Category Archives: Writing

Compassion And Outrage

Recently, a close friend posted the following:

There’s a cop that goes to the same comic shop I go to. Saw him there today. He tried to spark up our usual comic banter. I couldn’t bring myself to talk to him – I was polite – I know he had nothing to do with what’s been going on – but ill feelings towards him were nonetheless present. I’m so angry. It’s good that it’s Friday. With heat and everything else – I’m glad to get away from people for a couple of days. I’m tired – I’ve had bad run in with police since I was 13 & I’ve never so much as stolen a bag of chips. I hate the feeling I have of “finally” in Dallas. I’m ashamed of that feeling. I just want change – not more death. My condolences to the families of those officers

When I read his post, I was immediately overwhelmed with a multitude of emotions. At first I was saddened. My heart was heavy because he was feeling some kind of way about something that was leagues out of his control. As if it somehow it was happening to him directly. As if this officer who shares his love of comics and all things nerdy was the perpetrator of the crimes in question. Like a sub-system protocol was hard wired into the psyche of this public servant to hate black people and he was carrying his facade as well as any Oscar winning actor would.

As I read the post a second time, I felt empathy. I put myself in his situation and felt the unjust anger that he felt. I felt the inherent tension and the distrust of this man whom I don’t really know. We come in here and we exchange pleasantries regarding our love for comics however what is he really thinking? Is he sizing me up? Of course, I wasn’t there and I don’t know the extent of what they ever say to each other but that’s probably what I’d do.

Finally on my third read, I felt… outrage. Here is a man (my friend mind you) that has lived all of his life in a city where I myself grew up. A city in which I still consider the capital of the universe. Where we spent countless hours as youths talking about fictional characters and girls and food and whatever pre-teens and teenagers spoke about in the 80’s. We loved the same music, we loved the same TV shows, we loved the same movies and still do! When video games were finally affordable we played hours upon hours of games until our eyes were tearing from the stress of staring at the screen.

I don’t live in New York anymore and I miss it dearly but my point is we had the same things and the same friends and the same dreams. Why is a man which doesn’t have a hurtful or violent hair on his head (a loose analogy considering he’s bald) feel the way he does?

Because society has failed him. Society has failed us all truth be told. The problem of racism is systematic. We have been taught to conform. That stop and frisk and profiling are necessary. That the fact that more people of color are subject to these practices is just the way things are. Even if the words weren’t used we were taught that white is supreme and everyone else is lucky to be able to share this earth with them. We still see it every day.

What’s worse is that some white people (at least some of them that I know) just don’t have a clue. I experience this frustration daily. They believe that it’s all in our heads and that there’s nothing wrong. While we were being taught to fear the police, they were being taught to admire and respect them. While we were always told walk the straight and narrow because 5-Ohh would beat us down, they were being told to stay out of the black neighborhoods because “they” were nothing but trouble.

Back in The Bronx…

As a boy, I was taught by my parents that people are people and we are all equal. That was what was said to me however that is not what I saw. The block where we hung out were mostly black and hispanic. Walk up the street a few blocks and you saw the change. As the graffiti started to lessen, so did the color of peoples skin. While one culture, the culture of Hip Hop was rising, another was pointing fingers and calling us hoodlums. While we embraced change, another was clinging to the traditions of old where we were the products of a lesser race.

I never thought I’d ever have to have a talk with my teenager about the unwritten laws of how to interact with a police officer. If an officer approaches you, put your hands up and only put them down if he tells you to. Never reach for anything unless instructed and even then, let them know what is in which pocket and move slowly. No sudden movements. Don’t sass, don’t curse and for Gods sake, don’t run.

Back to my friend, I moved to Florida and I lost contact with him. Fast forward about 10 or 12 years and we got in touch with each other through a mutual friend. I moved on to be… whatever the hell I am and he’s still in New York doing… whatever the hell he does. We don’t speak as often as we did but when we do it’s like we picked up where we left off.

This has been my sad little rant. Thanks for reading.

Well, well, well… Look who’s heeah!

Yeah I know. It’s been a DAMN long time since the last time I posted anything to this sad little blog of mine. Well, the last time I gave my sad little opinion on anything was back in September of 2oo fucking 9 (I’m still working on that cursing thing).

Anywho… there has been a lot of shit happening in our lovely U.S. of A. that has been pissing me off as of late and quite frankly, I don’t know why I haven’t blessed you with my thoughts so I’m going to put on my thinking cap and get back on the horse.

You’ll notice that there have been some changes to the format. For one, I got an actual domain name. Besides that, I’ve moved out of blogger and into WordPress. This allows me greater freedom over the design of the site as well as content. Speaking of design, I know it’s a little generic now but I promise that will change as I add elements & change settings.

Well, it’s late and my old self needs to get to bed. I’ll start filling this bad boy with actual relevant content soon so…

STAY TUNED!

Decisions In Life: Corporate Career or Freedom Of Speech?

I’ve been writing for a little while now however I’ve only made my thoughts available to the public on the internet recently (relatively speaking of course). The ability to speak my mind in a forum where others can relate (or not) gives me a certain sense of freedom.One of my many, many (many) dreams in life is to write for a living. The thought of spending my days researching and thinking up stories and opinions and finding the right words and combining them together to put down a conscious and functional series of sentences is very appealing to me. The problem with this, at this point in my life is that I have a family that I have to support (not that having a family is a problem but… you know what I mean).Some of you may have noticed that I can sometimes get into an angry rant when I blog (don’t worry, I’m not apologizing. Stick with me). As the subtitle of my blog indicates, I give my opinions on things that I see, hear or read and sometimes what I see, hear or read can really piss me off.

That’s the beauty of writing for a blog (or any other venue for that matter). I’m able to take that rage and channel it away from my life through my words and onto the internet for everyone to see and agree or disagree with. My question is, how long will it last?

I’ve been noticing a growing trend. One, I’m afraid, that is very unnerving for people like myself and others who like to blog what’s on their minds and still keep a day job. Corporate America is seeing to it that their employees play nice on the internet by checking in on their blogs and twits and other social networking habits.

While their isn’t anything wrong with this per se, it’s what they are doing with the information that is dangerous. People are getting fired from their jobs because of what their online persona’s are expressing on the internet.

Now I understand if a particular person is on a constant rampage and ranting on and on about how their boss sucks and their job sucks and how the company can burn in hell blah blah blah. They can handle that just as if someone sees a friend talking shit about them online and decides to cut them off.

But what if that’s not the case? What if you never mention your job or what you do or the company you work for and your the kind of person who are two totally different people in and out of the office? I personally believe that most of us fit into this category. Most of us treat work and home like two different and totally separate worlds never crossing the line between the two.

I’m this kind of person. When I’m at work my clothing is neat, pressed and I’m pretty much clean shaven (for the most part) and I have my language in check but outside of work, I throw on a pair baggy jeans, an oversided tee, a pair of Tims (that stands for Timberland, you know… the boots), a backwards ball cap and my language turns a little more… colorful.

Then there are my choices of activities. At work, I… well… work. At home, I write whatever the eff is on my mind. I write, blog and twit all while having Facebook open in the background. I read a lot of news sites and watch a lot of the news on TV (it’s where I get most of my material). I read magazines and news papers (remember those). Most of the time I get pissed off at what I see, read or watch and my opinion ends up here, for all to see.

Herein lies the issue. If by chance what I write pisses off one of the tight ass, stiff collared corporate types at the company I work for, I can pretty much be shit canned and there is nothing I can really do about it. They already have control over my life when I’m sitting in my cubicle working my fingers to the bone for them but this… this effectively gives them control over my personal life as well.

What is a creative and outspoken person like myself to do? Not only do they have you minding your p’s and q’s at work for fear of loosing your means of supporting your family but, they are making you walk on egg shells in your personal life as well. Whatever happened to our right to freedom of speech?

In my sad little opinion, the corporate world isn’t a democracy. You sign your life away to them in an agreement where by you do something for them and they pay you for it. With this new trend of monitoring your online persona, it seems we have relinquished our personal freedoms as well. Our freedom of speech being first on the hit list.

Holla back with your thoughts.