All In The Same Gang?
What do you get when you combine an underemployed segment of the population, uneducated masses, and minimal programs to address them or their feeling of despair for the foreseeable future? The answer is OPPORTUNITY; An opportunity to instill purpose in an impressionable and idle mind with no current guidance or direction.
Where there is nothing to lose, anything and everything is deemed a gain (depending on how you define victory.) The void produced by a lapse in guidance, parental or otherwise, unapologetically opens up space desperate for fulfillment. How does that vacuum get filled? Who will take advantage of this? Will these young minds be molded to help society and woven into its’ fabric or discarded and needled out?
These are far from new questions, problems or concerns. They are however local, national and foreign issues rising to the forefront in conjunction to produce a global crisis. So it’s not just in “their” front lawn anymore but also in “our” backyard. The theory of a global village is no longer a myth, it is an undeniable reality. The ease and ubiquitous nature of communications provide the perfect platform for the banding of like minded individuals. Whether it’s ranting about political views or searching for the feeling of inclusion, the empathetic audience has expanded on a global scale.
Various groups, gangs and institutions readily welcome wandering souls with open arms to carry forth their agenda. Whatever thoughts and ideologies those groups harbor, be it well intended or ill conceived, they present choices to be leveraged, once again, for better or worse.
So if the Devil’s workshop having an abundance of idle hands remains a common global issue, why hasn’t it ever been addressed? The answer is simple; Who cares when the issue stays local or national to somewhere or someone else? Common issues are after all, for commoners. Suffice it to say the entities that benefit from these lost souls have no vested interest in amending the status quo.
When taken into account globally, these issues are more perplexing and difficult to sweep into the subconscious. In essence, whether ignored or not, “their problem is our problem and our problem is their problem.” All stakeholders are confronted simultaneously with no definitive end in sight.
The time has more than come where we should be focused on the next wave of potential outliers and how to bring them closer to the curve. Inclusion minimizes the bi-products of delusion and the mere presence of choices inherently reduces the potential for hopelessness.
As with any other issue in life, the first step is to admit there is one. The sooner we do, the quicker we can create legitimate programs that really address the matters at hand. The second step is to reach out to the more susceptible youth by identifying who they may be. Just look around neighborhoods anywhere in the world for conditions that create disparity and you’ll be sure to find them.
Rest Easy Eric Curran a.k.a M.C Krispy E
Almost every year for the past 6 years and on the same day, I’ve posted the same pic of me in the hospital during my temporary and untimely demise in 2015. A few weeks after I was back to “normal”, I asked Eric “Why’d you take the pics?” And he said, “I knew you would want to write about it if you lived.” Eric was right. Eric was often right and Eric always had my best interest at heart. I am going to miss my friend.
You ever meet someone and become friends immediately?! Well this was not the case with Eric. Before he was my manager at Morgan Stanley, I would often see this 6’4″, giant white guy walk up to the only black woman at work, say something then walk away without any hint of human emotion. Naturally I thought he was a jerk until I asked her “Yo, is that dude bothering you?” She laughed and proceeded to tell me he was a great person, which I ultimately got to experience first hand. Little did I know this Italian from Staten Island was more Brooklyn than most Brooklynites.
Eric was not with the shits!! If there were ever someone who lived their life in direct, honest and no uncertain terms, that would be Eric. He would ask me questions at work like “Why are the other consultants making more money than you?” I knew the answer to that question and so did he. Eric then proceeded to increase my salary by 15K. After arguing with all our managers that “You need to hire Alfred!”, they eventually did 1 year prior to the 2015 incident. In the hospital, one of my friends asked me, “What if you didn’t have health insurance when this happened?” I would be in debt for the rest of my life is the obvious answer. I still am in debt for the rest of my life but at least, it is to those who made sure I had a more enjoyable life and for that, I will gladly repay.
My mom loved to tell me the story of how she met Eric. After they told her I was going to be in the ICU for some time, she told the doctor “Well I’m not going anywhere.” She then hears a voice from that back of the room that says “Well I’m not going anywhere either!” That was Eric and in true form, he was at that hospital every single day until I was discharged.
Eric passed away in December 2021 of stage 4 cancer. After feeling faint on his way to my bbq, he went to get checked out and was diagnosed. During the past 5 years, Eric lost his mom, twin brother and dad. I can’t even begin to imagine what that must have felt like but I’m glad that pain he was feeling is no more.
From being my manager to my business partner, writer, book editor, artistic director, and most importantly, my friend, I am going to miss you MC Krispy E a.k.a “Enrique Pollazo!” And although you told me Enrique means Henry in Spanish and not Eric, it was too late!
Sidebar. The day I was discharged, while everyone was deciding what was best for me, no one had remembered that I would need clothes in order to leave the hospital. Eric shows up (unasked) with all the clothes I had on the day I coded, laundered and ready to go. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve friends like this but i need to keep doing it! Sidebar complete.
Rest in Peace Eric. “Be Good.”
Writing Your First Book / Should I Self Publish?
I had the distinct pleasure of participating in a panel discussion on writing your first book, presented by the Harlem chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Alongside Jim St. Germain, Author – A Stone of Hope: A Memoir and Dr. Keneshia Nicole Grant, Author – The Great Migration and the Democratic Party: Black Voters and the Realignment of American Politics in the 20th Century. We opined on pain points, benefits and strategies regarding our inaugural voyages into authorship. Feel free to watch for your self and I hope this provides some insight to all those looking to make the same voyage. Enjoy!
What the NFT is a BEEPLE?
On March 11 this year, the digital artist Beeple sold a collage of digital images from his “Everydays” series for nearly 70 million dollars as an NFT, or non-fungible token. And if that sentence confuses you, you’re not alone.
A non-fungible token is a unit of data on a digital ledger called a blockchain, where each NFT can represent a unique digital item, and thus they are not interchangeable. NFTs can represent digital files such as art, audio, video, and other forms of creative work. While the digital files themselves are infinitely reproducible, the NFTs representing them are tracked on their underlying blockchains and provide buyers with proof of ownership.” – Wikipedia
Still confused? Let the artist himself explain it, and learn how he went from NFT newbie to making the third most expensive artwork by a living artist in three months. Not to suggest Beeple is an overnight success. The “Everydays” series alone involved creating a piece of art every day since May 1, 2007 – and he hasn’t missed a day.
Check out some of Beeple’s amazing and controversial work below.