Saturday, August 28, 2004

It's kind of fucked up when you think how 1% of our population owns 95% of our weatlth.

It's no wonder why so many of us try scrape and claw our way out of the gutter. Some of us do it successfully through education, dedication, and hardwork. Many of the "Chosen One" catch a break or two. We're always either at the right place at the right time, or just plain wrong. It's really pretty simple. We get into a survivor mode where we must provide for ourselves and our families. But sometimes the desire to "move on up" like George and Weezy is pushed by a particular value that has become more important in a lot of peoples' minds across the board, regardless of ethnicity, creed, or social class.

We know all about the greed, money, and power that is flexed among the rich. We've all seen "Wallstreet" and "Boiler Room". Rich people are some of the most cutthroat muthafuckas on the planet. The rich want to get richer. They want to fan their feathers out and display their dominance over their domain. Our society promotes that. Our society exudes that. Status is all powerful and omnipotent. Forget what you learned in church. These cats would sell their souls to the devil for higher status.

But it's not just the rich people our our society that are affected. Remember, that's only 1% of our population. This lust for status has trickled down through the middle class and has taken a hold of our poor and impoverished. It gets grimy at the bottom of the barrel. Even at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, there are people who shit on the next man in order to establish some sort of status-based superiority.

Wanna know the reason why white people seem to laugh at blacks?
Cuz brothers in South Africa slaving to death in diamond mines
Meanwhile, we spendin every penny to overshine
Tell the next nigga he lesser
Cuz he can't afford to buy ice from his oppressor
So now he pullin out nines, tryin to homicide me for mine
Meanwhile, George W. Bush got a war on crime

Ras Kass - "Golden Chyld"

This is a big issue with poor minorities. We shit on each other to feel better about our status. "At least I'm not as poor as him" has been a train of thought that has plagued our poor neighborhoods for years, but has been amplified even more in recent years. It's sad. It's disappointing.

And I'm not immune to it. I've caught myself looking down at the unfortunate. I've looked at my own poor Filipino immigrant and called them "fobs". I've played up the stereotypes of my own people as if I am better than them because of their less American lifestyle. It's all about maintaining your spot and kicking people down so, relatively speaking, you are "better".

That shit really has to stop. We really need to take responsibility for our actions as minorities living in a white society. We shouldn't be hating towards the next man or woman. We need to focus not on our personal status, but on the institutions that are currently in place that predispose us to failure. There is a reason why we make up for so little of that 5% left over from the pie. We need to make changes, not only in our actions, but in our minds.

Status is not the be all end all of life. What the next person thinks about you and your accomplishments are meaningless in the overall scope of your life.

The more you watch it, the funnier it gets..

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Footlocker 30% Friends & Family Sale(Starts Tomorrow!!!)

Yeah, it sucks being Canadian, eh Leah?

Monday, August 23, 2004

Grace Under Fire

TaG: first day of work, rocket attack
D0NNIEVEGA: foreal?
D0NNIEVEGA: damn, dude
D0NNIEVEGA: where?
TaG: they were from baghdad
TaG: we were about to leave the barracks for work
TaG: and we heard the bangs
TaG: the guys that have been here said it was regular explosions that EOD do
TaG: but then we heard and felt a loud ass one
TaG: they were like "that's not normal"
TaG: then they all ran back into the building
TaG:found out it was rockets
TaG: and one struck about 100 yards from the hangar i am working at
TaG: my friend got pics of it, so once he puts them on the shared drive, i will send them over
TaG: today there was a controlled explosion that we did on base
TaG: i got a picture of the cloud it produced
D0NNIEVEGA: got damn
TaG: doesn't really bother me at all
TaG: i actually thought it was kinda cool
TaG: maybe cuz it hasn't hit me yet
TaG: not the rocket
TaG: just the feeling

LOL.....hurry home, Chris.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Take it, grab it by the neck, and shake. Step back, take a few breaths, and repeat. Sometimes, it's all gravy. Most times, it's all gravity. And what goes up definitely must come down. Just make sure you aren't under it when it lands.

This isn't Eden. This isn't utopia. And this sure as hell isn't perfect. This is life. Self-preservation is a basic instinct, but what is typical isn't always right. Remember when Sharon Stone uncrossed her legs and your eyes fixated on her crotch? Well, we all did the wrong thing. We should have been looking into Sharon's eyes. You know, the eyes so intense they could melt rocks. But yeah, it doesn't make sense, does it?

It's non-sensical. Without sense. Without logic. The closer I get to examine it, the faster it runs away. After I finally get close enough to take a look, I forget what I was looking at in the first place. Shapeshifting isn't a skill that can be taught. Chameleon's are everywhere. Sometimes you can even find them in the mirror.

Crazy, right?

Saturday, August 14, 2004

This stuff is the truth.

Friday, August 13, 2004

It's easy to see how we as minorities are so disadvantaged in this white American society. We are literally the minority, and just like the natural occurrence in nature, there is power in numbers. We are told we are equal. But are we really?

I was watching "Tough Crowd" the other night, and was nearly infuriated with what I saw. Two of the panel members who were black were describing the little hints of racism they experience in their everyday lives. As they were explaining it, Colin Quinn was so quick to dismiss their claims, even pulling out your stereotypical "black" impersonation of a black man making claims of racism. His impersonation even elicited cheers and laughter from an obviously a white crowd. Now, I understand that it is a show on Comedy Central and was done for the hope of being humorous, but if you looked into the eyes of the two black panelists, you can tell that there was something else going on.

I was seriously upset at what was happening. Even considering the context of the situation, there was still this underlying message that I've been told before but never really acknowledged. White people really don't want to believe that there is still racism and will dismiss even the smallest complaint. Black people and minorities in general experience racism, no matter how small in amplitude, on a regular basis. It is only now that we are able to bring it up and complain. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying anything like "white people are all innately racist" or anything like that. It's just that there is this misconception that racism is a thing of the past. Even in the most liberal areas of the country, racism still runs rampant. From the streets all the way up the corporate ladder. It is so real in my life right now I couldn't' even begin to explain.

Now, people associate "complaining" over racial issues as unneeded. But that's not the case. Through complaining, we are raising awareness. We will not truly eliminate racism until everybody, white people included, acknowledge the fact that there is an issue. With all these people saying ,"oh, shut up about racism already. It's 2004 for crying out loud", it looks like we're still far from equality. I doubt I'll ever see racial equality in this white society with my own eyes. I doubt my kids or my grandkids will even see it. There's this train of thought that we're "almost there", but the blatant truth is that we're not. We're far from "there".

Ya heard?

BTW, right now, I have RJD2's "1976" on repeat.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

We love control.

We love to drive. We love to hold the remote. We set personal boundaries all the time. We limit the amount we eat. We limit the amount we drink. We even limit the amount we sleep. It makes sense, though. Doesn't it? A lot of these limits are triggered by a sense of self-preservation. They protect us. They keep us content. They keep our environments normal and "safe". But I've started to notice tendencies in others that shows that maybe we limit ourselves in ways that are not always for the good.

I know I do it sometimes. We're scared of the unknown sometimes. The unknown and uncertain makes us feel unconfortable because we again lose control. We as humans don't like to know that what happens to us is really a roll of the dice. You want to know who's really full of shit? Meteorologists. They think they can predict weather. And anyone that follows the weather knows that these people are right maybe 2 out of 7 days of the week. Shit, I could do that well playing "Precipitation Twister". But I digress.

So what do we do? We control our environments. We stay in the same areas. We keep the same kind of friends. We happily make new friends similar to our current friends and avoid the types of people we've avoided for years. We eat at the same restaurants. We go to the same clubs. We approach and flirt the same women and men. We watch the same movies and tv shows. We surf the same websites. We become ritualistic in the truest sense and what's scary is that most of us don't even give it a second thought.

And it all boils down to having that control. Whether we like it or not, I think it's safe to say that most, if not all, people can relate in one way or another.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Comprehension is key, but I choose to read between the lines and continue to confuse the fuck out of myself.

We are told to speak our mind, but letting out all that dialogue is pointless when nobody seems to be listening. Do you listen? I'm not just talking about everyday interactive dialogue. I'm talking about discussions where opposing points are made and contentions are rationalized and justified. Do you really listen? Or are you just sitting their thinking in your head what you're going to say next? It's fucked up, because for most it's the former rather than the latter.

When people say they "agree to disagree", what's really going on? Is there really and understanding reached with the other persons' stance and/or opinion? Or have the two sides just reached a stalemate that has resulted in both sides shrugging their shoulders and throwing their hands up, agreeing on a peace treaty that will last until the next time the topic of discussion is brought up again, most likely under the supervision of beer or whiskey?

Communication is good. Sure. But comprehension is definitely key. Without comprehension, no compromise or improvement can be made. Discussions are pointless without this whole listening thing.