Coming Home to Roost

Flash mobs have been organizing in Philly.  (Based on sensational media usage, I will define a flash mob here as a group of people (generally, youth) behaving “anti-socially.”)

I wasn’t alive in the sixties, but I imagine that all those marches & such were seen as something like a flash mob; otherwise, there’s no way that the police & military would have been able behave towards them the way they did with impunity. To be rational, laws were being broken–by definition, anti-social behavior.  To that point of the discussion, the moral implications of laws like segregation are irrelevant. For whatever reasons, the laws existed, & that had been the accepted state of the State before enough people became dissatisfied enough to change it.

Things happen for reasons. Anytime organized youth begin to actively rebel against everyday social order, it is wise to pay attention (it would be a mistake to view flash mobs as unorganized, because they are by definition; they may not be the NAACP, but that’s only because they hold a different set of shared public values).    This is the evolution of the gang, the product of decades of educational erosion.  It’s what happens when a few generations of people are forced to swallow educations that teach that the most important area of mathematics is money, instead of some area that can be studied  to learn how to generate money, for instance. Most people will readily declare that going to college is the best way to ensure that one becomes more competitive economically; learning truth (information) & applying it productively is tertiary, at best (test scores/grades are secondary).

It’s probably why we’re falling behind economically–our basic domestic product (people) hold value systems that don’t measure up to those of others around the world.  When I was growing up, people used to say that there were hungry children in China that were sad because they couldn’t eat my garbage; today, China’s at the bottom of everybody’s financial talk unless they’re discussing the decline of the dollar &/or euro.  Things have changed.

Everything in the universe exists in a state of flux/motion, including societies.  Groups of people have been & are organizing to upset the status quo. They’re getting attention & eliciting reactions from the authorities.  Things are changing.

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Luigi Gets a Ticket!

Daily News reporter Ronnie Polaneczky asked readers to tell their worst Philadelphia Parking Authority war stories, inviting readers to vote on the worst one.  The list has been whittled down to 5, & one of them is my friend Louis “Luigi” Borda. Luigi, author of the Andiamo! Luigi Gets Around children’s book series, was standing by the little red Fiat that has itself become a local celebrity–with 2 police officers– when he was issued a ticket (check out the story & vote here).

A geography teacher at Philly magnet school Masterman, Mr. Borda was outside the School District of Philadelphia protesting recent budget cuts when he was hit with the ticket, adding insult to injury. Gotta love Philly.


2,000 Free M.I.T. Courses!

Apart from being a buzz term, the “information age” is REAL. For a decade (how have I not known about this?!), M.I.T. has been offering FREE courses that are not degree-granting or credit-bearing–but who cares?!  It’s MIT, it’s information, & I’m pretty sure that knowledge is still power. Check it out here & register for something already!

(This information comes to us from my good friend & mentor @NASDAQBEAR–well-known in certain circles for his sage wisdom)


Go Public!

When companies are looking to raise capital & expand, they will often have an initial public offering (IPO <example here>).  Without drawing out this analogy with all the benefits & disadvantages of such a decision, suffice it say that if you have something of value to offer over an extended period of time, this can be a very good move.

I have read many articles encouraging people to expand their web presence; my publicist chewed me out last week due to my under-exposure, & rightfully so (hence, this blog, for instance).  For the individual, “going public” means presenting as many opportunities as possible for people to invest time in you.  There are people on Twitter who could probably raise several thousand dollars at a time by offering a service or product to the people that they are exposed to, namely because of all the free help they provide on a daily basis.  There are people in every line of business presenting free information, entertainment, etc. that anyone can have access to, & their public appreciates this; that appreciation can work the same way a dollar can. When your money appreciates, it increases in value; when you are appreciated, you will increase in value.

Twitter, Facebook, & the rest can be fun ways of passing time, but if your accounts are unable to collect enough interest, they will not do you much good. Think about it–do your friends just come to you now & put money in your pocket for being sarcastic, cynical, & ridiculous all day? Do they pay you a dollar every time they read what you had for lunch, where you’re going, or whatever other random thing comes into your mind to tell the world? Probably not. Even if you are one of the more interesting more in your circle, you may be like a savings account that accrues more interest than with other banks, but still a relatively low amount of interest compared to all of your options (as with other more rewarding opportunities, however, the risk normally increases–but that is a topic for another post).


“I don’t give a f*ck about street credibility!”

You may have heard me when I visited the Star & Buc Wild Morning Show a couple weeks back to discuss ways that we would begin contributing to his Start Snitching campaign.  It has gotten some traction over the past few weeks, & I’ve felt even better about voicing my support after reading the reports & interviews following Star’s announcement (links found below).

I’m hoping that Philly backs Star on this campaign; he’s not even a Philly native (#imjustsayin). I’ve already seen Russell Simmons voice support on a few different occasions; something like this needs support at all levels, & the foundation of any successful social activity is the People.  While I am familiar with the reasons behind the birth of the “Stop Snitching” credo, circumstances have since declared such a position highly unreasonable.  It is not uncommon for children to end up the victims of this behavior happening between apparent adults. Since that is the case, I have to question the thinking ability of anyone who refuses to at least reconsider this stance, at least as it relates to murder & other violent crimes (I’d suggest drawing the line in one’s own mind).

The press release & some other articles can be found here, here, & here (if you want more, consult Google).  Star was also present with Mayor Nutter for the I Pledge Philly launch; Philadelphia Weekly gets into both.


Breaking News!

I just got word from the Associated Press app on my iPhone that Amy Winehouse was found dead! Except, by that time, it was already the #1 trending topic on Twitter.

Distribution of news as we know it is dead (as if you didn’t already know).


Have you seen Issa Rae?

I’ve been having a hard time coming up with the title to this post.  I don’t want to use the word awkward. It’s not that I don’t want to give the subject away or something; it just seems to easy. Now that I have gone & said all this, I’m thinking any attempt at creativity would be a fail. So, it’s called what it’s called. I can live with it, so I’m sure you can, too.

ABG Espiode 1

I like watching her because I like pretty petite brown girls with nice smiles. Plus, she just may be the funniest woman I want to know.  You may or may not like watching her for the same reasons, but I’m sure that it won’t take long to find some of your own.  I could say a bunch of stuff that has been said about Awkward Black Girl, Issa’s hit web-series . Some articles  are posted below; the word universal comes to mind.  If this show was a stock featured on Mad Money, Cramer would be telling you to “BuyBuyBuy!!!” to a sounding bull charging across the screen. (If I’m a Venture Capitalist, I’m figuring out how I can convince this woman & her partners to let me fund every conceivable aspect of this thing to reap some of the fruit that’s GOING TO fall from this tree, dig?)

http://bglhonline.com/2011/06/interview-with-issa-rae-writer-star-producer-of-misadventures-of-awkward-black-girl/

http://www.whenigrowupblog.com/2011/03/11/living-on-dreams-issa-rae/

http://www.theroot.com/views/embracing-awkward-one-webisode-time

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/smoothdrama/2011/06/08/smooth-drama

http://thebrooklyndame.blogspot.com/2011/06/awkward-people-unite.html

With 19 days to go (@11:42 a.m. 07.23.2011 EST), Issa Rae is nearly halfway to a 30K goal.  I’m actually surprised that she hasn’t raised the money yet. (I just tweeted Russell Simmons @Uncle Rush — he’s a smart investor; we should start a campaign!)

In this YouTube age where so much is freely available, I like getting something for free that I would pay for, which makes me willing to pay for it; I guess that’s what makes something priceless.

If you’d like to donate, as well,  go to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1996857943/the-misadventures-of-awkward-black-girl