8 Mile

My White Ass

Your black one.  Our red blood.  So many artists are screaming at us.  God is screaming.  Trees are yelling.  The sky has almost given up on us. The great artist eminem, who chose to remain in the 313, made a movie in the early 00s:  “8 Mile.”  I’m from Michigan, an’  I know.  8 mile means it’s 8 miles from the center of downtown.

in “8 Mile” all the boys who are friends yell at each other every time they are together, jammed into the front seats and back seats of a beater.  They yell so much you can hardly understand them, but if you understand what ‘fuck’ means, you can. They caress with punches.  Those are the friends.  The enemies, they yell at each other too, and they punch for real.  Crack, crack, crack go the jaws between them.  Blood flowing is the repeated reminder … of blood.  When a gun is pulled, however, then it’s for real. Whether out of a natural reciprocity even on this level of brutality or out of a hard steel realization that the gun might really mean trouble if the cops come, the boys in the 313 pull back.  “Don’ kill ‘em.”  “Don’ do it, bitch.”  That’s the streets.  You gotta even things up—but choo don’t have to kill.8 Mile

Of course there is home.  But home is a banged up trailer with a blond mom (Kim Basinger) who fucks a dude in front of her four year old daughter—your little sister.  She has to:  the dude is expecting a check for his disability from when he got dinged in the head which, if nothing else already did, made him darned stupid.  Yes, you have mom.  Of course mom throws you out when the ding bat head injury guy swipes you and you swipe back so you’ve kind of got nothing except that you’re white.  There’s that.  But there isn’t.  Almost all the other guys you hang with are black.  There’s one other white guy, but he’s so stupid he almost shoots his dick off.

Let’s burn a house.  OK.

Now then there’s a white girl.  She wants to be fucked, so do you, and it’s good—even for the audience.  The another day she fucks one of your associates and you even kind of understand for she needs a job, too, but you gotta mess up the associate.  You have to; it’s not right to screw an associate’s girl, even if the girl has to, to get a job.  Girls are relations between the guys.

Your boss at the auto plant is a fat black guy, a little older.   He threatens you when you’re bad and you hate him and when you’re good he gives you more work and you love him.  Hey.  So that’s how it works.  Paying attention to him is like getting a phd in the 313.  But choo still don’t have a home and your car usually doesn’t run.  It’s cold.

So whaddya do?

With a black eye popped out of its socket you finally get the balls to utter when it’s your turn at “The Battle.” Last week at “The Battle” you chocked.  You couldn’t rap a syllable.   Not even a vowel. The hood was laughing atchoo.  Everyone knew.  “The Battle” is a local sport:  the club is jammed with all blacks except the couple of white chicks who like it.  And you and the stupid white guy who almost shot his dick off.  Your dred locks friend with the cute teeth is the MC.  He flips a coin and you go up against your “class” of rapper.  It’s wrestling.  But it’s balls wrestling.  How much can you out-do insults to the punk you are up against and the fuck words that gush out of his pie hole?  You got better bullets coming out of yours?  You got 45 seconds, bitch.

The lights went out in Detroit yesterday.  All of them.  What has eminem taught us?  Everything we need to know, dude.  He taught us to hug our little sister.  He taught us to get a job.  He taught us to come down here from up there.  He taught us not to be afraid.  He taught us to practice, rehearse, write it down in circles, trust our minds.  He taught us to bare our ass.   He taught us to stay in Detroit.  People survive.

How great would be things if Romney were Mayor, eminem were Deputy, Sugarman the Sage, and there were a plan to rise art out of the muck of the fucked up TVland on which we sucked and to forget skin color and remember poetry.  TV is good now—but are we?  Or are we all caught in Birdmanland, flying out the window to the skies or to our demise?

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