You Could Cut the Tension with a Butter Knife

In the wake of the disaster in Las Vegas, I just…

At this point, it’s obvious that gun control needs to be high on the list of policy priorities. The only reason shit hasn’t been done is because those ass hats we call congressmen would rather line their own pockets than look out for other people’s interests.

Point blank period. This is common fucking sense.

Anyone who says otherwise could really

go snack on a bag of dicks for all I care.

But that’s not why I’m here today.

Every time something like this happens, I’m just a little more cynical and a little more apathetic to what goes on in this world.

At the same time, I grow in my resolve that this pressure cooker can’t take too much more heat before the top gets blown off this bitch.

And I’m hopeful.

Existential observation:

Nobody knows what banged or why it did, but the Big Bang, a moment of immense pressure and volatility, gave rise to the universe we know today. Nature, art, music, allat arose out of chaos.

Now I could just be talking out the side of my neck but I’m thinking the same idea applies here. Except the next Big Bang has the potential to be a controlled blast rather than an all consuming fire ball that destroys everything in its wake.

When it bangs – and most assuredly it will bang if we keep this bullshit up – enough people will know why and what for.

And if there’s enough people around in the aftermath to say, “I fucking told you so,” maybe we can build something better.

I hope we can salvage some of the good things that we’ve learned over time and, as a new world rises from these imminent ashes, people think twice before they act.

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.

 

 

This is my brain on drugs #1

I have a real interest in power.

No, not the show, like the concept.

I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix lately. Mostly shit that I’ve seen at least 100 times over like Parks and Rec and The Office. But recently I got into El Chapo.

I’ll spare you the details of this guy and his real life exploits. There’s wikipedia for that.

When I think about the people who have shaped history, it’s not the guys in the textbooks who I tend to admire (for whatever reason). It’s the “villains” of history that make the story so great in my opinion. The traitors, committers of treason, the down-right insane, the Jacobins, the Henry the 8th’s, the Hitlers, the , the Stallins, the Guzmans, the Escobars.

I guess in a sick twisted way, all of them thought they were doing the right thing. And when emboldened by a cause, anyone can do anything.

I really like shows like “El Chapo” and “Narcos” that show the methodology to the madness, if you will. The men behind the machine. And the more I watch and study, the easier it is for me to see how anyone of us, if given an inch, can take the whole damn mile – if one is ballsy enough to do so.

Sidebar: I feel like, a lot of the movies that I think of as some of the best in (recent) cinema history are movies that kind of play with the same ideas. The Godfather, Scarface, Citizen Kane… I’ll even throw Training Day in there.

And y’know, I am in no way glorifying these people for what they did. Obviously they brought danger and harm to vast swaths of people throughout history and that is something I don’t condone.

But I am saying that the shit happened. Not once, but multiple times throughout history.

People tend to discredit the villain and say “don’t be like that,” but villains are people too and there’s a little bit of villain in everybody. Sometimes, I even think the “villains” in the story tend to teach us more than the heroes ever do.

But ion know… I’m just talking my shit over a blunt.