A CONVERSATION

This sequence of dialogue by text messages occurred between two people separated by necessity although temporarily by about 5000 miles. Anyway, make what you will of it. 

A: Hey

A: There’s something I need to tell you

A: You know you were honest with me about being bi

 

B: Okay

B: Go on

 

A: Okay!!

A: I am very materialistic

A: For someone who didn’t grow up in a mega rich family

A: I am mega rich at mind

A: I have this concept in my head that I never want to be poor

A: If I am not successful at life I will marry rich… That’s how crazy I am

A: I’m sorry you have to hear this but I need you to know

A: I don’t know why I am like this

A: But I like nice things, going to nice places etc etc

A: And yet I cannot afford it

A: That’s the stupid part

A: I’m bad at making decisions

A: Which is something I’m trying to work on right now

A: That’s one of the reasons why I chose to go to London, instead of Buckinghamshire

A: I couldn’t let people keep making decisions for me

A: I had to take the risk of throwing myself out there and learn by myself

A: But yeah that’s me…

A: Feel free to say what you want

A: I’ll understand

A: Babe…

A: ??

A: Are you not talking to me?

 

B: Sorry

B: I just got home and had to perform obsequiances

B: Anyway, Babe… I knew you were materialistic

B: And believe me I’ve dealt with a lot of people who like to live above their means

B: Its not uncommon

B: I think I’m very materialistic to an extent

B: I used to be worse before I went to uni

B: But I think my materialism stemmed from wanting to impress people

B: But in reality it didn’t help me impress anyone

B: People mostly got the impression that I was some rich spoiled snob.

B: Which I am not… And never want to be seen as.

B: We all have to find ways to control our urges

B: Maybe for instance by being very clear on what we want and what we need

B: (easier said than done)

B: It comes with practice

B: But eventually, you must realise that being poor does not mean you cannot be a respectable and good person

B: No one commits a crime by being born poor

B: At the same time being rich does not make you respectable or good

B: On the contrary… I think it tends to show our true colours

B: Truth is, most rich people tend to be just that

B: Rich, foolish, unappreciative, uninteresting and selfish

B: Not all of them, but few rich people have more to them than that.

B: We all wish for more money than we have when in reality it is our happiness and well-being that matters

B: And money never guarantees that.

B: Anyway, that’s my take on it.

B: Im glad you have admitted it, and if you want we can work on it together.

B: A… there are so many things in this day and age that distract us from what we need

B: And not surprisingly, what we need seldom coincides with what we want

B: It’s a tall order to see the difference, and I cant remember who said this but “we live only to discover beauty, all else is a form of waiting”

B: And I really think that’s true

B: Today I was at the airport with my cousin, and a small boy, about 7 or 8 years old came over to my cousin and asked him to buy some peanuts he was hawking, my cousin said no thanks, and the boy just stood there and said, okay then but offered my cousin some for free anyway.

B: It nearly melted my heart. Here is a boy living in abject poverty (relatively anyway) and he’s offering up his means of living out of sheer generosity.

B: I had to give him money, without taking his peanuts.

B: What is wealth?

B: is it when you have plenty zeros behind a number in your bank account?

B: Or is it having almost nothing and still giving what you have willingly?

B: … It’s a question worth asking.

B: Living in the UK its easy to forget the harsh realities people face elsewhere, and to think what we possess is insufficient

B: But in reality, with all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, the world is awash with beauty, even the lowliest people strive for high ideals, and all around us there is heroism.

B: It’s a beautiful world out there babe,

B: Strive to be happy

B: Not rich

 

A: I am happy… But I can be happier

A: Those are wise words hun

A: For me its not about respect cause I don’t need to earn that

 

A: That’s not what I crave

A: Pretty things are what I crave

A: Beautiful pretty things

A: But okay

A: Im glad you’re not disgusted with me lol

 

B: … lol

B: Im not disgusted (only rather disappointed)

B: But it’s a trait I tend to despise in people

B: And sometimes it can taint my image of them

B: But for you perhaps it wont matter

B: Anyway, if you feel getting richer will make you happier; well then! Better start working that ass

B: I know a few street corners that need tending

B: Haha… I joke.

B: But seriously, those corners don’t work themselves. 

Why women should be payed equally for the same work.

It may surprise some that the Republican men AND WOMEN voted against the Equal Pay for Equal work bill that was pushed forward by Democrats. In my opinion their most cogent argument went as follows - The act will be to the detriment of those it aims to protect (women) because it doesnt fix the root problem, i.e. Discriminative Employers. With the act, if discriminative employers were forced to pay equal, they would always pick the male counterpart to the female applying for the same job.

I must say it is on the surface a good point to make, after all its better for women to have less pay than to be unable to find work. Now I’m no economist, but it seems to me like the argument is grounded in a very pessimistic view of the labour market. I dont think employers discriminate because they are sexist, it seems more like they do so because they can get away with it and if you goal is profit maximisation, you cut costs where you can. 

It’s a simple matter of standards, if the standard practice is to pay women less then of course employers will. Take for instance the Equal Pay Act 1970 in the UK, since then, the overall income gap between men and women has gradually narrowed, and the Equality Act 2010 will only help to ensure that the goal of eliminating income gaps for people doing the same job will be eliminated, I read some study that said predicted 2067 as the year in which gender inequality in terms of pay would no longer be an issue.

My point is, that contrary to what Republicans think, the free market is not this force of social good and it doesn’t protects rights, in fact on the contrary, the innate ruthlessness of its practice necessitates governmental intervention to protect the rights of those living under a free market society. It is the duty of the government as the ultimate law-givers to ensure that public and social order is kept in check. Denying women equal pay for equal work implicitly sanctions the practice of paying women less. 

Once again, I am not an economist, but I think common sense arguments counter most of the myopic stances Republicans have adopted on a lot of social issues. I would say shame on them, but shame, and the guilt it ought to invoke are things Republicans seem to have evolved out of… then again, they probably don’t believe in evolution, so there you have it.

-E-

Black and gay

I just read this article (http://us.cnn.com/2012/05/22/opinion/granderson-black-and-gay/index.html?iref=obnetwork) about the separation of black and gay! 

The article itself, has its merits and demerits, but  the comments ensuing which went, as one might imagine, along the lines of: “you cant be gay AND christian” or you can be. Some people were gracious to say that race and sexuality were a non-issue etc etc, have caused me to create a response from the perspective of one who is black AND gay.

Firstly, race and sexuality are an issue, more so because, racism and sexual discrimination as separate issues are less stringent than before (but still of great importance), what this means is that where the two intersect, you find a concentration of confused reactions that are difficult to identify, as such the issue is left yet again on the back burners. 

Within the black community, one probably faces more homophobia than in the world at large, probably due to anomie associated with socio-economic deprivation (and no one can deny that on a relative basis, this is true). So the ‘black movement’ has largely been waged on one front, whilst ignoring several others that are quite important fronts like sexism and homophobia. This could be described as inadvertent ignorance (where for some reason or another, within the black community, homophobia has not been sufficiently addressed.)

I blame it on the churches primarily and on socialisation within ‘black culture’. Modern day homophobia was birthed in religious houses and the ‘Black church’ operates a central role within black culture - so in one way or another, various subcultures of black culture share a quasi-seminal relationship with the Black Church.

Nevertheless, an important feature of (although not limited to) the ‘Black church’ is its usual hardline, bible bashing, biblical literalism (an ironic term, seeing as biblical literalism almost always entails a cherry picked version of presumed theological truth). I have visited a few ‘Black churches’ in my time, and I cant (in my experience) recall one where the preacher wasn’t a chubby posturing egomaniac, who basked in the adulation of his unwitting church-goers, and disseminated his version of the truth (perhaps this is a generalisation, but i can go by my experience alone). As a result, what you have is a troop of socio-economically disenfranchised church-goers who have very little respite from the harsh realities of their lives save for that one/two hours at church where they can be mislead into thinking they can secure favour with a God (who no doubt they have prayed to and waited on thus far for a socio-economic uplifting) of doubtable existence.

So it comes as no surprise to me that the concentration of homophobia within a subgroup of the general population, that has had recent history and experience with discrimination and second-class citizenship status, can be so rampant. 

So what is my proposed solution? Get rid of the churches? No… (at least not yet *I joke [freedom of religion]*) The solution lies in a cause that is profoundly difficult to advance and that is prioritising socio-economic and political equity for all persons above security. When the bare essentials are taken care of then there will be time to look at the larger social problems (like attitudes towards gay people). 

I am not suggesting that this is something that can be fixed in my lifetime. I like a quote for the article that says

in the fight for equality, you must be willing to run a race in which you may not be around to see the finish line” 

And that readers, is my take on homophobia within the black community. 


Politics: Game or Nature?

Someone once said that those of us who are smart enough to avoid engaging in politics are punished by being ruled over by those who are stupid enough to… Well, I cant speak to the factual credibility of that statement, but I can say one thing:

Politicians do display a high level of stupidity.

The lessons I learned growing up, watching the news, reading and studying history books etc etc, created within me an impression of the role of leadership as one that is usually occupied by persons of integrity, who prize ideals over personal interest or ambition, and in an ideal world I guess this would be true, but unfortunately we do not live in an ideal world. 

It really is a shame, we live in precarious times. The illusion of freedom is thicker than ever before and the fog that clouds the clarity of our common sense has never been so dense, such that we live in a society that is nestled within a web of intricate and overlapping lies. 

I cant imagine what it would be like for future generations, but there is no space, no space to dream, it seems, idealism is a luxury very few can afford.

Modern Man - George Carlin

I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium, digital and smoke-free, a diversified multi-cultural post-modern deconstructionist, politcally, anatomically, and ecologically incorrect.

I’ve been uplinked and downloaded, I’ve been inputed and outsourced, I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading. I’m a high-tech lowlife, a state-of-the-art bi-coastal multitasker, and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond.

I’m new wave, but I’m old school, and my inner child is outward bound. I’m a hot-wired, heat-seeking, warm-hearted cool customer, voice-activated and biodegradeble. I interface with my database, and my database is in cyberspace, so I’m interactive, I’m hyperactive, and from time to time, I’m radioactive.

Behind the 8-ball, ahead of the curve, riding the wave, dodging the bullet, pushing the envelope. I’m on point, on task, on message, and off drugs. I got no need for coke and speed. I have no urge to binge and purge. I’m in the moment, on the edge, over the top, but under the radar. A high-concept, low-profile, medium-range ballistics missionary. A street-wise smart bomb, a top-gun bottom-feeder.

I wear power ties, I tell power lies, I take power naps, I run victory laps. I’m a totally ongoing bigfoot slamdunk rainmaker with a proactive outreach. A raging workaholic, a working rageaholic, out of rehab and in denial. I got a personal trainer, a personalshopper, a personal assistant, and a personal agenda. You can’t shut me up, you can’t dumb me down, ‘cause I’m tireless, and I’m wireless. I’m an alpha male on beta blockers.

I’m a non-believer and an overachiever, laid back, but fashion forward, up front, down home, low rent, high maintenance; super size, long lasting, high definition, fast acting, oven ready, and built to last. I’m a hands-on, footloose, kneejerk headcase, prematurly post-traumatic, and I have a love child who sends me hate mail.

But I’m feeling, I’m caring, I’m healing, I’m sharing, a supportive, bonding, nurturing, primary caregiver. My output is down, but my income is up. I take a short position on a long bond, and my revenue stream has its own cash flow. I read junk mail, I eat junk food, I buy junk bonds, I watch trash sports. I’m gender specific, capital intensive, user friendly, and lactose intolerant.

I like rough sex, I like tough love, I use the F-word in my e-mails, and the software on my hard drive is hardcore, no soft porn. I bought a microwave at a minimall, I bought a minivan at a megastore, I eat fast food in the slow lane. I’m tollfree, bite size, ready to wear, and I come in all sizes. A fully equipped, factory authorized, hospital tested, clinically proven, scientifically formulated medical miracle.

I’ve been prewashed, precooked, preheated, prescreened, preapproved, postdated, freeze dried, double wrapped, vacuum packed, and I have an unlimited broadband capacity. I’m a rude dude, but I’m the real deal, lean and mean, cocked, locked, and ready to rock; rough, tough, and hard to bluff. I take it slow, I go with the flow, I ride with the tide, I got glide in my stride. Drivin’ and movin’, sailin’ and spinin’, jivin’ and groovin’, wailin’ and winnin’. I don’t snooze, so I don’t lose. I keep the pedal to the metal and the rubber on the road. I party hardy, and lunch time is crunch time. I’m hangin’ in, there ain’t no doubt, and I’m hangin’ tough, over and out

yahoopolitics:

President Barack Obama arrives at at Buckley Air Force Base, Tuesday, April 24, 2012, in Aurora, Colo. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
Welcome to our new feature (that by Tumblr necessity must end with a question mark):
“What would you caption this photo?”


Nothing political, reblogging this purely on the epicness of this cuteness.
ikilldchivalry:

Classy!