Monday, July 21, 2008

Chauncey DeVega says: All the News that is Fit to Print? How the New York Times Helped Us Learn About a Pimp's Reading Habits

So it seems the New York Times has found some space to share the compelling story of Mr. Corey Davis aka "Magnificent," a local pimp in the New York area, and the exciting reading materials he had in his possession at the time of arrest.

Magnificent favored books included:

1. Black Wall Street
2. The Willie Lynch Letter
3. The 48 Laws of Power
4. Whore-Whoever said Whoring wasn't Easy

The other items of interest were some tacky "Afrocentric" art, special boots for "stomping" his prostitutes (he was a gorilla pimp it seems--in my worldliness I have come to know the nuances of pimp slang), and a special t-shirt that he wore during his "disciplinary" sessions which was emblazoned with the slogan "The Beatings Will Continue." Most interestingly, Magnificent also had in his possession a NAACP New York Volunteer business card. Again, as I am so fond of saying, sometimes you can't make this stuff up.

I smiled when I read this story because 1) I can imagine the writer of this "news" item smiling while playing with her metaphorical upturned mustache as she provided a little bit of voyeuristic pleasure for the readers of the New York Times; and 2) she probably delighted in pulling aside the veil and exposing for the world the exciting details of another black ign't's degenerate lifestyle.

These types of stories are heir to a great tradition of ghetto muckraking (I do hope that Editor and Publisher does a feature on this phenomenon so I can be appropriately cited for this turn of phrase) by the mainstream media--a tradition which has included stories on laws against sagging pants, features on the many criminals foiled because their pants fell down while said hoodlums were trying to escape (or here where the knucklehead was actually shot by the police), crazy, fat, black pre-teen degenerates who steal and destroy their grandma's car in a live action reenactment of Grand Theft Auto 4...and who are now in custody for beating up relatives over chicken wings:

And of course, one cannot forget the moral panic which surrounds the juking parties that are apparently all the rage at our local high schools.

But, the Time's piece does beg the question: What should a pimp read? No, seriously, what books would make him or her better in the pursuit of their life vocation?

My reading suggestions, and I will gladly add yours to the list as well, would certainly include:

1. Pimp by Iceberg Slim--THE pimp manual;
2. Freakonomics--there is no problem yet conceived which this book cannot be an aid in solving
3. The Tao of Pooh--a pimp needs balance in his or her life;
4. The DSM IV--the diagnostic manual for therapists and mental health professionals;
5. Man Sharing: Dilemma of Choice, a Radical New Way of Relating to the Men in Your Life--one needs a meta-narrative to help your "employees" understand and feel invested in the pimp-ho relationship;
6. Behind Every Strong Black Woman, There Is A Bastard Black Man: Love Sex? Randy? Punany Could be a Dangerous Ballgame!--I just liked the title;
7. The Blackwoman's Guide to Understanding the Blackman by Shaharazad Ali--frankly, if he had Willie Lynch I am really surprised that Ali's book didn't turn up as well;
8. How to Win Friends and Influence People--obvious and practical;
9. Black Players: The Secret World of Pimps--actually written by 2 white swingers in the 1970s.

The other fact of this case which caused me some confusion and consternation, was how disheveled and low rent Mr. Davis looked in his arrest photo. I know going to the lockup does wonders for one's appearance, but his slovenly way speaks volumes about the state of the game.

In the golden days, that bygone era of macking, a pimp had to come correct. Consider some of the 1970s role models:

I always wanted that suit, but my mom wouldn't let me buy it at the Good Will.


Curtis Mayfield we miss you.

Perhaps our present economic downturn has had a negative impact on the sex economy? In perusing Youtube and the Internet it seems that the self-regulating standards among pimps have certainly gone down.

Raggedy pimping in action:

A Mack who is true to the game--Now let me pimp or let me die!

Archbishop Don Magic Juan where you at?

Mr. Fillmore Slim, the wisest mack of them all, we are desperately in need of your wisdom:

Okay I couldn't resist.

It seems that the latest trend in the game is "internet pimping." Apparently, it isn't too hard to find damaged, vulnerable, and stupid folk and proceed to pimp them online. MySpace is great isn't it?

I don't admire pimps, but I do find them interesting. As part of my life mantra, I sincerely try to take knowledge gleamed from whatever sources I may come upon, and put it to good use. For example, one of my favorite life lessons came from Ice-T, when he explained how all of us, each and everyone one of us, as long as we are working for someone else in any capacity at all, is really a ho and would gain great peace through an acknowledgment of that uncomfortable fact:

Speaking truth to power again Mr. Ice-T as you effortlessly channel Karl Marx--and adding insult to injury your bed mate is that white queen Coco--some guys have all the luck it seems. Although that young ign't Souljah boy mocked Ice-T as an "old man," the brother is really onto something in his analysis of the relationship between globalization, labor and Capital. While the New York Times wants to focus on raggedy pimps, they should really use their esteemed platform to focus on the abuse we are all suffering at the goon hands of the biggest macks of them all, a rogues gallery which would include such pimps as:

1. The credit card industry

2. Dick Cheney and his war profiteering

3. Disaster Capitalism, which we are all, not just the 3rd world, victimized by:

4. Bush and the Bin Laden's--yes, I went there because these folks with their lock on most of the world's consciousness are running a serious game on everyone:

5. Crooked home mortgage companies:

6. The "Defense Industry"--several trillion dollars in the last few years alone, now that is a hard working pimp:

7. Prosperity, mega church leading black preachers:

We need to fight back against these most heinous of macks. We respectable negroes need to pimp slap the pimps:

And we should steadily work towards a return to a kinder, gentler time when Gary Coleman was the only pimp we really had to worry about:

Never forget: it is always Pimps Up! Ho's Down!