Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I Pity Da' Fool, Who Don’t Know Mr. T! AND Could It Be More Obvious That OJ Did It??


Most of you who have been reading my blog awhile know that I teach an advanced drawing class to High School kids, 15-17, once a week at an ‘Arts’ school. I’ve been doing this for over 3 years now and nearly every week I go through some type of inner battle - I either loving teaching, or hate it. In the end, at least most of the time, I convince myself it’s "in the trenches" experience with today’s youth (or as Tony Danza would say ‘yout’) – listening and talking with them is a real eye-opener preparing me for when my daughter gets older. And also learning new things about their view of the world as I work full-time in the entertainment industry creating stuff for them and their younger siblings. Oh and sometimes I even get some really talented kid, extremely motivated, who moves on to some ivy league of Art Schools (not the kind that only require you to draw a Pirate or Turtle and show up with a fat check.)

So recently while the kids were doing portraits of each other; I was critiquing art and said something like “I pity the fool!”. All of the kids looked at me like I was on crack, not for making odd comments (I do that all the time) but the blank looks told me they didn’t know who I was referencing. When I said, “don’t you guys know who Mr. T is? You know big black dude, "B.A.", with gold chains, Mohawk, jean vest….’The T’??…(silence).... He fought Rocky!?” – they all gave me blank stares. A minute went by and one of the kids raised his hand – “Is he a rapper?”

It then dawned on me that moment that I’m old. Really old, and I’m not even 35 yet. So old that these kids probably don’t even get any reference to “George Glass”, “What Chou Talkin’ bout”, “Whoa!” or possibly even “Screech”. I remember teachers growing up making references to old shows like “Kojack”, and "Rhoda", sure they were “old people” shows like “Murder She Wrote”, but I at least I heard of them.
These kids haven’t and when you think about it, on average they were born around 1991 (I still have clothes in my closet from 1991!)

But instead of getting ‘all-weird’ about it, I’m looking at this from a different point of view - I’m still making my 80’s references because I don’t care. These kids can go home and ask their aging parents. Or they can look it up in the Dictionary or Encyclopedia Britannica.

Freakin' A!!! Could It Be More Obvious That OJ Did It??

Have you heard about this? O.J. Simpson is doing that interview talking about “how he would have committed” the murders of Nicole and her friend. This has to be the sickest thing I’ve heard in a long time; I literally became angry when I read this. I can’t even believe this guy has the nerve or Fox for even considering this! If I were the family of Nicole or Goldman I seriously would be making O.J.’s life hell – nobody would be living a life of luxury if this happened to my family.
I remember being a juror at the downtown L.A. criminal courthouse in 1998 (a murder trial, where a black woman murderer her 3 year old son) and the defense attorney had the audacity to tell us jurors that we should “remember that the L.A.P.D. has a history of fabricating evidence against colored people” and then made a lot of references to O.J.’s case (duh, diversion from the murder?). I was literally disgusted! And I wasn’t the only one, two older black women in the jury room were horrified saying, “she was trying to pull a Johnny Cochran” and thought the defense attorney should be sent to prison, or live with O.J.

27 comments:

MetroDad said...

I know what you mean, Tony. I sometimes bust out lines from "Welcome Back, Kotter" and even my wife (who is only 4 years younger) looks at me like I'm crazy.

radioactive girl said...

I had the same thought that I am geting old last night while I was watching The Bachelor and Dr. 90210 (yeah, don't ask...long day, I needed some garbage tv). I kept going on and on about how "those kids" were way too young to be having plastic surgery, and then I was mad that the girls on the bachelor were just being so pathetic, all "choose me, choose me" for the one (kinda dorky) guy. My husband looked at me funny and then it hit me. I sound like an old lady! I'm only 31!

Rob Barron said...

As long as you laugh at the comment, that's all that matters.

cryitout said...

You know all those studies asking kids about the location of Iraq or who the vice president is? They always make me feel sad, because something like 89 percent of the kids can't answer correctly. But for some reason, this makes me even sadder. B.A. Baracas -- you complete me.

Jonathon said...

Dude, I'm in my early 20s and I know who Mr. T is. He's the most lovable ironic pop-culture icon ever!

Plus, doesn't he have a self-help reality show out right now? He gives out Mr. T style advice and people shape up?

I don't have cable, so maybe I'm crazy. There's no way to verify either.

metro mama said...

I'm old too. This happens in one of the classes I'm taking all the time. The prof makes an 80s pop culture reference and everyone looks blankly--except me.

chanchow said...

I've had a Mr. T moment, too! My husband and I (both in our early 30s) were talking to his 18 year old brother. Can't remember exactly what we were saying, but yadda yadda yadda, "in da house." Little brother was perplexed. "What do you mean in the house? like inside?"

kittenpie said...

Oh, yes, that whole "hypothetically" thing is totally pissing me off too. Right, and you have a friend who played football once... They should be able to consider this new evidence and re-charge him for it.

And yeah, we are getting to the age we used to consider old, aren't we? How scary. Of course, having grown up withoutTV, I didn't get a lot of those references either... Isa that even worse?

Rebecca said...

I'm so old, I must be an antique.
Oh well....As for OJ, that is some seriously sick sh*t. I refuse to watch it.

chanchow said...

As if OJ couldn't become more repugnant. I just saw an article that said the interview is being done in connection with a book OJ is writing. Working title: If I Did It, Here's How It Happened.

creative-Type Dad (Tony) said...

chanchow - I guess he ran out of money for the county club dues.

Ruth Dynamite said...

Yo teach, you can keep it real for the yout by learnin' em about Mork ("Nanoo nanoo") and beyond, aaaight?

As for OJ...he will suffer the same fate as Macbeth; the guilt will make him crazy (but clearly, it already has). It's sickening.

Em said...

Goes without saying they wouldn't know The Fonz huh! And should I make Barney Fife references???

Our kids need a little more Aunt Bea and a lot less OJ!

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

Laughing out loud here - my husband was trying to explain Mr T and the A team to our 8 and 2x4-year-olds on the weekend.

It was not a success.

(OJ?-- can't speak -- bit of sick in the back of my throat...)

Pattie said...

Wow...I feel really old now. I graduated college in 1991 for God sake!

Oh, and you mean OJ is guilty? Noooooooo... You know I saw that headline on MSNBC but I thought it was some kind of joke. He should just admit it already.

Waya said...

Hey Mulder! You just love the 80's dude! And yes, now you make me feel really really OLD!!

As for that freaking guilty as sin OJ! He'll have to answer the BIG MAN soon enough. Do you remember the movie Ghost with Demi Moore? Remember when the bad guys die and these black shadows came from the ground to take them away...well, that's what going to happen to him. And I'm so sick of all these Black people using the race card for EVERY freaking thing! They will too have to answer to the MAN soon enough! Sick sick sick of hearing of that!

sunshine scribe said...

I am feeling so old this week too. I recently hired a new woman in my department who is fresh out of school. Yesterday she asked me what it was like in the 80s. Thanks.

Iris/Rissy said...

Funny story. An old friend of mine is the manager at fueling station. About 10 years ago, when he was in his early 30s, he was invited out with some of the younger guys from his shop to a party. Trying to be friendly, he went along. The next day we were visiting and I asked him how the party was. He said, "Remember when we would have a party and there was always that one old guy that showed up? I was him"

creative-Type Dad (Tony) said...

sunshine scribe -- asked you what it was like in the 80s?? How funny!

Did you tell her cars and TV's weren't invented yet?

dennis said...

My wife throws shows, catch-phrases at me all the time from shows from the 80s. Unfortunately she grew up in RPI and not the USofA.

While these were American shows, and big in the Philippines, I do not remember them!

Kristen said...

Okay, wait. KIDS in your class don't know who Mr. T is?

Holy hell. Yeah, we've turned into our parents. Whoah.

InterstellarLass said...

Uh, yeah. I've kinda had this experience. Except I think I was about 27 when it happened to me. I was 'managing' some teen volunteers at an arts festival. A banjo band started playing the theme to the TV show 'Dallas'. I said something about it being the 'Dallas' theme. One girl actually said Cities have theme songs?. I said "No, it's from the TV show." There was a TV show about Dallas? "Yeah. JR Ewing? Bobby? Sue Ellen? Miss Ellie? Ewing Oil? Southfork Ranch?"

Nothing.

Only one of the most popular shows in television history, and these girls had never heard of it!

I however, am educating my children in the virtues of classic television and music.

creative-Type Dad (Tony) said...

InterstellarLass - I totally want to hear a Banjo version of Dallas. That's pretty cool

T. said...

I loved the A-team. I used to walk around with all my mom's jewelery around my neck so that I could grow up to be just like Mr. T.

I am, after all, T.

Kids these days don't know what they are missing. Now I have to go and find my cane.

I need it for my arthritic hip....

nonlineargirl said...

My husband (who teaches college) complains about how many of his references his students miss. It is weird to be the "old man" in your 30s, huh?

Darren a/k/a Clare's Dad said...

Thanks for making us 30-somethings over 35 feel like we're really really old.

I don't get why at least one of them wouldn't know A-Team though. We know shows from the 50s and 60s, right?

AdventureDad said...

You're not old! You can be 55 and still be young in your mind and body. I think you're teaching gig is awesome since it gives you a different perspective on things. I might think some of the things todays kids do is stupid but I also find it important to tolerate it and try to put myself in their shoes. Something the previous generation, like my parents, sem to have missed completely.

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