Saturday, June 27, 2009

Kill the Noise

What do we think about public noise? When we step outside there are a myriad of different noises that we hear, usually we don't hone in on any particular sound; they bounce off our eardrums casually as if to say "didn't mean to interrupt". Then there are some sounds that irritate some and others not so much. Sounds like headphone leakage through ipods or other portable audio devices. I was reading (you know where) an instance where a gentleman decided that he was going to read his book quite loud on the subway car because there was a lad next to him listening to his ipod quite loud and quite a few passengers could hear his tunes.

This was the exigency that forced me to ruminate..."are we often inconsiderate when we step outside our homes into the public?" For instance I have observed situations where one's phone will ring excessively loud innnnnnn (lets say) CVS as they wait in line, they decide that they are not going to answer it after they look and see who is calling but they allow it to continue to blare through the not lamenting, im just saying. Maybe some people need to be trained on how to use their devices, i know my mom for a while didn't even know how to stop it from making noise without answering. Many people would say its just part of the 09 timeline, but i think we are getting a bit relaxed with our manners. The readers in heavy public transit areas should have a better pulse on the mp3 noise than i do, however i think we have gotten lazy with our manners. On the contrary it could be just the fact that we don't particularly care about the relative comfort of others around us.

I also think that sometimes the person doesn't know that you can hear their tunes that well. Then the tricky part becomes, how do you tell a complete stranger that they are inconvienancing you without irking them and redering them proud that they did so. I think this is an instance where you essentially just have to deal with it. These are some of life's small annoyances and things that we can easily look pass. The onus really falls on the people with the devices to be courteous and perhaps some consideration for others...if thats still what we strive for these days.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sneaker Update

Most people are aware of how i enamor sneakers. There is a store out in Boston called Concepts that is abusing my love for sneakers by releasing what are called "Lobster Dunks". Originally there was only one pair and it came with all these limited pieces. As you see above.
Then they decided this year that they were going to drop a blue lobster AND a yellow lobster. Why would they do that to me? Some may read this post and say "i didn't come to his blog to hear him ramble about some overly artistic shoes". To that i say "quiet! every now and then im allowed to ramble about my passion". Back to the product: you see all the accessories the first pair came with. I don't believe the blue and yellow pairs come with as much but the point is that they exist. They charged somewhere around $250 for the blue ones that dropped Sat 6/20 (absurd). It seems that they are looking to replicate the pandemonium that surrounded the Yeezy's (not going to happen). I hear they even hired some highly touted marketing company. The point is i love these but didn't get any of them. I'm done, see that wasn't that bad.

I know you are thinking this is wayyy to much information about a shoe.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Parade

This is for my main man Finney. He helps run the Lakers franchise and he gets everyone in the midwest on board with what the Lakers are doing if they aren't already. He graciously gave me a ticket to ride with the Lakers last year and although we had a slight hiccup last year, we got it done this year. The point is we got it done! Oh and Im sure Autumn Jones is in this crowd somewhere.

Congress concerned about Public Surveillance

I was reading the New York Times (like i usually do) and i found this quite unsettling. Congress has recently been looking into the practices of the N.S.A., National Security Agency, due to improper and unethical use of email and telephone surveillance. The N.S.A. exists as security to the American people, warding off possible terrorists threats and other critical nuisances to the lives of the American people.

Several congressional committees are looking to reign in and reduce what the N.S.A. calls inadvertent overcollection. A lot of emails, domestic and foreign, pass through U.S. servers and often times it is difficult to ascertain their orgin or destination; this is why the Bush administration asked for more leeway when collecting. The N.S.A. attains court orders from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to collect emails based upon reasonable assumptions of terrorist communication and activity, but in 8 of 10 court orders reviewed, the N.S.A. is believed to have crossed legal boundaries designed to protect Americans. Rush Holt, a senator from New Jersey stated, "Some actions are so flagrant they can't be accidental." If one wants to know how it works an official offered a rudimentary explanation: "Say you get an order to monitor a block of 1,000 e-mail addresses at a big corporation, and instead of just monitoring those, the N.S.A. also monitors another block of 1,000 e-mail addresses at that corporation...that is one kind of problem they had."

One of the problems Congress is having is that the legislative bodies do not understand the nuances of the software and programs enough as to where they can produce laws corralling the N.S.A., therefore very few can challenge the statements of the N.S.A. According to the NY Times article, this is part of the concerns the Obama administration inherited from Bush, along with torturing at Guantanamo Bay and others. The N.S.A. insists they are taking measures to rectify and improve software and practices, but that too may be a myth as one former N.S.A. analyst recalls in what is described as "a series of interviews", that he was trained for a program in 2005 that repeatedly examined a large volume of Americans emails messages without court warrants. Two officials confirmed that program is still in operation.

I hope that they can work this out before it gets exponentially louder in the public sector. Perhaps now that the coals are hot and the fire is going the N.S.A. will operate as intended. I think that it is extremely important that they monitor and protect the U.S. citizens but i think protecting Americans privacy is paramount.

The Champion Communicator

A 15-yr old wins the "Texting Championship" presented by LG. She won $50,000 for sending 14,000 texts per month. It does not say how many consecutive months she upheld this standard but either way its quite funny to me. Apparently there were obstacles like texting blindfolded and texting amidst manuevering through an obstacle course, as she triumphed over the few finalists.

If you ever have problems getting your text through, this is the person coagulating the network. Her address is ....naw i wont give you the address but blame her. That is approximately 466 a month. As a technology savant myself, i enjoy receiving a text as much as the next human being but....GOOD GRIEF! I have a life to live and actions to execute. In all honesty and sincerity i want to see her in action. She claims that her life still includes social interactions with people including participating in plays, hangs out with friends, and does quite well in school.

I was talking to my mom a little while ago and she was detailing how her generation interacted with the world and our generation interacts more with each other. Although this texting champion is quite the caricature, i see her point. Think about all the ways we can reach each other: call, text, fb, twitter, email, instant messenger, skype. Its transparently a new day, i hope that we don't forget how to interact with real people in the near future.

Monday, June 15, 2009

This Gets Me PUMPED!!!!!!!

I know the commercial isn't new but it gets me going everytime! Everybody needs to get pumped for their moment. What is your moment? Got an important presentation coming up...get amped! Got a huge task to complete...get amped!! Get focused and let's go!

Phenomenal Artistry

This is pure art. Its dope and it should be seen. The photographer is Jake Walters. I hope you enjoyed that.

The Love Below is the Father of 808's & Heartbreak

As i was attentively listening to The Love Below it hit me that this was 808's & Heartbreaks before Kanye even thought of it. As much as people love Yeezy's 808, Andre 3000 was vastly ahead of the curve and im convinced that Kanye molded his album after 3000.

I remember being in college, multi-tasking between homework, television, and music; as i waited for BET's All Access featuring Big Boi's "The Way You Move" video. But that's not the headline of the story, Andre 3000's video was a secret and the viewing of that was going to take place right after Big Boi's behind the scenes coverage. This was a big deal for a few reasons: Outkast was essentially releasing two individual albums, and although we didn't know it at the time Dre took a step outside the box and took the singing route, in a funk kind of way.

Andre 3000 had gotten a bit uninspired by a lot of hip hop music at the time and he wanted to create music that he had internally been fond of but hadn't quite shared with the public. He modestly crooned his way to the top of the charts with no R&B falsetto's, just medium range verses and bass driven choruses. Also one of the most impressive parts (to me) is that he produced his album as well with the exception of one song i believe. And see, we have to remember people...this was 2003, Kanye hadn't even dropped his first album yet, he is now four albums in. When Dre dropped The Love Below some people didn't get it, some went back to the rhetoric that Dre was slightly off his rocker, and some didn't want to hear him sing, but none of those people honestly gave this album a solid listen. You have to remember nobody was singing at this time, there was no auto-tune to smooth out everyones vocal imperfections and turn everyone into an R&B half breed. So this was major!

Kanye dropped his joint with 12 tracks and Dre put up 18. As remarkable as Kanye did it, he can only Kobe (im using his name as an adjective) Andre's Jordan. Kanye's got 4 rings to Andre's 6, and he JUST got the fourth. Kanye did his album with the grain and Andre took the lumps on the chin, he didn't have the popularity of auto-tune to vouch for him. I don't know the official numbers but I know The Love Below went at least three times platinum and last i check 808's went one time. The point of my typing is to pretty much make sure we pay homage to one of the best to ever do it (my man Hump would say THE best). If you think Kanye has a beautiful mind, make sure you check out 3000's.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Kind of a Big Deal...

If you are not familiar with Drake he is a rapper/actor out of Toronto, Canada. Most visual people know him from the show "Degrassi" and audio people know him from So Far Gone. The point of this post is to actually document how monumental his work is becoming.

So Far Gone is mixtape, not a "real" album although the contents would suggest otherwise; this mixtape is going to be available for download on itunes shortly. This is major on many levels. Mixtapes are constructed by individuals and not record labels. If this mixtape does really well, and that will be measured in downloads, then this would be a pivotal step for music artist and allow them to bypass major record labels thus giving them more leverage and bargaining power. He has already bypassed standard formats by getting a quote un-quote single on the radio, "Best I Ever Had", nationwide. I'll admit, I have a vested personal interest in this because i feel like it would eliminate good artist being shelved or essentially circumscribed by label execs and parameters. I feel like it will allow artists to truly be artistic as they see fit. I understand that record labels will still have a large say in what gets spins on radio stations and video plays on tv, but i think this is a step in the right direction as far as putting the focus back on the music and not the images/marketing.

The artwork for the single is supposed to pay homage to the digital marketplace that has propelled him this far. All in all I agree with that we should support this mixtape/album and pave the way for future artist to come and musically liberate current music artist.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Nike Commercial

I thought this was kinda funny. If you have been watching the series of Nike Puppet commercials then you saw this one coming (sort of). King James is subject to the unintentional taunts of a young kid who simply wants to watch Kobe and the Finals. LeBron, you watching the Finals or what son!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Lets Get Back to Music

This is pretty much what i've been trying to say for a while. My compadre (i think that's how you spell it, i don't know spanish) Pharrell talks about the MUSIC! That's what we have to get back to. People often look at me like an alien when i tell them i don't listen to the radio or i haven't heard this song or that song, because these joints are playing everywhere....but im not a fan of most music. Also he briefly talks about the prominence of the new social media sites and the like. Good stuff P!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Word to the Wise

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,”

These are the words of the U.S. Supreme Court appointed Sonya Sotomayor, extracted from an speech in 2001. Media pundits have singled out this lone sentence as a comment that reflects racism (reverse), and therefore inferring, at the least, she has a racist bone in her body.

Sotomayor began her private practice in 1984 and has been presiding since, albeit different circuits. Think of how many rulings she has handed out, if she truly harbored a superiority or favoritism complex then i think it would have reared its ugly head in at least a few of her rulings. However no controversial rulings have been cited thus far. Also as a Supreme Court Justice she does not rule alone, she will preside along with 8 other justices and there would be no way for her to racially sabotage laws. So even if one believes that she is heavily influenced by race it would not be viable as her colleagues would quickly eradicate and supplant her. I know that reputation takes a lifetime to build and only a moment lose but i maintain that the overall body of work is a better representation, if I were slightly persuaded by media i would still only call this an aberration.

More importantly we all know that life exists in contexts. Sometimes the mouth fumbles the meaning of the heart. There is no demeaning intent within that statement. As a few have stated, if she could go back in time she would probably word it differently, but life does not give us do-overs. When ruling experience is indeed an added bonus, life isn't always in black and white, therefore the more you are able to completely understand the scope of the situation, the better your judgement. I think that is simply what she was implying, it was not a jab at white males it was merely an attempt emphasize her own experience to the audience. We have all worded things wrong, what if people were able to dig up things we said 7 and 8 years ago.

The idea swirling around about reverse racism bothers me, i think its unwarranted. First let me say that qualified is qualified, however the world has become a lot more diverse over the last few decades and therefore the representation in the workplace is following suit. Also Obama is obviously a man of the people as he often uses "we" instead of "I". He obviously wants to incorporate people who represent the complete make up of the nation. I think that it is important to have different viewpoints in the room. It boils down to the same thing most companies claim to seek, "Diversity". People from different worlds offer different viewpoints; often articulating and emphasizing different facets that others may overlook in certain situations because they don't either (A).understand the connection or (B).the magnitude of the connection. So its important to understand there is value in experience. Overall i think this is quite overblown, I hope that Sotomayor can exercise exceptional decision making and help our nation be the best place it can be.