Sunday, June 21, 2009

City vs Suburbs: The Great Debate

This is a topic that has been on my mind for quite some time, since ive created this blog it seems more than appropriate for it to be addressed. The two environments are polar opposites, hell look at the photographs. Most of my friends and I are more familiar with the suburban scene, the type of areas where someone walking along the street immediately steals your attention as your drive by. The long streets with the original and at times comical names, that go on for the better part of a mile without the interruption of a stop sign or traffic light. Its likely you'll find a pool in the backyard, a basketball hoop in the driveway and the occasional misleading cul de sack . Homes come equip with lots of living space, everyone within the household has an adequate amount of it to themselves. Crime is typically not a problem, the suburbs are a great place to raise a family and enjoy life. I planned to choose the suburbs as the place i wanted to start a family and raise my child. Until recently ive been working towards this goal while spending a lot of time downtown. Doing so has revealed to me that the suburbs lack an element paramount to any environment. Personality. As you drive down the long street/road/avenue/blvd/court or circle with the comical name variation's absence is apparent. An increasing amount of open uninhabited space left in suburbia is being replaced with neighborhoods composed of identical homes that simply vary in color.
Weed's Intro portrays its perfectly:

Its a little exaggerated but the point is conveyed intelligently.

The same independence that accompany suburbs, the fact that everyone has everything they need within their home & makes it unnecessary to leave is what fuels the tediousness. Suburban residents are for the most part on the same schedule, therefore its unnecessary for businesses & other entertaining establishments to be open after a certain hour, meaning life has left those long oddly named streets around 10pm. Suburbs are designed for families, cities are designed to create revenue. Cities are dynamic epicenters of creativity. From the architectural diversity to the population, cities are uniquely beautiful if you have the eyes to see it. Theyre full of lively attractions, museums, theaters, bars, clubs, concerts. Theyre composed solely of infrastructure and entertainment. The population is more diverse because it has to be. Every age & ethnic group meshes with a city like interlocking fingers. People are accepting of more progressive ideals because theyre more evident. What we see in news good or bad typically happen in cities so the people are more in touch with current events and the advocates of both sides are apparent in the population. Its hard to feel separated from a story about the mayoral race when one candidate is purposing a 20% tax increase you'll be paying. Cities are filled with both ends of the socio-economic spectrum. Its not uncommon to see a homeless person walk by a building that houses $3000/month apartments or asleep behind the four seasons hotel. Its hard to ignore a juxtaposition as powerful as this. It humbles you, it reminds you people are succeeding, but some, hell most, aren't. You know crime exists, and not to flash large amounts of money on the streets, because most arent. It fills you with appreciation for your possessions. And the fashion is such a spectacle, you have different people of different ages and races in one place. You'll see a stock broker in a prada suit walk past a student in LRG. Then you have the people who've created theyre style with the best elements of both.
I previously disliked cities because i saw them as cramped dirty areas. They are, but everything has its place and the evils are necessary. Upon this realization i discovered that this is where i want to raise a child. The role of a parent is to prepare their child for independent living in every way possible. It would be irresponsible of me as a parent to make my child ignorant to crime & poverty. I want to raise them in an environment that mimics the "real world" as closely as possible. i want him to see social & racial diversity and extremes, i have to make every possible social option & way of life available to him so he's well informed & such is reflected in the path he chooses. I want to raise him in an area that has history & character. A place that is safe but not sheltered. A place where he can perceive the world as close to its actuality as possible, because as we all know...
Perception is reality.


Free Write 1

These arent going to have any specific topic, theyre simply my current thoughts. Theyll often be sort of scrambled and jump between topics. If your reading...I hope you can keep up.

Woke up this morning hardly feeling new. Its fathers day & i was in a pretty shitty mood to be honest because i was going to brunch for my step dad which got me thinking about my dad and lately thats not something i enjoy doing. Why? Well im not going to make that public right now, but its possible in the future. We went to this spot in manyunk there was live music which was pretty dope, real soulful tunes which really meshed nicely with the overall vibe. I dug it pretty hard, the more time progressed the more i enjoyed myself, I had a good mimosa (one of my favorite drinks) which added to the positive vibe because its been a while since i last had one. after brunch we went to the city and peeped some interior design shops and galleries which really put my mind at ease, Art & design are things i forget i enjoy because im not around them as often as id like to be. whenever i am around them im more relaxed probably because of the intelligence and detail behind them. I came home to find my weekend plans have fallen through and immediately contracted a headache, which has been happening a lot lately & i really dont like that. before i would just get angry or a little disgruntled, later discover the bright side, say "its whatev" and move on, now im experiencing physical discomfort...i dont like that one bit. But writing helps i guess. doing these free writes are more therapeutic than anticipated.
I decided that while in these galleries and stores that i want to adopt a hobby. I dont know which to endeavor. I sort of want to do something with my hands, build something 3 dimensional, something i can look at and say "yea i made that" sort of like the legos i used to play with when i was a kid, i would sit in my room for hours on end and construct buildings, cars and scenarios entirely out of lego's. at christmas i didnt want clothes, i didnt want water pistols or games, i wanted the 89.99 lego set, the one on the bottom shelf of the lego section. the one where a section of a city was to be built. i remember the jungle scenario, the space station scenario. The funny thing is that i never looked at the directions i sat on my floor, stood the box up in front of me and assembled the pieces to mimic what was on the box, the left over pieces were build into additional buildings or used to make cars more elaborate. I remember hating"kennex" someone once bought me a box of kennex for my birthday and i never opened it. for one all the pieces were straight lines, after composing a building anything 3 dimensional, it just looked like the final product wasnt complete. it didnt seem authentic, the bad guy cant hide from the hero in a building completely made of bars....legos just made sense, they were blocks, i could crash a car into a building and get the expected response from each device, the car would have more damage than the building, thats what would happen in reality and thats what i expected in my toy reality. I remember when they released the bigger lego men. they were like double the size of the originals, they still bring a smile to my face, now i had giants in my fantasy world...imagine the joy haha. (my headache is slowly subsiding)
I noticed something about my taste today, im a person who's into classic things, i dont like a lot of flash, i dont really like contemporary trends. We were in a more modern furniture store today and the pieces were interesting to look at, theyre the kind of peices that look cool in music video's in LA houses but i dont think theyre very functional, i think theyre terribly over priced, because contemporary pieces are priced as a piece of art rather than the result of a skilled craftsmen, your paying for the artist's creative idea coming to life. I like pieces made from wood, things that was assembled by a master of the craft. where the distance between the beginning & end result, what it started as and what it is now can be appreciated. I find it amazing the pieces that can be composed from a simple tree in the woods, and i have a special respect for craftsmen and all those who work with theyre hands. A lot of things are digital today, and the skill behind erecting an armoire desk or audamin from scratch is often forgotten..but not by me

Respect Classics

Friday, June 19, 2009

Vans (Blow)

I was in the market for a new pair of shoes. Im a simple guy when you take a step back so i wanted a simple shoe. I wasnt in the mood to make the jump & purchase the "yeezy's" yet, i was feeling classic and i wanted a shoe that agreed with my feeling. Vans had caught my eye a little while back because alot of my friends wear them & i had never given them a try. Being the 19 year old new born that i am i need to give everything i try ive previously written off. I originally thought vans were for hipsters & skaters, & im neither. i was originally set on a pair of black half cabs but i figured its summer & low tops would be more appropriate. i settled on some black and white authentics & couldnt be more pleased fashionably or economically. This further enforces that 90 percent of my preconceived notions are wrong. this is actually the definition of trying new things.

Your looking at Vans fan

Thursday, June 18, 2009

AmericaN History X

This is a film I probably never would've viewed had it not been recommended to me several times. If you've seen it, good. If you havent, watch it. Its a damn good movie. The manner which it flashed back and forth was entertaining & conveyed its message ideally. Edward Norton (who in the first scene exhibits impeccable aim) is just a 'G' on each side he advocates. The film does a great job of portraying the unintelligence behind racism, but also how hardcore some racist were and still are. I must say it made me a little more upset at the word "nigger" Anyone who knows me knows i couldnt care less about the word used in any context. Prior to seeing this film if someone who wasnt African American called me a "nigger" with intent to harm it would bounce off of me. I define a "nigger" as something and someone im not, i take as much offense to it as i would if someone called me giraffe. I suppose its because ive been fortunate enough to have never knowingly been around someone who was truly racist ive never seen them depicted as vividly as this film portrays them. This film made me truly despise anyone who's racist whereas i would previously brush them off and deem their views as ignorance. I now do the same but with a little anger behind my deeming. I appreciate & equally dislike how African-American's have made it a term of endearment. (this is turning into a post about the word "nigger") going to go in on this. I dislike the thought behind African Americans calling each other the very word Caucasians referred to us as to dehumanize us. But I do believe wiping the word out turns it to what saying "voldemort" in Hogwarts is. It gives it too much power. And realistically the words never going to be completely wiped out (not with rap music the way it is these days..) In this case the only way to eliminate something that owned you is to own it, and thats whats going on.

Wale says it best:
And P say that I should stop saying nigga,
But if I did, what would be the difference?
I'd still be a nigga, he'd still be a nigga in his feelings,
I'd still be a nigga with no deal tryna get one,
There'd still be niggas out killing,
And still be white people still out to get us,
And still be niggas saying whites tryna get us,
And still be lazy and paranoid niggas,
I'm paramount, nigga, I am, and you can't be mad,
Cuz I choose the word nigga, lemme air it out, nigga,
Nigga ain't bad, see, niggas just had,
A clever idea to take something They said,
Into something we have, something we flipped
Into something with swag, nigga, don't be mad,

I cant debate that.
But back to the movie. The caption "Some Legacies, Must End" fits the film perfectly. I believe the moral of the story is that 'niggers' (the way i define them) never let things go.

'A' or 'Er'?

The Right Time

Im posted here at my desk listening to "regrets" from reasonable doubt, shoe shopping, all of a sudden the line "the lonely stoner seems to free his mind at night" finds its in between my debate of whether to buy high or low tops (low). I ask myself 'why did he say that?' the reason is because its true. My stoner days are behind me (1month+) but i realize theres something about the night that makes it the ideal creative environment. I notice ive written everything ive posted here late at night. Why? Because the night is simply more still, more tranquil. Personally, my subconscious mind recognizes that everyone else in my home is fast asleep. The normal noise of fax machines, televisions, microwaves & pre-teen bands that fill the air of my home are replaced with silence. The sound of my creative gears turning soon follows. Darkness is covered in uncertainty. It makes us walk a little lighter because it takes a way a little of the confidence we exhibit during the day. At 3pm you can see miles ahead of you; while at 3am your lucky to see 300ft ahead, I find a certain social security in the dark. It for a lack of better words gets rid of the bullshit. There's no ambiguity in people's intentions at night. The people outdoors are minding their own business or breaking the law. Their professional obligations have ended and theyve chosen to spend a little of their free time away from the monotonous 9-5 crowd that litters the day. {-SIDEBAR- The night reveals your personality in the same parallel going to college does. (what?) In the sense that you could be at home {hell your expected to be at home} but you arent. The same way that after high school you could join the work force or the military, but youve chosen to take the next step in your education. I see them both as examples of taking an extra-step and going further than expected, one socially the other academically. } The safety outside is symbolized by the darkness outside my window & the silence within, upon this dual environmental transformation my creative mind reveals itself as a turtle does from its shell.

Savor the darkness..

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Creme of the Carters

Anyone with a decent taste of music is a fan and/or has respect for this guy. I was originally planning to write this post about Jay, how ive always been a fan & talked him up like everyone else without the depth of knowledge others may have possessed. I recently re listened to reasonable doubt and the blueprint duo and everything in between, virtually every album up to the blueprint 2 and after 5 years of maturing it feels like ive heard them for the first time. I was in literal awe. Now prior to the re listening i thought the race between the two was relatively close. I can say i think now believe otherwise.

Unless youve been exiled from the general public or in outer space you know wayne, what he can do, and your most likely a fan. We've seen what he's done in the remixes of 'knuck if you buck' & both "get em's" ill go as far to say that it is now a symbol that an artist's engineers and protools have succeeded if Wayne has chosen to make their song his own. The early birds recognized the foreshadow Dedication carried. that this mans lyrics and flow were a force to mark a new era and just maybe a new king of hiphop. D2 dropped and the masses grew. Drought 3 followed and broke the flood gates. The two disc set added the suburban population and the uniformed remainder of the hood to the hardcore hiphop heads. The entire country and dare i say most most of the world were now witnesses. Droughts 4-6 followed along with the other tapes combined to make Carter 3 the most anticipated album of our time; sending it straight to platinum in the first week.

I believe a number of things make Jay-Z better than Wayne. The first is history. Jay has simply contributed more to the rap game then wayne. MC's model themselves off of everything Jay has done. He chopped a line from Nas's 'The world is yours', used it as the hook on dead presidents II and when Nas got disrespectful shut him down with the famous "you made it a hot line, i made it a hot song" MC's do those two things to this day. Hov simply sets precedents. He's not out of line by any means by referring to himself as the godfather of rap, because he is. B.I.G or Pac would be but they were taken away. Not to say that its by default either because Jay's absolutely earned the title. He's gained the respect of the world by being the best LP rapper of all time in dropping TEN classic solo albums every year since 1996. All of Jay's albums mesh together perfectly, each album fits together like interlocking fingers. Wayne's best album was 'Tha Carter II', and a rapper must create hit records. Mixtapes are good, but, mixtapes are like how you play in practice, and Albums are how you play in the game and the fact is Albums not mixtapes win awards. And drought 3 was wayne's best performance

Hov plays story teller every time i drops a verse, he intelligently paints a vivid depiction of what he'd like us to see. Wayne brilliantly uses similes & metaphors to talk about money cars violence and drugs. Im not saying its not great, and im not saying its not entertaining. Im not saying i havent stopped a song halfway through on my first time hearing it to catch my breath in disbelief of how he talks about these topics. But what I am saying is that the bottom line is that after each time i listen to one of Jay's songs i feel a little wiser, not smarter like i learned something in class, but rather as if an older relative conveyed a life lesson to me through a rhythmic tale. I exit 4:40 later wiser than when i entered, more humble. Lets be honest you can count the amount of wayne's songs that have actual meaning on both if not one hand. For example, Wayne's "Ignorant Shit" verse with drake is full of exactly what Jay's hook criticizes in the original. I look at Music as something in my life that i need to be able to relate to. I have substance, taste, intelligence and wit. It cant just be entertaining I hold rap at a high standard, I demand to be intelligently entertained, im more complex than everyone else therefore i require lyrics with a certain level of complexity and value. If you hold yourself to the same standard the victor is crystal clear.

S Dot reigns supreme

Got Substance?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Some believe its not the best policy

Recently i wrote in a few honesty boxes. I checked my box, and one the app home page a list of people asked the question "what do you think of me." the ones i knew well enough or had an opinion of i replied. A particular individual had harsh words to my answer. I told her that of what ive seen of her and her actions i believe she's crazy and the way she acts and carriers herself specifically about and around her boyfriend is unbecoming and unladylike. She replied that i was a coward for not saying this to her face, that i was a stalker and i was jealous. i dont like to chew people out but this is bigger than a simple statement and reply in my eyes. people forget that a question is an ideal 50/50 chance, yes or no questions specifically, because the answer can only be yes or no, the chance changes with the situation of course. people ask questions and are offended when they dont receive the answer they desire. The other day i made a sandwich, my sister asked me for half, i replied 'no'. she then replied 'your mean'. Im not mean, i put a decent amount of effort into making the sandwich, and i wanted to enjoy the fruits of my labor, she didnt ask for a bite, which i may have replied differently to, she asked for half, 50%, this isnt a hollywood divorce, you dont get half of what i own when you come to the table with nothing.
Now with questions explained, posting "what do you think of me" in which several hundred people can answer anonymously, it is foolish and irresponsible to believe your going receive several hundred answers your going to like. This girl was upset i didnt respond "girllllllll!!! i love u, your so hotttt <3" as one one of her girlfriends would. [Excuse my french] but fuck you and fuck that. pardon me for taking a question of that caliber seriously, and answering appropriately. that question is very general, there is a lot of room for error, error meaning traits people dislike about you. if she didnt want to hear the dislikes and be showered in compliments she shouldve asked "what do you like about me" then id be an asshole if i responded in the same manner. If i posted that question which i have, im prepared for both sides of the spectrum. thats a question you ask when you want to better yourself, the fact that its anonymous is good. it shows that out of those several hundred people you know or want people to believe you know some perceive you one way some another. Ive received answers i didnt like, i thank them for their honesty, tell them i appreciate it and that im working to become a better person. name calling isnt necessary, honesty & humility are.

you'll never learn anything from those who agree with you

Those in our lives change with the weather

Most if not all of us are familiar with the saying "the people in your life are seasons." I wasnt until a few months ago. Upon hearing the saying i had revelation of sorts, that this saying fit me to a tee. When i was all entirely about girls, my sophomore and junior school years. I talked to a certain friend every night about the days advances and which girl we were planning to ask out that weekend, how the girls in our classes ranked physically, dream girls, drawing up schemes to get ourselves closer to those we desired, and the pros and cons of each girl. The summer after junior year followed this, "summer 07" i label it the start of the drug years. the times when i was smoking a few times a day everyday i talked to and spent nearly all my time with a different friend, our schemes were now about different strand and traits and acquiring knowledge and information on our newly discovered topic, The knowledge i obtained on this topic flourished over the next 2 years and sticks with me to this day. Though the role of my partner in crime changed with the start of senior year, the knowledge i soon found my classmates shared filled the role effortlessly. Now im where i am currently and low and behold in a period of social musical & cinematic critiquing & politicking a new predominant friend has emerged. This statement has put me at peace with a lot of the relationships that have gone sour for whatever reason. I justify to myself that i was a difference person when we were closer and take the most important elements of the relationship, the moral of the story, the best day of the season and keep it with me as i enter the next. It has not made me sad every time i think recall them or see a picture of the other person. rather I simply recall the laughs we've shared applaud their successes wish them the best & hope we can have drink and a few laughs and reminisce about the past in the future. Im reminded that all good things come to an end and knowing this i do not find it difficult to say goodbye.

dont be afraid to say goodbye...

The Death of The Hiatus

So im sitting here at my desk going through a bag on sun flower seeds (the original, ive got enough flavor lol) waiting for the next episode of "the wire" to load on megavideo. and a little while ago one of my friends IM'ed me asking for the name of my blog, and told me she enjoyed reading it, i told her i enjoyed this fact and it actually inspired me to write. i havent written in a while simply because i didnt think i had anything to say, and as always when thinking this...i was wrong. This blog is for me, and the public benefits from it. Anything that happens to me in daily life thats in anyway changes my thinking or opens my eyes should be recorded. I read the blogs of a few famous people and get gassed up. i dont have to entertain anyone its not my responsibility thats not the purpose of LFDL. It is my responsibility however to remain honest, intelligent and thought provoking, and i shall...believedat.

I plan to address the following in the next few posts:

People in your life are seasons

The "Honesty Box"


The Wire

American History X

The importance of speech

The prepschool negro

in no perticular order...