Archive for the ‘Me Myself&I’ Category

Games didn’t help

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020

Games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and incentive to learn the habits of heroes. What if we could harness this gamer power to solve real-world problems? Jane McGonigal says we can, and explains how.

This was such a popular TED talk back in 2011. We can now say that gamers didn’t save shit. It’s been quite the opposite.

In the past decade games became *extremely* good at making you play more. It’s a mix of mobile-first influence, gambling tendencies and time available that propelled millions of folks to play for hundreds, thousands of hours. Game studios had big incentives to retain players and worked tirelessly to do so.

The thing is that I didn’t play much. I read a million books about the real world though. Through them I reshaped my understanding of many things without realizing it. I acquired different perspectives.

Time kind of being the only real currency, if you spend time playing, you’re not reading about the world. It doesn’t matter that you can watch a condensed version of a book on YouTube. You won’t absorb knowledge the way the book will make you to.

The past months have shown me how much reading is necessary for 99% of y’all out there. Reading about who actually built things. Reading about what women actually have to deal with. Reading about what Black women actually have and have had to deal with. What it takes to build sustainable buildings. The fascinating and complicated world of intersections. How the economy actually works. It’s endless.

There’s so much to learn and people just go press X rapidly in the 15th iteration of a game they’ve already played a billion times. I know! It sounds like I’m overreacting.

But then Black people die for no reason over and over and over and over while white folks are like “that’s bizarre that you guys are upset like that” and this is where I feel like games didn’t fucking help at all. I know the feeling. You start the game. The feel-good loops happen. Your brain is satisfied. It’s been 5 hours since you started playing and outside of some mildly interesting banter with your friends online, your brain is numb.

Read books about the real and social world, people. Be curious about it. Be excited to fix it.

Enough with this bragging/slander

Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

It’s incredible to me that people are either blind or too soft to not understand the difference between a country and culture that are homogeneous and a country and culture that isn’t. Let’s break down a few countries on the pandemic front.

Taiwan: 95% Chinese, a Chinese culture that favors the common instead of the individual, masks being part of the culture for decades. No shit they only have 7 deaths.

Hong Kong: 92% Chinese, a Chinese culture that favors the common instead of the individual, masks being part of the culture for decades. No shit they only have 7 deaths.

Spain: 88% Spaniard, a Spanish culture that likes to not give a fuck. Result: they caught up with the rest of Europe in a few weeks (one of the fastest infection rate due to the fact that Spaniards didn’t care about staying at home). BUT, Spain being still quite homogenous, their gnarly lockdown was very much followed and very successful. Deaths have been going down.

US: First of all, we’re talking about one order of magnitude more people than the three previous countries. That’s not nothing to go from 23 million to 328 million folks. Then we have 73% White Americans. That’s the biggest group in the US and the smallest majority –by far– compared to the 95% Chinese, 92% Chinese and 88% Spaniard. The second biggest group is Black Americans followed by Asian Americans. Latinos are right there too.

It’s heterogeneous as fuck. Interests are divergent. There’s like 50 different cultures just in Los Angeles. Add the fact that all those demographics are in constant friction over everything means that *no one* feels accountable for the COMMON.

That’s the BASIS. Then, of course, top it all with the current US administration and their clowns, social media to stir it all up and yes, everyone goes back to their individual beliefs and well… The pandemic goes harder.

Isn’t it obvious? It’s not bad information: people know that masks and staying at home are effective measures, it’s working everywhere and around the world. It’s not necessarily bad policies and governance: in Florida yes, but in California, not really. They shut down things early and everything.

It’s just that many people, individuals don’t care (how many videos of people wilding out?). Individuals also have to go to work to pay rent. It’s way less an issue if at all in Taiwan, Hong Kong or Spain where the government stepped up and helped its population far more than in the US. Because they all agree on helping basically everyone sharing one culture and one language. The big advantage of an homogeneous setting.

I love the fact that America is that heterogeneous. That’s what makes it interesting and different. It makes it harder to deal with issues like a global pandemic, true. And we could do much better for sure (cancel rent you cowards). But that’s part of the deal to me.

What concerns me with all this talk is seeing some white folks salivating at homogeneous countries while they think they’re being attacked by Black Lives Matter. That’s no good.

Dear A380

Sunday, June 28th, 2020

You are about to be a memory.

I’ve never flown with you. But I’ve seen you “majestically” take off. Your big ass staying on the tarmac for so long, it’s impossible not to think “is this immense plane even going to.. HEYO IT’S TAKING WAY LONGER THAN OTHER PLANES IS THERE A PROBL” And then you do. It’s exhilarating to watch. You’re one with the air. 575 tons of engineering doing the same as birds. Going up, and down.

Like so many people you were doing fine until the market, that very elusive thing, shifted and made you sweat on every move. Now just like us, the virus is there for you.

Your mom, Europe, doesn’t look so good either.

It’s all a little bleak but the good news is; you’re still in the air, putting in work. We have the plans, we can always go back to production.

See you around, Thickness.


Friday, June 26th, 2020

So, rampant abuse in the entertainment industries came out all week long. I feel like last Friday was a year ago.

That’s on top of the usual layers of brutality against Black people and this fucking covid-19.

I am doing everything I can. The environment, all of it from living situation to global economy goes from a lil toxic to extremely putrid.

Regroup. Dance. Rest. Stand.

Juneteenth n shit

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

The now almost national holiday was a short movie for me this year.

Basketball, long 3s swishing, me happy, car window broken, bike gone, me mad, no lunch because anger, Leimert with homeboy, avoiding my beautiful black people, emotions, Rest in Power all of y’all, music blasting, drone flying, visiting the park, snatching my bike off this white dude’s hands (talkin’ about he bought it bitch like I fucking care?), putting it my friend’s car, cruising through South Central, African food in Inglewood, helping a Mexican woman to move her dead minivan to the right lane on Manchester, pushing it from the back.

It was a day.

Next was Father’s day, always kind of a sizzling joy&pain moment, cheering my friends who are dads while I would make a great one, I think. I had Fatburger and made myself a latte while chilling like a villain. Fuck having kids was also in the air.

Today’s my birthday. Nothing happening besides June gloom, and a bunch of horrible things in the game industry.

I’m questioning a whole lot of things right now. One is what we did with entertainment in the past thirty years. From wanting to become ultra rich, a cop or a psychopath, maybe we did too good of a job in normalizing the non-essential, you know?

So I helped of course

Friday, June 19th, 2020

First of all a wasp nest is some dry dirt against a wall. What is there for me to help with? Girl just knock it down with a broom.

I show up, amused. She asks: “Do you know how to knock down a wasp nest?” Notice how it went from “can you help me” to “when are you going to do what you’re supposed to do, you’re a Man etc?”. The classic I’m-a-woman-I’m-weak switcheroo. Fine.

I look at the single lane tunnel against the wall. It’s a baby nest. It’s not even a nest yet. Its being built for sure.

So I go grab what I need and show up at the front door to do the job and she’s like “can I help?” in her t-shirt, lying like a mofo. I laugh her out with my hoodie on and my broom in the other hand. “I’m fine” I say, smiling.

I’m about to knock it down and of course the single wasp arrives to build the rest. I wait for it to be inside the single lane tunnel before smacking the whole thing with the broom. I successfully achieve this.

But I know it’s not over with the wasp. It never is. I jump down the stairs to get rid of the corpse but this bitch is just lightheaded. As I try to get rid of it on the front yard, the flying beast starts flying again and comes at me.

No, not today beloved creature of the earth. Not these days. I whack it so hard I send it to the Precambrian. I whooped that insect’s ass on the lawn. I might even have muttered “fuck 12”. I didn’t even look back. I knew it was over.

I protected where I live, I didn’t claim no patriarchy, I helped a black woman for free. The bar is low. I’m the best.


Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

Gotcha. Looking up from the curb upfront the house.

15 days

Monday, June 8th, 2020

My dad asked me what had happened in the past fifteen days. Like, that was his question. When he knows we’re in a pandemic. Knows that there were protests against police brutality against black folks all around the damn planet.

I’m just listening. Trying to see if there will be some kind of care toward me or something. Nope.

After I answer “you know murders, protests” he jumps on to explain to me that he “knows” police brutality because once… I mean you know it’s not comparable at all. A blonde, blue-eyed boomer cannot understand (without some research) what we, I am going through. He doesn’t have dead names and dead faces floating in his soul, leaving scars for decades. He doesn’t even know what looking for a job is.

I’m listening and trying to see how or where my parents made any progress toward race relationships comprehension and so forth. They will never do that. I’m realizing this. That would kind of ruin their achievements, wouldn’t it? There’s no acknowledgement of that singular black pain whatsoever. Even with footage of crowded streets and headlines in French. Even with a black son.

So I’m sitting here in California with my white parents in France ignoring the part where I am a black man, talking to me about how the police “can be” bad. They’re not getting it. They’re soft. They don’t want nor have to face anything. Privilege.

So I’m watching them on my computer acting up about shit they don’t comprehend, while they hose me with vast amounts of disrespect and traditional love (“this shirt looks good on you”).

Once they were done with their weak diatribe, I thought “how do I know those people?”. And it’s just really painful to go through the memories. I don’t.

It’s excruciatingly hard right now. Everything but pain looks like an illusion. To better days.

The importance of Michael

Monday, June 8th, 2020

We’re getting lynched in the streets of the world.

Black men are an expendable thing out there like tissues during the flu season. So when one shows up and is adulated by virtually everyone on earth? Yeah, it’s something you can never forget.

We never talk about it maybe because it’s obvious but Michael Jordan is who he is also because he’s a goddamn handsome man I mean fuck:

There’s just a perfection in there. The Perfect Black Man. The Perfect Black Man Joy. The perfect You Can’t Do Anything Against Me. None.

We all forgot how revolutionary it was when Michael shaved his young head. How much “IDGAF” it was and how inspiring this was.

But I think the biggest achievement was him being black black.

All the biggest stars before him were not. Wesley Snipes hadn’t made it yet. Grace Jones was blackity black but it hit different. Nile Rodgers was hiding. Michael made me want to be darker. That being darker is the Final Form, and the first one.

When you know how much hate darker skin people get to this day (look at women in Black American music, all shapes but very rare dark skin), you understand why him being dark AND completely above everyone in his field, was dramatic and beautiful.

His dark ass scoring 63 points against the Hall of Fame white Celtics looking like Decepticons? Absolutely disgusting and enjoyable.

Michael Jordan made me want to do better, to be free, to not fear. Things that as a  black man are not only extremely intense, but necessary. Because the systems in place are more often than not, not helping. The systems in place are still killing us in different variations, at high rates.

Representation for black men is so bad these days. We lost so many. Michael still stands there, timelessly iconic, with the reputation of being addicted to winning.

I don’t really mind that. We’re still getting lynched in the streets.

How I met MJ

Saturday, June 6th, 2020

My foster brother had those three shirts, back in the mid 80s. He would be posting up at the end of the driveway, smoking Marlboro red with the neighbor’s daughter from across the street. Trying to look slick and smelling like he had just jumped in a cologne bottle. He loved wearing those at that time.

I forgot to mention, he’s a 6’6 tanned white man with green eyes.

He played basketball. With his size, he used to lift me on his feet while laying down on the dining room carpet. I sure thought I was flying.

Anyway as a kid, my favorite was the Magic one. I had seen a few no-look passes on the news and he looked like he was the best basketball player ever. I didn’t think much of MJ. I didn’t think anything about Larry Bird. He looked like the past.

It took a few more years for the Michael-mania to start take over the world.

The fact that my foster brother is the same size as MJ was never lost on me. Because I didn’t have any black folks in my life, I kind of decided to make MJ my other older brother. The one that’s really good at basketball. The brother I wish I had.

This is me these days. I’m still hoopin’ like I play against someone I can’t stop. On a good day though, I can look like a 1984 Chicago draft.