Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Nurse the Hate: America's Newest Hero

I woke up last morning with that same dream, the one where I am walking along the Pacific coast, a breeze in my hair, and everything is perfect, the way it should be.  Then I gradually came out of the haze, into reality and felt out of sorts.  It is never easy to transition back from playing rock shows to walking into an office setting where I come in contact with people that use phrases like "clarity plan" and "platform agnostic" in an non ironic manner.  Then again, maybe it was just the jarring juxtaposition.  I had spent the previous weekend in contact with a girl that had radically tattooed her face and a bunch of really drunk dudes with beards that ZZ Top would envy.  There is madness in every corner.

No matter how outrageous your day is today, you should be happy you weren’t held captive in a small house in one of Cleveland’s dodgiest neighborhoods.  For a decade.  It seems impossible that three (3) girls could be held in a house for ten (10) years without anyone noticing anything strange.  Having some firsthand knowledge about this neighborhood, let me assure you that there is always something strange going on.  The problem is that no one that lives there has the same definition of “strange” that most of American society does.  Matt Lauer on the Today Show struggled to come to grips with how this could have been going on for so long.  “The houses are so close together.  How did no one notice something strange going on?”

Let me tell you what that neighborhood is like.  Small houses decay into themselves while occupied by single parents that have taken up with the ex-husband of their cousin, who also happens to be the mother of one of the four kids living there.  One kid is strangely redhead and looks nothing like anyone in the house.  The eldest boy is ripping apart a 1987 Dodge K car (never to be reassembled), his buddy “Goldie” stopping by with some Bud Platinum to celebrate after his big scratch off lottery win.  There will be yelling going on in the driveway later when his “Baby Mama” swings by to unceremoniously drop off his three kids (one of which is from another woman who hasn’t been heard from in months) so she can go to her sister’s for some confusing reason involving marijuana and Browns tickets.  Mongrel dogs wander by warily.  Guys with heads like hammerhead sharks walk down the street without shirts on in enormous shorts and sideways baseball caps.  People scream at each other all the time.    

It is absolutely horrible that those girls had to endure that imprisonment.  It’s an amazing story.  How did the perpetrators keep it silent?  Did they handle childbirth by themselves in that house?  I have been on that street.  Most of the people that live there you would not put in charge of bringing a pizza, much less bringing a child into the world.  How did they decide this was a good idea in the first place?  So many questions…  However, the biggest question is where has Charles Ramsey been all these years?

Without question, the man of the hour was Charles Ramsey.  Every television station in town had a microphone in front of this guy, and he delivered absolute gold all evening.  There are people in front of autotune programs all over the planet right now working hard to make Sweet Brown and “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That” a distant memory.  Fame is now 15 seconds, not 15 minutes long.  With the media’s insatiable appetite for content, anyone is given the opportunity to speak at length if it appears he may know anything.   While half of the neighborhood stood in front of the cameras calling people on their cellphones, clearly excited that Something Big was happening in their little world, Charles Ramsey delivered such quotes as:

·         I barbecued with this dude! We eat RIBS and what not, and listen to salsa music!... There's nothin' exciting about him, until TODAY. Heh heh heh...

·         Hey, check this out: I just came from McDonald's, right? And I'm on my porch eatin' my little food, right? This broad is trying to break out the fuckin' house next door!... She said her name was Linda Berry or some shit. I don't who the fuck that is. I just rolled up here!

·         I knew somethin' was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man's arms. Somethin' is WRONG here. Dead giveaway! Deaaaddddd giveaway. Deaaaaadddddddddddddd giveaway. She's got problems. That's the only reason she's running to a black man!

·         You got some big testicles to pull this off, bro! 'Cause we see this dude Every Day!

·         So I went over there with my Big Mac…

In a world of prepared statements, carefully coached answers, and extreme caution, I could watch Charles Ramsey talk on TV all day long every single day.  If I owned a TV station, I would swing by his place with a camera anytime there was a big news story and get his take on it.  While most “analysts” would dance around the topic, you know Charles is going in straight ahead full force and give you the straight dope.  He is the new Voice of The People.

It was a big day.  Three women finally gained their freedom, and the rest of us got to meet Charles Ramsey.  Everything turned out OK.


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