steven ivory

Steven Ivory

*Some people count sheep. When I can’t sleep at night, I ponder things like: Am I the only one who considers the TLC show, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” starring  eight year-old Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson,  straight up, unmitigated child exploitation?  What will this kid do after her family and TLC are done pimping her?  Nobody seems to give a rat’s ass.  Irony of ironies: Though channel executives no longer like to say it, TLC stands for The Learning Channel.  This is what’s referred to as a Damn Shame.

On Saturday night, October 13, 2012, the giant space shuttle Endeavor, heading to its final destination–a display hangar at Los Angeles’ California Science Center–rolled through the streets of South Central L.A.

For me, the surreal sight of no less than a spacecraft   parked in the middle of  Crenshaw and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevards, surrounded by thousands of mostly enthusiastic black people, conjured  sentimental memories of the last time a space ship received such a reception in the ‘hood: the mid ’70s, when George Clinton landed Parliament’s Mothership onstage at the Forum in Inglewood.

“Entertainment Tonight” has a new name and time slot.  It’s now on ABC-TV and is called “Good Morning America.” Whatever happened to real  news?

You might forget the number on your car license plate or the PIN  for your ATM card, but you never forget  the first telephone number of your childhood. See? You still remember it.

The pundits who called it a “tie” are full of it:  during their only debate, Vice President Joe Biden whupped him some Paul Ryan ass, showing the young  Congressman how the grown folk do it.

The more nervous Ryan became, the more water he drank, suggesting that hydration can soothe a verbal beat-down.  Biden told  it (mostly) like it ‘t-i-s.   His exaggerated Joker smiles, the dramatic facial expressions of WTF, countered by perfectly timed solemnity–somebody  nominate this man for an Emmy for Best Performance by a Politician Whose Ticket Desperately Needed  a  Show of Balls.  Gotta love J.B.

That Nutribullet is the truth.  Yes, I’m talking about that little juicer they’re hawking on infomercials. In just seconds, it blends everything. There’s no pulp–the most nutritious part of fruits and vegetables–to dispose of;    nothing to take apart and put back together.  I’m throwing my old,  cumbersome, leaky juicer out the window.  I’ve raved to friends about this thing; those who went out and got one, feel the same way.

Irrefutable proof that The End is near: Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj being hired to judge amateur singers on TV talent shows.  Contestants come onstage, take one look at the panel and say, “Really?”

On the other hand, recruiting singer Adele to perform  “Skyfall,” the title song to the new James Bond movie (she co-wrote the tune with producer Paul Epworth), was an absolute no-brainer.  The Bond franchise is a  national treasure of the U.K., and currently so is the white-hot Adele,  whose CD,  “21,”  featuring “Rolling In The Deep” and “Rumour Has It,” has sold  nearly 10 million units in the U.S. alone.

Just the other day it was spring.  Today it’s fall, but at least in L.A., it still feels like summer.  It’s almost Christmas, and Halloween hasn’t happened yet.  So this is what grown-ups were referring  to when I was a child  and they’d say, “Oh, you just wait–after you turn 21, time will fly.”

Today, I tell kids the same thing. Politely, they  listen.  And as they walk away,  I see my discarded words on the floor, having  gone in one tender young ear and promptly out the other.

Steven Ivory, journalist and author of the essay collection Fool In Love  (Simon & Schuster),  has covered popular culture for magazines, newspapers, radio and TV for more than 30 years. Respond to him via [email protected]