Friday, June 06, 2008

Rhythm is a dancer....obviously just not a white one.

Although all the reviewers said to skip it, I went with the masses and saw the Indiana Jones 4 movie. Stop calling it a snake, call it a rope! I didn’t find it all that bad, but then again I am a sucker for massive punch-on-punch fight scenes. Oh and the whole greasers versus socs’ fight (and homage to my favorite childhood book ‘The Outsiders’) was pretty neat too.

Anyway, this post is not about the movie, it is about culture differences. I was raised in an exclusively white middle class quite suburban area. Therefore, when someone annoys me in an airplane, at a musical, or during a movie, I react by shooting them a menacing “I hate what you are doing” look and formulate all sorts of nasty things to say to them in my head (oh no, not out loud of course….I mean that would be just rude). Well, things would play out A LOT differently if I was say raised in a city/urban area. During the middle third of the Indy movie, a black man jumped up and started shouting at the person behind him. He was yelling “either you or your kid has been kicking my fucking seat this entire time, you better fucking start or I’m going to fuck you up, fuck fuck fuck blah blah blah”. Yeah he was really laying into the other guy. Of course the rest of us in the theater were all booing and shushing him because we couldn’t hear the movie.

I had another lesson in urban culture when I visited Marathon Man’s school for their Spring Choir Showcase. It was actually a showcase of the band, choir groups, dance class, cheerleaders, and stomp team. I was happy to finally see M-Man at work as an authority figure. Something about my man in charge…..mmmmnnnnn. I tried before to get into his parent teacher conference (you know pretending to be a concerned parent so I could see him find new ways to tell the parents their kids are assholes). Well that scheme was shut down because he pointed out to me there where no white kids at his school. Anyway, one highlight of the night was watching Steve (the 6’-6” black music teacher) jump on stage with his choir kids and dance & sing along with them… a suit. Awesome!

The crowd seemed like a group of typical disinterested teenagers and bored chaperones until the Stomp Team took the stage. I swear, it went ape shit ballistic in there! To accurately describe the Stomp Team would be to say a group of angry large black women. They started by saying to eachother “giiiiirrrrlllll, you know what I be see’in, oh a fiiiiieeeeeennnnnee black man, he be talking to Sha-nay-nay, and I was all like tripp’in man, blah blah blah”. Seriously, they had this two minute conversation among themselves and half of it I didn’t understand because of the slang. And then when I thought they were going to bitch about something else, they broke into the most captivating awesome stomp routine. I’m talking perfect synchronization, hops, kicks, slaps, etc. That lasted all of a minute before they started the whole sassy conversation follow with another stomp routine repeat. One “story line” revolved around hearing a girl spread a rumor about them and the solution is to “punch tha bitch”! Seriously, the stomp actions all involved punches into their hands, mimic pulling hair, or slapping their ample asses. Violent as hell, but so incredibly AWESOME! I wanted to start clapping and stomping in the aisles, but being that I am white, I had absolutely no rhythm. In fact I was such a dancing travesty while we were walking out that M-Man was teased the next day by his students saying “Mista….I saw you with that white girl….what she do’in…..ya know she CAN’T dance”


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