Posted by: possumjones | December 29, 2010

America, Is this okay, “Michael Vick…should be executed”

I am a huge fan of sports! I am a fan of Michael Vick except against my Atlanta Falcons. I’m a slightly old fashioned, so I believe we all should be punished for or ; however, I do believe that now is your new tomorrow which is why this upsets me. Tucker Carlson of the “fair and balanced” Fox News has stepped way out of line stating that someone should be executed for murdering dogs. I wonder if his position applies to the murder of animals that people eat. If I hit a deer over here by my house do I deserve 7-20 years. Whatever Tucker, you and your show are both irrelevant and yo’re the only person who will have to answer to this…

 

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Posted by: possumjones | October 6, 2010

“The Social Network” Soundtrack

There’s a buzz around the Internet right now about both the movie, “The Social Network” as well as the sountrack. I will tell you that the soundtrack is something serious and, as usually, I have wrapped it up neatly in a box for you below (Thanks, Grooveshark!). Now, I’ve decided this will become “my” new soundtrack and that “Complication With Optomistic Outcome” is my theme music…having said that, I downloaded the soundtrack for $5 here (don’t worry, I’ll provide a summary). If you aren’t sure you want the entire soundtrack (or just want to listen to it at work), feel free to use to the playlist below OR you can download a five song sample from link above; just provide an email address. That’s all for today…solutions only!

 

Posted by: possumjones | July 30, 2010

Lights. Camera. Action.

Today’s video pick is a little different from others I’ve posted in the past. For those of ya’ll who know me, my personality is often confused with wanting attention. The last thing I have ever wanted is to be the center of attention. Having said that, there are some people out there who just do not need a camera. A camera in your face is not carte blanche to act any kind of way. I could take the “easy” route and pick at Alabama on this, but I’ve seen the same behavior all across the country. I tell you this, I am not embarrassed by these videos or upset about how negatively the media portrays black people on television. Only the participants of this video have to live with their behavior. My only points are:

  • Why are you placing your “home” on blast with all the videos and what not? I think I can go to Lincoln Park and find these folks spot.
  • Why is your brother antagonizing the perp? Neither you nor the police have found the guy, so why poke him with a stick?
  • If you listen to the story, it sensationalizes between the first and final accounts. That’s a bunch of crap!
  • In the final account, the focus was not on the victim, it completely changed to the “personality” of the brother. I guess he was a better marketing tool for the news that day.

So, without further adieu, Lights. Camera. Action.


All of this is sad but true. Stop bullshit’n and get your EDUCATION.

The party is f*kin’ over!

Posted by: possumjones | May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day (2010)!

Every Memorial Day, I take a moment to really reflect on what this holiday means. I know its the time for festivals, and cookouts, and baseball (Go Braves!), but why do I deserve a Monday @ the end of May in which I don’t have to work and can get fat on food and libations? I wont take up too much of ya’lls time, but a few talking points:

  • Memorial Day’s original name was Decoration Day. For those of ya’ll from the country like me, your church has “decoration” once or twice a year. At “decoration” we’d spend time cleaning up and decorating family graves, followed by a big lunch (or cookout if you will). Decoration Day was a widely held tradition to honor and decorate the graves of fallen Union soldiers from the Civil War and was later expanded to include memorializing all soldiers.

Recent Memorial Day News:

  • Even though today is supposed celebrate soldiers who have died in the line of duty for our freedom, these loud-mouth, radio “pundits” continue acting like children seeking attention. Mike Savage mentioned to his listeners the President Obama’s decision to attend ceremonies in Chicago was “the first time” in US history a president was not going to Arlington National Cemetery for Memorial Day. Well…In 2002, GW Bush participated in ceremonies in Normandy honoring fallen soldiers from D-Day. GHW Bush did not attend Arlington ceremonies during his 4 year. Regan attended Arlington ceremonies only 4 of the 8 years. Clinton attended Arlington all 8 years.
  • Read an article today about a father who lost his son in Iraq. I was looking for a transparently, emotional story about personal loss, but what i found was an interesting article on the politicizing of war. The author spoke on how Vietnam “inaugurated an era” of misuse and misunderstood military power.

    From Beirut and Bosnia to Iraq and Somalia, the troops served and sacrificed while expending huge sums of taxpayer money.

  • America’s involvement in Afghanistan has reached out 104 months (~9 years). This is the longest shooting war in US history. On Friday, May 28th, the 1000th soldier was killed in Afghanistan. To date, we have spent over a trillion dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There’s mention of an additional $60 billion (Chinese-borrowed) approved for these “wars”. This “war of arrogance” wanders in and out of our daily lives as the news and media see fit. I’m sure that a remember, in history books, wars had a purpose, a strategy, and a winner. Victory is often claimed at seemingly random points of context. The reality is that there’s becoming no metric for victory and wars just go on-and-on.

I mention these handful of speaking points to really personify the fact that we’ve gotten so far away from “Decoration Day” and to challenge everyone to take a moment to remember what Memorial Day is really about…God Bless the Fallen!

Posted by: possumjones | May 31, 2010

Man vs. Fox?

I’ve lived in Georgia my entire life, and one of the things I have found wonderment in is how nature and people are interwoven within the (relatively) large city. In my neighborhood, deer are always roaming around, large birds have territorial battles in your yard, 3.5-4ft snapping turtles halt traffic wor several minutes, and a “pack” consisting of (this is no lie) two coyotes and a bobcat roam around on trash day looking for food. I’m the country bumpkin always kinda in the middle of it all…well, I may need to sit my country butt down somewhere. Check out this video:

Posted by: possumjones | May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!

Often we forget some of the smaller conflicts and wars which do not hit our mainstream history books; and that is a dangerous endeavor. With the help of  my father, grandfather, step-father, cassiopaea.org, wikipedia.org, and other resources, the list below is an attempt to honor and memorialize all of those who fight for something.

  • The American Revolution (1775-1783)
  • The Indian Wars (1775-1890)
  • Shay’s Rebellion (1786-1787)
  • The Whiskey Rebellion (1794)
  • Quasi-War With France (1798-1800)
  • The Hot Water War (1799)
  • The Barbary Wars (1800-1815)
  • The War of 1812 (1812-1815)
  • Mexican-American War (1846-1848)
  • U.S. Slave Rebellions (1800-1865)
  • Bleeding Kansas (1855-1860)
  • Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry (1859)
  • US Civil War (1861-1865)
  • U.S. Intervention in Hawaiian Revolution (1893)
  • The Spanish-American War (1898)
  • U.S. Intervention in Samoan Civil War (1898-1899)
  • U.S.-Philippine War (1899-1902)
  • Boxer Rebellion (1900)
  • The Moro Wars (1901-1913)
  • U.S. Intervention in Panamanian Revolution (1903)
  • The Banana Wars (1909-1933)
  • U.S. Occupation of Vera Cruz (1914)
  • Pershing’s Raid Into Mexico (1916-1917)
  • World War I (1917-1918)
  • Allied Intervention in Russian Civil War (1919-1921)
  • World War II (1941-1945)
  • The Cold War (1945-1991)
  • The Korean War (1950-1953)
  • The Civil Rights War/Second U.S. Civil War (1955-1968)
  • The Second Indochina War/Vietnam War (1956-1975)
  • U.S. Intervention in Lebanon (1958)
  • War on Poverty/War on Drugs (1964-present)
  • Dominican Intervention (1965)
  • Cambodia Campaign (1970-1974)
  • The Mayaguez Rescue Operation (1975)
  • Iranian Hostage Rescue/Operation Eagle Claw/Desert One (1980)
  • U.S. Libya Conflict (1981, 1986)
  • U.S. Intervention in Lebanon (1982-1984)
  • U.S. Invasion of Grenada (1983)
  • The Tanker War (1987-1988)
  • U.S. Invasion of Panama (1989)
  • Persian Gulf War/Operation Desert Storm (1991)
  • The No-Fly Zone War (1991-2003)
  • U.S. Intervention in Somalia (1992-1994)
  • NATO Intervention in Bosnia/Operation Deliberate Force (1994-1995)
  • U.S. Occupation of Haiti (1994)
  • U.S. Embassy bombings and strikes on Afghanistan and Sudan/The bin Laden War (1998)
  • Desert Fox Campaign (1998)
  • Kosovo War (1999)
  • Attack on the USS Cole (2000)
  • Attack on the WTC and the Pentagon (2001)
  • Afghanistan War/Operation Enduring Freedom (2001-present)
  • Third Persian Gulf War/Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-Present)

There are probabbly hundreds of other conflicts and wars which are not in this list, but let’s be cogniscent on this Memorial Day of all of those who have given their lives for the greater good. Thank you!

Posted by: possumjones | March 7, 2009

Douche Bag, White Collar Criminals beware of Jon Stewart.

I am longtime watcher of The Daily Show (I used to watch Craig Kilborn in the mid-90s). The show has always been an intelligent rant on political issues…sometime satire, sometimes serious, but as good a source for news as anywhere. With that being said, I wanted to share with ya’ll a Jon Stewart classic. Let’s open the floor for a discussion about the economy.

 

In the spirit of transparency, I am internally travelling and better defining my spirituality and, that is where everything begins. I am a God-fearing, extremely spiritual man at the core of everything. Early on, God talked to me about the ordainment of my life. From as far back as I can remember, I would receive edicts of behavior and windows of the future thru thoughts, dreams, experiences, and sometimes even people, which have all shaped my life and my relationship with God.

 

Growing Up With God

My background is Southern Baptist; as many of us in from the country are. The developmental years (0-11) were spent in intimate religious settings; small-town southern churches and “several” Atlanta-Area Baptist churches. I was fortunate to go through the religious discovery process with my mother and my father as they both sought more from their religion than was availed them in their upbringing and respective small towns.

My mother longed for simple religious investment, free of frills and/or what she considered irrelevant spiritual expression. Needless to say, that in the black church we often ran into situations that made her uncomfortable. The thing I remember the most was how irritated she would become at sanctified churches when the dancing, singing, and chanting would begin. I later found out that her disdain was a result of experiences from her childhood upon which she carried into adulthood. Ironically, the first church I ever joined was a sanctified church off of Moreland when I was 9 or 10 years old. The church, and myself, were growing spiritually. We began in a shopping center and, within a short period of time, moved into a larger sanctuary. Although we were growing large, I felt the intimacy of the church and my relationship with God; what my mother seemed to have been seeking for years. One day, during communion, I felt this “cold rush” thru my body and began to cry. I had never taken communion before; never even felt inclined to. But on this day, the sun seemed to be pointing at me thru the window, the music seemed to flow thru my body like water, the sound of angels were ringing in my ears, and, when I decided to get up and speak, it felt like I was floating across the floor and the words seemed to flow completely out of my control. I remember, it seemed as if the congregation was crying out with me and as if they all were hugging me at the same time even though everyone was still in their seats. That day, I joined the church and, needless to say, that made my mother pretty angry as she was not a member, nor did she approve of the sanctified format. Fortunately, she allowed me discover God within this group of worshippers without discouragement. Unfortunately, the congregation’s growth was not proportionate to that of the church, nor proportionate to mine with God. The personal and intimate relationships were usurped by greed and envy. This was probably the first incident which created an aversion to the large church and any discussions of prosperity, at church, within a worldly context. After a couple of years, the reset button was hit on “my” search. I attended church with my mother until I was 15. I grew weary of going thru “her” journey with a complete disregard of my own. We attended at least 20 area churches; each of which we would visit several times and have a full discussion about what we were looking for. How this church or that church provided a means or vehicle for achieving spiritual nirvana. I believed our approaches were just vastly different.

 

My father’s approach was very different from that of my mother. He would “pound” on my spirituality from an intellectual point-of-view, constantly giving me books and articles on the history of civilization; which are the basis of all religion. My dad’s family is Jehovah’s Witnesses, although they never took me on any of the evangelical excursions. He told me last year that they never wanted to push me in one direction or another, but wanted to provide me with a similar (if not the same) spiritual foundation. As I mentioned before, I remember receiving direction from God, and I knew I could talk to my dad about it without provocation; which very dissimilar to discussions with my mom. My dad seemed to join me in my search of a proper relationship. I originally thought this was because our perspectives and beliefs were the same; however, I found out later that he was merely encouraging me and it had very little to do with his beliefs. What I seem to remember the most about my dad’s relationship with God was that it was always “put God first and you can’t go wrong”. I understood that he was a Christian, but I could not understand why he was so interested in Catholicism, the Pilgrim’s Church, and the Holy Apostolic teachings. Today, I still don’t know but he is passionate about it. In addition to put God first, my dad was adamant about exposing me to as much of the world as possible; especially from a spiritual point of view. I remember sitting with several of my dad’s friends and discussing religion from their points-of-view; his friends/family from Africa, Jewish friends, Muslim friends, Hindu friends, Russian friends, English friends, Hispanic Catholics, Iranian friends, even atheists; everyone. I don’t remember details of every discussion, but I remember that if given enough time, we discuss spirituality with anyone. If there was a documentary on PBS or cable about religion, we would watch it; that goes all the way up to last year. What I always got from being around daddy was that, in the big scheme of things, the world is “small” and is completely available to you. God has his arms around this whole thing and there’s nothing wrong with discovering as much as you can while you can.

So, growing up I was exposed to two (2) trains of thought: My mom exposed me to a denominational approach to discovery and my dad took a more monolithic perspective of spirituality. My early beliefs basically fell in the middle; I wanted the intimacy of a small, denominational church; with an instinctive “moderate” perspective of our (Man’s) existence and relationship with God.

 

Becoming an Adult with God

Although my parent’s approaches were different, it was always easy to see that their beliefs were similar. They often expressed the personal and private relationship with God, both thru Jesus Christ. I was introduced to Him by my mother as “the vehicle” and my dad as “his vehicle”. I was always allowed to have “my relationship” but they both made sure they were overseers of my spiritual discovery. Once in college, my discovery took a new path. Most people do not think of religion when they think of your choices for a school. I was very aware of the spiritual background of colleges; specifically HBCUs; specifically Morris Brown and Morehouse. I chose to go to Morehouse for more than just the prestige, scholarship, and proximity to home. Morehouse is Methodist institution, and I felt that being forced into a “religious” practice would add to my learning experience more than going to a place like the University of Michigan where religion was primarily a course of study. Regular chapel sessions and religion study requirements were going to help me get to the discipline I believe I lacked coming up. One event that sticks out in mind was when my girlfriend told me that she would break up with me if I didn’t come with her to church. It was a warm Sunday, and I sat in my room all morning torn between the woman I loved and getting up to go to church. I was playing video games and my friends all were encouraging me to go. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go to church in particular, but I didn’t appreciate, nor did I agree with, the edict that was being placed on the situation. I felt like going based on the fact that my girlfriend was demanding it was as negative to the situation as me not going at all. After a few angry rants and several tears, I decided to get dressed and walk to the church. I talked to God the entire way. I was asking for guidance and perspective, and my calls seemed to go unanswered. This was a completely new experience to me; as far as me praying and feeling empty afterwards, but I made it to church. When I walked in, I saw her sitting with her friends about 5 rows from the front. I walked in, confident and open minded with my heart exposed to receive whatever it was God was trying to tell me on that day. I was very disappointed with sermon and even more disappointed with her friend’s perspective on me actually making it to church. It was as if I was in the middle of some crappy fairy-tale love novel and made it thru the doors just as she thought I wouldn’t come. The light was shinning on me and we were finally able to express our undying love for one another. What a crock of crap!!! Not only was the sermon disappointing to me, the girlfriend and all of her friends vowed to never return to the church because of the pastor’s perspective on women’s role in spirituality and life. I remember thinking I had lost perspective on what church is supposed to be. This situation was the very beginning of my “adulthood”. God didn’t want to add anything to my prayers because they were poorly directed and misguided. I decidedly placed my relationship with my girlfriend before my relationship with Him. And although I was going into a place of worship for Him, I was not doing for the right reason(s).

When my son’s mother and I were dating, we attended church together every Sunday. I remember the decision to go to church was mine and was guided from the right places. I thoroughly enjoyed going to church with her. I knew that she was the girl that I was supposed to be in a relationship with at that time. I have always been self-aware, but that part of my personality began turning into self-absorbed. I was worshiping on a regular basis; doing all of the things I had been taught were the right things to do; however, I was becoming more self-righteous and less humbled by the presence of God. I began to pigeon-hole other people and other perspectives and that was “completely” against God. I felt like getting my little internship in Houston was ordained by God because I had zero experience and was probably less qualified than many other students, but because my relationship with God was so much stronger than everyone else’s, I got the nod. The people who interviewed me could see God in my person and couldn’t help but choose me; like I said, self-absorbed and self-righteous, but no longer self-aware. God would give me everything I need and all I needed to give back was a dutiful approach to worshiping Him. My “baby momma” and I  had problems and I asked God for guidance and, for the second time in my life, came up empty. The irony of it all was that the two times in my “adulthood” that I came up empty were both centered on a female love interest. “I” knew then what to do, tell her it is over and go on with my life; me and “my” God are out of here. Once free from the craziness, I moved on thinking everything was still about me. I win the Intern of the Year Award, I was offered a full scholarship to transfer to Rice University, I opened the door for the first person from a HBCU to be hired into this French-based company, I was a living and breathing example of God’s work for others to follow. Maybe my grandfather’s prophecy of me becoming a pastor could be a reality. The thing that stands out the most during that time was that I was being offered the world to stay in Houston to finish school and work, and when I asked God for guidance, I kept receiving the same answer. I would even regurgitate to the people I was working with, “Thank you, but I have unfinished business back in Atlanta. I think I should finish what I started out there ‘at Morehouse’.” I was back home and in school (excelling), full perspective on what life was about and on top of the world. November 2nd 1995, God humbled me in a way that I didn’t think was possible; I had a son on the way and “my plans” were shattered. That day probably shaped most of my adult life in that I figured out that nothing is promised, nor given to you. I can be the Lord’s most loyal servant, His most shining example, but without proper care and work, all that you have been blessed with can be taken away…at least that’s what I thought then.

 

Being an Adult with God

So here I am 19 years old full of promise, with a baby on the way, a strained relationship with my mother, longing for a relationship with my dad (because I needed someone to talk to), and God swinging on me yet again. From as far back as I can remember, I felt like I was dealing with some form of tragedy every year or so.near death experiences, losing loved ones, and other very emotional events which shape everything I am at the moment. I always thought I was doing things the way God wanted me to, and every time I think I get it, something would happen. I used to always go back to my mom saying “God, ain’t did nothing to you!” I listened to that out of fear, but somewhere along the line it happened…I figured out that God has been doing things “for” me the entire time. I was blessed to be in my position. Nothing was taken away from me with my son’s conception. I was being given something that would have been difficult for me to learn on my own. I was able to find selflessness with others that I never had before. There was a living, breathing, part of me that I was responsible for shaping into a reflection of God image. He was a gift. All of my children are gifts. The hardest lesson to learn (and I still struggle with this at times) is not asking God for guidance, but asking God for help. You’ll see in all of the examples above that I wanted God to “tell” me what to do. A random cab driver made me promise to God that I would ask for his help. Afterwards, the world seemed brand new and that reset button I was looking for went away. It became an accountability and responsibility button that could always be on if I allowed it to be. That was what my parents were teaching me and that is why God has allowed me to continue to live and adjust in His world these 30+ years.

 

Have You Forgotten About Jesus Christ?

As I mentioned, I was raised Southern Baptist, so hell no, I haven’t forgotten about Jesus. We are taught in the New Testament that the way, the truth, and the light and the only vehicle to God is through Jesus Christ. I have always found it interesting that Jesus no one ever speaks to fact that Jesus Christ never asked, nor wanted, this responsibility. He spoke of the truth of His words and that they were words of God, but he made it clear that no one worship any man including himself. His birth, and eventual “death?”, helped the people understand that God is a forgiving God and not the punishing God of the Old Testament; however, God of the Old Testament was forgiving as well. Did he destroy Adam and Eve when they specifically disobeyed Him? But I digress…

The world consists of billions of people from different demographics, backgrounds, cultures, climates, colors, languages, et al. The idea that the single absolute of our world is the based on a Man, even He who is hallowed, creates an interesting dichotomy. Man is imperfect which means that Jesus Christ is not a Man. He is God and all of us, created in God’s image, should follow God’s example and worship Him, come to Him. The example I often use when discussing Faith is that 10s of millions of slaves never had an opportunity to meet, discover, learn, or practice in Jesus Christ’s example. Quote from a pastor (similar quote three times over):

“Well, because they didn’t know, they will be judged on the merits of their life and not the acceptance of Jesus as God’s only begotten son.”

I am not making a commentary on the relevance, or existence, or validity of Jesus Christ; however, I am encouraging people’s Faith which could be called Jesus Christ, and/or Muhammad, and/or Jah, and/or Shangdi, and/or Aten, and/or Yahweh, and hundreds of other names by which all have the same meaning. God, by whatever name, is almighty! Hallowed be thy name! So, “name” is the differentiating factor of whether you are bound for heaven or hell in the afterlife. Or is it Faith? I wonder if the acceptance of Jesus Christ is disrespectful to my ancestors who died in the spirit and worship of other deities. Am I continuing the destruction of the history of my culture of thousands of years with teachings which are possibly only 300 years old to my family? My journey continues…

 

Finally, Equally Yoked

God has helped me take life one day at a time. Recently, He has stressed the importance of the time we have here on earth. I have been blessed with all of you who are reading my blog at the moment, and I am a better man for it. I apologize if my words are against your principle beliefs as that is not my goal. I think about all of my relationships and how the Bible says they should be equally yoked. Biblically, equally yoked is generally defined in Corinthians 6:14-16 (but not limited to):

 

14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?

 

15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

 

16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

 

Although this discussion is very personal to me, I felt inspired to offer as much of myself spiritually to ya’ll just short of my personal and private relationship with God. I am realizing that transparency is the great equalizer to fear. I take pride in my relationship with God and exult with every breath I take and everything I do. I have no regrets because without a journey, one has not lived. I do not fear because my final judgment, nor my life, is predestined; it exists at this very moment, which is gone with each letter I type. Everything I thought I knew and have wanted to “understand” is part of my journey and God is with me always for I am in His image. I live and breathe today eager to share, cultivate, and intensify life with you all.

 

The floor is now open for discussion…or not.

 

Posted by: possumjones | April 25, 2008

Algebra Blessett – Purpose

Some of ya’ll from the A-T-L know her well, but for everyone who doesn’t, check out Algebra. The first video is an intro and the second video goes through a couple of songs and an interview. She also has some live content on YouTube, just search for “Algebra Blessett”. I think you’ll be impressed with her voice and energy. Keep in mind that this is live, acoustic, and void of unnecessary studio production.

The album, Purpose, is in stores now.

Posted by: possumjones | April 25, 2008

…Let’s not forget about AIDS

We cannot verify the authenticity of this video nor whether it is all true, but this is a practical approach to educating our youth on the dangers out there. It’s not the 60s when all you worried about was the Clap. It’s not the 70s when Herpes was all the craze. It’s definitely not crabs, gonorrhea, or syphilis. It’s that “Ninja”, “the package”, “Henry the 4th”.

Shout out to my homeboy SL1M for providing this week’s video (I’ll holla at ya soon, Rod…oh, and need a track for this blog!).

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