The value in everyone, especially who?!

“My website is the Bible” – Ye West Disclaimer: I am not justifying anything Ye west said in his interview with Alex Jones on InfoWars. What I will say in this post is my perspective on how he has conducted himself thus far. He has said some egregious things lately and as of now has had his Twitter account suspended. Anyway, leave a like, comment if you’d like to chime in, and hit the follow button so you can stay up to date with my future posts. Unless you’re not on social media then you’ve seen that “Ye” West formerly known as “Kanye ” broke the internet with a provocative interview with conspiracy theorist political pundit Alex Jones. Once the interview dropped, which is on an uncensored network called InfoWars, it caused an uproar on social media, specifically Twitter where he was condemned for saying outlandish (taboo) proclamations such as him professing his love for infamous German dictator Adolf Hitler. The interview is a little over three hours so what was shown to the public were snippets that were to elicit a reaction, but I saw the interview and don’t want to use selective perception. During the interview, he kept explaining his pious belief in Christianity which accepts everyone under the sun including The Nazis. The aforementioned is absurd and asinine but if you were to watch the entire interview there are a few cogent points Ye makes regarding the corruption social media outlets like Instagram do in terms of propagating pornographic images. Additionally, he doubles downs on Pornography in general and some vices he deems that is unholy. All his beliefs fall under Christianity, but to compare pornography with grown adults to pedophilia is an overreach. He contradicts his standpoint because he still stands with Balenciaga after they were exposed for being a borderline cult and depicting child pornography. Moreover, the interview was three hours long so unless people are open-minded to sit through the three hours, then you won’t listen to his entire perspective on faith, freedom of speech, “Antisemitism”, and more.    A lot of people see Ye on a self-destructive path, but he sees himself living through Jesus Christ and he has no energy to hate and claims “He loves everybody”. From my perspective, this man conveys his thoughts in a mediocre way. Another thing, he’s been aligning himself with people who are using him for their interest, and with that, his rhetoric slightly changes with every conversation. Furthermore, he has pompous energy about him whenever he speaks, but if you get past it and listen, even if you don’t agree you can see where he’s going with his thoughts (I.e. He loves everyone under Christianity even the ones who are evil ones). Black Twitter and black people with a pro-black mindset would deem him a “Coon” and I don’t blame them because he’s associating himself with individuals who are anti-black and who will continue to manipulate him. From there he’ll continue to say reprehensible things like his praise for Nazis and “slavery was a choice”. Lastly, it’ll be a challenge for Ye to repair his public image and recover from these controversies but he’s comfortable being used (He wouldn’t think that) to spread rhetoric that is inflammatory, outrageous, and asinine. I’ll take it a step further and say that I think this man believes he’s in a winning position (even though he can’t be with all his recent losses) because he has God on his side. His next moves will determine how much more of a decline his image will take with all this so-called Antisemitism.

Meroe in Sudan, Capital of the Great Kushite Empire: Black History 365

Welcome readers, 

It’s been a while since I did a Black History 365  post on the history of African civilizations but look no further because this post is all about one specifically the Kushite Kingdom in northern Sudan and lower Egypt. Leave a like if you’ve enjoyed what you read and hit that follow button so you can stay up to date with my future posts. As always, peace and keep it real. 

Historical documents collected by archaeological discoveries indicate that the ancient city of Meroe served as the capital of the Kingdom of Kush, which is located in present-day Sudan. The Kingdom of Kush was a northern African Kingdom that had a profound influence that spanned from approximately 1069 BCE to 350 CE. Even though the region around Kush, later known as Nubia had been inhabited since 8,000 BCE, the kingdom of Kush didn’t become established and gain prominence until years later. Additional findings indicate that Egyptians and the Kushites were in contact as early as 3150 BCE and 2613 BCE during Egypt’s Early Dynasty Period, the Kushite civilization most likely evolved from the early cultural contact and was heavily influenced by the Egyptians. 

The Kingdom of Kush was robust with rich resources such as gold which was the Egyptians’ main source of this precious commodity, and it is widely assumed that the later name was derived from the Egyptian word for gold “Nub”. Due to the Kushite kingdom’s exorbitant wealth, it quickly ruled over Egypt and dominated its politics, with its kings ruling over Egypt. Egypt’s weakness benefited Kush, and Kushite kings took advantage of it and reigned without regard for Egyptian monarchs or policies around 1069 BCE. Furthermore, as the kingdom expanded steadily, it reached a point where it could strongarm Egypt and take whatever it wanted without deferring to Egyptian kings. As a result, the kingdom rose to power in Egypt over time, not to conquer, but to preserve Egyptian culture and heritage. 

    The previous ruler of Meroe, The Great City was succeeded by a puppet king named Necho 1 after the 25th Dynasty ended with Tantamani. The 25th Dynasty was a line of Pharaohs who originated in the Kingdom of Kush. All the kings of these dynasties called the city Napata their spiritual homeland. Moreover, Necho’s son Psammetichus 1, aka Psamtik 1, (c. 665-610 BCE) ended Assyrian rule and paved the way for the establishment of Egypt’s 26th Dynasty. Under those circumstances, Psammetichus and his successor, Necho 11 ruled successfully. Nonetheless, Psammeticus 11, Necho 11’s successor led an expedition against the Kingdom of Kush, destroying towns, temples, monuments, steel, and finally the sacred capital city Napata before calling it quits and returning to Egypt because of boredom. After the desecration of Napata, the capital city of the Kushite Kingdom was moved for safety reasons. It was relocated further south to the town of Meroe around 590 BCE. Meroe’s rulers continued to imitate Egyptian customs, fashion policies, and religious rituals until the reign of King Arkamani.

Arkamani 1 had some basic education in Greek philosophy and resisted being controlled by priestly superstitions according to historian Dlodorus Sirculus (1st century BCE). Consequently, he led a band of men to the temple, slaughtered all the priests, and ended their reign over the monarchy. In addition, while in the temple, he implemented a new policy and practice that included removing Egyptian cultural practices in favor of Kushite practices. Furthermore, it didn’t stop there, Arkamani would go on to replace Egyptian hieroglyphic script with Meroitic, which has yet to be deciphered. He also changed the fashion style from Egyptian to Meroitic and Egyptian gods such as Aperdemak were assimilated into the Kushite ones. Alterations were done to burial customs, with royalty now buried in Meroe rather than Napata. 

Meroe, on the Nile’s banks, thus became the capital of the Kingdom of Kush. Its ironwork and trade brought a vast amount of wealth as an agricultural and industrial center. Agricultural products such as grains and cereals were exported in addition to iron weapons and tools, and with that, the city was overrun with livestock.Meore legendary status brought forth rivalries. Adversaries were on the horizon to take on the Kushite Kingdom. King Cambyses 11 of Persia (525 – 522 BCE) is said to have launched an unsuccessful expedition to plunder. Cambyses 11’s army suffered defeat by the treacherous and inhospitable terrain they crossed, as well as the weather. However, The Axumites forged a successful attack against Moroe around 330 CE. Even though the city survived for another 20 years, it was effectively destroyed due to the massive manpower of The Axumites. The Axumites would send the fatal blow to the Kingdom but Meroe was doomed even before the invasion and was on the verge of imploding. For one thing, the iron industry required a large amount of wood to produce charcoal and fuel the furnaces used in iron smelting. Due to this high demand, a large portion of the city was deforested. Moreover, due to the city’s large livestock population, the fields around the city were heavily overgrazed and overused for crop production resulting in a depletion of the soil. The once prosperous and wealthy Kingdom of Kush had effectively ended by the time the last of the people left the city around 350 CE. 

The Robot Way: A look into Robots in Film and Gaming

  • If you’ve enjoyed reading this post then give it a like and hit the follow button so you can stay up to date with my future posts. As always, peace and keep it real.

All Androids are Robots, but not all Robots are Androids. This needs to be stated because even if they both serve similar functions, Androids have a “closer connection” to humans in terms of from an aesthetic standpoint and can blend into human society. The inspiration for this topic came from my recent activity playing video games and watching movies that dealt with storylines pertaining to societies where humans and androids had to coexist. Moreover, I recently finished playing a video game titled “Detroit Human” and watched “Bicentennial Man ” a film that starred the late comedian and actor Robin Williams. I found some correlations between the two and I wanted to share my thoughts. Additionally, I’ll include some similarities I thought of with the science fiction action film “I Robot” starring Will Smith. 

So, I want to first delve into Detroit Human. Detroit Human to me was more than a video game but something that was filled with interactive allegories we’re all too familiar within our society (USA) i.e. Segregation, discrimination, Civil Rights, and Independence. Furthermore, it’s a game that causes the player to use their critical thinking skills because the choices one makes will be vital for the direction of the story. With that said, there’s an array of endings from happy and peaceful, to deadly and sad, but there isn’t a bad ending or an incorrect one because like I said, the player dictates the way the story plays out. All three Androids (Markus, Connor, and Kara) live in a society where they exist as property to serve humans but most of the public considers them a nuisance. In regards to this, it leads me to bring a correlation between this game and the film I Robot. In the film, I Robot Detective Del Spooner (Will Smith) didn’t see the value in Robots because he believed they were something that would do more harm than good. While in Detroit Human, Lt. Hank Anderson shares a similar disdain for Androids and needs them out of his way so he can do his work as a cop. Not to mention, characters in both mediums of art discriminate against and blame the Androids/Robots for taking jobs away from them and infringing on their privacy. With that public pressure, Androids enter a survival state that results in them becoming Deviant. From my understanding, once an Android enters a state of deviancy, it’s equivalent to Fight or Flight in humans. Fight or Flight is a survival mechanism and the consequences depend on the circumstance, however, being in a state of deviance in the game and the film I Robot is seen as something that’s always hazardous. Having said that, it would cause the public to perceive the deviant Androids as volatile and they would do whatever possible to reprimand the Android for the sake of the public’s safety. Although deviancy in androids/robots is a cause for concern and usually a high-alert situation, not all deviants are created equal. For instance, in both the game (Detroit Human) and film (I Robot) there were plot lines where deviants were suspected of breaking the 1st law of Robotics (which they did) and needed to face legal repercussions since they were considered hostile. On the other hand, an Android like Markus in Detroit Human became a deviant and a messiah so to speak for the Androids of Jericho who would go on to fight for their civil rights in a society that marginalized them every day. Deviancy in both art forms is stigmatized as unacceptable conduct from the perspective of the public, but the intentions of the deviants are what matter. These intentions can be used for a beneficial purpose like in Markus and the Androids of Jericho who started a revolution for freedom and goal towards a utopia for Androids. However, the cost of freedom from slavery was the Android’s existence, so deviancy had its drawbacks even if the intentions were positive for the collective. Speaking of freedom, I want to now connect Detroit Human and the film Bicentennial Man.

“One is glad to be of service” was a statement Andrew, an NDR robot, would repeatedly say to his owners. Andrew (Robin Williams) functioned like a typical programmed NDR robot but as the years (the story would fast forward through decades) passed he began to become self-aware and learn the human experience. He would go on to appreciate the positive and negative aspects as the film progressed. Furthermore, when Andrew was a robot and going through his “coming of age” he began to love his family, especially Amanda who he would endearingly call “little miss”, and she became a catalyst for him to seek freedom and independence in a society that limited him to a specific role. With each passing decade, Andrew started “becoming human” and he took a journey to San Francisco to find a scientist that could help him become an Android. At this point in the film, he becomes more “human” and Robin Williams takes over the appearance of Andrew for the rest of the film. Equally important, once Andrew became “human” he got unplugged literally and figuratively so he could be reset to be something more than what he previously was, and also get “unplugged” from the restraints of society’s pressures on him and the indignation he experienced in his Robot form. In regards to this, in Detroit Human, the Androids are capable of unplugging from their programming once they become a deviant by removing a CPU installed in them on their temple, and once this is done they can move around in society without a feeling of being controlled. Additionally, being unplugged gives way to respite as Androids can become awakened from their controlled state and understand the potential they have is beyond what they were programmed to do. For example, both Markus and Kara unplug themselves from being in a household where they had to endure abuse from a family member (Kara from Alice’s father and Markus Carl’s son) but even after they “unplugged” they still showed empathy and love for the ones they cared for. They knew even if they removed themselves from the mental slavery of the programming, they still had a mission and their loved ones were counting on them. Near the climax of the game, Markus returned to a terminally ill Carl and expressed his frustration with his plan for Jericho and his remorse for not being there for Carl in his time of need. Carl understood Markus’s perspective and didn’t blame him because he knew Markus was more than just an Android, to him Markus was a being that was a great painter and caretaker. In the case of Kara, nurturing and protecting Alice from her father and threats was her mission and she stopped at nothing to protect her.       

All in all, even though all three of these pieces of art are entertaining, it provides a lot of messages and symbolism if you’re attentive to what persists in all societies where marginalized minority groups continuously do their best to find a balance in a world full of corruption. With that said, it’s poignant to see and understand in these stories the levels of ignorance that manifest into fear and hatred. On the other hand, that can and has in these stories be counteracted by the love of the ones who are suffering daily which becomes infectious and lights up the darkness. Never compromise the freedom to be you.          

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