Stories of corporal punishment were shared amongst my friends like sadomasochist badges of honor, each one trying to tell a bigger “fish” story than the one before. Anything within arms reach of their parents could be used as a Weapon of Ass Destruction. From belts, shoes or a plain ‘ol hand, to extension cords, wire hangers and broom handles, they told harrowing tales of “survival “ and while I had never been hit, beaten, whooped or spanked as a child, it was my peers who had planted the seeds in my mind that this could one day happen to me.
No, thank you. I rather enjoyed the role of audience member and had zero ambitions of becoming a published author. The most interesting part of these stories to me was never the beatings themselves but, instead, the events that lead up to these punishments. I mean, what kind of behavior would cause a full grown adult to take up arms against someone that they were 2-3 times the size of? These are the things that I took note of because I’m no idiot. I’ll gladly learn what NOT to do based on your mistakes. It was this strategy that had kept me safe through my adolescent years.
Thinking back on my childhood, my father (house disciplinarian, as most dads are) was not a particularly imposing fellow. Standing at 5 foot 9 inches and of average muscular build, he was certainly no contender for the WWE Championship Belt. Still, from a very young age I had a healthy fear of my father. No six words would strike fear in a young persons heart like hearing your mother say “Wait ‘til your father gets home…” after you had allegedly done something that sought his special attention. It was not until later in my adult life that I realized where this fear had come from but it was never based in him subjecting me to finding the weapon of choice (e.g. a switch from the backyard) and beating me about my little body until my attitude had changed about whatever it is I had done wrong.
Don’t get me wrong, while my father never raised a hand to me for disciplinary reasons or other wise, the thought lay dormant in the back of my mind for pretty much all of my childhood… at least until I realized that I was fast enough to outrun him. My fear of my father was not that he would physically hurt me, but by me misbehaving, that I would somehow have let him down. That he would be disappointed in me… that I didn’t make him proud. I looked up to my father as a child and why wouldn’t I? He was Veteran. He knew about cars, had two full time jobs on top of being an all around handyman for neighbors and friends, he liked sports, he loved his wife and he provided for his family. Aside from being a Mets fan, he was my first positive male role model. How was I ever going to live up to that level of manliness if I was not doing well in school? Or if I was talking back to my parents or hanging around with my friends and getting into trouble at all hours of the night instead of keeping my head in the books?
Because my parents never used corporal punishment as a disciplinary tool and I had turned out OK (so far) I have always said, should I ever have kids, I would extend to them the same immunity. The fact that I had turned out OK and in some cases better than my friends that were subjected to CP, made me question if corporal punishment was even effective at all? Can you beat your kids into good behavior? Did ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’ ever work? Or maybe my parents just got lucky and had a good kid? If there is such a thing..
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.
Comic Fans: Geek out with Cartoonist KAYFABE
Comics have come a long way since they were just for kids – and anyway, those kids have grown up and rightfully embrace it as an artform. Cartoonish Kayfabe expertly walk you through the finer points of comic creation and appreciation, referencing some high quality images along the way. If you’re a comic geek, you will dig it – especially if you’re into 90’s era and independent comics.