Archive | January, 2017

Forty

25 Jan

My first weekend post birthday was nearly over

by the time I realized my new age.

Los Angeles? More like Lost Angeles

Sitting in the McDonald’s drive thru

trying to figure out the best way to get to the airport.

 

By my calculations, I was nearly 60 in white people years.

Cuantos tienes anos meeester?

Old enough to know better.

 

Every day just got sweeter

knowing we are never guaranteed  to

see another set of birthday candles to extinguish.

 

The existing barbarism  woven deep

within our society’s fabric

has been lying low and dormant,

a fact that we forgot about not because it was hiding,

but rather because we refused to acknowledge it

until it became too obvious to ignore–

Kinda like when someone’s urethra stops itching

only to give way to a  burning sensation.

 

Time to flip the script (again).

The board has changed

and what I’ve suspected and feared for 17 years 

is finally coming to fruition.

I’ve been right all along but didn’t want to believe it.

 

Shifting from apathy to anger, from disbelief to resignation

it was hard to muster up enough grief to feel sad for us.

We were getting what we deserved.

But there was no reason to ever be afraid again

because the worst case scenario was indeed happening.

 

 

Even those fortunate enough to survive the next 4 years

would be leaving something behind that they may never get back.

 

 

The drive thru cashier handed me my coffee

and pointed me in the direction of the airport.

 

I pulled out of the parking lot and took a right on La Brea Avenue

and drove back towards the direction I came from.

 

I wasn’t sure where I was going to end up

or how I was going to get there,

but I had a pretty good idea of where I should start.

 

 

~Edward Austin Robertson

 

 

 

 

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Mexico City Revisited and Other Thoughts

3 Jan

My visit to Mexico was a very educational one. I do believe I saw the future of the United States hidden somewhere down there. The wealth disparity between rich and poor, educated and uneducated hints at what is to come here in the states. I remember reading back in the year 2000 that the election of Bush (among other lame brain decisions) signaled a decline within the middle class. 15 years later we are seeing the effects, including the anger and frustration for middle to lower class whites that resulted in the election of Donald Trump.

You can check out my photos from my trip here on Flikr.

  • Mexico is an interesting and massive country (imagine if California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado and Texas were still owned by them). There is so much to see.
  • Christmas in Oaxaca was a very festive one. The parade and fireworks showed me a side to the holidays that I’d never associated with this time of year. I really dug it.
  • Colima  was pretty awesome and very beautiful. Mountains and fresh air were the most memorable parts for me.
  • The food in Mexico City paled in comparison to the Oaxacan and Colima cuisine. As a matter of fact, I doubt I will ever go back to the old D.F. A lot of people like it, but I’m cool on Mexico City. Too big. It reminded me of all the worst parts of Manhattan, my least favorite borough in New York City.
  • I may have seen exactly four black people the whole time I was in Mexico. When I was flying out to Oaxaca out of Benito Juarez Airport I was into a guy in a Yankees hat. WE were in line for Starbucks and once we figured out the other spoke English, we had a great conversation. “Ease back bruv, I’m from London.” He told me when I struggled to engage him en Espanol.  Anyway he said he had been living in Mexico City for 2 years and had seen MAYBE 25 black people in that time period. He also said that every interaction pretty much mirrored the one we had at the airport. On an unrelated note, he had a pretty cute Paraguayan girlfriend (totally my type too) that he was going out of town with. She was really friendly and made me consider how long I plan to be single (and consequently celibate).
  • Seeing so much of Mexico these past 2 years makes me want to see what the deal is with Spain. I’m especially interested in the Moorish architecture in Spain. The Spaniards were some bad mufuckas back in the day, and everyone felt their presence back when they reigned. I need to see what is up out there. From what I hear though they do not care for people of my complexion. Will they run me out like they did the Moors and Jews? Stay Tuned….

 

2016 was a super rough year for a lot of people. In the midst of all the chaos I somehow let myself go. Over the break I looked into the mirror and saw a shirtless flabby middle aged dude who at best would be rated a 6 on a 1-10 scale. When I graduated high school I was a 9 (in my mind), trim and confident. 20 years can’t feel any further away.

The bar has been set low enough that 2017 HAS to be a better year. I gotta lose weight and get back in shape. In addition to that I’ve got enough unfinished projects to keep me awake for the next six months. In a way the current political and social climate has given me a better perspective because now I really am forced to live every day as if it could be my last.

It makes sense that Buddhism was such a popular philosophy back when the life expectancy was so low. Today we have enough modern day conveniences to distract us from just how flimsy life is. Back then you couldn’t ignore it. People could be more barbaric without consequence, diseases were less treatable and there was very little escape from the elements.

We might be at that place in our society again. It doesn’t mean we should be capricious and irresponsible, in fact; just the opposite. I plan to live each and every day with attention and intention. Small goals will signal daily wins, and if I’m lucky enough to be standing at the end of the year, I will celebrate like I won an NBA championship. Perhaps life has always been this fragile, but for better or worse, it is a fact that is impossible to ignore today.

 

BM

1995

3 Jan

Some of the best days of my youth

were spent lounging at my buddy Ricky’s house

after school; watching videos on Rap City, reading the Source Magazine and

eating tortillas and homemade salsa.

Talking Wu-Tang Clan, girls, Cypress Hill and baseball.

Life never got any easier than back then.

 

~Edward Austin Robertson