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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Do you know what month it is?

Hate to say, but it's not anything honorable.

This month, November, marks the 32nd anniversary of the very first Player's Ball, AKA the Pimp Academy Awards, the annual celebration of the most "successful" franchisees of what is supposed to be the world's oldest profession.

I always thought the world's oldest profession was farming, but hey, what do I know?

Anyway, the ball was originally hosted in Chicago, and for a few years even took place in Chi-town's neighbor to the north, Milwaukee, the upper Midwest apparently having been deemed the nexus of the Pimp Universe.

And while we can all agree that pimpin' makes for very bad Burnettiquette (and a crime, and a stain on civil society), if you have a sense of humor at all you also have to agree that pimps make some of the funniest movie characters. They - at least the ones who appear in music videos - come up with some of the best one-liners. And in a twisted sort of way, guys admire 'em the way you admire the bearded lady in the circus - freakish but interesting enough to stare at.

Besides, language has been so hijacked by different cultural trends that "pimp" no longer just means flesh peddler. If you're a dude and you're friends call you "pimpish" they're telling you your clothes and style are nice. If you watch MTV you know that customizing your car is getting your ride "pimped."

So let us all give the old college cheer - Pimp, Pimp, Hooray! - and understand that without pimps we would not have money green suits, gator shoes, or tricked out canes, AKA pimp sticks.

And if you remember, at some point this month spend an afternoon referring to yourself in the third person.

If grammar wasn't your strong suit back in the day, what I mean is don't say "I like kittens." Instead, do say "[Your name here] loves kittens."

And if your grammar and Pimplish are strong, then you wouldn't even say "I" or "[Your name here]." You'd say "My bad self loves kittens."

Try it with me. My bad self is done blogging for the evening. There, that wasn't so hard.

So go in peace, and remember, according to the experts, pimpin' ain't easy.


  • "...the way you admire the bearded lady in the circus - freakish but interesting enough to stare at"

    sorry but that's inhuman...and pimping is a crime whether or not it makes for funny toilet comedies or not...if you can't see that ten something's wrong with you

    By Blogger ushmi, at 10:34 PM  

  • Um, ushmi I wrote in this posting that it was a crime. As for the bearded ladies, strong men, and whoever else works in the circus, who are we to scoff their jobs?

    Inhuman would be if I went to the circus and kicked the bearded lady.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 10:59 PM  

  • James, I took your "refer to yourself in the 3rd person" advice out for a test drive and told my neighbors "Steph loves herself some spam flavored mac n' cheese."

    ...and then my neighbors called our local police department's Gang Unit.

    Thanks dude.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:47 PM  

  • "My bad self is done reading comments by humorless trolls."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:48 PM  

  • Ha! Steph, the gang unit probably came out 'cause you admitted to liking Spam not 'cause of the third person experiment.

    Honestly, I like it to. I just don't eat it. I'm trying to leave it in my survival kit untouched for the day the Pimp Legion of Doom takes over the planet.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 12:04 AM  

  • My bad ASS self loves her some mac and cheese!

    By Blogger Manola Blablablanik, at 12:11 AM  

  • Oh yeah, I forgot to include the mac 'n cheese.

    Love that too, but alas, I have to eat it in the present 'cause while the noodles would keep I haven't figured out how to make the cheese stay fresh in my survival kit.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 12:23 AM  

  • The Sarcasticynic loves "Cheesy Mac" AND kittens.

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 6:46 AM  

  • man Gators have been around for years!!! there's a doris day movie from the early sixties there a man refers to not having laces because he wore his gators that night.

    the word pimp has lost all its luster. it used to strike fear in the hearts of ho's. now... it makes us all think of thsoe silly Halloween costumes with the giants felt hats. lol

    and how come no one celebrates

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:18 AM  

  • damnit. im too trigger happy.


    how come no one celebrates Madames? why only Pimps?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:19 AM  

  • "Baby I wanna be yo mother, yo father, yo lover, yo everything."
    My favorite line from the Mack

    By Blogger Angie, at 9:56 AM  

  • "All the playas came/from far and wide/wearing afros and braids/kickin' dem gangsta rides"

    Now that the ascendency of the pimp has reached its nadir, maybe we should remember that true pimps are lowlife scumbags who mentally terrorize women by keeping their alligator shod feet at least 10 inches up a woman's a$$ at all times. That for all the glamour and glitz exhibited by these studio pimps, there is an old man working every day as a security guard who is living out a pimp's pension. Let us not forget all the mothers, daughters, sisters, nieces, and aunts who have fallen prey to the poison of street life. Because for every Mack, there is a Party Time; for every Candy Tangerine Man, there is a Willie Dynamite.
    Bishop Magic Don Juan has himself the best ho' imaginable--Snoop Dogg. This "former" pimp has been in at least 3 major motion pictures (Old School, Starsky & Hutch, The Wash, Pimps Up, Ho's Down, American Pimp) and is celebrated for making money off the women he helped sell their bodies.

    Pimps are not funny or cool. They are death incarnate. I hope everyone remembers that when they think that a pimp is a smooth guy or is just a clown--he is--he's an evil clown who just stepped out of a Rolls Royce he earned by making your sister screw for money.

    As you said, giving you the rundown on pimpin' it ain't easy, but somebody's gotta do it.

    By Anonymous Big Daddy, at 10:53 AM  

  • BD, take a pill, man. No one here is endorsing pimps. And as eloquent as you always are I have to disagree with one thing: they are funny. You said yourself they're clowns. Maybe they're funny 'cause they think they're cool.

    Actually, two things I have to disagree with you on: they never got my sister.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 11:03 AM  

  • Steph, the gang unit probably came out 'cause you admitted to liking Spam not 'cause of the third person experiment.

    So that's why someone was yelling at my husband for emptying the trailer park?

    ...and I agree that pimps can be funny. All tragedy of the situation that pimps symbolize aside, the pop cultural representations of pimps are comical. They are always made out to be self-important clowns. Is the concept of gallows humor dead?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:19 AM  

  • I took my pills this morning, champ.
    But I disagree with your assessment that pimpin' is kind of a harmless fun to be enjoyed through ridicule--by making pimps seem goofy, comical and inept, we ignore their very real sinister nature. Every big rap album for the last 10 years has had some positive reference to pimpin' and every Black music star seems to want to be a pimp. I understand that people want to pimp themselves before someone else gets to do it, but there is nothing cool or funny about watching someone make a woman perform a sex act for money that she doesn't keep herself.

    I saw the coming of the pimp upon the demise of the gangster in hip-hop music. I applauded the turn away from the senseless violence that killed Tupac and Biggie. I just think it's time we take the pimp off the front burner and put that muf*cka down like gats and crack rocks.

    These are not my views alone. Please read "Pimp: The Story of My Life" by Iceberg Slim or "The Naked Soul of Iceberg Slim" by the same and see if you still think pimps are funny or clownish. Try out the magazine F.E.D.S. (Finally Every Dimension of the Streets) and read the stories of the incarcerated scarfaces and their regrets. Go to a Player's Ball and watch the how the macks degrade women by doining things like making them walk with a leash on all fours, barking with a carrot sticking out of their a$$. (Despicably, I was witness to such a spectacle on South Beach in 1999. It started as good fun, but ended crappy. A crying humiliated woman is only sexy to the coldest of sadists.)

    Before he died in 1987, Iceberg had renounced his life as evil and not because of any religious transformation or calling from above, but because he knew he'd wasted it chasing some silly street poisoned dream.

    I'm sorry--I guess I'm just too close to see how these clowns are funny--garishly stylish maybe, but never funny.

    By Anonymous Big Daddy, at 1:56 PM  

  • I remember seeing an older African American man threatening a younger woman in the alley behind my apartment building in DC a few years ago and at the time I was all like, "I'm calling the police!"

    Now that I know what was going on I feel like I can understand where he was coming from and that he was just trying to get his money and, you know, in his (gator) shoes I'd feel the SAME way!

    If I wasn't in the journalism racket, I'd love to be a pimp. I'll tell ya.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:19 PM  

  • Matt's gonna beat that kitten with a dawg!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:20 PM  

  • Pimps are not funny or cool.

    Good point on the observation that it is "gallows humor."

    Trolls be misinterpreting MY humor, too. Listen, Jews began making jokes about the Holocaust BEFORE it started. That one movie representation... The Piano Player (I think)... the guy was making funnies as they were being rounded up in the ghetto. Humor is a sign of intelligence seen in rats and men.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:24 PM  

  • man.

    that sucked the humor outta that. lol

    Who's up for some UNO?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:01 PM  

  • I got a story to keep writing folks, so I'll keep this short and sweet.

    But I'm glad gallows humor exists. Sometimes it's the only way to comment on something that's both tragic and stupid.

    BD, I understand your assessment of pimping. I have written extensively on the "transfer" of power in hip-hop circles from the wannabe gangstas to the wannabe pimps - the key word in that study being "wannbe."

    But if we're gonna go on a no-joking-about-pimps campaign, then we're gonna have to do away with action movies 'cause I object to shootings and explosions being applauded in movie theaters. Can't we argue they take the zing away from the real results of shootings and explosions?

    I object to some blues music 'cause it subtly refers to drug use, and some country music 'cause it sometimes subtly refers to spousal abuse.

    I object to standup comedy, 'cause Chris Rock - though he cracked me up in the process - made light of gun violence by joking that bullets should be priced so high that would-be killers have to put 'em on layaway, giving them 90 days to cool off before the ammo is paid off.

    Every element of entertainment in our society offers some comment on a real problem or struggle. That's just the way it is.

    And BD you always make good points, but sometimes you exaggerate my point in order to make yours: I never said or suggested that pimpin' was "harmless fun." No way you can get "harmless fun" out of my light handling of it.

    Besides, not all pimps are big successful rich guys. Much like drug dealers most pimps are pathetic losers, scraping by. I don't feel sorry for them. But the rich ones are simply wealthy losers. So don't act like we're glorifying the industry here.

    Also, I've read everything Iceberg Slim ever published before he died. Sure he repented.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 3:26 PM  

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