Thursday, September 28, 2017

CONSIDERATION VS PERSONAL FREEDOM?

Is it unreasonable or problematic to expect others to have respect or be considerate of their fellow citizens in public spaces? Are manners a form of social control? Throwing the question out there to the masses and let's have a good conversation about this topic.
Also must give props to #NERDSOUL and the Ill Kid himself Michael Young IIfor donating a nice webcam to this show.
Please watch before commenting and YES I KNOW there's a watermark on the screen. I'm currently teaching myself to use various video editing software packages.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

2017 FAT GUY RULES





I've spent the better part of the last 20 years being overweight.





Sometimes bigger. Sometimes smaller.






Never anywhere close to the threshold of being socially acceptable with the "cool" kids.

As I have recently lost 90+lbs on the way to a healthier existence, I note how different the world reacts to my presence.

Mind you, I'm still a 6'2" Black guy with broad shoulders and therefore (according to Fox News) I am automatically a raping, drug-dealing, mean-spirited, uneducated thug whose main goal in life is impregnating as many White women as possible to give them kids to be on welfare.

That Trumpian nonsense aside, since I've lost weight, people are definitely nicer to me and the 15-foot stick people keep between you and them is slowly getting smaller. I'd say the stick is about 8-feet now.

Seven years ago, I WROTE THIS PIECE ABOUT BEING OVERWEIGHT AND BLACK.

Please read it when you get a chance. :)

I'm not going to go over that situation again, but I would like to offer some support and guidance for my brothers in girth who have to deal with various indignities because of their increased size.

I know a lot of bigger dudes who are definitely feeling the pain and I wanted them to know that I've got their back.

Also, I've found it necessary to share some rules of behavior to save you from unnecessary heartache as you run into hordes of shallow and superficial morons who are incapable of understanding the phrase "content of character."





1) Always smell nice. Wear nice clothes. Defy the expectation. Everyone assumes fat men are sloppy, smelly, slovenly and simple-minded. Don't be that guy. Nice clothing increases confidence and sends the message that a big man can still take care of himself in social environs. 

2) Be very careful about complimenting women on anything. It will be seen as flirting and things get awkward. Even if it is a harmless compliment, just be careful. Regardless of what the Men's Rights Activists (MGTOW) clowns believe, most women aren't evil harpies poised to rip your guts out and dance with unfettered glee. Women are human beings with frailties and imperfections. However, many women are accustomed to being flirted with 24 hours a day/7 days a week (twice on Sundays) and have ways of kindly deflecting unwanted male interest. 

The problem is when your kindness is mistaken for romantic desire and you end up getting "let down easy" by a woman you weren't even interested in. It's annoying and it stinks. The best way to avoid these scenarios is to treat every woman you meet like a criminal court judge. Keep your distance, be respectful and only give direct answers unless otherwise prompted. 

If a woman is interested in you, she'll let you know. 





3) Learn how to navigate the weirdness of other people's body shaming. It's not your fault they project their insecurities onto your flesh. The issue of body dysmophia is serious and ingrained in our society. It's described as a mental illness involving obsessive focus on a perceived flaw in appearance.

Some folks just go overboard with fashion and makeup to cover up these flaws, while others starve themselves and develop eating disorders. The advertising industry is built upon digging into our collective insecurities to trigger a desire to spend money to "improve." Since being overweight is considered the opposite of "healthy" and "attractive" there are many out there in society who feel the need to reject you based upon your appearance. 

Understand this - THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT THAT. 

Yes, it hurts. Yes, you feel like shit. Yes, you would love to "fit" in. 

The people rejecting you will often be the most popular, the funniest, the coolest and ridiculously beautiful. 

But guess what... FUCK THEM. Seriously. Fuck. Them. 

Go back to the core phrase: "Content of character."

All that truly matters at the end of the day is whether or not you can look yourself in the mirror and not feel as if you have compromised your integrity or moral code. It takes time (sometimes it takes a REALLY long time) but you will eventually discover a circle of decent people who won't give a damn what you look like and will care more for the person underneath the skin. 

A lot of the "beautiful" people are going through all kinds of internal nonsense that has nothing to do with you other than the fact you are a physical representation of their self-loathing. Don't be anyone's dart board

4) Make a health plan that is congruent to how you live your life, not to make other people feel comfortable around you. In the long run, you will need to lose weight, but don't do it because people are pressuring you. A lot of the "concerned" folks are preoccupied with aesthetics, not your well-being. 

Eating right and developing an exercise plan is hard work. Do it for you. We all gained weight for different reasons. I tend to be an emotional eater at night. I don't eat a lot of bad stuff all day long, but with my crazy work schedule, the pressures of the day required some comfort food at the worst possible times. That caused my excessive weight gain. I had to change that. 

Get rid of those reasons and move forward. Your life depends on it. 

5) Understand that there's little to no support out there for bigger guys so learn to find solace and stability with yourself. Get to know yourself, spend more time alone and learn to love what makes you... you. 

The entire "plus size" movement is based around how horrible it is for women to be overweight because - apparently - all the men out there want women under a size 6 and can't appreciate a woman with curves.

I truly believe that many of the plus size women out there are looking for their Ryan Gosling/Ryan Reynolds/Denzel Washington/Drake dude and ignore decent men because they're under the impression that "regular" guys aren't worth their time. So much of the current dialogue around weight and attractiveness is framed around long-suffering women and how they're treated in the dating world.





This idea presupposes that fat guys have their veritable pick of the litter and that there's no societal body shaming or alienation aimed at us. That is utter hogwash on every conceivable level.

Let me break it down for you - I don't know when this happened - but these days, men are all supposed to have perfect bodies with six-pack abs, high-paying jobs, nice cars, a couple of homes, a degree in finance and access to private international transportation all day long.

I see it and hear it all of the time, everywhere I go. I'm not in the dating arena anymore (thank God) but I hear and see this stuff from my single male buddies who are a bit on the pudgy side.

When you're a social pariah, the best thing to do is learn more about your inner spirit and strength so you can become attractive to yourself. It is a sincere form of selfishness that eventually becomes self-preservation that will lead to stronger self-esteem and self-respect.

In practical terms, don't be afraid to do stuff alone: go to the movies, a museum, a bar, a lounge, a restaurant, a poetry reading, shopping, etc. Get to know what makes you tick instead of defining yourself by the neurotic trappings of deeply damaged folks who hide their beaten souls behind the veneer of white teeth, tiny waists and chiseled cheekbones.



It's a tough world out there. You can't do it alone. You have to find the right people to accompany you on the journey of life.

Good health and good luck to you all.

Thanks for reading.

B.




Monday, January 30, 2017

White Friends... Welcome to the World of Racial Gaslighting

Credit: Tony Puryear


gas·light
ˈɡaslīt/
verb
gerund or present participle: gaslighting
  1. manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.

    "in the first episode, Karen Valentine is being gaslighted by her husband"


As I watch many of my white friends and colleagues go ballistic about the clear and present fascist regime our country is dealing with, I have only one thing to say: welcome to the world of African-Americans.

Please do not consider this an "I told you so" piece, but this Trump and Steve Bannon embarrassment fully illustrates the reality of institutional racism and how the most vile and prejudiced White guy can ascend to the top of the world simply by having the right set of compatriots and using white skin privilege to the nth degree.

Allow me to share a short story from my time in Los Angeles: after I got my first break working in animation in 2011, I was surrounded by a small population of very angry and depressed White (male and several women) writers who toiled under the impression that the reason that it had been "harder" for them to get animation writing gigs was because of the "forced diversity" imposed upon the industry.

When I met these people (all of whom had been vetted as "cool" by White friends and trusted allies) they were spiteful, dismissive, petty and altogether boorish. At first, I assumed I had done something wrong but upon further inspection, I noticed an interesting pattern:

All the White people I knew believed these people were awesome but all the Black folks I knew considered these writers racist as hell - or at the very least - NOT fans of African-Americans and particularly fearful of African-American men.

This illuminates the phenomenon of what I call the "One in Ten Racist" Problem. There will often be a White writer (in this case) who is universally beloved amongst the ranks of other White writers but has a ridiculously negative appraisal amongst the ranks of Black writers. This situation occurs in pretty much every aspect of American life and vocation; I only use my experiences in this town as a clear example.

However, if you report your experiences of bigotry and bad vibes to your White friends and allies, they often react with shock, disbelief and the unspoken accusation that you must have "done" something to deserve that reaction. Why else, in their estimation, would this "awesome guy/lady" treat YOU that way, they don't treat anyone else like that - so it must have been YOU.



African-Americans have had to live with that kind of racial gaslighting since 1865. Before that, we were enslaved, and you pretty much knew where you stood for better or worse (mainly worse).
This flips around to a valuable currency that Black folks DO NOT GET in this society: THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. We have to prove what we're NOT before anyone grants us a modicum of humanity.

We have to prove that we're not:
-stupid
-criminal
-unpatriotic
-entitled
-slovenly
-bigoted
-ungrateful

And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

A guy like Steve Bannon (an open racist, anti-Semite, homophobe, etc.) can utilize coded Neo-Nazi doublespeak and still be given the benefit of the doubt. A guy like Trump can openly insult the POTUS, make horrible sexist remarks, trash entire ethnicities and religious groups and still be given the benefit of the doubt to run the most POWERFUL NATION ON THE EARTH.

In spite of EVERYTHING that is occurring, there are still those who want to "give Trump a chance." Seriously. They are out there and in great numbers.

If you're naïve to the existence and scope of weaponized prejudice and bigotry: THIS IS WHAT INSTITUTIONAL RACISM LOOKS LIKE.

Meaning people in positions of power applying their sick ideals to impact hiring practices, budgets, educational opportunities, residential movement and voting rights.

There are Trumps and Bannons in high finance.
There are Trumps and Bannons in real estate.
There are Trumps and Bannons in law enforcement.
There are Trumps and Bannons in health care.
There are Trumps and Bannons in Hollywood.
There are Trumps and Bannons in academia.
There are Trumps and Bannons in the House and Senate.

There have been since 1778. This is what African-Americans been saying ALL. THIS. TIME.

You cannot go back to sleep. Our planet is on the line.

ALL CREDIT GOES TO TONY PURYEAR FOR THE NEW PHOTO.