Category Archives: Social Issues

Sublime ( a movie response)

SUBLIME:

Is a very layered and symbolic movie, It is intentionally designed for the thinking man.  In fact, the director describes the movie as a thinking man’s horror film.  The film is like an onion, in that it has layers on top of layers, and really, depending on what mind set you are bringing to the movie that which you derive from the movie will be different.  I will explore some of the themes that I felt spoke to me.

The main theme of the movie is FEAR.  The film explores the power of fear, and how fear drives our life on an subconscious level, which eventually bleeds over to a conscious level.  It shows how these fears swallow us up so much that they eventually become the sole purpose of our existence.

This movie is unique, in not so much that it is told from the Patriarchal-White-Male perspective, but that it gives this Archetype vulnerability—It finally gives perspective to the truth of this archetype.    That despite how much power it has assumed, it is helpless in so many ways, because fear dictates its actions. The film also makes a bold statement: that perhaps this archetype need not to exist in order to save the world. This film gives insight into the white male psyche, all of his fears, EXCEPT PERHAPS ITS GREATEST, is placed into one progressive narrative. The film is a purge of sorts that has many levels to it. I will delve into but a few, the same general themes that I like to embark upon, although, the ironic part about this movie was that there was no BLACK FEMALE ARCHTYPE in this movie (Which I hold true to be the White-male-patriarchal archetype’s antithesis) .

The story is centered around the main character, George Grieves. He is a liberal, upper-middle class white male. The day after his 40th birthday he goes in to have a routine colonoscopy, but do to iatrogenic complications he has a series of unfortunate occurrences. This is when the movie splits into its many dualisms.  The primary dualism is the narrative inside of George’s subconscious mind juxtaposed to the narrative of George’s actual life. In his subconscious life, he has a botched routine surgery that leads to him having his spleen removed erroneously, and he also gets staph infection leading to leg amputation. In his actual life he has a botched surgery that leads to him being thrown into a coma/vegetative state for several months.

The majority of the film takes place in the subconscious of George. Of course the viewing audience is not aware of this because, as a viewer, you are not sure what is real and what is not until the end of the movie, because the narratives are shown conjointly.

As in most of the movies I have commented on, the protagonist is casted in the light of Jesus or rather the Christ Archetype. At his birthday party before his surgery, he literally recreates the last supper scene with a photograph, with him being Jesus. He also received an olive tree, which is representative of the garden of Gethsemane, the final place Jesus roamed freely before he was captured and crucified. Even his botched surgery scar is located in the same place that Jesus was pierced by the spear while on the Cross.

In the opening sequence of the movie there are two paintings. Directly above his head when he awakens from a dream is a painting of Adam and Eve, and as the camera rotates there is a painting of an incubus assuming a dominating position atop a helpless woman. This theme is reverberated throughout the movie and recreated in various ways–always, George in the helpless role and various characters in the role of the incubus. The incubus, of course, is a symbolism of George’s fear. And George is a representation of the typical patriarchal-white-male archetype.

Now I will explore the FEARS of George as expressed in the film.

  • 1.  His number one fear is losing control (Power). In his actual life, George is well off.  He has a large house, is able to pretty much retire by the age of 40.  Even convinced his wife to stop pursuing her career and raise his kids—who are soon to leave the nest.  Yet, in the subconscious world he has no control.  He is completely bed ridden, and dependent on nurse and hospital staff for everything, to get around, to receiving nutrition, even to receive information as to what is going on with himself and the world around him.
  • A.  His Wife: in the beginning of the movie, during the “Last Supper” sequence his wife is depicted as Judas.  This fear of losing control of his wife is prevalent.  In fact, in the subconscious reality he ends up stumbling onto his wife having intercourse with the same doctor who botched his surgery, in the East Ward.
  • B. His Daughter: he is afraid of who his daughter may turn out to be. He raised a wholesome American girl.  Yet, in the subconscious reality his daughter brings a lesbian lover to his room, and she is actually the person who reveals to him that his leg had been amputated.
  • 2.   There is a male nurse in the film that is played by a strong black man. George is at first very skeptical of the man, but the skepticism turns into full blown fear very swiftly.  The black man is symbolic of the unknown, and every negative stereo-type that George has of a black male rolled up into one individual.  George asks the man what his name is and he replies that it is Mandingo.  Mandingo wears a bow tie, walks very prominently and is very stoic saying very little.  Until the final sequence of the movie, in which, he has quite a lengthy soliloquy.  He gives a diatribe confronting George about all his fears: saying that he is a representation of the disenfranchised, uneducated, under-cared-for, shoe-shining, under-privileged, under-class that has risen up to take back control.  He then begins a torture sequence which in turn allows George to be “freed” from his fears.
  • 3.    Losing his identity rather his place in the world. In one sequence shortly after his botched surgery. George has a dialogued with a masked man, who warns George of the dangers of the hospital.  Telling him that this place will strip you of your identity and dignity.  This eventually becomes true, because as the movie progresses, George becomes less and less in control.  And at one point he is completely emasculated and is called a “Kid” by the Mandingo character. George is afraid that he will lose his place in the Hierarchy of social dominance: on top of the pyramid.

 Another prominent figure in the movie was a female nurse named Chloe.  In the subconscious life she was responsible for George receiving the staph infection, because she accidentally cut his leg when transporting him for his initial surgery.  She ends up caring for George predominantly, and is his means of being transported around the hospital in a wheel chair.  She provides much of the answers to the questions that George ends up having, because no one else is around.  She is depicted in the real world as a relatively attractive young woman.  But in his subconscious life she is depicted as a sexy, flirtatious young woman.  Her attire becomes tighter, her dress becomes shorter etc.  She then becomes a representative of George’s fantasy. She is a living, breathing representation of George’s fantasies and desires.  At one point, after George is convinced his wife cheated on him, Chloe approaches him—this is near the end of the movie.  She is very appreciative George did not have her fired because of her being the reason his leg needed to be amputated.  George is helpless on the hospital bed and she begins to copulate with George.  She mounts him and is having sex with him while facing the opposite direction of him, she begins to disrobe and on her back is a tattoo of the “Tree of Life”.  George asks her what the tattoo is and she reveals to him what it is.    Shortly after this scene, comes in Mandingo. This is when he mounts George in a similar fashion as Chloe except that he is facing George.  George is even more helpless at this point; he cannot even speak because he has a feeding tube in his mouth. This is when he begins his soliloquy about being the sum of George’s fears.  Before he begins to torture George he hops off and pulls back a curtain to reveal the patient next to the George. It is an individual wrapped from head to toe in bandages, the person’s arms and legs are missing and they are badly disfigured.  Mandingo has a blade in his hand implicating that this disfigurement was done by him.  He then flips the body around and the “Tree of Life” tattoo is displayed on the characters back and George realizes it is Chloe.  Mandingo then remounts George and rips open his shirt and the “Tree of Life” tattoo is displayed on his chest.

The implication of this sequence is powerful and layered.  On one level, you have the idea that George’s fears were such a powerful force that they literally dismantled his fantasies.  He allowed his fear to be the most powerful force in his mind.  His “Tree of Life” no longer sprang forth from his fantasies but became hijacked by his fears.  Also, there is the homo-erotic aspect to the scene–George feeling emasculated and totally helpless in the presence of a Black man, and that Black man confronting him with all the ills that he has placed on society–“he” of course being a representation of the white-patriarchal-archetype–and Mandingo being a representation of the original man or all the exploited people of color around the world.  This foretelling one of the white-patriarchal-archetypes biggest  fears– that the disenfranchised will eventually rise up and destroy the “The American Dream”.

At the end of the torture sequence, Mandingo told George that he was now empowered and set free.  George then immediately limped out of the bed, hobbled to the window, and jumped to his death.  As he died in his subconsciously life he flat lined in his real life. (The as above so below concept) Ironically, enough this fulfills the Jesus or Christ Archetype.  Christ had the power to save himself but allowed himself to be killed (suicide) as George was burdened with all the fears of the world and he “freed” himself through death.  This film alludes to the fact that this white-male-patriarchal archetype needs not exist as well as it’s illusions of the “American Dream”.  This film clearly implicates, that this archetype needs to be sacrificed as is and re-birthed anew–and to take on a new role.  No longer, avant-garde of society but that of willing participant.

All in all, I found this to be an excellent film for the thinking man.  Although, I found it interesting that this film did not have the Black-Female Archetype. –Which coincidently, this film chose not to touch on any aspect of spirituality.  Which if you have read any of my past blogs; you understand that I feel the Black Woman is the mother/guardian of spirituality.  The fact that there is no black-female character in this film and no mention of God is no coincidence at all.  I just found it very glaring that the creator of this film chose not to acknowledge either.  That which is actually their greatest fear they chose not to put into the film.  That which could cause the sum of all their other fears to come to fruition was not put into the film.  Ironically enough, It also could have been the one thing that could have saved George from being swallowed by his fears–spirituality.

To me, that says so much.  But that is another blog, for another day. 

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Meninist –joke in jest or a spit in the face of humanity…(a blog by Jack)

A pseudo-popular cult-like phenomenon that has gone relatively viral, it is a means to poke satirical fun at the feminist movement through pointing out “ironies” that men have to go through. It is meant to be taken in jest, and those who self-proclaim them-selves as meninist always claim that it is not to be taken seriously. It is meant as a joke pointing out the difficulties men have to go through in this politically correct stringent society.

Although, I do see the point that these men are making—we live in a hyper-sensitive “pc” society that protects any and everyone—why don’t men get equal protection? In particular—white males—those who presumably developed the idea, because that is who is seen mostly propagating this meninist “movement”. And there lies the majority of the problem. Not only does it undermine the struggles of a particular group of people, it makes light of their issues. And believe me, I get it, it’s just a joke bro: chill-out! Yes, not only does it make light of another group of people’s plight it makes a joke out of it.

This concept in itself is quite disconcerting, but it is of no surprise. Making fun of people is seemingly human nature. And in a lot of ways, it is how we, as humans, cope with our differences. We tend to make fun of it as a shield to understanding it. This concept I am quite familiar with, but the meninist movement does not stop there. It goes a step further—it then puts itself as the victim. The same group of people who have conquered this country, established the laws in this country, control the majority of major industry in this country, who propagate the media in this country, who dominate this country social-politically are now claiming to be the victim.

This is where the whole meninist movement took a turn from harmful fun, to me, to exceedingly damaging and quite a slap in the face. It’s as though, a particular group of people are saying—hey we don’t have enough supremacy, you guys over there are making too much sense and being too logical standing up for yourselves—look over here, we’re victims too. And as much as I’d like to even joke that I was a meninist, and as much as I believe feminist take their ideals way too far, I could never support such an agenda. I would not dare dignify it with a laugh. Because if I did, I’d be laughing at all of my ancestors who were hung from trees because of the same “Sense of entitlement” these meninist feel they deserve. This manifest destination that they have enacted on American Society and have convinced us all is the only means of living.

I do not see this as a joke, but a surriptious means of undermining any and all injustices put forth by this particular classification of people: a patriarchal-white establishment. 

 

Human Zoo… Country of Apes.. (a blog by Jack)

A few months back I was gifted a trip to Disney World– a very interesting place indeed. It was a weeklong trip, and I was able to spend one of the days at the Safari Park. As I observed the various encaged animals, I found it remarkable that these wild beasts remained so calm. I immediately assumed that the animals had to be sedated– I inquired this of one of the park workers and he quickly assured me that they weren’t. So I asked him how the gorillas remained so calm. He replied, well, we keep them well fed and they generally remain peaceful when they have no needs.

This concept as well as its implications juggled the old marbles. On a basic level, man and ape share similarities. I thought to myself: are humans not so different… These were seemingly wild animals placed in a “cage”(rather limited living arrangement) yet they were able to peacefully cohabitate…

What makes us as humans so different?

Are we not as civil and critically thinking as gorillas?

Can we not respect each other and each other’s space and peace of mind?

Or maybe it’s the “well fed” concept that’s missing. Perhaps it is the fact that we as humans are not all “well fed”, and that keeps this monster called society ticking. Perhaps the fact that we aren’t “well fed” unleashes a savage-primitive nature within us–cultivated, yet still savage. Perhaps the fact that we aren’t “well fed” keeps the economy going.

I have a personal philosophy: “Low self-esteem drives the economy”. Many of top markets within our economy are in direct appeal to man’s vanity (cosmetics, clothing, luxury items, etc.).

Albeit to directly correlate man with a gorilla is a gross oversimplification. And an insult to the complexities of what it means to be a human. To keep a gorilla “well fed” is quite a simple task. It simply depends on having the proper quantity of food and environmental stimulus. On the other hand, keeping a human “well fed” involves a bit more. Most humans (not all) are three tier beings. Beings of mind, body, soul (which houses the individual spirit) — thus to keep a human well fed involves more aspects. Each of these aspects of the human must be addressed– as a trinity they grow hand and hand: lending to each other’s growth through a synergistic reciprocation.

Thus, the fact that man isn’t at peace among man directly speaks to his deprived nutrition in one if not all of these areas.

Without enough physical food we know the length man is willing to go to eat. A man will have no qualms about killing another man over bread– over his livelihood. This can be noted in various mediums of artistic expression– whether it be through movie or song.

Without enough mental stimulation we know the harm that this can do as well. Just take a look at the youth who are under stimulated in school. They often find destructive outlets to manifest these bottled up mental energies– often expressing itself in the destruction of the community or themselves somehow.

The most critical of man’s needs is spiritual food. When fed properly it allows for the other two outlets to be pursued harmoniously– it creates a balance. When man understands the spiritual nature of him-self and begins to develop it on the smallest of scales, his physical and mental energies begin to generate healthy outlets naturally. These mental and physical energies are automatically directed towards spiritual growth– love, benevolence towards others, ingenuity etc. And this is what happens when man simply begins to understand that he is a spiritual being.  A gateway begins to open which actually enacts spiritual growth—which involves so much more (healing aspects, mind over matter, insight, foresight, manifestation, etc.) But without the basic of awareness of who one is these spiritual avenues can never be pursued, or pursued in healthy manner.

So perhaps we aren’t so different from the ape. Another caveat I failed to mention is that the male gorillas were separated from the females. This places too many other variables in the mix– because then the variables of love, desire, and procreation come into play. And these variables would convolute the discussion.  But for simplicity sake, I do believe I made my point.

Perhaps if we as a society received more spiritual nutrition, many of our afflictions would cease to exist.

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Bros over Hoes? Perhaps they’re on to something…(a blog about affection)

Is affection a one way street? Or can platonic affection be exchanged between the sexes…

The following question was recently raised to me: “Did your father hug you or tell you he loved you while growing up?”

My initial response was no, (If so, few and far between) but I never believed for these acts to be necessary. I know my father loves me without a shadow of a doubt and his actions more than corroborate that. He has always loved me. He understands me to a degree that is beyond any other being—this is without question, for I am his seed.

But this strand of thought led me down another particular path… The topic of affection… Is it a one way street?

Is Brotherly love the saving Grace of man’s ability to have a sustainable existence?

The question got me to thinking. Has any woman openly displayed affection for me? That answer is few and far between. During the above discussion it was alluded to, because black fathers don’t hug and tell their kids “I love you” that in turn the children do not know how to display affection growing up. I would beg to differ. I would argue that man are among the most affectionate of creature roaming this earth.  In fact they have so much affection—they tend to create creative means for displaying and enacting this affection. You see, men are the only creatures who have never been afraid to display affection towards me (not so much in the romantic sense, but in the platonic-fraternizing sense).

IMG_4332I’ve rarely had a woman excited to see. This includes close relatives as well girlfriends and so forth (Although, I’ve had one girlfriend consistently express her joy in seeing me). Yet, I’ve had plenty of men “dap me up”, give me a hand shake, give me a head nod, give me a bro hug and a smile or all out laughter upon seeing me.

Is that not affection?

I’ve rarely had a woman sit down with me and enjoy meaningless banter without some undercurrent of sexual tension being evident; but plenty of men have been quick to “shoot the shit” with me–Men that I do not know and have no apparent vested interest in—from homeless men to guys at the gym to the random guy standing in line at a grocery store.

Is that not affection?

I’ve had many men open up and vent just so they can have some semblance of connection with someone. I’ve yet to meet a woman who would even bother to hear me out. Or fully attempt to understand my prospective on much of anything (I mean it occasionally happens but it is quite the anomaly).

Is that not affection?

I’ve had random men pick me up when I was at my lowest… Lend a helping hand and a kind word without expectation in return…I’ve reciprocated the notion to others as well…

Is this not affection?

IMG_4333I compete against men daily. I enter the gym, and engage in man on man competition. A sadomasochistic outlet towards the lack of affection received from women. In some twisted way the brutality stands in substitute for the soft caress. The soft caress may come once a month or so but the brutality is dependable– I can always count on it. And so as warriors, we as men willingly enter this make-shift arena and grapple—my arena of choice is basketball. We physically beat each other up, but have this deep rooted understanding that we need this in order to survive—in order to thrive and keep going.. We may be at each other’s throats on the court, yet as soon as the game is over it’s back to smiles and meaningless convos. It’s just an unspoken axiom, and all who participate in it: “get it”.

–If this isn’t affection… What is?

Men are scarred, and by function of cause and affect direct their actions accordingly. I can’t speak for all men but those I know are in similar boats. There is very little trust of women, very little understanding of women, and plenty of dysfunctional relationships with women.

Who is to blame?

I do not know.

Yet, to say men aren’t affectionate is to not understand the nature of a man.

I would beg to differ. Men are men’s only saving grace. Without the life vest that we toss each other daily we may be made to drown in our own emotion. Often, men are treated as a “function” as opposed to people. His worth is often derived from what he can provide. His worth is placed in his sexual prowess… His worth is placed in his athletic ability… These are all functions… The “person” gets buried underneath all the “functions” and it slowly chokes him. And maybe it does take another man to understand the depths of this box we’ve been placed in …Whether we are consciously or subconsciously aware of the box: we all tend to act out in a reactionary way—in our own unique way.  Men tend to gravitate towards men—and I believe the lack of affection plays a large part in this—whether it be through gangs, clubs, teams or whatever.

But I would never say men don’t know how to show affection… They display affection towards each other every day in every way… Fulfilling the void that society left in the best way they know how.

Now I don’t believe the mantra “bros before hoes”…or “Bitches and shit”… or “Money over bitches”…I believe that is simply the lashing out of the inner boy, who has yet to mature beyond a particular stage of emotional development—he is stuck,in a sense, in a phase of neglect and has not been able to psychological develop beyond this stagnation, and these phrases are evidence of the neurotic residue. But on some twisted level, I understand and I can relate…

Now, insert the bitches and hoes and sluts… Because,after all, women are reduced to their function:  A function that is reactionary to the story men have been told and have been showed. Our interactions have not been conditioned to be that of man and woman: but the function of what man can do for woman and vice versa. Hence, the accurate yet inaccurate titles of bitches and hoes– a self-fulfilling prophecy if you will.

I suppose we can blame the victim for not exuding affection in a manner deemed fit by society. But the truth of the matter is that the affection is there, it’s just waiting to be received and exchanged in a healthy manner.

Or perhaps I have it all wrong… Perhaps we are being shown affection by our women, and we’re simply misinterpreting it. And our gross misinterpretation of this affection is the catalyst for all the dysfunction.  Perhaps the cold stares and avoidance of eye contact and curt language is a woman’s manner of displaying affection towards a man, and I’m too blind to see it.

Or perhaps this social divide is all in my head…

Hmmm…Thanks for reading!

Reactions and opinions are welcomed.

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Alpha Male vs Beta (Why the Beta man wears the crown..)

Alpha Male Vs. Beta Male:

“How can those women fight over such a loser?”

“They are fighting each other and looking foolish when really they should be fighting him?”

“What’s he got that I don’t got?”

You often hear these phrases or phrases such as these uttered from the lips of so many. You may have uttered them yourself, and sat in awe as to why some women would be so foolish as to give their “all” to some “unworthy” individual. Even to go as far as fighting a complete stranger for their prized possession.

The following discussion may shed some light on the phenomenon—depending on your perspective.  Allow me to set a precipice for our discussion.

We live in a multi dimensional reality. Allow me to define what I mean by such. We live in a superficial or sentient reality that constantly has to reinforce its value structure upon us—the individual, and exert itself upon society as a whole. We also live in an actual reality that is hidden behind the superficial reality but prominently exerts itself upon us—because it is who we are. The two coincide and often clash for one is constantly trying to circumvent the other and prove that which is false.

I entitle the superficial reality the matrix. It is a holographic universe—an illusionary universe built on commerce—the commodity of goods bought and sold.  This reality’s infrastructure is built on the free flow of the commodity market. In this reality, the worth of things is based on a dollar amount. Every item and every transaction has a dollar amount. Even to the point that time equates to money. People become only worth as much as the amount of revenue that they can generate for the system—the matrix. Labor is bought and sold, ideas are bought and sold, services are bought and sold, items are bought and sold, dreams are bought and sold, love is bought and sold, women/men are bought and sold, children are bought and sold. In this reality everyone and everything has a price. This is the reality that we are taught from birth–the reality that is so vigorously instilled in our heads throughout out our matriculation through the institutions of education. It is constantly reinforced through media, entertainment, and pretty much any outlet that you can name.

And then we have the actual reality that is in completely juxtaposed– one that remains perfectly hidden in plain sight. And this is the fact that we are spiritual beings having a human existence—rather some of us are spiritual beings having a human existence. This existence does not place “values” on the individual. This reality knows very little bounds if any and is forever changing and evolving, but its basis stays the same. It is a dual reality– one of physical existence coinciding with that of a spiritual existence. This creates a dualism in itself. This is because these two realities are merged through mediation, by the instrument of the brain, through the function of the mind. Thus you will have individuals with great physical prowess that are deemed alpha and those with great spiritual prowess that are also deemed alpha. One translates very well in the holographic universe the other isn’t always as evident.

These precepts form the basis of our discussion. How is one defined as alpha and how is one defined as beta?

In our current state of existence the idea of an alpha male is very muddied.  The term doesn’t hold wait because the individuals that comprise our society have so many different value structures. You have some who hold money as omnipotent and will deem those with money as alpha males to be revered.  These same people will look down on a man without possessions as being “worthless”.  Some will hold a great athlete in high regard and deem them as being alpha, because of their great physical prowess.  Yet others, will uphold some great musician as being alpha, because they have such a great talent intertwined with a captivating aura—ie more intuned with their spiritual side.

So who indeed is correct?

Is it subjective? –Arguably.

I offer this commentary.  Anything that the holographic universe holds up on a pedestal is more than likely a falsehood.  Individuals have input a system in the place that has allowed them to accrue vast “wealth” and “power” through this current economic structure.  These individuals are seemingly “God’s” of the system because they have the ability to manipulate and dictate so much.  This is counterintuitive to the natural principle of survival of the fittest.  It places a corrupt variable within the equation—which doesn’t allow the fittest of body and spirit the flourish–but the fittest of manipulation to flourish.  And I would argue that these individuals and blood lines are the among the very weakest among us which is why they require this system to survive and maintain their power.

I digress, many among us in society have gift that aren’t necessarily able to be commoditized.  In such, these gifts are never fully developed, never recognized, and often seen in a negative light.  For example, take your typical child diagnosed with “ADD or ADHD”.  This is a phenomenon not understood by society but is treated as something negative that needs to be “solved” with medicine.  When in actuality it could something in the exact opposite light.  It could be a child with such a hyper developed mind that there is no way they can sit still and incur such a remedial –retarded manner of education that the school system forces upon our children.  Their mind is racing to infinity and back and the teachers teaching are stuck on “123” & “ABC”.   This is just one example of many.  We as a society are taught to kill anything not able to be made into a commodity.  In essence we kill everything spiritual unless it is spiritual convenient—ie religion which happens to generate billions upon billions.

So, I believe women tend to be more in tuned with the intuitive: their “feelings”.  Thus they will tend to pick up on these gifts with an individual unknowingly and unwittingly and take a liking to said individual-which brings us full circle.  Perhaps they are not fighting over a “worthless” individual.  Perhaps they are fighting over someone who is really special–someone who is quite the opposite.—someone who has been psychologically traumatized by society.–someone who doesn’t understand their gifts.  Someone who has been convinced their gifts are worthless and have in turn internalized this sentiment and outwardly manifested this pervading motif.–someone who hasn’t found motivation to succeed in the holographic reality and appears to be a “waste”.

This argument provides insight as to why the Beta male wears the crown.  There are many launch points from here that can be expounded upon.  But I will leave it here and leave those thoughts for another blog.

 

Thank you for reading and your responses are welcomed.

Does the sport make the star or does the star make the sport? Black Stars Burn Brightest…

It is without doubt that Professional Sports plays a major role in the lifeblood of America.  It does everything from pushing the economy forward,to providing heroes for the youth to aspire towards, to galvanizing entire regions across cultural lines.

Yes, America loves its Sports.  Some may even go as far as to say that the ritual of Sunday football has replaced the ritual of attending Church. The energy once used to worship “God” has been averted to the anticipation, elation and praising of football teams and their stars.

Indeed America loves its sports and the stars that they produce.

2015/01/img_4161.pngAmerica loves its athletes.  We are no different than any other civilization, just like the Romans of yesteryear, we hold our Gladiators in High Esteem.  In fact we hold our stars in high esteem no matter what arena they participate in.  As long as they are an entertainer, there will be somebody that can relate to them and there to give praise.

The argument arises, does the sport make the star or does the star make the sport.  Conventional thinking would lead one to believe that no one person is bigger than the sport.  Like David Ruffin and the Temptations no one part can thrive without the sum.  But I would beg to differ.  Perhaps no one single person can persuade the game one way or another, but a subset can have a tremendous impact on the popularity of said sport.  And I have food for thought, that may offer strong persuasion.

Let’s look at the most popular sports in America, currently Football reigns supreme; followed by basketball and at a distant third baseball.  There was a time when Baseball claimed the thrown, and then it struggled to keep it but eventually capitulated and gave way to the current king–Football.

But Why?

Is it a direct result of a shift in the demographics of America.  Is it due to the fast pace society that we live in and the American continuum wants a fast pace sport to parallel its pacing.  Or is it something subconsciously deeper than that.

Follow me, America has an affinity for its stars and in particular its Black stars.

2015/01/img_4162.pngLet’s look at a low hanging fruit—Golf.  I don’t have the numbers but I can definitively correlate the spike and decline of golf with the oscillation of Tiger Wood’s Greatness.  He single handedly brought the sport from the rungs and gutters of popularity to the forefront of American Consciousness.  As his “Scandle” ensued and his decline in play sprang forth as did the popularity of Golf.  Just look at the ratings.

America loves its Black Stars.

2015/01/img_4163-0.pngLet’s take a look at the sport of female tennis.  Can we say it received a jolt of enthusiasm with the influx of a certain two sisters?  I’m not even sure how much relevance the female tennis world captured without that shining Eastern Star Serena and her sister Star Venus.

America loves its Black Stars.

2015/01/img_4164.pngBasketball  was a sport on the fringes of being popular.  A sport with an identity crisis, it didn’t know if it wanted to be great or not.  Back in the 80’s the NBA was on the verge of something special with star power of Bird and Magic.  These stars shined indeed but they weren’t enough to bring the NBA to the Billion dollar business that it is today, sitting comfortable in the royal court of the King–Football.  No—it was arguable the brightest black star of all time—the marketing creation of one Michael Jordan.  This bright star single handedly carried the NBA on his back–the Tiger Woods before Tiger Woods.  Before him, 100 million dollar contracts were unheard of.  He parted the Red Sea and allowed for the NBA to ascend to the peak of its popularity.

America loves its Black Stars.

2015/01/img_4165.pngFootball—the king in this sports jungle.  Now football is a bit of an anomaly I would admit.  It is a sport flooded by Black stars but you can honestly say there is no polarizing figure.  In fact, it is a sport that hails its white stars.  Yet footballs popularity didn’t increase until it received an infusion of Black athletes if not stars.  The 80’s is when football first spotted it’s opening for the crown, but it wasn’t until Baseball, former King, exposed its chink in its armor.  A sport that thought it was too Big for its Black Stars, which eventually led to its downfall.  Yet as we see today, football sits atop its thrown gazing over its kingdom as it embraces its litany of Black Stars.  And baseball looks at what was, and like a scorned lover: looks back on what could have been.

America loves its Black Stars.

This brings us to Baseball, “America’s Past Time”.

2015/01/img_4166.pngWhat happened to Baseball?

Suicide happened. –Self-inflicted misery by way of Pride. I will tell you what happened, Baseball and the powers to be got fed up.  It got fed up with its Black stars.  It became fed-up with the arrogance of seeing these young Black Stars shining so brilliantly.  It grew tired of these young flashy, wealthy, insolent stars.  It felt, man, talent is multi-cultural; I can replace these egregious, haughty black stars with colored stars from another land.  Yah, that’s it…I’ll go down and get these Latin American stars that look the same and play the same and we’ll teach them.  But its plan backfired.

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Because  America loves its Black Stars.

Key word being “its”.  Not someone else’s Black stars, America loves its Black Stars.  I would argue that the decline in Baseball popularity is a direct result of its systematically ushering out of its Black Stars.  The same arrogance and haughty nature it despised is the same arrogance and haughty nature America seeks to embrace.  We love our Dennis Rodman’s.  We love our Dion Sander’s.  We love our Mike Tyson’s.  We love to hate our Lebron James’s.  We love our Charles Barkley’s.  No matter what form or fashion they come in—we Love our Black Stars.

There is a deeper issue here as to why this axiom is true, but that is for another blog at another time.

Baseball should take it as a lesson learned.  Although, without the sport there would be no superstar one could clearly see that without the superstar the sport doesn’t quite shine.

Sticks and Stones… But words will never.. (A blog about the parasitic function of Language)

Language: what is its true purpose? Is it a symbol of man’s progression or the ultimate reason for man’s stagnation?

The following commentary is a reflection upon a statement I heard during a lecture– regarding English as being a bastardized and duplicitous language.

This blog is also a reflection upon a 1970’s article exploring mush mouth and jive talk and why it is a necessity and of importance to the English language.

The evil of language…

I will begin with a powerful allegory that believe to be true in so many ways. The Biblical story of the “Tower of Babel”. If you’re not familiar with it, it involves the Golden era of humanity. The people of earth were in harmony with each other so much so that they developed and enacted a plan to build a physical structure that would reach the heavens. God I’m his anger and insecurity both destroyed the physical construction and confused the people by giving the people different languages.

This story,whether you hold it true or not, speaks volumes on many levels. It’s implications are profound and I will touch on a few here.

I must set a few precepts. I stand on my philosophical conviction that we are a de-evolved species. As is my belief we were once androgynous beings who communicated without the use of language. As such, the Book of Genesis within the bible hints at man’s androgyny with its dual creation stories. As woman was separated from man… Implying they were once one… But that is for another Blog… This blog’s concern is the nefarious nature of language and the function it provides within a socially engaged community.

Above we have story– a myth of the “Tower of Babel” which I categorize as an allegory of some type. In a way it transcends allegorical function in my mind. The primary focus is the fact that we have man on one accord. This implies that there was peace throughout all of humanity, because you can not built in times of tension or stress because you are focused on defense and paranoia. You have man in such harmony that they intended on taking their “humanity” to the level of “God”.

And how is this done?

By creating a “physical structure” that will allow them to attain that which is of “God”– “Reach the realm of the Heavens”. Now, the Bible would allude that this physical structure was a physical manifestation of Brick and Mortar… But I would ascertain that the physical structure was of the human form and body–as above so below. I’d argue that man was so in-tuned with the collective consciousness of each other that they were quickly rebuilding themselves and ascending both physically and mentally to a higher level of humanity. So much so that they garnered the attention of “God” himself– and I say himself loosely. Because the text says let “us” go down and confuse them.

What was “God’s” response.

That of jealousy, rage, and fear. He decided to destroy the tower, and confuse the minds of men– only leaving them with scattered languages to communicate with themselves. The implications of this is quite prolific. Here you have an “omnipotent” being feeling vulnerable. He felt threatened as though he could in a sense be surpassed by man. His best defense is to crumble the physical structure that man has created and destroy the mental, psychological and psychic solidarity that man created– as above so below.

I believe this was done by first creating a schism in the minds of men; followed by creating a schism in the bodies of men– no longer united we have both man and woman.

Yet I digress because this blog is about the duplicitous nature of language and it’s undermining of men’s social interaction. The barrier of language keeps men grounded and in a barbaric state of being– communicating on the most fundamental level. Even grunts posses more soul than a monotoned string of syllables.

This conviction provides the precepts for this Blog…

Language is the undoing of man. Language has single-handedly provided the tool that has led to the destruction of man’s cohesiveness. The function and nature of language allows for so much room for error and manipulation. Language extracts an idea or image or symbol from a source, transfigured that into words, and those words are then interpreted by a subjective source– and a meaning is contrived from this interpretation. If you have ever participated in the childhood game of “telephone” you have an inclination as to how easily things get muddied in translation.

Language is often the basis for class distinction. If you are perceived to speak with a certain drawl or slang you are automatically put with a social paradigm. A box that may or not be accurate, although some willing place themselves with this box by choosing to speak and act a certain way.

And then you have the nuance of dialogue–in which some innately seem to transcend language. They choose not to be restricted by the chains and rigid structure of language and they tend to take language to the next level. They do this subconsciously without even knowing– they begin speaking in slang creating their own vernacular. They begin to remove syllables and shift around syntax and generally accepted grammatical notions. They begin to speak with feeling, often slurring words or placing emphasis on tones and inflections. Essentially grabbing hold of the language and using it as their own tool. And this too is frowned upon by those higher on the social ladder of society because they can’t understand. They fear the slang, they fear the code talk because you can’t control what you don’t understand. But either way you splice it–that is but another rift created between men.

Ideas are transported between men. Ideas are limited to the language that describes them. Essentially if a word doesn’t exist describe a notion the notion can not exist. Language so much defines our reality– it restricts and binds the minds of men. Often keeping men within stereotypes and predictable roles.

And that’s just tip of the ice burg because then you have the written word. The written word has tribes all unto itself as well. You have scientific language, which differs from computer tech language, which differs from liturgical language, which differs from legislative language, which differs from ecclesiastical language yet all these different branches are supposed to work together somehow. And come together to work for humanities benefit.

Perhaps I will delve deeper into the discussion of language in another blog.

But I’ll leave you with this. Who stands to benefit from the division of men?

Who is the master of the tongue? If you control the words that are placed in people’s minds…. Do you also control the actions that are a result of those ideas?

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Power to the People (a poem by Jack)

When you realize who you are..

So much power and authority comes with it..

When you realize what your are the lessers offer no resistance…

They try with all their might to surreptitiously negate your authority..

Using clandestine measures to usurp your jurisprudence…

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Poisoning your minds…. Afflicting your body.. Destroying your seed.. Strongholding your myth.. Manipulating your culture… Gutting your schools… Pillaging our families… Buying our voices..

Silencing any and all attempts to break free…

But you can’t destroy who we are…

You may alter who we are..

But you can’t touch what we are…

We will rise…

We will rise again!

Know thyself…

Learn thine enemy…

Let our souls speak for us…

Our history is written across our flesh.. Our truth is blended in our DNA… Let the story be told… Let the whispers inundate… Let the whisperers persist…

Ancestry…

For the people will reclaim their birthright..

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Anything done can be undone… Anything done once can be done again…

Let the earth rescue her seed… And let the people live for love.. Let love be our truth…

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And let the earth evolve us unto a new paradigm… So that this pseudo man will perish and a new era will begin…

An era of righteousness…

That we may all walk in the Way… Or at least have the choice to choose…

The earth wants her people back…

And we will give Her– Her destiny…

Of the earth we are and of the earth we will return…

Power to the People…

For the people have Power!

Hip Hop…The Gift and Curse (an analysis: does art imitate life or vice versa)

Does art imitate life or does life imitate art?

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We will examine the medium of rap or hip-hop music and its function in American culture. We will attempt to examine this expression of art from an honest– objective perspective.

There exist many influential mediums that utilize audio and visual stimulation– music and television—hip-hop is just a drop in a bucket of a larger lexicon. With each of these mediums the question of what influences what becomes blurred and almost indistinguishable. I see it as such: the 80/20 rule. The art impacts the lives that perceive it, and the creators of the art are impacted by aspects of life that they wish to convey. Art tends to imitate a portion of life that is provocative or noteworthy and it highlights and often embellishes this phenomenon.

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Life, on the other hand, is very much influenced by what it perceives. So life, or a portion of life, will reside in the comfort of the status quo– while the rebellious nature, that desires change, will often imitate art. And seek this art out as a means of expressing this innate desire for change. It then becomes a self-referential pattern if you will. Art– bringing to the forefront of society something hidden and unbeknownst to the majority. In turn the highly suggestible of society will imitate this art. From this process “pop” icons and influential figures are birthed creating their own phenomenon. Seemingly out of no where, stars are born and the strength of their gravitational pull draws people in. And for a time these figures tend to exercise an influence of power until their star power fizzles out and they are replaced by the next cultural icon.

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There is a thin line between art and propaganda…

Let us examine the art of hip-hop– art in form but a device in function. It serves many purposes in the modern era. A means of marketing… A means of venting… A medium to exchange knowledge… A means of individual expression…

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fdb/77017821/files/2015/01/img_3946.pngIn its inception hip-hop was a pure Art form. It served as a voice of a disenfranchised portion of society—as a means to both express and provide a healthy fun outlet for individuals. Hip-hop was a four-point art form that included break dancing, DJing, graffiti display, and MCing (actual oral poetry on top of a beat– rapping). In its current state, hip-hop has become mutated into a disfigured remnant of itself. The art form has been raped, ravaged, exploited, commercialized, and pimped out to the highest bidder–and not by accident but through systematic design.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fdb/77017821/files/2015/01/img_3949.jpgThe phenomenon of hip-hop has evolved. It is a powerful force that has the ears and energy of the youth. There was a time when the art form spoke out about social injustices among the disenfranchised—it gave knowledge to the youth about who they were and could be in a positive light.

It provided quality dance music that allowed the body to freely expressive itself and tune in with energies of the natural environment. Hip-hop enlightened the youth by dropping conscious jewels. It had its flaws but it was an overall positive powerful force in American society.

But special interest became intertwined with the art. Money became their means of infiltration and manipulation. Fame became a poison, and artist placed fame above the art. Statistics and money became the major motivation of producing the art while talent and artistry began to gradually lose significance. Artist began to utilize gimmicks in aims of selling records and lost the purpose of the art form. Money became the only purpose of making the music. The art began to glorify opulence– unrealistic life styles, misogyny, violence, and drug culture. The art began to sell hope.

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/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fdb/77017821/files/2015/01/img_3952.pngHope for an illusion.

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Thus we have liquor companies investing heavenly into hip-hop culture—soliciting their products through song lyrics and music videos. You have the industrial prison complex having mutual interest with record labels encouraging violence and illicit drug use. You have the drug underworld “powers to be” having a vested interest in the art helping market new drugs and so forth to susceptible ears.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fdb/77017821/files/2015/01/img_3956.jpg We have the fashion-industry sponsoring artist to market their name-brands that the susceptible hold with such prestige and a manifestation of self-esteem.

And so on and so on and so on…

So hip-hop current state is in a tug-of-war.

With the advent of the Internet, music is not so much a monopoly. Generally those controlling the means of distribution and marketing the music hold all of the power. Now there are different channels for a pure artist to reach their target market. Hip-hop has a means of organically resurrecting itself. And the recent success of hip-hop artist J. Cole is encouragement enough to show that hip-hop is beginning to rebirth itself.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fdb/77017821/files/2015/01/img_3957.png(With little to no marketing, he outsold major pop-hop artist who had major labels backing them.)

People are addicted to the relate-ability and appeal of the music to their lower-selfs. Not elevating but staying within the bestial realm of the carnal senses—and this serves a purpose. So the music is marketed towards this sect. The 808s and rhythmic drums awaken and lead the subconscious, awakening the body and having it involuntarily move in conjunction with these rhythms. The mind absorbs the lyrics and registers them. The lyrics repeat over and over and begin to evoke thought. And before you know it the music becomes a part of you. You’ve imitated what you are to become. As the people begin to desire more from their music, the art form will become what it once was. The people will awaken from their comatose state, for hip-hop is the spirit of the people. As the spirit awakens the non-sense we gradually die.

Such is the nature of art it both enlightens and it condemns…

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014): Analysis of Power

The extremely popular action/drama Hunger Games is yet another depiction of a Dystopian society in which the working class revolts against the ruling elite. A la “V for Vendetta” an old white man is penned as the enemy– serving as the symbol of a patriarchal dominant society being ruled without balance.

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Although, it would appear your typical underdog narrative, I will examine the story from a cynical eye, and perhaps the story isn’t so much what it is presumed to be.

Enter the Mockingjay. The pervading symbol and theme of the plebeian throughout the film. It is the representative of freedom, choice, and harmony– for the Mocking jay sings in harmonious unison with its peers.

But is freedom truly what they are fighting for?

Or is it simply the lesser of two evils that they are fighting for?

A duality is presented in the film. Dualities always provide a unique phenomenon to the human experience because on some level the mind automatically antagonizes the two sides against each other. The conscious mind would assume that they are opposing sides just because the two are juxtaposed. Yet these “opposing sides” within the film are more alike than dissimilar.

The phrase “Anyone can be replaced” is uttered by a prominent character within the plebeian hierarchy–Plutarch Heavensbee. This phrase alone implicates so much. It informs the viewer that we too are a machine and every cog in the machine is disposable and replaceable. Just because we are rebelling against a corrupt system we too are a system. We too have power that we will exercise and infringe upon the individual one way or another.

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Thus, the outer shell of each system of rule may be slightly different, but the brain inside the monsters are eerily similar. The brain of the current system is headed by President Snow– who represents the patriarchal dominant elite. The brain of the system seeking to usurp the current system is Plutarch Heavensbee– which coincidence enough was once a prominent figure within the old system. They both use similar tactics and have similar mindsets. They both are obsessed with Katniss and want to use her as a means to further their cause. They both are heavy into using images as a means to manipulating public opinion. They both understand the strength Of symbols and use them to further their cause.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fdb/77017821/files/2014/12/img_3884.pngThey both realize the power of the superficial — the show and showmanship if you will, and what affect it has on the human psyche: presentation is everything. What happens on the surface inspires that which is below. As above so below is the principle that is utilized much throughout the film. Both sides seek to destroy the superficial in aims of securing what’s underneath, and this is done through the many psychological and emotional ploys used during the film.

Fear seemed to be the most prominent control mechanism used during the film. Both sides utilized it. The ruling party used fear to secure and maintain the status quo and to dissuade the rebellious. The rebels used fear to inspire said rebellion and to make “a statement” in the face of the ruling party.

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An interesting point that the film highlighted were the challenges of detaching from the comfort of the norm and starting over–leaving all the comfort and amenities to start fresh and with nothing. The personal greed of the individual provides the foundation of class structured societies. Nobody wants to “lose” what they have in order to help the next man. They would much rather sacrifice the next man for their own sustainability. This transitionary period creates the most disdain. The period between leaving the old and beginning again is the hardship many do not want to bare. This can be paralleled with any class structured society, because the capturers provide enough reason for the captured to love being captive.

It is interesting enough that the rebels are quelling one system of bureaucracy to replace it with another. Propaganda is a strong tool utilized by both sides. Strict edicts are an effective tool utilized by both sides. Minus the hope and justified inspiration is one side anymore right? Ironically enough with the nature of power and the nature of systems the ultimate outcome will have an inevitable end.

The axiom that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely may always hold true when leadership is held by the unrighteous. The same class structures will persist. The same inequalities will find themselves manifesting and the monster simply will be rebirthing herself anew!

The monster will have a new exterior but the core makeup of the monster of the system has not changed at all. As above so below, and she will inevitably show her true nature.

So the question remains: how do we attain true freedom?

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/fdb/77017821/files/2014/12/img_3883-0.png Or is this a natural order of things? For man to destroy themselves in a cyclical manner. Man grows too big, man knocks itself down, man grows too big and the cycle continues. Is this just some sort of balance or natural order we innately maintain to keep some semblance of order upon the planet. We “can’t” be too big in a sense and the conquering spirit of man will not allow us to be too small either.

This film leaves me with more questions than answers. It does examine the pitfalls of big government. It is more than apparent that in order for a large government to work the freedoms of the majority must be sacrificed. And to trade freedoms for comforts is not what a true individual wants, but I can understand why very few choose to leave the comfort of passivity.

One thing for sure is that this film awakens a rebellious seed within all of us. It may never be brought to fruition for the majority of onlookers, but the fact that this film is grossly popular is proof that it does indeed exist.

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