Friday, March 6, 2009

The onion blog

This is not a blog about The Onion, a hippy, liberal site that likes to make jokes. Some of them are actually kind of funny. But that's not the point. This is called the onion blog because this narration has many layers. See, right now I would like to first wish Shawn well as he begins his extended stay in South America. Find a wife, my friend, and if you're lucky the Blue Goose (throw out Blue Angel [of death] and Blue Bird, the namesake of the '86 Volv had been right in front of me...) will be making its way to Chile. Anyways, I was trying to think of a tribute to send Shawn off right with, and the only thing I could come up with is Immortal Technique's "Peruvian Cocaine" because Shawn likes rap and is now residing in South America (FYI to Sloat: Peru is in South America). So that's easy enough (this is not an official video, just a youtube image compilation special. But it doesn't detract from the song so just bear with it):

But what's funny here is I've been looking to post some of Immortal's work for awhile now. I think he's an interesting and talented artist but I also had a random run in with him while on campus at school my junior year I thought may amuse some of you who weren't around when it occurred. And I wrote this awhile ago so forgive any and all grammatical and/or syntax errors. I was just beginning to refine my style in those days (early November, I think, this was one of the first things I wrote I just never had any reason to post it...) so this is incredibly disjointed as far as verb tense goes...I may try to correct this on Sunday but chances are I'm not going to bother; I'm pretty sure you'll get the idea of what went on:
So that I a lot happened during my time at Bates and very little I care to bring up just for the hell of it. Narrating tales from yesteryear only provides ample opportunity for revisionist histories and misrememberances for which I have neither time nor place for on this fine pinch of "internet." But as it goes sometimes with youtube, the related videos take you to places you just don’t see coming; places you’ve been and can’t help forget. This particular event occurred on a Saturday as my junior year came to a close following a track meet where we were far away from home and we performed well as a team (at least I assume we performed well because we usually performed well and I was particularly fired up upon our return to campus that evening). The New York-based rapper Immortal Technique was performing on campus, and I found this laughable considering he is known as a rather tough gentleman, and is considered “real” for his continued refusal to sign a major deal. NY rapper + “The Bates Bubble” can only equal a good time, right? I put on my Saturday best (G’N’R t-shirt, cutoff jean shorts and my old work boots with crew length socks. It was May, so it was nice out and a perfect evening for this attire. And the shorts weren’t my dukes, they were knee-ish length. Still faded denim, but much classier) and headed out for the evening. The show was nearly over when I left my room so I didn’t bother. I soon ran into a friend of mine, who we will call Joel, and he knew where the “after party” was supposed to be. So we had (more than) a few beers quickly and then carried some road sodas as we began to head to the aforementioned “after party.”

However as we walked the street from campus we ran into five 20something, dreadlocked, African Americans who we kindly offered beers and struck up a conversation with. They were looking for this alleged “after party,” too. So Joel and I, the social butterflies we are, invite them to follow us as we are headed there, too (As I pause so you can remember my attire, Joel, in a clever twist of fate, is also wearing a cutoff t-shirt of a random 80’s band [I want to say REO Speedwagon but I’m not 100% sure…see, this is how incorrect documentation can result I apologize for this] and very similar jean shorts. Needless to say we were quite a pair and these gentlemen were happy to tag along with such fine, upstanding folks as Joel and I).

So we lead them down a couple of streets and in the door and there’s actually a lot of booze present and a good smattering of people were also arriving, which was a pleasant surprise. We continued conversation when one of the dreadlocked gentlemen makes a quick phone call and within 3 minutes Joel and I are standing with the 5 dreadlocked gentlemen and three new dreadlocked gentlemen, the last to arrive being Immortal Technique. In my inebriated state I tell him I enjoyed the show and I appreciate his work as an artist (The latter is very true; I consider him probably the most politically-conscious rapper out there today on many levels, internationally and also concerning the social issues prevalent in the U.S. This isn’t to say I’m a rap aficionado, just of what I’ve heard from him he certainly gets his point across) and we continue to talk for a few minutes as the house we’re in fills wall to wall with people.

This place is packed so as my conversation ends with Mr. Technique I start working the door and being a general jerk to the amusement of many people who are clustered around me. Big Dave (Editor’s note: I’m adding this on 3/6…Big Dave is not like Big Steve, Big Dave could pop my head like a zit…) and I are just shitting on people left and right and really amusing ourselves. It's a good time. And I'm pretty sure this place had Bud on tap. This was before I went pretty much exclusively Bud for my beer of choice (Editor's note: also a 3/6 add...except when I'm home and there's something magically delicious like Export on tap. No big deal I know you're all jealous) but at the time I'm 99% sure this made me very happy. So happy I had more than one of them over the course of my time there.

Another friend who we’ll call Keith (because that's his name) and I decide later in the evening to call and order a pizza and it arrives within a half hour of said call. The Papa is good like that. We’re both pretty sauced but we realize one of Immortal’s crew members decided to grab one of the two pizzas we got, taking it from Keith. Keith is 5’5”, flamboyantly gay and far too nice a guy to say anything about this act of thievery. I, however, decide this aggression will not stand. This aggression will not stand, man. As it turns out Immortal and his circle of friends had decided to order pizza as well and it arrived soon after ours, so obviously fair is fair and I snatch a box back for myself, Keith, Joel and Big Dave. Immortal’s crew is less than impressed and standoffish arguing ensues. Obviously I am not helping my case by looking like the whitest honky on the planet. This prompts Mr. Technique to stand from the couch he was sitting on and pass the bowl he has been smoking on and ask what the problem seemed to be. I tell him he (Immortal, because I saw him with a slice when I first came back upstairs) actually ate some of my pizza, not his pizza, before his pies arrived. And get this…Immortal apologies. To me.

I don’t hug him. I don’t give him a fist pound. I shake his hand, because gentlemen shake hands. We smile and acknowledge one another and we continue with our evening. And that’s a true story. Verification can be provided by many folks who were present, including a young lady who lived on the third floor of the “after party” house and is still a close friend, though I wish I had taken her to dinner (she knows this). This, however, is a story for another day (another day which will probably never appear in this medium, for obvious reasons), but she brings up the preceding story every now and again and I laugh. Wow. I’m glad I’ve gotten these days out of my system…

Anyways, I told you that story to tell you this story: I found this video of Immortal’s new single. It’s quite a track about poverty and social inadequacies prevalent around the globe. I hope you enjoy, and if you have some free time I recommend you locate some of his stuff on the "internet."

The finding of this video is what inspired me to reminisce on this random evening in Greater (or "lesser, depends on your perspective...) L/A back in November. Really hindsight tells me I was just an asshole and I should have gotten assaulted for my actions. But I guess I have just enough crazy in me to keep people who don't know me on edge...I'm also pretty sure as I was reading this over again I realized why I never posted this: I was trying way too hard to write something funny. As I conclude: my apologies, sorry for wasting your time with tonight's work. But seriously Shawn have a good time down south. And FYI: I've got Revolutionary, Vol 2 which contains "Peruvian Cocaine;" if you would like a burned copy just let me know. Cheers.

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