16 Apr. — { Friends List: Actual }

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The phenomenon of creating your own community on the innanets is nothing new at all. I can recall “lab-assing” in ’98 in college with my friends in the computer lab. We would meet several times a day and troll before trolling was trolling.  Early sites like Yahoo! Chat and AOL gave you the chance to kick down the eDoor and drop an a/s/l in a room of your choice – and then the party began. It was the war of the wits.  Whoever said the most provocative things or cracked the funniest jokes got the most attention. ..and maybe, just maybe… the next time you came into the room someone would recognize your tag and reach out to you.

Then, in the early 90s, the lovely BlackPlanet, AsianAvenue, and MigenteDotCom hit the streets. I love all people, so obviously I was a member of all of the sites. Smaller communities rested on the backs of Paxed (and 2.0), CS, and finally blake.cc. And then, along came Zuckerberg’s creation. Interestingly enough, I’m still eFriends with some people that I “met” in those days. Mark and Tom and them had the ticket — the wildfire of innanet communities spread. People had begun to create a new set of social norms at an alarming rate: social norms that gave you the chance to interact with people whilst relaxing in the comfort of your draws – not having to deal with their annoying, awkward, and very ACTUAL presence. You could respond later, share what you wanted, and be unapologetically who you wanted them to think you were. Somehow, I’ve always been written off as a jerk… dah well.

But what about the friends-list comprised of people that actually come to your house? The friends-list you have to build, be patient with, tolerate, endure, and look at in real life? What about when that weird thing happens with your phone – it rings – and someone wants to talk but you don’t so you decline the call and text them “what do you want?…im busy” as you pick your nose and fast forward through the opening credits of House of Cards awaiting your pizza rolls to finish in the microwave (aka voodoo oven). Has the Webverse made us more anti-social?  Because, NO LIE (and I say this with the utmost sincerity): My time at your function is solely based on the battery life of my phone. If I like you, I just might bring my charger inside and ask you for an outlet as sooooon as I walk into your dungeon without shaking your hand until my phone is secure and getting life.

Friends-List (Actual) is needed more than you think. I encourage you to be intentional about relationships. Actually, call people on their birthdays (SN: stop spamming me with your insensitive and generic holiday group text wishes…. I’m going to start deleting contacts over this seemingly petty issue) and see how they’re doing. Take the time to listen to people while they talk without glancing at your phone every 30 seconds, and you’ll find that these creatures known as Actual Humans are an interesting specimen. If nothing else, you can just stare at them like they’re stupid if what they’re saying isn’t worth a hill of pintos. They usually shut up shortly thereafter.

Bottom line:  There’s a world out there. See it, meet people, talk to them. If, after trying, you find that you don’t like it – then restart your BlackPlanet account.

Add me:  ills_finest3

 

6 Apr.– { Silhouettes & Souls }

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I. Introspective Spillage.
In times like this when I’m out on the great Pacific, I think about how many other mariners have stared into the abysmal oceanscape and gotten lost in their thoughts. A thin border exists in most of us dividing the Soul from the Silhouette; the Silhouette being the cast outline that appears when the light comes, and the Soul being the truest essence of one’s being.
There are probably two people that have seen my Soul… They saw my Soul and did not flinch at the brutal presence that was unveiled, nor did they cover their nose at the stench that surfaced in my soulish nakedness. These are also people that I didn’t have to tell that my Soul was showing… They saw it, smelled it and embraced my totality. They enjoyed the fragrance of my smiles and felt the touch of my laughter, while also sitting silently with me in the corner of my fears being turned on by my own pain like a narcisstic masochist.
With one slight move, the Silhouette can take on a completely different feel. And the beholder is left to interpret what it is they’re actually seeing. The Soul does not so easily transform. I am… simply and fundamentally who I am.
Take that, see that, and love it… or enjoy the shadows on the wall.
Tell this to others and live liberated.
II. Second Wind.
The thing about the Silhouette is that when the light dims and the darkest hour comes… the Silhouette dissipates.
What is cast is only the outline, solely based on angles and positioning. To you, my Silhouette may look different from the way someone else sees it.
That shadow also changes with my physical position and location. Don’t let the smile guide you. Do not let my tall stature and poked-out chest lead you to believe for one minute that the Soul is not rotting. You can enjoy the show with the rest of the people in their seats, eating popcorn and clapping at coronations and crying at tragedies. The Silhouette is the production, the Soul is the writer – a writer that is often misread and misquoted.
I take a second breath and look upon the waters – wondering how much of this ocean is made up of tears… but even the tears help keep you afloat.

23 Feb. — { Patricia Arquette Tried It :: An Ode To White Feminists }

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It’s already happening. Patricia Arquette is being called out on her (frankly) idiotic statement on pay equality backstage at the Oscars. Her onstage speech was fine. It left some things to be desired, but overall a decent message. I supported her in it because [spoiler alert] I’m a woman and I want all the coins that I have earned. But it’s her words backstage that caused a fuss. In case you missed it:

“It’s time for all the women in America and all the men that love women, and all the gay people, and all the people of color that we’ve all fought for to fight for us now.”

[the deepest exhale that has ever been exhaled]

These words are the reason her activism was a #fail before it had a chance to be great. Problematic in so many ways. There isn’t much more I can add than what Awesomely Luvvie and VSB have already given you all, but I decided to provide you with three quick points.

1. A Lesson on Intersectionality.

What she leaves out or forgets is that there are people of color and members of the LGBT community that are in fact…. women. Forgetting that is an ultimate fail. What about the Black Lesbians? What about the Transgender Latinas? How dare you call for marginalized groups to basically drop their causes to “support” White women in your quest for equality? Did it ever occur to you that we have BEEN in this fight for pay equality, AND have numerous other hurdles to jump before we can even reap the benefits of it? Have you acknowledged that much of the weight in gender pay inequality is carried by women of color?

A white man makes $1.28 for every dollar that a White woman makes.

A white man makes $1.56 for every dollar that a Black woman makes.

A white man makes $1.85 for every dollar that a Latina woman makes.

The last 2 points are precisely why white feminists have trouble getting women of color to fully engage in “their” movement. And those points are the reason Bell Hooks had to write “Feminism is for Everybody.” And they’re the reason there’s a Womanist movement… when it really matters you all forget about everyone else. Which brings me to my next point….

2. “And it’s time for all […] that we’ve all fought for….”

Actually, let me stop you right here. EXCUSE ME? HAVE YOU FOUGHT FOR US? I mean have you REALLY fought for us? Because I don’t recall hearing your stance on Black girls and women who experience discrimination in schools and in the workplace – respectively – for wearing their hair the way it naturally grows from our heads. Where are you on the fact that Black girls face harsher punishments in schools than their White counterparts for similar offenses?

Ahh…. Those are too deep in the race bucket…  I see you getting uncomfortable….

Okay, how about last year during the celebrity photo hacking scandal?? You all jumped fiercely to defend Jennifer Lawrence, but Jill Scott got crickets. If someone dares to speak ill of Lena Dunham you all call out the cavalry, but won’t get out of bed to defend Beyonce. (Author’s Note: Don’t get used to me defending Beyonce. That is all.) Also, there are 29 states where one can legally be fired for being gay. There are also 34 states where once can legally be fired for being transsexual.

Do you see that? All of your self-appointed ally points quickly slipping away? So tell me again how hard you’ve fought for everyone else? *waits*

3. “….to fight for us now.”

This last one is very important and it’s a point that I haven’t really seen expressed elsewhere so please pay attention….

WE (marginalized groups) DON’T OWE YOU S#!&.

Let me explain something. The fight/battle/war for civil rights and equal treatment is not quid pro quo. You don’t get involved in it because you’re hoping to build some army that will show up when called to duty. You do it because it’s the right thing to do. If you have signed up as an ally for a cause for any reason other than that you believe in equality – please exit at the next stop, because we don’t need you. Bye.

Also, you say this as if the fight is over. As if other marginalized groups have achieved complete equality on the backs of your hard work and now have the social and/or political capital to level the injustices you still face. There is a stadium full of seats that I invite you to have.

So over the next few days when you see tweets and articles and blog posts and you’re wondering what the big deal is…. now you know. Do all women benefit from the advances in the feminist movement? Absolutely, but it looks different for all of us. So while middle-class White women are complaining about being 2nd class citizens, it would serve you well to remember that some of us are 3rd (race), 4th (sexual orientation and/or identity), 5th (socioeconomic), 6th (immigration status), 7th (religious affiliation – especially Muslim), or even 8th (any combination of numbers 2-7) class citizens. And you all forgot about us – some of your own – in your rallying cry.

PS: SHOUTOUT to all of the White Feminists who *do* get it. You are appreciated, because the rest of us are tired of having to explain this

31 Jan. – { The Insides }

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So……..

I would normally say that I’m in a weird place, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think I’m in a different place. Have you ever seen someone go from extrovert to introvert? From getting energy from proximity to a lot of people to being drained by the same group of people?

I now find myself wishing I was somewhere in solitude enjoying my own thoughts – and yes, conversing with myself concerning said thoughts. My insides are different. And I’m learning to be ok with that.

I don’t know if it’s because of recent changes in my personal life, but I’m learning to be ok with who I am. To be as social as I once was, to the adult non-mutant swagged-out turtle that retreats into his shell as much possible had me thinking I was slowly sinking into some sort of depressed state. You better believe I was concerned. The once-outgoing Kenneth looking for places where people would gather and where new things would pop off now makes a bee-line to the gym and then to my fortress of solitude.

I hope you have points in time where you can sit and reflect on who you are as a person and how you’ve changed over the years. Some of you will find that you haven’t changed at all. If that’s you, then you should probably evaluate your life. Circumstance and life happening bring us to our points of change. If you have not experienced this at all, then your circumstances have changed minimally, or you’re around the exact same people (who are probably arrested mentally and emotionally as well), or you’re one of those people that just staunchly exist.

Either way, there’s nothing wrong with any of it. I would just implore you to know and love yourself. I was at a point where I thought I needed to go back (BACK) to therapy. Actually, that will happen – it’s such a beautiful exchange that I feel the need to put a shameless mental health plug in there for you who suffer under the weight of the “crazy” stigma that says going to see someone about your thoughts and emotions is a bad thing. Tell you what a bad thing is…when your insides are changing and you can’t deal. So you self-medicate or stop the clock.

And that is NOT ok.

Well… It’s taking some time for me to get used to mid-30s Kenneth. And considering I’m not much of a people person anymore – you probably won’t get to know him. Sucks for you.

17 Jan. – {The Lauded Life…}

hippie anarchist

Okay people. Fresh out the gate, I have to ask: what is your angle? We, the lovers of The Social Media Conglomerate, are starting to wonder… Why are you F#$&ing here? I love getting “likes”; I mean, who doesn’t? With that said, I am a bit of a worry-wart in that I see so many going nowhere fast and while I try not to judge, I get furious at all the naked, oozing, twerking, love-me-because-I-am incapable photos and vague posts on the net.

Select your poison, be it Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Soundcloud, and the list continues, but tell me again: What is your angle? I am on these sites to explore, to share with my family and friends and, yes, to sometimes give the public the idea that there is something going on in my world worth a “like.” But I also like things from others – I am a firm believer in supporting one another in the “Village” sense. So I am here online for community, which I have found, and I am happy – but why aren’t you?

WHAT IS YOUR ANGLE? You are half-naked soliciting likes, to then only call all the people from whom you garnered attention thirsty… You post your political rant with no prior knowledge or fact-check only to get angry when people trounce your ignorance… You ask for advice about your child only to get angry when people start with “stay your ass a home” or “quit letting grandma raise them.” For you to tell us that we don’t know you, your struggle and/or to mind our business!?!

Welp, “friends”, you are the part of the Lauded Life for which I don’t care. You want likes without realism, fame without achievement. And you draw attention away from things that deserved to be mentioned.

Let me help you. Read about and share thoughts on: Boko Haram, the current (and YES, we’ve established, BLACK) President’s positive US reforms, #BlackLivesMatter, and any other awesome human or inhumane act on or off American soil that doesn’t get the appropriate coverage because you are clogging the waves with your Butt-cheek isolation videos!

One: You heifers are talented. Two: You boys are exhibiting signs of dehydration. Three: Take time to learn before you cast a stone toward the opposition; there is much to learn before you choose a side. And lastly, Four: I think we should all focus a little more on using Social Media to be worth knowing and not solely to be well-known.