Rising energy costs are on everyone’s mind.Ã‚Â There’s no way to escape the concern, even if you don’t drive because everyone’s feeling the pinch as the rising transport and production costs are being passed on to consumers.Ã‚Â We have to pay to check bags on flights now.Ã‚Â The price of food has experienced astronomical increases with regard to their prices just a few months ago.Ã‚Â Electricity, gas…everything’s going up while the value of the dollar and the availability of jobs continues to decline.Ã‚Â
Those experiencing it the worst are the same people who, at some point, were actuallyÃ‚Â saving money.Ã‚Â I’m talking about suburbanites.Ã‚Â Suburban existence is completely dependent upon car transport and the availability of cheap fuels.Ã‚Â Well say it ain’t so, but yeah…peak issue is a very real concern no longer relegated exclusively to energy industry.Ã‚Â Peak oil doesn’t mean that there isn’t anymore oil, but that we’ve reached the maximum level of production, so from this point onward, every barrel of oil will be harder to get out of the ground, of lesser quality, and more expensive.Ã‚Â The days of cheap energy are over.
A while ago, there was an explosion of SUVs on the market.Ã‚Â Little men wantedÃ‚Â them to feel more manly.Ã‚Â Big men wantedÃ‚Â them for more space…and to feel more manly.Ã‚Â And little women wantedÃ‚Â them to feel more manly.Ã‚Â (Strange, yes?)Ã‚Â Then hits rising energy costs and SUVs are no longer regarded as cool, but stupid if the space was unused and unnecessary.Ã‚Â If you didn’t sell/trade-inÃ‚Â your SUV when they were still “in”, the likelihood of selling/trading-in now is low.Ã‚Â If you live in the suburbs and drive a SUV, effectively your little toe bleeds as the gun falls out of your hand.Ã‚Â
We’re going to see a continuing rise in urban populations and the development of more urban spheres.Ã‚Â Local living is key.Ã‚Â Moving forward, living, buying, working, and eating locally are all going to be of increased importance, something most suburbanites just can’t do without automobile reliance.Ã‚Â According to James Howard Kunstler, “The Wal-Marts ofÃ‚Â North AmericaÃ‚Â have very efficiently and effectively destroyed almost every local and regional network of economic, commercial interdepence.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â And those networks are going to have to be rebulit.”
I found a great 52-minute documentary about this called The End of Suburbia.Ã‚Â Watch it below.
For the past few weeks, maybe months, I’ve been struggling with writer’s block.Ã‚Â What to write about?Ã‚Â What matters?Ã‚Â What’s important? Sometimes, or maybe all of the time, we’re plagued with that question.
Tonight, I sat down and watched When the Levees Broke, Acts 1-2 for the second time.Ã‚Â I’m flooded with emotion: hurt, disappointment, rage…among other feelings that I don’t really want to feel.Ã‚Â I think things I don’t want to think.Ã‚Â Yet neither those feelings nor those thoughts can be disregarded or belittled simply because I’m emotional.Ã‚Â This past weekend, I watched Malcolm X and some of those same emotions and thoughts came up.
What a world we live in!Ã‚Â Sinister people are in power and they institute sinister practices, policies, and plans.Ã‚Â All the while, some people are too busyÃ‚Â fully enjoying their freedoms or too busyÃ‚Â just trying to make it or already too down to handle the pessimism to pay it any attention.Ã‚Â Problems ignored will never abate.Ã‚Â Big problems are usually small problems ignored.Ã‚Â That’s what Katrina was.Ã‚Â Essentially, that’s what the whole civil rights movement was too.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â “Small” problems ignored.Ã‚Â All that was needed was complete and capable levees and humane treatment to begin with.
I often struggle with myself, beingÃ‚Â a descendent of slaves, belonging to a group whose human rights were and are consistently neglected simply because of the color of their skin.Ã‚Â The hatred white people have for us is unfounded.Ã‚Â Groundless.Ã‚Â They continue to express this contempt in political practice, judicial process and corporate consuetude.Ã‚Â Then, somehow, our unfavorable reaction–because how dare we take offense toÃ‚Â the negative treatment we receive–gives credence to the belief that we are miscreants undeserving of humane treatment.
San Diego catches fire and there’s immediate reaction.Ã‚Â “Oh, they learned from Katrina.”Ã‚Â No, they were white and of relative economic importance.Ã‚Â Sadly, I don’t even know what’s going on in the Midwest.Ã‚Â It’s unfortunate when any lives are lost or when anyone experiences catastrophes like this.Ã‚Â I bet we’ll hear more about Iowa, Wisconsin, and Indiana much longer than we heard about Katrina.Ã‚Â
My preference is to not be pegged as the angry black woman.Ã‚Â But…I’m angry.Ã‚Â I’m black.Ã‚Â I’m a woman.Ã‚Â And I’m too outspoken, so perhaps it’s my fate.Ã‚Â
Today, I watched Spike Lee’s Malcolm X as well as the special features documentary.Ã‚Â Of all the thinkers I’ve been exposed to, Malcolm X has to just about beÃ‚Â my favorite.Ã‚Â His transformation is an amazing testament of faith.Ã‚Â He’s an incredible orator whose confidence, charisma, story, and logic has touched millions of lives.Ã‚Â He helped so many Black people examineÃ‚Â and raise their self-esteem and the regard theyÃ‚Â held for their people, as well as to make many other positive changes inÃ‚Â their lives.Ã‚Â
I think about this film and am immediately reminded of how complacent and PC everyone is, how easily placated and fooled.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â There are probably more Uncle Tom’sÃ‚Â walking amongst us now than there have ever been; they don’t wear conks, but you canÃ‚Â spot them by the company they keep.Ã‚Â
In an article on the conflict Black Republicans will faceÃ‚Â in November, it was noted that John McCain will be attending the NAACP annual convention next month.Ã‚Â What bothers me is that his appearance there probably won’t be in vain.Ã‚Â He’ll snatch up some of Hillary’s supporters and maybe some Independent voters as well, which is absolutely ridiculous!
When was the last time McCain attended any kind ofÃ‚Â Black function, formal or informal,Ã‚Â when he wasn’t running for any kind of office?Ã‚Â He looks like he’s onlyÃ‚Â comfortableÃ‚Â around people that are either old, white, or rich, and dark skin automatically disqualifies a person even if they fit in two of the three categories.Ã‚Â
So why is he going toÃ‚Â the NAACP convention?Ã‚Â Because he’s a trickster.Ã‚Â
“Trickster?” you ask.Ã‚Â
Trickster.Ã‚Â (See video below.)
Malcolm X explains that JFK is a trickster.
It’s such an easy game to spot that I’m not at all sure why people can be so easily had. I’m not on McCain’s back because I think Obama’s going to make everything right because I don’t think he will. Our political system is so disgusting and marred that I have very little faith for politicians, despite being wooed by Obama’s charisma and intelligence.
More inspiring to me than Barack is Malcolm.Ã‚Â After hearing his speeches, I always want to study him, finding the post-NOI version more relatable.Ã‚Â Just my luck that there’s a great site dedicated to the man and his work at BrotherMalcolm.net.Ã‚Â It’s a great reference for anyone wanting to learn more.Ã‚Â Enjoy!
The album formerly known as Nigger.
I’m really excited about Nas’ new album. This is an important feeling because I’m generally dissatisfied with the state of music, especially hip hop. Very little of it excites me. So many hip hop artists get hype and then wack musically, personally, or both. What drew me into hip hop was the feeling it produced. I love music connecting me to my people’s history, the struggles and the accomplishments, the wisdom and the reaffirmation that real change is a byproduct of our own self-awareness, self-empowerment, and solidarity. Today, that message is overshadowed by the illusion that the most important things in life are things. There’s an air of complacency, a disrespect to the struggles of our past and present.
On his last album, Nas shared the thought that hip hop is dead. This time, his effort is directed at starting a very necessary dialogue that everyone keeps trying to sweep under the rug. If you listen to his new album, you can’t ignore the elephant in the room: race.
Originally titled Nigger, retailers threw a hissy fit about placing the album in their stores. Oh, is this because they care? Or because they can’t face the reality that their past is the present?
“How will we look if we sale an album called ‘Nigger’?”
You’ll look like you may be ready to be honest. But alas, fiction incessantly proves its power over reality.
Having to rename the album only gave Nas the opportunity to cause more impact, as he decided to call the album nothing and place an image of his back, scarred by a whip in the shape of the letter “N”. The iconic shape of the letter indicates Nas as the artist, but it also recalls the album’s original title, Nigger. The image he uses is more effective than the word.
The album doesn’t drop until July 15th, but to hold you over in the meantime is The Nigger Tape, the mixtape he did with DJ Green Lantern. Since it’s not available for retail, he can call it whatever he wants to.
Human-to-human contact discovered in November of 2007.Ã‚Â Two of the three that caught it from an infected human died, and none had any known direct contact with sick/dead poultry.Ã‚Â
I love this woman!Ã‚Â Again!!!Ã‚Â How many people have had their Lauryn Hill experience ruined by an overzealous fan?Ã‚Â I’m going to raise my hand here.Ã‚Â Thanks to my sister.Ã‚Â However…no worries.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Great music mixed with truth is too strong a recipe to be ignored for too long.Ã‚Â More than ever, I’m a fan.Ã‚Â Kathy Iandoli at All Hip Hop has done a fabulous job of commemorating the 10-year anniversary of this album.Ã‚Â Check it out here.
I understand that, on occasion, I’ve completely deviated from the initial purpose of this blog. You know what? That’s life. Thing is…I’m getting back to it. Recently, I got hip to a fundamental systemic problem in my logic. The problem: negativity. I see everything as crap. I look at something and immediately see the bad. Why not the good?
In the process of applying for this fellowship two weeks ago, I reviewed my work history and completely wrote it off as bull. All of it. Like it was good for nothing, when that’s really not the case; I’m just not oriented to looking for the positive in situations. What a shame. Cynicism or optimism…which is more of a challenge? Sometimes, idealism seems really easy. If that were the case, though, why is recovering from cynicism such a difficult task? The questions.
So now I return to the objective of this site…assisting my recovery…because I need it. I’ve discovered a great number of helpful things recently. I’ll be sharing them over the upcoming days and weeks. (“Sorry”…need to secure a gig.)