Thursday, April 22, 2004

by Salvador Gabor

"Im a pimp". "Im a pimp by blood......". My car is "pimped out". Im out here "Pimpin these hoes". Oh yeah playboy? You's a "pimp" huh? "Pimp", "Pimpin" and "Pimped out" are some of the most coonified words (yes coonified is a word, I made it up so it's a word). People beat these words into the ground. Everybody is a "pimp", but nobody wants to be a "ho". I thought about the word "Pimp" and I want to talk about what it means and maybe some of these so-called "pimps" might just turn out to be "hoes".

When you look at the idea of a "pimp" or the idealogy of "pimpin" it deals with a simple concept. There is a product, gift and/or talent that has not been tapped into. This product. gift and/or talent may not even been known. You may not know that it lies within you. Yet, someone else sees your product, gift and/or talent. That person is your "pimp". That "pimp" may not be able to do what you do when it comes to that product, gift and/or talent but, he or she provides the avenue for you to begin to make a profit from it.

"Pimps" come in all sizes, shapes and colors. Selling sex is just a small portion of true "pimpin". Sports Agents, Temp Agencies, Bankers, Lawyers, the government and many other professions and industry use "pimp" tactics.

Sports Agents and managers tell you what your schedule should be. They negotiate your contract and often times they see your talent before you do. You just go out and shoot ball. But it's you shooting that ball that makes him money. You can easily handle your own schedule, but can he dunk from the dotted lines? You can easily read your own contract and consult an agent on a hourly basis but can he take a point guard off the dribble and penetrate to the hole for the score?

Temp Agencies are some of the biggest, most gorilla pimps in Corporate America. Who do you know that finds a job for you and takes half of your check EVERY pay period? I've found a few dudes job placement in the past, the most I got was a thank you and a strong dap. But temp agencies need that 50%. I worked for a temp agency once. The temp agency grossed $1,000/week and I came home with about $400. Now I figured it out. At the time, I was getting about $100 per week taken out for the little bit of insurance and taxes I had as a temporary worker. So the agency taxed from the $1000 as a whole. That left "us" with $900. These "pimps" didnt even give me $450! They took half of the base amount, which is $500 and slid me the remaining $400. It's sick, aint it man!

The Banking systems is "pimpin" in a real kinda way. Now check this out. I ask hold my money..........and when I want it........I gotta come to you...........but if I dont come by 5:00 P.M...............I gotta stand outside your house and put my card in the mailbox and hope that nobody robs me while I'm outside your house? Sense? It makes none to me. Dont get me wrong, I have a bank account. But, I dont understand how in this world, I HAVE to have a bank account to get any possessions. You have to have credit cards and bank accounts. BUT, with my bank account, these clowns charge me for using MY money. The game is vicious. So just to break it down so far...........I HAVE to have a bank account and I have to pay charges for them holding my money. Now check this out...........for those who dont know, the bank doesnt put your money in a safe and write "Silas Grant" on the front of the box. They take ALL of the money, pile it together and hope we all never come in at the same time to withdraw. So your money is NOT there all the time. While we let our money sit, the banks re-invest it and make interest off of it. That is why we gain interest when we open savings accounts. But the profit that they get from the re-investment is HUGE. Now they take chances and risks with thousands of our dollars, but when we take a chance and overdraw by two or three dollars, they charge us $30-60. But ITS MY MONEY. Why can't I owe you a dollar or two for a day or so? It's "pimpin" at its finest.

I have friends who are pursuing the Law field. Because of this I have a better appreciation for lawyers. But, let's be real. I caught the charge, let me talk to the judge. Forget law books and rules, because when it's all said and done, those laws and books are thrown out half of the time anyway! Law depends on the dude on trial. If the judge chooses to implement the appropriate punishment, he can. It's really in the hands of the jury and the judge. I feel as though, Im a pretty likeable person. I can "holla" at the judge. I should be able to go see him in his quarters, "dimes" or "nickels" if I want to. But I gotta pay this dumb dude next to me $200/hr to do the same thing that I can do. And then they got court appointed lawyers. These guys must have went to the Harlem Law School for repeat-petty act criminals. I'd rather have a judge "appoint" me to a cell before I get a court appointed lawyer. These fools know less about the cases than I do. We're both just standing there........shrugging our shoulders. I can talk and represent for my own self!

The government is wild too. They make you pay taxes but you cant tell them where your tax money can go. If I owe $823.57, then I should be able to assign my $823.57 to where I want it to go. I dont want a new Baseball stadium in D.C. I'd rather my money go to a pay increase for teachers. But I'm paying my taxes so ANOTHER sorry D.C. team can come here. Lemme just vent for a second............THESE CLOWNS in D.C. are begging for the MONTREAL EXPOS to come here????????? They are the worst team. Yet, my $823.57 is funding it. And then let's not talk about the war. I can't shoot who I want to shoot. I can't even have a gun. But, when the government has beef, they can shoot.........better yet they can draft ME to shoot. So when I was beefin' wit "Lil Boogie" and em down the street, the guns was a problem. Now, you want me to kill Akbar and it's alright?

Just understand one thing. The biggest "pimps" dont wear purple suits and stand on stage with rappers. And the biggest "Hoes" dont wear see-thru dresses either. If you want to know what a real "hoe" wears, you may not have to look far.

Ladies and Gentlemen......back in January when we started this spot, I promised that we would have another writer along with Me, Reggie, Gartrelle and Lonnie. His name is "The Counseler" or you can call him Martel. It took him 4 1/2 months to get an article posted. Let's hope it doesn't take another 4 1/2 for the next one.

“Miss You, Miss You, Miss You, Miss You, Miss You”-Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes
By Martel S. Cunningham, Ph.D.

We all know how it feels to lose something of value – IT SUCKS. Whether it be something irreplaceable – like a close friend or loved one, something that took a lot of money or effort to produce - like the paper that kept u up all night to type, and was lost right near the end when the power flashed, or something relatively simple like a wallet or a fare card in the backseat of your buddies’ car. Whatever the case may be, losing something that is important is never fun. In some extreme cases it can even be accompanied by acute feelings of grief and heartache.

Many times losses are unpreventable, and they almost never come at a good time. However there are those rare occasions where we actually make a loss worse by failing to take a single action that could very easily make the situation better. Recently I’ve been working with a newlywed couple that that was on the brink of divorce. The problem began when they lost the remote control to their bedroom television. This may seem strange but this couple’s ENTIRE lives were programmed around the tube. The husband found himself frequently late for work as he didn’t have the remote to grab for in the morning when the alarm clock went off. And the wife stopped spending as much time in the bedroom because the husband refused to change the channel from ESPN. Even their sex life was interrupted. Look, I don’t care who you are and how much you love thongs, but watching The Ultimate Sumo Wrestling Championship on pay-per-view until the “after-hours” movies come on is a sure-fire way to take the Spice out of any pre-sexual activities. Fortunately, I convinced the husband to break down and buy that All-4-One remote, and I haven’t heard from them since.

In any event, going through a loss if tough if and if you are not prepared or not able to adjust it just might overwhelm. In her book On and Death and Dying, Elizabeth K├╝bler-Ross offers 5 stages that can be helpful fore those who experience a great loss in their life. The quicker you are able to get through these stages the better you will be able to cope with the loss. Using the “lost farecard" scenario from earlier here is my adapted version of her stages:

denial – self explanatory; “HOLD-UP I KNOW I aint loose my fare card. Naw its gotta be right in my back pocket…..

anger – getting mad and blaming somebody else; “(sucks teeth) That nigga Darnell always be rollin out after he drop me off, he know I’m twisted right now! Niggas don’t wait after they drop you off no more. MAN its cold out here! Wait till I see that nigga again I’m gonna fu….”

bargaining - the last “ditch-effort” to overcome the loss; “(spinning around) Aight, I thought I put in my back pocket but maybe I missed and it slipped in between my belt and got stuck on a loop….”

depression - The full impact sets in; (sobs) Man I’m gonna have to bum $2.15 from somebody and it aint NO big girls out here. Why I had to come waaay out here neway? I know these whitees aint gonna help me either. At least if I was in the city I might see somebody I know”

acceptance - come to grips with the loss and makes preparation for it; “’xcuse me can I borrow a…, ‘xcuse me sir ‘xcuse ma’am can I borrow a…. Man my girl gonna be pissed when she come and get me. Well at least I’m still drunk (shrugging shoulders)”

Hopefully these stages will help you or someone you know if they are grieving over some type of loss
**Remember ** Life is a journey and along the way you’re going lose some things as well as find some things before you reach your final destination. Sometimes what you find will easily replace what you lost, and you will be better for it. Other times what you lose will leave huge void in your life forever and you will never be the same. But always remember whatever you lose or find.............without your farecard your journey will never begin.

Signing off until next time - yours truly,
- Martel S. Cunningham, Ph.D.