“Dignity is not located in seeking equality with the white man and his civilisation: … It is about being oneself with all the multiplicities, systems and contradictions of one’s own ways of being, doing and knowing.”
“Hope you don’t make same mistakes I did, pray for patience when you do.”
“Britain has two competing traditions- one rooted in ideas of freedom, equality and democracy, and another that sees these words as mere rhetoric to be trotted out at will and violated whenever it serves the Machiavellian purposes of power preservation. This is how the UK can have the largest demonstrations against the invasion of Iraq and yet still have a government that entirely ignored its population on an issue with such globe-shifting implications.” – Natives, Akala.
“The photograph is like a quotation, or a maxim or proverb.”
“…World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, was described as ‘unreal, ‘surreal’, ‘like a movie’ in many of the first accounts of those escaped from the towers or watched from nearby. (After four decades of big-budget Hollywood disaster films, ‘It felt like a movie’ seems to have displaced the way survivors of a catastrophe used to express the short-term unassimilability of what they had gone through: ‘It felt like a dream.’)
Nonstop imagery (television, streaming video, movies) is our surround, but when it comes to remembering, the photograph has the deeper bite.”
“The name of a man is a numbing blow from which he never recovers.” – Marshall McLuhan
“Violence turns anybody subjected to it into a thing.” – Regarding The Pain Of Others, Susan Sontag
“However, someone who accepts that in the world as currently divided war can become inevitable, and even just, might reply that the photographs supply no evidence, none at all, for renouncing war- except to those for whom the notions of valor and sacrifice have been emptied of meaning and credibility.”
“One of my earliest memories is of sitting on a quay at the seaside watching a stick floating on the water. The waves were passing below me, under my kicking legs- I was still wearing short trousers- but, to my great surprise, the stick wasn’t carried along with them; it stayed exactly where it was, rising and falling as the waves rolled past. It seems to me now, looking back, that my life has been like that stick: time has rolled through me, like a wave, but I haven’t changed; I’ve stayed me. Even now, despite the invention of so many years, I feel I’m that same young boy, who can slip easily into sensations of wonder.”
“Same page, but different books.”
“Why would that happen? I’ll tell you why. If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts everyday, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until it gets so ugly you can hardly bear to look at it.
A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” – The Twits, Ronald Dahl
“Went to a movie premiere last night. Red Carpet. Flash bulbs. Party afterwards. Two parties afterwards… The young guy had 3 rather nice looking ladies with him and he kept telling me how they liked to suck cock. The ladies just smiled and said, “oh yes!” And the whole conversation went on like that… But after a while I just got weary of it. But the young guy just kept pressing me, talking about how the girls liked to suck cock. His face kept getting closer and he kept on and on. Finally, I reached out and grabbed him by his shirt front, hard, and held him like that and said, “Listen, it wouldn’t look good if a 71-year-old guy beat the shit out of you in front of all these people, would it?” – The Captain is out for Lunch and The Sailors have taken over The Ship, Charles Bukowski.
“Neoliberalism is the rationality through which capitalism finally swallows humanity- not only with its machinery of compulsory commodification and profit driven expansion, but by its form of valuation.”
“It was about how influence in digital protest movements was achieved not by having a few powerful influencers with many followers, but by many small ones communicating incessantly.”
“The chance to change or mould public opinion is reserved to those who are not afraid of being isolated.”
“In the age of mass communication, media becomes the indicator by which people decide what the dominant public opinion is. Noelle-Neumann rather prettily describes the dynamic as a ‘spiral of silence’. On one side are interpersonal connections, which push alternative opinions up the spiral; on the other are mass media, which push them down. At the bottom of the spiral lies the silence.
… types of people who fight against the silence… The other type is ‘avant-garde’: reformers and activists who do want people to listen to them despite all the setbacks. ‘Those who belong to the avant-garde are committed to the future and thus by necessity, are isolated; but their convictions that they are ahead of their time enables them to endure.” – This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in war against reality, Peter Pomerantsev.
“The problem we are facing today is less oppression, more lack of identity, apathy, division, no trust,’ sighs Srdja. ‘There are more tools to change things than before, but there’s less will to do so.”
“When information is a weapon, everyone is at war.”
Throwback to my secondary school days where girls had to wear skirts and weren’t allowed to wear trousers. I did feel sorry for my sister who’s legs must’ve been freezing in the winter because of a stupid rule. I did think who said it’s acceptable for certain genders to wear certain pieces of clothing and others not. Trivial questions I guess, why men never worn dresses or why skirts were invented for females. I still don’t know the answers, but it did cross my mind as a young boy.
The bigger picture it led to was, who is society to determine what is the norm or acceptable for genders/different groups of people?
Society tells a lot of people how they should view me as a young black male, street crime, violent hip-hop music, politically/ intellectually inept. I like to think I shatter these labels by being myself and expressing myself through this blog and ultimately not entertaining those narratives. I don’t feel the need to come up with a new term to call myself, or dismiss a term used to describe my ethnic background.
Whether you view right or wrong there is a movement going on where people don’t want to be referred to as “He/She” but rather “They/Them”. I would be lying to claim I know all the ins and outs of this topic, or struggles these people are battling everyday. What I do know is adding another label (ironically by trying to remove one, you’ve added one) we are creating more divide. Ultimately we are going to have those who wished to be called one of 3 terms mentioned prior and those who may get offended by using the wrong term when addressing them. I assume we can all agree as it stands- there’s no derogatory connotations to using the terms he or she to define what sex a person is.
If you are a male or a female depending on what sex you were born as, that shouldn’t effect what you wear or your personality traits. Example, I am a male but identify as a female because society has told me that the way I act or feel is inline with a female. I shouldn’t switch over to being a female- Perhaps if I’m a man and I feel like wearing clothes or I naturally behave in a way considered “feminine”, means naturally what I’ve been told makes me male or female is a load of rubbish and the buck stops at what makes me either or at what is between my legs.
To preach fluidity would mean no matter what you are born as you can wear, act and love who you want, without what sex you are playing any part of it.
“Freedom of speech versus censorship was one of the clearer confrontations of the twentieth century. After the Cold War, freedom of speech appeared to have emerged victorious in many places. But what if the powerful can use ‘information abundance’ to find new ways of stifling you, flipping the ideals of freedom of speech to crush dissent, while always leaving enough anonymity to be able to claim deniability?”
“Another difference, underscored by Foucault, is that in neoliberal reason, competition replaces exchange as the market’s root principle and basic good. (…Foucault also argues that neoliberal reason formulates competition as normative, rather than natural, and thus requires facilitation and legal support.) This subtle shift from exchange to competition as the essence of the market means that all market actors are rendered as little capitals (rather than as owners, workers, and consumers) competing with, rather than exchanging with each other.”
“Practice without thought is blind; thought without practice is empty. The three segments of African society which I specified in the last chapter, the traditional, the western and the Islamic, co-exist uneasily; the principles animating them are often in conflict with one another.
What is to be done then? I have stressed that the two other segments, in order to be rightly seen, must be accommodated only as experiences of the traditional African society. If we fail to do this our society will be racked by the most malignant schizophrenia.
“There’s nothing to mourn about death anymore than there is to mourn about the growing of a flower. What is terrible is not death but the lives people live or don’t live up until their death. They don’t honor their own lives, they piss on their lives. They shit them away. Dumb fuckers. They concentrate too much on fucking, movies, money, family, fucking. Their minds are full of cotton. They swallow God without thinking, they swallow country without thinking. Soon they forget how to think, they let others think for them.” – The Captain is out to lunch and the sailors have taken over the ship, Charles Bukowski.
“Second, inequality, not equality, is the medium and relation of competing capitals. When we are figured as human capital in all that we do in every venue, equality ceases to be our presumed natural relation with one another. Thus equality cease to be an a priori or fundament of neoliberalized democracy. In legislation, jurisprudence, and the popular imaginary, inequality becomes normal, even normative. A democracy composed of human capital features winners and losers, not equal treatment or equal protection. In this regard, too, the social contract is turning inside out.”
“The emancipation of the African continent is the emancipation of man.” – Consciencism, Kwame Nkrumah
“The genius resembles everyone and no one resembles him.”
“Keep me fully glad with nothing. Only take my
hand in your hand.
In the gloom of the deepening night take up my
heart and play with it as you list. Bind me close to you
I will spread myself out at your feet and lie still.
Under this clouded sky I will meet silence with silence.
I will become one with the night clasping the earth in
Make my life glad with nothing.
The rains sweep the sky from end to end. Jasmines
in the wet untamable wind revel in their own perfume.
The cloud-hidden stars thrill in secret. Let me fill to
the full my heart with nothing but my own depth of joy.” – Rabindranath Tagore
“Freedom is the concern of the oppressed, and her natural protectors have always come from among the oppressed.”
“Police states have never been suspected of opening schools of law in the cellars where they interrogate their subjects. So, when they oppress and exploit, they are merely doing their job, and whoever blindly entrust them with the care of freedom has no right to be surprised when she is immediately dishonoured.” – Bread and Freedom, Albert Camus
“If you believe in forever, you build a wall around the now.”
“Second, inequality, not equality, is the medium and relation of competing capitals. When we are figured as human capital in all that we do and in every venue, equality ceases to be our presumed natural relation with one another. Thus, equality ceases to be an a priori or fundament of neoliberalized democracy. In legislation, jurisprudence, and the popular imaginary, inequality becomes normal, even normative. A democracy composed of human capital features winners and losers, not equal treatment or equal protection. In this regard, too, the social contract is turning inside out.”
“The contemporary ‘economization’ of subjects by neoliberal rationality is thus distinctive in at least three ways…
Second, neoliberal homo oeconomicus takes shape as human capital seeking to strengthen its competitive positioning and appreciate its value, rather than as a figure of exchange or interest.”
IN SOCIETIES dominated by modern conditions of production, life is presented as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation.
THE SPECTACLE is not a collection of images; it is a social relation between people that is mediated by images.” Society Of The Spectacle, Guy Debord
“Let me round this up with a nice little coda. ‘Africa is people’ has another dimension. Africa believes in people, in cooperation with people. if the philosophical dictum of Descartes ‘I think therefore I am’ represents a European individualistic ideal, the Bantu declaration ‘Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu‘ represents an African communal aspiration: ‘A human is a human because of other humans.’
Our humanity is contingent on the humanity of our fellows. No person or group can be human alone. We rise above the animal together, or not at all. If we learned that lesson even this late in the day, we would have taken a truly millennial step forward.” Chinua Achebe
“To speak of the relentless and ubiquitous economization of all features of life by neoliberalism is thus not to claim that neoliberalism literally marketizes all spheres, even as such marketization is certainly one important effect of neoliberalism. Rather, the point is that neoliberal rationality disseminates the model of the market to all domains and activities- even where money is not at issue- and configures human beings exhaustively as market actors, always, only, and everywhere as homo oeconomicus.”
“A million minds in one body designed to decline a whole society.” We Can’t Win, AZ
“In a neoliberal era when the market ostensibly takes care of itself, Obama’s speech reveals government as both responsible for fostering economic health and as subsuming all other undertakings (expect national security) to economic health. Striking in its own right, this formulation means that democratic state commitments to equality, liberty, inclusion, and constitutionalism are now subordinate to the project of economic growth, competitive positioning, and capital enhancement. These political commitments can no longer stand on their own legs and, the speech implies, would be jettisoned if found abate, rather than abet, economic goals.” – Undoing the Demos, Wendy Brown
“Even the Greek etymology of “democracy” generates ambiguity and dispute. Demos/kratia translate as “people rule” or “rule by the people.” But who were the “people” of ancient Athens? The propertied? The poor? The uncounted? The many? This was a dispute in Athens itself, which is why for Plato, democracy is proximate to anarchy, while for Aristole, it is rule by the poor.”
“The non-racist Anglo-Conformists presumably are either convinced of the cultural superiority of Anglo-Saxon institutions as developed in the United States, or believe simply that regardless of superiority or inferiority, since English culture has constituted the dominant framework for the development of American institutions, newcomers should expect to adjust accordingly.” -Assimilation in American Life, Milton M. Gordon
“The major mistake made by exponents of the coalition theory is that they advocate alliances with groups which have never had as their central goal the necessarily total revamping of the society. At bottom, those groups accept the American system and want only- if at all- to make peripheral, marginal reforms in it. Such reforms are inadequate to rid the society of racism.”
“We don’t want to change the world, just its t-shirts.” – CareFree.
“We have two choices. We can be pessimistic, give up, and help ensure that the worse will happen. Or we can be optimistic, grasp the opportunities that surely exist, and maybe help make the world a better place.”
“It is well established that electoral campaigns are designed so as to marginalize issues and focus on personalities, rhetorical style, body language, and the like. And there are good reasons. Party managers read polls and are well aware that on a host of major issues, both parties are well to the right of the population- not surprisingly; they are, after all, business parties. Polls show that a large majority of voters object, but those are the only choices offered to them in the business-managed electoral system, in which the most heavily funded candidate almost always wins.” Optimism over despair, Noam Chomsky
“There is no black man in this country who can live ‘simply as a man’. His blackness is ever present fact of this racist society, whether he recognises it or not. It is unlikely that this or the next generation will witness the time when race will no longer be relevant in the conduct of public affairs and in public policy decision-making. To realize this and to attempt to deal with it does not make one racist or overly preoccupied with race; it puts one in the forefront of a significant struggle.” – Black Power: The politics of liberation in America, Stokely Carmichael & Charles V. Hamilton
“Dink dropped down on his hands and knees and crawled closer. Curiousity conquered fear, and I got on my hands and knees and crawled after Dink. When he got to the scrubs pines, he stood up halfway and pushed the branches slightly apart. I stood up behind him, looking over his shoulder. The woman was facing me, and even in the half light I could tell who she was.” -This Time Next year, Anne Stallworth.
“Black Power- is full participation in the decision-making processes affecting the lives of black people, and recognition of the virtues in themselves as black people.”
“Experts have called on the government to make story time an intrinsic part of the school day for children right up to their teens, after two major new pieces of research revealed a decline in both the number of children being read to daily and the number reading for pleasure by themselves.
The findings of Nielsen Book Research’s annual survey into the reading habits of British children, to be revealed on Tuesday at an industry conference, show that only 32% of British children under 13 are read to daily by an adult, for pleasure, down four percentage points on the previous year, and nine percentage points down on 2012.
Most parents stop reading to their child by the age of eight, with just 19% of eight to 10-year-olds read to daily by an adult, across all socio-economic groups, down 3% on last year. Boys were less likely to be read to daily than girls at 14%, compared with 24%.”
“The departure of the middle class from the central city is important in other ways. … The middle class supplies a social and political leavening in the life of a city. Middle-class people demand good schools and integrity in government. … It is the middle class, in short, that asserts a conception of the public interest.” – City Politics, Banfield and Wilson.
@RheaDillon for I-D
“Nike Air Bakin’, Nike Air Grill, and Nike Air B-Que were the names of the hot new shoes that would hit the stores in the summer of 1997. Unfortunately, the flaming Nike Air logo design was very similiar to the word Allah in Arabic script, causing a storm of complaints from the Muslim Community. Nike agreed to a sales ban and recalled 800,000 shoes. The company issued an apology and introduced a review panel to prevent similiar problems in the future.
A spokesperson from Nike said,’we have, through this process, developed a deeper understanding of Islamic concerns and Islamic issues… As our brand continues to expand, we have to deepen our awareness of other world communities.”
“In Politics among nations, Hans Morgenthau defined polictical power as ‘the psychological control over the minds of the men.’ This control includes the attempt by the oppressor to have his definitions, his historical descriptions, accepted by the oppressed.”
“Man’s timid heart is bursting with the things he must not say,
For the Woman that God gave him isn’t his to give away;
But when hunter meets with husbands, each confirms the other’s tale—
The female of the species is more deadly than the male.
Man, a bear in most relations—worm and savage otherwise,—
Man propounds negotiations, Man accepts the compromise.
Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact
To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act.
Fear, or foolishness, impels him, ere he lay the wicked low,
To concede some form of trial even to his fiercest foe.
Mirth obscene diverts his anger—Doubt and Pity oft perplex
Him in dealing with an issue—to the scandal of The Sex!
But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame
Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same;
And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail,
The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.” – The Female Species, Rudyard Kipling
“Just because it’s written down in a book doesn’t mean it’s true.”
This isn’t like the 100 articles you’ve read on if Liam Neeson is racist or not. Although it is the 100th time I’ve edited it. I’m hearing a lot of voices who some may consider credible within the community, but one thing I’m yet to hear is a solution.
Quick run through- Liam is racist because he intended to attack any black man and probably wouldn’t of reacted the same if the perpetrator was white. Liam isn’t racist because he didn’t actually do the act of violence and is being open about it today.
One thing I’d like to shut down is people saying he’s come out with this in order to promote his new film. I don’t see how this is the case, what I do see is a creative referring to his art, as an actor (a film about revenge) and how it relates to his real life experiences, I mean what other art/expression do we expect for him to draw his truth from? I’m still on topic here as previously mentioned, I don’t care for the debate on if he’s racist or not, I’ll leave that for Good Morning Britain YouTube clicks/viewers.
Let’s jump straight in- I’m more on the side of Liam not being racist (I lied saying I wasn’t going to discuss this, but need to in order to get point across). An age old thorn in the side of the black community is white people being ignorant towards racism even existing. If we all condemn Liam, how is this going to encourage the conversation of racism, why would white people want to discuss their previous racist experiences?
I kind of feel like some of the black community aren’t actually ready to even talk about race, maybe it’s because there’s been a rightful chip on our shoulders since time began, that the one time we have a white celebrity that can help propel the conversation on race and encourage others to speak up, we shut down the conversation and call him a racist. It’s like one of those too good to be true stories. Not in the sense of a celebrity “admitting” to being racist as some might say, but in a sense that here’s a white famous man admitting his faults and prejudice views from over 30 years ago.
I’m also at a cross road as to what do those who call Liam a racist actual think that will achieve and if they believe people change?
Liam done an act, or didn’t do an act, or he had a thought and should this define his whole being? He went good ol’ black people hunting for a week, a month, for a year for argument’s sake. Why should that matter if he doesn’t hold those views today and has changed for the better? Why is that the topic at hand? I can see how not calling Liam a racist can bring about a solution, by opening up a dialogue. Discussing why and how he overcame, why he felt it was important to share this story and why his peers should too. There are so many gaps to fill in in this piece. But I guess that’s the point. – Damian Malontie.
“This stance is not an uncommon one. More than a handful of black people will admit privately their contempt for insincere whites with whom they must work and deal. (In all likelihood, contempt is mutual.) They feel secure in articulating their true feelings only when out of hearing range of ‘the man’.” – Black power, Stokely Carmichael and Charles V. Hamilton.
“The dark ghettos are social, political, educational and- above all- economic colonies. Their inhabitants are subject peoples, victims of the greed, cruelty, insensitivity, guilt, and fear of their masters.” – Dark Ghetto P. II, Dr. Kenneth B Clark
1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
“Montreal’s Italian community”
|synonyms:||group, section, body, company, set, circle, clique, coterie, ring, band, faction; More|
2. the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.
“the sense of community that organized religion can provide”
I was trying to think of the trigger word for brands this year- being basically unemployed for a while, selling quality t-shirts out of my Y-Reg Focus boot, I was struggling. Community suddenly springs to mind, every brand and most influencers are now about the community.
When I was looking for a job, Community Manager was one that popped up. Brands wanted to engage with the community, give back- document they had heart I guess. It maybe cynical and inevitable with youth programmes closing down all throughout my teenage years, someone had to step in and make some money… I mean help the community.
I remember being into nice clothes growing up, checking out The Hideout (Shout out Michael K) or that workwear shop on Endell Street (forgot the name) and buying some nice gear, some things never change. But I still hated shopping and would rather kick a ball around outside. We’d just hang out, sometimes up to no good, but all in good faith. Taking trips to central was done about 3 times a year max, plus being broke definitely played a part. Now we have a young generation where shopping is their way of hanging out. Which is fine or weird.
I started off with the definition of community. It seems the communities we have today still fit this meaning. However, instead of a social trait at the centre of it (not sure if that’s best word, but I never claimed to be a know it all), we see product or someone making money off it.
Quick one, a person has a platform, great. He/She decides to do something for the community where they throw a cool party or design a cool t-shirt and give donations to charity, sounds like a great start so far. Then you may even have a workshop for young talent. Brands dig it, so you do it again, and again. Now- brands have associated you as the people helping/speaking for the community, and now pump money into you- but the community you are collaborating with stays the same size or may even shrink depending on your success rate of getting free gear or lack of likes on Instagram.
To me that just doesn’t seem authentic, in terms of what society has led us to believe what community is. I’m not saying you have to work with every Tom, Dick (especially) or Harry. I just struggle to see how you can be about community but it stays the same size, the community involved doesn’t get bigger. Oh- and this is just an observation from the industry I just so happened to of ended up in; fashion/streetwear (hate that word).
Let’s end by going full circle and looking at the definition of community again. Scroll up and have a look. The more I read the meaning above, the more I see that what I’ve talked about prior with a hint of disappointment in what our communities have become, is exactly what a community is described as on the tin. Why would I think anything else from a society built on our values. – Damian Malontie
On the day of Trump’s arrival to The UK last year, I remember being on the way Central and on my blower- in between Joe Budden podcasts and Gasworks videos, I saw a thumbnail of Piers Morgan debating on The Good Morning Show about why there was a march against The President and thought, why not have a butch.
The more the interview went on, the more of a prick Piers was shown to be, pressing irrelevant facts to try put the opposing guest in a corner. Though I couldn’t help but agree with the jist of what he had to say. Piers went on to list a handful of leaders who are probably far worse than Trump is and asked, “why don’t we have mass protest for these guys when they come to visit”, is Trump more evil than these other leaders?
I thought, why does everyone hate Trump so much? I mean, I do find him to be ignorant along with other things, but he doesn’t rub me up the wrong way as much as he seems to do with others. To go out and march and make these signs condemning him is a commitment. Well, at least it used to be. Are you committed for even half the time it took you to make a sign and get to the march?
Ok, so- you hate Trump because his Foreign Policies, you hate Trump because he doesn’t do f*** all to stop innocent brown people being killed, you hate him for some of his misogynistic comments, I get it, but he just sounds like a normal leader of the free world to me. I guess it’s easy to hate him more than others, he is at the top and he can be donut. You could just hate him for being him, rich white guy, with enough money to buy the presidency and no filter who is ballsy enough to take on ‘Black Twitter’.
Trump is like Kony or Black Lives Matter, it was the latest cool thing to be socially conscience of (despite it coming from a real place, which is a shame). It’s great if these things popup in conversation amongst young people for a change, or a celebrity posts a meme mugging off The Commander in Chief instead of a selfie- but I feel like the reaction of a hashtag and a march is done to be discussed on a Monday at work about what you done over the weekend. I know we are all human and sometimes we get too tired to-I don’t know- care about social issues or other priorities kick in, I’m not judging and relate. I’m just saying it would be nice if real people who are posting about Trump online or attending marches, unlike popular culture kept the same energy, a month after he’s trending online, even 24 hours after he has left our shores. I guess a perfect ending to this piece would be to ask those who attended a previous march. What’s the update on Black Lives Matter? – Damian Malontie
“It was only once his father died that he was able to come forward with his own strange smile and originality of mind. It was a new young man who stood there, quiet and dignified, gentle and relaxed, but there was nothing in his own environment to account for all the secret development that had taken place in him.
Things wouldn’t have been so bad if black men as a whole had not accepted their oppression, and added to it with their own taboos and traditions. Once he had pulled away from these taboos, he found the definition of a black man unacceptable to him.”
“What can I offer, nah what can you offer me?”
Damian Malontie/CAREFREE for: @Levis_UK
“The other was more serious and more rare. It could lead to mental breakdown and suicide on the part of the woman, because, on the one hand, it assumed that the man was worthy of adoration, while in reality full of shocks and disappointments; and on the other, adoration assumed the proportions of daily diet of a most dangerous nature.” – When rain clouds gather, Bessie Head.
“I know what I want, Papa,’ Makhaya said quietly. ‘Because I’ve had so much of what I did not want.”
“But invisibility was its own kind of reward; it meant you had to answer to no one except the others who shared your condition. It meant you became obsessed with showing and proving, distinguishing yourself and your originality above the crowd. It put you on relentless quest to prove to them that you were bigger, wilder, and bolder than circumstances dictated you should ever be, to try to generate something from nothing, something no one else had, until everyone around you had to admit that you had something they might never have, something that might even make other people-big, important people- stand up and take notice themselves, offer you money, give you power, or try to crush your very soul. That was the key to having style.” Can’t stop won’t stop, Jeff Chang.
“Blessed are the cracked for they let in the light.”
“Some Africans believe that it was through the sound of the drum that God gave man the ability to speak or to understand one another in contrast to the lower animals, to differentiate him from the lesser creatures. So this is in a way symbolic or figurative, but it is like how close the drum is to them. And you know, in our music the drum is like the mother of the music, it’s like the heartbeat.” – As serious as your life, Val Wilmer.
“At some stage, and in an effort to solve his own dilemma, he decided to strike out on his own. He saw this mass of suffering mankind of which he was a part, but also saw himself as a separate particle, too, and as time went on he began to stress his own separateness, taking this as a guide that would lead him to clarify of thought in all the confusion. It was rare.”
“African art calls to our minds the graceful antelope headpieces of the Bambara, the baroque bronze queens of Benin, the mysterious masks of the Dogon. African art evokes the creative discovery of tribal sculpture, during the first decade of this century, by Picasso, Matisse, Derain, Vlaminck, who found in the powerful styles of Black Africa a confirmation of their passionate aesthetic researches which eventually led to cubism. But the urge for beauty, the pursuit of form as an aim in itself, is not restricted in Africa to statues, engravings, and paintings: it is to be found also in the adornments of the body.” A quest of beauty in Dahomey, Jacques Maquet.
My first country .
The first place I ever lived.”
“Keep an element of self when meeting someone new.”
“Anybody’s music is made up of a lot of things that are not music. Music is an attitude, a group of symbols of a way of life, whether they’re conscious of it or not… And of course, it naturally reflects the social and economic and educational attitudes of the players. And that’s why the fools don’t think I play jazz.”
That real black music nigga
Ronald Reagan cooked up an answer
You hear that?
What Gil Scott was hearing
When our heroes and heroines got hooked on heroin
Crack raised the murder rate in DC and Maryland
We invested in that it’s like we got Merril-Lynch
And we been hanging from the same tree ever since
Sometimes I feel the music is the only medicine
So we cook it, cut it, measure it, bag it, sell it
The fiends cop it
Nowadays they can’t tell if that’s that good shit
We ain’t sure man
Put the CD on your tongue yeah, that’s pure man
The mothers is hardly home
Gonna lock us up in a, home
How the Mexicans say we just trying to party homes
They want to pack us all in a box like Styrofoam
Who gave Saddam anthrax?
George Bush got the answers
Back in the hood it’s a different type of chemical
Am and Hammer baking soda
Raised they own quota
Writing when our soldiers ran for the stove ’cause
‘Cause dreams of being ‘Hova went from being a brokeman to a being a dopeman
Ta being a president look there’s hope man
This that inspiration for the mos and the folks man
Shorty come and see if mama straight overdosing
And this is the soundtrack
This the type of music you make when you round that
Crack music nigga
That real black music nigga
See I done did all this ole bullshit
And to atone I throw a little something, something on the pulpit
We took that shit, measured it and then cooked that shit
And what we gave back was crack music.” – Crack Music, Kanye West
“Firstly, for us to gain good information in a way that will stick with us is to make it relatable. In school I hated reading something from a random old guy, I couldn’t get into it. Actually it’s quite weird to think that the system thinks it’s ok (as an entry) that one of the first books you read as a young adult (here in The UK) is Shakespeare. I had to go about reading written pieces from rappers, then onto guys like George Jackson (Soledad Brother), some real street guys, talking some really political stuff, but they look and dress like me. My mind was blown. Then from there I could learn to appreciate a Shakespeare, or a John Fante, I could get into these guys more because I knew what I liked, what I was looking for. I had a reference point to draw from and appreciate what a next man from a whole other world to me, was trying to say.” – Damian Malontie.
‘’Left home to live in the hood’’
Nobody leaves home
Unless it sounds like drones
and rubber bullets
or your mother needs treatment
but the hospitals are full
and your water is polluted
Nobody leaves home
Unless it sounds like your brothers
Arrest or your fathers trauma
Nobody leaves home
Unless their home looks like fire in the
Sky and they don’t know whether its a star
Or a misil
unless home feels like hell and hell is what they give you
Knocking on your door and robbing your first born
Until home is the sound of your daughters screams
piercing as a soldier forces her
to pull down her jeans
Nobody leaves home unless it smells
bodies buried in front of you
But they never had a funeral
Nobody leaves home out of will
out of fun and curiosity
At least not where I’m from
“People sometimes think that, if one has had the luck to run across men of great achievement, They are likely to enter as characters into novels. That is quite wrong. The people who attract a novelists imagination are usually not like that at all. They strike home, as it were, when one is not looking.”
“Both the playing and making of cards in Soviet prisons and in the ‘zone’, as the correctional labour camps were known, were forbidden. If a card (or worse a whole deck) was found, the penalty was severe: to be involved in a card game was considered to be equivalent to defying the administration, consuming alcohol or injecting drugs and was usually punished with six months in an isolation cell. If evidence of gambling was discovered- even if the bet was push-ups or squats- then the infringement was deemed worse, resulting in a longer term of solitary confinement. The letter K (kartyozhnik or card-sharp) and a card- usually the ace of spades- would be added to the guilty prisoner’s file. ” – Russian Criminal Tattoos and playing cards.
“So few my roads,
So many the mistakes.”
“I think ‘aura’ is something that only somebody else can see, and they only see as much of it as they want to. It’s all in the other person’s eyes. You can only see an aura on people you don’t know very well or don’t know at all. I was having dinner the other night with everybody from my office. The kids at the office treat me like dirt, because they know me, and this kid could hardly believe that he was having dinner with me! Everybody else was seeing me, but he was seeing my ‘aura’.” – Fame, Andy Warhol
One morning in 1988, Trix Worrell, a young St Lucia-born writer, was sat on the top deck of the number 36 bus going from Peckham to central London. He had just won Channel 4’s debut writing competition, and had been invited to meet distinguished producer Humphrey Barclay and propose a new black sitcom.
But he had no idea what to pitch, and had never written comedy before. As the bus stopped at the traffic lights on the Queens Road, he was drawn to a scene below in a West Indian barber shop.
“It was called Fair Deal,” recalls Worrell, “and there were these barbers, their noses pressed against the front window, chirpsing the girls walking past. And I could see the customers in their chairs, half-lathered and half-shaved, waiting to get their hair cut, but thinking nothing of it whatsoever. That’s when it came to me
“He is like Kony or Black Lives Matter, it’s the latest cool thing to be socially conscience of (despite it coming from a real place, which is a shame). It’s great if these things popup in conversation amongst young people for a change, or a celebrity posts a meme mugging off The Commander in Chief instead of a selfie- but I feel like the reaction of a hashtag and a march is done to be discussed on a Monday at work about what you done over the weekend. I know we are all human and sometimes we get too tired to, I don’t know, care about social issues or other priorities kick in, I’m not judging and relate.
I’m just saying it would be nice if real people who are posting about him online or attending marches, unlike popular culture kept the same energy, a month after he’s trending online, even 24 hours after he has left our shores. I guess a perfect ending to this piece would be to ask those who attended a previous march. What’s the update on Black Lives Matter?” – Damian Malontie
“From two thousand feet he tried again, rolling into his dive, beak straight down, wings full out and stable from the moment he passed fifty miles per hour. It took tremendous strength, but it worked. In ten seconds he had blurred through ninety miles per hour. Jonathan had set a world speed record for seagulls!
But victory was short-lived. The instant he began his pullout, the instant he changed the angle of his wings, he snapped into that same terrible uncontrolled diaster, and at ninety miles per hour it hit him like dynamite. Jonathan seagull exploded in midair and smashed down into a brick-hard sea.
When he came to, it was well after dark, and he floated in moonlight on surface of the ocean. His wings were ragged bars of lead, but weight of failure was even more heavier on his back. He wished, feebly, that the weight could be just enough to drag him gently down to the bottom, and end it all.
As he sank low in the water, a strange hollow voice sounded within him. There’s no way around it. I am a seagull. I am limited in nature. If I were meant to learn so much about flying, I’d have charts for brains. If I were meant to fly at speed, I’d have a falcon’s short wings, and live on mice instead of fish. My Father was right. I must forget this foolishness. I must fly home to the flock and be content as I am, as a poor limited seagull.” -Jonathan Livingston Seasgull A story, Richard Bach.
“The agricultural authorities also believed they had a monopoly over the future development of the country, and they were not inclined to favour independent initiative, nor outsiders. Development was an ‘in’ business, for locals only. They were prepared to welcome Gilbert ‘in’, as a white man, but to their extreme chargrin, they found that he had independent ideas about that too.
It seem impossible to Matenge that one man could stir up so much trouble among the important people and still remain in the country.” – When rain clouds gather, Bessie Head.
“‘Well-educated men often come to the crossroads of life,’ he said. ‘One road might lead to fame and importance, and another might lead to peace of mind. It’s the road to peace of mind that I’m seeking.'”
“A British colonial police officer sat behind a desk on which was piled a jumble of papers. A notice on the wall above his head proclaimed: work fascinates me. I can sit and watch it for hours. He had quite a pleasant, good looking face with arched eyebrows and green eyes. As commander of the station with no superior to jump to attention for, he exuded a great air of self-importance. He stared impressively at Makhaya for some time, then he said, ‘So you have come?’
Makhaya could make nothing of this remark and kept quiet. ‘It’s past eleven o’clock and I’ve delayed my tea waiting for you,’ he said. In fact, I was just about to come and pick you up. Sit down, Mr Makhaya Maseko.’
‘How do you know my name?’ Makhaya asked, startled.” When rain clouds gather, Bessie Head.
“A man’s value has been determined by his labor from day to day, by how much he could produce both to sustain himself and to permit investment in new machinery. Now that man is being eliminated from the productive process, a new standard of value must be found. This can only be man’s value as a human being.”-The American Revolution: Pages from a Negro workbook, James Boggs.
“Fame is the perfume of heroic deeds.” – Socrates
“The assumption underlying this policy was that Britain had unlimited time with which to work. No short cuts were envisaged. To give the colonies their independence, in the words of one senior Labour politician, Herbert Morrisson, during the war, would be ‘like giving a child of ten a latchkey, a bank account and a shot-gun’.” -The First Dance of Freedom: Black Africa in the post war era, Martin Meredith
“Years later I realized that my failure as a big shot in college was alright- instead of serving on committees, I took a beating on English poetry; When I got the idea of what it was all about, I set about learning how to write. On Shaw’s principle that “If you don’t get what you like, you better like what you get,” it was a lucky break- at the moment it was harsh and bitter business to know that my career as a leader of men was over.”
“Instead of being so sorry for yourself, listen-” she said. (She always says “Listen,” because she thinks while she talks- really thinks.) So she said: “Listen. Suppose this wasn’t a crack in you- suppose it was a crack in the Grand Canyon.”
“The crack’s in me,” I said heroically.
“Listen! The world only exists in your eyes- your conception of it. You make it as big or as small as you want to. And you’re trying to be a little puny individual. By God, if I ever cracked, I’d try to make the world crack with me. Listen! The world only exists through your apprehension of it, and so it’s much better to say that it’s not you that’s cracked- it’s the Grand Canyon.” – On Booze, F. Scott Fitzgerald.
“I was shot by my ex-boyfriend, and I became an amputee from it… If I would have had a gun, maybe things would have changed.” – Cindy Chester
“Then let’s get a drink.”
“Drink, drink, drink! Is that all you can think of?”
“No, but it’s a good way to get through spaces, like this one.”
“Can’t you face things straight?”
“I can but I’d rather not.”
“Everything is: Playing golf, sleeping, eating, walking, arguing, jogging, breathing, fucking….” -Women, Charles Bukowski.
“Radical ideas are in short supply.”
“Artists, they’re never wrong.”
“In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience.” Stokely Carmichael
“Why can’t I rid myself of the sorrow and emotion that awareness has bought me? I get rid of ignorance of the self-destructive force of error only to be torn and miserable by what I discover.” – Soledad Brother, George Jackson
“Take care of your creative health.” – Nemja, Nayyirah Waheed.
“… if something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.”
“Science is caging the human soul” – William Blake.
“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”
“They had temporarily escaped the factories, the warehouses, the slaughterhouses, the car washes- they’d be back in captivity the next day but now they were out- they were wild with freedom. They weren’t thinking about the slavery of poverty. Or the slavery of welfare and food stamps. The rest of us would be all right until the poor learned how to make atom bombs in their basement.”
“He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man” – Samuel Johnson.
“Vance Pastures stretched out around me for miles. I threw away my red notebook. What a way for a writer to die! I could see it in the newspaper:
HENRY CHINASKI, MINOR POET, FOUND DEAD IN UTAH WOODS.
Henry Chinaski, former post office clerk turned writer, was found in a decomposed state yesterday afternoon by forest ranger W.K. Brooks Jr. Also found near the remains was a small red notebook which evidently contained Mr. Chinaski’s last written work.
I walked on. Soon I was in a soggy area full of water. Every now and then one of my legs would sink to the knee in the bog and I’d have to haul myself out.
I came to a barbed wired fence. I knew immediately that I shouldn’t climb the fence. I knew that it was the wrong thing to do, but there seemed no alternative. I climbed over the fence and stood there, cupped both hands around my mouth and screamed: “LYDIA!” – Women, Charles Bukowski.
“I hate autobiographies. They’re so fake. The ones I hate the most are those written by individuals who have spent their lives deceiving people and then, when they see their careers (or their lives) coming to an end, they decide it’s time to be honest. But they never really are. They feel the need to put ‘their side of the story’, as if they were in court of law, or they suddenly want to tell you about secret affairs they were having with people who were really ugly, but really powerful… And don’t get me started on the politician who once said you should vote for him because you can trust him, then you voted for him and he broke that trust, and now he wants to tell you how much pressure he was under.” -The life and rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah, Benjamin Zephaniah.
“Blacks are in no position to respect or help maintain the institution of private property, what they want is to figure out a way to get some of that property for themselves.” – Eldridge Cleaver.
“The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less… That is why I started to write. To save myself.”
“An irony of the upheavals of the ’60s is the fact that charitable motives were underlying what some of the radicals attempted to do. To be fair we must recognise this fact. Some radicals and some establishment people wanted the same thing for America but they were coming at solutions from different perspectives. A dangerous polarity was developing- the kind that has destroyed other countries. Everyone wanted heaven, but they were conflicting in the means to bring it about. It is the responsibility of both the right and left to be on guard against destructive polarities building up. The nation is worth this discipline.”
“Be a lion.
I’ll still be water.” – Nayyirah Waheed.
“If a man truly desires to write, then he will. Rejection and ridicule will only strengthen him… There is no losing in writing, it will make your toes laugh as you sleep, it will make you stride like a tiger, it will fire the eye and put you face to face with death. You will die a fighter, you will be honored in hell. The luck of the word. Go with it, send it.”
Which art in haven,
How i love this game.
Of all the blessings
You’ve give me-
This game of pain
I’d closest to my heart,
I said I’d pray and pray
You gave me the USA
I joined tge trustee board
You let me kill the injuns, Lord
You blessed me with slaves
You blessed me with fools-
Then the niggers started going back to schools.
Now it’s revolution!
But I know
The lord is good
Your grace is sufficient to silence niggers for good.
“Relation Between Mental and Material
AS AN ILLUSTRATION LET ME USE THE METAPHOR of a lake with a beautiful island in the centre of it. The island represents some material thing you desire- wealth, for instance. The water of the lake represents surrounding mental conditions. Your natural desire is to rush headlong for the island. You find yourself floundering in the water- mental condition. A seemingly intangible, but nevertheless an effectual barrier. To get to the island you must learn to swim. That is, you must learn how to master the laws of mental surroundings before you can reach material results.”
“… It is not a panther’s nature to attack first, but when he is attacked and backed into a corner, he will respond viciously.” – Huey Newton
“Wherever death may surprise us it will be welcomed, provided that this, our battle cry, reach some receptive ear; that another hand reach out to pick up the gun, that other fighting men come forward to intone our funeral dirge to the staccato of machine gun fire and new cries of battle and victory.” – Che Guevara
“As Treasurer of the Panther Party, Bobby Hutton became proficient with the tools of his office- guns. Some say he was “gun happy.”
The Great Book says, “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.” But little Bobby Hutton was reading a different book and marching to a different drummer. Let’s move to the dark stage of Bobby’s final scene.
Is that a dirge I hear?”. Eldridge Cleaver: Ice and Fire!, George Otis
“May they never lead the nation wrongly through love of power, desire to please, or unworthy ideals but laying aside all private interests and prejudices keep in mind their responsibility to seek to improve the condition of all mankind.”
“Of what could art speak, indeed? If it adapts itself to what the majority of our society wants, art will be a meaningless recreation. If it blindly rejects that society, if the artist makes up his mind to take refuge in his dream, art will express nothing but a negation. In this way we shall have the production of entertainers or of formal grammarians, and in both cases this leads to an art cut off from reality.” – Create Dangerously, Albert Camus.
“Born as I was the citizen of a free state and a member of its sovereign body, the very right to vote imposes on me the duty to instruct myself in public affairs, however little influence my voice may have in them. And whenever I reflect upon governments, I am happy to find that my studies always give me fresh reasons for admiring that of my own country.” -The Social Contract, Jean-Jacques Rousseau
“Love, by its laws, desires us to enjoy a happiness that never ends.” – The Kingdom of this world, Alejo Carpentier.
“Traditionally, in accordance with their code, professional thieves are not supposed to engage in any useful activity that could benefit society. Instead they must live off their ‘professional’ earnings, that is, only on income gained through criminal activity. Furthermore, they are not supposed to commit any other type of crime except robbery.
A four-time offender gave the following explanation of the tattoos on his body:
My first three convictions were for robbery. Hwne I was sitting out those sentences I had tattoos made that symbolised my trade- an eight-pointed star on the shoulders. But my last sentence was for beating up a woman. Once this crime became known in the ‘zone’ [penal colony], I was told that I no longer had the right to be a thief. In other words my life as a thief was over. Now my trademark tattoo indicates that ‘I am alone on an iceberg’ [a fallen tree branch].” – Russian Criminal Tattoo: Police Files Volume 1.
“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.” – Paulo Freire
“You leave on earth a very good trace for centuries. We’re all mortal, but the things you build will stay forever. You’ve already proven wrong the assertion that the higher the attic, the more trash there is.” Trump & Me, Mark Singer.
“This novel is a work of fiction and no character is intended to portray any person or combination of persons living or dead.”
“September 25, 1997
Dear Mr. Goldman,
I am writing to you to share some of my personal ideas and thoughts about my experiences related to the moon landing.
I have often described the moon as a “magnificent desolation.” Its rocky horizon curved against the deep black of space, making it perfectly obvious that we were standing on a ball spinning through the universe.
When I planted the American flag on the dusty surface of the moon, I had an unusual thought: A billion people were watching me on television. Human beings had never been farther away than we were nor had more people thinking about them!
I think the spirit and the sense of involvement exhibited by the numbers of people who remember where they were when that event happened make it even more apparent to me over the years that the moonwalk added value to the lives of all the people who participated in it. Every person felt good about the nation achieving it–that the world, that humanity could have done this.
I have snapshots of myself on the moon that will always remind me of that strange and fascinating place. Someday in the future as people are mulling over their vacation plans, I hope they’ll choose to fly into space. It’s the trip of a lifetime.
Regarding your questions of space exploration in 50 years: all of the rationales reduce to one simple truth: we will walk on Mars in the spirit and wonder that sets our species apart.
“Because only a few have caught this vision, the attitude of mind of most New Yorkers causes the Negro woman serious difficulty. She is conscious that what is left of chivalry is not directed toward her. She realizes that the ideals of beauty, built up in fine arts, exclude her almost entirely. Instead, the grotesque Aunt Jemimas of the street-car advertisements proclaim only an ability to serve, without grace or loveliness. Nor does the drama catch her finest spirit. She is most often used to provoke the mirthless laugh of ridicule; or to portray feminine viciousness or vulgarity not peculiar to Negroes. This is the shadow over her. To a race naturally sunny comes the twilight of self-doubt and a sense of personal inferiority.” – The Double Task, Elise Johnson McDougald.
“To the Editor:
I can remember when Tina Brown was in charge of The New Yorker and a writer named Mark Singer interviewed me for a profile. He was depressed. I was thinking, o.k., expect the worst. Not only was Tina Brown dragging The New Yorker to a new low, this writer was drowning in his own misery, which could only put me in a skeptical mood regarding the outcome of their combined interest in me. Misery begets misery, and they were a perfect example of this credo.” – Trump & Me, Mark Singer.
“Your words, I know you mean what you say, but I don’t know what those words mean to you.”
“Third, that the remote racial origins of the Negro, far from being what the race and the world have been given to understand, offer a record of creditable group achievement when scientifically viewed, and more important still, that they are of vital general interest because of their bearing upon the beginnings and early development of culture.
With such crucial truths to document and establish, an ounce of fact worth a pound of controversy.” -Arthur A. Schomburg, March 1925
“This is not water running here,
These thick rebellious streams
That hurtle flesh and bone past fear
Down alleyways of dreams.
This is a wine that must flow on
Not caring how or where,
So it has ways to flow upon
Where song is in the air.
So it can woo an artful flute With loose, elastic lips,
Its Measurement of joy compute
with blithe, ecstatic hips.” – Harlem Wine, Countee Cullen.
“Something I never said too you much – I love you. My father never said it much either, and I thought I’d be different, but I guess I’m not. I’ve tried, but somewhere along the line you slip back into what you know and I’m sorry about that. And I am sorry we haven’t talked in a while because I miss you, you’re a good kid and a funny kid, and you’re my only son. I said I never read your books but I lied, I read ’em all, I just didn’t know how to talk about them with ‘ya. I didn’t like the fathers in them. I know you writers take liberties but I was afraid that maybe you didn’t take any at all. But that’s the thing; boys become men and men become husbands and fathers and we do the best we can. You’re doing the best you can, you’ve done good, your books will be in libraries long after we are both gone and this is important. More important is how you treat your family. I wasn’t a perfect husband but I loved your mother, and I’m glad we spent our lives together and I am here if you need me. That is all I wanted to say. Love your old man. P.S. I saw a preview of your movie the other night, it looks like a piece of shit – maybe you were right.”
Do you ever have that one tee you just wear to death, like it’s always your go to?
Most people have a white tee and we can’t lie, we probably got one we would consider one of those also. Sometimes we feel they are too few and far between. No doubt you probably will have that one white tee though.
Our one is definitely grey, we can’t think of one grey tee we’ve bought and worn the fuck out of and over time thought how handy one hasn’t been. Definitely a lifesaver.
This is very difficult, but the propagandist is no longer content to have obtained, or to believe he has obtained, a certain result; he seeks precise evidence. Even successful political results do not completely satisfy him. He wants to understand the how and why of them and measure their exact effect. He is prompted by a certain spirit of experimentation and a desire to ponder results. From this point on, one can see the beginning of scientific method. Admittedly, it is not yet very widespread, and those who analyse results are not active propagandists but philosophers. – Propaganda: The Formation of men’s attitudes, Jacques Ellul.
All my life I pretended with my folks, it was the thing in the street that was real. I was certainly just pretending with the nuns and priests. I served mass so that I could be in a position to steal altar wine, sang in choir because they made me. When we went on tour of the rich white catholic schools we were always treated very well- fed- rewarde with gifts. Old Father Brown hated me but always put me down front when we were on display. I can’t say exactly why, I was ugliest, skinniest little misfit in the group.
Black men born in the U.S. and fortunate enough to live past the age of eighteen are conditioned to accept the inevitability of prison. – George Jackson, Soledad Brother
Capitalism, the awful stench of men, historical anachronisms, Jimmy Saville, death threats, violence, human bondage, faddish popular culture, despair, unrestrained mockery of the rich, threats of sexual violation, weak iterations of Epicurean thought, the comic book industry, the death of intellectualism, being a woman in a society that hates women, populism, an appalling double entendre, the sex life of Thomas Jefferson, genocide, celebrity, thr objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand, discussions of race, science fiction, anarchism with a weakness for democracy, the people who go to California to die, millennial posturing, 276 pages of mansplaining, Neo-Hellenic Paganism, interracial marriage, elaborately named hippies practicing animal cruelty on goats, unjust wars in middle east, 9/11, seeing the Facebook profile of someone you knew when you were young and believed that everyone would lead rewarding lives.
I want to talk about the first northern urban generation of negroes. I want to talk about the experiences of a misplaced generation, of a misplaced people in an extremely complex, confused society. This story is of their searching, their dreams, their sorrows, their small and futile rebellions, and their endless battle to establish their own place in America’s greatest metropolis- and in America itself. – Preface, Manchild in the promised land.
Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe. – H.G. Wells
Why had he lived such a life? Why had he submitted to things, blundered into things? Why had he never insisted on the things he thought beautiful and the things he desired, never sought them, fought for them, taken any risk for them, died rather than abandon them? They were the things that mattered. Safety did not matter. A living did not matter unless there were things to live for.
The migrants who die and the migrants who survive, whether they survive or die, are always described like that, a number. They are never allowed to be individuals each person, dead or alive, actually is. It’s like we’re meant to think of migrants, according to the media, like clones, like each migrant is not a person, just a ‘migrant’.- Ali Smith, H.G. Wells on The Rights Of Man.
But while both humanization and dehumanization are real alternatives, only the first is the people’s vocation. This vocation is constantly negated, yet it is affirmed by that very negation. It is thwarted by injustice, exploitation, oppression, and the violence of the oppressors; it is affirmed by the yearning of the oppressed for freedom and justice, and by their struggle to recover their lost humanity. Dehumanization, which marks not only those whose humanity has been stolen, but also (though in a different way) those who have stolen it, is a distortion of the vocation of becoming more fully human. This distortion occurs within history; but it is not an historical vocation. Indeed, to admit of dehumanization as an historical vocation would lead either to cynicism or total despair. The struggle for humanization, for the emancipation of labor, for the overcoming of alienation, for the affirmation of men and women as persons would be meaningless. This struggle is possible only because dehumanization, although a concrete historical fact, is not a given destiny but the result of an unjust order that engenders violence in the oppressors, which in turn dehumanizes the oppressed. – Paulo Friere, Pedagogy of the oppressed.
I was dreaming in my dreaming
of an aspect bright and fair
And my sleeping it was broken
But my dream it lingered near
In the form of shining valleys
Where the pure air recognized
And my senses newly opened
I awakened to the cry
That the people have the power
To redeem the work of fools
Upon the meek the graces shower
It’s decreed the people rule. – Patti Smith, People Have The Power.
“A small subject can provide the pretext for many profound combinations. Avoid subjects that are too vast or too remote, in which nothing warns you when you are going astray. Or else take from them only what can be mingled with your life and belongs to your experience.” – Robert Bresson
“Someone who can work with the minmum can work with the most. One who can work with the most cannot, inevitably, with the minimum.”
“Granny’s was frightening. But one day he plucked up his courage and went downstairs to introduce himself, Hi, I’m living upstairs, I’m Salman. The girl in the shop came close, so that he could see the contempt on her face. Then slowly, fashionably, she shrugged. ‘Conversation’s dead, man,’ she said.
Up and down the King’s road walked the most beautiful girls in the world, ridiculously underdressed, accompanied by peacocking men who were equally ridiculously over-dressed, in high-collared frock coats and frilly shirts and flared crushed velvet trousers and fake-snakeskin boots. He seemed to be the only one who didn’t know what it was to be happy. – Salman Rushdie, Home.
“Art is not in the mind. Art is in the eye, in the ear, in the memory of our senses. Images, dreams. Bresson’s desire for truth, through the exactitude of life. Yes, Mozart’s words about his own concertos- “They are brilliant… Yet, they lack poverty”- are significant here. Bresson’s words have the same intensity.” – J.M.G. Le Clezio
“Once it is recognized that all men have the right to a full life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, whether they are working or not working, have worked or have not worked, it will be necessary for society to create a completely new set of values. Up to now, because productivity has been low, a man’s value has been determined by his labor from day to day, by how much he could produce both to sustain himself and to permit investment in new machinery. Now that man is being eliminated from the productive process, a new standard of value must be found. This can only be man’s value as a human being.” – James Boggs
“Eventually, without taking his eyes off the heights, he asked me:
‘How many runaway stories you heard about Grenada?’
‘Any of them getaway? Aside from those that die trying?’
‘Hard to tell. I did hear about one man, he stole a canoe and paddled out to sea. They never saw him again.’
‘Probably drowned,’ said Emile. ‘Or sharks got him. There’s no point taking a canoe. Nowhere safe to paddle that’s close enough. All these islands own by the Beke and no matter be they French or English, Spanish or Dutch, they all have us under yoke. But some people have escape, for true. Those Maroon. Living their days out in groups now, up in that high forest.’
‘Cho!’ I said. ‘You trust them? I heard they turn other runaways in for reward.’” – Sugar Money
“One cannot see the modern world as it is unless one recognizes the overwhelming strength of patriotism, national loyalty. In certain circumstances it can break down, at certain levels of civilization it does not exist, but as a positive force there is nothing to set beside it. Christianity and international socialism are as weak as straw in comparison with it. Hitler and Mussolini rose to power in their own countries very largely because they could grasp this fact and their opponents could not.” – George Orwell
“They have a horror for abstract thought, they feel no need for any philosophy or systematic ‘world view’. Nor is this because they are ‘practical’, as they are so fond of claiming themselves. One has to only look at their methods of town planning and water supply, their obstinate clinging to everything that is out of date and a nuisance, a spelling system that defies analysis, and a system of weights and measures that is intelligible only to compilers of arithmetic books, to see how little they care about mere efficiency.“
“I cup my hands to my mouth, then press my fingers to my nose and gave three short descending hoots, one upon the other. The untrained ear might mistake those sounds for a dove but we knew otherwise. Compare to a real bird, the calls were a fraction short and came too express, one upon the other. This was one of the signal we used on the hospital estates to attract attention in secret, though some slave were disincline to whilst or hoot after dark for fear of rousing spirits. Emile himself had taught me the calls when I was but a sprout.“
“Martinique, 1765, and brothers Emile and Lucien are charged by their French father master, Father Cleophas, with a mission. They must return to Grenada, the island they once called home, and smuggle back the forty-two slaves claimed by English invaders at the hospital plantation in Fort Royal. While Lucien, barely in his teens, sees the trip as a great adventure , the older and worldlier Emile has no illusions about the dangers they will face. But with no choice other than to obey Cleophas- and sensing the possibility, however remote, of finding his first love Celeste- he seta out with his brother on this ‘reckless venture’.“
“If I were to consider only force and the effects of force, I should say: ‘So long as a people is constrained to obey, and obeys, it does well; but as soon as it can shake off the yoke, and shakes it off, it does better; for since it regains its freedom by the same right as that which removed it, a people is either justified in taking back its freedom, or there is no justifying those who took it away.'”
“When the colonial nations formed in Berlin became independent after WW2, conflict was almost inevitable. The long war in Congo and Great Lakes region that has persisted since Rwanda genocide of 1994, at a cost of an estimated 3.5 million lives, is perhaps the most notorious example. The delegates to the Berlin conference believed that they were claiming empty space, where the inhabitants had no claim to the land because they did not use it. Europeans had actively forgotten their previous highly detailed knowledge of Africa derived from the slave trade. 17th and 18th century maps of Africa showed major cities, rivers and other political and physical features. By the late 19th century, Africs was simply known as the ‘dark continent’, a place unknown to Europeans.”
Truly, truly sad news to hear you’ve passed away. I think I speak for all of us in saying you were probably the most humble person I’d ever met and the most knowledgable- something you don’t see enough of nowadays.
You’re a true inspiration and someone I will always consider a mentor and friend. Thanks for showing interest, love and advice towards my writing/commentary in my previous blogs, as well as keeping me clued up on what books to read. One of few people to show encouragement and interest in what I am striving to achieve. You’ll be sorely missed.
RIP Gary Warnett
“The ‘realism’ which is preached in Japanese and Italian newspapers would horrify them. One can learn a good deal about the spirit of England from the comic coloured postcards that you see in the windows of cheap stationers’ shops. These things are a sort of diary upon which the English people have unconsciously recorded themselves. Their old-fashioned outlook, their graded snobberies, their mixture of bawdiness and hypocrisy, their extreme gentleness, their deeply moral attitude to life, are all mirrored there.” – George Orwell
“Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains” – Jean Jacques Rousseau
“I give all this background information because I do not think one can assess a writer’s motives without knowing something of his early development. His subject-matter will be determined by the age he lives in- at least this is true in tumultuous, revolutionary ages like our own- but before he ever begins to write he will have acquired an emotional attitude from which he will never completely escape. It is his job, no doubt, to discipline his temperament and avoid getting stuck at some immature stage, or in some perverse mood: but if he escapes from his early influences altogether, he will have killed his impulse to write.“
“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” – George Orwell
“Creative Director at satorial zine zine, a bi-annual zine dedicated to bringing you images from other zines that you might not of seen.” – @russell_saunders
“To the inexperienced, these first encounters were bewildering. The writer Eugenia Ginzburg met her first female criminals as she was boarding one of the Kolyma boats:
They were the cream of the criminal world: murderers, sadists, adept at every kind of sexual perversion… Without wasting any time they set about terrorising and bullying the ‘ladies’, delighted to find that ‘enemies of the people’ were creatures even more despised and outcast than themselves… They seized our bits of bread, snatched the last of our rags with our bundles, pushed us out of the places we had managed to find…” – Anne Applebaum
“Mulvey saw that a gaze (that is, a dominant way of seeing) is built into cinema, which can be that of the actors but is also part of the medium itself. The man’s role in the film, Mulvey says, is ‘the active one of forwarding the story, making things happen’. She adds that the man in the story ‘controls the film fantasy and also emerges as the representative of power in a further sense: as the bearer of the look of the spectator’. Men look at the action through the eyes of the male hero and women are obliged to do the same, a form of compulsory gender manipulation.“
“But what if raw human intelligence has not changed so much over the past 20,000 years? What if they were just as smart as modern man, only the benefit of thousands of generations of accumulated knowledge? We should not assume that we are fundamentally more intelligent than an individual born 20,000 years ago. We may have more knowledge and understanding of the world around us, but much of it was garnered from the experiences of others that went before us rather than the fruits of our own effort.” – Bruce Hood
“There are no dangerous thoughts for the simple reason that thinking itself is such a dangerous enterprise.” – Hannah Arendt
“You don’t realize that you’re intelligent until it gets you into trouble.” – James Baldwin
“Time-based media are newly ascendant, creating millions upon millions of slices of time, which we call photographs or videos, in what seem to be ever-shrinking formats like the six-second-long Vine. The obsession with time-based media from photography in the nineteenth century to today’s ubiquitous still-and-moving image cameras as is the attempt to try and capture change itself.“
“The change at hand is not simply one of quantity but of kind. All the ‘images’, whether moving or still, that appear in the new archives are variants of digital information. Technically they are not ‘images’ at all, but rendered results of computation. As digital scholar Wendy Hui Kyong Chun puts it, ‘when the computer does let us “see” what we cannot normally see, or even when it acts like a transparent medium through video chat, it does not simply relay what is on the other side: it computes’ (Chun). When ultrasound scanner measures the inside of a person’s body using sound waves, the machine computes the result in digital format and renders it as what we take to be an image. But it is only a computation.” – Nicholas Mirzoeff
“There are two sides to every question but only one side is right. I believe in democracy, but I don’t believe in being too damn democratic. In other words, I believe that everyone has a right to his opinion, but I don’t believe he has a right to be hypocritical or sly about it, and I believe that it is my responsibility to fight and right those opinions that are wrong.
People are not born with opinions. Their opinions are shaped by their environments and their teachers, and they can be shaped by the wrong environment and the wrong teachers. A baby is not born with hate, but a lot of babies in the United States are taught hate.”
Those who have the most power can do the most shaping and the most teaching, and if they are teaching what I believe is wrong, then I believe their power should be taken away from them.”
can you dance?
who can entertain
other not wanted.
(& are considered extremely dangerous.)
Don L. Lee
“For the second year running, Boiler Room will be broadcasting from Notting Hill Carnival. This is an overt attempt to commodify and profit from a celebration of the culture and heritage of the British West Indian community, cynically promoted as a project to “help develop Carnival’s sustainable future.” Boiler Room’s recently awarded grant of £300K highlights how discriminatory the funding for the Arts is in this country, as the Carnival organising committee remain criminally underfunded.”
Read more HERE.
Pictures by me. Back when I worked for Gimme5/Stussy. Michael.
“Instead of propaganda and special pleading, committees of wise men who would choose our rulers, dictate our conduct, private and public, and decide upon the best types of clothes for us to wear and the best kinds of food for us to eat. But we have chosen the opposite method, that of open competition. We must find a way to make free competition function with reasonable smoothness.”
“That’s why you’re always smiling. You’re not trying to reach for the moon, the moon is trying to reach for you.” – Simin
“Universal literacy was supposed to educate the common man to control his environment. Once he could read and write he would have a mind fit to rule. So ran the democratic doctrine. But instead of a mind, universal literacy has given him rubber stamps, rubber stamps inked with advertising slogans, with editorials, with published scientific data,“
“Lippmann had arrived at the bleak view that “the democratic El Dorado” is impossible in modern mass society, whose members- by and large incapable of lucid thought or clear perception, driven by herd instincts and mere prejudice, and frequently disorientated by external stimuli- were not equipped to make decisions or engage in rational discourse. “Democracy” therefore requires a supra-government body of detached professionals to sift the data“. – Intro for Edward Bernays
“Now “public opinion” stood out as a force that must be managed, and not through clever guesswork but by experts trained to do that all-important job… The great Allied campaign to celebrate (or sell) Democracy, etc., was a venture so successful, and, it seemed, so noble, that it suddenly legitimised such propagandists, who, once the war had ended, went right to work massaging or exciting various publics on behalf of entities… ” – Mark Crispin Miller
“Our universe is a natural universe. And its basis is matter with its objective laws.” – Kwame Nkrumah
“The 2012 Blue Marble is made to seem as if it was taken from one place but it was not. It is accurate in each detail, but it is false in that it gives the illusion of having being taken from a specific place at one moment in time. Such is ’tiled rendering’ is a standard means of constructing digital imagery. It is a good metaphor for how the world is visualized today. We assemble a world from pieces, assuming that what we see is both coherent and equivalent to reality.”
“The prime example of a ‘postmodern’ modern artist was Marcel Duchamp. He took manufactured objects like a bicycle wheel or a urinal, installed them in an art gallery or exhibition and declared the result art. In other words, art was whatever someone who wanted to be an artist called art.“
“A fellow reporter once remarked to me that a reporter deals in extremes- showing up on what is either the best or worst day of your life, stepping up to your doorstep to find either elation or pain.” – Wesley Lowery
“The unrest of Ferguson had now become a riot. Yet another police shooting in a working-class black neighbourhood, even the breaking of a young black body left on public display, didn’t catch the gaze of the national media. It was the community’s enraged response- broken windows and shattered storefronts- that drew the eyes of the nation.” – Wesley Lowery.
“You’ll never ever catch me at a march, that’s some Twitter fingers shit!” – Me
“I live one day at a time. Death is always close- it is a release from earthly suffering. A thief is not afraid of death.” – A thief’s subclavicular tattoo.
Now coming to our immediate subject, Thought. You will readily understand how the thought field can follow the same lines as the magnetic field. Here is the brain and the thought field. Thus we get ‘A’, the brain, ‘B’, the thought lines of the thought field.
In the feeble, unorganised brain this field is weak, and affects only a limited area. But the greater the Personal Magnetism, the more powerful and organised the brain, the greater the extent of its radiation, the wider its field, the more lasting its effects.
“A market economy can exist only in ‘market society‘, that is, a society where, instead of an economy embedded in social relations, social relations are embedded in the economy.” – Polanyi