Archive for the 'Culture and Stuff' Category

22
Nov
16

Nerds in Luxury Podcast: Episode 5

Episode 5 is now live on NerdsInLuxury.com and you can subscribe to it on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. It’s free entertainment! Have some fun with us.

We’re taking next week off for the holiday. Please recommend the podcast to your family members over your dinner of beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes, lamb, rams, hogs, dogs, beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes, chicken, turkey, rabbit YOU NAME IT!

Nerds in Luxury Podcast
 A Piss Poor Example of an Interracial Relationship, Dave Chappelle on SNL, “The African-Americans”, Starbucks: The Centre of American Politics, That Safety Pin Means Nothing

Also, Word of the Day! with Ceedro, Situations with Sosa, Moments with Montaego

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21
Nov
16

The Not So Great Communicator

Donald Trump’s lack of eloquence and thin vocabulary have been well documented. His off the cuff speaking style combined with his minimal command of the English language, often create a word salad that is a nightmare for a journalist to quote; and it leaves those consuming it with the difficult task of attempting to find the ACTUAL meaning behind his utterances. In my many conversations with his supporters, I have often quoted some of the outrageous things he has said, only to receive a response of, or similar to, “well, that’s not what he meant,” or “it was a poor choice of words.” I have tried to find out exactly how these individuals discovered Trump’s “true meanings” behind his statements, but no one has revealed this magic to me, and it is clear that Trump’s inability to properly articulate his thoughts and positions has less to do with a poor choice of words and much more with just not having that many choices.

donald-trump-shrugTrump seems to only have access to a handful of adjectives. He has one small pile of words for good things, and one pile for the bad. His go-to bad words are often “terrible” or “awful.” Sometimes, he keeps it REALLY simple and just uses words like, “bad” or “sad.” His good words are loaded with hyperbolic exaggeration – words such as “huge” and “amazing” are often thrown around for anything but. On Sunday, he stated that “incredible meetings” would be bringing “incredible people” to the government. It reads like it was uttered by a person still grappling with English as a second language.

The definition of incredible is: impossible or extremely difficult to believe. Is it possible that Donald Trump is in disbelief with how well his meetings went? Did he have difficulty believing that people like Mitt Romney and Rick Perry actually exist? Is there no one on Trump’s transition team who can slip him a few more positive adjectives that he could use to impart a little nuance and recognition of the seriousness of the task he is presently undertaking? Is there no one on Trump’s transition team who can whisper in Trump’s ear that the word “incredible” is less suited for describing a routine meeting and more for a one-handed catch while falling out of bounds in a football game or better yet, a firefighter racing into a burning building to save the life of an infant child?

Ronald Reagan was known as “the great communicator.” Donald Trump is a verbal weakling who is about to take a job where every single one of his poorly chosen and limited words will be parsed and interpreted by people, governments and markets all over the world. Perhaps the most important hires Donald Trump will make during this transition, will be his speech writers. They will have the monstrous task of polishing this turd every single day, all the while knowing that they could prepare the perfect script, but the ego of the performer could rip it to pieces in front of the entire world. I can foresee many scenarios where Donald Trump’s lack of eloquence will be front and center. Some are amusing. Some are embarrassing. Some are downright terrifying.

While I’m certain Trump’s meetings this past weekend were far from, “incredible,” I have no issue using that word to describe his rise to power and the level of stupidity, hubris and insecurity we saw from him in the first week of his transition. It is common for the White House to employ foreign language interpreters. Perhaps for this president, they should consider one for English.

07
Nov
16

New Single: “The Asylum” by Mister Wise

Turn off the 24 hour news networks for a few minutes and listen to “The Asylum,” by Mister Wise

Team Demo founder and super-producer/ engineer, Mister Wise returns with witty commentary on the state of journalism and mass media over a swinging jazzy groove.

05
Oct
15

I Only Have But So Many Fucks…

My wife gets the vast majority of my fucks and I get the vast majority of hers (bada bing.)  That’s what marriage is. After that, my dog Wellington gets a bunch of fucks (maybe more than some people think a dog should.) I spend more time with Wellington than any human so if you need help committing suicide, fuck with my dog and I will handle that for you.

 

Then, I’ve got a robust chunk of fucks for my family. (Mom, Dad, three sisters, in-laws, nephews.) I have one grandparent left and he’s in his 90s. I give a fuck for him but he probably thinks I paid too much for it.  I’ve got some extended family as well (Uncles, Aunts, Cousins etc.) Each of them get various amounts of fucks and there are one or two to whom I have given fucks that I wish I could get back.

 

I also have a portion of fucks set aside for my CLOSEST FRIENDS.  This is a very short list.  Less than five people are on it. These are people with whom I am incredibly close: kindred spirits and shared minds of sorts.  These people know who they are.  There are certainly a few people who think they are in this group who are not.  Perhaps they assumed that because I am in their “special” group, they would somehow automatically be in mine.  There’s no reason for them to be offended. That’s just what happens when one has so few fucks. Instead, those other individuals all split the first of my last two fucks.  This fuck is divided up according to many factors but I can tell you, there are people walking around who have exactly 1% of one of my fucks.

 

After that, I only have one fuck left.  I call it my “revolving fuck”. It is definitely my busiest fuck because it moves constantly to which ever acquaintance, colleague or client I happen to be dealing with at any given moment.  The intensity of this fuck is often directly proportional to the amount of compensation I will be receiving for it.  Yes that’s right… This is the fuck that is for sale and it is the only one I have that is.
So you see, I only have so many fucks and I don’t have any to spare.  I guess I could re-allocate some fucks in any of the above groups, but I would have to give a fuck to do that and as I’ve clearly stated, I have none left.  I believe that is known as a paradox- “a paradox of fucks.” Fuck that.

11
Mar
15

Team Demo Presents… Notorious White

Last year, we (Team Demo) released a compilation entitled “Journey with Nas,” which mashed up Nas acapellas with beats made with samples from the legendary rock band, Journey.  The follow up is “Notorious White,” which does the same, but this time with Notorious B.I.G. and Barry White.  The project was put together at Depth Charge Studios over the past several months and is available for streaming and download on the Team Demo Soundcloud page as well as several other hosting platforms.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

Team Demo Presents… Notorious White.

08
Apr
14

Snitching, Snitches and the Idiots Who Don’t Know What Snitching Is

I wrote this article for a blog a couple years ago. I am re-posting it in response to today’s New York Post story (and the reaction to it) accusing Al Sharpton of being a “rat,” because he assisted in an FBI probe investigating organized crime.

The meanings of words can change over time. This often occurs when a term becomes a euphemism for something totally unique and different than its original definition (typically as a result of sarcasm or applied irony in the formation of slang.) These changes are usually harmless; the only side effects being felt by individuals out of the contextual loop (often by design.) But when the definition of words skew slightly as opposed to dramatically, an envelope often opens, and a word begins to imply things it shouldn’t. Such is the case with the term, “snitching.”

A few years ago, an intellectually deficient rap artist named, Cam’Ron appeared on 60 Minutes to extol the virtue of keeping one’s mouth shut. He said many stupid things (as he is prone to do,) but nothing was more asinine than when asked if he would call the police if he found out a serial killer was living next door. His answer: “nope, he ain’t bothering me!” I remember watching that night thinking two things: first, this guy doesn’t even know what a loaded question is, and two, where on earth did he get this ridiculous idea of what it is to be a “snitch?”

It was always my understanding, that “snitching” implies betrayal. If you and I are engaged together in some conspiratorial enterprise and I am apprehended, then I would be “snitching” by giving you up in exchange for a leaner punishment. This is certainly dishonorable and sends the lame and criminal career-ending message, “I can’t be trusted, I wasn’t fully responsible or aware of my culpability, and it was the other guy’s idea.” Unfortunately, the less verbose members of our society (who often times are the ones who engage in these kind of activities) have expanded the definition of “snitching” to apply to ANYONE who notifies ANYONE ELSE of ANY particular suspicious or illegal activity (perhaps, in a subconscious attempt to defer the burden of responsibility for being caught away from their own carelessness.) The altering of the definition is pernicious because the stigma that comes with being labeled a “snitch” has not changed. Thus, an upstanding citizen who happens to be walking his dog, sees some suspicious activity, and notifies authorities, is now labeled a “snitch” by the less desirable members of the community, putting him or her at potential risk for retribution.  Some have even gone as far as affixing the “snitch” label to those who film fights and brawls and post them on websites such as Youtube or Worldstar Hip Hop. They aren’t snitches. They’re aspiring documentary filmmakers (as is anyone with an iPhone these days.) It’s the 21st century and just as politicians have to mind every utterance because there is ALWAYS a camera rolling, so too do the wanna-be ballers, shot callers and brawlers. Are the kids filming you beat that guy’s ass really “snitches,” or are you a moron for committing a malicious wounding felony in front of a dozen cameras? I’m thinking it’s the latter.

As a business owner, I have a huge incentive to assist in keeping the neighborhood in which I work, a safe one. Other business owners and residents in my community look after me and I look after them. We all know that if bad things happen in our neighborhood, people may be less inclined to visit us. Our tax dollars help keep our neighborhood clean and functional and pay for police and fire departments to keep us safe. We feel a sense of collective responsibility for each others well being. If you are engaged in a criminal enterprise, it is incumbent upon you to keep that invisible from people like us. In fact, if you are a true professional at what you do, you could probably operate within our immediate surroundings and as long as your activities have no detrimental effect on the rest of us, we won’t even notice you. But if you get sloppy, and let your dirt into the street? Well… we have a problem.

Let’s suppose I look out my office window and see you and another individual depositing what is clearly a lifeless body into the alley across the street. Without hesitation, I will call 911. I may even grab my firearm (which I am legally allowed to do as a concealed handgun permit holder) and head outside. I don’t know whose body that is. Perhaps it is one of my friends or neighbors. I don’t know who you are. I only know you don’t own or rent the property on which you are standing. I have not entered into any bond or covenant with you. I know not of your activities or what you do to earn money. All I know is someone is dumping a body in MY neighborhood and I don’t want to live or do business in a neighborhood where bodies are dumped. I will do whatever I can to help the victim before police and paramedics arrive. I will give the authorities the most detailed account possible and cooperate and assist them in any way I can. That is my duty as a citizen. Am I at fault if you are apprehended? Am I a “snitch,” or should you have found a more discrete place to do your dirty work?

Let’s suppose you are clearly selling drugs on the block where my business is located. You do so in plain sight and at all hours. The traffic of less-desirables is making the neighborhood unsafe. Violent confrontations have taken place, and clients and staff have expressed concern about working in sessions that run after dark. Am I a “snitch” for calling the police and reporting the problem? Emphatically NO! It is YOU who have encroached on ME and the rest of the community. Your enterprise (which pays no taxes) has commandeered our block and made it an unsafe place in which to do business, not to mention, raise children. If you had half a brain you would have conducted your business in a way that did not negatively impact the surrounding community or you would have found a place more conducive to your line of work. If one of the other businesses in my building is violating fire code, I would call the fire marshal because I don’t want something stupid to happen that could burn the whole building down. With that in mind, why would you think that I would not call the authorities in the hopes of preventing myself or my associates from catching a stray bullet? – Because I’m afraid of being labeled a “snitch?” Please!

I’m a grown man. I did my share of dirt earlier in my life but did so with a clear plan and agenda. I knew what I was getting into and when I was getting out and I managed to NEVER draw even a wink of suspicion from anyone. The wanna-be thugs of today are a joke. Their criminal minds are lazy and inept. They are in it for the street fame and not the money. They have no plans to flip their earnings and go legitimate (even the Kennedys did that.) They have absolutely no idea of the unintended consequences of their activities and how to avoid them, and then they scream “stop snitching” when someone witnesses their reckless behavior and does the right thing. No one “snitched” on you dude… You snitched on yourself.

27
Nov
13

Mister Wise Featured on the Huffington Post

huffpostI recently did an interview with friend and colleague, Head-Roc for the Huffington Post.  My first name managed to get spelled wrong but that’s just an example of why you can just call me “Mister Wise” now.  (So much easier.)   🙂

Check it out here




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