INTERSECTING PERSPECTIVES

Hello everyone,

 

I have been thinking about perspective quite a bit over the last couple days, mostly after listening to Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble,” and then the follow up criticism a few of my friends have shared over Facebook. Because there was some division between my interpretation, and the interpretation given in the criticism, I’ve spent all morning pondering which perspective is closer to the mark.

So here’s the divisive lines:

 

I’m so fuckin’ sick and tired of the Photoshop

Show me somethin’ natural like afro on Richard Pryor

Show me somethin’ natural like ass with some stretch marks

Still will take you down right on your mama’s couch in Polo socks, ayy

 

Make sure you watch at least this part of the video, so that you have some context for what the imagery displayed was (it’s at 1:43 minutes). What was your perspective on these lyrics? Are they sexist? I mean, an argument against Photoshop, in favor of a natural look isn’t necessarily a bad thing. On the other hand, it is still telling women how to dress and looks, assuming this addresses women in the first place.

Now that you’ve gathered your thoughts on this set of lines, let me tell you the interpretations I have been struggling with. First of all, there’s the perspective that applies these lines to all women—as in, this is Lamar’s expectation for women, and even if he’s arguing against the mainstream media’s presentation of women, it is still narrow minded and does not actually make a difference. Women should be empowered for whatever decision they make—whether it is being all natural, getting plastic surgery, or whatever—rather than be judged as simply objects by men (and society). This isn’t an unfair assertion. I mean, look at the last line. It directly addresses the “you,” which can pretty safely be assumed to be women, speaking that Lamar is pretty clearly heterosexually inclined.

The other interpretation goes simultaneously less far and further. It stops at “he’s arguing against the mainstream media.” The allusion to Richard Pryor, an old, anti-establishment comedian, as well as the statement about Photoshop, indicates that his first three lines of this segment are perhaps not addressing women, but instead addressing those who portray women. Instead, he asserts that what people care about is the real look of a woman, over the superfluous tendencies the media puts upon them. It isn’t entirely a progressive view, since it does still objectify women to an extent, but it is less “anti-woman” through this perspective than through the previous one.

The video adds a significant amount of depth to the lyrics as well, showing the two faces of a woman—one apparently done up and whitened, in the way the media often prefers, the other lacking make-up, and so on. I’ve chosen to withhold which perspective is mine, and which is from Facebook, because I don’t want my personal perspective swaying you, the reader, one way or another. The irony is that sometimes even the most parallel perspectives will cross lines in the details. That’s what, in many ways, occurs here. But that’s why it is a discussion. Let me know your perspective in the comments!

——

 

Hello there!

 

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CANDICE

After, I began to do art.

I started with happy bushes

Then I moved to things more luscious,

But I was awful at the start.

 

Many nights I have felt phony

Like I didn’t deserve the chance

To draw the canon of romance

Because I myself was lonely.

 

But come the morning I have found

The entirety of my crowd

Cheering for me extremely loud

And that causes me to rebound.

 

To pick up the brush and splatter

Paint across a blank white canvas.

An abstract picture of Candice,

For whom my heart pitter-patters.

——

 

Hello there!

 

First things first, this picture was provided by my friend Van Spillman. His art is awesome, and you can check it out on his Instagram! (Seriously, go do that!)

Did you like this poem? Let me know by leaving a like and a comment!

Want to keep up-to-date on all my posts? Follow my blog!

Want to see more of my work? Check out my blog’s site!

Want to read more of my stuff, but don’t go on WordPress often? Check out my Facebook page!

FOR EVERYONE SAYING “FUCK 2016”

For everyone saying “Fuck 2016”

Let me show you something you’ve never seen

Fisher, Prince, Bowie, and Rickman.

Ali, Michael, Wilder, and Cohen.

 

And hundreds of others left unnamed.

Our democratic order driven insane.

This entire year has been a mess,

But let’s not forget the rest

Of the people out there who live this way,

Where the struggles exist everyday.

 

Oh, and I should probably make it clear

That we made up the idea of the year.

The idea that these problems stem

From a measure of time that comes to end,

Excuses us from responsibility

For the actions that brought us to hostility.

 

But if we want 2017 to be better

We need to learn to be together.

We need to learn to act for good,

Instead of just do as we “should.”

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE (IF YOU LIE)

Anything is possible, if you lie.

Most people won’t even bat an eye,

And even when they start to pass you by,

At least they’ll believe that you can fly.
If you lie you can do all sorts of things

Be the president, make the Ring.

You can make all new friends

Who love you up until the end.
But one thing you can’t do is have a heart.

Because lies only break people apart.

Lies might be what make you rich,

But in the end, you’ll be in a ditch.

THE LAST GREAT DEBATE

Hello everyone,

 

Alright, so, the third and final debate is out of the way and we get to discuss it. Now, hopefully things have digested in your stomach a little bit, and not given you too much indigestion, because talking about last night it certainly a curiosity. I’ll try to touch on both candidates today as quickly and succinctly as possible in my short time.

Ok, so let’s get down to it. Today I’d like to start on the left, with Hillary Clinton. She did a pretty good job as usual. Now, I know there are a lot of people that don’t like her, but it’s pretty hard to argue with how prepared she is for these speeches. I mean, her closing statement was pretty indicative of that—it was made up on the fly and sounded like it had been prepared two weeks in advance. That’s pretty hard to do, even for a professional improve actor. Especially when staying in line with policy. She was composed, firm, and stuck to positions that were backed up with evidence. The Wikileaks refutation she made, in which she pointed out that numerous US intelligence agencies have linked these leaks to direct hacks by the Russian government to sway the campaign trail is a great example. Another great use of factual evidence was in the comparisons between the two candidate’s tax plans, in which she cited several bipartisan economists as having backed her plan as the more likely one to create jobs and promote income for people.

Of course, not everything about her is perfect. She interrupted Trump more than I would have liked her to, because to me it seems to put things “in his court,” so to speak, but that doesn’t mean by any means she was a weak. Her interruptions seemed to knock Trump a little off balance at first, because she had been polite to him the first two debates. She was also very forceful in negating his position on abortion, where she didn’t challenge his obscene statements about “day before” abortions, and indeed asserted herself as not only a person well aligned with women’s healthcare, but also the struggles that women go through daily.

I know I am left leaning, but Hillary’s debate last night was phenomenal, even for a “normal” debate. Much less one where she had to juggle a guy who does not play by fair rules. And that’s, unfortunately I think for Republicans, what happened with Donald Trump. Trump’s debate was a weird one. He started out…well, worse than his second debate, but still less “off the charts” than we have come to expect. That being said, there was a turning point, and I think it’s because Hillary got under his skin. I mean, telling a candidate she does not deserve to vote? A vote that is a protected right? Day-before abortions? Now, regardless of your position on abortions, abortion does not happen the day before a child is supposed to be born, even in late pregnancies. And if it does happen as late in the term as Trump claims, it’s not called an abortion, because the procedure is different. It’s a C-section, or induced labor. And it’s done because there is a problem with the child. It might surprise you, but nature isn’t perfect. There are a number of babies that develop without brains, or that die in the womb. And if they aren’t taken out, the mother will die too.

None of this is fun or fair. There’s no “I got out of it.” And this is how Trump has built his campaign, and I think (I hope) that this will be why he fails. His debate last night because a microcosm for all the problems he has created. A lack of respect for citizens, a lack of respect for people in need, a lack of respect for people who have done good, and a lack of respect for people who do not bow to him. He’s acted like a dictator in this election, and in all honesty, the bullying, the lack of emotional control, and the whining are all indicative of this. Democracy is a hard thing. And it does not come without faults or compromise. And the only way to usurp that is to defy it—which is exactly what Trump has done.

This is dangerous to the America we aspire to be, even if we are not there yet. Let me know what you think. Is it unfair to say this about Trump? Why?

TALKING FAME

Hello everyone,

 

It’s time to vent! Success is such an impossibly hard thing. Think about it. How many celebrities are there? Maybe ten thousand? If we assume all those people are American, there’s roughly a 0.003 percent chance that you a celebrity. That’s astronomically low. Yet in spite of that, we are pressured to look, act, think, and talk like them. Celebrities are what drives our culture, which very easily could be how things have developed naturally.

To expand on this idea, the idea of a worldwide celebrity is fairly new. Barring political characters, one of the first real “celebrities” where they would be recognized on street corners and such, was Ben Franklin. He was what I would call a political celebrity, much like someone like Obama. I mean, he was famous before he was actually directly involved in politics, but still. Anyway, Ben Franklin had a lot of positive and negative aspects to his character. For example, he had a few wives because, you know, he couldn’t really get it right. He also had a bit of a struggle with his son, who’s idea of work and such contrasted with his own. That being said, Ben Franklin is also vastly considered to be one of the spearheads of the revolution, and rightly so. Poor Richard’s Almanac did a lot to wake the common person to the injustice of the colonies.

On the other hand, he also taught us to learn from and idolize those we looked up to. Which isn’t inherently a bad time—I mean, religion has been teaching us to learn from those older and wise than us for millennia. Politics has always been telling people how to live. Regardless, it was different prior to the Internet, as well as the vast wealth and accessibility to knowledge.

Which brings me with my problem with learning and idolizing celebrities—we only see their highlights. I mean, every once in a while we hear the stories of the Peter Dinklage’s of the world. In fact, that’s often the one’s we hear most and expect ourselves to match. Yet there can only be so many celebrities. Can you imagine a world with seven billion celebrities? No. And many people will tell you it is hard work to get there. And I’m sure it is. That being said, it’s also hard work to wake up at two am every day to be at work by four am in order to clean the toilets. And you can argue that this job is some how less important than shooting a film, but if you’ve ever woken up daily at 2 am, you probably know that this is not the case. It’s hard. Your body is tired. Now, I’m not trying to discredit the work that celebrities do, but at the same time can we look at the work of the common man and give them a bit more credit?

Ok, with that off my chest, I also want to look at celebrity faults. We hold any mistake by celebrities at their throats. Yet, there’s so many people who do the same things on a daily basis. I’m not justifying things like saying, I don’t know, Mexican’s are rapists, because that’s bullshit and we know it. But take maybe a questionable aspect of a relationship. Take any heterosexual celebrity couple. If the guy went out with another girl, even in a purely platonic way, the paparazzi would be all over them. And that’s unfair. They should be able to live their lives with a bit more quietness. Or not. I guess their lives are for the entertainment of others. What do you think? Let me know!

THROUGH THE WIRE TO SUCCESS

Hello everyone,

 

We’ve made it though another successful holiday! Time to get back to work. It’s Monday on a Tuesday. Wait. That’s not how it works. Anyways, today I don’t really have anything in my heart that I really want to talk about. But I’m sitting here in the office waiting for someone to tell me my responsibilities for the day. Listening to “Through the Wire” by Kanye West on Pandora, which I recently found out is about how he broke his jaw and rapped an album anyways.

Hey I found a topic! This is a good example of dividing people between the hard working and the uninspired. Let’s take this as an example. Kanye broke his jaw before he finished an album that he needed to release. Rather than say “well, my voice doesn’t sound right, let’s figure out how to make it sound right” so he overlaid several other voices throughout the song in order to make something that sounded he good. And he rapped himself, which probably hurt quite a bit. Imagine it hurting whenever you opened your mouth. That’s pretty much what a broken jaw would do, unless you were completely drugged up—which is a possibility I suppose.

Regardless, this example shows what someone who is inspired and has desire to achieve their goals can do. Which is to over come the hardships placed before them. Certainly, this isn’t to say go out and run a marathon on a broken leg because you wanted to compete in the upcoming competition. But it does mean that when you feel like things go poorly, or when you feel like giving up, make sure that there isn’t another avenue to success. Because there very well might be.

For a broken jaw, change how music works; for a writer, maybe go out and find something new to write about; for a teacher, find an alternate way to communicate; for an actor, maybe look for a different way to voice your character. Maybe this blog doesn’t have to just be about what’s on my mind, maybe it can have poetry, and other creative writing (see what I did there? That’s something I already did to expand my writing!). Regardless, it takes persistence. It takes saying “I’ve looked at every possible way I can do this. Now lets make another way.”

Every major artist has a story, and in many of those stories there is a struggle. Think of anyone, from Bach to Eminem, and there usually is as many good times as bad. Or not. Maybe I’m wrong. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

CELEBRITY STATUS

Hello everyone,

 

Do you ever wonder what it’s like to be a celebrity? I certainly do sometimes. It would be kind of cool to have people pay for your drinks, be seated earlier because the whole restaurant recognizes you, and have the general public aware of the good you do in life. Of course, it’s not all perfect. In fact, it’s probably harder in many way to be a celebrity than to be someone more average. For example, because your every movement is tracked, it certainly seems possible that if you ever had an affair that the whole world would know about it. Which maybe is fair, since cheating is a pretty immature thing to do in life.

But lets say its something more innocent, like, let’s say that you, being rich, decide to splurge a bit and buy a fancy car that isn’t the best for the planet, around the pollution levels of an average car, then you are questioned about your commitment to the Earth and its well being. You say you love the Earth and want to see it flourish. A magazine writes that you are misguided and a hypocrite because you have the money to afford a car that will actually help the planet. Now, for you, have things really changed? Probably not, but the world would see you as someone who could do better, but decided not to, simply because you bought a nice car.

It’s things like this that make the position of celebrity a blessing and a curse. Leonardo di Caprio is another example of a celebrity where this is potentially true. By being extremely outspoken about Global Warming and other aspects of society, he puts himself out there to being ridiculed for various issues. I mean, lets say he just goes out with some friends, and one of those friends drives a Hummer. And the paparazzi takes and publishes photos of him getting out of it. Suddenly there’s a whole story about how his caring for the planet is some false public rhetoric in order to gain support for liberal candidates that are also hypocrites.

See how easy it is to be the blame? Some celebrities have accepted this and even embraced it. Take Kanye West, he’s a prime example of a celebrity that has accepted all the hate and shot it right back at the world—calling the screams of his haters his superhero theme music. Then again, Kanye is often seen as the kind of person that we should try not to be. Generally selfish, vain, abrasive. He’s not really a stand up citizen. He is, however, one of the biggest names on the planet. So I suppose there’s something to be said about that. Meanwhile, the celebrities that are doing good for the world—including Leo, Emma Watson, and a slew of others—are kept relatively in the background of the media coverage. So…maybe we should critique the media as well as our own television watching selves, rather than the celebrities? Is that fair? Let me know in the comments!