I was involved with this Documentary as a Producer and Director, and it tells the story (and struggles) of Noreen – as she has grown up dealing with trying to find comfort with her skin complexion. Shadeism or Colorism, is the struggle that many black people have to deal with during their lives as self-esteem and self-worth is sometimes tied to how dark or light one is. Yes, writing that last sentence out sounds crazy, but many people – from children to grown adults still place a value on their self-esteem and self-worth based on their complexion.
This documentary started off with an idea from Noreen as she called me one Fall Day in 2019 and explained what she wanted to do. At first, I thought this would be a small little project that I can assist with – I was semi-interested, as I had other projects on the go, so I told her ‘why not’. Several months later, multiple shoots across Toronto and New York City, a pandemic, several rounds of editing, and finally in September 2020, this 38 minute documentary was finished that hopefully can shed some insight into the important issue of colorism in the black community.
A lot of talk in the NBA this year has been about how to stop the ‘Hack-a-Jordan’ technique that certain teams employ on terrible Free Throw shooters; case in point DeAndre Jordan of the LA Clippers. DeAndre is a strong Offensive and Defensive presence, but he is one of the worst Free Throw shooters in the league – for the 2015-16 season he shot a staggering 43% during the regular season. ‘Hack-a-Jordan’ is a strategic technique that is well within the NBA rules, but it slows down the game, is lackluster, and is a sad sight for sore eyes to watch Power Forwards/Centres try to make free throws. The whole ‘Hack-a-Jordan’ is spawned from the ‘Hack-a-Shaq’ technique when teams used to intentionally foul future Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal (usually in the 4th quarter and when the game was close), Shaq was a horrible free throw shooter, but a dominant scorer.
Fast forward to the current Era, and the ‘Hack-a-Jordan’ has altered courses of games and is different than the ‘Hack-a-Shaq’ because we are seeing the technique used all throughout the game — not just the 4th Quarter. The Basketball journalists and armchair experts have loudly chimed for a rule change; and I am sure Commissioner Adam Silver is working on one. But I have an idea that can radically change the game – and it involves borrowing a concept from Hockey and Soccer: introducing disadvantaged scenarios.
Penalties for Fouls
In Hockey, when there is a penalty committed, the penalty offender is relegated to the penalty box for 2 mins, while his team is down a player; causing a 5-on-4 situation. This concept can be applied to Basketball. Imagine what 5-on-4 basketball would do to open up a game? I propose in situations where there are intentional off-the ball fouls, flagrant fouls, and technical fouls, part of the punishment should include that the offending player is removed from the court for a predefined set of time. Now, if we borrow from the Hockey rulebook, the player would be off the court for 2 mins – resulting in a 5-on-4 situation. And the player would only be allowed to enter back in the game after the 2 mins, but can only enter after a stoppage in play (ball goes out of bounds, foul, etc). Allowing for 5-on-4 situations would deter teams from employing ‘Hack-a-Jordan’ and would force players to think twice about committing a technical or flagrant foul.
Now, I know in Hockey, the power play is stopped after the the advantaged team scores a goal, but this wouldn’t work in Basketball as it is a high scoring game; and you would still have disadvantaged teams scoring as they could jack up 3’s. Basketball has changed from a post-up game to a more nimble run-and-gun game that has opened the court up and put a focus on smaller line-up that can shoot 3’s. But imagine how the game could open up with less players on the court? The defensive and offensive strategies that would have to be employed to play 5-on-4 would bring a new dynamic and excitement to the game — and most importantly it would stop this scourge of ‘Hack-a-Jordan’ so that we don’t have to witness terrible free-throw shooters.
All my Ladies that have weave, whether Yaki, Remy, or Synthetic will be able to relate to the ‘Ten Weave Commandments’. One thing that is evident about hair weave, is that it is a multi-billion dollar industry and women invest a lot of time and energy in trying to find that right weave.
So personality @nadinemarieg created a funny parody called the ‘Ten Weave Commandments’, and they are helpful tips for any woman struggling with their weave:
1. Never let your tracks show (self-explanatory) 2. Always travel with your weave glue (or hair pins in case a track falls out) 3. Always pat your head when it’s itchy (patting won’t pull out the tracks or make your hair messy) 4. Never lie and say “it’s all mine.” 5. Never make your weave too greasy (there’s nothing worse than a greasy weave, believe me) 6. Always travel with your brush (weave gets frizzy. Gotta keep it looking lush) 7. This rule is so overrated: keep your Remy and Yaki completely separated 8. Gel down your edges if they’re nappy (weave and nappy roots — that’s just tacky) 9. Nine should’ve been number 1 to me; ALWAYS know when to take out your weave! 10. Buy a wig just in case. If your hair is looking rough, put on a wig to cover it up.
Hopefully these tips will help some ladies to living a good life with their weave, because no other relationship is as important as a woman and her weave.
It is such a simple utterance, yet we complex its meaning by uprooting real & mental obstacles. If you’re passionate about something – the thing that brings a smile to your face, the thing that gives you a tingly feeling throughout your body, the worst thing you can do is just stop following your passion. And we stop for many reasons, or find excuses to stop. Sometimes we become deterred, find ourselves uninspired, or get consumed with other life issues. Being in the entrepreneurial creative digital field, I run into people all the time that said that they stopped their passion for reason A through Z, but wish they had continued, even in a limited scope – and they all feel some sort of remorse or regret. And I usually see myself in them (pause), as I am guilty of it too, when I get frustrated, I deter and avoid the passion activity; and I think afterwards, “damn, why didn’t I just continue?”. Part of the reason why we just ‘stop’ is because we feel some friction or we are not seeing any financial reward, and let’s face it, the financial reward can be a huge source of motivation, but there exists a weird relationship between ‘passion’ and ‘money’. Like yes, following your passion in order to receive financial rewards is cool, but the money shouldn’t be the ultimate motivation – because it would confound your passion and art. As we all know, once you get money involved, you get other filters and variables involved, making your art and passion diluted with money.
Excuse the little money/motivation/passion rant, and let’s get back to the initial intent of this post, which I think it was to ‘just’ continue your passion. Don’t mind the haters, the nay-sayers: if you are getting some sense of fulfillment from your passion, continue it (**Disclaimer: lawful passions in your geographical jurisdictions).
So consider this post as self-medication for me to help me ‘just continue writing’, and the fruits of my labor will be realised in time – and if the fruit turns rotten, I still had a blast farming …. Ya digg?
This one is for all my Developer’s out there, I’m sure you’ll relate. Its that feeling you have that is a mixed feeling of both being scared and optimistic about that web development project you got on your mind. Part optimism because you feel that you have a solid idea, but part scared because past negative experiences of scrolling lines and lines of code has caused you anxiety and heartache. You then say, “let me just jack a script”, and all the scripts you jack are good in some sense, but eventually you find out that it doesn’t meet your needs, so then you spend copious amounts of time trying to learn the script, testing, debugging, eventually leading to further frustrations.
I’ve been all through the whole development process of trying to take the shortcut, modifying existing scripts, and so on. And it has taught me that you really need to develop patience and a sense of immunity to tolerate your own insecurities and reluctance to a project. I don’t claim to have really figured it out, my immunity is definitely not the most resilient, but at least being self-aware about is the first step I guess. And the only way to overcome your fears and insecurities is to accept that you have them, and try to work towards a ‘better you’. A ‘better you’ that truly believes the adage that anything can be done with a little bit of hard work & perseverance.
P.S. This may sound like an inspirational piece for you, but is moreso for me, but if you’re inspired, hey, more power to you.
If you haven’t been to the West Indies, you should visit one of the many islands; it is truly a beautiful geographic area filled with lush agriculture, warm weather, and rich culture. No, I don’t work for any Tourism board, but was inspired to do a post of various Tourism posters from West Indies nations. Mostly, I was inspired by the iconic Jamaica tourism poster from the 70’s (in the main image for this post); though, logically, that woman must be in her 60’s now, one can’t help but wonder how she would look now …
West Indies poster by German Company, looks like circa early 1900’s
This is a Hip-Hop Kinetic Typography Music Video I produced for some independent artists out of Toronto. I was inspired by the Cee-Lo Green video ‘F— You’ and other Kinetic typography videos. A funny story accompanies this video, or tragic, I was like 80% done with the video, but then my power went out; which corrupted the file, so I had to spend another 10-12 hours re-creating everything. That was a lesson in saving multiple drafts of all video projects – especially in the Wonderful, yet buggy, Adobe After Effects, lol.
And of course with anything that is abstract, comes politics – especially when dealing with different people (which now, I really understand why most artists want to work for themselves and not deal with bullshit from other clients, collectives, etc.) … but thats for another chapter in my book, I’ll just say that when sampling a population, make sure your sample is representative of the target audience of your works.
Gotta give LeBron some credit, he has surpassed Kobe Bryant – not in championships or MVP titles, but in being the most hated player in the NBA. And with that special title comes special images to ‘salute you’. With signing with the Miami Heat, LeBron is leaving Cleveland and heading to Miami to join Chris Bosh & Dwayne Wade – while leaving the city and region of Cleveland, Ohio very upset. I can’t wait until The Heat play the Cavs in the 10-11 season – LeBron better have some extra security.
Yes, they do exist, and have existed since the 1960’s or so – the first popular black super heroes such as ‘Falcon’, and ‘Black Panther’ were introduced to cater to different audiences that were emerging. Jumping forward, the most popular adaptation of a Black Superhero would have to be Will Smith’s portrayal of Hancock released in 2008. And with Hollywood’s fascination of imaginary worlds and characters, the releases of the Iron Man series, X-Men, Avatar, and Transformers, have resurged the comic book industry – whom we once thought was dying, but is surging as they are adapting their content to new mediums (such as Apple’s iPad).
Prior to 2001, Apple was a struggling computer manufacturer, trying to deal with Windows based machines and software; many have written them off, but they dropped the iPod in 2001, and it has to be one of the defining items of the 2000’s. Since launching on October 23, 2001, the iPod has sold over 240 million units worldwide as of January 2010. Here are some creative iPod digital art renditions.