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August 25, 2005

Got To Get Over the Hump

(from the archives, September 1999)

i've been thinking a little bit lately about my ability to cash in on the silicon valley thing, and having read a bit of correspondance between nora ephron and some other literate chap, kurt somebody of the new yorker, over in slate it occurs to me that i'd better make hay. people like me are not supposed to get rich, or even wealthy. if the fashion turns against conspicuous spending, all started by the wall street boom way back when, i'm going to be boxed out. these days, it's ok to be rich and black. soon 'we' may all look back on puff daddy and ask, what were we thinking?

i say we in quotes because i've pretty much made up my mind that no matter how ugly i have to be, socially speaking, i'm going to get my goddamn share. i'll be the george jefferson of the 00s by gum, and i don't care who knows it. i'm moving on up, larry ellison style if need be. some of us may laugh at puff daddy like our laughter means something, but i hope to get up above all that, hopefully with better financial sense than hammer. i don't laugh at puffy. puffy's over the hump.

i reckon, that and a few other character flaws will be sufficient for a number of people to judge me by the angle of my nose, especially if i do the right thing by bringing along some of those young men and women who believed in me - who just so happen to look as if they vaguely resemble me in that caste called race. i don't know how it happened that people who know how to cha cha to marvin gaye's 'give it up' groove with my soul, but it's like that. and considering the size of my hometown, it's still a bit surprising to me that there are so few who know *exactly* what i'm saying. yeaah, you remember the dj at moody's? yeah, but do you remember the second floor of dillon's? i catch a big butt and a smile at starbucks la tijera over in ladera heights and the groove is immediately rekindled. magic, that bond. i'm not going to resist it. i've been fourth man on enough golf foursomes to know every club ain't clubby. i'm taking my homies on the ride.

but i know there's some paranoia in there. i'm not too stupid or ugly not to know how to make new friends. i just often wonder how many 'its' i don't get - things perfectly obvious to those up there somewhere who get invited to write for slate magazine. i don't have enough time to read all the articles; i can't reinsert myself into gary trudeau's yale class and remember what kind of guy g.w. bush actually was - back when he presumeably spoke his mind. i don't get to sleep with jane pauley. (and i think about how miserable it must be to be bryant gumbel, arguably the finest interviewer alive on the planet, yet for some reason untouchable by the networks, languishing on cable. what? is he too difficult to work with? did he ask for too much money? did he object to matt lauer's sex appeal? what?) i don't want to end up that way. like gregory hines. like debbie allen. like so many incredible talents left out there without a corporation behind them. like arsenio hall. i've got to find a balance so that when my time expires, i won't expire too.

there's this window i'll have to make money in front of whatever section of the american public recognizes me. it will expire. not like pierce brosnan. pierce has love handles, but he's got something permanent. not like sean connery. sean doesn't even have a proper english gentleman's accent, but he's got something permanent. it's the uberroth factor. any day he can step out and be somebody again. i've just got a short window to dance in. i've got tighter scrutiny. i'm probably foolish just being a human being about it honestly here. some phonies are more equal than others.

i've got to cash in on this silicon valley thing. i'd feel stupid if i didn't. some people don't want to be ugly grubby and unfashionably rich. i don't mind. i won't feel guilty about it. i'm like the biafran refugee in this. more is ok for me, i promise not to be embarrassed. i'm not likely to go off wife-swapping or pretending that sailboat racing is a true test of character. i just don't want to miss my window. i've got to get over the hump. i've got to get over the hump.

Posted by mbowen at August 25, 2005 09:38 PM

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