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, June 29, 2010

Fear And Loathing Of My Footprint And Reflection

A while ago, I curtailed my frequent blogging in order to have the time (since I had more of it) to spend with family and friends and to please certain folks that said that I lived way too much in this virtual world than in the real one. I also chose to shut the hell up about political things because early on (like when I went to work on the Obama campaign in 08'... That early), I saw a pattern.

I didn't predict anything. I didn't go out and warn anyone. I made snide comments to my wife and close friends about it and for the most part, they agreed because they saw some things too. Things changed. It was more visual and industrialized. It began to manifest itself in legal circles and in the water cooler conversations of folk that had kept long quiet over other things... They always had questions and opinions, so did it really change? The questions were simple:

  • questions about my hair (?)
  • religious beliefs
  • what I did in the privacy of my home
  • what I read and listened to
  • what my influences were
  • about my patriotism
  • where my parents and their parents came from
Stuff like that. Questions based out of fear... Fear of the unknown. The moment a certain event happened in the scant first days of November of 2008, that fear lead folks to realize a permanent change in the look of the structure of history which could lead to (in their minds) catastrophic levels of failure and destruction based on who now held the reigns. All of this was based on what someone looked like. It no longer mattered, even though the majority of folks that looked, spoke and acted like this one person had a major hand in building, legislating, raising of the children and fighting for the spot where you read this. The cubicle, your sofa, your bed, laptop and wireless internet included. But because some folks didn't know...

I'm sure somewhere down the line in my last 25 years or so of adult life there was an invitation to my book club meeting. Or barbeque. Or baby shower (I've hosted 3 at my spot). Or even bidwhist and fish fry night. I invited a lot of folk only to have a chosen few actually take me up on the offer and come through the crib. I'm also sure over the last three to four hundred years when were were having sex, secretly baring each other's children and living like families, lusting after each other totally taking advantage of and disavowing all of the laws taboo in those gray areas of the red and blue states from then to now by participation, you've seen how we were livin'.

Even though I know that probably wouldn't have mattered in your eyes seeing that a lot of times when it came down to striking the record, they were firmly shut. Names, places and deeds were never recorded.

I'm still paying on (and have defaulted on 2) student loans that I used to educate myself. A lot of folks I personally know are either somewhat or very heavily educated as well. I've bought and sold a piece of real estate, the majority of folk I frequent own and have owned property as well. I'm not a churchgoer, but dammit, if I ain't invited to Sunday service (as well as holiday food fests) by every sibling, cousin, co-worker and neighbor. I am also a veteran of the United States Armed Forces, and I spend maybe a quarter of my time with the men and women like myself who have served. I know a lot of blood relatives as well as folk that are no relation to me that have folk laying in the ground because they chose to fight to uphold the freedoms of this land. Looking a lot like me.

Yet I am still marginalized.
Yet I am undervalued.
Yet I remain underestimated.
My brown cousins to the south are seen as 'mostly drug mules'

How am I supposed to take the passing of one on the longest sitting senators in our country's history when I know, but can't raise holy hell about his Civil Rights Bill filibuster when a true fucking idiot with a black board ridicules and calls himself correcting the words, intent and purpose of Martin Luther King Jr.?

When in confirmation hearings just yesterday, the recently departed senator's peers questioned, belittled and made political farce out of Justice Thurgood Marshall's intent, interpretation of law and impartial decisions?

You see, what had happened was... Racism never left. It never died. It was always taught and carried forward. It manifested itself in the dangling carrot of TV mini-series and open slots for shows in my youth and teen years of the 70s and 80s. It became the bottom, open bid space for negroes and boriqua who had the courage to step forward and offer a service over the years. It is the token spots on the board, the magical million dollar negro who scores touchdowns or could dunk a basketball that saved many corporate structures and created brand new ones, industries perhaps because that one person put asses in the seats.

We are the bronze spectacle. We have become equivalent to all three rings in the damned circus. The wonderment of what powers us and the curiosity on how and if we could do it again is still very present, as if the billions of autopsies from hung, beaten and shot descendants of the diaspora had not given enough answers.

And now my peers feed into the superhyperniggerisms because that rent is due. Gotta get your hair and nails done. Gotta have the latest must-haves sent down on that last memo from corporate... And then I chuckle when the clueless cats plead for peace on the newspaper and internet comment sections, wondering why we still isolate ourselves and have the mitigated gall to want to brand our own because that propels racism.

Simple: If Hollywood, corporate America and the like actually included brown folks back in the day... If history, art and science didn't shun the native peoples and immigrants from the diaspora and then teach it as if our ancestors had nothing to do with the advancement of anything... If a plaque honoring the slaves and free men (of all nationalities, because there were more than African descended slaves) who built the current capital of our great nation was placed in 1910 instead of 2010... If history, religion and legend were taught without an ounce of arrogance...

There would be no need for my Twitter timeline to still be scattered with bullshit observations of the BET Awards.

But I overstand. With the spending power ranked 11th in the world and with $2.3 billion spent on commercial advertising (just on the major networks and terrestrial radio), I get it that it is up to us to finance the exact systems that suppress us and deny us. And to think, most of em' still don't know who we are.

Wait... Does that mean that we're the scared ones?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hassan's Pre Pride Weekend 'Coming Out' Announcement

At one point, my best friend told me that I was in a 'rut'.

Funny thing though, I never actually feel like I'm ever in 'ruts' or ends up stuck in something. Everyone is entitled to a dry spell of sorts. I think this most recent episode with me is that it was self imposed.

Sometime last year, I decided that I wasn't going to get all poly-sci with y'all anymore. I figured that there was much more for me to blog about as some random Af-American cat trying to make it do what it do in America.  I mean, I got married, took myself off the road and successfully started a business. I figured that there would be TONS to talk about here in this forum.

I was wrong on a few points. I'll explain in a minute.

One of the things that kind of drove me away from blogging on the regular is that some of us through blogging picked up the notion that because we were blogging and talking about certain stuff ad-nauseum that we were experts in the matter of, well... Whatever we were blogging about. So not true. I started to find a bunch of folk in newspapers, online forums and of course on facebook and twitter dropping more so-called knowledge than Morpheus on Neo. Their blogs themselves became almost unreadable. I think what happened when there was a more honest, open account of Brown Bloggers blogging back in the day (circa 2003-2004) is that no one politicized simple opinion.

Then Barack Obama ran for the office of president.

Since then, so-called pundits, opinion makers, simple bloggers and talking heads unleashed a sustainable wave of hate, dislike, lies, slander, racism and just plain untruths. Some made money by loading up affiliate marketing API on their sites, others sold ad space and some other took to forums like BlogTalkRadio to further get their points across and cash in because some folk on both sides of the fence started making money uttering and typing bullshit.

I still wanted to be the self-centered bastard that only wanted to talk about my flaws and whatever satellites floated around the self-made planet that was Hassan. To me that became unreadable and I truly understand. Once I settled down and got off the road, there was no more scandal and heartbreak (whatever that means) that I could involve myself in. Even though there was one person angrily blogging about me (and rightfully so due to my actions) and two others through facebook and such spreading rumors and gossiping about my marriage through facebook status updates (one is actually a fb friend... friends close, enemies closer, right?), the popularity that was once this blog waned (thank the lord) because I would not give into politics, bullshit, gossip and hearsay.

There was even a point mere months ago in 2009 where I was angry with a close friend and my wife and I cryptically blogged my angry thoughts to them and it was misinterpreted by my former, angry blogging friend. I shrugged my shoulders and kept it moving by not blogging because I just didn't have the energies in engaging in an online battle. Of words. What was done is done and there is no going back to fix broken things once they were left in that manner. Time slips away and I felt that walking away from unnecessary conflict was the right thing to do. I never looked back even if hindsight told me that I should have. I normally stick with my decisions albeit difficult sometimes.

So in the last year or so where I've totally gotten of the socio-political blogging bandwagon a lot of things have happened. Racism is alive and well and is a focal point of all things politics because of the election of our commander in chief. Race politics is also front and center in most of the rules making committees because certain folk feel outnumbered and afraid and want the way they did things back in play. I guess the systematic outnumbering of the native peoples from new settlers from Europe and the like becomes meaningless in the history of how the continent becomes...

We learn from history.

I never wanted to repeat or regurgitate what so many others have and are doing with their blog platform. I also didn't want to play into certain folks rumor reports with me putting what I would normally think a blog would be used for: My many disagreements with my wife, my life philosophies as taught by history and my elders, life plans for this black man and his family and how I am to execute them in the midst of the over politicization of every damn thing in early 21st century America. Why? because it would be me putting my business in the street for the sake of getting folks to read it.

I never want or wanted to one-up anyone. Not my goal or purpose, but it seems that for the most part, a lot of folks blogging plays into some sort of life's game where the only point to post anything is to compete against someone who's goal is to outpace you. Well, I know that life is no game. I also know that for the most part, a lot of folk of color aren't fully equipped to play the game because we're short of vital game chips needed to place a proper wager. Some of us fall short of overstanding the intricate, finite rules of playing the game because they were never issued a handbook. Bootleg copies do not count because there's always something missing when you half ass things.

I am not here to compete with you. I also have no desire to overstate gain, loss, disease, sickness and the hills and valleys of my relationship. This here is my forum to speak on shit I know. I also sometimes need to express frustration, anger and to ask folk very common to me how they do what they do so I can gain better understanding on how to do mine. Some of us have completely cooned the fuck out just to gain attention from cubicle dwelling gawkers that will contribute nothing more to their lives (or yours) than a giggle, hand clap or even a junk mail e-forward because they were entertained and not edified. I never wanted to come off as shucking or jiving. I think by not blogging, I managed to remain dignified.

But I also missed blogging and connecting with the very folk I used to build with, so... I guess in a sense I can say that I feel comfortable with me blogging here without emotional or situational censorship. What does that mean in English? That I might visit and post to my own blog more often.

Am I hoping for a ton of traffic? Nope. I ain't selling nothin'. I can only count on one hand the bloggers I respect and read that have transformed their love of writing and being introspective in sharing what happens on the other side of their monitor as real and true. The rest of them... Well, remember when folks got all up in MC Hammer's grill for 'selling out' to PepsiCo? Well:


It's funny how money changes situations
Miscommunication leads to complication
My emancipation don't fit your equation
I was on the humble, you - on every station
Some wan' play young Lauryn like she dumb
But remember not a game new under the sun
Everything you did has already been done
I know all the tricks from Bricks to Kingston
My ting done made your kingdom wan' run
Now understand L. Boogie non violent
But if a thing test me, run for mi gun
Can't take a threat to mi newborn son
L's been this way since creation
A groupie call, you fall from temptation
Now you wanna bawl over separation
Tarnish my image in your conversation
Who you gon' scrimmage, like you the champion
 

You might win some but you just lost one...

L Boogie - Lost Ones

Yeah, I'm coming out... Out of my so-called 'rut' and back onto my blog typing whatever the hell I want to write..

Because I can.

I do like how I avoided that one urban bloggers conference appearance because I lacked regular updates and heavy op-ed styled political material... Some of us have better things to do.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Muddy Monday

Sup y'all.

I am all over the place right now. I can't believe that once I gave into having a couple of drinks yesterday (only 2, I mean, I was coerced!) with my stepdad, I am hung the hell over.

He's on vacation all week and my mother is somewhere in Florida with my sibs and their kids. I'm supposed to be house sitting for my brother between work and errands and hanging out with my stepdad and stuff.

Um, okay.

I shouldn't have had that drink. That tiny amount has me sluggish and dragging ass today.

I'm going to lunch.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Copy And Paste Moment: Reading Random Newspapers At 3 AM

Secure the border first, then let's talk immigration reform...

Here is another way to consider the problem: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a leader in the anti-immigration movement and acclaimed as America's toughest sheriff, cannot secure his own jails. Every year, despite armed guards, electronic locks and video monitors, inmates smuggle drugs in from the outside and sometimes even escape.

No one would blame Arpaio. All penal institutions, regardless of security measures, have breaches. Yet imagine if America adopted a position that no new laws could be passed regarding prison reform "until the nation's jails are secure."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

NEW MUSIC!!! - DEEP WATER HORIZON - LISTEN NOW!!!

I am alive and well, y'all!

I'm just waiting by the radio with my cassette deck on play and record for the new 2pac joint to come on with him rapping about the BP oil spill.


Any minute now.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Random Thoughts

I haven't really had the urge to blog.

Nothing is wrong, I have no block... I just haven't had the urge or motivation. I do have a bunch or random thoughts running thru my head that i feel the need to type.

Whatever.

I have had some difficulty with my kidneys as of late but it seems like I'll make it to the other side somehow, some time in the future. I'm continuing my learning process and application of all of the natural processes of things. Adapting a vegan diet living in the midst of a processed food society seems to be a great way to combat the disease and sickness caused by the over consumption of it.

Funny how whenever someone says ANYTHING about Israel... Helen Thomas does have the right... Wait. Does she? What exactly did she say again that has the world coming down on her like this?

Funny how certain folk know EVERYTHING about folk like the president... Hell even Oprah, Lil Wayne or even Elvis but know little about Allah, Buddha, Confucius, Muhammad, Jesus and so on...

Funny how when folks disagree with you on something, or you say anything that just doesn't agree with them, THEY get all emotional and accuse you of over emotion... What the fcuk?

When did Barack Obama gain the power to plug up a hole dug by a multi-billion dollar corporation to drudge oil out of and when did everyone get so angry about his lack of knowledge about drudging oil via governmental response?

sidenote: it seems that the government had video and on the scene reports about oil leakage days before any explosion and urged BP to post this info to the publi... yadda yadda yadda. So whose angry over the response again?

Did y'all hear about the announcement from 'The Black Church' addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the community by opening its doors wider to greater numbers of people in an new and extended effort to support the community and find a cure... 30 plus years after running folk up out of the church and shunning/supressing faithful, churchgoing gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual members?

Really? Seriously?

When it was probably churchgoing, tithe paying duty enabled HETERO members of the church that participated in the spread and downward spiral of HIV and AIDS if you wanna get all historical and point fingers and thangs. Them folk didn't get singled out. HIV and AIDS is and always has been a heterosexual problem more than anything else. So... 'The doors of the church are open!'

Getthefuckouttahere!

I am very much convinced that a lot of folk all degreed and titled up running thangs around here are totally fucking clueless. We're getting dumber by the minute and actually have the nerve to tout braggadocio/swagger about it at that.

Oh yeah... Drill Baby Drill. How's that drilly oily thingee working for ya'? BP, Exxon/Mobile and Shell are really effing up the etoufee jones I got, seeing as I'll be in N'awlins in a couple of weeks or so. Have you any idea what raw crude smells like?

Who in the hell cares WHERE LeBron James plays? Back during the Jordan era, my girlfriend had to win the office client entertainment tickets in order for us to get up in to see a Bulls game. It just so happened to be game 71 in the Championship 72 win season against the Pistons. Boring shit. NO ONE could get a damn ticket. 99.999% of the general public's viewing of MJ, Pippen, Rodman and company was done by watching the idiot box. Same shit, different era if the King decides to make Chicago his new playing home.

Whatever man.


Celtics in six - Blackhawks also... In six.