One of the more undesirable traits about me that truly irritates people, outside of my penchant for throwing people's CD's out of my car as soon as it reveals itself to be utterly sub-par, the habit I have of putting on Public Enemy's "Welcome to the Terrordome" right before I make sweet love to my understanding girlfriend, or the way I constantly entertain myself by putting some sort of food product at the feet of some malnourished stripper instead of the customary tip - is my habit of obsessing over members of musical groups who don't particularly pull their weight. I swear, I'm still unable to sit through an entire Lost Boyz video without openly asking, "Okay, (pointing) What do YOU, do? What do YOU do? ..and, what in the fuck do YOU do?" No one rejoiced more than me when the group "Floetry" disbanded, it wasn't that I found anything particularly wrong with their music mind you - but besides the occasionally "fast-forwardable" verse here and there, what in the world was Natalie Stewart's purpose? Whenever I would see one of their performances on television, "The Floacist" simply speaking the exact same words that Marsha Ambrosius was singing, more times than not I would get out of my chair and scream "A monkey could do your fucking job!" But as I was going through some old pictures last night it occurred to me what kind of hypocritical idiot I was being, completely forgetting about the summer of 94' when I briefly toured with my friend's Reggae band. No, I didn't play an instrument or contribute in any way, I was just a shameless "hanger-on" with no agenda other than receiving residual booty.
Let me tell you, when it comes to being an asshole, I have undeniable street cred. If I wasn't smoking up all of the group's marijuana, going through their limited food supply, or refusing to help them set up their musical equipment before shows, more times than not I was sexually underachieving on top of the same girls that they specifically had their eyes on.(Looking back, I'm still amazed that I never found myself on the business end of a well choreographed ass beating). But the one thing that sticks out about that summer is how their untimely demise was a result of them foolishly ignoring my advice that would prove to be prophetic.(But then again, when I think about how badly I was behaving, I wouldn't have listened to my advice either.) Let me give you some background.
Locally, the group was wildly popular, they played every one of their shows to an extremely packed house. Even though they were virtual unknowns outside of the 757 area-code, extremely passionate women would stay after the shows to proposition, or at least have their picture taken with the likes of the fucking Tambourine player. I'm serious. My ignored advice came into the picture when a rival band suggested that they perform some shows together in a sign of unity throughout the musical community, a move that I was strongly opposed to. I mean, they were an average sounding band who only played to very sparse crowds, so I sincerely felt that putting them on the bill would only raise their profile to undeserved levels. Lo and Behold, the selfish "hanger-on" who randomly penetrated one of their dearest fans by telling the misguided young lady that I ghost-wrote all of their material, turned out to be right. The band's allure wore off, the crowds shrunk, and the only ladies who stayed around after shows were just drunk chicks who were trying to find their ride home.
I'm reminded of that story every time I hear John McCain challenging Barack Obama to 10 unmoderated Townhall events, something that Obama seems to be correctly finessing his way out of. Conventional wisdom says that the joint Townhall's would be an absolute winner for Obama, the sheer contrast of the two men standing side by side would be so stunning that Obama's path to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue would be that much smoother. Then when you consider that most of McCain's biggest gaffes, "Bomb-Bomb-Bomb-Iran" and his "100 Years" statement were both in Townhall settings, some would think that participating in these events would be a no-brainer for Barack..
But the fact that these Townhall's are supposed to be unmoderated affairs bothers me, not because I'm unsure of Obama's ability to handle himself in such environments. To the contrary. Listen, the debate moderators are usually the ones who very casually bring up some of the most unfortunate details(real or imagined) about a candidate's past. Tim Russert asking Obama about Farrakhan and George Stephanopoulos bringing up William Ayers is more memorable to me than any answer that Obama gave. Without moderators, the American people will never get to know some of the things about Sen McCain that don't exactly fit into his war hero and "Maverick" narrative - because we know that Obama won't bring that stuff up. Its rather unseemly, but how else will people find out about John McCain leaving his crippled wife for a new and improved version, his penchant for calling his wife the "C-Word", Cindy McCain's stealing drugs from her own charity..
Also, we've seen what kind of fundraising juggernaut Obama has been thus far, most people assume that he will out-raise John McCain by leaps and bounds in the general election - so there seems to be something inherently wrong about giving your cash-strapped opponent free air time.
Lastly, after witnessing the sleep inducing speech John McCain gave in front of that booger green backdrop a few weeks back, the actual substance of the prepared text being lost on everyone due to McCain's creepy delivery and sporadic laughter that made you think of that "Tales of the Crypt" character - I feel there is no way in hell Obama should rescue McCain from the "bad campaign event purgatory" he currently finds himself in by participating in the joint Townhall proposal. Keeping the narrative out there that John McCain's oratory depresses motivational speakers is a clear winner in my eyes, putting McCain on the same bill would not only raise his profile to undeserved levels, but politically it might possibly take some of the electricity out of future Obama events. Senator Obama would still pull in massive crowds, I'm just afraid that after a while we'll start seeing that same drunk chick trying to find her ride home. So to speak.