Black Friday

Scenes from the masacre...11-25-11

According to several news sources – This year’s Black Friday yielded over 24% more sales than last year. $11.40 billion was spent by American consumers in one day.

This coming one day after a family meal that on averages exceeds 1500 calories per plate and costs $300-$800 per family to prepare.

But it doesn’t stop there – January brings the most expensive party of the year.  Club entry fees range everywhere from $25 to $25,000 (don’t believe me: click here).

We then keep the party rolling to February’s main event – Valentine’s Day.  Between flower sales, diamond sales and sales from pricey dinners the average American spends about $700 to “show their love”.

If you need a moral to sum up this post, God help you.

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Elevate Those Guns a Little Lower

Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr., Black Nationalist

If only Marcus Garvey and Martin Luther King knew that the streets (and schools for that matter) named after them by majority would have turned out to be cesspools of violence and ignorance.  Perhaps they would have opted to lend their names to police stations – just to cut out the middle man. 

The recent story is that of a 79-year old man who was shot and killed during a shoot-out involving three other unidentified men on Marcus Garvey Blvd.  He was innocently sitting in front of the barber shop when bullets began flying and his life ended.  This happened literally about a block and a half from my doorstop, on the street I’ve told my husband several times that I refuse to walk down (even though our laundry mat sits stubbornly in the middle of said block).  I came home the other day to a barrage of sirens, helicopters and  cops swarming my street and a blockade re-directing traffic down Putnam avenue.  Saalik sat focused on his Mac when I walked in the door and told him what happened.  “Well, now you have something to write about…”

Well, not really.  I mean, maybe I could become an advocate for the personal use of body armor.  Especially since I unknowingly walked through an open crime scene 20 minutes after a murder took place while police were still in a scramble to chase down the assailants.  Maybe I could wear a tee-shirt marked with the shocking murder statistics for BedStuy – a whopping  60 shootings in my area alone this year, 95% of which resulted in death.  I’m sure that would make an impact. *sarcasm*

I remember when I lived in Houston I got into an argument with a woman about gun possession (a popular topic in that area).  She said it’s every citizen’s right to defend themselves.  This was someone who never lived in a low-income area, never experienced a shooting, never lost a friend to gun fire (part from war) and had no idea what the real face of violence looked like.   I told her with a straight face – “Guns are legal because they’re a loose form of population control.  Not to protect your silly nick-nacks.”

Guns are legal because they justify war, they justify a legal system and a correctional system. Guns are legal because back in the day – when war was at your front step instead of over seas, protecting your family took on a different meaning.  Today that’s just not relevent.  The ONLY thing gun-owners are protecting themselves from is other guns – now what sense does that make?

Aside from owning our own conscious behavior the only other option for action is to make some noise.  We can tell our local officials that we’re upset, that we want effective change.  We can believe (though difficult) that this will make an impact.

Click Here to tell your local officials that you want gun violence to stop, and that you want tougher laws against violators.  Send them a note, send them a picture of someone you’ve lost.  Tell them that their laziness makes them responsable.

London Riots

I’m from Oakland, California.  I understand the chemistry that sparks a riot.  I understand the heat that must first be applied to the water, the boiling point it reaches, the desperate emotions that fly through the blood stream igniting an overflow.  I’m no one to judge.  Especially since our country has been shaped by outrage.  Our entire world, in fact, has challenged the idea of self-governance for hundreds of years.

The reasons aren’t even important anymore.  The outcome isn’t either. But the fact that riots happen…THAT is what should matter.  THAT is the entire point.

(AP Photo/Sang Tan)

When people feel silenced and ignored and without choices, they tend to react.  That reaction, depending on its vantage point, generally comes out jagged and unorganized.  Chaotic.  Seemingly in need of control – instead of a microphone.

The underlined problem is that people pay attention to what goes on.  Yes, even those who are generally discounted.  Especially those who are discounted.  And until there is less mindless bureaucracy, less thumb pressing to the foreheads of those forced into the line-up, the pressure boiling beneath the surface will only grow hotter.

“They want you to rise up…” someone once told me, “So they can shoot you down, like a whack-a-mole.”  My question is: Does anyone’s point get made?

(Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

The “powers that be”…also known as, those sitting on the top of our little pyramid-scheme of a world, riot against us all the time.  The complex tiny laws that brick by brick chip away at our so-called “freedoms”.  The prison-by-design nature of our economic structure.  The disregard for our health – the over-regard for the top and bottom dollar.  The hush-hush preference for the rich and shooed away quick-fixes passed down to the luckless masses.  – Are these not crimes??  The point of settling the riots as quickly as possible and blowing at the media embers to paint them as horrible criminal acts, regardless of what triggered them, is to post a clear message.  That message is “Stay seated, young people.  Buy a house, watch MTV, eat your GMO tomatoes and be glad you don’t live in the DR Congo.”

Weighing In: The Flu “Epidemic”

I make it a morning habit to read the news headlines on my Android as I brush my teeth.  I’m sure one day my room mates will wake to my screams after dropping my $500 phone into a pool of sudsy toothpaste water; but until that day it remains a daily staple.  This morning however, as I browsed headlines I rolled my eyes as yet again the focus of health news surrounds that new favorite buzz word “flu”.

I am well aware that the flu is a terrible…uh…epidemic inconvenience.  Achy body, fever, sinus congestion, headache, sneezing…and the ubiquitous “ugh” feeling that floats like a gray cloud above the victim’s head.  However, being that I wasn’t born yesterday, I feel as though the over all dramatization of the flu has miraculously increased since the introduction of the flu vaccine.  Coincidence?

Beware the runny nose!

All due respect to those who have died from the flu.  One of my good friend’s father died a few years ago from complications with the flu.  But when nearly every “flu scare” headline is accompanied by details of words like “obese”, “elderly”, “infant”, “complications”…I can’t help but think that the intensity of the flu is being puffed up when perhaps the victims who have died from it were already in a weakened state of health.  For example; my friend’s father was always in and out of the hospital.  Just one of those unfortunate people who had a weaker immune system.

No one wants to stand up and shout “BLUFF” when we’re talking about grandmothers and 4-year-olds, but I have to say it….this is FISHY!

A few weeks ago I began to feel flu symptoms and nursed my ailment with all 100% homeopathic treatments.  I was all better in less than 7 days, with not ONE trip to the doctor or one needle prick to the arm.  Does the media hype up homeopathic remedies?  Nope…just shoot yourself with this concoction that we mixed up and everything will be juuuust fine.

We live in a society that allows the media to completely run our lives, that’s just an undeniable fact.  From product placement to website ads to newspaper headlines, the media guides nearly everything we do.  It’s just a simple observation – this flu topic that sticks to the back of my throat.  They want us to be afraid of the flu, to associate it with death tolls and suffering.  They want us to feel as though it’s practically our obligation to our fellow mankind to line up and get a flu vaccine.  In the same country where millions of people are unable to afford a doctor to mend a broken bone, your local drug store is passing out free flu shots as though it were water.  All I’m asking…all I ever ask…all anyone reading this should ask  is why?

How did I beat the flu in less than 7 days without a drop of medicine?

Find out in the premier issue of RIVYRSE Magazine!

Spot the Irony

It’s awfully slow in the office this week, hence I have been doing some catching up with the latest headlines.  I usually browse fashion blogs because the typical news outlets (NY Times…etc) while very informative, tend to leave me a little deflated.  My happy medium is New York Magazine.  Today a NYM headline lead me to AOL news which reported a literal crime of passion.

23-year old Arthur Sedille apparently shot and killed his 50-year old wife while playing a pretty heavy sex game.  He admitted to authorities that he often likes to pull out his handgun during sex and point it at his lady’s dome.  This time, however, he had no idea the gun was loaded- I’d check the most recently updated insurance forms after that flimsy excuse.  How do you not know that your “sex toy” is loaded?….

But the part that I thought was the most hilarious (in that “dark humor” kind of way,  of course) was the quote from Sedille’s Facebook profile page regarding his interests…which include:

AK-47 assault rifle, M-1 Carbine rifle, Jagermeister and Jesus Christ

*chuckle*

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