Version 2.0

Culture, healing, politics and bullshit - Not necessarily in that order

The general, socio-political and very personal rantings and ravings of a hip hop head from the hood hustling for change... Of himself.

You all know me and are aware that I am unable to remain silent. At times to be silent is to lie. For silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
—Miguel de Unamuno


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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Belief And How It Affects...

Sometimes it's just best to listen.

I've always listened even though in some cases folk will tell you that I wasn't when I really was.

I share what I believe and even though I was raised in a traditional household, I shun tradition. Most folk that see and interact with me on a regular basis just can't get by that and my disappointment in their reasoning on the how and why I do what I do can no longer be held in.

Nah, not anymore.

I'm not a skeptic or a cynic, even if I've make a snide remark about something. That means I'm listening and have paid attention to detail. Details are so important to me, they indicate the inner workings of a thought, idea or ideology, and I need to know the numbers and see the schematics in order to find out the 'is' of the matter because nothing is ever what it seems on the surface. We all look for the truth in things and I observe closely how a lot of us layer a lot of man-made fabrications, laws and ideas and put our lives at stake based on these half truths and outright lies and call it living.

Let me explain:

This time of year means absolutely nothing to me. There is no emotion that I can invoke about Christmas, New Years or anything else that happens this year because I understand exactly what the definition of fabrication is.

My wife's birthday and our one year anniversary fell on two days other than Christmas last week and for some it might mean all kinds of things to do and stuff to get to celebrate a milestone, but to me they were just Tuesday and Wednesday. I realized a long time ago coming up in that bad ass neighborhood of mine and dealing with family, friend or foe in my immediate circle (which I had no control over but observed closely) that every day you get on this planet should be cherished. Between ignorance, bad nutrition and lack of available and affordable health care taking folks way too early on my block to the unnamed bullet snuffing the life out of the random innocent child to Wayne Williams (yeah, we feared his ass all the way up here) during childhood, I was surrounded by misery, shame family infighting, murder, poverty, racism and even me being touched by a trusted guardian so I told myself if I ever got out of the hood alive and sane...

I would appreciate each day of my life that much more.

I am surprised and shocked that I am alive at 37. I really truly thought I wouldn't make it.

Funny because Thanksgiving 2005 saw me wanting to commit suicide because I felt alone and it seemed that no one could understand what language I spoke emotionally. I recalled vividly from the past the two people that got murdered right in front of me and how I carried on like it was no big deal. I went to school and hung out like it was a regular occurrence but deep inside all I could think is how the departed no longer had to deal with silly little shit in life like I had to all the time. To me, death meant peace and I wasn't having a peaceful existence back in 05. I thought I was in love and ended up getting my heart broken a month after my Thanksgiving experience and a couple weeks into the new year I was also standing next to a friend that got shot. A funny thing happened after both my breakup and my guy getting hit... I had a unique energy that seemed to have come out of nowhere. It told me that I was just getting started in life and urged me at that time to live stronger. I never really wanted to commit suicide based on how much I wanted to get past a bad relationship and thrive, the real tell was how fast I ran when I saw and heard that gun popping off.

That's probably why I cried my eyes out and sobbed over the phone to the woman that would break me that Thanksgiving night. All I probably needed at that time was a good cry and a shoulder to help me get over the shit that life piles up at your door. And an example on how quickly I could lose everything (in that gun incident) even when I didn't have much to begin with at that time. It led me to a discovery:

I have faith in me.

I stopped believing in external things and started believing in myself. I have a deep respect for those that devote themselves to a particular ideology and truly stick to it but I believe now that we've created all of the things we hold dear to us just as much as they've created us. That attitude I took in late 05 - early 06 started to attract people and situations that would change, enhance and be a detriment to my life and my belief is that I live better now based on what has happened.

Sigh.

"The only thing that wins or causes love is personality. If you have distinctive personality, you will be loved whether you have physical beauty or not. Your personality may have flaws and not be entirely beautiful from an artistic point of view, but if you are an advancing soul, not only is somebody going to love you but in time to come everyone will love you. Love is the energy of life, and one who has more life in them attracts more love from others. Love motivates you to become a better person for those you love."

Djehuty Ma'at-Ra



There were some folk I attracted with what I wrote on my blog and publications locally with them never seeing an image of me. There were those that saw a snapshot of me on the internet or saw me at a poetry slam and just wanted a piece of me physically for no apparent reason. There were those that walked the path with me, got to know me and flat out rejected my personality and still tried to impose their will on me to ensure their own esteem only for me to turn and walk away... I never experienced that in meeting and getting to know my wife, and we've known each other for over 3 years now.

The difficulty I have in being married to her exists from things that happened in the past either on her side or mine. The actions of other people from the past still in some sorts has a profound effect on our defenses and at the start of our marriage I was dealing with how other cats treated my wife and how she dealt with me as a result. I opened, she froze, she opened, I closed. Wash rinse repeat. You can't have a relationship like that, so I listened more intently because our interaction and love for each other led us to marriage and it ain't as simple as just walking away.

I learned to listen again.
I came off the road to be there to listen more often.
She listens to me more than from day one.

We still have problems with belief, tradition and practice which is more a stumbling block for her than it is for me because I wasn't raised to have emotional attachments to things that were not designed for us. You can have a birthday party or wish a million people a Merry Christmas, just don't include me in it. I believe that every day is too special not to celebrate that particular day and Christmas... Well... I'm not Christian and should be respected as such. I don't impose my will on you and I hope (even though I'm outnumbered and there is a sense of so-called tradition on your side) you don't impose your will on me. The death blow in any relationship with you is when you attempt to slide shit in on someone when that it was never part of the original agreement.

So we communicate.

Sometimes it works, other times it doesn't and we learn to live with the results. I cannot see myself as someone married for a year, I see myself being married, taking things one day at a time as they come.

All I have is today. Yesterday is gone and will never return and I can only live for today. If I get tomorrow then well... I deserve to celebrate that when it comes. There are a lot of new things in my today, even though I've been in similar situations with other people in the past. In being married I want to experience things with my other half because we made things that way. We chose each other to share all of life's moments with because we both thought that we would make the perfect companion in helping ushering in all things new and old. It's a process that shouldn't be taken lightly or for granted.

There are times I wished I was still single.
There are times she probably wishes the same thing.

But the good times have outweighed the bad in enormous amounts and we do indeed enjoy each other, and that's what counts. The love of it all. The time spent. The new experiences that pile up and create what is to be a life spent with your partner. It's starting to pile up, the good stuff, that is and things are cool in the Ntimbanjayo household to the point where we're debating on consolidating offices and sharing space due to the baby's room eliminating the need for two offices...

Whatever, man.

It has been a long journey from back in the day.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Never Too Busy

I'm off hiatus as of this point and will have some long, drawn out reflective and self corrective stuff tomorrow. Today proves to be too busy.

And yes, I'll be talking bout' my marriage and thangs too.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

One Year Married

It'a about 11:30 pm here in Chicago and I just walked in the door from a day out with my wife and family.

Today is my one year anniversary and I still don't believe that she married my triflin' ass.

And moved here too.

Like Zed said... Life seems like one big cosmic joke.

But hey, I like to laugh just like the next guy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Trade I've Made

I wake up.

After my shower and I shave my mirror reflects my me.
He is older.

Slower.

I try to see the wise but my mishaps, mistakes and misnomers
hide any shade of knowledge born.
I frown and feel life's pain as it shoots thru my knees.

My hands no longer straighten out.
My pinky toes are now numb

everyday.

And I realize that I lean closer to said mirror because the great
old reflection is so out of focus.

My squint gives my face a father's curious look.


I wonder about my children.


I worry about grandkids because the world I made is too cynical.
I try to cry but the ducts no longer make the tears.
It feels like my heart is heavy but that's just a slower rhythm

Maybe the blood just doesn't pump enough oxygen to my brain
My thoughts mash with my hopes.
My dreams stay fuzzy, making it hard for me to remember them

I have no focus.

All I really want is to stay alive, but sometimes...
It might be better if I can rest.
I debate the permanency of when I'll sleep and the only thing that bothers me

Is the fact that my emotions have been invested

And it's a recession

And I've been told to wait it out because...
Change gon' come.
But how long will I have to wait?
It's starting to hurt too much to be patient to trade

But I do.

Not because I'll be able to climb to the mountaintop.
Not because I will see my grandchildren get free.
Not because I'll have that spot on the porch by her.

Nope...

I'm waiting because I'll grow a year older.

With her.



written on the fly with love and wonderment of what we have 12~23~2008

Hassan Olumoroti Ntimbanjayo - Sho Nuff, Ya Dig?




Enjoy your birthday, Yobo.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Solstace Slavery and Supression

I just have a few questions:

If it wasn't created, designed or crafted for us why are we so knee deep in it?

Okay, that was really one question.


With all of the lineage, family history and DNA searches, all of the common sense issues still not addressed in our own communities and the diaspora as well as leverage not in our favor, we seem to mindlessly fade into oblivion with our identity by actively participating and promoting something not made by God's hands this time of year.

I pray for responsibility and self realization in the next week and a half.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Day



Wish me with safe driving through the snow and bad traffic today. I wish everyone caught up in this mess the same. I'm sure most of you know that I hopped out of the truck some time ago and have been doing my own thing as a self employed cat for a minute now. Today is one of those days where I could just stay home (and not make any money), but I must be stronger than that.

I gotta get out in the foot of snowfall and trudge through the bad traffic because if I don't, someone else will, so for everyone else... Enjoy your snow day. This ain't like driving a tractor-trailer by any means.

Be careful and be safe playing in the snow.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Who Is Bigger Thomas And Why Does He Run Amok In Our Community?

Just because I haven't been blogging on the regular doesn't mean that I haven't been thinking about things enough to say something.

I always have something to say. I care not if you agree or disagree for that matter, I just care if you've given things a little thought and really took the time to think things through which brings me to my thoughts over this past weekend:

I was listening to Joe Madison last week and a listener called in and blamed our yet to be sworn in, brand new lord and personal savior Barack Hussein Obama for all of the ills in society and for the current state of affairs in the hood and the plight of the black man. He called his highness an 'Uncle Tom'.

That's a lot for a 'Tom' to be responsible for during a presidential transition, huh?

Anyhoo, Joe responded to the caller by asking him if he knew who or what an 'Uncle Tom' is. The caller had no other words. It seems in my humble opinion that all the words this older gentleman had were the ones he had prepared for the phone call because he flowed when it was his turn to speak on a nationally syndicated radio program to about eight million listeners over XM, Sirius and terrestrial radio but stammered when it came to expressing the motivation of his opinion.

And then...

Other folk began calling Obama an 'Uncle Tom' and an elitist.

He hasn't even gained a chance of time to implement programs and policy enough to get a shoe thrown at his ass for seven and a half years of warmongering upon a surprise visit to the place he fucked up yet.

Shame.

The bigger shame is (and no pun intended) the reason people think this way and cannot form enough opinion, nevertheless an idea that could have given leverage to our people over the years causing just a small bit of freedom and equality earlier in our history are the differences between 'Uncle Tom' and 'Bigger Thomas'.

Look that up.

We don't know exactly who or what an 'Uncle Tom' is. Most of us have no earthly idea who 'Bigger Thomas' is either. Even though there have been literally millions of Bigger Thomases that have lived with us, among us and around us, we have defended the thought process, ways, beliefs and actions of this thug nigger (and I meant that in the most dictionary sense I can in calling folks names) because one, we're scare easily and two, we never snitch on our own. I never knew that most of us represent ourselves as Bigger anyway, but we do and ignorantly so.

Plus, Bigger has hooked us up a time or two monetarily, product wise, sexually and in other ways. It seems that we love Bigger Thomas even though he has destroyed our community, raped our women and killed our men and we use the name of a resilient character to describe folks that we have no agreement with in saying 'Uncle Tom' when it was him that did not talk (or snitch for that matter) on the Bigger Thomases of his day while the other 'Biggers' like Sambo tricked off for so-called freedoms. Tom long suffered for that, didn't he?

And you wonder why with over two million US prisoners half of them are black?
And even though the projects have been torn down in most American cities the hood mentality still is relevant and exists.

We preach game, but have not taken the time to learn what exactly game is here in the United States. Other cultures have come over and set up shop and have prospered as a people and we still exist in finger pointing mode after slavery was abolished.

We never took the time to learn the difference between who Bigger Thomas is and what Uncle Tom meant to us and for that we suffer. We're still pointing fingers and that diminishes our leverage amongst each other.

Imagine what other folks think? Yes, that matters in the grand scheme of the affairs we need to be solvent.

It's easy to say no to us because of inner turmoil within a people and the lack of participation of other cultures (except for what some can sell due to our influence) because they don't want turmoil involved in their shit. Racism did not disappear on November 4th.

Self hatred and a lack of understanding who we are didn't go away either.

So who and what is an 'Uncle Tom' in today's culture and why do we defend Bigger Thomas the way we do?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Boring And Normal

I never considered it a hiatus.

I damn sure wasn't on vacation.

I've been working, and it feels good to be this kind of busy.

I'm also very skeptical of certain things that have been going on in my life. Nothing political or ultra personal, I've been operating totally on my own dime (as in I hopped out of the truck, stopped driving and am skrait up self employed actually making my own hours and making actual money... Imagine that!) and things are successful, normal and steady.

I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, that's all.

Things can't go too good for me for much longer and so I await the epic fail. What ever it is and whenever it happens, I am ready.

I have not been inspired to blog.

Nothing to talk about, really. With ignorance and complacency at an all time high and all faith in everything being rerouted to our new lord and personal savior Barack Hussein Obama, there obviously isn't a whole lot to be worried about.

So I do my thing come home and chill. I get that option now that I control what I do, when and for how much... And I am home every night. I'm just a little miffed on why I didn't choose this years ago. I mean damn...

I feel like I wasted the last three years of my life, minus getting married and the escapades with my other half.

Life is boring and normal.

I'm starting to like boring and normal. I just hate that I just got here now.