First of all, what about New Jersey poet laureate Amiri Baraka getting all the heat for his poem he wrote last year about the World Trade Center attacks, Somebody Blew Up America? The governor of the Garden State is trying to find authorization to fire him because of the criticism the laureate has gotten for being anti-Semitic. I say, forget that, and fire him because he can t write. Here s the passage the New York Times News Service offered as an example:
Who knew the World Trade Center was gonna get bombed
Who told 4,000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers
To stay home that day
Why did Sharon stay away?
See? Could be interpreted as anti-Semitic to me, but that doesn t mean you have to be crappy poet. was gonna get bombed ? My, that took some deep thought. And why would Sharon have been there anyway? Don t you think he s busy enough with his own business to randomly be at the WTC? Oh, well. Only time will tell. We each have to be a good listener. And would someone mention two words to George W. Bush: Hair Conditioner? (Now that s poetry!) Has anyone noticed that it looks like a scruffy hedge of some sort is growing on his Chia head? Maybe it s just the broom he flies around on. Or, while he already has the demeanor of one with a permanent burning rectal itch, perhaps he is trying to look like a porcupine for security reasons. Or maybe some of that Texas tumblin tumbleweed landed on his head and no one has told him. Whatever the case, I don t think someone with that many split ends needs to trying to rule the world. But I am practicing an ancient Eastern philosophy of compassion, so I won t say anything else about him. So, on to bigger and better things. On the heels of this paper s Best of Memphis poll, it has come to mind that one tiny thing got left out: Best Little Known Fact About Memphis. And while I tip my hat to Memphis magazine s Vance Lauderdale for being the absolute expert at this, I would submit that one of the best little-known facts about the Bluff City is that Hugh Beaumont graduated from high school here. Yes, the Father of the Beaver got his high school diploma right here at Southside High School. When I found this out I entered his name into a search engine on the Net to get more information, which leads me to the next strange part of this: What do Ward Cleaver and Mr. T have in common? Well, the engine sent me to a site called peoplejustlikeus.org, which lists and offers information on famous Christians actors, writers, and singers. While there was not any information on Beaumont (who was indeed an ordained minister), there was plenty on Mr. T. Seems he was born into a very poor family on the south ghetto side of Chicago. His father left when he was five, leaving his mother to support him and his four sisters and seven brothers on $87 a month. Safe to say the Cleavers had it better off. He daydreamed all day in school growing up but stayed out of trouble for the most part, except for a period between 5th and 7th grade when he played hooky, cursed, acted tough, and was disrespectful. This would come into play years later when he was a role model on Diff rent Strokes and, when Gary Coleman s character Arnold found out that his girlfriend was seeing him only to get closer to Mr. T, he changed his hair to look like T s, which is the style of a Mandinka warrior. Don t recall the Beaver ever doing something like that. But Mr. T straightened little Arnold out. But Mr. T s career had its ups and downs. Between the military and his screen career, he worked as a bouncer at a club in Chicago called Dingbat s. That s when he changed his name from Laurence Tero to Mr. T, so people would have to call him Mr. Anyway, he got rich and started wearing $300,000 worth of gold jewelry and got cancer in 1995 and went broke and then made somewhat of a comeback and never had to bounce folks out of Dingbat s again. SO, what does all of this mean? Absolutely nothing. The state the Buddha always strove for. To think and feel nothing. It ain t a bad way to be. So I will stop and here s a brief look at what s going on around town this week. Tonight, Rob Jungklas is at The Hi-Tone, and there s a Planned Parenthood Benefit featuring Half Acre Gunroom at Young Avenue Deli.