Hoteps: Black People That Black People Are Not Too Fond Of.

For those of you with lives that have less purpose than a condom at a Digimon-themed orgy at Charlie Sheen's house, you may not have stumbled onto the fertile soil that is 'Black People's Words For Describing Other Black People.' I can understand if the prospect of wading into the shea butter scented void of Black Twitter/Love and Hip Hop Recapping vernacular would give you pause. In an attempt to assuage a bit of anxiety, allow me to suggest an approach. Try listening to your favorite podcast that happens to feature a welcome perspective from your, admittedly, favorite negro. Get your mind in the appropriate headspace and get back to me when you've finished.

You finished yet? Cause Scandal's about to come on, and this week someone finally decided to stage an intervention for Liv considering that she drinks enough wine to sedate several fat koalas and-

Oh. You're done. Alright, then.

An entire show built around the facial expression "Fuck you, mom! I can stop when I want to!"

Allow me to begin this with a word of warning. The culture can sometimes be denser than a Herman Melville novel eating three-day-old cornbread. I won't delve into the intricacies of it all because, honestly, it's like detangling Haitian dreads. It'll take all day and three-quarters of the next if you let it.

However, even in the blackest of Webster's Dictionary side projects, there exists a word that describes a particular person that carries all the appealing qualities of an Adam Sandler movie that requires you lay flat on an unconfortably moist mattress for a duration no shorter than 90 seconds to obtain entry. That fuckshit word of the day, boys, and girls.....

is Hotep

heartless-player-3.jpg

Like this, but black and with waaayyy too many opinions about that bacon cheeseburger you're eating.

I imagine that the uninitiated are most likely filled with legitimate questions about what that word is, but may be hesitant to speak up not unlike reciting Biggie lyrics at a BLM open forum. It's okay. If it weren't for people asking questions, then the world would still think Iggy Azalea is a viable choice for a satisfying foray in contemporary hip hop.

Hotep, by its original context and definition, is Egyptian for 'at peace.' Which, in and of itself, is fine but it's the shrewd co-opting by way of over-zealous, afro-centric diehards that dare to put blackness on a quantifiable metric while somehow autocratically electing themselves arbiters of modern-day niggerdom that proves problematic.

Not surprisingly, I take several fuckloads of umbrage when it comes to this generic-brand, uncle who converted to Islam while serving a bid approved fuckery.

"Yeah, I callously murdered an elderly woman and illegally downloaded a major studio movie all within a 30 minute period but, person who doesn't have to reasonably expect to rape and/or be raped in the rec room, let me tell you how to live YOUR life."

Now at this time, you may be wondering, "Why, disembodied black-identifying voice, would a person who seems to totally abhor the social conditioning placed upon generations of African-Americans take it upon themselves to denigrate the identity of those very same African-Americans?" And to that so eloquently posed question, I would answer "Why am I suddenly responsible for diagnosing the motivations of stupidity and stupidity-inclined people?"

For all the misrepresentation of their actions and reframing of the pathology as if it wearing the Target-brand push-up bra of Black Empowerment, I promise you that the gravity of all its self-aggrandizement and unwarranted arrogance weighs down the saggy heaps of stark reality and lays it bare for what it really is.

Despite the objectively colorful reference above, Hoteps and hotep-like behavior is often the realm of men. And in particular, the kind of men who may empathize on a spiritual level with habitual mansplainers but unfortunately do not possess the entitlement/whiteness necessary to deliver a penis sponsored sermon from the depths of their cavernous asshole with the necessary little to no self-awareness. So, using the only card available to them, they couch their condescension in blackness and the facade of empowerment.

It's that sleight of bland that may slip by your usually sharply calibrated fuckboi radar thereby taking you more than a moment to identify it for what it is. Much like the theoretical concept of evil and genital-related diseases, this can come in many different forms and can be spread with ease. Such as but not limited to:

  • Berating black women for straightening or chemically relaxing their hair.
  • Shaming black people for rightfully dragging hilariously misguided beauty products primarily aimed at the black community while the offended party may consume products from white-owned businesses.
  • Some kind of vague distrust bordering on dangerous nativist rhetoric aimed at Koreans in predominately black neighborhoods.
  • A particular affinity towards conspiracy theories that mainly revolve around the success or lack thereof of black celebrities and the inner workings of the mythological Illuminati conglomerate. An organization with hands in every corner of the global market, orchestrator of countless assassinations, and all around specter of global totalitarianism but can somehow have its entire 3rd quarter strategy disseminated and exposed by a nigga with the screen name of 100itRackz in a 6 minute YouTube rant.
  • A fascinating blend of misogynistic hyperbole intermixed with subtle undertones of colorism and blatant homophobia. Like, the kind of homophobia that leaves you in a state of awe before you can even begin to feel anything else. Like if someone told you that Soulja Boy dumped Rosario Dawson before immediately donating 3 million dollars to the Republican Congressional caucus. Like, wow.
  • An almost religious-like compulsion to proselytize like Martin Luther King, except if MLK subscribed to toxic masculinity culture and exclusively wore the overly-aromatic scented oil sold outside of every MARTA station in Metro Atlanta. If you ever wanted to find out your about your likes, dislikes, faults, which way you tend to lean when you fart, and other personal information from a complete stranger than this ignorantly presumptuous hotep will be glad to tell you.

Also guaranteed to ruin every Juneteenth party and Backyard BBQ. Do you see? Do you see how dangerous this person can be?

If I'm presenting this ethos as some sort of campy quirk that some black men have then I genuinely apologize because we are squarely in the middle of DEFCON FUCK when it comes to the shit-rippling reverberations this toxic sense of respectability politics have on those who don't/can't recognize the fuckshit jambalaya for what it is. It leaves those basing their ethnic identity on who or what they associate with, even what you may wear, instead of what that identity means for them personally because blackness is not a monolith. It comes in various different forms for various different people. It turns Afro-centricity into a unit of measurement instead of a rich history and culture with indelible fingerprints throughout most of the modern world.

But worst of all, it reframes my blackness as something that, if I work really hard and attend every one of their open mic nights featuring poetry so shitty it wouldn't even make the fan mail section of a Highlights magazine with content exclusively provided by terminally sick kids, I just may level up and be a legitimate negro.

How thoughtful of you.

This publication could give a 'tragically non-responsive to the chemo treatment'-laden fuck about you and your shit poetry, bruh.

My blackness ain't an achievement to unlock, fam. I pay that mortgage every fucking day, so you had better reevaluate some shit before you school me about me.

So My Girlfriend Called Me "Lionel Bitchie" In The Middle Of Your Mom's Funeral: An Explanation.

Everyone looks angry.

If I had to title a book dedicated to an impending ass beating, it would be 'Everyone Here Is Angry And Staring At Me.' And that is unfortunate because it is a book that, throughout my life, I've been forced to check out several times

7663d24e9469b588bba5165568075f72_library-books-pictures-of-library-books_3500-2333.jpeg

That and 'So You Still Have Sex To Savage Garden CDs: Don't Panic. We Can Fix This'

Mrs. Williamson, the senior woman at the organ just farted. It's so quiet in here that I can hear an elderly woman blow ass like Louis Armstrong despite her best efforts to execute a silent but deadly AKA Jason Bourne.

My God.

'Jason Bourne.' If I survive today, I'm taking that one home with me. But I digress, the main takeaway I have right now is that this is unfair.

Like, cousin cheating during the last 5 minutes of Shenanigans-level of unfair.

pic44731_md.jpg

I will throatfuck the skull of the family dog if you draw an extra card, so help me god, Steve.

It's not my fault that my friend Josh's mother had an aneurysm while driving his sister to the airport. It's also not my fault that, as a consequence of said aneurysm, she lost control of the vehicle and careened into a rail guard in an accident that left her dead and Josh's sister in the hospital in a medically induced coma due to swelling of her brain. And of course, I'm not to blame for the piss poor air conditioning in this church which, I'm sorry, might as well be the exact temperature of Satan's boxer briefs immediately after he's run a 5k in the dead of summer.

It may, however, be my fault for inviting Chesley, my girlfriend of a few months but someone with whom I'm currently experiencing some turbulent times with. It may also be my fault for leaving the sound on my phone turned on so that when I received a notification from Tinder about a new message, it commanded everyone's attention, most distressingly Chesley's. And of course, I am definitely to blame for me and my now ex-girlfriend, Chesley, staging a slightly more than noticeable relationship-ending fight in the middle of Josh's mother's funeral. Though technically, it's BOTH of our faults, I'm just way more mature than that hateful bitch Chesley, so I'm going to take responsibility.

woman-walking-away-from-man.jpg

I will not put the weight of you wearing leather pants while breaking up with me in the desert on my soul, though. That's between you, God, and the edgy section of Lane Bryant.

It's funny how these things tend to come together in hindsight (and a rapidly forming mob dressed in all black which, admittedly, would make for a bitchin My Chemical Romance music video.)

I acknowledge that when Chesley called me a 'wet sock fucking liar' during Josh's grandmother's eulogy, that it may have ruffled the feathers of those who didn't come to be witness to dysfunctional intimacy with a bedrock of sexual coercion. If I were more self-aware, I would've removed myself and Chesley from the Church to a more private venue so we could better work through our disagreements instead of responding with "rather a wet sock than a vagina dryer than a sandcastle's asshole." I now regret disrupting the service with such a vile and reprehensible statement.

I also regret the 12 minutes of near-constant obscenity-laden screaming that followed. Apparently, errors had been made.

But, in my defense, was anything we did really worse than Aunt Sophie's piss poor rendition of 'Ave Maria'? I know you're grieving Sophie, but, goddamn you're better than that.

In retrospect, that may have been the moment when I lost the room and watched as the general confusion of the attendees evolved, not unlike a Pokemon, into baldfaced rage. Judging by the fact that the widower is angrily walking towards us while clutching the Old Testament as if he were going to baptize me by way of repeated blunt head trauma.

Perhaps I can recommend a more constructive way to grieve in these trying times?

Throughout all of this, Chesley has yet to stop yelling at me but, due to some small miracle of room acoustic, I was able to discern the words "I'm over it. I'm about to fist fuck this asshole's face and Pacquiao his bitch in the dirt" from Josh's 14-year-old niece.

Not cool, Kayla. I thought we were friends.

It's at this moment that I decide to leave. A decision validated, in part, by repeatedly being told to go "fuck a gay and get taint cancer' by Josh's charming yet apparently homophobic uncle, Wyatt. I would stop to ask how those two are even remotely connected to one another, but I'm tired and angry white people are closing in on me. Two things that demand I keep to a tight schedule of GTFO.

Now outside the Church and on the way to my car, I see Josh standing at the foot of the steps leading into the Church. Considering the Flight or Fuck condition my body was in at the moment, I was half expecting a slap boxing match for the ages considering how I've made his mother's funeral memorable for all the wrong reasons.

So imagine my surprise when he comes up and hugs me for dropping by. Apparently, he thought the whole service leading up to my and Chesley's one-act play was "a circle-jerk for faux-sanctimonius WASPS" and was glad for what he called "the funniest fucking thing [he's] seen since that sexual harassment video [his] work made [him] watch." He truly misses his mother, but he hates his family even more so the day was more of a win for him than anything else.

After making plans watch the Steelers game at Taco Mac next Saturday, I got in my car to head home and drink myself into an outer body experience. Just as I turn the ignition on, I see a text from Chesley informing me that she fucked the bank manager of a Wells Fargo. She didn't say his name, mind you, just described him as 'the bank manager of a Wells Fargo' as if that was supposed to sting harder than anything else that happened that day.

I'd laugh if I didn't just remember that I have to go to that same Wells Fargo to replace my lost debit card tomorrow.

Fuck.

Lifehacks On Living The Best Life (And Being Dumb As All Fuck)

Today, I was on the verge of tears when I realized that I had eaten the last of the Honey Maid Cinnamon Graham Crackers a few days ago. I was close to tears a few minutes later, but now out of relief, when I saw that my cat, Catty Mayonnaise, had stolen a pack and hidden it behind her litter box. Before you ask, I have no regrets about consuming the crackers because one, it was packaged and safe from all the kitty poop, and secondly, it was fucking Honey Maid. I'm not about to toss that shit aside because it spent an indeterminable amount of time next to what was, essentially, someone's toilet. This anecdote illustrates that what I lack in personal standards, I more than make up for in self-awareness. And right now my spidey sense is telling me that I might be dumb as all fuck.

That's no hyperbole. I literally mean all of the fucks in existence.

It doesn't mean I can't enjoy life, though. Quite the contrary, my mental deficiency means I can walk through each day unencumbered with existential neurosis or the troubles of the world around me. My concerns are exclusively limited to food, fucking, and getting caught up on past episodes of Criminal Minds. Anything outside of that tends to get relegated to the "Fuck All" file cabinet gathering dust in my head and stay there. Being the benevolent man I am thugh, I figure why should I be the only one to enjoy an existence of simple pleasures like "My fork is cold. Should I warm it up in this electrical outlet?" or "Condoms? No thank you; I'd rather live in a townhouse." So here's my extensively researched guide on how to live the best life with an IQ that can be measured with Legos:

  1. People that tell you to wipe your ass after every bowel movement are all liars. Work smarter not harder. All you need is a generous spritzing of Axe Body Spray and a nonchalant demeanor that says "No, my asshole does not feel like the surface of a thousand burning suns."

  2. Police cannot legally arrest you if you loudly sing Bad and Boujee while they read you your Miranda Rights. (To be honest, if they fail with the Miranda Rights, I'm not sure what to do if they decide to pivot to either the Carrie, Samantha, or Charlotte Rights.)

  3. Nigerian Royalty Requesting Your Personal Financial Information + You Refusing Said Request = Racism

  4. If your going to make mobile versions of porn sites then maybe you shouldn't act so self-righteous when you see someone masturbating on public transportation.

  5. Property Brothers. I fucks with this show.

  6. Instead of wasting money on flavored/obnoxiously scented condoms, save yourself some time and just purchase a 3 Musketeers bar (preferably mint flavor, but that's just my opinion.) and repurpose the wrapper. It's a level of recycling most people never think of so, yeah, you're welcome.

  7. Sitting motionless in a windowless van while parked outside of an elementary school is only frowned upon if the van appears unfriendly to the children. Try placing kid-friendly decals on the vehicle like "free candy," "delicious ice-cream," or "snitches get stitches."

  8. That cute girl you were chatting with while waiting in line at the coffee shop just gave you her number so, obviously, now's a great time for an unsolicited dick pic.

  9. I don't care if she loves you unconditionally and provides you with invaluable companionship. If she doesn't get down with Lil Uzi Vert, then tell that trick to kick rocks.

  10. Sure you COULD go to a doctor to see about that growth on your genitals OR, and listen to me here, you could just pretend it's not there and keep it moving. I mean, it's the same strategy I use when someone farts around me and, what do you know, soon enough the smell disappears completely. Foolproof.

  11. Stay away from ingesting too much water. Fish shit in it.

  12. Guns don't kill people. People who want to kill people with frightening efficiency kill people...with the use of guns.

  13. Watching porn is a great way to learn what is typically expected during sex. Rubbing the vagina like a coked out DJ, liberal use of spit, seemingly uncomfortable instances of reverse cowgirl, and, of course, matching the 15 minutes of fellatio she gave you with 30 seconds of half-hearted oral reciprocation is all that normal people do. Anything else will just result in your partner silently judging your abilities and, by extension, your worth as a person.

  14. Don't be a follower. Break away from the pack and do something remarkably original at least once in your lifetime. Get a Boost Mobile phone.

  15. Is flame retarded offensive to both the mentally handicapped and gay people? If so, then I think a sternly worded the Hanes underwear department is in order.

Should You Go Outside Today?(Hint: No. Because You're A Garbage Person.)

Would it shock you to know that right now, more than likely right outside your door, a rapist holding a Marie Claire magazine and a falafel is planning to violate you in ways that may not be immediately clear, but still have frightening implications? What if I were to tell you that creditors are no longer relegated to just harassing you over the phone? Congress recently passed legislation that will allow lenders to abduct a family member and hold them in an undisclosed location for an indeterminable amount of time if you are more than 30 days late on a payment. If you thought Comcast had absolutely no chill before, imagine waiting on an Xfinity representative to show up and pick up the agreed upon ransom between the hours of 3 pm and whenever the fuck they feel like it. Of course, with the world being as unimaginative and just plain unhilarious as it is, neither of these scenarios have happened. What is true, however, is that life can be uncaringly harsh at best and unrivaled in its heartlessness at worst. Wouldn't it be best if you were just to stay inside your house and never come out? Like, ever.

Leaving your house could result in awkward conversation with this man on a packed train with no clear exits. Is that what you want? Is it really?

Let's continue forward with the completely plausible premise that you and everything unique about you is of no concern to anyone. Meaning that no one will notice if you just suddenly stopped showing up to the Facebook invites that were sent to your inbox because Carol mistakenly pressed "send to all" instead of hand-picking the guest list (Fucking Carol.) This includes any "friends" you incorrectly believe you have or even family members you successfully delude yourself into thinking look forward to your presence during the holidays. What are you missing out on if you were to take all the Montel Williams self-help books you own and barricade yourself inside your house, never to be seen again with the exception of the coroner tasked with finding out what the horrible smell is coming from your dilapidated home? A nation that just elected a cheeto-dicked egomaniac that regards the concept of World War 3 as a personal challenge instead of a global threat? A social networking platform whose mandate of over-sharing is more likely to give you a lowered self-esteem complex that makes healthy relationships unsustainable instead of its intended purpose of reconnecting estranged friends and playing bullshit internet games? A universal imbalance that demonstrated its twisted sense of irony by killing George Micheal on motherfucking Christmas but has yet to compel O.J. to part two his epic kill streak by strangling Tyga in Kris Jenner's kitchen nook? To quote American feminist, journalist, and social and political activist Gloria Steinem "Nigga buck in the club like, fuck that shit/ Got my tone in the club like, fuck that shit/ Fire a blunt up on the dance floor, fuck that shit/ Straight walk up to that boy like, fuck you bitch."

1446488328-gloria-steinem-50th-1.png

She burned bras and marched topless in an era when most people assumed women could only bleed and fix dinner. Fuck with her. 

To summarize, the state of the world makes the prospect of further interaction with it as appealing as an apprenticeship at the Bill Cosby School of Craft Cocktails.

Consider staying inside not only for your own sense of well-being but the safety of others. Earlier, we established that you're more than likely what people would politely describe as a "garbage person." To expose unsuspecting passersby to your existential fuckshit could have severe, and possibly irreversible, effects. What if, in your daily routine of mediocrity, you were to pass an elementary school playground while the children were on recess? Your consistently underachieving character could result in secondhand low-expectation and influence a child to come up in the crack game and smack the taste out of the mouth of anyone that fails to refer to them by their street name "Lil Big League?" That particular scenario is just a hypothetical, but of course, the risk of it coming to fruition gets higher and higher with each impulse you have of sating your biological need for human interaction.

Must you really be so selfish?

a3141582644_10.jpg

Be considerate. Die Alone.

A Seat At The table And How I've Accepted My Fuckboi Riddled-Past

Late last Thursday, Solange Knowles, of the famous and formidable Knowles Clan, released her sophomore album A Seat At The Table. It's another effort from an otherworldly talented artist that proves that, when talking about Solange and what she contributes as an artist, she should is to be mentioned in a separate context (and maybe even several paragraphs removed) from Beyonce. I can't quite articulate the exact confluence of factors that brought it to the forefront of my mind and made it my constant obsession for days, but it was while listening to this album that I got a glimpse of how hard it is to be unapologetically female in America. I Yes, the album had focused more on the Black Woman's perspective, but the themes and elements sat squarely on the shoulders of the fairer sex. Granted, I can only see this through the lens of a man so I can only refer to my experiences with women and how I've treated them. I don't want to give the impression that I can detail the nuances and minutiae present in every day for a female, but I can give some glimpse into how your actions as a man can affect women who choose, despite all evidence to contrary, to love you. Or even just know you. And, like most things when I allow my mind to run with it like Lindsay Lohan at a jewelry store, I had to reflect on the poor choices I've made throughout my life. Poor decisions that could very well outnumber the good and serve as an indicator of the poor state of a man I can be. So, to make my mistakes immortal and to prove to myself that no amount of forward thinking can erase a nigga's sorry past, I've decided to share some of my shitty rationale with whoever is interested in wasting a few minutes of their lives.

Once, in the halcyon days of Pre-K, I threw sand in the eyes of a girl whom I secretly had a crush on, but unfortunately, she was more fond of my best friend, Tyson. I finished my regrettably prescient exhibition of the fragile male ego by calling her Stink Butt. It took me 5 hours to find her Facebook information, manufacture some transparent but seemingly offhand reason for coming across her name and then messaging her after a solid 24 years of no contact, and apologize profusely. She seemed thoroughly confused but accepted my apology anyways. I suspect she thinks I'm unstable.

When I was in the 5th grade, I had managed to charm my way into the heart of someone then considered the finest redbone girl in class: Brenda. She was pretty because she's mixed with East Indian and African American, so you know she had that good hair plus the cultural dexterity of an ethnically navigable Magellan. We remained together throughout the infancy of our relationship all the way through the honeymoon phase until we had finally emerged stronger than ever in the latter days of our relationship. (This was the 5th grade so keep in mind that all of this occurred within a weeks period. If you were still dating the same person come weekly spelling bee matches, then you guys were essentially husband and wife.) However, one fateful morning, she had seen me loan some other chick my mechanical pencil for an upcoming test and, according to the rules of elementary school, this was grounds for a breakup. Taken aback by the arbitrary nature in which I was dumped, I decided it would be well within my rights to lie and tell my friends that she had given sloppy hand jobs to three guys during the video cassette showing of Schindler's List. So, in the naive yet quick to judge eyes of preteens, that was like a double whammy of anti-Semitism and slut-shaming. Consequently, she had taken a lot of heat and downright malicious behavior from those that found my unsubstantiated rumor mongering funny and though she went on to be academically successful throughout her tenure at our school, she was never as social as she once was and immediately transferred to another school the next town over after that year. There are honestly no words at my disposal to express the shame that I feel for putting her through that, and I can't say I've found the confidence within myself to reach out to her and apologize.

More than a few years ago, I was in a long-term relationship with a woman we'll call Tammy. Tammy was every bit as earnest and giving with her affections as I was naive and emotionally distanced due to some unfounded notion of masculinity. While we both had our longstanding issues that needed to be addressed before we had even considered holding hands much less start a relationship,  the blame falls on me for its dissolution. I am not mincing words when I say that back then every fiber of my being was organically grown and harvested from the purest fuck boi fertilizer Chris Brown's School of Agriculture had ever produced. I lied, hid significant aspects and parts of my life from the woman who was sharing my bed, and when those lies came to the fore and I was confronted with truths I so desperately tried to bury, I doubled down like a coke-addled gambler in Atlantic City and kept on lying. It got to the point where my Super Saiyan level fuckery got so intense that she had questioned things about herself that once should never feel the need to question, much less have that need originate from someone you loved. Her perception of events, who she was, and what her worth deemed she should tolerate. By the grace of Nia Long, she got her wits about herself and left me quicker than Iggy Azalea left cultural relevancy. It's a bleak landscape of emotional agony when I think about what I had purposefully put the woman I had supposedly loved through, but it's an agony completely of my own making, and I deserve every square inch of that pain. Seriously, this was truly a master class in self-sabotage, and if anyone's interested, I may be inclined to write a 1000 page compendium on how to take a proverbial fire ant-covered dildo to your life and those of your loved ones. Check your Amazon Ebook notifications shortly for more details.

I share these stories from some of the lowest sediment of my shit encrusted soul, not as grounds for redemption  or even public penance, but in the hopes of it being something inspirational. I believe that most men could save the world both single-handedly and with athlete's foot if they simply invited their bullshit out to brunch at a nice, quiet bistro, conveyed that while the two of them have had a long and seemingly never-ending relationship it was time to party ways and move on to better things. There are so many obstacles in our way that have our fingerprints over every inch of its surface that it baffles the mind to think of what could be accomplished with just a bit of maturity and a few minutes of objective self-scrutiny. I understand that may seem like a paradox, but it can be done. Over a period of weeks, years, months, or, in my case, several listenings throughout repeated listening of A Seat At The Table. Maybe you should listen to the album as well if you haven't already. Like me, you might have something more to take away from it than just the sanguine-like state of leisure that's present on every track.

 

I'd Forsake My Morals Just To Watch Chris Brown Get Hit With Hot Oatmeal.

I'd Forsake My Morals Just To Watch Chris Brown Get Hit With Hot Oatmeal.

Hopefully, Dear Reader, none of this comes as a shock to you. Not because of any personal connection to myself that you may have where you could say "Oh, classic Jeremiah! He would say some Bananarama shit like that." No, not even close. Would the average person, knowing of Chris Brown and the nefarious activities/ his unrelenting fuckboi regimen of behavior, not want to put a halt to their day just long enough to see some Quaker Oats fuck his life up? I don't really care what errands, obligations, PTA meetings, or bat mitzvahs you have planned that day. That is the day you let your phone calls go to voicemail as you sit back and watch the mercy of God herself on display.

With the stakes so high, hopefully you, Dear Reader, will understand how I will be okay with publicly lying about my love for Taylor Swift songs. Negating to mention the fact that her music is the melodic equivalent of the Nuremberg Trials as far as my ears are concerned. I will steel my hands as I lift cauliflower from whatever Devil's Chalice is housing it to. my. *own*. ***mouth***. I will canvass from house to house, singing the praises of Fox's hit tv show Empire, hallowed be thy name, to every available pair of ears that I can. I will purposefully fail to mention how each season of that show completely nullifies 1/3rd of the civil rights movement and fundamentally erases all measurable influence of the seminal Outkast album, ATLiens just by Hakeem's sheer absurdity.

 

The Struggle For Identity And The Rage It Brings: Just Who The Fuck Do you Think You Are!?!

Identity can be what some would call a "sticky wicket" or some other phrase that you'd only hear at a muscadine wine tasting in Williamsburg. Whether it be ethnic, cultural, sexual, gender, Orc, Mage,-or whoever the hell is responsible for healing you during WoW raids-it can be a powerful thing. They tend to provide people with a sense of community and people that can empathize with their life experience. People with whom a certain degree of trust is innate because they've taken a similar journey to yours and therefore may have a sharper insight into you than some of your own family members. It can serve as the tether to the inescapable reminder that our lives are intertwined with each other and that a path cannot be a path if only walked by one person. It has to have been worn by the travels of many in comparable circumstances.

It can also be a pinecone in the proverbial asshole.

Because with an identity comes values. With values comes ideological thresholds. With ideological thresholds comes the risk of it being defiled worse than a Paddington Bear at a Furries convention. This is especially applicable to those within an oppressed demographic. Usually, minorities and those who don't identify as cisgendered heterosexuals .(but the ballot is definitely open for more, so don't feel left out just yet.)

Life tends to have a particular knack for treating those within its jurisdiction like a child would treat a urinal cake after his fourth Big Gulp. The issue at hand here is: How do you manage the frequent bouts of anger that arise when you see injustice done against those who look like you? Or those who love like you?

Or, as has been illustrated time and time again with threats/acts of violence against women's health workers, those who believe as you do.

It is truly a double-edged soapbox when you subscribe to a certain belief or community. As much as it may fortify you and give you solid ground in what may be a time of existential instability, it can also make one vulnerable to bouts of indignation. Such unfocused fury that it inevitably overrides the rational centers of your brain and veers into what some neurologists refer to as the "World Star Hip Hop Cortex".

It may spur you to regrettable actions such as but not limited to:

 

-Organizing hateful protests at the funerals of soldiers, celebrities, civil/gender rights events, etc.

 

-Owning and operating a tow truck, but somehow coming to the conclusion that God has directed you to leave a disabled woman on the side of the road. All for the slight of her being a Bernie Sanders supporter.

 

-Seeing a Facebook post extolling the (heavily edited) virtues of Donald Trump and still clicking like.

 

-Defending Hilary Clinton against the blantant sexism directed towards her, but refusing to support Megyn Kelly in the same fashion.You know, considering that they are both subjected to a vile subsect of America that no one deserves to deal with no matter their political leanings.

 

-Failing to adhere to your county mandated job requirements as a county clerk on the unimpeachable basis of "Fuck them faggots!".

 

-Using the phrase "Sheeple."

 

-Immediately equating a minority's racial solidarity as overt antagonism against your own race when there is zero minus zero reasons to do so. There is a fine line between pride in one's culture and espousing supremacy over everyone else, and that line is called David Duke.

 

-Being Sarah Palin

 

All of these things were carried out by otherwise reasonable people whom I'm sure would have a significant aversion to violence if not outright actually wishing harm upon another person. But yet, there is something about the sense of being maligned that gives people the disposition and mindset of Fox News whenever Obama stubbornly insists on continuing to be black. I say this as someone who has fallen victim to this phenomenon more times than my internet history would allow me to forget. I can tell you with exact detail what tenor, pitch, and volume I used while screaming at my phone in a CVS parking lot at 2 am because of what I deemed was a stupid Facebook post. I forgot that no one is ever enlightened through a comment thread argument and that my fervent typing served as nothing but subpar ego masturbation. (No lube. Just typos.)

While I don't presume to know of any definitive solutions to curbing this rage, I do know that it turns people into their worst selves. (Pro Tip: Most people's worst self tends to resemble Nancy Grace. If you notice that your hair looks like it belongs to a serial killer who cuts the throats of their victims with Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupons, seek professional help. We're here to support you. There is no "I" in "Beyond".) Maybe the only real attempt at a solution is to acknowledge when it's taking hold and to resist, consciously, the urge to succumb to a tizzy. Like personal bias or the music of Nick Jonas. I can wish you luck. I can tell you that virtually everyone else you meet is in one way or another empathetic to what you're going through. But that wouldn't mean much when the media somehow deems Kylie Jenner as the originator and proprietor of boxer braids. A hairstyle worn by black women since black women realized they were black women. (Just ask 1/2 of Tyga and it'll give you some insight. You can't ask the other half because I'm pretty sure that half is just kangaroo labia and, to my knowledge, kangaroo labia is neither sentient nor possesses to capability of speech.)

Alpha Male Or Alfalfa: Just What Kind Of A Man Are You?

Today's modern man is many things both contemporary and vintage. Both hard-edged but with somewhat delicate sensibilities. Connoisseurs of both fine whiskeys and various limited edition Capri Suns. I would say it's a culturally imposed duality, but that presupposes that we, as men, only have two sides to our identity. While not being a psychological expert like Abraham Maslow or Whoopi Goldberg after three glasses of Chablis, I would imagine anyone, man or woman (or lizard person. Shhhh!), is in possession of a legion of different "faces." Dispositions that they adopt for any number of situations which would fall squarely within the ranks of social acceptability. After all, isn't it easier to take the Josh Groban path through life (non-threatening, milquetoast, probably fucked your stepmom) than to take the path of N.W.A.? (risk taking, provocative, probably fucked your stepmom) 

Therein lies the rub.

It's a dilemma as old as Zack Morris' murder weapon of a cellphone: The Jock and The Geek.

While there is a lot of middle ground between the two, it is essentially these two paradigms that exist at either end of the spectrum. Are you a man who values authority and displays of power to assert yourself in this world? Or are you more appreciative of the quiet nobility inherent in a remarkable intellect and the immense potential it carries? Annoyingly reductive, but these are gross generalizations we're talking about here so stay those twitter fingers for a few minutes while I get with the wordy words. 

I’m the Chuck Liddell of backend coding and the Linus Torvalds of indiscriminate risque sex. (Google it. Then you’d realize why that statement is sexy as hell.)

What was the most panic-inducing accusation a kid could throw at you as a child? Someone accusing you of jerking it to Nick at Nite reruns of Murphy Brown in all of her Voltron shoulder padded sexiness? Someone accusing you of not having gotten to the last level of Battletoads on Sega Genesis even though you've staked your entire reputation on the lie that you had? (Fuck you, Gerald! I just needed more time! I WOULD'VE DONE IT IF I HAD MORE TIME!!)

Chances are, the spark on the powder keg for you was when someone called you a faggot.

This was the 90's, you remember. Halcyon days filled with Super Soakers and Polly Pockets before both of those terms became irrevocably tied to graphic sexual acts. Social progressivism had only advanced to "I guess black people and cops really do have a somewhat tense relationship" and "Diarrhea cha-cha-cha." Calling someone a faggot was the most incendiary slur one could lob at an adolescent. A slur that was usually answered swiftly and decisively. Some kids would immediately respond with braggadocio and fists. I, on the other hand, would respond with written inquiries on what about me brought you to such a conclusion. Why did you feel the need to state such an opinion so brazenly without credible sources? Why are you so concerned with the ins and outs (heh) of my genital area? My brothers were the more athletically pre-dispositioned and, try as I might; I couldn't match their affinity for sports nor the interest in talking about it ad nauseam. I was more affixed to the world of anime. Of sharply animated magical girls who possessed all the powers of the solar system, yet couldn't acquire pants. (Or a bullet proof vest for that matter.) Of Saiyans and their total disregard for infringing on Superman's origin story and many others my lingering sense of anxiety won't allow me to repeat here. I was infatuated with all of this yet I still tried my best to emulate the model of an alpha male. It was a weak attempt, but then again most of my examples wore tights and died, like, every five issues.

Some men would take these societal queues to hilarious extremes like refusing to call women by their actual names or addressing them as you would another person. Instead, they opt to use word like "shawty", "ayo", and "lemme hold $20." Others choose to take it to not so hilarious conclusions by shooting women who politely (as if they had to be polite) refuse their advances, organizing "Legalize Rape" rallies in some sick effort to have a neverending barrage of rubber cast vaginas ironically thrown at you for the rest of your life, conducting a mass shooting due in part to not having women genetically predisposed to fucking you and only you, and so on and so on. These are not isolated incidents. These are not lone offenders or civilized human beings gone rogue. These men, these people, were created by the self-congratulatory circle jerk our culture participates in day in and day out with no regard to the lasting effects of monkey see monkey do. It'd be depressing if we haven't already had time to acclimate. Unfortunately, we seem to have nothing but.

So, again, I ask the question of what kind of a man are you? Because there are many different ways we can play this, but only one in which you align the truth of who you are as compared to the already manufactured plaster cast of what you're supposed to be. Don't get it twisted, if you're someone who completely embodies the prototypical model of "Mr. Steal your Girl" then good for you. Or maybe you're one of the more athletically minded individuals who derives a significant portion of their happiness with their total dominion over their own body and the power it affords them then bully for you as well. You can be this and more because freedom is a right and the infinite light of our lord and savior, Beyoncé of Knowles, shines on all of us. All we ask is that you do not engage in rhetoric and actions that suggest your humanity supersedes the humanity of others. Each and every time someone has adopted that platform it has always ended in tragedy and shitty black and white History Channel documentaries with foreign narrators speaking over ominous music. I mean, who really wants to be a footnote on what was wrong with the social politics of their era? Those people are usually psycho-analyzed by televised pseudo-scholars who usually take about 10.5 paragraphs just to call someone an asshole.

You don't wanna be just another asshole.

Greed, Shame, and The Jackpot: What Wouldn't You Do For $1.5 Billion?

Greed, Shame, and The Jackpot: What Wouldn't You Do For $1.5 Billion?

Have you rationalized your plan to find the winner on Twitter and offer them unsolicited facts about yourself like how Flintstone’s Push Pops eliminated your gag reflex? Did you get rid of the video you spent 3 hours positioning your camera phone just right for so that you could accurately display how you're able to twist the cap off a Stella Artois bottle with just your butt cheeks? 

Twitter Facebook