Saturday, March 18, 2006

Pimpin' Ain't Easy.

The adoption of traditionally condescending vocabulary into promotional slang has become a tradition in its own right, but MTV defintely seems to have cornered the market on reinventing slang involving prostitution. While "Cribs" has lasted a few seasons, they have yet to tour one whorehouse. Instead, they opt for the residences of celebrities. In addition to this, the short-lived dating program "Wanna Come In?" had a certain "Can I whore you out?" aspect, and the formula has certainly stuck for the latest seasons of "The Real World" and just about every MTV program out there. But returning to the actual vernacular, perhaps there is nothing better than "Pimp My Ride."

The premise is simple: Xzibit, a rapper who even many fans of rap don't hear about save for a few appearances on Eminem releases, takes the cars of local southern Californian young adults and makes them look cool. He doesn't rent them out or anything or protect them from abuse, but only improves them.

"Pimp" my foot.

Fine, let's accept for the moment that in this case "Pimp" is "Make it look like I could be a successful pimp." Yes. Phrases like "Serious Bling," "Phat," and other ridiculous fanfare are sure to follow throughout the fifteen minutes after the acquisition of the new vehicle (Xzibit usually does two per episode).

Cultural significance? Perhaps California car culture has returned full force a la Tom Wolfe's original piece of New Journalism, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby. Indeed, for the kids it's not about speed anymore. If you're going too fast, who's going to see you pose? This is evidenced by no matter how much a piece of junk the car is before Xzibit picks it up, very seldom does the engine get any attention. Even if it does and they just don't film it, it's still ample proof that for cars, it's all about looks.

And who's got the hookup (yo) for the phattest pimpin' gear? Why, it's Mad Mike!

(Plays video games)

Mad Mike is certainly the coolest guy at West Coast Customs, especially for culturally insensitive whiteboys like myself. I mean, really, most of the guys in the garage look not so much like they could kill me, but more like they would if they got the chance. "Why, 'cause they're black?!" No, man, 'cause they have piercings that look like fangs, tattoos that look equally ferocious, and they're big enough to lift a bus. And then eat it. With me in it.

"You racist." Sure, fine, whatever.

Back to Mad Mike. I think he got his engineering degree at MIT and is working on his PhD in the same field. Werner Von Braun may have been able to send rockets into space, but he never conceived of THIS...

"I put a TV on the bottom of your car, so you can watch it while you change the oil!"

Mad Mike did not invent the television, nor the automobile, and was certainly not the first to unite the two, but was the first to make the marriage both useful and artistic. Though perhaps useful is a bit of a stretch. After all, cramming 192 (I counted) flat screen TVs into the back of a Ford Tempo can't really be good for anybody. Technically. Then again, while Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater may look great, there's perhaps a reason nobody actually lives there. "That's 'cause it's a historic landmark." Or maybe there's a waterfall running through the house, and waterfalls are loud.

"Why do you always make the quotation guy be the dumb guy?"

That's because I'm sweet.

"If you're so sweet than what's with this digression?"

It proves pimpin' is, in fact, easy. That is, if you're Mad Mike. Or me.

"I hate you."

I know.


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