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Fight the Power: Four things to leave behind in 2021

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Throw the garbage bag into the trash can

A couple weeks ago, I watched a boxing card that included a 54-year-old Mike Tyson fighting a 51-year-old Roy Jones Jr., and ex-NBA player Nate Robinson getting knocked out by a YouTube star, with Snoop Dogg as the commentator.

The event was peak 2020.

Random and disappointing, it left asking, “Why?"

I concluded that I never want to watch something like that again and began thinking about other things that should be over. Now that we are in the 12th chapter of 2020, I thought it would be fitting to make a list of things we should get rid of for 2021.

1. Let's get rid of faux MAGA hats

If you are a Trumper, this message isn't for you. Instead, I mean to get rid of those parody red trucker hats with the same font that people think are creative.

Those "Made You Look Black Lives Matter" hats in the MAGA color and lettering come off ... corny. It's similar to rappers in the early 2000s wearing a Confederate flag jacket but replacing it with the Black liberation colors of red, black and green.

I don't need you to remix racism. Please stop that s#!t.

2. Stop taking your local artists for granted

As to not expose the guilty, I'll say as an artist and DJ, I hear from my fellow disc jockeys about the headache it is to get paid a decent amount when spinning around town. Whether it's "play for exposure" or "free drinks," the idea is insulting. 2020 taught us that artists are essential to our sanity.

DJ D-Nice saved us during the pandemic with his stay-at-home DJ sets. Not to mention the “Verzus” series bringing digital concerts for the public. And many Columbia creatives across many disciplines have taken to the web, often with little expectation for compensation, to bring entertainment and energy to this stifled year.

When things get back to normal (or close to it), I hope venues in Columbia and beyond will treat the artists that hit their stages as partners and not just disposable noise to feature on a Thursday night.

3. Stop showing your behinds to local businesses

I work retail at a wrecka sto (record store) in town, and Black Friday through Christmas Eve is usually a stressful situation, with people rushing to get gifts for their loved ones and entitlement at times.

Now, with some people not taking masking seriously, rude customers are now a potential source of danger. At work, we all wear masks, allowing a max of five people in the store at a time, and asking everyone walking into the store to wear a mask and use hand sanitizer.

Just last week, when I asked a gentleman to follow these simple guidelines, he responded with a sarcastic, "Wow," (the kind you do when your girl catches you in a lie) and said, "They don't help anyways." Such a dick move. (He bought a Kenny G CD after the encounter, so I'm judging him on that too).

I ask that even if you think COVID is a hoax (which is stupid) and hate the idea of masks, please don't give a business crap for having straightforward guidelines. We are all stressed out this holiday season, don't make it worse. Hopefully, that sentiment can roll over into 2021.

4. Stop being mean to yourself

When the 'rona hit, I thought I would save money, write a novel and lose 30 pounds.

It's December, and my account is low. I ain't write anything (except for these columns), and I stood in the mirror the other day shirtless cursing myself for being an ugly fat bastard. Followed by an ugly Kerry Washington-like cry (it was a very Drake-like sensitive moment).

I had to get a hold of myself. Even if things aren't moving as fast as I want them to, slow progress is better than no progress.

We talk about having grace for everyone else but not ourselves. In 2021 let's continue to show that to others but also give some back for us.

Be safe and wear a mask. We aren't out of the woods yet.

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