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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Monday, January 01, 2007

First Soul Train Line of the Year

Greetings, my '07 friends. Welcome to the new year.

I hope you guys had as fun a night as I did. I knew it was gonna start well when I found a parking space barely five minutes after exiting the highway in South Beach. Anyone remotely familiar with South Florida can tell you that finding a convenient on-street parking space in SoBe at night is like finding Britney Spears' drawers: nearly impossible.

Nothing spectacular happened for me. We attended another celebutant-filled party - two of 'em, actually, had a beverage - literally just one for me, and just enjoyed the tunes. Miami-based DJ Irie spun some crazy records in one spot, and drummer Travis Barker beat the skins like Ike beat Tina, to accompany DJ AM at another party.

But beyond the music, here's what I observed throughout the night, and the conclusions I drew from it all:

First, I saw a lot of posers. There were lots of groups of young dudes riding around in Bentleys and Rolls-Royces, and it is a pretty safe bet they had not inherited old money or won the lottery and were not wealthy jocks or musicians. Trust me people, it's really expensive even just to rent one of those things. One of my guys last night confessed he had looked into it: $2K - $5K for a day in most cases.

Second, I saw a lot of people who are famous for the sake of being famous, people who were born to famous parents or rich parents, or who married into famous money.

Third, I saw a lot of people fighting. Up close, I saw three fights start on the street because in two cases someone's shoes got scuffed and in one case someone bumped into another person accidentally and jostled the bumpee a little too hard.

In the past all three of these things would have annoyed me. The latter would have made me downright angry.

I'm past that though, I think. I've come to the conclusion that it's not for me to say what one spoiled rich kid deserves or does not deserve. That's not to say I won't or can't give my opinions on the subject. I will continue to do that. It's too much fun not too. But who am I to say this one's too spoiled or that one's too bratty, etc?

I've got my own fish to fry. And sitting on a high horse to condemn these folks is not gonna help me reach my goals any faster, unless I figure out a way to turn criticizing them into a cash-generating cottage industry.

Seriously, I have seen the light. K-Fed walked past me last night and I didn't feel compelled to crack one joke.

I am now looking at these folks as commodities. As with overpriced sporting-event tickets (more than $400 for a family of four to attend a major league baseball game, get good seats, get food and drinks and pay for parking), and overpriced concert tickets, the market takes what the market can bear. When people get tired of paying for those things, the prices will fall to more reasonable levels. It's a natural process.

And when the general public gets tired of celebutants being the self-indulgent, self-centered knuckleheads that many of them are, the public will stop showing up to night club openings where some rich kid got a million dollars for a two hour appearance. And when "the people" stop showing up, the club owners will stop paying the big appearance fees. Same goes for the TV hosts who invite them on to talk about their manufactured fame, the tabloids that pay big bucks for photos of 'em, the music execs who give them record deals, and the publishing houses that ghostwrite books for them.

So until then, rock on celebutants. I may not like you, but I don't have to. Do your thing and I'll do mine.

Same principle goes for the fighters. The "market" takes what the market can bear. When the general public gets tired of seeing kids assault and/or kill each other over a crooked look or a scuffed shoe, we will put the offenders in check so hard they'll be afraid to offend. When these kids get sick of assaulting and/or killing each other, over being assaulted and seeing friends die over silly stuff they'll stop.

Until then, I won't stop preaching my doctrine of Grow-the-hell-up. But I'm not gonna lose sleep over numbnuts anymore, if I can help it.

The posers? I don't know what to say about them. They may be a lost cause, until pretending causes them to go broke and they hit rock bottom.

So that's all folks. Those are my first logical thoughts of '07. Now, though it is noon as I finish this, I'm out of here like Don Cornelius. Going to take a nap. I just got home a few hours ago and sleep has mostly dodged me.

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  • K who? ... and the same for all the others.

    It's a sad and sorry mess that most of us are guilty of helping to create.

    I didn't have any NY's Resolutions. But now you've given me one.

    I'm not going to read ONE gossip or celeb rag in 2007

    N.O.T. O.N.E.

    Happy New Year!!!

    By Blogger Pamela, at 1:14 PM  

  • I don't think fans will be abandoning the much larger issue of celebs music, acting, or other talents just because of the self-indulgent, self-centered knucklehead lifestyles they display. If so, the fans will be hard pressed to find role model replacement performers, specially in some areas of entertainment.

    Regarding scuffed shoes and the over-interpretation of personal space issues on New Years Eve, it's my opinion that some people are just looking for a fight.

    As for the posers, my bet is that the driver is an on-duty valet parker whose only concern is to get that Bentley or Rolls-Royce back to the restaurant or show within forty-five minutes.

    By Anonymous The Sarcasticynic, at 1:58 PM  

  • When you have that fish fry, am I invited?

    By Blogger mist1, at 3:29 PM  

  • Happy New Year's, James!

    Wow, I can't believe you went to the madhouse and bumped into Fed-Ex, even!

    I totally agree. As a matter of fact, a fellow beach resident and I were talking about this recently. There's more "image" than reality all sold to people who want to buy into the image.

    This has always been a celebrity town though, it's just that in the past many of the celebs actually had talent.

    Well, at least Paris Hilton was in Australia!

    By Blogger Manola Blablablanik, at 4:44 PM  

  • Pamela, good resolution. Happy New Year to you too.

    Mist, you are invited to the fish fry.

    Sarc, logical observations. You may be onto something with the valet thing, but I think some of these guys pooled their money and rented those cars. Rich folks down here take their cars seriously. And joyriding in a celeb's car is a quick way to get a beat down or arrested.

    Happy New Year, MB. It was crazy down there last night. There's a small part of me that likes the celebrity atmosphere. Sometimes it can be both fun and funny to watch.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 6:39 PM  

  • Yeah, I met K-Fed! He's alright.

    (You mispelled poseur, I think.)

    By Blogger Matt, at 6:40 PM  

  • So all the SoBe valets are SMART. Interesting ...

    By Anonymous The Sarcasticynic, at 7:20 PM  

  • Sounds like a good night overall!! Happy New year!

    By Blogger Claudia, at 7:48 PM  

  • Oh, I hate fighting. It makes me feel like six year old.

    Was it a Miami Gay Boy fight? Those queens can throw down. All teeth and fingernails.

    By Anonymous 123Valerie, at 9:17 PM  

  • No, Matt, I meant poser - the simple-minded cousin of the poseur.

    Sarc, I hadn't thought of it that way. Renting a luxury ride for a day to win the girl and make the guys envious of you is certainly cheaper than buying one.

    It wasn't bad, Claudia. Happy New Year to you too.

    123V, you are a good way. Hate to disappoint you, but all three fights I observed were with wannabe thugs who seemed to be trying to impress young women.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 9:49 PM  

  • Hey James,

    Just a quick note to wish you a great new year. Glad to have found your blog(or you found mine at least). Keep up the great work.


    By Blogger briliantdonkey, at 12:01 AM  

  • Dream on, James. No matter how many of us don't bother with 'Celebrities' there are still far too many giving them the attention they don't deserve - mainly the press.

    After all, chasing 'celebs' has got to be easier than finding real News!

    New Year Resolution - to be less cynical? Hmmmmmm.

    By Anonymous bronchitikat, at 5:21 AM  

  • Like Ike beat Tina? Now that was just wrong! Dang LOL

    By Blogger Angie, at 10:30 AM  

  • I don't attend events anymore. Too many fakes and posers. It's not worth my time.

    You're right though, I'm amazed at the people willing to risk death/serious injury or jail over a bump or dirty look.

    By Blogger Hammer, at 10:51 AM  

  • Briliant, glad we crossed paths. Look forward to more lively exchange in '07.

    BK, why must you rain on my parade? Kidding. I know they're out there. But as a member of the press, I can tell you I spend as little time as possible paying attention to celebutants. The truth is most folks in the "main stream" media don't consider ourselves in the same category as the celeb media. I don't think it's an elitist thing. I just think both sides consider themselves really different from the other. Regardless, less cynicism does fit into my overall resolutions 'cause like I said in this post I resolve not care too much one way or another about what celebutants are up to.

    Angie, I couldn't help it. BTW, I've been trying to comment on your blog weeks and haven't been able. It says comments restricted to team members now.

    Hammer, it can be draining. I always try to get a little humor out of it though. Makes things a little more bearable.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 11:05 AM  

  • Sounds like you had a fun night! Happy New Year, James!

    I'm going to try and not read any celebrity gossip, too. I'm sort of addicted.

    By Blogger bc, at 5:05 PM  

  • oh my god burnett how could you let federline walk on by without even giggling??? :P

    this year i will strive to not beat up people who bump into me or scuff my shoes.

    but im not making any promises!!!

    does soultrain kicks out the door

    By Blogger Yasamin, at 5:05 PM  

  • man, I LOVED Don Cornelius. I was the only kid in school that talked about "Soul train" at school on monday.

    By Anonymous og, at 7:03 PM  

  • love your blog and the way you write...

    to answer your questions,

    1. R&B anything with a good melody.

    2. Short stories, poetry. My ADD won't let me write anything longer than that.

    I await more nuggets of sanity from you! Happy 2007.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:14 PM  

  • BC, it was fun. Saw a real pimp too - no exaggeration. He was in a mustard yellow suit and was driving a Caddy with Louis V. interior and had a bevy of "employees" in the car with him. And the employees at the club welcomed him like he was the President of the U.S.

    Yas, I know. It was tough, but he was with a mystery woman. I didn't want to put a cramp in his date by clowning him out loud. Besides, even being something of a loser he's still got more money than me. How sad is that? And please, don't beat any shoe scuffers this year.

    Og, I am not surprised. I've known from day one that you have soul.

    Cucuclaire, the poetry sounds cool. And I could use a little more ADD. I think I write too long sometimes. Thanks for reading. And I'll try to keep coming up with those nuggets.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 8:04 PM  

  • James: Imagine a chubby little cracker kid in a rugby shirt and jeans leaning back and yelling "SOOOOOOULL trainnnnnn" And all the other kids lookiong at him like he had two heads. That's pretty much how it was.

    By Anonymous og, at 10:01 AM  

  • Og, that's hilarious. The other kids didn't know what they were missing.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 4:13 PM  

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