THE MYSPACE FILES (nolo) - VOL. 1
This was the last blog I wrote for Rupert, Tom and Co. From this point, I'm probably going to go backwards from the final post to the first. We'll see if it makes sense, a'la Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt concert in NY last year. If it is not clear, don't fret. It just means that your comprehensive reading skills are shot to shit. Which is ok with me, oh my brothers and sisters.
STEP YOUR MIND UP.
Last Call for Alcohol
Current mood: satisfied
I could talk about so many things right now. Politics, Hip-Hop, family, friends, enemies or just any type of sheer fuckery that I might come up with at the last minute. This is, after all, my last blog for the year.
I had several ideas. One was to create a short fictional story about a writer having to choose between his "tool" and his "weapon." After little personal contemplation, I decided to save that one for commerce. Not to belittle the people who read these blogs, but I really have to save something for the cash register, don't I?
Before I started writing blogs, I had no idea that they were really as powerful as they are. I just kept hearing that they were going to take over the media, in one way or another, and it didn't take too many bellweathers for me to get involved. I'm glad I did, because to this day I keep being surprised at how many people read what I write on this page. I have to assume that at least 25% of the readers don't even have Myspace pages, but they read it and pass it along to other people.
Another reason why blogs are important is because you would never have heard about the Jena 6 or any other outrageous injustices going on in the modern world without bloggers. People just like you and I, who decided to put their thoughts into the mainstream without having to be edited by censors, corporations or conglomerates. While you were sleeping, power came back to the people.
But still, this blogging stuff can become consuming. Every time I experience something new, my instinct has been to share it with the world. I don't think there is a problem with that, but I do have an issue with somebody, somewhere, making a brutal shitload of money from people like me who are willing to contribute intellectual property to a middleman. Please believe that Myspace's founders, Tom and whoever else, made a killing - not only from the sale of the website to Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp (which just recently bought The Wall Street Journal - pay attention), but also by simple advertising. Who wouldn't want their product or service in front of a hundred million confused young people who post pictures, personal information and blogs for the world to see, just for their own amusement?
(YOUNG RUPERT MURDOCH - CAPO DI TUTTI CAPI of the American Media)
Are you following?
Forgive me if I sound cocky. I admit that I come off that way a lot, even though I'm neither arrogant nor conceited. I don't have time to act like I'm better than anyone else. If I really want to be recognized for being different or special, it comes from hard work and dedication. Nothing else, except of course living a life that would make God and my mother proud. But if I do sound cocky sometimes, it's only the natural reflex of me having to dig within myself for my original confidence. I didn't come from being anything but hard-headed, but that's what got me where I am today. I don't always listen, but when I do, I make sure I hear everything. So when I say something, I tend to believe it.
I'm too good for Myspace.
I've been allowing this great internet site to distract me from devoting my time to my own possibilities. And contrary to what we've always heard, it's harder to break a good habit than a bad one. I never felt like any of my time or ideas or honesty had been wasted in these blogs. I've felt more like this has helped me to grow a lot more than I can probably see right now. But the time has come to close up shop.
I'm going to go into withdrawals similar to an alcoholic as soon as I wake up tomorrow. It doesn't seem like I'm saying enough, and already I can tell that I'm going on, and on, and on... But what more can I say for free, for now? God knows I'm not financially comfortable enough to give away free samples forever. Is that what Microsoft did? Starbucks? Sony Music? (taking a deep breath...)
Sidney Poitier told me something one day, a few years back, while we were walking on the beach in California (REAL TYPE).
He told me that I needed to understand the words "providence" and "serendipity." He explained both words individually, then made a point about how they fit together in a perfect order. Using them wisely, once understood, would give me the best direction for my life that was available. He didn't invoke God, he didn't try to make himself seem like an authority and he didn't try to over-explain. Simple and plain, he told me that anything worth having is worth working and waiting for. Some things are worth eternity. And some aren't worth tomorrow.
I (still) get a natural buzz, just rememering that whole scene. I hadn't been drinking or smoking, but I remember feeling high and drunk off of life. I remember being ready to come back home to Alabama, ready to face the adversity. All along, I had asked God and myself, "Why me? Why haven't I gotten what I deserve for doing so many good things?" Suddenly, I was struck with a new question for myself. "Why not me? What makes me so special that I get to break tradition and avoid the hard work that predates recognition? Isn't it a prerequisite to maturity to go though the trials of being a young, confused adult?"
That decision to face life has proven to be both the worst and best thing that I ever experienced. It made me focus on my own pain, my own stuggles and my own fear. It made me confront reality. It made me start waking up earlier and working later. It made me stop seeing people as victims and start seeing them as sleeping giants. And it made me respect time, truth and the concept of dedication to a life's work, even through the adversity.
Now that I've turned 30, I feel like I have a license to be exactly what I want, without having to accept anyone's opinion or feedback if I don't feel that it is constructive. I'm on a positive kick for the rest of the year, and if that means I have to retain my thoughts just to concentrate my energy, that's just what the eff I'll do.
Remember this until the next time I write something publicly: I am no different from you. I write because it is the best way to release my cluttered and long-winded thoughts without being interrupted or misinterpreted. We all have natural talents. Once identified, it's up to us to draw the line and say, "This is my career, or at least the best chance I have to change my life for the better in the short term." And before you know it, the short term becomes the long haul, and you've retired with a lovely house, a beautiful wife and a family of adorable kids. And there's money in the bank, food in the refridgerator and new ideas to discover, even as you go into your eighties. Life can be good, but only if you make it do what you demand.
So that's it. Thank you from my gut for reading so much insanity. Look for a book next year. And to wrap it all up, here are some of my favorite quotes:
"Without a struggle, there can be no progress." - Frederick Douglass
"The future belongs to those who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X
"One cannot hold a man down in a ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him." - Booker T. Washington
"A little less complaint and whining, and a little more dogged work and manly striving, would do us more credit than a thousand civil rights bills." - W.E.B. Dubois
"Every man and woman is born into the world to do something unique and something distinctive and if he or she does not do it, it will never be done." - Benjamin E. Mays
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." - Maya Angelou
"I am not going to die, I'm going home like a shooting star." - Sojourner Truth
""Tremendous amounts of talent are lost to our society just because that talent wears a skirt" - Shirley Chisholm (an ill quote on many levels...)
"What God intended for you goes far beyond anything you can imagine." - Oprah Winfrey
"No matter how far a person can go the horizon is still way beyond you." - Zora Neale Hurston
"Those that don't got it, can't show it. Those that got it, can't hide it." Zora Neale Hurston