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Shout outs and mad props 

And introducing Matt

In an effort to keep this column fresh and interesting to me and to you, I've decided to make some changes. The first thing I've decided to do is introduce a character. Hollis Gillespie, Cliff Bostock and Jane Catoe have recurring characters in their columns that they not only mention by name, but frequently quote. My character is named Matt. He's tall, enjoys gangster rap and is my closest friend.
"Don't forget to mention that the ladies seem to like me!" Matt interjected.

The second important change is the introduction of the shout out. The shout out, of course, is a spoken acknowledgement of friends or groups of friends, often indicating solidarity or gratitude.

DeeB8: On Friday, Matt and I attended the Atlanta Press Club's debate at GPTV studios between the Republican candidates for lieutenant governor and between 4th District Rep. Cynthia McKinney and challenger Denise Majette. First up were the Republicans, who were so polite and softball with each other that they may as well have worn caps and mitts. My favorite candidate was former state Rep. Steve Stancil. He mentioned how the General Assembly spends money like a "drunken sailor on a Saturday night," after which Matt leaned to me and said, "I guess he means they blow our tax money on booze and hookers."
The main event was McKinney vs. Majette. McKinney has avoided public debates with Majette. In fact, she didn't confirm her attendance at Friday's debate until the last minute. When asked during the debate why she didn't RSVP, she responded that she was "out touching our people." In addition to touching our people, McKinney caused a stir at the debate by clothing our people in McKinney campaign T-shirts, apparently a violation of the debate's rules. One bitchy Majette supporter protested so loudly that the debate organizers called security. (He calmed down before anything happened, though.)

Despite the numerous bull's-eyes McKinney presented to her opponent, Majette was unable to hit her hard. She got an OK jab at McKinney about accepting campaign donations from people and groups with ties to terrorism. McKinney responded with an evasive comment about how she doesn't racially profile campaign donors. But by and large, Majette was stiff and unable to communicate her points well. Matt doesn't think that's necessarily bad though. "She talks like a robot. Maybe that makes her the candidate of the future."

Shout outs to Professor Griffis (great questions, yo!) and K-Dawg Edelstein. Mad props to the so very fly ladies of Deering Road for the post-debate house party. It was off the heezy, fo' sheezy!

No Goiter: On Saturday, Matt and I went by Saltworks Gallery for its latest opening. Aline Chapurlat's abstract wall canvases occupied the main gallery. They communicated on a large scale as enormous shapes on big walls and on a small scale with finely textured paint. And with non-descriptive names like "s2," Chapurlat obviously wasn't in the mood to spoon-feed any meaning to viewers.
Just as interesting to me as the art on display, though, was what Matt and I saw in the cordoned-off workroom in the back of the gallery. The room's back wall was covered with an enormous American flag painting -- with the stars replaced by bananas. Matt also noticed a wheeled tray in the workroom with dozens of identical, seemingly plaster monkey heads. Perhaps they were related.

Shout outs to Hope Hilton (dig that green eye shadow!), Richard Melvin (vertical lines in the hizzouse) and Lisa-Lisa Alembik (no gum this time!).

Manic Expressive: After the art show, I dropped Matt off at Gravity Pub to party with the V.I. Massive Crew (Flanders and Monroe, like you don't know) and headed up to The Earl to see Her Space Holiday. HSH plays beat-driven, electronic music. It wasn't particularly danceable, and, in fact, nobody was dancing. It was definitely "stand still and listen" music. The band's two members set the tone, hovering motionless over synthesizers. They made up for standing almost completely still by bringing on stage gizmos that one typically doesn't see at The Earl. HSH mainman Marc Bianchi used his electronic gear to trigger an impressive, if small, light and smoke show.
Mad props to Amanda for walking me back to the Gravity Pub and to Tom and Penny (gettin' hitched). And a big ol' East ATL shout out to Kelly Clark (always kickin' it VIP) and Gabe (I'll get my drink next time, bro).

Doggie Style: The ASO held its fourth annual Bark In The Park concert Sunday, prompting hundreds of symphony fans to come out with their dogs and violate the city's open container laws. Despite the event's name, there really wasn't a lot of barking -- which is remarkable considering there were hundreds of dogs there. The one exception was an agitated hound who howled every now and then.
As usual, the music was animal themed. I particularly enjoyed the rendition of Stravinsky's "Firebird." The show was also great for people watching. "Check out the guy with his pants tucked into his boots," said Matt, pointing to a man wearing what had to be the outfit of the evening.

The man had on shiny black vinyl pants tucked into black knee-high combat boots, a black shirt and a cowboy hat. Maybe the space-age gay disco cowboy look is in this year and no one told me.

Shout outs to Jill D., Baby Slater, "No Way" Jose, and mad props to Tippy the shaved dog with the froofy tail. That haircut takes balls, yo. Lucky for you, your owner hasn't removed yours. Peace. I'm out.

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