I have struggled with my love of hip-hop, growing up poor but white, and what positions of privilege I carry.From the article I wrote:
I don’t mean to co-opt anything; I’m just trying to express myself in a way that’s creative and real to me. I also haven’t encountered any deliberate racism in the genre either. Ergo, there are no problems. QED.
No, wrong. Just because I see no problems, does not mean that problems do not exist. I am privileged enough to be able to ignore racism in society, and racism in myself if I so choose.
As a white male who can pass for straight, I am someone who has many advantages in society and culture just by the fact that society skews in my favor. This means that when it comes to matters of racism, it’s not for me to ultimately decide whether my actions are racist. Just because I think I’m a nice guy, and just because I do my best to examine anti-racism and work to become an effective “ally” doesn’t mean that I can’t unknowingly do or say something racist or exclusionary. In my everyday life, I also never intend to come off like a jerk or be misunderstood— that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen! Being defensive does nobody any favors.
Yes! This is my issue with a lot of this stuff… it’s not the music so much as the steadfast refusal to acknowledge the social context — when people go “oh, well this isn’t mean-spirited so there’s no way it could possibly offend anybody”, that is a position that can only be taken from a state of privilege, where the words or rhetoric you’re using to “lampoon” a culture could never be applied to you in the first place.
Honestly, I think the issue of privilege in rap is a larger systemic issue at this point that’s started to extend beyond the purely racial. The advent of this whole post-modern wink-and-nod rap coming from guys like Lil B and Odd Future sort of has different problems along the same lines — when people took Lil B to task over the “I’m Gay” album title, his response was that “words don’t mean anything” and argued that words shouldn’t offend anybody since people call him gay, and it doesn’t bother him, because he knows that he’s not gay. And nobody can bring up the reality of a lot of Odd Future’s questionable lyrical choices about women and sexual violence without being shouted down as “taking things too seriously”.
That’s a strange position to take, saying that semi-ironic gay slurs shouldn’t offend gay people because they don’t offend a heterosexual, or that explicit rape talk is okay as long as you’re “obviously joking” (see also: eminem) — and it’s a myopic, privileged standpoint to defend. If you’re not a member of a group, you DON’T have a right to dictate what “should” or “shouldn’t” be offensive to people in it.
That being said, however, I recognize the ugly dynamic at work when white people start coming down on young black artists like Odd Future and telling them what’s “appropriate” to rap about; it smacks of the paternalistic and isn’t really a behavior I want to exhibit myself. I do, however, think it’s important to be able to talk about this stuff without issuing bold proclamations or sweeping value judgements.
Middle-class white people have the privilege of playing with and shaping their own identities in a way that most American minorities never get to experience. Most of Middle America is going to view all members of a non-Caucasian and non-middle class group as an exchangeable mass of people with the same motivations, agendas, and passions. So when a white guy dresses up like a “pirate gangster” in a music video to pour fake 40’s on white girls in booty shorts playing “video ho”, there is undoubtedly an element of racism at work, whether intentional or not, just like when Salem writes a fake trap-rap song about gangbanging, or when Kid Rock subverts rap tropes to boldly proclaim his trailer park credibility.
I think the crux of the argument, ultimately, is that most racism is something that’s DONE, not something that is EMBODIED, and a lot of people are unwilling to recognize that they can engage in casual racism without harboring conscious prejudice or ill-will towards a minority group. A lot of times, racism is the sole product of ignorance, not enmity, and only by learning to recognize and acknowledge that will we ever get past this weird “separate but equal” dynamic that is emerging in the rapidly expanding multi-cultural world of hip hop.
for my birthday (May 1st) i have received the following:
* a pointless research paper assignment that is 80% reiteration, due this friday
* a playwriting assignment based on researched historical events, due this friday
* another somewhat pointless research paper due next Thursday
* another playwriting assignment due next Wednesday
* an acute case of insomnia as of last Thursday
* bitter disrespect from multiple personal friends
* the presumed guarantee that anything i post on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr for at least the next two weeks will be monitored for any signs of Shit We Don’t Take Too Kindly To Round These Parts, probably by said friends or friends of said friends
* a contractual agreement to live in the same bug-infested noisy disgusting apartment for another year and four months
* a definite guarantee that i will probably be living with dubious individuals after july
* zero internship possibilities
* more than double my current hours at work
* a summer class that will apparently be both the stupidest and the most difficult thing i’ve probably taken in at least a few years
* the sudden realization that i stopped caring about things i actually value in favor of shit i don’t or have no business caring about
* the equally sudden realization that because of aforementioned Having Too Much Care i’ve probably created every single shitty circumstance listed above and that no other outside force can be blamed for it
* the equally sudden realization that because of aformentioned Thorough Self Destruction i will probably be spending my 23rd birthday drinking alone playing video games i never really wanted to buy or play in the first place and wondering why i had to write a stupid blog post to figure out that the reason things and people i actually care about have felt so distanced for the past month+ is because *deep breath people* i’ve sabotaged my own life by placing priority in self-important high thinking academic bullshit instead of Getting Outside And Fucking Living Like Real People!!
tag this as a whitewhine or firstworldproblems or a pity post or whatever!
i may have just solved all my problems and i bet that’s a hell of a lot more productive than most woe-is-me livejournal blag posts. stick around. we may learn something.
If a piece of information doesn’t follow Republican talking points - and Clinton’s deficit reduction didn’t fit the “tax and spend liberal” stereotype - then the information is conveniently ignored. “Voters think that they’re thinking,” Bartels says, “but what they’re really doing is inventing facts or ignoring facts so that they can rationalize decisions they’ve already made.” Once we identify with a political party, the world is edited so that it fits with our ideology.
damn, and i was thinking of picking up that keyboard since its so slick… shame that it does all this weird shit and wont work with android 2.2. tried an idevice? android 2.3 (if possible)?
haven’t been able to give it a shot with later versions of androidOS or idevices. i’ll try to in the near future but so far i can’t figure out how nintendo did it without cooking up some apps for themselves.
or, y’know, maybe their carriers aren’t total ass and realize that a simple Bluetooth HID driver is actually a thing they should include on their handsets.
“I would consider myself an environmentalist in the true sense of the word,” Mr. Trump said, a comment that drew so much laughter from the public gallery that the inquiry chairman had to call for order.”—
Surprise (or rather not surprising at all), this is the man leading current “Which Presidential Hopeful Will Most News Organizations Support” polls. This is the man a majority of national media powerhouses are preparing themselves to actually support with airtime and production dollars.
mystery of the japanese bluetooth keyboard, chapter 2
i asked for help this morning. now it’s becoming more of a tech problem and less of a language barrier. what i needed to know from the instruction manual, i already pretty much knew. (Thanks Twitter buddy @NForza26 for T/L help!) Now i’m just trying to figure out how exactly this thing works on the tech side.
I just tried pairing it with an iMac and it worked. I was prompted to enter a randomly generated 6 (7?) digit code on the keyboard during pairing, and afterwards it had me identify my keyboard as a JIS layout. (it’s japanese so yes it should be.)
so now i guess the plot thickens. i bought this with the intent to pair it to my phone and have a little mobile workstation, and while Android 2.2 normally doesn’t have Bluetooth HID profiles standard (or so i’ve learned), my Dell Streak running OS 2.2 apparently *does* and should easily link up to just about any bluetooth keyboard. This keyboard doesn’t come with a pairing PIN, though — it uses this alternate bluetooth keyboard pairing method and my phone has no idea what to do with that, so after a long stretch of waiting and thinking my phone finally just gives up on trying to pair with the keyboard.
Nintendo has claimed that they’ve gotten the keyboard recognized and running on Android and iPhone models in Japan so I’m wondering if it’s simply a tech issue and not just the language barrier. I’m inclined to think that’s the case after having tested it on this iMac. So now it sounds like I need a Bluetooth HID driver for Android 2.2+ that pairs using this prompted six-digit method rather than a four-digit static PIN. I have no idea how to even begin to write my own drivers so I guess I’m kinda boned on this one.
Well, lesson learned. The game is cool and I’m glad I bought it to help me relearn Japanese but I doubt it’s going to cooperate and let me do what I want. After dropping the money I spent on this…I should probably accept that I am stupid and will spend money on stupid things like portable keyboards, so I should probably just set money aside and preorder one of these bad boys. I plan on using the PC I’ll hopefully build over the summer as a all-in-one media center anyways so I might as well treat it like a HTPC and get a neat little coffee table keyboard.
so you’re…okay with this… “herstory”…that’s the secondmost batshit feminist terminology i’ve ever heard (second to “womyn”)
i’m not saying we should rewrite every dictionary on the planet to accommodate some made up word that even the most empathetic feminists might be embarrassed to utter in public. the word itself is far less important compared to the concept it actually represents. the whole problem with that original post was that people look at the word itself and write the entire idea off as stupid and ridiculous because they’ve never given any thought to the idea and never heard of the word. how much time have you spent entertaining the idea that history as we know it is incomplete because for every story or anecdote we do know there are thousands we don’t? does it do anyone any favors to deny others the right to mash a few meaningful syllables together and make a word that represents and communicates a concept they take seriously?
i really don’t understand this superiority complex adopted by english speakers concerning original terminology, like a word is less valid because it’s made up. horizontal oppression based on the queen’s english (in America in 2011 no less) is pretty much the dumbest thing ever and i’m a damn english major
the “advice dog” and “hormonal t-rex” and “bongsmoking witch pangolin” and “wiccan trilobite” and “linocut artist angler fish” and “lacrosse fan maggot” and “plumber’s union-hating cottonmouth” and “white male cisgender privilege-boasting orb” and “chewing tobacco krill” and “NRA member snail” and “dolphin that only eats at TGIFridays” and “crystal healer bedbug” and “hovercraft repairman manatee” and “anti-nuclear proliferation falcon” all mass their numbers and walk across the planet and flatten every living thing that is not hip to their cause and the earth burns all the oil wells fall over and shoot poison into space and they ride the spout to the outer edges of the galaxy, ravaging every world they come across and multiply and mutate and soon there is nothing left but internet memes and the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy groans knowing it has to sit around for billions of years looking at them
bought delicious loose-leaf chai at a locally owned and operated tea store in antioch. they were really nice and brewed me a cup of powdered milk-based chai and it was delicious. this loose leaf stuff is almost better. they have loose-leaf chocolate chai and rooibos earl grey and lots of other things that i may have to start trying. considering it was my first foray into loose leaf tea i’d say it went exceptionally well
joined foodgawker.com. goodbye life
saw anamanaguchi and peelander z live friday night. awesome show even though this is probably the fourth time i’ve seen peelander z live. these guys put on an amazing show no matter what sized venue they’re in and i kind of hope peelander z starts moving away from playing anime conventions because they are Not An Anime Band (or at least they don’t need to be)
pokemon typing ds came in the mail. it’s cute and i will definitely relearn japanese kana with the repetition minigames. now i’m just trying to figure out the bluetooth handshake from the keyboard so i can use it on my phone. it’s strange. will probably post looking for japanese help on that subject later
i was dreading this weekend because of the work i had to do and i still haven’t really done it but i’m at least refreshed and happy to buckle down and do it. feels like i’ve had two weekends crammed into one. feels fun man.
We’re numb here as the clock nears 4:30 a.m., and we’re not quite sure what to do. The deaths of Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington on Tripoli Street still seem unreal. Bryan just walked off from the little space we’ve been huddled in, working. He’ll sleep soon, I hope. The work kept us busy enough to hold the worst of the feelings away. But now the work is almost done, and it will hit again with the same shock as the first word.
Before that happens, a few words should be typed.
Everyone who admires Chris and Tim, and everyone who loves them, has a debt of gratitude to Human Rights Watch and to the International Organization for Migration, who together, on extremely short notice, bent the world to get Chris’s and Tim’s remains on the Ionian Spirit, the evacuation vessel that by chance was briefly in Misurata port tonight. The vessel delayed its departure to take them aboard and begin their journeys out. Tim was brought down first, while Chris clung to life. When Chris died, there seemed no time to get him there. But HRW worked the phones, pleading by satellite call to the pier to have the ship held up again. They simultaneously urged one of Chris’s and Tim’s colleagues at the triage center to get Chris’s remains en route through the besieged city by ambulance, assessing — correctly as it turned out — that if they could honestly say that he was on his way that no captain would leave the pier.
They were right. Chris and Tim are at sea now, heading toward Benghazi, which means, in the indirect but solemn ways that the fallen travel from battlefields, that they are heading home.
One more thing must be said. None of this would have happened with Andre Liohn, the colleague in the triage tent mentioned in the preceding paragraph. Andre worked all afternoon and night to get word out about Chris and Tim, who are lost, and Mike and Guy, who are wounded. At the end, it was Andre who tended to the details at the hospital to put them in motion toward their families. Without Andre, Chris and Tim would still be in Misurata, in conditions I do not care to describe. Their friends and families would know little, and Chris and Tim would have been off-the-grid, and hard to reach, and the delays in their travel would have been painful for all who want them back. Andre was a savior tonight. He brought hope and humanity to a chaotic, devastating day.
If you want to know a little more of Andre, let me say this: When I spoke to him a short while ago, I asked if he has been wearing his flak jacket, which I had carried into Misurata for him last week. Tripoli Street is a hell of flying bullets and shrapnel, and he’s on it almost every day. No, he said, I am not wearing it. I asked why not. “I gave it to an ambulance driver,” he said.
These are the organizations and the people — HRW, IOM, Andre — who make it possible to imagine, on days like these, that we are people still, just as Chris and Tim did in the work that defined their lives.
I will also never understand how a cube has captivated mongoloid aspie man children for four years and counting either.
Fun Fact: many portal fans have never even played the game and only know about it from online videos and flashes.
They probably wouldn’t be fans anymore if they actually played it
reblogging again because i wish i used greg’s picture
companion cube is just an embodiment of innocence and a vessel for a grossly overextended childhood to further prolong its fans’ extended infantilization
see here the Companion Cube Equation:
if x= person’s age and y= time spent caring about portal then
(x * y)^(the average income of their familial unit)+(number of steam games they own)*(average time spent on 4chan daily)/(number of girlfriends they have ever had)^(boxes of condoms they have ever bought for themselves) = TeW (Total estimated Worthlessness)
as you see here this is simple mathematics and should adequately form a quantifiable level of Worthlessness one can use to gauge the Likelihood of Association with a particular individual based on P (Portal familiarity coefficient)
you can also take the derivative of this equation to find the subject’s average neckbeard length iirc but it’s been a while since I took calculus
my conscience cramped up on me today. i’ve been afraid of this possibility for a month or so now, but tonight really knocked it home: i’ve given up on myself. temporarily. kind of. not irrecoverably so, but it’s still troubling.
as i listened to criticism of other people’s drafted plays in playwriting class — yes playwriting class, it is a serious thing, don’t delegitimize my major with that look, i have seen it before and can see it now — as i read over their works, and as i read over my own, having already been graded and turned back in, it dawned on me. for the past year, i’ve been passing college.
what’s the problem? that’s exactly it. i’ve been passing. that’s all.
“Europeans enjoy a minimum wage of about $19 an hour and a government-mandated five weeks of paid vacation. Full-time employees in Danville start at $8 an hour with 12 vacation days — eight of them on dates determined by the company.”—