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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

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.

Before you Protest: Why the SCOTUS decision today isn’t going to end up as bad as you think.

Seriously people. Read First. Rage Second.

Before you protest, and before I get started.

I want to stress that this post has no affiliation with or is made as a course of any associations with any organizations I have at any point in my life been a member of. Not Palestine Missionary Baptist Church of Jesus Christ. Not Jack And Jill of America Incorporated. Not the NAACP. And not National Black Law Students Association or Phi Alpha Delta or The American Association for Justice. Or ANY OTHERS! I say that because I know full well that what I am about to say is incendiary, and furthermore is likely to turn into some relation of it to my affiliations. It took a 20 minute explanation to my own loving Mother to get her to see what I meant and not respond based on her own experiences with racism, southern Missouri, voting, and well you know, The black Talos, Martin Luther King Jr.

End disclaimer

Introduction for those living under the proverbial rock this morning

The decision in Shelby County v. Holder revolves around Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which establishes a “coverage formula” to determine which states and local governments fall under Section 5, and therefore need to get approval before changing their voting laws. The justices ruled that Section 4 is unconstitutional, and that the formula used for decades — revised and extended several times by Congress — can no longer be used to establish those “preclearance” requirements: “The conditions that originally justified these measures no longer characterize voting in the covered jurisdictions.”  Credit: John Schwartz and The New York Times

The Actual Introduction.

See I like you started looking at all of this in the splashy coverage on CNN, BBC, MSNBC, FOX, Yahoo, Reuters, AP, and of course almighty Google+, twitter, and facebook(Seriously are they giving out Poli Sci degrees or are people just dolts with keyboards? Anyway). And if all you do is check that coverage you see the reactions to the ruling, or reactions to the reactions to the ruling, or of course my personal favorite, a TV talking head getting told the ruling with no explanation other than “struck down enforcement provision” on live air and then attempting to pontificate. I’m sure Olberman via Wherever he’s ranting from, Matthews later on Hardball, Cenk on TYT, and of course O’Reilly on the factor will have better more reasoned approaches with actually information to back them up(HAHA! I’m funny right? Don’t judge me.), but the best way to tell who has a law degree and a political science background is to see how they respond to anything said by the supreme court. It is THE litmus test of  pundit, or idiot.

One thing I tend to not do on purpose is rely on these sources when it comes to The N9ne and when it comes to the Justices of the Supreme Court as well. You might wonder why. Basically it doesn’t matter what they say. Because the reports about the ruling will get out all the info right? WRONG! One of the biggest problems with a supreme court ruling(which you really should have learned with Obamacare) is that the devil really is in the details. For good or ill, the splashy cover story of the ruling is that tip of the iceberg that sinks the titanic. What you don’t see has so much more meat and power to it than what you do. Which of course is why I’m talking about this right now. So to benefit everyone. And to ensure I don’t get off on too many wild tangents(too late). I’m going to break this down a bit like I attempted to hacktivism.

First up is why the ruling is bad, then we’ll talk about the good implications from the backdoor in the ruling, and well I wouldn’t be Lex Luthor of the internet if I didn’t toss in a subversive, revolutionary, yet strangely dictatorial, super villain manner of using this properly in the chess game we call the Federal Government. When I’m done feel free to do all the namecalling(Yeah yeah I’m an uncle Tom/Uncle Rukus. You realize if you read everything you sound stupid calling me that right?), threats(Seriously? My blog hit you that deep you wanna come at me bro?), and vows to never read this again and block me on all social media(Let’s be real you won’t so you can see how I respond. As well as in a week or two at most you’ll realize I’m right and come back) that you want to. But do yourself a couple favors. Wait till I’m done, and share it with anyone you know(I love hate mail to yourruthlesswonder@gmail.com)

Why this may have in fact set America back to the 1950’s America that no one actually liked.

The most difficult reality of all of this for me is that this decision happened. I thought for sure this would not be coming down as it did. Be it out of fear, hope, or some other emotion I truly thought the Voting Rights Act could not be touched, would not be touched by the court. Even in the face of things like the Court’s Affirmative Action decisions, Arizona Immigration Laws, and the impending DOMA decision, I felt like they would view this as a bridge too far. That this was a pillar of America’s commitment to itself. And that no borderline libertarian Chief Justice, or black conservative, or closet Federalist, would allow this to happen. And then they did. Each one in line. Each one loving the idea it seemed. Even a Super Villain has feelings.

The major problem here is that this allows for the restrictions on the changing of voter laws in states where race is in fact still a problem even more so than the rest of the country to just go away. Gerrymandering may in fact be out the door(it is in fact still illegal), but ID’s citizenship tests, general fuckery(sorry for all the cursing Mom) with registrations, as well as the old tried and true methods: poll taxes, literacy tests, location changes without notification, redistricting without notification, variable poll hours; may come back into use. That isn’t good. That is in fact probably the worst thing to come out of this ruling. States, and the greedy bigots, racists, politically correct proponents, and warmongers among us can go hog wild coming up with ways to screw each other and thus all of us out of voting properly.

Make no mistake. Let me make this absolutely crystal clear. Despite its current flaws with campaigns and the lead up to elections, America has bar none the most enduring, profound, and dare I say beautiful legacy when it comes to voting. America is unique. Built on ideology and political experimentation and not on national ethnicity. Those that come after us looked to our example. And the Voting Rights Act is a testament to America’s ability to right itself when it the decisions of the past are found inadequate, unsavory, or incorrect. Today is a loss for that notion of our nation. Today we all took an L. And the sad part is we did not have to. All the Justice League had to do was say nope stands, or nope not reviewing this, or any combination that did not include the words “this is not constitutional.” And they didn’t. So feel free to be angry. Feel free to rant and rave everywhere(does anyone actually use Xanga or Friendster anymore?) You are right to do so. But as you probably guessed, that brings us to my next point. And by God this one’s important.

The Ruling is actually not the death of Civil Rights in America.

The interesting thing about the Supremes featuring Chief Justice Roberts is that they are sort of like The Watchmen. And that tends to bring a “Who watches the Watchmen?” vibe to things. This ruling most certainly brought that to my mind. I can only imagine what more staunch defenders of all things governmental may think on the matter. But this ruling, like many others is not without its backdoors, hidden hallways, and secret cheat codes. That’s why I’m not advocating the launch of some clandestine attempt to accomplish Order 66 but with judges. In fact this ruling happens to have a very large escape pod that we should be using.

The Government has a fallback argument—because the formula was relevant in 1965, its continued use is permissible so long as any discrimination remains in the States identified in 1965. But this does not look to “current political conditions,” Northwest Austin, supra, at 203, instead relying on a comparison between the States in 1965. But history did not end in 1965. In assessing the “current need[ ]” for a preclearance system treating States differently from one another today, history since 1965 cannot be ignored. The Fifteenth Amendment is not designed to punish for the past; its purpose is to ensure a better future. To serve that purpose, Congress—if it is to divide the States—must identify those jurisdictions to be singled out on a basis that makes sense in light of current conditions.

That particular bit of the opinion seems to leave a nice couple of doors open. One all that would need to be done is convincingly show a current, present day reason to set up the VRA. Not simple I grant you. There is a general obstructionist movement going in Big Fed right now. But on this particular issue it might still happen. This also seems to say that if you did the same law but did not exclude states it might work as well. What does this mean? What can this bit of the opinion help? It means Congress(House and Senate) can craft another bill and pass it so long as it meets these standards. The opinion does not say that the VRA itself is unconstitutional. Rather it says that the way they picked who they can use this portion of the VRA is, and that if they wish to do this with the VRA they must either 1. update the requirements and formula; or 2. figure out another way of accomplishing the same goal.

That is far from a death sentence I think you’d agree. It is far from a take to the streets and round up the judges like the rich folks in The Dark Knight Rises(Sidenote: Seriously don’t do that you will go to jail…if the police don’t kill you first.). With the right tweaks the VRA could come back with entirely new justifications and handling things with up to date information which would allow it to survive scrutiny. That would fix all of this and let’s face it. There is one school of thought that the south would use this as a way to stay going hog wild on the subject and we would descend into a voter hellscape that we would and could not return from. But this particular bit is enough to do multiple things that could save the current state of things and start crafting a new VRA that would pass the test. And that is a good thing. As armed rebellions get rather bloody and I’m not ready for my Lex Luthor based Emperorship yet. So how do we use this loophole to right the ship? We act like the exceptional Americans we are. use our worst tactics for a positive end. Which is my third point. Ready? IKUZO!

We must overcome the impossible and kick reason to the curb to pull this off, but it will work. Trust me…

The thing about fixing the VRA is that you have to rely on a few facts. these facts weigh against the better angels of our humanity. They work not because we are good, but because humans can do horrible things to each other. They may require compromise. They may require lots of time. But they will work because unless we all suddenly become the freaking federation from Star Trek(I’m totally Ricardo Montalbán Khan in that scenario), this kind of leverage can/will/has/does work. The idea is simple, and if it isn’t currently being used I’ll be even more disappointed in the people who call themselves civil rights leaders these days(I’m looking at all of you.)

Note: I’m not going to use the more detailed, overly specific version of this plan for time’s sake. I’m doing this version so everyone can understand what I’m suggesting. Politicians, and members of the appropriate governing bodies may get in touch with me for more details to make it all work.

1. Obama(deal with it, dude is still POTUS) signs an executive order allowing the federal agencies which currently utilize his executive power, FBI, DOJ, and NSA to be specific, handle all federal enforcement of voter rights afforded by the constitution and its amendments. Since this would go beyond the VRA and to the specifics of enforcing the constitution, the only gripe one can have is that it is Obama doing that. While I’m not an Obama Stan, the man is in charge, So who else was going to have the power to do this?

Impact: This is likely to be challenged in court, but the amount of time to get this up to the SCOTUS again would take so long it could be rendered Moot by a properly formed VRA. In the meantime this stops shenanigans from going on.

2. A bill that looks suspiciously like the current VRA but instead of going after the old confederate states you just go after all states and territories. By calling this an effort to deal with corruption and voter fraud as well as restrictions on the right to vote. That little bit of language change even with the justifications as used in the 60’s would give the SCOTUS some serious fat to chew.

Impact: Combined with the time to deal with the EO mentioned in 1 that is 5 to 10 years of things being fine before any fallout. I know that looks, feels, and to a degree is kicking the can down the road on the VRA but it is for a reason. And it accomplishes freaking time travel on a government level on the cheap. Roll with it people. Roll with it.

3. NO ONE wants to vote down a new VRA. This is leverage. It must be used as such. Here you use that leverage on two bills. First on the one listed above in 2. The second is on the more properly done version. Seriously put time into actual research which should take at least 3 to 4 years to do on current voting irregularities, discriminatory voting practices, and underhanded districting as well as corruption. Go very hard on corrupt politicians when it comes to votes. Root them out like Elliot Ness and J. Edgar Hoover. Seriously underhanded, black bag, scary government monitoring level stuff. We already believe that the government is waging a silent unseen war against the American people while publically coming after our privacy. Use it to do this. Rely on the likelyhood that no republican tea party or not will want to look like they are anti non-corrupt elections and voting. It will work. Trust me.

4. This goes for any government representative be they Rep, Senator, President, Governor, State Sen, Assemblyman, all of that jazz. Make this a campaign issue. You want to save your ass(sorry again Mom? You want to stay in office? You want to march towards the White House for at least a 4 year lease agreement? Shout how not creating a new and more comprehensive VRA is integral to anyone who claims to want public office. Yell how it strikes at the heart of every American. Call out your opponent for not addressing the issue. Try to one up them when the talk about it in the positive. THIS IS AMERICA! You’ll shout. WE ALL VOTE IN AMERICA BUDDY. PERIOD END OF SENTENCE! Who in their right mind gets on the opposite side of that? No one does. The amount of suddenly glossed over faults will be astounding. You just keep saying it. Work on it and of course pass it. Then you get to look at your opponent and say “I passed laws protecting the voting rights of every red-blooded old glory waving American. Don’t you try and talk to me about patriotism.” No one survives that assault.

The end result here is you make a new VRA, but in the meantime you stop anything going wild. You neutralize the court, but by using its own ruling. In the short term it wouldn’t likely overrule itself. In the long term, well judges step down you know. The goal is to work on fixing the problem while keeping any potential competition occupied and off balance. Like I said, no one in office wants to be all over every media outlet in existence as being against the creation of a new better written version of the VRA. The international vilification of them would be political and possible physical death of them. But they aren’t stupid. They can rock the “this is a good goal, but this version isn’t good.” line of attack so long as you choose to avoid the more radical version of strategy I suggest here.  Trust in my Ruthlessness if you don’t trust in me. If you take my path of Ruthlessness, they will all be left to Wonder as things get done on this.

Saying Goodbye

So that’s my breakdown. That’s my hope. That’s my plan. Can’t say I didn’t bring solutions. Now this may have taken me longer to type and you to read than my discussion with my Mom, but I wanted to make sure it didn’t just sound like I’m THE Ruthless Wonder and I’m right, you’re wrong, so do this. It sounds a little bit like that, but not just like that. Anyway,  share this one. Comment below, email me, retweet me, share me on FB, Reddit, Google+ and hell reblog with proper credits if you feel so inclined. I’d say more and try more to convince you right now but in the end I think we all feel the same no matter what side you were on with this ruling. Words Don’t Do It Justice.

– THE Ruthless Wonder

Before this turns into a rant…

Before this turns into a rant…

I’ve said that phrase a ton of times before. And so have a few of my favorite pundits, journalists, bloggers, and generally opinionated friends. I normally use it to get some salient cohesive objective point in before the rage takes over and I start consuming things. One of the facets of civilized society that normally draws such ire that I have to use this phrase is the arts. Movies, theater, television, literature, music, and the like(admittedly I’m not much on deep art conversations). Often I find myself saying “Before this turns into a rant I actually enjoyed the…” But what causes that? What makes me feel the need to preface and briefly expound before letting loose with all deliberate vitriolic expedience? Well the answer is more complicated than I realized.

You just don’t want to seem unreasonable.

The long of it is no one wants to seem unreasonable in their opinion of something even if the opinion is as simple as The Hunger Games so horridly rips off Battle Royale I wish I could be the one bringing the lawsuit. That shouldn’t need defending. You should be able to just say it and roll. But the reality is even that statement needs some back up in conversation, lest you sound like a bandwagon hater.(Sidenote: A person with an actual reason to dislike something is not a hater. Haters lack reason and logic. Get your mind right simpleton) You have to toss in something specific you can call upon,  the characterization, the background of someone, the allegory, the metaphor, something that gives reason for you to dislike it as revisionist schlock trying to whitewash both its own book source material and the piece the author quite clearly ripped off. To do this you often do something like point out that other casting choices were done well, or the responses to the usual racists comments by people are good to see. They usually aren’t enough on their own but its a good play.

This is only the tip top tip of the iceberg.

The other reason really is that the issue you have isn’t limited to the single source that starts this rant. When you’re really looking to disparage in most cases spans numerous examples and is about the idea behind something and its use as much as it is about that initial setting off point. This can be as simple as believing that in the end people who dislike interracial relationships are antiquated dolts who deserve to lose their breathing privileges. But the reality is that idea goes to something much deeper. The notion that skin color should be in any way a determining factor in who dates/marries/fucks who. The concept that complexion is limited to certain ethnic classifications(A friend with the nickname snowflake(not given by me mind you), who is very much not a nordic blonde comes to mind).  The difference between preferences to help narrow down potential mates being far different from the racist quip; Don’t “holla” at me if you’re (insert race here). Those are really the things the rant is going to be about. but you have to start somewhere right?

You believe people know there is more than just the face value of the statement.

Especially with me, but with a lot of my ranting friends and mentors the above is the unspoken agreement we feel we have with everyone else. People listening to(or in this case reading) your rants already know that your initial point, the objective analysis, and your subjective notions are more than just face value. They may be things you actually value like the idea of what something someone did or a company is doing is more about a respect for a concept or idea or its audience that isn’t usually there. Sure you say: “Sony put the shotgun to Microsoft’s head and told it “Give my regards to Sega.(sidenote: that sentence hurt so bad to type. I loved Sega.).” And its pithy, and quotable, and basically true. But your listeners, readers, and watchers all know that it means you think Sony actually listened to what consumers want, and decided if Microsoft wasn’t going to give it to them then they were, and in return get loads of cold hard cash. And sure you’ll get around to saying that in some way shape or form during your rant, but you wanted to get that sniper shot in asap. There is something to be said here. It is important. But before I get into it laugh at this and let me take you on a wonderful ride of snark, analysis and intellect you probably weren’t expecting about video games, movies, music, or literature. Just everyday territory for you.

But hey that’s me and my ilk. What about you and yours? Leave a comment. Tell a story. If you happen to be a person I referenced above somehow(ranted to you, sparked a rant, explicitly named) feel free to comment. Especially if Sony wants to give me a PS4, Sega wants to send me a classic collector’s edition for the dreamcast, saturn, genesis, game gear, nomad, segaCD, and master system console, and games. Or hey Microsoft, if you feel like I didn’t give you a fair shake, send me an Xbo…X Box One and I’ll give it an honest try. Anyway comment below, email me at yourruthlesswonder@gmail.com, you can also add me on google+ using the same email. Stay tuned. Sorry for the lateness and the first 3R’s segment is coming soon.

– THE Ruthless Wonder

Entertainment and You

Entertainment and You

Is entertainment a form of control used to keep us dumb? First let me say ‘get that tone out of your voice’. This is not a conspiracy theory that I’m stating here, though really i could see how it would all tie into the evil plot used by those shadow organizations to keep the masses in line. No what i’m suggesting is something simpler, but the meaning carries the same weight, if not heavier. Take a list of your favorite TV shows, the ones that you watch faithfully. The ones that you record, watch on NETFLIX, HULU and random streams all across the net. Now add up the ‘time’. You’d be surprised how much of your ‘time’ (if your like some people i know) is being wasted on programs that hold absolutely no real significant meaning in your life.

Everyday i boot up a game and play it for a couple of hours. None of these games have taught me much of anything. The argument for hand eye coordination might be valid, but there have to be more physically demanding ways to improve such a thing without slouching on a couch yelling at  people over a tiny microphone. But still i do it. Still i sit and play my games, marveling at the story, the graphics and maybe even the gameplay when i find something interesting enough. But that does not change my opinion of this subject, out entertainment comes at a heavier price than money.

Perhaps i am being too harsh on such things, maybe just a little too tightly wound for my own good so I’ll elaborate my opinion.

Bioshock. Now there was a game worth its salt. The story was solid, the gameplay had a small but potent twist on first person shooters and the world was vibrant enough to such you in with wonderfully dark character themes. I would dare say that out of all the games i can remember playing; Bioshock was by far one of the best when it came to story….well at least with FPS types. But what did i get out of the disc? Have i gained any knowledge that would benefit me? I didn’t burn enough calories to warrant sitting on my but for a good six hours. I didn’t earn any sort of real achievements  (XBOX Achievements don’t count). The sense of accomplishment was minimal, it wasn’t like i did something that made me better than before, nor was it a task rumored to be impossible. Infact, the whole point of playing the game, of making the game, is so that you can hear/experience the story. Failure in that regard will never be the end result unless you simply give up. Could you imagine the game with no checkpoints, no do overs, and no redemption feature? The chances of success would be so small that only a few would reach the goal, and that my friend would not do for the companies.

So here are the pros of playing and beating Bioshock, at least the pros that carry over into the real world. You witnessed a stimulating story that sparked a small part of your creativity, and now have been introduced into a concept you might not have ever thought possible before. Pro, you’re problem solving skills are still sharp. Nothing else matters. Not the difficulty (unless it effects the ending in a drastic way), not the completion rate(again unless it effects the story), and definitely not the in game achievements. So with three pros we naturally move onto the cons.

Now i can’t say that these cons are the same for everyone, that truly depends on you (just like the pros i suppose) but this is based off of me, so I’ll just use my own list. Con, i just gained excess fat from not burning the calories necessary for the food and drink I’ve consumed. Con, my eyes are just that much more stressed from staring into a screen for a prolonged period of time. Con, i gained no relevant knowledge that will serve me well in my day to day situations. Con, i believe that I’ve simply wasted what is perceived as time.

There could be more cons, and arguably more pros, but i don’t believe the pros will ever outweigh the cons. Sometimes, i understand, entertainment is needed in order to deal with the stress of life. Perhaps the true enemy here is over indulgence, a trait it seems most Americans share. If we limited the time we took to play around in our hobbies or stress reducers we could more than likely live with a better sense of balance. Like all things it seems, balance is the key to true happiness. Take some time and think about it, yea?

Motivation versus Inspiration

[youtube=http://youtu.be/uFaz2GN8FKY]

The above video has nothing to do with today’s post, I just felt like posting it. Hopefully after that verse he dropped Jay Rock is ready to drop another LP finally.

Also before I get going I want to take a moment and let you know the first post from the new 3rd R, Rufus, is coming THIS THURSDAY! So be on the look out for it. I dare say we have the Superhero to balance out my Supervillainry. A Silver Surfer for my Thanos. An Ollie Queen for my Lex Luthor. Holy hyperbole Batman! Exactly. Come read more by this guy. He’s great. He’s an awesome addition, and with the circle complete be on the lookout for a 3R segment coming soon. Now onto my post.

Motivation versus Inspiration

I think a lot can be said for motivation over inspiration.  Despite a lot of people’s thoughts to the contrary I feel the two are vastly different. Personally I’ve long since stopped trying to write via inspiration. I would even go so far as to say that none of my poems are inspirational after a certain point in my writing career. I don’t dig on or off of inspiration anymore. As I was once told, “For poets, inspiration is for suckers.” At the time that seemed like a harsh critique of our art. It seemed cold. Almost robotic. And I never dreamed of this thing I do with lines and stanzas becoming like that. But that was an emotional response. It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I saw the underlying bit that makes that line genius. Inspiration is a passive state of mind that occurs during a point of stagnation. I don’t say inertia for a very specific, science reason. You are usually not doing something and then “inspired” to do so. But writers need to keep writing because otherwise our “muscles” atrophy and we lose skill, or become boring, or just fall off entirely.

This is far different from motivation. Motivation spurs us on to doing something like inspiration yes, but usually we are not at rest. We are dealing with inertia. Constantly going one direction with no external force to cause us to change direction. Motivation is the change in direction. For my writing this was something amazing. I found a creativity I didn’t have before. I stopped waiting on the inspiration to write and just wrote. There is a very marked difference from the works I made before that day and the ones after. Maturity as a person is part of it. Life experience is part of it. But I owe a lot to the idea of motivation being my guide instead of inspiration. The same goes for my non-poetry related writing. Characters are easier to create when you aren’t trying to pull from somewhere out in the ether the moment you need to create them.

And that brings us to everyday life. How often are you subjecting yourself to the whims of inspiration instead of having motivation? Waiting for that one special someone to walk into your favorite coffee shop, bar, club, church, job, supermarket, produce stand, beach,  doctor’s office, best buy, whatever instead of getting motivated to do the things you know make you more noticeable in a good way? I know I have fallen victim to that. How often is there something you are waiting on to happen to be your “sign” to quit that job you hate and start doing the thing you love? I’m not telling you to quit what pays  the bills, but I am saying get motivated to start researching, and investigating the things you need to do what you want, and start doing the ancillary things that should lead up to you leaving that job for a new career doing what you want.

That in the end is the difference between Motivation and Inspiration. Inspiration is so fleeting, so fragile, so impossibly flighty and flaky, not to mention beyond our control, that we do ourselves a disservice by waiting on it. Inspiration can come, and when it does it can help make decisions clear and ideas crystallize. But to wait on it is to lose out on the dreams you have for yourself. To wait is to be stagnate. Stagnation not sleep is the true cousin of death. where you are nothing because you do nothing. Ah but motivation, motivation leads to momentum. Momentum leads to accomplishment. And as you continue to accomplish, you continue to build that personal empire I talked about a while back. Imperial Dreams become motivation when you wake up and start moving. The fuel to press you ever forward towards your goals.

But what do you think? How do you feel about motivation and inspiration? Leave a comment. Like. Share. email me at yourruthlesswonder@gmail.com anything you don’t want here, or questions you might have including topics you want to hear any of us at WDDIJ handle. Be sure to check out the column by our newest on Thursday. We should see a new piece from The Ronin tomorrow. And for now I’m going to get back to other matters I can’t discuss because Words Don’t Do It Justice!

– The Ruthless Wonder

Sometimes you just gotta shake things up

Never let it be said that I will bury the lead. I teased a big announcement last week.

Well it is big.

What is it?

What is the latest shake up around these parts?

Why am I stalling?

First up Our good buddy Roddi was slated to join us with a post over here soon, however a great set of opportunities have come up for him with his music career. We’re a plucky little blog site on the other hand, so he’s going to be joining the ranks of our 4th R guest bloggers with pieces from time to time.

That seems to leave a massive hole where a 3rd R should be doesn’t it?

The kind of hole I’ll need to fill if we’re going to keep honest around here.

Well we already took care of that.

And that’s the second of our announcements.

Please Welcome the New R of the 3 R’s

A man you already know, and have read.

Our first guest blogger, the author of “Can There Ever be Love” and “From the heart with R4Anothermaker himself

Rufus!3rd R

Thank you brother Ruthless for the introduction and the invite, I won’t let you down. The name is Rufus, a twenty-three year old amateur writer with a lot on his mind and more in his heart. My posts are usually a journey inwards, exploring the effects of the world on the way I perceive and react to such events. So if you’re looking for countless questions with only partial answers, my posts will slate that thirst.

His first post will be up soon. So look out for it. It wasn’t even a second thought when we needed to bring in a 3rd R. You all loved his post. I’ve be watching his writing both blog and otherwise. So say hello, check out his first post here again, share, like, comment, email, fan, pin, link, all that jazz.

Not a bad shake up on a holiday huh?

Also. Today is Memorial Day and at WDDIJ we remember those who gave their service no matter the political reasons for the wars they fought in so this nation can continue to be great. America may not be perfect. But those brave men and women gave their last full measure of devotion in perfect sacrifice towards the ideals that we cherish and they swore to protect. Today, though they may no longer be here to see and hear us, we too say, thank you.

memorial-day1

– The Ruthless Wonder