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


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pondering My Parental's Petulance

So I talked to my dad yesterday evening. He's not doing as well I expected. He keeps showing up at the emergency room with various ails and I know that this is his way of asking for someone on his medical staff to do something.

His heart rate is very low and they've suggested a pacemaker. Thing is, he's on so much stuff chemically that they probably can't do anything at this moment if they wanted to. He's pushing for the pacemaker as well because he knows (and feels) that the drugs are dragging him down, making him lethargic. Pops is an active guy. Hell, he's only 61. He also mentioned a few things that have the holistic healer in me angry as hell because he's still repping cheeseburgers as a way of life.

So we're knee deep in conversation and I'm quizzing him on his green leaf and water intake to which he answers 'Well I need to lose some of this weight and do like you said and get on my greens because I'm having a hard time moving around, you know?' Yeah, I know. The motivation to get off of dairy and red meat is there, and it looks good in theory, but let me at least finish this cheeseburger my wife made me and we'll discuss further after dinner. Honey, pass the milk.

I love my Pops, but...

Every time I think about or talk to both sets of my parents, I keep seeing the Tony Todd Coroner character from the Final Destination  series:

Dammit! He's talking to me and I know he's right too.

So what about this whole 'calling' thing I mentioned the other day?

Well, I feel that I need to use myself as the example in gaining success and in getting healthy enough to want to sit down with folk face to face and possibly influence them with my story. Nothing more or less than that, no dogma involved, no hard pitch sales job on either a product or a service. I just want to show people that one can heal from various ills whether they be physical, mental or spiritual, and where there is no real formula developed that's what I want to show... That there is no formula!

Now I am back in student mode with an accredited healing institute paring what I've already learned and experienced academically and living  thirteen years with diabetes/chronic kidney disease with what I'm learning now about holistic healing and its applied practices, and currently I can't tell you nothing but... I'm experiencing better results clinically by letting go of tradition that I ever have with the various teams of doctors and clinicians I've assembled over the years. And it goes beyond prescription medicine and a pill bottle discipline.

I just feel that if as long as I use myself as the example that my family and friends will probably take a bit of what I'm doing and will follow suit. I have a long way to go before I complete the educational and practical part of becoming a Holistic Health Practitioner, but just the practice on myself is enough to possibly motivate my parentals to want to emulate what I do and want to live.

Talking to my Pops the other night brought me down a bit. I was watching a webcast of Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue rip a venue I frequent a lot in NOLA called Tipitina's to shreds in anticipation of the new album he just dropped yesterday.
click the link, go get that

I could hear the defeat in his voice.

There was a sense of give in my mother's voice when I spoke to her last week as well. I think that they feel as if they aren't working or taking care of kids or grand kids that they have no worth and there is nothing further to do. like they have served their primary function and purpose.

In America we are culturally conditioned to believe that all things white are superior and all things black are inferior. And the manifestation of that cultural conditioning is that African Americans are undervalued, underestimated, and marginalized

My parents and their spouses have lived their lives in service to their children, their extended families and the community in service via employment, and have lived their lives thinking that there was nothing more to life other than being these things to these people. And even though my father has 26 plus years on the job and my mother has over 20 on hers, they feel as if there is no reward or additional meanings for life beyond their kids getting grown and moving out of the house and them reaching the age of retirement.

And because they are so bound to tradition, religion and the forced adaptation and integration to society at society's level and not their own...

There is no motivation to move off of fast food, traditional soul food dishes that rob them of their vitality and to keep the tune in the pocket when it comes to travel, exercise and meaningful purpose in being an elder in society. I want to help them unlearn this bad practice and let them know that there is so much more to life and living in America for them than to just just give up, wilt away and die.

It seems that society hasn't much need for African American elders. Hell, the Tea Party debates the other proved that certain folk would just let a 30 year old working man with no insurance just die if he didn't have coverage.

I may be too late. For them.

But I'll die trying. For them.

For you, dear reader... I'll continue to try to live the example and show you as well.
Now my shit ain't perfect. I will fall and fall off the wagon. I will get angry and probably head out for a three piece dark with mild sauce and fries on the side until I realize halfway to the Popeye's that it makes my legs go numb and tingle and that my lower back and kidneys will ache for damn near twelve hours and I'll be blind for four. As a matter of fact, my shit smells remarkably like...


But I am willing to live and show you my shit. Not literally. I'm talking about my actions (and inaction for that matter). Thank God there is no such thing as smellivision.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Choosing To Be Chosen

I'm not mad.

Nope, I am not angry.

"Knowledge is power, and knowledge can be the difference between life or death... You should know the truth and the truth shall set you free."

Intro - 'Who's Going Take The Weight' GangStarr

I am indifferent though. I thought I'd be long dead before folk got to the point where decisions were made for them and they would willingly accept it. I'm trying to ignore this, but the disease has seem to have spread to the family that keeps me at arm's distance and the 2 and a half people in my very limited inner circle.

I love y'all, but...

Speaking of the folk I hold close and dear, the subject matter of many a conversation about 'The Choice You Must Make In Maturity' has been had with litttle or no response on us actually making a choice. Aside from trying to get myself back on track physically, I've been strategizing and optimizing  (hee Lee! *waiving*) on said choice fn either 'giving in' to my calling or continuing the chase of individual glory and its endless reward of finance and unbelievable happiness upon reaching the top of the mountain. Of course that's after stepping on and over folk using friendships, relationships and associations to get there.

Lord knows I have failed in the aspect of the latter.

You can't be sleepin'
cuz things are gettin' crazy
You better stop being lazy
There's many people frontin'
And many brothers droppin'
All because of dumb things, let me tell you somethin'
I've been through so much that I'm such
a maniac, but I still act out of faith

See, I've tried to latch onto it, be employed and employ it... Shit, I've tried to marry it, contract it out, direct market that ish and went on expeditions digging for it.

Fools gold.

All that time, my calling was in a holding pattern, circling around me just waiting until I exhausted all of the possibilities in chasing things that wasn't there.

I'm comfortable. I'm fine with the way things are. I don't have a want for much these days. I also know exactly what happens to those in the calm of  tumultuous storms who chose to not board up and evacuate while watching the weather channel...

It took these past months for me to accept the fact that I might have a serious handicap in the coming future. After I thought on it, I figure that I need to accomplish at least one thing on my bucket list while I still have all my faculties, so I started a fast. Weeks and various two pound containers of wheat grass powder and fresh juices later, I realized that I was healing faster than the doctors' original forecast.

Not that I had much faith in the general medical doctors. Understood was that these cats are trained on general medicine and the implementation of chemicals to balance sickness and wellness. I trusted the word of my neurosurgeon and neurologist, having been inside my head and interpreting the various scans and things.

I needed someone to defend my position
Decisions I made, cuz now it's time to get paid
And ladies, these rhymes are like the keys to a dope car
Maybe a Lexus or a Jaguar
Still, all of that is just material
So won't you dig the scenario
And just imagine if each one is teachin' one
We'll come together so that we become
A strong force, then we can stay on course
Find your direction through introspection
And for my people out there I got a question
Can we be the sole controllers of our fate?
Now who's gonna take the weight?

After dropping over forty pounds of useless fat, I figured that I would walk the walk that I promised my dearly departed friend that I'd do. I was in the process of saving myself by getting off of all of the drugs they had me on months after initially injuring myself. That shit was making me sicker and more dependent on them and others for me to live.

I kicked the drugs, went out and found a job here in Green Country and decided that when I reached maximum medical improvement, I would go where I am both liked and needed most and set up shop, using myself as an example of healing by nature of resistance to societal influence.

In that time, i lost a few friends along with the weight and chemical influence along the way.

I also blogged, texted, tweeted and facebooked myself through a very imbalanced stupor, meaning that I've been faking the funk to those I communicated with from about January to about May, speaking as if I was okay and was in my right mind.

I probably wasn't.

The weight of the world is heavy on my mind
So as my feelings unwind I find
That some try to be down just cuz it's trendy
Others fall victim to envy
But I'll take the road less travelled
So I can see all my hopes and my dreams unravel

1990 - Keith Elam Album: Step In The Arena - Chrysalis/EMI Records

I'm very sober now, The haze has dissipated and I know that I've been guided to make my choice in 'giving in' to my calling. That was easy. Placing all of the moving parts together and liking who likes me will be a bit harder seeing as I have to place myself into an undone, living puzzle.

And no, I have not chosen to evangelize...

Although I'd be very financially stable and have an army on hand to do my bidding...

Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Emotional, Clingy Finger Pointing People

I was going to compose some long, drawn out diatribe on what I think the President should say/do tonight but...

I was supposed to post this yesterday, but I wanted to see the Republican debate.

I watched that shit, and I must say love him or hate him, if any of these guys end up with the Republican nomination, Obama should win the general election by a mathematically embarrassing landslide.

I noticed something about liberal-minded folks these days: These MFers are STILL celebrating the Obama victory from November of 2008. Folks in 2011 still speak like Jesse Jackson was looking election night in Grant Park but also walk around with selective memory.

I shouldn't have to get into it, but if you don't know of the damn near 300+ accomplishments of the Obama Administration but know all sorts of other sordid details about basketball wives, celebrity marriages, water cooler gossip and random sports fact, shame on your low-information having ass! Even if you don't agree with this man's politics, you should know what him and his administration has done, so to turn on one of the few mature adults in the room is beyond my understanding at this point.

Or maybe it isn't.

I get it. I really do. America was already falling further into the depths of hell which probably caused you libs to vote for Obama just to get out of the Bush Administration. Y'all wanted to make history and really thought that by electing this particular harmless negro that somehow, magically HE could make everything better by osmosis.

You mother fuckers forgot that the banks, wall street and other major players in the free markets were deregulated and let loose to run amok, and you let them take all of your money and fuck your 401k up.

You also let them tell that Muslim lie to your face a decade ago, so you mindlessly chanted USA, took your shoes off and threw away your 3oz liquid containers at the airport and let these bastids listen in on your phone calls.

You also fell for the jumbo mortgage bullshit and actually applied and was given 20 and 30 year mortgages on houses that should have sold for less than $250k and then you got laid off because demand dwindled because other fuckers got laid off too and no one could buy shit on the open market... And plus your savings went bye bye with the fall of the capital markets.

These things could not have just magically ended with Obama taking office in 2009, and they certainly did not. One man and his administration cannot dictate control over the free markets, and because of our greed, ignorance, warmongering and deregulation of many things, we're all suffering the consequences.

Add that to the emotional connection most liberal minded folk have with Obama and mix in talking points, sound bytes from cable news and unchecked, irrational overexpectations from his base and you get folk angry that the president hasn't flipped a table on the GOP, thus not giving them the emotional satisfaction they demand from a gentleman who is continuously marginalized, undervalued and underestimated by his opposition.

Its not enough that his opposition obstructs his legislative proposals at every turn. It's not enough that he isn't respected and most folk that oppose him are as racist as they are nationalist, needing his marginalization to be constant and ongoing because they just refuse to believe a dark-skinned man of African descent is the Commander-In-Chief and THEIR leader of the free world.

I'm only in my 40s, but I remember when voters were the best constituents, picking up signs, making phone calls, protesting and boycotting when they had to.

Dumping your unfettered emotions on the President is cowardice.

I hope he drops Congress like Harry Truman tonight and unveil a massive works program upwards of $700 billion, call folks out by name and dare them to say no in the same cool, calm manner that he always seems to have when he's doing his thing.

And when those job applications hit the streets (because something will get approved by Congress), I hope you get off of your critical asses and put some work in and pay your fair share.

I left my mother's house at 17 with the money I saved up from my first job at a car wash when I was 13. I joined the Army and kept moving forward. I've had setbacks and I fell (and failed) more than a handful of times, but I never blamed my failures or shortcomings on anyone else but myself.

There's a chance he won't get re-elected next year.

You'll miss his ass then. Mark my words.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Where In The World Is Hassan San Diego?

What the hell have I been doing?

Recovering, thank you for asking.

I guess I gotta fill you in, huh? Wrote a blogpost about it, like to hear it, here it go:

On Jan 8 I fell on my head. I didn't fall and hit my head, I actually fell on my head causing me to have a subdural hematoma and brain swelling. I was affected to the point of motor skill failure and vision loss. I still can't properly see. Breaking blood vessels in the back of my eyes isn't how I wanted to address my vision problem while going through the motions of having diabetic retinopathy. Such as life.

So I shed myself of Chicago and relocated to slow-moving, boring-ass Oklahoma. I wanted to rehab at the Muskogee, OK VA Hospital because traffic (in all aspects) is slower. Contrary to what a friend or two accuse me of, I am here in Oklahoma to recover from my injuries and rehab quietly. That I have done. I am not quite to the point where my medical staff will rubber stamp me MMI (maximum medical improvement), but I am very damn close. That means that I have already packed my bags and am in transition to be in transition. Again.

Now I couldn't live off of worker's comp because I depleted my savings in coming here and setting up shop, so fortunately, I fell into a job as a fleet manager for a large trucking company. Things were comfy and they accommodated my disabilities by having me work extended operations overnight (less traffic but busy all the same) until a capital management firm bought the company two months ago. I never planned on making a career there but I did see writings on the wall. Before I could jump ship, they provided me with a life boat.

I now sit in Tulsa with partially packed suitcases a mere visit away from a closed head injury specialist and a team of eye surgeons who can green light me to leave and go on with my life. It has been an odd eight months. I've counted the days... Had to. I injured myself in the same moments on the same day that Rep Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), her staff and a few constituents were shot. I remember coming out of ICU seeing the coverage hazily on TV. I've been rooting for her and the others ever since.

Your problems are nothing compared to someone elses'. Don't forget that.

I know this, so I worked my way through things to this point. I still need a lot of work done to make things right with my body, some of that will never get done, so I have to find new ways to work with what I have right now. The one thing I battle with the most is balance and living with limitations in my eyesight. I've lost 27% of my eyesight and I have adopted a few new tools to help me get around and do my thing. I am not legally blind. Yet. I am hoping that there are things that I can stick to holistically in the time that The Creator gives me on this plane that will help me stay above the sighted Mendoza Line.

It took a while for me to get here (the blog). All I want to do now is get back to as much regular as humanly possible because I still have a voice. I cannot remain quiet in these times where it seems that our youngest and brightest remain silent due to dumbfoundedness, our elders have been lavishly muted by corporate interests and the agents spout off lies and inaccuracies in the name of the forsaken just to keep the meek from inheriting the earth.

God gave me a big head because he knew by the time they got to me, there would be no life preservers left to hand out...

And so I float.

Someone special continuously tells me: Head up, heart open.

I have no choice.

Keepin' your head above water, 
               Making a wave when you can. 

Temporary lay offs. 
Good Times. 
Easy credit rip offs. 
Good Times. 
Scratchin' and surviving. 
Good Times. 
Hangin in a chow line Good Times. 
Ain't we lucky we got 'em 
Good Times.

Today, my condition. Tomorrow, pre-speech coverage and what folk want to hear.