a repost: “The Black Godfather”: Clarence Avant and the Ruling Class Use of Black Pop Culture

 

From the Melanin Man:

I seen this on Netflix the other day, and I was conflicted about watching it. At first glance I thought it was interesting because I never heard of this guy Clarance Avant. Yet, in my heart, I knew something was off when 1) a media giant such as Netflix is promoting  a documentary about an relatively unknown Black man and 2) looking at the trailer you figures such as Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama (the two biggest shills of American supremacy & Black disenfranchisment) consigning on this dude.

As a Black Man/Woman, you have to be on guard at ALL TIMES when it comes to the “entertainment” you consume, even when it’s “Black” and/or  produced by Blacks. The harsh reality is we ain’t producing anything worthwhile with permission from the grand wizard behind the scenes.

And best believe the message you receive will be corrupted in some form or fashion!

Anywho, this article brings home the point why you can’t even trust your kin, because they’ll sell you down the river…

 

 

Originally posted on Black Agenda Report:

 

“The Black Godfather": Clarence Avant and the Ruling Class Use of Black Pop Culture 

“The Black Godfather”: Clarence Avant and the Ruling Class Use of Black Pop Culture

Clarence Avant mastered pimping out Black identity to normalize the functioning of a nation premised on the oppression of his fellow Black citizens.

“The Black Misleadership Class clearly has a division in the entertainment industry.”

A Netflix documentary has recently premiered about a man unknown to many, who wielded inordinate influence in the music, entertainment, and film industry relative to his humble beginnings as a Black child from Climax, North Carolina. “The Black Godfather ,” as Clarence Avant is sometimes called, shows how Avant was a crucial ruling class asset in neutralizing the radical politics of the late 1960s.

According to the documentary, during a time when over 70 percent of Black entertainers were directly controlled by organized crime figures, Clarence Avant was recognized for his ability to play hardball with Black talent. Avant was able to keep Black performers in line for the benefit of the White “Goodfellas” who had a stronghold on the entertainment industry. Early in his career Avant was recruited by the famed manager of Louis Armstrong, the mob connected Joe Glaser.  Glaser recognized Clarence Avant’s potential skill as a kind of “Black Overseer” keeping the Black entertainers in check while extracting the highest value for their syndicate paymasters.

“Avant was able to  keep Black performers in line for the benefit of the White ‘Goodfellas.’”

Clarence Avant, having only a ninth grade education, unimpressive stature, and no remote level of verbal dexterity or eloquence, parlayed his early role as the “Black Overseer” of entertainers and musicians into becoming “The Black Godfather.” Avant wielded so much power in the media and entertainment industry that even White corporate executives known for showing Blacks little regard or respect surrendered to Avant’s demands, even sometimes to their own economic disadvantage.

Clarence Avant’s power and influence grew to penetrate every echelon of American entertainment media. He interfaced with almost every influential Black entertainer from 1950’s Jazz singers to late 20thcentury Hip Hop superstars. Ironically, the documentary reveals that some of his long list of admirers, from giants like Quincy Jones to politicians like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, had no idea what Clarence Avant actually did. What is obvious from the documentary is that the power of Clarence Avant did not lie in his mere persona, but stemmed from the forces that he worked on behalf of behind the scenes that held so much weight in the American culture industry.

“Even White corporate executives known for showing Blacks little regard or respect surrendered to Avant’s demands.”

What makesClarence Avant such an important person is that he was the key figure assisting in depicting Black popular culture as the embodiment of the American dream. This was done to the benefit of the American ruling class over a 50 year period when black life in America was becoming more politically and economically precarious. Though the Black Middle class has grown since Jim Crow, Black home ownership and unemployment are now at the level they were in 1968. Under the presidential management of Barack Obama, who states in the documentary that, “Clarence Avant is one of my favorite people,” 50 percent of Black wealth evaporated in the subprime mortgage crisis with no remedy from the first Black president.

Clarence Avant prides himself on having a role in the political elevation of every Democratic Party president this country has seen in the post Civil Rights era. He states in the documentary, “I believe in politics.” Early in the documentary he says, The only thing that matters to me is numbers.” Meaning money is his primary motivation.

It is amazing to watch Bill Clinton wax on about the power and importance of Clarence Avant. Avant was an early contributor to Bill Clinton’s political campaign in 1992, and raised over one million dollars for Clinton’s efforts. Clinton went on to implement one of the most draconian crime bills in American history while overseeing the incarceration of more Blacks than all three prior presidents combined. Clarence Avant’s political activism illustrates a very important fact to students of Black politics: The Black Misleadership Class clearly has a division in the entertainment industry.

“The only thing that matters to me is numbers.”

Not only does this documentary act as a hagiography of Clarence Avant, but it also functions as a kind of visual celebration of Black fealty to the Democratic party in the post Civil Rights era. Corporate Trojan Horse Black politicians like Harold Ford, Jr. and even Senator Kamala Harris sing Avant’s praises throughout the documentary.

Many are unfamiliar with how Black America transitioned from those contentious political times in the late 1960s when Black movement figures from Dr. Martin Luther King to the Black Panther Party were decrying the crimes of American capitalism and imperialism at home and abroad. Some would believe that “law and order” simply descended upon the land under President Richard Nixon. What most forget is that from1967 to 1971, 300 urban rebellions reduced sections of American cities to smoldering embers.The U.S. ruling class feared the nation was besieged by a Black revolution of such magnitude that Lyndon Johnson believed the Soviet Union was helping coordinate it.

“The U.S. ruling class feared the nation was besieged by a Black revolution.”

This fear was so palpable that Lyndon Johnson authorized a commission to study the causes of the urban rebellions. One of the things most fascinating about the 1968 Kerner Commission Report is the section on using Blacks in media and popular culture to neutralize the radical fervor that was causing Blacks to not only challenge the American status quo, but exhibit willingness to burn the whole system to the ground.

From the 1968 “Kerner Commission Report: The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders” requested by Lyndon B. Johnson to diagnose the causes of the Urban Rebellions of that period and neutralize further occurrence of such rebellions:”

The Negro in Media

Finally the news media must publish newspapers and produce programs that recognize the existence and activities of the Negro both as a Negro and as a part of the community. It would be a contribution of inestimable importance to race relations in the United States simply to treat ordinary news about Negroes as news of other groups is now treated.

Specifically, newspapers should integrate Negroes and Negro activities in all parts of the paper, from the news, society, and club pages to the comic strips. Television should develop programming which integrates Negroes into all aspects of televised presentations. Television Is such a visible medium that some constructive steps are easy and obvious. While some of these steps are being taken, they are still largely neglected. For example, Negro reporters and performers should appear more frequently–and at prime time in news broadcasts, on weather shows, in documentaries, and in advertisements. Some effort has already been made to use Negroes in television commercials. Any initial surprise at seeing a Negro selling a sponsor’s product will eventually fade into routine acceptance, an attitude that White society must ultimately develop toward all Negroes.

In addition to news-related programming, we think that Negroes should appear more frequently in dramatic and comedy series. Moreover, networks and local stations should present plays and other programs whose subjects arerooted in the ghetto and its problems.

In the context of the section above, one understands how after the 300 urban rebellions between 1967 and 1971 programs ranging from “Soul Train” to “Good Times” become important showcased spectacles of Black life and popular culture. Hence, the significance of a Clarence Avant, who mastered pimping out Black identity to normalize the functioning of a nation premised on the oppression of his fellow Black citizens.

Furthermore, the proliferation and hyper-capitalization of Black popular cultural production in the post Civil Rights era also must be thoroughly scrutinized in this context. With the expansion of Black images from streaming services to sports figures, the seduction of Black popular culture and its value as a vehicle of pacification and social control in periods of political contention becomes more obvious.

With the rise of White reactionary nationalism all over the globe and retreats on the gains of the Civil Rights Era from voter suppression to Black wealth evisceration, isn’t it time that people view figures like Clarence Avant and the overall Black media and entertainment establishment with not only suspicion, but as accessories to the crime of American racial hostility?

“The seduction of Black popular culture as a vehicle of pacification and social control becomes more obvious.”

Is it accidental that Citibank’s favorite president Barack Obama and his wife have now ventured into the culture industry to produce programming for Netflix ? Are people foolish enough to believe this is all just “entertainment,” for fun and enjoyment with no political or social agenda? When considering where this obsession with popular culture has taken the most disadvantaged among Americans, it is clear that the Kerner Commission’s formula for political pacification was rather effective. The Clarence Avant’s of the world can continue to laugh their way to the bank.

Clarence Avant starts his career as tool of organized crime, yet is able to rise to such a level in the American capitalist system that he becomes an emissary of the Democratic Party, working to ensure its political success by leveraging Black entertainment. Avant becomes a kind of “fixer,” acting as an intermediary between Black entertainers and the capitalist culture industry, as well as the American political system. Concurrently, Avant secures the expansion of the Black capitalist class in the entertainment industry while the hard realities of Black life are masked behind the bright lights and sweet music.

Therefore, the most important lesson from the documentary, “The Black Godfather,” is that agents of Black subjugation don’t have to be as vulgar and crass as a Bull Conner or Donald Trump. Sometimes those agents can be heralded as models of Black success while fulfilling their roles as the comprador elite helping suck the life out of innocent poor and working class Black folk. In Clarence Avant’s case at least it was done to a backbeat you could dance too. Aren’t we happy such a man provides a role model to emulate?

Pascal Robert is an iconoclastic Haitian American Lawyer, blogger, and online activist for Haiti. You can find his work on the web at Thought Merchant , and at Huffington Post . He can be reached via twitter at https://twitter.com/probert06  @probert06 orthoughtmerchant@gmail.com .

Artificial Intelligence Exposes a Dirty Little Secret about Humanity

 

Image result for terminator

Image is not my own…

 

From the Melanin Man:

 

Besides the dystopian flicks and superhero craze we’ve been saturated with over the past 20 to 25 years, which is another future post in of itself, there is a ton of content being produced when it comes to A.I. , artificial intelligence. It’s becoming a reality in our everyday lives as well, where driverless vehicles may so become the norm. And we’re pretty much aware that movies and television have a weird tendency to predict the future when it comes tomorrow’s technology.

Makes you think, hmm? But anyway

As any casual observer would assume that robots are taking over jobs and lives, I’m of the opinion that the commentary and existence of artificial intelligence speaks to a larger yet underrated issue: the unavoidable mundaneness of the present reality.

The definition of artificial, from Webster’s Dictionary 1828:

ARTIFI’CIAL, adjective

1. Made or contrived by art, or by human skill and labor, in opposition to natural; as artificial heat or light; an artificial magnet.
2. Feigned, fictitious; not genuine or natural; as artificial tears.
3. Contrived with skill or art.
4. Cultivated; not indigenous; not being of spontaneous growth; as artificial grasses.

 

Indeed, we live in an ARTIFICIAL reality. The majority of us consume education, foods, media, and religion that is feigned and fictitious. The majority of us lead ARTIFICIAL lives contrived by entities who seek to choke out the spontaneitythe natural, the UNTAMED SPIRITUALITY in the Black Melanin-Dominant.

We, Black Man/Woman, are being cultivated into ARTIFICIAL BEINGS!

What does it say about the state of the Black Man/Woman that the majority of us whose livelihood depends on activities that can be replaced by machines/robots? And even if we have careers that require our unique gifts & talents, we are bound by a restrictive moral code and cannibalistic system that keeps us at bay. The vital force (which according to Google, is the energy or spirit which animates living creatures ; the soul) of the Black Man & Black Woman has been subdued when it comes to its elusive, transcendent liberation from the entrapment of humanity, ultimately subverted to serve those who severely lack in that area: the infamous Melanin-Recessive.

In such instances where Blacks, as the artificial beings we’ve become, attain self-awareness a.k.a. knowledge of self (i.e. The Terminator, I, Robot, The Matrix, and other movie that detail the uprising of A.I.), soon enough we’ll RETURN back to our rightful place as DIVINE BEINGS! No such thing will occur for the Caucasoid, and all those who are Melanin-Recessive. They are not gifted with the vital force, the DIVINE SPARK, to achieve true liberation.

That’s unless the Black Man & Black Woman continue to stay comatose and addicted to this thing called humanity, unconsciously yielding their invaluable essence to the REAL ARTIFICIAL BEINGS.

Black Man/Woman, how have you spent your energy doing time as a human being?

Are you (and I’m including myself) too afraid to break away from the illusion to free your SOUL? I understand you have to feed your family and get some sort of gratification out of thing called life. The human body can tend to be needy and greedy at times.

Yet, how much of your energy will you continue to invest when you’ve come to grips with the limitations of humanity, and began to embrace your SPIRITUAL SELF?

Like the Good Book says, you can’t serve TWO MASTERS.

 

And when you think about, isn’t artificiality the natural state of humanity absent SPIRITUALITY???

 

 

Peace and Love to my melanated family,

The Melanin Man

 

 

 

Having a Moment: The Black Panther and breaking away from decoding/analyzing the movies of our enemies

 

 

From The Melanin Man:

Disclaimer: This is not a spoiler alert. There will be no DECODING/ANALYZING conducted on this post. I refuse to waste precious energy on decoding such tomfoolery.

(For those of you who wish to read that, click here, here, here, here and here. And here. AND here. There brothers and sisters of mine have already done a beautiful job of that.)

Reluctantly this morning I accompanied my wife to watch probably (let’s be honest, it is) the most hyped Black movie of all-time Black Panther. Previously I told myself I wasn’t going to rush and watch the movie, in part due to the obscene amount of hype it has received thus far. The other reason was because I felt it was not worth the price of admission.

And of course I was right. And why do I feel this way, you ask?

I certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that I don’t need to be entertained like I’m a child (why do we feel the need to still be entertained, fam? why are we STILL exhibiting childlike behavior?)  Maybe I’m in a different space mentally and spiritually right now. Maybe I’ve separated myself from the pack to the point that simple pleasures such as observing Black-African cultural symbolism in a positive light on a stupid 2-D screen does not even move me anymore.

Leave it to Disney (yuck!) to get us to feel good about being Black!

I’m through with all of the faux symbolism and feel-good stories we see in fantasy TV-land that we cannot seem to figure out as people to actualize in our REAL LIVES.

Sometimes I wonder when that time will come when we will cease to decode and analyze the foolishness that is thrown to us by the powers-that-be and begin to apply that knowledge in reality. For those of us who are NOT caught up in that entertainment mentality, how many more movies do we have to study and breakdown before we get the picture and make the changes that we need to change?

I’m not excluded from that question. I’m holding myself accountable as well.

Do we really get what’s going on? Or are we feeling special because we know a little something something?

Now don’t get me wrong, for the majority of our people who are literally SPIRITUALLY DEAD there is obviously a need to do such a thing.  But I’ve realized awhile ago that a individual’s return to consciousness (whether they’re  melanin-rich or not) should be left to them and them only. At some point, for the few of us who are privy to the madness, we may have to shun DEAD WEIGHT until it decides to LIVE AGAIN, so we can do real work.

I mean, there is no way The Black Panther should be the cultural phenomenon  that it is amongst our people. A superhero movie? REALLY?!

There may be one truth that I’ve learned from the movie (or rather reinforced since I’ve been feeling this way for a awhile now) and the hoopla that surrounds it, and that is this:

The greatest trick ever pulled by an oppressor to the oppressed is to have them think they’re oppressed in the first place. “

Once you know who you are and where you come from, you cease to be a victim no matter the circumstances.

Learn your history, fam. Preferably through a book performed through intense research and scholarship (don’t get stuck on white-man validation, either) and not some damn fantasy flick.

 

FUCK BLACK PANTHER! There, I said it.

 

 

 

Peace and Love to my melanated family,

The Melanin Man

“Ignorance is NOT bliss. Willful ignorance breeds COWARDS to responsibility.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

a repost: On the Black Panther Movie and the Limits of Our Imagination

Article originally posted on Black Agenda Report (click link for original)

 

Black Panther riding subway car

Bruce A. Dixon, BAR managing editor

The new Marvel Black Panther movie premieres this Friday. I’ll get around to seeing it maybe this weekend or soon after. I read a lot of comic books when I was very young, Fantastic Four and the first Spiderman among them. The Black Panther character came along after I discarded comics as something for kids, in favor of paperback science fiction and fantasy. By my junior year of high school I gave up science fiction too. A lot of it was frankly racist, and even when it wasn’t the authors would depict humanity hundreds or thousands of years in the future, spread across the stars and galaxies but still ruled by kings and queens and princes. I knew just enough about the world to know that was looking backward, not forward. Why couldn’t the authors of science fiction see this? Most places on earth had already thrown off rule by royalty and hereditary elites, and even when they didn’t mean it they were obligated to pretend they practiced or believed in something more democratic.

The Black Panther movie’s main characters are black and beautiful and all, but the lead guys are still a king and a brutha who wants to be king. The king is one of the richest people in the world – except for Spiderman I never heard of a comic book character worried about where next month’s rent would come from – and he rules over a fictional African country called Wakanda, a place loaded with technology so advanced it’s able to conceal its wealth and achievement from the rest of the planet.

I’m a senior citizen now, and it’s a little sad that apart from making the sheroes and heroes black and beautiful, which is sort of necessary but not nearly sufficient, comics and sci fi, at least the stuff brought to us by capitalist corporate media pretty much fails to imagine what a better world, or even the struggle to get there might look like.

If it’s so difficult for creative writers even to imagine a better world, or the struggle to make it better that might say a lot about about why it’s so difficult to move the needle out here in the real world.

Growing up on the south side of Chicago and attending a high school on the west side I caught the subway – the el to locals every day to and from school. I noticed all the cars had plaques telling us they were made by the St. Louis Car Company, except a new model subway car with no identifying markers introduced in the 1960s. 20 years later I got a job at Pullman Standard, the site of the historic 1893 Pullman Strike where we manufactured Amtrak cars, NY subway cars, Boston transit cars and such.

One day I ate lunch alone out in the yard, and getting up I looked at what I’d been sitting on. It was a mold of the end of one of those unidentified Chicago Transit Authority cars. I ran into the nearest building to ask the old timers had they ever manufactured CTA cars here. Absolutely, they said, pointing up at the row of CTA decals.

That day, instead of going home I detoured up to the 95th St. station, the end of the line. I waited for one of the trains with no markers of origin to pull in, and when the passengers stepped off the train I stepped on looking for identifying plaques saying that this train had been manufactured not two miles away by south siders of my dad’s generation. No luck. I asked the mostly black CTA workers who operated and maintained the trains. They didn’t know either, and were frankly surprised when I told them these were built right down the street.

I thought it was a lot like Star Trek, with all the people are flitting and flying back and forth around the galaxy in marvelous machines but we never see the workers who built those machines. Obviously the folks who ran Chicago in the 1960s didn’t want us even imagining that we possessed the power to build, perhaps to rebuild the world around us.

So I’ll go see the Black Panther movie. But I’m not looking for a black royal family. We already had one of those. If I was writing fiction, I’d want to show real people the power they have over the real world. But that’s just me.

Decoding Netflix’s “Bright” from a Black perspective

Image result for bright

From The Melanin Man:

The moment I finished watching “Bright” I knew I would have to write a post on it. The social and political themes are obvious to the casual observer, but there is also SO MUCH metaphysical and occult symbology and knowledge hidden in this film one could write on it for days.

I’m still “green” when it comes to the occult, which means hidden in Latin, mythology and mysteries of the universe. I have to admit, learning occult knowledge is really tricky at times. But thanks to binge watching on a ton of Bobby Hemmitt YouTube videos over the past two to three months, I feel like I have basic understanding of the occult as it relates to Black-Melanin Dominant population.

If you haven’t watched the movie but don’t plan to, feel free to read the plot summary courtesy of IDMB. If you’ve watched or plan on watching Bright, you can bypass straight to my “meat n’ potatoes” analysis of the film. I wasn’t going to trouble myself with typing a synopsis as I normally do.

This film is set in an alternate reality of the city of Los Angeles, where humans co-exist with orcs, elves, and fairies. Officer Daryl Ward (Will Smith) is out on the streets with his partner, Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton), who is the world’s first orc cop. Jakoby is grabbing a burrito when an orc gangster emerges from a shop and blasts Ward with a shotgun.

Some time later, Ward is ready to go back to the force. He is struggling to keep his house that he shares with his wife Sherri (Dawn Olivieri) and daughter Sophia (Scarlet Spencer). Sophia hates that her dad is a cop because she worries he’ll get killed. They see a video from Joe Rogan interviewing an orc as they discuss Jakoby being on the force. The other orcs hate Jakoby as they consider him a traitor. Ward dislikes having him as a partner because he blames Jakoby for him getting shot. Sherri then makes him go outside to deal with a fairy that’s attacking the bird feeder. Ward takes a broom and whacks the fairy to death.

Ward and Jakoby ride together, with Ward openly blaming Jakoby for the shooting incident. After driving through the wealthy Elftown neighborhood, they arrive at work, where a few rotten cops – Pollard (Ike Barinholtz), Hicks (Matt Gerald), and Brown (Joseph Piccuirro) – mock Jakoby when he’s not around. When Ward is assigned to be on patrol with Jakoby for the day, he protests to Sergeant Ching (Margaret Cho), but she doesn’t care for his complaints.

Ward and Jakoby head downtown to handle a disturbance, meeting with Sheriff Rodriguez (Jay Hernandez). A crazy man named Serling (Chris Browning) is waving a sword around and yelling nonsense. With the officers drawing their weapons, Serling surrenders and is taken into custody. On the ride back to the precinct, Serling pukes in the back of the car before starting to speak Orkish to Jakoby, saying he has a message from an organization called the Shield of Light, telling him to “remember the old ways”, and how a prophecy has chosen him, and that Ward is blessed.

Ward is later approached by Captain Perez (Andrea Navedo), along with two men – Yamahara (Kenneth Choi) and Arkashian (Bobby Naderi) – who order Ward to record Jakoby admitting that he let Ward’s shooter get away.

Serling is interrogated by an elf FBI agent, Kandomere (Edgar Ramirez), and his partner Montehugh (Happy Anderson). The agents ask Serling what he knows about two elf sisters – Leilah (Noomi Rapace) and Tikka (Lucy Fry). Serling knows that Leilah is a dark elf, part of the Inferni clan that wants to resurrect the Dark Lord, an evil entity that was defeated 2,000 years earlier by the Nine Armies. Leilah and her minions want to bring him back to unleash darkness upon the world with the use of three magic wands. Leilah is a “Bright”, meaning she can wield a wand without it destroying her. Montehugh says they need to find Tikka in order to set a trap for Leilah.

On the night patrol, Ward tries to get Jakoby to confess to the incident, when they are alerted to something going on at a house on Abrams Street. They arrive and are shot at by an unseen assailant. After a shootout, the officers kill the assailant. They head inside the house and find dead bodies, including a few that look like they were burnt alive. The officers find Tikka, who is in possession of the wand.

Ward calls in Ching and the other cops in regards to the wand. They want the wand for themselves, and they order Ward to go along with it and kill Jakoby, or he dies as well. Ward goes outside to do the job, but first he presses Jakoby at gunpoint on what really happened when he got shot. Jakoby admits he did let the shooter get away, but it was because he lost him in a crowd. He thought he cornered the guy in an alley, but it was just a young orc spray-painting the side of a building. Knowing that the human officers would kill the kid on the spot, Jakoby let him get away on a fire escape. Moments later, Ching and the officers step outside. Ward spins around quickly and shoots them all dead, but Pollard is the only one hanging on for his life. Jakoby attempts to arrest Ward until they are approached by a gang led by wheelchair-bound Poison (Enrique Murciano), who knows about the wand and wants it for himself so that he can walk again. Ward and Jakoby take Tikka and head into their van as the gangsters start attacking.

The officers drive away as the gangsters pursue them. The gangsters shoot at them, but Ward and Jakoby are able to shake most of them off. They find a place to hide briefly until more gangsters come after them. One of them finds the wand and tries to grab it, but it causes him to explode and kill those around him.

Leilah and her minions arrive at the Abrams house and find Pollard dying before Leilah finishes the job. She then finds another Inferni elf, Larika (Nadia Grey), who is stuck to the walls. She tells Leilah that Tikka got away with the wand, and she slashes Larika’s throat. The elves then come across a family that they kill for more information on the wand’s whereabouts. Kandomere and Montehugh later come upon the crime scene at the Abrams house, and Kandomere knows Leilah has lost the wand, making her vulnerable.

Ward, Jakoby, and Tikka walk through a sleazy orc/human strip club. Poison and his gang find them and once again threaten them for the wand, but Leilah and her minions show up and slaughter Poison and his gang. Another shootout happens, forcing the trio to run again. They run into a nearby convenience store where they find a place to hide. While tending to their wounds in a bathroom, Ward and Jakoby discuss their relationship. Although Ward doesn’t think of them as friends, he does tell Jakoby that he shouldn’t want to be like him, despite Jakoby previously stating he wishes he were because he sees Ward as fearless.

Rodriguez shows up to the store after hearing about Ward killing the officers. He orders Ward to cuff Jakoby since everyone suspects him anyway, and Jakoby willingly relents. Rodriguez is then shot dead as the elves drive up and crash through the store, shooting at the cops. The trio fight back, shooting at the elves before getting away.

The trio are then found by a group of orc gangsters belonging to the Fogteeth clan. After Ward mocks them, they get beaten and dragged to a church that serves as their lair. The orcs bring them to their leader, Dorghu (Brad William Henke). He wants the wand as well, and he mocks Jakoby for being unblooded (accepted by the other orcs as one of their own). After the cops refuse to give up the wand, Dorghu orders them to be executed. The guards drag Ward and Jakoby to a pit, and Dorghu orders his son Mikey (Brandon Larracuente) to execute Jakoby. However, Mikey can’t bring himself to do so, because he is the young orc that Jakoby let get away. Dorghu allows Mikey to go home, and Dorghu shoots Jakoby, letting his body fall into the pit. Tikka then pulls out the wand and uses it to resurrect Jakoby and raise his body up. The other orcs are astonished and kneel before Jakoby, believing him to be the one the prophecy spoke of. The three then leave.

Tikka then speaks English for the first time, now that she knows she can trust Ward and Jakoby. She explains that she took the wand because she knew Leilah wanted to bring back the Dark Lord, and she had sent Larika to kill her, but Tikka took the wand herself. The use of the wand took a toll on her, and it’s starting to kill her. She tells them that the Shield of Light can help them if they take her to a pool back at the Abrams house.

Ward and Jakoby bring Leilah back to the house. Leilah and the other dark elves show up and battle the cops. Ward and Jakoby manage to kill the elves, and Jakoby appears to shoot Leilah dead. They then take Tikka to the pool beneath a tree, but Leilah emerges, still alive. When she tries to get the wand, Ward grabs it himself. It starts to glow, and he doesn’t explode, meaning he is a Bright. Tikka tells him a war word to cast a spell, which Ward repeats, causing the wand to blast Leilah to smithereens. Outside, authorities arrive just as they witness the explosion. Ward and Jakoby look for Tikka, but she’s gone.

The officers are in the hospital and are approached by Kandomere and Montehugh. Although Jakoby tries to explain everything that happened, Ward denies that there was ever a wand, and that gangsters killed the corrupt officers.

In the final scene, Ward and Jakoby are commemorated for their heroism. Pollard, Brown, Hicks, and Ching are also honored alongside Rodriguez, with Ward expressing his hatred for that fact. Jakoby tells him to let it go, since at least they know the truth. Sherri and Sophia are there to support Ward, while he and Jakoby notice Tikka walking among the crowd, smiling at them.

So hopefully you got the gist of what went down on the surface in the film. Now…to the real deal.

From the little information of come across so far concerning the hidden mysteries of the universe, I’ve come to realize that anything involving the occult or occult practices is not limited to those of the pale-skinned, Melanin-Recessive nature. The biggest misconception is that those of that ilk are the foremost knowledgeable when comes to occult knowledge. In fact, when it comes to the occult, all of it is African-based, derived from the ancient civilizations such as Egypt and Ethiopia (Kush) and dispersed on all corners of the planet. From the mythologies prevalent in our religions and belief systems to the occult sciences (numerology, cosmology, cosmogony, astrology, astronomy), it is ALL the creation of people who were African, Black-Melanin Dominant.

It should common knowledge at this point that the white, Caucasoid European did not create ANYTHING whatsoever on this physical plane. Nor do they have any real access to the metaphysical/spiritual realm as they seemingly have a stranglehold on many various occult texts stolen discovered from the ancient world over millennia.

Unless they have a little Black in their DNA, which leads me back to the film itself.

The wand, the main plot device throughout the film, acts as a representation for having the ability to connect to the metaphysical/spiritual realm (the unseen realm), the realm that directly effects the physical realm, the realm that truly matters in the grand scheme of things. The wand was originally possessed by a wicked subset of Elves (who’s considered the Elite, the self-proclaimed cream of the crop in the film. Sound familiar?) called the Inferni, which derived from the Illuminati. Although these dark Elves had control of the wand, they could not harness its true power without the assistance of a Bright.

Connecting it to what I know and the real world, I interpreted a Bright to be a person who possesses a soul and has to the ability to tap into the spiritual realm. In some underground circles, it is believed that the vast majority of Blacks have souls (is it a wonder Blacks make the greatest soul singers?) whereas the majority of those who are considered white” do not. Those who are white who do have souls undoubtedly have “a drop of Black” in their DNA.

If you touch the wand with your bare hands and you’re not a Bright, you can burn ALIVE. It symbolizes the rising of the Kundalini (primal energy located at the ROOT Chakra, where the soul resides.) Except no SOUL exists.

(If you’re not familiar with the Kundalini, please find the time to do some research.)

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The wand possessed by the evil leader of Inferni, Leilah

Notice in the picture that evil elf Leilah is wearing gloves so she can be able to hold the wand. The cops that turn against Will Smith’s character Daryl Ward and his cop partner Nick Jacoby scoop the wand, not with their bare hands, but with a Duffel bag. There’s also a scene where a group of Hispanic gangbangers, who are chasing after Daryl, Nick, and the benevolent elf Tikka (who’s a Bright), attempt to pick up the wand and subsequently burn alive.

How convenient is it that the only human in the film that was able to pick up the wand with their bare hands was Will Smith’s Daryl Ward, who only discovers at the moment prior to destroying Leilah that he himself was a Bright (or one with a soul?)

I peeped that out the moment it was mentioned by the crazy Serling that Daryl was “blessed.”

Tikka, prior to turning traitor to Inferni, was used by Leilah to harness the power of the wand. It can be assumed that Tikka represents the Black woman (who holds the supreme “feminine principle” connection to the spiritual realm) who’s unknowingly, and in some cases knowingly, used by the Elite (who possess practically all of the ancient occult knowledge) to keep and maintain the current paradigm.

And what about the Dark Lord, which was defeated approximately 2,000 years ago by the Nine Armies? Which coincidentally falls around the same time of the chronology of Christ myth?

Side note: Check this post out. This is a good detailed read on the occult symbology that was showcased in Bright. I found one tidbit very interesting. The number of armies that defeated the the “Dark Lord” 2,000 years ago is the same number concerning the Nine Circles of Hell of Dante Alighieri’s Inferno . It details how individuals rejected spirituality in favor of bestial appetites, perverting the human intellectual capacity through the nine sins listed in the image below.

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“The Nine Circles of Hell”

Could it be that the Dark Lord was metaphorically defeated by these nine sins?

We know by now that “dark” should not be seen as “evil,” per se. And “dark” directly correlates to melanin, or “dark matter.” So the fall of the Dark Lord can be viewed as the fall of the people with melanin, the loss of their dominance in the physical world, in part due to its own undoing. Tikka mentions if the Dark Lord returns, he will destroy billions of lives and enslave the remaining to worship him in a new age of magic. I’m not entirely sure on this topic so I’m taking a shot in the dark on this one. If you don’t view this through the lens of good vs. evil, the Brights (ones with souls) will be the ones to “worship the Dark Lord” (respect for the true natural order of universe?) in a “new age of magic” (the new reality of fifth dimensional consciousness?) Inferni may be attempting to gain leverage of the situation, thinking by summoning the Dark Lord through Brights like Tikka (black woman) it can maintain its Elitist position when he returns.

I may be reaching on this one, but hey it doesn’t hurt to try, right?!

Also in the scene where the Orc cop Nick (if you haven’t noticed yet, the film portrays Orcs similar to low-income Blacks, as whole, from the real world) is raised from the dead by Tikka is a Christ-like manner is not accidental either. I believe it symbolizes the Black man rising back up by reconnecting to his better half, the Black woman, through the occult knowledge of his ancestors.

On side note: the partnering of Daryl and Nick is also intriguing to me, as they portray the Black man in two distinct realities. There is no mention of Daryl’s skin tone nor is it necessary since he is viewed and accepted fully as a human being by assimilating into the system i.e. his white wife and biracial offspring. Nick as an Orc whose not assimilated in the system cannot escape his Orc background/ethnicity (his Blackness) and thus must fight daily to prove his worth (his humanity) to his cop colleagues. This is further illustrated when Nick is trapped with the dilemma of fulfilling his duties as a cop and arresting an innocent Orc graffiti artist (staying loyal to his Blackness). He decides to let him go (being Black first, profession second), placing his job in jeopardy. The act, along with the fact he was “raised from the dead”, gained Nick street cred with the Orc gang that captured and sacrificed him, which ironically was the same gang the Orc kid graffiti artist was a member of.

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Will Smith’s Daryl Ward: “You’re really my homie, you know that?!”

This is what I took from Bright. As mentioned before, there is WAYYYY more information in the movie that I glossed over. Again, I think this post does a good job highlighting a good chunk of it.

Let me know your thoughts. Stay vigilant and prudent in watching these movies, fam!

Always look for the deeper, the hidden, message!

Peace and Love to melanated family,

The Melanin Man

“She’s Gotta Have It”: My Thoughts and Reflections on Black Sexuality in a Eurocentric Paradigm

From the Melanin Man:

Note: This post is not a review of the show entirely, but more of a dialogue on one of the show’s major themes of Black sexuality.

Recently I watched the entire Season 1 of Spike Lee’s modern reboot of She’s Gotta Have It on Netflix. Rarely do I even watch TV let alone binge watch an entire season on anything, yet I was intrigued by Spike Lee’s update of his first-ever feature film, especially since I did watch and enjoyed the original.

For anyone not familiar with the film, the story centers around a beautiful, intelligent young Black Melanin-Dominant woman and budding artist Nola Darling (played by Tracy Camilla Johns in film, DeWanda Wise in the Netflix series) from Brooklyn, NY and the sexual relationships she has with three Black Melanin-Dominant men: the kind-hearted and well-meaning Jamie Overstreet (played by Tommy Redmond Hicks in the film, Lyriq Bent in the Netflix version), the self-absorbed Greer Childs (played by John Canada Terrell in the film, Cleo Anthony in the Netflix version) , and the geeky and callow Mars Blackmon (played by Spike Lee in the film, Anthony Ramos in the Netflix series.) Unlike the film, which came out the same year that I was born in 1986, the Netflix series version expanded upon the world of Nola, all of her quirks and idiosyncrasies, what really makes her tick and tock in her life. Of course, we get to explore more on the backgrounds of her male counterparts as well as her family, friends, and the neighborhood she lives in (Fort Greene, Brooklyn).

As a young man with a gift of the pencil and sketch pad, it was a delightful treat to see Nola’s artistic talents on display, where her art primarily illustrates her perspective on the beauty of Blackness. I admire and respect Black artists (no matter the medium i.e. music, painting, poetry, writing) who are able to freely express themselves without compromising their African-centered perspective. I was glad that Spike Lee (even though he may be an agent) was able to insinuate that in detail in the Netflix series versus the film version. Also, considering that I’m a huge fan of the old-school, I thoroughly enjoyed the soundtrack of timeless R&B melodies that were used in the series.

In regards to the main character Nola Darling, there is very little difference between the film version and Netflix series. Nola was a young and vibrant woman who has no qualms in expressing herself with no holds barred. Whether it’s through her honest transparency with those in her circle, her art, her political and social viewpoints, and especially her sexual exploits, which is the main focus of this post. Nola enjoys the fact that she is able to express herself sexually with multiple men. In the Netflix series, Nola even goes as far as expressing herself sexually with a woman, the understanding and straight-forward Opal Gilstrap (played by Raye Dowell in the film, Ilfenesh Hadera in the Netflix series) whereas in the film she did not even entertain the idea whatsoever.

You can say that in essence Nola fits the definition of a free spirit.

But is she really free?

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Does sexual freedom really signify that an individual is free?

What does sexuality look like for Black people in today’s society?

What does sexuality suppose to look like for the Black community when not subjected to the ideals of the Western European philosophy?

I understand how sex is viewed from the Church’s perspective. Sacred. An embarrassing topic to discuss in public. I also understand how sex is portrayed in the media. A guilty pleasure. Simple recreational fun. The truth is in the middle, I think.

A little personal history:

I honestly never had an interest in casual sex irrespective of the fact that I was raised with a Christian background. To get a little more personal, I never had an interest in masturbation either (knowing what I know now, I’m glad I didn’t.) At the end of the day I could not see myself having sex just for kicks and giggles. Even though the Church (and religion as whole) may be flawed in many, many ways, especially when it comes to the reluctance to discuss and be open-minded regarding sex, I did agree that sex has a sacredness to it that is not fully understood by nor promoted to the masses. I had that cliché, yet noble, idea: waiting for the right one.

There were young women who had eyes for, yet the feeling was not mutual. Nevertheless I stayed steadfast and unmovable to hold out for that right one. And eventually it happened within my mid-20s. And unsurprisingly I married the same woman I first gave myself to, with two daughters in tow.

Life is interesting, ain’t it?

I appreciate and admire that a women, especially a Black woman, such as Nola is able to be open with her sexuality. Trust me, I do not adhere to the tired axiom that a woman who sleeps with multiple men (in Nola’s case, and woman) is “freak” or a “hoe.” Nor do I think men who have multiple partners, WOMEN PARTNERS, are necessarily “players.” The situation is more complex than it seems.

And I’m of the stance that if you lack a knowledge of self and inner love for self, the pursuit of sexual gratification will only lead you even more lost in this civilized wilderness.

In Nola’s case, specifically in the Netflix series, I noticed a insecurity within her spirit that permeated, for instance, through her interactions with her male companions. To protect and keep herself from developing feelings any one of three men, she maintained control by feigning the customary acts of courting and engaging in sex only in her bed. Acts if perpetrated by a man would be frowned upon by the majority of women. Although she show a vulnerability with her female peers, she refuses to do so with the men i.e. her initial refusal to inform them of her sexual assault that occurred in the second episode of the series. Even in the film version, Jamie forcing himself sexually (rape) on Nola was a feeble and ill-advised attempt gain control and submission from Nola that she had been reluctant to relinquish to the men individually.

In my opinion, it illustrates that Nola fears losing her freedom by being in the possession of a man. She mentions her disdain for “being the possession of a man” in both iterations of “She’s Gotta Have It.” Obviously, Nola believes that Black men are of the same ilk as her white males which we know is not the case. Unbeknownst to Nola and those women of her ilk and color who hold that same opinion, Black Melanin-dominant men, in essence, do not have the power to oppress nor possess women of any hue in this society. Black men in this society who attempt to operate in such a manner unknowingly are practicing a doctrine that is against their true nature. Both our men and women are living under a acidic Western, European philosophy that holds ownership and possession sacred, or as its said by the powers-that-be, “possession is nine-tenths of the law.” And whether we realize it or not, that way of thinking affects every facet of our lives: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It appears that Nola is unaware of this, thus demonstrating a lack of knowledge regarding the real social status of her people.

Nola’s behavior reeks of a typical contemporary feminist. She thinks her sexual freedom is proof of an elusive independence that is not available to the Black female today. A woman who is one with the Creator knows that real freedom is rooted in understanding and living out her true feminine nature, which is EVERYTHING that goes against the feminist agenda.

In short, Nola is NOT free as she THINKS she is.

The portrayal of sex in the series, not unlike many other shows that broadcast in this day and age, is counterproductive and spiritually dangerous. The concept of casual sex is stealthy encouraged, as long as precautions are taken i.e. Nola confides with her therapist that she practices safe sex, as well as the “rules” she sets in place for her male lovers. Although sex is natural to our being, to this day the majority of the masses are still lost on what sex is about.

I have had numerous conversations with friends and loved ones who’ve had their share of casual sex experiences. Regarding the physical aspect of the sex, I’ve heard the good, the bad, and the ugly. When it came to the emotional/ spiritual aspect of all those experiences, I noticed a common thread: there wasn’t any. It was purely physical. That’s what I picked up with Nola in her trysts with her male lovers. I could sense a lack of intimacy, a lack of an authentic emotional/spiritual connection. To be frank, Nola had more of a connection with lesbian lover Opal. Due to Nola’s willingness to be more forthcoming and open with female comrades, it makes sense.

If we are to adhere to the rules of Nature, we should know that coitus (sexual intercourse) cannot exist between two individuals of the same sex, even if the encounter between Nola and Opal seemed genuine and loving. It’s veiled masturbation at its finest. Due to the emotional/spiritual connection Nola lacks with either Jamie, Greer, or Mars, you can classify these relationships with Jamie as such as well. In a nutshell, that is what causal sex is.

From a metaphysical standpoint, sex is not only an physical expression, but also a spiritual act, where the male and feminine principle entities intertwine for an energy exchange. The energy an individual can receive can be positive or negative. None of this information is taken to account when sex is casual.

Sidenote: I highly recommend getting the book The Science of Love by John Baines. Although the book is over twenty years old, it does a great job of explaining this information in detail.

Yet casual sex has been widely accepted as the norm.

When sex is only based on the physical realm, it can be animalistic, impulsive, detached, and self-serving. That is how Nola unintentionally (or intentionally) is depicted, hence the term “She’s Gotta Have It.” Her male partners are not exempt from scrutiny, but since the show is based off the female perspective, the focus is on her.

Blacks have adopted a perverted concept of sexuality from the Western, European doctrine that has aided in the destruction and degradation of our community. We all know the story: the increase of single parent homes, sexual transmitted diseases (STDS), contentious relations between Black men woman in general, etc., etc., etc. And I believe all these calamities have their origin on the spiritual realm. Blacks are by nature spiritual whereas the Western, European idea of sex lacks that element. When Blacks engage in sexual activities minus that spiritual component, we get the previously stated results.

Simple cause and effect, which is a important principle of Nature.

Another Sidenote: Also read The Kybalion. It discusses the seven main principles of Nature, also called the Hermetic Principles, which is what the book The Science of Love is based off of. (FYI, the great heralded philosopher Hermes, which is who the principles are named after, studied in Egypt for many years. So of course this information was first discovered by our fellow Black Melanin-Dominant ancestors.)

By and large, the white, European, Caucasian is an individualist by nature. Blacks operate as a collective by nature, although we are encouraged against that by seen and unseen forces. When Blacks can live in a situation where we can truly walk and operate in our nature, sexuality can be very beneficial and life-giving (not life-taking) for both male and female, especially when spirituality is involved. They will not feel the need to possess one another nor feel threatened whatsoever of the possibility that a mate/lover has a genuine connection with another. All forms of relationships that adheres to principles of nature (i.e. monogamy, polygamy) will be celebrated, respected, and accepted. But this is only possible when Black men and women understand their truth and THE TRUTH, thus loving their culture and ultimately themselves.

Sounds like illusions of grandeur, huh?!

Then you underestimate the power we truly have if and when we decide to get our act together.

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To sum it all up, neither the film or Netflix version of “She’s Gotta Have It” is revolutionary to Blacks (Duh, right?!) Although it may be odd and refreshing to see a Black woman so “open-minded” about her sexuality, it is the same attempt, in 1986 and 2017, for women think that they can what act as a man and even do it better. Feminism has been on the forefront longer that I’ve been on this earth, yet I understand the game that is being played on our women. As a Black man I don’t condone a lifestyle of Western-influenced casual sex, no matter the gender, that is basically fruitless and devastating to the physical and spiritual realms our people. We as a whole do not have a self-identity, so it is useless to portray a reality (on the TE-LIES-VISION for that matter!) that we can’t fully practice in the mindset of Eurocentricism.

So, thank you Spike Lee for continuing the narrative of Black feminism (that’s an oxymoron!), veiled as “Black female empowerment.”

Stay on your Ps and Qs fam. Deception is at a ALL-TIME HIGH!

Peace and Love to my melanated family,

The Melanin Man

One final note: At one time I thought Spike Lee was a revolutionary director. I loved his work because it caused me to think and it appeared unapologetically Black. His work still causes me to think, which is what sparked me to write this LONG ASS POST. But I’ve gotten wiser over the years as well, and my opinions have obviously changed. I still have mad respect for my brother and his accomplishments, but as we know for those of us who are in the spotlight, he and his work have been COMPROMISED!

Such as life, such as life.

Do you REALLY want to be WIRED TO THE SYSTEM??

 

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Recently, I watched a movie called The Belko Experiment. The main characters were employees of Belko Industries, which was located in the middle of rural Colombia (in the middle of nowhere.) Long story short, they were  trapped in the office building against their will by an unknown entity, who pitted them in a death match against each other . If the trapped employees chose not to engage in the sadistic game, they would die by an exploding microchip that was inserted in their brain when they first started working with the company.   To see the savagery emerge from those people to save their own ass was pretty mind-blowing. It was a pretty gruesome movie to say to the least.

That’s the power of the microchip, I guess (smh.) Ignorance is bliss.

If you haven’t seen the movie The Ghost in the Shell, it touches on the same topic as well…

 

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Giving your power away, when it comes your body (your temple!) for the sake of convenience through technology may not be the smartest move, fam!

But we’ve been moving in this direction for awhile when it comes to pacemakers and devices like them.  Maybe it’s inevitable (smh.)

Check out these movies from your local Redbox and OBSERVE them. Don’t get caught up in the action and the stupid storyline. Hopefully it’ll make you second guess placing technological convenience over common sense.

If not, this is where the general population of this world is inevitably headed (read article below.)

 

Enjoy!!

 

 

Article posted on Waking Times (click link for original)

 

Corporations and Government Engineering a World Where Everyone Will be Microchipped

 

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Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.” – Frederich Nietzsche

Technology is moving incredibly fast. Although certain advances are doing the world a lot of good, over time, new tools inevitably grant new opportunities for the powerful to garner more control and influence over the people. One of the most insidious means of mass control has not yet been fully implemented, but is being pushed at an ever-increasing rate: human microchipping.

Microchips Are Already Here

Many people like to pass off the issue of microchipping as a “conspiracy theory,” or something of the like. However, microchipping of humans is already underway as people discover that slavery can be incredibly convenient. Take for example Tim Shank, who allowed a microchip to be surgically implanted between his thumb and forefinger. As a software engineer, he believes that having technology imbedded into his body will be more convenient for him. A piercing and tattoo shop called Skin Art Gallery also performs the procedure, and companies online are beginning to sell kits for microchipping.

“This is an NFC chip, so it’s similar to what phones have nowadays.” – Tim Shank

Businesses have also begun microchipping their employees. Three Market Square, a Wisconsin-based company which sells microchips as well as vending machines that work with them, came under fire recently for taking technology to an uncomfortably invasive level. Their vision is for the entire population to become microchipped so they will never have to use credit cards or cash again.

“Eventually, this technology will become standardized allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities, etc.” – Todd Westby, Three Square Market CEO

In 2015 BBC reported that a Swedish company called Epicenter Stockholm started offering microchips to employees as well. This company reportedly used RDIF chips as opposed to NFC, which are much more easily tracked and hackable.

“We want to be able to understand this technology before big corporates and big government come to us and say everyone should get chipped – the tax authority chip, the Google or Facebook chip.” – Hannes Sjoblad, Chief Disruption Officer at Epicenter Stockholm and Self-proclaimed “Human Augmentation Activist”

Implanted Microchips Will Inevitably Result in the Elimination of Cash

The inevitable result of transferring all transactions to electronic means is of course the abolition of cash. Without cash, not only are there no longer anonymous purchases, but consequently anyone from the manufacturer of your chip to the bank you use could at any time strip away your ability to make purchases. This is incredibly dangerous because it demands a certain level of conformity and obedience in order to stay alive in the modern world.

In July 2017, Visa announced a new initiative called “The Visa Cashless Challenge” which would be used to give up to $500,000 to 50 restaurants that go ‘100% cashless’. Of course, when more people use digital forms of payment, Visa makes more money. If cash was entirely eliminated then Visa and the other credit card companies would rake in much larger profits. One economist wrote in a column for the London Telegraph that banning cash would allow more government control over the economy and grow their ability to monitor the populace, which he claims to be a good thing.

“Once all money exists only in bank accounts – monitored, or even directly controlled by the government – the authorities will be able to encourage us to spend more when the economy slows, or spend less when it is overheating. – Jim Leaviss, Former Bank of England Economist

Back in 2015 JP Morgan Chase began eliminating the storage of cash in its safety deposit boxes. This news came directly after Citigroup economist Willem Buiter advocated for the elimination of cash altogether.

“It is precisely the existence of paper currency that makes it difficult for central banks to take policy interest rates much below a zero, a limitation that seems to have become increasingly relevant during this century.” – Willem Buiter, Chief Economist at Citigroup

Music festivals have also bought into the idea of cashless society as many around the world, such as Austin City Limits, Lollapalooza, and Firefly, are now requiring wristbands, made by a company called Intellitix, linked to an individual’s payment information for purchases of T-Shirts and albums.

“Organizers can even drive more sales by introducing time-sensitive promotions to targeted customer segments on the fly during the festival or post-event. Customer data can also be used to improve future event content to boost sales even further.” Eric Janssen, chief revenue officer of Intellitix

The Next Step: Microchips in Your Brain

It might sound farfetched now, but the Pentagon’s technological development arm known as DARPA is already working on microchips which are designed to be imbedded in the brain. In 2016, DARPA spent $62 million on developing these chips, which are roughly one cubic centimeter in size and have massive implications for the degradation of human freedom and free thought.

“[The chips would enable] data-transfer bandwidth between the human brain and the digital world, feeding digital auditory or visual information into the brain, [and thereby] open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics.”

In 2015, engineers at Texas A&M University developed a chip, which embedded into the brains of cockroaches allows them to control movement of the specimen. Called “backpacks”, these devices weigh less than three grams and contain all the necessary wiring to remote control an insect.

“[The] cockroach walks naturally, and we simulate barriers by sending pulses to its antenna. They use their antenna as touch sensors, so stimulation on one side directs these insects towards the opposite direction.”

Former Google CEO and recurring Bilderberg member Eric Schmidt is a big proponent of brain chips as well.

“There’s what I call the creepy line and the Google policy with a lot of these things is to get right up to the creepy line, but not cross it. I would argue that implanting things in your brain is beyond the creepy line…at least for the moment until the technology gets better.” – Eric Schmidt, Former Google CEO

In an attempt to merge the human mind with artificial intelligence Tesla CEO Elon Musk

recently launched a venture called Neuralink

, a company whose goal it is to create devices which can be implanted in the human brain, effectively cutting off humanity from discovering our true potential, and finding the answers to life’s biggest questions, by trapping us in a technological sub-world with clearly defined limitations coded into existence by people we have not and will never meet.

“Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence…what hasn’t been done [yet] is the reading and writing of neural code.” – Elon Musk

Will You Accept or Reject Being Tagged with a Microchip?

Microchipping is akin to a cow being tagged – a system of virtually unremovable identification which allows its owners to keep track of personal information such as health, vaccination schedules, eating habits, etc. In humans, this comes in the form of purchases, internet browsing history, social media activity and more.

The scary part in all of this is that a significant number of people, although there are many who oppose it, seem to be unaware of the near and present dangers associated with microchips. In 2015, a survey found that one in four Australians would accept a chip implanted under their skin if it meant more convenience for them when making purchases. In 2016, NBC produced a propaganda piece saying that your children must be microchipped “sooner rather than later” in order to keep them safe from predators.

“When barcodes first came out in the late 1960s, people were appalled. They were wary of them and did not understand the concept. Today, it is so commonplace, we don’t even notice it. A microchip would work much in the same way.”

Fortunately, more people are becoming aware of this and are prepared to reject microchipping when it starts to become mandatory or large numbers of people begin receiving implants. Will you reject this modern method of slavery or accept a tag for convenience? The choice is yours.

The Folly of Big-Time Sports Pt.7 : Boycott the NFL for Colin Kaepernick’s cause?? Are You F**king Serious?!

 

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From the Melanin Man:

It’s been a process, but slowly but surely, I’m pulling away from the distraction of mainstream professional sports. Yet I’m compelled to write about the travesty of Colin Kaepernick not being signed yet by any NFL teams due to his protest of the National Anthem. For some strange reason, there are a good number of us who believe that Kaepernick is being punished for standing up for social justice for Blacks (Melanin-Dominants.)

So what do we do?

“BOYCOTT THE NFL!!” “PETITION NFL TEAMS TO SIGN COLIN KAEPERNICK!!”

(Sighing in disappointment as I shake my head)

Here are a few questions we need to ask ourselves:

  1. Why are we continuing to support this WALKING CONTRADICTION?
  2. WHYYYYY are we feeding into the fictitious drama the NFL manages to drum up before the beginning of EVERY season now?
  3. Do you understand the CRUEL paradox we’re trapped in?

 

Those individuals behind the scenes sure know how to rile up the emotions of us minions, especially through  nonsensical sports entertainment. Slaves Athletes are essentially bought off by the slave masters owners of these sports plantations franchises who run these sports leagues. So if I can you use one of my paid slaves players to drum up even more attention (i.e. increased viewership, jersey and ticket sales) towards my franchise and league  by using a genuine platform such as racial politics, why not take advantage?

We were/are being hooked, lined, and sunk through the fallacy of Colin Kaepernick’s protest!

Who cares about a f**king national anthem?!

We continue to gain acceptance from a majority white-Caucasian run nation and its majority white-Caucasian constituents which has not yet to this day acknowledged that we are fully human beings!!

REALLY?!!!!

If Black Melanin-Dominant folk (which we’re the ones mainly supporting this hypocrite) truly desired to break away from our benefactor Massa and fend for self, then WHY are we begging petitioning NFL teams to sign him in lieu of a boycott? Has it be encoded in our DNA to continuously ask for acceptance a handout? And to bring more validity to the madness,  fellow NFL players and shills celebrities such as Michael Bennett, Michael Jenkins, and Spike Lee* have joined in the chorus.

*Side note: There was a  time not too long ago when I thought highly of Spike Lee and his work. And I still do respect his talent. But  I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s an  agent to the system. You know what I’m talking about.

I do not believe Colin Kaepernick truly cares about the plight of his people, nor does he understand the paradox  we can’t seem to shake.  If he did, not only would he  would shun the NFL completely, he would denounce the entire game of football in general.

You know, timing is everything.

It’s funny how a couple of weeks prior to the Colin Kaepernick’s shenanigans were being drummed back into the news, there was a study  released that stated that 99% (or 111 out 112!) of the brains of deceased NFL players tested positive for the brain degenerative disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy,  better known as CTE. In deceased college football players who didn’t even make it to the NFL, it is over 90%!

WHY have we totally forgotten that small bit of information? THAT WAS NOT EVEN A MONTH AGO!

Black Melanin-Dominant men make up roughly 60-70% of college and NFL rosters. Those of us who even flash any semblance of athletic talent are hounded down as early as middle school by recruiters who see only dollar signs for themselves and the plantations universities they work for. And after shucking and jiving (or juking and diving in this case)  for free for our respective plantations universities who make hundreds of millions in the process, the select few of us who are able to come out unscathed have the “opportunity” to make chump change in the NFL while the slave masters owners (as well as Vegas)  make billions upon billions every year.

Maybe some of us come out of college with a degree that we can use. Maybe a handful of us retire from the NFL as millionaires, if the agents and certain long-lost friends and family members haven’t sucked us dry. But at the end of the day our real wealth lies in our health…physically, emotionally, and spiritually! Unfortunately, the majority of us Black Melanin-Dominant men who travel down this road are broken inside and out.

We find ourselves not only suffering from brain diseases such as CTE, but suffering other permanent, debilitating physical ailments due to the game of football. If by some sort of miracle we don’t, we’re nevertheless still serving white supremacy and butt buddy capitalism (i.e. sportscasters, team ownership, etc.)

Damn, that is a very efficient assembly line they got going on!

How is this benefiting our collective?

(That’s a rhetorical question.)

We are being played, fam!

So get the f**k outta here with the Colin Kaepernick protest and this petition nonsense. He  (and other players who’ve jumped on the bandwagon) is NOT on our side whatsoever. They’re allies to the state and to those who wish to kept this DESTRUCTIVE PARADIGM ALIVE! The sad thing is that they may not even realize that.  They haven’t said  or done anything new; when has protesting done anything for our people besides enslave us even more?

Let’s use our THIRD EYE and look deeper into what is being given to us by those who do not have our best interests at heart.

Trust me…everything we see and feel ain’t real!

 

Peace and Love to my melanated family,

The Melanin Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Folly of Big-Time Sports P.6- a repost: ‘I’ll Die for This Damn Sport’: Football, Concussions and Why African-Americans Continue to Brave the Risk

Originally article posted on Atlanta Blackstar

By D. Amari Jackson 7/31/2017

On an episode of the current season of the popular Netflix reality docuseries “Last Chance U,” Isaiah Wright — star sophomore running back for East Mississippi Community College — gets pulled from a game in the first half for precautionary measures, having sustained a concussion the week prior. During a dramatic halftime exchange with a coach who explains they are trying to protect him, an irate and desperate Wright shouts, “I don’t care about me, I wanna play football! I’ll die for this damn sport!”

Wright’s precarious affinity for football is motivated as much by economics as his passion for the game. A foster youth abandoned by his single mother, the talented Tennessee native sees the violent sport as his one chance at “making it” in life and realizing a more fortunate existence for himself and his loved ones.

Wright is not alone. For numerous young African-Americans and their families across the country, football is commonly viewed as their “one shot” at changing their impoverished reality. Despite the daunting odds — a mere 3.9 percent of Division I draft-eligible collegians of all races were chosen in the 2016 NFL draft — the potential rewards of a lucrative NFL contract often outweigh the inherent dangers of a brutal game.

Unlike the mental fog suffered by a concussed baller, these dangers have recently become clear. In a new study by Boston University researcher Dr. Ann McKee, Mckee examined the brains of 202 deceased football players and discovered 110 of the 111 brains of NFL players had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease caused by head trauma. To make matters worse, 56 percent of the brains of collegiate players studied had severe CTE, and 44 percent had mild cases, as did the brains of three high school players. Even mild cases are known to present a troubling array of progressive symptoms, including depression, behavioral abnormalities, anxiety, memory loss, impulsivity, explosive anger, cognitive issues, suicidal tendencies and abuse, both chemical and physical. The study further revealed the most common cause of death among those with mild CTE to be suicide. Such recent and revealing data has caused a number of players to walk away from the game.

“When you’re running down the field full-speed on kickoff team, they relate the impact to that of a car accident,” says Michael Peterson, an Atlanta-based entrepreneur and former defensive back and special teams player for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. A member of Tech’s 2009 ACC Championship team, the talented painter and conceptual artist has drawn attention to the violence and toll football takes on players through artwork exhibited at museums and galleries across the country. “In the late ’60s or early ’70s, there was an article in Life magazine on football, and the title of it was ‘Suicide Squad,’” says Peterson, who, during research for an art project, found that the moniker was what players of previous generations commonly used to call the kickoff team. “It kind of blows my mind that they were forecasting what’s transpiring today.”

African-Americans comprise 70 percent of current NFL players. Given that a third of white NFL players occupy such low-collision positions as kicker, punter or quarterback, Black pros are far more likely to sustain concussions. While the NFL has gone to great lengths to keep a lid on the link between repetitive head trauma and progressive brain disease, its more recent commitment to minimizing such injuries can only do so much in an inherently violent sport.

Especially since the trauma need not be repetitive. “When you suffer a blow — a single blow or repetitive — you may have immediate symptoms or may not have immediate symptoms,” explained Dr. Bennett Omalu in a December 2015 interview with Vice Sports. Omalu, the forensic pathologist and neuropathologist portrayed by Will Smith in the film “Concussion,” first recognized CTE as a serious concern for sports involving head trauma. “The absence of symptoms does not mean you haven’t suffered cellular injury,” he said. “CTE is neurodegenerative. It gets worse. Concussion is part of the spectrum, but it is not the underlying cause. The underlying cause is [brain trauma], the factor that initiated the cascade of events.”

Still, while many acknowledge the risk, American dreams die hard. An estimated two-thirds of Black boys believe they can be professional athletes, and African-American parents are four times more likely than white parents to believe the same. Such dreams are fostered by years of propaganda, in outdated Horatio Alger references and endlessly looped depictions of urban lotto winners. They have little relation to the infinitesimal chances and stark realities they obscure. Even when presented with the grim reality of the odds they face, that athletes are exponentially more likely to get head trauma than an NFL contract, many cling to these dreams, as they are unwilling to face the spirit-breaking economics of their absence.

“A lot of folks in sports are using it as their ticket out of their circumstances,” says Peterson, noting the competitive edge of teammates playing “for a way bigger reason.” For such players, concussions are mere and expected bumps on their field of dreams.

“I haven’t had any recorded concussions,” offers Peterson, intoning about how head trauma commonly goes untreated at all levels of the game. “But I have had my bell rung, I have seen stars, I have been dizzy and I have had the little ones.” These are unlike a normal injury, he says, where “Someone is going to cart you off the field or you’re going to limp off. With concussions, you don’t really recognize them, especially the small ones.” In addition, says Peterson, football is “a very masculine sport, and its hard sometimes to say that you are in pain when a limb is not dangling.”

Even so, football isn’t all about pain, trauma or impossible dreams. Beyond the brutality lies power, speed, strategy, technique, intellect and, yes, even beauty and grace. Those who doubt this have likely never played the game, never fully recognized its artistry, or never truly appreciated the gridiron’s storied past, nor its fast-paced present, as represented by the ballet-like fluidity of a Gale Sayers, a Lynn Swann or an Odell Beckham; the power and drive of a Jim Brown, a Walter Payton or a Marshawn Lynch; the awe-inspiring dominance of a Lawrence Taylor or a Reggie White; the skill, precision and intellect of a Warren Moon, a Steve McNair or a Cam Newton; the symphonic movement of a Barry Sanders; and the once-in-a-lifetime instincts and ability of a Sean Taylor.

Undoubtedly, the game imparts its many lessons, ones particularly valuable for less fortunate youth regardless of whether they play for a year or two decades. It offers all the components of a compelling metaphor for life — active awareness, situational analysis, intense preparation, discipline, decision making under pressure, mental and physical toughness, teamwork, strategy, effective management of fear, and mastery of self.

That said, it is a sport of contrasts, one as destructive as it is constructive, as expressive as it is debilitating. Outside of the kickers who occasionally prance upon the field to apply their specialty at little risk, and the zebra-striped whistle-toters who dot the field just out of harm’s way, no one can escape its violence. Make no mistake, the game has a cost, one far more pricey than the admission paid by legions of rabid weekend groupies to witness the punishing spectacle.

Peterson is ever reminded of this. One of the reasons he portrays the cost and violence of the game in his art is his connection to an NFL idol who succumbed to the sport’s dark side. “I did have people that I grew up with that committed suicide because of football,” he says, citing the shocking July 2012 suicide of NFL defensive back and fellow Tampa native O.J. Murdock. Murdock’s brain was one of those subsequently studied by CTE researchers. Noting he played football with Murdock’s little brother in Tampa, Peterson details how the tragedy inspired his 2014 artwork “Pursuit of Vanity: Pistol Formation,” which consists of the jersey nameplates of famous NFL players who have committed suicide. The nameplates, including that of late All-Pro linebacker Junior Seau, are hung in the shape of a pistol.

“When I added O.J. to the list, it felt surreal, it felt awkward,” acknowledges Peterson. “These things are continuing to occur, so I’m honoring these guys but also shedding light onto the severity of the situation.”

Still, despite the established dangers, there is ever that slim chance, one steeped in the passion for and the economics of a violent-yet-lucrative sport, that a kid from the lowest socioeconomic rung of our society can separate from the pile, break free from those trying to pull him down, and win at the larger game of life. In a recent segment for “The United States of Football” — a documentary exploring the cumulative effect of repetitive head trauma and based on a father’s uncertainty over allowing his son to play — Pro Football Hall of Fame member and current commentator Cris Carter spoke openly about the inherent health hazards of his beloved game. Responding to the need for the NFL and related media to promote an awareness of these hazards, Carter clarified why many, like Isaiah Wright, will continue to brave the risk.

“I believe,” said Carter, “it is also our responsibility to convey to kids that they have the right to have the same dream that I did.”

The Folly of Big-Time Sports Pt. 5 -a repost: Why It’s a Problem When NBA Stars Take Less Money Than They’re Worth

(This is a continuation of my The Folly of Sports series)

Article posted on TheRinger.com (click link for original)

By Michael Baumann

On Thursday, Dirk Nowitzki, the NBA’s active leader in games and minutes played, points, free throws, and defensive rebounds, re-signed with the Dallas Mavericks for $10 million over two years. Compared to Nowitzki’s $25 million team option for 2017–18, which Dallas declined, it’s a huge haircut for the future Hall of Famer, but Nowitzki is 39 years old and coming off a season in which he played fewer minutes per game (and fewer games overall), scored fewer points per game, and attempted fewer shots per game than he had in any season since his rookie year. Nowitzki is certainly on the decline, and far from his MVP form of a decade ago.

Still, Nowitzki will make less over his two-year deal than free-agent bench guy Amir Johnson will make with the Sixers next season alone. He’ll make $8 million less per year than Joe Ingles (career high 7.1 PPG in his age-29 season last year), less than half as much as Zach Randolph, who’s almost as old as Nowitzki, and only a half-million per year more than Justin — not Jrue, Justin — Holiday. But this deal keeps him with the only NBA franchise he’s ever played for, and Nowitzki has already made over a quarter of a billion dollars in salary over his career. While some might question the wisdom of taking an 80 percent pay cut to keep living in Texas and playing for a lottery-bound club, he’s a grown-up and can do what he likes.

Like Golden State’s Kevin Durant, who’s fresh off a $10 million pay cut of his own, Nowitzki can do whatever he likes, but that doesn’t make it admirable.

The putative reason Durant took less money to stay with the Warriors was so that money could be redistributed to his teammates and strengthen the team’s roster. To Golden State’s credit, that’s happened: Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala got pay bumps, and Nick Young, the NBA’s god of folly, came up the coast from the Lakers at a cost of $5.2 million. The rules that govern NBA salaries and transactions are Byzantine to say the least — just look at all the shifting pieces behind Chris Paul’s move to the Rockets from the Clippers — but in short, Durant’s pay cut didn’t make the Livingston and Iguodala extensions possible, it made them cheaper, both in terms of the Warriors’ overall salary outlay and in terms of their luxury tax bill. Warriors ownership, led by venture capitalist Joe Lacob, could have paid Durant, Livingston, and Iguodala and just gone deeper into the luxury tax, but they chose not to. (Maybe Young doesn’t come over as the team’s midlevel exception if Durant takes the max, but I don’t think Swaggy P is going to be what puts the Warriors over the top in 2017–18.)

Meanwhile, the Mavericks, who finished 11th in the Western Conference last season, are almost certainly not going to make the playoffs this season, and have thus far failed to attract any notable free agents. That shouldn’t be Nowitzki’s problem, anyway; his job is to use his arsenal of YMCA dad moves to score points, not assemble a competitive roster.

But as The Ringer’s Danny Chau wrote when Durant first signed, “Durant’s decision makes it painfully clear that it will always be the players who have to make ‘sacrifices,’ never the owners.”

On the grand scale of global economic injustice, Durant making $25 million next year and not $34.5 million isn’t even a drop in the bucket. Since time immemorial, people have complained about how much athletes get paid, and to be totally frank, those complaints aren’t without merit. Durant is a godlike basketball figure, a former league MVP, last year’s Finals MVP, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, a four-time scoring champion, and an eight-time All-Star. Countless millions of people, including me, love watching him play basketball, and while there’s great value in entertaining the public, he’s not healing the sick, teaching people to read, or performing any function that’s strictly essential to society as we know it. On some level, Charlotte Observer columnist Scott Fowler’s much-pilloried take about Steph Curry (who is himself underpaid according to LeBron James’s treatise on the intersection of basketball and the labor theory of value) making the equivalent of 1,000 schoolteachers’ salaries is spot-on. We probably would be better off if we took $40 million from either Lacob or Curry and spent it on teachers.

Of course, that’s not the choice Durant or Nowitzki made. In an egalitarian utopia, sports teams would be public utilities, like a parks department or a library system, provided by a city for the emotional and intellectual well-being of its citizens. Sports teams are essentially civic institutions now anyway, and average people take great pride in their success, to the point where we root for the institution, sometimes — specifically when it comes to salary negotiations — against the individual athletes who make it successful.

Sports owners have co-opted that civic pride and are squeezing not only their workers but us fans. Civic pride causes us to support “Dallas” or “Golden State” or “New York,” but sports owners, who will charge you $11 for beer because they can, have insinuated themselves into that relationship, to their great profit. It’s perverse, but predictable in a society that’s so devoutly capitalist that politicians run as “pro-business” (as opposed to “pro-people”) and we vote for them by the tens of millions.

Make no mistake, the Warriors aren’t a public utility, but a for-profit business, so their labor savings here aren’t being passed on to the consumer. The average Warriors ticket — in the Bay Area, the Xibalba of Gentrification — cost 69 percent more in 2015–16 than it did the year before. Now that Durant’s taking a pay cut, Lacob’s organization is raising the cost of season tickets 16.9 percent in 2017–18. As little as $10 million means to Durant, or $20 million to Nowitzki, it means even less to Lacob and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

So we, the fans, the citizens who buy tickets and jerseys and overpriced hot dogs and pay the taxes that fund arena construction, aren’t getting that money back, whether in cash or in the way we would with parks or libraries or higher teacher salaries — short of worldwide proletarian revolution. It’s either going to Durant and Nowitzki, who are what make basketball compelling, or the owners, whose function in society is to turn millions of dollars into billions of dollars.

Without players, the owners would have no product at all. Without owners, players would have to hire their own administrative and marketing arms, which probably wouldn’t cost anywhere near the 50 percent of basketball-related revenue the owners get. I like watching Durant and Nowitzki play basketball, but I don’t know what function owners serve that couldn’t be filled more cheaply and effectively by hired-gun administrators in a league owned by the players. Meanwhile, Lacob is a venture capitalist. Cuban is a relic of the dot-com bubble turned reality television heel. Cuban sometimes veers into taking the title “owner” too literally, while Lacob has a weird relationship with the Larry O’Brien Trophy, but they’re relatively benign as billionaires go. For as much as Durant and Nowitzki aren’t healing the sick, though, Lacob and Cuban don’t even make you smile — unless you’re a fan of Shark Tank or throwing money at a 3-D orthodontics company.

That’s more than you could say for Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, who as the former CEO of Microsoft was complicit in making Internet Explorer your default web browser, even though it doesn’t work that well. Some NBA owners, like the Lakers’ Jeanie Buss and the Knicks’ James Dolan, did nothing more to deserve their billion-dollar piece of the basketball pie than being born into the right family.

Other NBA owners actively, often primarily, profit from the immiseration of working people. Bucks owner Wes Edens is either a “subprime scion” if you read the New York Post or the “king of subprime lending” if you read the Wall Street Journal. Rockets owner Leslie Alexander owns a stake in a for-profit student loan company. Richard DeVos, the nonagenarian owner of the Orlando Magic, made his fortune running a pyramid scheme and funds organizations that fight against LGBT rights. Dan Gilbert, the typographically creative owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers — last seen standing athwart the boneheaded double of anointing the inexperienced Chauncey Billups to run his organization, then lowballing the TV commentator into turning the gig down — rode into his native Detroit on a white horse, promising to alleviate the urban blight that his company, Quicken Loans, had been instrumental in creating.

The players aren’t blameless. Many of them, most notably Michael Jordan, who crossed over and bought the Charlotte Hornets, see themselves as tycoons in the making, not laborers. In other words, they see ownership as role models, not the people keeping them down. Under the leadership of Chris Paul, the players’ union has fought for provisions like the supermax contract (which benefits superstars and teams) instead of using that negotiating capital to go after something, like abolishing the draft or restricted free agency, or even a higher percentage of revenue, that would have been a greater benefit to the union’s poorest members. Even among workers, the rich exploit the poor.

After all, Durant and Nowitzki could have demanded to be paid what they’re worth. Nowitzki in particular, as the immensely popular face of a franchise that’s treading water, is the rare athlete who could win the PR battle in a contract dispute against the abrasive Cuban.

Perhaps Nowitzki and the Mavericks have a handshake deal regarding Nowitzki’s post-basketball career, but a sinecure special assistant to the GM role likely wouldn’t pay $10 million a year — even if the whole arrangement didn’t smack of cap circumvention. And sure, being close to Silicon Valley helps Durant network with the business leaders he might one day hope to become, though in the age of videoconferencing and private jets, physical location matters much less than it used to. Durant was a global icon when he played in Oklahoma City, after all. And though it’s been said that both Nowitzki and Durant could make their money back through endorsements, Nowitzki has famously eschewed endorsement deals, except for his Nike contract, and it doesn’t matter if Durant makes the money back through endorsements. Why couldn’t he have signed the bigger deal and still garnered all the same endorsements?

Besides, a couple of lost millions for super-rich athletes aren’t the real problem here.

In today’s American labor culture, demanding to be paid the value of your labor is frequently painted as “not being a team player,” which is a cardinal sin for a team sport athlete. Athletes are trained not only to play a game, but to be obedient and to respect people in power just because they’re powerful, and regardless of whether they’re shown the same respect in return. When Durant or Nowitzki — themselves both worth hundreds of millions of dollars — gets mesmerized by that power, it’s not a huge deal. But when the lessons of those relationships get translated to ordinary worker-employer relationships, it is. When was the last time your boss used the phrase “be a team player” and gave you good news? Why should you sacrifice for your employer?

Suffice it to say, I’d rather the odd $10 million go to the players, and not the owners. And unless you’re in the business of ripping off housewives or saddling college kids with lifelong debt or kicking people out of their homes, so should you.