I hope everyone had a good holiday. It was quite relaxing for me, and I spent a lot of time with the fam at home playing video games, watching movies and just enjoying my wife.
Now, my wife and I like to watch movies together, usually we can agree on some rom-com or mildy violent drama. This particular night, we ended up watching the final two Dave Chappelle specials on Netflix: Equanimity and The Bird Revelation. Initially I thought that both names described one special, but it was actually two different venues, with The Bird Revelation being filmed in secret at The Comedy Store in LA.
Now, Dave is hilarious. Both specials hit home with topics that we grappled with throughout 2017, like Trump, the me-too sexual misconduct allegations and trans-sexuals. Dave is unapologetic, but he does offer his sympathies about how he makes people feel about what he says. Good stuff, you should really check it out when you have time.
That being said, I want to discuss The Bird Revelation for a moment. Dave is very candid here towards the end of the special and paints this somewhat cryptic analogy using the last few bits of the book "Pimp" by Iceberg Slim (I need to read this, but I already got it locked in on my Hoopla app). I say somewhat cryptic because once he lays down the last line of the special, you should know what he meant by the whole thing. You should get the analogy.
So, spoiler alert. If you plan on watching it, come back and read this later.
You good? Ok. So, Dave talks about the term, "mileage on a ho". In street terms, this means how much a hooker can turn tricks before she officially goes crazy. Too much mileage means the ho will end up being useless to herself or anyone else. Anyway, Iceberg Slim is about to let his Bottom Bitch (his best and most profitable ho) go because she's at the end of her mileage. But, he convinces her to turn one last trick. This last trick has her drugging a client and stealing a briefcase of money.
Now, in the midst of it, the deed is done but the client ends up overdosing. The chick calls Iceberg to tell him she needs help. Doesn't know what to do. Iceberg says he'll help her, but lets her know that he has no part in it because she's the one that gave him the drugs. still, he'll help her get out of it. He calls one of his contacts to get the body out. Pays him from the case of money. Pays a doctor, too.
But, after all of that, he tells her that she owes him. That she will need to work off that money he just spent to get her out of trouble. Even knowing she's at the end of her rope, she ends up tricking for him for a few more months.
And he says that's why he went to Africa. Do you get it now? Once he said that I was immediately hit with an "AHA!" I just stared for a second like I'd been hit with the greatest revelation ever. It was just so on point. Basically, Dave said that he realized that Comedy Central was trying to pimp him. He was their "Bottom Bitch". Even though they knew he couldn't do that damn show forever, they tried to game him by throwing a bunch of money at him. But all that would do is make him compromise himself in a way that he was not willing. Not only was it insulting to him, but it shook him to his core in a way that he really needed to get away and think about his life and what he wanted.
Dave is really good at what he does. Really damn good. Probably the greatest comedian ever. But he wasn't going to be pimped. And I get that. What's really sad is that most of these Hollywood types don't even know they're being pimped. But Hollywood is the greatest hustler there ever was, and most don't know the difference between freedom or chains.
Being good at what you do means calling your own shots and knowing when enough is enough. And Dave knew it was over.
Ask yourself, what do you do in your life that makes you compromise yourself in a way that causes you stress? Do you go on with a job that grates on your soul just so you can get a paycheck? Recently one of my good friends decided he had worked his pointless gig enough and he needed to go back to school. But I knew that he'd had enough way before then. I knew he'd gotten all he could out of that job and it would do nothing for him anymore. It was time to go. I knew that years ago. I just wish he had known. But everyone gets their wake up call when they need it, I suppose.
God's wisdom will guide those that are open to it.