Guilty! Guilty!! Guilty!!!

On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, Derek Chauvin was finally convicted of the MURDER of George Floyd. After kneeling on his neck for 9 minutes, 42 seconds while George Floyd was handcuffed behind his back while on the ground. He was unable to breathe and that resulted in his death. Derek Chauvin believed he had no chance of being convicted you could see it in his face right up until conviction.

Think about that for a second, Derek Chauvin murders a man in cold blood, the video is watched tens of millions of times on national news and the internet, his private life is picked apart, and still, this man never thought there would be justice. And even worse most of the people watching the case didn’t believe there would be either. There’s a major problem in the world where this is the case. Police can’t believe the law doesn’t apply to them.

Derek Chauvin isn’t the first and he certainly won’t be the last but, he’s in every way indicative of America. Some people believe they’re above it all and some of them… are right. We live in a country where the people on top can break all the laws they want because for them the same thing would bankrupt us or ruin our lives would or even worse end up with us dead. We have to work hard to change this. Most of us will never be on our strata, not because we’re not smart enough or hardworking enough but because a system exists to keep us down. Many times for just an accident of birth.


Hey readers, sorry I’ve been MIA things in my life have been moving quickly in my life and I haven’t been here. That’s gonna change but, don’t just take my world for it. Stay Safe out there and take a breath, You’ve earned.

Black Culture Month Part 2

I actually did it. I followed through and wrote a part two. Now that probably isn’t surprising for you guys but, if I’m honest my drafts are an absolute mess. I’m going to jump right in with  my next couple of pics.

This YouTube video made me consider what Blackness is as a concept. Maybe I was a bit ignorant when I considered only African Americans as Black. Black is British, French, and anywhere else our people are in the world. I was reluctant to count them amoung  because many of them seemed to be reluctant to count themselves among us. Seperating ourselves and gatekeeping really ruins our collective power in the world.

Cynthia Erivo’s self-hate tweets were classist, discriminatory, and White Supremacist. I don’t want to go over the whole thing but, it started with people getting up in arms about a Black British Woman playing the part of arguably one Black Histories greastest heroes, Harriet Tubman. Sitting there watching the movie with my mother, Super Hero Harriet Tubman was terrible. Please don’t pay to watch that movie. I’m not saying pirate it but, if you happen to find it lying around… Watch the movie, that made me question everything I knew about Mrs. Tubman and not in a good way

Now this book took me on a wild, contemporary, contemplative ride in the most urban of fantasies. With bit of plot there was cojent comentary on something to do with race, economics, immigration, you name it, if it was about the social justice of our world today then this book spoke on it, and well.

N. K. Jemsin might become one of my favorite writers, weaving in ideas that make your brain itch in the best way. The characters she gave in We Are The City Now are of viewpoints I haven’t heard yet. From an ederly, lesbian native woman, to a Middle-aged Black ex-rapper, a plus-sized, Immigrant woman and a Black, Queer sex worker expierencing homelessness. These characters were interesting in not just who they are but, in the diversity of lived expierences. It was a breath of fresh air and gives me the idea that my characters should be more distinct. I want more diverse characters in all types of fiction, so everyone can be seen.

While I don’t agree with everything that MelinaPendulum brings up in her video, I think it’s important to think critically of the things we love and for me that’s Brigerton. She speaks on the diversity, colorism, and that scene. I hope Brigerton fixes some of the problems in their next season. MelinaPendulum is great her takes are whip smart and continue to be one of the many places I go to to hear other Black people speak on pop culture.

Training school for Negro Girls scoured my soul. It was stomach churning, wild ride. Multiple times I felt a despair and defeat that was a different flavor than the one I was used to. I had to put it down many times just to make it through this collection. If this is how it feels to be a Black Woman… Then I have learned a bit of humility.

I say all of this not to deter you but, so you know what you’re getting into. This is well written and the kind of art and writing I only hope I can achieve. This work echoes with emotion and a matter-of-factness that gets to heart of what Camille Acker is trying to say. I hope if you choose to check it out you’ll have as challenging a time as I had.

There are others I haven’t gotten to but, these are some of the ones that have impacted me the most. The Black voice is beautiful and poingnant. We’re seeing it in more places and finally seeing a finally see the diversity of opininions and that we are in no way a monolith.

I might go back into more depth into some of the things I covered here. I haven’t gotten to Malcom and Marie or Black Judas yet and I know those are gonna be bomb. Maybe that’s how I’ll finish everything out.


I don’t own any of these pictures. All images hold original copyright, no copyright infringement meant.

Soul

As I watched the movie huddled with my family for the first time in a year on my mother’s tiny tv in the tv room we grew up in. I felt… lucky. Lucky that my family hasn’t fallen apart with all that has been going on. I know not everyone has been this lucky but, for me streaming this movie and magnifying it in my own mind it felt like the time before.

Covid has taken less from me than it has for others and I am so grateful for it to have decided to skip my family. My mother has even gotten a vaccine and mine might be coming rather soon. An end to an agony of anxiety.

Soul is on the cutting edge of Pixar with a brilliant art direction. Soul is decidedly Black in a way that multiple times it hit home to an expierence I’m not always able to put into words. A lot of my original feelings about this movie and the metamorphic trope that continues to happen to black characters in animation feel unfounded with a movie like this one. But all of that went away when this movie started up and the first notes played.

You should watch Soul. The music was splendid, with each note played my heart answered. The art though exaggerated didn’t make black men out to be clowns. Which seems to be a problem for some in making animation. The animation spends time and money showing how each note is played. The city comes alive withe people of all body types and skin colors.

I think that it touches on so many of the themes I have felt thus far this year. There is no grand design and living life itself can be such a remarkable thing. I cried just whilst he was just playing My brother even called me out on it. I couldn’t help it. This movie just kept plucking my strings. Playing my heart like an instrument.

Each new idea Soul brings forth is a tantalizing string to pull. I have spent a lot of time day dreaming about their cosmos and afterlife. It has me reflecting on life itself as much as Inside Out had me thinking about what my emotional make up would be.

Recently, things that have made me cry happy tears has been when someone gets acknowledgement for something they’ve put a lot of work in. I want more moments like this in my life and seeing Joe finally get the recognition his skills was bouying in such a turbulant time. This movie was just thing to cap off that 2020 feeling.

Rest In Peace Chadwick Boseman

I have spent much of this day mulling with my feelings of grief of what exactly I wanted to say. We lost a king last night. A man who through his own determination he lived with cancer and became a hero to millions of people. With his ability he helped to start a movement, shatter a long held myth in Hollywood. All of this while fighting for his life. All of this while fighting for his life. I will always look up to Chadwick Boseman.

I know he had other impactful roles, like Jackie Robinson, James Brown, and Thurgood Marshall; I also found him one of the best parts of Da 5 Bloods but, Black Panther changed my life. For the first time in an extremely public way I was out and proud to be Black. Not just with my family but, on social media, on the street, in my friendships. I felt proud of my skin, my culture, my history, and our culture. It healed some broken part of me. I’ve become way more outspoken on Black issues and began fighting for them in my every day. Thank you Chadwick Boseman.

When I see all the art and the pictures of people crying I can’t help but to share their pain. I was foolish enough to believe death couldn’t hurt me anymore but, last night showed me I was wrong. My deepest condolences to his family and everyone who’s in mourning. You gave us Wakanda,you will be missed, Chadwick Boseman.

Rest In Peace to our King. Rest In Peace to our Black Panther. Wakanda Forever!

I wrote a blog post a while ago about Black Heroes. He is one and he will always be. I borrowed this artwork from Vicbazaine. Thank you.

Happy Birthday Jacob!!!

Happy Birthday Brother. I know it’s probably late coming and I’m hoping this finds you well and happy. How have you been? What’s the weather like? I know I’ve never been good with small talk but, I’d I didn’t ask I’m sure Mother would get mad…

I miss you. There’s no easy way to say this cause you’re gone an I’m not. But I miss you. Just because it got easier to say your name and what happened without it sticking in my throat doesn’t mean I love you less.

It’s been eight long years and so much has changed. I don’t go to where we buried you often enough and I hope my silent eulogies are almost as good as vocal ones. I’m sorry if I don’t feel you there. It’s way too quiet for you. You were loud and vocal. In a place where vocal wasn’t always great. But you were great. You were visible when sometimes I wanted to hide away. And you loved like only children can unconditionally and radiant. Being loved by you was such a great feeling.

I’ve changed a lot and I hope that you’d have been proud of me. I learned to lean a little over into loving the way you do and it’s made all the difference. I’ve drawn people towards me that I’ll love for a lifetime. I’ve learned to be vocal. To stand up for the things I believed in and in a world on the cusp of changing, I wonder would you have been there with me? I stopped being nearly so lazy and I’m working and at a much better job than I’ve had before. I’m writing and maybe not the things I always should be but, I’ll work on procrastination later.

I’ve decided to visible to be heard and I hope you’d be proud of me. That you might again look up to me as your older brother. I’d be filled with the most sincere happiness I could imagine.

You were everything to me. It wasn’t easy picking up my pieces after you left but I hope the man I am now will be enough to for you to smile upon. And as I hastily write this before work, I hope you know aftershocks of your kindness are still felt all over. I’m thankful that you have never come to me in my dreams as anger or sorrow. It’s always been one more game, one more show, one more movie and one more hug. It wasn’t easy losing you and I wish I’d seen you in your final moments but, you have given me all that I could ever ask for.

Your Brother,

Warren

Detroit: Become Human thoughts

I wanted to play Detroit from the moment I saw it’s trailer during the PlayStation E3 2016 Conference. It had gorgeous faces, gorgeous set pieces. and the idea of playing through such a beautiful world had me almost vibrating. I couldn’t wait to take my first steps in this unknown world and see what it had to offer.

In the demo, Connor (one of the main characters) has to figure out how to save a little girl through his approach to a deviant android. It’s a hostage situation and it was made all the better because we were the android dealing with another android. Usually in games and media with similar themes, we’re playing as /seeing the viewpoint of a human who will eventually act as a bridge between the two species. “I’m not racist, so why are you?” kind of thing. In this game, we see inside the heads of people who are able to process things at a speed humans could only dream of. All of it makes for a great way to explain away the HUD and make the whole thing a little more immersive. When they finally finished the demo and showed all the different ways the thing could have ended I was sold.

Many people have said that they’ve found Markus (Jesse Williams) their least favorite of the stories but, I found it great.┬áHe is suitably angry about the way his people are treated, the way he’s been treated. You can make him the kind of revolutionary you want. Whether you go peaceful and kind or angry and righteous. Williams performance still echos inside me. Maybe it’s just taste but, this might be the result of a cultural effect. Things that celebrate black culture or hint about black struggle will always hit me just a little bit harder, will resonate with me just a little bit more.

Some have issues with not understanding how the androids work. This was never really hard Sci-Fi story. We don’t know really know how everything works down to the nuts and bolts but through interacting with and listening you start to get a much better picture of The Detroit world as it is.

Others just have a problem with David Cage, one of the last auteur game creators, while I haven’t spent any time with his games nothing in this game was as egregious as things that have been relayed to me from his other games. I actually found it to be one of the better expeirences that I’ve had in a narrative-based game.

Each character will become completely different because of your choices even though each has a role to fill you, you might be dealing with a completely different character than when you started the game. For me and my choices, this game resonated with me in a major way.

-Minor Spoilers-

There are fascinating tidbits like there’s a war brewing between the US and Russia over Thirium in the Arctic. Thirium is the “blue blood” androids use to power themselves. It is a major natural resource and the countries are in near open conflict. There’s a bit about android zoos and the problem therewithin. And questions whether an android would be better at presiding over the country. This comes from President Warren who seems to be a celebrity blogger and Social Media personality thrust into the political field with no experience and dismal approval ratings and too close to call, contentious, election cycle.

-End of Spoilers-

I’m already clamoring for DLC. Maybe another story in a different part of this world about an android making their way to Detriot. There so many more stories to tell and I hope Cage sees this as a triumph that people are already calling for more. I don’t know if I’ll get it but, I’ll keep home alive.

There’s a lot I could say about the tense moments and hard choices but, I feel like I’d end up taking something away if I told you too much more about this. I suggest you go into this game as blind as possible. Fail a little and see how the consequences really impact you and the characters. I definitely didn’t have a flawless play through the first time around and I’m gonna be exploring some of the options I didn’t take just to see what more this game has to offer. I can’t wait to dive in again and get that sweet platinum trophy.

A song featured in the game has not only stuck with me but, become a song I sing when I’m feeling a bit down. It obviously has some similarities with Negro spirituals of the past and because of that, it has an uplifting, somber feeling. So if you don’t mind my voice please listen.