Category Archives: Uncategorized

Notification Overload – So Much Streaming So Little Reason

Notification Overload – So Much Streaming So Little Reason

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2016 will likely be remembered as the year that streaming exploded. What started with  Meerkat and Periscope evolved to Facebook Live and Instagram Stories updating their platforms to try to capture the lightning in a bottle of Snapchat. In the progress, we’ve enabled an entire generation to share their world with the world without filter. So, as my notification log fills up with messages about you, you and you “going live” I can’t help but wonder if it’s really a good thing?

Must we go live via streaming to show that we are actually living? This is a question I ask myself regularly as live video stream notifications light up my screen. I’m not simply curious about why everyone’s doing it but also why now? Video isn’t new. Vlogging is the organic heart of Youtube. Before every major media brand got it’s on channels it was person people content that ruled. When Periscope hit from the outside you’d think everyone was using it and the new wave had arrived. Truth be told, only a small % of people actually streamed on Periscope. The majority of people connected to watch others. Periscope links via Twitter so the “sign up” was easy. This is the point that caught my attention and it’s what I think is really at the heart of this “going live” movement.

People that really have invested valuable in their message were saying it before and they got better as the technology improved. They were on Youtube, Blogger, Vimeo, etc……Today, people stream not because they have important things to say or share but because it’s easy. It’s a feature now plugged into spaces they were already active in. You can think of this as the “I do it because I can” crowd. People want the SnapChat effect without having to build a new audience on SnapChat. Don’t get me wrong because there are many who are putting streaming technology to good use and are delivering real information content. You just have to weed it out via the new wave of look-at-me-do-nothing material. Streaming in many ways is just amateur hour cable television. How many shows do you have to cycle through to find the one that makes it worth your time?

Every time something crazy happens to a person folk say, “Man my life needs its own show.” No, it really doesn’t you need to be happy that something worse didn’t happen and try not to end up in that position again. We all don’t need shows about our lives. Like all things in this social media based world the initial hype will fade as the truly committed users continue to push through the masses with their messages.

I my humble view, existence should be measured by how you live life not by how many folks see yours.

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SAMURAI RIDES: BACK ON THE ROADS OF GEORGIA w/ the MAZDA CX-9 FOR NOMADNESS REUNION WEEKEND

SAMURAI RIDES: BACK ON THE ROADS OF GEORGIA w/ the MAZDA CX-9 FOR NOMADNESS REUNION WEEKEND

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#SamuraiRides #DriveMazda

To say that time flies is a grand understatement but in this case you’ll get no complaints from me. One of my favorite times of the year just finished. The 5th Annual Nomadness Summer BBQ, now known as Reunion Weekend went down amazingly in the Atlanta area. While it’s always a hectic time for me, I enjoy the fact that I move about town in style thanks to Mazda, For the 2nd year in a row It’s me and the Mazda CX taking care of the business at hand. Last year it was the CX-5. This summer it’s the 2016 CX-9 Signature AWD edition.

Summer time travel is the season of all carry-on bags. Without the need to wait on checked luggage, I hopped off my flight and made my way through Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International airport to my vehicle pick up location. I rarely know the color of the ride I’m getting so when this gorgeous Metallic Gray  SUV rolled up I was delighted.

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Hit the jump for the full review.

Continue reading SAMURAI RIDES: BACK ON THE ROADS OF GEORGIA w/ the MAZDA CX-9 FOR NOMADNESS REUNION WEEKEND

Curtis Jackson Bka 50 Cents Shares Honest Words To His Younger Self

Curtis Jackson Bka 50 Cents Shares Honest Words To His Younger Self

50-Cent-in-Jamaica-photoTime breeds honesty, reflection and introspection. 50 cents sat down with Big Issue and took a look back at the formative years of his life and his musical career. He really lets the people in as he addresses his feelings around his mother and grandmother’s deaths. While his platinum selling days may be well behind him Curtis remains one of my favorite interview subjects to listen to.

Check out some cuts from the full interview below.

I think shock is the best way to describe how I felt when my mother died. I didn’t understand it. To have a single parent as your guardian – they’re your whole life. I was eight. I was just like, what do you mean? She had spent a lot of time away from me, she was always hustling. She had to be very tough, to be around a lot of men… she had to adapt. At that time they didn’t have teen programs helping teen mothers [his mother was 15 when she had him] and my mother wanted to give me what I needed, so she couldn’t rely on welfare.

It scared me half to death when my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. My aunt would call me with updates all the time and she always said, don’t worry, she’s fine. I’ve never told anyone this but two years ago, the day she called to tell me… It was early in the morning and I was on a treadmill in the gym. I got to the hospital and the whole family was there. My aunt told me the doctor said she’d had a stroke and there was nothing they could do. They took me to her and she was the smallest I ever saw her. I said ‘Hello?’ I saw her eyes jump when she heard my voice, like she was trying to see where I was at. Everyone else left and I talked to her for a little bit. Then they all came back in and her heart rate started to drop. My aunt said, shit, she was waiting for you. I’ve seen a lot of people pass in the neighborhood I’ve lost them to motorcycles or altercations or drugs. But none of them impacted like when my grandmother died. She was the love of my life.

If I could talk to my teenage self, I’d tell him to focus on music with a stronger intensity. He could still have this career without going through all the things I went through. And thinking about relationships – I think back to when I was with someone and that person could have been the person I was going to be with for the rest of my life but I didn’t have the references yet to know there was something special there. It’s like the clarity I got about my grandmother after she was gone. Some people have been better at that than me. If I look at Jay Z, I’d point out he capitalized on people better than I did.

Full Story Via Big Issue

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A Lesson In Self Care: Don’t Let Love Become A Liability

A Lesson In Self Care: Don’t Let Love Become A Liability

 

life love changes

 

We’ve been taught that Love connects to all things grand and amazing. When it first happens it changes the way you look at life and connect to people. As you grow up the function and importance of love changes and expands. It goes from love of family and friends to romantic attraction laced emotions.

For me, love is the great divide and it’s a connection that in many ways will never disappear. Once you’ve earned my love you have it. Now here’s where the life lesson comes into place. For the majority of my life I’ve allowed love to double as an indefinite get out of jail free card for people.  What I struggled with was the concept that someone I held in high personal regard could still do hurtful things and not reciprocate the investment being made in the relationship.

Various situations have led me to now accept the reality that if you can not disconnect feelings from actions, love can become a very restrictive, self damaging thing. I do not question the love that was and give the benefit of the doubt that it still exists today but love changes and evolves like anything else. Sometimes love exists in the present primarily because of the history and foundation it was built on, and not the actions taking place today.

When you operate from a “treat people how you want to be treated” belief it’s difficult to separate actions and emotions. Yet nothing in this world speaks louder and more true then actions. Love in its purest form is equally a balance of what you feel and how you express those feelings.  It’s hurt when that balance isn’t there from folk that really matter to you but you reach a point of acceptance that things in life change. The changes may not make sense to you and you may not know what set that change in motion but yesterday and today are distinctively different. The sooner you acknowledge this and accept it the better you’ll be. Don’t miss what the future has in store for you because you were chasing that good old feeling you once knew.

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Here’s Why It’s Good That Miles Morales Isn’t The Next Big Screen Spider-Man

Here’s Why It’s Good That Miles Morales Isn’t The Next Big Screen Spider-Man

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Since the 21st century kicked off we’ve been presented with 5 Spider Man movies, 2 different Parker Parkers, 1 radioactive spider bite based origin story told and then retold and a slew of villains with everything pretty much focused around The Orborne/Green Goblin story line. That was a condensed look at what the wild world of Marvel’s favorite web slinger has been since Marvel re entered the movie scene. In that same time frame we’ve seen the X men falter and the Avengers reset the bar for cinematic success. Now as Spider Man is set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe many are upset that the Peter Parker approach wasn’t replaced with the fresh new kid on the block, Miles Morales the Black & Latino Spider Man from Marvel’s Ultimate Comics. As great as that might have been I’m glad they stayed with Peter as Spider Man. Here’s a few reasons why.

Icon Status

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Peter Parker is a fixture within the Marvel Universe. While the previous two takes on Spider Man  suffered from plots that tried to do too much in too little time, that doesn’t change the place Spider Man has in Marvel especially in New York where so much of the Avengers are stationed. Peter Parker deserves the proper MCU treatment. The interactions between Spider Man and Tony Stark alone are comedic gold waiting to happen. Spider Man’s under dog status among the power houses of the Avengers is a perspective that will be good to see. Truthfully Miles hasn’t reached that level yet.

Diversity

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There are a number of positives that could come from having a brown face under the mask of Spider Man for movie goers. It would be a change to the status quo that is rarely seen. Just as many people wanted to see John Stewart as Green Lantern vs the Hal Jordan movie we got, I fully understand what this could mean but for me it would really come across more like a token move vs being a genuine move for diversity and inclusion. Plus the story arc that is in motion plays better to have Peter Parker in the mix instead of the new comer Morales. At this stage let Falcon grow in this role, let’s see Black Panther be the massive force he is supposed to be. I don’t want Miles lost in the growing numbers of the Avengers. There is a better space for a Miles based project.

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Instead of lumping in a new Spider Man that is still a virtual unknown to many, give Miles Morales his own platform to grow on. Introduce him via network TV or even Netflix. Let the people really come up with and become invested in Miles. His story comes with a number  of intricate elements that  would get lost in the massive Civil War & Infinity War events upcoming in the MCU. Keep Miles intimate and local for now. The truth is that characters based around people of color have little room for error so let’s really get it right so when Miles does make a big screen appearance it’s truly a powerful moment and not merely a politically correct cameo.

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ASK A BLACK MAN SEASON 2 #MARRIAGE EPISODE – [SAMURAI EXTENSION]

ASK A BLACK MAN SEASON 2 #MARRIAGE EPISODE – [SAMURAI EXTENSION]

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TGIF from the Social Media Samurai. It’s that time again where we check in on the ongoing #AskABlackMan series. This episode brings a very important matter to the table. The guys are talking marriage and I know this is something a lot of ladies are curious about. Do men actually want to get married? How do you define “Head of Household”? These topics and more are on deck so get comfortable and check it out. After that check out my thoughts and views on marriage as well.

It’s all after the jump so enjoy.

Continue reading ASK A BLACK MAN SEASON 2 #MARRIAGE EPISODE – [SAMURAI EXTENSION]

My Selma After Shocks

My Selma After Shocks

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This past weekend I finally saw Selma, the retelling of Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s’ fight to bring equal voting rights to the people of Alabama. I was familiar with the story but I wanted to see this film as a reminder to myself and to be a context provider for what is taking place in the U.S today.

As I’ve gotten older I feel as if my own emotions are getting more sensitive. Images of ignorance, bigotry, hate and violence aren’t new to me but Selma did a masterful job of framing the brutality our people opposed in a manner that forced me to fight tears during a number of scenes. Tears of frustration for what has taken place, tears of anger for what you want to do even if you know that it would be the death of you. Tears at the realization that it’s still taking place today.

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More and more I’m thinking about fatherhood. What that would mean not just for me but for the family I one day want have. Viewing Selma helped put so much in greater perspective for me. There is a rage that I believe exists within all Black men. This world in many forms and fashions opposes us and puts us in positions of tension and conflict. I believe that depending on where you live and how you experience things in life its only a matter of time before this rage is tapped into. It’s like Pandora’s box and once it’s been accessed you can’t go back. I’ve supported in media form and in person for social issues of injustice but I feel as if my rage in the past few yrs has been legitimately opened up. I can’t explain why things are done to us still for the color of our skin. I don’t know if I have it in me to hold back any more. This is why I respect the young leaders in our community so much.

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Selma is a powerful film. If you haven’t seen it yet I hope you get the opportunity to do so. It will evoke deep emotions and I think the we all need that. It’s a necessary balance and reality check for the world we are dealing with.  It hurts but there is still a beauty to be found in our resilience and the belief that we will overcome this….eventually.

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‘The Wizard of Watts’ – Black Dynamite Musical About Police Brutality [Trailer]

 ‘The Wizard of Watts’ – Black Dynamite Musical About Police Brutality [Trailer]

Black Dynamite

Adult Swim has never had a problem with expressing views and sensitive matter. In its animated history the previous seasons of Aaron McGruder’s Boondocks ruffled as many feathers as a cartoon ever could. Now we get ready for the airing of “The Wizard of Watts”, an animated musical via Black Dynamite. BD is the animated adaptation of the movie of the same name from 2009. This will be the finale of its 2nd season and it’s shaping up to be a big one.

The truth is that the concept of the episode came about 2 years ago, but before it could become a finished production the events of Ferguson, MO took place and the climate changed for what this type of content would represent. As the issue of police brutality holds center stage nationwide it will be interesting to see what the reaction will be to this.

Here’s the Trailer!!

Here’s a snippet from a New York Times piece on the episode slated to air this Saturday night.

The primary villain in the Magical Land of Oz-Watts, where the story takes place, is a vicious pig clad in riot gear. Water does not neutralize this Oz villain; instead this baddie gets melted with a camcorder. “Oh, no! Not an irrefutable visual record of my illegal actions!” the anthropomorphized pig wails as he turns to mush at the musical’s climax.

Even Carl Jones, the director of “The Wizard of Watts” and one of its writers, was surprised at hitting such a cultural bull’s-eye.

“I take pride in tackling things with my gloves off, but animation takes such a long time to produce that you usually don’t end up being all that current,” he said.

 You can view the entire NYT piece here.

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Samurai Rides: Holiday Gift Giving With the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

Samurai Rides: Holiday Gift Giving With the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

#Hyundai

It’s my favorite time of year and with everything that is going on in this nation the ability to step back and enjoy a little personal time is much appreciated. My recent time behind the wheel of the Hyundai Sonata was pretty impressive and this time around I upgraded in size to try out the Hyundai Sante Fe Sport. I have an affinity for larger cars so this was right up my alley.  Plus the added truck space would be needed as I knocked out my gift buying for those stateside and back in Antigua.

#Hyundai

Hyundai

The Santa Fe Sport handles amazingly well for such a large car and its Driver Selectable Steering Mode affords the options of 3 different steering modes for added preference. As I’ve expressed before the sound system is essential and the Sante Fe comes equipped with the Infinity Logic 7 Surround Sound Audio system.  Not just was there ample power for the music but multiple Aux jacks and Bluetooth connectivity allowed me to pull tunes from a number of sources. With the cold weather officially here the individual seat heating functions were put to great use.

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With my gift list in hand and discount assistance from a friend I made a run to the nearby outlet mall for some seasonal shopping and an opportunity to clear my head for an afternoon.

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Hyundai has provided me some quality on road action. First with their Sonata and now with the Santa Fe Sport. If you’re looking for a quality ride at a nice price this is it.  Balancing affordability with more luxury comforts then you’d expect, this sport would be a nice addition to your life in the new year.

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Check my previous editions of Samurai Rides Here!!!

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Holiday Unrest: Boycotts, Small Business & Black Friday

Holiday Unrest: Boycotts, Small Business & Black Friday

Black Friday

In the wake of Monday nights clearing of Mike Brown murderer Darren Wilson, the collective energies of the people, especially the Black community has been directed toward finding actions that will let the nation know just how powerful we are and how much you need to be taken us seriously. In the 24 hours since the Ferguson jury elected not to indict Wilson I’ve been having a number of conversations about what to do next. I have people pushing to boycott in one ear and others who work in and with the retail world not sure how to move. It’s not as cut and dry as many people think it is.

Let me dive into this and touch on a few things. Understand this isn’t a directive on what you should do. I believe there are many paths to the destination we all want to reach. We all play different roles and operate in different spaces so our actions may not all be the same.

In regards to boycotts I’ve seen a few things being pushed like #NotOneDime. The general campaign missions I’ve noticed are a call to boycott all businesses, all retail during this holiday weekend that consists of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. I’ve heard a few goals mentioned but the most prevalent seems to be a desire to make a statement with the power of the “Black Dollar”. It’s reported that entering 2015 we’ll be generating roughly a trillion dollars of buying power. It’s not a new piece of info but coupled with this time of year it resonates a little more.

The statements being shared are very well intended and do have a ring of truth to them. “Lets hit’em where it hurts”, “Let your dollar speak for you”, etc,etc….Yes ideally that is possible but my concern comes from a few areas. The majority of these calls to action are vague, generic and lack the detail and full leadership needed to make them effective on multiple levels.

First there is its duration. Exactly what is the hope and goal of this 3-4 day campaign. Is it meant to have a lasting effect or just act as an attention grabber? Folk reference the Montgomery Bus Boycott as what this boycott should look to as inspiration. The MBB lasted over a year and it was specific and direct to a sole target within a confined area. What stores in this present day mission are folk targeting? Is it Just the majors like Target, Best Buy or Walmart? What qualifies a store to be targeted? Is it just any place of business? After the weekend ends does the shopping return? Do folk understand just how much boycotting it takes to hit a companies’ bottom line? What of the workers that look forward to additional holiday hours? They are the first and most expandable when financial stability is threatened so those are just a few areas of detail I need to  see clarified before a plan is put in motion.

Small business

Next we have the matter of small businesses. I’m an entrepreneur and operate within a network of other small business owners. Are we including them in this boycott. From what I’ve seen posted many are not making a distinction as to indie vs mainstream businesses. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that I’m taking this stance as I feature small business every year during this season. These brands need the commerce of the upcoming weekend so it matters to me that in our emotional push for action we don’t negatively impact our own.

Personally I care little for statements or emotional victories. Change is needed. Truthfully the matter of Police Brutality doesn’t make me jump to commerce and boycotts but if a well laid plan is presented I could see and support it. Also, there is the thinking that in boycotting we will reduce money that is going to fund entities like the police who have brutalized us. If you work, every dollar you earn is taxed so your financial support is flowing into the system regardless.

I make no bones about it and will not hide the fact. Within my business I work very directly with retail stores, many of which would fall within this boycott. I just dropped a piece on mobile apps to aid you with your Black Friday shopping. I’m a part of the system which I don’t apologize for. We can be many things and that aspect of business is part of me.

Will I be boycotting this weekend? No I won’t be. I’m not opposed to it but it’s not the move I’m making. It’s not for some sick desire to shop or get savings I could get at any other time. I have a plan for how I will approach this weekend and I have no issue sticking to it. I won’t be shopping on Black Friday but that is because I’ll be working day & night gigs. My economic statement will be made though featuring and supporting small businesses that you can buy from throughout the weekend. Saturday I will be shopping at outlets for a few personal items along with things for my family. Those that know my struggles and growth professionally over the last year should understand where I’m at with this.

I was at the last rally for Mike Brown in Union Square just as I was with the multiple rallies for Trayvon. It was a moving gathering but it reached a point where any and everyone was being allowed to speak and too many ideas, too many “we need to do…” statements were being thrown out and it became a jumble. Lets really organize, strategically lay out a long-term plan and execute. You know what they say about insanity and repetition. We say the same things every time

Many of us think there is a one shot option to successful change. We want to think that if we ball up our collective fist and strike one mighty blow everything wrong will just crumble. Unfortunately It doesn’t work like that. Folk have to be in it for the 12 round fight with a 12 round plan of attack.  There’s no 1 Hitter Quitter, Mike Tyson Knock Out punch in this. We’re all sick of the nonsense so let’s finally do something about it.

Mike Brown

 

Jason Francis | The Social Media Samurai

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