Andy Rooney was an influence (as trite as that sounds)

I don’t have a lot to say about Andy Rooney. This isn’t going to sound like one of those hilarious Tim Kurkjian monologues where he exhausts the catalog on somebody’s career and then tries to put them in their proper historical place.

But I did want to say this:

There are not many television personas or even “things in general” that had existed my entire life. That list is like four things long. It’s Andy Rooney, Big League Chew, Sesame Street and Monday Night Football. I cannot remember a time when he was not on TV (mostly because that time predates my lifetime). My family watched 60 Minutes quite a bit, and I was often watching because it came on right after the late football game. Even at 10 and 11 years old, I liked Andy. I liked how he would talk about societal minutia. I liked how he was always complaining about how the world was changing, and he was able to communicate that sentiment to someone to young to have ever experienced that sensation himself.

I had never thought about this before Andy died, but he has to have been part of the reason I ended up wanting to become whatever it is I have become. Andy Rooney, Rick Reilly and Bill Nye the Science Guy were my introduction to social commentary.

It is probably something other than a coincidence that the vast majority of the content of this blog is of no real societal import whatsoever.


DJ Jazzy Jeff vs. Power & Light

To the shock of everyone within sniffing distance of Kansas City, the Power & Light district has managed to make a fool of itself once  more.

It’s like Ron Prince and Donald Rumsfeld got together and decided to create a downtown hangout district, then hired Andy Rooney to run it. It’s just one mismanaged night after another down there.

Whats with all this hippy hop music, anyway?

"What's with all this hipping and hopping these days, anyhow?"

The latest is a spat with DJ Jazzy Jeff, widely known as the guy who used to hang out with Will Smith in the 90s, but known to himself as “a 25-year legend.”

Parents just dont understand.

Parents just don't understand.

The facts: Jazzy Jeff’s show at the P&L was cut short.

Jazzy Jeff’s explanation: The P&L management didn’t like the music he was playing (hip hop), and booted him off stage.

P&L’s explanation: He was playing the music so loud, he was about to blow the speakers. He declined to turn it down. Show over.

The general reaction:

Of course, that’s going to be the reaction to anything that happens involving a black person at the P&L, because the P&L used to have a blatantly discriminatory dress code that disallowed, among other things, baggy pants, jerseys and oversized jewelry, which is code for “black people clothing.”*

*My opinions on this are complex, but let’s get a couple of points out of the way. It is impossible to be “racist” toward clothing, since we are born unclothed. I doubt the dress code policy had anything to do with race. I think it had to do with people who wear baggy jeans, jerseys and oversized jewelry.

Granted, those tend to be black people, but as you may have noticed, an awful lot of white people dress this way, as well as Hispanics and (rarely) Asians. What unifies these baggy-pants-and-jewelry-people is not their race, it is something else, and that something is what the P&L didn’t want.

But with that context, you can see why this Jazzy Jeff show — a show, by the way, that nobody even seemed to care about. One guy who was there told the KC Star that some people “booed briefly, but otherwise the incident was uneventful.” — has turned into a controversy, even though it’s obvious that DJ Jazzy Jeff is an idiot. He expects us to believe that a hip hop artist was hired to do a show, and then booted from the stage for playing hip hop. Clearly, these P&L people aren’t PR geniuses, but, as The Star’s Mike Hendricks wrote, “Nobody is that stupid.”

But here’s the question I haven’t seen asked yet: Why is the P&L trying to host concerts with equipment that can’t handle concerts? It has reportedly (and without incident) asked other acts to turn down the sound, which means this is a regular problem, which means it’s just a matter of time before someone blows these inferior speakers.

How about this P&L, how about you buy some speakers suited for concerts, then start booking concerts.