Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Militant Takes a "Rain" Check

The Militant leads a busy life, edumacating people on Los Angeles, culture, Los Angeles culture, as well as the cultures of Los Angeles. He was all set last night (the Militant usually goes into writing mode at around midnight and goes live an our or so later) to detail his neighborhood council adventure and hanging out chatting with a local bar owner who attended that meeting about the community, but the Militant was way too fatigued.

In the mean time, the Militant will fill you in, if you're not filled in already, on the internet phenom known as Tay Zonday (pictured above). When the Militant went to the Apple store on Carusoville's Main Street a few weeks ago and touched an iPhone for the very first time (with your heart beat next to mine?), the very first video he saw in that slick little newfangled contraption was something called Chocolate Rain. It featured some nerdy-looking kid on the mic singing in some deep baritone in a song seemingly devoid of structure. Watching that video later on a more conventional desktop computer on yielded momentary laughter and disbelief. But by the third listen, he found something deeper. More, dare the Militant say...militant? Dig the lyrics.

Zonday, the nom d'etage (or nom de guerre?) of a certain 25-year old Minneapolis-based grad school student named Adam, staged the perfect media coup: By using the homemade medium of YouTube, posting something seemingly goofy on the surface, but delivering a dry message on the effects of institutionalized racism literally in between the lines - in the process reeling in the attention of early 21st century pop culture and crossing into traditional forms of media such as Late Show with David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel Live! (where Zonday performed over the past few days). But wait, there's more. dig one of his interviews. Sanjaya he is definitely not. This is some pretty deep stuff here.

In 1984, the Twin Cities gave us "Purple Rain." In 2007, they now give us "Chocolate Rain."

On A Serious Note
The Militant is known for mixing activism with humor, but he would like to seriously acknowledge the loss of two Angelenos this week: Hal Fishman and Bryan Padgett.

Fishman, as many Angelenos know was KTLA's News at Ten. It's hard for the Militant to say other than what's already been said about the legendary news anchor other than local TV news in Los Angeles has not only lost an anchor, it has lost an entire era.

Padgett was the son of one of the Militant's most loyal readers, Edward Padgett, who is also a fellow local blogger. The younger Padgett was killed in a car accident in Azusa early Wednesday. Please drive more carefully and responsibly, people, so others - including people you care about - won't have to suffer the same fate.

The Militant knew neither of these Angelenos in person, but it is not only human tradition but human nature to create bonds and connections between people during times of loss -- that's when they're needed the most.

Rest in peace, Hal and Bryan.

1 comment:

Kanani said...

Thank you for posting this. We could use your help at the reception for Bryan. The Pressmen, bloggers and friends are taking charge of this portion of the service, to spare Ed from having to do one more thing.

Please check out our post on The Pressmen's blog: here