It felt like a black lives matter statement by a white writer who’s never been outside the suburbs and tries to avoid prefacing his sentences with “my black friend”. And they made Will Smith the mouthpiece. Maybe he sees something I don’t. Because this didn’t feel like the way to make white people care about what I’m going through. Or maybe he’s perfect. Maybe if they see a black man doing to someone else what is done to us they’ll be more apt to call him on it, thus shedding light on the issue and opening a much needed dialogue. Netflix is working on a sequel, and Will ain’t no fool. It made being a police officer feel a bit like a shooting gallery and an old boys club, which is what it looks like to us. In a darker light, it was a world where black people were able to assimilate and become normal, just like the Germans, Jews, Italians, and Irish did. Its scary how quickly we forgot about our own oppression, but its totally believable. My favorite line: -“When an orc sees me, they see a man who wanna be human. When humans see me, they see an animal. They hate me.” It speaks to police brutality, the skin bleaching epidemic, elitism in American, and the struggles of minorities in general. It was also full of magic in the literal sense, not the colloquial one lol. Yeah it was corny and had a cheap production value. Get over it. The message slaps you in the face. They could lay off the word ‘homie’ though. Can’t be just throwing that word around for anybody.
This one is going to be black. Black, like that coffee that can kill you but is still somehow legal, black.
It is important to preface this post with the notion that I did not attain conclusive evidence that this man was an Aryan advocate.
We did not speak to each other once, save a grunt to for me to get off the seatbelt. I didn’t immediately recognize his affiliation either. The hints were subtle. Avoiding my gaze, uncomfortable shifting every time I moved an inch, and that fake smile wypipo give me when they don’t like my melanin content. A peculiar oddity was how he grabbed a pen shortly after taking his seat. He refused to let go of it until near the end of the flight when, I guess, he deemed I was no longer a threat to his existence, as if a pen would be enough to stave off the savage he may have believed me to be lol. He kept a journal awkwardly in his left hand as an excuse to hold the pen, but he never wrote more than a few words in it the entire flight.
I realized early on that I was incredibly uncomfortable just being next to him, thus my constant fidgeting. Kinda funny that we both intimidated each other merely by being seated next to each other. As if we were at war. I had the thought, too late, to ask someone of colorless descent to switch seats with me because I genuinely feared for my safety. I couldn’t get a good pic, but he had the neo Nazi cut.
And before some suckas say don’t judge by appearance, I’ma need y’all to start hiring Tyrone and Janqueisha, then I’ma need y’all to quit banning us from stores for sagging, then I’ma need y’all to stop wearing confederate flags, then I’ma need you, who specifically still somehow finds a strawman argument, to stfu.
The pen was interesting to me. It was the best defense in lack of firearms. It makes me question how it got to this point. The idea that I would decide to attack someone, purely on their skin color ON AN AIRPLANE. Like ol’ dude the air marshall ain’t waiting for crap to pop off. And that he felt, even though he had 60 lbs over me, that he needed a weapon to subdue me. Like what stories have you heard?
It made me think of a quote from a close friend about a week ago that I’m still unpacking;
All white people are racist.
That notion created a curiosity that I followed to this conclusion:
All white people are white supremacists.
Put the Twitter finger pitchforks down and let me explain.
I fly frequently, about once a month. I sit next to people from all over the world, but mostly white people. Two years ago they were the most friendly people I could meet. So happy, so peacefully unchallenged in their dogmatic superiority. Lately, however, they’ve been less confident that it will last forever, what with the news that there are now more colored babies in America than white babies and that their beloved hate group *cough* heritage is under attack. That or just generally more emboldened by Trump’s antics. I’m sitting next to someone on my flight back to school and he couldn’t even look me in my eye. Guilt? Pride? Hatred? Who knows/cares. I’m all for preserving history, especially the history that was literally burned to the ground for empowering people of color (Black Wall Street).
But you can put that racist sh** in a museum, ban it from making public appearances, scorn it, hate it, destroy it’s image, and be done with it. Until that happens, you, as the people clearly in power, condone it, use it to boost your own ego, and power your self-induced moral superiority over your fellow white countrymen who worship racist symbols of the past proudly. Its not helping anyone, you jerk. Y’all can shut down anything you want. Shut this sh** down.
Not all of you want to bash my skull in, but all of you benefit from the system that allows it to happen. And I get plenty of loathing looks from white strangers, plenty of white people who change seats or hold their things close when I sit near them. (This is crap literally happening as I type this while waiting in the airport. And it’s not a one off thing. I can’t make this crap up lol)
Look how long it’s taken for you to finally believe we’re in pain. It regularly takes 3+ different camera angles and plenty of times y’all still don’t care. Those are regular white people.
Let me stop rambling on these truths, y’all get the point.
That’s not how you end racism.
But its a start.
What is a god? (see paragraph 5)
I love Rick and Morty. It’s easily my favorite show right now, and likely in my top 5 of all time. I love the discussion, nay, whole doctoral theses that can be had from a single episode delving into fate, morality, truth, reality, the existence of gods, of which, Rick is one. More on that in a bit. Even gets into free will, which is what I’ll be focusing on here. I just watched Season 2, Episode 3: Auto Erotic Assimilation (for the 4th time lol) and I see something new every time.
When Rick first met our young hivemind, it had the numbers of a small town. They dated for a while, but it appears Rick was bad for Unity’s growth as a hivemind. Bad in a coked up on fairy dust sort of way. It broke away from Rick and was able to focus and develop.
The main premise of this episode is that Rick runs into an old fling, Unity. It is a being that can assimilate living beings into itself, further growing its capabilities. When at Its potential, It can run a whole planet at peak efficiency, and as we learn in the episode, Its’ achieved world peace in a world riddled with race wars. We learn of big plans in Unity’s future. Upon becoming a Type One Civilization, Unity will be invited into the Galactic Federation, but ultimately plans on assimilating the entire universe. Big Plans for a young god.
What is a god? If you’re of a monotheistic religion, God is of some combination of omniscient, omnibenevolent, and/or omnipotent. If you’re of a polytheistic faith, the gods all have unique character traits and powers. I guess whatever brand of agnosticism I currently follow (because Rick only knows) lends itself to polytheism if they exist.
What separates men and gods? Is it immortality? Rick has the plot armor of a young anime protagonist. Is it unheard of power? Or the lack of empathy necessary to dominate a civilization without losing one’s mind?
My real question is ‘Why can’t men be gods?’
We can already read the thoughts of, clone, and grow living organisms. We can change the evolutionary paths of animals and wipe an entire species out because it got in our way. We can change the atmosphere of the Earth and can devoid an entire continent of life with the click of a shiny red button. We have a sort of limited power of life and death over the Earth. And we’re not even Type One yet. At this point in human history, maybe as an entire species we are the gods of this planet. Perhaps Godhood is on a spectrum.
Rick is a god. To be precise, The One True Rick of C137 is a god. He can travel through space and time with ease, he can alter reality, he can literally leave his own reality and take over another, he can create a universe and be so vain as to use the energy from it to power his car, and see that that universe creates a smaller one to power their civilization, and so on with the dark, twisted fractal of energy spawning the knowledge that if a civilization is no longer of use to their god one level up, they become trash. And cease to exist. Can we forget the meme’d to death ‘Pickle Rick’?
I repeat: Rick is a god. Maybe even the almighty. hm… I’ll use Almighty to refer to the current top god for the rest of this piece.
So naturally, he’s either thrilled or angry when he runs into another god. (Usually angry) Such gods include the scientists in the universe he’s created, the floating heads in the sky, the cumulative ability of the council of Ricks, and of course, Unity. It seems Unity was a low level god, one that was easily manipulated. Rick saw pleasure in this and abused that trait. He’s even suggested that taking over the Universe was too ambitious, and that Unity should slow down. Perhaps he never really like Unity, just the abilities that It had and his ability to manipulate It. Perhaps that’s what an Almighty god is. Manipulating its universe to its own ends. If it destroys an entire timeline, whoops, oh well. There are infinitely more. This one won’t be missed. Perhaps an Almighty is just stumbling around for a billion years until it gets bored and ends itself, only for another god to take its place.
Perhaps that is why gods like Unity arise. They see this bumbling fool with literally infinite power (I don’t know if I can believe infinity exists in nature, but that’s a topic for another day lol) A hivemind god like Unity sees a struggling species (or a thriving one or whatever lol it depends on the ethical makeup of the hivemind) and decides it can make that world a better place. Remember the race wars? There was also poverty and crippling debt. Now the former homeless are neurosurgeons and the skinheads are…not. There is no need for police, global travel, military, civil servants, or even government, because everyone is assimilated into the collective. Life is perfect. The cost?
This is more of a journal entry than a blog post.
The solar eclipse was days away, drawing nearer and more intimidating. The Physics department was on edge since I’d arrived at the school, with a new issue seemingly arising every day. The morning after my bus into Orangeburg arrived, Wednesday morning, I was briefed on the state of the campus. It was August 16, 2017. I was tasked with developing a healthy store of information on the sun, sunspots, and eclipses in general by the 21st. I was going to be an Eclipse Ambassador for the event we’d be having in the stadium. I spent the next few days pining over resources on the internet, mixed into my study time for other classes. I refreshed my memory on the differences between a lunar and solar eclipse, improved my understanding of what sunspots are and how they fluctuate, I learned what the material our protective glasses were made out of, among other things.
Two days before the event, my advisor, Dr. Cash, met with myself and the students that would be helping host the event. They’d be spread out throughout the crowd, helping with glasses, safety, and general eclipse information. She went over the things we’d need to know to better serve our guests.
On the eve of the event, I was asked to assist with moving some equipment to the stadium early in the morning. University of Alabama was launching a weather balloon with our aide from on top of the stadium to monitor weather effects during a total solar eclipse. South Carolina State University would also be spearheading in South Carolina and recording the eclipse for the Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse (CATE) project. On my way to the cafeteria for breakfast, I had gotten word that my advisor’s, whom at this point in my matriculation I see as a second mother, progress through her list of tasks had been impeded. None of the students that had promised to help her had shown up. I took a detour to her office; breakfast could wait. The workload ended up being much less stressful when there was more than one person working on it. We gathered some things for the event onto a cart to be taken down to the first floor and she drove them to the stadium where there were people waiting to help unload. I went up to get the final load. Everything was completed in time.
A few hours later, I arrived to help host the eclipse viewing at the stadium. There were booths set up all underneath the stands to avoid the sweltering heat. Mine would be two tables that each had two of the same type solar scopes on them. Solar scopes are devices that take in sunlight, focus it with lenses, then reflect it onto a white surface so we can safely view the sun and even see sunspots and clouds passing in front of it. One type was wooden and a dozen or so people could view the sun from the sides. The other was cardboard, and only a couple people could look into them at a time. Due to the nature of the booth I would be overseeing, it was in direct sunlight. We were expecting four more students to show up to help me run the station. Four students that never came. A friend of mine, Robert Blue, had been watching me explain how the solar scopes worked and began helping me out. He made signs instructing people on how to use them, since telling them not to touch the interesting instruments was futile. He also helped explain what they did to the curious and steadily growing crowds around the station. There were a few times when there were over 30 people in our vicinity, so his help was much appreciated. I had even gotten approached by what I believe were flat-earthers or climate change deniers. It was pretty interesting since it was the first time I’ve ever been challenged by their type outside of the internet. I gave them all the information a physicist could give, cautioning them of my ignorance when they strayed too far into climate science. We eventually got help with the crowds from two other students, though I’m not quite sure where they came from. I was just happy to have the help.
A few of our friends had come over to join us as the eclipse was beginning. The crowds were waning, as most people had seen the solar scopes by now. It was a good time. I’ll never forget how the sun looked as a piece of it went missing. Of course I knew where it was and what was going on, but the idea that this monolith that was worshipped as a god by ancient peoples could just so simply be eaten away put a perplexing sense of fear inside of me for what might have happened in the past. I’ll also never forget how the sky had darkened as the first moment of totality drew within minutes, how the sun had totally disappeared, and the cheers erupting from the stadium. It was a treat I’ll never forget and that I’m fortunate to have been a part of.
A friend posted about fighting games, Smash 4 in particular;
“I will never understand how people can use bad characters and expect to win anything. Your only holding your potential back by using shitty characters instead of using a top tier tbh”
I like the toolkit analogy. The better the character, the more tools that are available. The better the player, the more uses one can get out of a single tool, thus needing less of a toolkit.
If you’re a bad player, it matters not how good a character you play. If you’re a good player, you can take any character and make them appear great.