Pussification pt. 1 – Criticism

Pussification, pt. 1 – criticism
Virtues: criticism (duh), bodies of work, constructive, pride, ‘tough skin’
View Pussification pt. 0 – An Abstract, to get familiar.

This is not a piece on American Idol, as it continues another run to churn out a pop tart, I’m tired of Idol, but I’m going to use one of Idol’s ‘stars’ to touch on acts in pussification; specifically on the topic of ‘criticism’.

Many hate on him, but I think that Simon Cowell deserves some award for being so genuine – in an industry that doesn’t know what the word means. We have all seen American Idol and especially the horrid singers perform a putrid rendition of a pop classic. Simon received criticism for being too brutally critical on these performers because he said “You are Horrible”, “You can’t sing”, and other quips. The politically correct culture that we live in advocated that Simon should not be so negative to the contestants, which he should take on a more Paula approach & sugar coat any criticisms of the contestants.

On one hand, I get the reasoning of such an argument criticisms can affect self-esteem, and that can lead to some in losing their motivation. However, learning to handle criticism is necessary in life3B especially in any performance-.driven industry where you put yourself ‘out there’.

Now, there is the Simon route of delivering criticism – which even I agree may be too harsh at times (but entertainingly funny), and then there is the blunt approach accompanied with an explanation. For example, “Molly the Singer, your performance was weak because of points A, B, and C, thus you shouldn’t sing unless you correct A, B, and C” – that is the chord that one should strike when being critical, because being or saying anything else such as saying you like the performance when you didn’t is not being real with yourself and is an act in pussification that you may think is small, but w/ repetition can manifest into a bigger & more problematic behavior.

As a Multimedia producer I have had to swallow harsh criticisms, I know that the criticism does not only attack your work/craft, but it attacks YOU because the work is a derivative of whom you are & all of your experiences, thoughts, and education. I learned to handle the harsh criticism, and now I even look forward to it (maybe that’s my pseudo way of coping w/ criticisms, who knows), but what I hated even worse was when someone said they ‘liked’ my work, but were lying because they ‘did not want to hurt my feelings’. For those type of people I have no respect – And such is why I give you my ‘all’ when I’m asked for my opinion.

Because as Jay said “I may not always be right, but I’m real and that is how I sleep at night”

P.S. I sleep well!

.: d.b :.

View Pussification pt. 0 – An Abstract, to get familiar.

-, +, *, but never /

-, +, *, but never /
Virtues: poetic, feelings, compromising, love, affection

Math is not one of my favourite subjects, but I’ll learn it for you;

I’ve subtracted many of the girls in my life because they would just be trouble – and try to reduce our love from multiplying;

I’ve taking away some lessons from them and added it to our equation;

As I learned that being too impersonal isn’t adding as much objectification as much as it multiplies the distance between you & I;

So I learned to be more direct and crass, even though you say it subtracts from my being ‘sensitive’, but I say it adds to the facts that you know where my true feelings is, are;

I also learned to be more understanding – as women are from Venus and men are from Mars, and fighting over our differences doesn’t add to any productivity, but takes away from relationship efficiency – so trying to understand YOU subtracts any tension and any incrementing space between you and me;

So I try to be understanding and compromising if it multiplies your happiness, but as long as it doesn’t subtract any of the pillars, rocks, and foundations that I stand with (read pussification pt. 0);

I’ve learned a lot about myself and I add my best qualities, I try to take away my imperfections, as I learn to multiply what makes you happy so that our love will never divide.

~ fini

.:: d.b

The Wire, a synopsis of an American story

From Hbo.com:

The Wire show creator David Simon imparts his final words about the series

David Simon

It wasn’t for everyone. We proved that rather quickly. 

But episode to episode, you began to understand that we were committed to creating something careful and ornate, something that might resonate. You took Lester Freamon at his word: That we were building something here and all the pieces matter.

When we took a chainsaw to the first season, choosing to begin the second-story arc with an entirely different theme and different characters, you followed us to the port and our elegy for America’s working class. When we shifted again, taking up the political culture of our mythical city in season three, you remained loyal. And when we ended the Barksdale arc and began an exploration of public education, you were, by that time, we hope, elated to understand that whatever else might happen, The Wire would not waste your time telling the same story twice.

This year, our drama asked its last thematic question: Why, if there is any truth to anything presented in The Wire over the last four seasons, does that truth go unaddressed by our political culture, by most of our mass media, and by our society in general? 

We’ve given our answer:

We are a culture without the will to seriously examine our own problems. We eschew that which is complex, contradictory or confusing. As a culture, we seek simple solutions. We enjoy being provoked and titillated, but resist the rigorous, painstaking examination of issues that might, in the end, bring us to the point of recognizing our problems, which is the essential first step to solving any of them.

The Wire is fiction. Many of the events depicted over the last five seasons did not, to our knowledge, happen. Fewer happened in the exact manner described. Fiction is fiction, and it should in no way be confused with journalism.

But it is also fair to note that the problems themselves — politicians cooking crime stats for higher office, school administrators teaching test questions to vindicate No Child Left Behind, sensitive prosecutions and investigations being undercut for political motives, brutal drug wars fought amid a police department’s ignorance of and indifference to the forces involved — were indeed problems in the recent history of the actual Baltimore, Maryland.

Few of these matters received the serious attention — or, in some cases — any attention from the media. These problems exist in plain sight, ready to be addressed by anyone seriously committed to doing so. For those of us writing The Wire, a television drama, story research involved dragging the right police lieutenants or school teachers, prosecutors and political functionaries to neighborhood diners and bars and taking story notes down on cocktail napkins and paper placemats. To be more precise with their tales? To record it and relay it in a manner that can stand as non-fiction truthtelling? Yes, that’s harder to do. But there was a time when journalism regarded that kind of coverage as its highest mission. The true stories that The Wire traded in are out there, waiting for anyone willing to take the time. And it is, of course, vaguely disturbing to us that our unlikely little television drama is making arguments that were once the prerogative of more serious mediums.

We tried to be entertaining, but in no way did we want to be mistaken for entertainment. We tried to provoke, to critique and debate and rant a bit. We wanted an argument. We think a few good arguments are needed still, that there is much more to be said and it is entirely likely that there are better ideas than the ones we offered. But nothing happens unless the shit is stirred. That, for us, was job one.

If you followed us for sixty hours, and you find yourself caring about these issues more than you thought you would, then perhaps the next step is to engage and to demand, where possible, a more sophisticated and meaningful response from authority when it comes to such things as the drug war, educational reform or responsible political leadership. The Wire is about the America we pay for and tolerate. Perhaps it is possible to pay for, and demand, something more.

Again, accept our sincere thanks for making the commitment to watch a show as improbable and problematic as ours and for considering the arguments and issues seriously. We are surprised as you are to be here at the end, on our own terms, still standing. As a cast and crew, we’re proud. But the credit is not all ours. It’s yours as well for believing, year after year, in this story.

David Simon
Baltimore, Md.
March 10, 2008

.:: d.b

Life in B Major
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Silly Monkeys! Part 2: Its ‘Jart’ Bitch, the ‘fly designer’



Silly Monkeys! Part 2: Its Jart Bitch, the ‘fly designer’

Virtues: respect, responsibility, ethics, ‘cant tell me nothing’ syndrome
Read Part 0, the Abstract & Part 1, Strong-Arm Mike the Banker

Jart is a graphic designer. He thinks that he is very trendy and hip. Jart has a funky style; his clothes are a bit different in the cut, design, and the colors. Jart’s musical tastes are very trendy as he stays away from ‘mainstream’ music; Jart’s not into the current hip-hop/rock, but more into classic/underground hip-hop, trance, house, and other rare music. Jart’s differences makes him unique; and Jart uses such differences to set him a part from others, because not only dp his differences in his personality deviate him from the norm, but his skills/abilities are also in a ‘class of their own’ – or so that is what Jart believes. You see, the combination of good skills/abilities with his unique distinction from the norm makes Jart a ‘gassed’ individual, Jart thinks he knows much more than you, Jart believes that he is superior to you – and most times, hey, Jart could be right (that’s sarcasm for you). You see, over the years Jart has been told how much his work is ‘hot’ and ‘nice’ and other accolades; thus Jart does not know how to handle adversity well; you see, Jart believes that any static with a client is not because Jart is doing something wrong, but because the client does not understand Jart’s greatness.

I knew a Jart, he was definitely a Jart; to the ‘T’, from the tight pants, neon pink shoes w/ matching hat, MacBook Pro, and backpack. This Jart was commissioned to design an interface for my company, he was going to be well compensated for his work (he was), but this Jart was a Bitch – couldn’t handle criticism, when we pointed out flaws in his work, he couldn’t accept that he did anything wrong, but blamed the problem on us. Jart ducked meetings, lied about things, didn’t write down our notes (even though we asked him too), and Jart avoided certain members of my group (including me) because we were too critical of his work. What killed me is that this Jart Bitch was being paid handsomely for work (Jart got paid consistently and on time), and yet he treated us like … well, you know (Check the title of this piece). One of my associated blasted Jart in an introspective essay, a blast so hard that I felt sorry for Jart, and Jart is a bitch; in the fact that he treated us with dis-respect, and took us for fools.

In retrospect, I’ve learned some things about Jart; his behavior, movements, and other nuances. Jart’s experience with us was not pleasant, but I don’t know if Jart realized the error in his ways in his tight-ass pants and pink attire, but I do know that Jart will think twice again before he treats people like silly monkeys.

Peace Jart, Bitch.

.:: d.b
Read more Silly Monkeys! sagas:
Part 0, the Abstract & Part 1, Strong-Arm Mike the Banker

Silly Monkeys! Part 1: The Banker ‘Strong-Arm Mike’

Silly Monkeys! Part 1: The Banker ‘Strong-Arm Mike’
Virtues: stereotypes, uphill battle, struggle, ‘cant win’

Strong-Arm Mike is the tight-ass banker. Mike is the branch manager and takes pride in the power that he has over his minions. Mike is middle-aged, unhappily married, and work is a refuge from ‘home’. Thus, it is only fitting to make your refuge similar to your fantasy, thus Mike’s branch has a suspiciously high number of young, attractive female employees. Mike is a creature of routine, habitually and consistently. Strong-Arm keeps the order and equilibrium in his branch, and of course, Mike has the last and final word on all matters.

Mike’s primary motive is to protect the interests of the bank, and to maximize profits – at all costs. So Mike is a witty, slick guy. Strong-Arm is the type of guy to give you a hard time for loans, credit, and for even opening an account; Strong-Arm likes to scrutinize a lot, and even ‘play dumb’. Even if you make sense, you have correct documentation, Strong-Arm Mike will find a way to make your life difficult. You see, Mike knows that you need him more than he needs you, and he knows that you are willing to sacrifice a bit in order to get what you want – which he controls. In my experiences, Strong-Arm Mike forced my biz partner to open up a personal account when it was absolutely not necessary for the business that we had. But Mike, flexed his muscle; not his physical, like many street thugs like to do, but his financial muscle – which is even stronger. That day we were treated like the silly monkeys, bowing to Strong-Arm, we had to accept his terms; which were so unconventional that the personal banker that we dealt with regarding this matter felt so embarrassed and shocked that this was happening to us. Hmm, she probably never seen anything like this before.

But Silly Monkeys get special treatment, right? Silly Monkey series to be continued, next the ‘Entrepreneur’ …

.:: d.b

Silly Monkeys! Part 0: An Abstract

Silly Monkeys! Part 0: An Abstract
Virtues: ‘Yuh tek man fi fool/joke’, deceit, respect for others

Abstract: One day I was sitting in the offices of my business partners place of employment at an executive school. One of their co-workers who was an older white lady, let’s say in their mid-40’s made an off-color comment, it went something like, “What are you silly monkeys doing”. Now, we are three young black men, and we have an older lady calling us silly monkeys – albeit she said it in a joking context. I had never met the lady before, but I took her comment as someone that was clueless to what that phrase signified to a black person. However, one of my business partner took gross offense to it – which I understood why, but deep down inside I believe that she honestly did not say those words in a racist context.

But the story mentioned above is not what this piece is about, at least not the historical/racist aspect of what ‘silly monkey’, ‘monkey’, or ‘porchmonkey’ means to the black community. I think silly monkey is an interesting concept that can be tied to when one treats another like an idiot; one whom is deceitful, manipulative to another, and they believe that the ‘silly monkey’ has no clue of what they are up to. I always had this concept in my mind, but I could not phrase properly – better yet, I could not phrase in such a sweet, concise catch phrase that captured the essence of the concept.

So thank you, middle-aged white lady who was trying to make a joke and be hip with her peers, you have armed me with a definition that is timeless, transcends races & borders, and describes a daily occurrence that I, and I think a lot of us have to go through – dealing with people that take us for joke.

.:: d.b

3rd Person B

3rd Person B
Living the narrative

The third person is commonly referred to as a narrative in which one is telling a story of themselves or of subjects. In novels the third person narrative is imperative as it reveals the thoughts of the protagonist and other characters of interest. Sometimes I think that my life is lived as a narrative, making myself the narrator; as I find myself accurately predicting and/or calling the thoughts and actions of others. Which has its positives & negative associations, but with this skill, it has made me very objective. You know, always trying to be impartial, be considerate of others, be politically correct; especially in the work environment, as you know we live in the age of pussification where one’s individual voice is muted at work as one dare not try to express any thought and/or emotion for fear of insulting anyone’s personal beliefs. However, subconsciously, I think that 3rd person aspect seeps its way into your personal life like ooze, and it has caused me to respond in my personal relationships as I did in my work relationships. A couple of years ago, I remember someone telling me of this behaviour, but I thought that they were way off, but now recollecting, it made sense.

Since then, I’ve worked on it, some have said that I worked on it too much (by being brutally honest), but I guess as the saying goes, ‘you cant please everyone’. And really and truly, being ‘liked by others’ is completely over-rated.

What do y’all think? Share your thoughts and comments, share the knowledge.

.:: d.b

Life in B Major
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