Monday, February 11, 2008

Grammy Boycott

I was supposed to write about Carrie Underwood today, part 2 of my Grammy Music Lyrics analysis. However, on general principles I am boycotting the column. At least for now.

The Grammys suck.

I didn't watch them. I never watch them. Leave it to the Grammys to make the Emmy and Oscar voters look in-touch. How can they have both a Record (which is just one song) and a Song of the year? C'mon!!!!! They just want to give away more Grammys. Let's face it: they're scared Kanye will say they don't like black people.

Just now someone on TV explained that Record of the year goes to the singer and producer, while Song of the year goes to the writer, which could be a different person. [Rolls eyes.]

Fine, whatever. But riddle me this: In the Jazz category they have:

Best Contemporary Jazz Album
Best Jazz Vocal Album
Best Jazz Instrumental Solo
Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
Best Latin Jazz Album

But even that doesn't compare to Gospel, which features:

Best Gospel Performance
Best Gospel Song (I guess it's not "performed"??)
Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album
Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album
Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album
Best Traditional Gospel Album
Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album

Are you kidding me?

I only turned it on twice, very briefly. The first time I heard Amy Winehouse butcher her song that I used to really like. Kaida told me that in London they are calling her "the defining voice of her generation." Oh please. In a world with Ashley Simpson AND Li'l Bow-Wow, How Dare They!

Her 15 Minutes have to be over soon, right?

The second time I flipped over, Stevie Wonder was wearing a long-sleeve leopard shirt with a bullet-proof vest.


Funny, but mean.

Anyway, in case I never write the column (remember the boycott?), my general premise was going to be that if you reversed the gender in "Before He Cheats," by Carrie Underwood, people would go ballistic. Actually, it was written for a man, but that's another story. The column was good, but I'm just too mad.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Primary Feelings

So, I voted yesterday. Long time readers might be surprised, seeing as how the Primaries do not afford me the opportunity to vote for myself. (I ran for president in 1996, 2000 and 2004.) To be honest, I am 90% sure I am not going to run for president this time around. Why? Oh, a combination of factors. One, I may have something else in mind a little later in the year. Perhaps just as importantly, most days I wake up and I do not even want to despotically rule you people.

It has been that kind of year.

However, regardless of what I eventually do, there was no reason not to vote in the Primary. In my area, it was held at an African Baptist Church. Even though the voting took place in the back, in what appeared to be a sort of fellowship hall and well away from the place where main services are held, I was somewhat surprised that the ACLU allows this to take place. It is not as if the government is endorsing the Church or a specific religion, but still. It made me wonder if voting takes place in mosques (I am sure it does), and if it were to take place in a mosque that the government might have their eye on, what might happen.

(I have to say: I am much happier to vote in a church than a school. I remember vividly the days of my youth in Oregon when voting would take place. What it meant for me was no P.E. indoors. One time we were supposed to do the parachute, always the most fun thing of the year, but voting knocked us out of our shot. Stupid Democracy!)

When I talked to Kaida later, she continually peppered me for who I voted for. I tried to gently tell her that was not a polite question in America—it would be akin to going up to a group of ladies and asking their weight—but she was undeterred. Kaida tried everything from her feminine wiles to even a fake call pretending she was conducting an exit poll.


Maybe other people openly discuss whom they vote for, and I am the one upside-down on this one. I do not know. What I do know is that when I was done using the electronic booth I handed my voter card to this old guy, who had a stack of them in his hand. I mused how easy it would be to rig the vote in one of these precincts. Then again, it would be perhaps even easier with paper ballots, and ultimately you have to trust the volunteers or the whole system does not work. (And I want to be clear that I am not accusing anyone. Those people work hard all day because they love America—at least I am hoping—and they should be commended.)

When I gave the guy my card, he handed me a sticker that read, “I’m a Georgia Voter.” Jokingly I replied, “What, no cookie and orange juice?” (Referring to what you get you give blood.)

Without missing a beat, the old guy says to me, “We considered it, but the feeling was that orange juice might be construed as a form of Health Care, which could be taken as an endorsement.”