SUMMARY: After an intense three year day in the public eye as a concerned citizen, I think this past week is a fitting conclusion to the season finale of “Zuma Dogg” and want to thank the thousands of individual and diverse community members who were running a much needed intervention on me, while I was running one on City Hall. (THANKS, I needed that!)
When I get a precious minute or two in front of the cameras or mic, I am just focused on trying to get out all the shady angles and expose the to the masses and any Grand Jury panels or Federal Investigators who may happen to be tuned in.
And I try to get in my “thanks” to the people of Los Angeles for all the life-changing, overwhelming avalanche of feedback that is sent back to me on a daily basis.
But as we are at the final weekend before Tuesday’s L.A. City Council election in which I am a candidate on the ballot, I feel like this whole campaign season has been the final process and season finale of whatever episode has been playing out.
Now my life has been changed forever, and I don’t think I can ever walk away from “Zuma Dogg” and go back to regular anonymous life like “Free Willy” or something. So I’m not saying that come Tuesday, people will never see or hear from me again.
BUT, if I’ve been on a journey that started in about 1986 when I first started my radio industry journey; that transitioned into “Zuma Dogg” the public access TV show personality; that transitioned into “The Zuma Dogg Era” at L.A. City Hall; I think this 3 year day has been “wrapped.”
Jack Bauer’s episodes only last for “24” hours. I have been living one, long 3 year day; waking up each day with the bridge burning behind me.
And this week, it’s kind of felt like the moment many people (no one more than I) have been waiting for…this three year day has been wrapped up. Bill Murray’s clock radio went off in “Groundhog’s Day” and it wasn’t playing Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe,” and it was the start of a new day!
I REALLY haven’t felt this way since I finished finals my senior year in High School!
Over these past three years my life has become extremely narrowly focused and very much out of balance. I’ve been planting seeds and each day momentum builds a little more in the public conciousness…and with recent “Special Event Fee Waiver” reform motion passed, DWP water pipes exploding…AND — THE ENTIRE WEEK OF EMERGENCY BUDGET TALKS…IT’S OVER!
I think I have accomplished what I set out to. Just like when Zuma Dogg didn’t like what he was listening to on the radio, he inserted himself in the radio industry and fought to innovate and reform things and eventually I was at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria smelling Jimmy Page’s doobie smoke from the table next to mine.
When I didn’t like the way radio stations were being managed by corporations (because I had worked for enough of them to see they were all the same and was suffering from some of the most dysfunctional/abusive management in the radio industry while in Houston) I turned to “Quality Management” seminars and came across Dr. Deming as you have heard me discuss (much to many ignorant losers dismay) and ended up having Deming send me an unprecidented letter of praise with NO red ink, people didn’t believe me (that he sent it) and my writings on “Methods for Management of Quality and Productivity” ended up being published in “Quality Digest” magazine and was praised by the publisher and it caught the attention of big shots in New York City and I ended up working at the biggest station in the world (Z-100/New York), fulfilling that dream goal.
While living in L.A. as a radio consultant, I was frustrated by what I was seeing on TV and like everyone else, couldn’t find anything to watch among the hundreds of choices. I felt I could make a better show, but all I had was my friend’s camcorder to borrow. No producer, director, writers or network. But the show was a hit throughout L.A. and Ventura county and my life was changed forever as the show proved even Hollywood’s “A” list crowd was tuning in to watch “The Zuma Dogg Show” and every day was “Zuma Dogg Appriciation Day” in the coffee shops, grocery stores, malls and bars across L.A. and Ventura Counties. (So again, mission accomplished. HA HA! I KNEW I could do better than those Hollywood non-innovators. (And this was before you ever heard of a reality show or saw TV shows that used camcorder footage. COMPLETE INNOVATION!)
THEN…then, then, then, then, then…Zuma Dogg was doing his thing at Venice Beach, performing and selling shirts and squeezing out a living and living under a roof with four walls when some cop tells us we can’t do “this and that” anymore.
(What you talkin’ bout, Willis?) So ZD had to show up to city council to inform them that they made a legal error in their ordinance in the fact that it was in violation of Federal law. I REALLY, REALLY did think it would be a one time trip, because once they found out they were in violation of Federal law, they would WANT to fix it immediately. Oops, my bad! I found out they were fully aware, didn’t care and that it wasn’t a one time incident, but a citywide epidemic in the way city council and Villaragiosa were running roughshot across the city as they tried to pull the wool over White House eyes.
AND, once again, it was in my nature to prove I could figure it all out, you couldn’t pull a fast one past me, and I was going to turn it all against you by making the people like me, more than YOU (City Council) and let everyone know what is going on.
And now, as we are at the end of the City Council campaign season with the election on Tuesday, as the EMERGENCY Budget meetings have wrapped (for now) and everyone all happy in the way Zuma Dogg has finally taken off the mask and shown people the real person behind it all, just like in the Wizard of Oz when Toto (the community) ripped away the curtain, and the professor (Oz) was forced to do his magic without the larger than life image being flashed on the screen with all the flames and special effects in the background.
So I’ve just gone through that process and when I look and listen the whole city now knows what I have been trying to tell them, and HAVE been telling them, and I feel great as I reflect back on the entire intesense three years of meeting thousands of people and all the meetings and radio calls and 4am nights waking up in my car it seems like a LIFETIME or at least a decade, but sorry Dion O’Connell, it’s only been less than three and a half years.
And that’s quite a long day. So I don’t know what happens after Tuesday. And I know I can’t walk away from ZD forever, becasue I can’t walk away from myself, and I can’t put it all back in the bottle and make everyone forget Zuma Dogg and return to anonymous life.
But it feels like THIS episode of the season finale of “Zuma Dogg” has wrapped. Next season starts this Wednesday, in one form or another.
AND WHAT TRIGGERED THIS POST, is this morning, I really wanted to reach out and call a lot of the friends in my life who I have met over the past three years during this journey to say, “Hello” today since I feel so good as I reflect back.
But reaching the twenty or thirty people I would be calling today who I am thinking of now wouldn’t get it out of my system, IT’S THE THE RIVER OF SMILES FROM PEOPLE I PASS EACH DAY AS I GO ABOUT MY DAY THAT I AM REFLECTING BACK ON IN HARDER TIMES. When I go about my day, it feels like the whole city is my friend, collectively. It’s like a never ending “Truman Show.”
It’s been a deeply intense experience each day walking among the masses as someone who has the type of relationship I have with the public. And that IS what I have. A lot of the people who read the blogs know me, and I’m a public guy, but someone who sleeps on your couch and talks to you on the cell phone and life gets mixed in with the activism. BUT, that’s just a very small circle of people who know the “backstage” Zuma Dogg.
But when I speak in front of the camera or on the radio, there is this “audience” in my mind and it is relfected back to me as I walk the streets and people greet me in any unexpected nook and cranny in the city and county.
So what I am really trying to say, is I cannot express the deep apprication I have for each and every individual person I have met over the years who have taken time to let me know they dig what I am doing and although Zuma Dogg was sent to City Hall for a City Council intervention, it has been very much a two way street, cause Zuma Dogg needed an intervention.
So the community has been working on me for the past three years, and when you look at the clips on my website from these forums as “David Saltsburg” in a jacket and short hair cut at the same time Council is scrambling to fix all the budget problems over everything I have been warning about: I think it’s a wrap on “Zuma Dogg, The City Hall Era” (Season One).
I was the most pathetic person in the city that it took thousands and thousand of the city’s top experts (the entire city) to run an intervention on me and get me to start to return to society as a regular person.
I KNOW IT’S BEEN THE MOST MISERABLE THREE YEARS OF MY LIFE…BUT AS OF TODAY, AT LEAST IT’S NOW THE BEST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE, TOO. And again, I might only say this once, but DON’T WORRY…I know although I’m the most relentless and tenacious person in all the admirable ways…MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN, there sure hasn’t been anyone as pathetic who needed more help. And there were two missions that needed to be accomplished. We know about Zuma Dogg’s mission to expose Council as they were going off the rails out of control as everyone now sees; but it took thousands of the best people from across the city for my “Dicken’s Story.”
Sorry. Will try not to let it happen again.
Thanks! Really! Wish I could somehow let everyone of the people who have greeted me with a smile how it helped. All of my friends who have been trying to get me to look and behave in the way I have this past month during the campaign since day one. QUIT COMPLAINING. YOU WANTED ME TO BEHAVE LIKE A 6th GRADER WHEN I WAS ONLY IN 3rd GRADE! BUT, YOU FINALLY GOT WHAT YOU WANTED! SO IT WORKED. Thanks. Now maybe council can graduate to the next grade, too.
HERE’S A GREAT SONG I SUDDENLY FEEL LIKE HEARING FROM MY WASHINGTON, D.C. RADIO DAYS: