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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Monday, December 04, 2006

Quick Hits

  • A Public Service Announcement: For the third time in two weeks people waiting at a bus stop in South Florida were plowed into and seriously injured (one was killed) by an out of control driver. This morning it was school kids. Three times. Two weeks. I recommend if you are waiting for a bus down here that you stand in the middle of the road. That's the best chance you have of not getting run over by a car.
  • Too Little Too Late: Britney Spears reportedly bought $3,200 in undies late last week...after getting captured on camera three nights in a row not wearing any. More irony? That evening after buying thousands of $$$ worth of drawers she was photographed again not wearing any. Yes, it was a slow news day for me.
  • Why I Hate Broad Generalizations: Sure, there was a little humor in it - enough to eventually give birth to a Saturday Night Live skit - but the Arizona cop who stopped a car carrying two black men for suspected littering and told them they could rap their way out of a ticket was out of order. Memo to Tempe cops: Not all black people rap. If you stop a car with Asian suspects, you dummies gonna ask 'em to do your kid's math homework? The cop probably didn't mean any harm. And maybe he intended to just demonstrate that he is an easygoing guy. But what he inadvertently demonstrated was why some folks still worry they'll get treated differently - for better or worse - depending on how they look. I'm black as night. But I couldn't rap my way out of a paper bag. I could've given him a Dr. Seuss rhyme, maybe.
  • Finally, Why Hollywood Celebs' Opinions on Anything But Entertaining Count for NOTHING: The latest film star to contract hoof-in-mouth disease is Gwyneth Paltrow. America, as a whole has its problems. We're a big country. We're working on it. But Paltrow, a pillar of brain power, told Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias that America bites, etc., etc. Paltrow, an American citizen who lives in Britain, said "I love the English lifestyle, it's not as capitalistic as America. People don't talk about work and money, they talk about interesting things at dinner. I like living here because I don't fit into the bad side of American psychology. The British are much more intelligent and civilized than the Americans." Hmm, Gwyneth doesn't like capitalism? Then why can't we watch her crappy movies for free? Gwyneth, you are entitled to your opinion - one that's shared by a lot of Americans, but don't air your "family's" dirty laundry in front of another family (or country). And if Americans are so dumb and unintelligent, take your films off U.S. screens and air 'em in the UK, where folks'll be more likely to understand your giant intellect.


  • Funny thing about that cop incident. He was probably just trying to be "cool" and easygoing and those guys--who were dressed in outlandishly hiphop style clothes--were more than happy to accomodate for what was probably their first and only paid rapping gig. They could have told him to fuck off and just have paid the fine.

    It was a situation perhaps where all three of those guys were pretty cool but any other people in that situation might have been abusive.

    I don't think that cop was that bad, just a little unsophisticated (he's a f-ing pig, after all).

    I dunno. You'd think that sort of thing would be covered in their training or something. I can't imagine being "insulted" like that.

    When I was arrested on Thanksgiving for DUI, I appreciated the fact that the cop knew I made more money than him.... I liked that. Sitting handcuffed in that cruiser staring at the back of my car, I might have vowed to never get arrested again! Instead, I was thinking that the NEXT time I'm arrested I"m going to be staring at the back of a much more expensive car.

    But that's just me. I am flawed.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:17 PM  

  • Matt, I agree on the cop. I don't think he meant harm at all. Like I said too, he was probably just trying to be easygoing. But unfortunately for every genuinely easygoing guy like that there are 50 idiots who'll take the cops actions as a road map for how they should seriously treat people. They won't get the joke. So he should've used more discretion. When are people gonna understand that when you're being recorded there is potential that the entire planet will see and/or hear everything?

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 10:22 PM  

  • Funny stuff.....

    As a huge fan of irony,,,,,,I love the Britney thing(pun soooo not intended).
    I can't laugh TOO hard at her though. I go shopping for $100 worth of groceries all the time and then order a pizza when I get home.

    Agreed, the cop was probably just trying to cut the kids some slack.Not exactly the smartest way to go about it, but even so I hope he doesn't get too much slack for it. (note I haven't seen any clips on this other than your post) so cant really make a definitive comment on it.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:58 PM  

  • *Amusement*

    Downer on the cop, then wades into Gwynneth Paltrow.

    Hmm, lesson? It's not ok to make 'jokes' about people based on their colour &/dress, but ok if it's about one person if they express their own opinions kinda badly? (Specially if they're white?) Cos Ms P may actually have a point in there somewhere.

    BTW - re-Britney's underwear - some dresses hang better without, apparently! & it all makes for more (Press) exposure!

    By Anonymous bronchitikat, at 5:24 AM  

  • Some cities erect barriers to help prevent vehicles from plowing into crowded places such as bus stops. Two barriers that come to mind are tougher drunk driving laws and more frequent driving tests for the elderly.

    Maybe Britney's buying the skivvies for poor unfortunate starlet-wannabes in the United Kingdom.

    What's this I see?
    There behind me?
    Why, it's a Cop!
    And he's signaling me!

    What could he want?
    What did I do?
    To cause this man,
    to want You-know-who?

    Well, now I see,
    why he wanted me.
    He sees I'm a poet.
    And wouldn't you know it,
    He expects me
    To rhyme myself free.

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 7:40 AM  

  • #1 - If I ever return to Florida I'll be doing it inside of my own 25' by 5' inflatable ball. That way I'll be properly insulated from any attacks by the local motorized fauna.

    #2 - Britney. Ugh. Just ugh.

    #3 - AZ cops need to take lessons in "How not to further damage your state's reputation as being a redneck breeding pool by cracking wise with poorly conceived jokes."

    Was that too long? How about this: Get a Clue 101

    #4 - I think all celebrities should be forced to wear those electrified collars that dogs in urban areas wear to prevent them from barking. They could be allowed to take them off while they are working, but as soon as they leave the set they should have them padlocked back on. That way innocent citizens won't be subjected to their idiotic pontifications.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:51 AM  

  • Very nice, Sarc. You might have a seccond career behind the microphone;>)

    BK, where have you been? I can't seem to get the link to your blog to open lately? And my biggest beef with Gwyneth is there are roughly 300,000,000 people in the U.S. In the circles in which she grew up and lived in this country as an adult, realistically how many
    American dinner tables has she been at? Probably, a very small insular group in Hollywood. And if that's the case, maybe she's right...sort of. Maybe her Hollywood friends are morons who make for bad dinner conversation. But that whole dig at capitalism? I haven't heard of her giving back her multi-million dollar paychecks or offering her films for free. That American system is what made her a rich celeb, whose opinion suddenly means something 'cause she's rich.

    Queen, a set of eyes in the back of your head would help too.

    Briliant, I've done the grocery/pizza thing too. That's different than w/buying undies though. Grocery shopping can tire you out. You get home, you're exhausted, you wanna eat without burning more energy, you order out. W/undies you buy 'em and even if you're lazy, drop 'em on the floor and just step into 'em, and then take literally 3 seconds to pull 'em up.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 8:23 AM  

  • im not sure where the urban myth about the tempe cop started, but the nyt story i read, with fullest context, said the rapping angle came as a result of the two drivers telling the cop they were rappers when he first stopped them. they had a 15 min encounter of which only the rap part seems to have made it as a national media blip. in other words, this story was taken totally out of context, then spread by internet to become an outrageous racist, stereotypical cop/black victim encounter, which it evidently was not at all.

    By Anonymous chilledbongo, at 9:45 AM  

  • I can't believe that cop didn't call for backup then fire 50 bullets into the car. The perps weren't just litterers, they were littering and Driving While Black!!

    This leftwing limp-wristed country is going straight to hell.

    By Blogger Steve ("Klotz" As In "Blood"), at 11:23 AM  

  • So sad about the bus accidents.

    As for Britney and her love of flashing her hoo hoo to the world, also sad, but not quite as much. I have my own, sister, I don't really need to see yours.

    That cop in AZ was an idiot. And I could definitely rap my way out of a paper bag, just to put that out there. It's in my genes, y'all.

    Gwnynthxk Paltrow is just hungry, she can't help it if she says stuff like that! Maybe if she ate a sandwich, she'd be able to think more clearly before speaking.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:47 AM  

  • Oh yeah, and I definitely agree with bronchitikat regarding the way clothes fall w/out undies sometimes. But if this means someone's going to see Christmas (my mother's term for the muffaletta), then you should possibly reconsider your choice of dress.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:55 AM  

  • The celebrity opinion "issue" bothers me a bit, James, in part because I hear it so often. Usually, though, it's part of a double-standard from a conservative who thinks liberal entertainers should shut the hell up so people can hear the opinions of the conservative entertainers.

    I rather enjoy exposing my ignorance to the world, so should I manage to become famous for something other than a bell tower incident, I would hope free speech would still apply to me.

    Is there a contract you sign when you becomes famous that governs your public actions? If so, in addition to asking famous people to be silent on topics for which they aren't paid, we could get a requirement that they not go commando when riding in low-slung cars? If not, one of these days Sean Connery is going to get out of his Aston Martin while wearing a kilt, and then we're all doomed.

    By Blogger mkh, at 11:57 AM  

  • being that i live in tempe... we as a community are all signing up for "How to rap your way out of a ticket" classes at ASU. lol hahaha

    "You couldnt rap your way out of a christmas present."


    By Anonymous Rappin Yas In Tempe, at 12:24 PM  

  • 14 sums it up best in her link at Gallery of the Absurd, she is one of The Three Disgraces.

    The humanity.

    By Blogger Fairmaiden327, at 1:02 PM  

  • Too bad about Britney and the underwear. The pics are a perverts wet dream. Thank you perverted papparazzi! Besides, like her whole life, the purchase was just another show episode. Once you go freeball, it's hard to get back into thongs.

    The AZ cop was a tool like most are, but it highlights the avoidance and denial people like him are living in. Monolithic views of culture are why the evangelicals and radical Muslims suck. You want to be like them, then you suck. Maybe you'll be more understanding when the little chicano boy your daughter likes get's pulled over.

    Give Gwyneth a break. She's right--all our dinner conversations seem to revolve around work and money and the sh*t is boring. I don't want to hear about your new deal or the house you're buying for the whole dinner. Doesn't anyone have interests that are mundane or rather useless. We used to encourage people to get hobbies and broaden themselves. Now we just want everyone to spend their free time working or worrying about work. I think what she meant to say is "Tell me again about your non-finaincally motivated interests that give you passion" The problem is most Americans don't have any they talk about--that makes them very boring.

    By Anonymous Big Daddy, at 1:29 PM  

  • Sorry for taking so long to get some of your comments posted, folks. I've been on the street (not homeless, just trying to find some news - real news, not celeb stuff ;>)

    And MKH, you're right. I know I'm being a little bit of a hypocrite. It is fair to ask why Gwyneth's opinion - and that of other celebs - counts for less. It doesn't. I'm no radical anything - liberal or conservative. I just hate that "coincidentally" after some people get rich and famous suddenly they're down on where they came from. Simple logic, I know. But that's how I see it.

    Rappin Yas, do they offer that class online? I'll take it.

    Steve, ha ha.

    BC, I almost spit my coffee out. "See Christmas." The holiday season takes on a whole new meaning for me now.

    Fairmaden I need to check out that link/gallery.

    And BD, I don't care what country Gwyneth lives in. No one but the stiffest stuff shirts talk philosphy and poetry and rainbows at dinner all the damn time. Sometimes you gotta tell jokes, or talk $$$, or talk about the inconsequential like cheatin' old Mr. So and So from down the block.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 2:46 PM  

  • British people are soooo intelligent. United Kingdom of Wankerdom is more like it.

    Britney's either oblivious or smarter than she looks.

    I think I was too easy on the pig. W/ a gun and badge, I expect a little more professionalism.....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:35 PM  

  • I'd rather see Sean Connery's nuts than Britney's twat any day.

    By Anonymous Twat Police, at 3:54 PM  

  • Now, now, Matt. I count police officers among my best friends - just not that particular officer, 'cause I've never been to Tempe and I can't rap. So no comparisons to barnyard animals.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 4:07 PM  

  • One more thing, in case there is any doubt, I'm not anti-British.

    I like the Brits. I like some of their culture and their architecture. And the best suits I've ever worn came from the UK. And though my co-workers in London warned me that I lived in "the 'hood," some of my best memories of Britain are from the short time I lived in the gritty community of Sunny Brixton. I had a blast there.

    It's just that I like what we have going on on this side of the pond too.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 4:15 PM  

  • Excellent point about Gwyneth Paltrow and Capitalism. As one of the few people who benefit from Capitalism the most, her comments seem hypocritical.

    By Blogger GrizzBabe, at 11:02 PM  

  • As much as I hate to admit it, I can't take a woman who names her child "Apple" seriously.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:23 PM  

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