Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Where's The Party At?

I added the video above for you to watch because there is a growing problem in America's nightclubs, and this video is NOT the problem. The video is from the 1984 movie "Beat Street", in which inner city youngsters do whatever they can to have a party. When the DJ gets power in the room, he immediately gets the crowd pumped up for a good time, saying "It's working!". Every time he calls out to the crowd, the crowd responds very enthusiastically. Everyone in the room wants to have a great time and dance. The effort to have a good time is well defined and everyone participates to reach that goal.

Flash forward to 2009. Pick a club. Any club in America. I can say with almost 90% certainty that you will find, on any given night, at any given club, a crowd of people that got dressed up and came to the club not to dance and have a good time, but to be seen by others and give off an "attitude". Who are we talking about? Who are these people ruining a perfectly good night of dancing? Well, I have a few suspects in mind to alert you to. Ready? Here we go:

1. The "Wanna be DJ" - This person has decided that since the moment they entered the club, they know what everyone else wants to hear. They approach the DJ while the floor is packed dancing to "Drop It Low" by Ester Dean to tell them that it's time to play "Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard instead...with a serious face too!

2. The "Ghost Dancer" - This person walks up to the DJ booth, tells the DJ that they need to play a song. No. They DEMAND that the DJ play that song. When the DJ plays the song for them? They decide to bounce up and down in their seat, singing the words like it's a damn karaoke night, without EVER setting foot on the dancefloor! (For the record, this person bothers me most because if they just wanted to hear the song, they should stay home and listen on their iPod or radio).

3. The "Parking Lot Pimp/Pimpette" - This person does nothing except show up to the club, wearing their best clothes...criticizing the work of the DJ, hitting on every person they see, and just basically takes up space. They don't need to dance. They want to stand up against the bar and let everybody know they are in da BUILDING! Their only real need is to wait to see who gets intoxicated beyond recognition so they can hit on them and hope they take that drunk person home (translation: desperatation.)

Now, you may know of others, but I'm writing this because DJ's all across America grow frustrated by crowds that show up, only to stand around and ruin the "party" process.

It used to be that a DJ/MC only had to ask a club crowd "Party people are you ready to rock? Let me hear you scream!" to get a positive reaction from a crowd. In 2009, I personally have resorted to telling crowds "Ugly people stay in your chairs!" or "I'm going to start calling bingo numbers to you if you don't get up and old are you?". Of course there's my favorite line to get folks to get up and dance..."We're going to start playing Country music!" That one ALWAYS lights a fire under the crowd.

The main point of this entire rant I'm spewing right now is that if you take the time to get dressed, find a designated driver, pay a cover (if you have to pay a cover), pay for drinks, drink those drinks, and put up with crowds, security, etc, shouldn't you also be there to PARTY AND HAVE A GOOD TIME?

Last time I checked, there was nothing shameful, embarrassing, or wrong with having a good time at a club. Do you know why? Because the purpose of a dance club is to! If you want to stand at the bar, act like you know the music better than the DJ, try to act like you are better than other folks in the club, or request songs and then not dance to them, do the rest of us a big favor, and KEEP YOUR SORRY ASS AT HOME! Thanks for reading...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Anyone ever wonder why it is that when the holidays roll around, we all seem to go out of our minds trying to make the holidays "perfect"? We need to get Junior the newest video game. We check the "Hot Holiday Top 10 Toys" to make sure we're not missing anything. The holidays are nothing more than the ultimate "keeping up with the Jones's".

I actually met someone a few years ago that purchased the Tickle Me Elmo doll that at the time was THE must have toy that holiday season. Problem? This person didn't have any kids and had no family members to give it to. Only when I asked them who was going to get it did they admit to me that they didn't know. I advised them to donate it to Toys For Tots. The point was that they only purchased that toy because it was a "must have". I suggested rehab, to no avail.

It's gotten worse this holiday season. "Pre-Black Friday" sales and "Black Friday BEFORE Black Friday" sales hit us this year. "Cyber Monday" was no better. My e-mail inbox was stuffed with offers from free shipping to 70% off everything. Sad.

I'm going to take a moment to tell you something. Don't put so much into Christmas that you lose the real meaning of Christmas. The economy has made it hard for a lot families to provide the kind of Christmas they'd like. As someone that is currently unemployed, I certainly can understand that. However, I've always made it a point to tell my children that Christmas has a MUCH bigger meaning than presents under a tree, even in years that I could get them whatever they want.

If you've ever listened to any number of my radio programs the last few years, you know I like to use the term "family" a lot. It's because I was always told that family is what's most important about the holidays. So I don't use the word "family" lightly. The holidays are a time for us to appreciate the people who love us and who we love.

Now...that being said, I have secured presents for my Wife and children this year. Tons of stuff? Nope. Can't afford tons. Very expensive stuff? Nope. Not the point.

My message is simple. When the presents get unwrapped...when you've taken the videos of those big smiles...when you've thrown away the wrapping paper...when your kids are playing with their toys and are in another room...don't worry about whether they like their presents. Look at your watch. It's 10am...and all of that crap you went through is over. Are you happy? If your child complained about what they didn't get, then maybe you should re-evaluate how YOU handle the holiday season.

Look, we all want to give our children everything they want for Christmas. And if you are able to do so, then good for you. I'm just saying that if you are unable to give your family the "Jones's" Christmas, don't be hard on yourself. Times are tough right now. Give your family the best Christmas that you can. Frankly, if that Christmas means sitting with family at the dinner table enjoying a meal together, then consider that a blessing. Everyone deserves a gift at Christmas time. My kids get toys and electronics, etc. I only ask that we share a big meal together so we can talk, laugh and enjoy each other as a family.

Believe me...if your kids understand that family is what Christmas is really about, then they will understand that when they grow up and (hopefully not) have to deal with the realization of how society has taken what should be a very personal holiday and commercialized and marketed it, they will be better off for it.

Besides, realizing the realities of Christmas will help you spend less and help you pay those bills off sooner in January, because guess what? Your utility bills won't wait for you to pay off that PS3 you had to get for Susie! LOL! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!