Monday, June 29, 2009
The premise was that Yogi and his friends would search the globe in order to find the perfect environment in which they could settle.
They were searching for a land that was not overrun by corporations and greedy humans (who were always portrayed as having caused more problems than they solved).
But every place that looked the most promising had problems of it's own.
After solving each locale's problems - the crew would again board it's ship and begin their search anew.
Having exhausted themselves in searching - they finally returned home to find the best place from which to begin CREATING their perfect place.
So, what's the point?
That there is no perfect place from which to create a perfect environment for success.
It's just a case of, "The grass being greener...".
Each person is already given all they need as their foundation to make the improvements in their own lives.
It all comes down to what each person does with what is given them.
If it were a shade tree - some would sit in the shade.
But a smart guy would eat the fruit, save and plant the seeds, and cultivate an orchard.
The smart guy would save the acorns, plant them and grow a forest.
The really smart guy would take the forest and create products.
The sex toy.
Rihanna/Chris Brown was only in the news because Ri was hot. Ciara, Beyonce and Kerry Hilson are only selling records because they are nice to look at.
The crackhead/hoodrat. Even Halle Berry had to play a crackhead... twice (Losing Isaiah, Jungle Fever) before getting the chance to move "up" to the sex toy.
Most people want to rely on social programs and financial entitlements as the final and complete answer.
But now it seems that some institutions are waking up the the fact that they are creating and cultivating bigger problems by their misguided efforts to solve a more manageable problem.
Some would say that we need to invest in ways to solve the problems of others who may not have the means to solve these problems on their own.
Okay, I agree with that.
But how do we go about this?
Let's say that you're doing alright (financially speaking).
You have a cousin who is on crack, hasn't had a job in years and who lacks any formal job training or education.
This cousin asks you to pay his bills for one year in order for him to get his life in order.
You feel bad for the cat's situation and decide to give him a chance at a better life.
After the year is up - this cousin still has made no effort to improve his situation.
But now this cousin has had a couple of kids.
You now feel that maybe you haven't done enough to help your struggling cousin.
You now pay their bills, pay for day care and enroll your cousin in the local J.C. for remediation and to help them towards getting some kind of degree.
After another year has passed - one of the children has developed Asthma and needs medical treatment.
How could you overlook a simple necessity like health care?
You now decide to pay your cousins bills, pay for their schooling, pay for their children's day care and pay for their health care (You also decide to give your cousin a little extra money to pay for a little fun every once in a while.).
After a few years of doing this - your cousin tells you that the life on the streets was too much for him to overcome on his own.
That the influence of those around him was too much to resist.
He is still on crack, has contracted AIDS, now has four children and still has made little progress towards independence.
What went wrong?
Did you not do enough?
The problem was that you failed to add stipulations to the assistance. (i.e. - Get off crack, you'll pay some bills. Stay healthy, you'll pay for school. Do well in school - you'll buy their groceries. Etc.)
Or did you forget the essential concept of one first being prepared to manage and maintain any assistance given them?
IMO - Many people are not qualified to benefit from the assistance given - it just becomes another level of dependence.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
I typed in "Happy Family" and this is the first image of a family that popped up.
D Pizz said: @Mr. You are right sir!
What about the fiery Preacher or Activist?
Barack mastered both attributes.
Mike only needed one.
Barack Obama has the ability to preempt any television programming by giving a speech.
But even Mr. Obama lacks the ability to totally control of most of the world's media outlets in the same way as the death of Michael Jackson.
Who says that we are not a popular culture driven society?
Thursday, June 25, 2009
But maybe coincidence is stranger than fiction.
First it was Ed McMahon.
StarSearch, The Tonight Show and the Publisher's Clearinghouse giveaway.
I would have liked to see Ed show up at my door.
So yes... Ed's an Icon.
" Ooh...You can see her nipples." I said as I looked at my friend Robert's copy of this poster.
Iconic - for one poster and a short stint on a television show?
Somehow - yes.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The Octomom is single, a pseudo-celebrity, college educated and has a hustle.
What? Are fourteen kids too many?
How about that nagging bitch Kate.
(Damn John... I feel you on dumping this chick - Ida' gone all Chris Brown on her ass years ago.)
The kids are past the terrible twos.
She is a nurse, makes about 50k per episode, and is about to be single.
She's even had the lypo done already.
Maybe TLC can get a really big house and have a singles mothers as roommates show.
It wouldn't be any more crazy than what already exists.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
They are allelon - which means "of each other",
and pathos - which means "to suffer".
Plants exhibit allelopathy when one species emits toxic fumes to prevent the growth of another plant species.
Humans exhibit allelopathy - not to be confused with resource competition - when they suppress another group to a life in a toxic environment.
This is how ghettos are formed.
The prevailing culture creates a hostile environment in which another culture has problems existing.
The oppressed culture is forced to move to the less desired parts of town to retain any hope for their survival.
This is also how ghettos are regenerated.
The prevailing ghetto culture creates an environment that is hostile to anyone seeking non-conformity to ghetto ways.
Those seeking to do better for themselves are quickly eliminated in order for the ghetto to continue it's existence.
Who says humans don't emulate the natural world?
The premise was that - all of one's previous experiences dictate one's future.
The protagonist had an effed up life - but when his time came to shine, it was the lessons learned from those experiences that enabled him to act and answer correctly.
Do I hate fat women? I don't think so.
Do I hate loud women? Not necessarily.
Do I hate forceful women? Not all
But do I hate fat, loud and forceful women? Yep. But it's based on the experiences from my childhood.
This can also be applied to racist people.
Racism is learned.
No one is born hating another person predicated on race.
One's previous experiences and that which he is taught by his prevailing culture will determine one's level of racist views.
If a little white kid was always beaten and robbed of his lunch by all the Black kids at his school - he will probably resent Black people.
If a little Mexican girl was raped by a white guy - she will probably hate white people.
If a little Black kid is made to feel inferior by his mostly Asian environment - he will probably grow up to resent Asians.
But the inverse is also true.
If one is treated well by another group - his resentment and fear will be less.
Fear is natural. So are hate, love, trust, envy and admiration.
These emotions (well... any emotions) don't have to be taught.
The only things that are taught are who to hate, fear, trust, admire and so on.
This is just a part of one's learned culture.
Racism, sexism, elitism, etc. are just learned responses - they are not inherent.
So why Slumdog?
Because the smart thing to do is to use even one's bad experiences and hardships as a learning ground to develop one's abilities.
Because even bad experiences can be used to one's advantage.
If you haven't seen The International - it's aight.
But the thing that stuck in my mind was the premise of one's debt being more valuable than their money.
Don Corleone used this concept to his advantage in the Godfather films. The two major parties use this concept to rule the country.
Most of my childhood was fairly diverse.
The more people I met - the more people I'd meet.
I heard of a bartender who had a similar upbringing.
This enabled the bartender to act as a facilitator for many things between many disparate groups or individuals.
Need a child abuser taught a lesson? I heard of just the right guys.
Need a plan to deliver goods between San Pedro and Vegas? I heard of just the right guys for that too.
Need to get someone out of a hostile situation? Yep, I hear there are people who can get this done.
Need military grade weapons delivered from a guy who sells weapons to "collectors"? I heard of just the right "esse". (Really a South African (S.A. = esse) that would be called "esse" to confuse anyone who may be looking into arms smuggling.)
(Note - this is hearsay and I can't remember any details or names of individuals.)
But this bartender I heard of - he could make all these deals (and many more) happen. He never collected a fee for his services. He would just go to lunch, invite the interested guests, explain the plan (Usually in the form of a short story) , and then leave. All the details were then between the two parties alone. If any charges were brought against the guy - he could plausibly deny any knowledge of any illegal activity.
But the parties always felt indebted to this guy I heard of. They would come to the bar at which we worked and tip the guy ridiculous amounts. He would then refuse the tips - only to have the people "sneak" the tips into another tip jar.
But the parties trusted the guy and valued his advice. Since the guy didn't accept any fee - they always felt indebted to him. No matter what the guy needed - it was taken care of (Often without the guy even knowing who solved his problems.).
I heard the guy realized that even if it wasn't him pulling the trigger - he was still partially responsible for any damage done. I heard that the guy moved to another town halfway across the country and is attempting to make life better for those he meets.The International gets ***1/2 (three and a half stars).
Sunday, June 21, 2009
2- Sam Cooke A Change Is Gonna Come (Sometimes you're not in the mood to fight. Sometimes you just have enough energy to hope.)
3 - L.L. Cool J. Mama Said Knock You Out (Again... Just say "Effum" and keep on going.)
4 - Ben E King Stand By Me (Nothing beats a good friend in a time of need.)
5 - M People - Always (A nice little dance ditty. I like the hook. I like the commitment of "Always" instead of "Only when things are going well".)
Since the intent of Gospel music is to inspire - My Gospel may be different from your Gospel.
If music is prayer to one's god (or God) - one's choice of music determines one's god.
If music can produce an emotional response - this emotional response produces a physical response.
If one's choice is songs of sex, money and murder - these become one's gods.
If one chooses power, faith and justice - the same rules apply.
If one chooses love - love becomes the god being serenaded.
I hate traditional Gospel - It fails to inspire me.
Sure I could have included many more songs to the list - most songs by Rage Against the Machine come to mind - but I wanted to be somewhat concise.
I had to create my own mental soundtrack.
So it seems that Congress is set to apologize for Slavery and Segregation.
S. CON. RES. 26 states that it's intent is to "...Apologize for the enslavement and racial segregation of African-Americans..."
But now what?
Are things any better?
Do you feel better?
But not so fast.
SCON 26 HD2, Page 5, lines 8-12 also include a disclaimer against ant support or endorsement of reparations or any legal action.
Is everything automatically better after this resolution?
(For those in Texas - Keep up to date on this story's developments. There is no need to have another Juneteenth situation.)
Thursday, June 18, 2009
But this past weekend, I spent the a day talking with two old school neighbors.
One is a developer (He's just now cutting the streets for his new gated community) and the other is a former basketball player for the 76ers (during the early seventies).
Both were friends with my grandparents.
Much of the day was spent just talking ish and eating and drinking.
But what took me aback was the usage of the word "Boy".
I didn't grow up here in the South - so words like "boy" or "gal" were not thought of as offensive.
By the time I was old enough for them to be offensive (back in Cali.) - I was out of the environment that understood the terms in a condescending manner.
"Boy" - one of the gentlemen said - as he began to lecture me.
But it's in it's intent, it depends on who is using it and why.
"Boy" in this instance means "Listen".
They told me that I was doing too much for too many people who it really wasn't going to help.
These men had come from the neighborhoods of which they were speaking.
These men still get involved in some of the charitable activities of those neighborhoods.
So I listened.
Later during the weekend, I took a young cousin with me as we installed ceiling fans in the homes of the elderly.
This is a troubled kid who was recently taken out of his mother's home by CPS.
This kid is said to lack respect for authority.
But this kid was oh so polite to every adult we'd encountered.
"Yes Ma'am", "Yes Sir", "Thank You" and "Please" would flow from his mouth as though he were a household slave.
This kid didn't lack a respect for authority - he just didn't respect those who were supposed to be in authority.
As I was giving the kid a lecture after a hard day of volunteering - the word "Boy" just slipped through my mouth.
He sat up attentively and listened.
Like Nigga'/Nigger - is it all in the intent?
Who is really the bottom man or woman?
Is it the obese?
Could it be those in the the GLBT community?
Is he one who had had the stereotypical childhood seen in every Blackploitation movie?
Is he one enveloped in a life of crime, single parenthood, poverty, drugs and gangs?
Is he one who is always the victim of "The Man" keeping them down?
Does he belong to a Baptist church, or attend a Muslim mosque or even hate religion altogether?
Does he run from success in order to retain his street cred?
Is he dark or light skinned.
Does he have be-bees and a dirty kitchen or a woolen mane?
Does he speak in Ebonics, SAE or a blend of both (and a little Spanish too)?
Does he date/marry Black women, white women or just fine women?
Does he just talk about helping others who are still living the stereotypical life, does he donate money to causes, or does he get actively involved?
Does he wear Robert Graham shirts or does he sport Roca Wear?
Does he live down in the hood or up in the hills?
Does any of this have anything to do with being Black?
Many Blacks use a Color Code of Success to determine ones credibility in speaking about "Black" issues (Which are usually just part of larger social issues.).
Were would "You" fit on the Color Code?
Are you too smart, rich or good looking to retain your street-cred?
Do you "Think you're white"?
Or are you too ignorant, disenfranchised and oppressed to objectively interact with others on a topic that you may not see as your own?
So you are now the authority on what is "Black"?
Is our self esteem so low that we get our feelings hurt by those whom we don't even know and who may disagree with our points of view?
Are we so busy fighting over crumbs that we fail to put the ingredients together to make a meal?
Are we hating on our own to the point of us failing to remain a group, race or culture?
So where is the cut off point of Blackness?
Is it just below white,
or is it only anything below slate?
Is our culture (Which isn't really our culture. Much of "Our" culture has been dictated by those who happen to be in charge at any given time. Culture is learned - it is not inherent.) limited only to the images seen on television, in magazines or in movies?
Or is there a broader definition?
And who gets to make this definition? Us? Them?
All I'm trying to say is that we cannot expect to succeed on a larger scale until we first succeed at learning how to succeed with our own.
We cannot treat others with respect until we first respect ourselves.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Maybe the burglar bars give it away.
But this house could be in any middle-class area of most parts of the country.
This is a photo of a house in the often maligned Compton, California.
And so is this.
The black steel bars of the fence are reminiscent of the iron bars that often surround most projects throughout most of the country.
But the home itself is better than many homes in areas that are considered to be middle-class.
But the biggest waste of money is in rebuilding the hood "one house at a time".
(Oh, the above photo is also of a home in Compton, California)
This past weekend, I spoke to a couple who were interested in building a bigger house on a lot they owned next to their existing house in the hood.
But why build a large brick home in a neighborhood of run-down homes?
Materials cost the same regardless of where the home is located.
Labor is often charged at a premium in many bad areas because of the likelihood of theft of a contractor's tools, construction materials and any unsecured appliances.
Any money saved on land costs will be eaten up the cost of the contractor having to rebuild structures or replace materials.
If a nicer house can be built in the hood or in a "nice" area - choose the nicer locale.
Why build a home for $200k when the resale value of the home is going to be closer to $150 in the hood.
Having the nicest house in the hood usually requires one to add the ubiquitous iron bars to protect what one already has (or what many in the surrounding area will assume one has.).
These bars give the image of an unsafe area - further devaluing one's investment.
Who would pay the full price for a home in which they were essentially a prisoner?
Another school of thought is to rebuild entire areas of the hood..
But this gentrification leads to the raising of property taxes - even to those with the less desirable homes.
These new (higher) taxes lead to many having to move to a more affordable area (even though they've owned their homes for years) - or to become renters in an area where they were once able to be owners.
Eventually, the neighborhood becomes another 'Uppity Negro Neighborhood' - with national franchises and chains replacing the (once) family owned businesses.
Those who are displaced by these improvements are forced to move to an area that is worse than was their old "ghetto" neighborhood.
How many working class white neighborhoods have become ghetto Black neighborhoods?
It's not the immigration of Blacks that causes the ghettos.
It's the rapid influx of the ghetto mentality that facilitated the demise of these areas.
People stopped caring and allowed their areas to become someone else's responsibility.
It's the over-dependence on others that causes these problems to persist.
This mentality draws others who share the same views and exacerbates the problems.
The ghetto isn't the "Ghetto" because it contains simpler homes - the ghetto is the "Ghetto" because it contains simpler minds.
So, we can't save the ghetto - the ghetto must first begin to save itself.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
But I do know the difference between "Ba-dunk-a-dunk-dunk" and
I'm not saying that some larger women cannot be attractive. In fact, it has more to do with personality and confidence than just appearance.
When I saw S. Epatha Merkerson in Law and Order, I didn't cringe.
But when I saw her in Lackawanna Blues, I thought "How cute!".
She just seemed nice.
I've always thought Sheryl Lee Ralph was sexy.
Really, there is little difference in appearance between she and the co-host of The Daily Buzz.
But Ms Ralph just comes across as less man-hungry or desperate than does a Mo'Nique, a Sherry Shepard or a Kia Malone.
(Really, Sherry Shepard looks "prettier" than Whoopi - but somehow, she comes across as less attractive.)
Often - when approached by a woman - "No, thank you..." is what I'll say before she even finishes her opening line.
But even when said politely, the phrase generates an anger within the female that cannot be described.
Would they prefer a more brutal "Oh, hell no!"?
Or would they prefer for me to lie and pretend to be interested - only to be ditched at the first opportunity?
I always thought that saying "No, thank you..." was being polite.
Maybe it's the Hunter/Gatherer thing.
Maybe I like to be the one doing the hunting - not being the one being hunted by an over sized beast.
Maybe bigger girls feel as though they have less to lose. They feel that they must be emboldened to pursue what they "know" will not pursue them.
But there is a difference between 'big and juicy' and 'big and fat'.
When I was in Cali - there were big girls. I even think I had a handful of big girls as friends.
But being that there were so many better proportioned women to meet on a daily basis - the big girls were just incidental.
Now, (here in the South) all I see are big girls.
Not big boned (I've never seen a fat skeleton) - but gruesomely fat.
I don't want to look at television or sit down at a restaurant and have my meal ruined by seeing a woman who looks as though she is about to steal the food from my plate.
But it's not the weight so much as the lying that gets on my nerves.
"I'm foine" being said by a woman who is 5'4" 38/44/48 and 210 lbs. is ridiculous.
Two hundred and ten pounds?
C'mon - she would be in a weight class (heavy weight) that would have to contend with Muhammad Ali in his prime.
"The bigger the cushion - the better the pushin' " - Maybe.
I like how models look - their clothes fit so well.
But many are just that - just skinny little hangars on which designer clothing hangs.
They are a case of something looking good - but feeling horrible.
There has to be a better ideal than skin and bones.
Now the new movement seems to be one of telling the truth.
Of admitting their weight and working with it.
I'm not saying that I think these women are fabulous - just that they are at least admitting the truth.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Take an electric vehicle,