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Real Stories from Toronto #2,646,875 – It’s All a Joke

“Why are you always laughing?  Sometimes I don’t even know what you’re laughing about!  Sometimes it’s just mean!”

- Didn’t you get the memo?

“What?  What memo?”

- It’s all a joke.

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The Laughing Buddha

The Laughing Buddha

One day a monk walks up to him and asks, “What is the meaning of Zen?”
Smiling as usual, he instantly swung the sack over his shoulder.
“How does one realize Zen?”  Budai then takes up his bag and continues on his way.

From Siddhartha
“…Siddhartha replies that for every true statement there is an opposite one that is also true; that language and the confines of time lead people to adhere to one fixed belief that does not account for the fullness of the truth. Because nature works in a self-sustaining cycle, every entity carries in it the potential for its opposite and so the world must always be considered complete. Siddhartha simply urges people to identify and love the world in its completeness…”

Creativity in the Workforce

I just had a chat with a guy who worked in advertising in the UK.

He’s lived in several cities in North America looking to be in a similar work environment.  He told me one of the key differences that he’s noticed is that there is a tendency here (North America) for people to be exclusive experts on what their task is alone.

Here’s the example he gave me:  He was talking about good graphic designers.  “What most people here don’t get is that your graphic designer needs to have, at least, a general understanding of how it’s going to work in the medium it’s gonna go to.  I’ve come across several instances when something worked on the computer or on the piece of paper: it looked excellent!  But then you use it on a billboard or you see it on the brochure and it’s composed with all these other things and it just doesn’t work!  In the UK, the graphic designer would have these things at the back of their heads.  Over here, the specialization tends to narrow down perspectives that consistent miscommunication becomes such a problem.”

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I think it’s a good tidbit to know regardless of whether or not you’re doing something that typically pegged by industries as creative (graphic design, artist, etc etc).  I think even if you’re doing administration or technical work, an application of this idea would be a good implementation in general.

I think this is one of the key importance of creativity in the workforce – it’s not just necessarily about art, but it’s about knowing which experiences and information from another source or industry and being able to apply it to your current trade.
And I’m afraid that too many companies are ignoring its benefits just because they’re not an advertising company or a media company etc etc.

Anyway, yeah, just thought this might be useful to some of yous.

Colonial Mentality

“A Colonial mentality is a conceptual theory around feelings of inferiority within some societies post-European colonialism, relative to the values of the foreign powers which they became aware of through the contact period of colonization. The concept essentially refers to the acceptance, by the colonized, of the culture or doctrines of the colonizer as intrinsically more worthy or superior. The subject matter is quite controversial and debated.”
Wikipedia

Examples:

1)  “Oh you have such light skin, that’s good!  And you look Spanish and you have a tall nose.  THAT’S beautiful!  It’s good to look white!”
–  These same people complain to me about inequality (brown folks)
If this is you: suck my dick.

2)  Some black chick got offended when I referred to her as “the black chick that lives on the third floor.”
So…”black” is offensive to someone who is black?
eyeroll

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Like I said: I’m a FLIP, a FOB, and a fag.

In my opinion, colonial mentality is one of the underlying factors that fuel white privilege.

If you think I’m blaming white people: you’re a moron.

Read more on Colonial Mentality here

District 9: Who is Human?

Here’s an insightful article I came across the internets when I was searching on the movie, District 9.

Written by: The Culture Craft

“District 9 tells the story of an extraterrestrial race who are forced to live in slum conditions outside ‘human’ society. The film adopts a documentary-style to narrate the circumstances of the alien arrival which disrupts the logic of viewers as observers by encouraging them to participate in a reality in which as humans, we must consider the presence of a new ‘Other.’ The introduction of the aliens into the landscape of Johannesburg subverts apartheid relations based on a distinction between white and black in which white is supreme, by establishing a new category of otherness. It emerges that the creatures are called ‘prawns’ to emphasise their non-humanness and subordinate position in the hegemonic order, which places them below black members. The film however, problematises conceptions of humanness by placing the development of nuclear weapons above what constitutes the human. It is for this reason that this film resonates with contemporary experience of otherness in which the politics of race is ultimately the politics of death. Foucault argues that racism is predominately a technology that authorizes the implementation of biopower. Within the framework of biopower, race functions to regulate the distribution of death and to enable the murderous propensities of the state. Such sanctions for inhumane activity are at the heart of human endeavour, which this film criticises. This film forced me to question where the boundaries between civilised and uncivilised can be drawn and furthermore, how we can decide what is for the good of humanity when what drives humans is largely the desire for power. The introduction of the aliens therefore forces the audience to ask: who is human?”

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Check out the rest of the article here (WARNING: SPOILERS!)

The film was directed by Neil Blomkamp (Johannesburg, South Africa)
Check out the IMDB page here

The film is also on Netflix Canada, can’t speak for Netflix US, but it’s worth the check.

128 Beats Per Minute: Diplo’s Visual Guide to Music, Culture, and Everything In Between

128-Beats-Per-Minute

Summary (taken from back cover): Diplo (aka Wesley Pentz) is the nexus of music and the cultural collateral it collects in the process of being created and released.  His record label, Mad Decent has helped bring the sounds of baile funk from Brazil, cumbia from Mexico, and other unknown music to Mexico, and other unknown music to clubs around the world.  Diplo’s work as a producer has brought a unique sound to hits like M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes,” Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now,” and Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls).”

128 Beats Per Minute follows Diplo on this fantastic journey around the world, from his involvement with dancehall scene in Jamaica to the electro/techno underground in Tel Aviv.  Each chapter chronicles his tastes and travels, complete with essays and playlists, as documented by photographer Shane McCauley.  128 Beats Per Minute provides unique access to the most interesting scenes influencing music’s landscape today.

Here’s an excerpt from the book that I thought summarizes his pre-rising pretty well:
“I was born in Mississippi and raised in Florida.  I spent time in Tennessee, Alabama, and South Carolina, too.  I never got settled, never was comfortable, never had an easy time in one place, but this helped to make me adaptable and made it easy to maneuver.  I shoplifted my first sampler from Sam Ash music center in Orlando, Florida.  I was working part-time at Subway, learning to use a Dr. Rhythm Drum Machine and DJing house parties with vinyl records I’d accumulated from flea markets and mail order.  Between rent checks, my turntables were always in and out of the pawnshops.  Eventually I found a way out of Florida, got a scholarship to school, and went north to Philadelphia to try to crack the music scene.”

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To me, Diplo is to music as Tibor Kalman (founder of Colors Magazine) was to graphic design/journalism.  What’s nice is that Diplo is still alive (yipee!) so, I personally went to one of his shows when they hit the city I’m currently living in (Toronto).
I finally ended up scoring a reasonably priced MDBP ticket and when I found out they were throwing an after party, I went to get a ticket as soon as I could.  I didn’t speaker fuck tho.  I just went there and watched.  I moshed a bit during the block party and I sat on top of the speakers later during the after party (may have gotten an orgasm or two…I guess this constitutes as passive speaker fucking?)

You can get the book on Amazon here

White Privilege

…(or white skin privilege) is a term for societal privileges, existing in predominantly white societies, that benefit white people beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people in the same social, political, or economic circumstances.[note 1] The term denotes both obvious and less obvious unspoken advantages that white persons may not recognize they have, which distinguishes it from overt bias or prejudice.[1] These include cultural affirmations of one’s own worth; presumed greater social status; and freedom to move, buy, work, play, and speak freely.[2] The concept of white privilege also implies the right to assume the universality of one’s own experiences, marking others as different or exceptional while perceiving oneself as normal.[3][4] It can be compared to and/or combined with the concept of male privilege.

- Wikipedia

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Read more about on Wikipedia here

Also, The Queen of Versailles: A Brief Psychological Socio-Economic Analysis of the (North) American Dream