Monday, June 27, 2011
This past Sunday I organized an owner's summit which had as it's acronym B.O.S.S..
The name caters to their need to feel important but the topics discussed will help each remain in business with greater access to resources at a reduced cost.
The event was held at a rival club in a neighboring town to ensure that no one thought that I was trying to benefit at their expense by hosting the event at my club.
Each club owner agreed to treat the other club owners as V.I.P.s when they visit another club.
Each owner exchanged personal phone numbers, e-mail addresses and business cards.
Each club owner pointed out their weak nights and asked for suggestions on how to improve traffic.
Night clubs are not a zero-sum game.
Towns from Memphis, to New Orleans to Austin have all created a market which caters to patrons from beyond their borders.
These towns attract people from around the country because their clubs work together to create a competitive music scene which allows each venue to benefit by focusing on what they do best.
This was my message to each club owner present.
That by having more clubs doing well at a lower cost - each club will help ensure it's own survival by helping other clubs remain in business.
"Well, we're going to end up letting John have our club.", one owner stated.
Another owner leaned over and whispered, "Shit, you already have their club".
"As a matter of fact, you're not even a majority owner in any of these clubs but you have more power and influence than any of us..", she continued.
"But Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and he was the greatest among them.", the woman countered.
"Look, I'm just a bartender.", I said to appease their egos, "And the goal of this meeting is to ensure that all of you remain in business with or without me."
"He who humbles himself...", the woman continued.
Remember, this is the South and this meeting was on a Sunday evening after most had been home from church - so everyone caught her meaning.
"Look, the Godfather wasn't the Godfather because he was most cutthroat, the most vicious or the most self-serving." The Godfather only remained as the hegemon as long as he made sure that everyone prospered. His primary job was to ensure the prosperity of all and his (limited) power or influence was tied only to his ability to deliver such prosperity for e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e..", I said.
After my little soliloquy, everyone ate and drank and was merry.
(We'll see how long (and if) this idea lasts.)
- It must have gone well. Today I had club owners who refused the invitation asking when and where the next meeting would be held. The next meeting I will introduce owners to liquor and media reps to ensure that everyone has access to all available resources.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
The latest club I'm trying to resuscitate has a reputation for greed and selfishness.
The owners are not an asset but a liability to their own club.
When the club owners asked what was meant by the comment, a restaurant owner pointed out that I use Black-owned restaurants to cater special events and happy hour, that I use Black-owned maintenance crews, that I use Black advertising, and that I don't speak poorly of other clubs.
In fact, I recommend other clubs to people who may be looking for something we don't offer.
"Man, we should be trying to put everyone else out of business.", is what the club owner said to me.
"Look... Judging by your need to call me - you're club seems to be the only one you're capable of putting out of business. Believe me... I don't need this job. You. Called. Me!", I replied.
Every club has it's own vibe.
For this club - I'm trying to make it a hub for business, politics, art and culture.
If I can keep more than one club doing well at a time in this town (Three or four would be better);
My radio reps get business because each club feels the need to advertise in order to compete with the others.
My liquor reps sell and promote more products and get bigger bonuses which enables them to hook me up even more.
My food vendors gain more exposure and traffic which keeps more people employed.
My cleaning services have long-term contracts which enables them to purchase newer equipment.
My patrons have a choice of which club to go to on any given night which prevents them from burning out on going to the same place every night and deciding to travel to another city for a night of fun.
Patrons having options keeps everyone 'fed'.
Since my doing well supports others doing well, most feel the need to support whichever club I'm working.
And don't let me hop behind the bar... my bartenders and cocktail waitresses (I don't keep tips for myself) get tips so big that they try to learn the trick to having game.
My value is that I have the ability to bring people together to spend money and then go home almost broke but still be happy to have done so.
When I work for a club, I become the hub which enables me to benefit a little bit from every guest who walks through the door.
Sure, when I'm involved in a club everyone does eat - but especially me.
These industries are the most common in the area I currently live.
Whenever I see a story on the news of a prison riot, a refinery explosion or a tanker crash, "Someone fell asleep.", is what I think to myself.
Apparently, sleeping while at work is a common and acceptable practice.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Maybe this is why 'Magic Negroes' are often portrayed as having the ability to help others but most don't seem capable of helping themselves.
(But then again, maybe these enlightened brotha's understand that there is more to life than just money. That ruling ones own life is better than ruling and oppressing others)
but with an incredible example of one who has honed his skill in one area to compensate for his lack of ability in another.;
This past Sunday was the day a local men's club held their open house.
The date coincided with Father's Day and Juneteenth so the place was packed.
Because the club was founded by Black professionals during Segregation - many considered the idea an all-Black social club to be obsolete.
To bring new life to the club I started bringing younger and better looking women as guests at my table.
Every month we choose a different color combination for my table and all dress to match.
I usually take a table in the back as not to draw too much attention to my group.
But a newly elected judge thought that I was a usurper.
That I was taking status which should have been his.
"Hey, that's my table!", the judge proclaimed.
"Look man, I came in early to make sure we were set up before my guests arrived and I took the least favored table.", I said.
(Referring to a new judge as 'man' is seen as being disrespectful. This made the guy even more upset.)
"You're not even a member here! You're nothing more than a bartender!", he continued.
It was then that a more established member of the community came by to mediate any disagreement.
"John is not a member but he does support our charitable work. Yes, he does work at nightclubs but John's given away more than you've ever had to those in need within our community.", the established member stated.
"If John wants this table for his guests and himself, you move!", he concluded.
I guess status is attributed by more than just ones title.
(I just hope I don't get a ticket any time soon.)
Sunday, June 19, 2011
As children are the same things which benefit us the most as adults.
My step-dad would wear us out by beating us down while trying to teach us how to fight.
I'm sure he held back (a little bit) but after taking punches from him the blows delivered on the school yard felt like soft caresses.
If I would have had things my way the school day would have gone; recess, snack, recess, P.E., lunch and then recess.
But parents used to insist that we actually learned something while at school.
Apparently having a relationship with ones interpretation of God seemed important as well.
We got 'Whooped'!
No soft, simple, spanking would resonate with the same degree of severity as did our slavery-type ass-whoopins.
(We were some bad-assed little niglets.)
The thing is, I treat my young cousins with the same rigidity practiced by my step-father (Only, adapted for modern times.)
Am I their friend?
Sure, but friendship is not paramount - teaching another generation to prosper without me is.
So to all y'all out there who are (or who act as) fathers - Happy Father's Day.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
These people get all worked up over things which do not even really matter.
Take the Miami Heat for example.
I was rooting for Lebron and those emotional, fast running, high jumping, long shorts wearing, Hip-Hop listening to Negroes to win a championship.
Miami-Dade was ripe for a riot.
Some dumb Nigga's just don't know how to act graceful in defeat.
The white guys rioting and looting in Vancouver were not doing so because their Canucks lost Lord Stanley's Cup to the Boston Bruins.
No, these gentle Canadians were just showing solidarity with the downtrodden minorities of the American South.
These more educated and more cosmopolitan people of European descent were just protesting the lack of goods and services provided after the hurricane that struck New Orleans.
These compassionate beings thought to prove that the police did not have to have a history of subjugating them in order for them to stab each other.
These guys were just Miami Heat fans who finally got around to being mad that Dirk took a ring from Lebron.
These people were just Miami Heat fans planted in Vancouver to give the city a bad name.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
"What do you do?", I asked.
"Well we yadda-yadda-yadda. And this-and-that. And I'm the president.", one man proudly said.
"I mean besides congratulating yourselves on your non-accomplishments and giving out Image Awards and having lavish parties... . What does the NAACP actually do?", I replied.
"Well... What do you do?!", asked the agitated president.
"Really? Didn't I help to repair your house after a storm. And didn't I get some kids together to clean up your neighborhood? And didn't I work for your business for free until you could hire employees?, And didn't I get an accountant, employees and help with permits for your business? And don't I tutor your grandchildren for free? And don't I check on your mother and grandmother? And... .", I said to seven of the eleven members present.
"Besides talking about problems, what problems do you actually solve?", I asked.
"I'm just a glorified bartender and it seems that I do more by myself than all of you people with titles do put together.", I concluded.
Needless to say, I wasn't asked again to join.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
My answer? Neither.
Kanye is too effete. Weezy dresses like my little cousins still in high school.
I bet Weezy throws those Chucks away when they get the slightest smudge.
If someone needed help changing his tire but I was afraid to get what I was wearing dirty..., I'd be over-dressed.
Matthew 11:8 says, "...behold, they that wear soft garments are in king's houses.".
IMOHO - Any man who is more concerned with the style of his clothing than he is with doing work is a bitch, a mama's-boy who was spoiled by the lack of a strong father.
Each of these guys is a product of the Civil Rights Movement gone astray and focusing more on unsustainable consumption than on sustainable production..
Neither man comes across as having honor or discipline - each man comes across as simple little boys.
For these cultures, 'Honor' was valued more highly gold.
Chivalry and Bushido were understood as being the thread which held society together.
Any honorale death was seen as being better than an dishonerable life.
(Yeah... It's summer viewing season for my little cousins and I and these three movies were the ones we watched.)
Maybe the Sixties were a time when America was at it's best - a time when society, civility and culture still mattered.
Television's Mad Men almost makes a homogeneous and misogynistic society seem ideal.
Drinking scotch, smoking cigars and chasing women may again become fashionable.
My grandparents would always offer to take me along on their summer tours of Europe, Africa, the Caribbean or the Holy Land.
But being too young to know better, I would always choose to stay home in the desert towns of Cali to play with my friends on those long hot summer days.
When I did decide to visit my grandparents here in Texas, I would always fly alone.
Back in those days a kid would get a big-ass cookie for being good, a metal pair of pilot's wings with the airline's logo emblazoned on them and a seat right behind the pilots and flight attendants.
Back in those days the flight attendants were slim and attractive and most wore just a bit too much makeup and perfume.
But the best part of each flight was the red lipstick on a kid's cheek and the smell of Chanel no.5 left after ones escort released him to the driver as she gave him a hug and a kiss.
(I often enjoyed the flights more than I did my stays in Texas.)
Now, ABC is planning to air Pan Am - a television series based on flight attendant set in the Sixties.