Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Where Was The Class?


Before I go on, let me just say for those who might get it twisted... What I write on this blog is just my opinion and, just as the description says underneath the title, you are getting "whatever is on my mind today". So, with that said, let me get right to it.

I purposely chose not to write a big blog post on the recent death of Michael Jackson. It was hurting me... I mean, I was really hurting. He has meant too much to me over the years for me to do him any justice (or injustice, depending on how you look at it) by writing a post on him. I figured that a number of bloggers and others would do that anyway and anything I wrote just might be redundant. By the time you read me, you probably would have read the same thing somewhere else.

Most of us grew up with the man in some form or another. I was fortunate enough to be 10 years old when he was 10 years old and just starting out. The first record I ever bought with my own money was "I Want You Back" by the Jackson Five. I used to go to the 5212 Restaurant on the corner of 52nd and Haverford Avenue and play the song on the jukebox so much that the cook gave me the money to go and buy the 45rpm (Remember those? If not, I don't want to hear about it!). I know... I'm really telling my age.

However, this post is not about Michael though. It's about the so-called "tribute" that BET put together and actually aired in his honor. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. New Edition came out overweight with hoarse (or "changed") voices and simply ruined a Jackson Five classic and the other acts were weak, at best.

I love Jamie Foxx... I really do... but, his coming out on stage in tight high-water pants and attempting to be funny at Michael Jackson's expense, just didn't do anything for me. I wanted to laugh but, enough people had clowned and mocked Michael when he was alive. I felt that as black people, we could have at least given him a break in death for one day.

Ne-Yo was the only artist who did Michael any justice. I did like the New Jack Swing part with Guy, BBD, and Keith Sweat. I also thought the tribute to the O'Jays by Johnny Gill, Tyrese, and Trey Songs was great and I thought the O'Jays were great too! Then, you had Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em... What was he singing? Then, you had Lil Wayne, Drake, all of those young girls dancing during their act, all of the cursing, and the 5-second delays that were hit and miss all night long. I just felt embarrassed and sad, that's all.

You know I sat in a movie theatre in the south when I was in boot camp and just cringed while watching "Gone With The Wind" (in 1984, no doubt) and Butterfly McQueen say, "Ah-ont know nothin' 'bout birfin' no babies!" I wanted to kill the white guy sitting next to me who laughed a little too long at her every time she was on the screen. Well, Sunday night, I wanted to grab a lot of those young black people who were portraying that same "coonery" on the television screen. I was just disappointed and embarrassed. I know I might be a minority with my opinion but, I miss the "class".

Michael Jackson (and his brothers) and all of the Motown acts, Philly International acts, Atlantic acts, and Stax acts all performed with class and precision. They didn't embarrass black people and they made us proud when we saw them on TV.

Even hip-hop icons like Tupac, Biggie, Rakim, LL, etc. put on great performances that made me proud when they were in their hey day. When they cursed, at least it was to make a point. Sometimes, it seems as if a lot of these performers today are just vulgar and ignorant just for the sake of it and just because they can be... but, that's not cool and nor is it good showmanship. It's just what it is...coonery! Where was the class? Where did it go?

If I'm by myself with this... if I sound like a crotchety old man and a hater... well, I guess that's just how I sound today. I don't window-dress myself and the older I get, the more I plan to let it all hang out. One of my ex-girlfriend's mother's once told me, "You ain't no good but, you don't try to hide it. What you see with you is what you get." And, she was right. I hope what I saw on BET is not all that we are going to get from our young entertainers. If so, that betrays all of the class and professionalism that Michael Jackson was all about!

31 comments:

SLC said...

I know I might be a minority with my opinion but, I miss the "class".

I have joined you in the minority.

Adrienne said...

I too have joined you. BET FAILED MISERABLY.

Eliss said...

You said everything I wanted to say. I haven't watched the BET awards show in a long time (due to it's dwindling taste), but I watched it this time due to the dedications to Michael Jackson. It was hard for me to watch because in the back of my mind I'm thinking,"The rest of America is going to see this crap too." This is how we're seen in large masses...and it's pure coonery.

I especially hated the fact that the little girls on stage were dacing to Lil' Wayne and Drakes "I wish I could f*ck every girl in the world."

BET is dead in my eyes.

CareyCarey said...

What's up Keith,

You know where am at on this one. We say it's BET's fault but it's deeper than that. There's some foolish shot callers that's really responsible for the mess that viacom consents to air at that ho-ish house. They are no better than rapists or murderers. What pervets would allow young girls to prance around to lyrics that I heard (didn't watch) were lowball.
I've heard the common argument that a person doesn't have to watch and it's only entertainment. But I say that's BS. I say that's just like a man that lures kids to his van with candy and jiggles and then throws thme in the back and locks the door.

I don't know if you play lotto or pick 3 but there's a betting method called straight-box ...3 numbers in any order. Well, BET = EBT = food stamps = Electronic Brother Transfer. It's not Black entertainment, it's black on black crime. It's the Pigeon Drop. It's 3 Card Molly.

BET exec's should be on the 10 most wanted list.

Rich Fitzgerald said...

I can argue that the recent BET Awards show was the WORSE I've ever seen and to think they wanted to honor Michael with THAT show. They DISHONORED Michael with that lousy show if you ask me. They shouldn't even be allowed to get a do-over after that one. TV-One or some other network needs to take the appropriate amount of time needed to put on a show fitting of Michael's legacy and contribution to the music industry.

BET would have been better off doing a slide memorial and going on with the show they had planned originally.

Mizrepresent said...

No Keith, you are definitely on point, and alot of people, in fact most would agree with you. I don't know who was running the show, but obviously Debra Lee did not pay enough attention to what was about to take place, the Lil Wayne/Drake bit was tasteless and demeaning and all that cussing and missed bleeping was sickening...oh well, no more complaints from me...it's over.

Thoughts of a Southern gal said...

I totally agree with you. I sat through most of it shaking my head. I'm still mad at Lil Wayne and Drake for having those lil girls up on stage with them. That was disguisting. Then the girls were singing along to the lyrics.

BET really dropped the ball on this one. Everyone was looking at them to see what they would do to honor MJ. They FAILED. I read this the day after the show: "I wished BET would have died instead of MJ so MJ could honor them".

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

he will be missed

Rita said...

You spoke the truth Keith!

Angel said...

Ok well I wont feel like I missed out by not watching it!

You speak the truth no matter how old you are, todays artists stink.

T said...

Let me join the chorus. I agree with Eliss. The coonery was just embarrassing. I don't watch BET because they have nothing of value to offer and their B definitely does not represent me. The little girl on stage while they were singing that disgusting song, all the cursing, T-pain bringing his Nouveau and his red plastic cup on stage....Man! This was suppose to be in honor of the greatest entertainer of our generation? Really?

I'm glad Ne-yo, Tyrese, Johnny Gil, Trey Songz, and Maxwell were there. At least something was half way decent.

BET has got to do better!

Toni said...

I stand behind you Keith,That was just horrible Sunday night!

Angie B. said...

They should have let the awards show go as planned and done a tribute to him at a later date.

Sunflower said...

Keith,I'm in that minority with you, that was atrocious!

Lisa said...

Black Embarrasment Television strikes again!

Halo said...

Keith,you speak for me and a lot of people..that was the worse.

Vanessa said...

All those rappers saying they were inspired by MJ...Yeah right? How??

Cheryl said...

I didn't watch it for that reason..I knew it was going to be some hot ghetto mess!

Brenda said...

I hear you Keith..I miss the class too!

James Perkins said...

Lol @ Carey Carey....but he's right you know..

Simon Bastion said...

I miss the class acts too!

Sean said...

As long as people watch and patronize this kind of buffonery and coonery...BET will continue to program this kind of fare. Gotta give the people what they want!

Captain Jack said...

I watched a little of that show and thought to myself that Micheal must be spinning in his grave.

Tate2 said...

Tell em why you mad Keith,tell em why you mad!! lolololol.

Swaggie said...

I'm glad you wrote this Keith..Cause I thought this was over the top...I thought I was by myself.

Jazzy said...

This is exactly why I don't watch anything on BET or MTV and VH1 for that matter,it's all crappy TV.

Grover Tha Playboy said...

Missed the awards..Perhaps I can catch a re-broadcast and see what it seems as though I didn't miss.

A Free Spirit Butterfly said...

I was very disappointed. Several things stuck out like a sore thumb but just to mention a few.... Jaimie making mention of his private part, talking about having sex during an HIV commercial and Bobby Brown still being the same old ghetto boy by stick his tongue out like a lizard during the New Edition tribute. He takes his 15 minutes of fame wherever he can get it!

Love ya
China

bikebali said...

It’s so nice site. We love to see more on this site. Keep on updating… MonkAreRee Bali ***

LadyLee said...

BET is dead.

I only haphazardly watched it because I thought there would be a tribute to MJ. Big mistake.

I watched about 1 hour of it off and on. A Law and Order marathon was on. Better entertainment.

Plus Florence Ballard was the subject of Unsung on TVone. No way I'd miss that for ignorant BET awards!

CurvyGurl ♥ said...

Don't get me started on this one. I need to update the post I wrote about it. The viewing audience was way larger than expected.




KEEPING THE FAITH: RANDOM PRAYERS "ON THE DOWNLOAD"
























































"Mommy, can I go to Timmy's blog and play?"



































Click on image to enlarge for reading






Click on image to enlarge for reading



Click on image to enlarge for reading