Collective #1

Toni Morrison's "What The Black Woman Thinks About Women's Lib"
Toni Morrison’s “What The Black Woman Thinks About Women’s Lib”

The illustrious and Great Toni Morrison’s New York Time’s article on why Black Women Do Not Trust Whyte Feminists

"George Jackson: Black Revolutionary" by Walter Rodney
“George Jackson: Black Revolutionary” by Walter Rodney

Walter Rodney’s text on how Comrade George became a guerilla amongst the lumpen in USA.

Alice Walker's "Taking the Arrow Out of Your Heart"
Alice Walker’s “Taking the Arrow Out of Your Heart”

Alice Walker discussing traumas associated with Whyte Supremacy and Whyte Nationalism.

David Perell's The Ultimate Guide To Writing Online
David Perell’s The Ultimate Guide To Writing Online

This is a pretty practical guide on blogging on contemporary web.

Webster's 1913
Webster’s 1913

Connoisseur’s reference to American English – a dictionary for writers and wordsmiths

"Who Is Angela Davis?" By Toni Morrison
“Who Is Angela Davis?” By Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison’s critique provides an understanding of psychological warfare.

Useful WordPress Snippets For Web Development
Useful WordPress Snippets For Web Development

A few functions to make your next WordPress theme development easier.

Brett Victor's "A Brief Rant On The Future Of Interactive Design"
Brett Victor’s “A Brief Rant On The Future Of Interactive Design”

Brett Victor discusses direction that interactive design could go.

Is the Debt the US Owes Blacks….Self-Inflicted???

…we must all realize that the oppressive contract cannot be broken as long as any sort of hierarchy exists to perpetuate the sensitized relationships of Amerikan tribalism, classism and racism. Society is rendered impossible by such relationships. The establishment of society through intercommunalism will require that the social contract be completely altered. Clearly alteration cannot take place unless hierarchy is destroyed. Can we expect the hierarchy to do away with itself???
Then the real undertaking at present is the unconditional freeing of the people. We plunge beyond ideological debate before this immediate task. The black man and the black female must be, as I have mentally ordered things, completely joined together in the act of liberation! I accept my black mama with all her fears for my life that border on hysteria at times. But I also realize that it is the “role of the living,” of all the innocent, to discover unitary practice and conduct and move against the institutions that close on the oppressed.” – Comrade George Jackson from “Blood In My Eye”

I want to thank every body for taking time out of their days, nights, evenings, lives in general to come aboard The Asylum. As of late, we’ve been making quite a few changes. Maybe not so much change for those who have been around The Asylum since before the first resurrection when I utilized my account with Amazon Affiliates and even the Google Adsense account. I haven’t placed the Google ads back up, but it is on my mind. A part of living is eating. Now, as my good brother, Coach Bilal Sankofa reminds me always, a pack of Ramen noodles is only 16 cents. Albeit, I’m a fifth degree black belt of the Art of the Ramen, but a person can’t live off of bread alone.(Speaking of Jesus quotes, how much fire do you think Mary smacked little Jesus when he told her he had to be about his father’s business?).

All that being said, we’ve been behind the scene rewiring the programming mechanics of The Asylum. In the process of adding many of the advertisements you now see, I’ve also been working on Search engine optimization. A tedious task of wording and networking techniques designed to receive the oft coveted position of having The Asylum placed on the front page when someone does a search on terms such as “media analyst” or “black man losing his fucking mind online”. In an effort to check which sites where either paying Google for their position on the front page(yeah, I’m hating!) when those keywords were piped in, I ran across an interesting article which stated that,”the Media Audit reports the average African American spends 4 hours and 21 minutes per day online — 10% more than the amount of time for all U.S. adults”. Now, we of The Asylum have our own reasons for being careful with statistics. Upon further reading the article reveals:

The new national study of 7,000 African American adults shows they spend an average of 13 hours and 24 minutes per day exposed to all media. With the internet now taking 32.5% of their total daily media time, the study underscores how traditional media has been affected by rising internet use among African Americans.

I’ll leave it up The Asylum to decide how those statistics should be read, me, personally, I’m taking them as the study shows. Namely, of the 7000 Blacks reportedly studied, a pattern of higher internet usage than other forms of media was detected. What that means is more marketing geared towards Blacks online. Nothing new in that. The report also notes that Blacks consume more media than any other group. In my mind a light beams, and it isn’t the pills I just popped(well…just stick with me here…).

According to a number of sources(got to love linking, I could never get away with that in an academic peer review) the spending power of Black people will reach $1 trillion within the next year. The wording of that doesn’t elude me. “Spending power” instead of economic power, or investment power. That is much more than a mere ploy of semantics. It is the difference between a hammer being a toy, a tool, or a weapon. Failing to assess that small adjective’s qualifying affect on the human psyche will only assist in being unable to apply the equation when used as an analog. That analog would be the interwebs. In the artery that we pump out ideas regarding how Blacks will use that economic power, we should as be involved in a flow of ideas regarding how we will be using the interweb. How will we use the interweb as a means to deflect and usurp the “conceptual entrapment of imagery” as sociologist Dennis Rome calls it in “Black Demons:Mass Media’s Depiction of the African American Male Criminal Stereotype”?

…we have to think about building a media base that has the resources and the muscle to promote…the way they should be in order that the world may see them, we are depending on some other vehicle that is not indigenous to our interests…
…the contributions we have made in the country cannot be reduced to a few negroes making money…
– Brenda Verner, Media Analystinterview with Richard Steele on WBEZ Chicago

As I have stated elsewhere, there are only truly three search engines on the Web: Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft’s Bing. That means that three companies, with Google still leading the pack, have a database, a cache to be sure, of not only the websites housed on the servers that create the internet, but also the queries, the searches, that are made by those that use the applications. Couple that with social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, and we begin to notice just how lonely it can be at the top office of information harvesting. Facebook’s founding representative, Mark Zuckerberg, has made his sentiments regarding privacy being a thing of the past known publicly. Twitter has packaged the updates of it’s users and struck a deal with the Library of Congress that allows user’s updates to be archived for the purported purpose of historical review. The word history doesn’t only imply past, it also means a study of the present, and a preparation for the future. Ultimately, our inability to ween our Selves from the hegemony of corporate interests. In fact, many are working towards establishing their stronghold further. Instead of making them spend with their website, many are demeaning the value of Black owned anything that doesn’t resemble the corporate model.

Knowing the economic power of the Black in the wilderness of the United States;knowing the possible propensity for internet usage and its possible projections into the future, I believe that we are doing our Selves a grave injustice by not taking full advantage of the resource under our own auspices. Instead of writing specious blog posts denigrating the Black entrepreneur, we should be promoting a means for the Black entrepreneur to have their own presence on the interweb beyond MySpace, Black Planet, Twitter, WhereBlackPeopleMeet, and Facebook. Viable entities can be created by Blacks in the same way that viable Black communities thrived during the 1910s when Blacks were forced to do business with one another. If we can avoid the temptation to be confused by our titles and efforts to achieve status and positions created by the same system that created the position of slavery. To remove the harness that is draped over our cognitive bodies seeping our souls of their vitality we must unlock our Selves from the belief that everything White is right with regard to the technological, the economic, the academic, and the scientific.

We have a chance to incorporate our Ancestral teaching of Thoth: of the one that crafts worlds with the electromagnetic properties captured within symbols like an inductor. Instead of asking is debt self-inflicted, ask is it necessary to live in a society where it is impossible to avoid incurring debt of some sort. Rent must be paid for days already lived in an abode. That means every day you stay in a rental property, or one that has a mortgage agreement, you are going into debt. Since we are so concerned with debt, why not ask was the debt that the United States government owes to Blacks self-inflicted? We must remove the resistors along the circuitry of our current progress, and build a new framework that can withstand the trends of cultural attenuation that prompt us to see our Selves outside of the context of history. As the battle for our minds moves beyond the plantations, beyond the burning black communities, beyond the bodies of babies bitten by dogs, beyond the bodies of babies burned in churches, beyond the bodies of babies shot through the neck, beyond the scholars murdered by train/bullet/needle/crack pipe/cancer cells, we have to continue to develop a regenerative ideology that promotes one to know the difference between a cultural creative practice and their own programmed elitism.

As a media warrior, it is treasonous for us to continue to use the interwebs as a means to promote the very same thought schema that pitted the darker ancestor against the lighter ancestor. The broke neighbor is being exploited by the not-so-much-as broke neighbor(I mean, damn, come on, y’all in the same neighborhood), and yet that same not-so-much-as broke neighbor is willing to come to the defense of those approved by the status quo. It is the house nigga, field nigga, free nigga paradigm remixed for the 2010 plantation! We are using the interweb to buttress the feeling of superiority and privilege of the very people who believe that you aren’t even a human! You are an ethnicity to them. That’s why there is porn, and there is ethnic porn. There are social issues and their are ethnic issues. That is why the term “ethnic” crops up as a determinant between white…and other than so. And their privilege is so encapsulated into the thinking of the Black that we propagate Manifest Destiny and “The White Man’s Burden” without realizing it.

In his book, “The Hidden Cost of Being African American”, Thomas M. Shapiro states,”…part of the power of dominant groups(in this case, whites) is their seeming invisibility and the fact that their status is often taken for granted, as if they are not active actors, agents, or benefactors in an unequal relationship. This is the mentality of white people that many of us Blacks who are using the interweb as a tool and a weapon are helping to infect our people with! What will we not do for money? What will we not do for a chance to be closer to the privileged class?

Too many of us have imbibed our Selves into an ejaculatory frenzy of ego worship based on polished mimicry of the western ideal. The asili, the basic cultural seed, of the western ideal, the Zeus factor, the Platonic separation, this diseased notion of bi-polarized non-thought. The belief that everything in existence is not only at war, but in a state of qualitative separation. That one element, function, or faculty is somehow, it must be, better than another. And Blacks have suckled on that whore’s inflamed, scaly, crusted, puss filled breast for so long that we base our standards of activity on theirs.

The interwebs are the new battle front for the minds of Black people, most likely the young. I pray that we all consider the efforts that we are putting forth, the thoughts that we are disseminating, and the degree of empathy our connections to the Black community infuses us with.

This is the level of development favored by the oppressor, the artless empty ideals of the pseudo-nation, love and respect for a flag, a nationalistic song or beat, the fervent belief in a bond or organization which arises out of a thwarted longing for real community. The establishment does everything in its power to ensure that revolutionary rage is redirect into empty outlets which provide pressure releases for desires that could become dangerous if allowed to progress. At this stage in the development of monopoly capitalism, there are two alternatives: aggressive revolutionary activity or calcification. Conservative society, black or white, is decadent society; due to the absence of creativity and movement, conservative society always burns itself out. – Comrade George jackson, Blood In My Eyes

Malcolm’s Essence

So, I woke up this morning from one of those weird dreams that I’m sure many shell shocked victims of any sort of stressful past that affected them physically will have. Upon waking up, I cursed out the fedloan and all the banks, and thought about urinating on the debt statements I now owe the US Government. I sat down to this keyboard, as I always do when I am upset with the world, and yet have no other party to actually be upset with other than myself. A question arose that had nothing to do with my prior angst. What if Malcolm X decided to start Essence magazine?
Strange, indeed. But media has that sort of effect on your mind. I thought about something that Mulchan wrote in his treatise on the understand of media, namely, “During the mechanical ages we had extended our bodies in space. Today, after more than a century of electric technology, we have extended our central nervous system itself in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned. Rapidly, we approach the final phase of the extensions of man– the technological simulation of consciousness, when the creative process of knowing will be collectively and corporately extended to the whole of human society…”
To build on that thought, I immediately recognized the parallel when George Jackson spoke about the extension of the human appendage through knife and gun. The extension of the physical has always been a human necessity due to the lack of physical capability to defeat and destroy predators of the land. The lion, the bear, and many of the predatorial animals of the world had an advantage the human did not. As such, it became needed to prepare controlled weapons, traps of artifice, mechanisms that would avail the human in the pursuit of survival. The Human has always needed means to extend itself throughout the physical. Now, as we have read through the above passage and even are being subtly informed through movies such as Avatar, the human is further extending the consciousness of individual selves.
The name of the movie, “Avatar” in and of itself is very symbolic. Due to the nature of the extension of consciousness in our time, in more colloquial terms, the everyday updating of sources, it is not persuasive enough for me to Google the term “avatar”. So, I have gone far enough with the definition in Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College edition. This is a dictionary dated as being published in 1988, far from the influence of internet updates which are grounded in popular parlance and the like.
According to the dictionary:
1. Hinduism a god’s coming down in bodily form to the earth; incarnation of a god 2 any incarnation or embodiment, as a of quality or concept in a person.
This is very telling for us. Let’s consider a modern, more popular definition and derive a deeper psycho-social understanding…
Going to dictionary.com at the URL http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/avatar you will read:
–noun
1. Hindu Mythology. The descent of a deity to the earth in an incarnate form or some manifest shape; the incarnation of a god.
2. An embodiment or personification, as of a principle, attitude, or view of life.
3. Computers. A graphical image that represents a person, as on the Internet.
At what point does the connection get made between descent of a deity and the use of a graphical image to represent a person…as on the internet?
Maybe the higher conscious was considered a diety; maybe those that began to develop graphical images to represent a person had a great philosophical sense of humor. Regardless, the avatar in the movie was a body that looked like those it needed to communicate and interact with.
The avatar was able to use the streams of consciousness with the body of the mind conduit. The body of the avatar became one with the mind that was being transmitted from another body. In much the same way that the media uses every vehicle it has to use to convey the thoughts of those that control it. In much the same way that I use the avatar on twitter and at times facebook to convey my consciousness. In much the same way you do too. Are you in battle against much with your avatar?
I ask these questions because I believe that the change necessary is located in the evolution of the means by which humans are “communicating”. That term is so limited. We are doing more than communicating. We are extending ourselves through medium. That has always been the difference between humans and other sentient beings we have met. Have black people begun to understand this? What if Malcolm x left and decided to use popular forms of media? What if Malcolm X was still living and had started up a popular periodical that was popular to Black women? What if Malcolm had a twitter account? What if you were Malcolm?
Feel free to address this question in the dialogue boxes below…