Sunday, December 11, 2005

His "Motherfucker" Was A War Cry


richard pryor 12/01/40 - 12/10/05
Originally uploaded by T r a c y.
Richard Pryor died on Saturday, which reminded me that he had not died yet. Obituaries and appreciations of his wit, crass humor, and revelatory honesty are all over the internet and print media now. Here is the Post's.

I can remember sitting up in my best friend's room hunkered over Richard Pryor albums played on a Fisher-Price record player. We craved raw, crass expression in all forms, but were trapped by the vestiges of childhood -- Pryor records on Fisher Price record players and parents that would have lost their minds if they knew how much we were laughing at entire routines about "niggers," "pussy" as a concept, and "fucking, " whatever that was.

My friends and I are not standup comedians, and never will be -- but Richard Pryor shaped us all the same. His timing, elastic, rambling storytelling and perfect profanities framed the way I relate my experiences to this day, and cemented my love for the word motherfucker. I still have the hardest time not saying it at work.

My grandmother has always said that smart people don't need to express themselves with profanity, there are other ways to make a point and get people to listen. Richard Pryor proved that brilliant people can take profanity and turn it into a rallying cry, that a nation of trampled and furious people can prop up motherfucker like the flag at Iwo Jima and fly it with pride.

This link will allow you to download three of my favorite Richard Pryor routines: part of "Live at the Sunset Strip," "That Nigger's Crazy" (whole album, which we memorized), and a routine as Mudbone called "Little Feets."

This will be available for seven days, or 25 downloads, whichever comes first.

1 Comments:

At 6:31 PM, Blogger Listmaker said...

awesome, thanks jeff for the link.
i also really enjoyed your music mix.

 

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