B A H j o u r n a l i s t

Brian Anthony Hernandez

Guest blog | ‘Al Roker! I wanna rub your head!’

“Al! Al Roker! Al Roker I want to rub your head!”  Yes, I yelled that to the NBC broadcaster.

Guest blogger Katherine Greene

My friend Katherine Greene explains why here in an awesome guest blog titled “The story of how I didn’t see Ke$ha perform on ‘The Today Show'” The next two paragraphs are excerpts from her blog. Click on read more to view the blog in its entirety.

“Here’s something they don’t tell you about the Today Show: while you sit enraptured by the interrogation skills of the beautiful reporters questioning today’s newsmakers (Lindsay Lohan’s mom, anyone?), the crowd outside is just waiting. It’s no wonder, then, that when the TV personalities come outside, everyone cheers – it’s the only thing they’ve had to do all this hot morning long.

“It’s what happened to Brian. … The crew came out. ‘Al! Al Roker! Al Roker I want to rub your head!’ Brian screamed over the din as America’s most recognizable weatherman headed to a platform above the crowd to do his segment.”

The story of how I didn’t see Ke$ha perform on ‘The Today Show
By Katherine Greene

I’m about to say something for which I know you will judge me. Are you ready? I love pop music. I love the simplicity of it, and the way you can escape your troubles in it and let your mind dance rather than worry over whether you’re going to be able to pay that bill this month or whether your boyfriend still loves you. Pop music is easy, and it’s universal.

And you can sit there and read this and sneer. But the truth is, you listen to it, too. You do! You might keep it in that secret place in your iPod so no one can see, but it’s there. See, that’s how it comes to be pop music: it’s popular. It’s something we all like.

Lady Gaga has turned pop music into high art. Dr. Luke has created every party’s standard beats. But the face of the ultimate, hard-line, lowest-common-denominator pop music is unquestionably the one and only Ke$ha. Which is why I woke up at 4:30 a.m. last Friday to see her.

New York City, in the summertime, is filled with shows. Everyone goes to shows, sometimes more than one in a day. There are good ones and bad ones. But there are always shows to see.

Especially, there are Important Shows. Shows Worth Seeing. Shows Worth Bragging About. There are people who go see obscure shows just to be able to tell their friends they saw some experimental project group so they sound plugged-in.

Seeing Ke$ha live, in a tourists’ venue, early in the morning, for the Today Show, is the opposite of that. It goes against everything those experimental project showgoers stand for. Naturally, I loved the idea.

When my alarm went off Friday morning I sat bolt upright. My brain was fuzzy but I knew I’d hate myself forever if this story ended with me sleeping through the show. For a brief moment I considered leaving it up to Brian, sleeping in the next room, so if we missed it I could pass responsibility off to him while still also getting those last few hours of sleep.

No such luck. Two hours later we were coming out of the mall under Rockefeller Center to hear that beautiful blonde spoken-word artiste working her way through her biggest hit, “Tik Tok.”

Much has been said about the merits of this song, which is simply about a girl on a bender. Go ahead, act like you hate it. The fact is, it’s one of the most well-known songs of the past year.

Maybe we could have some deep conversation about how that speaks to our need to escape the heavy doom of the recession and losing our homes and being crushed by our debt. I have to admit, I wasn’t thinking about that as we danced along the sidewalk, kicking up glitter that had fallen off the outfits of a hundred tourist girls and boys there to see the show.

You’d be amazed how many people think it’s worth it to wake up early and go stand in a hot plaza below office buildings just to see Matt Lauer talk on TV. There we were, Brian and I, the New Yorkers, in a sea of tourists, in the middle of the crowd, unable to see the stage for all the Midwesterners struggling to get their faces on television for a split second.

Here’s something they don’t tell you about the Today Show: while you sit enraptured by the interrogation skills of the beautiful reporters questioning today’s newsmakers (Lindsay Lohan’s mom, anyone?), the crowd outside is just waiting. It’s no wonder, then, that when the TV personalities come outside, everyone cheers – it’s the only thing they’ve had to do all this hot morning long.

It’s what happened to Brian. I stood there judging the mannerisms and behavior of the people of Iowa and New Jersey and whatever other non-states these people were from, and Brian stood there getting excited. And then, the crew came out.

“Al! Al Roker! Al Roker I want to rub your head!” Brian screamed over the din as America’s most recognizable weatherman headed to a platform above the crowd to do his segment.

And that’s just it, isn’t it? These people that we’re screaming and cheering for are doing the same job Brian and I get paid to do, only they’ve been pop culture-ized.

The most-watched morning news show isn’t real news. The most listened-to music isn’t real music. Do we care about authenticity anymore?

After two practice runs, Meredith came out and introduced Ke$ha, the princess of nothing, and the crowd cheered like wild for the cameras. Ke$ha, who can actually sing, did her silly dance and put on her headdress and high-fived the crowd surrounding the stage. She vamped for the cameras and squeaked her voice at the appropriate places.

We didn’t see it. We didn’t see it, because the point isn’t for us to see the show. It’s for us to be seen seeing the show. We weren’t even a real audience.

I didn’t care. I was dancing.

Advertisements

August 17, 2010 - Posted by | Guest blog, New York, Personal

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: