Monday, January 19, 2009

NYC's 'Hudson Hero' Should Talk to NYC's 'Subway Hero'

Wassup, Y'all!

What is it with NYC and January? Remember back in 2007 when regular Wesley (Autrey), The Construction Worker jumped onto the subway tracks to save a strickened man just as the No. 1 train was speeding into the station? Now we have Sully, The Airplane Pilot who managed to successfully ditch a commercial airplane in the Hudson River and (assisted by a seriously unsung flight crew) managed to get all the passengers off safely. [Quick Aside, y'all - the fame and adulation for these two I can understand, but Joe, The Plumber? A perfect case of 'Empty Celebrity']. Okay I'm back.

In the wake of the national outpouring for Sully I thought it would be a good idea to check back in with Wesley to see how his hero celebrity has been treating him. You may think from that 'American Gangster' glossy that it's all good, but when it comes to fame and money we all know there's a dark side. Apparently it didn't take long for the 'Subway Hero' to get behind the velvet rope and be seated right next to Big Poppa Exploitation - also known as The Notorious E-X-P...

Now brother Wesley (deservedly) got what ol Ty calls the Platinum Steak and Cake Treatment. Meaning that no sooner had he emerged from the subway than folks were lining up to congratulate him, reward him, and tell his story. Oprah, Ellen, Letterman, GW, the governor, the mayor, Senator 'Sister' Hillary. The whole nine, y'all. Donald Trump even broke him off a piece of his chedda to the tune of $10K. Brother Wesley got two years worth of season tickets to the Nets (dang - how cheap are the Knicks!), a free trip to the Superbowl, a box seat at the State of The Union address, Disneyworld, free iMacs for the kidz - even the grinchy MTA, whose train almost killed him, kicked in with a year's worth of free rides. [Quick Aside: If a guy prevents your train from killing someone, don't you think that's at least worth rides for life just for him? I know the President of the MTA *and* his peeps probably ride for free all the time! Y'all cheap a$$es!] Okay I'm back. All pretty heady stuff for a construction worker.

Of course the price of fame is that the exposure that comes with it makes you known to other folks kindly referred to as 'scum'. It started right away with family and friends. Y'all know 'em - those fools who wouldn't give you the time of day when you're just Wesley, The Construction Worker but are all over you when you become Wesley, The Subway Hero - a phenomenon broken down raw style in Mike Jones' 'Back Then'). In this case, Wesley's Pops - who rolled when homey was 4 and had rarely been in touch since - called to let him know that it was a good that he did and that if he was coming to the family reunion to bring some of that money with him. Triflin'. Then there was the ol girl who dropped kicked his a$$ fifteen years ago who suddenly showed up all attentive-like and when she got called for bein' triflin' - 'where you been the last fifteen years?' - could only reply with the tired, 'Oh so it's like that?'. If y'all could see me as I type this you'd see me still shakin' my head at that tomfoolery. But y'all see what's comin', right? Just as clearly as you could see the end of Will Smith's 'Seven Pounds' about half way through.

Yes, Brother Wesley hired some 'people' to manage his interests and help him cultivate projects, signed a regrettable contract and went to court to get his property rights back and void the contract that stipulated he pay out 50% of any earnings over three years (which is about the shelf life of 'instant' celebrity). So Capt. Sully - recognize that there's some bad coming with all this good. Keep your eyes open and be thankful that brother Wesley has blazed a path that should help keep you on the right track should your Air Force Academy senses fail you in bright glare of new found riches

In the meantime, NYC! What y'all got up your sleeve for Act III? Somebody gonna rescue the passengers of a bus rigged to blow if it goes over 50? Somebody gonna foil the plans of the Decepticons when they infiltrate the city and take City Hall hostage? Somebody gonna keep the Mets and Giants from choking down the stretch? Oh - sorry. My bad on that...

Here's something to keep in mind while you're ponderin' - heroism isn't always spectacular. You have every day people at it everyday - you just need to look a little harder and hope that should your moment to shine come that your first thought won't be 'Oooo - dang, that's too bad' instead of 'Wow - that could be someone I know'.



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