Sunday, January 25, 2009

Begging to be begged: The story of Masta's loafers

My policy on giving money to people on the streets has fluctuated over the years. When I was young, I thought it was nice to give a few cents to people in need. Then I became vehemently opposed to giving money and no one could get a penny from me. After spending some time with my pseudo-wives, I had a technique. I would judge how poor these men actually were, by looking at their shoes. Only women could inspire something so brilliant. If their shoes looked ragged enough, I would give them money. I was surprised to find that most of the people who were begging for money had nicer shoes than me. Of course, considering I've been wearing the same loafers for about 5 years, maybe I shouldn't be.

Now I'm back at a place where I sometimes give money to beggers on the street. Which is why I was somewhat surprised on the way back from the movies the other day. There was a tatooed, body pierced young man going around asking people for money at the metro. He'd go from person to person, enduring rejection after rejection.

"Oh, here it comes!" I told my friend, rolling my eyes. He looked at me briefly and then asked the guy next to me for money. He skipped me!

Me: "Did you see that?"
Friend: "What?"
Me: "That beggar just snubbed me!"
Friend: "Maybe he thought you wouldn't give him any money."
Me: "Why would he think that? He asked People who had their back turned to him. some of them scowled at him! It's not a race thing either. Look he's asking Black people too!"
Friend: "What...? Did you want to give him money?"
Me: "No.... but it's still nice to be asked!"

I briefly considered asking him why he decided not to ask me for money. Was it my posture? Did it look like I didn't have any money? I mean.. The nerve. If you're going to be a beggar, be thorough! He doesn't know, I could be the most generous man on earth. I might have given him 10$ maybe 20$!

Whatever, who needs him anyway? I've been begged by the best. Amputees, people with dogs, people bold enough to say they'll spend my money on alcohol. I've been mugged by a guy with a banana! And this guy at the metro thinks HE's too good to ask ME for money? That is to laugh. Of course, maybe he just took a good hard look at my 5 year old beige loafers and felt pity on me. Maybe I should consider a career in panhandling.

Now wearing these old shoes has become almost a challenge. It's as if the universe is daring me to get rid of them. Those who know me, know I wear these shoes almost 365 days a year, rain, sun and snow the beige loafers are part of me now. I even bought a new pair of shoes a year or two ago, to replace them. They were a lot nicer than these beige loafers. But I spilled general tao chicken on them and they've never been the same.

So, much like Darth Vader's cape, Winnie the Pooh's red T-shirt, or Dr. Octopus's arms, I will bear these loafers ever more. Keep an eye out for them next time you go out with MastaCSG!

My Obama Post

In recent months I've been asked about Barack Obama, of course. Am I excited about him being the next president? What do I think about him?

I have the same opinion as everyone else. He's pretty good. Pretty, pretty... pretty good. When he actually won the vote, I was probably most emotional, mostly because he mentionned his grandmother and my grandmother had died about 1 year before that. I would have loved to have seen her reaction to this historical event.

I'm also very surprised to see that the U.S. would elect a Black man to be president of the United States. In my mind the pervasive racism in the states would have overwhelmed common sense. I'm glad to see I was wrong. That being said, he has a mess on his hands as far as the economy is concerned.

And that's about it... I couldn't say anything that everyone hasn't said a million times before. I'm glad to see we've finally caught up with our fiction. Now Obama can join the ranks of President Palmer, Morgan Freeman's character in Deep Impace and the Black guy who was president in The 5th Element.... I think the president was black in that movie...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Rap... Blasphemy

Somehow it came up in a conversation that there was a movie out called "Hotel For Dogs." She asked, what the movie was about to which I could only reply. "It's about a hotel.... that dogs go to." This lead into a conversation about obvious movie titles. Snow Dogs, Bride Wars, Paul Blart: Mall Cop... To which we concluded at least one technique in movie making is to bring together random words to make a title, which we instantly put into practice. She came up with Blanket TV, I came up with Blanket glasses. The point was well understood.

My cousin later messaged me on msn to regale me with tales of a song entitled, "Arab Money." Apparently the philosophy of random word association was used here as well by some of our Favourite rappers: Busta Rhymes, P.Diddy, Swizz Beats Akon etc... What is it about? Well, most of it is your standard rapper fare talking about how much money they have... So much so, they're lifestyles are reminsicent of rich Arab oil tycoons? I guess that's the message. They have trysts with women and... drill for oil on the moon? It's a ridiculous song... I daresay it's a lousy song.

But as a final exercise in stupidity, they decide to insert random lines from Qur'an into the song. Listenning to the song you just wonder, "Why?" Indeed some of the rappers featured in the song, Busta Rhymes, Swizz Beatz are Muslim. But wouldn't that only discourage them further? My understanding is it is considered wrong to add music to verses in the Qur'an. And even if it wasn't, would any believer in any faith, take the words from their holy scriptures and intersperse it with bad language and tales of promiscuity?

I can almost hear the conversation.

Busta: "Where can we go with this rap s**t? We've already mastered the art of glorifying misogyny, substance abuse and violence... We need something new."
P.Diddy: "Mmmm... Well, Is there any way we can do all of that, while desecrating a religion?"
Busta: "Fascinating... Well... Some Arabs are religious..."
P.Diddy: "Arab... Mmm..."
Busta (looking around furtively): "Arab-Boom Mic? No... Arab-Drugs? Arab-Cell Phone? Maybe... OH, I GOT IT, GUY...ARAB MONEY!!!"
P.Diddy: "Oh, that s**t is off the hook, N-word!!!"

Had either of them been able to rise above their pot induced stupor for a few moments, maybe they would have considered that it wasn't such a good idea. Is there really nothing else to sing about? And yes, of course Muslims got offended. In fact, if you look at the comments to the videos on youtube, you'll see many Muslims reacting with visceral hatred and sometimes racism as they listen to the words of God tainted with the explicit lyrics that rap songs are so wont to employ. Not even George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are spared as somehow, Busta Rhymes feels it necessary to throw their names in at the very beginning of the remix of this song. Oh yes, there are remixes and parts to this song... It's epic. There's a video of how proud everyone involved is of this project. I wouldn't recommend watching the video as it's 7 minutes of the most incoherent cursing and swearing you've ever been exposed to.

I'm not above being bitter... Maybe I'm even bordering on being a "hater". But this is their job? When did Busta Rhymes even get out of jail? And why am I giving him free publicity on my blog? Can I not do what they do? Hotel for Dogs? Arab Money? Man, I'll blow their mind with my new hit... Keyboard-Lamp. Phones for Dogs. Toothpaste money... Ugh... Outrageous!

On an unrelated note, check out Busta Rhymes reaction to Obama winning the presidency.

And all the white people fled in fear. I heart Busta Rhymes though.