“Buddy?”, JR asks me, as we leave Meggo’s house to head over to my cottage at the Fairyland club,
“Yes buddy, what’s up?”, I say back to him, as I turn down my radio,
“Why’d you lie about Meg’s dog buddy and when are you gonna tell me about what you found out about the Illumanati?”, JR says back to me with earnest in his voice and a little bit of intellectual shyness,
Now about this time in my day, it’s time to have lunch, so I decide to take my buddies to our favorite Mexican restaurant; where the salsa is spicy, the cheese dip is thin and the guacamole is to die for. Now I don’t mind saying, even though I don’t speak a word of Spanish, I always “try” to speak hillbilly-spanish, but most importantly, I have the confidence in myself to know how to ask, “Como se dice?”, which means, how does one say?
So today we turn left instead of right off east and west drive onto Fleetwood Drive where my buddies and me head down my mountaintop, past my two public lookout driveway waterfalls, one stinky and one glorious.
“Look JR and Roscoe, I didn’t know how to get across to you guys what all this Illuminati marketing business has to do with, and how it relates back to your lives without explaining it through a halfway ordered up fable, which is a moral story told by using animals or fictitious animals, so I could make my point to you fellas”, I say back to my buddies as I turn onto my seventh grade Ochs extension classroom,
“And what’s your point buddy?, JR asks me,
“My point? You tell me what you think my point was and why I told you the “story” about the harmless Lucille Racists dog”, I say back with the confidence of my appalachian intellect,
“I don’t know buddy, maybe you were trying to trick us into thinking that the dog was bad but she was really good and not to always believe what folks are saying, showing or telling us?”, JR says as I turn my f-150 onto Ochs Highway,
“That’s right and look here’s the deal buddies. Machiavelli was an author, a poet and a philosopher. He lived during a time when gangs, greed and political corruptions were rampant, not unlike what we are living through today. He was a “dude”, somewhat like you fellas, where he couldn’t make out who was good, who was bad and how you know the difference? He tried to figure “it” out by getting down to the root of human nature, figuring out the soul of a human being who is poor and underprivileged verses the soul of a King. He tried to figure out what role power and money plays in a fella’s life, maybe like you guys are trying to figure out what role money and sex can play in your lives right now?”, I stop for a second to grab a swig of my water bottle,
“So what you’re saying buddy is Machiavelli wasn’t a prince? He was just a regular guy like me buddy?”, JR says as though he’s starting to get it,
“Yes buddy, that’s what I’m saying, he was just trying to figure out what’s what. And ultimately what this Machiavelli philosopher ended up writing was a story about a prince; a prince who became corrupted by the same pride and virtue that made him king. A prince who once he became king, couldn’t help but treat his subjects like shit even though in his heart he didn’t really want to treat folks that way. But because the prince was afraid of his people, even the ones closest to him, the ones he wanted to like him the most, not because he was king, not because he had lots of money and power, but because he was a good guy despite all the bad things he did wrong”, I take a deep breath and continue explaining,
“But you see fellas, what Machiavelli’s Prince was really afraid of was his own fear of loss and he was afraid of his own sense of internal self worth, the kind of self worth you can’t buy at Tiffany’s, Louis Vuitton or Hollister. You see fellas, his fear came from his internal sense of failure. Failure of his soul to control his impulses, desires and his loss of faith to carry him through it. And just as soon as he thought he got past all those inadequacies, his friends and subjects wanted more from him than he could ever give them. And Machiavelli’s Prince became a very Machiavellian King. A King that got so scared of loss; loss of lust, loss of things, loss of life, loss of family, loss of power over his people that he decided to exploit his buddies and everything that comes along with exploitation; fear, greed, envy, beauty, sex, gluttony, music and drugs”, I pause and continue,
“But then the King became paranoid; paranoid about what his subjects might do to him if they found out he was really full of shit but more importantly, the King was afraid of everyone as a whole. So he started treating folks like shit, even his own gang members, so they’d all respect him, because really buddies he never respected or came to love himself. And he decided to do like his Daddy and he’d kill folks on the first day of being King so his gang would know not to mess with him. And the King knew forever more, everyone of his followers and gangsters would say, well at least he’s not as bad as he use to be!!”, I start down my mountain parkway,
“But here’s the thing about power; as the prince became a King he wanted more power. He found his soul becoming less and less fulfilled with the power he had, and more and more envious of the power he didn’t have. And his desire for more power became overwhelming and restless for more power to “help” people, more power to “help” his friends from themselves, and guess what fellas, that’s when Machiavelli’s prince became soulless and did god-awful things to the folks around him, even his closest friends. He did it all so that most folks in his kingdom would know how bad of a guy he was, so they wouldn’t try to steal from him, try to cheat him, try to sleep with his girlfriends but most importantly, so his friends wouldn’t try to dethrone him. See fellas, here’s the funny thing about the concentration of power, money and paranoia, the prince never started out being like this. In the prince’s mind it was just the way you had to be in order to become King but more important, how he had to be in order to stay King. It was the way his dad was, its the way his friends responded as the prince became King, it’s the way his “buddies” cheered him on, as though there’d be no consequence to their necks someday soon”, I pause and collect my thoughts,
“Look buddies, see what’s happening to you fellas? You’re being sold something when you turn on your radio, when you download a song, when you go to the mall, when you go on Google, when you watch a reality show, when you watch BET, when you watch a movie, when you watch pornography. You’re being sold something through fear, envy and lust; and the media is saying look what I have and what you niggers don’t have! And without even knowing your TV, IPod and radio is really saying…which is come and buy our shit!! Whether it’s real or fake stuff, come buy it cause it’ll make you feel better about yourself inside!”,
I take a deep sigh and continue,
“Can’t you see it fellas, you’re being marketed to through an affiliated relationship based on history and emotion, as if racism and classism is any better dished out over black rice on white dishes. Remember fellas, there were black slave owners too!! The thing is human beings are human and usually not defined by anything more than we all make mistakes and unless you’re very lucky, we spend a majority of our lives trying to make up for our very human shortcomings. But listen fellas there were still human beings who would do just about anything to another human being for the sake of security and power. As through hate and emotional disenchantment through circustry, through nostalgia, through love, through narcism, through self-loathing, through ego but most importantly through PRIDE is OK! Because listen fellas, on the other end of your video line is someone saying, I’m poor like you so you can trust me! You see, all these seven deadly sins are cast about you everyday as though it’s OK, cause what else is your life worth? These marketing folks pretty much are saying your mama didn’t love you enough and you sure as fuck don’t know who your daddy is, so what difference does it make if you screw bitches and treat yourself like shit, it’s all about you anyways, RIGHT!! But you see fellas, at some point you have to make peace with this feeling and know it’s gonna be OK. You’re gonna be OK! As long as you find the courage to understand your folks problems and their generational cures aren’t your problems and cures. As long as you see this truth and try to live it! Because guess what, you might not know it now, but what and how you get to know this truth, determines the scabs you’ll be peeling for the rest of your lives. And those civil rights folks of yester-years, well they don’t know how to say we love you enough anymore, because greed, fear and security has been beating them for a while now. And what’s funny to me is most folks feel this way, regardless of the pigmentation of their skin. But guess what fellas!! Guess what buddies!! You matter to me fellas, and that’s why I’m trying so hard to get you to listen to me,” I take a second and look around me before I continue,
“Look guys this conversation is complicated but you know how we listen to Tupac and how you fellas know Tupac is my favorite rapper? You know how I’m always saying; whether rhyme or crime, I’m gonna get mine. You know how I can listen to some Tupac songs but other songs are too violent and too raunchy but I still refuse to stop listening to some of his songs, because I think some of his songs have a redeeming message and are interesting”, I say back to my buddies as I turn onto broad street, at the end of my mountain highway,
“Yes buddy, we know you like Tupac”, JR says in his nineteen year old, best eye-roll but still curious way,
“Well, you see fellas, Tupac was smart and I’m not just talking street smart. Tupac understood human nature, he understood how power corrupts, he read Machiavelli in prison, that’s when all this Illumati business came into play in the rap community. And Tupac’s folks were black panthers, so his folks must have been very tribal but they were poor and didn’t know who to trust in their neighborhood. See, here’s the funny thing about Tupac, even after he read Machiavelli’s, “The Prince”, he still wanted to be The Prince!”, I take a long and hard pause to let the fellas digest my intent,
“You see fellas, Tupac still wanted to be powerful even though he knew it’d corrupt him and eat him alive. Even if for no other reason than to prove to his Dad he wasn’t a pussy and to prove to his Mama that he could take care of her, whether Daddy was around or not. You see fellas, Tupac was both good and bad, he was both innocent and horrible, he was both humble and hubris, he was both ignorant and genius but most of all buddies he still had the desire to be righteous, even though he wasn’t. That’s why most folks like me can’t stop listening to him. He knew how to speak to folks in a certain vernacular that gave him street cred. But he also knew he had to speak raunchy and nasty to sell more albums because most human beings are the devil incarnate. And I bet you anything fellas, ANYTHING!! that Tupac said and did all these raps because he was tired of folks making fun of him, he was tired of folks laughing at him, he was tired of watching the Evan’s show and wantin’ to be like the Jeffersons, but he didn’t have a clue how to open a dry-cleaners! He was tired of folks exploiting him, he was tired of folks poking on him! But most of all, he loved his mother so much that’d he do just about anything to protect her, including, but not exclusively, selling his soul to the devil if he had to”, I take a deep breath and continue my mid-afternoon sermon,
“You see fellas, you’re being sold; sold on the black verses the whites, the nigger verses the crackers, the Jesus freak verses the Christians, the citizen verses the activists, the crook verses the thieves, the brand verses the branded, the ranch verses the plantations, the seller verses the buyers, the chinaman verses the Chinese, the fear verses the haters, the intellectual verses the smart folks, the Individual verses the Corporations and the Banks verses everyone.”, I take another deep breath not knowing if lunch has already passed me bye.
“Now other reasons Tupac maybe went astray; he might have wanted credibility as an artist, as a poet, as a philosopher and he just wasn’t getting affirmation from inside himself or from the people he surrounded himself with. You see fellas, Tupac grew up during a time where blacks, Jews and a whole lotta other folks were still trying to make their fortunes. A time where buying-in, selling-out and government-lies were told because it’s just what folks did back then and frankly still do now, it’s just more “legal” is all. You see fellas, it’s complicated; and although the rappers of your youth don’t wanna sell out, they have to, in order to make that Jack. Cause nobody but you fellas are buying this bullshit anymore. You see fellas, all the rich white kids, well they’re going back to vinyl, back to good ole mountain music, because it just sounds right to them. But really it’s a way for them to take ownership again. Because here’s the deal fellas; selling you young dudes on fear and don’t be pussies is easy cause y’all don’t know whether you’re coming or pushing, what’s up or what’s down, who ‘s playing and who’s dealing, who’s your friend and who’s your enemy, who’s teaching and who’s lecturing, who’s good and who’s bad, who’s the prostitute and who’s the whore, who’s the president and who’s the chief, who’s your mama and who’s your daddy and how can you tell the difference anymore. And unfortunately for you and frankly for me; homophobia, poverty, racism, classism, narcism and elitism are all mixed in with this cabalistic state of sideways marketing exploitation we’re living in these days”, I stop and decide to take another figure out pattern through my neighborhood, except this time I’m in Alton Park and not Lookout Mountain,
“You see fellas, most folks, black and white folks believe poor black folks live here because they wanna live here. I can’t say why, I can only say maybe it relates back to what you’re saying JR, about how the government is trying to control niggers like you through faggots and dykes like me. But you see what’s funny to me dude. Some white folks I know, well they think the same thing you’re thinking, but they think it’s the nigger-government’s system of entitlement’s fault, without ever even considering the fact that most corporations bought our government a long time ago and have convinced some folks that for the sake of their “security” we all better just shut the fuck up if we know what’s good for us! Seems somewhat like a divine right of unmediated division if you ask me. It’s the government that’s to blame for folks lack of success, their divorce, their bankruptcy, their foreclosures, their bastards and their emotional weaknesses but here take a pill, drink a potion, watch a feel good movie and you’ll feel better about yourself. And see buddy, you see how you’re buying it hook, line and sinker when you talk that Illumati bullshit. You see JR? You’re thinking its the government and the homosexual that’s caused you to drop out of high school, get your girlfriend pregnant, make you homeless, keep you under-employed, and guess what!! You’re looking for any excuse at all besides yourself!” I take a gasp for h2o and continue,
“You see buddies, you think it’s the government who’s trying to bait you into their system of dimensional “I’m stuck” mindset. You can’t see it buddies? You can’t see its this Illuminati bullshit that’s selling you fellas on the power of how not to succeed and it’s using the oldest excuse since the beginning of time! Which is, drumroll please”, I pause for just a second and yell,
“ITS SOMEONE ELSE’S FAULT!!! But here’s where we are buddies; just you, me and my cracker-ass Lucille-Racists-Classist-dog story of how not to succeed. And I’m telling you that you can succeed! Im telling you fellas that no matter how fucked up the folks around you may be, no matter how much you think no one wants to see you succeed; you fellas have it in you to succeed as long as you dare to care for yourselves, for the people around you, for community and for the knowledge and understanding that there are no victims on Team Buddy!! And look if you fellas wanna choose fiction over facts, then I got nothing for you! Because I’m living proof that through hard work, ingenuity, belief in yourself and a little bit of spit, piss and vinegar you can succeed on this ranch called the U.S.A., and another thing”, I gasp for my mid-sentence breath,
“And another thing, I’m not sure which rapper, white politician or newspaper pimp thought only black folks had the copyright on the word Nigger. I can tell you fellas right now women are the niggers of the world, always have been and I guess always will be. BUT I can also tell you fellas!! I’M NOONE’S NIGGER!!! I’d never let anyone call me that word! No way!! No how!! Cause you know why fellas? You know why? Cause deep down inside that word means HATE! Not hate of others but hate of one’s self! And I don’t give a flying fuck what some rapper says now! That word will always stand for hate; I hate myself therefore I hate others! And just so we’re clear, the only true niggers these days are the Chinese, because that government exploits more poor people than any other institutionally sick pseudo-capitalistic state I’ve ever seen! And here’s the funny thing fellas, no one I know even gives a shit, because they think it’s about the Chinese people and not about the greed being sold in America! Are you listening fellas cause I’m coaching! Are you listening? Are you understanding what I’m laying down? Because, you see fellas, this whole Illumanati business, it’s all smoke and mirrors. It’s all, treat em like shit and they’ll treat you like a King. It’s all Machiavellian, and not Machiavelli, whose name has become synonymous with corruption and power which begets violence, greed and cynicism. Yet Machiavelli tried to give decent folks like you and me the roadmap on how not to fall prey to these personalty traits and soulless characteristics. You see buddies, just because some neighborhood GANG-FOOL or rapper calls y’all Niggers doesn’t mean you should trust them! Just because they look like you and tell you they are good at gettin bitches and getting high, doesn’t mean they give a crap about you! Give me a fucking break! They might appear as though they have your best interest at heart or are wearing some brand you think will make you look richer, therefore you’re cooler than the next guy if you hang out with us….bullshit! And just because they tell you that your family doesn’t give a fuck about you, so come over here and I’ll get you all the pussy you want!! Doesn’t mean they’re not exploiting you any worse than the government or homosexual guy. You see fellas, I lied to you about the dog so you’d understand not all things are as they seem or are told in good measure; not all things are done genuinely in your favor, even though it feels emotionally genuine in deed. Look buddies, all I was trying to show you is, you’ve got to think about things more when you hear them than when you see them; don’t take fear, greed, lust and envy for face value! You’ve got to remember what I’m always saying about how skepticism feeds the mind and cynicism rots the soul. Think about why you feel the way you do when you put on someone else’s brand. You’ve got to try to figure out what the plantation’s objective is and why the gang leader’s friend who looks like you is telling you a story or singing you a song. You’ve got to try to figure out what the brand’s trying to sell you on and what it’s doing to your soul and why you feel powerless in your life. You see fellas, you trust me because I feed you everyday, I work with you everyday, I help you earn a dollar everyday and I treat you like human beings and not like thugs. You see fellas it’s hard for most folks out there to understand why things are the way they are and most folk’s answer to this question is by saying, “it just is what it is”! Or better yet, some folk’s answer is, “it’s not my fault”, or better yet, “some folks are just meant to be streetwalkers and dishwashers”, I gasp, as my generational tear rolls down my cheek and I grab my next piece of air as my buddy Roscoe taps me on my shoulder and asks,
“Buddy can we go on in and get a Taco?”, as I realize I’m parked in front of my favorite Mexican restaurant, next to my favorite block between my lawn on Broad and Main Street.