Friday, September 2, 2011

The stuff you dont wanna hear: The Psyche of Western Civilization Culture

For some reason Ive been hearing over and over again that one Im radical and two that Im "different." At first I was upset by these remarks but the more I thought about it the more I stick my chest out even to this day. I did alot of observing this summer (more then I usually do) and more and more Im starting to realize the sad truth; most of us as Americans are psychologically trapped. Were trapped in a place where by design we dont think for ourselves we just follow and emulate what we see. And on the forefront of this machine are our main forms of entertainment; music and television. With alot of us having a household of only one parent (if that many), were left alone to find our own way. Just think about it, how many of us grew up sitting in front of the television watching Sesame street and Reading Rainbow? In this situation, we were left to find someone to follow, almost setting a blueprint to the rest of our lives. Obvously shows like Sesame Street taught us the simple things like words and numbers, but as we got older we needed more answers. In our teenage years people like Jay-Z and 50cent became almost big brothers to us through the TV. I seen my friends model thierselves after them, walking thier walk, talking thier slang, almost becoming them in a sense. We see thier success and the people who envy to be them and we take them as a blueprint to growing up to be successful. This is one of the major reasons I fear for our next generation, with many of them growing up without a father figure or any good example that will teach them to think for themselves were gonna see alot of people wanting to be like the likes of Souja Boy and Kim Kardashian...imagine that! The truth about this whole machine is that we are the drivers of this culture box we call America where fads and stars come and go but the fans will always be there looking for an example they can relate to.

Just think about this: we work day in and day out to the bone in the night hours slavin'! Most of us at my age arent in our careers yet so we not makin no more then $15 an hour at some job we most likely dont like. We work 40+ hour weeks dealing with angry bosses, testy customers and even some annoying co workers. Year in and year out you work, working dreaming of a better life. You get your paycheck every few weeks or so and what do you do with it? You go buy the newest $150 Jordans, the $300 purses, the $400 cellphones, even the $50 shirt that you might wear once. You spend a whole paycheck or months paying off credit card debts because of what? All to impress each other, meaning your boys, your family, or more then anyone else the opposite sex. We do all this to either cover up our own insecurities about ourselves or to try to stand out among the everyone else. So we work day in and day out to the bone on 8 hour shifts to buy stuff from people who not only know nothing about our lives and our struggles but dont care about nothing else but how much money you have. Our willingness to sell out our own inner self so we can fit in with the rest of the world is not only sad, but its unbelivable that its gone on for this long. And people dont understand why people are so depressed and afraid to open up to the outside world, people are tired of being judged because they dont have the newest Jordans.

This note wont change anything. People will continue to spend all thier hard earned money on stuff they dont really need only making the rich richer in the process but its at least my job to help you understand what your doing in the process. I know people hate reading so if you do anything check out this video an old  friend showed me a while back that I found VERY interesting. Remember, Im not here to make you hate the new proda bags or those $400 phones we all love to buy Im just here to make you think.

**Just be yourself!! if people dont like you for who you are then your in the wrong group, dont waste your entire life being miserable and being something your not!!

Heres the link:

Its the falling in Love.... Part 2

Theres a battle that has been going on way before any of us were even born, and to this day its all around us, a mental tug of war that to be honest will never be won. The moment you were born and they said boy or girl is when you chose sides (with some exceptions), many of us being culurally raised to fight mentally or sometimes physically against the opposite sex. This would be the battle of the sexes, yes many men are wondering why Im about to do this to myself but its my job to talk about the things that nobody wants to talk about. 

In this tug of war we play, there are alot of mind games involved. There are alot of arguments, and hearts being broken some broken to never be fixed. In my observation Im seeing that there is alot of bridge building going on, meaning people are not cleaning the skeletons out of thier closets. There are some people who are still mad about things that happened years ago and to this day they are taking it out on thier partner, or even worse a whole other person they are dating at the time. The day we understand and learn why we must let things go is gonna be a huge step for all of us. Nobody can ever have a healthy relationship when their carrying baggage into it from the start, that is unfair to the person your with and even more very troubling for yourself. The problem is pride, nobody wants to look weak in front of a woman or vise versa because we always feel like were gonna get taken advatage of, its a giant circle of broken hearts, broken trust, and misunderstanding.

Just like humanity in general, I believe until somebody is willing to put thier pride away and show some compassion trying to right the wrongs we have done we will never break this circle. Nobody wants to show emotion anymore, were all so mute and believe we must keep our armor clean. Showing emotion and being wanted is part of being human, so in not doing these things were not being human! Everybody wants to be excepted, if you say you dont youve just been hurt so many times that youve locked yourself away not letting anyone in, and thats how you end up alone and depressed. 

Love is just a place where these issues are the most obvious, people dont understand why people are committing suicide and going around killing people like animals. America's culture which is a "me first" independent mindset has us all pulling a "every man/woman for themselves" mentality everytime any kind of pain is brought upon us. Alot of us are alone, but what makes it worse is our pride has broken in and wont allow us to admit this. 

My question is when there comes a time where were all gonna need each other (and there will be) how are we gonna respond? Are we gonna let our pride get in the way and not do anything? As the days go by and I hear people giving up on other people this seems to be the inevitable answer for us. 

Its the falling in Love.... Part 1

Its spring, wouldnt know that from the weather but its that time of year we all love. The tempature starts rising back up and everyone is starting to come out of hiding. That time of year where you just wanna chill outside for just a little bit longer just to see if you see some new beautiful faces walking around the corner on campus. Of course with spring comes breaking and building of relationships left and right, everyone is working out getting ready for the summer when the "games" begin. Dont act like you dont know what Im talking about we all at one point were the victim or heartless lover who took an axe to someones heart.

Talking to some people and even just over the years Im starting to see that people are afraid to fall in love anymore. Weve all fallen into a cycle where we dont give people our "whole heart" and at that we pull on several strings at a time just to play it safe. Thanks to popular culture, lust has become the new love in America, in a country where the divorce rate is sitting at a coin flipping 50%. Everyone getting married is looking for that "hollywood romance" relationship where at the end everything is just perfect and romantic. The day men and women wake up and realize it will never be like that will be the day we save some serious time, hollywood has put it in our minds that a perfect marriage has a happy ending.

On the dating side of things, its not that nobody wants to be faithful, its just that everyone is afriad to, a domino effect has started and everyone is just falling in line with it pressing the safe button keeping thier options "open." And those poor ladies and gentlemen who do fall in love and give thier heart to someone (the ones who didnt get the "options open memo) end up getting drop like a sack of potatoes. Some of these people will be resilient and get back up and try again, while most of the other will fall in line and follow the cowardly method we have going on right now. 

For those people who have actually been in this place we call love its something you will always remember. Its a world where your mind has no say over anything, your heart and whoever your with runs the show. You can go ahead and say it, your love drunk, stupid, whatever your friends who dont understand call it. But its like having a massage for the first time; it felt like heaven, every once in a while it creeps back up on you again to make you smile, and you always want more. I dare someone to say love is stupid or it isnt real, those people either have never been in love, or just have been hurt so many times that they refuse to let anyone in anymore. 

I just got one question for you, when your 50+ years old alone with your pet cause you didnt wanna risk giving your heart to someone, whos fault is it then?


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Distractions...Distractions...Focusing in the 21st Century

Anyone that is like me, in college always on the move busy understands that your time is very precious, and anyone whos anal like me wasting time will change your mood really quick. Once upon a time managing your time and doing what you needed to do had a few distractions, but it wasnt hard to push these things aside. You didnt need to take time to discipline yourself on how to move the bs out of the way and get stuff done. Well thats not the case in 2011, where the internet has found a way to be another factor along with, television, videogames, and cellphones. I find it funny but also chilling at times that most of us in our everyday routines are staring at screens more than anything or anyone else. Besides our usual circle of friends we see everyday most of us talk to friends and family using social networks such as Facebook or Twitter. Theres nothing wrong with this, as it expands our world and helps us keep in touch with others. But at some point this went over the line from being a luxory to being a problem. I cant tell you how many times Ive logged in on Facebook and was just looking at stuff playing games messing around doing nothing, and I look at the clock, and about three hours has went by! That is about the most frustrating thing to me knowing I just wasted time doing nothing. In todays world we have to be even more focused then ever if you wanna get something done,learning to balance business and play has become an art in its own right.

Once again Im not saying that Facebook and twitter are bad at all, the leaps and bounds we have made in technology are unbelivable. I feel like with this new technology we have not learned to adjust to it and be able to move on getting work done in our everyday lives. The bottom line is we must remember that the long term is much more important than the short term, dont let checking your Facebook go from a five minute blink to a two hour operation! Now in honor of me writing this I cut it short so you wouldnt be reading for days. Now get off of this computer and get some work done because I guarantee most of you are supposed to be doing something right now (I know I am!)!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

21st Century Ambassadors: African American Icons And thier Influence in America

I'm quite sure out of all of us growing up as little kids very few if any of us were saying we wanted to be like Martin Luther King Jr. trying to keep all the kids getting along on the elementary school playground fighting for recess and snack time rights. There were most likely more of us singing TLC or trying to emulate Usher's moves in his videos (I know I got a few old heads reading but you guys gotta bear with me I guarantee someone is searching TLC right now). I can definetly speak for black people when I say the entertainment industry had a great influence in our growing up and how we went about our everyday lives. As much as I hate it, I fully understand and see we look up to these people and emulate them. Biggie Smalls being a great example, he told stories in his music of the struggle and how hard it was to be successful let alone break out of the poverty ridden ghettos in Brooklyn. 2pac told us to keep our heads up and to not let them above us bring us down, and Nas told us we could be whatever we wanted to be. These and many more artists inspired and motivated us on a day to day basis to push forward and to be the best we can be. I can't even count how many days music has brought me out of a hole and helped me get through the day. These people represent us, they pull us up and motivate us to do better, they are our 21st Century Black Ambassadors. 

With all the love we give these Ambassadors, almost twice as much jealously and hate is received through the media, and even from other Icons in the industry. Any man or woman who inspires millions and helps bring about a wave of change is bound to criticism, no matter who they are. Look at it this way; it would be a lot easier to go after the leader of the flock rather then to take down all his followers one by one. That bird represents the best of what they have, someone every single one of them looks up to in some way and is very proud of. So they attack the flock leader, they make up lies about him, start rumors, destroy their image the best way they can. And if that person is that much of a threat they might even go as far as kill them, even though their message will still live on. Thats what Jesus Christ was, thats what Biggie was, what Malcolm X was, and more then anyone thats what Michael Jackson was. 

All these men at some point even with their drive and will to succeed at their respective purposes in life at some point came to a conclusion that it had become bigger then just them. They carried a city, a country, and in some cases the world on their backs, never having the intentions to let them down. And we followed, knowing that they were maybe not our only hope, but without a doubt our biggest. 

Each part of the country had or has their own Representative; Biggie Smalls was the East Coast, 2pac was the West Coast, Lil Wayne is Louisiana,  I could go on for hours. Everyone had or has their own representative that they praise and poster up on their walls. And just how Barack Obama is blamed for everything that the U.S. does from the outside in, so are these guys for their respective areas. But when it comes to star power and their impact on the world nobody comes even close to our biggest African American Representative; Michael Jackson. Say what you want about Michael, but his impact on the world even after his death has been amazing. His music brought millions to their feet, his heart and willingness to give to the less fortunate has touched the hearts of millions. Hes brought people from all kinds of backgrounds together like I've never seen before. And like I said before when you get as much praise as this man has, the false accusations come, the rumors, the lies, the harassment. Their objective was to take the best of us and make him look like a fool, like hes nothing, tearing all of our hope away from us. They were jealous of Michael, even worse they were jealous of us, because he was the best of African Americans! Sadly for many blacks I talk to, their view on Michael thanks to the image created by the media is at the least bad. Blacks don't understand that this is what they wanted to do, this was their intentions, to tear Michael down. People lost hope in him, they called him all these names, mocked him and made him into a joke. This was the best of us, and yet everyone went and turned their backs on him, yet he did nothing wrong but care. Nobody had it as bad as Michael did, and yet he kept on fighting. 

I'm not trying to make you love Michael Jackson, or hate those who oppress him, I'm just trying to make you think. Black Ambassadors represent hope, they represent every single one of us  in some kind of way. So for anyone to just off and turn their back on them the second they're accused of something, is a mockery in itself. Thats like Biggie Smalls going off and writing a I hate Brooklyn song its just straight up being a traitor, he would never do that to us. You didn't see white people turning their back on Eminem when he wrote a crazy ass song about killing his ex wife. Take pride and love in what you got, because just like 2pac, or Biggie, or Malcolm, or Dr. King, or even Michael as were all learning now you don't know how good we got it until its gone.

Strength In Numbers; The Power Of Black America

One thing I really can't stand is a person with excuses. I know people who will make every single excuse in the book to explain why they can't do something, why they cant go somewhere. Almost every single person that is making an excuse is just plain wrong and lazy. A thing I can't stand even more is when a black man makes an excuse, saying "the white man is holding us down, they wont give me a job." I can almost guaranteed that the person that said that to you probably messed up somewhere down the line and expects someone to just hand something over to them. As messed up as this country is, I believe that everyone has a chance to be successful somehow, its just a matter of HOW BAD YOU WANT IT. I've heard stories of blacks pulling themselves out of the ghetto and climbing out to be successful no matter what the circumstances, they didn't care what they had to do, they refused to live that lifestyle anymore.The ones I love even more then those lazy excuse makers are the ones that say " the black man has no place in America, we have no say in the government." Anyone who is dumb enough to believe that really needs to sit down and read what I have to say. 

In the 2008 election, 16.1 million African Americans voted for our next president of the United States. The voter turnout rate for ages 18-24 was at 55%, the biggest turnout rate for this age group. Now this is the interesting part of this to me, Barack Obama won the election 69.5 million votes to John McCain's 59.9 million. Whites definetly do dominate the numbers game being 75% of the United States Population, but being that they split down almost to the middle besides some swing voters (the lost ones) they actually almost cancel themselves out. This leaves the minorities to sort out the results in the election. And who is the second biggest race group in the United States? Africans Americans take that place holding 12.5 percent of the population. Obviously people under 18 can't vote but to put it in perspective a little bit Ill have you look at it like this; lets say 5 million of the blacks that voted for Obama decided to vote for McCain instead, thats only less than a third of the blacks that went out to the polls, McCain would've won the election. What am I saying? If we as a race could come together and figure out what we wanted and needed we could decided who's in the White House calling the shots. The interesting thing about this is only 55% of people from 18-24 who could've voted went out and did! So next time someone says to you that we don't have a say in the government and that the white man is holding them down, ask them did they vote in the last election, and if they didn't tell them to shut up because they had a chance to have thier say but they didn't take advantage of it. 

Black people we need to understand that its not the 60's or 70's anymore, were really coming up as a race and fast. To prove this, let me show you a few facts I came across while doing some research:

-In the fall of 2008, there were roughly 2.5 million black college students, this is roughly double the number from 25 years ago.

-Among blacks 25 and older, 1.5 million have an advanced degree (masters, doctorates) compared to 900,000 in 1999.

-In 2007, reciepts for black owned businesses totaled up to 137.4 billion dollars, up 55.1% in 2002.

If you wanna look at the website yourself its here:

The day that black people understand the power and say we have in American is the day that things will get brighter for us, I can guarantee that. I'm not trying to make you hate Republicans or love Democrats, I'm trying to make you think. I want no more complaining from my people, we control our destiny if we get out and stand up for ourselves.

The Power Of Perception: A Wakeup Call To Our Generation

You hear people say the expression all the time "dont judge a book by its cover," yet we as humans fail to mold this into our day to day lives. We all watch television from time to time and even the news, but many people dont understand how a point of view can be created even in a simple news story about an Afghan American being strip searched in an airport ( I dont need to say anything else, you already know where that was heading). In America things have been simplified, we have cellphones, we have microwaves, we have remote controls. It feels like everything is being done for us now, yet we still dont have time to do anything. But are we getting to the point that we dont even have enough energy and time to form our own opinion anymore? Now you can see news stations doing it for you, making you a democrat or republican overnight (Im just gonna mention the green party here because they never get any love, dont worry I know you guys are out there).

A great example of this is the presidental election of 2008 when we elected Barack Obama as the first black president of the United States. Before I move any further, I just wanna say that whether he was Black, Hispanic, or Mexican I would've been proud. His being elected in my mind measures the strides that we as Americans over the generations have been making, where color doesn't matter as much anymore. Yes there were still some "messages for the deaf robots" but Ill save that for another time.  Now back to the election, if you look at the money raised by each candidate you'll see a trend here. Ralph Nader came in third place with about 738,000 votes, he raised 4.5 million dollars, a good amount of money right? John McCain came in second with about 60 million votes, raising 347 million dollars, talk about some door to door action! And of course our president Obama came in first with 69.5 million votes raising 513 million dollars!!! Just another note for you When George Bush ran for president in 2004 he raised 367 million dollars to win compared to John Kerry's 326 million (got all this info from the federal elections commission). If you didn't know most of this money is spent on advertising, and commercials to reach out to us the voters. We've all seen the commercials where they try to talk up one candidate and bash another, its an old thing thats been happening for years. Now, how many Ralph Nader commercials did you see last election? In fact Ill go even further, do you know the candidate Ron Paul, member of the U.S. house of representatives from the Texas 14th district? Of course most of you don't, as even I didn't and I felt cheated not knowing some of these candidates and what they represent. But its nobody's fault but our own, as we as Americans fail to dig and research and know about the potential person who will run our country (when you put it that way it seems a little more important). Bottom line is that based off this trend the more money you get, the more commercials and face time you get, which means your more likely gonna win. If this was maybe 20-30 years ago before the internet age picked up I wouldn't have any problem with that. But with all the ways we have to research and find information ( I found that fundraising information for both those elections within seconds)  theres absolutely no excuse for us to not know about all the candidates and ensure we pick the rightful winner. But our "perception" during the 2008 election was that Barack Obama was definitely the right candidate to turn these hard times around for America. And how couldn't you, his face was on the TV every hour on the hour telling you to vote for him and that change was coming. Nobody saw the one commercial in Texas that Ron Paul had talking about cutting the military and bringing our troops home. 

Everyone that knows me well knows how I feel about BET (Black Entertainment Television) and what it does to the black image in America. If you don't here it is in a nutshell, I don't like BET, as a representative of what black people are (our only major representative outside of sports) the station doesn't do a good job of showing a lot of the great intellectual successful black people we have. All I see when I turn that channel on is asses shaking and money flying all over the place. They give you the "perception" that all black people care about is money and "getting ass." And you gotta see this the way I'm looking at it; imagine your a foreigner and you just came to America. Straight off the boat you've never met or seen a black person in your life, and you turn on BET. All you see is blacks smoking weed, shooting at each other(lyrically or literally) and occasionally selling drugs, with a dose of sex on the side (sometimes its all sex, wait until the midnight hour). Now your gonna assume (because its what we all would do) that MOST black people do all these things. Your gonna assume that most of your black friends can get you weed. Your gonna assume that most of your black friends are involved in some type of gang. Your gonna assume that most of your black friends can rap, or have been to jail. I'm not saying that BET is horrible, but what does BET stand for? Black ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION, meaning that most blacks are entertained and can relate to this, so what do you think people are gonna think? I know most of you will say "who cares what people think, they can think what they want," well when your being disrespected because you look like that guy from BET who was getting high all the time and nobody takes you seriously then see how much you care. We as black people need to show off our intellectuals more, I'm tired of hearing about Lebron James or Jay Z more then Al Sharpton or Jessie James.

I'm not here trying to change your "perception" of the world or how you feel about anything, I'm just trying to make you think (some of you seem to have forgotten how to do that). If you gonna come on here and say something ignorant and that makes no sense then just don't say anything (you'll only be making BET officials look like geniuses). Just understand the power of Perception in todays world, don't be the idiot that believes anything you here. 
Like Malcolm X said; "A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything"