Getting Personal

I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is
immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice,
but because he has a soul, a spirit capable
of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.
-William Faulkner,
Nobel Prize Banquet Speech

If you’ve been a reader of this blog, you might have noticed that I’m not a fan of divulging much personal information. Instead, my audience is presented with thoughts, ideas and some arguments about the day’s hot-button topics but rarely ever more. Lately, as I work the night shift for 70+ hours per week, my output is diminutive at best. Consequently, I’m unable to fulfill the wishes of a friend who wants it longer and more often; my blog posts, unfortunately, especially since she is cute. I wouldn’t mind filling up her day with words, on second thought, more so a pulchritudinous stack of words.

Other reasons abound. Primarily, I don’t have either a child (at least that I know about) or a spouse struggling with some horrible disease to write about. In other words, my life isn’t that interesting, If I had an obstreperous daughter making my home life miserable because she was unable to fulfil her boyfriend’s (with Asperger’s) fantasy of having peanut butter licked off his cock due to being allergic (to peanut butter, not cock), then we would be in business. Next, anonymity on the internet is about as reliable as an elder person’s bladder. Companies feel that if what you do outside of work, and your personal beliefs are not in line with the status quo, your employment is a threat to their business. Furthermore, the internet has become quite oppressive. People love to take what you say out of context and use it as a weapon to assassinate your character. As many as 140 characters stand between you and getting fired or worse be labelled anti-Ke$ha.

Today is the exception!

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Hip Hop & 1980’s Brooklyn – A Nostalgic Affair – My Invisible Community

The statistics have been always  grim for any lower income community, especially those constituted by minorities. To be frank, ‘ghettos’ stink everywhere, independent of the ethnicity of their inhabitants, yet in America, there is a certain paradox that lurks around certain lower income neighborhoods. It would seem far-fetched to imagine that given the disproportionate amounts of stress and challenges faced by many African American our collective mental health would be abysmal, but that’s not the case. “It’s a long-standing mystery in public health: despite the inarguably vast number of psychological and sociological stresses they face in the U.S., African Americans are mentally healthier than white people. The phenomenon is formally described as the “race paradox in mental health”.

In fact, if I hadn’t lived in a community where I could witness the resiliency, laughter and humor that suffuses all aspects of daily life, I’d find this paradox to be suspect, perhaps a result more of sub-standard analysis and an improper demographic sampling. Nonetheless, it’s hard to look at these pictures, and not see see ‘it’.

About These Photos

These photos were taken from this lovely article: Portraits of Joy: The 1980s Street Photography of Jamel Shabazz. There are some great insights and thoughts in that article.

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