Don’t Settle

Don’t settle for just a gemstone when yours can also be a himstone.

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A Big Difference

Don’t settle for Mother Nature’s carbon when your diamond can have your mother’s.

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Bad Boys

The primary reason that most of us watch fictional movies is to subject our minds and emotions to experiences that carry no real life consequences. We get to cheat at life. We all hunger for some experiences that are not part of our realities. Sometimes this hunger is for what is dangerous or not good for us. Bad Boys (1983) satisfies such a hunger. The writing is brilliant. Sean Penn and Esai Morales are sensational. This powerful film has a lot to digest. Bring your appetite.

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Crumb

I can’t draw to save my life. I have always wished that I could. When I was in junior high, I had my father buy me a copy of How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way by Stan Lee and John Buscema. This excellent book ended up being a waste of money. When I saw that the exercises did not come easy for me and that I was going to have to develop my drawing skills through a lot of effort and dedication, I lost interest. This ordeal augmented my admiration for cartoonists. I came across Crumb (1994) in a documentary film class that I took in college. I was astonished. I lost my affinity for Robert Crumb very early but never for this fantastic peek into his reality. He is a gifted cartoonist with a twisted mind. Perhaps his work’s impact would suffer if he wasn’t so twisted. Perhaps this documentary’s impact would suffer if he wasn’t so twisted. Watch this film and see what you think.

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Pop Life

Most of us make a living by doing what we need to do and not, necessarily, what we want to do. We all can’t live out our dreams. Make sure that yours are within reach. Never put all your eggs in one basket. Pop Life (1985), by Prince, has some very good points. Listening to its lyrics can be a bit depressing for all of us who are living life without the pop. This happens to be a small price to pay for a song that sounds so great.

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People With Pulses

No one with a pulse belongs in the earth for an extended period of time.

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From The Eyes Of Babes

When I was around six years old, I used all of my strength to pick up my television from my nightstand. It was much heavier than it looked. I fell back. The next thing I knew, I was sandwiched between my television and my bedroom’s floor. My mother heard the fall and rushed into my room with a belt. She proceeded to beat me with the television on top of me. My dad came in and covered me. He lifted the television off of me and took me to the hospital for x-rays. Luckily, I had no broken ribs. All of this transpired because I was pretending to be the Hulk. The Incredible Hulk (tv series) was broadcast by CBS from 1978 to 1982. I loved this show as a boy. All of these years since, I have proclaimed that The Incredible Hulk was the most amazing show that I have ever come across. You could imagine how excited I was when I obtained the complete television series on DVD.

I watched the episodes in order and stopped halfway through the second season. I could not bare to sit through another episode. I realized that this is a terrible show. It is utterly dense. I felt ashamed for liking this show as a child. Then it hit me. Adults never really enjoy movies or television shows in the same manner as children do. Children have a purity that allows them to enjoy works that are simple. This purity exists on intellectual and emotional levels. This is nothing to be ashamed about. It’s wonderful. Children are deeply affected by the slightest impacts to their emotions and intellects. When we are children, everything is new. We do not have that “seen that already” mind-set when we seek enjoyment. This comes later and it prevents us from enjoying works that are less sophisticated. This is something that we should all keep in mind before shelling out the bucks on favorite works from our childhoods. I know I will.

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One More Time

When you need to keep yourself from altogether losing it, try talking to yourself. Lolly Vegas recommended this approach when he wrote One More Time (1974) for Redbone. I love this song and the logic behind it. If we keep giving ourselves one more time before we lose our sanity, then we will always have it. I’ve even found that talking to myself is an effective way to deal with my obsessive-compulsive disorder. Listen to Lolly’s lyrics. This song is therapeutic. 

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Sometimes It Snows In April

I have never been able to control my laughter. If something makes me laugh, nothing else matters. You could tell me to stop with a gun to my head and it would make no difference. This fault has become a serious issue on occasions when laughter is inappropriate. Let’s just say that I have gotten myself into a lot of trouble. I have even hurt others. When I was around ten, I had a best friend named Jonathan. His mother was driving us to their house. Jonathan had shotgun while I sat behind his mother in the back seat. Various sizes of full moving boxes were next to me in the back and between Jonathan and his mother in the front. We made a stop. Jonathan got out of the car and delivered a box to a family friend. When he came back, he tried to open the passenger side door but he had locked it.

Jonathan’s mother tried to reach over and unlock his door but the boxes were in the way. She asked me to try but I could not reach over the boxes that were in the back seat. She removed the keys from the ignition and slid them across the top of the car to Jonathan. He looked at the keys but did not know which of them was the right one to use. At this point, I started to laugh. His mother heard me and she began laughing too. He started trying every single key on the keyring in the car door’s lock. He even tried the house key. By this time, I was laughing hard and so was his mother. He had no idea because all the windows were rolled up.

Jonathan’s mother figured that the best thing for her to do was to make another attempt at reaching over the boxes. She tried again as Jonathan continued to try every key on the keyring. On this attempt, her fingers just barely reached the door. She unlocked it. She told Jonathan to open the door but the windows were rolled up and he did not hear her. The more that I tried to suppress my laughter, the more it came. She seemed to be having the exact same problem. She kept telling him to open the door and then finally it happened. Jonathan found the right key. He stuck it in the door and locked it again. I laughed harder than I have ever laughed in my life. His mother couldn’t restrain herself either. Jonathan kept pulling on the door handle. He could not figure out why the key had turned but the door was still locked.

After a short while, Jonathan tried the same key again and unlocked the door. He saw that his mother and I were laughing at him and he began to cry. His mother stopped laughing. I tried but I could not stop. I ended up biting down on the sides of my mouth but this did little to supress the laughter that was bringing tears to my best friend’s face. I am reminded of those tears whenever I hear Prince’s Sometimes It Snows In April (1986). I can’t help but to think of my friend’s tears when Prince sings about the tears of his friend. I enjoy this song but never without guilt.

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Hold On (Change Is Comin’)

Life is a journey. At times, it is a desert journey. Seeing distant palm trees and spring water can motivate us as we proceed. This motivation is what’s important. The trees and water may be a hallucination. This does not matter. Fulfilling the journey is what we need to be concerned about. If believing that things are going to get better helps us to find strength, then more power to us. Things may end up getting worse. This does not matter. What matters is that one’s spirit is not broken. Hold On (Change Is Comin’) (1997), by Sounds Of Blackness, helps me to keep my spirit up. I hope it can do the same for yours.

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