In my estimation, there are two types of people who follow the rules. First off, you have what I call “The Disney Channel.”
The Disney Channel are the people who actually are nice, law-abiding, moral, Anne-Frank-figured-them-right-folks who do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. And that’s that.
I think most of us aspire to this most of the time. Who wants to think of himself or herself as a criminal or a degenerate or a rule-breaker or a jerk or an egomaniac anyway? Well, I suppose if it makes us look cool …
It should be written that I look up to the Disney Channel. My parents are Disney Channel. Some of my most trusted friends are Disney Channel. Mr. Rogers (R.I.P.) was Disney Channel.
But I have my suspicions that the second group of polite folks is much larger. These are people who spend their days at work dreaming up ways to scam the company out of millions–a la Office Space. The ones who figure out ways to cheat on their taxes but never actually do. This is the kind of law-abiding, polite citizen Jack Nicholson could have been if had he never met Hollywood.
The reason I think this group is bigger didn’t come from a sociology book. Do we need to pay for experiments to find out if people do most of the things they’re told for fear of reprisal? Of course not. We need only to look to popular culture.
Besides being able to explain rock ‘n’ roll or jazz altogether, the second group’s size helps to explain pop culture’s man of the moment: 50 Cent.
Are “In Da Club” or “Wanksta” catchy tracks? Sure. Can the guy flow? Like crazy.
But why do we really like gangsta rappers like 50? Because the songs talk about doing things that we’re too polite to do with more direct bravado than almost any other genre. Just compare the lyrics of Biggie’s “Gimmie the Loot” to “Cocaine Blues,” “Folsam Prison Blues,” “Mack the Knife,” or, well … just about anything.
I would guess that most of the second category folks who’ve ever been good and broke–if they’re honest with themselves–are with 50 when he raps “these industry n—-s is startin” to look like somethin” to eat” in his hilarious pre-stardom rant “How To Rob.” Just change “industry n—-s” to “rich folks,” and the tune applies to everybody.
We may not have the money to drop on “bottles full of bubb.