Why we Make Dumb People Famous…

In the middle of meetings and other important tasks that filled my day, I caught wind of some Twitter beef between a few popular rappers and media personalities. I can’t say I read enough of the tweets to know what happened but I have a few observations.

We make really dumb people famous. I was trying put my finger on why and it occurred to me that smart people are far too complex to be discussed through the lens of isolated  social media posts. Think about it. It only takes one quote from Donald Trump, Stacey Dash, Raven Symone, etc. to sum up their depth. They aren’t scholars or celebrated thinkers. They’ve not written any books worth reading and probably haven’t read any either.

we choose to make heros and persons of influence out of people who don’t make us think too hard in order to understand them. Even intellectually savvy artists are forced to dumb down their work to be accepted by popular culture.

so… Here’s my challenge to whoever is still reading.nstudy someone complex. Invest some time in an intellectual you respect. Read them. Watch them. Emulate if you want. But, let’s stop promoting ignorant people more than we promote brilliancy.

Advertisements

I’m Skipping the Oscars, But…

If you are reading this, you’re not likely going to be attending the 2016 Oscars. In fact, only half of the 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be there because Kodak Theatre has a seating capacity of 3,400.

I know that Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee have begun a movement to get folks to not pay attention to the Oscars because of the lack of diversity but the reality for me is this… I didn’t see most of the films. I don’t go to the movies. I don’t even have a television! I am usually enveloped in the fashions that you can’t really escape if you have any kind of social media account.

But… I want to draw attention to a few things I’ve been thinking about…

Is it realistic for actors like Tyrese Gibson and 50 Cent to ask Chris Rock not to host the Oscars? Isn’t Chris Rock a part of the diversity that the show needs? Would they like for Chris Rock to be replaced by a white man?

b2e918cb544423c4041d0ae3fd010d81d6467c1438e0e2adabbfc6e0636cfae0I didn’t see many of the films but I did see a wonderful documentary about Nina Simone that has been nominated for Best Feature Documentary by Liz Garbus.

Here are a few other nominees that tell stories you may care about…

Best Documentary Short – Body Team 12

Best Documentary Short – Last Day of Freedom

Writing/Origin Screenplay – Straight out of Compton

 

Why I’m Giving up Selfies in 2016

 

I’m going to stop taking selfies. Before I say why, I want you to know that I feel that critics of the selfie culture are generally folks that have people to photograph them. As a self-proclaimed loner and am invert, it very u likely that I am amongst people who I know and request to snap a picture. Most of my non-selfies Re taken by strangers who don’t look like they would steal my phone. So far, I’ve been blessed.

I think that selfies are a great way to express ones self. I think think they are fun amongst friends and harmless. I do not subscribe to the idea that they are anti-Christian or products of egotistical people. I think people read into them more based on their own feelings about being photographed, etc. I love being photographed. I like pictures.

That said, I read a forwarded post that got me thinking about aspects of selfoes that I never thought about. More often than not, they are unscripted and lack intentionality. The smartphone culture has robbed us of the our respect for professional cameras and photography as an art form. I’ve determined that my best photos are the ones taken by experts and/or with cameras meant to capture me at my best! That matters to me. 

So, unless absolutely necessary, I’ll refrain from all selfies. I should warn those who don’t like looking at me to discontinue our social media connections. This does not mean fewer photos! Just fewer photos I’ll take of myself! Be blessed.

2016 – The Year of Fear!

I don’t have any resolutions. I’m totally committed to a life that aligns with God’s will for me. That may exclude what I want for me. So, I’m resolving to be in position for God to use me for his glory. My goal is to avoid goals that don’t glorify God. My career is a vehicle for glorifying God. My Family is a vehicle for glorifying God. My Fraternity is a vehicle for magnifying God! Nothing else will matter!

Through my intense commitment to Christ, he will manifest himself in my daily experiences, meet my needs and make me a worthy vessel for his use.

A few years ago, I came up with this thought, “New Year, new fear.” The premise was simply that my fear of God would be my life’s compass.  Four scriptures have guided my thinking around this concept and I want to share them:

Proverbs 14:26 says “In the fear of the LORD [is] strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.”

Ecclesiastes 12:13 says “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

Psalms 34:9 says “O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for [there is] no want to them that fear him.”

Psalms 111:10 says “The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do [his commandments]: his praise endureth for ever.”

Is “Being Mary Jane” just TV?

Mara-Brock-Akil-Talks-Running-Your-Own-Show

I watched every episode of Being Mary Jane and I am ready to talk about it. I started writing this long thing on my iPad but thought I would start over. I posted on Facebook that I observed that many women tend to believe that professional success excuses them from making smart relationship choices. There were a myriad of responses, but one one in particular stood out. A good friend of mind posted “Just remember it’s TV.”

It reminded me of all of the times I have gotten so caught up in a movie or show that I had to remind myself that what I was watching wasn’t real. But, the statement made me thinking deeply about how real Mary Jane Paul is when I look across the small circle of female friends I have. First and foremost, contrary to popular belief, it’s hard to find lasting love and some people will go to extremes to ensure they aren’t missing the opportunity to be in love.

Anyway, I just wanted to point out the things I thought were topics, whether just TV or not, are important topics the show is bringing to our conscious:

1. Extramarital affairs and the way people who participate in them attempt to legitimize their behavior….
2. The difficulty of being a person of color in diverse and non-diverse professions and environments.
3. The struggle to juggle the things that matter in life like family, friends, love, career and other stuff that comes as a result of having material wealth.
4. The politics of building and maintaining work relationships.
5. The realities about suicide confirmed via statistics and studies where people of color, professionals and successful people are concerned.

So, considering the time African Americans spend watching television, the perspective that TV is an art form and the genius of Mara Brock Akil, it may be safe to say that the intent of this show is to be more than just TV… but another vehicle that keeps important discussions in our consciousness.

Dear Miss Universe Organization, You failed.

site_promo1450675664PiaDear Miss Universe Pageant,

First, I would like to thank you for having Mr. Steve Harvey as your host. You made an excellent choice in selecting him. He is a skilled and veteran television personality whose record speaks for itself. While he made a huge mistake, much is to be said about his professionalism and class. His performance before, during and after the pageant proves that he is a man of integrity and honor and he should be respected as such.

steve-harvey-miss-universe-hed-2015

All that aside, I believe that the Miss Universe organization must take responsibility for the way that it handled the mistake that Mr. Harvey made. Mr. Harvey was simply hired to host, but not hired to make decisions on behalf of the organization.

When the issue was identified, that was the perfect opportunity for pageant professionals to step in and make decisions that eliminated any awkwardness, discomfort or confusion. The Miss Universe Organization should have done the following:

  1. Alerted Miss Universe 2014, Miss Columbia and Miss Philippines prior to the announcement that there was a mistake… event if it were a brief whisper in order to ensure that each was prepared for what was next.
  2. Miss Universe President Paula Shugart should have joined Mr. Harvey on the stage to assist in the execution of this correction. Steve was the host, not an agent of the organization.
  3. Miss Universe Director of Public Relations, Jackie Shahinian should have written a better release that included thanking Mr. Harvey for being a person of integrity and grit AND sitting through a very difficult post-pageant press conference. The organization has the obligation to protect who it hires. See the note I am holding her responsible for below: (It sucks)

The excitement of live TV was evident tonight on The Miss Universe stage with over 10 million live fan votes tabulated. Unfortunately, a live telecast means that human error can come into play. We witnessed that tonight when the wrong winner was initially announced. Our sincerest apologies to Miss Universe Colombia 2015, Ariadna Gutierrez-Arévalo, Miss Universe Philippines 2015, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, their families and fans. We congratulate Miss Universe Philippines as Miss Universe 2015.

Wall Street Journal Notes for 9/16

Your The Wall Street Journal Notes for today!

1. Facebook is planning “something akin to a dislike button!!” The point is to find a way to express sympathy… makes sense.

2. Taco Bell will be opening “Cantinas.” These will be Taco Bells + alcohol and Tapas.

3. HP is splitting into two separate businesses and slashing 25-30k jobs. Pray for the people who will lose their jobs. Just think… CEO Meg Whitman was almost governor!

4. The US and China will work together to address climate change. Hope they have a prophet on the committee.

5. Twitter launched a service to allow political campaigners to raise cash from users.

6. IOS 9 = better batter life and efficiency. Your going to get 40 more minutes of batter life on baseline and low power mode and 3.5 hours “with sacrifices.”

7. A new report found that too much technology in the classroom negatively affects learning.

8. Who knew Walmart had a grocery pickup plan? Dont want to leave your car? Walmart got you! You just have to live in Northwest Arkansas unless your in San Jose or Denver!

9. Comcast will now be selling Internet and phone service to businesses nationwide. Hope their service to business is better than their service to regular folks.

10. Toys R Us is doing a major restructuring but experience narrower loss than expected. People are still buying toys. Their newer CEO was previous Dominoes Pizza CEO. Fascinating.

11. Snapchat has started charging to replay messages. Yesterdays update will let you replay three times for 99 cents.

Wall Street Jornal Tibbits and stuff…

I keep thinking today is Friday. This weekend I am going to be kind to myself.

1. McDonalds is really suffering. So… They plan to offer all day breakfast! Hash browns for diner!!!

2. Uber is in trouble. A judge granted a class action status to a suit claiming Uber treats driver like employees but ain’t offerin nary benefit!

3. A survey found that marijuana is the “new” cigarette for college students.

4. California may be releasing a whole heap of prisoners in solitary confinement due to hang participation. More than half of the 2858 in solitary confinement could be released to general population.

5. 2024 Olympics in Los Angeles?

6. The Pope says this is the “year of mercy” and he’s offering “abortion mercy.” Praise God? I’m not sure. 

 

Who is Noah? + Wall Street Jornal Tidbits for the Day

  
I’m not sure if I’m a morning person by I never have a drowsy demeanor. No dragging for me! You? God is good.

I have my coffee and my newspaper and my life! The barista knows my name is not Noah but she decided to name me that. She will be fixing that.

Anyway, here are your Wallstreet Jornal Tidbits for the day!

  1. Samsung will release a new Smartwatch this week. They are coming for you, Apple! Probably not.
  2. Walmart is cutting worker hours. Pray for the employees and their families.
  3. The State Department released 7,000 of Hilary Clintons emails. Yall  still tripping?
  4. A court ruled that parents of public school kids do not have a constitutional right to decide where to send their children to school.
  5. California approved a bill to ensure equal pay for women. Head to HR and request an equity review!
  6. Blue Bell Ice cream will be back next Monday!
  7. Does it surprise you that somebody has to fight bias against minorities in changing the way car loans are priced? Look for stats from the Consumer financial Protection Bureau.
  8. Retailer Forever 21 is aiming to downsize larger stores. Don’t be surprised when they move to a smaller location at your local mall!

Lessons from Grandma: Do the Work…

I vividly recall being the kid with a lot of follow-up questions. I think I may be the reason my grandmother had little tolerance for my quick rebuttals. I had such a passionate belief that asking for clarification was the way to prove I was listening. Grandmother didn’t quite see it that way. Aside from the cautionary reminder not to talk back, her encouragement was more about wanting me to know when I needed to “figure it out” and when clarification was necessary.

As a result, I learned that when a person gives you information, it’s just as much your responsibility to learn more as it is theirs to be clear… but expecting folks to be clear is unrealistic. When we are presented with an opportunity, expect to have to work for it. Don’t be afraid to go in the bathroom stall and Google or take the time to figure what the right questions to ask might be. It always makes me feel good when I thoughtfully pursue clarification and the person responds with “that’s a great question” or “no one has ever asked that.”

Do the work it takes to be great!