a thousand words

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

TRANSFUTURISM

Many have tried to define the period in which we are living. Are we the Computer Age, the Information Age, Digital Age or post Industrial? 

Phones are the size of credit cards, credit cards have replaced cash and money itself is now more theory than substance, more deity than currency. Post soul, Millennial, Generation X, Y and Z, we struggle to put limits on the time, so that we can analyze it and we fail because it moves and changes even as we attempt to understand it.

Whenever the American economy has shifted, leaving people out of work and giving more to automation, we get fewer people owning more, and less hope for the future, families fall apart, marriage declines, racial strife rises and along with it comes violence.

The blind ambition of capitalism was fine when we were an agrarian economy and a manufacturing one. Greed fueled incentives and expansion brought opportunities. But in the computer age, innovation fueled by greed comes at the expense of human resources and leaves vast numbers of people without jobs, purpose and hope.

You can tell the worth of humanity in a society by how it lives-- and dies. Men used to farm the land by hand and then we used big machines to do it and now we genetically modify the very seeds that grow our food, effectively making Soylent Green a reality.

We used to be bound by communities and now we are separated by the vastness of digital life and social media which allows us to talk at each other but not with our fellow man.

And we used to crucify men, burn women at the stake, shoot bullets and drop bombs on enemies and then we gained the capacity to destroy the world if we wanted.

And now we use robots to kill.

We are in a state of transfuturism, the belief that we can live in the future in our present time by thinking and doing as one might in that supposed future.

But what is our future?

Will we really obliterate ourselves or is that just fear, the nightmare of a civilized mind, the anthesis of our instinct for self-preservation?

So if Klaatu from The Day The Earth Stood Still was wrong and we will not destroy ourselves, then what? Maybe our future is brighter. Maybe we will get past our petty animal aggression and embrace life for the sake of it, minimize strife and not live off the lives of others through fiat currency and artificial boundaries based on superficial theories.

The future world we see in movies and literature is taking shape right before our eyes. One by one, the tenets of individualism are falling, and we accept laws, rules and traditions born of a collective thought, framed and focused by social algorithms and limited in character length. But must we plunge into a dark dystopian world, or can we shift our progressive hunger toward humanity and love? This would make a terrible sci fi movie but a great world.

So, buy your cryptocurrency, sync your cell phone to your brainwave pattern and store your memories on thumb drives so you can relive them again and again but do it with a sense of hope because no matter how much we innovate, we are still carbon-based, fragile and subordinate to our capacity to love.



copyright 2018


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Saturday, January 27, 2018

A NEGRO ELEGY FOR MO'NIQUE

To all the fellas going hard against Mo'Nique, let me give you an analogy that might help because sometimes us men can't see anything that hurts women unless it's ultimately about us.

Once upon a time, there was a black boy who was poor and did some bad things, bullying people around, using drugs maybe even selling loose cigarettes. He was not a perfect person, maybe not even a good one on balance.

One day a white cop shot him to death while he was unarmed and quick as a flash, people tried to justify the shooting and mollify the outrage by saying the black boy had done all those aforementioned bad things, that he was a bad man, a less than perfect person, which when coupled with blackness and maleness meant he deserved to be shot down like a dog.

You knew this was wrong, so you called out the public enablers. You said a person should know to separate personal flaws from criminal culpability and deadly force. And you were right.

Then a black woman who has said a lot of unpopular and even unfair things, another less than perfect person, is offered a lowball wage for her talent. A far cry from murder but the functional business equivalent of being shot down. And quick as a flash, you use all her lack of perfection to justify and mollify the actions of the institution that you know full well does not see black women as equals.

But now you don't see how anyone can separate the woman's personal flaws from the consideration of her talent. You are not the cop with the gun, you are the public enablers you once condemned using their same twisted logic.

Racism is a vile thing. It's not just about color. It is also about psychological and emotional perception. Sadly, inside our culture, we practice many of the customs of the oppressor, who left his mark on our brains and our hearts. This is one of them, treating black women like American society treats us all. And some of you have been so petty and mean, that you belie the logic you try to state, your undertone is so ugly, you sound like Mister yelling at Celie "You black, you ugly, you a woman!"

Don't get me wrong, I have the same bad notions. I'm just as imperfect as Mo'Nique and that black boy. I have just worn these negative tendencies down to the point where they can be defeated by my eternal hero-- intellect.

Some of you are going to want to argue with this. You gonna whine, "It's not the same. Unfair analogy! Whaaaaa." Then you will point out once again Mo'Nique's personality, big mouth, bad business acumen and the like, but all you will be doing is missing the point and proving it at the same time. All you will be doing is showing your lack of an eternal hero.

Instead of this folly, just take it to heart, think about it, and know it was said in the spirit of helping.

In the meantime, as to that disabling mentality we have, that sound you hear is not a bell, it's a spoon on the rim of a teacup. But it is not the boss of you.

Get real.
Get smart.
GET OUT.
Right now.



COPYRIGHT ©2018


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The GDP of Love


If Love was an economy, we would be in a full-scale depression.

A friend recently posted a statement that got me thinking about how America treats relationships and it occurred to me that we have a dilemma related to the behavioral economics notion of choice.

Because we are a capitalist nation, we view relationships in terms of ownership and that forms the basis for our problems. We qualify looks and quantify sex and reduce one another into product that can be bought, sold and marketed. But this economy is failing.

The basic relationship between men and women has changed in the last century and like it or not, it is not going backwards. We have decided that within our species, the males and female are of equal value, at least that is the prevailing view.

Unfortunately, most people do not believe this is true. We say it, but in practice, if not in belief, men are still more valuable than women and as that idea crumbles, the heavens fall.

The American relationship economy is faltering as we move through the transition from patriarchy to a societal system based on something other than gender.

Women who have decided to embrace the new equality and pursue an education and career before a family are finding that the years spent in that endeavor are in a sense wasted when it comes to finding a mate. While you are grinding, men are uninterested and even repelled by your assertiveness and when you stop and begin to look around, you find all the marriageable men are looking at women younger than you or have so much baggage, that the airline fees would bankrupt them. And if a woman curtails those years spent on an education and a career, then she has given up on herself and made the attainment of a man her life's occupation which eventually fosters unhappiness and resentment.

So how do we change this? Listen carefully for this is wisdom: Equality of the sexes is not women emulating men or vice versa. It is accepting an equal societal value for all things intrinsically male and female.

But men and women must let go of ideas and beliefs made from the previous, flawed society and that will be painful and repugnant for some and require that many of us let go of the selfish and shallow commodification of the opposite sex in the old economy. Only in this way, will we attain a true equality, topple the one-sided value system and revive the relationship economy.

How you ask?

Lets go back to our example. A woman deciding that her career has to take precedence over a family is bullshit and is the choice given by a once male-dominated society which has built in penalties for either choice and thereby mind-fucked women from the start by giving them no clear and fair alternative. A woman like this should seek instead a man who is not on the same educational or economic footing, but somewhere else. If you think of this as settling or marrying down, just know that: 1. Those are creations of the patriarchy you have escaped, and 2. You don't get it.

Women must also get over the notion that beauty and attractiveness are earned and have great value in a relationship commensurate with wealth, intellect and other earned commodities. Again, this was the assigned value of women from the old world and it is a fallacy that bore vanity and created women as a depreciating product. As a woman once said "pretty don't spend."

And for men, this will be disassociating ourselves from the idea that every man must rule a personal kingdom with a woman as his vassal. It means not associating shame or ignominy with being chosen by a more successful female and turning our backs on the violence and abuse associated with that mentality. And it means above all, revering children and the process by which they are made.

If this sounds crazy to you, then you are getting it, because as of right now, it is crazy. And I know some of you ladies will read this and see some wisdom in it, but you will not be able to stop the feeling that your man should at once be older, taller, wiser and richer but somehow nonetheless equal to you by some nature you cannot describe. That is just your ambition talking.

I know some men will read this and think it is an abomination and an affront to God Almighty to elevate women with men in a way that gives equal power to choose and dominate men. To you I say the God is the old one who was made by men to subjugate women, in an equal society, no one dominates, they balance, and that is just your fear talking.

All of this is wild speculation, of course. I have no idea where all of this is going but we should all be excited that we are moving, albeit slowly, to a new paradigm, a new economy of the heart.

I just hope there's full employment there.


copyright 2017