26.Sep – { Poetry } with Ken: “The Touch”

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someone touched me when i was dead.

and even though life had vacated, they ignited sensors

massaged the blood flow through these veins

nervously revived the nervous system to pain

death did not remain

my eyes slowly opened – felt like the first sight from birth canal

fingers twitched, skin itched from numbness dissipating….

and then there was the first breath – deep and slow…had a sensual feel

deep aches from scar tissues – my real scars rested on my soul

and that takes time to heal…

my head slowly turned  –  eyes rolled towards the one that cared enough to touch me…

a dead one

and just as assured as i was that life would go…

they got up and walked slow – my heart was beating fast but time slow

i felt my breath slow – life go slow…

death come slow…

slow

as they made themselves more distant

death came instant

my eyelids did bid a farewell

the last sleep…

my lips uttered “please” ….

if only a touch from them would come

i would not have to rest, peace.

25.Sep – { On the Wall: Views from a Social Media Gadfly } with Gabriel Owens: “Watch Dogs”

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It’s Getting to Where YouCan’t Find a Good Place to Be A Douchebag Anymore

The racists are being shamed.

The sexists are getting called on their bullcrap.

The ignorant are deleting their twitter accounts when their stupid malarkey goes viral.

For all the despair we feel in seeing our society’s worst being put on display in social media, there’s a flip side.  Those expressing hate, fear, sexism, and patriarch apologeticism are being shamed.

In a past column I talked about how people should maybe separate their particulars online when it comes to social media.  I mentioned some don’t, as they for whatever reason feel their twitter/fb feed what not is only going to their little circle of buds.

That same circle of friends you *think* all laugh at your racist comments.  Some are, probably.  Some are probably rolling their eyes at you internally, but they ain’t saying anything to your face.  But you embarrass them, and you don’t even know it.

They aren’t even saying it to you online when you tweet/post it.  But what they ARE doing is screenshotting it and putting it elsewhere on the net for the world to see how ignorant you are.

Someone collected a bunch of tweets after an Indian-American woman won Miss America that were incredibly racist, ignorant of her actual race, etc.  I checked those accounts, because they didn’t censor where they came from.

80 percent had been deleted.  And they weren’t sock puppet/dummy accounts.  Those were regular twitter accounts that those people had been using for a while.

They got shamed off the internet.

You go internet watchdogs.  Sometimes, our self-policing is the strongest force against stupidity.

 

 

 

24.Sep – { Wretched Saint } with George Clark

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My mind is flooded with stories of George Jr. (my father) and his, at times, sporadic behavior…most of which in hindsight could be deemed as classically hysterical . Now fortunately in the instance, rare in most cases, I did NOT receive a spanking for my habitual juvenile delinquent actions but I was however embarrassed for the first week of school.

The scene – it’s 1989, I’m 12 years old, the first day of school is 2 days away and the only thing I need to survive in life is a pair of British Knights sneakers…BKs for short. Editor’s Note: British Knight’s were the hottest shoe in the game from the late 80’s to the early 90’s. So if you are not of the appropriate age, you may be unable to grasp the full gravity of this recollection.

But there is a problem, Daddy isn’t buying no BK’s! He said you can get these “other” pair at a fraction of the cost that will perform adequately. The “other” ones he was referring to were called “ACs”. To put things into perspective, if BKs were the hottest thing out, then on the opposite end of the spectrum would be flip-flops and right after that would be ACs, followed by Jellies. Hot. Trash.

Ah-ha! I got it! Even at an early age, I was a criminal mastermind; formulating yet another fool proof plan. You see, my twin and I had a list of required school supplies going into the next year…and after all of the begging to not have to wear the shoes you can buy from the grocery store, this was my opening. My dad gave my sister and I enough money to get those supplies AND our shoes. But that contribution came with one warning “get what you are supposed to get, nothing else and bring me my change”. Ok. This is the plan I presented to my sis: Since we are in the same grade and mostly the same classes, we will just SHARE your school supplies, I will get the BKs and be fresher than a mutha#@$&*, while spending the exact same amount of money. Easy.

She agreed, I got the shoes, daddy DIDN’T know…life was good. I went home and cleaned up my room, spick and span…no way I could disrespect my BKs with a dirty room. Next, I laid out my outfit for the first day of school…meticulously placing each item on the floor with the appearance that I am wearing them, laying down. Of course the shoes were at the pants leg. Thinking to myself, “I am gonna KILL ‘EM tomorrow”. It’s about 930pm.

Now what I didn’t mention earlier is I TOLD my sister “Ebony, don’t give him the receipt. I don’t care if you lose it, trash it, burn it…just DON’T give him the receipt”! She gave it to him. “Georgggggggggge”, I hear him yell out…awakening me from my sleep. I acted like I didn’t hear him and closed my eyes, praying that he wouldn’t open up my bedroom door. He did not open my bedroom door, he KICKED OPEN my bedroom door. “You bought those BKs?!?!?!”, he said with a deranged, demonic look on his face with the voice to match. He looked down and saw my outfit on the ground and proceeded to whoop the sh** out of clothes and shoes. He jumped up and down on them and yelled at the cloths as if they were attached to my body. Left punch, right punch, leg drop, elbow drop…all the while I am in bed looking at him go bananas. Although our time together was short, I was already extremely attached to those BKs. I could feel their pain.

I had to wear my beat up summer shoes to school for the first week, completely destroying my street credibility. But after the first week, he gave me those BKs and said “Son, I didn’t want you to buy them, cause I had already gotten them for you”.

I love my dad. Every day is Father’s Day when you have that type of love and history.

22.Sep { Expensive Free Thought } with Sydney Charles – “Don’t Drink and Drake”

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Don’t Drink and Drake

As a woman who tends to fancy herself men who are generally classified as ruffnecks, I have grown from merely tolerating the music of the confused Canadian to despising it with most of the fibers of my being. I have left some fibers to hate Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, and Turkey bacon.

Nevertheless, most of my hate at this time is reserved for Drake. Yes Drake, our beloved DeGrassi High star confined to a wheelchair. We should have paid more attention to the signs then. His voice, ever so soft, softer than clouds wrapped in down feathers wrapped in ballerina tutus. His hairline reaching and escalating to his curly black hair… His never ending quest to be accepted as one of the regular and cool kids. Needless to say, perhaps this wasn’t such a stretch or challenge in acting. Clearly, this is this fool’s real life.

I’m going to need Drake’s to man up. I’m going to need him to play football, I’m going to need him to drink more whiskey, I’m going to need his balls to drop. No grown man should be crying this much on a song…no change that, in life. It is okay to be in touch with your emotions and feelings, but why do you have to go into a closet and cry about it in every Damn song. And then you have the audacity to put it on wax and sell it to the masses.

Is this really the state of Hip-hop? Half singing and whining on songs? Drake has to be the distant nephew of Keith Sweat. Or the Love child of Howard Hewitt and Babyface.  You can’t tell me any different. Now yes, I know what you’re thinking, didn’t LL Cool J make songs about love and such? Yes, but LL doesn’t look like a velociraptor with a lacefront wig. At least LL is attractive.

Now Drake is making it bad out here for all light skinned men everywhere. Now people think all you fair skinned brothers want to do is cry over organs and violins playing in the background while LeBron James holds you wiping your tears with silk handkerchiefs and you cry together and fall asleep spooning. I know this is not the case for 75% of ya’ll. That other 25% is shaky. I’m just saying.

So go ahead, keep buying Drake’s albums, crying in the dark, thinking of old ex girlfriends, drinking Remy Martin with a Moscato chaser. All that’s gonna happen is you’re going to hit her up and she is going to laugh at your goofy a** for quoting the little boy who went to Canadian Jewish School…at least that’s what I would do.

19.Sep – PSA: Word to the Inconsiderate

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**This probably applies to most of you**

 

 

This is something that I’ve felt over the years, and as I get older I get less tolerable of this offense that many are not aware that they commit. I know most service-members and people that work abroad can feel me on this one…and I KNOW my younger brother De’Anjelo agrees with this.

I want to take you back to the years that I lived in Japan and Italy…I would save my leave days up and spend thousands of dollars to come back home with the expectation that people would not only be excited to see me – but would make sure that they saw me – and not the other way around – meaning…If I flew over 14 hours across the ocean and made myself available to chill, I shouldn’t be the one chasing you down to get to together and I DEFINITELY shouldn’t be the one traveling all over the place to see YOU.  I think I did my part by paying thousands of dollars and flying thousands of miles to be around family and friends – I shan’t exhaust myself driving all over town trying to see people.  So I don’t.  I reach out to people via text or whatever and if they’re interested they hit me back and make plans.  I will hit you once and that’s it – not over and over again, because I’m not going to beg to see you.  If that means the visit goes by and I chilled at whatever residence or hotel that my head lays every night without seeing many people – then so be it.  I know my brother comes home from Iraq and tells everyone he’s home and makes ZERO attempts to see people – those that want to see him…make it their business to see him.

So while I’m here in Chicago – I have seen people that want to see me – i have plans to see  others that make effort to work their schedule to make sure we touchdown and grab a bite or share moments.  All of the others…dah well – it only shapes who I remain in contact with.

Stop being inconsiderate when you have family and friends in town – if they mean something to you – you will make sure you see them.

– Kenneth

 

19.Sep – { Wretched Saint } with George Clark

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Whether you are running 26 miles for fun (Boston Marathon), teaching first graders their A-B-C’s (Newton Elementary Teachers), heading to chemistry class (Virginia Tech), walking home from purchasing a bag of skittles and iced tea (Trayvon Martin), sitting in a movie theater watching Batman (AMC Aurora, CO), minding your business (Southside Chicago), on a military installation for work (FT. Hood & Navy Yard D.C.)…evil will always remain in the hearts of some men and will manifest itself at times, random times that you wouldn’t – couldn’t even imagine; however, …the one thing we can NOT do is become desensitized to these types of atrocities. Our compassion, our caring of people from all walks of life is what separates us from tolerable, perpetual bedlam. But also, we cannot be so afraid of death that we forget to live.

Love and peace.

19.Sep – { On the Wall: Views from a Social Media Gadfly } with Gabriel Owens – “You Ain’t ‘Bout That Life”

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You Ain’t ‘Bout That Life:  Segmenting Your Online Imprint

So it finally happened…I had a blow up with a family member about her posting to my Facebook.  Due to my social media gadfly ways, I have no particular separation of my various friends, family and interests on FB, hell, its often fascinating watching them intersect.  But, yeah.  One of my family members had gotten into a habit of poo-poo’ing on a lot of my posts, giving out her “wisdom” unsolicited, commenting on things that she really should just scroll past.

One finally set me off, and after a heated exchange on messenger, I told her if she can’t respect my FB wall when I ask her to, she can leave.  Well, I guess she felt she couldn’t, cause she unfriended me.  Her husband did too.

That’s all fine (tho Thanksgiving’s gonna be awkward).  I realize a lot of people keep their various online activities separated for this reason.  Your weirder interests and what not may stay strictly on Tumblr or something.  Facebook being such an intersect of friends new and old, along with family, you soon realize you don’t want some of these people knowing about that part of your life.

It’s also interesting watching those that don’t particularly care.  I think I’ve learned a lot more about the views of people I’ve been friends with over the years that I never knew from interacting with them in real life.  They let it all hang out on FB.  The amount of fundies, lefties, tin foil hat conspiracists that I knew occasionally astounds me.  What drives people to post stuff to their timeline that they never bring up in real life?  Is it that disconnect of not having to discuss it face to face with someone that might disagree with you?  Is it just ignorance to how the internet works?

As always, I’ll keep watching and observing.  Will the paradigm either shift to where most will keep their less than general stuff off their “main” social media channel, or everyone will start intersecting their entire lives, not caring?  Or will something new emerge?

Fascinating stuff to observe.