Tag Archives: culture

volunteers always trump complainers.

I hope our nation realizes that electing a new president was only the beginning of this new way of thinking we need to embrace. With a fierce battle waging between capitalism, socialism , Marxism, racism, terrorism, nationalism – let’s do more than just cross our fingers that the prevailing philosophy will be volunteerism.


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are you scared of underwear?

Over at the Smoking Gun, they have reported on an MTV interview with Barack Obama about the new ordinance in Riviera Beach, FL banning the “sagging” of pants, a style popular amongst the youth, the skate/surf crowd, and of course, the cause of all of the world’s problems: the hip hop culture.

 

The big questions for me: is the law against wearing your pants/shorts below what the government determines is your waist, or is the law against the exposure of underwear? If it’s all about the waist, who gets to decide where a 2008 American waistline should be? What if you were wearing gym shorts under your underwear, and just the shorts were seen or exposed? Are underwear really that offensive? Are seeing exposed, multi-colored boxers any different than seeing someone at the beach in board shorts? Don’t we see advertisements with people in their underwear on tv, magazines, billboards, newspapers, and in the mail everyday?

 

What if you were wearing shorts with extra big and long pockets that could be worn at the waist but are baggy enough they appear you are wearing them 3 inches below the waist? Is seeing underwear worse than seeing someone without a shirt on? What if you were trying to be a good citizen and your belt broke, and you were on your way to the store to purchase a new one? Would you get leniency? I’m not sure of their motives, but I’ve seen women’s attire be far more borderline indecent; I’ve seen people wearing bandanas look far more menacing; and I’ve seen t-shirts with words and sentiments are far more obscene. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t I allowed to wear a shirt that says “F*ck You”?

 

I’m curious how the statute reads. As a rule, all vague laws should be deemed unconstitutional. As a part of our due process in this country derived from the 5th and 14th Amendments:

If a person of ordinary intelligence cannot determine what persons are regulated, what conduct is prohibited, or what punishment may be imposed under a particular law, then the law will be deemed unconstitutionally vague. The U.S. Supreme Court has said that no one may be required at peril of life, liberty, or property to speculate as to the meaning of a penal law. Everyone is entitled to know what the government commands or forbids.

It’s fairly easy to pinpoint laws created to attack particular groups of people whether it’s the youth or black people. I feel everyone has the right to be comfortable in how they dress and choose their own appearance, as long as it isn’t causing harm to another citizen, or violates rules of private businesses or certain places because of the distracting nature (i.e. school, church, etc.) I remember when I was in high school, our administration actually voted and placed a ban on any t-shirts soliciting any association, promotion, or related imagery with Marilyn Manson. At the time, I remember thinking how ridiculous and insane that seemed to me, even as a 16-year old kid who knew very little about life and discrimination – but not caring because it wasn’t an injustice directed towards me. This was also around the same time when my mind started developing realizations that adults were not superheroes – they were just older versions of myself, capable of making the same stupid mistakes, having the same poor judgment, but clouded by preconceived perceptions, outside influences, and how their “neighbors” thought about them.

 

It’s not the president’s responsibility though to enter in and intervene in municipal politics. That’s what local politicians are for. Those people who oppose such gross misuses of power and government resources should be using their local voice to influence local politicians. Politicians that want to stay in office, do what the people nag them for – and if they know that the spectrum of people who decide if they get re-elected has ballooned, and more people are a part of the political process, then they will be more likely to cater to those groups. I hope people of all color and age, take their involvement in getting Barack Obama elected as a sign that we need to be more involved with politics on every level of government across the whole country.

 

Hopefully, people will see that for the most part, the things they did to support the presidential election and candidate, were not all that complicated or time-consuming. I’m glad that this election motivated and inspired people to register and join the political process, no matter what they’re reasons for doing so. More voices = more opinions = more chances of finding solutions. If you feel that strongly about it, the great thing about our country is that you can travel down to Riviera Beach, FL and do something about it.

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unreleased beatles, biggie, & nas.

Just some lesser known gems from around the music spectrum.

Notorious B.I.G. – “4 The Macs & Dons”



Nas – “Jungle” feat. Olu Dara



John Lennon & Ringo Starr – “I’m the Greatest”



Bonus:

MGMT – “Electric Feel”



Focus – “Hocus Pocus”


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american culture vs. john mccain

John McCain caught me off-guard with one statement he made tonite:

It’s time to change the American culture.

Should the president, who is only one man in a nation of millions, have the right to shape American culture how he sees fit? Isn’t he there to serve the people? Shouldn’t Americans shape American culture? The president is merely supposed to be the figurehead guide for the political process. If the American people decide as an overwhelming collective that we want to celebrate and integrate into our American culture that October 16th will be “National Wear-Your-Underwear-on-Your-Head Day” – doesn’t the president have a duty to serve our interests and not his opinion of our interests?

Related Links: Find out which presidential candidate represents your beliefs the best.

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the definition of poverty.

In support of Blog Action Day, we should all take an opportunity to reflect on the reality of poverty. I definitely think there are two types of people when it comes to the issue of poverty: those who acknowledge it and have seen proof of it’s existence (and in some sense can probably relate), and those who exile the idea from their minds and simply sweep it under the rug. The basic idea of poverty is that you are unable to afford necessities. The homeless vagrants standing out front of 7-11 asking for change certainly exhibit traits of being poor. But, the reality is – people who have jobs, have cars, rent houses, have children, and vote – are also poor.

Every year the federal government is nice enough to tell us who is poor and who is not. For 2007, the imaginary poverty line for a single person under the age of 65 was set at $10,787 – and at $21,027 for a family of four. By this logic, someone who makes an astounding $15,000/year is actually fairly well off.  But, with the average rent/mortgage payment in the U.S. hovering near $700 each month – how can someone making 11K per year not be poor, when devoting nearly 75% of their income just to the basic principle of shelter? I can remember being in this income bracket, with nothing but a 5 lb box of rice to tide me over – everything else was a luxury.  How can someone muster up the gas money, application fee, and cost of books to go to college when a gallon of gas is equivalent to what they make in 60 minutes of work?

It’s time that the ‘powers that be realistically’ address the definition of poverty.

In the meantime, read George Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon” (pdf).

Find out what you can do to take a stand against poverty in your community.

And of course, whether rich or poor, don’t forget to vote November 4th.

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20 links for the hip hop obscurist

Courtesy of Oh Word.

1. 100 Great Obscure Rap Songs, 2. Large Professor Discusses Main Source, Nas, New Album (Video), 3. The Sample From Nas’s “Life Is Like A Dice Game” Revealed, 4. Junior Mafia “Player’s Anthem” Beat Deconstructed, 5. A Buyer’s Guide For Out Of Print Rap Albums, 6. Pete Rock Discusses Sampling Techniques (Video), 7. The Entire Fondle ‘Em Discography Available For Download, 8. A Guide To Assessing Vinyl Rarity, 9. Seven Volumes Of KRS-One Songs Not Included On His Albums, 10. RZA Breaks Down The Science of “Bong Bong” (Video), 11. 4 Hours Of Biggie Songs Mixed By Mr. Cee, 12. DJ Clark Kent Discusses Crate Digging, Sneakers, Jay-Z, 13. Large Professor Interviews @ Cocaine Blunts, 14. Latin Party Starters Selected By O-Dub, 15. Cypress Hill Temples Of Boom Reviewed Track By Track, 16. An Audio History of NYC Hip Hop Radio, 17. DJ Evil Dee “Pure Dope Mixtape” (Podcast), 18. Illmatic Promo (Video), 19. Rosenberg Radio – De La Soul mix & Interview, Large Pro Interview, 20. Source March 1995 Issue w/ Slick Rick (downloadable .pdf)

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