The Park Slope Rap-Club Controversy Continues: Battle Of The Parody Petitions
The real Fab Five Freddy probably neither wrote nor signed any of these petitions, just FYI.
So last week a brave young Park Slope woman named Jennifer McMillen entered the fractious debate over Prime 6, an allegedly hip-hop-friendly club set to open at Flatbush and Sixth in Brooklyn, to the trepidation of some neighbors who feared, in the memorable coinage of her Internet petition on the matter, the presence of "another Yo MTV Raps 'bling-bling' vip club." Despite clarifying that Park Slope is not at all racist, she personally loves rap/r&b, and has several African-American friends, McMillen (whom no one, from the Voice to the Wall Street Journal, has yet been able to find, leaving open the possibility that this is all an elaborate prank) was nonetheless showered with derision, which at first took the form of people signing her petition under amusing fake names (Whitely McWhite, Lou Dobbs, Fab Five Freddy, U Haz No Blak Frenz, etc.), and has now spawned the inevitable: answer petitions. Let's take a closer look at two of them.
Premises Fairly self explanatory: She should either hold monthly get-togethers ("just like the kind portrayed in that Kid and Play film!") to better understand the culture that so vexes her, or just flee the neighborhood in terror.
Degree of Earnestness The Hamptons one is largely not fucking around. To wit:
It's "racist" to equate hip-hop with an elevated crime rate vis a vi other types of musical genres - It's just a statistical fact that Southpaw and Moe's don't have metal detectors in front for playing A Tribe Called Quest. R&B and rap happen to be the favorite types of music of a whole lot of white people, but no one (especially my White guilt ridden hipster friends and colleagues) would seriously deny that Jennifer's extraordinary fear of hip-hop's residual cultural impacts on a community is her subconscious saying "oh god not more unfamiliar Negros, I don't feel comfortable around them."
Comedic Value Whereas Mr. House Party devotes most of his time to mocking the "Indie" scene McMillen suggests as a viable alternative:
Like you, I am not a Hip-Hop fan and would rather sit at home, reading the Sunday NY times while listening to Yacht Rock on my Bose speaker system. When I need some good, wholesome, indie rock created by Brooklyn's newest inhabitants, I take a walk down 4th ave. to The Rock Shop where I am guaranteed to catch your average, run of the mill indie rock group that most likely holds deep roots in the suburbs of Ohio. Most of the time they usually have the same band there twice in one month! I'm sure I've seen you there!
That Ohio thing hurts, but point taken.
Accuracy of Parody The Hamptons wins this one, actually, nailing McMillen's most quotable lines, from "I don't think anyone would deny that Park Slopers are about the most closeted 'racist' people on the planet" to "Jennifer has to realize this - but at the same time - Park Slope families need to realize that this is a free country, and that Prime 6, people who like hip-hop, and black people have a right to exist." Bonus points for mirroring the original's use of boldface.
Presence/Quality Of Yo! MTV Raps Jokes Mr. House Party: "Since this will be such a ground-breaking idea for someone like you, I'm sure we can get MTV to donate some full-season DVDs of "Yo! MTV Raps" since it has been off the air for quite some time now."
Signatures So Far 89 for House Party, 52 for Hamptons.
Fake Names Used As Signatures So Far House Party used a different online-petition client that doesn't allow for much fake-name chicanery apparently; the Hamptons is proudly supported by "fuck hipsters and yuppies," "White Flight," and "please don't rape the white womens."
Number Of Years This Calamity Has Set Back Brooklyn Race Relations, Whether It's All A Joke Or Not Roughly a decade and counting.
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