Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Man Has Friendship Privileges Revoked, Returned To "Acquaintance" Status

Steve Cocksure recently received a telegram in the mail from what he thought were his new friends. Unfortunately, the telegram was an official, "rescinding of certain friendship privileges." Enough privileges were stripped that Steve is no longer categorized as a "new friend," but has actually been reverted back to "new acquaintance" status.

Here is the letter:

Dear Mr. Cocksure,

Not all of us involved with composing this letter know each other personally, but we've recently been united by a common thread. That thread is the feeling that you have perhaps crossed the friendship threshold line too quickly.

All of us signed at the bottom have gone out with you a couple times, and actually enjoyed your company somewhat. You have a modicum of intelligence, you're not completely unattractive, and you do seem to have a kind well-intentioned heart. While we kind of enjoyed the official "press release" you sent over e-mail, declaring us as your "new best friends," unfortunately there are some other actions you have taken that are a bit disconcerting, and we prefer not to deal with them until our "relationship" is more firmly established:
- calling us at work to complain about your job
- calling us after work to complain about your love life
- calling us in the middle of the night to ask if we're still friends, because your last friends bailed on you in the middle of the night
- calling us every time you get a new movie from NetFlix in the mail
- insulting us, then dismissing it by saying, "I'm just kidding, it's just jokes between friends, right?"
- telling us, "you don't act like you used to in the good 'ol days" Especially since the "good 'ol days" were last week
-offering heartfelt speeches about how we can shape up our lives, even though we barely know you
- farting in our faces
The last is a particularly inflexible demand.

See most of us believe that friendships and relationships build and evolve over time, and are not officially declared in a mock press release. So for the time being we have decided to return you to "new acquaintance" status. Effective immediately. This means that we only want to see or hear from you if we call you with a specific invite to a specific bar to laugh and joke in a particularly cavalier fashion. No heart-to-heart conversation. No follow-up with a movie from NetFlix after. And definitely no farting in one's face and laughing about it.

If things go smoothly, we will slowly dole out extra privileges as appropriate (though the farting bit usually takes at least a decade before it is even begrudgingly tolerated).

In a few months we sincerely hope to call you friend, but for now please respect our wishes.


Your New Acquaintances
(names omitted)

Vote Or Die: The Trequel (This time it's really really personal)

So I don't know who nominated me for The URBS awards. If I did, I'd probably do a song for you.

No, not one of those with the acoustic guitar and singing and ish. I don't do that.

Anyblog, at the time of publishing, I was up for :

World's Best Urban Music Blog

World's Hottest Urban Blogger (insert astonished self-deprecating comment here)


World's Best Urban Blog (actually I'm not nominated for this ... yet)

I don't know exactly how it works. They say these are just nominations, but it also seems like they want people to vote on the nominations to whittle it down.

But since we all know a negro is a longshot to win anything having to do with the word "urban," or the word "award," that means we have a chance to make some political history here.

So as I see it you have too two choices:

Vote TAN


Vote Racism

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

What's Wrong With Barry Bonds???

So I was talking to a new negro friend of mine recently. Though it may be a [former] new negro friend since he's been incommunicado since I raised this issue.

The issue is I told this guy that he looks like Barry Bonds. Particularly in the face, since, you know, obviously I wasn't checking out his or Barry's bod.

Anyways, I first mentioned the idea in person. And he laughed and said, "stop joking man, you're an asshole," or something to that effect. And I do joke a lot in person, so I can understand that as a muscle memory reflex to something I say.

But I have since mentioned it a couple times in e-mail, and I feel the tension is building in that someone's beating-a-dead-horse-that-no-one-wanted-to-ride-in-the-first-place kind of way. I keep pushing the Bonds' likeness, and he doesn't like it.

But I refuse to give my ground. I think the guy looks like Barry Bonds. And more to the point, I don't think looking like Barry Bonds is an automatic punchline, or anything to be ashamed of. Looks to me like he's got the symmetry , clear skin, and proportional features all working fine. Thereby making him a reasonable demonstration of handsomeness in a negro male.

Am I missing something here? Is there something wrong with Barry Bonds physically?

Your input is appreciated.

Hi Guys. Thanks Guys. Bye Guys.

Sitemeter tells me I was TotalFarked. So I think that means it was a good day.
Also want to say thanks to Gary, who has a nice little collection of posts for geniuses and non-geniuses alike, including TAN.

And to the Big Apple Blog Festival with a roundup of posts by NYC bloggers, including TAN.

And to Sean at Bonfire of the Vanities, a roundup of the worst posts. Where my effect on Kate Moss gets a link.

If you feel underappreciated by me, please know that I've already thanked God and a million others. Consider yourself included, or poop.

Now back to my bodyguard dealing with some silly commenter.

The Greatest Beatdown Of All Time

I don't know what was going on Monday. Jugglers and talking dogs. Looks like the PG-13 police broke into TAN again. Or maybe it was a Thanksgiving hangover.

Luckily I recently got a letter of kudos from the lady behind Tajstoyevsky. And she has provided the yang to counterbalance the juggling yin.

But first a couple lines of props for her blog.

Now I have a thing for my boys Fyodor and Friedrich, so anything paying homage to their legacy I'm going to be partial towards.

But the thing I like is I know a lot of corny ass herb bloggers would be like, "yeah man, I'm going to do a blog and pay tribute to Dostoyevsky. And I'm going to, like, talk about him every post. And transcribe all his books page by page and add my snarkily ironic perspective during each post/page."

But what me and Tajstoyevsky and some others realize is that Fyodor and Friedrich are a state of mind. You don't so much talk about it. You live it. Will to power bitches. That's what it's about.

So in my opinion, that's how you get choice quotables like, "I may have let a Puerto Rican just put the tip in, but I ain't making no flan!"

Anyways, this is all an unnecessary segue/intro to the video of the greatest beatdown ever. If you've never seen it before, you're in luck. If you have, it's worth another replay.

Three things to look out for:

1. the line, "Please don't show me dat at this point and time."

2. the police car driving by without even a pause

3. the "dragged by the hair into the street" maneuver

If anyone knows this girl, tell her I'm looking to hire her as TAN bodyguard/commander-in-chief.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Dogs Explain Why They Poop In The House

I was actually thinking about doing this earlier in the year, so I'm annoyed Purina stole my innovative "talking dog" concept.

These are fairly amusing though.

Self Admitted Poopers Explain Themselves


Mondays Are For Jugglers

A little backed up today.

But in the meantime, in between time....

There is an update to The NeverEnding Interview. some keywords are: tallness, redheads, new years eve, old fat white lady.

And since I'm backed up primarily due to my ineffective juggling (of work) skills. I thought I'd point out a couple guys who are better than me.

There's this guy. Who's ok, but benefits from the soundtrack.

Then there's this guy who I was sent video on. He's pretty darn impressive by the end.

But can he juggle, rap, and blog at the same time? That's the real question.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Why This Thanksgiving Was Different From All The Rest

So I’ve been asked the usual round of “how was your thanksgiving” questions. And normally the question barely merits a response, but this year I had a little variation to my standard day of eating a lot but never really doing much thanking or giving.

However, in order to properly explain why Thanksgiving Day was different this year, I have to go back to August 18th 2005. In hindsight this day would be identified as the day where Act One of my life came to a dramatic conclusion.

A few days previous (8/15) I got a call from my father’s recording studio, saying someone had called there looking for me. The caller said they hosted a radio show and wanted to interview me about my collective The Blue Room, and a show I did in the spring, The Ultimate Battle: Poets Versus Rappers.

So of course, rapper/writer/not-yet-blogger star that I am, I had to ice the interviewer a couple days before getting back to them. I had way too much panhandling, walking of dogs, and begging friends for money to do to call her back immediately.

The day I returned the call was August 18th. We talked about The Blue Room. And we talked about the show I did. And the radio show she does. And we arranged to talk more over e-mail and subsequently schedule the radio interview.

Here is the thread of the e-mail exchange that followed:

On 8/18/05, Honey wrote:
Hi [TAN], This is star, Program Manager/Director of Harlem 411. I spoke to you earlier today (Thursday. 8/18) about setting up a radio interview on WHCR 90.3FM. Per our last conversation, I asked that you send me some info about your organization “Blue Room Hip Hop.” The info should include when your organization started, how the idea came about, what type of Hip Hop does the Blue Room produce, etc.. This info will help our host develop a dialogue, and inform the audience about your organization. Once I get this info I will get back to you with a time for the segment/interview. My show comes on every Friday 6-8 pm. You can also let me know how your schedule is. If you have any questions about this interview, please let me know.

Also, I’m not trying to be dramatic, but please take into consideration the info I’m about to share with you. If you want to share it with anyone else you could. This info is to be shared with yourself, me (Honey), and Bunny. Do you remember us? We miss you very much, and we’ve been looking for you for years because we love you. All of us are not kids anymore, we are grown and mature. I’m sure we can talk. I wish and hope you would get back to me/reply to this email. I truly look forward to hearing from you again.

[phone ####]


On 8/18/05 TAN wrote:
I can get you some materials later this evening....

I'm not completely understanding the second paragraph :

<< "Also, I'm not trying to be dramatic, but please take into
consideration the info I'm about to share with you. If you want to share it with anyone else you could. This info is to be shared with yourself, me (Honey), and Bunny. Do you remember us? We miss you very much, and we've been looking for you for years because we love you. All of us are not kids anymore, we are grown and mature. I'm sure we can talk. I wish and hope you would get back to me/reply to this email. I truly look forward to hearing from you again." >>

Is this intended for me, or accidentally included? If it's relevant
to me, can you please explain more.


On 8/18/05, Honey wrote:
Okay, let me try to explain this again.

Is this [old TAN nickname]? Son of [TAN's father], and [TAN's mother]. Do you remember [TAN's mother] having a baby daughter name "Honey"? That's me. Do you remember Bunny, [TAN's mother's niece], [aunt J's] daughter. You use to live on common wealth Ave. in the Bronx, sound view. You was young/little, I know you remember. I have pictures to verify
On 8/18/05, TAN wrote:
I"m speechless.

This is unbelievable ....

I'm going to take an indeterminate amount of time to comprehend this ... and then I will call or e-mail again ....

On 8/18/05, Honey wrote:
Okay no problem. I understand it's shocking for you, take your time. It's the same way for me as well, to have finally found you. Please feel free to contact me anytime when your ready, and I'll tell you much more.

Much love,

On 8/18/05 TAN wrote:
indeterminate equaled about ten minutes ....

do you have pics? do you have a site? If you saw/see the video on my site, I'm the guy doing the song.

I'm still coming back down to earth, but I would say I'd like to talk asap, and meet asap. I did my little research and saw the pieces in "the Citizen". And the byline reading you live in Harlem. I live in East harlem - if you don't know?? Do you know? What do you know?? How did this finding come about??? Feel free to disclose whatever you want ... though I'm not sure if you just want to wait to meet? ....

let me know

On 8/18/05, Honey wrote:
I definitely want to meet, and talk to you ASAP as well. How's your schedule? Yes, I do live in Harlem. I didn't know you lived in Harlem as well. I would like to discuss, and answer all the questions you have, including the one's below. Your friend ([name's] younger brother) from Prep for Prep helped me out in finding you. Also [name's] friend who is my cousin, [name] helped me. Do you remember her? She's an outstanding muscian/bassist. There's so much I want to talk to you about, I don't think I can write it in one email.
On 8/18/05 TAN wrote:
Schedule??!!? Do you think you consult the schedule in this type of scenario?

Not I ...

I'm about to call ....

*inhale ....*
So 8/18/05 was the day I exhaled and [re]discovered I have a sister. And this Thanksgiving was the first one I spent with her. And since I'm nothing but a hard-candy-shell covering a chewy-gooey center I'm going to have to stop talking about this now and simply say it was a happy thanksgiving, and I'm very happy, and giving thanks for the new person in my life.

The picture below is one of me and my newly found / long-lost sister. It was taken upstate, a couple days after the e-mail exchange listed above. I don't know why I'm not smiling. I might still be in shock. Or I might just be trying to make sure everyone notices how beautiful she is.

TAN/TAN's Long-Lost Sister
a picture/moment twenty-three years in the making

Friday, November 25, 2005

America The Meritocracy

Sometimes it's easy to forget what makes this country of ours so great.

It's because if you're good at what you do, and show some drive, you will most likely be rewarded.

Hence, George W. Bush is our president.

And Mike Brown, the former FEMA director, is starting a new "disaster preparedness consulting firm":

"If I can help people focus on preparedness, how to be better prepared in their homes and better prepared in their businesses -- because that goes straight to the bottom line -- then I hope I can help the country in some way," Brown told the Rocky Mountain News for its Thursday editions.

more ...

In somewhat related news I'm apparently in the running for the "White Man Of The Year" award

Bursting Your Bubble

The day after Thanksgiving is still commonly referred to as "Black Friday" and regarded as the biggest shopping day of the year. (by the way this is a rare association with the word black that is actually positive, since it represents stores going from the "red" to the "black")

But apparently that's no longer the case.
And the truth is that sales peak on the last Saturday before Christmas. Which makes a lot more sense considering how much we as a country love to procrastinate (waddup New Orleans).

And speaking of busting bubbles. Don't you think having a piece of street lamp fall on you and force you to the hospital courtesy of an oversized out-of-control M&M balloon would be a big enough "sign" that maybe, just maybe, you don't need to waste away your time watching floats and the like proceed down the street in a single file line on Thanksgiving Day?

Well not for these two parade diehards.

TANiel-san's Mentor Goes To The Big Waxing Room In The Sky

If you're like me, then you learned half of what you know from Yoda, and the other half from Mr. Miyagi.

So yesterday we all got a little less wiser when our favorite karate mentor went to that great big dojo in the sky.

Catching flies with chopsticks, wax on - wax off, the dry wit and wisdom ... yes Mr. M was the super we all hope to have cleaning our halls someday. How he lost the best supporting actor award in 1984 is beyond me.

Did you know Hilary Swank was featured in the third Karate Kid sequel?

Pat was helping kids reach their potential on screen and off.

Here's a little snippet of info on Mr. M's background:
After the war[WWII], Morita's family tried to repair their finances by operating a Sacramento restaurant. It was there that Morita first tried his comedy on patrons.

Because prospects for a Japanese-American standup comic seemed poor, Morita found steady work in computers at Aerojet General. But at age 30 he entered show business full time.

"Only in America could you get away with the kind of comedy I did," he commented. "If I tried it in Japan before the war, it would have been considered blasphemy, and I would have ended in leg irons. "

So sometime today make sure you raise a leftover turkey leg in honor of Pat Morita.

TANiel-san out

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

More TAN Lists

Inanimate Objects That Are Prone To Incredibly Polarizing Love/Hate Relationships

snooze button

hot and cold knobs in the shower





Phrases That Might Provoke A Hip Hop Riot To Break Out

Hi. How are you?

This is my girlfriend [name].

Alright y’all, shows just about over.

I was sitting there.

I’m gonna go to the bathroom.

Popular Items Thrown When A Hip Hop Fight Breaks Out



north face puffy jackets

du rags


Things You Learn About Your Boyfriend/Girlfriend After They Move In With You

they’re boring

they’re not that interesting

they’re stupid

they take too long to hit the snooze button in the morning

they’re controlling

they have no concept of time when in the shower

they’re only funny one to two hours of the day, which used to be the one to two hours of the day you spent with them, but now is the one to two hours of the day you don’t

TAN Lists

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What's The Formula Yo? (audio)

It's Formula 5-0.

I wouldn't be a writer/marketing guy/artist if I didn't try to tastefully point out my satisfaction in being able to post audio that seems synergistically tied to a theme currently in the news / on Gawker.

A couple weeks ago I jumped on the Krucoff story. This week the theme is 50 Cent.

In the spring of this year, myself and a few other music professionals were asked by the incredibly smart people at Snap Marketing to help them brainstorm an experiential marketing campaign. One that would link their client Glaceau/VitaminWater with the forthcoming Anger Management Tour and VitaminWater spokesman 50 Cent.

And not having been a drinker of VitaminWater's "Formula 50" up until that point, I remember thinking, "this guy has nothing but a story about being shot nine times, and an ability to rap, and he is everywhere and into everything." Cause I don't know about you, but for me 50 Cent and the VitaminWater brand doesn't immediately spring to mind as a natural symbiotic connection.

It showed the power of a good story
, tied in with a proactive, open-minded, and creative approach to marketing and self-promotion.

And I think since I was in the process of getting my CD finished, and rebranding myself as a solo artist, and reading about how stories are the essence of good marketing, and perhaps life in general, I really embraced the lesson.

I used to think self-promoter = asshole. But now here I am trying to tell my story to anyone who'll listen/read, and calls me one of the "best self-promoters we've ever met."

I guess I still think a lot of self-promoters are assholes (including myself), but I realize now that if you do have a good story, whether it's for the kids or not, the asshole part isn't determined by self-promoting, it's determined by the story/product behind it. Selling isn't the problem. Selling shit is.

The only thing that concerns me with the 50 phenomenon, is that I don't see enough winks. I don't see enough knowing smiles. Perhaps it's just brand commitment and solidarity. Kind of like the Republicans during a presidential election year. Your actual premise/content matters less if you have tons of people uniformly supporting it.

So if Fifty doesn't let up on the violence. That's just good business. Focused niche marketing. And I can't hate on that, my feelings about the hip hop image beginning to shift away from "empowerment through criminality" notwithstanding.

But I like to think I take the more difficult road.

The safe model says put yourself in a box and stick with it, so people know how to classify you. When you want sexy(?)-thug with a violent street edge and poppy hooks, you want 50 Cent.

With TAN, now three months in, you're probably still not sure what you're going to get. Maybe some jokes, maybe some philosophizing, maybe some audio, maybe some panhandling with the bloggerati. My formula's a little different.

See I don't know if my writing skills, or rapping skills, or humor skills are remarkable in and of themselves. But I do think the range of things I bring to the table is fairly unique, and has the potential to make a great story.

One that is in progress and hopefully landing in Show Me The Moneyville sometime soon.

So anyways. After the Snap Marketing brainstorm, i wanted to show off those hip hop skills, and make a little something something that incorporated Snap and VitaminWater and Formula 50. It seemed odd to me that you would have a rapper for a spokesman but not have a song or something done by him. So TAN stepped in to fill the void and knocked this ditty out in less time than it takes to read the funny copy on a Glaceau label.

And quite frankly, when considering the VitaminWater brand: sarcastic, witty, intelligent, layered, approachable, conversational, modern, independent, does things different, tongue and cheek, don't you think TAN would make a much better representative for VitaminWater than 50Cent. I mean, come on.

Only problem is I don't have millions of people buying my record. But I'm working on it.

So with that intro I present, "What's The Formula Yo?"

the cast of characters this time around includes:

Dave, Abe, Ed, and Arron over at Snap

Darius Bikoff who formed Glaceau and the VitaminWater brand in '96.

And I guess that's it.

Well aside from the unnamed girl who is the subject of my favorite line:

"I told the girl it was nutrient enhanced
yo, she put her booty in my hands..."

drop it like it's hot, drink it when we say so

you done it again TAN, where's those lyrics

tell VitaminWater TAN should be taking 50's place

more TAN audio

Now go drink a vitaminwater

Models Go GaGa After Getting Some Of That TAN Lovin'

So gawker has the video you don't want to miss, but they're missing the real storyline:

This is Kate.

This is Kate after getting some of that good TAN lovin'.

Alternatively called, "why when you go black, you never go back."

KC knows what I'm talking about. holla at ya boy.

by the by, me and Kate go way back


The Name Of The Year Award Goes To ...

I found out via NYC Sassy Girl that Arrested Development created the best character name ever created.

She implores people to watch the show:
Why? They have a new character, (played by Scott Baio people!! Chachi!) a lawyer, whose name is Bob Loblaw.

Say the name out loud. Ok, now you too will be saying Bob Loblaw and laughing over and over again in an endless cycle of inane hilarity.

I'm not going to be able to hold a normal conversation for a couple days.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Make Some Noise Cause TAN Is For The Kids

my traffic base is steadily increasing. To which I say awwwwww yeeeeeah.

But for some reason since my oh-so-memorable 100th post, it's been awfully quiet in here.

So, I don't know, I don't want to impose on your blog styze. I know bloggers be trying to keep it real too, on some whatever, whatever ish. You gonna do what you gonna do. TAN ain't alladat, blahzay-blah.

But all I'm saying is if you in motherfcukin' club TAN, and you chillin' checking out this and that, can you make a little noise please? Even if you wanna be like, "yo, that ni$$a TAN is wack son." Whatever. Let people know you up in this piece. Don't forget hip hop is in the building. And hip hop is about respectfully letting motherfcukers know you up in this piece. This motherfcukin' piece called life. Knowhumsayin'?

Plus, you know, we tryin' to keep it lively. So, you know, the kids can come through and see it poppin', and see the white people and the black people chillin', getting down with the asian and the whatever other people, without all the killin' and ish. And they can be like, word, you know what, I ain't gonna kill this motherfcuker today. I'm gonna be cool.

Cause as you know, with these kids today, appearances are everything.

And if you didn't know, ask Jack.

Or Heather.

Or Larry.

So don't comment for me. Comment for the kids. Cause TAN is for the kids.


Starbucks Sweater Statement GiveAway

I can't get over the billboard featured on copyranter today.

since I'm in list mode. here are some other statements being made by the people wearing those sweaters:

sex does not live here anymore.

young johnny here is destined to be a drug addict of epic proportions.

(from the man) I don't know if I have a top lip or just a weird moustache.

(from the woman) I love the pockets in this skirt.

These aren't turtlenecks, we were in a car accident yesterday.

(from the man) If these people only knew where my other hand was located.

when people thin slice upon seeing us, we want their initial impression to be very negative.

we put a lot of money into this. most of it going to the sweater designer.

billboard cleanup. aisle downtown.

A better billboard may have been made with this image over at the Tub Spot (parental guidance is advised).

TAN Lists

I was over at McSweeney's. Enjoyed the lists, and was inspired. So here are some of my own:

Things you might find on the floor but shouldn’t eat even if the floor is incredibly clean.

Mouse droppings


Hair at a barber shop

Toenail clippings

Welcome mat

Things you might say normally, but probably shouldn’t in the throes of passion

Do you mind if I put my hand here?

Would you please stop moving with such speed and intensity.

What are you thinking ?

Activities that can be accomplished with a lightsaber, but probably don’t require that much power.

Opening an envelope

Getting that sock from under your bed

Pointing to an object or far away location.

Cutting a peanut butter and jelly sandwich into triangles

Scratching the itch in the middle of your back

more lists

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Interview Update / Girl Falling On A Sunday Morn

The NeverEnding Interview has received an update. Gay, teenage caveman, and college chicks are some of the keywords.

But we still have a long way to go to get to NeverEnding. So get your questions in.

And if you haven't seen the girl getting too sexy for her shirt. Here she is. Decent chuckle on a Sunday morn.

Friday, November 18, 2005

TAN On Craigslist (The Incredible Zulk edition)

Negroes, Caucasians, and Asians lend me your ears eyes.

I know many of you have been checking the site upwards of fifty times, no check that, fifty thousand times a day waiting to see when I (or Gawker) would post the results of the TAN on Craigslist Report.

Well I have some bad news and I have some good news.

The bad news is that TAN on Craigslist has experienced further delays.

The good news is that the delay is due to TAN bringing in his first outside contributor. One with a little feminine flair. And since TAN only works with the crème de la crème, you should have all confidence that I'm bringing in a journalist with credentials nonpareil ...

Some know her as the Mistress of Magnificence. The Sultry Siren of Serendipity. The Titular Titan of Transcendent Terminology.

That Zany Zarathustra of

The Epoch herself ...

Claire Zulkey

*applause lights flash*

See, if we're not making hip hop songs about you, we'll at least give you a decent introduction.

Claire is a big White Sox fan, and I sent her an emotionally crushing fan letter, when I noticed her pimping those Sox on the Wall Street Journal Online of all places. And lucky me, she responded. Ever since I've been trying to convince her the assimilated negroes in NYC are better than the ones in Chicago.

While waiting for the light of that knowledge to shine upone her, we discussed setting up an intra-blog scrimmage. The subject of which ended up being the aforementioned Craigslist Report.

So we have the teams. We have the playing field. What we don't have yet is a kickoff time.

But it's coming soon.

And if you have already devoured the TAN archives multiple times while patiently waiting, then I would certainly recommend logging in some procrastination time at the Zulkey Library of Congress

-TAN on CL (d'oh)
-TAN on CL

Thursday, November 17, 2005

TAN Hails A Hybrid Taxi

Well it appears not only do the new hybrid taxis in NYC help the environment, they also pick up negroes. Hallelujah!

I got to ride in one of these bad boys a couple days ago. I did a quick impromptu interview with the driver, and here's the report:

He says there are currently 18 hybrid taxis on the streets.

There are no partitions in these taxis, so you can smack the driver directly in the back of the head whenever he's going the wrong way.

My personal driver has been driving a cab since '77.

He says he gets about 36 miles/gallon. And he spends about $12-$15/day versus the $40 he used to spend.

In the next five years the whole fleet is supposed to become hybrid.

He says the "veterans" get first dibs on the hybrids. And there's no rotation system or anything.

At some point in the ride he told me that we were going strictly on electricity. I don't know if there was a switch for that.

The leg room is pretty tight. These will definitely hinder your late-night taxi-cab-confession lovemaking session.

In lieu of the partition there's a security camera. He didn't say, however, that there's anyone actively watching it. So you can still still shoot the cabdrivers instead of paying them on those extra long rides.

My driver told me his worst cab ride was back in '82, when he had some guy uptown ask him to take him downtown. Then when he got downtown the guy told him to take him to the Bronx. When the driver said no, the guy pulled out a gun (oh you mean that Bronx, ok, no problem). So the driver got robbed and had to drive the robber from way downtown up to the Bronx (pretty long distance for you non-NYCers).

So after hearing that I said, "oh yeah, well you going to the Bronx again sucka. give me your money!!"

Then he leapt out of the car and ran away.

When he finally came back I said, "just joshing. thanks for the info." And gave him a couple extra dollars for the trouble.

This has been a TAN News Special Report

The Great Education Rebate

Take back the space in your brain!!

Convert that useless knowledge into useful money!!

Don't Debate, Just Rebate!!

I saw this ad for a company in the newspaper. They don't have an online site, otherwise I would link them. They're apparently similar to the company in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Except what they do is zap all the useless educating you've received over the years. So they clear out space in your brain for learning things you might actually want to learn, and they monetize that useless knowledge in the form of an education rebate. Exxxxcellent.

I went through it yesterday and so far so good. If you need help on the following useless subjects, you'll have to ask someone else:

Cavemen - I think we're far enough removed from hunting sabretooth tigers and gathering berries that I'll be able to survive without this. Rebate Value - $128.76

Dinosaurs - What's great here is that I still have my knowledge/memories of Jurassic Park (since it was a movie). So really I still know more than I need to know. Rebate Value - $217.32

Cursive Writing - Ahh yes those hours spent writing the letters of the alphabet in cursive have proven to provide limited value since no one writes long form letters anymore. And if they do they will likely write in print since they want it to be readable. I personally prefer to take notes and write using the time-tested form/style called Chickenscratch. Rebate Value - $22.08

As soon as I can get the contact info online, I'll relay it. I'm sure others will be interested in this wonderful company

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

TAN is dead, long live TAN

if you read any online media outlets you're probably familiar with the phrase, "[blank] is dead, long live [blank]."

I believe the phrase is originally, "the king is dead, long live the king," and it originally refers to a rule in England that allows power to transfer from a dead monarch to the next heir without any checks, balances, or break in continuity.

So when there is a notably quick changing of the guard in the cultural zeitgeist, or in a specific industry, writers often "coin a new phrase" by plugging in whatever they're talking about in place of "the king."

But recently I've felt like I was seeing the phrase everywhere, for everything. So I googled "the is dead, long live the" and lo and behold I found out it is being used everywhere, for everything.

Here are some of the words people plugged into the "[blank]is dead, long live [blank]" formula in order to show off their skills:

Paid Placement
the peace process
The Yellow Pages
the publisher
the phone call
the suit
the vcr
the outdoors
the Yankees
the Zip disk
the artist
Britney Spears
the jewish family

and as you can imagine, the list goes on and on and on.


I started looking for some specific ones of my own, and found a handful of subjects that had not been translated in this fashion. So the purpose of this post is simply to add those to the google search engine, for the next person coming along looking to document the many ways this particular phrasing is used. And so ...

the tampon is dead, long live the tampon.

the crackhead is dead, long live the crackhead.

the fetus is dead, long live the fetus.

nasty wilted lettuce is dead, long live nasty wilted lettuce.

preparation H is dead, long live preparation H.

It's a disappointment to close on preparation H, but close we must. Feel free to add your own, there might still be a few options left

Monogamous Masturbation

I wouldn't know anything about this, but i was wondering ....

Anyone ever treat the objects of their masturbatory fantasies like real relationships?

For example, if you have your regular rotation of performers, but maybe one or two sessions in a row you bring in some special guest star and kick your main masturbatory squeeze to the curb.

Then once your fling is over, you know you've hurt their feelings so the next time you come back to your standby you try and fantasize nicer. Like you might wear a suit, and imagine a nice dinner. Or you might even conjure up some extra foreplay.

And you talk to them, "come on baby, you know I don't even usually watch Laguna Beach, those girls don't mean anything to me. What we have here is special."

I guess that's probably the extent of the relationship. Though if anyone does even more, the comment box is all ears.

I think it's nice to cultivate something that has some depth to it with that special person, or that special handful of people.

Don't you think?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Who Is TAN Really????

Some people have speculated on my content, wondering if the jokes would go over if I weren't an actual negro.

And after thinking about this long and hard over the past couple months, I've decided I can't keep the charade going any longer.

I know some people are going to be disappointed. Some people are going to feel like I manipulated their emotions. And the emotions of their family and pets.

All I can say is when you have a vision, and a voice, I don't think it should be suppressed, no matter what gender, age, race, sexuality, or drug you prefer.

Nevertheless, from here on out there should no longer be any ambiguity about my "real" identity. I only hope that you can continue to embrace me as you have, even after knowing the truth.

So without further ado. Here is a picture of the REAL T.A.N.

ok, that was mildly amusing, but who are you really really?

please don't steal my identity.

Indecent Woman Starts Decent Content

Heather and spinach were oh-so-kind enough to ask TAN about contributing my far-from-decent words to their sure-to-be-more-than-decent new E-Zine/blog (E-Zi-Blog?)

We're still working out exactly how many gratuitous boob shots of heather and the other ladies at girlspoke are needed for compensation.

But in the meantime, here's a picture of me at home I found on their site (I'm the one standing up):

And here's the link. [decentcontent]

Time Is The Erosion Of False Truths (what?!!?)

Due to some Dean's World traffic shuttling in today (thanks), I wanted to drop something a little more "philosophical." And this post I read at PinkLemonade Diva, reminded me of a notion I bandied about at the beginning of this year.

time is the erosion of false truths

the idea is that time doesn't pass via seconds, minutes, and days - it passes via our experience and perception. when we learn something new, or learn that something we believed to be true is false, and our perspective subsequently evolves in some way, then, and only then, have we gotten older.
my basic example to illustrate this was to say, if you have a guy who lives in the same apartment, same town, same city, doing the same routine every day for a year, he probably isn't as "old" as the guy who goes to some foreign land and experiences a new culture for a week or two.

Now I know the statement itself, as currently formulated, doesn't really hold up to true philosophical scrutiny. And I also know that in sixty years, while I will still have not turned thirty, I will surely have many demonstrable signs of aging. Even if all I do is sit behind a laptop the whole time.

But I think there's something there worth exploring.

Maybe aging wouldn't suck so much if it was tied to our individual experiences, and not just a constant countdown to Absolute Zero.

Maybe this is why so many of us feel like we are still children stuck in adult bodies. Because our current time/aging relationship doesn't correlate to our individual experience.

Maybe if we can look at time as a subjective experience, instead of an objective truth, we would be one step closer to controlling it ...

anyways, I'd love to talk more about the future of time, but right now time is still just ticking away, and time is also money, so the time has come for this post to end

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Getting Gawkered Is So Mid-Late October 2005

It seems I may be getting the hang of this blogging thing.

In October I did a song for Gawker and was pushing to get it plugged. It was picked up by a number of people, but never made the front page.

But nowadays I litter their comment boxes with TAN droppings, and get Gawkered day after day after day. The thing I'm most pleased with is seeing them go from the more formal The Assimilated Negro to the familiar TAN. Only CEO's and old people call me The Assimilated Negro. My dear friends (and by "dear friends" I mean you people I have never met or spoken with outside the realm of my comment box) call me TAN.

The only negative is when I present the printed out Gawker plugs to the checkout girl at my local grocery store, she just blankly stares at me until I take out my wallet and give her cash or a debit card. And that can sometimes take hours. I've even pointed to each letter in the Gawker logo for emphasis, still nothing.

A couple weeks ago TAN was worth about 14K according to Technorati. Now it's worth a little more.

I printed that post out for the checkout girl as well, and asked for change. Still nothing.

Anyways, I don't want the Lord of the Backlash to enter the picture, so I've set a date to stop big-upping myself sometime in late 2007. I'll let you know as the time approaches.

But since the Vaseline and Jergens are already in use, and since no one comes here unless strangers say nice things about me, I also want to give a shout-out to Elisa Camahort. She had this to say about TAN in her Carnival of Music:
And for new and interesting it's hard to beat The Assimilated Negro, a guy who's been blogging for all of 3 months and has already gotten picked up by How does he manage that? Oh, by posting his own original hip-hop creations on his blog. And by using said creations to "pitch" his freelance work targets. If doesn't take a meeting with TAN after hearing his hip-hop pitch to them, they're smoking crack.
Just a couple points of clarification, I've been up closer to two months, and I actually did the Nerve song a year ago. They did in fact take a meeting. It was fun. (but no sex, which is kind of what you hope for when meeting nerve editors/staff)

But in general Elisa's analysis is keen, insightful, and spot-on.

So this is all to say that there's an interesting (r)evolution going on here at TAN. And I hope people will continue to tune in ...

Finally, on an independent-but-related note, a couple nights ago I went to my first "blogger party." It wasn't billed as such, it was billed as the 30th birthday of Penthouse and Voice sex columnist Rachel Kramer Bussel. But I think if you're a writer/blogger in NYC and you have a birthday party, it automatically becomes a "blogger" party.

I wasn't the only negro at the party, but I was the only one in the series of pictures on her blog.

I really don't know how I got in that shot (and please don't ask if I'm affiliated with the too-hot-for-tv primary subjects), but what you don't see is that I'm holding printed out copies of my Gawker plugs and asking people for money. But yet and still, nothing.

There were comedians who performed. I thought this guy won the gold star. You might think a guy wearing nothing but a mask, leather jacket, red underwear and socks is a little "gimmicky," but I checked out his blog, and it's stocked with fairly amusing material. His name, by the way, is Todd Levin.

I also met Nichelle, who does a regular female stand-up comedy show called Chicks and Giggles.

And Liza, who does Culture Kitchen.

I met a couple others, but my fingers have gotten tired. And the police are here. And they're not paying any attention whatsoever to my printed out Gawker plugs.

So I'm probably going to jail.

But I hope to be back by Monday.

PS. - I just saw The Apiary also posted about this party, and apparently I should have called the attendees "NYC's power elite." Which means, even though I'm not listed amongst those spotted, you can feel free to call me that as well.

NYPE in the house.


Friday, November 11, 2005

This One Is For Krucoff (audio)

I had to wait a little bit on this one. Give the drama a little time to breathe.

I know if you ask the average person in America, they won't know Andrew Krucoff from an assimilated negro.

But I also know the average American won't know about the latest indie-film on the rise.

And to me the Andrew Krucoff drama plays like a classic indie-film.

Sure, at the heart of it, Krucoff's saga is relatively inconsequential beyond the sphere of him and his mom. No one gives a Freddy Ferrer about some no-name freelancer who got canned for forwarding an e-mail. Maybe there could have been a more humanitarian admonishment. Maybe rules are rules. Either way, no one cares five minutes later.

And that could also be an apt description for the premise of your average indie-film. Inconsequential drama.

But yet at the same time, there is some genuine intrigue. Because the reality is there are some people who care. The main character is real, in this case Mr. Krucoff, and he's part of a community. And that community cares (goddammit!). And they support him. And because of the particulars characters in that community, and their particular circumstances, that support can create special scenes. Scenes like the main character becoming a news story in the most important newspaper in the world, even though he did nothing more than lose a "temporary" job over silliness. Something millions of people do all the time, to little, or more likely, no fanfare.

It's definitely not the Berlin Wall coming down, but it is real life, just like the Berlin Wall coming down.

And every Lost In Translation is basically about taking inconsequential drama and extrapolating it out to herculean proportions.

And that's cool to see, sometimes, because it's real. There can be no drama bigger than our own, no matter how small it is.

And so this post is essentially a toast to Krucoff, [perhaps] the blog-nominee for the Sundance Film Festival. And if you don't know the story....

1st Act - Our hero, Krucoff, happily works for Conde Nast. He is fired for forwarding a seemingly innocuous e-mail to the evil and nasty grim reaper of the media world Sauron ... errr I mean Gawker.

2nd Act - As with any good 2nd act a drama within the drama unfolds as our hero Krucoff is initially supported by the masses. But as his celebrity spreads, the vengeful Lord of the Backlash enters into the picture. Once revered, our hero is now kicked and spat upon for exceeding his celebrity quotient and presumably getting too big for his britches.

3rd Act - The Lord of the Backlash eventually backs off, as he always does over time. But things are not quite the same. Nevertheless our hero keeps his head up and soldiers on, uncertain of what the future may hold, but certain that whatever it is, he's ready for it. (And no way he's forwarding anything to Gawker!!! *cue laughtrack*)

And that's it. No big Hollywood ending. Just a good indie-film, decent story, great characters, and ... I don't know, some other shit.

I consider this post to be the end credits to "Krucoff, Forwarded"

And I consider this song to be the hot-like-fire anthem that comes in right after the credits and gets the crowd ready to start some french revolution type ish:

yo! where's the lyrics?

let krucoff know he's in the motherf*cking house

more TAN audio

Thursday, November 10, 2005

TAN On Craiglist (D'oh! Edition)

I'm fairly amused that I express some guilty feelings of remorse regarding my research on Craigslist, how I don't want to judge yada yada yada, and what do you know, it gets Gawkered.

Obviously I shouldn't be surprised about them getting down with some judging, when you consider their new t-shirts.

Or sort of new t-shirts??

But it's slightly amusing.

Anyways, this is all a preface to let those waiting for the aforementioned Craigslist Report know about some disappointing news. Today I was forced to pay particular attention to this message in my craigslist hotmail account:

Messages more than 5 days old will be automatically deleted from the Junk E-Mail folder. Review the messages in this folder from time to time to ensure that it includes only mail you don't want in your Inbox. Tell the Junk E-Mail Filter which messages you'd prefer to have delivered to your Inbox by using the checkboxes and then clicking the 'Not Junk' button.

Those of you who did not vote for Bush can probably guess this means that when I went to go get my quotes and snippets and other data, most of the messages were gone, as all the responses were filtered to junk, and I never bothered to move them.

Alas, the report will have to be delayed as I have to repost the ad and solicit a new batch of responses.

I'll probably put it up again tonight, and those of you who are into that sort of thing can even go look at the post in real time.

Hopefully all the guys on craigslist trolling for this sort of woman don't read TAN.

Actually, I hope they do, so I could know someone other than my pet goldfish reads this. I just hope they're desperate enough to hold out hope no matter what they read here.

Who knows, maybe someone will say the words that convince me to invite them over for ice cream....

In the meantime feel free to add a comment to my incredibly memorable 100th post.

Or your thoughts on the effective soybeans and milk combo.

And I'm still looking for a new word, though "badunkdafunk" from Evan is pretty good.

TAN on CL followup:

TAN on CL (original)
TAN on CL (Zulkey)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

TAN's 100th Post!

This is apparently my 100th post on The Assimilated Negro. So I wanted to make it memorable.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Monday, November 07, 2005

Where's The Drama? + Butt Heat Etymology.

Something I've said since I was a wee lad is that I can never get all the aspects of my life working in sync. If something goes well financially, or professionally, then something negative will happen in terms of my relationships, friends or romantic.

David Mamet believes drama is in many ways the nature and purpose of our existence
. We can not live without creating drama somehow someway. So the fact that one aspect of my life is always out of sync would theoretically be how I keep drama in my life.

How do you keep drama in your life? And is there anyone who is currently living a drama-free existence?

And while you're answering that, I've also been trying to come up with a word for that unsettling butt warmth you feel when taking someone's seat who just got up. Shouldn't there be a name for that particular kind of heat? It's comforting, as body heat usually is, but also unnerving since it's from some stranger's ass, and you don't know whether it was just heated over time or if there was a more proactive effort on their end.

I have yet to come up with a good word for this, but it seems distinctive enough to merit its own term. Maybe someone out there has the solution ...

so kindly repond to both questions/issues if you can.



Friday, November 04, 2005

The Time I Got Arrested For Holding A DVD (Part 3)

The Unlawful Arrest and Imprisonment of TAN Trilogy continues...

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3/Denouement:

“The Tombs” are what they call the holding area downtown. And that’s where I was headed after leaving the precinct.

We drove down and basically spent the next 3-5 hours going through the criminal bureaucracy. Getting processed is essentially like going to the DMV, except there are few, if any, Caucasians in line, and instead of a license or ID card you get a ticket to jail.

After getting processed I was taken down to “the tombs.” And if I had any ambiguity or ambivalence about the racial reality of the situation, entering the tombs put the cold hard truth right smack in front of my face. There were four or five cells lined up next to each other, on both sides of the room. And each cell was filled with at least twenty young black males. I’d guess that just about all of them fit in that 18-25 age range.

Even writing about it now, a couple years later, my eyes well up a bit. It’s one thing to want to Kill Bill (Bennett) for questionable remarks. It’s another thing to see reports on racial discrimination in applying the death penalty. And of course it's something else entirely to read about the genocide still going on in Africa. But the fact of the matter is it's difficult for anyone, no matter the race, to give these events proper weight if they don't enter the day-to-day reality of your life. But that's exactly what happened for me when I entered the tombs and saw my people, saw myself, filling the cages that lie in the basement of the main courthouse building in downtown NYC. For me that's when this whole event became a palpable life-changing experience.

My actual stay in the tombs proved relatively uneventful. Most of the stories I heard were about someone holding a joint, or blunt, or little bag of buddha and getting caught. Maybe some of them had done more, and were just lying about it. I don’t know. As we learned in Shawshank Redemption, everyone in jail is innocent. But I'm pretty sure some of them had to be telling the truth, and if so it’s clearly a poor reflection on NYC police priorities, to have your quota filled with marijuana possession charges.

One note on the lighter side of things. It was amusing to watch an economy and marketplace form almost immediately after people were put in the cells. People snuck in cigarettes and matches, and they immediately were auctioned off at prices that reached upwards of $5 per cigarette at the height of the "cigarette bubble." Incorporated into the marketplace were corrupt guards who were willing to look the other way at people smoking or trading cigarettes, if they were properly compensated with cash or cigs of their own. Gotta love America.

After a number of hours in the tombs I eventually was taken to another cell to wait to go in front of the judge. It was at this time I got to consult with an attorney provided by the city.

As luck would have it this attorney did not speak English well, and really had no understanding of my particular situation. Luckily I was steadfast about my rights and not being in the wrong, but others in a similar scenario may have been coerced into accepting a deal that wasn't in their best interests.

At some time in the wee hours of the morning, I got in front of the judge. The attorney again tried to explain my options, but I couldn’t understand him. The judge ended up explaining to me that I would have the case expunged from my record if I did nothing over the next six months. There was an official name for it, but I forget it now. If I didn’t choose that option I would have to continue waiting in the cell. So I accepted that and was allowed to return home.

I would eventually file my complaints with the police. Though I don’t think they mattered. I would also eventually get a lawyer and file suit against the city. They would eventually settle, and I cleared 2K after lawyer fees.

To be honest, at 2K per night, I’d probably go through it all again. I could still use the money more than my pride and/or dignity. But regardless it was an eye-opening experience, one that altered my worldview forever.


Q&A session:

what was the DVD? - I'm amused that so many people have mentioned this. I run through a lot of DVD's so unfortunately I no longer remember.

do you use netflix now? - yes I do. Although it wasn't until much later when I got on board the netflix train. I reference my use of netflix in my review of "crash" and my post about The Negro Sir Anthony Hopkins.

were your raped/molested/sodomized? - No. Yes. No, well not during this incident...


TAN - innocent beacon of light, truth, and the American way.

Officer Rivera - asshole wannabe clint eastwood police dick asshole.

hundreds of young black males - the apparent scourge of society.

clueless attorney - clueless attorney #1

this has been a The Assimilated Negro production. All accounts and video footage courtesy of The Assimilated Negro

holla at ya boy

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Time I Got Arrested For Holding A DVD (Part 2)

If you are joining us midstream, click here for the first part of the story.

So your friendly neighborhood TAN-Man is being taken to the van in handcuffs. And I can’t believe it’s happening, but I’m also thinking, “ok, well this sucks. But it can’t go too far. I mean I didn’t do anything, and everyone knows it. So they’ll probably let me go soon.”

Well not only was I not released, for the next couple hours I drove around in their unmarked van with tinted windows as they played Negro Roundup. These guys seriously just drove around looking for suspicious minorities, and by suspicious I mean, coming out of a store, or in my case coming out of your house carrying a DVD. They ended up with about seven or eight people in the van after stopping a good twenty people.

Adding danger to insult to injury (my wrists were hurting since the cuffs were so tight), the driver is incredibly reckless. He darts in and out of traffic at high speeds to get in position for swooping in on another unsuspecting victim. There are at least two occasions where I seriously fear we’re going to get hit by a car.

Throughout the roundup I initially tried to get out the situation by simply pleading my case. After all, I continued to remind the officers, “I haven’t done anything. Just let me out wherever and this whole misunderstanding could be over. There’s no reason for me to be here.” Time and time again the officers had to reconfirm the truth of my situation with each other. And time and time again they shrugged their shoulders unwilling to correct their mistake. The captain/lead officer who ordered my imprisonment was riding in another car, so I was stuck, at least until the roundup was finished and we went back to the precinct.

After it became apparent that I wasn’t going anywhere, I decided to make my point by needling the officers and basically cracking wise about their jobs, lack of character, and cliché racist assholeness. The highlight here was when the driver, a Puerto Rican male who was shockingly unsympathetic to the blatant racial profiling, was discussing his daughter going away to a private school. Since I knew he didn’t think anyone in the van would know about private school, I was very quick to inform him, “I went to private boarding school, one of the best in the country, and while I would classify it as a positive experience overall, it clearly did not help in preventing me from being plucked off the street by racist pigs for no reason. You should make sure your daughter knows that for those of us who are ethnically challenged, assholes like you don’t take into account the pedigree of one’s education.”

This is when Officer Rivera started to dislike me in a more personal and proactive fashion. I would have thought officers are trained to handle verbal abuse, and they just ignore everyone who talks to them, but I clearly had gotten under this guy’s skin (pardon). He starts asking me about my job, and when I tell him, “freelance writer” he laughs heartily and informs me that really means “unemployed.” I tell him, "I’ve heard that line before, but if all of this is about you being upset about your job, I know a lot of white people who would love to hire an asshole of your caliber, and probably pay you more than the city does."

All of this, as expected, got me nowhere in terms of my quest for freedom. But all my talking made it more and more apparent that I wasn’t supposed to be in this situation. Whenever I used a word with more than two syllables a palpable silence would fall over the van. My use of the word “accosted” became particularly noteworthy as the officers even asked me what “accosted” meant. Apparently the typical negro they pick up doesn’t complain about being “accosted.”

This in addition to my outfit, strap on flip-flops, black Capri pants (no wisecracks CopyRanter), and a shirt that says “I spent $200,000 on my education and all I got was this stinkin’ t-shirt,” all made me stand out from the minority mass. Soon they were telling me in hushed tones, “look, it’s clear you don’t belong here, just be quiet and you’ll probably be let go soon.”


So after being told that upon getting out the van and getting ready to enter the precinct I decide to play ball and be quiet. I get lined up, have my picture taken, and get my fingerprints taken digitally without a peep. Eventually the head officer in charge of my arrest arrives. I think surely I’m going to be let go now. Clearly I’ve learned my lesson, and I’m being a good negro, it’s time to release the innocent.

But the head officer never looked in my direction once. He informed the people who handle the administrative paperwork of all the charges for the various criminals they rounded up, and he left. Never to be seen again. I guess a long hard day's work had come to an end.

After he left we were informed we would be placed in a holding cell, we would be strip-searched to verify we weren’t carrying any concealed weapons, and then we would be taken downtown to central bookings for processing. Well upon hearing this announcement, my Recalcitrant Negro personality felt obligated to return (and no I didn’t use the word recalcitrant with any of the officers).

I once again began declaring my innocence and telling any person in a uniform that I shouldn’t be there. Apparently, however, they hear this song a million times a day on the radio and basically tuned me out. When they escort me to my holding cell I tell them I refuse to enter because I'm innocent. They tell me that, “unless you want to be hogtied on the ground and physically forced into the cell, I should just go in.” I think about it, pausing to let them know I would actually consider being hogtied as a symbol of this injustice, and then eventually enter the cell. We go through the same thing with the strip search. Eventually we’re taken outside to wait for the new van that’s taking us downtown.

While outside Officer Rivera resurfaces and he still doesn’t like me. And funny enough, I still don’t like him. At this stage I feel there’s no point in holding back, they are clearly putting me through the system regardless, so I ask Rivera about his daughter again and he snaps.

He pushes me out of the line and spins me around so he’s positioned behind me. He grabs the cuffs and tightens them even more, and they were already on tight enough to be painful. He grabs my wrists and forces me to bend forward and in my ear he says, “say something more smart ass, talk some more shit and I’ll break your fucking wrists.”

And even though wanted to ask if I could get Clint Eastwood's autograph, I immediately complied to his violent demands and said nothing more other than apologizing for getting out of line. The other guys in the roundup started asking him to chill out and say clearly there was no reason for this. Another officer eventually came out and got him away from me. I, of course, had nothing to say.

The van arrived to take us downtown and we all piled in. Officer Rivera didn’t come. But this experience was not over, I still had more to learn …

To Be Continued

Part 1

Part 3


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Time I Got Arrested For Holding A DVD (Part 1)

So it was a fine summer day when I was coming out of my apartment building. I was heading to Blockbuster to return a DVD.

After walking a few blocks three plain-clothes NYC police officers approach me. They quickly make their presence known by getting presumptuous with my civil rights and forcing me against a fence. They search me while demanding information about something I know nothing about:

“What did you get from the store?”

“Let’s see what’s in the bag you have.”

“What is it you were shopping for?”

Unfortunately for me I had not been in a store, I was not carrying a bag, only the DVD I was returning, and I wasn’t shopping or planning to go shopping anytime soon.

So my answer was, “What the fuck is going on here??!!? I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Meanwhile these guys are not acting like they’re actually curious about my response. No, they’re acting like they got the answers from god himself a few hours ago and the questions are merely a formality. After forcing me against the fence, frisking me pretty physically, and looking in every nook and cranny you can find on a DVD case, there’s now a crowd beginning to form on the street.

Undoubtedly spurred on by the lack of material evidence, they continue their informal interrogation.

“what were you doing coming out of that store?”

“what store?”

“look. You know what store. What were you doing?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I just came out of my house and I’m going to blockbuster. This is my first time outside today”

The officers pause to consider this unexpected fact.

Meanwhile I’m beginning to piece it together. Next to my apartment building there’s a bodega, and very often bodegas are fronts for weed-shops (something I, of course, know nothing about, other than they may exist). Anyways, I figure these officers thought I was coming out the store instead of my apartment. I relay this revelation to them.

They are not eager to reevaluate their situation but they do eventually back off me a little. At which point I get a little more assertive in expressing my dissatisfaction. I sort of play to the crowd and talk about how a “black man can’t even return his DVD on time no more.” I’m jabbing at them, but nothing too inflammatory.

The officers are talking amongst themselves, presumably trying to figure out how they botched this situation up. They’re also telling me to calm down, which of course only gets me more fired up. They’re the ones in the wrong, I have full right to be causing a ruckus, plus my ruckus was fairly tame all things considered. The crowd on the street formed because of their actions, not mine.

After some more back and forth I eventually raise my hands, one of which is holding the DVD, and declare, “I can't believe this is happening! This is ridiculous!!” I say it loud, but I’m quite certain that harsher, more threatening words have been used in similar scenarios. But apparently that’s not what the officer in charge thought, because upon hearing that he looked at me and then at the DVD case and said, “you’re threatening to assault a police officer.” He then tells one of his partners to cuff me and take me in.

In shocked disbelief, my hands are cuffed behind my back. My tone immediately changes from challenging to compliant. I apologize and say I got out of line. But the head guy is no longer listening. Still his order to take me in was so preposterous that a couple of his partners made an effort to verify that he genuinely wanted them to take me in. He did.

I was cuffed and taken to a minivan that was parked around the corner and down the block a bit. And that’s when this unfortunate misunderstanding evolved into an incredible educational experience ...

To Be Continued

Part 2

Part 3

Related Posts with Thumbnails