts to psych us all up for 'World War IV,' especially in an election year. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the latest polling data revealed a sudden surge of support for the Democrat pimps.

But Dubai Ports World said, 'Aw, f'k it!' anyway and vowed to sell its U.S. operations to an American company, basically strong-armed into the decision by them pimps Hillary Clinton and Bill Frist. And after all that the UAE pimps had done for the U.S. pimps'doing whatever the American pimps told them to do to fight the War of Terror. They learned the hard way that U.S. government pimps don't just expect total blind obedience'they also expect their whores to take a bitch-slap and squeal with delight, 'Thank you sir, may I have another?!'

Meanwhile, John 'Bonkers' Bolton, the U.S. Chief Pimp's emissary to the United Pimps of the New World Order headquarters in New York and Vice-Pimp 'Deadeye' Dick Cheney assured them pimps at the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that there will be 'tangible and painful consequences' for them pimps in Iran if they stubbornly continue to not develop nuclear weapons'er, wait, I'm confused. I still haven't figured out exactly what horrible crime the Iranians have committed, whom to my knowledge haven't attacked a single country since the end of its war with Iraq, much less invaded one. But whatever the Iranians have been doing, or not doing, they're sure not going to get away with it. Besides, only the U.S. and Israeli pimps and their assorted hos get to have nukes, as I'm sure Iran will find out before year's end.

So I would say to Three 6 Mafia, 'Yo, check it! You pimps just in the wrong biz-naz, bloods!'

Where was I? Oh, right, Hollywood, the Academy Awards, etc., etc.

I recently read that while on a press junket to promote his film 16 Blocks, Bruce Willis, in a fit of frustration from being asked incessantly about his politics, declared himself 'apolitical' and said he 'hate[s] the government.' Even better, he seems to detest that sanctimonious wretch Oprah Winfrey. Now that's a movie star after my own heart.

Just about makes me want to submit myself for president of the Bruce Willis Fan Club.

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Robert Kaercher's picture
Columns on STR: 20

Robert Kaercher is a stage actor and freelance writer residing in Chicago, Illinois.  He has been known to bless the reading public with his opinions and analysis at Strike The Root's blog and his own Postmodern Tribune.