Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

matrixcnsunplugged

A Moment of Clarity-

An indescribable freedom came over me over the last few days; No Facebook and like James Brown, “I Feel Good!” Actually, I’m feeling great. It’s been nearly a decade since I first signed on (plugged in) and going without Facebook, has been liberating to say the least.

Why did I need this break?
There’s so much shit on Facebook that it was making my head feel like shit. From “expert” opinions on race, sex, marriage, relationships and society, to “experts” on Blackness, police policy, holistic practices, community work and child rearing and psychology; I had to step away for more than just personal reasons. I may or may not be talking about people on my super-duper-long list of “friends” on Facebook but, if the shoe fits, then by God, wear it! My news feed, flooded with foolishness, people posting fights amongst women, children and men while someone stands by and records the abuse. Overnight revolutionaries, trying to tell me, how to and why I should protest or why I should go to a rally or why I should lay down in the middle of the street or why I should hold hands with the same people that would oppress me IF they switched sides and had the power to do so. My inbox, raided with vitriol because I’m not aligning myself with certain movements or causes. I get questions about this and that and why I feel this and why I think that; people trying to get at me through cyberspace yo – feels like their fishing.

Speaking of cyberspace, a part of the disconnect that most of us are suffering despite the connectivity that soc/med is supposed to bring us, is the fact that we are connected to machines that put the world in our hands. Cell phones, laptops, tablets and personal computers, aid in disconnecting humans from humans. The advances in technology are great, despite the role they play in tearing us apart. At concerts, the artists ask that you “put up your cell phones” to mimic the days of when people put up lighters for their favorite songs. Or when you’re at dinner with family, friends or a fiancée and everyone are on their phones, while the food gets cold. We spend more time looking down into our palms than into the faces of the people we say that we love and care about. I’m not above my own reprimand, I’m guilty of the same offense, but I vow to improve my personal interactions, while toning down some digital ones.

There’s a sense on Facebook of care-less-ness, in all aspects. People care less about the success of other people; their dreams, ideas or plans. People are careless with information they put on Facebook and are just messy with their actions and behaviors. Not everyone will be as supportive as some of us are, the question is why not? Why is it such a big deal to show love, support or even donate to people you know and claim to care about? Facebook, in my opinion has either 1) Exposed people for who they really are or 2) Exposed people for who they really are! As a society that’s plugged into Facebook, we’ve become some truly non-caring folks. We turn to Facebook to remember birthdays. We turn to Facebook to get the word on the street. We turn to Facebook to judge people. We turned to Facebook to avoid reality. There are very few genuine things on Facebook and I’m sure that most of us, if we think that way can count them on one hand. Everything else is fodder for foolishness.

It’s hard to avoid the idiot box (TV), when people clog the news feed with Scandal, Housewives, BET or anything else that I feel is bad for me. Not to say it’s bad for you, but, does the whole world need to know the play-by-play of a TV show that you are watching in your home? Aren’t there groups dedicated to that crap where you could post, share and cackle about it? This year so far, I have turned off notifications and have un-followed so many people because of the BS they post. If there’s one thing that Facebook offers that I enjoy, it’s that feature. This way I can narrow it down to who I want to see and who I don’t want to see. Personal preference, I’m just saying. I don’t want to see your Videos, Vines or Vimeos! Notice how those all start with V!?

IF YOU KNOW V THEN...

IF YOU KNOW V THEN YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN

Just because YOU are into something doesn’t mean that I have to be into it as well. We all have different streams of thought, different thought processes, we don’t have to believe what you believe and vice-versa, the problem is folks are too damn sensitive. I’ve said this before, Facebook has created whine-babies, that take everything personally and instead of discussing it like men/women, they run away. Hiding on your friends list just so they can stay connected to you for whatever reason they choose to stick around.

Facebook has turned us against each other, pitting one mind versus the other, degreed people versus non-degreed people. Black versus White, Male versus Female, Citizens versus Cops and Truth tellers versus Liars. I’ve been free to think for myself without being negatively influenced by what I see on Facebook. I see cliques and clubs, thinkers and thugs, starving artists and some who are just starving for attention. I see anger, frustration, sadness and bliss, things to make me think and things to make me sick. Where’s the old social media that I used to know? This medium was a great connector of old friends and connecting with new ones. I’ve been able to connect with schoolmates from elementary school and disconnect with friends that I grew up with. Is Facebook to blame for the people we have become? I’m not sure, but, there is a powerful influence that determines our lives that comes from our interaction with Facebook. You can tell when you’re talking to someone and they are telling you something important and then finish by saying, “Oh, you didn’t see it, I posted it on Facebook.” (GTFOH)

I’ve heard several people say, “It’s not official until it’s on Facebook!” How many times have you heard that? This is some of the reasons as to why I’m unplugging and or monitoring my time and the content I consume while participating on Facebook. No longer will my life and time be wasted wantonly staring at a news feed that is feeding me news of pain, death, destruction and distaste. If I wanted that, I could just watch TV.

Facebook has been the biggest disservice to society it has:
1. Destroyed relationships
2. Destroyed friendships
3. Destroyed caring
4. Destroyed love
5. Destroyed us

It has also created Facebook thugs, Facebook know-it-alls, Facebook killers, Facebook bullies, women haters, men haters, gay haters, straight haters, haters, haters, haters!!!

Intelligent conversation need not apply. (Save a few of us) Personalized expert opinion is the new norm. We take and accept information because it’s given loudly and with boisterous intent. Social skills are lost in the banter and guilt-free rhetoric, no one knows how to hug or love or care anymore. People are too scared to speak up or voice their opinions because they don’t want to loose [sic] friends…on Facebook and the only qualified voice is the one that is quantified with degrees. (Not)

We have to be aware (beware) that there are forces out there that instigate our frustrations at each other. There are people (agents) in place to disrupt the basics of our minds by implanting lies that MIGHT feel like truth but smell like shit. Agents that claim to love us then throw shade and bombs at us, talking badly about folks just because they disagree with their beliefs. Many have said, how can you blame Facebook for that? I just say, I can’t blame it on Facebook but, Facebook brings out the boogeyman in some of us. Facebook has become a platform for dispensing pain; instead of lying on a couch and talking to a therapist, we are the unwilling eyes to witness someone falling apart mentally and we tend to not care enough to check on a person who is crying out for help. We message back like, “you a’ight, you okay, you good?” Instead of just picking up the phone or going by to check on them. Facebook, or our laziness has desensitized us to the point of where we are too preoccupied to get off of our ass to spend time with the people we love. We would rather separate from them in order to avoid the responsibility of caring about them.

I don’t really mean to go off on a rant on anyone that may feel that I may be talking about them personally, I’m really not. I know Mr. or Mrs. Sensitivity, whose insecurity may get to them, may think I am but, truly I have better things to do than worry about you or your opinions of me. I’m just blogging about how turned-off I’ve become watching the behavior of people that are lost in the world of Facebook. I only ask that we do better since we know better. So for now, I’m unplugged and off Facebook, if you really want to find me, you know how.

Facebook is getting played out!

CT

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The Liberation of Aunt Jemima
Inspired by art that no artist would claim

Liberation Of Aunt Jemima

I came across this image today and was intrigued by the title. “The Liberation of Aunt Jemima” and decided to blog about it.  It’s been a while kiddies, I hope that you haven’t forgotten about your friendly neighborhood pot stirrer!  In my moment of mental brevity, I studied this image and came to a startling assumption.  Aunt Jemima, whoever she was caricatured after, was probably never paid royalties!  Based on the history of Black Americans in this country especially, during the Slave era, blacks were paid menially or not at all.

Allegedly, this flour laden treat was mixed together first in 1889, 25 years or so after the civil war and the “on paper” end of Slavery, I’m sure there were poorly carried out negotiations for that oh so secret recipe.  Credit for its embezzled goodness is given to Chris Rutt and Charles Underwood of the Pearl Milling Company and if we all know Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis, we know that it was stolen and claimed to be their own.

If that’s not the case, Aunt Jemima, the name, the product and the imagery has been a clever marketing icon that’s lasted for over a century!

We may ask why would the Pearl Milling Company do that, use a Black woman to market their product?  This country was still full of hatred and disdain for these newly freed Africans.  Mockery and cruelty was publicly accepted and perpetuated through stage shows and later radio and television; could the interests of turning the “suffering” of Blacks into tasteless entertainment be conceived as a fool-proof marketing tool?  Could it be that way back when, they knew that marketing Black women was going to be acceptable no matter how negative it was?  African women were a big draw at slave auctions, attracting 1000’s from all over to pay and vie for “suitable wenches” that would be good around the house and in the masters bedroom.  So for this company to use the “mammy archetype” in pre-civil rights America would seem like a recipe for disaster and yet it happened and it worked!

Nancy Green

Nancy Green was hired in 1890 as the first Aunt Jemima representative to be on the boxes and on the road at cooking shows.  A former slave, Nancy Green probably didn’t have the knowledge or even an idea of what she needed to get compensation for her image and her time.  In 1914, the new owners of the pirated recipe, R.T. Davis Milling Company, renamed the company “Aunt Jemima Mills”, which was credited to the success of the company and its minstrel spokeswoman.  Green was offered a lifetime contract to adopt the Aunt Jemima moniker and promote the pancake mix.

Although her money was short, she did have some financial freedom, using her income to engage in activism and anti-poverty campaigns.  Unfortunately, at the age of 89 years, she was killed after being struck by a car in Chicago.  As the first African model hired to promote a national American product and corporate trademark, Nancy Green will forever be remembered and endeared as Aunt Jemima or “Slave in a Box”.

Anna Robinson

Next up to the auction block is Anna Robinson, our second Auntie J.  From this picture it looks like she may have had too many flap jacks…Whoa! Guess I was being a bit insensitive, but she clearly wasn’t a picture of health.  As I read up on Ms. Robinson, she was 350 pounds and darker than Nancy Green, which worked out for the marketers and promoters to help them stick with their pancake making mammy.  Even today, corporate America hints a silent prerequisite for thick robust Black women to promote products that may not be good for us.  Whether it’s fried chicken, inhaling harmful cleaning products or distasteful music videos, these women are used as tools, to fool the fools, into suckling the brand that is being endorsed.

Speaking of suckling, is “mammy” a play on mammary, as in breasts, Black breasts that white children suckled on while the “mammies” watched over the slave masters chil’ren?  I wonder if that is where the word originated from.

Edith Wilson

Here is Edith Wilson, one of the more socially acceptable Aunt Jemima’s.  She doesn’t have the appearance of the stereotypical “mammy”.  She is of lighter complexion, suitably attractive; she has that classic 20-30’s look.  Her career lasted 18 years as the face and voice of Aunt Jemima – first on radio then in advertisements and appearances at pancake breakfasts’.  So, back to liberation!  Who was she, who was the real “mammy” that gave those white boys the pancake recipe that has endured for 123 years?  Was she compensated, if so how?  After all of these years has she received her due?  I think she has.  Yes, the name, Aunt Jemima is one of the most degrading names from the Slave and Minstrel Era that has endured up to this day, Blacks, Whites, Hispanics and Asians, consume this product without thought and without recognizing the history behind the offensive, delicious goodness in every flapjack we eat.

It’s funny how Blacks,  at our own expense, motivate profitable ideas to others through our self-slander and misery.

The Old Aunt Jemima was a popular song composed by an African comedian, songwriter and minstrel show performer, a Black man named Billy Kersands (c. 1842–1915) The Old Aunt Jemima song was not only the inspiration for Aunt Jemima pancakes, it also inspired several characters in film, television and on radio.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Aunt_Jemima)

I for one take guilty pleasure in eating AJ pancakes, I do it to honor the sacrifice, to honor the history of the product and they taste so much better than Bisquick or Eggo so, yes I’m guilty.

“Idealism”

There is a subtext lurking beneath the Aunt Jemima advertisements. She embodied an early twentieth century idealized domesticity that was inspired by old southern hospitality. There were others that capitalized on this theme such as: Uncle Ben’s Rice and Cream of Wheat’s Rastus. The backdrop to the trademark image of Aunt Jemima is a romanticized view of antebellum plantation life. The myth surrounding Aunt Jemima’s secret recipe, family life, and plantation life as a happy slave all contribute to the post-civil war idealism of southern life and America’s developing consumer culture. Early advertisements used an Aunt Jemima paper doll family as an advertising gimmick to buy the product. Aunt Jemima is represented with her husband Rastus, whose name was later changed to Uncle Mose to avoid confusion with the Cream of Wheat character, and their four children: Abraham Lincoln, Dilsie, Zeb and Dinah. The doll family was dressed in tattered clothing and barefoot with the possibility to see them transform from rags to riches by buying another box with civilized clothing cut-outs.” – Credit goes to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aunt_Jemima)

Idealism aside and taste buds appeased, The Liberation of Aunt Jemima is an interesting piece of artwork and unfortunately I was unable find the artist to give credit or grievance to.  Finance & Freedom: would have been absolute liberation for a woman of that era,  but I’m sure the real Aunt Jemima never experienced either.

“In recent years, Aunt Jemima has been given a makeover: her skin is lighter and the handkerchief has been removed from her head. She now has the appearance of an attractive maid — not a Jim Crow era mammy.”  (http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/mammies/)

At least she’s not a mammy, or a slave in a box, she’s been upgraded to a maid…Hope that came with a pay increase?

Free Aunt Jemima!

Aunt Jemima Pancakes

CT