Party like it’s 1991
All of a sudden it's like it's the early '90s all over again: police brutality is experiencing a healthy resurgence, the economy's all fucked the fuck up, we've got a black president, mofos are getting shot at the movies. I'm even back watching the Real World, which, I'm not gonna lie, I'm enjoying almost as much as I used to, despite the fact that I'm no longer just a little bit older than the roomies. I might have a good 10 years on the youngest of them. (When the fuck did that happen?)
Now, if only we could get rap music to be worth a shit. Or is that too much wishful thinking?.
Where to begin? Well, first of all, I wish there was some sort of way I could have gotten paid off of people getting shot at that Biggie Smalls movie, both because it would be nice to have a little extra money, and because I so saw that shit happening. I spent all day yesterday reading that Artie Lange book and then going on a ridonkulous bender, so I've been thinking a lot about gambling. I know there are supposedly places in Las Vegas where you can bet on pretty much anything.
Aside from that guy who shot that guy because he wouldn't shut up during the The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, i.e. my new hero, it's been a long time since I've heard of anyone getting shot at the movies. Menace II Society might have been out, the last time I heard about some shit like that. (Didn't Noreaga get locked up for shooting someone during Menace II Society. But it just seemed like some shit like that might happen this past weekend. I haven't seen so many ignorant so psyched to go see a movie since Juice came out. And yet, I heard Notorious only came in 4th in the weekend box office, behind shit like Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and Gran Turismo Torino. Hmm...
Could it be that we're witnessing a genuine return to the climate of the early 1990s, when mofos were getting shot for scuffing someones Nikes, and what have you? There was an item in the New York Times' Freakonomics blog not too long ago about the resurgence of black on black crime, and, in particular, young black men shooting other young black men as if it was going out of style. I'm not gonna lie, I can't remember if I actually read it, or just skimmed it or heard about it. But as I recall, it was saying that even when the violent crime rate went down, back in the late '90s, it didn't seem to have much of an effect on black on black homicide. If it went down at all, it remained ridonkulously out of proportion to other forms of violent crime. And now it looks like it might be on an upswing, what with the state of the economy.
It'll be interesting to see what Barack Obama's response to this will be. Maybe he'll be able to alleviate the situation just by getting the economy back in order - which is to say, finding some sort of proverbial band aid on cancer to where people can go back to spending a shiteload of money they don't really have. You'll recall that our first black president, Bill Clinton, dealt with the situation by throwing an insane number of black men in the pokey. Nullus? There was already a huge and growing prison-industrial complex when Clinton took office, due in part to the pointless war on drugs, and it just continued to mushroom during his two terms. But at least it got to the point where you could drive down to the ghetto to get a sawbuck from your little brother without having to sweat getting hit by a stray bullet.
The thing I don't get is how in the fuck the violent crime rate can go back up, when most of the black people I know who are into that sort of thing (which is to say, various members of my extended family, and probably yours, too, if you're black) are already in the joint. Or is all of this crime being committed by young kids who wouldn't know from the early '90s? If that's the case, then it might be even tougher for Obama to come up with a solution, since I'm sure all of those clowns who showed up to the inauguration don't expect him to provide over an even further expansion of the prison-industrial complex. And since I'm not even sure to what extent this even has to do with the economy, if it remained an issue even back when the economy was relatively stable.