By Richard Chandler Burroughs
Seasons are fascinating and with good reason. They’re powerful manifestations of how the planet earth is moving and its direct relationship to other celestial objects. That’s big….almost as big as the release of the Yeezus album (that’s sarcasm). Their existence has spawned a catalog of odes, doodles, paintings, movies, and songs spanning across centuries. Man’s very first song might have been how damn cold the winter was and why fire was so cowabunga.
The calendar shows that the summer solstice is upon us. I know this because, like so many other people, I’m looking forward to the official arrival of summer. Unlike other seasons that arrive with little fanfare, summer is anxiously awaited like a box of Friday donuts at fat kid’s camp. All over these United States, right after the holiday season and New Years Day, someone is saying, “I can’t wait for summer”, which is actually the weirdest thing because at the heart of it, people have real disdain for summer.
Like every other season, summer has major fails. If you’ve ever smelled the feet of a chronically un-bathed and homeless man on the A train in late July, on a car that is bereft of air conditioning, then you’ve experienced a chamber of hell. If you’ve nearly fainted like a southern belle from that stench, and are a masochist, you’re probably pleased that such an experience now costs an extra 25 cents as compared to this same time last year.
In spite of the many disgusting and disturbing situations that accompany summer, it’s still the most beloved of the four seasons and though its enduring celebratory status was initially Rubik’s cube baffling, I think I might have figured out a key reason….Summer has secretly hired R. Kelly as it’s publicist!
The four calendar seasons likely came to town together waaaaay back when, though I would have to double-check with Clint Eastwood to be certain, yet summer has seemed to eclipse all the others in popularity and has done it by a rather large margin. If the four seasons are the original Destiny’s Child, then summer is obviously Beyonce, with the spring being Kelly Rowland. I think winter is probably Latonya Luckett.
Summer is serious business, with rappers claiming to own the summer and making summer anthems. Conversely, nobody wants to own the FALL. Autumn is nice, with the foliage and sartorial options like sweaters and jackets, but nobody is lusting after it. I’ve yet to hear a rapper make an “Autumn Anthem” unless it was an SNL spoof that I missed. The fall also gets credit for having autumn as a nom de’ season, which makes it the only season with a street name, but that doesn’t yield any street cred. Though the holiday season is in the fall, unfortunately, so is the recent phenomenon of people getting trampled to death trying to buy shoddy electronics at cut-rate prices. It’s a macabre free market performance piece where offshore, slave-wage labor, makes products in life threatening conditions, to later be sold by low wage workers in America, under life threatening conditions on Black Friday, which is so #iStupid.
And before you judge me for using a hastag in the body of this piece, remember, it’s nothing as ignominious as getting trampled to death at a Walmart, in the cold, with Turkey legs and chicken giblets still on your breath from a holiday that celebrates mass genocide. Yeah, autumn is kinda like a fraud and adding insult to injury, autumn sucks because its presence means the end of summer, which signals the dreaded BTS…back to school. So as an example of its fan club, summer is so popular that the fall get’s a lot of crap for simply telling everybody that the summer is over….like the guy that announces on stage, to a bunch of screaming teen girls, that a Justin Beiber concert is cancelled.
Seasonally speaking, WINTER probably has the most haters of all. I don’t normally use the term “haters” and when I do, it’s not in the trumped-up, Facebook way, where even if a person is living in a squalid, cold water flat and stealing wi-fi on a Dell laptop won in a 2004 holiday raffle, they still, delusionally, keep ranting about their haters. Winter has excellent reasons to have haters. Winter is cold. It lacks enough sunlight. It’s cold. People try to escape the Winter and head to places where it’s……..Summer. Sure, Winter has Christmas and the holidays and New Years Day, which are all nice and add value to the Winter season, but really……This is the face of Winter.
I need not say more.
“In the SPRING a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love” and generally speaking, lots of positive attributes come with the season. In fact, one of springs biggest assets is that it’s NOT winter, which is a real backhanded compliment. It’s like someone saying your new girlfriend is pretty compared to your last girlfriend. Still, spring weather is a marked improvement from Winter. People start to thaw out. It’s like the earth has come alive and it’s a group understanding that a new beginning has arrived. It’s like a beautiful woman waking after an extended sleep. If only for the reawakening of nature, Spring gets a lot of love and props. The loquacious Biz Markie said it best by simply
rapping. singing, warbling: IT’S SPRING AGAIN
BUT spring also has crazy, unpredictable weather and a lot of it is deadly. Spring is Tornado season for many parts of the U.S. and those twisters are known to snatch people up and drop them down in very bizarre places
Spring is hope. Spring is renewal. Spring is an affair that Donna Summer so entertainingly sang about on her Four Seasons album. Spring is often looked at as the introduction to summer, though I have genuine affinity for spring time in the city. It often feels like summer’s little sister that’s still in college, growing and hoping to turn into summer, which most people think is one bad mother effer of a season.
It all comes back around to how people are always jocking the summer, as if the summer ain’t got a boat load of issues and it’s precisely why R Kelly is probably doing its PR. Any entertainer that can maintain popularity and a deep and strong fan base after a history of debauched, debased behavior and public craziness, can orchestrate the ongoing campaign that keeps the summer at the top of the pops.
For all the sexiness the summer supposedly brings, it’s often so hot and humid, that only at your horniest is sex even a real option…especially for women. If you don’t have air conditioning at your place, fall back on that booty call in August, unless she agrees to some carnality in front of an open refrigerator door…In which case you officially found yourself a winner. The summer also delivers a super charged electric bill since the air conditioner is often on full blast just to make your very existence somewhat bearable. That’s not so cool for neither your pocket or the environment, yet RKPR (R. Kelly Public Relations), has worked its butt off to convince the world that summer is sexy, even though everybody generally smells sweaty and not the “sexy” sweaty like any of the Rosie Perez scenes in Do The Right Thing
City living in the summer also increases the likely hood that a stray bullet will find a rest stop in your fifth vertebrae, rendering you a cripple or a paraplegic. That sucks. People don’t ponder deeply enough on how the summer can take away the simple joys of life, like running, jumping or skateboarding and how all the summer fun in the world will not bring back the member of your Twerk Team who can no longer walk, let alone move the fleshy areas of their butt and thigh in a sexually lascivious manner for entertainment or employment purposes.
All the gun play that the summer ushers in is a byproduct of tempers flaring up and a general state of irritation, caused by the heat and humidity of the season. It’s most majorly the by-product of hand guns, which are so readily available at some bodegas, store owners should post their gun return policy next to the hand scribbled “no loosies” sign at the counter. But that’s another story for another day.
Only a man who has urinated on a teen, on video tape, after years of accusations of sex with underage girls, who then goes completely Shaggy for his defense in court (wasn’t me), and walks away with a not guilty decision and a better, more profitable and shiny career can offer true guidance to the summer.
Cause droughts that ruin crops/farmers, raising the prices of food in an already fragile economy? Then show the world how much fun is had at the beach with the entire family on a meager budget.
The rotten smell of cooked trash has taken over the city streets? highlight freegans dumpster diving and chastise the people for having such wasteful lifestyles.
When the temperature gets too hot in the summer, a heat alert goes out, which means that people are at risk for a heat stroke and having a heat stroke is deadly. But the people most at risk for heat stroke are old people and babies and they have the smallest voice among us, so summer gets a pass on that by diverting your attention with images hot people eating Stone Cold ice cream out of a chocolate dipped cone.
I’m sure that over the next several weeks, I’ll hear people complaining about the heat and humidity, the smells and general uncomfortableness of the season, but it’s very fleeting, especially once you’ve hit a few amazing rooftop parties or BBQs or had sex on the beach with someone who can tolerate your body heat and funk in August. And if you look closely, you can see the RKPR agency at work as you mindlessly grab a hand-full of $9.99 a pound tomatoes and head to an impromptu picnic in Central Park, carefully avoiding the homeless men and horse shit, whose rank odors are battling for supremacy in your nostrils, but you could care less, cause you’re going tanning.
Bunch of Summer Stans!