Rss

Archives for : RIP

A Tribute to My Idol(s)

I am not one of those who does much of the people worshiping. I appreciate people for their ability to educate or entertain me; Nothing more, nothing less. I’ve lead my life with appreciating the fictional heroes as symbols of all human potential. They are meant to remind us of the good that we are all capable of. That said, there have been a select few ‘regular people’ who have molded my understanding of my place in and duty to the world we live in that they have earned permanent positions in my psyche. They are my conscience, my role models, my spiritual leaders, my life coaches, and yes… my idols.

I will Never Forget how you made ME feel.

I will Never Forget how you made ME feel.

Last week, Wednesday May 28, 2014, the world lost one of the people who helped fertilize the thought-seed tree whose fruit you call Reign. I wasn’t really ready to speak on or address losing Dr. Maya Angelou last week, and I instead nestled my grief in the comfortable cushion that anger and contempt often provide me in the unpleasant times, and for that I apologize, for I admit that I did her memory a disservice. I imagine she would have preferred that I share my grief in a more positively constructive fashion; with class, grace and poise, just as she usually greeted the numerous moments of historical discord that have plagued humanity during her stay among us. As such, I will take this opportunity to remedy that injury.

One of the many recordings that have been released and revived was this one; one whose message reminded me why I have chosen my human heroes so carefully, and why I refuse to engage in the same level of people worship that often leads to unreasonable social turmoil when one of those otherwise regular people fails to live up to the pedestal they should never have been placed on in the first place. It reminded me of the importance of why I should not be bitter about having lost another of my heroes, but to appreciate that she was so that I might one day follow in her footsteps.

She has taught me so much over the years. With Baba Mandela as my father, and Dr. Angelou as my mother, my social conscience has always been committed to being an agent of change by whichever means the fates afford me. Dr. Maya Angelou taught me that words have power. That it is not just the intent behind the user of the word, but the recipient’s perception and understanding of what the word means. We use words to build and destroy, to uplift and degrade, to empower and enslave. Words are not just empty things given meaning only by those who use them.

https://www.facebook.com/YRGeneration

A glimmer of the potential of what we can be: this young group of artists is one such glimmer that I hope to watch grow and improve, and hopefully breath new life into the fallen genre of Hip Hop.

It is important that we always remember to honor our ancestral foundation, while seeking to nourish and uplift our future. The future of our communities can be found in the same place we find our history. Art is not just something pretty to look at or a display of the hottest beat with a catchy hook. Art is the foundation of all that we are, and a glimmer of the potential of what we can be. I can only hope that our contributions to the world will prove worthy of the lessons taught to us by my most treasured idols.

You will be missed, but never forgotten.

Namaste.

Weddings, Reunions, Dental vists, and SHAKE UPS!

So you may have noticed someone has been missing a lot lately. You may have even noticed when he goes missing he doesn’t always explain why. Well…yeah no real explanation, sorry for that.

 

In other news I have been gone meeting old friends, getting massive dental work, and being best man in a wedding. Shout out to Superfans Chris and Ania Moncrief(aka Superman and Lois Lane) who celebrated their love in the classiest of weddings this past weekend.

 

You crashed both the wrong and the right wedding.

You crashed both the wrong and the right wedding.

But that Shakeup word is here again for good reason. 

 

Things are about to get interesting. Not only has WDDIJ been dealing with the …well Hilarious nature of advertising negotiations, but as you may have noticed we’ve lost a few authors. These things are not points to worry over. Trust me. In fact, the very way you view WDDIJ is about to change for the better.

 

In a short explanation, we’re doing an overhaul.

Why?

Because at 5500 views, we are little less than halfway to the year two viewership goal, and its only been 3 months.

In short, I’ve been short sighted.

 

To remedy that, I had to get to work.

And believe you me, the work is paying off.

Launching this fall is our interview series “Imperial Dreams”

Launching sooner rather than later this summer is a new format to the website

And Look for some shake ups in the staff as well.

Nothing drastic folks, but we want you to have a great experience.

And we want you to come to us for more of your daily content.

SO we need to be a place you want to come to.

And since I’ve been slacking on that. It is time to pick up the pace.

Of course I could tell you so much more, but as you know…

WORDS DON’T DO IT JUSTICE!

– THE Ruthless Wonder

White Knights, Rejection, and Internet Movements

THE Ruthless Wonder on a Thursday? …Yep

And before we get into it. Rest In Peace to Maya Angelou. There are tons of poets I know who grew up loving her work. She was one of the early impacts on my writing style, and I know very few women who didn’t at some point quote Phenomenal Woman like it was scripture.

So you’re probably watching that thinking I’m going to make some point. I’m not. Just check out her videos. Seriously. Especially if you’re even slightly geeky.

 

Now let’s get into things.

I get odd writer’s block from time to time. I can’t work on …say, a poem I’ve been crafting for a while, but I can work on say a script I’ve left sitting for a few months, or a short story series I need to get back to(don’t judge me). And then there are times like right now. I have a poem, 2 scripts, 3 short stories, and a novel project all wanting me to work on them, but they haven’t exactly cloned me to do them all at once. If you noticed I didn’t mention blogging, you’re keener than I thought. Yeah blogging comes easily or it doesn’t. Honestly it doesn’t take more than about a half hour to write the piece, and about 20 minutes to edit. But if I’m not in the head space to write it can be laborious.

Most times it’s because the topic I’m talking about isn’t necessarily the one I want to. Why don’t I blog more about what I want to? Because honestly, most times the topic isn’t interesting enough for a blog. To take you behind the curtain for a moment there is a lot to be said for the fact that my topics usually start as something I want to talk about in conversation. And then it develops. For instance, I have a friend who is one of WDDIJ’s superfans, she’s been reading for basically the entire time we’ve been a blog. I would love to talk to her about the fitness culture she belongs to. I rather obviously don’t have a fit form, and most assuredly haven’t gone near crossfit, but its a great conversation to talk about in a blog post. Hopefully, she’ll grace us with a piece, so I won’t have to.

Today’s topic I don’t want to talk about, but not for the usual reasons. I don’t want to talk about it because I don’t want more attention given to the person involved. And most of the planet has hopefully formed an opinion. But just briefly I want to talk about a collateral issue I haven’t seen addressed. The person is Elliot Oliver Robertson Rodger. And the issue I want to talk about is

The effect of white knight rejection.

Whiteknights

Now to a degree I understand the plight of the white knight. In their minds they are defending whatever group from what they perceive as an attempt to bully them. And as a guy who from time to time is the Usurper and not the Emperor, I can get with the idea of the outnumbered or outgunned needing some help. But what happens when the ulterior motive of a Super Villain like myself can’t happen? Well I have to go regroup and come up with a new plan. It is something folks like myself learn very early. Essentially a momentary loss is not permanent unless you let it become one. But I want you to pay attention to the words below.

“My orchestration of the Day of Retribution is my attempt to do everything, in my power, to destroy everything I cannot have… I will kill them all and make them suffer, just as they have made me suffer, It is only fair.”

Those are some of Roger’s chilling words in his manifesto. These are not the words of a stable mind to be sure, but his retribution, and the concept of fairness in it is something we often hear…from those staunch defenders. that what you are doing isn’t fair, or what you said isn’t fair, or that in spite of the kind of person you are in public or private, you getting more attention is not fair. When they are being a good person. When they should be the object of (insert group or gender identity[usually women] here)’s attention and affection. That the kind of person who makes the kinds of comments they disagree with shouldn’t be rewarded by the group. That what the group wants and what it says it wants aren’t the same because the group isn’t into the speaker.

Most of the world can recognize, have dealt with, have said something in that last paragraph. And on the average, while you look a little silly as a white knight in an internet conversation, especially to Super Villains like myself, most white knights don’t heavily internalize enough to go crazy. So why did this asshole? The answer is uncomfortable. He was never all there to begin with. Mental illness doesn’t usually just appear at his age. But that isn’t what I’m blaming here. In my opinion the gunner lost his marbles, because he was already an entitled twit going into his adolescence. With the access he had to successful hollywood, the relative notoriety of his parents, and the environment the kid grew up in, he had that loathsome of syndromes “Self-important Syndrome” You’ve met these people, they believe there is something intrinsically important about them because they are linked to someone else who is for some reason important.

You take that, then you add his tendency to white knight, and his support of the incels on PUAhate(You may recall Wrath of Ruthless co-host Ronin identifying them as having grown some influence in the MGTOW movement as well), and of course a healthy dose of clearly unhealthy expectations about what he brings to the table, and what is needed to get into a serious relationship much less sleep with a woman. Then give him the money and lack of affect to stop caring about the social contract of civilization and you get what happened.

Again this isn’t to say I hate white knights. I think in any conversation(get ready to get mad), they are a necessity. It lets things have a perspective most folks don’t account for. And from time to time, when someone is being actually abusive, the white knight usually helps put a stop to things. But this is at best a dangerous dalliance. A tricky and tenuous alliance. And here I think it does us all a disservice to place all blame on white knights for this twat, or to let them off the hookup entirely. When anyone gets rejected it sucks. I agree wholeheartedly. Even your favorite Super Villain has had been rejected and *gasp* had a few heart breaks over time. But where I basically take it as part of life, this guy, most incels, and what I can only call an alarming amount of MGTOWs see it as some vast female conspiracy. And the most dangerous thing you can do is give a crazy person a platform. And in the end this is white knight rejection at its most disturbing point.

Now you can’t say we didn’t address it, and make the 314 Publishing and Words Don’t Do It Justice position clear…at least from my end. So no more about this cowardly fucker please. I mean I could say so much more about all this but… Words Don’t Do It Justice.

– THE Ruthless Wonder

Shared because after all that you need some good music to remember life is good.

Notes From Your Favorite Super Villain: You say you want a revolution…

Before I get going, congrats to Washington(the state) and Colorado on getting the fed to back off on your passage of marijuana legalization for recreational use. I’m sure many lighters were pushed up in celebration today. My job rocks “ye olde drug policy”, and I’m a resident of the Great State Of Missouri so I can’t celebrate with you but here’s a youtube link to a song dedicated to you.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/M1yeCy4MD3Q]

Now that I’ve been nice for a minute and justified the 8:03pm Mountain time posting, let’s get into it. Somebody tune up the villain theme, and get the dictionary and wikipedia page ready so the idiots can look up the things I talk about that they didn’t catch. My Rage has been held back too long.

Send all hate mail to yourruthlesswonder@gmail.com

 

You say you want a revolution…but you really don’t give a fuck.

No apologies for the profanity this time. You brought this on yourself. let’s go right to the first set of people currently on my shit list. Everyone the last few days who have suddenly become afro-centric in wake of the anniversary of the March On Washington and thus King’s I have a Dream speech. These are the same instahoes, and twitter thugs, who will be back to doing how to videos on twerking and being a generally stupid black degenerate on World star and if they are lucky youtube in a couple days. But shout out to you fakes for some momentary lapses in stupid long enough to pretend to care. See these folks are first up for good reason, and the majority of the Words Don’t Do It Justice readership will of course have no problem with me singling them out. But I do so not because they are the crux of the problem today, but because I get easy targets out of the way when I have big game to hunt. My problem is that everybody wants to be the next Dr. King or Malcolm X when it has a perceived social advantage. When you can say HEY I DID THIS! and people can like your status, or comment how awesome it was that you did something.

Why in fuck are we rewarding this? Well YOU reward it because you really don’t give a fuck about most of the causes people claim to care about or otherwise socially show-off being a part of. Don’t believe the 300lbs. Black Guy? Where are all the anti-child soldier groups and causes, and youtube videos, and donation drives, and celebrity PSAs, and benefit concerts now that the Kony2012 guy has been found to be just another con artist with some mental issues? He was a fraud but the problem still exists. What are you doing to fix it? Exactly my point. You don’t actually give a fuck. And that goes for a lot of causes. Which brings us back to the weekend revolutionary. The person who will buy pink anything from a website to wear but won’t donate to proven research groups who work on cancer cures. The ones who take pictures of themselves with their I voted sticker but spend most of their time trying to stay blissfully stupid about how the system works. Or worse, thinks the sticker makes them a political scientist and expert on domestic and foreign affairs. You know who they are. Some of you are them.

But like I said easy target. That took 10 minutes to write. I didn’t even need to research to tear into them. They set themselves up. No, the real target is much harder. See this column is called you say you want a revolution. And once again I’m forced to use previous posts by me to lay out the road map to what I’m doing. So let’s get in to it. Let’s talk about my current problem children. Black Leadership(Que the stereotypical, “Oh no he didn’t” responses) Now we have two groups here. So I’ll start with the harder to hit targets. If you were alive and could have been in attendance at the original March On Washington, the current state of Black America is entirely your fault. Not the white man, not racism, not classism, and not the criminal justice system. At the youngest age you’re 50. Which means you were shaping the opinion of black men and women in the eyes of non-black people for 19 years longer than I’ve been alive. Which means this currently culture was your burden to rectify. Al Sharpton, is not alone on my list of idiots trying to be leaders. All of you at 50 and up are. You helped walk Black America into this apologist, shiftless, anti-intellectual culture that has become so dependant on the system that the black civil war will be between black men and black women. ALL of you, my parents, relatives, church members, boy scout leaders, teachers, coaches, and the like which are too annoyingly numerous to name have walked this path to ruin with your faces staring at your feet.

Why am I so angry with you? Because you all never learned the lesson. I don’t have the benefit of saying I grew up with Martin, and Malcolm, and Jackie, and Medgar, and…I would go on, but I shouldn’t need to. So I can’t say I ever saw a great black leader spoon-feeding me the information and tools to keep their victories from being temporary. But you did succeed in one thing. You made temporary commonplace. Temporary fathers and mothers, Temporary wives and husbands, temporary class attendance, temporary intelligent thought. That is your legacy. And it could easily have been different. The speeches that most often resonant with me are ones that are calls to complex action. Not because the nature of complexity is most appealing to me. It is because the complex idea really causes people to show true colors. Tell everyone to put a pure black picture up for Trayvon Martin and millions will follow you. But ask them to make smarter decisions on who they elect in office, and to support young black professionals who could mentor youth and you’ll be glad to crack 10 people. But that didn’t have to be this way. And that is the blame to be laid at your feet. Because you dropped the ball. And no one wants to hear you anymore because now you are seen as pandering. As charlatans. Naives. Foot Shuffling, minstreling fools. Race baiting hasbeens with no goal but self-importance. And I no longer wish to pretend the people saying that aren’t right.

So let’s get to my contemporaries and in some cases my colleagues. You say you want revolution. You say you want change. You say Obama wasn’t enough. Then where were you when Harold Ford Jr was getting victimized by racist over toned mud slinging? Why aren’t you seize the places of power to do better? I watched a story about how Corey Booker likes to mess with homophobes and racists by not commenting on whether he is straight or not. I’d call that progress. But what about the rest of you? Read a book not called Twilight, Hunger Games, 50 Shades, or some pseudo-africanist’s rant about how we should all get back in touch with the motherland?(don’t worry I’m getting to that group) Yeah I didn’t think you had. Why is Al Sharpton on TV more than Deval Patrick? Where are the young intelligent black leaders of both genders who have actual ideas and not vague rhetoric? Oh wait, you’re too scared to take on the old guard. Let me make this plain. The Old Guard has fucked us over. We are now a deviation from them. We are derived from them but are not them. Like bourbon is derived from whiskey but is not the same. So fuck the old guard and let Bourbon replace whiskey(No my nerdy friends this is not the time to comment how you know where that quote is from). If our leadership is the model for who we should be as leaders and what we should do with the future of our culture and they failed us. What does that say about doing what they did?

See I don’t say that the old guard is shit and we should replace them to do the same thing. I say replace them so we can do something else entirely. Yesterday was 50 years from when Dr. King’s speech reached out to America hoping it could make us change. But as big as the speech, the march, and indeed the movement were, as horridly as the generations leading up to know have squandered all the potential that came from it. Another speech reaches into my brain and does not let go.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/MZUdY4xCt-Q]

Now why do I find this incendiary speech from Malcolm X so important. Why does it fill my brain the day after celebrating one of the most famous speeches in the history of ever? Because I have a dream is made to gather people. The Ballot or The Bullet is made to motivate people. And right now I know the fake revolutionaries won’t get the difference. Which of course gets me away from the old and new guard of black leadership as people, and onto them as far as actions. Barack Hussein Obama. Just the name sounds strong. Heck I like the cut of his gib on sight. But I’m not a fan. Best said I’ve never been a big fan of political figures and even more so after I peeked behind the curtain. Now you may take issue with that as I have a signed letter and photo commemorating my law school graduation from the guy, and I posted them on instaflex and Failbook. But in the same way I’m not a fan. I also don’t hate or generally dislike the guy. He’s important sure. But hate or live don’t enter my brain about him. And for good reason. I like to be able to honestly evaluate political figures in an objective fashion. So is it any wonder that I’m now about to attack and defend him at the same time? If you know how I feel about Tyler Perry, that shouldn’t surprise. Obama is everything right and wrong with today’s blakc leaders. And how black people treat him is everything right and wrong about black people right now. Here’s what I mean.

Barry O is able to say that he cares about the black community and do things to move it forward, but he is never so beholden to them that he makes exclusively black moves which harm societal progress. Oh dear God how I wish all black leaders had that trait. We as a people have been caught up in too much of the usual stupid black people traps. Every few days someone mentions how we deserve reparations. Usually its just a straight up I want the dough. Sometimes they give the more intelligent white people got free land when the gov went west. But black people by law were stopped from doing the same. Fair argument. Still pointlessly annoying to bring up. Why? Why do I who would love some dough in my pocket enough to build the life I want think this is a stupidly pointless errand from a by gone age of actual afro-centrism that could never be reached even if you could raise a non-zombie Marcus Garvey from the grave? Because you’d break the system. While no one mentions reparations without mentioning the Japanese in ethnicity, Americans who were placed in concentration camps, the situations are different. See not only were they paid promptly and properly, but they were paid in a somewhat organized, and non economy breaking form.

Why does that matter? Because not only is this a handout that the majority of black people could never properly handle, it would literally break the global economy. What do I mean? When America has any economic issue, it effects global business. The trillions based on interest compounding annually that it would take to pay back the equivalent of the median national value of land and a beast of burden(donkey, mule, oxen), is so astronomical that it would cause the kind of inflation that makes post world war 1 pre world war 2 Germany look like a nice place to move to. Not to mention such an undertaking would bankrupt America by either sinking the dollar, or straight up putting us in hock to literally all of the world. Is it really worth that future to you? Or do you want that new iPhone? If you thought about it, I’m already right.

Oh but POTUS is also everything wrong with black leadership. By refusing to address the inequality among black people. Contrary to popular belief you do have to choose between Booker T Washington and W.E.B. Dubois. But only if you want to get things done. Why? Because either we all go into the working class embrace the failed dreams of communism, and build that incredibly stupid idea that I pointed out was stupid of a new black country(Seriously the people emailing me saying they love it and want to do it are stupid. The point of the column is that it is a dumb idea and you could do all of it so much better without the stupidity of faux africanism.). Or we acknowledge and agree that some of us are far smarter than most of us, and to get better you need to support us as your leaders and do the fucking work while we come up with the ideas. I’ll refrain from a further hint on which way I lean on the matter.

Obama doesn’t address the problem ever. We are all special. We are all unique snowflakes. Well he’s wrong. Most of you are not unique snowflakes. Most of you can’t be President. Most of you can’t lead anyone outside your home, and slightly fewer but still most of you can’t lead anyone outside your job. my issue with Mr. President is also that he feeds into the same solutions we’ve had and seen fail. But hey, let’s cut the president some slack. He is most certainly not the only one. What is the point of programs to mentor youth if we don’t address the expectations for them? What are our standards? Do we have any? Let’s think about this a minute. Kid goes to high school. Sees if he wants to play an instrument he has band. If he wants to play sports they are there. If he wants to learn about science, BAM done. Math, Debate, Acting all there. But what about if he wants to learn more about current politics? What about if he wants to come up with solutions to more common problems he sees around him? Where is that support?

But hey schools everywhere black and white have problems. Let’s move on. When a young teen boy wants to go to college who does he turn to? When a young boy wants to open a music label he’s got friends and backup even if no one has money. When he wants to do criminal and nefarious acts he’s got back up. What about if he wants to go read poetry? What about if he wants to get into anything that isn’t the average or everyday? Where is the support? See that is the problem. We don’t support things without a flashiness to them. And we don’t get involved when it might be difficult on us to do so. I’ve got a great support system that has continuously either helped out, or gotten out of the way as I’ve tried, had setbacks, and achieved. But this blog post isn’t about me. It is about you. Because you say you want a revolution.

And on that note I want to address someone I promised I would yesterday. She’s a friend of the site. And as it goes she’s pretty positive and has her head on straight but yesterday…well yesterday as I was already stewing from the panderfest anniversary gala and photo-op, she called the original fake. Which I thought was odd. What does one mean by fake? What is fake about something the entire world has seen and their are non leadership people who were alive and attended? So I asked. The reply was it was staged. Well of course it was staged, it was an organized march that lead to a broadcasted speech. You don’t just do stuff like that, you plan it out. So next was read these links, they paid folks, and censored folks. I read the links. I have a mental complex about such rash statements. If I can find the reality of what is being said I look for it. Well in this case she was right. Some people got lost in the shuffle. Some other folks who thought they were important enough to talk didn’t get to. Other people’s reason for participating was glossed over. One of the stories was that Lena Horne was walking Rosa Parks around to various overseas outlets to get them her story so they could know she was important.

This all sounds like…well frankly it sounds like every political event I have ever gone to and sadly likely will ever go to. Here’s why calling a political event staged is a cop out. Its political. Usually the most important person. The person you want to make sure everyone hears because they have the credibility or the unique message to get out is going to talk. Other than them you’ve got a bunch of awesome side stories. The fact is I read both my friend’s links and came away thinking, well damn, I wonder what ______would have said. That’s the best I have. I wonder what this particular person or that particular person would have said here. Wasn’t upset. Wasn’t angry. Why? Well frankly it was because the event was always about one man making a call to the nation. It isn’t a “luck accident” that Dr. King is making the I have a dream speech that day. The whole march, and the rally, and the speaking event portion itself were created around that. That was the purpose. It isn’t an accident that Malcolm X is the man we remember as giving another perspective from a different event. The grass roots campaign event he spoke at was also planned around him. Calling an event like that a fake staged event is like calling out the girl scooping ice cream for having cold hands. YA DON’T SAY?! Politics and self promotion occurred all around and about to date one of the most well known speeches ever given? Here’s your Nobel Peace prize for figuring that out. Also you may want to see if Genghis Khan had a hankering for savagery and imperial conquest by wholesale slaughter. I love my friend, but this was not one of the debates where she’s made me guild myself in intellect in order to parry her arguments.

But her way of giving a fuck brings me out of the very Black specific section and into the more general hatred of you fake revolutionaries. Cause there are leaders and there are followers, and I’d rather be a dick than a swallower. You do realize if you’ve tweeted, FB’d, signatured, pinterested, reddited, meme’d, myspaced, instagramed, vined, youtubed, world starred, or daily motioned that at all you’re a follower. Just saying. But that leads me to the point. You don’t give a fuck. If you care so much about *insert clause here* then you shouldn’t even be in a position to read this. You should get rid of everything you own, use a bit of the money to buy a farm and the needed implements, and live that true amish life. Because everything you use and do right now required someone’s suffering. Using a library computer to read WDDIJ? Tax money was collected by kicking someone out of their home and selling the house at auction to satisfy the debt. The fabrics you use to make your clothes so you don’t “give in to a corrupt system” come from the development over centuries of trade routes and relationships between merchants who employed mercenaries to enforce their claims, stole from their competitors which put them out of business, and the looting and pillaging of everything from the land belonging to indigenous cultures in America to the Silk road. Africa included. The highly respected kemetan(sp?) culture. Conquered the lands around it which it deemed part of the empire. And of course they had a godking called a Pharoah, just to tie back in my earlier leadership and direction section.

And that is nothing compared to the modern stuff you use. Every great advance in the existence of humanity, economic, technological, theological, intellectual, comes at the expense of some until then undetermined group of people. Louie C.K. said(and I’m paraphrasing) We just throw human pain and suffering at stuff and it gets done. Either you want the cool new thing we can do that will one day far from now take us into the kind of future that would make even me say “okay, I hadn’t thought of that.” Or we all agree to go back to living in small tribes and no caring about anything beyond where the next meal comes from. Either way, stop pretending you care, when really you don’t give a fuck.

See caring about something means you don’t stand for it. Are you willing to walk off of your highly paid job because the client that makes the job so good is a racist, sexist, homophobe, vegan, hyper conservative christian, liar, theif, mob boss, adulterer, bank robber, KU fan? Guess that green buys your silence on the one in there that affects you then huh? Or maybe you could just dial down the hyperbole. Maybe you could say there are things you want to change, but don’t know how yet. Or you dislike these people. Or you want to see how to do this. Or you have such and such idea. Maybe you should stop talking like you are about to lead an armed rebellion in the US because Obama is President. Or because white people do fucked up things to non white people. Or because people are risking life and limb to get into America because their life in parts of other countries suck so bad living on the streets and working for 35 cents an hours is better. Or because in order to feed all you idiots taking up air, space, and food supply we have to develop hybrid foods through advanced botany. Or because all the oil is in the middle of middle eastern deserts at the moment and you don’t want to sound like a hippie for being for wind farms and other alternative energy.

Or because American Men who love American Men, and American Women who love American Women want to get married. Or because some guy who looks a bit like me dates more than just women who share my ethnic classification. Or because there are women who like to make video games and play video games and have an opinion. Whatever the fucking high horse is that has you ready to take your .45 up against an M1 Abrams tank(lol good luck with that) take a look at it for a moment and ask do you really give a shit enough to get rid of all that exists around you? If you do, I hear Detroit could use money, cops, and economic development right now. If not…well get back to work and start supporting the smaller causes that can help improve things. Because right now you disgust me as much as the racists, and classists, and sexists, and homophobes. Why? Because you don’t really give a fuck about what you are talking about. You’re only faking so you can show off. And that is a disgusting level of self absorption. Why do I get to say that? Because I don’t believe in being extreme like you. Because you say you want a revolution, but you really don’t give a fuck. I’d go into more detail about my lifestyle and beliefs, but I’ve talked too much tonight. Besides…Words Don’t Do It Justice.

– THE Ruthless Wonder

Send all hate mail to yourruthlesswonder@gmail.com

[youtube=http://youtu.be/tH9zG28GQEg]

Allow me to digress a moment…or twenty

I was going to do the funny POF post for today, but well I’m being nice to someone…she better appreciate this. Anyway instead of taking today off, I’m going to once again make the comics/manga fans of Words Don’t Do It Justice happy. Today’s topic?

Does A Hero(Superhero) Really Need An Origin Story?

 

We’ve been inundated lately with the attempt of DC Marvel and a few others to make Superhero flicks a normal sub-genre of Action movies. More on why that is something that is good in another column. For me, this brings back up a topic I’ve talked to friends about for some time. Admittedly this may be the nerdiest of nerd conversations, but I’m curious what the film heads and major fiction readers and writers think. Do we really need to keep making origin stories for the hero of a movie/comic/tv show/cartoon/manga/anime?

Here’s the base thing I’m talking about. Yes people exist who have never heard of Black Panther. And somewhere out there people exist who have never heard of Superman, Batman, The Flash, Wolverine, Green Lantern, Blade, Punisher, and Ghost Rider.  But with these characters do you really need to go back to explain how the powers came about? Furthermore, is the origin story concept even a good method to introduce these characters? They are basically known concepts, or had recent films. Whether the films are bad or good(I’m looking at you Ghost Rider and Wolverine), you basically know already how these folks got powers. And in the case of The Flash, do you really care? Are you really watching The Wally West(yes that is an official endorsement of using him instead of Barry) Flash to see the intricate nature of the science experiment that makes him become the embodiment of all things speed? Of course you don’t. And yes the crimson speedster is partially a bad example since he is often written to be more interesting after he has the powers than beforehand, and all of the men who have been The Flash seem to be the same personality wise before and after gaining the powers.

But let’s look at the origin story. What does it do for the hero? Many would claim it is used to show why they are the person they are and give the audience reason for the person’s mentality or decisions. The other reason being as a way to show the Hero or Superhero failing or working to become good. While I can understand both, they aren’t needed. And you want to know what proves they aren’t needed? Batman. And yes I’m surprised you just now realized I was going to use Batman to prove a point about Superheroes.  Anyway, The Batman as you and I now love until 1989 had been a campy LSD trip turned TV show/TV movie played by Adam “FREAKING” West. in 89 we get Tim Burton, Prince, and Micheal Keaton’s Man in Black Batman. But can we say that movie truly has batman’s origin story as its arc? No infact we can’t We get glimpses and exposition about Bruce’s past, We get the origin of the second greatest Joker ever(RIP to number 1 “Mista J” Heath Ledger). But we never see Bruce Wayne learning to become Batman.

Why? Arguably there was more need to introduce him to the audience then than there was when Christopher Nolan takes over in Batman begins. We don’t have to see Bruce designing the tools of uberness lovingly referred to as the batmobile, batarangs, The bat plane(or the Batjet if you prefer), the batcave and its awesome bat-computer, the suit, the symbols, and the(pardon the coarse language) muthafucken utility belt. Rewatch that if you have time. Keaton doesn’t learn to be Batman. he just IS Batman, doing cool Batman stuff to Prince music up against Jack Nicholson chewing the scenery as The Joker played by an even more deranged love child of Jack Torrance from The Shining and Mac McMurphy from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest(Yes you need to watch both of those). That wasn’t an origin story. That movie has flashbacks to the motivation of the hero, but the legend of the Bat has already begun by this point.

Knowing that the Bat, who has arguably the longest, and most heart-wrenching origin of the Pantheon, and the easiest to film why was there no origin story film back then? Because you don’t really care. Look I care about what happened to batman to make him who he is. I care about the rule of not killing that he doesn’t break until The Dark Knight Returns(Which has been animated, go cop that.). But as much as you and I both love Morgan Freeman I couldn’t give less of a shit about the months of making the tools, the researching and finding of some of the toys. Why? Because he’s Batman. He doesn’t need that. And if his origin is interesting and we don’t care, what makes you think it is needed for the majority of the heroes? Unless the origin itself, not the history of the person, is needed to explain the powers of the person, or the sum of the material on the character, this is a waste of a movie.

That last part was loaded, so let me explain. Chronicle is a great film. And it is a Superhero origin story. But the movie is about the origin because the material was about the origin. You really can say Chronicle is complete. There doesn’t need to be a sequel. Seriously, if Max Landis is reading this. LEAVE IT BE BRO! But most heroes are being used to run franchises. And were known quantities before that. They don’t need a laborious analysis of the opening few months of them as training to be a hero. This ain’t Rocky people. You care about the person because they have the powers. Did you need to see young Han Solo to know he was a badass? No you didn’t. Han shoots first, pipes down princesses, has some shady deals with huts, and sometimes works with rebellions. And you are good to go with that. Knowing that Indiana Jones and his father James bond had an interesting relationship that built him into who he was made for a great movie. But it wasn’t an origin story. You saw Indiana Jones being Indiana Jones first. You get flashes of young Indiana in the Last Crusade. And you were damn happy about it.

All in total you just don’t need it do you? The Origin Story I mean. Look at them, and talk to me about it. Leave comments and all that jazz. I’m all for learning about heroes. I’m all for getting the information that goes into their motivations, but do we need to see them struggle to become the hero they are? I submit to you people that we don’t.  Conflict in a franchise, much less a single film does not equal need of origin. Monty Python said it best when they said “GET ON WITH IT!” Can’t we stop with this and use the sudden surprise of the hero using the abilities they have to make things interesting and start the story there? Can’t we just get on with it and make things more fun for all as we don’t have 40+ minutes of brooding, powerless hero learning to become the one we know? Or worse, can’t we stop so we don’t have whole movies of non-hero where they finally become the hero 20 minutes before the credits roll like this is some perverse Superhero or hero version of Pursuit of Happiness? Smoke all that over a few ticks. I’ve got work to do. Some more columns to drop. And a new poem called Grey Dreams to finish up. I’d tell you about that last bit, but Words Don’t Do It Justice.

 

-THE RuthlessWonder

Notes From Your Favorite Super Villain: On a serious note

On a serious note

This was going to start with my reaction to the trial and verdict after hearing people at the church I’ve gone to my whole life talk about it. You would have gotten my usual snark and while backing the outrage I would have gone entirely and completely out of my way to paint the people calling for riots and other ridiculousness as bad as the people happy about the verdict(And they call themselves Christians the fakes). I was going to do that, but I’m not. Frankly as time progressed and everyone decided having a facebook or twitter account gave them a Law degree I found myself much less forgiving of both sides.

So you could call today’s column mutually assured destruction. I’m taking the nuclear option. You’ve read the words of Rufus. Now behold the words of Ruthless so to speak. Instead of the wonderful set up I was going to have, or a picture of Trayvon or his killer which would annoy me. I want to start with this one. It isn’t of me because I’m the one who took it.

At first there were a few

At first there were a few

At first there just a few law students from FAMU heading up to Seminole county to call for an arrest and protest the actions of the prosecutor’s office. I got a text from the guy in the photo, the then current President of the Black Law Student Association(BLSA) at Barry. With both schools in Orlando we tend to talk to each other often and it should be no surprise that the FAMU BLSA called Barry BLSA to get in touch with us. And it wasn’t a question for me. Law students are like that. Find a cause they identify with and you will be covered in them. So in a heartbeat I was in. I was truly tired, and pretty sure I could barely see as I crawled out of bed at 7am(Waking me up is kind of a problem). We got there, and we knew there were going to be a few of us. But I wanted to take photos and hold signs and help out as best I could.

We went on for a decent amount of time. The news came out both national and state-wide and of course local. FAMU gave a statement, community activists who didn’t actually show up for the beginning of the protest came and suddenly turned things into a black power rally. And right around the point someone wanted to sell a book and turn this into riot to kill the white people He and I made tracks and got something to eat. From there things turned rather big. I got asked to give my pictures to a few dozen news outlets, got talked to by some small time online and offline newspapers. The biggest battle, one I ended up losing, was with the new leadership of Barry’s BLSA who just never wanted to get involved by releasing a statement.

I imagine I seemed like an alarmist raging, angry black lunatic to them. All I wanted was them to show this wasn’t being ignored by them. You could call that a sore spot, I called it the end of my time in BLSA, though I lended a hand during the next, my final year at Barry whenever they needed me. Instead I spent my time paying attention to the actual investigation. I attended a few more rallies and took pictures of course. I was angry after all. I was enraged to a degree I could only vaguely remember from my more militant viewpoint at a much younger age.

That is where most of my reason to get into this came from. I was a black man in law school. But i wouldn’t have been there if some things hadn’t gone different for me than most of the black boys I grew up around. And all it would have taken would be someone looking at me the same way Zimmerman had Trayvon for my story to not become the triumph it has so far. It welled within me because of that. Because unfortunately growing up in one of the worst per capita murder cities in America means I have more than a few friends who aren’t with me anymore, for both racially and not racially motivated reasons. I could feel every bit of the me I used to be, boiled up whenever the situation was spoken of. But it would best be said I knew better. I stayed focus on school. And kept getting involved where I could. Now I’m studying for the bar with JD behind my name and we’ve seen Zimmerman be found not guilty.

I don’t tell that story because I think I’m special. I’d say when it comes to this particular instance I’m not special. There are tons of stories like mine when it comes to Trayvon. Just like there are tons of stories like George Zimmerman’s. Where the system for good or ill in the perceptions of the people surrounding things worked. I say worked, not right, because no court decision is entirely right or wrong. That is the danger and promise of our system. What I have seen from this weekend since the verdict came down. What has occurred throughout the trial by anyone mentioning the trial has disgusted me. I find myself often unwilling to deal with people who want to discuss things because of that.

So let’s get to what you came here for. First up on my Super Villain hitlist is the easy target. People happy Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin. The easy thing is to call these people racists. The hard thing is to forgive them. And yeah sure I can forgive, because I’m bigger than that. These are people with some profoundly disturbed view of reality. To wish a teenager that they don’t know hasn’t wronged them dead is disgusting. But then again I live in a country where it is perfectly okay to wish for the death of someone else and then act innocent when it occurs.  A country where someone looking different, growing up in another part of town, having clothes or accessories that you don’t like, or dating people who look like you is enough reason to kill. The verdict seems to give them some kind of validation for this disgusting viewpoint. And people who have no reason other than what they believe about Trayvon Martin’s background as just as bad. Whether or not you think Zimmerman was guilty, to be a person so detached and depraved you wish a child dead is insane, and while I am bound to forgive such a mentality. I am not bound to refrain from calling you sycophants out on it. Especially the ones who’ve started do that hashtag Trayvoning shit I saw on twitter and instagram. And the guy with the Trayvon shooting game on android and apple store.

Next up since I’m ranting are the people who have turned this tragedy into a soapbox for their political agenda. Though not cosmically as bad as the people glad Trayvon is dead, these too, draw my ire. A young man, an unarmed teen is dead, and instead of rallying physical and psychological support for the family and friends of Trayvon. Instead of bringing their national audience to do something positive to ease the tension that I’m sure is still very thick in Sanford, they want you to buy their book on race in America. They want you to back their new project far from central Florida. They want you to listen to their radio show. They want you to ban all guns. They want you to do everything but take a sensible approach to matter by doing something that would actually have helped the situation then or now. These people are opportunists. These people pervert the tragedy for profit. And I see no reason they should get a pass because they wear a hoodie in an instagram photo, or at the BET awards, or on Good Morning America, or The Daily Show, or tweet about it. The sad part is all of the people falling for it.

Which brings me to the people who just don’t care. The ones who see someone dead and someone walking away with no criminal consequences and say “big deal” or “so, it wasn’t me.” The people with so little affect, so myopic a view that it borders on dystopian. These are the people that worry even me. When it comes down to it I tend to not trust most of humanity. Mostly because of these people. It is a very short distance from so what it isn’t me, to so what it is me over you. I’m Lex Luthor of the internet because I’m not afraid to have a viewpoint you don’t agree with. Because I am willingly calling myself a villain because I know you will hate and oppose things I say no matter what side of an issue you are on. Something I say will upset and offend you. And it should. Unless you’re the secret clone of me, there is no one who will ever exactly agree with everything. I’m complicated, complex, contradictory, and most certainly controversial. But these people. They don’t say they agree or disagree. If it doesn’t concern their life then it doesn’t matter to them. And these people, no matter how successful they happen to be are worthless people. And unworthy of more time from me.

So let’s get to harder targets. White people who hate that this became a racial issue. You have thus far dodged the direct assault by not being happy Trayvon is dead, not being apathetic to the issues, and not trying to sell something based on the tragedy. But you don’t get to escape. No because you have some serious rose colored glasses on. Apparently you’ve missed the racial problems in America and cannot see the issue because George is half hispanic. That doesn’t change anything. Between his last name and appearance he is walking around mostly due to white privilege(If you don’t believe this exists please wait for another column to get up in arms about it. Today is not the day). And while I can’t call you worthless. I can call you delusional. I respect people who have a view of America’s future devoid of race. I have a healthy respect for those upset when things that are obviously not about race become about it. But to say I have a vast disrespect of people who cannot see a racial issue that is close enough to their face that time is standing still is a bit of an understatement. You cannot in one breath say that Trayvon’s attitude was a problem and then say that this was not about race. Look at yourself. Would you have been annoyed and had a problem at 17 if some random stranger was following you? You can try and say otherwise but we both know the truth. What if that person looked nothing like you? What if that person is now interrogating you and you see no security guard or police characteristics or paraphernalia? See what I mean?  And that you are currently trying to rebut or otherwise deny this to yourself is exactly why you bother me.

Since I’m on the subject of White people, a brief mention goes out to the ones who in one breath are talking about how sad, or otherwise are upset by the verdict, and in the next pull their purse closer when a black guy walks by, won’t let their children date black people, have made statements beginning with I like so and so but some of those “insert race followed by wacked comment here”, oh and my favorite, the ones who comment you’re such an interesting (insert ethnic classification) person. That is the side-eye backhanded compliment of the modern era. And yes I get that one a lot. This mention goes out to you because you’re just as bad as those people above. You think your public facade is protection against you being called a racist, but on behalf of all of us I’d just like to remind you that you are in fact a racist. You aren’t an uncaring violent one, but you still are one. OH and if you think you get a pass because your particular blend of whiteness didn’t make it to America until post 1970, you don’t. Still a racist.

Now that I’ve covered all the white people. And the opportunist black people. And the generally problematic people. Let me take this sword and get to cutting into the black people. You didn’t expect this rant to be short did you? First up is of course the black people who are taking this verdict as reason for revolution. You want to start an armed rebellion over this verdict but when people were rallying you were busy liking “Instagram Models” pics, and trying to get Sheneka Adams and Tahiry to follow you and accept your friend requests. You were putting up pics of the weed you have, while people were trying to get Rick Scott to assign a special prosecutor. But for some reason now, now after you helped provide the environment that Trayvon looked up to. Now after you’ve helped burn into the brains of society at large the image that George Zimmerman had as he came near Trayvon. Now after you’ve done everything you can to uphold a stereotype that is as corrosive to the black community as racism is. Now you want to get in the streets. Now you want to take up the cause of justice. My buddy Adam Jung is a straight up dyed in the wool freedom fighter. The race of the people he tries to get equality for is not his concern. He wants to make humanity better by fighting the powers that be. Because he sees injustice and says “Not today.” This convenient for the moment outrage you have is fake at best. You’re disgusting because you don’t really care. You think you should say something, so you say it. When things take more time than you want to take you go right back to what you actually care about.

So now that I’ve taken it to the fake revolutionaries, who will no doubt take their anger to me on FB, Twitter, and my cell phone, let’s hit the last group and last person. The last group of people for this rather lengthy rant are the people who helped create this environment. Now this one is a bit personal. See there is something to be said for how we treat each other in the black community. First off this is a fragmented community. It took very little time to see how odd I was in law school. I’m not as far as I know Caribbean by any stretch, no island bits to me at all. But would I consider those of them who live in America part of the black community? Of course. Do all black people in America consider them a part? Nope. Do all of them see things like I do? Not in the slightest. Much love to the ones who do though.  The other problem is that we don’t reward or otherwise appreciate certain accomplishments. Let’s look at the facts. Most of the people who are part of our community are likely to support and congratulate a returning inmate than the returning college kid. They are going to be more proud of the athlete than help find scholarships for the possible future scientist. But since I know my readers I’m going to purposefully hit so much closer to home, starting with a rhetorical question(for the idiots that means I don’t expect or want you to answer)

If you are more apt to go for the thug who treats you like a plaything, cheats on you, and generally sits around playing madden when he isn’t trying to make his next rap album, instead of the black guy trying to finish college/med school/open his small business/get his Ph.D/run for political office can you really say you are trying to fix the mentality of the community? I know exactly who that pissed off but the funny part is that is true of most of the communty’s female population. You want new black leaders who don’t have the issues of Eddie Long or Al Sharpton? Stop leaving charlatans and thugs as the only ones with a support structure to advance themselves. Same goes the other way. You can’t blame the women of the community’s leadership on anything but you guys who get rid of/corrupt the good girl trying to get her education in favor of some no life chick with kids and a fat ass. Are you dolts so visual you can’t turn your brain on long enough to keep a good relationship and stop chasing your dreams of women you can’t/shouldn’t be with? I know, I know. That was a cheap shot. Good, feel that.

See in combination this has turned black America into a community with more entertainers and promoters than doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, architects, mathematicians, and computer scientists combined. Why is black unemployment at 16% because of you. It isn’t just that there are fewer black businesses, there are fewer black people putting a value on that version of success, because all you support is entertainment. And that is what produced this senseless and needless death. Trayvon was getting the same message about being black that produced most black boys at his age. Zimmerman was seeing only the same kind of young black men, ones causing trouble in the community, and having never met him was sent into an overreaction based on the image you have helped burn into America’s view of us. Was Zimmerman wrong to shoot Trayvon? You damn skippy. And I will gladly debate the real whys and hows of him being found not guilty with anyone who has a JD or can be in a civil discussion with someone who has one and will gladly educate you on the law in the matter. I’m sure you all feel disproportionately laid into in this post. To that I say…so?

Let’s get down to the last person. I don’t think George Zimmerman is Words Don’t Do It Justice. I’m not that self absorbed or narcissistic. But I want to address him anyway. For the last year and a half, you’ve been the object of my most deep seeded of rage. I’ve hated you for doing exactly what I hate most about humans. Having a cowards response to a situation. You were a coward when you got out of that car. You were a coward when you reached for your loaded gun, and you were a coward when you shot Trayvon Martin. You were a coward when you sat on tv and the internet trying to solicit funds from people, and when you hid them from the court, and every day you were in court, you will be a coward every day until you drop dead. A boy is dead because you are a coward. Because you made assumptions about him for no other reason than you hadn’t seen him before and he was the same color as people you’d followed before. I don’t wish you dead. I tend to stop short of that. I wish you instead a fate worse than death. That every day from now until you are laid to rest you feel the apprehension of people following you. That every security guard, TSA agent, Bailiff, and police office find you suspicious enough to be accosted and searched. I hope fervently that you feel the constant revulsion of people around you. That you have to endure the eyes of the world scrutinizing you, silently seeming to threat you, but that they take no action. Death for Death is the province of tyrants and evil men, I wish you no rest until the end of your days. No lasting happiness, nothing more than momentary joy. And when you dream, I hope it is only nightmares filled with Trayvon’s face, and voice. And I wish the same on every person that agrees with you. Every person that finds what you did just, or right, or even ok. For after this my mind will be clear, my rage calms, I have rest. But there will be none for you. For what you have done to just Trayvon’s family I should wish much worse on you and the people who sent you money, but that is all.

And with that. I’m done. If you have some need to talk to me about this post hey go for it. If you hate me because I was talking about you. Well if you haven’t notice I don’t care you haven’t been paying attention. If you want to know something you could do so that we as American’s can be better than this, start by paying attention to who you elect to public office, then support a person going to law school, then help a smart kid who doesn’t know his path yet, and try to be the kid of person that someone will want to help bridge the various race, class, and gender divides we have. Those should work to start off with. This long rant is at an end. And I still have a Wednesday post to make. So bye for now. I said a lot and could say more but Words Don’t Do It Justice, and I’m sorry we couldn’t get Trayvon some. So very sorry.

-THE Ruthless Wonder(yourruthlesswonder@gmail.com)

Ruthless As The 4th Of July: America’s uniquely perfect imperfection

I admit that is a weighty title. But I promise you this. This blog post will either make you love me(as a blogger) even more than you already do. Or it will most assuredly make you hate me more than you did before you started. You’ve been warned, IKUZO(let’s go)!

America’s uniquely perfect imperfection

I was wrestling with the idea of doing a post for the 4th of July. It seems as I near the bar exam my ability to break away for the hour of human life time is harder and harder to do. More on that later. So the idea I originally had, was the situation America finds itself in this 4th versus its founding. I was literally going to history lesson this and then I thought better of it after some time with Mom this morning. What changed while we were driving was the idea of American exceptionalism. Now those two words separately will be about as non-problematic as well ice cream. but together, ti calls up all sorts of imagery that begins a very dark road. Allow me to hop in the driver’s side and hasten the trip. American exceptionalism is as true today as it was when the country was founded. it is exactly what America is. All of it. And that is a great thing. How great? Rome, Greece, The Golden Horde, The Khans, and Ancient Khemet(Look it up people) itself have nothing on America. Combined they don’t equal our collective greatness. #Shots fired

Now that we’ve already lost the people so enraged by that statement they stopped reading let me get on to the backup for this. One of the things people often have problems with is that America is a racist sexist classist society that worships its own history like a religion and gives nobility to Movies stars, athletes, and the rich while over looking the common person. I agree. We are in fact all of that. And I’m glad we are. Because the greatest nations in existence, the empires we study, the civilizations that have stood the test of time have had similar faults. There is a notion that the world could live at absolute peace. That borders, and nationalities, ethnicities, and the like could all pass away and we would enter a golden age. I believe that is possible as well. But not in spite of America. Instead, I believe that day will come because of America. Because of the greatest experiment in the history of humanity on earth. Americans like myself now live in the place that will one day cause the world to take the next giant leap forward in our evolution. Turn the next corner towards a civilization a lot more like Star Trek the next generation than Game Of Thrones(That hurts to admit).

Why do I take such a view in the face of things like the NSA spying done by Obama? The striking down of important provisions in the VRA by the SCOTUS? When there has been a sudden uptick of inter and intra racial violence everywhere while people make more money-making the poor poorer? Because that too is part of the process. People like to say it is darkest before the dawn when someone is gong through something. What they never seem to see is that goes for us as well. But that’s ancillary here. I can afford to take this position because these things are faults of human nature, not of the American experiment. And I call us an experiment for a reason. In the history of the world prior to America and to a lesser extent Australia and New Zealand, countries, nations, and empires began as either a group of the same ethnicity or cultural group banding together for whatever reason, or the grouping of a geographic area together. Say what you will of Lawrence of Arabia’s meddling, or the creation of most of the current nations in Africa, but the same category holds in both places. But America is different. But Ruthless, Ruthless, the original colonies were all English colonies. That is the same thing. Here’s where you’re wrong. By the time that the colonies rebel most of them are filled with citizens born there with no connection other than governmental to the English. in addition you have to account for those considered citizens who were not English but joined in founding America.

And it goes even deeper. This was not about geography. Clearly America bought, stole, and conquered its way across the particular area of North America we occupy. But this was done as an increasing of the same experiment. Looking at it objectively America should have failed in a glorious fashion. It should have collapsed long before the Louisiana purchase. There should have been revolts from all of the different former Germans, Dutch, French, enslaved Africans, and otherwise that would be too much to handle. But while small versions of those did the reason America doesn’t crumble like Carthage(that hurt too), was because it was not an Empire of a particular family, or religion, or ethnic group, or geographic location. This country is the experiment of politics.  As an idea America doesn’t make sense. But because of that it was able to survive an expand. By hook and by crook and of course at the end of rattling sabers, rifles, and small pox infected blankets to be sure. But that is the remnants of the old ways as they evolved into the new. I don’t make excuse for it, I don’t apologize for it, but all also don’t consider it a deal breaker.

See the idea is what has and must continue. Fight a civil war that should have broken the country in half but doesn’t? Did that. Freed slaves and they didn’t found their own country and find ways to constantly stick it to you? Did that? Give women equal citizenship both politically and legally speaking? Did that. You should see the difference here between the old ways and the new. The idea that a government can exist that holds no traditional base of power. That has no nobility. That has never increased its size via bloodlines. That has the same response to its faults no matter what it is. “Oh we’re screwing up? How do we fix that?” There are set backs and America tends to have a long road to acceptance and fixing, but that is only relative to time as we view it in the modern-day. How many centuries did the Songhai empire hold a grudge for what Mansa Munsa did with Mali trying to expand? Ask someone in that area today how they feel about the Moroccan invasion. Heck, ask anyone around now how they feel about the country that used to rule over them. Someone in Tibet might have some feels to tell you about. The bottom line is for there to be progress there must be some who are subjugated. Because we have that expectancy. Because we can’t think of a better way yet.

That’s the rub though as well. How many empires honestly exist today? You can call Japan one if you want, but now you’re playing semantics. No modern-day Ramses, or Genghis is rampaging about the world consuming countries and trying to conquer existence. Because there are better ways to do things one, but also because we have no need for them because the world sees there can be another way. And who is that example? America. At had a friend who is Jamaican by heritage talk to me once about how different we were. And I often look at my friends with there deep seeded connections to Mother Africa and remember when I was on a similar path. But then I talk to old friends with family from Mexico, or Canada, or Columbia, or England, or France, or American Samoa, or Japan, or Singapore. And you know what is odd about that? 300 years ago it would be impossible for all of us to be friends. All of them would likely be in those countries. And I somewhere conquering most of Africa(let’s face it, if it were acceptable to be a conquering super villain Emperor and I had the chance, that is probably what I would be doing) because exploiting weaknesses and giving people hope is kinda my thing. Why is my massive and fairly international set of friends possible? America. Heck why do the same multinational corporations that people despise and protest exist and make things like that iPhone iPad, Galaxy S4, Galaxy tab, Surface, Acer, Lenovo, Kyocera you’re currently reading this on? America.

But I don’t think that the great things about America should allow us to gloss over the bad. They may be remnants of the old ways of humanity, but they still exist. Now don’t take that to mean I’m about to advocate giving the various native tribes their land back. There is more chaos that would come from that than giving black people reparations, and freeing Puerto Rico and the rest of America’s territories. We live in a country where straight men will watch lesbian porn but don’t want lesbians to get married. Where for some reason interracial marriage while legal is seen as something odd, weird, unacceptable, and perverse in the eyes of many racial groups(I do find it odd that it is still mostly black women and white men that have the problem). There is a massive gap between rich and poor. The middle class is disappearing into those two. Women still don’t get paid the exact same as men, and double standards based on long-held beliefs about traditional gender roles for both genders(Don’t tell me you’re liberated and independent then get angry when I turn off the chivalry.  You gotta pick one). There is as fervent a secularist culture as there is a religious culture. People call themselves Christian yet commit acts of hatred that should cause revulsion in true believers. There is a very anti societal progress culture. Police violence is everywhere.

But the experiment holds. America Prevails. Not because of unity. Not because of faith. Not because of patriotism. In spite of all those things. America is unique. America is not an exception, it is THE exception. America is unique. Perfect in its imperfection. A repository of the worst things we can be. Humanity at its darkest, most selfish, and most vile. And a shining example of the best we can be. Coup-less integration, civilized authority, governmental oversight legitimized by the people, made of the people, for the people. And army built not as the culmination of noble houses or allied kinds. Men and women of all faiths and ethnicities giving their last full measure of devotion to the American experiment. That duality. That amazingly terrifying yet immensely beautiful duality that is America is something to wax poetically about. It is something to call exceptional. It is worthy of the large bright shining city on the hill allusion. At the base of the brightest light is the pitchest darkness is it not? On this July fourth I find myself on the edge of my own coronation of sorts. When I pass this bar exam and get sworn in a grand dream will be made real. But that too, my success, my path, my experience and the mentality I have because of it come because of this unique American experience.

Most of you reading are Americans as well(I’m not sorry to the international folks today, it is a day for America after all), so while you think about the bad. While you mull over the points I’ve made. While you let yourself talk about how right or wrong I am think about how different you would be if America never happened. think about how different you would be if the American experiment had failed. Really put some time into what history tells us about the various world powers at the time of America’s founding, and the state of the area of the planet your ethnicity and heritage would have you occupying. Now think about how different your experience would be. I don’t praise or apologize the actions of America over our history. I understand them. I analyze them. I look deeper than my emotional attachment to them. And today I’ve accomplished that. So feel free to honor America like you chose. It is a free country after all. Heck I’d love to see some photos emailed to yourruthlesswonder@gmail.com of you tossing Earl Grey tea into the nearest river. Don’t do that, it is littering and bad for the environment. Go celebrate, be cautious and careful, and enjoy the celebration of our experiment. And then tomorrow go back to helping make this experiment a success. We can’t get starships and replicators without you.

– THE Ruthless Wonder

Quick Note: Because the bar exam is bearing down on me for the end of this month I will be going to a once a week format until after it. I promise a triumphant return the week after, but until then Rufus, Ronin, and some guests will be posting when they can while I focus. I’ll see you once a week.