Brain on Drugs #5

Every new year, I say to myself, “Vic, this shit’s gonna be lit. You’re going to do X, Y, and Z. It’s gonna be dope.” And then the following year proceeds to bite me in the ass. Like literally the last four years of my life. Recurring theme.

That span equates to the entire time I’ve been in college… and most of my senior year of high school too. Coincidence? I think the fuck not.

I don’t know how much I can stress how utterly fed up I am with college. If I hadn’t already spent so much money getting here, I probably would’ve dropped out.

But it’s almost over. I have two full months of undergrad remaining and honestly, I’m pretty excited.

Excited to (hopefully) get out of Mississippi, to be my own person, to not have to do group projects anymore… the list could go on.

But I see the light at the end of the tunnel. A bitch is almost done paying on these probation fees. A bitch is getting consistent-ish with her blogging. She’s finally putting some plans into action. I feel good.

I don’t want to jinx my 2018 but lately I’ve been feeling pretty good about the future. The bad energy is clearing out.

I’m satisfied with leaving it at that.

The Day is On Its Way

Have I ever told y’all how much I love Chance the Rapper?

He recently performed a new song with Daniel Caesar on Colbert’s show and… ugh. I love him.

Its a three verse ballad articulating his toils in fatherhood, being a celebrity, and grappling with troubling matters of our times.

Chance never ceases to amaze me. I love his live instrumentations, the deep gospel influence, his flow. When he performed at the BET Awards last year with Pamela Mann and Kirk Franklin, even my heathen ass could feel the spirit moving through the computer screen. He has a way of making music that just hits you on a spiritual level.

I hear the seams snappin’. And I’m the team cap’n

Chance has never been shy about his activism. The thing that I like about him is that he’s a smart guy. He uses his platform to do some real work.

  • Police brutality
  • Homophobia
  • Urban Poverty/Neglect
  • Racism

Some of the “first world problems that niggas make up” that Chance and other activists are constantly addressing, yet… these hoes (i.e ‘Merica) keep on playing.

He warns, “Keep on playing we gone shake this shit up.”

When I think about the times we are in, I don’t get sad. I’m not even mad, truely and honestly. In the grand scheme of human history, this series of events comes about cyclically. Be it a Henry the VIII, a Hitler, a Stallin, a Napoleon, a Mao-Zedong… a Trump.

Just as sure as we are here, the day is on its way when the jig is fucking up. Though it’s hard to see it now, evil never truly triumphs. Maybe this is attributable to the vitality of the human spirit, or a collective low tolerance for bullshit – regardless…

The day is on its way

It could not wait no more

Here it is.

 

 

 

You Better Work

If y’all didn’t know, I’m a film student. In my last semester, lawd! It’s a bitter sweet feeling – mostly bitter – but that’s a different post.

Film production is one thing. Classes on writing, directing, editing… the usual. But there’s also a set of classes based in film theory.

Because films are not just films and (more broadly) art is not just art. It’s all cultural fodder.

Or at least, that’s how I like to look at it.

Every film, every album, every canvas does a certain cultural work that – when you look back on them as a whole over time – says a whole helluvalot about the world we lived in.

Now this is going to appear to go left for a minute, but bare with me here.

I’ve been listening to that new Uzi.

Sorry not sorry.

I don’t care how fast he says it, I don’t buy that lucier shit. I’m terming this cultural click bait. 

Issa gimmick.

That lil nigga from Seattle isn’t a fucking devil worshipper, and if he is, so the fuck what. That’s on him.

This new shit bumps and I enjoyed listening to it. Sorry not sorry, bih.

The thing about a Uzi, a Yachty, a [insert XXL freshman]… they’re in this bitch.

They’re here and making their presence known and having a wang-dang-mutherfucking-doodle with life.

Yeah, they say problematic, dumb stupid shit sometimes. So does everybody.

But if you watch an interview from any one of these people, they kinda sound like they know what they’re doing. They know the wave they’re on and they’re taking full advantage. As high-falutin’ as you may think their antics might be, they’re not on some bullshit.

And you can say that about a Kendrick, a Cole, a [insert “conscious” rapper] as well.

They’re voices of the culture. And they know it.

They have the juice and it seems as though folks can’t do anything but be mad about it.

Now, when we all look back on this moment in history, I don’t know what we’ll say, honestly. I can’t break down the cultural work that these individuals are doing because I can’t do that right now. I think that is something best done in retrospect.

But they are certainly doing it.

Moral of the story: Y’all gotta chill and let these kids be kids. It’s a wave. It’s a moment. Let it be.

History will tell us what she thought of these 20-teens kids when she’s good a goddam ready. Don’t doubt that the cultural hindsight will be 20/20 and one day – not this one – we’ll be able to know for sure if they actually “ruined hip-hop”… or if they really ushered in a new era of youth culture and music.

I’m leaning more towards the latter.

If you like it, listen to it. Twerk to it. Enjoy it.

If you don’t, that’s cool too, but y’know… don’t be a hater.

 

 

Everybody Has a Breaking Point

The Stanford Prison Experiment. Let’s chat.

Not the real thing, but the movie. I watched it for the first time last night and… woah.

First of all I didn’t even know the shit was based on real life before I watched it. But I did my Googles afterwards. Evidently it won a couple awards at Sundance when it premiered there and that was enough to get me interested enough to watch.

Breakdown: So 24 male college students willingly agree to participate in the Stanford Prison Experiment for two weeks, for $15/day. Peanuts, today, but I guess that was a nice chunk of change for a college student in 1971. They were chosen because they were all supposedly mentally and psychologically healthy, they came from similar backgrounds, and were similar ages – young, white boys of privilege.

One could almost say they were equals – until shit got real.

When you’re an English major, like myself, you read a lot of shit. Thematically, the premise of this story was similar something like a Lord of the Flies (by William Golding) or an Animal Farm (by George Orwell).

The thing with having the “guards” in the experiment wear shades at all times was trippy too because as I was sitting there watching it, I thought about Michel Foucault’s Panopticism and the role that seeing/sight plays on the psychology of “guards” and the “prisoners.”

But I won’t bore you with theory.

The acting in this movie was fucking brilliant.

Fucking Michael Angarano – who plays Chris Archer a.k.a the dude that took that guard shit way too serious with his Captain from Cool Hand Luke impersonation – knocked that shit out of the park. All the actors gave some Oscar-worthy performances.

Moral of the story: absolute power [always] corrupts absolutely.

What started out as an experiment turned into a dangerous example of the human psyche and how fragile it is and once again shows us how if any one of us, if given that inch, can take the whole damn mile.

The experiment was supposed to last two weeks but things went to shit much sooner than expected and was terminated after just six days.

Go fucking figure.

 

 

Brain on Drugs #4

I lied about not smoking weed.

Sorry not sorry.

2017 is out this bitch. Not officially, but honestly, the last four months of every year generally fly by in a gust of classes, stress, bills, and credit card debt. So in my mind, this shit is basically over.

That’s not to say shit still can’t go down in the next four months, but I’m not holding my breath.

One of my biggest goals at this juncture is to have at least three pairs of matching socks… Among getting my shit together to apply to grad school and slowly trying to pry myself from the jaws of debt.

Not to downplay all that but the socks thing would just be really personally satisfying.

I’m really thinking NYC is the move.

The application opens any day now and a bitch is ready.

My life finally feels like it’s moving, like it might actually be worth staying alive just so I can see what’s about to happen.

That was dark but I’m a dark bitch so…

He’s a Mean One

Your boy Trump did it again and this time it hit home.

If you didn’t know, I work at a certain Mexican restaurant. I’ve been there for nine months and I have to say, in that time, I can say without a doubt, it’s the best job I’ve ever had. Truly and honestly. 

But I digress. 

I’m quite fond of my boss. He manages to piss me off at least once every two weeks but he’s a cool mother fucker when he wants to be. He moved all the way here to Oxford to be the GM because he loves his job and the company we work for. He just had a kid too. 

The other day he announced jokingly, “Well, in a few days, I’ll officially know if I’m getting deported.”

Me, an intellectual: whet? 

“Yea, they’re voting to repeal DACA.”

Me, an intellectual: whet?

I clocked out a couple hours later and didn’t think much of it once I left because who thinks about work after they leave work. Lets be real. 

Fast forward to yesterday and I find out y’alls president actually managed to get that shit repealled. 

I keep our work GroupMe on mute. I only check it because they post the schedule on there, but I just happened to check it the day that the news came out and that’s where where I saw it. 

“Well guys, I have until June 2019.”

Y’know, I really didn’t expect to be as hurt by it as I was but, bitch, I was. 

I felt like swinging at the air like Tre in Boyz in the Hood after that cop put the gun to his head.

Up until now, I’ve managed to remain unbothered by the bullshit, political and otherwise but that shit really hit me. Once again, fuck Donald. 

He’s a liar. He’s dusty. And he’s fucking shit up in a major way. 

Reclaiming My Time

I think I’m going to stop smoking weed.

Not indefinitely, but for the foreseeable future. Classes have started, business is picking up at work, and I have one semester of college left. It’s crunch time and  since I’ve been on probation, I’ve seen how productive I can actually be when I’m not taking weed naps. 

This growing up shit is a trip.

*trick

I advise you steer clear of it if you can help it. 

It hasn’t been easy hitting the ground running as far as adulthood. I’ve taken more than my share of L’s since I’ve been out in these streets. 

And y’know, all things considered, I’m alright. 

Life isn’t about getting it right all the time. Sometimes it’s about lessons and I’m happy I’m learning them now rather than later.

A bitch has priorities and plans. 

Im really making Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance my personal mantra. 

Every new year for the past few years, I always tell myself “This year will be better than the last.” Well, 2017’s almost over. And though this year has been somewhat of a shit show,  I suppose it wasn’t as much of a shit show as 2016. 

To be victorious, we must find glory in the little things. And my little victories thus far are enough to keep me going.