Purged redux!

The citizens who have not engaged in a righteous civil rights struggle since the assassinations of JFK, MLK, and Malcolm X are learning how to successfully develop a meaningful call to action.  The Constitution that all officials have sworn to uphold has been revisited and challenged since it was penned.  The citizens who were once considered the minority have become the majority, and the over-privileged panic to maintain their wealth.

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There are various ways to explain the condition of poverty:  poor in wealth, poor in spirit, and (and this case) poor in authority.  Since the confederate flag came down, the nation’s eyes have been primed for a revolution. Starbucks made a preemptive attempt months ago when it suggested we talk about race, but the market could not tolerate such a “controversial” topic.  The past 60 days have been a warning to the world.  We are a nation that was heralded for it’s democracy and liberties.

And now the law enforcement community is being targeted.  Again our own president has not addressed this change in tides which has worsened the problem.  Silence speaks volumes.  Presidential candidates have taken aim at the injustices by mocking, mimicking, and eluding to the “good ol’ days” when people knew how to stay in their lanes and not demand so much of their government.  This mockery itself has ensighted violence amongst “passionate” followers of the leading presidential candidate.

Privledge.

“Them verses us” is slowly becoming the chant as this as we divide ourselves in this beginning of the end.

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Today marks the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year.  What will our children learn as their teachers uncover an evolving world–a world fueled by lawlessness, social media, and politics that is only avoidable if they shut the world out completely?  How do we move forward while ignoring the present and running from the past?

Want to read more?  Click here Purged

In the Friend Zone (a short read)

After posting what I thought was an interesting satire about relationships on my Facebook wall, a friend ignited a rage in me. I don’t care for the expression “feeling some kind of way” but there may be no better way to say it.

Women and men approach relationships differently. Not every man approaches a woman with the intent of starting an intimate relationship.  Cautious men are perceived as too delicate, too polite, or too shy. How much caution is needed to say hello?  Cautious men, because they are not assertive, are successful making friends, but not much else.  As a result, they end up in the The Zone. The Zone is often a point of no return.  How does one navigate around the Zone?

  
Butthurt

Trying to navigate through the “friend zone” after a friendship is established is painful.  A fellow once claimed on social media that women want a REAL man, but he proclaims that he is a Gentleman and waiting to be recognized.  Gentlemen will find themselves in the Zone more often than anyone else.  We don’t consider ourselves to be entitled.  We are humble and accepting.  Some of us will leave this world the same way we came into it–not naked, not cold, but alone.  What is misunderstood about the Zone is that it can be a safe, comfortable place.

Defending the Gentlemen in the “friend zone” is not a difficult task. After all, we are not under attack.  To the contrary, we’re barely noticed and certainly not a threat to the REAL men making moves.  But are they making moves or merely making noise?  Is that passion?  I’m passionate about the Zone because that’s where I’ve spent most of my time.  I was fortunate enough to fall in love instead of being sentenced to the Zone.  But the Zone is a happy place that I share with the rest of my Lady friends who are comfortable to be there with me.   It takes a certain level of maturity, security, understanding and compassion to withstand our type of relationship.

  
Would you like a more detailed version of this story?  Check this out:  In the Friend Zone

In The Friend Zone

Preface:  This was penned with some objectives in mind…to empathize with those who are in the “friend zone” and to offer an understanding of the people who find themselves there.  If that’s not your cup of tea, in the words of Kermit, “ain’t none of my business…”


After posting what I thought was a interesting satire about relationships on my Facebook wall, a friend ignited a rage in me.  I don’t care for the expression “feeling some kind of way” but there may be no better way to say it.

The proposal was made, and I engaged.  My Queen sat nearby and witnessed a transformation.  Moments before, I was calm and playful.  Even she laughed at my post.  But once that first “sideways” comment came in, my mind shifted to “game-on” mode.  I was enraged for several reasons.  “How could someone take something so cute and harmless and convert it something mean?”

I have to laugh about it now because anyone who knows me is familiar with how my social media reflects my personality…drama.

My best friend sat back and watched the episode unfurl. Let’s explain…

Women and men approach relationships differently.  Volumns have been written about the intricacies.  I confidently admit that men will never truly understand women and their mannerisms.  Women understand women–which is probably why they don’t get along.

Not every man approaches a woman with the intent of starting an intimate relationship.  There are men who approach women with caution.  Even a friendship runs the risk of rejection. Who likes rejection?  Plenty of us want a pleasant interaction.

Cautious men are perceived as too delicate, too polite, or too shy.  Assertive men are more desirable probably because they are resilient. They’ve endured plenty of rejection as a result of calling on plenty more women than the cautious men.  In the end, successful interactions blossom from pleasant experiences between compatible individuals.

How much caution is needed to say hello?  How assertive must a man be to have a friendship with a woman? If his intentions are pure, this point is moot.  It’s the assertive men who appear to be unable to have friendships with women.  Assertive men cause concern amongst the women they prey on.

Cautious men, because they are not assertive, are successful making friends.  The “friend zone” is not a derailment. It’s a destination for some.  Certainly there’s an opportunity for that relationship to grow.  But friendships are essential to any lasting relationship.  In many cases they are one in the same.

The Zone is often a point of no return.  Both women and men can find themselves there.  It’s a safe place.  The only people who get hurt there are the people who don’t want to be there.  Escape is futile and often the precursor to the death of a friendship.  This knowledge is powerful.

How does one navigate around the Zone?  By making our intentions clear at the onset of an interaction, feelings can be saved.  At the onset…!   Don’t wait until the friendship is established.  It’s too late then.  Falling in love is just THAT!   Falling!   It can’t be planned or calculated.  It’s the result of a release–loss of control or reason.  It’s beautiful and natural.

Those who’ve experienced this awesome feeling know it’s true worth.  It creates a glow that plenty of onlookers want to feel–so much so that love lusters long to linger in its essence.  Enough with the alliteration though!  A lot of people don’t know what love is.  They’re simply reaching at straws, hoping to get a taste.  And it tastes good.  It’s addictive.  Those who find it bask in its greatness and fain its loss.  Others invent what they can not find.

Butthurt

Trying to navigate through the “friend zone” after a friendship is established is painful.  Feelings get hurt and friendships become stale.  In fact, stale is an understatement.  It’s the equivalent of a break up without the opportunity for make-up sex.  To endure that kind of pain without having experienced any of an intimate relationship’s glory is…ridiculous.  Love hurts!  Better to love and lost…?  Hmmmm…

A fellow once claimed on social media that some women say that they want a REAL man, but he proclaims that he is a Gentleman.   We exist!  The fact that not every woman who has a gentleman can appreciate his worth is not too disappointing.  He is seeking a Lady.

Gentlemen will find themselves in the Zone most often.  We don’t consider ourselves to be entitled.  It’s that expectation of entitlement, in my opinion, that transforms itself into disappointment, anger, and eventual rage–especially when things don’t go as expected.  A gentleman understands what it means to earn. We earn respect.  We earn our money.  We earn the adoration of our woman.  It’s that adoration and appreciation that keeps us.  Can the other guys pull that off?

Some of us will leave this world the same way we came into it–not naked, not cold, but alone.   Those who have love experience something so entirely different than loneliness.  In love and in life, the majority of us want to be in the presence of someone who can reciprocate our feelings.

What is misunderstood about the Zone is that it can be a safe, comfortable place to be.  The fact is that it’s rare that someone invites themselves into the Zone.  It’s perceived as a pergatory from where there is no escape.  Both men and women find themselves there when they realize that there isn’t a mutual benefit of progressing  into a intimate relationship.

My thirst for defending the Gentlemen in the “friend zone” can now be quenched.  I’m passionate about the Zone because that’s where I’ve spent most of my time.  I was fortunate enough to fall in love instead of being sentenced to the Zone.  But the Zone is a happy place that I share with the rest of my Lady friends who are comfortable to be there with me.   It takes a certain level of maturity, security, understanding and compassion to withstand our type of relationship. To each its own…

Dancing in the Spirit

We are pitching this idea as an impromptu brain storm-turned-business plan for the recently-closed Cosmopolitan Restaurant in Vineland, New Jersey.  The once upbeat and eclectic venue on the cusp of the Vineland city limits has now been closed and may be awaiting new management.  Two of it’s busiest events were Saturday Dance Nights and Sunday Morning Buffets. Much to our dismay, the patrons can no longer call this establishment the Cumberland County Hot Spot.

When rumors spread on New Year’s Eve that the establishment would be closed the following day, no one could believe it! Those same rumors were dispelled when the management kept the doors open a little while longer.  Cosmos was the premiere venue for baby showers and bachelorette parties; union meetings and management luncheons; Friday date nights and Sunday after-church brunches.  But now, the growing shrubs and the orange cones at the entrance to the parking lot tell of the restaurant’s demise.  Such is the tale of a business that can not keep up with operating costs.

Do you suppose that the venue could be used for something else?  Liquor licenses can be cost prohibitive for restaurants, but an eatery with no spirits could do quite well.  For sure without resuscitation The Cosmopolitan will go the way of so many fine restaurants along the Black/Whitehorse Pike Corridors in Atlantic County.  But if the insurance is paid up and the risks are low, it may go the route of other establishments that have been condemned.  We can’t have that!

Let’s speak positive!  Let’s imagine the possibilities of taking Cosmo and turning it into a new and improved venue.  How about a “spiritual forum?”  It could be a place where patrons can come and eat while they enjoy the Word of God.   It’s not too far fetched when you consider that plenty of defunct store fronts, bars, and even adult movie theaters have been transformed into houses of worship.  It’s God’s people’s way of taking something anti-social and turning it in to something Godly.

What could we call it?  How about “Dancing in the Spirit?”  Gospel music could be played from media players.  Patrons could choose the form of worship that fits their family’s needs.  Just like the table top jukeboxes still found in some diners, choices can be selected by paying a few quarters.   Play any melodies that you choose.

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The decor is already moderate.  The eating areas are spacious, yet exclusive.  There are private rooms for meetings or sermons, and there’s enough seclusion to have intimate discussions on theology or spirituality.  Catholics and Protestants, Christians and Jews, even Muslims and Hindus could enjoy a meal with family and friends in a way that’s not much different than they would across the street at Golden Corral or down the road at Applebee’s.  But at “Dancing in the Spirit” there would be a theme of peace and tranquility while you order off of a menu with entrees named in honor of spiritual dogma.

There could be events that celebrate diversity while recognizing the innate good that comes from acknowledging the similarities of our cultures.  Those who would mock the idea or shun the notion simply need not patronize the venue.  Only over zealous capitalists could ruin a concept designed to promote peace.  This objective of this endeavor would not be to make money but to self-sustain a contemporary tradition in our culture while glorifying God.

What do you think?  Are you hungry?

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Dancing in the Spirit
Dancing in the Spirit

Purged

Did We Just Experience a 30 day Purge?

Several years ago Hollywood created, released, and marketed a film that suggested that a law abiding community could be obtained.  A utopia, if you will, could be created if the government would simply shut down for one day.  There was a catch, however.  In the time that there was no law enforcement, no rescue services, and no safe haven the community will be able to purge itself of all it’s anti-social desires and misdeeds.  This was a fictional account of what could happen.

With marginal results, the film warranted a sequel.  Last summer The Purge II opened in theaters nationwide.  Uncertain whether it was a marketing attempt or a hacker’s wet dream, the entire nation was put on alert that real-life “purges” were going to take place in urban cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York City.  Heads of state scrambled to prevent panic as the danger might be perceived as eminent and debilitating.

As time would tell, there was no mass shut-down of social or emergency services.  There was no “24 hours of lawlessness,” but the months that followed unveiled a paradox of proportional injustice.  Instead of law abiding citizens turning on their government, government officials have idly watched as law enforcement officers have turned on the citizens they swore to protect.  There has been more media-amplified killings by members of the law enforcement community in the last 12 months than ever recorded.  Consequently, an uprising of citizens has provoked more fear and reaction from the cops.

The citizens who have not engaged in a righteous civil rights struggle since the assinations of JFK, MLK, and Malcolm X are learning how to successfully develop a meaningful call to action.  Contemporary leaders have exercised the gamut of rallies, riots, sit-ins, die-ins, boycotts, and social media civil rights campaigns.  To no avail, the problems have been exacerbated right up to and including the mass murders that kicked off the summer of 2015.  What started as call to remember their names has morphed into a hashtagging frenzy that brought about awareness but has done nothing to slow the threat of injustice.  Good cops have been put on the defense, mayors and governors have braced themselves for public backlash, and county prosecutors have changed their tone to condemn the over-zealous murders that take place at routine traffic stops.  Even the president (from the safety of Kenya) has recently condemned the injustices that women, minorities, and the disenfranchised have endured for too long!

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The Constitution that all officials have sworn to uphold has been revisited and challenged since it was penned.  But the Supreme Court has made some rulings in the past year that have inspired ambitious politicians to base their campaigns on soundbites that either support the status quo or promise change through a new world order.  The ignorant, the wealthy, and the oppressors now have a common bond as their presidential candidates spout catch-phrases like: “Let’s return to the good-ol’ days’ or Let’s take America back!”

The citizens who were once considered the minority have become the majority, and the over-privileged panic to maintain their wealth.  Meanwhile an overlooked demographic has been embraced by the top presidential candidates…the ignorant and uneducated.  There aren’t enough wealthy voters to elect a president!  They are relying on the poor and hungry. As an aside, what better way to cultivate a nation of uninformed voters than to condemn the public schools?  A political strategist can see it’s the quickest way to prevent a large number of people from acquiring the skills needed to question authority.  The powerful are plowing seeds of ignorance, sprinkled with precipitation from countless thunderstorms, and reaped for November 2016 consumption.

The poor and hungry…

There are various ways to explain the condition of poverty:  poor in wealth, poor in spirit, and (and this case) poor in authority.  Hunger can be defined as hungry for nourishment, hungry for wealth, hungry for knowledge, hungry for religion, or (for purposes of this analysis) hungry for human rights.  The New Civil Rights movement will embody the poor and the the hungry.  Those who are neither poor nor hungry will resist.

Since the confederate flag came down, the nation’s eyes have been primed for a revolution.  The rationale for keeping a historic symbol of hate up so long was already understood and accepted for 150 years, but the articulation of these sentiments was just too much for our nation to bare.

Starbucks made a preemptive attempt months ago when it suggested we talk about race, but the market could not tolerate such a “controversial” topic.  The masses said, “No, it’s not the time…” as entire movements of “Black Lives Matter” and #ICantBreathe filled the airwaves, web paths, and store fronts.  August will mark the movie release of “Straight Outta Compton” which will certainly shine a spotlight on what becomes of young black youth who embrace their art to change the world.

The past 30 days have been a warning to the world.  We are a nation that was heralded for it’s democracy and liberties. Those who’ve sworn to uphold the Constitution are also the same individuals who apply THEIR discretion of its interpretation.  The Supreme Court is the third branch of our government, but another kind of supreme court exists at every traffic stop.  When our lawmakers do not create “just” laws and our law enforcers prioritize the laws based on their whims, the Supreme Court only gets the cases after it’s too late.  We the people..?

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Vigilante “hacktivists” are now taking center stage.  The same technology that was designed to make our lives easier has allowed us all to fall victim to cyber-attacks, terrorist threats, and out-and-out fear for our well-being.  We are now witnessing authorities surrendering to the demands of terrorists, hackers, and the media.  The NAACP and the ACLU have revved up their efforts to put anti-police social media and iphone apps into the hands of potential victims everywhere.  Our liberties are being attacked and we are at a loss to defend them.  Question:  Who is the enemy?