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Who Are We Listening To?

Another Trophyz & Medalz Podcast in the books, and this one kept the Ebbtide Crew on their toes. I want to send a special thanks to our guests for this podcast, Randi & B. They are long-time female friends of Batman and they wanted to weigh in on our Red Flags. Also, they are schoolteachers, and with the COVID-19 pandemic being unapologetic about its relentless control it has had on the health of the world’s population. We thought it would be a good time to hear from folks that are the in the middle of a hot button issue right now, which is DO WE SEND OUR KIDS BACK TO SCHOOL IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS MESS?

I know for my kids’ school district, right now the plan is that the parents have the option to send their kids to school or enroll them in online schooling for the Fall. The hope is that this pandemic will subside by the end of the year, and hopefully my kids can go back to school in the Spring.

For Randi and B, their school districts have a plan, but the plans are not without their flaws. Here are a few examples that blew us away:

· Zoom faculty meetings at the school to go over the new school year.

· Testing for temperature at schools, and if temperature is too high, the student will have to wait at school until a parent/guardian is available to pick them up. The whole time while they’re waiting to be picked up, they risk contaminating their fellow students, faculty, and staff.

· Some school districts will do this same procedure for kids coming off the school bus as they arrive at school. If a student’s temperature is high, they will have to get back on the bus and taken home. Meanwhile, that same bus driver will have to pick up more kids from other schools in the district without having enough time to properly sanitize their bus. Therefore, running the risk of infecting more students.

· Because we have been quarantined with our children for this unprecedented amount of time, there are parents who are just simple ready to send their kids back to school regardless of the risks.

· There are parents that do not have internet in their homes so that their children can stay home and attend school online.

· A good number of parents are essential workers and if their children are one of the ones that test positive for COVID-19. It’s almost impossible for them to leave work to tend to their children.

With these flawed plans, we are left questioning this country’s leadership on every level. In my line of work, I was taught that a Republican in the White House is always good for business. Over the years, that has been proven true. Unfortunately, Republicans aren’t good for the business of People. I want our country to get back to business just as everyone else, but we have to be smart about how we do that. I’ve been laid off from job now for almost four months and still looking for work in the process. My kids have been good sports about this pandemic, and sometimes they’re more careful than I am. Our safety has to be prioritized first, before we can move forward.

The great thing about having Randi and B on the podcast was that they were ready to share their female perspective on the Red Flags of Dating. For B, her big Red Flag was men who lie, which I totally get because I can’t stand someone who can’t get their story straight. When a man decides he isn’t going to be faithful to his relationship, your story has to be clean. A good woman has the nose of a hound dog, the memory of an elephant, and a heavenly intuition that lets her know that MEN AIN’T SHIT.

Randi had some Red Flags that I thought were universal and eye-opening. One of her Red Flags was men who are victims. I thought this one could go both ways, because we’ve all encountered that person that thinks that world is against them. When in all honesty, they’re the problem wherever they go in life, be it their occupation or relationship, they’ll never see themselves needing to make changes and adapt.

The other Red Flag was a man who is boring, but as she explained this one, the Ebbtide Crew was able to add a little insight to her experience. She explained that she went on a dinner date with a guy, and the only thing he kept saying the whole time was how beautiful she looked. The compliment was nice the first time, but damn, that was literally all he had for her the entire evening. No conversation skills whatsoever!

In Ebbtide fashion, we saw what he was about immediately. That guy was hoping Randi’s self-esteem was low. A woman with low self-esteem would eat that up and be easily impressed. His chances for “dessert” at the end of night were definitely high. What shocked me is that in 2020, there are still grown men out there that can’t sense a woman’s self-worth.

The last segment that Randi and B commented on was about music. As our podcast often goes, we veer off whatever topic we were on and somehow we got on who can sing. Randi said in her opinion she didn’t think that Mary J. Bilge could sing. I was shocked and appalled by the comment. Having seen Mary perform at the Essence Festival, I could not understand the basis for this opinion…at first. But I could remember her earlier performances when she first hit the scene and there were some questionable notes she hit. By 2000, she had hit her stride on the stage and I was surely impressed.

Yet the most egregious comments came from the Tideking when he said that he thought the Beatles couldn’t sing. First Randi, with her comment and now this shit! Now much of the crew isn’t as familiar with the Beatles and Batman summed it up perfectly when he said he doesn’t chase the white man’s music.

That comment made me think of my 7th grade social studies teacher, Mr. Snider. He was a white man, and at the time, he had to be in his late thirties. That year, I think the administration put a Spelling class on his schedule to teach, and he wanted no part of it. As he told us plenty of times, either you can spell or you just can’t. In that Spelling class, we talked about whatever was happening during the day, which easily pushed Mr. Snider off the subject of Spelling.

One of the things he brought up was what he did before he got into teaching. He was a sound tech for a company that did all of the concerts in New Orleans. Any artist you can think of at that time, he did their sound check. He spoke of doing Prince’s sound check and how he wouldn’t have the band members do it with him. Prince did it alone because only Prince knew how he wanted HIS music to sound.

The most important lesson I learned in Mr. Snider’s Spelling class was about black music. He said that all of the music you hear in America was started by black people. It’s all BLACK MUSIC. He told us that when the Slaves were brought here, they brought their own music from their respective tribes. When Christianity was forced on us, Slaves created Negro Spirituals, from there Gospel was created, from there came Folk music and the Blues, from there evolved Country and Jazz, from Jazz the explosion of Rock &Roll and Rhythm and Blues, to finally House music, Alternative, and Hip Hop.

I’ve always listened to American-made music as BLACK MUSIC since then. When I learned about the famous artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, he spoke of influence not really being influence. Influence actually is taking your old idea and putting it into my new mind. We’ve seen this in Church with the Bible, our governments, Federal & State, with its constitutions, and especially OUR music.

How many times have you listened to a song and thought, this has a Prince vibe, or Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, even Babyface? The next question is who is here to entertain, or influence, or can do both? TLC and Keith Sweat entertained us, but I doubt them having a serious influence. Mary J. Blige entertains us, but is her music simply the anthem for the weary and broken-hearted? Is her music influential?

With the Beatles, Tideking brings up a good point, you can be influential and not be great at your craft. Look at who we are listening to as the leader of this nation. Leading up to the election, Donald Trump entertained us with his folly of not being a politician, but he stayed in his lane of what he thought would work and FUCK MY LIFE, THE SON OF A BITCH WON. We all doubted his influence.

Maybe the Beatles hit it big at just the right time in the Sixties where TV and Radio were hitting their stride commercially and financially. Motown had a factory of stars and the Beatles did their own thing. The Beatles were one of the first groups to do music videos, creating the blueprint of commercializing their songs as well as themselves.

I think the Beatles are like any other singer/musicians, they sound good only on the music they wrote themselves. Very few can sound good on anyone else’s music. Unless it’s Luther Vandross and he just remakes your shit into his own. The fact of the matter is that singer/musicians use their voice as an extension of their own music. From George Benson mimicking his own guitar riffs, to John Legend’s Falsetto as he tickles the treble timbered ivories on the piano. The Beatles can sing DAMMIT!

Tony Love

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