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It’s Been A Long Time… I Shouldn’a Left You…

I promise, I only left because… because… let me do this right. 

I’d love to say that I left because our Ruthless Leader decided to take a different path, but that would be a lie; I was mostly MIA quite a while before that happened. Y’all know I’m not much for lies, duplicity, or feigning optimism, so I’m going to apologize in advance if I shatter any false ideas you’ve cultivated over the years. The simple version is that I was pulling my life together. Unfortunately, the simple version never quite does it for me, so here we go:

I was busy being depressed. I couldn’t keep telling you to “Do More. Require Better.” when I barely wanted to do anything at all. I’ve been open about my depression, specifically because of what I believe to be my 50 percent, but I haven’t been open about how useless and ineffective the proverbial voices in my head tell me my writing is. I recognize that maybe once upon a time I had a legitimate following  before I started slipping. I also understand, or believe, that in all things, there must be balance. My depression makes it so I can’t see how anything I do means anything. Regardless of my efforts, there will still be pain, suffering, malice, disease, famine, poverty, discord, racism, sexism, and all other forms of unpleasantness. I was left asking “What is any of this for?” The only logical answer I could find: “Naught.”

So what’s a Reign O’Change to do?  I certainly couldn’t keep writing things I no longer believed. There was no Change on the horizon. I was incapable of believing that Justice would actually prevail. Thus, I stopped. It really wasn’t a conscious decision. I kept thinking, “I’ll come back to this one…” or “this issue doesn’t need my voice…” and “Do I really want be one more person blogging about Donamir Trutin’s ineptitude?” Lots of things to write about, but no drive to lend my energy to what seemed like yet another unwinnable battle.

So why are we here today? We’re here because I lost a friend. He’s still very much alive. He’s just not invited to the table anymore. Now, let me be clear: this young man literally came to the cookout. He brought deviled eggs and they were delicious. He tried to teach me how to play HALO. I promoted his craft as a Tattoo Artist. I defended him in public forum against an overzealous supervisor. So when I tell you “I lost a friend.” I mean I lost someone who I thought would be a permanent resident in the complex place that is my heart. How? It all started because of this story I shared on Facebook.

Truth be told, I didn’t even read the article. I figured the least I could do was continue conversing about things Requiring conversation. It’s yet another example of Hollywood deciding that Brown people are better represented by artificially tanned white people.  #RepresentationMatters is a battle cry for those of us who remain unseen and misrepresented by the media. How was I supposed to know it would devolve into “a friend” accusing me of hating white people. If anyone had told me that he would conclude that I was one step away from being a terrorist, I’d have laughed them to scorn. We had Jon Snowed our way through our friendship: we knew nothing about each other.

In my anger, I wrote this entire post, and in doing so, I realized that I needed to come back. That should’ve been–and might still end up being–an addition to The Letter Series. It could’ve been a head-first dive into Decorum Deficiency Disorder. I would’ve gotten so many more hits and shares if only I hadn’t forgotten the purpose of my mission.

#DoMoreRequireBetter is about me doing my #50percent more often and better. So, here’s how this is going to work: I’m back. I’m not mincing words, holding hands, faking the funk, or coddling Anyone. I won’t promise to be here every week, but I’ll be here with all the passion and vigor I can muster… because the conversations still need to be had. We will #RESIST and continue #NotBackingDown because the Cheeto in Chief has earned my wrath. In short: I’m here to Do More & Require Better.

And now we come to…the end of an era

Today, oddly enough was supposed to be the pay off FINALLY for a number of posts about relationships that I thought might be better than all my previous ruthless on relationships post. And indeed I’ll get to that later.

 

Instead,

Today is a day I bring us to a place I knew could happen, but was happy every time it didn’t. Today we end the hour for the last time. What do I mean? Today is the beginning of a goodbye party. For this blog. Oh it will continue to exist, but a transition is afoot. And so with all transitions, some things remain the same, while other change or are left behind.

If you would have told me 3 years ago as I was studying for the bar that we would be here I would be shocked. But if you would have told me that we would get here after 450 thousand views I’d also be shocked so much attention happened. Words Don’t Do It Justice started as an idea, a bit of fun, and a lot of me. I have buried hatchets with enemies because of this blog, reconnected with old friends, and made new ones because of this blog, found meaning in the midst of my own personal depression because of this place. I have consumed it, and let it consume me. I love it. But loving this blog means knowing what to do. And taking a good long look I know the thing to do is let it go.

But I said this was transition not destruction.

And indeed it is. I’ll be taking Words Don’t Do It Justice away from our blogging past into a show based future. For me, the question was one of logistics. Was it better to end everything and walk away from these years of effort, or find a way to keep the place alive in the hearts of all of you who have supported us? I choose to believe that you will keep supporting us, and I chose to keep this place alive in a new way.

That means giving you what we planned. Give No Quarter, The Wrath of Ruthless, and Words Don’t Do It Justice are the three pillars of Ruthless Radio. 3 shows with different formats that bring you many of the topics you might see written about here, but in a new form and with some new and old faces/voices. Over the next few weeks as we ready to for the relaunch of Words Don’t Do It Justice as a podcast, you’ll get to read some farewells from various alums, and hear from the incoming folks for these shows. You’ll also see the Words Don’t Do It Justice site itself undergo various changes. With plenty of hard work, luck, and you listening in, I hope to earn your trust for these new shows, and continue to hold our interest.

SO! What about Weekend’s Don’t Do It Justice?

Well I’m happy to say our little casual interest site is growing well. And it is going to continue. We had a nice response to the sample chapter from Project 13, and now that game of thrones is done you’ll see a lot of other reviews, news, and related content there. Our gamers are doing their thing, and if Vantinel’s CEO appearance is any indication of commitment, we will only continue to grow over there.

As I end for now I just want to say thank you, and of course to keep watching what we do. But more than that, thank you for being a force for us. We continued to push because you were there with us. 100,000 visitors, 450,000 views, and 3 years of growth, While things must change, I am glad to have made it to this point. A point that let’s me look back and say that YOU made us more than I imagined. And though Words Don’t Do It Justice…Thank you.

 

“THE Ruthless Wonder” Matthew Elisha Williams

Founder of Words Don’t Do It Justice

Story Time: Reign meets WDDIJ

Bloody JusticeIt feels like a life time has passed, but it’s only been 2 years. Geek Illuminati was barely 2 months old and I was just discovering my social media voice. I had just participated in my first pod cast, and I have to admit I was feeling pretty damned pumped about it… but I wasn’t ready to take a full step out of my shell. Not long after, there it was: the post that would invariably change my life forever. The Ruthless Wonder posted an open invitation to join him here at WDDIJ. It took e about a week to muster up the courage. “Is it too late to join? I mean, are you still looking for writers?” I don’t remember what he said, but he sent me to check out the site and read up on some of the content before giving me any information. I clicked through the side links, the Glossary, the Justice League… and then I read Ruthless Grab Bag: Open Letters and Women. Part one and just knew that I needed to add my perspective to what seemed like a gathering of sad bitter men… Little did I know that I needed them much more. WDDIJ, our readers, the writers, our pod cast guests and regulars have all contributed to making Reign the real me, and who I used to think I was the alter ego.

the R Revolution's ReignThank you WDDIJ for letting my Words Do some Justice. To The Ruthless Wonder, The Boss, The Partner, The Man who stared it all; thanks for giving me, well, Us, a place to vent. And of course I have to thank you, our readers for sticking with us for all these years. If not for you, we’d basically just be talking to ourselves, and as engaging a that might be, its better when you come around. You got us to 90,000 visitors and 300,000 views, and then you told some friends and took us over that milestone, and we look forward to meeting you in The Justice League where we always
Do More & Require Better.

Peace & Blessings.
Namaste.

And now… at the end of the hour

cropped-wordsdontdoit2-1.jpg

This week we debuted a brand new podcast with a livestream. We said goodbye to one of the founders. We tackled coons, and hoteps. As well as assault, and the HIV & AIDS treatment drug Truvada.

 

 

I skipped a couple lines to let that sink in.

When this started I literally just wanted to take my usual facebook ranting to a website. I figured it would be like the old days of my Xanga page. Now, now I deal with potential sponsors, have production meetings, worry about our average listening and reading time, and look for brand expansion.

I remind you, I was so bored in the last semester of law school I decided to make a blog to archive the things I would normally rant about on Facebook.

 

So you can understand that having gone from that place to now is rather…amazing if I’m honest. I had no idea. We’ve added and lost people over that time. But more than their contributions or mine, we’ve gotten to know a lot of you. As of this writing, 92,000 of you have come to get to know us over these 3 years of Words Don’t Do It Justice. And you must like it here, because you’ve dropped in 302,000 times.

300000

That is astounding. That is epic. And to think that it has all come before we put up a single ad, before we shilled a single product, without a marketing team, and mostly from the effort of our authors, and their friends and family who have additionally believed in us and shared us with other people.  I can’t tell you enough thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do. It really has made the difference.

What that means is even what I’ve done in the past year isn’t enough. I have to do more. And I am. While we lost a podcast co-host today, I’m proud to say we gained 2 new ones for our show Give No Quarter. While we have Reason on break for a while, I’m happy to say we will be launching Weekends Don’t Do It Justice as its own site (www.wkndlife.com www.weekendsdontdoitjustice.net www.weekendsdontdoitjustice.com). Look for a review of a hilariously bad movie coming over there soon from me.

Heck, go buy a shirt, phone case, hoodie or tank. https://www.teepublic.com/user/314publishing

Check out our current Shirt and cases designs. Buy one now while you wait for more. Click the photo to go straight to the store!

Check out our current Shirt and cases designs. Buy one now while you wait for more.
Click the photo to go straight to the store!

 

I’m also happy to say that I’m teaming with Mr. 9 to 5 gamer himself Bami O to open a new gaming site and channel called “Save State Society” (www.savestatesociety.com www.savestatesociety.net) here soon as well. And we’re open with some great games and reviews. But that is going to take a lot to talk about, and I’ve got work to do there.

You’re here reading because this is about Words Don’t Do it Justice. The granddaddy of them all. Okay, the origin of them all. Three years in, and even though health wise I’ve dealt with issues. Professional life wise, I’ve had great forward steps but also set backs. Heck life in general being strange. After all that I’m proud of where we are. Where you’ve brought us. And so for the third time we come to the end of the hour. Where I say thank you without any reservations. Where for the third time ever, I get to step out of my role as Head Blogger, Editor, Podcast host, Lucremo, THE Ruthless Wonder, and everything that comes with it, and instead just talk to you as Matt Williams. We have a few reflection pieces and some alumni coming back to give us a piece. And we are going to celebrate all the way to my personal birthday on March 14th. But right now I’m just going to end by saying thank you all for bringing me and us from where we were to where we are and pushing us forward to where we are going next. As always Words Don’t Do YOU Justice.

“THE Ruthless Wonder” Matthew Elisha Williams

Story Time: About that New Format

Remember a few months ago when I promised a new format? Well, after weeks of trial and error, technical difficulties, unfocused writing attempts, and negotiating with the Boss, I finally have it for you! The truth is that writer’s block doesn’t even begin to describe what’s been holding me back. I just went through and pulled up all the active drafts I have saved. There were 6 in the last 3 months alone. It wasn’t so much a lack of inspiration–as you’ll see in the coming week and months of posts–but a short attention span coupled with an unsettled mind.

Now, the other reason I decided to make changes to my posting style is because Someone suggested that actually hearing the passion behind the words might help express my point more emphatically. My first reaction was Exit Comfort Zonean absolute “No.” Where I argued that we have podcasts where I guest or host with other folks participating. Who really wants to hear me rant… [He cut me off] “We read your rants don’t we?” he said. “Imagine a Decorum Deficiency Piece as spoken words… oh the lack of chill!” Of course, this was months ago, and I’m taking several verbal liberties, but that’s basically how the conversation went. The thought seed was planted and barely a month later I stared recording.

So now, you’ll have the benefit of hearing my perspective, in addition to reading itNow featuring sound. Let’s consider this first piece a summary explanation of sorts. Remember that I actually recorded this back in October when I first mentioned the new format of my posts. I even did one for Halloween–which I’ll probably hold it for next year because it should still be applicable–and another for my 2nd anniversary, which will probably just get added to the WDDIJ blooper reel for anyone who wants to hear what I had to say. Each blog piece/podcast hybrid will consist of my written introduction to what should be a more complete spoken thought.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/242934563?secret_token=s-v11O3″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=true&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”300″ iframe=”true” /]

And there we have it! My first hybrid piece of many. Let me know what you think… because you know, the objective is to Do More, and of course Require Better.

Introducing: Tenebris Veritatis – Looking for Role Models in All the Wrong Places

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Reign O’Change conversation for this thought-provoking piece by our newest writer Tenebris Veritatis. Telling you to Do More & Require Better one line at a time with his introductory piece: Looking for Role Models in All the Wrong Places. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!Reign

Microwave-a-CD-IntroI grew up listening to rap, in my house there was not a day that went by where my mom was not playing artist like: Tupac, N.W.A, WU Tang clan, Run DMC, and others. Rap and hip-hop is pretty much a part of our culture, however as much as music is a part of our culture so is the history of our people. It is a problem to me when so many children can walk around reciting songs word for word from people like Young Thug, Nicki Minaj, and Fetty Wap but they cannot name a single famous black inventor and the only words they know from Dr.Martin Luther King’s speech is “I have a Dream”.

We have kids running the streets, getting into trouble growing up to be hoodlums, thugs, and pregnant with their second child by time they are eighteen, but what can you expect when the last generation fails the current one; when parents don’t regulate their children because they are too busy running the streets themselves. How can you expect your teen-aged daughter to dress and act respectably when from the age of seven she has been watching Nicki Manij videos, singing her songs, and learning to dance like her? We don’t want our sons running the streets killing each other, disrespecting women and treating them like sex objects, yet we let music where drugs, guns, calling women bitches and saying all they are good for is oral sex is the central theme be their guiding influence in life. I see so many young males and females refer to themselves as real niggas and bad bitches, and you know what it’s the truth because that is exactly what we are creating, “Creating” because we definitely are not raising them, a generation populated with real niggas and bad bitches instead of Real Men and Real Women.

Now I am not saying that music is solely to blame do not, interpret this as such. The fault lies on the parents as much as the music. When you do not give your children proper role models banneker-2to look up to this is the result. I may have grown up listening to Tupac, and N.W.A, however my mother was a strong and present force in my life I also had my great grandmother, and although my father was not always around physically due to military services and the fact that he and my mother cant’t stand each other he was there as an influence as well through letters, phone calls and books that he mailed me about African-American history. Yes I heard Tupac and N.W.A.’s message about the streets, but I was also given and made to read books about people like Fredrick Douglas, W. E. B. Du Bois, and George Washington Carver. I knew that there was more to life than the streets and what’s portrayed in the media, had good role models to look up to, and something to aspire to be too. If we want things to improve, MTE1ODA0OTcxODE1MzA2NzY1and for our children to have a future we have to stop failing them. Let them know they are capable of great things, that the first clock in America was made by a black man by the name of Benjamin Banneker , that the first beauty products for African-Americans were made by Madame CJ Walker, give them inspiration to be something more.

For a moment let’s take a look at the music that is being allowed to influence our lives and the lives of the up-and-coming generation of young men and women. Take for instance the song (and I use the word lightly) “Throw Some Mo” by Rae Sremmurd featuring Young Thug and Nicky Minaj. This song does not even have to play long; it opens with a hook sung by Nicky Minaj stating “Ass fat, yea I know. You got cash blow some mo” a few lines later she then continues with “Bad bitches on the floor, its rainin hunninds. Throw some mo” Those first few lines pretty much sum up the theme of this song, women using their bodies to gain money. This message is further conveyed in the lyrics of the second verse which states:

Franklins, raining on your body

Raining on your body

Raining on your body

Won’t you do what I say

Start rubbing on your body

Hunnids on your body

But you need to get naughty

Hold up, hold on, her eyes on me

Is that your hoe, if so, Imma get her before the nights over.”

This verse no this entire song is degrading to women, teaching them to exploit their bodies for money and the accompanying music video only serves to make it worse. The entire video is full of women wearing barely any clothing dancing on each other and men as they throw money on them. When young men grow up watching and listening to this kind of message without guidance from their parents (not that I believe it is ok for a child to be exposed to this at all) they grow up thinking two things; One: it is ok to refer to women as bitches and hoes, Two: as long as you have money women will do what you want. On the opposite side of this, let us look at the message this song, its video and others like it could send to a young woman still growing who does not have proper parental influence in her life. Girls growing up looking up to the image of Nicki Minaji will want to emulate her behavior. Look like her, dress like her, and act like her. They will believe that it is ok to refer to themselves as bad bitches and that it is ok for men to call them that as well, never mind the negative meaning of the word bitch when used to address a woman. Is it really ok for a young girl to grow up believing it is ok to allow her-self to be sexually exploited and objectified for profit?

Let’s take another second to compare the typical or displayed behavior of those that address themselves as “real niggas” and “bad bitches” as opposed to those who are real men and women. The majority of the teens and young adult males who walk around these days referring to their self “Real Niggas” are loud, boisterous and frequently refer to themselves as “real niggas”, while a real man knows that actions speak louder than words. “Real niggas” are the type to look down on a man working two dead end jobs to help support his family. Instead they choose to sell drugs risking jail and fail to realize it is just as important to be in their child’s life as it is to put food on the table. “Real niggas” fight when they feel the least bit disrespected, calling a man who walks away from a fight a “punk”; not seeing the wisdom in picking their battles or that sometimes it is just not worth it. As for your typical “Bad bitch” they see themselves as strong, empowered women who can stand on their own and need no one’s help. However “bad bitches” mistake a rude, abrasive personality for a strong one. When angered, they tend to be loud, insulting, and in-your-face. They don’t realize that they can stand their ground without raising their voice; they can make their point without insulting the person they are talking to, and that when they get in someone’s face pushing them they’re are only lowering themselves to their position.

without guidanceWe have a duty to lead the next generation to guide our sons and daughters and lead them down the right path. Parents should want their children to be better than they, to succeed where they might have failed; to make something of themselves. When it is left to the media to guide and shape the children they grow up imitating the negative images in an attempt to be cool and “fit in” with their peers who do the same, thinking that it is alright to behave this way because their parents do. What future do we have as a people if we allow this to be what guides future generations?

The Return of Reign O’Change

Reign Justice O ChangeThere’s something about losing pieces of one’s identity–even a virtual part– that can leave a lady feeling a mite out of sorts. True, technically I never left. Even after my first name change to Reign Justice failed to pass Facebook’s authenticity metrics, I’ve been posting almost regularly in spite of my personal exile. Now that the Facebook Identity Police are sufficiently sure that I am a real person, and have seen fit to bless me with my pages I can give you a much needed update on what’s really been going on these last several months.

First and foremost: I HATE SOCIAL MEDIA!!! If it wasn’t the bestDislike and most effective way to reach people I’d never have occasion to reach otherwise, I’d have left it alone and stopped fighting for my page forever ago. These days if you aren’t on tweeting [@ReignOChange], don’t hashtag pictures into oblivion on Instagram [reignochange], or of course chronicle every moment and every thought on the almighty Facebook [Reign Justice O’Change], you might as well not even exist in this century. Well, it turns out I exist just enough to hate social media and use it anyway. *shrug*

On to the good stuff! Before I get back to Self Improvement 101, working through my bouts of Decorum Deficiency Disorder, writing letters, telling stories, and just being me, there are a few things you should know:

I left the land of perpetual summer (aka Florida) and am now residing pretty damn close to what I have been hearing is “the Black Mecca.” The skies seem bluer, the gas is not cheaper, but I have hope that was mostly lost, and am looking forward to being physically present more than I could where I was in Florida.

Politics… yeah, I’m back. We all knew I wouldn’t be able to stay away for long, and lets face it, the talking heads on Faux News and all of their friends have been leaving their guns and ammunition laying around just waiting for people to pick it up and throw it back at them… It’s about time I got back Sweaty Preshelping to clean up those messes. I have a few social issues to address, and I’m sure the police will do something stupid to preempt a post or two, but I’ll be lending my voice to the land politics and Presidential pundits in no time.

Finally, I’ve decided that “sweating in public” is something I’m going to do from time to time. Maybe not quite as much in my in=person life, but definitely here. Why? Because I can’t talk about racism, social injustice, politics, self improvement, video games, or any of the subjects I get really confrontational about without getting at least a little personal. I can’t call myself honest if I’m only the mechanical version of myself. These things we discuss here are intensely personal. Sometimes seeing the sweat on someone’s brow is the only way to know that they are truly working, and I am. I can’t keep asking you to take action and set higher expectations for yourselves and those around you if I’m not willing to do the work of it with you. We’re in this together. This is the workout of Change and we are going to sweat this out, feel all of the burn together.

So there it is: the Rebirth of Reign. This isn’t the first, and I can almost assure you it won’t be the last, as the only thing in life that is certain is Change. See you next week. Oh and…

Do More. Require Better.