“I can’t stand “real” men. Masculinity is trash. Go cry in a corner, write in a diary, hug your mom. Please. I’ve felt the painful consequences of this posturing for too long; seen fragile men who never should have been told to be anything else in the first place crack under the weight of our flawed expectations. Let our boys paint. Let them wear skinny jeans and read Ellison. However soft spoken or uncoordinated, leave them be. If you don’t, you and me will have a serious problem.”—Joshua Bennett (via sophisticatedinsanity) (via notanotherintellect)
battling devolving notions of background narratives...
I was thinking….
One thing I’ve had a tendency to do, is fall in to the trap of thinking and believing that where one comes from determines how successful they will be; more sharply, I’m referring to one’s educational pedigree. I attend Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, NY. This is an amazing privilege, and an absolutely priceless experience. However, I’ve, of late, considered my ongoing academic experience here to be inferior to my peers at certain “elite” institutions. I’m of no illusion that you do not know the institutions to which I allude: the Harvards, Princetons, Stanfords, Cornells and MITs of the world. The “elite” institutions. No doubt, they’ve earned this distinction owing to their rich tradition of rigorous academics and exhaustive research. The talent these schools have turned out, have contributed inummerable gifts to the world in all areas of expertise. I suppose the respect those schools have earned through the years looms as a beau ideal in the academy - and perhaps my feelings and thoughts, which have held my school and experience in low regard, stem from a recognition of said respect for the tradition of these institutions.
But, upon further rumination, I arrive at a conclusion that while the “elite” colleges cannot be denied their very distinct and deserved place among the highly venerated schools of the world, I’m obliged to give a nod, as well, to the many individuals who never attended an “elite” institution, or any post-secondary institute. What must we say of those individuals, from all walks of life, who have made a great impact on the world, and who have defied the odds, all while NOT attending any of the elite schools? That very fact instructs me that one’s background - while formative and very important - doesn’t necessarily determine one’s future successes. No matter what college I attend, it’s about what I do there. It’s about my work ethic and my desire to learn; my incessant thirst for knowledge and wisdom. If I posses these, then I can perform well and be deserving of all the success I encounter.
The corrupted notion that I’ve battled, occasionally, implies downplaying my own schooling because of my own comparison of it with other colleges. However, in doing so I miss all that is great and wonderful about RIT; and I eschew my ability to grow wiser and value the unique culture here at RIT. RIT is not a bad school by any means. It may not be the subject of the renown the “elite” colleges are accustomed to, but it is a respected institution among those who know the school. And furthermore, college is about what one makes of it, not the name. The name of your school can take you but so far. Nonetheless, one day, with this knowledge, I’ll be exceedingly proud to say that I am a graduate of THE ROCHESTER INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY. And nothing in that suggests my education is inferior in anyway because I will join the ranks of some of the great leaders in engineering, technology, and innovation who have honed their talents at this place of higher education.
"No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings." ~ William Blake
“For me, the most ironic token of that moment in history is the plaque signed by President Richard M. Nixon that Apollo 11 took to the Moon. It reads: ‘We came in peace for all mankind.’ As the United States was dropping 7.5 megatons of conventional explosives on small nations in Southeast Asia, we congratulated ourselves on our humanity: We would harm no one on a lifeless rock.”—Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot (via oldthunder)
“Mariha was last seen sleeping at home on the morning of July 24, 2011. She may be wearing a black short sleeved shirt with pink flowers and blue jean pants. She was last seen with pink beads in her hair.” - Source and For More Details From a CBS News Report
Logic is argumentative, aggressive upon the mind, splits the world into right and wrong, us and them. Love is generative, compassionate, embracing all creation. Logic pays attention to what is being said. Love pays attention to how things are said. Logic leads to debate. Love leads to communion. Practice love to be closer to God.
What’s the hallmark of our talk? The mainstay of our thoughts it seems? Negativity or Niggativity? By d- e- f negativity is generally taken to mean something opposite postive. We can agree? It’s a tendency to shun sentiments of good; of warm sensation; to be skeptical of purported “plusness”; to subtract from - devalue in decibel level But beyond that arena of orbital pessimism does there rest rule and abide this itching grizzly monster - what about niggativity? What’s that right? Think about it. Niggativity is that state of mind where one posits that they cannot believe, they cannot faith, cannot assert It is that form of oppression pressed into one’s mind - left there - deposited as a gross cancer to metastasize - accrue interest, insured by the human servile registry aka - self- doubt It is being told u cannot and loving that u can’t It is striving for nothing Searching for what u know isn’t here - but all the while believing it is Sounds like insanity, but it’s not, cuz niggativity pervades even the most anti-niggative mind That’s y we’re taught we shouldnt use the word - cuz for years - those who preceded us were insulted and torn down with it So using that specific string of characters then makes us wrong - makes us proprietors of niggativity But I contend that if niggativity was this acerbic, divisive animal once perpetuated to keep the inferior down - but no longer does - should addressing my mans as nigga be taken so sharply as a disrespectful, indignant occurence? Out of respect or reverance should I shy away from the string of niggativity or mark a change in my thinking and in my view of the string of characters - nigga? Does it make sense to forget those letters in that sequence because they r forever tethered to the bitter evil of racial oppression Well our ancestors died so that we can have the freedoms we have right? That I can speak freely; pursue life and liberty ? But is it not my liberty to speak a word tied to niggativity? Words are, and then they aren’t. if it could be tied to niggativity can it not be freed as well? Maybe that’s what our ancestors would want.. hmm? For us to fight to relieve the animal niggativity of its taboo hold on our collective conscience; to wrest the power of that word away from the beast? And when used so freely as a term of endearment; of love in a way, can it not be done?
Anything’s possible, if u want it to be…
Or am I deluded? Am I really trapped in niggativity too? For even suggesting that nigga could be freed from niggativity? Some could and would make the argument that I am - but if so, I’d rather be on the inside fighting with all I’ve got to change it than to be on the outside coexisting and fearing it. Or is it that it just is a peanut butter and jelly situation? Like love and marriage - u can’t have one without the other? Maybe.
“We abide by cultural directives that urge us: clarify each thought, each experience, so that you can cull from them their single, dominant meaning and, in the process, become a responsible adult who knows what he or she thinks. But what I try to show is the opposite: how at every moment, the world presents us with a composition in which a multitude of meanings and realities are available, and you are able to swim, lucid and self-contained, in that turbulent sea of multiplicity.”—Richard Foreman, quoted by Maggie Nelson in The Art of Cruelty (via invisiblestories)
thing is: by constitutional imperative, the house has the power of originating revenue bills - the GOP controls that chamber and therefore has an auspicious position in these debt talks I think. Of course the Senate must assent to any bill the House wants to move through congress, but somehow I feel the House has a certain benefit which strengthens its stake in these debates. Their entrenched, unbending posture in these talks seems emboldened by that fact. I could be wrong though…
I own an iPhone 4 - it’s my smartphone of choice. It’s one of the most advanced, minimalist-y designed technological devices ever conceived. It should follow, then, that I would want to protect such a precious investment; well … yes and no. To be sure, within two days of purchasing the phone, I made sure it was snug inside of a nice CaseCrown case to protect it - well the back at least - because of course anyone who is remotely familiar with the iPhone knows that one side of the phone is a screen. In order to protect that oh-so-delicate “retina display,” I bought a screen-protector. And so, all was well. My amazing, beautiful phone had all of the armor is needs to keep up with the occasional blubber-brained owner I can be.
Now that’s all well and good - thing is, after a while, the phone wasn’t so “beautiful.” It’s almost the equivalent of a football player preparing to take to the gridiron, you know? They suit up for battle - cuz it’s a physical game; and, you know, they should take those precautionary measures to mitigate the risks incident to such a contact-heavy sport. That was my iPhone 4. But then I began to notice a disturbing thing - my phone’s sleek profile was hidden, and it looked so underwhelming - not quite the visual appeal I think Mr. Jobs et al were aiming for when they released the product.
I began to wax indignant at a self-imposed restriction in the name of “responsible consumerism;”of “investment-securing prudence.” Eh, well that makes so much logical sense. It does. And if you protect your gadgets - great! But me - nah. I can’t anymore. After peeling back that cloudy, brilliance-drowning screen protector, I understood just how much I had degraded my user experience. The screen was sublime - again! And to think because I was scared to have a single blemish on my screen, I was depriving myself of that eye-popping display!! No, I can no longer do it. And likewise for the case on the chassis of the phone: the design, if I might opine here - and I will - is genius: simple, neat, with a fresh, clean finish. I love that. It’s not only the best phone I’ve owned specwise, but its external shell is no doubt the most aesthetically pleasing.
And here’s my thing: protecting my phone with a case, or bumper, and screen protector, doesn’t protect my phone from my own fallibility, or chance. Any random event can lead my phone to its unhappy demise; regardless of how much I protect the device. And I’m human! I’ll drop it. Yeah! So what! Trust me it will happen - much more than you’d like. And on top of that I know I’ll be upgrading at some point right? How long do I really want to be an iPhone 4 owner when I know 5 & 6 are coming soon? And what about ‘planned obsolescence’ folks! Ever heard of it? Companies never produce products that last forever - or for any reasonable amount of time in accord with the consumer’s standards for that matter - or so it seems! To top it off, I do pay for insurance every month just in case that apocalyptic slip of the hand precipitates my iPhone to its decommissioned state. But even with all that, the iPhone 4 is a pretty durable phone. According to the folks at Loop21* - as reported this morning in their news roundup: “A skydiver dropped his iPhone4 from 13,000 feet in the air and it was still functional when he found it.” It’s no egg shell. Apple for the win again!
In the end, it is a matter of personal opinion. For me, I can’t do it any longer - protect my phone that is. It was cool for a while - but I realize it’s just a finite product. It’ll undoubtedly fail due to my own mishandling, or some other unfortunality. Oh well. That’s life. I mean when I had my old flip phones I didn’t protect them in Optimus Prime’s flight tech lol - so why start now? You do you. Imma do me. But that’s my case against cell phone protection. Peace.
The other day I was reading an article about a prison in Louisiana- the largest in the country at 18,000 acres and 5,200 prisoners. Apparently, almost all of those incarcerated are serving life (or what adds up to life). Prisoners tend the fields of five former plantations by hand. Three fourths…
As it’s commonly used, “PC” is a deliberately imprecise expression (just try finding or writing a terse, precise definition) because its objective isn’t to communicate a substantive idea, but simply to sneer and snivel about the linguistic and cultural burdens of treating all people with the respect and sensitivity with which they wish to be treated. Thus, the Herculean effort required to call me “Asian American” rather than “chink” is seen as a concession to “the PC police”, an unsettling infringement on the free-wheeling conversation of, I suppose, “non-chinks”. Having to refer to black folks as “African Americans” rather than various historically-prevalent epithets surely strikes some red-blooded blue-balled white-men as a form of cultural oppression. Having to refer to “women” rather than “bitches” lays a violent buzzkill on the bar-room banter of men preoccupied with beating on their chests and off other body parts.
Obviously these examples fall on the simplistic side of things, but I think they illustrate the shaky philosophical foundation of today’s usage. Underlying every complaint of “PC” is the absurd notion that members of dominant mainstream society have been victimized by an arbitrarily hypersensitive prohibition against linguistic and cultural constructions that are considered historical manifestations of bigotry. It’s no coincidence that “PC”-snivelers are for the most part white men who are essentially saying, “Who the hell do these marginalized groups think they are to tell me how I should or shouldn’t portray them? I’m not going to say ‘mentally challenged’ when it’s my right to say ‘retard’, goshdarnit there’s only so much abuse I’ll take!”
In this context, the conceit that “political correctness” constitutes a violation of free speech is particularly zany; as though society’s marginalized groups wield oppressive power over the dominant mainstream. Actually, as far as I’m concerned you’re free to call me “chink” and I’m free to call you “moronic racist loser” (and more if necessary, but I’ll leave that aside for now in the interest of false civility). Free speech is the straw man of choice for intellectual bums of all stripes too fragile and vacuous for critical engagement. Calling someone who says or does bigoted things “a bigot” isn’t censorious, it’s descriptively accurate, like calling a bad movie “a bad movie”, even if the bigot didn’t intend to come off as bigoted and the movie didn’t intend to come off as bad.
Kai Chang, “The Greatest Cliché: The Unexamined Propoganda of ‘Political Correctness’” (via wamsise-jamgee)
“Do you ever wonder whether people would like you more or less if they could see inside you? …I always wonder about that. If people could see me the way i see myself—if they could live in my memories—would anyone, anyone, love me?”—An Abundance of Katherines, John Green (via creatingaquietmind)
too many of my African-American brothers & sisters have internalized a vicious lie: that to forgive means they are feeble & defeated - this internalization is such a bane to the existence of our culture - it’s primacy as such enables the continued infighting which kills…so many of our own people… because somewhere we accepted a lie- an aberration - that forgiving is self-betrayal - such a tragic idea
One of my fondest memories of my youth actually takes me back to July 4, 1997ish. My Dad stayed up with me all night and we talked about the country. We talked about freedom and just chilled far past the fireworks, which were replaying on TV; on WETA I believe. I interrogated him about July 4th and freedom and security and he explained to me - as best someone can explain freedom and the 4th to a 6 or 7 year old - his right, and mine by extension, to defend and protect our family, our lives, our property, our freedom and the like. It is one of the best memories I have of us because we spent so much time together - just the two of us - and here I was, being instructed about a little part of the world by my father; a man who had been through so much at that time; a veteran of our military. It was just a beautiful moment in time - which occurred today 14/15 years ago. Time flies.