Friday, May 28, 2010

Learning To Lose

Losing (or being wrong, or not knowing, or needing help) is the most embarrassing situation for most people to be.
But this thinking does more harm than good.
Instead of just looking dumb - most people just end up being dumb.

Ali learned to box because someone stole his bike.
Tyson learned to box because neighborhood children used to tease him about his high-pitched lisp.
Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.
Someone once stole Fiddy's bike.
Oprah was abused.
Obama was raised by a single mama.
All of these started out with a loss.
None of these people let their situation become more important than their goal.

The hardest thing to teach kids (and many adults) is for them to accept a loss as part of a larger victory.
Many think that they are always supposed to know, are always supposed to be able to do, or are always able to have.
Few understand that there is no shame in failing - that there is only shame in not trying.

I can't stand pocket quarterbacks who are only able to function under ideal circumstances and protections.
I prefer option quarterbacks who can improvise and take actions into their own hands.
But many of today's children are coddled more than are Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.
Many are prevented from falling from a tree, falling from their bike or even getting into a fight on the block.
Many then turn to structured 'dangers' to test their skills without the consequences offered by a real defeat.
Many have a false sense of confidence built upon a false sense of accomplishment which will not hold up in the real world.

I have a young cousin who was getting picked on by one of the older boys on the block.
Being that they were about the same size, I let them them fight in the front yard until my cousin suffered thirteen defeats in a row (all on the same day).
The next day these boys were at it again.
After learning the other boy's weaknesses - my young cousin was able to exploit them to ensure a victory most of the time.
After the other boy began to lose more than he'd win - the other boy decided that it was better for the both of them to just be friends.

My young cousin was then not afraid to hit or to be hit.
He had suffered defeats and learned that they weren't the end of the world.
He had enjoyed victory and learned that it was not a time to oppress another.
So what's the point of all this?
Only that one should just say, "Eff You" to anyone who tells them that they cannot do something (Even if one has failed at an earlier attempt).
That it's okay to say, "I don't know.", "I need help.", or "I was wrong.".
That when one finally obtains victory - even ones enemies will begin to show respect.

My Lower I.Q.

Some would argue that having discussions about esoteric matters is a waste of time.
Some would say that knowing more than just sports scores and Pop Culture is just being pedantic.
Some would say that having a vocabulary beyond that of the SAT study guide is just being pretentious, loquacious and verbose.
So what's the use of having knowledge that few others can understand?

After helping my young cousins with their homework, my young cousins often return home with "C's" or "D's" and confused.
My next step is then to return the homework to the teacher with the sited (I know it's "Cited", but the references are usually to Web "sites".) references for him/her to reread.
Most of the time the teacher ends up being taught something that wasn't in the book by my young cousins and is then given an "A".

After such exercises, my young cousins ask why it is that they always have to know more than what is written within his textbooks.
I then ask, "Is it better to get an "A" or to know the material?".
"To get an "A".", is the usual reply.
Then I explain that the "A" is not transferable but that the knowledge is universal.

So why read about what few others understand if one is never expected to use such knowledge?
Well, it's exercise.
Having to think increases ones ability to think.
It's like lifting weights with your brain.

But my I.Q. has to be lower today than it was just one month ago.
Being in the mist of running nightclubs - there is little reason for me to know more than what's written about in the USA Today or what is shown on ESPN, E!, or VH1.
But if I were to be given an IQ test today - I'm sure that my currently used pool of knowledge would register somewhere on the ascending side of the above chart.
I'm sure that my ability to think in the tested manner would have suffered.
I'm sure that I would have a much lower measurable I.Q..

So what does one do?
Much the same as going from an active day of doing construction to a passive day of socialization - I would need to exercise.
I would need to keep theories, concepts or ideas fresh in my mind.
I would need to read about about things which I'd never even thought about.
I would need to asked stupid questions in order to get smart answers.

In thinking about the effect of my current environment - I have even more doubts about the accuracy of I.Q. tests.
What is it that they are supposed to measure anyway?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I Respect Doctors

But I have no respect for the business of doctoring.
Since when did we need a prescription for fish oil?
Apparently the makers of Lovaza felt that they could get a patent on a readily available (and relatively cheap) source of Omega-3 Acid and market it as being better than a more natural source.
But this should be expected.

I have a young cousin who was diagnosed with ADHD.
After I noticed him being nauseous and lethargic I took him off of his medications.
Instead I changed his diet
and forced him to live a more structured life.
After he knew his routine by rote, he had no need for medications in order to focus on any given task.
Even as a young adult he still has to manage his diet, sleep cycle and daily routine.
But which is better - medications or a healthy life?

One of the elderly blind women I check on was suffering from headaches caused by her high blood pressure.
Instead of remaining on her newly prescribed medications, I taught her family how to cook with less salt and to eat less processed foods.
Since these foods can raise ones blood pressure, the elimination of such foods should have helped her maintain more healthy levels.
Should her doctor also have known this?
But he never bothered to ask her family members about any contributing factors which have been causing her headaches.
Instead, he just wrote out another prescription.

Do I go to the doctor?
But only for advice on what to do (eat) and for help when I seem to have done it wrong.

Lazy Assed Kids?

What's wrong with today's children?
Is it the influence of rap music?
Is it Reality Television and R-Rated Movies?
Is it the poor quality of schools?
Is it one parent households?

If all the self-aware songs from the Sixties didn't solve all the world's problems, Rap cannot cause all the world's problems.
If children were doing their homework and participating in activities which would improve their lives, they wouldn't have time to watch many movies or many television shows.
If parents were to review, expand upon and correct their children's homework, it wouldn't matter what schools taught.
If families worked together to ensure the success of all, it wouldn't matter whether a family had one parent or two guiding it's children.

In all honesty, all kids have always had a poor work ethic.
The only difference is that, today, most parents have poor work ethics too.
Understanding the value of work has to be taught - it is not inherent.
But today's parents are too busy to teach their children.
Today's parents think that they are saving time when they do the work their kids have yet to learn instead of taking the time and effort required to pass skills and knowledge from one generation to the next.
Teaching children takes W.O.R.K..
So the problem isn't that today's children are more lazy than in past generations (Kids have been born lazy since Adam had his first son.) - the problem is that parents are just too lazy (or selfish) to sacrifice and work to teach their children that which is beneficial.


The stock market is up, the stock market is down - who cares?
Chances are - you don't even control the trades in your 401k.
Chances are - you have no idea which stocks currently are owned by your 401k.
Chances are - you probably have more money in your 401k than you directly invested in the first place.
How much should our economy grow?
In what areas should our economy grow?
Who even wants our economy to grow?

The market crash was really just an adjustment to more realistic pricing of our goods and services.
The problem was that everyone assumed that they had earned the right to live a life beyond that of their means.
Our economy just grew at a rate that could not be sustained (nor desired).
Our current slow growth should be desired.
It takes longer to build a stronger and more stable brick home than it does one made from straw.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Answer May Be As Simple As...

Wonder bread.
The spill in the Gulf has gone beyond that of one being contained by floating booms.

As BP attempts to solve the problem by a "junk shot" consisting of concrete, golf balls and tires - there has to be a more simple and less harmful remedy.
But what type of concrete will BP use?
Sure, hydraulic concrete expands as it dries - but won't the water in the mix turn to ice?
Anyone who has attempted to sweat solder a pipe knows that a piece of bread stuffed into the copper pipe can prevent leaks which will enable one to create a seal.
Maybe BP should call Wonder for a few tons of bread instead of that ridiculous "junk shot".

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Texas Rewriting History

As lawmakers in Texas are attempting to rewrite history to put a more favorable spin on European brutalities, and lawmakers in Arizona are attempting to do away with Ethnic Studies courses at it's public schools - there may be a way to get around this foolishness.

The budget for textbooks in Texas is expected to be more than 1.4 billion dollars over the next few years for 5,600,000 students.
Let's see - 1,400,000,000/5,600,00=250.
A new Kindle on Amazon costs $259 with free two-day shipping.
Apparently some in San Antonio Texas have noticed this (long-term) savings with open-source materials as well.

Good Eats

When Yang Liwei described his space meals as containing dog meat I had to cringe.
But thinking about it, maybe those in India feel the same way about others who eat beef.
"No kid, you gotta' cook it first."
I always thought that Asians eating dogs was some sort of stereotype - an Urban Myth.
Come to think of it - there was an Asian guy in my hometown who owned a Bar-B-Que restaurant which was right next door to his pet shop.
I wonder if...?

Smart Asians ?

In the past two months, middle aged Chinese men have carried out (at least) five attacks on school children killing 17 and injuring 100.
I thought that Asians were supposed to value education more than Americans?

What Ever Happened To "Diet and Exercise"?

The idea of wearing a wet t-shirt is so that the viewer can see everything.
The wet fabric clings to every body part accentuation all curves and bulges.

As I was trying to teach young cousins to swim - I noticed a bunch of fat dudes who wore t-shirts while swimming.
I used to wear a t-shirt in swim practice.
But this was to increase drag in an effort to make each lap more difficult.
But these guys were different.
Did they think that no one would notice their bellies and boobs underneath a wet t-shirt?

Have some men gotten so out of shape that a "Bro" has become an actual product?

Besides after surgery - when would a man need to wear a "Mirdle"?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I Watch A Lot Of TV

Not really what I want to watch - but whatever each elderly lady I happen to be checking in on happens to be watching.
One of the shows I catch is Desperate Housewives.
I saw the first episode and thought, "WTF?".
I had hoped that it was a modern version of David Lynch's Twin Peaks.
Maybe it is, but mixed with a little Sex in the City.
It's a chick show but still kind of funny.
All of the elderly ladies were excited when the show added someone of a darker hue in Alfre Woodard.
But this choice never made sense to me.
Ms Woodard isn't really that ugly but she never seemed to fit in with the rest of the show's cast.

Ms Woodard just lacked the glamour of the rest of the women on the show.
Ms Woodard just came across as a token.

Since the demise of Ugly Betty - Vanessa Williams has become free to pursue other offers.
Vanessa Williams on Desperate Housewives?
Yeah... now that's a good fit.

Modern Mythology

Apollo seems about 66 virgins short.

Revelations 9:7-11
7- And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle: and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.
8 - And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.
9 - And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron: and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running in battle.
10 - And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.
11 - And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
With the advances in modern weaponry - could we progress to the point of creating weapons which would resemble those of the Invid in the old Robotech cartoon series and prove Revelations correct in it's description of our demise?
Maybe we've destroyed ourselves many times over and now we are just repeating the past.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What Is Swagger?

If you have to ask - you probably don't have it.
People who assume that it is some sort of affectation just don't get it.

People who think that it has anything to do with race, religion, gender, or sexual preference fail to grasp the concept.
What they imagine it to be is the image shown them by the popular media.
(But they have no experience with it themselves.)
Jazz, The Blues, R&B, Rock and Roll, Punk and Hip Hop all were originally examples of Swagger.
Each genre rejected the rules and limitations which were accepted by those who came before them in favor of the rules and limitations determined by themselves.

Poor kids often have Swagger.
Because they have to.

Think about the coolest kids in school.
No, not the rich kids - but those who are still respected without the need (ability) to wear their status on the breast area of their shirts as though the label could act as some form of armour to ward off their insecurities.
No, it's best shown by those who refuse to be defined by their economic status.
It's shown by those who can make something from nothing.
Why are seven year old suburban girls, little babies and Chinese kids dancing to All The Single Ladies as though they were working the pole at the Spearmint Rhino?
Why do suburban kids wear baggy clothing.
Why do suburban kids and newscasters attempt to speak in Ebonics when trying to sound relevant?
Why do more suburban kids know more words from Weezy than they do from Rush Limbaugh?
Why do suburban racists still get exited about running into Jay-Z, Kobe or Oprah at the airport?
Swagger transcends economics.
The coolest kids in school were usually the biggest sports stars.
Many of these kids came from less than desirable neighborhoods and were from less than desirable (for some) ethnic groups.
Many of these kids could also fight.
Many of these kids were the most dominant and feared kids in their school yard social settings.
As others tried to emulate their appearance and actions in an attempt to feign the same dominance - many kids unknowingly spread the influence of the hood to the suburbs.

But what was an affectation for one group of imitators was a necessity for the originals.
Think about today's clothing styles and your childhood.
Much of what we had to wear in tough times is what many of today's kids choose to wear in better times.
We used to slab to make it look as though our pants weren't flooding.
We used to keep our hair short and properly lined because keeping a Shag or Jherri Curl was too expensive.
We had baggy clothes because our older siblings passed them down that way and we hadn't grown into them yet.
We used to keep our shoes clean and white because they may have had to last us the whole school year while also serving as our dress shoes.
But as long as one wasn't a bitch, could play sports, had good jokes about another person, could get the girls and could at least pass most of their classes - that kid could be cool even though they may have been broke.
In most cases, the better off kids would pay for everything in order to be friends with the dominant kids.
The dominant kids knew this and would walk in the confidence of being dominant without even having to put forth much effort.
These kids showed true Swagger.
The kids who bought the right clothes, said the right things and walked the right walk in an effort to appear the same as those to whom Swagger came by necessity (and naturally) will never understand Swagger.
To them, Swagger is as unreachable a goal as having a longer penis.

The Joy Luck Club Is Coming Too
When protesters argue against illegal immigration - do they really only mean Mexicans (Central and South Americans)?

Everybody Loves Raven

There was once a time when the town's doctor was the most respected man in any town.
His education and relative wealth were seen as proof of his superiority.
But today there are many professions which generate more income than being an M.D..
When I asked whether The Cosby Show would still be seen as a "white show" if produced today - I was really talking about the perception of today's children and the effect the show would have on their own expectations in life.

In the young family of That's So Raven, Raven's mother is in law school and her father becomes the executive chef to the president.
By the time this family's children reach the age of Cosby's Cassandra, they should be even more acculturated and assimilated into the perceived mainstream.
I asked a group of young children whether Raven was a "white show" or not.
All of the kids said "No", but that the family was just (relatively) rich.

When I asked the same group of children the same question about The Cosby Show the answer was the same.
Maybe today's kids have seen enough episodes of MTV Cribs and seen a more broad representation of minorities within popular media to understand that being Black is not limited to being hood.
(And all of these kids were straight hood.)

Would The Cosby's

Still be thought of by many Blacks as being "Too White" by today's standards?

Monday, May 17, 2010


Sometimes I run night clubs.
As the Summer weather becomes more and more hot, I have no desire to sweat through the humid days of Southeast Texas doing construction work.
(Although I'll keep a few projucts going in order to keep young cousins employed and out of trouble.)
To ensure gainful employment in an air conditioned environment, sometimes I'll elect to do work for club owners who need my assistance in developing a concept, setting and meeting sales goals and in the training of staff.

This year is expected to be a busy one.
In addition to my other projects, I have partnered with a furniture restoration business to run a showroom featuring their finished products.
We will feature Mid-Cent-Mod and other antiques from different eras.
A few years ago I set up and ran the only long lived full service nightclub in our area.
Since that time. many club owners have sought my aid in developing and running a successful night spot.
I turn down more offers than I accept based on anything as simple as; the way owners treat their employees, an owner's philanthropic efforts, or even the type of car an owner may drive.

This year I am running one spot while doing consulting work for two others.
Is this a conflict of interests?
Each spot plans to cater to a slightly different demographic and each spot is working with different resources.
My most hands-on effort is with the most needy of these groups.

"The success of each club will benefit the others."
But no group of owners seems to see things this way.
Each group assumes that there is a limited pool of patrons which should be exploited to the maximum potential.
One spot caters to Blacks 21 and older,
another caters to Blacks 30 and over,
while another is integrated with a 30 and over spot upstairs, a restaurant downstairs with a Bill E. Bob bar in another area.

Each owners group spends heavily trying to make the other spots look bad.
But in this scenario - only the local radio stations benefit.
Each spot tries to draw customers from the others in numbers to the point that none of them is able to service the guests they contain on a packed night.
This leaves patrons broke and disappointed - and owners broke and bitter.

The smart method is for each group to focus on what they really want.
The smart thing would be for each club to turn those away which they do not serve and recommend one of the other spots as an alternative.
This way, each spot does cheaper advertising for the next while maintaining good relationships with their complimentary competitors.
Each spot is able to focus on doing their one thing well (instead of doing several things poorly) thus increasing the value of their product and the likelihood of their success.

You Know You Wanted To Too

When I was a kid - I had a big mouth.
Sometimes I would talk ish to the wrong adult and I would end up getting a good old fashioned butt kickin' from a grown man.
I quickly learned to signal one of my younger brothers so he could run home to get my step-dad for backup.
My step father was a big, old fashioned, country, military man who did not play.
My step father would first beat the grown man trying to fight me, and then beat me for talking back to an adult.
I was (sometimes) a bad little niglet - but nothing like these kids today.
When the Houston teacher squared up on that little kid and commenced in beatin' that ass, there were probably thousands of teachers cheering in approval.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Game Has Changed

Fake tiddies and all - Tamron Hall is a baad b----.
But what made Ms Hall (and the litany of other Black newscasters) possible was the changing perception of Blacks.
Not just by those of a certain demographic - but a changing view of Blacks themselves.
There was once a time when a Black man wouldn't believe anything was true unless someone from a certain demographic told them so.
The Black way (method, concept or opinion) was viewed by most as being inferior.
But what changed all this.
Well... there is no one thing in particular - only seminal moments which seemed to change the direction of the social pendulum.

In the future, many will point to the election of Barack Obama as one of these moments.
If a Black man with an odd name could actually accomplish the impossible (being elected POTUS) - how much more could Blacks accomplish that was possible?

Fat, Black, poor, ugly, abused and from the South - Oprah never should have become OPRAH.
When the "O" announced her retirement - networks and syndicators began to scramble to find her replacement.
Who was the last person to have this big an impact on an entire time slot of the popular media?
Johnny Carson?
Cosby playing a doctor on television was seen a a false representation of Blacks - While a Black Surgeon general is now seen as something to be expected.

The Sunday news shows were once filled with only a certain demographic with the occasional guest expected to only be expert in topics concerning their own ethnic group (Jessie, Al Sharpton, ...).
Today, Donna Brazile goes up against the big boys on any topic.
Was I mad when LarryKing stated that his son said that he wanted to be Black because "Black people were cool"?
Hell no.
To many from the current generation - everything and everyone they see has a Black face on it.
(Even the Republican Party)
If the current perception of Blacks is this high from those of other groups - how much more will it influence the perception of young Blacks concerning themselves?
With this new "can do" mentality - won't the next generation ignore all of the "only white people can do/have/know that" nonsense usually passed from one generation to the next?
Armed with this mentality and the proper preparation - won't the next generation be better off than those who chose to settle for the scraps given them by those they served?
People can whine about the effect Obama has had on the lives of Blacks all they want.
But this thinking is short sighted.
The real question is, "How will the election of Obama effect those from future generations?"

The Imagery Has Changed

I used to watch The Cosby Show just to catch a glimpse of Lisa Bonet.
But for many, the show was seen as a false example of life within a middle-class Black family.
Many Blacks couldn't imagine a family of Blacks who had an education, good jobs and good credit and who didn't live in the ghetto, have a teenage pregnancy or speak in Ebonics.
For many, the Cosby Show was viewed as Blacks "acting white".

For many of a certain demographic - the pre-Cosby television landscape was pristine and idyllic.

Top Rated Television Shows 1983-84
60 Minutes
The A-Team
Simon and Simon
Magnum P.I.
Falcon Crest
Kate & Allie
Cagney & Lacey
Knot's Landing
ABC Sunday Movie
ABC Monday Movie
TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes
After MASH
The Fall Guy
The Love Boat
The Jeffersons
Scarecrow and Mrs. King

Mr. T (The A-Team) was a cartoon character, TC (Magnum PI) owned a helicopter service, Sherry Belafonte (Hotel) was some type of service manager, Issac (The Love Boat) was a bartender, and George Jefferson was a buffoon.
Pre-Cosby, the range of Black characters (or any characters of color) was limited to that of what television executives imagined other ethnic groups to be.

Top Rated Television Shows 1984-85
The Cosby Show
60 Minutes
Family Ties
Simon & Simon
Murder She Wrote
Knot's Landing
Falcon Crest
Crazy Like A Fox
Magnum PI
Kate and Allie
NBC Monday Movie
highway to Heaven
Night Court

Many said that Cosby was unrealistic.
Were Dallas, Dynasty, Falcon Crest or Knot's Landing closer to the realities of white viewers than was Cosby's reality to that of Black viewers?
Were all white people really rich and glamorous while all minorities were just paid servants?

Top Rated television Shows 2010
Dancing With The Stars
American Idol (Performance)
American Idol (Results)
The Mentalist
The Good Wife
Criminal Minds
Dancing With The Stars (Results)
The Big Bang Theory
Jessie Stone
Desperate Housewives
Grey's Anatomy

Today, Blacks don't just play doctors on television - some even write and create the shows about doctors (Grey's Anatomy) which have multi-ethnics casts.
Besides Desperate Housewives - name a top rated show which has no one of a darker hue playing a central part?
Sure, some can say that Cosby didn't matter, that it was only a television show, that it had no effect on ones day-to-day life.
But the real impact could not be immediately measured.
The real impact wasn't only that it may have changed the way others view Blacks.
The real impact was on the way more Blacks came to view themselves.
It was this shift in imagery which made it possible for many to imagine and then pursue a life beyond that which was dictated by society.

The Game Has Changed

Back in the early '80's tennis was dominated by Chris Everet and Martina Navratalova.
Tennis attire and it's players were mostly white.
The game was viewed by most as a somewhat elite sport played by whites with means.
But this was all pre-Cosby.

As a result of the imagery ignored or rejected by many Blacks - other Blacks saw themselves as more than the limited stereotypes shown in the popular media.
In 1984: The BYU Cougars won their only national championship in college football, the Boston Celtics won the NBA title, and Fuzzy Zoeler won the US open in golf.
In 2010: Alabama won the BCS title, The (Black) Celtics will win the NBA title, and Fuzzy's hated usurper is the biggest news in golf.

Today's elite athletes enjoy all of perks of a capitalist society.
Venus Williams makes money on the tennis court as well as from her sponsors (Wilson, EA Sports, American Express, Oreo, Powerade Zero and Sega) and endorsement deals.
All of this from a girl from South Central in sport seen by previous generations as "Acting (Being) White".

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It's Been A While...

...since I got some love from a blog award.
I guess the respected blogger KIT of Keep It Trill ran out of blogs to hand out this award to so she settled on mine.
Apparently I'm allowed to pass this award on to the blogs I read which I think are worth a look;
(Am I allowed to pass it back to her?)

FreeMan of FreeMan Press writes about solutions to problems which are constantly raised when trying to uplift the race.
Believe me - we disagree on method a lot but both of us are working towards the same goal.

Reggie of Reggie's Rantings seems to be more conversational than didactic.
It's like talking ish at the corner bar or barbershop.

Kay Dub of Sky, Soil & Everything... ain't no joke.
Her spot is interesting, intelligent and nice to just look at.

Then there's SeeNew of Subrealism .
Did you score lower than a 170 on the LSAT, a 35 on the ACT, or a 2300 on the SAT?
Well, you might have problems here.
I've been hella busy for the past two weeks and haven't been able to read his posts as much as I'd like and I already feel as though I'm a year behind in post-grad.
Also thought about:
DeeVee is usually a fun read with a lot of action on the ensuing threads.
But since the death of Mills - the diversity of opinion has diminished.
Most of the current posts champion a myopic view of materialism which will just replicate our current social, political and economic states.
But when the ish starts flying - no other blogger can stir up mess between the most erudite bloggers like DeeVee can.
brohammas is fairly insightful on his views from his travels but he doesn't link to other blogs on his site so I wasn't sure if I could link to his.
The odd thing is - I just started writing these posts because I had/have more questions than answers.
Most of the time I'm just using a regula falsi approach when broaching a subject in the hopes that someone will steer me in the right direction.
Most posts are just a starting point and not the final answer.
Most of the posts are as short and simple as possible and written in a colloquial manner.
Is each post coherent or related to a previous post to form a cohesive pattern of thought?
Umm... well, not usually.
So "Thank You" KIT for stopping by and sharing some love.