Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Leaving Relevance

Signpost ahead, 'You are Leaving Relevance, Turn off the lights as you leave'. You may not realize it yet, but your clock o' fame has flipped to 14:59. Its time to go.

Don't make it harder than it needs to be. Grace would lead you to stack your chips and make you ejection as soft a landing as possible. Otherwise, people by nature will buy tickets to watch you crash and burn.

Just think of how many figures in the public eye have been hugging that leg screaming to stay. It worse than when Jeff VanGundy was hugging Alonzo Mourning's leg during the brutal air fight between Mourning and Larry 'Gran Ma Ma' Johnson. VanGundy looked like a spat, just like so many others when it comes to giving up stardom.

There is no reason for anyone from the cast of Different Strokes to make a guest appearance anywhere, if the local Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles. I don't need to see it. If you were ever a member of New Edition (old or new), put the mike down and back away.

I am almost empathetic to Micheal Jackson, but his current trials were generated by the 'gloved one' himself. This is a guy who has not been hurting for cash since the early eighties when he was Black. The birth of nephew brought to mind the conspiracy of this case. Humor me if you will.
Somewhere around the early eighties after 'Off the Wall' and while writing 'Thriller', MJ devised a plot to take some time off, but keep the MJ machine
rolling. He had his trusted assistant, let's call him Mr. White, pose as him while he had some much needed basement time. Jackson gorged himself on Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies and Nutty Buddy's. He put on a little weight, but enjoyed the freedom. Oblivious to the antics of Mr. White, MJ enjoyed the freedom of walking the streets and going unnoticed. Over the years, Mr. White spent freely and got into a bit of trouble. Seemingly decimating the funds Mr. Jackson worked so hard to build. Jackson had to re-invent himself, but could not stay out of the limelight. He has gone on to star in television shows with a young boy, Kel, that he took under his wing and also lead in a few movies (GoodBurger and Fat Albert).

But this goes to show that if Mr. Jackson had simply diversified his holdings in other ways, he would still be fairly revered. His name would not be sullied with the current and past allegations and there would not be a line of future cases. And he would not have to be currently looking for that next piece of crap movie vehicle to extend his current habit of Little Debbie treats.

Everyone wants to feel as if they are relevant to something or someone in no matter how small a way. The mistake that is commonly made is when that time is up and you are no longer relevant in that particular segment, we hold on. When we hold on, we lose our audience.

Becoming irrelevant should not bruise ones ego or designate that that person no longer has valid contributions. It simply means that that person needs to diversify. Find something else that defines them. Astronomy shows that stars don't always remain stars. Take a hint that James Brown coined, but could not adhere to when he asked his cousin Maceo, '... can I hit it and quit it?'

Hit it and Quit it. In and out like a robbery. Both lost arts. Primarily because there have been some that appeared as if their 15 minutes lasted longer than others. But when it all comes down, it was the same old 15 minutes. And at 15:30, people are pointing fingers and laughing.