Insane October!

It has been a crazy month, moving from one apartment to another to another while crashing on different people’s couches (as I’m currently doing this second).

BUT, I do have loads of positives to add to my domestic issues (I mean seriously, who decides to kick people out in the middle of the month KNOWING they’re going to have to pay us back!).

1) I got paid for acting in a commercial (I’ll post the video later when I get it, maybe edit it in here).

2) I participated in a 48 hr film project. This you CAN see here.

3) The school I’ve been working at does give me a satisfying financial incentive every month!

4) I’m doing stand up and it’s been going great, as well as my improv performance.

5) The Spoke’N’Word Festival is NEXT MONTH! November 29th and I’ve been practicing 3-4 new(ish) poems!

6) I have a new poem on the way, perhaps this weekend should I get an apartment.

Cause and Effect

The years have blurred….

While I continue to be busy

certain issues begin to occur

in frequent rotation.

…You…must excuse my hesitation,

as I stay away from my na-tive land

I’ve discovered that others can’t stand

my extensive leave of absence,

but I had to take action.

They’ve left messages saying:

“D, when’re you gonna stop playin’

around over there? It ain’t fair

how you stayin’

on a long vacation.

What’s your occupation,

again? Well I got a real

job. You should see how everyone feels,

they say you ain’t never gave a damn

while you pretend to attend slams

and recite shit that no one reads.

“But I do, I stopped being lazy because of you,

I no longer question my insecurities, mind’s no longer hazy because of you.

I understand the struggles

that you tussle

with, and can finally relate to you.

So can you please leave Europe be

and return to the free

and enlighten these jealous ple-

bians?”

Damn, do I really have that kind of impact?

My poems did that?

I often feel that my shit lacks

the necessary ingredients

heeded by the immediate

critics conjured deep within.

I will never again descend

into a state of chagrin

wherein it has been

a cinch to get in this thick skin

and mess with my temperament.

It’s quite evident,

II just need to treat them as excrement

and write my new testament

so I can continue spitting these poems like I got a speech impediment.

Coming out of my cave

I love this cave I tend to drift in. The problem is I don’t keep up with blogs when I do this.

Here are a few things I’ve been up to in the past month:

 

I’m writing a deranged(?) short story, it’s tricky mostly because I haven’t tried to write in this… Genre before.

I have two poems I’m finishing this weekend and will post both of them!

Took a short trip to Vienna and was inspired so I’ll make something of that soon.

Collecting my thoughts on the blog series about millennials and will continue it soon.

I started teaching at a school and it has been very hectic.

I acted in a… commercial(?) for a company.

Working on organizing an all-English poetry event with my friend.

 

Wow! Stay tuned I will be posting two poems, as I said, this weekend.

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I Saw My Obituary

I had to face my mortality today.
As I sit in my chair,
I look over the words that’ve stared
me down…
The life of one briefly detailed
as line-after-line continues forward
and my thoughts get distorted
with assorted
questions of my own worth.

I gambled to get here,
but often I adhere to the fear
that this is a mere souvenir
to placate a risky career
move.
I’ve been living under the guidance of plan B,
because plan A never gave a guarantee
while plan C would mean I have failed me,
and the persistent nagging has made me dizzy.

The drills try to bore through
with the speed and virility
of an engineer with the efficiency
of a German-bred entity
while I battle with what isn’t me.
I have gotten lost…
I have plunged too deep in the relation-sea
gettin’ thrashed and knocked aside
as I tried to hide
from what was painfully obvious –
something that’s really in all of us.

The harsh voices of doubt tries
to overshadow any deeds with lies
about our motives not being equal.
But my motives were never evil,
my motives were never see-through,
yet outsiders would fly in and claim what I’ve been up to.
They gave a notice to you
but scared to notify me, too.

Well if they want to divide and conquer,
try to corner me and you’ll find my posture
had buried something deep inside, a monster
so before you become a goner, you should try to alter
your approach on how to step to this newborn author.

Part 2: Best Case, We the Front Page

In my previous article, I introduced the idea that Millennials (those born between 1982-2000) are currently experiencing a lack of confidence in themselves. Whether it is due to the economy, familial pressure, or something else, is going to be addressed as I continue my article series. So here we go with:

Generational Anxiety pt 2:

Best Case, We the Front Page

 

As I mentioned before, there is a particular album that has inspired this blog series. I am not going to go too far into details about the artist and the album just yet, saving that for another time. Instead, I want to mention the second song on the album.

 CoverLovely album cover

Under the rap moniker of Childish Gambino, comedian, actor, and script writer Donald Glover released an album in December 2013 titled, Because The Internet, along with a screenplay that the album complements. The second song of the album is called WORLDSTAR.

I will come back to the concept behind that song later, first I want to start with Social Media and the [arguable] affects it has on my generation and, very likely, those in the next.

People seem to value attention above everything else. There are the usual pictures/videos of babies, weddings, traveling/vacation spots (guilty), questionably humorous subjects (guilty, again), and those of the, shall we say, provocative nature (no comment). But then there are the controversial posts and tweets – the ones that are about touchy subjects such as politics and religion – that are made clearly to ruffle a few feathers.

Why do we feel compelled to share so much? What do we gain from it?

Yes, it’s a very convenient way for our friends to stay updated on our lives. Yes it’s a good way to state your opinions on elections as well as [ideally] read those of your peers, but what happens when so much has been said and posted and then you are physically with your friends? Do you talk about the same things you might have just discussed online?

Again, what is there to gain? A high number of “likes” or comments?

Before I get into the possible “rewards”, I have a question; how many people reading this have partaken in the activity commonly known as “Facebook stalking”?

When you hang out with whomever you stalked, do you pretend like you didn’t? Do you act like the story your friend is telling you was not already deduced from the pictures/videos you saw posted?

There are some websites that provide an opportunity for people to have their coveted 15 minutes of fame. Sites that require you to upload videos to showcase your talent in singing, critiquing movies, dancing, humor, etc., have become very popular since the mid-2000s. For some, it has led to bigger and better things, you might recognize a few; they have appeared on a morning or night show talking about themselves via live interview with the host(s). They are on some reality TV show and have earned themselves a spinoff for doing….practically nothing.

How does one not get turned on by this sort of notoriety?

Because of this, countless individuals may embrace the “me next” frame of mind and will do/post anything for just one inkling of a chance.

If you ever see two individuals get into a physical confrontation, look around. How many people are watching this very scene? How many people are watching with their phone in hand recording it?

I was told a story recently, one individual’s sister went to LA, California for the first time and saw a naked Asian woman suffering from a gunshot wound in the shoulder while on the roof of a building. Naturally, this scene would draw spectators as help is on the way, but, this individual paid more attention to, not the number of observers, but to the number of phones that are out at this time to record this unusual situation (to be fair, it’s LA, it could very well be a movie scene).

What has desensitized us so much, and turned our first instincts into recording rather than helping? Not only that, but how many videos are uploaded daily on numerous websites showing scenes of two (or far more than two. Careful, it might be too disturbing) people fighting each other? What compels us to post them in the first place?

It seems like page views and likes are driving factors behind our new found instincts. Which leads us back to the song, WORLDSTAR, addressing what is seen on the infamous website: fights, fights, and more fights. It has become such a social norm in some circles for people to not only scream out “WORLDSTAR!” when a fight, or an equally noticeable event, breaks out, but also to grab your phone and film it. Gambino plays on that norm here:

yea, mutha***** take your phone out..to record this/I’m more or less a moral less individual/makin’ movies wit’ criminals/ tryna get them residuals/when it all goes crazy/and I hear that action, ima be Scorsese

My favorite part is how he ends the song, Gambino suddenly stops the song in the middle of bragging about his material possessions to answer a phone call. His friend tells him he has to check out a hilarious video about a guy getting hit in the head and is freaking out about it, driving home the jaded outlook we all seem to have formed regarding such videos.

Following this conversation is a nice jazzy tune with Gambino saying “we don’t want to be a …, but all I want to be is a…” and people chanting “WORLDSTAR” in the background.

In part 3, I will continue with how we interact with each other nowadays and how our thirst for knowledge has become unquenchable.

How do you feel about fight videos? What about the so-called YouTube stars? Have you ever wanted to be a worldstar? Let me know your thoughts as I get ready to start part 3!

Part 1: We are the Dreams of Our Parents…

I realized this article became larger than originally intended so I decided to split it into separate essays.

Generational Anxiety pt 1:

We are the Dreams of Our Parents…

 

I have been listening to an album for more than half a year now, and because of it, I have been trying to gather my thoughts in blog form on the meaning(s) behind it and how it is a great summary of those who are classified as “Millennials” (widely considered to be those born between 1982-2000).

The artist of this particular album manages to convey the anxiety that I have personally felt off-and-on ever since I graduated from college in 2009. It does not stop with me, either, I have regular conversations with people in my age range from different parts of the world. Almost everyone has admitted to questioning themselves and their life choices at nearly every turn, displaying that they are less confident of themselves than the mask they wear for the public.

But why? What is it that makes this generation seem to question themselves more? Is it related to the economy? Pressure from our family wanting us to do better than them – or in some cases follow in their footsteps – but we have no real idea what we are capable of nor what we want to do?

Maybe it’s not a matter of “more people are questioning” rather than we just hear/see it more because of our world wide access that has boomed in the last couple of decades.

Here, maybe, is a catalyst. Internet.

Years ago, in one of my first blog entries, I questioned whether the constant access to the internet was a good thing. How many of you try to avoid eye contact or awkward pauses by looking at your phone, pretending you have to look at something at that moment? I still do it from time-to-time. If I am with one other person and they go to the restroom, of course I jump on my phone. Conversation died down a little and not sure what else to say? Hell yea, time to check Facebook!

Now, let’s look at some of the anxieties people have apparently developed over the years: social media addiction, texting instead of calling, concerns over how many “likes” a picture or post gets – and realize that these are all small steps that may answer the issue I want to address; what is it about my generation that makes us both talented and insecure? Here are a couple of topics regarding it.

I will introduce my inspiration in the next essay and try to compare and contrast with different points as I continue to dive into this compelling issue.

Keep an eye out for it within 2-7 days (no more than a solid week!) for part 2. Please share your thoughts!