Over the last two weeks the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, have grown in size, fury, volume. and visibility. Camera phones have recorded not only the most shocking of images but largely the most timely and accurate. From Michael Brown’s dead body laying on the pavement to citizens being shot at with tear gas to Ferguson police pointing assault rifles at media and saying “I will f**king kill you” it has been the most graphic and emotional pictures and footage that has defined the narrative of the Ferguson uprising. It is a narrative that has called into question both the bias of our local and state police departments, as well as the legitimacy of mainstream media in a manner never before seen in America. [Read more…] about #Ferguson: How a Protest Goes Viral
I was raised in the Bronx in the ‘80s at the height of both the crack and AIDS epidemic. My neighborhood gave birth to Pistol Pete and the Sex, Money, Murder set of the east coast Bloods. I had guys I considered family deep in gang life as I had close friends deep in the drug trade. I came incredibly close to having my face slashed one night, something my parents will learn upon reading this. I would learn as an adult that the local precinct had a file on me because they thought I was the local drug runner (I forever wore a backpack and would literally run everywhere). With these facts in mind, popular American culture has a fairly defined idea as to who I am or at least should have been.
[Read more…] about On Donald Glover, Weirdos and the Myth of the Black Male Narrative
Disruptive advertising, disruptive content, disruptive social media, disruptive SEO… The list goes on and on with “disruptive” concepts that, depending on who you ask, are the cutting edge of marketing online and otherwise. Marketing is, after all, where business buzzwords are born (who wants to second screen gamify and deepen our immersive experience and contextual marketing efforts?). Reality check. All marketing efforts are, and always have been, meant to be disruptive. Marketing that doesn’t disrupt doesn’t engage and if it doesn’t engage then it doesn’t impress. [Read more…] about What Dudley Moore and Jay-Z Can Teach Us About Disruptive Marketing
Before I even get into the proposed NFL rule accessing a 15-yard penalty for using the word “nigga” (I refuse to say “N-word” as it is a complete cop-out) in all its iterations on the field, I offer a moment of full disclosure: I don’t use the word, or at least I make a conscious effort not to. This is mostly in deference to my mother who grew up in the midst of Jim Crow and my great-grandmother who was born into slavery (yes, my family is only three generations out of slavery). I have friends and family who do say “nigga” unflinchingly, and for the most part, I pay it little mind.
I start by saying that I have never read any of your work outside of your piece about twerking, and only because the piece flashed through my Twitter timeline. I have to assume that you are a writer of at least some substance to write for a publication like the New York Times. As a writer I aspire to the level of recognition you have clearly achieved. Which is why I can’t understand the motive for delving into a subject to which you clearly were not knowledgeable, even as an attempt at satire. [Read more…] about Circle Twerk in the Media: An Open Letter to Teddy Wayne
The verdict flashed across my iPad. I winced and checked my Facebook knowing what it would look like. My timeline was filled with comments ranging from sadness to near terroristic threats with a sprinkling of pro-Zimmerman sentiment. My Twitter feed was much the same. Between the two platforms over three thousand people on my streams gave the temperature of the nation following the verdict, a virtual heat map that ran across age, race, sex, political lines, and religion. The common thread amongst it all is the power of one hundred and forty characters to render the populace politically inactive. [Read more…] about Trayvon Martin, Social Media and Inactive Activism