Monday, April 27, 2015

TOO LATE TO CHANGE THE TIMES



Around some 20 years while a student at Hofstra University I attended a guest lecture by a prominent albeit little-known figure from the U.S. Government.  I can’t remember the exact topic of his presentation, but it bordered around global U.S. military interventionism.  At the time I was deep into study of anthropology and learning directly from the Whiteman himself how his own people (specifically Western Europeans) have f*cked the world over, and I was cocky and thought I had the whole game figured out.  So when the time came for questions to be posed to the speaker I, the only Black and possibly youngest person in the audience, boldly raised my hand and asked this man in the know, “Why is it that the United States is always intervening in other country’s affairs?”, upon which he looked at me with that ‘he’s-brave-but-dumb’ look and somewhat forcefully yet somewhat sarcastically responded, “Because they ask us to.”

Also while at Hofstra I had a Nigerian friend who perhaps went on to become that most successful professional out of all my former associates.  Once I paid him a visit while he was attending Georgetown, and we got into one of our many discussions about the state of the world and American Society, and when such conversations turn into debates there aren’t many brethren who can stand against me once I start whipping out the statistics and facts.  So at the end of day, rather than perpetuate what appeared to be a never-ending deliberation, he concluded it all by simply telling me that I needed to open my mind and that the way I perceived the state of the world was “too black and white.”

About a month ago I came across an article on Cracked.com, which is currently my favorite leisure-reading website, about the genesis of all that beef currently going on in the Ukraine, and regardless of how the popular media tends to present the situation, it didn’t began as a Russia versus NATO turf war but more as in protesters against their own government - like brother against brother.  Eventually “all at once the protest became a revolution,” and Russia came to the aid of the Ukrainian Government against its own people which eventually led to intervention by the United States and NATO, and whereas this article also has a strong tone of propaganda it is still a different version than presented by other sites such as another I frequent, Infowars, which on the surface seems to have presented it as a classic case of America sticking her nose into somebody else’s business and all hell breaking loose as a result.

Just yesterday I came across an article, which prompted me to write this post, that highlighted how the U.S. Military is training soldiers in Chad to fight Boko Haram.  On the surface of course Boko Haram are bad guys, but I would venture to say that like other such conflicts there’s probably a lot going on underneath the surface that a person wouldn’t know unless they have a better understanding of Nigerian history than what the mainstream media has to offer.  That being said they’re still going around killing countless innocent people, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I was glad to hear that America is helping the Chadian soldiers fight them, almost to the point of - dare I say it - being proud to be an American.

 CONCLUSION

In a perfect world if a weaker nation is being terrorized by a more powerful nation and an even more-powerful nation is willing to sacrifice its own sons in order to defend the weaker nation, that would be one of the greatest acts of heroism and altruism in human history. However in an imperfect world, i.e. the one that you and I live in, every time you witness such a scenario you instead have to consider what the even more-powerful nation stands to gain from defending the weaker nation and know that at the end of the day just as the more-powerful nation is administering justice eventually all nations are judged. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

THE "ANTI-UNITED STATES ALLIANCE"?

Last Updated 25 April 2015

I'm always nervously looking out to identify countries the United States have beef with in anticipation of the prophecies of Revelation 17 and 18 being fulfilled in which 10 kings (nations) destroy Babylon.  Of course there may never be a consensus on who the prophesied Babylon of Revelations actually is, but for the sake of argument I think we can generally conclude that in terms of being a physical place that the modern-day Babylon would be the United States.

For those of you who are interested in this topic but immediately get turned off by anything referencing the Bible or religion in general I implore you to read on, especially if you live in the United States, since as we all know there are real things going on in the world that we need to keep an eye on, and although my conclusion that 10 nations will ultimately teamup to fight America may be based on prophesy this article for the most part is not Biblically based.  Moreover the nations put on this list have not to date formed such an "alliance", and I actually got the title from an article I came across recently.

I split the nations on this list up into three tiers, Red, Orange and Yellow, based on the current severity of their fluctuating beef with the United States, and as such I will update the list regularly based on news received from the international front.

RED

RUSSIA
Allies: China, Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba
Enemies: United States, NATO

Of course the red list has to began with America's longtime rival, Russia.  In recent years things seemed to be more or less cool between the two superest of powers until recent drama like Syria and more importantly the Ukraine.  Contrary to popular belief Russia's nuclear arsenal is actually superior to the United States', and the idea of these two actually going at it is the one thing on Earth I like to think about the least,  Moreover the funny thing about it these days is that Russia is being portrayed more as the peacemaker and good guy.


NORTH KOREA
Enemies: United States, South Korea

With the "tension" in the Ukraine you don't hear much about NK these days unless it's, as usual, threatening the United States and South Korea, which the international audience seems to have gotten used to.  Logically in a war North Korea wouldn't stand a chance alone against America, which makes its constant threats against the US and defiance of UN statutes even more notable.


IRAQ

Actually I didn't know where to put Iraq on this list for a number of reasons.  First off unlike Russia and North Korea they don't seem to have any missiles capable of hitting the homeland United States, and secondly isn't there supposed to be like a pro-US government in power in Iraq?  When the Unites States invaded Iraq at the turn of the century they were successful in changing the power structure, but unfortunately Iraq has been in a perpetual state of civil unrest since, and in retrospect it now seems like things were more stable when the country was under the dictatorship of the assassinated Saddam Hussein.  Moreover being that this nation seems to be the stronghold of the Islamic State it's safe to say that they don't have much love for America, meaning that the people in Iraq probably attribute much of the ongoing violence to Western intervention in some way, shape or form.


VENEZUELA
Allies: Russia, Iran

Somewhat like North Korea, due to its weaker military might it's hard to imagine Venezuela actually getting into it with the US.  When former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a very outspoken critic of the United States' foreign policy, died, the general implication seemed to be relations between the two nations would get better.  However as of right now the two countries are experiencing "the worst bilateral diplomatic dispute since socialist President Nicolas Maduro took office in 2013".

ORANGE


YEMEN


I don't know much about Yemen other than despite being a small and relatively powerless country it is also a regular victim of US air (drone) strikes, which tend to have large numbers of civilians casualties, and of course such actions can make anyone into your enemy.


AFGHANISTAN

Afghanistan is a nation that has been at "war" with the United States for over 10 years now but of course has nowhere near the military might of America.  As such all of the fighting to date has been on Afghani soil.



CHINA
Allies: Russia, Australia
Enemies: Japan

As if China being an ally to Russia wasn't enough, direct tensions have recently flared up against the Asian nation and America due to the South China Sea territorial dispute.  Even though China's expansion into these waters apparently doesn't pose any direct threat to the United States, as the Sea is nowhere near to the continental U.S., America still has a number of strong allies in the region who feel threatened by China, including Japan (despite current protests suggesting the opposite, at least as a sentiment amongst the masses) and the Philippines (as pictured below). 


Even though this beef is more prevalent in the news these days than even the Ukraine, just like the idea of the United States getting into it with Russia I think most of us don't want to see a war with China.



SYRIA
Allies: Russia, Iran
Enemies: United States, United Kingdom

Syria is a country that has been dealing with deadly civil unrest for years, a situation that prompted America and her allies to consider intervention, which the still-standing Syrian government has vehemently refused and the global community disagreed with.  However the apparent rise of the Islamic State in Syria has given the United States the rationale to start bombing targets in Syria, and I'm confident if Syria were a stronger nation it would have considered bombing homeland America in retaliation.  As of right now since parts of Syria are under the control of different parties it's probably not likely that anti-American sentiment is a prevailing thought among all of them, and even if so again they don't have the military prowess to highhandedly defeat the United States.


ECUADOR

Even though Latin America is relatively right at America's doorstep, more attention is always given to American military activities in the Middle East, probably because such intervention in Latin American, according to history, has been more clandestine.  However this has not caused the leaders of Latin America countries to forget the past, and as such you have countries like Venezuela and Ecuador that occasionally accuse the United States of meddling in their affairs in the worst way. 

YELLOW



ISRAEL
Allies: United States
Enemies: Iran

Being that the United States gives more foreign aid to Israel than any other nation it's not at war with, it may seem strange to see them on such a list, but in the game of international politics and prophecy you never really know.  In recent years, whereas I wouldn't necessarily call it a pro-Palestinian stance, America definitely seems to be sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, which of course has Israel pissed off.  Now it seems like the United States is on the verge of striking some type of "nuclear deal", a decision so controversial and annoying to Israel that it has caused the greatest public derision in US foreign policy that I ever remember seeing.


CUBA

One of the few countries that really seems to have developed a better relationship with the United States under the Obama Administration has been neighboring Cuba, which sits only 40 miles off the coast of Florida.  Like North Korea, though small and seemingly and powerless against the United States, Cuba has a long history of not giving afuk and perhaps more alarmingly communism, which has allowed it to deal with countries like Russia in the past.  Though on the surface in recent dealings it seems like the United States has become more sympathetic to Cuba perhaps one of the main underlying goal of this diplomacy is to make sure that small yet brave and strategically placed nation doesn't form a better relationship with the likes of Russia or Venezuela.


JAPAN
Allies: United States
Enemies: China, Russia?


The governments of Japan and the United States are allies, but that doesn't necessarily mean this sentiment is shared amongst the Japanese people.  Japan isn't the type of nation where an American has to fear being kidnapped or anything of the such, but that doesn't mean for instance that they want US military bases there. However more importantly Japan has been "the sole country to face nuclear attack" which was at the hands of the United States, and though this happened some 70 years ago considering that hundreds of thousands Japanese died from these bombs it's not something you think they would forgotten, even after all of this time.  As such, even though Japan says things like "unveiling Tokyo's biggest-ever naval ship in peacetime" during the 68th anniversary of the bombings in 2013 "was coincidental", some of course may conclude otherwise.

CONCLUSION

I'm not political insider nor a formal student of international politics; like most of you I just read the news and try to put things together, and when you bring Biblical prophecy into the mix of international relations things really look grim, especially for I would say the United States.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

MAN, IS LIFE DEPRESSING

Man is life depressing, when you have to resort to books and false prophets (people who want you to pay them to make you feel good about yourself) to boost your self-esteem and outlook on life, but unfortunately this is something many of us must do in order to achieve a mentally-healthy day, and I find myself tempted to once again download texts like Napoleon Hill’s Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude despite the fact that although a good read and actually inspirational on the whole I know in the long run isn’t going to do jackshit.

Of course like most human beings the causes of my depression are numerous.  For starters I have a job that offers absolutely no advancements where I have to scrap for crumbs from the table.  Then there’s the fact that I spend practically every day alone, but as often is the case in the world of depression that’s a double-edged sword, because at the same time I really can’t stand being around most people I know for an extended period of time, and even if I did get the job of my dreams it’d probably reduce me into a salary-enslaved drone - you know, being able to credit and afford anything you want but never actually being free enough to really enjoy it.

I know that indeed depression is for the most part mental, but I also know that it can often be alleviated through physical pleasures.  So for instance eating is something many people may find relief in, although later they may have to deal with the depressing affects of overeating like poor health and spending too much on food.  Sometimes people tell me I should marry and have a family, and whereas having loved ones around is definitely a picker-upper it’s not something that I feel one should do hastily, lest I find myself in the depressing situation of having dependants that I can’t adequately cater for.  I would love to actually make a living off of my passions, i.e. writing, but this blog and a couple of other websites I have up get practically no hits, and of course when I think about that it depresses the sh*t out of me.

I think some people would classify what I’m going through as midlife crisis, and I don’t know how accurate that is.  I do know that back in the day whereas I wasn’t what you would call carefree I definitely had more optimism for my future than I do now.  In reality the failures I’ve experienced between now and then are more of a depressant than aging (like really, what’s the alternative to aging?), but again what you classify as a failure is a tricky game because you never know how your story is going to end and where your “failures” will lead you.

In America there’s a proverb that goes ‘money can’t buy you happiness,’ but you’d be hardpressed to convince someone in Ghana of the same.  Here the general impression is that if only a nigga has enough dough he’d be straight, and whereas I don’t totally agree I will say I’m leaning more towards this understanding than I had when I arrived.  But of course when you live in a country where such is the mentality while simultaneously having an economy where it’s virtually impossible to make a decent living, well that’s depressing.

CONCLUSION

It’s bug like while writing this article I went to Yahoo Search to find out what word is the opposite of depression, and it sent back an article that states “the opposite of depression is not happiness… it is resilience.”  So based on this understanding I guess it’s true that depression isn’t necessarily being in a situation that you don’t like but is rather being in a situation you don’t like that you don’t think will ever change.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

WATER HARVESTING 4 BEGINNERS

I came across an article recently on Infowars of how people (or in this case one person in particular) in the United States have been  getting in trouble for rainwater harvesting.  Upon further research I've indeed been able to verify that water harvesting is illegal in a few parts of the States.  Just based on speculation I thought the reason would be an attempt by the government to protect citizens from using and potentially getting harmed by water that is likely filled with all types of contaminants (i.e. acid rain), but the rationale seems to be even "weirder" than that as such laws seem to be based on something called "water rights" (dafluk?).  In other less-developed parts of the world however water harvesting is an essential practice, as in if you don't do it you won't have water to bathe, wash clothes, flush the toilet, etc. and in some cases even to drink.

Of course when you're dealing with the overly-developed world even if you do decide to harvest water the options tend to be relatively complicated and expensive, like making a mountain out of a molehill.  But fret not; I'll show you the basics on collecting rainwater.  After all you never know when you'll be faced with a drought, blackout or other crisis when you can longer rely on govvie to provide your basic water needs.

BASIC THINGS YOU NEED TO HARVEST WATER

1 - Buckets, water "gallons" or something to collect the water in (and funnels).
2 - A roof with good water runoff.
3 - Decent enough health to be able to withstand carrying heavy sh*t outside in the rain.
3 - A good rainfall.

BUCKETS

Buckets are good for collecting water but not necessarily for storing because often they don't have lids and aren't very huge.  So in other words if you plan on using the water immediately buckets are ideal.  What makes buckets essential is that they're portable, meaning they can be moved around to places that have the best water flow, and then the water transported to a larger, more permanent container.

More permanent containers can consist of items such as "jerricans" or really anything that can hold water (like that plastic garbage can).  Though often referred to in Ghana as "water gallons" the most popular option, jerricans, are larger than gallons; I would guesstimate they can hold about four gallons.  Their original function is to hold cooking oil, but afterwards they're washed down and resold hollow, usually for the purpose of harvesting water and sometimes to transport gasoline.  We also had a bigger plastic container out this piece some time ago, but after using it for some time to run water in directly and then lifting and carrying it the poor thing crumpled under the pressure and attrition.  We also have a big metal container which unfortunately seems to be dealing with some rust issues, as in when harvesting water metal can sometimes be more high-maintenance than plastic.

It's also ideal to have some type of funnel attached to the jerricans in order to widen the area where water can be collected (as shown in the video below), as heavy rain is often accompanied by heavy wind, meaning that the falling water stream tends to move around, and trying to aim the mouth of a container to collect rain while it's actually raining is the most dangerous part of water harvesting.

ROOF WITH GOOD WATER DRAINAGE


I really don't know roofing terminology and what you call those little indentations that make rain fall from the roof in steady streams, but by watching the video above you'll see what I'm talking about.  Of course dust and other contaminants settle on roofs when it's not raining, so you don't need to harvest water immediately upon rainfall because it'll be dirty.  That's why when you have a stationary water collector there has to be filter present, unless you want a shitload of sediment at the bottom of your container.  Otherwise you have to use portable water containers that can be put directly in the path of the descending rainwater once it has already washed the roof off.

3 - DECENT HEALTH

At normal temperature water is estimated to weigh about 8 pounds per gallon, so if the average jerrican does hold 4 gallons than that means they weigh about 24 pounds.  And forget about big blue there; when filled with water it can't be lifted with one hand unless your Arnold Schwarzenegger out this piece.  So in other words you may find yourself moving around weighty containers in heavy rainfall, with the water beating right down on you because you're positioning containers in and out of the direct stream of the channeled water, so on top of rushing you're also dealing with visibility issues, getting wet and cold and the ground being slippery.  If you suffer from asthma, a weak immune system or anything that makes you susceptible to cold than of course it's advisable to wear a rainjacket when harvesting... oh yeah, and footwear with good traction.  Don't go out there trying to be macho, slip and suffer from a potentially fatal head injury.

4 - DECENT RAINFALL

When living in areas that lack water due to inconsistent or no piped water flow, when you're really suffering from water shortage you may tend to get excited over any little rain that falls and quickly whip out the buckets to collect what you can, but as aforementioned rushing to harvest water leads to an untidy collection (even if it rained heavily the day before).  Unfortunately though sometimes it only rains enough to wash off the roof but not to allow you to collect anything afterwards, which is like a real kick in the pants when you're obsessing over where to get water for for your next bath or toilet flush.  If however you're desperate enough to collect the initial rains then of course you can give it time for the sediment to settle before use, which ideally makes about 80% of it usable for bathing and maybe washing clothes but not of course recommended for cooking.

CONCLUSION

Of course one day I'll purchase a bigger container like a PolyTank, but if using it to collect rainwater I'll be burdened with filtering and/or cleaning the bottom of it after every collection since such usually stay open in anticipation of any unforeseen rainfall.  It'll be bad business if hardcore metros like New York City were to face a prolonged problem with water supply since to my recollection apartment buildings don't have any water runoff that can be collected.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

THE RECENT FAMILY MURDERS - WHAT'S THE CAUSE?

Whereas foreign-based terrorism seems to always be at the forefront of the concerns of American politicians, the fact is that domestic terrorism, as in random, mass killings, has been the bigger issue in America in recent years.  Now this phenomena has evolved into something that, though maybe not as deadly in terms of instant death tolls, is at least equally if not more frightening - family members murdering their own, something that, according to news agencies like Yahoo, seems to be happening on a daily basis these days.  Indeed according to legend the first murder to have ever occurred was brother against brother, and hearing that one family member has murdered another may not be particularly new, but when you hear of mothers killing their own adult sons and sisters their own older brother than indeed there should be a cause for concern.  Whereas we all would like a nice, clearcut solution like 'America is Babylon, and that's why family members are murdering each other,' the fact is that there still exists contributing factors, and here are some that I've identified:

1 - DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AS A SOCIETAL NORM

When you're a member of a family that's in its third, fourth (or maybe even longer) generation of domestic violence you can expect the violence to get progressively worse.  Why?  Because the abuse has now become so common that it is seen as normal, meaning that more torturous forms of abuse must be devised when the 'normal' punishments don't suffice.  So for instance you may hear tales of parents holding their children upside down and beating them to death whereas historically beating them will they were upright has proven to be sufficient punishment.

2 - ACCEPTANCE OF UNCONVENTIONAL FAMILY STRUCTURES

I've read in the past that there's an Illuminati conspiracy to destroy the family structure in America, but shifts in family structure we've seen over the last 100 years are also a result of economic revolutions (i.e. postmodernism) and other factors like legalized pornography.  Over the last century we've seen nuclear-family structures evolve from monogamy to serial monogamy (step-families) to single parenthood to same-sex marriage to what I predict would eventually be children living without parents (as in the case in large part of the sisters who killed their brother).  For instance, even though it does sometimes happen, I wouldn't bet on a man to love his stepson as much as he would his biological son (and perhaps vice versa), especially when the participants have aged without each other.

3 - VIOLENCE IN MEDIA

Anytime you have a discussion about violence in America or perhaps anywhere on the globe the media has to be mentioned.  All of that being said in American media especially, there are innumerable acts of violence, and in the society in general, from the police all the way down to the citizenry, violence is seen as perhaps the most expedient solution to interpersonal problems.

4 - GUNS

I'm not a fan of disarming the citizenry, especially when the police or anybody else legally has guns, but the fact is that having guns around, especially hand guns which are specifically made for shooting human beings, exponentially increases the chances of them being used.  Yes, some murderers will resort to other weapons if guns aren't available, but I believe that the ease of use of guns turns many people who may not have the heart to get up close and stab somebody into killers, and there's also the consistent flow of action movies where the hero gives the inexperienced novice advice on just how easy being a gun killer is, like in Wesley Snipes' the Detonator (2006) when he responds to the question "what's it like to kill" with the simple answer "you aim the gun, then pull the trigger."

CONCLUSION

Whereas tales of murderous domestic violence may become increasingly shocking and frequent in America, you shouldn't really expect anything practical (such as minimizing violence in the media) to be done about it since unless personally affected by such an incidence people really don't give afuk.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

THE CURSE OF MAN REVISITED

Last Updated 11 May 2015

Some years ago, during my days of deep soul searching, I met an old Rasta living on the Atlantic, and felt it a blessing to be able to have an inspired one-on-one with Bongo (RIP) of One Africa on the Cape Coast.  We were discussing some Bible-related topics, upon which I inquired does he believe the Bible is literal or not.  His response was yes he does take it literally, with the exceptions of Genesis and Revelations (the first and last books of the Bible) which are clearly symbolic.  Thus stories like Adam and Eve, where serpents are having conversations with human beings, are not to be taken on face value like a comic book but rather are depictions where imagery is meant to be interpreted.  In fact the story of Adam and Eve is very loaded, and here I will attempt to decipher some of its meaning.

ADAM - THE MAN WHO HAD IT ALL

No one in history, not even Solomon, had more than Adam.  On top of having the entire world at his disposal he had no competition whatsoever.  So unlike us, if Adam prayed his prayers were not dominated with him asking anything of God, not even protection from enemies.  All he had to do was go around and name animals and discover new things and you know "subdue the earth."  How free was Adam?  Unlike us he didn't have all types of religious commandments and governmental laws he had to follow but only one - don't eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which was a direct order from God Himself.

Yet despite having everything and only one law to restrict him, Adam still disobeyed God by obeying Satan, and I think this is the ultimate lesson "the Fall of Man" is trying to teach us - even if God gives everything to a man in the end he'll still disobey.  We see this same theme being repeated throughout the Bible in the story of the Israelites, who despite being God's one-and-only chosen people whom He affords all types of supernatural benefits on, still in the long run they decide to do their own thing

WHAT IS THE "TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL"?

Again we know that this story is not talking about a literal fruit-bearing tree but rather is symbolic of an idea, that idea being that there exists such a thing as knowing good and evil.  Up until the point early in the Bible where we are introduced to the Tree, the word "good" appears at least seven times, while "evil" is not mentioned until the Tree is.

Since they were instructed by God not to seek the knowledge of good and evil, when they still did so of course God got upset.  Indeed one of the reasons they did so was to "be as gods" themselves, meaning that they were intending to use the knowledge to exalt themselves or make themselves, in their own perception, better even though, as mentioned earlier, it is generally understood that they lacked nothing nor had any competition.

Ultimately Man did receive the knowledge of good and evil via Mosaic Law, and any honest person who has given serious consideration to keeping it can tell you that it's exhaustive and virtually impossible to adhere to.  That's why later in the Bible Paul said that the Law is a curse on those under it (as in those who try to keep it) since at the end of the day no one can keep it.  Man asked for something and then when he got it was totally unable to keep it.  Of course symbolic stories are only really good for entertainment unless they have some application in the contemporary world, and indeed still we all eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil almost everyday.

EVERYDAY PEOPLE AS ADAM AND EVE

It's peculiar that after eating the apple, the first thing that Adam and Eve noticed was that they were naked.  Why is this peculiar?  Because as far as I know there's no religion in the history of the world where being naked in front of your own spouse was considered "evil", so how does this fit into "the knowledge of good and evil?"  It's something that we all do everyday - we let our own minds tell us what's good and evil as opposed to sticking to what is actually defined as good and evil.  For instance I can stare at a mirror on a daily basis looking at my stomach and lamenting on how I wish it would go down or that I was more muscular, but that's my own concept of good and evil, meaning that there's no religion that I know of where having a big stomach is seen as a sin.  Many people do this, which leads to focusing more energy on things that aren't sin (like being naked in front of your spouse) instead of the things that actually are sins (like eating the damn apple in the first place), the ultimate goal of course being to make ourselves better or "like gods."

THE CURSE OF MAN VS. THE CURSE OF WOMAN

Despite the fact that religion, as well as society in general, is becoming more unisexual, the fact is many parts of the Bible are aimed specifically at men or women, and the first instance of this of course happens in Genesis when Adam and Eve are cursed for disobeying God.  So for instance, when you notice that even today men tend to work harder physically than women, you should be able to refer to the Bible as this being part of the curse specifically to men, that we have to 'eat by the sweat of our brow.'  Thus if you have a homey who tends to support his woman more than he supports you, whereas this is not considered ideal behavior in some cultures know that such, based on this story, may not be as much of an anomalous behavior as you may think.  In contrast it may seem as in relation to this that women got off easy, until you truly understand (i.e. through experience) that being made subject to a person who 'eats by the sweat of his brow' is a curse in and of itself.

Monday, July 14, 2014

POPULAR TRENDS IN MODERN AMERICAN MOVIES

Many people attribute American global dominance to political might or the economic power of the US Dollar, but perhaps equally as influential is the power of Hollywood.  Most of us as human beings love a good flick, and whereas India’s movie industry may be bigger than America’s you’d be hard-pressed to find an Indian movie (or any foreign movie for that matter) playing in American theatres.  In contrast American movies are shown the world over, from Russia to China, and these films and other forms of visual media (such as television shows and music videos) are one of the main reasons outsiders admire and want to migrate to the United States.

But what are these movies telling us?  For the record I enjoy a good action or superhero movie just as much as the next man, but movies can and do influence our thoughts, especially if ingested regularly as in the frequency certain images and ideas or portrayed in this all-popular form of media.  In other words our brains are processing messages, sometimes consciously but oft unconsciously, due to consistently being exposed to them through movies and other forms of media.

Thus I am presenting to you, the reader, common themes that I see in American (primarily action) movies these days.  The purpose of this article isn’t necessarily to interpret the impact these ideas have on viewers but rather just to expose the fact that these images are being presented so regularly that it seems like someone(s) is intentionally putting them in all of these films.  I won’t even try to list every movie that fall under these categories, but I’m sure if the reader is a regular movie watcher he will be able to recall and/or recognize these themes over and over again.  I will be updating this list as I come across more of these phenomena.

1.  BLACK SERVANTS - I didn’t want to began this article on a topic dealing with racism, but as a Blackman myself I can’t help but to notice that a large number of movies that feature Blacks (even an Indian movie I recently came across) has at least one scene when they are a servant or serving someone.  Indeed you might see the occasional Black professional or passerby or even the Black hero, but again practically every moive that has a Black person(s) has one as some type of servant or being given a direct order, which of course he hurriedly obeys.

This makes one wonder that despite the advances made in race relations in the United States the idea of Blacks being servants and even the propagation of this idea hasn’t stopped and seems to even be on the rise.  One movie that comes to mind in this regard is the first Die Hard.  Mind you, Die Hard is like my favorite action-movie series of all time, and the first Die Hard did feature a Black hero, but Die Hard 2 had a couple of scenes of Blacks in lackey positions working in the airport.  I’m sure this issue was even made public as in Die Hard 3 (which also featured a Black hero in Samuel L. Jackson) there was a memorable scene of Bruce Willis barking on Jackson, telling him that he’s not racist.  Ultimately it’s disturbing to see that American Society, which has a Blackman as its leader, is stuck on this idea of Black servitude, but sometimes I think the powers-that-be are intentionally pushing this idea because they have a hard time accepting a Black as their leader, and other times I can’t blame them when I think about the large number of Africans who would give anything to go to First World countries like the United States just to be the same type of doorman, porter, janitor and other menial, less-respected (not dissing anyone, as ultimately a job is a job) occupations that you see often represented in these movies.

2.  BLACK SCIENTISTS - The antithesis of the aforementioned, which Hollywood also seems to love, is the portrayal of Black scientists.

When I was in college for a semester or two I was part of an organization called the National Society of Black Engineers.  One year I accompanied the group to the Society’s national convention which that year was at the Boston Marriott, and during my three or four days there I was very surprised at how well-funded this gathering was.  I mean it was like all of the big, respected companies were there, recruiting employees.  The reason I thought this peculiar was because my general perception was that such entities didn’t really respect the intelligence of Blacks and would rather go to somebody like the Japanese for such jobs.

But that was until I started studying Hollywood.  If you look at virtually any movie with a computer-lab scene, you may notice at least one Black is there, often in a prominent role.  A movie that comes to mind off the top of my head is Bruce Willis’ Surrogates, but again there are countless others.  Of course Blacks are most often portrayed by Hollywood as criminals, sexually promiscuous and again lackeys, but apparently one of America’s best kept secrets is the proficiency of Blacks in science.

3.  WHITE WOMAN HAIR - Might as well keep the race themes rolling.  If you watch any popular movie from like anywhere in the world you may notice that the lead female character (if not all of them) have the same type of hair, which is peculiar being that different races (and indeed people within those races) have different hair types.  To me this is most alarming to women who simply do not have such hair but, due to popular media socialization, feel they have to or they won’t be beautiful.  As such it’s not only Black women who are doing all types of crazy things to their hair and getting artificial weaves to make it appear Hollywood, but when you study the history of women’s beauty throughout the world you’ll be treated to quite a few stories of what appears to be sheer lunacy (such as Japanese women breaking their feet in order to fit into small-ass shoes) in the name of beauty but was really in the name of fad, as future generations look back and be like ‘what dafluk?!’

4.  DECAPITATIONS - By far the most disturbing thing on this list is the large number of movies that have a character(s) getting their head chopped off (and virtually every action movie that features robots have at least one getting its head violently removed).  This is happening with such frequency in movies now that I’m convinced, just like with Black servants, someone(s) is doing this on purpose, but for what reason one can only frightfully imagine, as in what’s the socialization goal of showing people getting their heads cut off but to desensitize the public to such acts?  A couple of movies that come to mind are the Expendables 2 and Kick Ass 2, and some, such as the recent Conan the Barbarian, even go as far as to show the severed heads.  In fact I’m sure if you’re watching a violent, bloody American action movie made within the last two to three years there’s someone who gets their head lobbed off.  Truly disturbing and perhaps the main reason I compiled this list in the first place.

5.  VENGEANCE KILLINGS - Back in the old days when an action-movie hero finally catches up with the villain at the end, he would do something altruistic like spare the villain’s life unless he was forced to take it because, after all, heroes aren’t murderers.  But these days it’s like when the villain is down on his knees begging for his life you better finish that bastard once and for all.  I became aware that this was something espoused by modern-day Hollywood after watching a movie (which title I can’t remember) starring Cuba Gooding Jr. where at the end he had the villain subdued but still put him out of his misery.  The espousement of vigilante justice (at least in Hollywood) and things of the such is what I see as part of the Third Worldization of American law enforcement.  It’s funny how Hollywood could portray actions that if viewers emulate would get them imprisoned for life, but when such crimes are committed the movie industry is never held liable, just like these stupid-ass rappers who encourage their followers to go out and engage in stupid, criminal acts but then when confronted about it say things like they were ‘just playing a role’ and have nothing to do with the case.

6.  STRIP JOINTS & OTHER FORMS OF NUDITY - As I’m sure I’ve mentioned elsewhere in this blog, I’m the type of person that when I watch an action movie I’m not doing so to see naked women.  However I’ve also come to realize that unfortunately female nudity is common in the action-movie genre, and these days you’d be hard-pressed to come across a movie without the infamous strip joint scene (including the increasingly-popular G-string view of a woman's, sometimes with her bending over, i.e., , etc.), which leaves one wondering is it true that all villains frequent strip joints, or does someone just get a kick out of flashing naked ass in our faces, as to my knowledge no one has ever patronized an action movie to see a naked girl?  In other words why does there seem to be such a conscientious effort on the part of popular American media to defile the public?

These days there is also the scenes of women wearing thongs and sometimes bending over - in other words the strip scenes are becoming increasingly explicit.  Another trend I’ve been noticing is naked male buttocks, as in the film Conan the Barbarian, and whereas in the early days of this phenomena (i.e. Virtuosity) I was wondering why such was being mainstreamed I’m now convinced that it is to appeal to homosexuals, not women, as you won’t often hear a woman express a desire to see a man’s ass.  Of course sexually-oriented nudity infiltrating mainstream media is something to be more or less expected in the country that by far produces the most pornography in the world, but innocently watching an action movie FOR ACTION and then having an ass flashed in your face, at least to me, is a turnoff.

7.  STUPID, HELPLESS POLICE (WHO OFTEN GET KILLED IN DROVES)

The first time I noticed police being presented as ass-stupid was some years back when watching the Taking of Pelham 123 for the first time.  Since then I've come across quite a few movies with a similar represneation of police, the most recent being Fast & Furious 6 , a movie in which at least 100 police officers must have died.  Now I'm not Hollywood historian, but if my memory serves me correct in the old days police were presented for the most part as law-abiding and semi-competent.  Nowadays in movies it seems that they're just a mindless, faceless collective who are victimized and incapable of subduing the bad guy, whereas in real life it's usually up to the police to deal with supervillians and not vigilantes.

8.  CORRUPT POLICE AND/OR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS (OFTEN POLITICIANS)

The list of movies that fall under this category, at least in recent years, may even be longer than the list that depicts Blacks as servants.  In other words you'd be hard-pressed to come across an action movie these days where at least one of the bad guys isn't a rogue cop or corrupt politician who the people have entrusted with the thir well-being but in reality really doesn't give a fuk about them.  I can't help but to think that constantly portraying law enforcement in the negative ways mentioned is making the masses lose respect for them, and I don't know why on earth Hollywood would want to do that.

9.  FEMALE BONDAGE

Recently while peeping out a scene from the Avengers I started thinking about just how many movies, without viewers ever really noticing, have a female bondage scene?  I imagine that the number must be countless since the theme of virtually every action movie while growing up is freeing the captive female (remember the little tied-up girl in Arnold Schwarzenegger's Commando?).  There's two issues I've identified with a high number of movies having female bondage.  First is bondage is a popular genre of porn which means some people get an extra, erotic kick out of it.  Second and more importantly is being that violence against women is like at an all-time high in America specifically depicting violence against women on a normal basis can't be a good thing.

CONCLUSION

Reportedly there are only seven major studios in Hollywood, which is evident when you see the same actors crossing over in like every film.  Thus when you see the same type of imagery being presented in almost every movie of a certain genre the implication is that either copycat children are writing these stories or someone is intentionally dispersing such imagery on a regular basis.  Thus the more-pressing question would be why would someone for instance feel the need to infuse action movies that are largely patronized by children (i.e. superhero movies) with images of women in G-strings, and sometimes as devilish as it may sound I believe conspiracy theorists who say there some of the power-that-be are intentionally trying to defile people's minds.

MOVIES WITH BLACK SERVANTS
FAST AND FURIOUS 6 (2013 - UNIVERSAL PICTURES)
GREEN HORNET (2011 - COLUMBIA PICTURES)
Die Hard 2

BLACK (OFTEN COMPUTER) SCIENTISTS
FAST AND FURIOUS 6 (2013 - UNIVERSAL PICTURES)
Die Hard
SURROGATES (2009)
TERMINATOR 2 (1991)
TRUE LIES (1994)

STRIP JOINTS AND/OR G-STRINGED ASSES
HIT MAN
LOCKED DOWN (2010)
RAW DEAL (GAY)
THE TOURNAMENT
THE WOLVERINE (2013)
X-MEN FIRST CLASS

NAKED MALE ASSES
THOR 2
VIRTUOSITY

STUPID POLICE
The Taking of Pelham 123

CORRUPT POLICE AND/OR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
FAST AND FURIOUS 6 (2013 - UNIVERSAL PICTURES)
SALT (2010 - COLUMBIA PICTURES)
THE DETONATOR (2006)

DECAPITATIONS
HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS (2013)
HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN (2011)

FEMALE BONDAGE
THE AVENGERS (2012)
RED (2010 - SUMMIT PICTURES)
SALT (2010 - COLUMBIA PICTURES)
THE RUNNING MAN (1987)