Funny Man of Our Generation
With movies like Anchor Man and Hangover taking over the scene as some of the funniest movies of our generation, we quickly forget just how funny The Chapelle Show was on a weekly basis. With the passing of the late Rick James, and Dave Chapelle’s hiatus, this particular sketch will forever be hilarious.
Dear random guy selling CD’s in front of the gas station,
No, I think I’ll take a pass at supporting “local artists” today and simply put this $5 on pump number 3. You see, it’s rather hard for me, or anyone for that matter to truly consider paying for too much of anything these days, let alone a CD with your name written in a Sharpie. Take for instance the television; ratings have been consistently declining since the creation of the internet. Now, with even more cutting edge technology like Youtube and Hulu, it almost renders plopping down on the couch in front of the big screen an urban legend that will only be told to little children in front of camp fires.
But that’s just the beginning. Running low on cell phone minutes, just Skype your best friend for free. Looking for a portable basketball court in Ashburn, VA, here’s a free one on Craigslist. Search engine Bing will even consolidate all travel search sites into one comprehensive easy to use analysis to help you purchase your travel tickets. You guessed it right, all for FREE.
And for some reason, this philosophy of free seems to go undiscovered by many. I’ve seen many business owners fall flat on their faces attempting to squeeze every dollar out of loyal supporters in the early run, only to sell themselves short by not offering up free services that people have come to expect.
Not to say, that you should give everything away for free (you certainly don’t see free AOI shirts everywhere) when you’re starting out, I simply suggest eating some of the costs early in the game to gain supporters. Folks like Johhny Cupcakes make it a point to include a little extra something for every order he sends out. Even if it’s just a sticker.
So CD guy, next time you consider making that sells pitch, ask yourself is it really worth it.
Time and chance happen to us all (Ecclesiastes 9:11), but it is the stories we tell ourselves (through religion, folklore, national myth) to rationalize events, the unexplainable, the cumulative effects of life, that set one group apart from the other, one warrior in the same struggle from the next.
This is a regular thought of mine, and it popped up recently while I stared at a bumper sticker with the word “coexist.” The “C” was the crescent moon and star representing Islam. The peace symbol stood in for the “O.” Attached to the “E” were the symbols for male and female. The Star of David sat where there should be an “X.” Dotting the “I” was the star within a circle, the symbol most used to identify as Pagan or Wiccan. The “S” took the form of the yin and yang symbol of Taoist philosophy, while the “T” was the Christian crucifix.
The bumper sticker includes no symbol for atheists or agnostics (I don’t even know if they exist), but I think they should be included in this group of philosophies/religions whose members share space and thus need a way to coexist. Given the rising number of Black atheists, perhaps the Black community might eventually serve as a model of living and let living.
But “live and let live,” at times, is easier said than done. Atheists may have specific reasons not to engage established religion as their foundation. Christians and Muslims (used as examples) will have their own reasons for casting off unbelievers. How does a Christian reconcile bible passages that may lead him to isolate those who don’t recognize his religion’s savior with the great relationship he has with his weekend basketball buddy? How does an atheist not see in her kind but pressing coworker’s zealous prods to get her to attend church the very imperialistic and oppressive tenets that may have caused her not to take on that practice herself?
The possibilities for friction are too obvious, and Black atheists are now working to create safe spaces for themselves. The African Americans for Humanism hosted a conference in Washington, DC, in May 2010, with about 60 participants. The association states it exists to “bring these secular humanists together, to provide a forum for communication, and facilitate coordinated action . . . In an irrational world [where] Many African Americans have been engulfed by religious irrationality.”
Sheesh—diggin’ in the trenches. We ain’t getting off to a good start on respecting each other.
Religious/philosophical tenets may often leave us at extremes, when regular, everyday people live most life in the gray areas. So how to coexist? How to see atheists as moral people, not devil incarnate, and religious people as curious, thinking counterparts?
I think it happens when we live closely to each other, when we cease to see the other side in the abstract or as caricatures, when we know the “other” personally, as daughter, son-in-law, best friend—people whom we know are good, whose opinions we respect, whom we want to remain close to and so cannot easily dismiss their beliefs. This is an act or a lens all perspectives need to take on, as well as being secure that respect for another’s life philosophy takes nothing away from the strength of your own beliefs.
Truth is relative. Sometimes: to your circumstances, to the amount in your purse, to your skin color, to your gender, to what country into which you’re born. So is righteousness. My view? Let your example be your mouthpiece, and let John worry about John.
At this point in the year, every man on planet earth struggles to make it through the work day. The Lebronathon has come and gone. It’s still too early for fantasy football so discussion of the actual season is definitely out of the question. And every single highlight on ESPN revolves around baseball. So with no fantasy trades to propose, or 87 yard kick off return clips to watch and get us over that 3:00pm wall at work, one must do a little soul searching to find a way to stay awake. Luckily music never takes a break.
Premeditated Murder- J. Cole
Premeditated Murder; J. Cole’s latest release since “Who Dat” gives J. Cole fans something to hang their hats on. Amazing track, and arguably better lyrics. Aparently the Fayetteville rapper hasn’t skipped a beat since The Warm Up. With mixed album reviews from Thank Me Later and Attention Deficit, Cole seems to be in a prime position to possibly pull off the best freshmen album debut of the trio (Drake, Wale, and J.Cole). “Cole World” is due to drop October 26. Guess we’ll soon find out.
More About Nothing- Wale
After the long awaited“Attention Deficit” arrived to mixed reviews, Wale has been under the radar to the say the least. Well August 3rd, he looks to pull inspiration from The Mixtape About nothing, the album many dubbed, mixtape of the year. His next project titled “More About Nothing” is right around the corner and has advid Wale listeners impatiently waiting. Just the other day, he tweeted “I think I wrote one of the best songs of my life… and its only two verses #moreaboutnothing.” Can’t wait to hear it.
Next Monday: Rick Ross’ Teflon Don album of the year? Also, guest blogger Terry Mundell introduces the world to Big K.R.I.T.
Name: Derrick Beasley
Role in AOI: VP, Co-Owner, Design Team
Education History: North Carolina A&T State University – BA, Sociology | Georgia State University – Masters of Public Administration, Policy Analysis & Evaluation.
Born: Nashville, TN (Raised Durham, NC)
Current Location: Atlanta, GA
Hobbies: In no particular order: Music Listening, SLR Toting, Bike Riding, Vegetable Eating, Waste Reducing, Book Reading, Justice Advocating, Khaki Cutting, Garden Tilling, Tomato Harvesting, Juice Making, Ginger Cutting, Baseball Tossing, Golf Ball Hooking, Question Asking, Memo Drafting, Melanin Possessing, Right Fist Raising, Colbert Report Watching, Bill Maher Empathizing (not always), Vote Casting, Adventure Seeking, Family Loving, Love Giving, Love Taking, Energy Transforming, Day Dreaming, Night Scheming, Sustainable Lifestyle Striving, Social Entrepreneur.
Dream Job: A job that allows me to spread sustainable living around the world…being able to ride my bike there would be a bonus too.
What You Love About AOI: We can brainstorm for hours and still use none of the ideas from the session #mental exercise. I love our ability to refocus on our mission and openly discuss differences.
Role in AOI: President, Co-Owner, Blog Contributor
Education History: North Carolina A&T State University, BS Mechanical Engineering
Born: Washington, DC (raised in Seat Pleasant)
Current Location: Seat Pleasant, MD
Hobbies: Skydiving, snowboarding, computing, blogging, investing, traveling, and EATING.
Little Known Fact: I love cycling. Yep, corny helmet, tights and all.
Dream Job: Professional Snowboarder
What you enjoy most about AOI: I love AOI because we have the opportunity to make something that was one day a simple idea into an enterprise. Through our ArtOfficial we can make smart cool again, thus, saving the youth and everything else under the sun. So let’s see if this works.
Name: Dorian Boone
Role in AOI: VP, Co-Owner, Financial and Legal Team
Education History: Morehouse College – BS General Science | NC A&T BS Mechanical Engineering | Pursuing MBA at University of Maryland
Born: Washington, DC (raised in Seat Pleasant)
Current Location: Durham, NC
Hobbies: Traveling, trying new sports, spending time with family, eating, cooking, learning about new cultures, photography (eventually)
Dream Job: Travel Channel Show host or Little League basketball coach (can I do one or the other in the off seasons?)
Little Known Fact: closet space junkie
What I love about AOI: I love how diverse AOI is. There is no box that is big enough to package us into. Not only do we make cool clothes but our written work is excellent as well. We can make you laugh, appreciate art, think, and inspire you to reach new heights in life.
Role in AOI: VP, Co-Owner, Design and Print Team
Education: Dematha Catholic HS. (1 of the best athletic schools in the country..google it) | North Carolina A&T State University- BS Graphic Communications Systems…AGGIE PRIDE!!!
Birthplace and Current Location: Washington, DC
Hobbies: I enjoy doing many things, all of which keep me sane. I am a part-time Photographer, Artist in nature, Designer by trade, and a full-time Dreamer/Thinker. I am a vivid follower of all things urban from music to landscapes. I appreciate food from many countries (might not like all of it but I’ll try it). And I support my friends and family with their dreams/aspirations/goals. Just like Walt Disney said “Always Keep Moving Forward”
Everyday I wake up. Anywhere between the buzz of my first alarm at 5:30am and the last at 6am. I hop in my car, only to go park in someone else’s parking lot. I hop on someone’s elevator, and go to the 6th floor where I sit at someone else’s desk that I call my own. Log on to the computer the person I work for provides for me and start producing work for someone else’s benefit. And on the 1st and 15th of that month, I impatiently wait for someone to direct deposit my money into my bank account. When I wake up and tomorrow arrives, I’ll do it all over again.
This unforgiving system of working for “the man” is what makes owning a business on the side so challenging. It’s not until you finish slaving at the desk (hopefully not running TPS reports and fixing run down copiers) and get home where you can actually start working on the things that you love, enjoy, and have a passion for. The thoughts of quitting continue to grow and you seriously begin considering leaving your paycheck, 401k, dinner, and standard of living all behind for a run at a dream. And at that point is when I wake up.
It seems that everyday the thought creeps up of leaving my 9-5s only to realize that what we’re working towards takes time. If you look around, everyone from entertainment groups to music artists put in somewhere around 5 years or more of grinding before they actually “make it”. So if you’re in the same boat, remember that the only place progress comes before struggle is in the dictionary.
There aren’t a whole lot of ways to put the BP oil spill in perspective. Most of our generation was too young to talk when Exxon Valdez happen in 1989, and who really understands how much thousands of barrels of oil is anyway? (Well I do, but I’ve got an unfair advantage)
Nonetheless, CNBC did a good job in their visual article on the spill. Take a look.
It’s about that time! AOI is back at it with a blowout sale at the Beacon Rooftop this weekend. If you’re already wondering why we’re expecting you to come out and support amid the Heatwave of 2010, I’ve already checked the weather! Weather.com is guessing (they have no clue really) a cool 80 degrees. Perfect for a rooftop.
So come out, and bring a friend with you. Beacon offers a great view of the city, a full service bar and menu to go along with it. DJ Blaze will be on the tunes with many beautiful people to go along with it. See you there.
Where: Beacon Hotel Rooftop
1815 Rhode Island Ave. NW
When: Saturday, July 24, 2010
Dress: It’s hot! Cool and casual will suffice.
In expectation of our fall release, we will be running a $10 Beacon Special for all merchandise.
“We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey.”
–John Hope Franklin
Last week we gave you a starter list of summer reads. Continuing this thread of mental exploration and amusement, today’s post features treats for summer days via film and music.
Waking Life is about an unnamed young man in a persistent lucid dream-like state. He initially observes and later participates in philosophical discussions of issues such as reality, free will, the relationship of the subject with others, and the meaning of life. Along the way the film touches on other topics including existentialism, situationist politics, posthumanity, the film theory of André Bazin, and lucid dreaming itself. – (Description from Wikipedia)
Food, Inc. Topping the list is the 2008 documentary exposing the underbelly of industrialized food, from treating animals as units of production as opposed to living beings to exploring the power our consuming choices/dollars hold.
We Shall Remain. In 5 parts, PBS’s American Experience series chronicles the history of Native Americans and their fight for their land and culture. RE that reparations argument: The folks you’re petitioning for that 40 acres and a mule don’t really have the right to give it.
The Story of Stuff. Annie Leopard’s simply presented 20-minute cartoon sheds light on Americans’ disconnect from the millions of consumer products we indulge in then discard, from extraction, production, and distribution to consumption and disposal.
The Corporation. Calling the corporation the “dominant institution of our time,” this film explores and critiques today’s giants and features interviews with Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Vandana Shiva (woman crush!), and Michael Moore.
Wattstax. Captures the Wattstax concert of 1972, featuring acts such as the Staple Singers, and interviews with black men and women and snippets of Richard Pryor commenting on race relations and the black experience. If nothing else, watch it to peep Isaac Hayes in orange spandex and gold-link suspenders.
These are just a taste, so stay tuned to the blog and our tweets for other interesting links! @ArtOfficialShop on twitter