But while they may be mythologized to the point of caricature, pimps aren't fictional characters. Pimping is a real trade - and like any trade, has its own set of rules, requires its practitioners follow certain codes of conduct ... and demands surprisingly strong aptitude in a variety of skills.
Spent Tuesday evening listing to a fascinating radio rebroadcast of Pimp Anthrology. Produced by journalist Tamar Brott on WBEZ Chicago, Pimp Anthrology is an hour-long radio interview with a retired pimp named Kevin, who offered a disturbing yet fascinating look at the violent and grim world he occupied during the mid 1970's in Oakland, California.
What impressed me most was his forthrightness; in a world of brag and bluster - Kevin's surprisingly frank confession of his ineptitude as a pimp (and, in the end, his failure to properly "play the game") gave his account a great deal of credibility that even a truthful account from a more successful pimp could not command.
Some of the most heart-breaking moments in the interview includes his description of how he and his friends "turn a girl out," (initiate a woman to the prostitution lifestyle), a gruesome account of a brutal beating of a "hoe" by her pimp and his story of 'Lois.'
If you share my quirky streak of anthropological curiosity - I think you'll find Pimp Anthrology a worthwhile hour of your time.
Workplace Warning: While relatively free of explicit content (this WAS broadcast on National Public Radio), I'd still recommend not listening to this program at work.
PS: Does anybody know how to save a copy of the streaming RealMedia file of the interview to one's hard drive?