Friday, June 29, 2007

Perez Prado

#261 Perez Prado

He was a bandleader and they called him the King of Mambo. And he was. At the height of his popularity (he jumped on stage a lot because he wasn’t nearly as high as his popularity,) the writer and small time media mogul Roger Price wondered in public what would happen of all the Mambo dancers in the world grunted “uh!!” and flipped their hips in the same direction at the same time.

Price thought it might throw the earth of its axis and send us hurtling into the sun. It might have. But if it were a hip “rave wave ” instead of a hip flip, what, then?

Apparently, while the rest of us were sleeping, that something like that must have happened.

According to a recent report, many of America’s big cities are loosing population at a furious rate while traditionally smaller cities in the south and southwest are gaining same at an equally furious rate.

What that says is that we’re mamboing on down to places like the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Phoenix.

There’s all manor of speculation about why all of this is happening in places like Chicago and Detroit and Philadelphia (but not in New York.)

Fascist talk show hosts are using semi-sugar-coated language to blame it on minorities. The sugar coating comes in the form of postulating a “welfare state” within a larger “welfare state” in which the cities now support the poor and chase out the middle class.

But what they’re really saying is the average skin tone in the big urban areas has turned from white to varying shades of brown, that the main means of communication has turned from English to Spanish and various African and Asian languages.

They make the point (albeit awkwardly) that English is the tie that binds the American culture together. But that’s not the real issue, since most of their ancestors spoke something else first.

They blame race. They just don’t have the nerve to say it.

So while they border on correct about the concepts expressed in a common language for cultural glue, they don’t get the real reason the cities of the north are in decline.

Manufacturing is the other component in that glue bottle. And the jobs have gone back to where the new languages came from.

In the meantime, those Americans who transplant south and west will find their own skins turning brown. The Tucson sun will do that.

Perez Prado was Cuban and Mexican. And he’d delight his audiences by jumping and whirling while he led his band.

Today, he’d probably be in a shape up outside a Home Despot store.

And his band would be playing in Japan.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2007 WJR

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