I literally just went to Google and typed in the question, “What century are we in right now?” I’ve never failed history class, and my shower head didn’t turn into a Flintstone-esque elephant trunk during my mid-morning scrub either. It’s the incessant whining of those not in favor of the prop 8 overturn.
I’m so tired of reading people’s status updates about the Prop 8 overturn asking, “Why even vote?” Should every cockamamie unjust law that’s put in place remain simply because it was voted in? If certain laws hadn’t been overturned, many of us wouldn’t even be able to vote in the first damn place. So public transportation should still be segregated? That law passed in 1881 in Tennessee. By 1914, every Southern state had passed laws that created two separate societies — one for blacks and one for whites. So, Jim Crow should still be in full effect? Before you start, I’m in no way comparing the gay rights movement to the struggle for civil rights, because as this USA Today article so eloquently outlines, the two battles couldn’t be any more different. I’m simply using Jim Crow laws to refute the idea that once a law is put in place, it should never be changed. Hopefully, I don’t need to go into women’s suffrage or Prohibition (for all you anti-prop 8 folks, who love you some liquor at happy hour) to prove this any further. I could go on all night about how amendments are necessary!
It’s time to join us in the 21st century. Some people are actually living and breathing a spiritually evolved culture, while others hold onto hate, discrimination, prejudice, and condemnation. When will the fucking paradigm shift? When will I be able to enjoy a cup of tea in an environment where I don’t have to wonder what century I’m in.
Boom! Fresh cuts, teal nail polish, auburn locs, rhinestone belts, stilettos and rhymes so sick your great grandkids’ kids need a neurosurgeon. If you missed Jimetta Rose, Nikki Blak, Tamara Blue, Judy Holiday, and Simply Kat at Brass Knuckles this past Monday, you might as well feel horrible and have sex with elves.
As the lovely host, Jaha Zainabu put it, we heard “five distinct voices” from the Boom Girls, and each of these stylish beacons of inspiration certainly offered a contrasting piquantness for my poetic palate. The weekly event at Kaos in Leimert Park includes an open pic during the earlier part of the evening and a featured artist at about 10pm. Monday night being Brass Knuckles’ anniversary show, hosts Judy Holiday and Nikki Blak decided to wow audience members with a never before seen collaboration performance featuring themselves and their closest homegirls — The Boom Girls.
Jimetta Rose opened the performance commanding the room with her sultry voice. I’m sure as she was crooning, “Everybody wants to join the circus,” Mahalia Jackson sat up in her grave at least twice and Jill Scott is in a mirror in Philly trying to match Ms. Rose’s stage presence. Even with my bias — having stood on a table (fist pumping in the air) watching Jimetta perform the song “Two Years” at the Temple Bar circa 2002 — you should trust that the performance was that amazing.
Out of nowhere, as Jimetta was winding down, came the poetic stylings of someone I didn’t know at all — Simply Kat. Her aggressive tongue, however, had no problem introducing herself. In her deep Lauren Hill meets Eve voice, she rattled off words illustrating exactly who she was — the “ride or die” chick of the group. She had so many quotable lines during her performance! “We a vampire’s wet dream/ laid in each other/ like coffins/ fucking each other out of yesterday’s blues.” Yeah … that one is gonna stick with me. The controversial poem “Pink” in defense of Nikki Minaj is every nonjudgmental artist’s dream married to every feminist’s nightmare. I loved it. It clearly depicted the glass houses that many throw bricks from and celebrated Minaj’s talents versus her often contrived image.
Once each artist had done an introductory poem, all five articulate divas graced the stage at once. Tamara Blue with her ankle resting on the opposite knee, Jimetta with her hands clasped in her lap, Kat with legs crossed and Judy Holiday with her knees pressed gently together all sat in a semi-circle on stage to watch the talented Nikki Blak slap us with a poem about never having been battered. The piece used vivid imagery to discuss how women had called her “lucky,” because she didn’t “wear a busted lip in place of [her] smile.” It’s a poem about choices. Here’s a clip:
“There is no place to stash a choice /Between skin and boning /Under the corset of femininity/ I’m supposed to cinch myself into/ All the better to keep my ribs/ Without fractures and in their proper places/ Hold my guts inside my body/ Keep me propped upright/ Doll-like /Incapable, Only able to bind my daughters’/Masterfully crafted feet /For the beauty of tradition/ So that she, like me,/And every woman before her /Will never be able to leave”
During her set, she also did a contrasting hilarious untitled piece about that dude you just can’t get rid of, because sometimes he’s useful enough to buy you a whole pizza and a gallon of ice cream. Good shit.
Judy Holiday, the mother of Brass Knuckles was up next. I loved the craft of the piece entitled “The Canadian Boy Who Wants to Bring Home Muh Bacon.” It narrates the tale of a soft man — a captain save-a-hoe — and the woman who is using him knowing she’ll never actually wear the ring he keeps “tracing around [her] left finger.” This was one of her lighter pieces.
A serious storyteller, Judy Holiday normally goes deep — heart wrenching even. She has a poem about her mother, where she says “I am coffee chugging and chain smoking just to be closer to your breath.” I don’t know the title, but my favorite line is “You always did wear ghetto as if it were a medal.” My number one Holiday joint is “Love Me Like Childhood,” which starts out “Miss me/ like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and fruit roll ups in super hero lunch pails sitting on midget tables/washing away the sore losing of dodge ball games with Capri Suns.” She had me back in first grade with “gold stars on behavior charts” and “Care Bear backpacks.”
Tamara Blue was introduced by Simply Kat as her “number one.” The two have known each other since their late teens, and their bond is evident. The second poem by Tam, delivered through tear covered lips, hit home with me. It was about how somewhere there’s a chick on Facebook, MySpace or Twitter wishing for one more chance to give your husband “head.” Given the messages I’ve read, some exes just can’t let it go. Bwaaahaaaaa! Anyway, I have the “mango flavored Halls” in my mouth (Insider. You should have been there). It was an emotional set as Tam rekindled her love for the creator and garnered hugs and support from everyone on stage. Her introductory poem was so inspiring! The line I’ll take with me is, “I wanna take classes so that I can … teach classes.”
The Boom Girls will be performing together again this Thursday night at:
The Bakery Poetry Lounge
Admission: $10 with two drinks complimentary
Location: 11020 Magnolia Blvd. North Hollywood CA
Suggested Parking Vineland and Magnolia at Carls Jr.
My friend, JaNai, visited from DC last week, and it seems that Fuss took an even deeper interest in social justice and politics. On a trip to Barnes & Nobles, she became enthralled with Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s book, Renegade for Peace and Justice. She also fled the the children’s section several times just as she did the day Hannibal and I took her.
Fuss also insisted that she try lemon for the first time and try to fly. Here’s that:
Mooch booked another commercial, which shot last week, but I wasn’t there much, because I had to teach at UCLA. I do know that they had the best pancakes ever! I took one of my former students, Brittni, to chaperone her while I drove from the set in Long Beach all the way to Brentwood. The three of us each ate two helpings.
JaNai kept Fuss under control during the wardrobe fitting the day prior. It takes a village. While Mooch was on set, I took Fuss to drop-in daycare at Tiny Sprouts. She had total separation anxiety and didn’t speak or eat the entire day. She did at least take a nap and get plenty of outdoor time. I felt so bad when I picked her up. Maybe no more daycare until she’s sixty.
If you get off crack, you never know what YouTube might do for you. Millions of viewers clicked on the video for Ted Williams, the “homeless man with the golden voice.” Subsequently, more than he could have ever dreamed came true. His mother lived long enough to see him rebound, he landed a job with the Cleveland Cavaliers and copped a free house all from standing on the street corner with a sign advertising his wonderful announce voice. After two years clean, he deserves it. If you haven’t seen this already, you’ve got to hear his voice!
More than likely, you noticed that yesterday was renamed “Tuesdays With Mooch and Fuss.” There’s a new banner and everything. This blog will be changing slightly to accommodate the addition of a new Tumblr account, where I will record documentation while homeschooling Fuss. It will include observations, pictures, ideas, new words, outings and other aspects of our emerging curriculum. It is called “Teaching Fuss.”
At this url, I will continue with “Marital Mondays” “Tuesdays With Mooch and Fuss” and “Thematic Thursdays.” Any exciting design or dance clients will be featured on occasional Thursdays instead of the former “Workin’ Wednesdays.” Most Thursday content, however, will continue to fall under the social justice, geek or other surprise tags. Oh, and “Film Fridays” is out as well. Any fiction or film will appear on Thursdays, as Thursdays are non-specific.
This will free up time for me to focus my efforts on Fuss and her growing abilities. So, here is the line up for 2011: