THE SENSITIVITY THAT IS US: WHERE DOES THE FEELING OF AN ALLEGED RACIAL INTERACTION COME FROM

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“I feel this way and don’t even know why.”


Walking up the street, a White woman grabs her purse as I walk by; I instantly go into a space. A White man or woman tell me I look like someone they’ve seen before, then I go into a space. I am walking through the store, a White man or woman is following close by, I go into a space. And that is that; what is it about the United States that still makes me go into this head space of, “Did they just do hat because I am.” And it has a lot to do with this unspoken relationship that the two ethnic groups still have in America. An event takes place that we both witnessed before our very eyes, and yet we have multiple perspectives. Now, this already happens with humans as it is, but we are two groups that see things so differently.

I remember when former NFL running back O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of murdering his wife and her friend. The faces of White America went straight to shock while the faces of Black America went to rejoice. But this is not something that was agreed upon by the two groups. This was automatic, and it was swift. Neither of the two groups sat down among each other or separate and had a meeting. There was nothing of the like; everyone just knew how to react when it happened. I was only in elementary school when it happened and I remember the faces. Teacher at my school were enraged, and the people in the surrounding community where I lived was happy. And what formulated out of all this was one man’s life dictated forever and two innocent people dead. And that is the weird and uncomfortable relationship that is Black and White in America.

We all know the history, but this goes deeper than the past. It’s so disturbing how it effects you internally when you come across someone from another group. I’ve even asked myself like, “Wow, where in the hell did that come from?” Me speaking to myself, then you stop yourself in your tracks. But people who are unfamiliar might say, “Well why feel that way?” And reply is that I don’t. It’s as involuntary as sneezing. Meaning a situation can easily go from zero to sixty where the processing of what is going on takes place after the fact. I, still to this day have a hard time making eye contact for instance with a lot of law enforcement as t pertains to that weird racial dynamic. It’s almost as if the person doesn’t exist, until the person is no longer in my presence. Because in the end, the relationships are uncomfortable because no one expresses how they truly feel to move forward. America is an ignore it and it will go away country. Which is not how it should be dealt moving forward.


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IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY: HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THE LOWS OF LIFE

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“The struggle is real, but you will get through it.”


For me, I grew up in a poor household with my two sisters where I was raised by my mother. And that was my adversity, but someone else’s adversity could be something different. No matter the adversity, we all have the ability to overcome any low point in our lives. For me, writing has been that thing that has pulled me through mentality. I have tried therapy, which came at a monetary expense that I can not deal with any longer. Then I went back to my writing, and the days where I was at my lowest mentally, I would push whatever I was feeling out onto my Microsoft Word Doc. And sometimes, when I was finished writing, I could see that at that moment I was in a very dark place. A place that from time to time creeps up on me, but now I have something to combat the situation.

Now, let me ask you, how do you overcome adversity? Or better yet, what are some ways that you can overcome your current situation. You might say to yourself, this is not a current situation, more so a past situation that I never got over. But as long as you’re going through it still, it’s current. As long is there has not been a successful step in dealing with your issues, then you are currently dealing. And all of what I have said in this paragraph has to do with the mental issues of life. Some days you’re off balance, other days you’re right where you need to be. Your mental state can sway from moment to moment. And if you have found a way like I have to deal, then fine, otherwise this topic is for you. The anxiety, the depression, the anguish, the guilt; everything that is the mind that is working against you.

Yet, everything is not tied into the mind. Sometimes your mind is healthy, but somewhere else in your life is low, and need to be brought up. Like I said earlier, I grew up poor, which is a socioeconomic situation so many deal with in America. But how have you overcome this economic issue? And if not as of yet, what are you currently doing to move yourself into another space? I know for me, I came from poverty, (didn’t seem like it, but we were) and could get a job just as my sisters today. But as much as I don’t want poverty for myself, I want a career I love which is what I am giving you in this moment: my writing. So what is your career pursuit that will aid you in your adversity removal? Do you know where to start? Have you started and having a hard time finding your way? If you have found your way, how did you get there?

See, in the end, we all have some pitfall in life. Something we are currently dealing with or something in the past that has caused our lives to hit a stand still. As with the photo of the man at the top of the screen pushing the boulder. We have some form of internal struggle that feels as if we are pushing a boulder uphill. When really, the boulder is well within our control. And a lot of times it requires us to get out of our own way, not removing the boulder. Because it is the us inside of us that need to be dealt with, not he illusion of a fixed object in our path.


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PROLIFIC WRITING: MY ROAD TO SUCCESSFUL WRITING

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“What feels like an eternity in my mind, has only been a day in real time.”


My writing career started when I first started to conceptualize a screenplay about a girl who is dealing with a stalker. Sending her reminders of her ex-boyfriend who was killed in a car accident the night they were together. Since then, I have written five more, two short screenplays (which one has been made into a short film and I am currently producing the second), contributed nearly 450 blog posts on my WordPress site, and wrote two books I self-published on Amazon. And even with that, I have yet to make a real living off of any of my writing. But then I looked back a few times at when I first started writing my work. And I see the year 2012, which makes me realize I have not been writing for long. That’s right, I have only been at it for six years. Actually not even six years, more like five and eight or nine months or so.

So what is it; why does it feel like I have been at it for years longer? Is it because I want it so bad that it is taking so long? Or could it be that five and a half years is nothing in the grand scheme of things. I have researched and found that the average screenwriting career is a ten year journey. You hear about novelist not receiving critical acclaim for their books until they are ten to fifteen years in the game. So for me, my little five and change is nothing. But where am I ranked so far? How do I know how much traction I’m really gaining? Of course I have showed my work to friends and family, but that’s them. How will I know what the market like in my writing? And yet again the question is, “Well, how much have I written?” To a lot of readers, two books are not good enough.

But look at the age in which I started. I was 25 years of age once I started writing, and now I am about to be 30 years old at the end of the month. And in society years it’s like, get your life together. But in writer years, it’s like oh stop it, you got time. But nonetheless, I’m putting in the work. I’m churning out material and putting myself in a position to let things happen to me. After I complete my next short film, I plan on finishing my comedy trilogy I wrote. In addition, I’ll try to punch out another, a drama I have been contemplating for a while. These are the four scripts I will try to sell, which will bring me up to nearly ten full length screenplays. It just hurts to see so many people around you doing what you perceive to be more in life. But for whatever reason, I never stop, and I always move on to the next story. Their lives never make me want to stop doing what I am doing.

And for that reason, I continue to write and write. I’m even shocked sometimes when I look at my blog and realize I am at yet another milestone for it as well. I have hit nearly 450 posts, close to 5,000 views this year, and nearly 1,000 visitors this year. Then I think to myself, “Some people have had their blogs for way longer than myself and can’t turn out much of anything. And still, with all the challenges, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. If not for writing, I would be constantly stuck in my head. Because in the end, writing allows me to be honest in a society where you can’t be honest. You’re aloud to say things that would otherwise turn people away from you. It’s the freedom why I don’t want to stop. I can’t open my mouth and say as I please, but I could write what I please. And as long as I can’t talk without using my filter, everything will be channeled into text. In a solidarity space, where no one can control me, but me.


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WHEN TALENT DOESN’T WORK HARD: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN TALENT IS NOT CULTIVATED?

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“Step ya game up.”


Have you ever seen someone with so much talent. Yet they choose to squander it away? It does not matter if it’s them getting into trouble or being flat out lazy. You hate to see people with so much going for themselves and then they just throw it away. One reason is because you can almost start to get all these visions for who they could be if they actually put the time into making themselves better. And at times, you wish it were you who had all this talent because of what you could see yourself doing that is more. But it was not you who was born with such talent. It was them and now you must stand aside and see them throw it all away. And no matter what you say to them it’s always through one ear and out the other. Well, is there anything you can do to deter them from their path of destruction?

Yes, there are a few ways to get through to these types of people. One way is to explain to them how much they could achieve if they put the time into their work. Sometimes people need that verbal conversation to let them see the nature of their ways. And it’s that verbal conversation that could get them to say, “I never realized that I had that level of potential in my life.” And those words of encouragement as well as someone in their corner could be enough. And when you tell them, they might even know this already, but the fear of succeeding could be holding them back as well. Almost like they’re purposely acting stupid even though they are really smarter than everyone thinks of them. And when this happens, or if the verbal discussion does not resonate with them, you have to go to the next best solution. And that next best step is to show them the results of their work.

This typically works quite well when trying to convince someone of their abilities. You place them in environments where they can see where their hard work can get them. Meaning, if you see someone that is throwing it all away, find a way to expose them to the rewarding aspects of life. Find the things that they love the most, then show them that in which they love on a higher level if they focus on their skills. And this may be the kick they need to propel themselves forward. For example, luxury goods are tangibles that the slacker loves to visually indulge in, so you use that as a motivator. Show them what they are capable of, how in reach those tangibles are, and you could turn them around. Do you want them only motivated by money, no, but if desperate times call for desperate measures, you could use this to work in their favor.

In the end, it hurts so much to see people throw away what could potentially make them the next great leader in our society. The next great scientist, attorney, athlete, engineer, entertainer, CEO, politician, or educator. And a lot of times they don’t realize how good they could have been at something in life until it’s too late in life, or they find themselves in a predicament they can’t escape. Hopefully the majority of these greats find their way because it not only has negative effects on their own lives, but they also rob society of greatness as well.


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THE VALUE OF THE DOLLAR OR SOMETHING LIKE IT: WHAT IS OUR MONEY BACKED BY REALLY?

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“What if confidence is lost?”


 The United States currency has been a long subject of debate. And that debate is, what is our money really worth? Because in reality it’s just paper. And the real confidence is in our economy. Because if our economy begins to decline, then what are these sheets of paper? Well then, could it happen? Could we see America fall into a second Great Depression twice in America’s history? With the industrial age looking more and more like something of the past, what is going to replace it? It’s going to be this new technological space. Yet we have an uneducated populace who are not only unaware, but not willing to learn this new way. And with that comes uncertainty within the market. And now what you have is uncertainty in our dollars as well. So what do you do about the potential value of the American dollar falling or even collapsing?

The fear of this could send the nation into a tail spin. We are already behind the Euro and the British Pound. And with China now the largest economy in the world, who knows, their currency could be next to surpass us. Then, once all these different currencies start to pass us, can we truly say we are still this great nation? How are we such a great place when places that are seen by us as not as great surpassing us? That image dies and so does the status of America. Now, am I saying brace yourself for a catastrophe, no. But we should be mindful of the sensitivity of the market. Let’s say though for a minute that our system does collapse. What could this mean for the countries who we owe money to in debt? Would this mean that we would have to start cyphering off assets we do have left.

These various assets could mean natural resources, or better yet, land. Imagine the chaos if people found out that we no longer were in control of our land anymore. Like I said, this is still a stretch, but it has happened before. And in the end, that is the true fear. Chaos has happened once before. And for some reason, we as people tend to always forget history and repeat the same mistakes. Hopefully, we are able to maintain our confidence in our dollars and our economy can grow. Otherwise, we’ll fall victim to our own lack of hubris and ignorance.


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A MOVE IN A NEW DIRECTION: HOW THE INTERNET IS KILLING THE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS

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“A decline that they are not prepared for.”


Looking over the recent statistics on films in theaters, I saw that numbers appeared to be down. Maybe that’s the reason why these movies that come out later in the year around the campaigning months for Golden Globes and Oscars take place. Movies might not be able to stand on their own anymore in theaters. And a major reason for that is the internet. The internet is such a machine that you don’t need to patronize your favorite show or movies anymore. One reason being that there is more variety and the other is that you don’t have to leave the comforts of your home. So what will happen to the state of movies as time progress? Because theaters make their money by films being debut in theaters. But if people are not coming to theaters to see movies, that smells death for them.

Hollywood can always adjust to the changes, but not the theater venues. That’s unless these theater venues decide to get themselves a platform for films, and then they are in the game. Not only in the game, they don’t have to go through Hollywood, and you can go straight to the distributor as a producer. And that in turn, might be death to a lot of studios. Because everyone who is interested in making films or television is in the game now. But they are not running out to Los Angeles like years ago, but they are building their own platforms. Some teenager with a couple of friends can now be the boss of their own machine if they are willing to put in the time. Because we are coming into what is really known as the open market. And the market is the market, they don’t care who they are buying from. As long as you give them a good product and/or service.

I myself, am pursuing screenwriting and Amazon has a platform for people to submit their screenplays. And if the company is interested, they will offer an amount for the script, or even your series through Amazon studios. And for a company that just bought Whole Foods for a whopping $13.5 billion dollars, they can afford your $200,000 script. Meanwhile the average screenwriter makes only $100,000 in Hollywood. Oh, and I forgot to mention you don’t need an agent to do so. Agents and managers usually take their 20% collectively right off the top. Now you don’t have to split anything if you are good at what you do. What’s the purpose of going through the whole process of trying to find an agent. They now are in a position where they have to come and find talent themselves. So guess what, they are now on the chopping block as it pertains to the business.

In the end, you see the red carpet events and the celebrities dress to the nine. But internally they know what’s really going on. It’s the reason these superhero movies keep getting made in the business. Corporations run studios; and the studios are allotted only a certain amount of funding to make movies. That means, spend $100 million on the next epic film and then make $800 – $900 million in theaters worldwide. The venue get their 60% cut, and distribution or distributors gets their 40%. You’re talking $320 million to $360 million for the film coming back to the distributor/s. And since the customer never says a word and keeps spending, why not keep making them. So remake and reboot and series until the customers are tired and then move on from there.


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LOST IN A DAILY TRANCE: HOW WE WOULD RATHER DREAM THAN MAKE A MOVE ON THEM

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“A dream is nothing but a dream without plan and execution.”


The above photo is of Academy Award winning actor Jamie Foxx. The photography is from the movie Collateral where he co-starred opposite Tom Cruise. His character was a man who would drive people around in his taxi cab, and during his lunch breaks, gaze at luxury vehicles. His character had dreams of running his own car service of luxury vehicles. It would be an experience and not just a ride. That was his dream until he ran into Tom Cruise, who was a villain in the movie. Cruise’s villainous character, unlike Foxx, was a doer. And for obvious reasons he had to be because he was a hired hitman. So his career revolved around standing by his word to get the job done right. So what does all this have to do with the topic at hand? Well Tom Cruise made Foxx’s character realize something about himself.

Cruise’s character gave Foxx a big ultimatum regarding his dreams and expectations in the world. Cruise let him know that the in reality he was never going to do what he set out to done anyways. Foxx would be in a trance with day time television and then one day he’d die. Die, never accomplishing or even setting out to do what he said he wanted to do in the first place. And that is what this topic is about today, not setting out to accomplish goals. These are the dreamers, the people who would rather dream about what they want then to go get it. And like Jamie Foxx’s character who fancied himself with Mercedes Benz booklets of their latest fleet with hopes of starting his own car service, we look and gaze at the imagery. But the fear of failure keeps us from making a move. Yet we fail anyways in life when we do nothing.

Then again, it is all about fear in life? Sometimes we don’t know how to start what we want to do. For me, pursuing a writing was a little more clear than for most. I put myself in the know, and I am currently pursuing. I have been actively writing since the age of 25 years old. So now, with six years of writing under my belt, I have four more years to break into writing my screenplays, playwrights, and novels. But like I said, I have been writing, even putting together a short film and currently working on the production for my second. So putting yourself in position to work toward what you want is not a guarantee, but it is a step in the right direction. And that is the hardest part for people to stomach. Not the putting yourself into position; but more so, putting yourself in harms way to accomplish anything in life.

In the end, you don’t want to deal with the idea that you might set out to accomplish something and fail in life. But that’s part of the climb is to fail in life. You can’t attain success until you’ve stared into the eyes of failure. Because once you stare down failure the worst is behind you. Especially for those of us who had to climb to attain what we have in this world. You have no other choice but to take the road no one wants to travel. And it’s that road that makes you appreciate so much when you finally get to where you have to go.


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