As the first week in April marks the three year anniversary since Zuma Dogg first stumbled into Los Angeles City Council chambers for "public comment" regarding Venice Beach issues, you can say what you want about "Zuma Dogg," but you gotta admit, he tried to towed the line over these past three years inside Los Angeles City Council chambers, and especially this past year -- cranking out perfect attendance at the council meetings.
Follow up the three meetings a week, staying for the whole meeting, commenting on the un-commented upon, most shady agenda items throughout the meeting; not just general public comment. All the follow-up conversations with city hall staffers, the people; countless hours on the phone listening to people's stories, listening in person as scores of people stop me on the street to inform me of the issue plauging their community; the committe meetings; planning/neighborhood council meetings; follow up blogging; hours on hold with radio stations waiting for a couple minutes of airtime to hopefully alert the masses -- ALL WHILE LIVING ON THE STREETS, OPERATING OUT OF MY VEHICLE, on very little budget, rolling into city hall many days on an empty stomach, empty wallet and empty gas tank. And if someone gives me $5.00 at 9 in the morning, I'll take it and run down to city hall for the meeting. Many days have started out with $0.00, but somehow by 10am, I find myself in chambers. And I have said their is one of those Deepak Chopra/Wayne Dyer energy forces supporting me and dragging me around for the activism I have been cranking out. And look at the past three months of mayoral campaigning where I was just holding it together enough to maintain a professional image for the Bill Handle KFI/Good Day L.A./Mayoral Forum events, while answering the treadmill of LA TIMES/Daily News/etc. questions out of the library, and finishing up by pouring whatever money I had into internet cafes to get things done.
And although the wheels have been falling off of "Zuma Dogg" himself, he (I) HAVE maintained a level of professionalism, setting an example, trying to simply get out there and generate some momentum, I would hate to refer to is as something bordering on leadership. I've gone where no one has gone before, they tell me, and I've paid the price personally. But I kept it going, through thick and thin. And it's all because of the feedback (energy) of the people on the streets. In other words, when you tune into TV 35 or hear me on the radio or see me on some other news media as they pop up, the people watching have no idea of the bridge burning behind me, and the wreckage I deal with the rest of the time.
So point is, for whatever reason, after jumping out there in the public eye through the media (eight years on public access cable and three years at City Hall), I've towed the line and woken up each day, and done NOTHING else but try and change the world and alert the masses and try and get them to join me.
But if you remember that old Tootsie roll commercial from the 70's, "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?" One, Ta-hoo, THREE (Crunch sound)...Three! And how many years can Zuma Dogg crank it out on the streets doing what he has just done? One, Ta-hoo, THREE (Crunch sound)...Three.
I've been "Zuma Dogg" for EIGHT YEARS, since debuting on public access cable. Newspapers have said I'm the only American comedian bearing the comedy-genius thrown once borne by Lenny Bruce and Andy Kaufman. LA Weekly called me a "public access icon" and described my show as "brain-seizing artistry." I've had more Academy, Grammy and Emmy Award winners stop me on the shopping plazas of Malibu to pay their respects and try and figure out how the hell I improv like that? ABC News Nightline had me on in January for my activism. And I'm stopped and blessed by the people of Los Angeles County on a daily basis when they tell me how much "Zuma Dogg" means to them and the city. And it has been the biggest blessing and overwhelming experience of my life. I NEVER thought this would happen.
But as of March 30, 2009; although something could spark at any moment, as I have been waiting for for the better part of eight years, I think we are seeing the end of "Zuma Dogg" and the whole thing is really, really winding down. I hope Dave makes it out in time.