Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Verses and Flow 2015 by Lexus, part 3: Things I Can't Say

The warm-up emcee knew his crowd. Think about it:  you've pulled together a group of hip urban black people with enough money to be interesting to Lexus. They are out to have a good evening with friends, not necessarily to perform as a studio audience. The warm-up emcee has to gather them as a group into a group, get them having enough fun as a group to relinquish the people they came with. They've already been seated by prettiness or interestingness, cautioned about keeping purses off the very shiny tables. He starts off by miming how tacky it looks to be on TV caught chewing gum. Then he engages some of the more resistant (that is, not attending to him) audience members by the reliable insult-method. Hey man, what's all that? Blazer on top, Air Jordans on the bottom? You don't look comfortable, you just look confused. Then he starts his routine. The crowd loved it a lot. I kept thinking Damn, that's funny, but I could never say it. I mean, I'm a white woman just past middle age. I could not, would not even think of saying Lexus is a good car--faster than a runaway slave! I tried that one on for size, to see if my quoting it here would be racist. My method for doing that is to reconfigure the remark for Jewish people, my people. In this instance:  how would I feel if someone said, "That car is faster than a Jew escaping Dachau." Ya know, I would be fine with it. I would say, "That is one fast car." I hope I am right, because I am going to publish this post--now.

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