Tag Archives: debate

Today’s Word is… LANDMINE

I remember a little while back, me and my family was chilling out maxing relaxing all cool. My nephew for most of his life was an only child and only nephew, he’s used to being spoiled, used to being the center of attention but you know how kids get to that annoying stage where they’re oblivious to the fact they aren’t as cute as they think they are, he was right at that line. So while we was hanging out he was doing the most to get our attention, kept changing his outfit to come back where we were. I remember my auntie saying looking like a damn [redacted], we all laughed moreso at the randomness of it all and the fact that my nephew gets really irritated at being the butt of a joke. Laughter subsides and I feel compelled to lob a quick “Don’t say no shit like that no more” (because he might go to school and repeat it, was my reasoning because old black people don’t be understanding shit). And everyone went right back to the game. That conversation started and ended in the room with no proof it ever happened besides me writing it on a fairly anonymous blog. But imagine if my sister posted a picture of him on facebook, my aunt commented on it instead and now some girl who used to sit behind my sister in Algebra II is offended and she screenshots it and shares it on her timeline. Her cousin posts it on Instagram, it works its way to Woke Phi Woke Twitter and next thing you know Bossip is writing an article about how “An Ashy Ankh Auntie dragged to Smithereens on Black Twitter” and now I gotta act like I ain’t see that shit. (Aunties are fair game, she ain’t birth you)

All of this runs through my mind as I think about how or if I should write about the Aziz Ansari story. I’ve spent most of the weekend reading thoughts from both sides. There’s a lot to unpack there, the idea of coercion, enthusiastic consent, conditional consent, extroverts missing social cues, even examining the predatory dating behaviors that Nice Guy™ seems oblivious to. (that last one is still in the maybe pile) But then again, no one wants to hear from a man on this. (Especially YOU, Matt Damon). You can think you are simply being nuanced but easily cross that line into rape apologist and victim blamer. You can defend Aziz and next week 5 more victims can come forward and have you looking stupid. I don’t know what happened. I do know that he didn’t exactly disagree with her account of what happened. I do know he seems too old to be running game on young naive 53 percenters. And that she… [LANDMINE]

In this social media thinkpiece industrial complex age, it’s easy for any and everyone to feel compelled to have an opinion on everything, be offended by everything, ready to defend anything without realizing you’re in public. I’m sure Babe wasn’t trying to end Ansari’s career or win a Pullitzer when they posted the story in the first place. It did force me to look back at my own history and have private conversations with others who also had to. In that regard it’s great that it’s come out. I have also spoken to people privately who agree with the sentiments expressed in The Atlantic and New York Times. Then you think about how triggering it could be to have something you are grappling with be debunked in the The Atlantic and New York Times.

There’s a lot of dialogue that can and should be had about Ansari, but it shouldn’t be done via epigrams and gifs. These are deep sensitive topics and shouldn’t be simplified to pick a side like it’s a Super Bowl prediction, especially loud and publicly. It’s a mistake I made fairly recently. You can know what you meant, your friends can know what you meant, the strangers who may read your thoughts, do not.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… TWITTER

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One of my first barbershops I went to was this half barbershop/half salon up the street.  It started off strictly two separate establishments as dudes with braids & sistas with fades grew more trendy the masses joined together and not long after a Battle of the Sexes was waged.  Initially, I was “young blood” being talked through, not to, by men and women alike trying to win their respective debates under the guise of giving me some game.  As I got older I partook in some of the dialogues but eventually, I just wanted to get my “regular, 1 1/2, skinny chinstrap, leave the goatee” and go about my business. So, I found a new barbershop.  It got exhausting debating hypoghettocals like “So you wouldn’t smash your cousins ex if you only met her one time before at a party and she don’t recognize you now” with a bunch of people whose opinions on the matter don’t actually mean anything.  (Also my regular barber got locked up Free “Dread” Bwop Bwop *air horns*).    That’s how I feel about Twitter or “Black Twitter” as the media outlets like to call it sometimes; it just gets….exhausting. 

Now if you follow me on there, you know I’m fairly active on Twitter.  At its best, Twitter is great at getting and reacting to news in real time or consuming media.  Whether its the Superbowl, Apple Press Conference, a State of the Union address, Twitter is the go to for context, opinion, and them jokes (and of course trolls but they get half a bar…..y’all know the rest).  Then there’s times when there isn’t really any news, no game is on, no TV show with a cult following on; its a Tuesday morning and people are at work? more or less getting their barbershop on with outlandish opinions, with mentions and RTs providing credence to the nonsense.  It feels like I’m back at the old barbershop. Everything is a battle.

I’m in my mid 20s, corporate job, Gemini, no kids, under 6′, attended a PWI, have a Samsung phone, PS4, Boston sports fan, indifferent on the weight and hair choice of dating partners, somewhat traditionalist, lean liberal, and I like Turkey Bacon.  That right there is about 35 twitter debates, except I don’t feel the need to turn every aspect of my life into a societal debate.  It’s not so much that I think celeb X is attractive, everyone must or else prepare for battle.  If a 21 year old wants to think her husband must make 100K, why must the league of 30something Twitter rain judgement upon her and tell her she can’t because they didn’t?  Why can’t a song be a song or a movie a movie without someone putting their own agenda into it?  We do we even care when it has no actual bearing on our feelings, our lives.  I remember the barbershop wars would get so heated, you would think these were couples arguing and not strangers and acquaintances that wasn’t checking for each other anyway.  So why even invest the energy? Who cares?

We care. We all do.  It’s a natural urge to defend when one feels attacked, even if the attacker is a sassy stranger getting a roll n set or just some miscellaneous person on Twitter.  Over time, that urge wanes when you realize ultimately that person doesn’t matter.  “Don’t feed the trolls” “Its Just Twitter” “I Know Somebody Like It” much easier said than done when confronted with some fuggery.  I’ve gotten better with just rolling my eyes and keeping it moving but on a good day, I will go off.  But you know I’m being better in 2015, channel your inner Kanye n whatnot.  I stopped going to the barbershop, I could just as easily delete Twitter……

….nah.  Its too connected to my TV watching (cuz some shows are just unwatchable without live tweeting) but I will make it a point to take some breaks when I’m fourfiveseconds from wyling because some people, well, I just wonder who raised them

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… DEBATE

Did y’all miss me or nah? Well anyway, I hope you enjoyed your holiday.  Mine’s was interesting to say the least.  It started off as most family functions do; food, alcohol and sports.  From there, the subject came on men.  My brother in law wanted no parts, opted for a store run, but its Christmas night what’s even open, he was gone before realization hit.  That left me; outnumbered and unarmed.  My sister still very pro-“She”, talked about while I’m not the worst guy in the world, like many before me, I quiver at the prospect of monogamy and commitment.  That couldn’t be farther from the truth, I’m no lady killer.  I’m all for falling in love, getting married, making big headed babies, however I’m not going to just do so with just anybody.  I had my reasons for ending things with “she”, the allure of single life was not one of them.  Enter my aunt who enjoyed the bickering and talked about how her and my father did the same.  With that, she gave my sister the ammo she needed.

 I was far too young to really grasp the details of my parents divorce, but my sister who was around 12-13 and already well wiser beyond her years knew much more.  She remembers the late night phone calls and exits, the unfamiliar perfumes, increasingly sloppy excuses. My mother did as well, yet she blinded herself to it, it was the man she ever loved since 19, the father of her 5 children, there were others after but they never stood a chance, 15 years after the divorce, her gravestone bears his name.  As my sister told her Ciroc-induced memoirs, one thing was clear, while she admires and loves my father, as a man, as a husband, she didn’t respect him.  It put things in perspective, while I never been too into her private life, I do know she has an absolute zero tolerance policy for BS.  She refused to become my mother.  With me, she fears I’m becoming that guy, but I’m not. Ironically enough, I learned from her.

No sir, not me.

I refused to be the guys she dated.  Her come correct or get corrected mantra was more than words and I remember guys standing foolishly on the doorstep wondering where they went wrong.  I remember lavish gifts on holidays by some poor soul who never really had a chance.  I remember after my first girlfriend dumped me, I was blowing up her phone trying to just hear her voice. I thought back to how my sister would hold out the phone as she laughed amongst her friends. I can’t go out like that. There are plenty of quality women out there for me to fret over a lost one.  I developed a low tolerance for BS as well.  Perhaps I gave on some too soon, others not soon enough.  Its one of those half empty/half full things I guess.

Back to last night’s debate, as she insisted I opted out too soon.  She thinks about my father who perhaps did the same, maybe he could’ve kept the band together if he so desired.  We could only speculate on what he truly wanted back then. It’s a grey area we all face, the difference between going after what you want and giving up on what you have.  Settling and accepting.  My father’s execution was poor no matter how you slice it but he at least didn’t go Tiger Woodsing, there was another woman he loved.  He had to make a choice, stick it out or pursue the new adventure.  My mother was a loyal beautiful woman so many can’t understand why he made the choice he did.  I had my choice, stick it out in my struggling relationship or just know when to fold em.  “She” is a good person, the first girlfriend my sisters really accepted as one of them, so they can’t understand why couldn’t I make it work.  They as women (who are constantly dismissing dudes, I could have fought back with that but I was drunk, my head hurt, should’ve went on the store run) see a good woman being left for no reason.  I see it as me putting myself first.  They see me as a jerk.  It’s one of those damned if you do, damned if you don’t things I guess.

-Stan-

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Filed under Dating, La Familia, Randomness, Simply Stan