As Summer rolls out its hazy crazy days, pimp hands are blooming all over. From White House plots to the gardens of assorted local governments and/or crime scenes. Though pimp hands are invasive (hence their common name “traveling pimp hands”) and if unchecked, will strangle all other growth, there’s no denying these fleurs du mal are showy. In DC, Michelle Obama’s virtuous veggies are being outshone by a variety of pimp hand called the Scarlet Faced Clintonis, which first appeared in the presidential digs in the 1990’s. Folks (including me) figured President Obama would rip out any lingering roots but according to senatorial candidate Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania, Clintonis is back. Doing what pimp hands do.
OK. Pimp hands aren’t really plants. (Though they are invasive.) Gardening is on my mind. Tis the season. Like Michelle, I’ve been hauling watering cans and hefting sacks of soil. Urban Dictionary definition of pimp hands: “Your ability to control your ho’s. Or the control of your pimpin’ business. A pimp hand can be strong or weak. Keep your pimp hand strong.”
A former president offering a primary candidate an appointment so as to clear the field for a rival supported by the sitting president, is pure political pimp hand. Since Joe Sestak didn’t drop out to boost hoary Arlen Specter (and oh yeah, deprive voters of choice) one might argue that Presidents Clinton and Obama played a weak pimp hand. As did Mister In-Between, Rahm Emanuel. Weird, that. Rahm is normally all hand. (Wags claim he’s been scouted by Hamburger Helper.) Like Obama, Rahm hails from Chicago. Aka Hand Land. Maybe they need to get back to their roots and draw strength from the soil.
Damn, that gardening thing keeps creeping in–
Meanwhile, in Hand Land, the corruption trial of X Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois has kicked off. Blago allegedly kept his pimp hand strong by peddling public offices — including President Obama’s empty seat in the U.S. Senate. Then there’s street crime. On May 20th Chicago Mayor Richard Daley Jr. held a press conference to vent concern that the U.S. Supreme Court might overturn the city’s handgun ban via a decision re McDonald v. Chicago. An assortment of confiscated weapons was splayed out on a table. Reporter Mick Dumke (no gun fan but oft critical of Daley) raised his hand (non-pimp) and said, isn’t the ban ineffective? Given the number of shootings in Chicago? Daley responded by seizing up a rifle with a bayonet attached, saying “If I put this up your butt, you’ll find out how effective this is. Let me put a round up your — ha ha!”
Daley Jr.’s pimp hand sally was strangely reminiscent of the witticism his dad, Mayor Richard Daley Sr., tossed at Connecticut Senator Abraham Ribicoff at the 1968 Democratic Convention*. It was also particularly ill-timed. The night before, off-duty police officer Thomas Wortham (age 30) was shot to death in the driveway of his family home by thieves trying to steal his motorcycle. Wortham gifted himself with the bike after serving two tours in Iraq with the Army National Guard. Worthan lived in a middle class neighborhood, which like other such neighborhoods in Chicago, is suffering the impact of the city’s ongoing crime wave.
Those seeking info on Chicago crime and the inability of Mayor Daley to control it, might want to check the cop-authored blog, Arresting Tales. Which incidentally, recently demonstrated how far pimp hands can travel on the Internet.
In late May “Tales” commented on a news story about a pimp (an actual peddler of flesh not public offices) in Jersey City, New Jersey. The story by Michaelangelo Conte had appeared in the Jersey Journal and at NJ.com. The pimp’s name was Allen E. Brown aka “Prince.” (How pimp original is that?) Prince had pleaded guilty to human trafficking and extortion charges; the article covered his sentencing at Hudson County Superior Court.
According to a press release from the New Jersey Attorney General’s office, Prince ran prostitution rings in Jersey City for roughly two decades. Recruiting or coercing scores of women locally and from cities such as Newark, Atlantic City, Camden, and Philadelphia. Laundering profits through property (including real estate) held by cohorts and relatives. The latter included his mother and sister. Prince operated his most recent endeavor out of a home owned by his mother in a gated condo community called Society Hill (tony names are to Hudson County condos as royal titles are to pimps) overlooking the scenic Hackensack River. He and his underlings used threats, beatings, and drugs to control the girls. Some girls were underage. So far, your typical sad sordid story.
What wasn’t typical was the hair style Prince sported at his sentencing. The man’s do was a marvel. Its bizarre magnificence was captured in Jersey Journal photographs. (They also captured Prince’s gape-jawed incredulity when the judge gave him 18 years.) Squiggly cornrows ripple across Prince’s scalp like snakes on a plain. The widely spaced weave is ultra thin; so much so that it looks inked rather than braided. But what really takes Prince’s do to the outer limits is the long, Mongol-esque pigtail spring-a-linging from the top of his noggin. A style known in hellish hairdresser circles as “the Devil’s phone jack.” (Confession: I made that last thing up.) Speaking of inner circles, in some photos Prince appears to be using his pimp hands to send signals to the cognoscenti.
After Chicago-based “Arresting Tales” picked up on Prince, the story jumped to Japan. Where extreme pop culture is always welcome. A Japanese website featured even more Jersey Journal pics of Prince plus commentary in Japanese. A translation appeared at “Tales.” Including these poetic lines:
“Understanding violence against women and extortion by organized crime in the monstrosity had been soaked to the drugs, so heavy was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment/But the publics’ attention, it was rather a man who hairstyle/What kind of hair do, please/Attention should also be exposed–yeah/What are you exactly what an alien/Well just look towards the head of officials.”
I definitely agree one should “look toward the head of officials.” (While keeping an eye on their hands.) Though folks can be blind when told what they want to hear–
New York State (my home place) is great and beauteous. Populated by many fine people. But as voters, New Yorkers often seem like Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver. Slow dancing with “Sport” and drinking up lies. Take our gubernatorial race. The anointed candidates, Democrat Andrew Cuomo and Republican Rick Lazio, are machine men stamped out by the same old same old who’ve strangled the state with decades of crony capitalism and turned government into a corrupt invasive joke. Both candidates reek of oligarchy and monster institutions (HUD! JP Morgan!) and both have the imprimatur of their creaky national machines. Yet both are coming on all anti-status quo. Claiming to be a breath of fresh air. And get this — lots of New Yorkers who sincerely crave reform are lining up (more for Cuomo than born loser Lazio) to dance with them. The outcome is predictable. Cuomo will clear the floor. If the “race” weren’t so laughable, it would be deadly dull.
Oh wait — it is. Thank God for gardening. Pop culture is fun too. What kind of hair do, please?
Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff
*During the 1968 convention the massive anti-Vietnam War demonstration outside the hall turned violent as the Chicago cops went totally ape. (Not all protesters were innocents. Some were glad to battle. That being said, the majority were peaceful.) Sen. Abraham Ribicoff, D-Conn., denounced the “gestapo tactics” from the convention podium. Television cameras, with audio turned off, caught Mayor Richard Daley Sr. clearly screaming “F*** you, you Jew bastard.” In the days before closed captioning, this shot helped lip-readers across the nation fully partake of the political process.
[“Sir Pimp” photo by Taber Andrew Bain; CC BY 2.0]