Perception of Truth: Carcetti’s Speech

The Wire is arguably the greatest television show of all time. I haven’t seen enough classic television shows to give a definitive answer on that. The Wire never talked down to its audience and expected them to pay attention. Its messages were subtle. So subtle that at times the show’s messages could sail over the heads of its small, but dedicated audience.

How the audience perceives the message of scene is an important thing for a writer or director to consider when constructing a scene. The scene below is meant to show that Tommy Carcetti is no better than any other politician. He gives a long speech on how the city needs to be harder on the drugs-trafficking taking over the city. Carcetti’s words are passionate but lacking in substance. He offers no real solutions to the struggle of the people in Baltimore.

On the commentary for this episode, David Simon says that the performance of Aidan Gillen and the push-in of the camera imply truth to the audience. Aidan is so genuine in the fire behind his words that people don’t play attention to what he’s saying. Simon states that the push-in was done to show that this is Carcetti’s moment. This is where he becomes mayoral in the eyes of the people. He inspires people with the same words that have failed them in the past.

Simon commented that this showed that politics was more about the visuals rather than the words being spoken. Success in politics is about coming across as fitting for the position through your poise and articulation in debates. The content of your speech is secondary.

Tis the Season

Seven years ago a Walmart employee was sent to the front doors of the store  to help take control of a crowd of Black Friday shoppers. He was known as a gentle giant to his loved ones. That size was what put him in harm’s way.  The store needed big strong men like him to keep the frenzied crowd in check. The front doors would be smashed off their hinges before anyone knew what to do. The human chain set up to stop the rush failed. His co-workers jumped on top of vending machines to escape the hundreds of people flooding into the store. Some were injured including a pregnant woman. A few fought for their lives and managed to get to safety. But this oneemployee did not have their luck. His life came to an end underneath the soles of a crowd of people who felt that fifty percent off electronics was worth more than a human life. He was 34 years old.

Paramedics who came on to the scene to try and help were stepped-on. The shoppers were told to leave the store after the employee’s death was discovered. They refused. They had waited on line for hours. Why did they have to leave because one person had died? They continued to shop as if nothing had happened.

Walmart paid the employee’s family $400,000 to compensate for the loss of life.

In the seven years since the employee’s unfortunate passing,  the pain hasn’t subsided for his family. They remember that fateful Black Friday. Every year they stay at home to honor the memory of their fallen giant. They will forever know what people are willing to disregard for the sake of a good sale.

Ants underrepresented in the media, says new study.

According to a new study released by some educational institution, ants are the most underrepresented group in all forms of media.

Ants account for the same amount of biomass on the planet as humans do, but they make up less than 1 percent of all biomass seen on film. Cars Tomuk, ant expert and the lead researcher for the survey, was disturbed by the findings.

“Even in the few films that ants are in, they are the butt of a joke. Most ants in films and television shows are killed by terminators for laughs. This is very problematic. Ants deserve to be treated with respect like any other species.” said Mr. Tomuk.

Of the 350 films included in the study, only one featured ants in a prominent role. But according to Mr. Tomuk, Marvel’s Ant-Man also has many problems.

“Marvel had a chance to go out and get an ant for the lead role but instead they went with the safe choice, Paul Rudd. Paul Rudd is not an ant. He does not know what it is like to be a pupae or how to live in an ant colony serving your queen every day. The daily life of an ant can be demanding. Does Rudd know anything about that? No. We need more films about the genuine ant experience. ”

The findings of this survey came as no surprise to the ant community. We reached out to a prominent worker ant of an molehill in Antrim, New Hampshire for comment.

“It’s about time America woke up! It’s 2015! There are trillions of ants living in this country and they should be able to watch television shows about their lives and their experiences. ” said Colony Ant of Molehill MSXVMXXX.

“Millions of ants live in the white house right now! They live right under it! But no ant has ever been elected president! This is supposed to be the land of the free! But the only freedom ants have is the freedom to be stepped on by the boot of oppression. Billions of ants will be crushed this year. But does any one care? Will the government do anything to stop it? The senseless slaughter of ants is encouraged by current regime. And it will not stop until ants stop fighting over sugar cubes and start working together for a better future for ants everywhere. ”

Progress may be coming for ants in Hollywood. Film studios have responded positively to the survey. Disney and Sony are the ones taking major steps towards species diversity. Sony has announced an all ants version of Ghostbusters coming to theaters and garbage cans this summer. Disney is re-releasing A Bug’s Life on Blu-Ray with a special documentary on how the film changed bug cinema forever.

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Face-ism

Was linked to a great article today on face-ism or rather prejudice based on how your face looks. Good looks are not only a step up when it comes to sex appeal, but also when it comes to earning money, getting jobs, and being promoted. And according to the article, you are even more likely to get out of a crime.

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150707-is-faceism-spoiling-your-life

“In the past, this “face-ism” (as Olivola and his colleagues call it) was considered an unfortunate fact of life. But the more they come to understand its pervasive influence, the more they are beginning to wonder if it should be treated like any other prejudice. If so, it could be time to take action.”

Will people take action to help bad-looking people get a fair shake?

We say the color of a person’s skin is not what they should be judged by.

Is not the next logical step to extend this to other attributes that a person cannot control such as the shape of their cheek bones and the distance between their eyes?

Or will the ugly be forced to mutilate their faces with plastic surgery to become like everyone else?

Beauty.

Celebrity worship is one of the easiest things a person can aptly criticize society for. You’ll never be wrong if you point it. There are always more important topics that deserve our attention than the latest outing of Miley Cyrus or the condition of Renee Zellwegger’s face. But still these sort of people get 24/7 coverage and are mauled as they leave restaurants. The demand is there. We want to know more. Who is Justin Bieber dating? Is Jennifer Lawrence really that goofy or is it all an act? Why can’t Amanda Bynes get her life together?

What is it about these people that makes us so curious?

They look good. They won the genetic lottery. Their faces are more symmetrical than the average person. They’re more charismatic. They are beautiful!

We love them for it. We shovel money at them. We love to give them money. Beautiful people can get rich just by looking good and walking down the street. We give them love. People send hundreds of love letters to celebrities. Some take it a bit too far. They get so enamored by their facial features that they have to follow them home and find out every little thing about them. People would buy the water that they bathe in.

And people want to emulate them. They want to look like them. They dress like them. And act like them. They’re trend-setters. Miley Cyrus and her stupid fucking video created the twerk. People still twerk to this day. Because she’s one of the beautiful people.

But what is the real value of beauty?

It doesn’t make you a better worker. It won’t make you a better father or mother. It won’t increase your intelligence. It doesn’t give you better reason. There is nothing virtuous about being beautiful.

Only in the world of love and lust does beauty reign supreme in value.

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This woman was kissed by the late Heath Ledger. He was a man like so many others. But his beauty sent this woman into shock with just the touch of his lips to hers. What a crazy power beauty has.

It makes your heart pump in your chest. You might stutter and slur your words when you encounter it. You can just be left in awe of it. It makes men destroy marriages just so they can have a taste of it. It makes smart women endure pain that no one should just so it can be theirs. It makes fools of us all.

We treat beautiful people differently. The rules do not apply to them. Celebrities get slaps on the wrist for their crimes. People trip over themselves trying to make beauty theirs and lock it down. Beautiful people are given better paying jobs. More people want them to be around.

But no one thinks any thing of it. For beauty is not to be criticized. Its treatment is not be rationalized. It is divine. We all just sit tight and worship it, hoping that it rubs off on us.

Seahawks Wins/Losses for the 2015-16 season.

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It’s stupid to make predictions now for the upcoming football season. There are five months until the season starts. Who knows what could happen between then and now? Russell Wilson could OD on heroin. Marshawn Lynch could . Bruce Irvin could actually get a DUI. Pete Caroll might invent a time machine and correct his mistake. Certainly no football expert would waste their time trying.

Luckily I’m no football expert. So here’s my predictions.

Seattle Seahawks 2015-2016

Home (8-0)

The Seahawks should go undefeated at home next year. The past two years they dropped one game. I’ll stick with 8-0 even though they did drop one home game the past two years.

Vs. Cardinals (W)
The Cardinals are a good team.I felt so bad for their fans. At one point, they were 9-1. And then everything fell apart so quickly. They made it into the playoffs running on fumes. They won’t be in that condition once the season starts, but I see Seattle beating them here. Of all the teams that could beat Seattle at home, I think they have best shot.

Vs. Rams (W)
This will be a hard game. The Rams are the team that scare me the most when the Seahawks play them. They are a tricky team with a tricky coach. And they’re getting better. If they can get their offense going, they’ll become the biggest threat to the Hawks in west.

Vs. Browns (W)
This is going to be the close game that’s expected to be a blow out going on. Seahawks will eek out a win here. I have no basis for it being close. I just have this gut feeling.

Vs. Steelers (W)
I’m looking really forward to this game. The Seahawks haven’t played the Steelers in the Russell Wilson era. Ben Roethlisberger has never been in Centurylink. And the people of Seattle haven’t forgotten Superbowl 40. The ghost of Matt Hassellbeck will watch over this game with intent.

vs. Panthers (W)
This game will be okay and the Seahawks will win.

Vs. Bears (W)
I have no opinion on the Bears. There’s 32 teams. I can’t keep up with them. I have no opinions on the Titans, Bears, Bengals, and The bears have a great mascot, but the team seems to be struggling. I don’t think they turn it around next year. I hope they do. Bears are awesome and they shouldn’t be represented by a mediocre team.

vs. 49ers (W)
The Niners are in rough shape. Lost their coach. Half their team has retired. Perhaps the quest for six will be a lot longer than their fans expected.

In 2014, the Seahawks owned the Niners. The Hawks ended their Superbowl aspirations with the tip in that NFCC game. They ate turkey on their logo after a blowout in their own stadium.

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Kaep is not good in Centurylink. Sherman has him downloaded. I read some rumors that he’s trying to become a better pocket passer. I don’t see him getting there in Seattle. This will be a win for Seattle. The only way they lose is if Tharold Simon screws up.

Vs. Detroit (W)
The Seahawks should never have let Golden Tate go. It is my feeling that he would be the solution to a lot of their problems on offense. But that’s just me. This will be his revenge game. He ain’t winning though. I wish he could come back.

Away (5-3)

The Seahawks are an excellent team at home. They’re good on the road, but they drop a few game here and there. I expect next year to be no different.

At Packers (W)
The Packers are going to be out for blood in this game, but I don’t think it will be enough. The Seahawks match up really well against the Packers. If Russell Wilson had an average day that NFCC game could have been a blow out. The defense was on fire that game. They played out of their minds to keep it close. Aaron Rodgers will be back to his regular self. This will be a great game.

At Ravens (L)
The Seahawks have to lose on the road. And this is an acceptable loss. It’s a playoff team. Russell Wilson will have one of his funky games.

At Cowboys (L)
The Cowboys are a little worse now. The Seahawks lost to them in Seattle, but that was when Percy Harvin’s bitch ass was still on the team. Still it’s a road game. I expect this to be a loss.

At 49ers (W)
I predict the Hawks to sweep them again.

At Bengals (W)
The Bengals are pretenders.

At Vikings (W)
This game I’m not confident on. I need to read up more on the Vikings. I say this is a soft W. I know they have a young QB who’s not bad.

At Cardinals (W)
I don’t feel too hot about this prediction either. Sweeping the Cards last year only happened because of Ryan Lindley and their defense giving up. I’ll keep the W here, but this is one I would not be surprised to see being an L.

At Rams (L)
The trickery of the Rams beat Seattle last year. Their coach said he had two tricks left to use on Seattle in their Week 17 game. He didn’t get to use them. He’s going to pull them out here in St. Louis where trickery runs wild.

So I’m predicting a 13-3 season. That’s high expectations for this team. They were 7-9 only four years ago. They could drop down there again. A few balls swing the other way last year and they don’t make it to the Superbowl.

The offense should be better next season. Russell Wilson will be another year wiser. Marshawn can continue to do Marshawn Lynch things. Christine Michael might come into his own. If Jimmy Graham is not a bust, that’d be swell for the team too. I can’t tell if struggling early on in games is a part of the design of the Seahawks offense. More blow-outs would be nice to see.

The defense should be around the same. Tharold Simon, who was my least favorite Seahawk last year, will get his shit together. I lost faith in him, but I’m giving him a second chance. That was his rookie year. The only thing about the defense is that if Bobby Wagner or Earl Thomas goes down, the dark times are coming to Seattle.

I hope Mebane is back in time for Week 1. I missed his belly dances throughout the post season.

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I’ll double back on this post right before preseason and before week one. Then depending on the Seahawks playoff situation, I’ll review my preview in December.

That is if I haven’t contracted a terminal disease or been in an unfortunate fatal motor-vehicle accident. Those things could delay my review.

Back in Florida

Bang.

It’s Black History Month. I’ve opted to revisit a still healing wound that will surely be discussed as a part of Black History Month in the future.

The Shooting of Trayvon Martin.

Here are the first pictures that were released of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. Neither of these pictures were them on the night of the shooting. These weren’t the most recent pictures. They had no bearing on the nature of either man’s actions the night of the shooting, but they had a tremendous impact on the public perception.

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Initial new stories reported this as a shooting of a young black kid by a white man. I took one look at these pictures and did not believe for a second that Zimmerman was white. News outlets would go back and forth on Zimmerman’s race. It was here I became skeptical of all the information on every news station. If they couldn’t get Zimmerman’s race right, why would I believe anything else.

I didn’t want to jump the gun and make a judgement based on the first details. That did not stop other people. This story was and still is very divisive. New stations were split by party lines. Left-leaning stations leaned towards a conviction for Zimmerman whereas the right wanted to see him walk.

The way the story was playing it seemed to be this. Zimmerman stalked Trayvon Martin after a police operator told him to stop because he suspected him of being a burglar. He proceeded, there was a scuffle and then he shot the boy dead.

I still remained neutral for months while that narrative played.I knew how I was supposed to feel; vehemently enraged like all my friends on social media. Anger . I was indifferent. Might be because I’m a strange fellow who reads crime statistics and watches police training videos in his spare time. It was hard for this one death to emotionally disturb me when so many people get shot and die in Chicago on a random weekend. What was there to be enraged about? The racial element seemed forced to me. The justice system is most certainly racist. Just look at the differences in prison sentences between crack cocaine and regular cocaine. But I couldn’t see it here.

Something didn’t seem right. Why would a would-be murderer call the police? Why would he wait for the police to get there? How did the boy and he end up fighting? If he was But then Until this picture came out.

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What do political affiliations have to do with his

Then I started to ask myself different questions.
What this kid got scared? Teens make brash decisions. Maybe he thought he could take this guy. Then he attacked him brutally. And the man turned his gun on him. What if he was justified? What if it had been self defense? I wanted more information. I was dying for it. It was almost like waiting for the next book in a long- running fantasy series.

You didn’t have to wait long. This was a national story for months. New developments came out daily. Every little bit of information was scrutinized and delivered to the public. I watched at least five different pundits analyze whether Zimmerman said “fucking coons” or “fucking cold”. Ratings were through the roof for this saga. The cynic in me wonders if news stations covered this so extensively for the money rather than to fulfill their purpose of bringing out the truth.

There was a trial. That gave us this picture.

Zimmerman

Where you are for or against Zimmerman you have to admit, he has a great smile.

So Zimmerman was acquitted. I expected him to be. There was so much controversy surrounding the events, that I knew the burden of proof was too much for the prosecution. They had to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Zimmerman committed second-degree murder. And that couldn’t be done. Witness testimonies changed. Zimmerman couldn’t keep his story completely straight. The other half of the story was gone with Trayvon.

I was indifferent like earlier. I saw on CNN and MSNBC, people being interviewed. Lots of people crying and saying justice wasn’t served today. Why did this trial mean so much to them?

It was as if people projected all of the hopes and dreams of all black children unto Trayvon Martin. Like when Zimmerman shot him, he shot every black child. And when Zimmerman walked, he got away with killing that potential.

I still do not see the race here other than what was tossed in by the media on both sides. This was a simple case. Two people made mistakes. One was paranoid. One was young. They both should have walked away. But one didn’t. All that noise about skittles, hoodies, and iced tea was just that. Noise.

I was made furious by the coverage after the acquittal. The injustice of Trayvon Martin’s shooting was compared to Emmett Till.

Emmett Till was dragged out of a house, beaten to death, wrapped in barbed wire and then weighed down with a cotton gin to keep him from floating. All for a whistle at one white woman. To compare the two is unacceptable.

What fascinates me now is the martyrdom of Trayvon Martin. A mother spoke about her son’s killer being convicted. She said this was a victory for all black children like Trayvon Martin who didn’t get justice. That’s what he’s going to be now.

It reminds me of the case of Rodney King.

In school, Rodney King was portrayed as this hero. He was attacked by these cops and it led to L.A. Riots. I found out the truth behind Rodney King after leaving college. He was a scumbag. He sped away from the police while drunk-driving all to avoid violating his parole. That didn’t justify that beating, the cops were pieces of shit too. Rodney King was no hero. But he’s painted like one in history books. Trayvon Martin will be too.

Why are we so quick to create heroes and villains? To put things into black and white? Why does grey scare us so?