5 Devices I Demand From My Self As A Writer

Very often I find my Self tired or uninspired by blog posts about blog posting. Yet, I do find that it is necessary to imbibe and scour the thoughts of successful writers of this new media. Granted, our dear creator did not see fit to create all writers with equal portions of skill, and more than not, a success in a Capitalism is not based on talent or merit, but popular appeal, market attention, and/or fill in your own blanks. So, over the years, I’ve grown to scan posts before I actually read them, in hopes that they will contain 5 of the most salient elements I need to be satiated as a reader. Given these elements work to parch my needs as a reader, I’ve grown to demand that these ingredients be found in all of my written dishes.


1) Emotional Appeal


    It helps to be passionate about the topic you are discussing. Even more, it helps to know your audience well enough to know what they are passionate about. One of the devices in a writer’s tool kit should be the ability to make interesting connections, or analogy. This is at root of the poet’s simile or metaphor. Often it does not need to be very pronounced, in fact, it is better to be nuanced. Much of the success of the writing of the Boondocks is Aaron McGruder and his team’s ability connect what is seemingly unrelated in very comical and appealing ways. His use of a character, Lil’ Milton, that alludes to a real life child and his grandmother and using that news story alongside a theme based on “Juice” and comparing Lil’ Milton to the role of Bishop made popular by the late great Tupac Shakur was a remarkable manner of connection and emotional appeal.


Did you see what I did there?


2) Logically Sound


    Most of the writing we come across is an attempt to persuade. This means that the writing has to present an argument of one sort or the other. What I have noticed online in blogs is that many writers tend to lean on the ignorance or need to belong of their audience. This often makes for a logic that, although sound, not always cogent. Logic is the study of methods fr evaluating whether the premise of an argument adequately supports its conclusion. In this study, there are deductive arguments and inductive arguments. Deductive arguments are those arguments that we define as arguments composed of premises that guarantee the conclusion. Deductive arguments are arguments in which the premises are intended to make the conclusion more probable, without guaranteeing it. Now, there are also valid arguments where if the premises are true, then the conclusion is true. Then there are invalid arguments, in which it is not necessarily true that if the premises are true, the conclusion is true. This leads to sound and unsound argumentation. A sound argument is a valid argument whereby all the premises are true. An unsound argument is one that either is invalid or has at least one false premise.


That being given, and writers expecting that their audiences agree with certain positions without question, can lead to a litany of posts and essays being very unsound. In my experience, what makes an argument invalid is usually a lack of information or a refusal to consider certain perspectives on a topic. The argument that some present in support of a post-racial USA is that racism no longer exists. Now, this demands a few definitions, that if not defined, or if simply presented along accepted lines of thought, will yield an invalid postulation.


I can handle contradictions. A part of logic is the ability to inject a contradiction into any argument. What I seek as a reader– and what I seek to present as a write — is an argument that reflects a well researched position. At least consider the most common oppositions to your presentation. I do not expect every piece written to be a bit of exceptional polemics, but I do expect that you’ve considered more positions than the one you are presenting.


3) Layered & Below The Surface Commentary


    I did not expect such a smooth segue, but there it was. For more than just persuasive considerations, I seek works that dig beneath the obvious or the most common thoughts on a topic. I am a fairly well-read person, and I demand that it shows in my writing. When reading pieces that reflect no more than would could be gleaned at a barbershop, I quickly dismiss the writer as just writing for quantity purposes. I do not subscribe to the school of thought that demands that writers present materials that an 8th grader should be able to imbibe. I demand more of my Self as a reader, and thusly, I demand more of my readers. More importantly, I want to present more to my readers, and unless you are in the business of writing 8th grade fiction or textbooks, I would suggest you not treat your audience like teeny bops.


To be a good writer, I believe it begs a lot of reading. It also asks that I seek various sources of commentary on differing positions. Typically, those that I consider “beneath the surface” writers, are also the type of people that can suspend judgment and consider at least three completely different worldviews alongside their own. Although, I, like most people, find numbers sexy, I do not just seek quantified data, but also qualified data such as anecdotes and quotes from those that lend their perspectives to the topic. It just speaks volumes to me about how much a wrter appreciates their audience when they go the extra distance for them.


4) Sources Cited


    In the same vein, do not just hurl data at me without considering how much I might trust you. Cite your sources. Not just because you were told to do so in school, not just because it is ethical, but because I might want to follow that same rabbit hole and see what goodies I might be allowed to find. Especially for those that consider them Selves “bloggers”. Links are the internet. Google is a megalithic empire because of links. Connect your readers to those that you are gleaning inspiration and knowledge from. Treat your readers like adults. Treat your readers like they have a well-developed system of critical thinking that would cause them to question your sources. Treat your readers like they have a refined sense of curiosity and might be wondering what shoulders your feet have stood on. Do not treat your readers like enemies you have to keep secrets from. Plus, it only makes your writing that much more professional and authoritative when you present your sources.


5) Imagery


Humans are a very visual being. Our first set of writing communications were pictograms. Much of what is emotionally appealing is that ability to present visual cues, either through our vivid words or actual images or illustrations. Beyond logic and beyond layered presentations, we have to remember that life moves along a dynamic constant we refer to as time, and all of our present movements cascade into the future. We are escape artist by function. Regardless of the writing, it should take me out of my present space in some sort of fashion. Whether that be giving me action cues to improve my well-being, or to create a completely fantastic world that does not exist outside of the collective imagination: writing should move us from our present states.


I expect vivid words that lift life from the page. I expect brilliance of thought that details and explores the writer’s perspective. I want to read works that play with ideals I have not imagined. And in my desire to read such, I demand that I also write in such fashion.

The Eight Reasons Why I’m Responding…

I suppose I’ve always had my own personal bouts with self-hate, and the influences of media with that regard. I do consider the thought pattern as something of a psychosis, an internal battle to force all that is wrong with you into a mental template based on your outer presentation. Or vibration of energies reflecting from you, as the case is, in more technical terms. I never knew just how deeply the roots of this particular thought pattern where, however, until I began a more concentrated perusal of the things that people write on the interweb. The more Black blogs I read, the more I wonder if we are all satirist, vying for a spot on The Onion, or just madly in love with hating ourselves and wishing to be white.

No disclaimers.

So, while I was listening to Rick Ross’ “Push It To The Limit” for the fourth, fifth, or even possibly sixth time(theme songs should always be played on repeat), I came across a Twitter update in the @BetterYouEbook timeline retweeted from one of the people that I follow. The update was a lambaste regarding @ToureX of mainstream media fame, and he interviews hip hop artists sometimes too. Being a fan of Toure X beratings, I decided to follow the course of replies to where they originated. Man oh man, did I not know how far down that rabbit hole would take me. Let’s say I wound up at the doorstep of @madamenoire.

Now, one of the major dangers(depending on who you are), and one of the perks(once again, depending on who you are) of interweb usage is being able to conjure up a variable of identities. Let that thought sit for a timepiece, will return to that later.

Being of a sound mind, alright, I was on a break from work and decided to get on twitter and surf for a few minutes, I clicked on the link to the Madame Noire website, and I did a google search on the name. I was lead to the timeline of another person that I follow on twitter: @Christelyn(Also known as Christelyn Karazin, writer of the book,“Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate Mixing Race Culture and Creed”(I can’t conjure this stuff up, folks, if only my imagination were that cruel…). The updates that I found in her timeline, the consecutively posted updates in her timeline, mind you, are here captured in this jpeg:

No implications necessary. I do believe that Christelyn is brash and bold enough to write under her own handle. However, as always in the Asylum, when we do critiques of others works, we want to not be bothered with grammatical errors, syntax, or pettiness–we come for intentions. Since I am not accusing Christelyn of writing the piece that we will be critiquing in this post, I don’t want to spend too much time on her blog with categories in her top navigation such as:“My Story: Jumping The Broom With A White Boy” aligned next to her navigational link of “No Wedding, No Womb”–the online movement that she spearheads with the pronounced focus of(according to her website):”…is an initiative that seeks to address the problems of – and provide solutions to — the unplanned pregnancies among African American single women.” Obviously, yes, OBVIOUSLY, one of her main solutions to solving the problem of children in the Black community being born out of wedlock is for Black women to get married to White men and have babies.(With all the banter about “marrying a white boy”, I have no fear of a rebuttal on that note!)

As stated, this is not an address on Christelyn or her “trademarked slogan, No Wedding, No Womb!”(If I could make it up, I wouldn’t be broke!!). It is simply a lengthy(I know, I know already, on with the show…) introduction and a neat(well, I thought so before you guys started skimming…) anecdote on how I got to read this post: “8 Reasons To Date A White Man”(featured in the “LIVING” section, no doubt(thank the Universe for the interwebs, I am simply not this creative…).

Alright…what everybody came for…

According to the article written by LaShaun Williams(I’m really hoping the google results on your name are incorrect, sister):

” I am married to a Black man—dark-skinned, 100 percent cocoa. To me, there is nothing more physically beautiful on this earth. Notice I said physically. Outside of that, there are plenty of more financially, intellectually and emotionally stable options. It’s time to taste the unknown. There are just too many—too many bright and beautiful single Black women waiting for their Black prince charming, only to see more and more of them riding off with their porcelain-skinned beauties.

My question is what are you waiting for—a baby and no ring? Black men are obviously seeing a lot in others they like. As an open-minded woman, I can tell you from experience some things about white are right. In no particular order, here are the reasons you should be giving vanilla a chance.”

The initial opening salvo is basically a disclaimer. It is a technique used in critical writings to stave off ad hominem attacks. Now, I agree that one should be careful with ad hominem usages, primarily due to the tendency too place to much attention on the messenger and not the message. In this case, I feel a “This IS Sparta!” moment coming on. She states that she is married to a black man, makes sure that we know he is of the darker variety of such sexually appealing beasts, and that this sexual appealing stud(or brute, you can choose your own US slavery created stereotype here) has no other values to offer. The description of the man she has married to is then very subtly magnified to represent the general population of Black men.

There are several qualifying characteristics we will have to infer from the piece, and it best that we get them out of the way. What does Williams mean by Black? Is she referring to a description of all humans with a melanin make up of high density compared to those of European origin? Is she simply referring to the ones of US birth? Due to her not offering us any statistics or facts beyond conjecture, we are left to assume that she is referring to Black men born in the United States of America. For the sake of the argument, we also assume that she is referring to White man born in the United States of America.

Williams moves into her second paragraph with another generalization and assumption based on popular belief. She asks her audience–we will assume by virtue of the context that she is writing for an audience of single black heterosexual women– what are they waiting for, a baby and no ring. Once again, we have the correlation of the “No Wedding, No Womb” movement with the thoughts of this author. Once again, I am addressing a correlation, and not an implication. The writer assumes that, and I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt, that the majority of Black eligible bachelors are simply going to get women pregnant and leave them. I’m a little taken aback here because of the degree of patriarchal sentiment. The idea that every black woman wants to be married, that marriage is the panacea of all of one’s woes, that Black men don’t marry Black women, that Black women don’t know how to be responsible over their bodies with regard to sexual intercourse–just a litany of general assumptions wrapped up in one scare tactic. And ultimately, the solution is the white man.

One more thing before I move on, because it occurred to me while reading the William piece: why didn’t she use any other culture? Alright, you feel the need to attack Black men, and that is what this piece is, a direct attack against black men, and a testimonial to just how far Black people HAVEN’T come in this society as a unified community. And yet, Williams could have said any other culture of men that have a culture where she believes a Black woman could find some one simpler or easier to marry. You have a whole continent of men raised in cultures where marriage is tied to the Aryan notions of patriarchal religious standards. You can look all throughout the continent of Afrika and find men willing to do much of the things she assumes that most black men are not going to do. But she didn’t. Why not?

Moving on…

Number ONE

” Gay White men tend to be more forthcoming about their sexuality with family and friends. The down low phenomenon is less prevalent, which preserves the battery usage on your gaydar and relieves the stress of dissecting every male relationship.”

This is just damn silly. The Oprah effect is such a dynamic force in the Black community. So forceful, so influential, that a women by the name of Lashaun Williams would use as a reason for Black women not to date brothers, and instead look toward the children of their former slave masters, and present oppressors for a commitment is the “Down Low Brother Syndrome”. The tendency for white republicans to vote against gay rights and yet they are gay is not considered. The Catholic priesthood with the embarrassing record of homosexual molestations while preaching against homosexuality and touting marriage gets overlooked as well. I suppose these cases are different due to the societal pressures placed on these men by the public…and why do we suppose the Black men that are hiding their homosexual tendencies are doing it for? There are no white men who feel the same pressures?

I would further this discussion by saying that homosexuality in the black community is actually more excepted there than in the white community. I tend to believe that the predominance of homosexuality in the white community is higher, however. More people tend to create a situation of more behaviors being displayed. But the notion that my little sister or older sister has more of a chance of dating a closet homosexual in the black community than the white is simply preposterous.
Number TWO

” Thanks to the absence of family, fathers and marriage in the Black community, a great number of our men have backward expectations when it comes to romantic relationships. A higher percentage of White men come from stronger family structures and more traditional gender roles, where the men seek to care for the women.”

Once again, Williams is trumpeting one)a grave generalization, and two) a notion of white patriarchy. She is equating “romance” with the concept of a man taking care of a woman. Regardless of my own personal beliefs or agreement, not all men believe like that, in fact many white men don’t. If we look at the statements of Chad Hurley, the late Randy Pausch, and John McClain, we see a number of white man who have “married up”. It is simply not a verity that all white men think that they are supposed to take care of a woman, let alone treat her in anyway akin to “romantic”.

It is here that the woman known to us as “Lauren Williams” begins to tell on whoever she is, or whoever is using that psuedonym(more like nome de guerre, but I told myself I’d be nice…). Is it romance that you really want, or someone to pay off all of those college loans you’ve accrued over the years? I’m slightly kidding, I don’t know if this Lauren Williams is even real, I mean, I don’t know if they ever went to college, or have any debts, but they are pushing the money thing pretty tough here.

Number THREE

” Black women are graduating from college and Black men continue to drop out. As a result, degrees become intimidating when dating Black men. In White culture, education is valued and expected. Thus, White men have no problem dating educated women with advanced degrees. It is impressive rather than intimidating.”

A few thoughts come to mind here: White women graduate at higher numbers than all US college students. This is an aggregate of a few factors: women tend to enroll in higher numbers, women tend to fare better than men in college, and in a society where there are more white families with the economic resources to send their children to paid institutions of higher learning, you are going to find more white women than any other ethnic grouping.

Black men don’t have an issue dating white women with degrees, so this argument needs to be refined. I won’t attack the flimsy premise, because I’d like to get a rethinking on this notion. The idea being, I’d like it to address the fact that in the United States of America, most men drop out of college. The reasons of economics needs to be reflected in that discussion.
Number FOUR(yes, I do feel like the Count from Sesame Street doing this…)

“For whatever reason, White men just don’t have children sprinkled all over the world like Black men. And, if they do, most of them were married to the mother at some point. Sure, they divorce but you can only divorce if you at least attempt a marriage.”

So, it is alright to have babies “sprinkled all over the world”(hyperbole much, chick?), as long as you have at least attempted a marriage? I don’t want anyone to claim that I am throwing straw, so let me break this one down for my critics.

Her premise: If a white man has babies all over the world(the world, Craig…sorry), then they must have been divorced.
The antecedent: Sure, White men divorce.
Conclusion: It is okay that they have babies all over the world because they were once married.

Divorce rates not withstanding…


Number FIVE

” They may listen to rap music, but they are smart enough not to act it out. The “thug life” is not something to be aspired. White men have a firmer grasp on what really defines manhood.”

Sure, chick…sure
The United States of America is a patriarchal country. Hypermasculine behavior can be seen in the form of Marine males screaming “Uh RA! Devil Dog!”, to white athletes gang raping women(HERE and HERE). If we take a look at the media messages, we will see that Black males are often more feminized in their portrayals than their white counterparts. Ultimately, hypermasculinity and gender role definitions are an issue of a patriarchal rulership, especially one with the foreign policy and military propaganda of the United States. To assert that white males are not affected by the stream of images portraying them as tough undefeatable boxers, one man armies, and Mafiaoso killers is to be lazy in one’s research. Maybe that one researcher should start with the increasing number of white militias appearing around the country. Or maybe that researcher should use a definition of manhood that wasn’t authored by the white manhood she is attempting measure black manhood by.
Number SIX

” Black people, especially men, are always trying to shine—often spending more money than they have. White men tend to be more educated in the area of finance with a greater understanding of retirement planning, savings, investments, etc. This is mostly due to a higher level of exposure and teaching, but all that matters is they know and make better decisions than Black men when it comes to managing money.”

This assumes an assimilist posture. For one, everybody’s definition of the slang term,”shine” is different. Therefore it is highly specious to assume that what White men do with their money is different in scope than what black men do. But that would be straw, right?

It is difficult for me to stereotype the spending habits of all men, let alone generalized on the spending habits of Black men. Most Black men that I know would actually be considered fiscally conservative. In Thomas M. Shapiro’s book,”The Hidded Cost Of Being African American”, he notes the danger of assuming a lack of financial responsibility on the part of blacks in comparison to a group of people who are able to pass on wealth held generationally. That is to say, it is easy for someone to spend foolishly and be overlooked for that err in judgment if mom and dad are going to foot the bill. It is also interesting for me to note here that many white males are allowed to stay with their parents longer than many Black males. And many white males have a considerable inheritance and financial foundation to make mistakes that Blacks aren’t afforded.

And it must be highlighted, that once again, the writer has returned to their main selling point: white men will take care of you…with their money. That is so…moving on…

Number SEVEN

” Ever wonder why White people can date the friends of exes and so on? It’s because they don’t let the past hinder the present. Promiscuous Black men think they deserve to settle down with virgins, and allow past relationships to haunt the present. Not White men. They have no problem turning a hoe into a housewife.”

I will agree that the white media portrays the white woman as virtuous beyond their past indiscretions. However, white males are trained in the same ways as black males to deem women as objects. As such, women are rated by how easy a sexual conquest can occur. Take a look at the phrase,”Oh, anybody can beat that guy ass” and compare it to,”Oh, anybody can fuck her.” Its a sport, and it is a sport that has been passed down to blacks through whites. According to bell hooks in her book,”Ain’t I A Woman”, one of the many reasons that white men avoided serious commitments to Black women during the early twentieth century was because they deemed Black women as overly sexual, irredeemably so. If we take a cursory look at a movie such as “Showgirls”, we see that it is the White woman who is deemed as worthy of romantic commitments regardless of her sexual promiscuity, and it is the black woman that is sodomized regardless of her innocence.

Of course, I’m being extremely kind due to criticisms from the academic community. I could just as easily have stated, “Why would any woman identify herself as a ‘hoe’?” Very telling there, Williams…very telling.

Number EIGHT

” Intimidation and insecurity are two reasons for the rift between Black men and women. As a result of their insecurities and low self-esteem, Black men are intimidated by the strength of an educated and ambitious Black woman. Rather than seeing her as a strong teammate, she is a threat to their manhood. Thus, they feel the need to overcompensate. White men, on the other hand, are more secure. What Black men see as threatening is what makes a great wife and business partner to them.”

You’ve got to be kidding me, right? So, white women are still attempting break the influence of the “Old Boys Network” because white men are so secure in their positions? Sure. Women have more degrees than white men, women have more jobs than white men, and yet women get less money and typically live in poverty. Is that because of Black men? Or is that because of the rulership of your precious white man? Can someone please give me the statistics of businesses ran by a white man and black woman? Can someone else give me the statistics of businesses ran by a black man and a black woman? Oh…she didn’t mean a real business…hmmm…I think I’m starting see a pattern here…