Archive for January, 2011

Yeah, you heard me. I know, the preceding statement goes against the conventional wisdom that it’s black men who are awash in the affections of throngs of women and have but to show up in a reasonably stain free shirt to get mobbed by intelligent, beautiful, refined women.

But it’s true. Conventional dating theory assumes the world looks something like this:

I love girls, girls, girls all over the globe...

When in fact, it more than likely looks like this:

I love boys, boys, boys...Hey! Sergio! Stop looking at Lance's crotch! Focus!

Hear me out. Men and women work in remarkably different ways when it comes to the date selection process. As the hunter or aggressor, men typically will chase after what they want and end up eating what they can get. Women on the other hand, get the final say in choosing which male she allows to get close to her. If a hundred women offered to sleep with a man, he’d have sex with 101 of them, the 101st being the doorknob he mistook for a vagina in a weed-induced haze. On the other hand, an average of 100 men a day typically offer to sleep with any given women. Sound high?

Now, granted, this is less than a scientific observation, but let’s assume a woman is of average attractiveness and works in the Central Business District of any major city. She takes the train to work. On her walk to the train, she is leered at hard by 7 men, given a respectful but interested eye by 6 and hollered at by two locals on stolen ten speed bikes posted up by the Metro, one of whom is likely shirtless and smells of weed.

That’s 15

She’s lightly sexually harassed by by 2 of her superiors and merely spoken to inappropriately by 3 others in the morning, including the mail clerk who knows he doesn’t have a shot in hell. On her way to Au Bon Pain for lunch, she’s checked out by another 10 men, 1 offers to buy her sandwich, and the fella asking for directions to Neiman Marcus isn’t reeeaaally asking for directions.

We’re at 32.

She leaves work, goes to Happy hour, where she’s glanced at by 7 men, sent drinks by 3, and is flirted with by another 5.

47

It’s Friday, so she goes out to a large nightclub. A whopping 50 men eyebone, strike up a conversation, grab her arm, buy her a drink, or otherwise, as Chris Rock would put it, offer her some dick. On her way home, she receives sexually charged text messages from another 3 men, 1 of whom she invites over for sex.

That’s 100 men, folks.

You came her to holler at shorty? Me too, bruh. Me too. My dad too. He's getting a hot dog right now.

Sound like a lot? It’s just the tip of the iceberg!!! I heard a great story once about a man asking his grandfather if he ever cheated on his grandmother. His grandfather replies “No.” The grandson says. “Wow. I really respect that. I struggle with the temptation every day. It’s a constant battle. How’d you make it so long without giving in? Why didn’t you cheat?”

The grandfather looks at his grandson and says:

“I didn’t have a car.”

The moral of the story? When you have limited choices, you make do with what ya got. Today’s issue is that with the advent of technology, what you got is not merely the people in your city, or friends of friends, or whose eye you’re able to catch at the Friday night sock hop. Your options are only limited to the number of men that friend you, follow you, or are Matched with you. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if some woman and some man had sex based off a Words With Friends Game.  (if you want to play me, feel free, I’m pretty good, but not great. I always hold the J and the Z too long looking for that triple word score/triple letter score combo.)

Take that 100 number, add 500 DM's

So you’re saying, well, the same thing can be said about men and the expansion of their choices. True. But again, men’s choices are limited to who chooses them back. And while women’s choices may be technically limited to the men she would choose, that decision making process is up to her. she can choose every man who approaches, none, or some number in between.

There’s a second issue, which is the democratization of “fame-by beauty.” Up until very recently, in order to be a female sex symbol, model, socialite, etc, and benefit from the social and financial advantages therein, you had to be one of a very small number of people chosen by Vogue or Estee Lauder or whoever. Now, anyone with a cell phone and some lingerie can catapult themselves to instant notoriety if the right person shares or RT’s the pic. And then what happens?

Here comes Chad Ochocinco a-callin’. And Darnell Dockett. And Bow Wow. And five hundred other random dudes offering a chance at sex with them. And thennnn what happens? Well, worst case, something like this:

A couple weeks ago there was a flareup on black twitter because one of these internet models was arrested for child endangerment because she was apparently leaving her kid at home to fend for himself while she flew around the country getting knocked down by celeb types. Meanwhile, she’s twitpicing (is that a word) photos of herself in Bentleys and bottle service and other things of the type the modern negro seems to be enamored of. Mind you, before social networking, this chick would have had zero access to any celebrity outside of those who live there or are playing an away game. But because of the democratization of fame by beauty, I know who she is, and more importantly, Chad Ochocinco and Chris Brown knows who she is. And where to find her. Pre-1997, her best shot would be well-known local stripper. Post twitter? The sky’s the limit.

Now, granted, this is an extreme example. But I’d venture on a much smaller scale, a lot of women are faced with the same option of a “better” class of man available to them via technology and the interconnectedness of the world than may be available to them locally. I doubt most women are going to up and leave their kid with a TV dinner to go and pursue that “better” class of man, but they very well may decide that the middle class local dude doesn’t really measure up to the possibilities of the guy across the country who owns his own accounting firm. Or the dude who scores 17/night for the Nuggets. Or the old college classmate who done lost some weight and got a hairline that doesn’t look like Lebron and John Legend had a love child.

Ironically, given the way that women choose men, this new optimization of opportunity actually increases the dating wealth disparity (you know, 80% of women choose 20% of men). Because while women will actively gravitate towards choosing these select 20% of men, (many of whom can afford to fly them out wherever without a second thought), men will passively accept these choices. Like I said, we tend to take what we can get. And for some of us what we can get is quite a lot. For others of us, not so much)

What say you, blogoshpere? Am I totally off base here? Have you as a man or women increased your options because of technology? Decreased? Found love? Found emptiness? What ya got?

How far have we come

Posted: January 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

Today is January 17, 2011. On January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. was born Michael King Jr. 5 years later, in honor of the German Protestant Scholar Martin Luther, King’s father changed both his and his son’s name to Martin Luther King Jr. You know the rest of the story pretty much, or at least should by now. On April 4, 1968, Dr. King was assassinated in one of the seminal events of American history. And today, on January 17, 2011, for the 25th time since the holiday was federally passed into law in 1986, We celebrate the life and legacy of perhaps the most important force in the movement to enforce that black people in this country were afforded the same civil rights as Whites.

The question that plagues me during this rather singular day of remembrance is whether or not we’re that much better off now, 43 years after King was shot down by a lunatic (the second assassination attempt by the way. He was stabbed by a deranged black woman at a book signing in Harlem once and narrowly escaped death).

The gap between Black and white household [accumulated] wealth quadrupled from 1984 to 2007, totally discrediting the conventional wisdom that the U.S. is slowly and fitfully moving towards racial equality, or some rough economic parity between the races. Like most American myths, it’s the direct opposite of the truth. When measured over decades, Blacks are being propelled economically downward relative to whites at quickening speed, according to a new study by Brandeis University.

Today, the richest 1% of the US population owns close to 40% of its wealth. The top 25% of US households own 87% -The Guardian-

In 1984, high-income black Americans had more assets than middle-income whites. That is no longer true. -The Guardian-

At the end of 2006 the Bureau of Justice released a group of data that stated that there were 3,042 black male prisoners per 100,000 black males in the United States, compared to 1,261 Hispanic male prisoners per 100,000 Hispanic males and 487 white male prisoners per 100,000 white males

New York’s graduation rate for its Regents diploma is only 25 percent for Black male students. New York City, the district with the nation’s highest enrollment of Black students, only graduates 28 percent of its Black male students with Regents diplomas on time. Overall, each year over 100,000 Black male students in New York City alone do not graduate from high school with their entering cohort. These statistics—and the other alarming data in this fourth biennial report— point to a national education and economic crisis. The Schott Report-

Yes, we have a black president. Yes, that’s a remarkable accomplishment given that 50 years ago, many blacks weren’t even allowed to vote where they lived. But on balance, to be realistic, we’re a people going backwards. Much like the rest of America, there are huge rewards to be had via exceptionalism. But for the rank and file, tomorrow appears worse than today.

If you’re reading this, it’s not unlikely that your tomorrow is in fact brighter than your today. You’re sitting at a computer, you have time to dick around reading blogs instead of working two jobs to support a family or rotting in jail. Hell, you can read. That’s not a given for a lot of people in this country. You may very well be one of the elite who will acquire and possess more than your rightful share of assets, wealth, and happiness in this country.

The question is, what will you do with that wealth, with those assets, with that extra time? Will you fritter it away on self-aggrandizement? Will you buy more bottles, a bigger car, an exotic woman? A handbag that cost more than someone’s tuition, shoes that inspire envy because their soles are shellacked red?

What can you do, frankly? When I get on the Metro (on the few days I actually use public transportation), I see teenagers, adult children for whom I fear it is too late. I see their mannerisms, their language, the way they interact with their environment and I wonder if they’re not already so damaged by chronic poverty, bad schools, parental neglect, and a narcissistic culture of underachievement masked by swagger, I wonder if there’s anything that can meaningfully be done to bring them back from the brink. I hear stories of a Memphis high school with 90 pregnant girls out of 800 students. The news story qualifies that as meaning 11% of the school  population is preparing to be a parent. No mention is made of the fact that there are fathers there, meaning the number is closer to 22%. Perhaps with the rise of absentee fatherhood as a norm instead of an outlier, that makes sense. Why bother counting people as parents who likely won’t have the werewithall to take care of a family, regardless of their inclination to do so.

Well, here are some things you can do

1. Invest. Like I said, if you’re reading this, you probably have far more opportunities to actually create and accumulate wealth than most people in this country. Don’t squander it. And it’s so easy to squander it. Keeping up with the Combses, projecting your bougie lifestyle, impressing friend and foe alike with the fact that you vacation at Oaks Bluff. I know weaning oneself off a lifestyle is hard. I fail at it more often than not. But I’ve committed to expanding my investments outside of real estate to equities and bonds as well. It can be done. It’ll hurt a little now, but feel great later.

Motley Fool

2. Mentor I worked with Mentors Inc. a couple years ago mentoring a high school student. He’s at NC State now making the honor roll. In truth, he didn’t need that much of my help. But to a lot of those kids, one person can make a difference. your example and counsel can help them make that one decision that will keep them in school, keep them out of jail, or keep them from having babies as a baby. There are a million groups out there that would love to have your help.

Mentorship list

3. Change the Conversation I’ve argued with the Academics about this a million times. Yes, structural and economic forces keep black people in this country down. But we let them. We allow ourselves to be exploited, we waste our time with foolishness, and we compete with each other instead of helping one another. Go on twitter anyday and read the trending topics portion. No one’s forcing us to spend our time participating in the kind of lowest common denominator fuckery that goes on in our public discourse. We willingly choose to join. Opt out. Start a new topic.

4. Bribe your politicians Mother Jones magazine reviewed the Country’s 400 largest political donors in a March 5, 2001 issue. (Exhibit 9a) And while the article began by noting the large number of dollars raised by the Bush campaign ($696 million) and the coincident question of what donors expected in exchange for their largess, Mother Jones seemed to miss the elephant in the room – namely, the large number of Jewish donors. Namely, forty-two of the top one hundred donors were Jewish. What are the odds? Four of the top five (S. Daniel Abraham, Bernard Schwartz, David Gilo and Chaim Saban) were Jewish Democrats and each donated more than $1 million.

Jewish folks aren’t doing too bad in this country. May be a correlation there. Maybe we should take note.

5. Vote your interest Truthfully speaking, if Ron Paul would have won the Republican nomination in 2008, I would likely have voted for him over Obama. Why, you ask? Because he supports ending the war on drugs, the single biggest attack on the black community today. Does Ron Paul care about black people in the way that Obama does? I sincerely doubt it. But his empathy isn’t what I care about. What I care about is what he can do for me and people that look like me, and whose success, for better or worse, is tied to mine. For too long, we’ve given Democrats and friendly faces our votes and gotten nothing in return. Look at the italicized information above. Our politicians are not helping us, despite the fact that we’re the group that usually sends them over the top to electoral victory.