Divide & Conquer

I illustrated a kids book. It released in April. Two weeks ago, the author of the book and myself set up for a 3 day book festival here in Baltimore. The overall experience was cool, and encouraging. I shared conversations with a wide variety of authors, educators and creative minds. I was inspired, motivated and further receptive to the fact/truth that I’m on the path that I always wanted to be on — professional artist. Now for the sour moment. We shared a tent with 3 other authors — all experienced in navigating the book festival world. Two guys and a lady. On the 2nd day (I believe), it’s mid-afternoon and one of the guys just asks out the blue “so I looked your guys stuff up on amazon and I noticed it doesn’t have the illustrator’s name on there. Why is that?” I don’t remember the response we gave him. In that moment, half my energy was dedicated to suppressing a “man go the fuck head somewhere with that instigatin’ ass shit!”. I was in autopilot mode. His response was “ahh.. I just wanted to give you guys a hard time about something.”

I wanted to toss him in the harbor.

Because I’m too bent to work and too up to lay down

I play this and I can’t decide if he or Freddie Gibbs rocked the sample better.

I won’t lose my grip, ‘fore I turn Cobain

I like this because Larry King’s ego flexes so hard and Neil Tyson just poots all over it. But un-offensively.

I don’t fear death… I love the unknown.

An almost 8-year-old 13th Witness video of him recording some dude skateboarding through a city in Japan.

IDK, just get random urges to watch it.

Probably some un-satisfied 7th grade yearning to kick flip.

bday1

a flick of me in a DC hookah lounge inhaling some alien tainted shit

(wishing it was hash)

I’m a FBZ stan. (you all should see them live)

Do you like being yo mother?

I need to learn how to make gifs quickly.

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Submitting the final copy of this book I’ve been tasked to illustrate.

If nothing else, it really exposed my procrastinating side.

We all could get so much done if we created more than we consumed…

or at least at the same rate.

(as I continue to think of irrelevant things to say and links to share)

*shrugs*

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Creations.

I’ve been seriously neglecting this outlet. Diving deeper into my art focuses my attention away from the talks with myself that would lead to these journal entries. My thoughts don’t wander as much. And when they do, my body isn’t idle. So sitting down to type things out obviously doesn’t happen as often. I feel like I have to make up for lost time. Well, wasted time to be truthful. Guilt can be fuel for something positive, right? That obviously affects the purity of the act. I wonder if people can feel that tainted-ness in the results of the work. And does it turn them off, I wonder. Anyway, for anyone who reads this and wants to see what I’m up to, I post a lot on Instagram and Twitter. I’ll also be adding more work to my portfolio section on here, and get back to being a little more consistent with these entries. Or at least try.

Some kind of blessing…

The universe does not give you exactly what you want. It gives you the opportunity to grab what you want. And use it how you see fit. Around 7 weeks ago, I got a message from my boy that an old classmate needed someone to run point on illustrating a children’s book he had been loosely shopping around. I have no real clue where this path I’m on will take me. I’m teaching myself not to question WHY things like that happen. I sometimes doubt my abilities. I think that is some normal shit. The strangest thing that has happened in the past month and a half, in regards to this specific project, have been the few seconds where I’m absolutely sure I know what I am doing. I suppose that’s part of getting totally lost in the process.

Tuned Out And In

I just finished listening to a podcast that started with one of the best anti-war diatribes that I’ve heard in a minute. It wasn’t a replay of a 2 year old speech given to congress or a lost grainy 1970’s video of some guy yelling into a bullhorn while on the lawn of a state government building. It was recorded a month ago. It was fresh. It resonated. It was comforting. I know I’m not delusional for thinking global disarmament is possible. I also know for every person on this planet, there is one’s own individual reality. And depending on that person’s influence, their reality takes precedence. Why do we seem to grant influential power(s) to the person/people with the shittiest versions of reality?

W.A.T.T.B.A.

The following is a quote from today’s episode of Meet The Press

…France’s 9-11

How in the hell does Amerikkkan media manage to interject this nation into another country’s misfortune? Maybe I should I ask why. I didn’t really want to type anything in regards to what happened this past Friday. I don’t have anything insightful or new to add. But, here I am…typing about this shit. I personally feel like it was an extreme act of violence more-so than terrorism. But, for the sake of this entry, I won’t rock that boat. Merriam-Webster defines terror as violence that is committed by a person, group, or government in order to frighten people and achieve a political goal or a very strong feeling of fear. It defines terrorism as the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. I’m going to run with that, as getting into the etymology of terror will take me very far off course. Friday’s incident was an act of acute terror. I came across the theory of acute acts of violence in this book titled Mind Fist. It was speaking on acute bullying. It also spoke on chronic bullying. Acute and chronic — the former being brief, and the latter being long standing. If Friday’s incident was acute terrorism, then are there acts of chronic terrorism?

I live in Baltimore. The 301st homicide was recorded last night. What that last sentence doesn’t include is the non-fatal shootings/stabbings/assaults. It also doesn’t include that crazy shit that doesn’t get reported to the police and/or (occasionally) by local news stations. I’m not exaggerating when I say that living in a city like this can invoke terror — terror of the chronic kind. People can become numb to chronic pains though. People live with chronic injuries everyday, right? So chronic acts of terror tend to be treated as an extreme nuisance, at best. It’s especially true when the chronic terror is happening to the ignored, underappreciated, (sometimes) unwanted members of society — both locally and globally. There was, and will be, no nationally televised week long “how do we recover from this” mourning period for McKenzie Elliot, the 3 year old girl killed in North Baltimore last year. Nor will there be one for Tyshawn Lee, the 9 year old boy killed due to modern day tribalism in Chicago. Yet, a random act of (extreme) violence happens in the post-happy hour hustle and bustle of a prosperous metropolis, and the entire world gasps at the horror for 168 straight hours. Then the usual follow-up of what-ifs, who done its, how can we prevents and whys. If we were to judge by the amount of coverage these incidents receive, compassion would seem to be a conditional thing in today’s world. I don’t say that to “downgrade” what happened in France. My intent is the opposite. But is it psychologically feasible to process every violent death the same? Why does the quantity, and quality, of the life taken still seem to factor into where the world’s compassion lays, and for how long? Remember the almost 150 people murdered at Garissa University College back in April? Yeah, I didn’t either. Is the fact that it happened in the African nation of Kenya — a place people consider 3rd world — the reason it was so quickly forgotten? I feel safe in saying I think most Amerikkkans think all of Africa is either fucking war-torn or a jungle, and any violence that happens is just their way of life. Chronic terror. Trivializing death here because it happens more than it does there doesn’t make the death here more bearable and less tragic.

Don’t put chronic pains in the back of your mind. Every “ouch” deserves the same amount of attention. Take care of your body. Take care of every body.

Run-on Sentence of Existence

This has been in my drafts since June.

My days are running together Everyone has experienced that so it’s really nothing shocking It’s in some unexplainable way making me devalue specific events but value the totality of life I’ll have to dive deeper into what that means later If I can remember to do so There’ll probably be no human witnesses It’ll most likely just be me and the roor Contemplating things on the floor pillow Like watching both my parents deteriorate slowly without being able to help because things like that are meant to happen Coming to terms with things like that is probably some sort of preventative maintenance for the soul And I guess the ego since possession of things is tied to that

Tiny Fits of Rage

I’m leaving the market on Saturday, and I overhear woman say to the on-duty cop “Happy Saturday”. It was about a 40 yard walk from the door of the building to my car. And I was mumbling to myself during the entirety of that short walk “what the fuck is happy Saturday?”. Over and over. Once I closed my door, I lost it. “How the fuck do you wish someone a happy Saturday?” “On whose authority…” “ITS NOT A FUCKING HOLIDAY” “Bitch I had to work today, and I have to work tomorrow. Find some fucking happiness in that.” “FUCK IS YOU TALKIN BOUT LADY?!” It went on for about 3 minutes. It was hysteria, by definition. I mean, I wasn’t convulsing or anything. It was just me, talking aggressively to the steering wheel, mixed with some negro-giggles. I don’t have a wife or kids, so my free-time is whenever I feel like unplugging. And since I don’t really have to designate my joy/relief to a certain day of the week, I can’t fully relate to the “the weekends finally here” way of life that lots of people live. OR I’m just a grump. Don’t wish me a happy Saturday/Friday either way.

Coffee, with a side of heavy sighs for brunch

I read 3 articles, all on Huffington Post’s site, and I feel like humans aren’t shit. (Shout out to the dramatics.) No. People in general are ok. I don’t know if I can say whole-heartedly that society has gone to shit. History only tells me that learning from your mistakes is a lesson everybody doesn’t fuck with. The 1st article was written by a Japanese woman who survived the bombing of Hiroshima. Her descriptions of being a child, seeing her classmates die slowly, seeing neighbors suffer should bother anyone with a conscience. SHOULD. I have a loose understanding of what having a conscience entails. I feel like standard definitions of words don’t totally encompass what they mean(etymology time?) That’s just me and my ever-present doubting of what’s real. Maybe some people don’t develop a conscience, maybe something drives it out of them. I don’t know. But in the story, she speaks on her backing global nuclear disarmament. I would take it many steps further and hope to live in a world where weapons of any type will no longer be , or at least feel necessary. But my head isn’t that far in the clouds so I know that will never happen in my lifetime. (Shout out to defeatism, the cancer of progress.) The price of human ingenuity or the cost of lack-of-compassion? Or both. The 2nd story was a report on surveys/polls taken in regards to the unfair treatment of blacks in Amerikkka, following the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement. A group of people say they aren’t being treated as equals, the past shows proof of that claim and an entire nation continues to expand its empire based off of that mistreatment, yet we still need polls to see how the collective feels. It’s maddening. Levels of madness. I don’t 100% buy into the numbers that these surveys offer, but for the sake of this entry I will quote a particular portion that made me want to bash my face on the desk.

In 2014, only 39 percent of whites said more needed to be done. In 2015, that number jumped to 53 percent. For blacks, the numbers increased from 79 percent to 86 percent, and for Hispanics, 54 percent to 70 percent.

For blacks, the numbers increased from 79 percent to 86 percent Why isn’t it 100%? Where is the black man/woman who looks at black communities across the nation and says “nah, we’re good”? I want to listen to them talk about EVERYTHING. Speaking for myself, sometimes the people who know the least are just as interesting as the people who know the most. Admittedly, I don’t know of every disenfranchised/oppressed/stepped-upon group of people around the globe, but every cry for help should be acknowledged. The 3rd article was about an AAU team that was disqualified from a tournament — in which they were undefeated — because their was a girl on the roster. I don’t have anything insightful to say about that other than fuck adults. It’s unfair to punish a team of kids for this but it’s a deeper issue regarding how this girl will view herself as she progresses through life.

maybe our society’s suppose to drown/ middle finger up on the Titanic as it’s going down – El-Producto

I Drank a Bottle of Primal Roots

I’m currently in that phase where I’ve had enough to drink to think I know it all but not enough to know for sure that I know it all so I’ll just talk non-sense until I’m stopped or someone stops me. The universe will most likely stop me. That’s how it normally goes. My mother turned 67 on Thursday. That’s old; from a human’s perspective. I don’t have the ability to communicate with trees(yet), so people are the closest thing I have to get to the not so recent past. Her stories are sort of cool to me now. Random thought leading into what I signed on to talk about. I don’t even know what the hell I was going to talk about. My phone died a few days ago and I haven’t been keeping up with anything that I would normally keep up with using my cellular device — which is EVERYTHING. I feel bad that I’ve missed the creation of a new hash tagged name. And that’s fucked up because the creation of said hash tagged name should be the real issue. Right? Right. This will be the 3rd time I’ve posted this quote on the internet but whatever: ..speaking of healing without speaking of love will always evade the truth. I read that and instantly thought of the various public figures on their “campaign trail” saying the police and the public have to start working together to build trust and blah blah blah. After reading that quote, I now (even more) say those here ye’, here ye’ calls for peace are bullshit. Telling the person who is constantly getting beat up to see the bully’s side of things is insulting. FUCK YOU to anyone that whole-heartedly supports a system that backs government sanctioned murders.