Zen Bastard (jimbojones) wrote,
Zen Bastard

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poverty saddens me.

One of the urban radio stations here in Columbia has a culturally interesting phenomenon known as the "World-Famous Afternoon Car-Phone Mega-Mix." It's basically a (usually fairly solid) half-hour urban/R&B mix, interspersed with callers in traffic going live to give their "shout-outs":

"Yo this is the 104.7 afternoon car-phone megamix, who is this?"
"Dis Shawty D, man."
"Yo Shawty, where you rollin' at?"
"I'm rollin' down Two Notch road."
"What you be rollin' in, Shawty?"
"I'm rollin' in a '91 Honda Accord."
"Kick ya shots."
"I like to give mah shot out to [list of varying lengths of people here]"
"A'ight Shawty, thank you for rollin' with a brother."
"Thanks for lettin' a brother roll."

... and on to the next caller. Aside from being culturally interesting, this is often a pretty amusing interplay - the degree of "ghetto fabulous" to which the callers ascribe varies WILDLY, and you get the occasional "thanks for lettin' a white boy roll" or - better yet - somebody attempting to call in from home or the office. Calling from the car is a MUST for the mega-mix, and if the disc jockey doesn't hear some road noise in the background, the hapless caller gets mocked severely and hung up on (and with no opportunity to deliver da shots).

The thing that saddens me is the deep need that people seem to have to declare precisely what make and model of vehicle they own - even down to the year that it was manufactured. It makes it seem even sadder when, all too often, the vehicle being described was "middle-class" at best when brand new, and is distinctly unimpressive from any sort of materialistic sense at its current age. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with driving a serviceable older car - nothing at ALL. What saddens me is the thought that, of all the things to possibly take pride in in their lives, people are picking something that is not only shallowly materialistic, but, well... isn't very impressive.

But fuck, what do you say about that? Not everybody can be rich - or even well-off. And everyone needs pride. The make, model, and year of your car just seems like an awfully unfortunate benchmark to judge the worth of your life with.

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