Archive for the 'Pop Culture' Category

More Broken Record Shit

“All that hype for an MP3 player? Break-thru digital device? The Reality Distortion Field is starting to warp Steve’s mind if he thinks for one second that this thing is gonna take off.” 2001 MacRumors.com forum entry critical of the then yet-to-be-released iPod.

As I say often, ‘myopia is a helluva drug,’ but I’m gonna refrain from taking the opportunity to snark-down-my-nose-at-people-who-like-to-shit-on-vision (they’re actually necessary, they test the visionary’s resolve) that 15 years of hindsight affords; instead I wanna rap about another topic I incessantly blather on about and that is the remarkable phenomenon that makes access to such ‘ancient’ thought possible; just think: all the back-and-forth rantin’ an’ ravin’ we’re doing on this worldwide web thing is being stored and categorized and will likely be ‘excavated’ by our future descendants, and this wealth of information not only includes what we publicly share, but our email messages, social media messages, the shit-talking we do in ‘private’ groups (as well as our ‘private’ or ‘incognito’ internet browsing histories), videos, pics, and perhaps even CCTV recordings (now THAT would be crazy).

Imagine what ‘picture’ will be gleaned from the digital mark you leave behind. I’m actually not (too) afraid of this (even though I’ll probably come off like a perverted, needy, narcissistic sociopath). I put myself in the shoes of my descendants and think of how cool it would be to have access to the messy and contradictory thought processes of my ancient ancestors (their version of “I can’t believe it! In two days I’m marrying the love of my life!” on the main feed / “I can’t stand my fiance. I’m actually in love with her sister.” in the private group), instead of the our-ancestors-were-all-gods-among-men-thing-that-says-more-about-our-need-to-associate-ourselves-with-ancient-greatness-as-a-cover-for-our-low-self-esteems-than-anything-else. Screw that. I wanna know about my ancient African/Asian/European/etc. slacker, fuck-up, queer, outcast, artistic brethren. I wanna be emboldened by THEIR stories.

With all that said, this brave new world of unfettered access to ancestral mores is not one-hundred percent guaranteed; a strong coronal mass ejection (shotgun blast of electromagnetically charged particles from the sun) could wipe all this shit out, causing a ‘flood’ of sorts; ‘cleansing’ the world of our ethereal ‘sins’.

Speaking of digital and ancient stuff…

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Enhanced Performance

In my late-20s, for a little less than a year, I flirted with performance enhancing drugs; not HGH, steroids or anything like that, but the stuff you could get from those shops that are always right outside of chain gyms (the ones usually with ‘muscle’ and/or ‘nutrition’ in their titles). Even though what I was taking were like Skittles compared to what the big boys were droppin’ an’ shootin’ I did notice an ‘enhancement’ to my workout routines and subsequent play on the court. In the gym I could heavy-rep heavy weight and on the basketball court I was able to just ‘do shit,’ like go from thinking ‘I’m gonna tomahawk dunk over that guy’ to tomahawk dunking over that guy. This was stuff I could do before, but not this ‘professionally.’ Everything felt ‘relatively easier’ than it did before, which was sexy as hell. It felt beyond-good to be warming up before a game knowing I was about to do some ridiculous shit once the ball was tipped, and that the people in the stands were gonna freak the fuck out when I did it. And this was just RECREATIONAL ball (highly competitive, but still just weekend warrior shit). I could ONLY IMAGINE how dick-hardening it woukd be to pull that kinda shit off on the professional stage. Speaking of which…

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Faux Shame

dwayne-the-rock-johnson-is-almost-unrecognisable-in-a-fat-suit-in-trailer-for-new-movie-central-intelligence

If I post a pic of my not-in-the-greatest-shape self talking about how I am ‘just’ as sexy as The Rock, while knowing damn well that I WISH I had the determination and drive to put the work into my body that he does, and then cry that I am being ‘body shamed’ the second someone calls attention to my love handles I am full of fucking shit!1 And ironically, my NEED to ‘flaunt’ would expose just how much I LACKED confidence. If I ACTUALLY felt like I was The Shit™ I wouldn’t need to seek corroboration or shout down critics with platitudinous bullshit.

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Turf Wars: Black Feminists v. Black Masculists

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Welcome to the first installment of what I hope will be a regular series where I dissect the various ‘battles’ I see being waged between two (ironically) intrinsically linked factions, as in: Their constant fight is what defines their respective identities.

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For tha love of country

jay-zkayne

For as long as I can remember it has never been ‘cool’ or ‘hip’ to be patriotic. Such a thing is typically associated with Second Amendment dick-riding, Fox News-watching, pickup truck driving, big-ass flag waving middle-aged white men, aka the DEFINITION of uncool. But here’s the thing: Hip hop (the current EPITOME of cool) is incredibly patriotic…in-its-own-unique-way. On damn near every hip hop album you’ll find lyrics gushing about the American cities from which the artists hail. They even have endearing nicknames for ’em: The Boogie Down, The Chi, The ATL, The Town, The Sucka Free, the list goes on an’ on; and these towns don’t exist anywhere else in the world, but thanks to hip hop, the neighborhoods—and sometimes single streets or intersections—within these quintessentially American cities are now internationally known. Tell me that shit ain’t patriotic as fuck.

Support Our Fears

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I think some of the more zealous Support The Troops™ noise out there is over-compensation for an intense feeling of guilt. Not over what we ‘let’ our government do to ‘our boys,’ but what we let our fear do to them; our fear is what sent them ‘over there,’ to die and be maimed (physically and/or mentally). We saw this…

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Brave New W0r1d

Earlier this year the CEO of Carl’s Jr. announced that he wanted to replace his restaurant’s workers with machines, citing millennials’ aversion to face-to-face exchanges as chief among his reasons. To his point: I (a borderline millennial) find myself favoring stores that have self checkouts; they feel like personal, well-stocked pantries/warehouses that I can just wander into, grab what I need and dip. In a way I am part of this Randian problem. But is it ‘really’ a problem?

Yes, a robotic work-force could potentially cannibalize the economy, but what ‘special irreplaceable value’ do fast-food workers add to the fast-food dining experience? There is a brainless, assembly-line quality to the process of taking orders and filling them that robots could probably do more efficiently and with zero disdain/ineptitude/fatigue. This could be a boon for the consumer who has grown weary of wasting their hard-earned on botched orders (“How you gonna forget the chicken though?! That’s in your goddamn name!”). And furthermo—

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