“If I don’t see the Avengers soon,” I said, “I think I’ll explode.”
“You know,” my friend said, “The NFL Draft, the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight and the Kentucky Derby are also on that weekend.”
That’s a pretty stacked weekend, and I didn’t know it was happening. I think we all need to get the boo-loving done early, because wives and girlfriends are getting neglected May 1-3. But the most entertaining event of them all might be the Kentucky Derby. (Just kidding, its going to be Avengers!)
You may be too innocent to know about the Player’s Ball. Previously, I would have simply assumed that you knew the skit from Chappelle’s show that lampooned the Player’s Ball, but there seems to be a generation that has never seen him, or doesn’t get his humor which is utterly terrifying to me. Will he end up being our Ernie Kovacs, that guy we thought was hysterical, but then we get old and no one knows what we’re talking about?
There are several versions of the Player’s Ball, but the basic idea was that ‘pimps’ gathered together with their women, and garish outfits and strutted around celebrating themselves. Also there were a lot of parties and celebrations attached to that, which likely included a fair amount of gambling.
The Player’s Ball has a lot of stigma attached to it. These are not very nice people taking advantage of women, and doing variously illegal things. It features over the top fashion that isn’t generally received well by mainstream culture. Its ‘ghetto,’ if you will.
Realistically, the Kentucky Derby is the exact same thing. The fashion is nearly indistinguishable, its just that culture has condemned one style and praised another. The Derby is playful. The Player’s Ball is ratchet. Why? Who knows.
The Kentucky Derby is the one time a year rich white people get to dress like African dandies. It may be the fashion equivalent of blackface. It is a collection of fashion that resembles what the colorblind wore to Baptist churches in the 1940’s.
The Kentucky Derby is also a collection of not very nice people who parade around women that wouldn’t touch them if they weren’t rich. It is the summer event where you take the trophy wife for a spin.
Some of these same people own a stable of horses, dress them up in colorful outfits, have small men ride them and then bet on the whole thing. They don’t deal with them personally, they have handlers. Sounds like a pimp to me!
What made it weird is that at some point black people got rich and started going to the Kentucky Derby. Irony imploded on itself at this point, although it is nice to see a post-racial society where everyone can get together to look silly.
For instance, a lot of these guys were former athletes. Have you seen athlete fashions? If Michael Irvin goes to the Kentucky Derby, he doesn’t need a special suit, he can just wear what he wore last Sunday.
The actual horse race seems inconsequential. If I remember correctly, its an hour long program, but the horses go around the track once, and the whole thing is over. That means the majority of the whole thing is pomp, fluff, and circumstance. Its 99% self-service, a touch of action and then the whole thing is over. (This description applies to the Godzilla remake as well. )
The Kentucky Derby is the Michele Bachmann of events, something stunning inane that is somehow taken seriously by a faithful minority of the general population. The only difference between it and the Player’s Ball is cocoa butter, type of cognac, and candor.