Tuesday, March 7


Want to see in one stunningly depressing juxtaposition just how far Hollywood has slid down the slippery slope of becoming thoroughly inconsequential?

Here are the lyrics, first, from the Oscar-winning song, "The Way You Look Tonight" (1936), by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields, followed by the lyrics (with expletives deleted) for this year's Oscar-winning "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," by Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard (of "Three 6 Mafia"):

Someday... when I'm awfully low
when the world is cold
I will feel a glow just thinking of you
and the way you look tonight!
Oh... but you're lovely
with your smile so warm and your cheeks so soft
there is nothing for me but to love you
just the way you look tonight!

With each word your tenderness grows
tearing my fear apart
and that laugh that wrinkles your nose
touches my foolish heart!

Lovely... never, never change
keep that breathless charm
won't you please arrange it
'cause I love you
just the way you look tonight!

... just the way you look

Gird yourselves, Dear Readers ...

[Chorus 2X: Shug - singing] + (Djay)
You know it's hard out here for a pimp (you ain't knowin)
When he tryin to get this money for the rent (you ain't knowin)
For the Cadillacs and gas money spent (you ain't knowin)
[1] Because a whole lot of bitches talkin sh_t (you ain't knowin)
[2] Will have a whole lot of bitches talkin sh_t (you ain't knowin)

In my eyes I done seen some crazy thangs in the streets
Gotta couple hoes workin on the changes for me
But I gotta keep my game tight like Kobe on game night
Like takin from a ho don't know no better, I know that ain't right
Done seen people killed, done seen people deal
Done seen people live in poverty with no meals
It's f-ed up where I live, but that's just how it is
It might be new to you, but it's been like this for years
It's blood sweat and tears when it come down to this sh_t
I'm tryin to get rich 'fore I leave up out this bitch
I'm tryin to have thangs but it's hard fo' a pimp
But I'm prayin and I'm hopin to God I don't slip, yeah


Man it seems like I'm duckin dodgin bullets everyday
Niggaz hatin on me cause I got, hoes on the tray
But I gotta stay paid, gotta stay above water
Couldn't keep up with my hoes, that's when sh_t got harder
North Memphis where I'm from, I'm 7th Street bound
Where niggaz all the time end up lost and never found
Man these girls think we prove thangs, leave a big head
They come hopin every night, they don't end up bein dead
Wait I got a snow bunny, and a black girl too
You pay the right price and they'll both do you
That's the way the game goes, gotta keep it strictly pimpin
Gotta have my hustle tight, makin change off these women, yeah

Ah, many thanks to the august Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences -- composed of such liberal luminaries as Whoopie Goldberg, Susan Sarandon, Barbra Streisand, Jessica Lang and Jane Fonda -- for this so-called "achievement in music."

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah! Zip-a-dee-ay!
My, oh my, what a wonderful day?

FOLLOW-UP (03/08/06): John H. Perry's OP/ED piece in today's Houston Chronicle makes the case that this "Best Song" category Oscar-win was no win for African-Americans. Mr. Perry seems to be taking a page out of Bill Cosby's admonitions to young black people and I applaud him for taking a stand.