Monday, April 1, 2013

The Problematic Posterior

     So my cousin is a personal trainer. Not the spot you at the gym type, he's the headset mic while wearing a spandex riding suit teaching 5am spin-warrior class type. After my first yoga class (that's another story) he told me about a woman that contacted him about some booty shaping help. When she came in for the consultation. He noticed she was fit and her butt was firm, naturally lifted, almost sculpted. She was a single professional type, she oozed corporate, sans the stuffy conservatism.  Pretty, healthy, smart, single, shapely, but that was just it. In her mind, her shape had crossed the line.
     She told him although she eats well and exercises regularly she can't seem to shrink her butt, and if she loses weight it actually looks bigger. He tells me usually this is followed by some talk of how it effects the way dresses hang, problems when buying jeans or just annual vacation season, but this was different. She was happy with the aesthetics. It was what image she thought it projected.  She said, guys that are compelled to talk to me because of the size or shape of my butt are usually not my type of guys. Sure I meet my share of normal guys when I'm in surroundings with like-minded people, but what does that really say. I have to be at work to meet a good guy? And in public I'm wolf bait? She wondered if her body made men think she would only be attracted to the type of guy who is mesmerized by an amazing booty. It is kind of just out there, and we know who goes for that first. "It makes me feel like that's all that I am" she says. "So let's just tone it down a little. See what happens." Really?
     I didn't know how to feel. I always thought that a smart single black dude was like a commodity. My theory always was, since so many black men are in jail or dead it gives the rest of us better odds at women that are open to the prospect of dating black guys. It always seemed good on paper. But I never thought about the way the aforementioned effected my odds. She probably side-eyes all black dudes or at least not seem to be as nice to some after dishing out countless rejections. Being black, whenever you meet a non-hood affiliated woman her eyes read you differently. Innately she racially profiles you. Is this a nice guy?  Maybe he's being nice so he can mug me in the parking lot later?  I know he want's something, he can't just be regular. I know, I know all smart women do that to all men. Justifiable or not, black male intentions are held to a different level of scrutiny than other guys. It takes a little longer to accept that we may just be a regular guy.
     Is this my theory's equal and opposite reaction? There is definitely a larger pool to choose from. Now we have to overcome the image of the dudes that made the numbers so lopsided to begin with. There's always something. The apprehensiveness is understandable for women towards any guy nowadays. But when you get women, black women that want to physically alter their shape as to not attract black guys that becomes kind of problematic. What if the training doesn't do it. Is surgery an option? Her conviction did seem to suggest it but I'd be speculating. Still the effort it takes to re-mold ones body is huge. And doing it to ward off the advances of posterior admirers who in her experiences happen to be black hood-wolves is a statement, and not a good one for the home team. I still got the impression from not being there that it was the guys who were wrong, not their affinity for booty. I bet if she met a man she liked who liked bodies like hers it would be ok.  I feel kind of bad for her, but worse for me. Even if I'm not the guy she's avoiding it still lowers my percentage with her at least sub-consciously. It's rejection evolved into a reflex. Eliminating black guys as a viable breeding option. Ok that might be a little wrong. But the whole thing seems kind of wrong.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Should we make fat the new normal ?

     Nobody could really say they were that surprised when it was announced that obesity was a bigger problem in America than hunger. We all know people and their quests for the perfect diet, some of us are those people. What if it's the natural progression. It's not normal for college age people to get gout but.. What if fit is relative to the tasks ones body is to perform. Is the body we know as healthy a false necessity or a leftover from times when humans led a more active aggressive lifestyle. Some African tribesman tracking elk across the grasslands would call a western settler fat and lazy, as would the settler to a factory worker, and that factory worker to a computer programmer you get the pattern.
     We are not biologically prepared for the world we've created around us. The goal of Human kind was always to make life easier. As the most vulnerable of the big mammals maximizing caloric intakes with minimal energy output, while easing the dangers associated with gathering food. At the same time expanding our territory, what animal wouldn't get fat. It seems a bit selfish to think we can wire our brains to our electronics and think we would only inherit the good stuff. Sure a good wifi connection makes life easier, also legitimately better and it all happens so effortlessly. It really is a symbiotic connection. But at what cost? If it came to it would you rather be fit, or fat and infinitely smarter?
     Look at the little stuff eliminated from our life, albeit for good reasons there still exists a void. Shopping is like the lightest version of hunter gathering there is and we all but removed it from our lives. How long would it take to walk through a mall to all the stores that sell your amazon searches. Or even in the car, out of the car walking through parking lots, store to store, week after week. But that's too much for us. I wrote it and it sounds tiring and annoying to me. It's still is the last bastion of hope for normal daily activity. Without consciously working to keep your body fit, what else is there? Our jobs and natural life movements don't shape us any more. The average male weight has gone up 25 lbs since 1960.
     What has to happen to make this reality acceptable? If organs were replaceable after their inevitable failures, already on it. A realistic virtual reality to simulate the need for human interaction, almost there. This is who we're becoming. And you thought it was the hormones in the food. People are just getting big. Low income, middle class folks, no ones immune from the effects of our wired world and the results from living in a no (physical) effort necessary social structure. When Humans moved animals into their immediate living spaces disease spread and people have been dying as a result ever since. In the last 120 years so many advances have been made that erase danger and ease daily life that fat is just a natural response to our rampant inactivity. Deal accordingly.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Facebook's Grid it or not you're on it.

     So Facebook is starting some new graph service where you can search just about anything and get a list of related likes. Want to know what the movie title likes of people on your best friends- friends list because you think she knows cool people, look it up. If you want to know the Religious likes of all the mothers of all of the people on your friends list, just a click away. Want to know how many people in your county supports org's that are pro choice so you can do whatever with that information because you may be some kind of lunatic  you get the idea.
     I'm all for the singularity, the melding of man and machine. I already believe our phones are extensions of our brains. Example: I was talking to my uncle and his girlfriend about martinis. We didn't know the mixture but in seconds we asked one of the many available phones. In no time we had the ingredient list and  the conversation moved on without a hitch. It was quick as a thought. Faster than remembering and weighing the odds that you may be wrong. That is by definition a technological mind extension  Like it or not it is whats happening. Everybody thought it would be the RFID chips that would be the technological advancement that opened everyone's eyes. But no, it's just plain old invasion of privacy that we all invited.
     When it was just for product placement and personalized ad's it was strange but not enough to rage about . Now some might not think the possibility of knowing what restaurants the friends of their family members frequent could do. But when its the people in an area that support a political movement or unpopular agenda a ready made list is available. Some of us will go all private everything, and wait for the need to arise to once again to peel back our invisible layers of placebo privacy. There's always something.
     There's nobody to complain to, it has to happen. It's the natural progression. The ways that we are already connected would deserve it's own book. They are numerous. It's like the evolution of ideas reached a point that the next step is so different than the last that transition is not only noticeable but difficult. Sometimes in history when idea shifts happen it takes a generation for old ideas to almost be bred out of people. This transition to being connected to our tech devices will be like the Grand Canyon. Not watching a small stream become a cavernous carving by the hand of God type of evolution. It's the taking a quick nap by a river and waking up next to the Grand Canyon kind. Ready?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Real Politics Makes abc's Scandal Better

     I think we all can admit that before Obama culturally, (and not because of some inability to understand the issues) a lot of people some black some not, placed politics on the back burner to say the least. Not due to their being no relateable faces. They just added one black guy to the main stage, and he was already an employee. There have been people to look to if politics is your thing. Still most had coaches, teachers, church or rap. Even in instances where people got their motivation to from rappers Chuck D or X Clan, Queen Latifah  or whatever positivity fueled lyricist you listened to back then. You know they were't telling people to run for office. Not even to do dirt from the inside. For a long time to a certain generation politics might have well been the Easter Bunny.
     So Obama makes people like politics? Is that why Scandal is the hit and twitter monster that it is. How many "I cant"'s can be typed in one night? Whatever though. The most important thing is that a political show has people fainting and waiving church fans as they say. To truly take advantage of what the show creator placed before what you need to do is separate the Olivia/ Fitz stuff from secret meeting stuff. Shonda Rhimes had access to information and people, conversations that would get people fired thrown in jail or who knows. 
     The way she puts the story together is dramatic for sure. Justice Sotamayor isn't taking a shot at anyone any time soon. But those meetings that take place leading up to the actual Scandals are what she's emphasizing they're what gets us on the edge. She wants us to know that IS the way it goes down. You cant just blindly believe, things always go deeper. I voted  for him because he was better than Romney not some hero. To some he still shines. So you watch the show and you wonder about the deals that must go on.
     Remember the Debt ceiling (ask somebody that 10 years ago) and don't give me that stuff about, it wasn't an issue they just raised it. You know what I mean. Before it was fight on. And now they want to fight another day? Here's my Scandal moment, Obama's never been tough on Wall Street. He wins the election, talking tough claiming mandates. The whole country knows the Gop want's the fight. But through some miracle oval office meeting. Wall Street calls off their Republican attack dogs to fight another day. Obama continues to walk tall and kill enemy soldiers and their families legally.  All while Wall Street gets the Bonds paid off America borrowed without an actual fight over paying the debts. Tough on Wall Street, Eric Holder defended these people for a living. I digress, different story. That had to be a helluva meeting though.
     The show is like a stepping stone political course. Where people left the scene in the in the 70's. Getting back into politics for Obama must be like those people exonerated from death row after 30 years. Things seem different but in the end people are people. Look for the real scandals. Don't just wear your Obama Martin Luther and Biggie as babies shirt, do some thinking. Do you really know what your guy is all about? And do you give him a pass because he's black? Some of us could use a talking to from Harrison. So after you're done falling out after that final scene on the next Scandal you watch. Think of Obama as Fitz, and Fitz was cool til he got alone with Verna.  We don't see far more than we do. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

There's a Fox in my Foxhole: Female Soldiers

     Its been a long time coming.  Since the birth of the plowed field and domesticated beast, women have been regarded as property, along with other less significant parts of society. As hunters and gathers women worked side by side with men as equal members of the tribe. If she was a good hunter, she hunted and if she knew where the good foliage was, she gathered. No gender specific tasks barring child birth/nursing were necessary to maintain the tribes status quo. It wasn't until private property and lineage decisions demanded that all things be given personal value, during that time the first woman (probably) reluctantly decided to relinquish her own freedom and enter into one of the oldest social contracts ever. You provide food and protection and I'll give you a healthy heir.
    Fast forward to any point in history you want and the story is the same, some guy thinks by way of winning some genetic crap shoot being born male, he is superior to women by natural selection. Its evolutionary social programming at its finest, and for the first time we are going to conduct a very telling experiment in attempts to undo this programming.  Defense Sec. Panetta  just changed the rules of combat allowing women for the first time to officially be on the front line in battle. This is where the experiment gets going. Not about some inferior female fighters, or distracted men in battle. Its all about sex.
     To start, a 2011 Newsweek article says, an American service woman is more likely to be sexually assaulted by a fellow soldier than killed in battle, and that was written during two wars. Right now in the news at Lockland Air Force Base 796 cases of sexual misconduct were reported, and we know all these types of cases never get reported. So this is still a percent of actual cases. Generally it comes down to abuse of power, but in some cases like Gen. Petraeus it's just a sense of entitlement. Whatever you chalk it up to, Military life seems to be a breeding ground for sexual wrong doing. The Defense Dept. knows this and commissioned a task force to write a pretty paper about it.
     So what does that have to do with hunter gatherers. When viewed as equals with shared sacrifices and common responsibilities, humans generally treat each other with respect. But like in the Stanford University prison exercise students given more power abused those with less, unprovoked and unmercifully.  Possibly giving women the opportunity to serve along side men in battle will cause women to be seen in their original form as equal humans, not as objects to be possessed, objectified, abused and thrown away. Not since we came in from our natural surroundings to gated gardens and hand plowed fields have women had the rights and respect they deserve. Hopefully the Armed Forces are thinking by leveling  the battlefield so to speak, and by giving the female soldiers an opportunity to embrace all of the comradery that comes from staring death in the face and surviving it. Through strength, superior training and teamwork. The person you live through that with you probably wont rape nor will instructors look to intimidate with stars and bars. Hopefully it paints a more respected portrait of the female soldier and gives us new light to see women in all together.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

What's more personal than Suicide?

     I don't really know what this says about me but I couldn't care less about the Royal Family. Kate's baby, The Queen mother, Buckingham whatever it's all the same to me. Aren't we here specifically not to lust over the Monarchy across the pond. If hearing about Kate's royal vomit wasn't enough, add suicide to the mix and you've got a story that's made for the likes of Rebekah Brooks' News Corp.
     So a couple of radio guys call Kate's hospital posing as the actual Queen of England to nurse A, the hospitals only line of defense against unauthorized personnel.  Clearly frazzled, and showing proper respect to her majesty she puts the seemingly obvious impostor through to nurse B, who spills the beans. Successful prank til nurse A goes and kills herself. Now people are saying the Dj's are responsible, for what? A guy catches his girlfriend in bed with another man, goes out and promptly commits suicide. Did his girlfriend commit a crime? A boss fires her employee, he walks outside and kills himself. Is she, or the company responsible? No. BofA forecloses on a home, the owner commits suicide is BofA at fault, well... yes but not in court.  More responsible for the family's loss than the Dj's. In this case it's her fellow nurses and doctors that surely berated her for such a monumental blunder. Especially due to the poor impression.
     One little discussed angle are the royals themselves. This could be a warning sign to all other commoners under the employ of her majesty the Queen. Do your part to preserve our dignity or meet the gallows, or a murder staged as a suicide. It makes the same point without the calling card of a public square. There has to be more info to come, or maybe not. This is the Royal family and the message has been received, exploit our privacy and feel our wrath.
     No Radio personnel should be fired or even reprimanded for this.  Now the police are getting involved and hopefully they put as much into the investigation of the radio stations role in this, as the co-workers who shared nurse A's final conversations and interactions. They are directly responsible for the state of mind that led this woman to take her own life. A personal decision by the way.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mandate: A free pass to what exactly?

     It seems some of our politicians haven't come to grips with the fact that we're living in a new era. An era where you can't hide behind your empty words or strategically chosen speaking engagements. It's time for one of these political party's to get a wake up call. I wont be holding my breath for the GOP to embrace the reality that America is moving on with or without them. It's the Democrats that I fully expect to get too comfortable with this victory, which was almost as much about not electing Romney as it was about electing Obama.
      Don't get me wrong, Obama has a healthy list of accomplishments  But that doesn't give him a pass to violate rights just because the rights aren't yours. Or are they? Under this administration minorities still get longer sentences for equal crimes. What about drone strikes, enhanced wire taps, indefinite detention of citizens, multiple war deployments without adequate medical attention. That's not Bush stuff, those are all issues Obama addressed.
     The Dems think their victory gives them some philosophical breathing room. But the vote was a victory for the people against a vision for America we didn't want, not a Democratic power grab. Progressives must know that an Obama style Patriot Act is still the Patriot Act. Americans decided not to relinquish more freedoms for the illusion of safety. But what tools do the people have against a two term President coming off of an Election win, and his highest approval rating since 09. There is no lobbyist for the people.
    Don't let him forget that we see what he does. When he does his Presidential twitter town hall meetings ask him about drones. Maybe some mainstream press will start asking him serious questions about killing citizens... after the Inauguration.  Until then people can't loose sight of what they've always known, these people are politicians they use words to make money playing games with our lives. It shouldn't be a breath of fresh air when our rights are upheld by one. Our work isn't done. The same way people used the power of information to inform themselves about the possibilities of a GOP win and acted to stop it, is the way people need to be vigilant about the Obama led American governmental machine playing its part in keeping some of the institutions alive that limit our rights as citizens to freedom and equality.