Erykah Badu’s Window Seat: All The Groupthinkers Get Down On The Floor…

The voice that is heard is often the opinion that gets voiced the most afterwards…


“Can I get a window seat…don’t want nobody next to me…I just want a chance to fly…a chance to cry…” – Erykah Badu, “Window Seat”(2010)


So, I’ve been on a twitter Hiatus, and I’ve noticed that I’ve been losing hits to the blog. Eh…what can you do right? Sometimes spiritual health is more important than ratings and hits. In essence, I’ll still be away for awhile, but I’ve sort of grown accustomed to blogging at this rate of one post a day, so, I’ll attempt to keep it up.



If you are on a mobile device, click link here for video(mp4 format) of Erykah Badu’s Window Seat


So what should I find when I check through a few of my other favorite social media sites….Erykah “On and On” Badu has put out another video(of course, we are going to discuss Erykah Badu’s Window Seat, did you not see the video and Erykah Badu’s booty?). Not one to critique the grand mind and artist that most brothers in the community credit with transforming Dre from Outkast to Andre3000, well, let us say I wouldn’t dare critique this piece without due diligence. The video opens up with a voice over of the original broadcast of President Kennedy’s arrival in Texas, and the news of gathering crowds to see the former President before his assassination. Before the crisp static of the broadcaster’s voice begins, we are told that the video is “Inspired By Matt and Kim”. That inspiration would be the video of indie group “Matt and Kim” that stripped down to their born day skinnies while walking down New York City’s Time Square.



Although I must say Mz. Badu is looking real nice for a sister that has had three children. I’m not going to even qualify my manhood. She looks right. And yes, fellas, I saw the bubble bounce. Of course, I also read the words “Evolving” written across her back. The question is what does one take away from this? What does the evolution of Mz. Badu mean for the rest of us who have gotten over the fact that we probably will not ever get a chance to palm the exposed one’s callipygian? In the retelling of Black Afrikan Amerikkkan(Black African American) history, will we not recall this as that time Erykah Badu got naked in that video? Will Black history remember the artistic penetration Erykah was pioneering when Erykah Badu went nude in a video?


And yeah, I’m being slightly facetious with Erykah Badu’s Window Seat. I understand the degree of courage it must have taken the sister to strip naked in downtown Dallas. The question remains, and lets not get too persnickety here…I witnessed the culture of Black Women in the US go from yelling about a rough neck, to practicing the 5% teachings, to practicing the ancient rituals and beliefs of the
Yoraba. We all have had our spiritual transitions, and even our political ones. The question is, what is Mz. Booty Badu’s naked commentary on groupthink going to influence? You do realize that Erykah Badu’s Window Seat, her exhibition, will now also be a part of a particular range of groupthink?


Well, before we discuss this, what exactly is groupthink?


The phrase coined by William H. Whyte in 1952 as the title of an article in Fortune Magazine.(source). In that article it is written,”Groupthink is becoming a national philosophy…Groupthink being a coinage — and, admittedly, a loaded one — a working definition is in order. We are not talking about mere instinctive conformity — it is, after all, a perennial failing of mankind. What we are talking about is a rationalized conformity — an open, articulate philosophy which holds that group values are not only expedient but right and good as well.”


The phrase is given considerably more concentration through the work of Irving Janis. Irving Janis in 1972 “used the term ‘groupthink’ to describe the type of decision making that occurs in groups that are highly cohesive, insular and have directed leadership.”(Newell, Lagnado, Shanks, 2007, p. 202) Janis is quoted as stating that “groupthink-dominated groups were characterized by strong pressures towards uniformity, which inclined their members to avoid raising controversial issues, questioning weak arguments, or calling a halt to soft-headed thinking”(Jani & Mann, 1977, p. 130).


Janis considered and put together a model of the groupthink, and delineated the symptoms of groupthink:


-the illusion of invulnerability creating excessive optimism and encourgaging extreme risk taking;


-collective efforts to rationalize in order to discount warnings that might lead members to reconsider their assumptions;


-an unquestioned belief in the inherent morality of the group, inclining members to ignore the ethical or moral consequences of decisions;


-stereotyped views of rivals and enemies as too evil to warrant genuine attempts to negotiate;


-direct pressure on any members that express strong arguments against any of the group stereotypes;


-self-censorship of doubts or counterarguments that a member might have in order to create an illusion of unanimtiy within the group; and


-the emergence of self-appointed ‘mindguards’ who protect the group from adverse information that might shatter shared complacency about the effectivenss and morality of the group’s decision.


Now, back to bare back Badu…


We are given a metaphor. The butterfly. Well, the reversed butterfly…(I coined that if you do porn). The naked woman. The black naked woman. The assassination. The social group as herd. The human as fish, and prone to form schools as such. Much of what is addressed as the bootyful Badu returns to her nativity, commits a very real act(that guy behind her probably doesn’t have much time to wait to get those clothes she’s so daintily tossing behind her…), this is a real act of transformation…but how much is it diverging from groupthink? I don’t know yet…what are your thoughts?

Stasis For Standards…

“I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed.”
Booker T. Washington

For those of you have been following me and my many transitions over the years, you know I like to discuss media, and standards. I was in a discussion the other day with an instructor of mine. I’ve been assisting her with the research portion of the updating process of her book. She was explaining to me a few theories she had about television viewing, and also discussed with me the findings of a research project that was financed by Cosby with regard to his show during the 80s. I’m always willing to suspend judgment and explore situations objectively, and of course my interests was piqued.

In a society that is as media saturated as modern United States of America, it can be difficult not to assess your abilities, your ambition, and your goals by that which you see being portrayed in the media. As I state in several places in my book, “The Better You”, you have to envision yourself as your better self, as the better you. Unfortunately, and maybe fortunately for some, that can often mean simply seeing yourself with financial gain and matieral spoils. Everybody’s rut is not the same rut however. Pfizer the drug company is not a wall street holding because of poor people, trust me on that!

There is a misperception that either money banishes all human ailments, or that the human ailments of those with more financial stock than we have presently are better than our own. Read that again as I type that again:”…there is a misperception that either money banishes all human ailments, or that the human ailments of those with more financial stock than we have presently are better than our own.” It would be insane for me to call that logic “insane” on a blog that refers to itself as the “asylum”, so I’ll let you work that premise out and see how often you return to the same conclusion. The chaos that you have to overcome today is yours. NO matter how much money you throw at a problem, if you don’t fix you, you will only be a pitcher of dollars and a magnet for debt.

Many of us are pulling our thoughts right out of the television. Many us are pulling our ideas, our hopes, and are allowing our drives to be pulled into what we see on the television. Like it is said in many circles, you are being told a vision. The media is literally, telling you a vision. I am not one to say that that is a bad thing or a good one. There are pros and cons to most things in life. THere are great grey areas to many things in life. One of the pro’s is that yes, what you are fed by the media as far as standards and material possessions could be used to fuel your activity. What you are shown of the lifestyles of the rich and famous, or filthy rich and often barely known, can be a catalyst for your motion into a sphere in which you are able to harness your ordered self to conquer the chaos of your life. It can be the carrot that drives the mule. The con is that everything you see in the media is not intended for all audiences, viewer discretion is advised.