Vibes And Pressure

It's taken I an' I a long time 2 put this particular post down. The problem with history is that, no matter how earnest the documentarian, it's flavoured by those who tell it, sometimes with tiny inflections, sometimes with broad strokes. Now we cld get n2 that... but nah, that's a whole 'nother conversation, mayb 4 a 'nother time. What I will say is this...  Nothing is completely objective (if u disagree then hit me up, I'll set u str8), but in this particular case I feel that it wld b remiss on me 2 contextualise the following, as that is something u, the reader must do.

Think on the time in which what you read is taken from, if u find yr knowledge lacking, then feel free 2 check a few things out. Take into consideration what the World was, and how it was understood; what was mankinds' heights of technological, philosophical and sociological knowledge. How did people come 2 their sense of self, and understanding of worth in themselves and others. The thing that struck me is how much, even in this present era... especially in this era, that life is valued foremost by financial worth and its worth and sale-ability to others in a time of celebrity as religion, the iconography and devotional expression of this becoming so dominant, it's what really matters as told 2 us by the media high priests.

That same price on a human in another era... Put yrself in the position of those whose voices u will now hear spk, wld u express yrself any differently?

"Then for love of filthy Gold, straight they bore me to sea; Cramm'd be down a slave ships hold, Where were hundreds stow'd like me. ...Shrieking, sickening, fainting, dying, Deed of shame for Britons brave..."
Hannah More, The Sorrows of Yamba, or the Negro Woman's Lamentation, 1795

"From the observations that I have made, I have no doubt that the situation of the West India slaves is preferable to that of the labouring poor of Europe"
James Tobin, sugar trader and owner of a plantation in Nevis, who believed that local (Bristol, a slave trade port) commerce would be destroyed by abolition

"He avoided... all connection with the slave trade, declaring that the credit of his house would be ruined, if he were known to send those, who put themselves under his care, into it."
Thomas Clarkson, an abolitionist, referring to a Mr Thompson, a pub landlord who wouldn't allow slave-ship recruiters into his pub, putting his welfare and safety at risk

"We hope (the cargo) will purchase you 240 choice slave(s), besides a Quantity of ivory, the latter of which you are always to embrace... seeing in that commodity there's no Mortality to be feared"
"So soon as you begin to slave, let the netting be fixed breast high fore and aft, and so keep them shackled and hand bolted to prevent them rising or leaping overboard"
Isaac Hobhouse, merchant, to William Barry, Master of the ship Dispatch, 1725

" 'My husband' said she, 'lost all by gaming, he was forced to sell me'.
'Left you children behind?'
'Yes' replied the poor creature with streaming eyes, and raised one finger, as an indication of the number."
Zachary Macaulay, Governor of the Sierra Leone colony, to his sister, 1795

"As an abstract question, freedom must be held preferable to slavery, but I very much doubt whether, if the Negroes in the West Indies were to have their freedom granted them, they would be nearly as happy as that are now?"
The aforementioned James Tobin, to a Parliamentary committee, 1790

"If there were no buyers there would be no sellers"
Ottobah Cuguano, freed African slave, in the book Thoughts and Sentiments on the... Traffic of the Commerce of the Human Species, 1787

Since my arrival I've purchased 9 negroe slaves at St Kitts and can assure you I was shock'd at the first apprearance of human flesh expos'd to Sale. But surely God ordain'd 'em for ye use & benefit for us: otherwise his Divine will wou'd have been made manifest by some particular Sign or Token."
John Pinney, 2 March 1765

"Captain Tucker went immediately to the cabin, and brought out with him his large horse-whip, and exercised it about my body in so unmerciful a manner, that not only the clothes on my back were cut to pieces, but every sailor on board declared they could see my bones."
From The Life of Mr Silas Told, written by himself, 1786

"We... fitted out again for... Africa and thence to Charlestown... during the gale we lost 20 or so of the slaves... and the remainder much impaired, so that we came to a very bad market."
Joseph Banfield, Journey of a Life at Sea, 1780's

"This fellow seemed to disdain the other slaves for their readiness to be examined and scorned to look at the  Buyers... This got him an unmerciful whipping... from his master... Who had certainly killed him but for the loss he must have sustained by it"
John Atkins, Royal Navy surgeon, in A Voyage to Guinea, 1721

"Great Benin... is larger than Lisbon... The city is wealthy and industrious. It is so well governed that theft in unknown and the people live in such security that they have no doors on their houses"
Lourenco Pinto, Portuguese ship's captain, 1694

"...a Trade, altogether as advantageous to the Natives as to us, for whilst we supplied them with Things they wanted, and were of Value amongst them, we took in exchange Slaves, which were else of little Worth to the Proprietors"
John Cary, merchant, in A Discourse Of The Advantage of The African Trade to This Nation, 1711

"I, John Jea, ... was born in the town of Old Callabar, in Africa, in the year 1773 ... At two years and a half old, I and my father, mother, brothers, and sisters, were stolen, and conveyed to North America and sold for slaves"
John Jea, freed slave and Christian Preacher, in The Life ... of John Jea ..., 1815

It's always good 2 listen 2 the voices of those b4 us, whether we like what we hear of not, but then that depends on what those voices say 2 u... what did u hear?


Corrd the Seeker

I used 2 love H.E.R.

There’s nothing like listening 2 some ol’ school jointz and then allowing yrself 2 b taken back so that u can relish in why u fell in love with them in the 1st place. Like hearing Rampage (shoutout 2 Psycho) bus’ Superthug @ carnival and watching damn near 15,000 people go nuts, or listening 2 It Takes a Nation... and know that u experienced something far more significant, and meaningful,  than just vocals and beats. How abt driving thru London town n the early hours of the morning and having Beanie Sigel’s Feel it in the Air pop thru yr car stereo, or going 2 Negril in a full ride with The Chronic as yr soundtrack, or finishing up an exhausting 26 hr road trip, wanting nothing bt sleep, only 2 b fully energised by the Ante Up remix featuring Bus-a-Bus just as u’re rolling over the Brooklyn Bridge.

It’s all abt the passion invoked by the love of Hip Hop. Not just beats and rhymes, bt a livity. The culture, the code, the Essence or Rap. This thing of ours, this beautiful street science, the mass realisation of poetry in motion. Hip Hop. It’s such a strange relationship, ever since she 1st found me, stroked my face and opened my eyes. She schooled me 2 the many realities of this existence, made me self-aware, exposed both my pride and my shame, taught me 2 question everything; that Word is Bond, that Love is nothing if u don’t show it (“show me some Luv..!”), that Dogz and Catz can get along just fine, that instead of being made 2 feel less than bcos of who u r or where u come from, actually who u r and where u come from can empower u 2 overcome the restraints put on u by those who wld fear and despise u. She helped 2 do all that, and more. Suffice it 2 say that I’m somewhat protective of Hip Hop.

I used 2 go 2 Hip Hop Appreciation events. Always a lot of love there, and it’s always nice 2 gather in fellowship with other like-minded peeps. Yet, it became more noticeable 2 me (and predictable) that, over time, most of the attendance @ these events came from older headz that had love 4 the culture and art form from back in the day, dudes who knew their history. Most of the other attendees r usually young’uns who were able 2 find their voice thru Hip Hop, and want 2 experience this whole new landscape 2 the fullest. If u’ve never come across this kind of event then u’ve missed something, bcos altho it sounds somewhat run of the mill, 2 c this play out in front of u is a surreal thing.

The 1 thing that always, always gets me @ these events tho is running commentary. The “it ain’t like it used 2 b” observations, the “…back in the day…” remarks, the “these young catz don’t have a clue!” exclamations. Hip Hop, as with all things of historical import, is sometimes abt what’s being said, and more often abt who’s saying it. There r many many chronicles of the story of Hip Hop, and on the real, I’m not n2 telling that story here and now. From the beginnings of Cool Herc and the Zulu Nation up 2 the present, Hip Hop has always had something 2 say, regardless of who liked or approved of it, but the statement always had 2 be taken in context of the speaker. In that sense, Hip Hop has always been like a State on the Union address, informing us of where things stand and which way they may go in the immediate future.

Every so often, I look 2 strike up some convo with some of the veteran catz and, most of the time, when I ask who they’re listening 2 now, or who they think is poppin’, I get “..bruh, I ain’t really followin’ these new catz, cos it ain’t real no more”. 4 me rite there, that’s a switch off. I remember listening 2 KRS One in an interview abt his time as an exec 4 MCA, and when asked if he was able 2 influence the corporate culture there, he used the analogy of a finger in a stream, and that while the finger influenced the flow of water, when u remove it the water flows as b4. Same applies here. If the Vet’s of the community no longer engage or participate in the present day Hip Hop cultural flow, how can u complain abt the current state of affairs, of even blame the young’uns 4 taking a certain direction, based on the conclusions that they draw from what they c? Keep yr hand in, participate, don’t alienate.

Not that I an’ I wants 2 make the case that the yout’ dem r free from any kind of scrutiny, as personal responsibility still has its place, and the right 2 take from Hip Hop also comes with the responsibility 2 respect the gift that it is, and 2 give back 2 the culture. As Frank White says, there’s rules 2 this … Only, there’s a definite divide, and the less the older headz engage with the new school, the more of an erosion will be evidenced by the lack of observation of the rules that regulate this. New school needs 2 respect the architects, and older headz need 2 impart (and not patronize!) 2 the young headz the knowledge. Mutual respect, higher overstanding.

As I stated b4, Hip Hop is like a State of the Union address, and like all forms of address, it serves as a reflection of the larger environment from which it draws context. Let’s keep it real, there’s a lot of output from Hip Hop that’s not positive, but then this more negative side has always existed. But let me not pettifog, some older headz have a valid point; the negative output is on the increase. Even the less negative jointz out there now say very little, and whli yes, I do kno that it all started out as party music, from very early on the significance of artform 2 its audience became central in its expression. The paper chase is also represented strongly, as is a need 2 show and prove yr material worth; if u ain’t getting minted, then yr game is weak. Yr success is measured in yr excess. Hip Hop is a reflection of the environment from which it comes out of and draws from. We gear our education system 2 gain the skills necessary 2 b able 2 accumulate wealth, we replace religion and spirituality with the iconography of celebrity, we’ve moved our societies from community focused 2 aspirational desires, and then look baffled as 2 y the leading lights of Hip Hop all talk abt flash cars, big houses, celebrity chicks and openly deride those less fortunate. We live in a capitalist world, we use the mechanics of this 2 gain wealth, status, respect. The artists that rep Hip Hop magnify that. Hip Hop is our thing, it’s abt all of us who r a part of it or engage it. Hip Hop reflects us. Yes, don’t even try 2 play this off. If we want 2 c the culture repped differently, then I an’ I, u, me, all of us need 2 make the changes we want in the artistic output. If we all exalt and respect our Empresses and Princesses, then it becomes more difficult 4 an artist 2 put out something that contradicts that perspective. A lot of peeps, both within Hip Hop and outside of it, say they don’t like that there is a lack of positive lyrics in the music. Allow me 2 retort; there r a lot of conscious, positive and uplifting jointz out there by artistS who adore and respect this. U wanna hear positivity in Hip Hop, support those artists, buy their joints, go 2 their shows, drag unschooled cats so that they can experience uplifting WordSoundPower vibrations in a drama-free setting. The proliferation of technology now makes it even easier than ever 2 do this, bt we still have 2 take the steps, check out who’s doing it on that level, u can’t change the Game if u’re just content 2 sit in the stands and point a finger. Dip the finger in the flow instead, c what ripples occur.

Talking abt Back in the Day, there was a time when Hip Hop was switched on 2ward the positive, when there was a genuine movement 4 positive change in our communities, in the way we engaged each other, in the way that we saw ourselves and the world. Peace was the word and empowerment was the goal, and we knew that somehow we had 2 “fight the powers that be”… then the crack wars began, big money came n2 Hip Hop, and style began 2 reign over content. Again there r many documentarians who have chronicled this, and @ some point I may well create a body of work in that vein, bt let me posit this, was there any benefit from this sudden slide away from the positive? And if so, who were the beneficieries? And y wld there b a push 2ward the negative?

I wanna draw a parallel here, not an overtly obvious 1, bt an important 1. Back in the 60’s and 70’s there was a strong and definite movement that engaged peeps in an environment from which they felt alienated. The movement, the most visible aspects of which were musical and appearance, was much stronger and deeper that just songs and visuals. I’m talking abt Punk. Punk was, and still is by those who keep the flame, a whole culture 2 itself, with not just its own music, bt its own fashion, ideologies, codes and modes of interaction, dance, literature, visual artwork, film and other artistic output, lifestyle and community. From the outside it frightened many who cldn’t cross that bridge 2 engage it. Like Hip Hop it had negative aspects as well, as do all cultures. Yet it was the Music that spearheaded its rise n2 the gr8r consciousness, and when it became apparent that aspects of the culture were economically viable, Big Money found it way n2 Punk. Soon after, Punk-lite fashion appeared chain stores, record companies found acts that cld sell commercial Punk music 2 mainstream audiences, without educating the masses as 2 the larger culture. Economic power brings a certain level of freedom, and those with that power and who co-opted Punk, or their representation of it, had the power 2 influence the commercial aspects and not have 2 answer 2 the architects, the peeps that lived this. So Punk as a cultural force... well… sort of died a death. There r still those who keep it alive, and have 2 still fight the misconceptions and preconceptions every day, they still rep Punk 2 the fullest and have even carved successful careers even in the face of the ignorance of others. It’s funny how both with Hip Hop and Punk, if u r seen as 1 who reps that culture, u automatically become the spokesperson 4 it in its entirety, and must answer 4 all its ills. I was watching the opium box some time back (funny how addictive it can b), and saw Vivienne Westwood in an interview, where the interviewer 1st fawned over her, then began 2 try 2 make her answer 4 negative occurrences in the history of Punk, like all true Punks lived in the same house and were answerable 4 whatever crap some other punk did. Some things never change.

Hip Hop, whereas Big Money has made inroads 2 co-opt it, still is somewhat self-regulating, and bcos it’s also remains somewhat removed from whose that wld seek 2 own its soul, lays in the hands of those who, 2 some extent, live it and love it 4 all its flaws. This now global phenomenon that, as Common says has affected so many souls and connected nations, has enriched the lives of billons, Hip Hop affiliated or not, as well as enriching billions of dollars in the coffers of corporations. The beauty of it all is that it’s still abt the joy of participation. The banging of beats on the kitchen table (or on shop counters, on the knees, the dashboard in the ride...), the catching lyrical wordplay in a cypher, hearing 4 bars drop from a new joint in a club and getting yr collective minds blown, the pain of STILL waiting 4 Dre 2 drop Detox, the joy reminiscing abt c-ing Biggie Mic Control-ing Hammersmith Palais, or playing Eminem in yr head just b4 u have 2 face 1 of Life’s many tests, or even listening 2 a Japanese girl who knows virtually no English spit Shook Ones word 4 word, rhyme 4 rhyme and know that u both share a bond…

I cld go on and on, bt the point is this; the story of Hip Hop is age old, the story of triumph over adversity, of the insignificant becoming integral 2 the fabric of this space-time, the story of the power of unity. It’s not so much a matter of history tho, it’s on-going, present, it’s our story, and the continuing story of the world in which we live, from the perspective of the story tellers, the rhymers and scribers that spk 2 us and 4 us, and is probably the most democratic method of telling the tale of the people. Like all true democracies, the gr8r the participation, the more vibrant the democracy becomes. 4 u, by u, and if we all engage, we will continue 2 shape the reality of this thing of ours.

I rarely roll up 2 Hip Hop Appreciation days anymore, tho I try 2 reach the up and comers thru other means. Mayb the way 2 show love for H.E.R. and honour the Architects is 2 keep it movin’ whilst holding fast 2 the values that brought this whole thing 4ward.

I used 2 love H.E.R. I still love H.E.R. Even when she becomes wayward, or I become wayward, I still come back 2 H.E.R. I hope I’m blessed enough 2 never fail H.E.R. I will always ride 4 H.E.R.


Corrd the Seeker.

For the last few years I’ve been strongly fighting peer pressure to join Facebook.

From its introduction to the mainstream about 5 years ago I’ve had my suspicions about this website but I hadn’t really got a good enough argument, except that I had a feeling that there was something wrong about it.

But eventually, 4 months ago, I gave in, with the reason that my assumptions about it all were based on theory not experience, just like those who criticise books they’ve never read.  So I swallowed my pride and took the plunge and set up a Facebook account, albeit in disguise as a bag of rice with a false name.

Privacy is an issue for me so I ignored all the sections available to input my interests and hobbies and ignored the random requests for friendships from friends of friends.  Then I had to write my first status update.

What would I write?  It had to be something ‘cool’.  Something witty that would ingratiate me to my new public.

Unfortunately I did not record this audacious moment, but I do remember getting enthusiastic enough to post about 4 or 5 things in succession, unaware of the unsaid etiquette of not posting more than one or two things within a few hours of each other.  Eventually realising this rule I rationed my posts, saving interesting videos for the next day if I’d already just posted something.

One of the things I came to notice about Facebook is the amount of information that is presented for ingesting.  I ended my Facebook life with a modest 14 friends, which meant I wasn’t inundated with too much information – in fact I was left a little hungry at times – however, I can imagine for someone who has 200 friends, or for one of my ‘friends’ who had 2000 friends, the amount of information one is presented with, each day, must be astounding.  The question is what happens when we are confronted with such an information glut?

What I found was that information lost its depth.  Something was posted, watched, maybe commented on then it was quickly lost as the next mouthful of information was thrust in my direction.  I quickly concluded that Facebook is not the best place to inform anyone of anything meaningful.  It’s a good place to share cute kittens and weird fat men dancing to techno.  Anything deeper is often taken equally as superficially as the kittens and fat men because it all merges into one constant stream.

Another affect I found that Facebook had on me was changing the way I thought.

I found myself thinking a lot about Facebook, even when I wasn’t on it.  What was I going to write next?  How would I write it? Who would be impressed and how could I impress the most people?  From this I’ve discovered that I do not have the personality for using Facebook in a casual way.

Some people can use Facebook in a casual, light way, but I currently possess an extremely fragile ego that needs tons and tons of recognition and acceptance from my fellow man for me to feel good about myself.   And I crave attention.  This of course is an unhealthy way to exist and the task that is at hand for me is to break this habit and feel happy enough in myself to not need this esteem.  Facebook, however, is like nicotine.  But it’s not like a strong B&H, it’s more like a silk cut ultra, and I found myself going back and back for more to get the hit I wanted and knew I could get if I just said or did the right thing.  In fact I did get a good hit at one point by posting an animation I made.  And just to get every last ounce of juice I could from the praise I received I went back several times to look over the comments that people had left.

Facebook is bad news if you need the esteem of other people to feel good about yourself – which, it seems, could be nearly everyone in western civilisation. 

Facebook is also a con.  It is not a social networking site, not anymore anyway.  Facebook wants to know what’s on your mind so that they can advertise that very thing back to you.

It’s a ‘focus group’ on a phenomenal scale.  Like vampires, the marketers feed off our updates and shares so they can better understand what it will take to manipulate us into buying things we don’t need.  There is a way you can turn the adverts off but sometimes the pages won’t work properly.

In fact unless you do everything Facebook says they will make it very difficult for you to use it.  One of my friends had the experience of his interface changing to Timeline without his permission.  There was nothing he could do, it seems, except submit to this new way of using the network.  In another anecdotal incident a change in group settings ‘dictated’ (their word) that the user perform a labour intensive task that didn’t have to be done before.  This is internet dictatorship.

Even in my own experience as I deactivated my account they wouldn’t let me go without telling them why I wanted to leave.  And when you do want to leave Facebook uses guilt to try and keep you hooked, showing picture of friends that will ‘miss you’.  How absurd and creepy!  The fact that my account is never deleted, and I can always reactivate it just by logging back in, should send huge alarm bells off to us all about a more sinister intent of Facebook.

I’ll be strong enough to resist reactivation I hope because I believe that Facebook is an unwholesome way to communicate and is detrimental to the way we interpret reality and connect with each other.  It encourages superficiality, narcissism, self-obsession, snooping, judging, takes up huge amounts of time and dramatically increases time spent on the internet, and it give the impression that you are staying in contact with friends, but because of this illusion I found that I actually communicated with them less, opting instead for sharing status updates that revolved around me.

Of course, just like any drug, it has its upsides and there are useful functions, but we survived for millions of years without it and its overall effect, in my opinion is a detrimental one.

We need to deeply consider the effects of this new way of communicating.  It certainly makes things easier but is that always a good thing?  And what will the consequences for our relationships be if we continue to use this very superficial way of connecting with others?

Thank you for reading.

P.S.  Pass this on the old fashioned way if you found it interesting.


“Do you believe that’s air you’re breathing now?” Morpheus.

Yeah rudie, I’m looking out of my window, seeing the glorious sunshine and kinda just appreciating all Nature offers us, the vastness of the gift that is this world and everything in it. I’m happy just 2 feel the sunlight on my skin, that’s the truth of the matter. Then I think abt all those whose journeys have finished b4 mine and r no longer on the trod 2 enjoy this experience with I an’ I, and that brings a little sadness. That is also the truth. Does the new truth cancel out the old truth? I guess it depends on how u see it. What I do kno is that headz that r considered leading authorities on this matter r not all in sync on this.

So what is the truth of the matter? Or, 4 that matter, what is the Truth? See, from ever since, we’re always told abt truth as a gr8 virtue. Always tell the truth, and all good things will follow u through life. Not that this is strictly true, as many who spoke the truth ended up dead, or incarcerated, or persecuted. Sometimes the truth abt speaking the truth is that many may fear that truth, or even believe that truth 2 b a lie.

Maya Angelo said that facts can b used 2 obscure the truth. So what makes a truth the truth? Kitaro Nishida took the view that truth starts when the consciousness differentiates between knower and known, and ends when they find unity.  Is the truth some type of resolution, let’s look at something, question the hell out of it, and what we’ve got left is then the truth? Or is the truth just the belief in a fact; X is a fact, we believe that fact, our belief is the truth? Or, is it maybe there is one Truth, encompassing a complete system of all true beliefs, and that whatever we believe 2 b true is merely a part of that whole, complete Truth?

The thing that strikes me is that in all of this, the 1 thing that comes across is the connection between truth and perception; there is no truth is there is no1 2 believe in it. Is truth then something internal, and a connection that we have with external things, b they ideas or just the world as it is? If not, could it b that truth is just the way in which we interpret the world around us?

Earlier 2day I had a meeting with a man in a suit, full of info on government statistics, local and central guidelines and correct procedure policies. During a somewhat energetic discussion, we got on 2 the subject of truth, how 2 people can describe the same thing in different terms and what that meant 2 each person. Dude then told me that perception is reality from that person’s perspective. Cool, there is something 2 that, but then again, say I look at a situation a certain way, and I think this has some significance 2 every1 else. I then decide 2 project this, 2 make an assertion so that all of u can kno what I kno, and I succeed. Now my belief becomes your truth. Now let’s say that my truth was based on mayb a shaky premise. (a) If I believe that it is wholeheartedly true, is it a truth? And (b), regardless of the answer to (a), as I was successfully able to assert my belief 2 all of u, is that truth now the new reality?

Here’s something 2 bake the noodle: if I kno something is a lie, and I live that lie, and I tell myself that it’s the truth, and I then invest myself in this so much that I eventually convince myself that it’s now the truth, is the original truth still the truth, or is the lie now the truth? And if the lie is now the truth, wasn’t it always the truth, and the original truth just a device 2 bring me 2 the truth? Or is this new truth just a truth on top of the original truth and I am now the creator of the new reality, and if I am the creator of this reality, what does that make me? Or what if all realities r a falsehood, and there is only 1 truth, and this truth is obscured by all these other realities, as the creators of these realities, is no1 then able 2 perceive the truth?

We have reality TV, social networks, online communities, fraternities, social groups, membership clubs, politrickal parties and so many other things that we invest in, all of which make assertions of some kind. Even with our best efforts, if it’s even true that the individual can indeed shape reality, how much of our reality did we actually shape, or how much was shaped for us under the assertion that we shaped it ourselves?

Is reality all abt projection? Jean Baudrillard kicks the idea of simulacrum around, a simulacrum being a likeness or an image, here’s how he flips it “The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth—it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true.”

Everyday, everywhere I go, some1 is trying 2 tell me something abt myself, I need stuff, I need 2 do stuff, buy something, believe in him, vote for this skism, join this group.. I must b missing out big time! Of course they wld never lie, it’s all true… So if 2 of them r telling me that I have a particular need, yet each solution offered conflicts with the other, can both truths co-exist? Wld they cancel each other out? Wld I need 2 seek a supertruth that accommodates both truths?or is it the projection of those truths more real than the truth behind them?

What if… and bear with me… what if…. All these things that I’m being told abt myself and my needs r all lies? What is the purpose? The scale of the delivery of these wld b something so vast that they wld represent a mega reality 2 rival all other realities. Mayb this is a mutated Orwellian world, bt then Orwell himself called it and said, “in a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act”. Knowing what happens 2 those who commit revolutionary acts, wld u still tell the truth?

The next time some1 says that they r telling u the truth, what do they mean? What do they want it 2 mean 2 u? Cld b that none of this matters anyway....

What is your truth?

…as always answers on a postcard...


Corrd the Seeker

By now all of u, the good peeps who pass thru this (blog)spot and read the pieces put down by us here, may have noticed, or not bcos it’s all love, that I sign off on my pieces with “p.l.h.o.”. I also use this on other bits of correspondence and even certain presentations. Every so often some1’ll hit me up and ask, “What does it mean?” so I keep it simple…


A mantra, a code, a guide. 1ce in a while I’ll get a 1 who’ll come at me and throw back a variation of some kind, like “why don’t u flip it like dis, fam!”, or take that variation and use it on their own thing. That’s cool wid me, all love, like breaking bread 2 make more bread. Wonderful. Me, I gotta keep it original tho, and not just 4 the sake of, bt bcos it’s more than just a flow of words that may or may not sound cool. This right here is a livity. When I said b4 that I keep it simple, what I meant is that I don’t always go as far as 2 break it down, mayb bcos I sometimes expect my closer peeps 2 kno (or b telepathic, yeah, I already kno, 1 of those traits I gotta work on… and I am trying) or grasp it just like that. So.. I will apologise 2 every1 that I did that with, this is me making amends, and setting it str8. This thing, p.l.h.o., is not actually 4 different things, kinda more like 4 in 1, or more accurately, 3 in 1,  the 1st being the last and the last being the 1st (Basic Instructions B4 Leaving Earth, 4 the original headz). Let me get 2 it.


 This is the initial, the alpha, the jump off. Now from a longer time, “peace” has always been a salutation used 2 show love within hip hop and reggae culture, a call of awareness from various beliefs and philosophies that we all flow n2 contact with, and a term with carries a value streetside.

The his or her story of the term goes back 2 ancient times, and in many instances wld b the difference between life and death, with the declarer of the term aware of what was at stake going in. All word sound is power, bt the power is less if the sound, which is an energy, didn’t match up with the word. Bear in mind that the ancients had a very different overstanding of the world, the perception of certain energies was far gr8er than now, and if the word and energy were out of sync, then, well, heads rolled. Literally.

This goes deeper still, as the use of the term peace wasn’t just merely abt the representation of intent, it was also abt transference. That means that in order 4 I an’ I 2 approach a nxt “I” and connect, there has 2 b a continuity of energy flow. It’s not simply enough 2 say the words, b sincere and that’s that, there has 2 b the passing of this energy, this vibe, a connecting flow, like when water flows across land, pushing, moving, meandering 2 find the best way 2 get where it needs 2 go. And even if the water flow dries up, the riverbed remains so that the path is clear. From Sumeria 2 Kush, right thru 2 the ancient Greeks, the 1st Aramaic speakers, and the original peoples of the Himalayas, the importance of the principle was known. Even Yeshua, known as the Christ, wld approach wishing His peace un2 all those that He came across.

No structure can b built on a moving groundation, even the structures of our relationships, of family and community, of respect and understanding. We r the groundation, as we all represent the mother Earth, Gaia, not in some pseudo religious kinda skizm, bt simply as the product of her wellspring. Evolution or Intelligent Design, it all points out this simple fact. The shifting sands inside us can only truly become stable when we have peace. It’s the simplist, yet most mind expanding thing we can do in and of our own selves. Find that true centre, anchor all the chaos that is a human 2 it, and stop moving, achieve stillness. The really weird thing abt it is that sometimes it can happen in a moment, or the space between moments, and we don’t even notice. It can b inspired by a word, or an object, mayb the sudden sensation of noise, a vivid colour, or even mortal danger. I an’ I have found this whilst performing movements in the war arts, in deep conversation wid wiser headz, and even experienced this hearing a talented performer play in a noisy room, pure stillness (big shout out 2 Ayanna). Peace.

It may sound like this is something that can only b experienced in fleeting moments @ sporadic times, yet this isn’t the case @ all. All over the world, from religion, 2 meditation and martial practices, 2 certain leisure pursuits, there r many paths 2 the Way (u may ask why I refer 2 peace as the Way, grasshopper. I’ll come back 2 that in a minute).

This thing right here is something that is not only achievable, bt also prolong-able and even sustainable. It takes work, like anything else good. Let me bring it back 2 the everyday. I an’ I roll up 2 a spot, and c our peeps, make eye contact, and show love by wishing them peace. Cool, bt it’s all hollow if we’re lacking that said peace. Even if we’re sincere in wishing it, the desire can only go so far as the knowledge from which it is inspired, so if we don’t kno peace, then it’s difficult 2 wish un2 others the thing that we’re not so sure that we kno abt. All this comes b4 we can act as conduits 2 allow that flow of wordsoundpower, that energy, that peace, 2 connect us 2 those we hold in esteem.

Many ancients have spoken abt the Way, and even have shown paths 2 the Way. This is bcos peace isn’t stagnant. Yes it is a stillness, but that is within us. That stillness is there 2 guide and inform, sometimes it can b referred 2 as a meditation in motion, having stillness while doing something else, like when a sportsperson finds that moment of clarity in a crucial part of the game, or an artist touches the ether 2 pull off an extraordinary performance. This thing, this peace, can inform on so many levels, even when fighting the evils of this world, so as not 2 become lost 2 the fight. It becomes an indicator of the direction we take, a lifestyle choice… The Way. All we can do, if we so choose, is to find a path 2 that Way.


 Probably the single thing most talked abt in this world. We have entire industries, many, built around this. The fortunes of men and nations have risen and fallen chasing it. I an’ I kno that there is so much material out there, songs, poems, movies, paintings and other artistic expressions and whatnot, all talking abt love. All nice and dandy, epcept 4 the fact that most of that stuff is tied up in romance, and emotion. Yes, we r manifold beings with many selves, including the emotional, what I’m really looking at here is love as a virtue.

 So ok, I hear u coming with, “Corrd, den isn’t love just love, Iyah? No matter who or what u love, it’s still love?” Well, yes, bt that’s love as emotion, or even the expression of that emotion, that feeling that provides a motivation 2 certain actions. I’m talking abt Love as a guiding principle, the thing that underpins all other structures. In this sense, the love is truly universal, not just for the reason that it’s something that we all share in, but that all things r connected thru it. Even in dealings that r unpleasant in nature, with love as light, the path ahead becomes clearer. For example, if a child falls and has an injury, the parent will, if they can, take care of that injury. Now, if that wound is dirty then it needs 2 b cleaned, the cleaning of the injury make well cause the child more pain, and no loving parent wld want 2 cause their child pain, bt the wound needs cleaning, and if left unattended can become infected, so the parent puts aside their own discomfort in order 2 deal with the wound in the best way possible without hesitation.

The writers of the Upanishads describe the individual like a circle, within which is another circle. The inner circle is the intellect, which is the unchanging self, purely observing reality, but not directly connected 2 it. The outer circle is the discursive mind, connected 2 the world via the senses, and filtering the sensory perception, so that the intellect is informed thru this discursive. So pree this… if this discursive is structured in virtue, and the virtue is love, then everything in the universe that we affect, and that affects us is thru love. There is no division, or categorisation, of how we deal with everything because everything comes 2 us via love. Another perspective is this; if all of our structures, as discussed earlier, r represented in a physical form, like a building, then the building needs 2 b constructed so that they stand strong and secure.  If peace is the earth upon which everything is built, love is the material that makes the foundation.

“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing. Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil” Paul the Apostle.


Back in the day, coming up as young’uns, everybody knew some1 from their area, manor, hood, sides, that garnered respect. Not demanded it, or imposed it on any1. Never took the time 2 ask 4 it, or explain why it was necessary. They just got it. Many times, the 1’s who gave respect didn’t even analyse the why. There was no external reason as 2 how this happened either, wasn’t like every1 was told, “yo, my man’s a Lord” or “do u know what u owe 2 dude? U best respect dat!” U just did. If u took the time out 2 really pree it, then oftentimes u wld find out that this person wld carry themselves a certain way, conduct themselves in a certain manner, observe a certain code, and most times without feeling a need 2 state any of this.

A lot of what was admirable in those individuals was the fact that they acted with honour. Strangely enough, this is a term that, as times goes on, falls n2 more and more disuse. Honour, some wld say, is almost like an unwritten rulebook (although there r in fact written codes of honour, usually attached 2 an institution of some kind, like certain belief structures, military organisations, structured fraternities etc…), grounded in things such as dignity, character, morality and integrity. All very nice sounding words. Bt honour isn’t just abt high sounding ideas, bt abt what happens when grindin, and dealing with the grimey, without becoming grime. That crazy high standard yr grandmother wld hold u 2, and why the baddest man on yr ends showed her nothing bt respect, yeah, that’s what we’re dealing with.

I recently saw Dr Maya Angelou on the opium box discussing virtues, and in this discussion she stated that contrary 2 popular belief, the greatest of all virtues was courage, 4 it emboldens a person 2 practice the other virtues always. I felt that deeply, but as I delved n2 a deeper contemplation whist sitting here writing this piece, I found that my view differed slightly. While courage does indeed bring consistency to other virtues, it isn’t in and of itself virtuous. I an’ I can perform courageous feats and inspire many, bt that same courage can enable me 2  commit gr8 wrongs also, if I believe in the validity of my actions, or believe that I need prove my superiority. 4 me, to practice honour, not only enhances the practice of other values, but it also gives meaning as 2 why those things r important as it self affirms without needing affirmation.

As I just said, even the term honour seems 2 b increasingly disused. I came across an article that tried 2 explain that honour within a culture was opposed 2 a culture of laws. It attempted 2 show that having the rule of law doesn’t allow a person 2 act in an honourable way particularly if they have been wronged, and how a code of honour needs poverty, crime profitability, and lack of law enforcement in order 2 b sustained. Yes Iyah, madness. Honour is at its very essence virtuous, and grounded in decency, and is not the rule of law set in the principles of decency? It kinda seemed 2 me that I an’ I was being told to set aside what is decent so that decency can b dispensed 4 me 2 practice. Izm skizms.

The true beauty of honour is that it’s not just an observance, bt also a set of tools 2 practically apply when dealing with the situations that we all experience, as well as dealing with our struggles, those both without and within. My Cuz 1nce told me that the gr8est honour a King can have is 2 b of service 2 his people. Indeed, 2 b of service 2 the people is majestic, and even Divine.


“Me, we.” Shortest known poem, by Muhammed Ali.

The Omega, the ending, or, more accurately, the end of the beginning and the beginning of everything. Each individual is part of a community, or even several communities, that represent something, whether that’s family, tribe, vocational affiliation, trades group… whatever. Many communities or groups form parts of our societies, our states, nations, reh teh teh. We all understand that there r many ways in which there exists difference between us, yet there is also the understanding that there is cause for the recognition of commonalities, not just in specific groups, but even across well-established divides.

There r many ideas, schools of thought, and theories that run along this general idea. I an’ I will say this, that in the midst of all this infinite diversity, that there is a oneness, and that it is wise 2 recognise this and make manifest. The concept of oneness can b found in just abt everything. That has a ring 2 it, that oneness can b found in everything. It sounds fantastical, like some sci-fi hocus pocus u can catch on a Friday night. The really crazy part abt this is that the more u look, the more u come 2 realise “oh shit, there might b something 2 this!”

Ok, this might all b make believe, and I an’ I shd just deal wid facts and science, right? Cool. So there I am, watching the opium box when a voice comes on 2 tell me that “they” have found the God particle. Yeah, and that this discovery will proceed a whole new understanding of the universe. This is the thing that gives everything that exists its mass, and proves the existence of the Higgs field. Ok, so that’s kinda heavy, and new, “they” cld have this all wrong. But then there’s other stuff, scientific theories from way back, like Grand Unified Theory, which is just that. All the fundamental forces in existence and all elementary particles r united by a single constant. There’s Unified Field Theory, which is a way of saying that all forces in nature and all matter is connected by a single field. All this ain’t just some madness from a few mad scientists, this is the holy grail of physics, and regarded by many as something just not yet understood.

Lao Tzu talked abt the One Thing, from the One Thing came the Two things, from which came many things, yet the purpose of the many things is 2 find, and then connect 2 the One Thing and b. Many religions can b seen as various forms of belief structures that show how the Divine (or God), the One Thing, causes and connects many things. The word religion itself comes from the Latin religare, which means to bind, to tie or connect.

Ever heard of the Collatz Conjecture, or the Syracuse Problem? Simply put, take any natural number, if it’s an even number, half it, if it’s odd, then times it by 3 and add 1. Repeat that process indefinitely. No matter what number u start with, u’ll end up with 1. Crazy. My thing is this, there is just 2 much that demonstrates the connectedness of us all 2 each other, and everything else, 2 ignore. The realisation of this, and the representing of the wholeness and connectedness thru Peace, taking guidance by the light of Love with which we make these connections, and maintaining the link, as well as conducting our behaviour to all with Honour, allows us all 2 b our One true self, and b One with everything, as well as connect to the One Thing and b…One.

All knowledge somehow keeps creeping toward a destination of unified overstanding and a gr8er state of unity. Frightening in scope, mayb, bt at the essence, it takes the incalculable and distils it 2 its purest form. The elements that connect each of us 2 each other, and us all 2 everthing else, and the One Thing, r within us. Therefore we r one with everything, and we r one. Individually One. Collectively, One

I hope that this gives some clarity, and instead of singing off in the usual, let me say this. 2 every1 who reads this, and 2 yr peoples, and yr peoples peoples, I absolutely wish u all Peace, I wish u Love, I wish u Honour, and I wish u One.

 Corrd the Seeker

(big up Sectretta 4 the spark)
Natty presents the Vibes and Pressure Shubeen, Every first Friday of the Month. With an array of eclectic artists of all styles and Calibre. Check out the information below to see what we have in store for you this month



Kasai Masai

Based in London, Kasaï Masaï brings us the traditional sound of the most remote equatorial African villages, with a modern twist.

John Blood and The Highly’s

I born in England, grew up in Trinidad in a house full of music. Plenty singing used to take place everyday, and more so when we go Church on Sunday.. Now I in London, living as a musician. Through the highs and the lows of life, music has been there with me. Now I have to give back to music whatever I can.. Where de name come from? Well John is from 'John Doe', Blood is what we all have in common, so yuh see what I sayin... Izza 'One' ting, Izza love... I have some friends with me and we making music for all, to inspire, to heal, to dance, to educate, to enjoy, to share, to love.. And with love, we taking the music as far as possible. Bless

Kersha Bailey

Kersha Bailey is a phenomenal singer/songwriter/self-taught guitarist whose style is rooted in Acoustic Jazz, whilst uniquely blending Indie and Alternative Soul to create a
vocal infusion that showcases her talents and plays homage to her multitude of influences. With the imminent release of her long awaited debut album ‘Beyond The Stars’ on 31st March 2012, the finely honed vocals and songwriting skills of this sensational songstress will propel her onto a successful career and establish Kersha as a electric name on the UK Soul/Jazz scene. At 25 with a three octave range, she has already performed in an impressive array of venues, and is fast becoming one to watch on the acoustic soul



Miri Hersh is a multi-talented singer-songwriter who presents a breath of fresh air in a world of tabloid-fodder pop divas. This gifted Londoner who recently signed a 4 track EP release with Reel Me Records doesn’t require anything but her music to make the world take notice.

Among her many accomplishments she was named as ‘artist of the month’ on Peter Gabriel’s ‘WE7’ site and has been noted as ‘one to watch’ by London lesbian and bi-sexual magazine G3. She has also produced beats and sound arrangements for MCs and other vocalists and been a featured vocalist on tracks for Ways & Means and Akasha FX.


Dubbed by Radio Presenter Dave P (Choice FM) as ‘compelling and inspirational, truly amazing’, Michaela The Poet began writing performance-poetry in her chicken-shed bedroom on the 22nd May 2006, since then, the words she frequently places on common ground to fashion the comical, cheeky, spiritual and matter-of fact poetry she recites has rippled over the UK’s every impulse.
Never failing to hold an audience captive, Michaela has featured in some of the UK’s most premiered venues including Hackney Empire, The Roundhouse, Theatre Royal, Carling Academy, Stratford Circus, Hammersmith Theatre, Bloomsbury Theatre, Trafalgar Square’s open stage to a crowd of 6,000 performing material from her first EP release, ‘MAY the 22ND’ released in October 2007. Her EP continued to gain her notoriety and took her to some of London’s most famous poetry nights including The Sunday Show, ADLIB, and Soulcial. She has also featured on TV Stations BEN, Passion TV, LOVEWORLD TV, OHTV, REVELATION TV, OBE and radio stations Choice FM, Colourful, Déjà Vu and Premier Radio as well as over 30 Universities all over the UK.


Bear will be hosting upstairs acoustic sessions and also playing a song or two himself, aided by some friends that will be revealed on the night. Trust us!! You know when Bear is hosting he always brings something new and enjoyable to the Vibes and Pressure Shubeen!! Excited? You should be..


Hosted By Cord the Seeker

I've hosted and organised many events including Hub RPM, which takes overarching themes like consumption, revolution etc and we use film, discussion and music to give a little food for thought and entertain.

I've run and hosted open mic nights and atrist showcases for unsigned talent. I write blogs for the Vibes and Pressure blogsite as well as for Silentflute. I also mentor.

I believe that you dont have 2 tell people what that need to know, but rather inspire them to seek knowledge.

Silent Film Screening

Prince Fatty
Playing the best in roots music and Afrobeat

Nyabinghi performance / Drumming / Rasta Pasta + Ital Food / Nice vibes


Doors open from: 8pm-3am
The price is nice at: £8 all night


Passing Clouds
1 Richmond Road
United Kingdom
E8 4AA

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Peace and Love from the Vibes and Pressure Family

We all have a few things that we love 2 h8, and if we were 2 b truly revealing, things that we h8 2 love. Not that I an’ I wants 2 tell u abt love, as there r so many giants who can speak on this, bt there r just some things that just slip in there, and 4ever remain. Things like that fam member who just rolls up in yr life and always leaves u just a bit worse off than when they arrived, the double choc cake that calls yr name whenever u walk past it, Barry Manilow songs yr moms used 2 make u listen 2 (come on now, y’all kno “pina coladas” is a classic!). Ting is, even tho we associate these tings with negativity, or with things and times that weren’t always the best, the love is still there, so we don’t ever really let dem go.

4 me, it’s that N word. Yeah… I kno, right?

Nigger. That word we all love 2 h8, more revealing that the Emperor’s new clothes, more explosive than semtex, more welcoming than an embrace. Yet there r other words, words that denote the same thing; jiggaboo, jungle bunny, coon, spade, wog, spear chucker… only thing is tho, they don’t. Not really. Don’t get it twisted, each of those is offensive, bt THAT word, it says so much more.

I was checking out the opium box recently, and there was a man on there, well established in the skism, revered and almost beyond reproach. So dude was doing his thing, being the voice of moderation, balancing out the opinions of others, and facilitating a bunch of heads 2 bathe themselves in their intellectual understandings and give themselves props. Now they were discussing how 1 of the immigrants who had been given the opportunity 2 step thru the glass ceiling and got 2 b celebrated had misbehaved and stepped out of line, made even worse by the fact that not only had this happened b4, bt that no 1 had reminded them of their place. All well and good. Bt den it descended n2 a bit of he said/she said, an’ in the midst of this reh reh the dude, showing his sensitivity and understanding of issues made a point of questioning the existence of certain hypocrisies by saying that referring 2 some1 as white isn’t the same as saying the N word. Only dude didn’t say “the N word”. Dude said Nigger.

U kno, I get it, he was using the word in the context of its significance, and there was no hint of either an expression of bias or intent.

Yet it still pulled me up. I immediately scanned my memory of the last few minutes. Was there some underlying prejudice, was the dude, or indeed the broadcaster trying 2 pull a ting (happens all the time), or was it just a power move, like “if I can intellectualise a term and concept (tho it mayb a vessel of h8) and refer 2 it dispassionately as a point of reference… then in the company of intelligent people there shd b no issue”. Bt I wasn’t feeling that, feel me? My 1st reaction 2 this was “did dude really just… no... What?... no… what exactly… really??... How dare he!”

Anyhoo, the moment passed, and I allowed myself 2 b engrossed in the subject matter at hand. Bt still, it kinda stuck with me 4 a time, and not just the moment itself, bt my reaction 2 it. As far as I cld tell it was just an intellectual exercise and dat was dat; no harm, no foul. So why did it bother me? We all value free speech, and if we all felt freer 2 spk our minds, we’d probably b more evolved as a collective, if not a society (even if there is no such ting as some heads believe). Dude shd b able 2 say whatever. It just felt wrong, square peg ting, unnatural, like sheep going “moo!”, and…..invasive, like some1 all up in yr home uninvited, opening up stuff they have no business getting into… a violation. Just like that, like this is yrs 2 take and use as u feel.

Hold up! Even as I came 2 this realisation, I had 2 question it. Not yrs?? So is it mine? So what now, I’ma take ownership of “nigger”? This is crazy, with all the connotations that r implied with THIS word, it’s mine..?

So I start 2 think back, think of my moms telling me how, as a girl, a shopkeeper spat on a piece of fish she bought when he thought she wasn’t looking, how my uncles an’ cousins an’ dem had 2 kick off club doors back in the day, just so they cld have a gd time in an orderly fashion, my brother as a young child wld visit his white friend up the road, and his dad wld announce “yr little nigger friend is here 2 play”. I thought abt how this word, this 1 word, had its origins, a word that was used 2 dehumanise and bedevil men and women, and in doing so disempower them of the most basic of rights afforded 2 any individual. Most importantly, how this idea gave rise 2 self h8, and that said individuals r, by the natural order, less deserving, and r of less worth. Don’t doubt it 4 a second, Nigger, at its root origin, is an idea, a concept, an ideology and a lifestyle choice.

Yeah, I hear u, “yo, Corrd, wha’ u mean lifestyle choice?? What u sayin’, dat a man choose dat??” Well, yeah. Don’t flip now, bt here’s where it’s at. The idea was dat some of us r superior, others beneath, inferior, subservient. Now, that’s cool if u r in the superior category, bt what if the others (an’ bear in mind that we all need “others” 2 reassure us of our values, our status, our righteousness) don’t quite get that, well then u need 2 conceptualise this, an’ reinforce that conceptualisation, so every1 kno’s who is who. I cld spk on this in extreme depth, bt there r so many learned heads who have done so, an’ whereas I an’ I may differ in opinion on certain tings, my perspective may b no more valid. Look it up if u don’t already kno. The bottom line is that the concept needed 2 b spread, preached an’ forcibly ingrained so as 2 take root. In fact, the whole skizm had 2 b geared in this way so that moving 4ward there is a comprehensive vision, a world view, an ideology. When this is put 2 those who r already classed as 3/5ths of a human being, as well as preached 2 them as being the Holy an’ natural order, then if yr thinking is 2 do what is right, the social ideal, what is after all only Holy and natural, then 4 them NOT choose that life is 2 go against everything as it is, the whole system, an’ we all kno how dat game ends. So those of us in the superior category offer a narrow choice. Chose the path laid out 4 u, or die trying (whilst watching yr loved 1’s also suffer an’/or die). No need 2 bitch tho, still had a choice.

So time moves on and slavery ends, yet the nigger ideology, and all that comes with it, still prevails. It adapts and finds new methods of manifestation. We all kno how dat goes. Restrictive legislation, mores an’ taboos in place, white sheeted peeps, fiery crosses, closed communities, all under the guidance of us in the superior category. Many in the inferior category even choose 2 stand and fight 4 the skism, 2 b soldiers in wartime conflicts, both in civil disputes and worldwide, yet at the end of these wars there was no just compensation, or even the slightest recognition. As brother Malcolm said, 1 man puts a noose around the other man’s neck, both shouting out 2 Heaven, and the man with the noose around his neck wonders why no1 answers his prayer. Funny story.

Dr Carter G Woodson dropped the science like so, "if you can control a man’s thinking, you don’t have to worry about his actions. If you can determine what a man thinks you do not have worry about what he will do. If you can make a man believe that he is inferior, you don’t have to compel him to seek an inferior status, he will do so without being told and if you can make a man believe that he is justly an outcast, you don’t have to order him to the back door, he will go to the back door on his own and if there is no back door, the very nature of the man will demand that you build one.”

Things an' times keep moving, and all kinds of upheaval take place. There r movements 4 social justice, civil rights, suffragettes, nuff upheaval, an’ the ideology keeps doing what it does best. Now we have peeps in both categories so entrenched, that the very idea of choice seems like some dim reality. The vibrancy of youth is a beautiful spectacle 2 behold, as it pushes an’ presses an’ bucks against the status quo in its uniquely infectious way.

So many things change, bt we all still have the word. That word. Bt, here’s something really funny. Those in the lesser category, they found that they could take the ideology, break the concept, and redefine the word. Nigga!! Indeed fam, take a term of h8, of disenfranchisement, of self-loathing, of debasement, an’ flip dat, use it 2 express a shared understanding, experience, even camaraderie, not so as 2 hold on 2 the definitions of those who r lesser somehow, bt as a bonding of peoples having gone thru gr8 tribulations, a reminder of what was, a guide 2 a higher reality an’ a warning 4 the continued struggle.

That’s not 2 say dat the positive cancels the negative, and the original ideology still holds sway, even in this time of redefinition. In fact many wld say that this redefinition is nothing more than the old ways from the bad old days having a face lift so as 2 recapture and re(mis)educate newer generations. Both views hold some merit. I an’ I recognise the supposed hypocrisy. Bt then isn’t this journey abt sometimes ALL of us embracing our fears, both within and without? How else do we reach out 2 those we’ve vilified, or deal with the villain within?


New ideology? Hmm... Nigga, as both Signifier and Sign. A demonstration of what was and what cld b. Nigga, beyond nigger. Nietzsche’s Übermensch revealed somehow. Now dat’s some blow yr mind/defile yr boxers shit right there. The ultimate evolution. Is that the fear, some planet of the apes type future where the oppressed become oppressors? C, as I an’ I overstand dis ting, Nietzsche’s whole ting was looking at humanity an', coming 2 the conclusion dat our development wld progress without rather than within via our constructs and artifices, the Übermensch or “Overman” (or Superman) wld b the next step of dominant evolution. Bt, this Overman isn't so much the new ruler of the world, or the threat 2 our existence we need 2 b vigilant against, lest only 1 of us can inherit the Earth, some kinda war 4 dominance ting the smoke/mirrors industry try 2 frighten us with. We've seen how the theory can get warped in the hands of a skilled, passionate, intelligent leader... Hitler damn near destroyed the world (scarier still is that some of his opponents weren't adverse 2 his ideas, just his power lust!). Peep this grasshopper, the overman was never some scary mutant here 2 conquer, bt is 1 who moves from the crowd view and finds a new perspective while not needing 2 force it on others, a living testament of the way 4ward, a concept we cld all embrace in this time of realignment (see the blog times r changing). 2 look at how such negatives flower n2 blessings that humanity can all hold on 2 may b a bit wishful, then again...

Bt the word, this word. The love/h8 conflict subsides so that I an’ I am brought bk 2 the dude, an’ yet as I reflect, it still bothers me. I apprecilove the intellectuality, bt some tings r more than just dat. Some tings u feel, u carry, u pay 4 with the sweat of yr brow. As much as I can pree where he’s coming from, an’ whereas it’s not my word, or any1 else’s 4 dat matter, 2 delegate the usage of, I feel that this word, the N word, Nigga, that word, even with the enlightened perspective it may or may not have, this word is still a burden on us, yeah.. u, me, him, her, all. Our history, our journey, our coming 2gether in the 1ness that we all r. Not a burden 2 b laid down and discarded, bt the burden of its own truths, a burden, the right of which has 2 b earned. Not taken. Neither decided on by some intellectual exercise, nor some politricksical pandering. Not bartered, bt earned.

Earned, like the scars our mothers carry 4 birthing us, the war wounds of their labour of love. I can wax lyrical all day abt childbirth, see it up close, try 2 use examples 2 give clarity and definition, paint a scenario 2 explain it all in gr8 detail. Bt as I say the words, I can't spk their truth, so the words r hollow, false, cos I can never kno that ecstasy, pain, responsibility, that burden.

Not all of us can or shd carry this, cos not all of us can spk on this. Bt some of us can try, even if we disagree on how best 2 carry it, until all of us reach that promised land of the Übermensch. Bt then, when we all get there, none of us will b over any1 else, we will just b.


Corrd the Seeker.
This is an excerpt from a book I’m studying at the moment called The Culture of Narcissism by Christopher Lasch in which he sums up consumer culture beautifully. It was written in 1979 about American culture so some of his examples, especially towards the end, are a bit dated but I think his ideas can easily, and worryingly, be transferred to present day Britain.

The Chapter is called “The Banality of Pseudo-Self Awareness: Theatrics of Politics and Everyday Existence.”

The sub heading is “The Propaganda of Commodities.”

“In the early days of industrial capitalism, employers saw the workingman as no more than a beast of burden – ‘a man of the type of the ox,’ in the words of the efficiency expert Frederick W. Taylor. Capitalists considered the worker purely as a producer; they cared nothing for the worker’s activities in his leisure time – the little leisure that was left to him after twelve or fourteen hours in the factory. Employers attempted to supervise the worker’s life on the job, but their control ended when the worker left the factory at closing time. Even when Henry Ford established a Sociological Department at the Ford Motor Works in 1914, he regarded the supervision of the workers’ private lives merely as a means of making the men sober, thrifty, industrious producers. Ford’s sociologists attempted to impose an old-fashioned Protestant morality on the labour force; they inveighed against tobacco, liquor, and dissipation.

Only a handful of employers at this time understood that the worker might be useful to the capitalist as a consumer; that he needed to be imbued with a taste for higher things; that an economy based on mass production required not only the capitalistic organisation of production but the organisation of consumption and leisure as well. “Mass production”, said the Boston department store magnate Edward A. Filene in 1919, “demands the education of the masses; the masses must learn to behave like human beings in a mass produced world… They must achieve, not mere literacy, but culture.” In other words, the modern manufacturer has to “educate” the masses in the culture of consumption. The mass production of commodities in ever-increasing abundance demands a mass market to absorb them.

The American economy, having reached the point where its technology was capable of satisfying basic material needs, new relied on the creation of now consumer demands – on convincing people to buy goods for which they are unaware of any need until the ‘need’ is forcibly brought to their attention by the mass media. Advertising, said Calvin Coolidge, ‘is the method by which the desire is created for better things.’ The attempt to ‘civilise’ the masses has now given rise to a society dominated by appearances – the society of the spectacle. In the period of primitive accumulation capitalism subordinated being to having [my italics]; the use value of commodities to their exchange value. Now it subordinates possession itself to appearance and measures exchange value as a commodity’s capacity to confer prestige - the illusion of prosperity and well-being. “When economic necessity yields to the necessity for limitless economic development,” writes Guy Debord, “the satisfaction of basic and generally recognised human needs gives way to an uninterrupted fabrication of pseudo-needs.”

In simpler times, advertising merely called attention to the product and extolled its advantages. Now it manufactures a product of its own; the consumer, perpetually unsatisfied, restless, anxious, and bored.
Advertising serves not so much to advertise products as to promote consumption as a way of life. It ‘educates’ the masses into an unappeasable appetite not only for goods but for new experiences and personal fulfilment. It upholds consumption as the answer to the age-old discontents of loneliness, sickness, weariness, lack of sexual satisfaction; at the same time it creates new forms of discontent peculiar to the modern age. It plays seductively on the malaise of industrial civilisation. Is your job boring and meaningless? Does it leave you with feelings of futility and fatigue? Is your life empty? Consumption promises to fill the aching void; hence the attempt to surround commodities with an aura of romance; with allusions to exotic places and vivid experiences; and with images of female breasts from which all blessings flow.

The propaganda of commodities serves a double function. First, it upholds consumption as an alternative to protest or rebellion. Paul Nystrom, an early student of modern marketing, once noted that industrial civilisation gives rise to a “philosophy of futility,” a pervasive fatigue, a “disappointment with achievement” that finds an outlet in changing the “more superficial things in which fashion reigns.” The tired worker, instead of attempting to change the conditions of his work, seeks renewal in brightening his immediate surroundings with new goods and services.

In the second place, the propaganda of consumption turns alienation itself into a commodity. It addresses itself to the spiritual desolation of modern life and proposes consumption as the cure. It not only promises to palliate all the old unhappiness to which flesh is heir; it creates or exacerbates new forms of unhappiness – personal insecurity, status anxiety, anxiety in parents about their ability to satisfy the needs of the young. Do you look dowdy next to your neighbours? Do you own a car inferior to theirs? Are your children as healthy? As popular? Doing as well in school? Advertising institutionalises envy and its attendant anxieties.

The servant of the status quo, advertising has nevertheless identified itself with a sweeping change in values, a “revolution in manners and morals” that began in the early years of the twentieth century and has continued until the present. The demands of the mass-consumption economy have made the work ethic obsolete even for workers. Formerly the guardians of public health and morality urged the worker to labour as a moral obligation; now they teach him to labour so that he can partake of the fruits of consumption. In the nineteenth century, elites alone obeyed the laws of fashion, exchanging old possessions for new ones for no other reason than that they had gone out of style. Economics orthodoxy condemned the rest of society to a life of drudgery and mere subsistence. The mass production of luxury items new extends aristocratic habits to the masses. The apparatus of mass promotion attacks ideologies based on the postponement of gratification; it allies itself with the sexual “revolution”; it sides or seems to side with women against male oppression and with the young against the authority of their elders. The logic of demand creation requires that women smoke and drink in public, move about freely, and assert their right to happiness instead of living for others. The advertising industry thus encourages the pseudo-emancipation of women, flattering them with this insinuating reminder, “You’ve come a long way, baby” and disguising the freedom to consume as genuine autonomy. Similarly it flatters and glorifies youth in the hope of elevating young people to the status of fully fledged consumers in their own right, each with a telephone, a television set, and a hi-fi in his own room. The “education” of the masses has altered the balance of forces withering the family, weakening the authority of the husband in relation to the wife and parents in relation to their children. It emancipates women and children from patriarchal authority, however, only to subject them to the new paternalism of the advertising industry, the industrial corporation, and the state.*

*Family life, according to Nystrom, inherently tends to promote custom, the antithesis of fashion.

Please note. This is not an advertisement!

Thank you for reading and pass it on.

I was shopping in the supermarket the other day and I looked over to a girl with bleach blonde hair and automatically began to imagine her life. I began making judgments about her choices and perceived circumstances. Then, as I’m consciously trying not to judge people at the moment, I stopped myself. I mean hmm who was shopping in Asda in the first place…

While I was reminding myself that we all are doing our best with the information that is available to us in the circumstances we are in and have been in, and we not all that different from each other deep down, I realised that when I make judgements about people I have to separate myself from them. They become ‘Those people’ instead of ‘Us’

Thinking about it I realised that I make judgements about people all the time and perhaps that was why I was feeling so isolated recently. Perhaps this feeling of disconnection was happening because I had had to separate myself from other people so that I could judge them without feeling guilty.

It then made me think about what happens when I judge aspects of myself. Do I separate aspects of myself from myself through making judgements about myself until there is hardly anything left of myself in myself… if that makes sense

Making judgements about each other is what separates us from each other, and I Guess I’ve been told that before in not so many words, but this time I actually understood it

And if this is the truth then it’s not surprising that most of the time the media encourages us to make judgements about other and we even use it as entertainment these days in programmes like Big Brother or X factor.

If we are going to take back the power then we have to reunite with each other and perhaps that means that we have to stop judging each other negatively, and maybe even positively?

Do you know what I mean?

If you want to see some grade A brainwashing on terrestrial TV then make sure you turn to ITV1 at 8PM on Tuesdays…

Last Tuesday I was round my Dad’s house and we were sitting after dinner having a chat with the TV on in the background. In the middle of our conversation I was suddenly distracted by loud aggressive noises coming from the TV of a door being broken and police raiding someone house.

What I was witnessing was the weekly instalment of a programme called Cops With Cameras. I haven’t watched TV in a while, so maybe the desensitising effect of watching TV has worn off, because although I’ve seen programmes like this many times before this time I was shocked to see this kind of imagery being shown as entertainment and at prime time on a channel like ITV1.

With fresh eyes the programme struck me as absurd and sinister. Is this really what is considered entertainment these days? What happened to Cilla Black and Bruce Forthsyth? Family Fortunes is entertainment. Not policemen breaking doors in and frightening people out of their wits...

And it’s on for an hour.. every week! Come on man, how can anybody be entertained by this week in week out? (Although saying that 2.31 million people were watching last week!)

Apart from fulfilling a disturbing voyeuristic gratification it seems to me that this kind of ‘entertainment’ has another purpose. The reason why images of police raiding other people’s houses are being beamed into our brains is so that we are acutely aware of what will happen if we break the law. It seems kind of obvious. The outrageous part of it is that they have the audacity to do this under a flimsy guise of entertainment then stick it on at prime time on an established and perhaps respected channel like ITV1 - pre-watershed. And then to keep people interested they use well known media attention holding techniques (i.e. hypnotism) by having quick cuts, fast paced, shaky camera action and dramatic music, better known as Jolts that release pleasurable chemicals in the brain. (Check out the book by Dr Aric Sigman called Remote Controlled for more info about that.)

For me these programmes have taken on an even more sinister edge since I found out that anything written that is judged to be inciting any kind of illegal behaviour (excuse me but what about the freedom of speech) means that as activists the chances of police knocking down our doors could be a real possibility in the future.

I’ve written a strongly worded letter to ITV1 and I’ll let you know what they say…