Archive for May, 2015

Cell Reform

Posted in News, Trending with tags , , on May 22, 2015 by geniusscribbleink


I harken back to Andy Dufresne crawling through 500 yards of fecal smelling foul that Red could not bear to stomach and realized that there are “Coyote Ugly” circumstances that will make anything seem plausible when trying to escape the doldrums of purgatory. There are desperate times for any measurement of life, a marking of forbidden territory that one would not dare contemplate to travel back towards again. I’ve even applied this same theory within the realm of fiction, as I could never figure out how one could end up with so many Jurassic Park movies as if the first killer dinosaur wasn’t a sign from God to stay the hell away. Is it blissful ignorance or something within our inner being that allows us to know the consequential results, yet we still embrace the dare-devil gene that won’t allow us to simply just walk away from an oncoming speeding train. I had this same Jurassic Park epiphany when thinking about those who are routinely incarcerated after reading about the alleged Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev facing possible life imprisonment inside the ADX Supermax prison in Florence Colorado. I was befuddled when reading a quote from ADX Warden Robert Hood who proclaimed and I quote “The Supermax is life after death. It’s long term. In my opinion, it’s far much worse than death.” The prisoners live in a 7-by-12 foot concrete cell and sleep on a concrete slab with only a thin mattress for comfort. They receive their meals through small holes in the doors and dwell inside their cells for 23 hours a day. “Wow” was the first expression to come to my mind upon reading about this, as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is only 21 years old and while most people his age are just cutting their teeth in the world of adulthood, he will be on the cutting edge of solitary confinement. Of course if this is his fate, no one would argue for sympathy on his behalf due to the heinous and diabolical act that he allegedly committed. However, I am not writing this to put his guilt or innocence on trial, as I am more so trying to understand repetitive cycle of prison. Most noted is that there are some individuals who are just sociopaths and are beyond reform; however I am talking about those individuals who are trapped in the prison cycle as if it is a turnstile doorway at the Ritz Carlton. When listening to the description of Robert Hood regarding ADX and the living confinements of the prisoners, I wondered aloud as to who would want to go back there if they were somehow released? The subject not broached enough is the fact that in non-Supermax facilities, individuals who enter into those prisons usually go in there to become more versed in criminology than they do in reform. So one must ask whether or not the prison system is more of a training resort to become a criminal mastermind or is it an institution to reform the said prisoner so that he/she can become a productive citizen when reintroduced back into the realms of society? Then we have to address the real boogey man who haunts the term “reformed prisoner” which is the fact that prison facilities are a web of profitability for judges, politicians, correction officers et’ al. One would think that if reform was the goal in place to achieve, then why not make prison life unbearable like the Supermax facilities? Why must gang rape be the only deterrent from not wanting to enter prison? Why not make solitary confinement and sleeping conditions a deterrent as well? It’s feasible to believe that prisoners are no different from that of a lab rodent in an experiment conducted by pseudoscientists. Those same pseudoscientists are not seeking a cure for the disease, but they are instead producing a pill that they can market in an infomercial for profit in spite of the many side effects that are destined to follow. Prison in many ways is a placebo, as it seems like it can cure the ills of society, but instead it’s a revolving door that continues to release a stronger toxin back into society. We can watch the daily news feeds and we will always find a lead story that justifies the need for them. I am not saying prisons are not a necessity, but what I am saying is do they reform a prisoner or do they help them evolve into more of a societal menace? Robert Hood stated that prisoners who enter ADX has a discerning look in their eyes when knowing that this is the life they will face. I’m interested in knowing if the same applies to those who are part of a criminal cycle in the non-Supermax facilities. Perhaps they view it as an opportunity and not as a detrimental circumstance. The fact remains that something is broken and duct tape is not an acceptable means for repairing the broken gears of this concept. Reformation is defined as: the act or process of improving something or someone by removing or correcting faults, problems, etc. Sadly enough I know very few criminals I know who can emphatically claim this definition; however they can always seem to reclaim residency back inside the cages. Maybe my title is somewhat valid yet backwards. I stated “Cell Reform”, perhaps it is time to “Reform The Cell”. #change in order to change

Facebook-The Unmasking of America

Posted in Trending with tags , , on May 18, 2015 by geniusscribbleink


“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel and in exchange, put on a mask.” -Jim Morrison

Freedom of speech or freedom of death, was a punctuation exclaimed by Carlton Ridenhour within the lyrical body of his Fight The Power song. This profound proclamation is in essence, the flag by which this country hangs its hat on when trying to describe what this nation is indeed about; which is democracy. In America we can be all you can be as the military slogan campaigns, thus making it a sworn by ideology that we adopt as the mantra for this great nation. I for one, don’t understand the full extent of what being free is, because we are technically still bounded to certain guidelines and boundaries. It is believed that God allows us to be free moral agents with ability to make our own decisions, but there is a price to pay in the end, resulting in either condemnation or an infinite utopia. So what exactly is freedom? And more importantly, is there not a price to pay when making a proclamation to obtain it? There are those who look to execute or obtain it by any means they deem necessary. But undoubtedly there is a repercussion to everything; it is the simple laws of nature and the quintessential yin and yang of dynamic opposites. I guess the most important thing are the repercussions that often seem to end in a devastating trail of destruction. Restraint and discipline are vital as choices of recklessness offers very little in the way of an apology when it is too little and too late. Perhaps this is the America we know more so than that of freedom seeking citizens we stake our flags in the earth as. We are a land of the “now” with no real inference into the possible victimization of others during acquisition of that said “now”. History has taught us that this is our adopted way and by the looks of it, our future continues to expound upon this same declaration tenfold. So I’ve concluded that the mask of “freedom” is somewhat fictitious, as what lurks behind it is the face of the menacing, the vile, the hedonic, the vulgar, the scavenger and the demon. Of course there is that of the righteous, however, the aforementioned list far outweighs that of the just. Over the several years of being a participant on social media, I have realized that America in all of its shining greatness, still bathes in the rotted, fecal waters of a demonic plague. Some may say that I have gone the route of extremist in that analogy and it is to them that I suggest that they take a look inside the crevices of our greatest social gathering that is Facebook.

Facebook; a place once renowned for showing photos of your loved ones and catching up with friends and family afar, has suddenly become an arena for some of the most barbaric, animalistic behavior on terraferma. Facebook has managed to reveal what is in the hearts of many, unveiling the once hidden faces of bigotry, betrayal, degradation, glutton, evil and most of all the unapologetic. Friendships, families and neighbors alike, are lost due to one post taken in or out of context; solidifying the premise that the difference between life and death is in the power of tongue. As Jim Morrison articulated, we trade in a reality for a role, as we often see these roles being acted out right on our mobile devices. Whether it’s a controversial shooting or a political view or people airing out their conscious dirt that they should keep inside their heads. People put their lives and opinions on display, with no regards to the subsequent aftermath that will soon follow. Ask yourself how many people have you had to block or how many people who you would probably not shake the hand of in public ever again. The face of America has been unmasked and there is not enough makeup to cover up the dark circles and the exposed scars that reveal the true facial structure of that someone you once thought you knew well but did not really know at all. Facebook is the book of faces, displaying both the actual photo and the real “negative exposures” as well. This is the America I’ve grown to know. The America who does it by any means, without any thoughts of who it will affect down the line. What mask are you wearing? Or should I wait for you to reveal just who you are? #who was that masked man?

The Overseer, The Officer-What History Has Taught Us

Posted in Trending with tags , , , , on May 14, 2015 by geniusscribbleink


Repetitive is history, although it is often analyzed and dissected to the smallest molecular pebble. Maybe it is in our makeup to follow another’s plight plan, even while attempting to try to forge our own trails along the chronology of our very existence. Even with calculated steps, we can manage to find ourselves treading over the same soiled steps of another man, hoping that our new footprints can supplant that of our predecessors. In lieu of our current societal issues, I found increased interest when delving into this premise as it relates to police officers and the unrest inside urban cities due to controversial arrest tactics and the purported execution of detainees. Without question, there is a fracture in the urban community/police department relationship that has garnered the collective attention and opinions of the world at large. Whether or not there is a solution remains to be seen, however this issues is more systemic than one would think, as the modern-day police officers carry the badge, burden and sometimes mentality to that of their predecessors. Back then their predecessors were referred to as the “overseers” and the “urban community” they police was known as, the slave plantation. Let’s delve into this a bit deeper.

We can always psychoanalyze each and every dynamic under the collective sky; however some things are exactly what they are at its core root. In the case of controversial urban policing tactics, it’s an even more simplistic equation. Most of those communities are made up of minorities; the men and women who police those communities are more than likely: A) not from that community B) stand a greater chance of perhaps not having the same hue of skin C) have not experienced a vast mosaic of diverse cultures (a.k.a. culture shock) D) rely on training methods when trying to communicate, evaluate and relate with citizens of that community. Now let us concentrate on the area I determined as “D”.

I don’t know the intricate details of a police training manual nor do I know the strategic concepts instituted during academy training. In fact I would love to hear from police officers what that said procedure is. But here is what I do know as it relates to the job force. No matter how much training you have received and how much literature you are given to absorb, all of it pretty much goes out the window once life happens. We all tend to revert back to our instincts, our preconceptions and our methods of survival when confronted with panic and fear. We are not robots, we are animals and every animal adapts according to their perceived environment. Unlike the Chameleon, we do not possess the ability to blend into the background effortlessly. By the time we have reached adulthood we no longer have the open-mindedness of a child that would allow us to not have prejudice. We can all claim to be Christ-like in our approach, but I doubt that there are few saintly people who when seeing anyone who they deem menacing would not have anxiety, hesitation and outright fear. We can reverse that same A-B-C-D listing and apply it to the citizens of that urban community as it relates to the police officers who don’t look like them, don’t speak like them, don’t relate to them; who are also rely on their experience (training methods) to believe that police officers are there to do more harm than good. All we hear about in the news is animalistic behavior and gang mentality. So the question I always ponder is who are they talking about; the citizens or the officers? I say that because I find very little reason to not group them both together as whole because there is enough sharable blame for both sides. But is this malignant relationship something new or is this something in our lineage? Once again I ask, do we not find ourselves repeating history albeit we routinely study and analyze history to a fault? This concept of officer versus community is the mirror of the plantation overseer versus slave. The problem is no one wants to admit that the modern-day minority still live on plantations, they just now call them housing projects/tenements. My challenge for anyone who is Caucasian, is to find how many African-Americans live in their neighborhoods versus that of Caucasian Americans; African-Americans you do the same. I am willing to bet that there is an extreme range in the ratio. When we look back on the slave structure in America, I want you to examine this like a food chain map. This is the breakdown: Main Plantation House (White Owners w/some blacks who stayed close to them in service quarters)–Overseers (who protected the plantation owners from slave uprising and slavery discourse)—Slaves (tended to the land, lived in impoverished conditions, living off of strap handouts and discarded leftovers). Ok, if you don’t grasp it, here’s the modern flip. We have main stream society upper to middle class who consists largely of Caucasian America with a sprinkle of accomplished African-Americans. They for the most part live in nice communities. We have police officers who protect those communities, in fact they are a part of that community. There work requires that they go police the communities that they hope that their community never becomes. None of this is wrong, but it is the structure that I want you to comprehend. Police officers going from a point of privilege go into a community of the disenfranchised, the dysfunctional; those individuals who are living off of the scraps and degradation of being disconnected from society. Be mindful that there are some several generations of bad legacy who have an adopted psyche of poverty, turmoil, lost hope and dejection. I hope that I am not losing you when trying to narrow my theory without widening the conversation, but the end result is that the modern officer represents what the prior regime, the overseer, represented to the slaves who only wanted to be considered a person, but was consistently told they were nothing more than animals and savages fit only for the confinements they were thrown into. We hear “animal” and “savage” being used constantly nowadays and ponder where this mentality stems from. Is this not history repeating itself? Is not what we are experiencing now with police officers and urban communities not the same dysfunctional relationship to that of a plantation overseer and the slaves? Police officers in urban communities don’t represent peace, they represent a time-honored tradition of population control and confinement. And whether we admit it or not, the roles in America have not changed, they are just doused in Maybeline in order to cover up the real scar in America which is never mending the wounds caused by this country’s forefathers. Still we move forward in social media debate, bias news coverage and worthless politicians. If you closed your eyes, you would think we are in the 1960’s. Just like we are repeating history once again. #because we are.

And Then There Was Moses (Harriet Tubman)

Posted in Movies & Television with tags , , , on May 12, 2015 by geniusscribbleink


Araminta Ross, better known to American historians as Harriet Tubman, will finally (Thank You Steven Spielberg) be brought to screen as an HBO biopic, by way of one of the most accomplished actresses to date, Viola Davis. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have for years wondered why this fascinating woman has not been at the forefront of discussion as it relates to her emphatic impact on American history. The woman who went by the alias “Moses” has been pigeonholed as being just the leader of the Underground Railroad movement, however her accomplishments far exceeded that of just a conductor on a freedom train filled with individuals who were seeking liberation. Harriet was a humanitarian, spy and nurse; whose life achievements garnered her a military like burial upon her death. Abolitionist John Brown referred to Harriet as General Tubman, due to her skills as a tactician while aiding him in his militant rebellious raids against slave owners circa 1858. I am personally ecstatic when learning of the news that a powerful woman, will be played by a powerful actress, giving me strong conviction to believe that something beautifully organic will transpire for the world to witness during its inception. I am unapologetic in my campaign for women solidifying their place in history and who better to start with than Harriet Tubman. A true heroine and leader of both men and women. Moses has finally arrived. #warrior woman

Comics and Video Games-My Second Childhood

Posted in Movies & Television, Technology, Gaming, Etc., Trending with tags , , , , , on May 8, 2015 by geniusscribbleink


The mortgage payment is due, baby needs new shoes and everyone’s money is acting funny. This is pretty much the etched out screenplay depicting the everyday manifest of a common disease called “adulthood”. Whoever said that youth is wasted on the young was correct, as disposable income has becomes a foreign dialect during the maturing and aging process that is life. It is often a challenge to obtain and ascertain the “extras” or the proverbial “entertainment” purchases once Rodeo Bill circles the wagons around your direct deposit and leaves town before sunset. I guess perhaps this is why I have subscribed to the art of couponing and bargain hunting in order to feed the fiendish crave for my video gaming addiction that may require therapy by the time it is all said and done. Yes, nostalgia always trumps inertia, as I will admit that I have the attention span of a five year old at times when boredom arrives in the form of down trodden people whose conversation surround death, taxes and voyeurism into the lives of fake celebrities that are famous for doing absolutely nothing. Spare time, is a rare time, but it is how you use every minute of your day that is vital to your existence. Adulthood is dealt in spades and served with a shot of whoop ass with no chaser. So for me it is important to live out my days with maturity, while corralling the spirit that is the forgotten child that I often assign to the corner when adults are talking. But is this not where misery truly forms? Is it not here where we forget cognizant reasoning and simplicity? I often say that if you want the truth you ask a child, they only lie about homework and they ultimately live by the one creed of selfishness that tends to evade us as we age. Simply put, they want only what satisfies their “now”, while saluting the future with the longest finger on their hands. To be young, ruthless and unapologetic; the glory days. To be full of life and vigor, while sulking in the sweet nectar of a Slurpee while flipping baseball cards and using an unbridled imagination that dreams are made from. How many miss those years? I most certainly do. The wonder years of yesteryears that seem such a long time ago in a faraway galaxy. Hmmm, wait a minute, I thought I just saw a trailer for a movie this weekend saying that. A time when the Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno dazzled as the Incredible Hulk. Wait a minute, didn’t I just see that character in the movie that I saw the trailer about the galaxy faraway? Am I confused or engaging in hyperbole? Ok you got me, hyperbole it is and damn excitement as well. In case you missed the title, I am in my second childhood and I am loving every single minute of it without question. I am on Fantasy Island without Mr. Rourke and the little man calling for an aerial vehicle while pointing towards the mystical clouds. To believe that comic books are alive and dare I say motioning on live film and video games are so realistic that they are like watching a movie, is the dream of anyone born circa 1973 and prior. This is the fountain of youth for us “old heads”, knowing that our heroes, Skywalker, Superman, Batman, Hulk, Wonder Woman, Iron Man et al be all, are going to be a living and breathing part of our current entity, puts goosebumps in places we have probably forgotten existed over the past several years. I won’t even get into my video games like Shadows of Mordor that bring to life a mystic world once dreamt about on a Dungeons and Dragons board game. My second childhood is upon me, as well as upon anyone daring to be a child at the ripe age of whatever your current ripeness is. I don’t know about you, but I will stay submerged in this youthful playground as long as I possibly can before the street lights come on and it is time to return home and get prepared for the working life of a new day. Why should the youth have all the fun? Maybe this is our time to revel in happiness while indulging in Pop Rocks and Now and Later candy. #the young & the restless

The Black Eye On The Black Athlete

Posted in Dining, News, Sports with tags , , , on May 4, 2015 by geniusscribbleink


Long before Simon Cowell introduced the term “American Idol” to the forefront of pop culture, we were very well aware of the concept of idolizing an individual for his or her given talents in a perspective field. Some talents are considered “God Given”, however until those talents are harvested, honed and polished, they truly are dormant attributes dwelling inside the solitude of your internal DNA. So in retrospect I solute those who are committed to their craft, who sacrifice and pay a tremendous toll in ordered to reap the benefits of the fame, notoriety and financial rewards. I often reference Proverbs 18:16 as I aspire to be a writer, for it states that: “A man’s gift maketh room for him and bringeth him before great men”. I believe this to be the absolute truth, as a man/woman’s gift or talent, can bring them to places that others may only dream of. It can catapult you into a different realm; an unfathomable dreamscape to the said individual, due to the countless hardships one faces on the journey towards the pinnacle of success. Duly noted is the fact that even if you are a savant, there is still a responsibility when trying achieve greatness. A responsibility to both your predecessors and your peers, whose sacrifices beforehand, helped to provide you with very the platform in which you stand upon. Regardless of any achievements, we are all standing on the shoulders of someone else’s prominence. This is why I subscribe to the philosophy that with great power comes great responsibility. Everyone has someone to answer to and acknowledge; a proverbial pecking order one encounters during their epic climb towards the echelon of their zenith. It is during this process that we are admired, critiqued, adored and to some degree; idolized. As it relates to the black athlete, there is an added criteria of also being a role model. In spite of what asinine theory Charles Barkley states, the fact remains that the African-American community still lacks the accoutrements for sustainable and applicable success. So to believe that we don’t require more positive role models is about as ridiculous as believing that the brain can survive without oxygen. The black male is absent inside the household, whether by death or by incarceration. This has spawned an undeniable crippling and rippling effect that is no longer on the table for debate because it is indeed factual. It’s either a Hip Hop artist or an athlete that garners both the admiration and the attention of African-American youth, due to the absenteeism of the black male as an everyday role model. It the athlete/musician who many emulate, simulate and replicate more so than that of the professionally educated. For this blog, I am concentrating on the black athlete; I will save the musicians for another soliloquy at a later date. Now before I go further, let me acknowledge that not all athletes are bad role models. Athletes like Serena Williams, Lebron James, Tim Duncan, and Russell Wilson; all who have kept a clean images for the most part, give the black youth a template for decorum, professionalism and being image conscious. But I would be fallacious if I did not mention the flip side and the reason for this blog entry. There are those who I refer to as the poisonous athlete. The people like Greg Hardy, Ray Rice and Floyd Mayweather Jr., who in my opinion belong on a terrorist watch list for the black community far more than that of any white supremacist for a multitude of reasons. Bravado; I get. Ego; I get. Arrogance; I get. Being brash and a bit cantankerous; I get also. These are common attributes that most great people have in their DNA makeup that makes them elite and usually puts them at the top of their professional field. What I don’t get is the brutal beating of women. What I also do not get is the amount of fans that blindly follow them and idolize them like the prodigal son. I respect Ray Rice for at least coming forth to accept responsibility for his actions; but the fact that a person like Floyd Mayweather Jr. has never come forth and been contrite or apologetic (mind you he’s considered a lethal weapon due to his training) yet hordes of black men and sadly enough, black women follow behind him like he’s a God is disgusting and deplorable. What am I missing? Am I so caught up in my own moral compass to the point that my direction is not on a GPS tracking system? To me it speaks volumes on how we so need more positive role models to the point of possibly suggesting a black version of The Purge on the African-American community in order to rid ourselves of not only the tainted idols, but those minions of followers who still remain clueless to a fault. For far too long we have adhered to the pathway of failure by self-inflicted injury; a malpractice of a botched surgery that has crippled the very legs we stand upon. No one expects perfection, but it is too much to ask for apathy, especially when the lifestyle that you are afforded is due to the public consumption of your said brand. A person with a full stomach does not need to be fed, but perhaps it is time we begin to starve those who benefit from the people, but continue to show that they are not about our people. #it’s time to make a change

Baltimore Riots-The Language of The Violent

Posted in News with tags , , , on May 1, 2015 by geniusscribbleink


Riots; the supposed “language of the unheard”. Perhaps that phraseology has become overused satire that attempts to connect back to an era where humanity was nonexistent and people of color were considered inferior to a herd of cattle, let alone an accepted equal to that of their oppressors. Yes, it is naïve to believe that the modern-day trials and tribulations within that urban communities is not due in part to the attrition of being disenfranchised for some several hundred years, while being marred inside the saturated womb of inequity. In fact, if one has to be explained this historical significance, then we are truly a failed society awaiting the proverbial last chime from a fallen church steeple of the educational curriculum, as well as, the formal fruit that anyone can extract nourishment from, which is common sense. So in more simplistic terminology : fires start wildfires and winds formulate hurricanes; so what starts uncontrollable violence and riots? There is no genius in my summation, only simplistic rhetoric I pose inside of my mind. Rhetorical thoughts that make me ponder, why our society always seems to report the aftermath of and not the conditions leading to the ascension. The climatic often ends in abomination, forging a chain reaction from every poison pill media outlet, closet bigot and agenda seeking politician to suddenly offer resolution. It has become a standard template for the societal ills over the past decade or more, yet the people still fall for the wool over their eyelids like mindless flocks of animals. Society becomes outraged and appalled in the 25th hour, but remain docile and dormant during the entire 24 hours that precede. I concur with the character Marlo Stansfield from HBO’s The Wire when he stated: “You want it to be one way. But it’s the other way”. You cannot complain about a disease when you never sought the cure. The same applies to a place like Baltimore Maryland (6th most violent city in America). I referenced the HBO series The Wire, as well as, a documentary called 12 O’clock Boys in one of my personal Facebook page posts, as both detailed the corruption and hardships as it relates to the Baltimore Maryland region. I am fascinatingly bewildered by the fact that people are now talking about the violence in Baltimore, when David Simon (The Wire creator) spent six seasons outlining the intricacies of a fallen city on the brink of destruction. Or one could also reference film director Lotfy Nathan’s 12 O’clock Boys; a documentary that follows a young, urban youth named Pug, whose lifetime aspiration is to join an urban biker gang named the 12 O’clock Boys, who were notorious for wreaking havoc and terrorizing the streets of Baltimore with reckless abandonment and criminal behavior. There is a Freddy Gray story being made every minute and every hour of the day, so where are these motivated and solution oriented Caucasian and African-American communities prior to the fall? Where are the police officers who ask to be respected, yet will not speak out against their fraternal brothers and sisters who have undoubtedly failed to uphold their sworn duties? And to the closet bigot, why hide in wait, when freedom of speech allows you to not be cowardice if your belief is that strong? The idea that in today’s world that a riot is a language of the unheard I think is a bit misleading due to the fact that media outlets allow us all to exercise our freedom of speech, the right to protest and allows “us” to be heard to any would-be listener. The true analytical ponderous is whether or not violent riots are just the result stemming from prior acts of violence? No matter how we try to spin-doctor the scenario, whether poor versus the privileged or gangs versus authority; what continues to be a continuum is the results that are the Ferguson Mississippi and the Baltimore Maryland upheavals. The police, the communities, the closet bigots and the agenda seeking media; all have a hand in the tragic theatre that is Urban Poverty, USA. It is a systemic fracture orchestrated by the same entities, almost like a doctored up screenplay. Violence is violence and not a language of the unheard, it is the language of the inhumane; a language of rage, hostility, indifference and demonized degradation. Not all police officers are bad, nor is every member of a gang above civility, especially when you research the original concept behind the Bloods and the Crips. But the fact of the matter is that it only takes one small spark to ignite a powder keg. I resign to the premise that once you confess your role in the cause of adversity, then perhaps you are making progress towards resolution. But until all parties involved (cops, community, media et al) start to exorcise their demons, this is only the beginning of a war escalating on the brink of urban destruction; coming to a city nearest you. #wakeup