Headlines

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In our current age of information sharing and the dissemination of all things categorized as “news,” I can say without repentance that the media tends to be the enemy of the people. It doesn’t have to be the enemy, and at times, there are spurts of information sharing that not only empower humanity, but even leaves us feeling excited and hopeful. But in general, the news media prides itself on being the bearers of bad news.

Headlines are heat-seeking missiles aimed at the warm-blooded hearts and minds of unsuspecting humanity. They are the bombs of terror intended to remind us that we are the inherently powerless descendants of an inherently powerless ancestry. Headlines are the affirmed tactics of the ruling class–ever threatening us with fear and coercion. Headlines are the weapons utilized by a white supremacist system of violence and oppression, sent to arrest and captivate the consciousness of a people who are already  intoxicated with the delusion of Independence, Justice, and Equality.

Headlines are the evil tapestries woven together to blanket our awareness of the sinister plot to control the collective worldview of those who would be kings, queens, and master’s of their own destinies.

Headlines warn us that there is no refuge, and there is no way of escaping the will of the ruling class…there is no help for us. Headlines tell us that the earth is set for destruction, and that the mountains are about to explode. They tell us that the waters are troubled and that we will all soon die because of it. They inform us that the Monster’s are coming.

Headlines around the world work together as a united front, peddling the same narrative: That we will always be too Hungry, too Angry, too Lonely, and too Tired…and, we will always be powerless, hopeless, fearful, and without peace, with death as our only consolation.

Headlines are the head-rests of a generation of sleepy men, women, boys, and girls who are convinced that the experiences they fear most will, indeed, overwhelm their lives…and there is nothing they can do about it.

Headlines shall remain the exaggerated, distorted, and biased voice of the ruling class. Headlines will always aim to scare the shit out of us. They perpetually brand our psyches with hot topics that force our awareness that the world is a dangerous place and that most of us will always be victims. Headlines are crafted by the Oracles of White Supremacy ever reminding the rest of us that as underclass, bottom-feeders, we exist for one purpose alone: As footnotes in the historical narrative of the white male, the Christian God he created in his own image, and his fear-based delusions of Grandeur, and his power thirsty quest to proliferate the lie that is White Supremacy.  And we are forced to read all about it via our daily “news” Headlines.

 

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Trouble Staying Optimistic?: THE OPTIMISTS’ CREED

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In order to acquire in anything in life, the most essential quality one must possess is the belief in the possibility of attainment. If a person does not first believe that a goal is attainable, than all action towards attainment will be half-hearted and counter-productive.

Optimism is the fundamental premise necessary for achievement. Unfortunately, many people are trapped in the idea of wanting to experience things that that they unconsciously doubt they ever will. Optimism is an inward disposition characterized by a person’s attitude and behavior. They always lean in the direction of what is possible vs. what is impossible. They possess the openness and the willingness to develop the discipline necessary to achieve what they desire.

Many become the opposite of optimism, which is called pessimism. Pessimists are people who have strong desire to have and experience things that they believe are not likely to happen. The pessimists’ motto is: “Anything that can go wrong, probably will” (murphy’s law). Pessimists generally aren’t willing to take risks, and can often be described as chronic complainers, and people who are usually not supportive of the efforts of others.

Pessimists are haters not to be judged. We often have little idea as to how pessimists become that way. Most likely, it has to do with having had a history of disappointments that they never learned to recover from. The fear of failing becomes stronger than the faith to try, and so they don’t, while yet maintaining the desire to experience certain ideas. In addition, they also struggle with Optimists–people in general who demonstrate a strong self-confidence and the willingness to do whatever the deem necessary towards achieving their ideas.

Whatever the reason, there are many who struggle with finding their inner optimism. So I’ve decided to post what I believe can be of great help to those who struggle. There a few guiding principles that can help a person get started down the road to being Optimistic. These principles have been of great help to me, and I’m sure they will help those stranded in the pit of pessimism as well. It begins with reconstructing a person’s entire system of belief. I hope this helps someone.

THE OPTIMISTS CREED by Christian D. Larson

  • To live in faith that the whole world is on my side
  • To be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind
  • To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person I meet
  • To make all of my friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them
  • To look at the sunny side of EVERYTHING and make my Optimism come true
  • To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best
  • To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own
  • To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements of the future
  • To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature I meet
  • To give so much time to improving myself that I have no time to criticize others
  • To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble
  • To think well of myself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words but in great deeds.

We are what we do repeatedly. I believe that if we visit this list on a daily basis, and perhaps even throughout the day, we’ll begin seeing a very strong manifestation of our Optimism and begin cultivating our faith by taking decisive action towards desired goals and ideas. Be well.

 

 

The Celebrity Syndrome

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THE CELEBRITY SYNDROME

The Celebrity Syndrome is a phrase that I’ve begun using recently to describe the incessant human need for attention. It’s not meant to be a judgement, nor am I implying that attention-seeking as a natural human trait is a negative thing. But, as an observer of human behavior in general, including my own, I’ve noticed that most of us (if not all) share a common need to be noticed, acknowledged, and ultimately praised. However, for some, that need can become insatiable and can develop into a major obsession. Although I do believe that we are all born with an innate craving for attention, I do not believe that all of us will distort that craving into unhealthy degrees of attention-seeking.

The Celebrity Syndrome is a bit more insidious than just your everyday, ordinary attention-seeking. It is when a person is convinced that their successes and failures in life are inextricably tied to other people’s perception of them. 

The Celebrity Syndrome is when a person develops schemes and strategies deliberately designed to generate a “buzz” about them which attracts all the sought after attention.  It doesn’t really matter whether that buzz is in Hollywood, or a person’s own neighborhood, as long as their names conjure up images of some self-styled Svengali who seemingly “has it all together.” Tragically, many will do anything to make a name for themselves, and will imagine all types of schemes in order to project a certain perception of themselves on to others.

I was thinking about this recently in light of the recent news story regarding actor Jussie Smollett, one of the co-stars of the hugely popular Fox TV show “Empire.”

As the story goes, Jussie told Chicago Police Department last month that 2 men attacked him near his apartment, put a noose around his neck, poured a suspicious liquid substance on him during one of the coldest nights in Chicago, and yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him. Jussie, who is both, black and gay, emerged from the incident with bruised ribs, a cut on his face, and an upside down smile. A few weeks later, CPD began saying that Jussie was lying about the entire incident. Whether Jussie’s version of the story is fact or fiction remains to be seen at this point. Although there are certain aspects of this case that just do not make any logical sense, I’ve decided to just let the whole thing play out and reserve judgement until after.

My purpose in bringing up this story is not to suggest in any way that Jussie Smollett is guilty of making a false claim, but rather to highlight the reality that people really do make up shit up for attention. There are so many stories in recent American history about people fabricating stories in order to elicit specific responses from the public, only to have it revealed that the stories were either blatant fiction, or gross exaggerations. And for what? All for the purpose of what we all commonly refer to as “15 minutes of fame.”

Although typically when we think of the word “celebrity,” we think Hollywood. However, celebrities are created everyday, in everyday situations, among everyday people. A person can claim celebrity status among family members, friend circles, on the job with co-workers, and even in their own neighborhoods. Any scenario where a person becomes a primary focus of attention and/or topic of discussion among entire groups of people,one might declare celebrity status, even if this status is but a mere delusion in the mind of the subject.  People enjoy believing that they are living rent-free inside other people’s heads.

In Hollywood when a person wants to increase and capitalize off of their celebrity status, they do things for attention. Even when unflattering news stories come out about a celebrity’s private life, in many cases, they will allow  those stories to persist without any effort to circumvent them. There’s an ancient Hollywood axiom that says: “When people are talking about you, it’s a good thing. It’s when they’re not talking about you that you should worry.” In the world of Hollywood there is no such thing as “bad” press.

And so it is with everyday people. Again, there is nothing inherently wrong with a basic human need for attention. The Celebrity Syndrome becomes a thing when a person’s entire self-concept is built on the faulty premise that other people’s thoughts, opinions, and attitudes are what make them who they are. The truth is, we can’t control other people’s perceptions of us. Trying to do so is an exercise in futility. But sadly, even when this realization occurs, people become emotionally and psychologically belligerent, even to the point of concocting ridiculous, bullshit-filled drama that will generate the kind of attention needed in order to feed their EGO. They become completely unhinged…willing to sacrifice their entire lives (family, career, and dignity) in order to maintain the illusion of celebrity level status. They become completely oblivious to the reality that they are potentially causing plenty of collateral damage in the lives of people who aren’t even aware of that person’s neurotic quest for attention. People are murdered over this kind of stuff. Lies are told, and entire families are destroyed as a result of this dangerous obsession. The Celebrity Syndrome is an insatiable need to believe that you are a god in the minds of others. This “syndrome” is indeed some sick shit.

The point I’m attempting to make here is that so much of society’s identities and self-worth are attached to the craving for attention. There is an insidious and relentless fear that if people don’t pay attention to us, then we’ll somehow cease being valuable. The fear is that unless we have the inordinate amount of attention required to feel like a worthy human being, then our living is in vain. Celebrity Syndrome is when we  we believe that we are lacking the proper attention that we crave incessantly, then the deficits of our souls intensifies, causing us to become completely irrational in our thinking. This is no way to live.

NO ONE WANTS TO BE IGNORED. But, it is also true that no one should spend unreasonable and inordinate amounts of time and energy trying to superimpose any particular narrative of themselves onto others, especially if/when it requires all forms of dishonesty and deceit.  The destructive nature of The Celebrity Syndrome is sure to end in much shame, embarrassment, and absolute humiliation, and in some cases even death. Again, this is no way to live.

My Thoughts:

The key to treating The Celebrity Syndrome is Self-Awareness. Meditation is the art and science of being still, calming the mind, acknowledging fears, and remains one of the most valuable tools in human existence. Realizing that every thing that you effectively need for your personal well-being and success is already “in the house.” WE are what we are looking for. That which we find inside of ourselves is all the equipment that we’ll ever need. Concocting schemes in order to get love, romance, money, power, and fame may get you invited to the party, but without a truly refined sense of self and well-being, eventually people will discover how fraudulent you are. Why chase what you already inherently possess?? Relax, and learn how to be content as you are in this moment. Reputation is what other people think you are, but Character is the internal work you’ve done on yourself when no one else was around that results in Integrity being your greatest asset.

What’s In a Name: Alchem E. Blakk

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 I Am Alchem E. Blakk. Of course this is not my government name, but rather, a play on the term ALCHEMY. (Feel free to research the original use of the word)

The name Alchem E. Blakk was born out of my personal spiritual philosophy and practice, which emphasizes mindfulness meditation. One of my many goals with daily meditation is to maintain a sense of engagement with the mental science of Alchemy.

For me, mindfulness meditation is a critical piece to my personal spiritual growth and development. Alchemy is the process of perfecting myself, with the primary emphasis on process, not perfection. Meditation allows me to be aware of the various energies moving in and out of my life. These energies are both psychological and physiological. My thinking is what empowers my behavior. Imagination and Impulses come from both inside of me and outside of me. My intention in the process is to transmute/transform those energies through stillness, awareness, and repentance (rethinking). I hope to attain a sense of balance, neutrality, and equanimity…a life free of extremes.

Meditation is my laboratory, and Alchemy is my process. The key for this Alchemist is to always be awake and aware in the Lab. To always be ready and willing to transmute/transform the energies, from negative to positive. 

As Alchem E. Blakk , I am not obsessed with obtaining any magical, illusory elixirs, but instead, I concern myself primarily with learning to love and accept myself as I am, and the internal journey of realizing my own self-worth. Equanimity NOW is both my journey and my destination–suffer-free living, one day at a time.

Welcome to DrapetomaniacBlog

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Greetings and Salutations. Welcome to DrapetomaniacBlog. I am your host, @Alchem E. Blakk.

I’m an Unapologetic Black man currently living in the Bronx, NY. In terms of pedigree, I am no one in particular. I’ve lived life. I’ve been where I’ve been, seen what I’ve seen, done what I’ve done, and I am who I am. No apologies.

I’m a spiritual man–spiritual, but not necessarily religious. I was born and raised in the traditional Black Church, although I currently subscribe to no particular religion. I have a useless Master’s Degree in Theology, which merely indicates that I have a very strong penchant for contemplating, discussing, and contextualizing all things related to “God.”

I use the term “God” very loosely. Although I am not necessarily theistic (anymore), I am also not an Atheist. I simply embrace the reality of The All Encompassing experience that most of us refer to as God. I have no particular doctrinal dogmas to superimpose onto anyone. I like the term “OMNIST,” which simply means that I value and learn from ALL faith traditions and disciplines…I hold no religious institution superior to another. I do not entertain the concept of devils, demons, ghosts, heavens, nor hells. I view ALL antagonistic/adversarial experiences as illusions and delusions that are the product of a fear-based EGO. There is no God but “God” (in me).

Politically, I identify with Liberalism. As long as government has as it’s agenda to protect the natural rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness for all citizens, I’m all in. I’m always open to discourse and subsequent change. I’m not married to, nor am I against any traditional values. America is not a Theocracy. Theoretically, it is a Democracy. We are a nation of written rules that are (theoretically) authorized, and approved by the people, regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

So what the hell is DrapetomaniacBlog???

In short, I define Drapetomania as An overwhelming urge to run away.

Run away from what?

Anything. Whether it be home, a negative situation, personal responsibilities, or even escaping ourselves. When the desire to Escape becomes bigger than the pain of sticking around with any person, place, thing, or system (whether theological, political, or cultural), then one could be diagnosed as a Drapetomaiac.

Drapetomania is the idea of freedom. It is the hunger for relief. It is the idea that I am not maximizing my life’s potential to be, do, and have the life that I imagine for myself.

Drapetomania is the realization that I can be better, I can do more, and also, that I am enough as I am NOW.

Drapetomania (pronounced Dray-pet-O-mania) was developed in the 1800‘s by a man named Samuel Cartwright. He coined the term to describe a literal disease of the mind. This term was used in reference to slaves (only) who acted on their compulsions to escape. This phony science was developed to brand all slaves who possessed an intrinsic belief that they were created to be free, diagnosing them as mentally ill and delusional. Drapetomania was an actual diagnosis developed out of this pseudoscience in order to stigmatize and control slaves. Drapetomania is not, nor was it ever an actual disease.

I use the term “Drapetomaniac” metaphorically.  I have always struggled with self-imposed (mental) limitations and “enslavements.”  I have never believed in being submissive or knee-bending to any person, place, thing, or idea, especially to the degree of Sovereignty. I am inferior to no-thing nor any-one. I am not mentally dull or lethargic. I am not void of critical thinking skills, and I am fully capable of drawing my own conclusions about matters that are important me. And, ultimately, I am not obligated to stay with any person, place, thing, or system that does not value me or my best interests. My allegiance is to Alchemy–expansion of my God-self. Everything else is subject to be met with a clear and decisive “Fuck It.” I have an intrinsic and insatiable need to grow, and I must remain free to do so.

So, then, this blog is simply me attempting to identify (not compare) with the life experiences and journeys of fellow Drapetomaniacs. I realize that I am not alone in my journey, and neither are you. The journey is a simple, conscious, and complex one. 360 degrees of perpetual spiritual and social evolution.

Thank you. And again…welcome.