Sunday, April 29, 2007

When kingdom comes, you ready?

Just as I spend many of nights, I watched The History Channel (since "Planet Earth" wasn't on The Discovery Channel). A show entitled "Heaven and Hell" was being aired. As many of my weed-head friends know, I have a love/hate relationship with mythology (some call it religion). Ever since I was younger, reading my fathers quasi-Islamic pamphlets (Imam Isa was and is a psycho), I've questioned religious beliefs. So many beliefs are just taken as "because God said so", like an angry parent telling a child to go to their room. But anyway, the program talked about Satan being evil and Hell being punishment for worldly sins, it also talked about the influence of the arts on religious ideas. So I reached over to my side table and grabbed a pen, paper and my Bible (you have to actually read it to defend or renounce it). And now I shall go on to analyze this "Divine Comedy" (I was reading "Dante's Inferno" the other day). According to most religions, God (Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, G-D, etc.) is a just, fair, good, perfect, infallible, righteous God, yet, throughout the Bible, God is shown to be an unfair, evil, imperfect, flawed, unrighteous God. From the beginning of "The Greatest STORY Ever Told", God is a bully, nay; I say God is an asshole. First he creates the planet and man, plants a tree with beautiful fruit, then tells man not to eat the fruit. I see it as very asshole-ish to put fruit in front of somebody and tell them that they can't have any. That's like waving candy in front of a child and saying "na-na-na-na-na, you can't have none". Then he tells them if they eat the fruit then they would die (he lied to them too, how righteous is that). Now the so-called evil serpent tells the man, "if you want to eat the fruit, its pretty damn good, it'll make you smart, and it damn sure won't kill you". He just tempted them (tempting meaning to put someone to the test in a venturesome way), he didn't force them to eat of the fruit, in my opinion he did nothing wrong at all. I'm going to move to another topic about the bible, the absurdness of the stories, more specifically the "Noah's Ark" story. Almost everybody knows the story, the world is evil, and God gives a 600 year old alcoholic the blueprints for an ark the size of a very large yacht. The elderly drunk then finds two (or seven, depending on which verse you're reading) of each animal on Earth (Biblical scholars don't count the now extinct animals), and then set sail for more than 150 days. In my humble opinion, for this to actually work, a few things must be true. First, not one other person on the whole planet, not one fisher or sailor, owned a boat. Second, Noah and his three sons were the greatest carpenters throughout history. And third, magic isn't just something created at Walt Disney World. During this story, God found a way to be an asshole for years to come by making a bullshit covenant with Noah, saying no floods shall kill man and animal alike for perpetual generations (explain New Orleans). So next let's talk about the "Tower of Babel" story. These people all start speaking the same language, and God doesn't like that (now they can tell each other how big of an asshole he is), so he destroys the building, scatters the people around the land, and changes their language. And why does he do this, because as the Bible says "and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do…" (Basically God doesn't want you to do anything and he's jealous of you). How just is your God really? In Sodom, Lot sat in his house with three angels, as some Sodomites (doo-doo chasers) asked to meet the visitors. So, Lot, being a great father, offers his daughters to the sausage-smugglers, but they want to go to the meat market. To make a long story short, the angels blinded the pipe-smokers, God torched the city and everybody in it, and God's homeboy, Lot's wife turns into salt for not following Gods rules (how just and fair was that). Then God tests Abraham's faith by sending him up a mountain to kill his son Isaac. Right before Abraham gives his son a hell of a buck-fifty, Gods angel yells out "Sike!". And the Bible, as does the Quran, go on and on with Gods Joker-ish (as in the Batman villain), asshole-ish, dare I say douche bag-ish antics. But throughout the "holy books", Satan just gives people choices, and they choose whether or not to do it. Satan never sticks a gun to a single head and demands anybody do what they don't want to. All the stories lead me to ask more questions (something God doesn't allow). Who is actually evil, God or Satan? Why was Satan really cast out of Heaven? Was it because he disagreed with the bully, God? Also, if you're "all powerful", why would you kill your own son to change the world (just change it, idiot)?

I want to end this with a quote from Hip-Hop, so in the words of Chef Raekwon, "What do you believe in, Heaven or Hell? I don't believe in Heaven, cause I'm living in hell. So it's your life!"

Peace, I mean WAR!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

If sexy never left, why is everybody on my ....?

Today I sit contemplating which one of my dozen or so pairs of shoes I should wear with which one of my twenty or so pairs of pants. The fore mentioned statement wasn't meant to be a boast or brag of sorts, but rather the folly that leads me into my entry today. See, like many men in today's "Esquire" society, I try to keep up with the latest trends and popular styles. Through my spectacles I see the lost of "manliness", as it once existed. Facials, manicures, pedicures, spa days, Botox injections, muscle scoping (I'm looking at LL Cool J), etcetera, these treatments are all things that the male gender spends millions on annually. Some of these beauty treatments have been used by men for centuries, but in my opinion, have gotten a little out of hand. Let's approach the subject from an anthropological point of view. In ancient societies, kings and men of the noble order would preen and pamper themselves in the pursuit of beautification (even though it must be stated, most of these men weren't "manly"; I'm looking at Ancient Rome). The worth and nobility of a man was seen through his armor, his formal wear, or the adornments upon his attire. For a time in America, man was seen as just that, a man, defined by his ruggedness and his animalistic nature. During the age of dust storms and gun wielding horse riders, men were the masculine counterpart to the prim and prissy women of that period. Now onto today and why I say that man, as he were, is almost no more. I am a twenty-five year old, African American male, from Queens, NY, so I was virtually born into Hip-Hop culture, so that is where I'll direct my ire at that first. For years, the pupils of "The School Of Hard Knocks" have always maintained a somewhat basic uniform consisting of baggy jeans, a hoodie or tee-shirt, and sneakers or Timberland boots. But with the rise of today's Hip-Hop youth, the uniform has transformed into tight jeans (Jim Jones), young shirts (Lil Wayne), and Day-Glo sneakers (anyone that wears A Bathing Ape's). The style icons for Hip-Hop culture have seemed to have shifted from prison inmates to the residents of New York City's famed (and homosexually driven) Village. For the other people in my age bracket of twenty-five through thirty (who have given up on the near dead Hip-Hop culture) have also changed and shifted our sense of fashion. In the Eighties, fashion was a female driven industry. Designers crafted expensive items for their female consumers, men being delegated to shopping for function rather than fashion (unless they were gay, lived in Miami, or was a member of the Lo-Life's). In today's market, men are consumers of the same four hundred dollar jeans as women, designer shoes, hundred dollar shirts, and diamond encrusted jewelry (diamonds are a GIRLS best friend, not yours son). I too am a victim of today's "War against Manliness", I too get mani-pedi's, I too exfoliate and moisturize daily, I too seek the latest styles and hottest trends, and I too try to "preserve my sexy". My living room table has a stack of magazines with titles that read off, "GQ: Gentlemen's Quarterly", "Esquire", "Complex", "Details" and "Men's Vogue". But now I ask, with ruggedness and masculinity slowly being chipped away, chivalry being long dead, and the rise of the "Independent Women", what will happen to "man" in the future? The magazine "Esquire" is subtitled "Man at His Best", but at this current moment, is man actually at his best? Stop the pussification of man (go chop down a tree or something).

Peace, I mean WAR!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

What Lies Beneath!

So I'm watching television the other day and my show is interrupted for breaking news, a slaughter on the Virginia Tech campus (my prayers go out to the friends and family). I feel sad for the victims in this senseless tragedy, but it also made me question the minds of the American public. What is a life actually worth and who does this person have to be for me to mourn them. We all know that over 30 people died on the Virginia Tech campus, but do we know that at the sames time over 100 people were being slaughtered in Iraq. Are we saying that an American life is worth more than a life anywhere else in the world, aren't we all humans. Before I alienate anymore readers, I'm going to move onto the lying ass American government. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales sat in front of congressional panel and stumbled over his words, claiming to remember nothing, and taking responsibility for nothing. Senator John McCain claimed that it was safe to walk outside of the "green zone" in Baghdad (even though he was escorted by 100 American soldiers, with three Blackhawk helicopters, and two Apache gunship's overhead). Eleven days later, a suicide bomber killed 8 in the Iraqi Parliament, which is station in Baghdad's heavily guarded "green zone". And the worst of them is President George W. Bush, the idiot who stood on an aircraft carrier in front of a "Mission Accomplished" banner, proclaiming that the battle was won. For months before that, he led the country through various made-up reasons for invading and occupying Iraq, all the reasons turned out to be false (except the one about Saddam trying to kill his daddy). And for the past 4 years, American troops have been in danger because this man has continually lied to them and the American public. In one instance he says that Democrats in Congress are keeping troops in Iraq because they won't fund this idiotic war, and in the next instance he extends deployment lengths and keeps troops in Iraq. According to the self described "Bushies", the American public doesn't see the big picture, we don't see that hundreds of years down the road (after we're all dead from Global Warming) this will be seen as the smartest move any president has ever made. How many lives have to be taken for these idiots to see the truth, how much closer to one percent does Bush's approval rating have to be until somebody stops these madmen, what does it take for the American public to stand up and say we're not going to let these assholes drive us off that cliff. President Abraham Lincoln (the guy that freed the slaves so that they could pay taxes, fuck us either way) said at the Gettysburg Address, "that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain--that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.". At the end of this war (or whatever they want to call it), will we be able to say that these dead did not die in vain, will this nation ever again have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people? What will your children's lives be worth, and their children, and so forth?

Peace, I mean WAR!

Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!

Before I really get into this blog entry, let me explain why I decided on the title. Currently and as far as human history can remember, there has always been a war between science and religion. From topics such as evolution versus "intelligent design" (whatever that means), abortion versus fetal homicide, global warming versus God's wrath (what the fuck), Wal-Mart versus society, Gay marriage, etc. I consider myself a Muslim because I believe in Allah and most of the tenets of Islam, but I would never consider myself religious because I believe in science more than spirituality. Throughout my short life, I have argued with many religious people about the dynamics of religion and the hypocrisies of spirituality, never getting anywhere. So from this point on, I will never have a debate with anybody about their beliefs. But for now I will discuss religion for this blog entry, most importantly I will discuss how the ""Christian Right" of America is destroying the fabrics of our society (which was created to escape crazy religious zealots trying to stop our freaky forefathers from getting, well, freaky!). First I want to touch on the Global Warming debate. Over 2000 scientist in over 150 nations have proven that humans are contributing to the destruction of the planet Earth through Global Warming. Now, some of the "Christian Right" believes that Global Warming is a lie perpetrated by Democrats and the environmentalist. They claim that Global Warming has nothing to do with carbon emissions or science, but rather with God's wrath, and these are the final days written in Revelations (yeah, that "prophecy" hasn't bit them in the ass before). So according to them, carbon emissions, greenhouse gases, over-consumption of natural resources and the erratic climate changes are just lies made up by environmentalists and Al Gore, or just plagues signaling the Apocalypse (believe fairy tales much?). Now I would talk about Abortion from a scientific stand point, but it is more a personal choice issue. If according to your Bible and Quran, God or Allah loves all of his creations, wouldn't he love a woman that aborted her fetus just as much as a man out in Iraq killing innocent Iraqi children? And since God gave humans the ability of free will, isn't it in the hands of each human to decide for themselves, also "only God can judge". Now for a topic that my brother gave me the greatest point of view on, Gay marriage. My big brother said "I ain't getting married, so let them take my place and suffer like straight married couples". Before I comment on the whole gay marriage topic, let me comment on God's relationship to homosexuality. According to the Bible, God is infallible and perfect (proven so wrong by premature births, down syndrome, still births, etc.), if God is so perfect, why would he create something that he despises so much (that is also evident outside of human society throughout the animal kingdom; gay lions, yes, gay lions). Now onto the topic of Gay marriage, during this time in our history, a married couple is one of the hardest things to find, so why not let same sex marriages legal and have some sort of married couples in America. I would get into the whole "Intelligent Design" versus Evolution debate, but why bother, the main support of "Intelligent Design" are ignorant people. Now, early in this entry I said I was a Muslim and I believe in some components of Islam, well I do believe in creation, because there has to be an origin for everything. Since science has took us back millions of years and the Bible only brings us back thousands of years, I have to believe in the substance in front of me and not the mythology that can't be proven. For the theory of "Intelligent Design" to actually be viable, you have to find a way to prove that dinosaurs didn't exist, you have to find a way for seven days to stretch millions of years. And for the last battle in the war I will touch on, the battle against Wal-Mart. There has been a war against Wal-Mart led by the "Christian Right", according to them Wal-Mart is evil and mistreats its employees as well as its customers. There have been rumors that Wal-Mart employees are somehow underpaid, not given medical benefits, or other benefits, these rumors are just untrue. Wal-Mart employees are started off at $7.15, which is two dollars above the current federal minimum wage, and receive raises on a regular basis depending on their work. Wal-Mart employees are given a health care package that is not just affordable, but gives them the ability to use premium facilities. Employees are also able to obtain profit sharing and 401k plans through Wal-Mart. The opponents of Wal-Mart say that the consumer sales giant is destroying small businesses, but in actuality small businesses haven't been able to survive in the modern conglomerate ran market for some time now, and Wal-Mart has just filled the space left by abandoned buildings. Wal-Mart has supplied jobs where none were available, has afforded poor elderly people with prescriptions in their price range, and gave low income families better products at lower prices. And for anybody that brings up the sweat-market topic, just think what the poor kids in these third world countries would have to do instead of sewing clothes, prostitution, drugs, murder and other crimes. Any Christian or person of another religious denomination, don't take this as me hating religion, I hate religion invading my life and deciding what's right for me. Just like our freaky forefathers (well, white peoples freaky forefathers), I want to get my freak on without the government invading my freaky episodes. The Boston Tea Party wasn't about tea taxes, it was the Pilgrims saying they wanted their ménage a trios' to have nothing to do with the British government.

Peace, I mean WAR!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Return Of The Gangster, Gangster!

The Hip-Hop Historians are crying and so are the Hip-Hop Purists (and all us other "Hip-Hop" crybabies whining about Hip-Hop being dead). We've lost almost ever battle we've had to try to revive Hip-Hop, but the war isn't over yet. First, lets clear up a misconception that a lot of the fans of current Hip-Hop have. The revival movement in Hip-Hop is not about bringing New York Hip-Hop back, it's about bringing back the skills aspect of Hip-Hop. Back when rappers were all doing "da- bum, da- bum, da-bum, ha, ha", Kool Moe Dee, Run DMC and a few others forced rappers to actually think about what they were saying. Even though I disagree with the idea, some Hip-Hop heads put Melle Mel as one of the greatest of all time because "The Message" changed the landscape of Hip-Hop. They say without "The Message", we'd be left with meaningless songs about partying, which was the main theme in the late seventies and early eighties (and the main theme currently). Most Hip-Hop heads that I converse with don't have a New York returning" agenda, just a "Hip-Hop returning" agenda. I think most would agree with me that artist outside of New York have had a tremendous input on Hip-Hop history. N.W.A. gave the disenfranchised youth of L.A. a voice, Ice-T is a pioneer, King Tee, E-40, Too Short, even M.C. Hammer have all opened up the gates of California to the rest of the world, etching the West Coast into the Hip-Hop history books (which don't exist). Arguably one of the greatest rappers in history is Scarface, a rapper from Houston, TX. You can go on and on with a list of southern artist that have defined Hip-Hop. Three of my favorite groups of all time (all behind Wu-Tang Clan and Mobb Deep, I am from New York) are from the south, Outkast, 8Ball & MJG, and The Underground Kings. I don't even have to go into what T.I., Goodie Mob, Three 6 Mafia (in their own way), Lil Jon, and others have done to put the Dirty South in the Hip-Hop history books. Us Hip-Hop crybabies, like Nas, want more from our Hip-Hop music. Not really a return to the former state of Hip-Hop, but greater substance than there has been in the past years. When any rapper can get away with saying "On some G shit, Us & Cadbury are a perfect fit, we both specialize in smashin the streets with that sweetness" (thanks Jimmy for enlightening us on the reason you all say "no homo"), we should all stop and ask ourselves what is wrong with us as Hip-Hop consumers. So when you hear one of us (Hip-Hop purists, backpackers, Hip-Hop heads, Hip-Hop crybabies, whatever you want to call us) talking about Hip-Hop being dead, I want you to look at Hip-Hop and tell me it isn't dead creatively. And a note to my fellow Hip-Hop purists, don't cry, we still have Ghostface Killah.

Peace, I mean WAR!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

A Brave New World!

I was watching Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday, and I realized just how stupid some people are. The topic that they were discussing was the same topic from every show, how much President Bush is fucking up Iraq. President Bush and his fellow idiots, or diabolical madmen, would like the American public to believe that things are getting better out in Iraq. If Americans actually picked up a newspaper, and not the Source, Vibe or XXL (for you niggas out there), they would know that over 100 people died in Iraq just Thursday (explain that Senator McCain). As I've said before, how can America possibly believe that they can defeat the Islamic Extremist, they are willing to die for their beliefs, how many Americans can make that claim. But back to the stupidity of the American public, mainly the people at NASCAR races screaming America is number one. Another fact that most Americans can't or won't get through their skulls is that America is not number one and hasn't been number one in a while. Even though we have the most billionaires (which doesn't explain all of the poor people I know, including myself), the most Noble Prize winners, and the most people on the internet (looking for underage girls, just ask Chris Hansen), we are still not number one in a lot of things. China and India have larger Armed Forces than the "most powerful nation", Israel spends more money than us on the military, even though Israel isn't bigger than New Jersey (but should be used as a landfill just like it), and we have the largest National Debt. Over 25 countries have more doctors, more hospital space, lower infant mortality rates, and higher life expectancies. Our prison system is packed with the most people (mostly, excuse my French, niggas and spics), we are only surpassed by Canada (crazy frost-backs) and South Africa in most rapes, we're 15th highest on the murder rate charts (sometimes I want to help boost that stat), and the worst is that we are 139 of 172 nations when it comes to people voting (listen to Diddy, people). See, Middle America (just as radical as the Middle East), we aren't number one in many categories (even though we have the most overweight people). How can a country that sends still injured troops back into war, actually claim to be the greatest country in the world. When we throw veterans (such as myself) into substandard hospitals or even worst, on the streets, how can we actually consider ourselves the greatest. There's plenty of times I've watched The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Real Time, Bullshit and Hannity & Colmes and laughed, but the issues that they joke about on these news satires are serious (my friend just told me that Hannity & Colmes is real news, could've fooled me, next they'll say the O'Reilly Factor is real news too). I think we as Americans work too hard to be number one at meaningless things, that we forget the important ones. Lets stop trying to be the American Idol, the Next Top Model, New York's lover, or whatever America's watching this week, and try to be "the greatest nation" in the world. On an ending note, why did Oprah have to travel all the way to Africa to find children that want to learn, why aren't many Americans smarter than a 5th grader, and why hasn't everybody learned that Ann Coulter is a stupid cunt (yes, I said stupid cunt).

Peace, I mean WAR!