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Beat Your Kids Into Good Behavior

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Corporal PunishmentStories 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.

Beat Your Kids Into Good BehaviorThinking 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?

Corporal PunishmentBecause 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..

Thought provoking, inspiring, witty, charming, charismatic and handsome. None of these terms have ever been used to describe Richard Sean Airy. Instead, he is a fat, cat owning, water head having, Krispy Kreme eating son of a B!#$% whose ego is as wide as it is tall. If you like biting sarcasm, cringe worthy puns and a whole lot of cynicism on the side then this Dick will be right up your alley. @dickseanairy on Twitter

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Rest Easy Eric Curran a.k.a M.C Krispy E

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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.

It’s been a bit difficult to deal with it to be quite honest and I’ve been writing this in my head for years but never had the bravery or grace to accept that my friend wouldn’t be here soon. I also can’t imagine what it must be like to lose your entire family nucleus unexpectedly. In true Eric fashion however, I would like this to not be about me but whomever has lost someone and has been coping. I’ve always intimated that my life would not be as enriched as it was were it not for the people in it. The problem with that is there is also no way to deny that it feels empty without those who helped craft your path. Rather than focus on the negative, I would rather focus on the examples of duty, family and emotional intelligence. All concepts reinforced by Eric that have led me to have successful relationships since I’ve put them into practice.

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.”

Alfred Obiesie is a writer with over 12 years of online content contribution (Onetrackmine.com, Cartermag.com, Essence.com) and author (You Made It a Hot Line; The most influential lines in hip hop.) The book chronicles hip hop lines from the genre’s most notable artists spanning almost 40 years. It is illustrated by Grammy award winning Illustrator Shah Wonders and has garnered praise from multiple media outlets (Sirius XM, Vibe, Brooklyn Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library, etc...)

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Writing Your First Book / Should I Self Publish?

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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!

Alfred Obiesie is a writer with over 12 years of online content contribution (Onetrackmine.com, Cartermag.com, Essence.com) and author (You Made It a Hot Line; The most influential lines in hip hop.) The book chronicles hip hop lines from the genre’s most notable artists spanning almost 40 years. It is illustrated by Grammy award winning Illustrator Shah Wonders and has garnered praise from multiple media outlets (Sirius XM, Vibe, Brooklyn Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library, etc...)

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What the NFT is a BEEPLE?

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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.

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