Tuesday night I went out with my people from the Afrofuturism listserve. I am so fortunate to know such intelligent radiant people. We had a very interesting time . Tracie talked to us about she has resumed the practice of tithing (giving away a percentage of one's income eery week) and she has been having all sorts of good fortune. I hadn't really even thought about doing that sort of thing. It was really fascinating to hear about this and re-evaluate my own rituals. My friend, Jelani, told me about this book Bullshit or Fertilizer which is this great book to light a fire under artists who really want to sustain themselves through their art. I bought a copy for myself and another for my little bro. I learn so much from those folks.
Yesterday I went to see a screening/ laugh track recording of Ali G. (which they are going to start showing in America) but I showed up too early so I had to go walking about the city for an hour. This intitally started out as a bad thing as it was cold and all I really needed was somewhere to sit down and be warm and read a book for a few minutes. Anywhere I could go would require that I buy something to justify sitting. As I walked, I meditated on a presentation by artist Ester Partegas (who I saw a few weeks back), she talked about the city and how there is no public space available just to sit . It could not have rung more true....I eventually just went ahead and did some shopping. They have the big Whole Foods there in Chelsea. Whole Foods is an evil corporate health food hell, but also a haven for someone like me who loves all those schmancy specialty products.
After a bit of grocery shopping I was on to Ricki Lake studios to watch the screening of Ali G. On my way back I walked past Consolidated Bank which is already big and sterile in a corporate design way, but also does the evil thing of projecting adverts for the bank onto the sidewalk in front of you, so they have totally taken over the public space for their own marketing purposes. Really weird and sick.
At the studios we were first herded into this big holding area where we all sat and waited and people chatted away nervously. All the while I am sitting and thinking of what a loser I am for spending so much time alone. .. but I digress. We then were herded into the Ricki studios, which was totally cheesy and surreal. We were given a quick run through of the 'golf clap', the 'regular clap' and the 'cheer'. Afterwards, a standup comedian performed. I was nervous because I don't like to see standup comedians live. I feel like most of them are not funny, but if i seem them in the flesh I will fill more pressure to laugh as not to hurt their feelings. Fortunately for me, this guy was pretty funny. I imagine it must be pretty hard to be funny on command. My friend , Sumana is a comedian and I don't know how she does it.
Anywho, the screening was good. Sometimes I worried whether I was laughing because it was a laugh track recording or whether I was genuinely amused. I think I was pretty true to myself. The show was all centered around America and American law and it was weird because I have seen the British version and in some ways I felt sad that they had sold out. However, I think I was the only person in the room who had seen the show before, because I only heard myself laugh during the familiar bits like "Me mate Dave" and "Me Julie". People seemed to like it. Good good.
I am now on the list to be in the audience for more shows, so I will keep you posted if i do this sort of thing again. Perhaps you'd like to come along? I can brief you on the 'golf clap' and the rest on the ride over.