Saturday, June 6, 2009


What's In It For Me?
Okay, that's a common question.
Not wanting to hijack someone else's spot - first check out FreeMan;
FreeMan said;
"There is no valid reason to care about what whites focus on.
No other culture cares what white culture does unless it's in business."
Okay... fair enough - but not entirely accurate.
But this statement actually breaks down into several parts.
Local, regional, national and then international.
If the above photo lacked the Mandarin (or is it Cantonese?) signage, it would seem to be taken in any major American metropolitan area.
So yea... business does require a certain amount of knowledge of another person's culture.
But everything is business.
Everyone sells something - whether it's a product or service - or knowledge, skills or man-power.
Everyone is in business.

But fractaly speaking, all cultures require a way to easily recognize one who is either friend or foe.
Pick one;
race, age, gender, language, religion, culture, or whatever.
The criteria are arbitrary - but have usually proven effective to continue the bloodlines of the practicing culture.

But this isn't limited to races or loci.
Say someone lives in Carson and is of Samoan descent.
Does he sport the "Dead Red" or the "Flue" of the surrounding sub-cultures?
Is he offended by "Crab" or Slob"?
Does he favor the Dodgers or the Angels?
These codes (and the ability to code-switch in case of the po-po) are key to the guy's survival.
Every culture has codes which it uses to weed out those who may be considered as a threat.

Some would argue that English is the current lingua fraca.
Okay... again, a fair assessment.
But this too is limited.
Notice how the countries, races and languages vary?
It isn't English that is the current 'language of money' (or common language) so much as it is the Western culture.
And to be more specific - The American Culture (and the American language).
Still others may argue that those in the Middle East and Africa still wear traditional garb.
Maybe - but it's usually a blending of Eastern and Western culture.
Check out Vogue India - I don't see a Sari.
The clothing is Western.
This South African guy seems to be sporting an East Coast (American) Prep look.

Even in the Middle-East - where freedom is granted (to the men), many choose Western clothing.
Are they giving in to the Devil and his white ways?
No, it's just an arbitrary form of self expression.
Japan had this conflict over an hundred years ago (see; The Last Samurai) and decided that Western clothing didn't dictate the adherence to Western ways.
Except for weddings, funerals, and religious ceremonies - most countries choose to adapt to the Americanization of the world.
"But the world isn't a Benneton ad", others might quip.
Okay, fair enough - but that is the goal.
Notice how there is no blending of cultures? (There isn't a bunch of mixed race people who can't be told apart)
Notice how each culture seems to represent it's own?
Notice how no race or culture is dominant or submissive (Well... maybe something could be said of the Asian baby being dependent, but...).
This is the goal of co-existence.
Co-existence doesn't necessarily mean a co-mingling of the races - just that all are seen as equal (even if different).

So why give up a myopic world (or city, state, region) view?
Because you'll hinder yourself.
Look at past civilizations.
Who prospered?
Those which took the best from other races, cultures and nationalities and used those traits, skills, knowledge or philosophies and adapted them for their own uses.
Who suffered?
Who got left behind?
Those cultures who remained isolated from the ever changing world.
(See Juneteenth and it's history for an example. (HT - Carl)
Why care about; a war in the Middle -East, Sotomayor seeking to be on the Supreme Court of the United States, or Korea getting a nuclear bomb, or Pirates in Somalia or ...
-A war in the Middle-East eats up American resources and men. A war in the Middle-East will be the excuse for raising gas prices. A war in the Middle-East helps those in power (here), stay in power. A war in the Middle-East fosters an "Us vs. Them" mindset to sell Americans on the Patriot Act.
-Sonya Sotomayor will be hearing cases from a point of view not common throughout most of our history that will effect the playing field on which most of us use.
-Because a nuclear armed North Korea will create instability in the Far-East and slow the recovery of our economy.
- Because the pirates stopped being protectors of their coasts and became a renegade militia that causes more instability in countries already suffering from generations of warfare.
(Although I still think that the Haliburton, World Ports International and Dubai consortium had more (initially) to do with the tactics than any other entity.)
Why care about The Real Hoodrats of Atlanta but not The Real Goombettes of New Jersey?
Because they're Black?
Both shows are garbage.
Why feed on the pablum of Desperate Housewives, CSI, or the litany of reality shows?
Why wear Western clothing and buy European brands?
Why learn Standard American English instead of Ebonics?
Why learn to golf, play tennis, snowboard or swim?
Why know about Hannibal, Sun Tzu or Napoleon?
Why join an Ivy League supper club and not the local gang?
Because these are the codes that the established group uses to weed out those whom they may view as a threat.
These are the codes (like IQ tests) that are culturally biased but are generally predictive of who will succeed within the established group's system.
Are they fair?
...They serve their purpose.
Are they universal?
Nope, nothing is.
But they exist.
Is knowing the codes an effort to be considered "The smart guy"?
Nah, knowing information doesn't make one smart - the successful application of that knowledge does.
When I was a bartender at Friday's - I had 96 (yep, ninety-six) write-ups.
But I knew the rules (the codes).
I knew that even if I made a grown man manager cry in the office with no one else around - I couldn't be fired.
I knew that they had to give me two days off after working six days straight, even if I was scheduled to work.
I knew the rules and therefore was able to navigate the system without harm to myself.
Did I make the rules?
But could I use them to benefit myself?
Uh huh.
Had I kept to myself, I'da been gone.
But since I learned the rules (and I was the shit), I seemed to be able to do what others couldn't and to get away with what others didn't.
Bottom line... "Learn The Rules".


CNu said...

The criteria are arbitrary - but have usually proven effective to continue the bloodlines of the practicing culture.

What's in it for you to preserve the "bloodlines" of the practicing culture?

CNu said...

I think that we really, really need to talk about status.

Specifically, the deep motivational impetus driving these humans to seek it.

Why, when we get down to the nub of the religious impulse, some of the most powerful archetypes and deepest meanings center on the question of the human drive for status.

of course I could be mistaken, but it seems to me that the questions you raise in this post have a center of gravity closer to the status drive rather than the related though clearly different issues of conscience, volition, and egoism.

I would argue that the "status" drive competes with conscience/volition/egoism in precisely the fashion imparted in this most significant tale.

brohammas said...

Cnu has a point about status. IMHO this drive to stratify is one of the single most destructive human tendancies and counter to what diety dictates.
These symbols, codes, languages, and divisions more often than not, are about status and understanding what status one posseses.
But I don't think this is the only WIIFM.
There is practical use in knowing current events, no matter how distant, and understanding them in the proper context. One would be better knowing about Somali piracy and the contributing factors.
Not only should one know the events, but understand the culture in which they occur as to appropriately understand motivations and ramifications.
Cultural missunderstanding causes or facilitates war, loss of business, exploitation, or just simple strife, where all these things could otherwise be avoided or prevented.
I'm not singing kumbaya as some have said, and I'm not saying all are good once you understand them, but you are better of if you do understand.
Take your Samoan in Cali. Dude is staight from Apia and now finds himself in Carson. Blue or Red? He is somewhat informed and thinks he must choose to lead a peacful life, Samoa colors are blue, so blue it is.
At this point he has, with his very little understanding, done just enough to get himself in trouble with those in blue, red, and the boys in blue (and red lights on top), when all he really wants to do is get a job and do his own thing.

CNu said...

uh, brohammas....,

them big pacific nuccaz not nearly as disoriented as you might imagine.

(cain't stand them big muhphuggaz neither - though I LOVE their sisters)

brohammas said...

Careful CNu,
This palangi knows more than you would probably guess.
malo e leilei or Talofa... or even Bula Vinaka, I have clapped it up to fai kava and know the haka by heart. I know all about TCG.

Big diff being from Apia and Inglewood.

uglyblackjohn said...

@ SeeNew - Well, I've become pretty good at dealing with the established system.
The things which it values - I have, know or can do. Wanting to keep my status, I'd hope the system stays in place.

But really, there is no need to keep the current social and economic systems in place in their current forms.
I was just pointing out why these systems exist for all cultures at all levels.

But I opted out and became poor in an effort to better serve the poor.
But this thinking may have been flawed. Maybe I should have increased my wealth to better serve the poor.
But money isn't the the major problem from which the poor suffer - so I'm not sure in which direction to go next.

uglyblackjohn said...

@ SeeNew - Yep, "Status" is the thing which most people seek.
(Well... the "high" that status generates within each person.)
And thus - the need for approval.

Since this status/approval is what most people are seeking - the use of these codes is something that will improve their chances of getting it.

The question for most people is rarely one of right or wrong - but usually it comes down to "What's in it for me?".

All those links (and the comments)...
It would seem that the bottom line is to find "the" motivational factor and using that to better one's society.
But then the problem becomes one of manipulation and the rules being made by the limited (knowing)few.
It's not the process that becomes wrong - just the direction.
And from whom to take direction?
And in which fashion?
Those belonging to the different schools of thought will manipulate their minions to war over ideas that only benefit those in power.
It all leads back to where we now find ouselves today.

(But one of the comments dealt with dreams. I've been thinking about them a lot lately and wanted to raise some questions (and will do so when I can figure out what they are).)

@ brohammas - Yep, most problems are caused by a lack of knowledge and/or perspective.

@ SeeNew - Yeah... but those Samoan girls only look good until they turn 23. At about that age, they explode.

@ brohammas - A lot of people don't notice all the Sams at BYU and many that do don't know why.

FreeMan said...

Whew sorry I'm late to the discussion late arrival from Frisco! Ok - First not caring what goes on with whitey doesn't make you a isolationist in any form. You ignoring the dominant and dying culture and embracing interactions that hinge off respect for anothers culture to make transactions will be better. We always jump to the worst case scenario where we all know if you didn't interact with white people at all you would still breathe and eat without them. If I would've said don't interact with the Vietnamese would it have been better?

Second - Sotomayor,Korean Nukes, Iraq are all things that really don't effect you but you think they will because them arming theirselves scares you like they are coming to Compton. Either way you can do nothing about it so you spend moments of your life thinking the what ifs when you realistically whether you like it or not these things will come to pass. Resources - Smeesources because when they raise the price on oil you are going to pay anyway what are you going to do dig in the ground in TX for your own source?

Third - Knowing the code or the rules doesn't give you any power or any say. Really you are saying I know what pleases the master or the masses. People like women with big tits so if I put her next to a hamburger am I selling big tit hamburgers no I'm just making the deer look at headlights. If I follow the rules to maneuver through the system then you might be the shit but you don't own shit. If you make money for the boss then he can deal with someone or give the impression that you are manipulating them I'm sure you've seen Casino as a fictional example!

Fourth - Popularity or trendiness and the commercialization of White Works aka Americanism does not make it an agreed upon norm. If the Moors would've conquered Spain and Europe your girl would probably be wearing a burqa right now. In this case you are dealing with the guy who has all of mass media influencing everyone that they just assume everyone is supposed to live like Cribs! As that fallacy came crashing down with the recession this EuroCentric American mass media driven this is the norm will pass too.

Overall Coexisting with capitalism will never work because the system does not respect the values of others. The goal is to find a one size fit all and sell sell sell. So even amongst cultures people fall into the fallacy of this is right because look around everyone is doing it this way. Even in other countries they wear Nikes! That doesn't prove that it's universal or that it was even agreed upon in the first place. To the winner goes the spoils and to the conqueror goes the norms. Since we are here in the USA we swallow the propaganda and think no one else did anything great or this great melting pot of ideas propelled this country forward. It's like they just said Black guy from Cameroon what's good from your culture OK add it on. When realistically they took the best of Europe lied about everyone else and then lied again making you think they care about your culture. From the marble you value to the painting you think are great people are just blinded by the propaganda fed to them for a lifetime that they don't even notice that no other culture is put up as great. Name one for me because the pyramids, inca ruins and even mathematics are made to look like whites made them.

So the big big wrap up it is of no consequence to ignore white culture as they have thrived and built societies ignoring yours!

uglyblackjohn said...

@ FreeMan - Everyone can agree that the goal is to gain more power over one's own life.
The more you can control, the more free you will be (or seem).
The problem lies in "How" to gain this power.
(Everyone does this regardless of their status within a given culture - whether as an employee or an owner, or as a soldier or a general - the model for advancement (concerning the majority of people.)remains the same.)

By forging aliances with other conquered cultures (ie. POC) we gain the advantage of "Group".
By thinking that we can change the system from without (without any real power) we are only as effective as a drop of water upon a stone (sure, eventually it will make a difference) without the benefit of a change in the weather (as in the freezing and heating of water that was used to break great boulders).

There are certain points in time (a change in the environment) that enable a seemingly inane or benign source to have a greater effect.
Until this time or aplication - the source remains in a state of inefficientcy.

If the advice is to begin to run things; first there must be a generation that is capable of running things. Out of this group - we can choose (or they will choose themselves) the leaders.

But are we at the point of being able to run things - or are we still trying to raise the capable generation?

Is our collective level of conciousness still that of a victim - or has it finally reached that of a conquerer?

Of course, I'm spaking in generalities (things that effect (or affect) the most people) and understand that these topics are more about tendencies (and not absolutes).

1 - We live in America. America (for the time being) is generaly a white culture. To tear EVERYTHING down and start from scratch would be time consuming and wasteful.
So yeah, use what you can from what you already have.

2 - Things will come to pass anyway? Okay, I see the point.
But even knowing the weather and when a storm is comming your way has it's advantages.
It's not so much in trying to change the weather so much as preparing for it.

3 - Knowing the code enables you to position yourself to make an effective change.
It's not so much about kissing butt so much as it is about gaining a favorable possition (Having the high ground from which to begin your assualt).

4 - Popularity and trendiness ae just other words for status.
Every culture at every level relies upon status as a means to rule over others.
The "things" that represent this status may vary - but the use of status as a control is universal.

5 - Controling one's own press (or history books) is another form of manipulation in maintaining the status (or "rep") of those in power.
Since all power relies upon lies or exagerations to keep this power (from religion, to gangs, to the President)- taking "facts" with a grain of salt becomes imperative.

Wrap up - No they didn't.
They built a culture that took the best from your's and used it (repackaged it) as their own.

CNu said...

Every culture at every level relies upon status as a means to rule over others.
The "things" that represent this status may vary - but the use of status as a control is universal.

Cultures of competency or intentional cultures do not engage in this de-evolutionary behavior.

FreeMan said...

@UBJ - We do have a generation to run things it's just they are lost running other things. We have college educated kids looking for jobs all the time if we built the companies for them to work it they will come. It doesn't take a million businessmen to do this as Amazon employs thousands, Coca Cola employs thousands and I bet you M&M Mars employs thousands. The critical mass is already there it's just we need to move them into a new direction.

Our collective level of consciousness is ready to go right now. Look at how many record companies sprung up because of rap now how bout I bet no one thought all those dumb blacks could replicate that so fast. We aren't unable we just lack focus!

I never advocated tearing everything down as much as I said we concentrate on ourselves. I never said we go into the mountains and build this new place. My point is for us to stick to the facts and not take their issues as our own. Nukes In korea and the like have nothing to do with us that's just people wanting to share in the misery and hatred that we did not cause. We don't have to fight their fights under the fallacy that previous generations did under the guise that we will now be equal. Now that we know that's a lie we can move on.

Yes we share this world and preparing for the weather is wise but carrying a umbrella for rain in Spain when we are in Detroit is insane!

On the issue of the codes then let us build our own society and follow those codes. See I see it like starting a business. While we are there we learn to surive then we take the knowledge to build our own. Since we own it we make the rules and are not subject to their rules. Abiding by the rules with no plan to do for self is fruitless.

Status might just be a means to rule over other people well let us create our own. Let us determine what we value, let us determine who is trendy, let us capitalize with our own machines and businesses off of our creativity.

I think the taking things with a grain of salt will not be so hard to get our folk to believe. It's just we have to print the books for the alternative to exist.

Wrap up - Ok maybe they did they let the last thing we take from the white man be their methods. They took our information and painted them white and denigrated others culture. Let's just do the same to them since we learned from them and we can start with Jesus!

uglyblackjohn said...

@ SeeNew - Yeah, but eventually, they gave in to the temptation or were overtaken by those who practiced the "Me (WE) First" mentality.

@ FreeMan - So is it the oppression or just being the ones oppressed that which is wrong?

FreeMan said...

@UBJ - Well let us get out of the oppression first before I answer that question. The feeling that one would retaliate against those who oppressed them is natural, lets see if cooler heads prevail. That's why my solution never put forth trying to make things better with this group as much as I say we build up ourselves. We'll see if the other generation will let by gones be by gones as I am still tainted to think beyond trying to get out.

uglyblackjohn said...

@ FreeMan - Okay, So the first step is to raise this generation.
The current one has the means (Skills, knowledge and/or ability) but not the desire.
They (we) hae given in to the temptation.
The next step is to change the way of thinking.

FreeMan said...

@UBJ - The first step is to provide direction through action not words to the next generation. The same hope people have with Obama being president is the same thing I am banking on. Until I build it they will say yeah we can but until someone actually does it no one will follow.

Right now the generation is playing by the rules because they want to survive but when a viable alternative shows up they'll make the change. The main reason why I wrote my blog was to gauge the feeling of the masses and as usual no one wants to agree out loud but if no one is discouraging me from building it either.

uglyblackjohn said...

@ FreMan - Build it.
Most people are like Lakers fans - they only jump on the bandwagon when the team is winning.
And until most people can see something being done - they can't imagine it.

But yes, playing by the rules currently given is like going into survival mode.
I'm working on the Underground Railroad (trying to get people free) - you're working up North (dealing with what to do once we are free).
(Or something like that.)
Both serve their purpose.

FreeMan said...

@UBJ - My mother used to tell me just do your part, do the vision God has given you. Someone else will come along to fill in the rest.

You're right they both serve a purpose I'm just glad you see it as being another rung in the ladder instead of it being the ladder itself.

David in North Burnaby BC said...

A very thought-provoking piece indeed; I'm glad I found your blog through the Black Sphere.
Oh, and if I may answer your question:
"the Mandarin (or is it Cantonese?) signage ..."
Chinese characters are ideograms, not a phonetic alphabet, and are readable by speakers of Mandarin, Cantonese or any Chinese language or dialect.

uglyblackjohn said...

@ David - Thanks - I had no idea and have no Chinese friends here in Texas to ask.