Thursday, September 29, 2011

Is It Spying?

Take your pick;
Just Google; Nik Cubrilovic+Facebook+Spying and you'll get a long list of stories about how facebook is/was tracking the movements of it's users long after they'd logged out of the site.
Visiting porn sites after catching up with old girlfriends?
Big Brother sees you.

Umbrachrist's Law

A Blogger who comments on another site always seems to complain about Planned Obsolescence or Depreciation or both.
But he is on to something.
Things have become so cheap and readily available that there is no value in keeping them.
When was the last time you took your electric appliance to a repair shop?
Do you even know what a repair shop is?
These days, it's often cheaper to just buy a whole new appliance.

A cheap all-in-one printer is a good example.
A cheap one can be purchased at the local Wal Mart for around fifty bucks.
When the ink runs out, buying both color and black cartridges costs almost fifty dollars.
It seems to make more financial sense to buy a whole new printer for five or ten dollars more and then selling your old printer for twenty bucks on Craig's List.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bounce Network

An Afrocentric network launched today in selected markets
Don't look for the network if you have cable - this is a over the air network geared towards the African-American market.
Knowing this - much of my day was spent programming the digital boxes of many of my elderly former tenants.
Tired of BET, Centric or TVOne - or do you lack cable?
Look for the Atlanta-based station in your area.

Frogs For Snakes

An old Blues song warns of 'Fattening Frogs for Snakes'.This is what I've been doing in my recent turn at trying to rebuild a nightclub.
Most of my time, influence and money has been spent trying to rehab the image of owners who were too cheap, selfish and greedy to succeed.
Add to this that they wanted to dismiss their Black patrons in favor of white ones.
(For some, this may not be a bad idea - but this is Da' Souf.)
And letting their former patrons know of their intentions is even worse.
*Being Black club owners who do not like Black people is never a good idea.

While this is my first time not receiving my profit bonus, these owners still owe me my service fee.
They cannot afford to pay me but they cannot afford not to pay me even worse.
(I hate running nightclubs - I'm just good at it.)
As of today, I am now the majority owner (70/30) of a nightclub.

Nightclubs are funny though.
I get to experiment and watch the things which motivate people.
Looks, money, status, popularity, etc. all come into play.
By doing this I also get to manipulate people.
How do I convince people buy what they don't need?
How do I stop problems before they exist?
How do I avoid taking people's money but instead convince them to give it to me - and then to do the same day after day and week after week.

I hate running nightclubs.

Perfekt Design

 The Architect in the Matrix movies had the same problems with his 'perfect design' as did ...

 Frank Lloyd Wright with his Fallingwater House.
Apparently Mr Wright failed to take into account the changing conditions of the home's environment.
Rivers tend to rise or sink or to shift.
The result was that Mr Wright's Fallingwater home began to fall into the water.
Is there really such a thing as 'perfection'?

Is Nothing Perfect?

Or is everything perfect?

Too Busy

Watching England v. Romania in the Rugby World Cup to watch any college football.
Were there any games played this weekend?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sure, She'll Dress Up For Comic Con...

But can she cure Cancer?
Well... ummm... Maybe...
I wonder if they get paid to play?

Nope SeeNew... Hadn't read about it but it makes sense.
I watch some of my little cousins playing RPG's until they figure them out - why not cure A.I.D.S. while they're at it.

Back When I Was Ballin'

 Or so I thought until I walked into the Buffums department store at Fashion Island in the Newport Center back in the day....
 All I wanted was a couple of pairs of socks.
Sure, I knew Missoni was an expensive brand - but I didn't know how expensive.
I proudly handed the cashier a crisp hundred dollar bill and waited for my change.
"Two pairs of socks? A hundred should cover that with enough left over for lunch", I thought.
I had enough change for lunch... only I had to go to McDonald's
Now Target is selling out of the brand in it's stores as fashionistas/fashionistos are crashing their web sites.
The Target line of socks (at about $10.00 a pair) is much less than the $35.00 a pair I paid back in the day.
Sure, I paid for the socks back then - I was too embarrassed not to.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Acting "White"?

 I was the topic of a recent discussion at one of the clubs I run.
My (white) liquor rep commented that I am more white than most white people she knows.
"Like Carlton?", I asked.
"No, Like the Fresh Prince.", she replied.
"Oh, that's because he's from Cal-ee-for-neya." replied a Black patron.
"They all act like they're better then everyone else.", he continued.

"Why would you say that?", I asked.
They both went on to relate that I look (Read; Lighter skin and 'good' hair - which equates with to being a member of the higher classes to many born and raised here in Da' Souf.) better than most others, dress better, live better, speak better,
To most - Black or white - Better =White.

 But this image is one largely born of the American media.
Others view Blackness in a different way.
Thomas Ngijol states; "When I see some black Americans I see the end of the world. Lil Wayne is a sign of the end of the world to me."

Most people don't know enough people to be able to dictate to whom the term "Black" belongs - nor whom it describes.
Most people develop their idea of Blackness through the lens of the media.

I'm no fan of Weezy - he has nothing to say to me in terms of song.
I'm not hating on Weezy either.
When Birdman was an independent running Cash Money Records he could say whatever he wanted to say.
Now that Weezy has Young Money Records it is a subsidiary of Cash Money - which is itself distributed by Universal (One of the Big Four record companies; Warner, Sony (BMG), EMI and Universal (Polygram).
These four (formerly the Big Six) companies dictate and benefit from the creativity inherent in much of Black culture.
The intellectual growth and imagery of Hip-Hop is stymied by the tastes of these vampiric outsiders for their own gain and entertainment.

Who is really "Acting White"/
One who still finds comfort in mingling with his own and anyone else without encouraging others to take part in the imagined dominant Eurocentric 'culture?
Or one who boasts of and encourages others to join the soon-to-end party being pimped my the mainstream media?


 Would God still be alive...
If there was no Universe?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Watch A Lot Of Television

 But not always what I want to watch.
It was nice to see a fit and attractive Black woman (Angola's Leila Lopes) being heralded as the face (and body) of human beauty in the recent Miss Universe pageant.
 This is a far cry from those who wished to dictate that someone like Gabby Sidibe was what most among the Black race think of when they think of Black beauty.
Many Black women were upset when others mentioned that Ms Sidibe was not attractive enough to be on the cover of a high-fashion magazine.
And this started a trend in finding 'Real" Black women to appear on television.
 Personally, I'm sick of the Mammy image being the standard for Black women.
Some say that Black women are just naturally 'big-bone-did"
(Really... show me a fat skeleton...?) - but this is not the case.
 Sure, Sherri Shepherd comes across and looks like a character from something written by Tyler Perry but even the older (and some would say, 'less attractive') Whoopi Goldberg comes across as having more class and being more attractive..,
Ms Shepherd is just another ghetto-fab Mammy character.
 The producers of Desperate Housewives got it right when they cast Vanessa Williams as one of the wives instead of featuring the token Alfre Woodard.
Ms Williams is just a better fit on a show which features women thought of as being attractive.
 Many of the elderly women I check in on complain about the new 'Malcolm' on The Young Young and the Restless as being 'ugly' compared to the old one.
But they're ready to fight when I say that Victoria Rowell is stunning while the new Black woman is nothing to look at.
The Talk replaced Holly Robinson-Peete with...
Sheryl Underwood?
That's not even fair.
Holly is hot...
Sheryl is not...
And then I see a new 'Mammy' on General Hospital.
Sure, The Miss Universe pageant may be shallow...
But I east the woman are fit and attractive and none of them resemble Hattie McDaniel.

So Simple

I never understood why 'Tom' in Miller's Crossing never just took control of the organizations he built.
I never understood why he would just choose to serve those who needed him more than he needed them.
Sure, the money is good in running clubs, the perks are good and it's easy to always get the girl.
But people who own clubs must be doing so in order to feel important - in order to feed their egos.
I have little to no interest in popularity (While often useful it's largely overrated.) so I don't wish to own a club.
(Although another group has offered to hand over everything the club contains as long as I run it and no others.)

Recently, I've been busy.
Too busy, in fact, to host our bi-monthly BOSS meetings with various club owners.
This absence has led to a massacre.
The bosses are squabbling over everything. (Some are so trivial that they unfriended the others on facebook.)
The cartel is on the verge of collapse.

Now I understand Tom.
Tom just wanted the ability to walk away from anything and everybody at any given time and just say, "Fuck It.".

We KNEW When We Were Poor

 No, we didn't have it as bad as the people on Good Times - but sometimes things did get rough.
I'd always hated the show - I never understood how a family with four working adults could still live in The Projects for all those years.. (Although I used to watch it so I could check out 'Thelma'.)
Back in the day, kids ate what was on their plate or they didn't eat at all.
Back in the day, when kids messed up kids got whooped.
Back in the day, people wore hand-me-down clothes.
Back in the day, if one had a place to be and he had no transportation he would walk.
Back in the day, we knew when we were poor.

Sure, The Jeffersons moved on up but their home was fairly modest by today's standards.
No big-screen flat-panel TV's in most rooms, no i-Phones, no computers, one would wear his clothes until they would wear out (and then they'd just be patched), no fast-food or delivery, one (SOMETIMES two) full bathrooms for an entire family, no dishwashers (unless you count their maid), meals were cooked at home, one car garages were common,...
These days, even many "poor" people have these things.
These days, many of the poor don't even know that they are poor.

I'm not ballin'.
In fact, If DV is the Blackest man on the Internet then I'm the Third Poorest Person on the Internet.
Even crackheads walk by me saying, "Broke ass Nigga'.
Trying to help the poor often leads to one becoming (cash) poor himself.
Sure, I could sell off assets - but then what would I buy?
Sell some gold and old jewelery to buy.... some rapper-inspired bling?
Sell some houses to buy... a boat I'd never use?
Sell antiques and family heirlooms to buy... a country club membership?
Sell my (questionable) character to buy... status?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Learn To Kick Field Goals

Everyone wishes to play the glamor positions - to be the starting quarterback, running back or wide receiver who throws, runs for or catches the winning touchdown.
Others find pleasure punishing others while preventing the other team from scoring.
But the often unlauded (but all-important) position in many games falls to the lowly kicker.
Sure, he may not appear to be as big, strong, fast or as athletic as the other member of the the team - his uniform may even remain clean for the entire game.
But sometimes it's the little things that make a difference.
Sometimes it's timing or training or just dumb-luck.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Looking For "Q"

 There has to be more to life than material goods and the seeking of status.
Many Science Fiction movies have attempted to explain this religious dilemma through the use of the more enlightened of creations seeking his creator.
In A.I. most androids go about their 'lives' doing what they were created to do.
Even when some learn emotions such as fear - all just regress back to their primary code to function as they always had.
That is, all except for the more advanced "David" model.
David puts his fears aside in order to undertake an impossible quest in search of an impossible answer - even if it costs him his life.
 In Blade Runner - Replicants go about their business until one advanced model (Roy Batty) decides that he wants to live.
In the end, Roy allows himself to die for some unknown reason. (To save Rachael maybe?)
Even in a world of enlightened and free-minded citizens - it takes one who is at a higher level of consciousness, one who sees what and how others cannot, to save the day.
In the Matrix movies - Neo's purpose is save those around him.
But Neo has an even greater understanding and vision than those who seek to manipulate him - Neo seeks to become one with the original source.

Even if self-preservation is written into our DNA coding - could altruism and selflessness be a sign of being a more advanced model than the rest?
A sign of being, ' the world but not of it...", as some religions put it?
Do such practices bring us closer to God, our creator, or to our original source for answers?

Bank On Disaster

 So Obama is set to deliver yet another speech - so what.
At this point he seems to be saying the same things as the teachers on the old Charlie Brown cartoons, "Wha, WHA, wha wha...".
Does the government really need to be in the business of creating jobs?
Isn't the Postal Service already going broke with their obsolete make-work business model?
Didn't the huge the investment in a a solar electricity company also fail to pan out?
In fact, having far too many government jobs is part of the problem.
 There are jobs out there - just not the ones people want to do.
Many people imagined that a degree (not to be confused with an education) was the means to finding a better job and a better quality of life.
But what this created was a generation who imagined themselves as bosses rather than just degreed workers - and most of these workers still have the skill-set expected for one working at a fast food restaurant.
Most people don't want to work.

With the recent disasters, FEMA is hiring full-time inspectors who make $25+ an hour.
The requirements are minimal but one must be on the road for most of any given year.
Contractors doing the same work make about $70 per house inspected.
If one is well organized, one can earn $700 per day working seven days a week for three months (or more) at a time.
This is a quick $60k for three months worth of work.
But even so, FEMA is begging inspectors to go to disaster sites.

It's not that there are no high paying jobs - it's only that people think they should be paid large amounts for doing what it is they want to do where and when they want to do it.

 Some argue that owning ones own business the way to escape poverty.
Maybe... but Mumbai, and slums like it, have the highest levels of entrepreneurship than any other area - and they're still slums.
Maybe (in America) it is best to keep ones day job while simultaneously working at developing and growing ones own business to help ensure a constant positive cash flow.
Some say that "They" are holding us back.
Really? In what way?
Who are these who belong to this mysterious group often referred to as "They" or "Them"?
I know one cannot be speaking of those of European descent...
If being white was all that was needed to do well in this country, Cajuns living on the swamps of the Gulf, Hillbillies in Appalachia and those trailer park towns which sprinkle the country would not exist.
Since these areas can be almost all-white - these should be the most affluent areas in the country.
Many cite Malcolm X as their biggest influence when it comes to uplifting the race of Blacks in America.
Let's see what Brother Malcolm has to say;
I may be wrong, but I thought "By any means necessary..." included getting an education, doing the hard work and making sacrifices.
I don't see where Malcolm spoke of waiting on a monthly check from the government and wasting it on things which would not improve ones ability to make ones own choices in life.
In fact, I think Malcolm spoke more of responsibility of wealth more than the luxury of it.
Malcolm spoke of us doing for ourselves and ,unlike Obama and his make-work jobs program, creating ones own best life.

Are You Hungry Yet?

Tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires,...
Sure the weather seems to be in the news more than ever but what impact will this have on our ability to produce food?
The drought is so bad that many cattlemen here in Texas are deciding to sell their herds and get out of business.
Apparently, some have already begun to prepare for the looming food disaster.

Worthless Money

 The recent (current) failure of our banking system was the best opportunity for our government to reform a system in which many no longer believed.
(Yes, it takes faith to believe in any currency when such a currency is no longer backed by anything with a hard value.)
As we can now see, the bailouts didn't really help the common man.
Those who were helped were those who created this mess to begin with - not those who work and actually create real value.

A quick story on money which loses it's value when held can be found in one of those little Disinformation books.
(The Little Earth Book - page 72. Worgl money that is not worth keeping taken from Short Circuit by Richard Douthwaite 1996)

I LIke (Most of) My Little Cousins...

 But I hate when they look at porn sites on my computer which lead to viruses and a trip to the shop for repairs.
But the past two or three weeks were not wasted.
Besides getting these little Niglets ready for the new school year, I enjoyed watching yet another team of Little Leaguers from California win their version of the World Series.
(California teams are a combined 7-16 in the history of final games of this competition.)

But this was just a prelude to my real sports viewing season.
I'm a huge USC fan but the Trojans looked fairly pedestrian in their recent win against Minnesota.
Maybe the Trojans will take an over rated new member of their conference more seriously next week as they attempt to win the AP National Championship without even playing in a BCS bowl.