“Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth,
but by washing away from it all that is not gold.” ― Leo Tolstoy
Native American Crazy Hip Hop
courtesy of Rebeliant Beatz
by Kendall F. Person
Sometimes, it seems like the spinning won’t stop. Around and around we go, chasing our tails like four-legged animals, that are not born with the same sense of logic and self, like the beings with dominion over them. Sometimes, the spinning is out of control. We change a step and call it a new plan, than wonder why when the spinning slows down, allowing a temporary respite, we find ourselves back at start; and to make matters worse, time openly mocks us.
Sometimes, the unimaginable occurs and the spinning stops all by itself. But rather than kick, we instead drag our feet or make excuses or throw up our hands, as if it will be that easy, to up and walk away. But sometimes, a defeated reluctance in acceptance of our lot, rains down in a continuous burst of clouds, that only the gurgling sounds of our own drowning, forces the nerve to jump start the heart.
Sometimes, it is not us who have stopped, in fact, we are doing all we can, but the spinning of family or friends or the neighborhood is so out of synch, that we are caught in the crosswind, and vertigo is how we feel. Helplessness cascades down upon us, than surrounds everything around us. Soon we get beside ourselves, thinking that since we were unable to change the world, that all is lost, as if our hand full of arrows, each failing to hit bullseye, is an excuse to give up.
Sometimes, mother nature destroys our home and underneath the rubble, caused by an act of God or really bad luck, we find our beloved, and the mix of emotions of grief from loss and peace that their spinning has topped, overwhelms us. But the wind is in such turmoil, that no reprieve from the spin. Or perhaps a nation in upheaval, spinning faster and faster still; and the war between fact and fiction, is like a seesaw without balance. And we try to believe in the leaders we follow, but the closer we get, the cliffs in the distance, we can no longer imagine are mirages.
There are solutions to stop the spinning, to every ill that burns, like the fires that blaze in the mountains, as if in pursuit of the final days. But if we cannot – if only for a moment – strip away the notion of every man for himself or keeping our heads down or sitting stagnant, awaiting the aftermath, we will never find the answers and perhaps the spinning is self-deserved.
Rather we see it or not, and while we may never be of one mind, we are caught up in the same vortex, that rips away at solid ground We can either glide or run or band together and join onto the wind – by hoping or praying or marching or voting or in denying the power of lies. But one thing is certain, the world will keep spinning and if we do not take dominion over the gusts of civility and topple the burst of division, the wind will be left to its own devices, and may drop us in a place, where the spinning is devoured by fire.
this is… The Neighborhood delivering an analogy based on the current reality. Do not be timid about adding your voices, and listening in return, for I know what I know, but I am nowhere close to knowing everything.
We are more like animals, than imagined.
“A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.” – Elbert Hubbard
In 2004, the knockout first season of Donald Trump’s The Apprentice ushered in a new mean girl, by the name of Omarosa. While she began cultivating now famed persona from jump, it was the final episode, in which she demonstrated how low she would go. With absolutely no way to win – that particular game – and the only benefit being of goodwill from supporting a nice guy in Kwame Jackson; and without an iota of shame nor an ounce of remorse; on live television with millions watching, she would sabotage her own team, by spinning an absolute lie.¹ Hence, the exact moment, when Donald Trump discovered his star.
from 2002… Cry Me A River
by Justin Timberlake
Omarosa & Donald Trump:
If This Were A Different Story
by Kendall F. Person
If this were a different story, it would be about friendship, rather than a collision of the self-absorbed. If this were a reality show, the revelations would be expected, but nonetheless a tension-filled climatic season-ender. If these were the type of people, who served someone – anyone – outside themselves, then the nation’s attention would not be focused on tic for tac insults, that hail from the United States President and his former best friend. But the story within the story, is about two of the all time champs in vindictiveness, backstabbing and grifting, living out their reality show, in the gaslighting of America.
If Trump were a different man, when Omarosa executed the ultimate betrayal to their 15 years long, mutually beneficial, platonic relationship, not only would she have been scorned by the nation, but a collective sympathy would have surrounded Trump for the sudden collapse of friendship. It was clear during the latter episodes of Season I of The Apprentice, that Trump had found his leading lady, by bringing her back on the show, long after she had been fired, for delivering the exact same performance, that we take witness to now.
It has been confirmed time and time again, when over the past 15 years – through the birther movement and the assault on humanity and the admission of sexual abuse in the infamous Hollywood Access tapes – she had never, ever uttered a negative word about him, proving both her allegiance and the fact, that he too was her best – if not only true friend. And if this were a normal story, the public meltdown of a friendship, would have touched our emotions and perhaps even broken our heart. But this is not a normal story. It is the story of Omarosa and Donald Trump. One boasts about hitting back even harder, and the other relishes, that she wanted to be like him.
If this were a normal story, my mother would have not been confused. “Well, I bet he will bring her back again.” In which I responded, “Mom, you are thinking about their television show, her firing from the White House, and everything transpiring now, is not the ‘reality’ of entertainment, but realism of life.” And so the gaslighting of America, has not only began to drown constituents outside of his base, but is being absorbed into the mundane, that at one time, would have been considered tabloid at best.
If he were an extraordinary President, our farmers and automobile dealers would not be under duress by tariffs and sanctions, in an economic battle, he has raged against the world. Our social standing both on the international stage and within our inner conscious, would not be full of arrows, representing hundreds of immigrant children, separated from their parents, who they may never see again. Our racial divide, would not have worsen to such a degree, that Nazis march proudly through city streets, and the word politician would not provoke divisions, akin to street gangs.
If she were only able to redefine herself, after accepting a top government post, her cries of racism and government abuse, would not be filled with clouds of doubt. And using the race card of all things, in this intense racial climate we find ourselves in, would not have been even her last resort, let alone her first card thrown. For 15 years she has supported the same man, that she now denotes as racist, only because it benefits her.
If this were a different story, it would have revealed the frailty of friendship, and Donrosa held up, as an American success: that neither race, creed, color or gender mattered, in how even the President chooses his closest friend. If this were not a tale of deceit or an attempted overthrow of the teacher, by a grasshopper no more, it would be an epic tragedy. For those of us who have lost them, yet somehow maintained the relevance, the reasons they were in our lives, know that best friends will always be there, unless the bridge was set ablaze. But nothing can be salvaged of Donrosa, the treachery is much too big. She with her library of secretly recorded tapes, and he with names like “She’s a dog!” have severed the lines of decency and respect, with the precision of a surgical blade.
If this were a normal story, the nation would not be caught up in a personal vendetta, between two people that deserve each other most. It would be a story about friendship and how it evolves, delivering lessons like no matter how they end, we should cherish the time spent and the value added while in. Yet, we the people of a civil society, that holds friendship in high regard, maintain the power to deliver a fairytale ending to our personal relationships, by simply dropping a line, “Thank you for being a part of my life.” But if nothing else please take note, this is not our story, nor is it a normal one…. it is the story of Omarosa and Donald Trump. Donrosa has prepared for this moment, so allow them to throw and absorb their own punches. Here is where the wall should be built, to assure this aberration of friendship, does not become the story of us.
this is… The Neighborhood,
created by Kendall F. Person
The Neighborhood’s Video of the Month
Special Thanks to David P. Jones
recommend reading: Evolution of Friendship
Every city has a past they would like to erase.
Sir Sly w/& Run
RUN AMOK (Nonfiction)
by Kendall F. Person
from the City of Brotherly Love
Even before modern man invented weapons of mass destruction, we have tried to not just annihilate one another, but to consume the earth in flames. News of unrest in Israel or Palestine, has become so commonplace, we barely bat an eye. Some cities avoid destruction, like Pretoria, whose release of Nelson Mandela averted a catastrophic civil war. Some cities, catch the world totally by surprise. When Ferguson, Missouri, erupted, the images were so disturbing, they became nearly impossible to watch. But one city did go the Full Monte. A power struggle emerged, and when it finally ended, America’s 5th largest city, was left in a state of shock.
Founded in 1972, MOVE – also known as the Christian Movement for Life – appeared, on the surface, to be a peaceful organization determined to live a more natural life. But the discovery, they had children living in squalor and were not peace seekers but were amassing arms, placed the organization in the cross-hairs of city government and the FBI. An eviction notice by the city was entered, and said notice was ignored. W. Wilson Goode, former mayor of Philadelphia and John Africa, MOVE’s charismatic leader, became locked in a showdown of bravado, both beat upon their chests, neither would back down.
While it was apparent, that John Africa, and his movement were not law abiding citizens, no one in the city was prepared for how high the stakes were about to be raised. On May 13, 1985, several members of the movement had been indicted and the city police force was instructed to evict the rest from their home, which happened to be in a row of attached houses. The adjoining homes were evacuated, just before the standoff turned violent, but 11 people including 5 kids remained inside the compound. Shots fired in both directions, as both sides dug in, but the mayor soon tired of child’s play and forgone diplomacy. Commandeering a state helicopter, he played the trump card. When Mayor Goode finally gave the order, from the sky above, two one-pound bombs were dropped on the row houses, killing everyone inside and destroying the entire block.
from Black Dolphin
In 1986, northern California would be hit by the Pineapple Express, a series of storms originating in the pacific ocean and lining up like box cars, slamming into the Golden State one right after the next. Prone to droughts, it did not take long for the rivers and system of levees to fill to their brims and the saturated ground could take no more, but still the rains came and it would not be long before the levee system, built to protect the low lying valley floor from flooding – failed. In the capital city of the most populous state in the union, Sacramento sat at the bulls eye of catastrophe, both man made and natural disaster.
The levees were filling quickly and the precious vacant land in a flood zone now known as Natomas were threatening to break, inundating the area and setting back construction of the new neighborhood for months. Lobbyist for the real estate tycoons performed their due diligence, getting the city and state government to side with the wealthy land developers, and against the working class citizens. As the rains increased in determination – in inch an hour in some places – unheard of in the desert landscaping, a decision from the highest reach of state government was made.
To protect the vacant land and to save the developers a few precious months delay, flood waters were diverted to a very occupied part of the city, that no one gave a damn about. And without any warning to the long term residents, young and old, filled with mostly African American and Latinos, the dams running along “that” side of town were soon overwhelmed by torrents of rain and the diversion of the flood waters. Akin to an explosion, the levee gave way and a wall of murky water was unleashed. Within minutes, an entire neighborhood known as Strawberry Manors, was completely drowned beneath the flood waters.
this is… The Neighborhood
created by Kendall F. Person
Sometimes, all it takes is the perception
of disrespect for peace to escape
All the Way
by Lady Kyd feat. H-y Loco
RUN AMOK (Fiction)
by Kendall F. Person
Melissa Jackson exited the corner store just as Freeman Lewis raced passed. In hot pursuit were the boys in blue, who underestimated the stamina of the perpetrator they were trying to catch. “Move out of the way!” shouted one cop to Melissa, who stood wondering what ole Freeman had done now. Cho Kwon heard the commotion from inside the store and hoped it would stay outside. Jose Hernandez was just a little boy, but in the peaceful city he lived, he was allowed to walk solo to the neighborhood store. Candy bar in hand, he felt inside his pocket and pulled out the loose change. The shouts of the officer, which had nothing to do with him, startled his young nerves, causing him to drop the pocket change, which made a loud chiming sound as the coins rolled across the floor. On the next isle, Mrs. Parker had just grabbed her favorite bottle of beer. Trying to come down after an all night binge, the shakes had set it and the sounds of the city noise made them even worse. The bottle slid from hand, and the sound of breaking glass, made Cho dial 911.
Freeman Lewis was running from his past and although he was outrunning the cops, he would never be fast enough to outrun who he was. He slipped into an alley, jumped inside a large garbage bin, buried himself under the trash, then nearly cried, because he felt right at home. Had he waited a second longer, he would have realized he made the wrong move, for today was Monday – garbage pickup day. Michael Ross drove the garbage truck into his assigned alley. He was listening to his favorite song and thinking of his honey. Had he been paying attention, he would have realized there was life inside the dump.
When the cops turned the corner and saw Freeman no where in sight, they smiled at one another, knowing exactly where he tried to hide. Inside the store, young Jose was on the ground, searching for his money to buy a candy bar. Mrs. Parker leaned against the freezer’s door then slowly slid to the ground, as the floodgates in her eyes unleashed and she began to sob and cry. No one answering 911, but Cho held onto the phone. Melissa remembered she had forgotten to purchase gum, and stepped back inside the store. On the outside, directly behind, when the officers turned into the alley, Michael had already maneuvered the lift and was inserting it into the sides of the garbage dump. Freeman felt a jolt, and thought he had been found, so he prepared to give up. Melissa was a regular, always gave a smile. Cho’s father really liked her and in fact, Cho’s father liked everyone. He would even let Freeman slide on money, although he knew he was a useless bum. But Cho was his own man, and did not have his father’s soul. He thought everyone not like him, was out to rob the store.
Freeman was not a smart man, but nor was he dumb. When gravity deserted, he knew what was going on. He banged on the sides, and was able to lift the lid, one cop did see him and one acted as if he never saw a thing, with Michael still oblivious, that Freeman he was about to kill. Melissa heard the crying, Jose searched for his change, One cop ran toward the dump, waving his hands in the air. Michael noticed the running cop, but did not slow or stop the lift, because he also saw the other cop, who gave him the thumbs up.
Summer was nearing its end and was going out in a blaze of glory. Just half past noon and the mercury had already reached a balmy 96 degrees. The peaceful city bustled with activity, On the steps of St. Michaels Cathedral, a wedding party threw rice. A young couple had been married, and all that surrounded, celebrated their new life. Across the street in a city park, but not more than 50 yards away, a family reunion was taking place. And although the heat was unbearable, they were enjoying the day nonetheless. Two blocks south, in a solemn procession, officers in uniform were mourning their dead. Officer Brad Fisher died from natural causes, and little did they know, he was about to be truly missed. Officer Fisher was the link that held peace together, earning the respect he received, from both fellow officers and the community in which he served. And crossing the street at the very same time, a group of teenagers, different in age, race and creed, but until the peace would be broken, all that mattered was that they were friends.
Back inside, Melissa tilted her head to the side, causing her eyes to squint, trying to determine, if indeed, it was crying that she heard. Cho mistook her expression, thought she was mocking him. It was one thing to be robbed, but he refused to be disrespected, right inside his father’s store. He hung up the phone and reached under the counter, while scanning the store with his eyes. And giving his perception no consideration, he wrapped his hand around the handle… of a butcher’s blade kept sharpened.
As the teenagers crossed the street, one of them, for no reason at all, flipped off the funeral procession of officers. Most did not see the teenager’S expression of rage, and those who did were too lost in grief for it to mean anything to them. But Officer Dan McGuire saw the little bastard and and thought, “How disrespectful!” So he broke ranks with his brethren and approach the kid set on teaching him a lesson. The teenagers saw the cop coming and had no idea what their friend had done but knew it was trouble and for whatever reason, decided that on this occasion, they were not going to be punked. Before Officer McGuire could approach, one of the teenagers threw a solid rock. It flew passed the officer and smashed into the hearse, breaking out the front window and now putting all of the officers on red alert. The breaking glass was all it took for Officer McGuire to pull out his government issued weapon, aim it at the aggressors, and without thinking, pulled the trigger, killing the teenager behind the one that had flipped the bird.
Freeman Lewis screamed to the top of his lungs and finally Michael Ross did hear him. He pulled reverse upon the lever and set the canister back down. Freeman collapsed inside the trash bin, his whole life now just an emptiness blur. The good cop approached with gun in front, but knowing the perp had to be much to shaken to put up a fight. Freeman Lewis rocked back and forth, and had not the strength to put his hands up as ordered. But before good cop could apprehend him, bad cop ordered even louder for him to “Surrender peacefully!” Both Michael Ross as well as the good cop, looked into the eyes of the bad. Neither understood his aggression, but both were now in fear of Freeman’s life.
The mercury had risen to an oppressive 105. The ice in their chests had melted and all of the park water fountains had been shut off. A couple of the reunion revelers had crossed the street toward the church, in search of cold water to quench their insatiable thirst. A rice thrower, threw a little too hard, and a handful of dried rice showered the hot and bothered men that crossed the street in search of cold water. “What the fuck are you doin’ throwin’ shit at me!” shouted one man. And instead of apologies or level heads taking over and explaining that no harm was intended, “Get the fuck back over to your park, what are you doing by our church!” yelled a voice, now offended. One thing led to another, and the beautiful wedding party and the wonderful family reunion, where now the Hatfields and the McCoys as each side called out for back up and each side prepared to fight, although no one knew or asked, what the hell the fight was about.
Melissa walked over to the far aisle and saw ole Mrs. Parker sobbing against the freezer and atop the broken glass. Jose had gathered up all of his change and rather than proceed directly to the check out counter, he followed the sobs as well, because they sounded like his mother. Even for Cho, who held onto the butcher’s blade, the crying was soothing, somehow calming his mind. He turned down the aisle and saw Melissa trying to help Mrs. Parker stand and little boy Jose was attempting to clean up the mess. Cho rested the blade by his side and felt embarrassed by the way he reacted and what he had planned to do with the knife. But before he could walk over to the trio and help, the glass store front of his business shattered and calm that he felt was broken and distrust returned to his heart. So he raised the blade up high and proceeded toward the trio, not giving a damn, that he was no longer in Vietnam, and these people in front of him met him no harm. And giving what he was about to do no further thought, he brought down the butcher’s blade and kept chopping until his 3 customers were dead.
courtesy of thepublicblogger short story vault
Northern Lights produced by ybmuzik
The Evolution of Friendship
by Kendall F. Person
Born wide eyed with a screaming cry
emitting from your soul.
Womb’s comfort left behind
a new world
frightening, cold, but alive.
A mother’s touch, calming.
A father’s strength, secure.
Brothers and sisters, friends they are to you.
Years go by, off to school,
scared at first, a smile reassures,
friends live here too.
They come and go, laugh and cry.
Most we leave behind,
only a few, move and grow with you.
A click, a gang, a backbone, all the same.
Friendships are formed, bonds created,
a necessity to dodge minefield of teenage years,
but bullies grow older too.
Adulthood – friendships are tested.
Some snap, most break.
Stress, freedom, ability to live life by rules we create.
Best friends forever, go separate ways.
Families of our own.
Dreamer inside, still alive,
but life does not belong to you.
Some go away, never to be seen again.
But a few survive, throughout our lives
a love so great, never defined
but existing all the time.
Some are forever. past to present
Some drop in, just when we need them;
and because they need you too,
no one knows, how long a friendship will grow
or when it will disappear.
So we cherish each moment now here.
Middle aged, often alone, pondering the meaning of life.
Time so precious, friendships maintained,
but sincerity becomes valued trait.
Hearts were broken, when friends fell apart
but we learn through wisdom of age,
Friendship does not fade,
but evolves in a different way.
Perhaps, the changeling flies
it to another place.
Sometimes, we note a return,
although, through someone knew.
In the end or close, we fully comprehend,
that neither time nor absence plays a role
…in the evolution of friendship.
this is… The Neighborhood
created by Kendall F. Person