Friday, October 2, 2009

The Life and Times of Zuma Dogg (Part 1: The Fame Has Finally Done Him In And He Can't Take The Accolades He Once Craved Anymore)

FIRST OF ALL...DO I HAVE TO CLARIFY AGAIN?: Someone who has been a ZD supporter (although the most passive aggressive fan, ever) sent me this comment:

"You are a hoot. Thought it was time for you to return to the beach and stop doing this shit? Guess not, once a political "activist" junkie always a junkie."

So again, I said I have retired from day to day activism duties. Let me repeat what that means when I say that: No day to day council meetings and not taking on every issue that any random stranger contacts me over, that I get worked up over then start researching, blogging, making calls about and showing up to council to discuss/expose. I'm not scanning the net for items as the ticker-tape for fraud, waste and abuse.

But I have said, I cannot walk away from myself. But here is the difference in my blogging. First of all, I haven't attended four meeting in a row, and it's been a long time since I not only took off than many meetings, but I am not "forcing" myself to stay away, then I'm just watching them online anyway, and blogging about it. The meetings are taking place and I am not even thinking about them and am not checking up to see what happened. Shadiness is going down, and I am not trying to do a thing about it. I have to leave it to all the others who are holding it down. I put in a lot of time and condensed a lot of time over these past three and a half years, and the ying has caught up to the yang. I've taken on a lot of negative energy and thoughts always being "on" and hearing and reading about all the evil energy and bad things happening in this city at the hands of the elected officials who are criminal in their day to day behavior, in my opinion. It's a lot of energy to carry, when you are not recuperating properly, but ALL ACCELERATOR over nothing but speed bumps.

And unfortunately, I am still just as stuck on the streets and more broke than ever and all I can really do is sit here at this coffee shop wi-fi location and blog my thoughts to keep myself from going even more insane. (It's the cheapest form of therapy.)

Look at what I have been blogging. I changed the blog title from LA Daily Blog to Zuma Report because I am not representing citywide issues as brought to me by the community, but blogging about the things on my mind, as an individual and am representing MY opinions and not the voice of the general community, and that's a HUGE difference.

CAN YOU COMPREHEND THE DIFFERENCE? There is a big one.

I guess I have always been blogging what has been on my mind, and the people of Los Angeles did a GREAT job in getting and holding my attention and I LOVE all the smart, informed people who have been tugging on my Zuma Dogg shirt to try and get me to say one more thing about something. IT WORKED. LOOK AT WHAT I WAS DOING BEFORE POLITICS AND ACTIVISM:

Zuma Dogg Show Highlights - Public Access Era (2000-2006) Pt 1 (Only about 5% or less of my videos have been posted on the internet/YouTube. Most of it is on video tapes. Maybe that's why you don't understand the hoopla.)

So you caught my attention, and what was on my mind was considered to be political city activism, so LA Daily Blog, it was. But now the focus has changed and some of you will enjoy it, maybe even more, and some will not want to check in as much. I think the mix of content on this blog will still be something most LA Daily Blog readers will be compelled to check in for. (This week's blogging is an average example.) Maybe it still looks the same to you, but to me it is totally different. I think it's back to my roots.

Zuma Dogg has ONE motto that he lives by: "Give the People what they Want." So, as part of my community activism mission, I gave the people what they wanted, and that was the deconstruction of Zuma Dogg into Dave. But that kind of killed the goose that was laying the golden eggs.

So we lost "City Hall Era" Zuma Dogg four meetings ago -- and now I'm just stuck in transition but the people on my old playground aren't there anymore. And I'm really in no-mans land now.

And I wish I had something else I could do besides blog, today, but at least it's already 5:42pm and I've passed a good part of the day.

AND THE REST OF THIS POST IS SOMETHING I WOULD TYPICALLY POST ON ANOTHER BLOG LIKE ZUMADOGG.BLOGSPOT, which is where I will be posting a lot of "personal journey" stuff and creative things that don't fit on this local issue blog, at all. But today, I'm gonna let it fly here, for the record, because these thoughts are overwhelming me. And I really think I crossed a line that I haven't crossed before regarding the outpouring from fans over the past nine years -- and I see the cucumber has turned into a pickle and I'm ruined as far as being able to return to life as I knew it. I thought I could pull the Darth Vader helmet off...but taking off the hat and glasses wasn't the trick.

YOU ARE GOING TO HATE THIS POST. DON'T EVEN READ IT. I JUST HAD TO TYPE IT FOR MY OWN BENEFIT. STOP READING NOW. THERE IS NO CITY BUSINESS CONTAINED BELOW. IF YOU DON'T READ IT, YOU WON'T MISS A THING!

There, you have been warned. Read at your own risk of nausea.

ZUMA DOGG CRANKY ALERT ELEVATED TO RED: Well, when you're on a tight margin like ZD, all it takes is one straw on the camels back, or one wafer thin mint, to make the whole thing unravel. And yesterday was that day. And last night was that night. And I've seen the weather forecast in ZD's short-term future and it ain't sunshine and warmth. It's a dark, dark cold front and storm that has moved in. So some of you got some cranky voice mails at 3 in the morning, today and some fun and nasty emails, cause the bitch is back...woo, Woo, WOO!

So here's all I can say: Unfortunately, that is the energy I am always living with and if you want to know what will drive a guy to sit through every council meeting for an entire meetings worth of public comment agenda items, just to punish their ass...WELP, that's what it takes.

Oh yeah, it's nice to think I can be just like the rest of you and do it the way the rest of you want me to do it...but it takes a fire in the engine of the locomotive to have it burn down the tracks.

Maybe if I weren't dying on the streets, round the clock, including 3 in the morning, I would be able to hold it together better. But as the person who just held it together for the past couple months...and it hasn't been MUCH better...just a couple camel's straws better...

IT'S CLEAR THERE IS A BUTTON THAT HAS TO BE PRESSED TO UNLEASH THE ZD MACHINE...AND IT WAS PRESSED YESTERDAY...AND THEN I JUST HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE STORM TO PASS.

It's completely a sleep and nutrition situation, and more of a nutrition situation.

And once this monster is unleashed throughout my system, all my fingers will allow me to blog are stories of my journey over the past nine years and the side effects it has had on me.

You've heard about this driving force energy that a lot of artists who have made it internationally have suffered from, and it's great for the creative output, but not a whole lot of fun to be a part of, or around when the storm front moves in.

I hang in there, pushing hard and relentlessly over the past three years from the sidewalk and hungy...so I'm not exactly a Diva and Mary Benson can mock me for my tenacity and what it ended up costing me...but I was willing to pay that cost, or at least couldn't stop myself. (See above.) And, I really can be content and have no problem just laying down wherever I may be at the end of the day, during a battle/purpose/cause as I have taken on over the past three years. I've said many times, I feel blessed and the spirit of the community fills me with the joyful spirit that ALLOWS me to endure life on the street.

BUT, sometimes, like yesterday and today and who knows for how much longer...it gets too dark even for a guy who has no shame and can lay down on the street. And the fact that I can do this, must mean I'm a little different, anyway. But when I get a little too hungry and a little too sleep deprived -- and promises fall through that I REALLY, REALLY need to NOT fall though...ADIOS, ZUMA PERRO!

AND I JUST HAVE TO GET THIS OFF MY CONSCIOUS AND I KNOW SOME PEOPLE DON'T LIKE WHEN I SAY THIS STUFF...ESPECIALLY MY DAD...WHO I WAS NEVER ABLE TO CONVINCE ALL THE WAY IN CLEVELAND THAT PEOPLE STOP ME ON THE STREETS DAILY TO PRAISE ME FOR MY EFFORTS. I DON'T THINK HE EVER FELT IT WAS EVEN 1/100th OF WHAT I WAS TRYING TO EXPLAIN TO HIM. NOT TO BRAG, BUT HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN PROUD OF THE FEEDBACK, BECAUSE IF THEY WERE PRAISING MY EFFORTS, ACROSS A PRETTY WIDE CREATIVE SPECTURM...IT WAS A GOOD REFLECTION ON HIM AND HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN PROUD AND WANTED TO BE HAPPY FOR ME. But he used to call his friends and play them my videos toward the goal of, "This isn't funny, is it? My son keeps telling me all these people stop him on the street. He's delusional."

Then when it was the City Hall era, OH MAN...try convincing him I would walk into city hall, shoot my mouth off, and have people cheer. Oh yeah...he spent the rest of his life trying to convince me it wasn't happening and I was over-exaggerating.

Maybe if I could have sent him some of the recent wave of comments in the press and blogs he might start to comprehend. But then he would just say, "Well, if you're so great, then how come no one is willing to pay you."

He didn't think my comedy was any good because I wasn't paid for it. And if I everyone was tuning in across the city to see my activism on TV 35, then how come no one paid me to do anything related as a real job?

I mean, how would you like to be Zuma Dogg's parents and have to hear stories as to how the masses stop you on the street to thank you in a deeply appreciative way that very few people get to experience during their life, while you are calling on the phone asking if you can come home because you can't take another day on the street? So of course it was a big daily intervention to prove I wasn't funny, or couldn't have any city hall savvy. Not HIS kid. How could it be?

So that brings me to the thing that really, really has messed with my mind over the course of the past nine years of intense public immersion. (And even when I was living in a house...I was still out round the clock, except when I went home for a few hours sleep. I've lived at this pace for 9 years as an creative artist.)

Here's early fan reaction. And I've lived such an intense day, each day, for nine year, it feel like a life time ago. I look back and it feels just as distant as a childhood memory. And it's been a river of the type of reaction in these first two (and three) segments.


TOO MUCH INTENSE FEEDBACK FROM PEOPLE CALLING YOU A GENIUS AND ELEVATING YOU ABOVE ALL OTHERS IN SOCIETY WILL CAUSE TREMENDOUS EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL CONFLICT AND ANGUISH WHEN YOU ARE DETERIORATING ON THE STREETS, HUNGRY.

"Zuma Dogg is the only American comedian today wearing the comedy-genius mantle once borne by Lenny Bruce, Allen Funt and Andy Kaufman." - M. Heaton/Cleveland Plain Dealer.

It's tough even for people who end up getting paid. I hate to use the word, "fame," but maybe that's what it is. I'm a market researcher at heart, so I call it "level of awareness," not "fame." (Cause it ain't fame when you are not getting paid and homeless, if you ask me. To me, fame includes, "money" so I have have a high level of recognition with an extremely high level of favorably, to put it in "market researcher" terms.)

And then when you have all that money, I guess it's enough to get you in trouble, and maybe that's what's saved me.

I'M SORRY...I'M GONNA HAVE TO LAY IT OUT IN A WAY THAT WILL SICKEN SOME OF YOU:

You can't stop a guy, round the clock on the streets as he goes about his day at the coffee shop, gas station, grocery store, mall parking lots, beaches, ANYWHERE YOU GO...EVEN AT 3 IN THE MORNING...EVEN WHEN YOU ARE WALKING DOWN THE SIDEWALK AND THERE IS ONLY ONE PERSON WALKING IN THE DISTANCE...and have them lose their mind and say all the things they say to you. (Oh, if you really want to set me off into debilitating depression, just call me a "genius" to my face. Or after I sing karaoke say, "Wow, what are YOU doing here. You should be at Staples Center." (All things people say to me on a daily basis.)

I'M TELLING YOU PEOPLE...I HAVE CREATED A RUNAWAY TRAIN OF A MONSTER AND I CAN'T GET OFF THE RIDE. HOW DO YOU TELL PEOPLE THE SHOW'S OVER AND STOP THANKING ME. I WAS ON THE PHONE AT 10AM WALKING DOWN THE SIDEWALK AND SOMEONE JUMPED OUT OF THE BUS STOP AT ME.

I set out to prove something to myself and my friends in 2000 with Zuma Dogg...and I got what I wished for, except it NEVER crossed over even into an overnight AM talk show hour on Sunday night at 12 midnight.

Since you have known me, I was supposed to be on MTV with my own show by the creators of The Hills and O.C. Since you have known me, they wanted to do it. Then the one spin off started. Then another spin off. And ZD got bumped for Brody and Spencer and that whole crew...WHO GREW UP ON ZUMA DOGG...AND STOPPED ME ALL THE TIME, LOVING ME...AND SPENCER USED ME IN A PILOT HE PUT TOGETHER. And I have to watch it all take off and I get pushed to the side and have to watch the people who IDOLIZED me take up all the showbiz.

UUUUUUUUUGH!

But the point is...and I don't even know what it is...other than to say, I'M TELLING YOU PEOPLE...IT'S RUINED ME...I'M NO GOOD ANYMORE...I CAN'T GET OFF CLOUD NINE, BUT I'M BITTER AT THE SAME TIME.

Most of you only know me from "The City Hall Era" which is only three and a half years of the nine years of Zuma Dogg in the public.

THE EXTENT OF WHICH I HAVE BEEN SATURATED BY PEOPLE, DAY IN AND DAY OUT, AT ALL TIMES, IN THE MOST UNEXPECTED PLACES....IF THERE IS ONLY ONE PERSON IN SITE...THEY WILL MAKE IT OVER TO SAY HELLO AND CALL ME, "THE BEST EVER GENIUS."

I'm sorry, that's just the way it's been. It's very "instant karma-like." For the past nine years I have pushed to get my creative output seen by people in the media -- and when I see someone walking down the street, I think to myself, "Wonder if THEY have seen my show." AND MAGICALLY, it could be 3am at the grocery store with only one person; or walking down a sidewalk in Culver City at 11pm...and that ONE person will stop to say something. But like a baby fooled by "peek a boo" each and every time, it was a complete surprise, or exciting because it was a new wave of recognition somewhere I would never expect from someone I would never expect.

Dennis Franz was saying, "Oh yeah, I've seen you on TV." Then he moved in closer with a more intense focus and said, "Keep doin' what you're doin'." That charged me up for a couple days, and now again, as I think about it.

AND UP UNTIL ABOUT THIS WEEK....it was a blessing and what motivated and inspired me to continue to for nine intense years.

BUT MAN...my only regret in this post, is that I am still not expressing how intense the lovefest has been on the streets over ZD.

Like Batman, Joker, Spiderman or any of these comic book characters (which I consider myself) , the character was created out of victim of circumstance. For the first part of my life, I was told I was wrong, and it was a bad idea and I didn't know what I was talking about and everyone was better than me, for whatever reason they had. I THOUGH THEY SUCKED AND I WAS BETTER.

So whether it was a sucky radio station I wanted to improve so I could have a better radio station to listen to, or mastered Deming's 14 points to help the dysfunctional radio work environment I was suffering from; or could never find anything I liked on TV, so I made my OWN show to prove how easy it was; then City Hall politics.

What can I tell you. I've had people stare at me trying to figure it all out.

AFTER NINE INTENSE YEARS OF CONSTANT CREATIVE OUTPUT; PUSHING TO GET IT OUT THERE WITHOUT A BUDGET; AND ALL THE TIME SPENT IN THE COMMUNITY SOAKING UP THE ZD APPRECIATION DAY PARADE THAT HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR NINE YEARS...

I NEED TO GET OFF THE STREETS AND START TO SLEEP IN A BED AND RECOVER AND EAT PROPERLY...BUT I'M IN TOO DEEP A RUT AND HAVE TAKEN ON TOO MUCH WATER.

Forrest Gump handled this much better. But he had all that money from his apples stock and didn't have to sleep on the street, hungry.

So I finally figured out the point of this post. Zuma Dogg is here to tell you, the mind is capable of much more than you realize and you need to pay very close attention to how you focus your thoughts and energy. I just pulled off the most amazing quantum miracle in modern history, in my opinion. Because I just got exactly what I wished for and they tell me the financial rewards follow. Personally, I think it's too late and that's not going to happen and one day you'll just read that I dropped on the street and everyone will be sad. But I've left my legacy. I DID IT! I THINK I DID! I PULLED OFF THE BIGGEST MIRACLE IN HISTORY!

I WOKE UP EVERY DAY WITH THE BRIDGE BURNING BEHIND ME AND I WENT OUT THERE ON THE PUBLIC STAGE AND TRIED TO CREATE CHANGE AND I MADE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE FEEL GOOD IN A CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE WAY THAT NO ONE EVER HAS -- AND COMPLETE STRANGERS STOP ME ON A DAILY BASIS THROUGHOUT MY DAY TO EXPRESS THEIR FEELINGS.

That, is a miracle (having a complete stranger thank you on the street when you haven't bought them anything) and I'm a better hypnotherapist or magician than anyone else. Cause YOU go out there and try to create that miracle, which it is, when a stranger tries as hard as they can to try and convince you how much they love you and how "once in a lifetime" you are, which is why I kept going. But now it's become too much of a distraction in my mind and it HAS ruined me, in the sense that I'm never going to be able to be anything but this, any more than Keith Richards is able to be anything other than a Rolling Stone. But I don't have the riches, or basic food and shelter. So it's just going to end with a "thud" on the streets. But the reason my life is ruined is because I just can't believe the response over the past nine years. And now that it ain't as easy as it used to be for me...I see I just lived the rock star, hollywood superstar life, and now I'm just another Gary Coleman or rock star who had a lot of money and blew it and can never make it back again. I just never had it. But I have the lifetime of experiences, including all the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame life I used to live in radio that I created for myself. (What was "I" doing with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant and Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young and Pearl Jam and Mariah Carey and all the others in the room at Waldorf-Astoria?)

So it's been fun. Wish I could do something to save my life. But it is what it is. So I guess I'm done and get to look back on the memories like Steve Perry, Dennis De Young and others singers with a very excellent falsetto who are sidelined too early in their artist lives for whatever reasons.

And from here, I will be re-capping memories, because it's OVER for activism. It's come to a grinding halt because without enough profession behind it at this point, my subconscious won't allow it and it's jamming up my mind by replaying all the memories of all the thousands of people who told me I have knocked them out like no one ever has.

I wanted to be Springsteen or Al Ries or Dr. Deming or Dr. Dre...but they already had that. So I had to be "Zuma Dogg." Created to combat the bouncers who weren't letting him in the "A" list places and parties...so he had to get so famous for something people love so much, he could walk into ANY Malibu mansion for a private party and be DRAGGED into the center of the room for all to see. Then, the bouncers started to say, "Zuma Dogg doesn't NEED a VIP pass? Wanna come in? YES, that's what I wanted to hear, and it's very nice to meet you Courteney-Cox-Arquette and Adam Sandler, even though I'm not really a fan. But I see Bob Clearmountain is here and he works with Springsteen, so I'll see you no talent losers, later. Try not to rip me off too badly.

ALRIGHT, time to write the screenplay, see you later.



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