Blocking with Blockhead

So, over the course of the last 4 years , it’s fair to say the social landscape have gotten a touch more intense. The political divide has never been further and I’m not gonna stand here and pretend I’m not a part of it. As someone who is staunchly on the left of things , i realize some things i write online can be somewhat incendiary. In fact, i often post stuff like that with a purpose. To weed out the undesirables. I say some shit i actually believe but know will ruffle some feathers, they jump in my comments, i block them. It’s simple. Now, it hasn’t always been like this. In fact, I had a very strict “no blocking” rule for a while. My thinking being “everyone deserves to be heard regardless of their stance”. Well, after 4 years of this shit and talking with people who will argue the semantics of racism , classism, sexism, equal rights , etc… rather than even acknowledging they exist, I’m done “discussing” this. Clearly, no one is changing anyone else’s mind. We simply have different core beliefs. Thing is, the people i disagree with are arguing for something that seems very dangerous to me. It’s hate. It’s dismissing the lives of other people. It’s something that lacks a fundamental amount of perspective and empathy. , to the point where I simply need to throw my hands in the air and move on. If an unarmed black man gets shot in the back 7 times by a cop and your first reaction is “Yeah but what did he do?” or “But did he have a criminal record?” but when a 17 year old white kid inserts himself into a protest with an AR 15 and kills two people and you’re breaking you neck to rationalize it, then you’re missing the point enough for me to both not wanna talk to you and never wanna hear your opinion on anything ever again. So, i reached the point maybe a year ago where i started just blocking people. Fuck it. If i think your politics are dangerous and shitty, it’s my right to not have to be exposed to them. It’s not like I’m gonna miss some life altering take that will suddenly make me become an all lives matter pro lifer. We are both set in our ways and , for the sake of my day to day well being, it’s best i simply remove the cancers from my social media. After all, I’m a real person with real thoughts and real feelings. I think it’s my right to dictate my own existence. It’s not like by blocking these people, I cease hearing what the other side is saying. The difference is, I’m seeking out those viewpoints when I want to. Not having them personally shoved down my throat every time I post something with a political viewpoint.

I’ve always been a grey area person on many topics, willing to hear both sides out. But there is a line with this and it’s been pushed to the forefront more than ever since Trump got into office. Oh, it’s ALWAYS been there but never has the other side felt so cozy in their questionable stances. It’s funny cause it takes all types. You got the run of the mill “MAGA” morons , you got the Libratarians who don’t admit to liking trump but DEFINITELY are closer to his side and always a little racist for some reason, all the way to the “intellectuals” who will cite books and articles as proof their argument is valid even though, when it comes down to it, their bottom line is the same as your average trump conservative and they’re literally tying to argue against very simple issues like basic human rights and peoples lives MATTERING. Like Michael Che said “Not mattering more…just MATTERING”.
After a slightly baiting post, and a few blocks, I sometimes mention that i’ve done so. To which the response is either “yassss!” from my side or being called a coward who’s censoring people with opposing opinions. Now, I honestly can’t even argue that i’m not doing that. i am , in fact, removing people with opposing opinions from my social media. Exactly that. I can see how that would look Cowardly to people on that side of things. But here’s what you have to understand: i’ve been on the internet arguing with people since the mid 90’s. Sure, back then it was about if Ras Kass is gonna be better than Nas one day (he would not), but it was the same kind of fevered back and forth. so, if you take the same rabid fervor of a mid 90’s online rap argument, add actual issues that matter and even more divisive topics…shit gets hairy and frankly, it’s exhausting. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of strangers imposing their bullshit on me. Sure, I’m opening doors to it by putting my opinions out there publicly but you know what i’ve never once done? not ever ever? Popped off at a complete stranger in their comments. Not once. Live it how you give it, man. People have their agendas. i am no different. But I damn sure don’t impose mine on strangers. The day you see me in someone else’s facebook comments arguing over politics? just throw me off a bridge. when that happens, I am broken and cannot be fixed.

If you follow me, that’s your choice. If you unfollow me, also your choice. if you like my music and disagree with my opinions, that’s fine. We are all humans after all. HOWEVER, if you feel the need to pop into my comments and mentions with some shitty take and even shittier tone? Bye. We are done here. I’ve had people approach me in thoughtful and constructive ways about these topics and i don’t block those people cause , at the very least, they were respectful. We will never agree but they came at me on a human level. I can appreciate that. Sadly, the majority of the comments I get are

“You’re a fucking sheep dude…”

“Actually, here’s an article written by some guy that explains why black lives, in fact, don’t actually matter…he’s a professor so…”

“Typical libtard…”

some dumb shit where patriotism is used as an argument for all thing shitty about America.

Or the devils advocate guy who thinks he’s clever but really has no point to make outside that’s he’s a argumentative asshole

and might i add, i’ve got no patience for some of the radical liberal side of things either. It’s less offensive but it’s also just as short sighted to me. I have blocked the “Hillary and trump are the same thing, sheeple” faction as well. Only difference is that i can somewhat relate to their ideals at the core (of course i’d rather have bernie than biden but it’s sadly not gonna happen so we must move forward and stop fighting with ourselves in order to find a greater good…getting trump out of office no matter what) but their rhetoric is dangerous in my eyes as well. It’s funny cause what they want is a less selfish country but the fact they’re putting their personal ideals above the bigger picture is actually the most selfish shit you can do.

Anyway, I wrote all this as a means to explain myself. If you’ve ever been blocked by me, I hope you know there is more nuance to my thinking than simply “Fuck this guy”. In fact, i wish you no ill will. I just don’t want your voice in my life. It’s about me, not you.
I’m sure the response to this will be shitty. I’m sure more opposers will come out because of this post. That’s fine. I got endless blocks to spare but here’s an idea…instead of jumping in my comments with anger, simply unfollow me. Mute me. Whatever you like. I won’t care and I won’t miss you. I’m really nobody. So if you don’t know me on a personal level, nothing i say should effect you personally. Hell, you can even still listen to my music if you’re able to separate the man from his art. Or not…It’s all fine with me. Live you life as you see fit. I have endlessly more respect for people who take that rout than ones that feel it’s their duty to let me know how they feel , when i wasn’t asking. Also, if you’ve ever announced to anyone you’re unfollowing them…you’re the biggest loser on earth and should be ashamed of yourself.

Acknowledge Your History

When i was 13 years old, my interests in life included jerking off with no abandon, listening to rap music, playing basketball/baseball and joking around with friends as much as possible. Not much has changed since then but I just wanted to spotlight a brief but indelible moment in my life that has had lasting effects. During that era , i was very much starting to ramp up my obsession with hip hop music. In the 3 year period from 11-13 , my hyper focus had really zeroed in on it as something I was all about. That said, when you’re 11,12 or 13…you’re at that age where low brow is king. So, while I loved Big Daddy Kane and Rakim, the adolescent in me was especially drawn to the dirty rappers. NWA, The Geto boys and, most of all, 2 Live crew.  I loved that shit. At an age when your hormones are absolutely out of control , what’s better for a boy going through puberty than some grown men rapping about sex in a way that my young mind couldn’t fathom. On one song , Fresh Kid Ice,  of 2 Live crew, bragged of having a 15 inch long, 8 inches thick dick. Hearing that now, i laugh cause, well, that doesn’t exist and have you seen what fresh kid ice looks like? He was a short fat guy with what was likely a very humble penis. 

Anyway, i say all that to say this…and this is a story I’ve told before in a few places but it’s crucial to where this is going. One of my friends in grade school was also a guy who was into hip hop and we would tell each other about new rappers. One day, he came into school and told me about this group The Jungle Brothers. I hadn’t heard of them and he framed them to be another super dirty rap group i would love. I left school what day and went directly to sam goody to buy the cassette. I hadn’t heard a second of them but i trusted his opinion. Also, the internet didn’t exist so it’s not like i could try it first. When i got to the record store, they had two titles, one was their debut album “Straight out the jungle”, which actually looked familiar to me. I looked at the cover and recognized the song “Jimbrowski”. It was a song about their dicks! Bingo.

The other album had just came out that week , with colorful cover art work blending reds, blacks and greens together called “done by the forces of nature”. I only had enough money for one of them so I opted to get the new one cause, for some reason, I felt they would have only gotten dirtier. So i took the album home, popped it in my tape deck and let it ride. It was different. They were talking about stuff I had never heard rappers talk about in a way that was unfamiliar. I honestly didn’t know what to think about it. But, more than anything, it was clean. So clean. there wasn’t a curse on the album. In fact, the dirtiest line in the whole album is on the song “Belly dancing dina” where they say “How hard? hard about a yard” (take that fresh kid ice, with your tiny 15 inch dick). But, outside of that? This album was downright wholesome. About peace love and , most of all, afrocentricity.  Now this wasn’t a totally new concept to me. Rakim rapped about his faith. Public enemy was fighting the power.  BDP certainly did. I even think X-clan’s first single had dropped at this point. Maybe even the Poor righteous teachers. But i had never heard it portrayed this way, nor had i really had much interest in it.  So, while i was disappointed with the lack of sex tales on this record i had bought specifically for its sex tales , I found myself playing it over and over. I was drawn to it in a way i had never felt before. I ran that tape back for weeks, learned it inside out. Sure, i still also played my 2 live crew albums but this was the first album that actually made me think outside my existence as a white kid. One song in particular was very heavy to me and that was “Acknowledge your own history”.

Mind you, i was a kid in grade school learning about history in the late 80’s/early 90’s. I would legit read from encyclopedias for all my historic info and to say that version of history was slanted would be an understatement.  To think some of my most enlightening moments in that time came from rap music is wild but it’s absolutely true.  When we are that age, we are so impressionable. I understand why 12 year olds can be easily radicalized by their parents when all they hear every day is racist, xenophobic vitriol. Same reason kids stay in church after growing up in it. We are groomed by our surroundings. But, looking back at me during that time, I could have easily gone the rout of the 2 live crew and been a womanizing psycho misogynist . But , even then, I always looked at that kinda stuff as comedy. Like rappers talking about their dicks and murdering people was no different to me than wrestling. It was entertainment. Not sure how i knew that then but I just inherently did. So becoming that person was never even a thought to me. Meanwhile, listening to the Jungle brothers, i felt a genuine connection to it but, more importantly, an empathy towards what they were talking about. I knew i was just a little white kid living in NYC. My life was good. i had things. I could say I was aware of my privilege but i certainly wasn’t aware of that as a concept back then. At that age, all you know is what’s in front of you. Still, I believed the injustice they were talking about. That song was made over 30 years ago and still resonates today. Which is crazy when you think of how badly so much hip hop ages, ESPECIALLY on a social level.  

Now, I don’t want this to come off as an “In my day…” old man rant but hearing this kinda music at that specific age was hugely influential on the person I have become. And i’m certainly not gonna turn this into a “Kids these days with their trap music…” cause i honestly don’t think it’s a fair comparison. In my day, we had no internet. Our information came from tv, movies, music, teachers, books, and parents. That’s it. So, without these kinda of songs that the Jungle Brothers made, no one would have ever opened my eyes to such topics. Not cause they were racist or trying to hide truths from but cause it just wasn’t something people really made an effort to speak on. There was no urgency then to teach these kinds of things, on top of the reality that most of us were taught the wrong things to begin with so we didn’t know what was real to begin with.These days, for every song about a gushy pussy or drug deals there are countless social awareness outlets constantly being thrust at you. While it can seem almost overwhelming at times I also realize i’m not the target audience for this. some 13 year old in the the middle of bumblefuck white america questioning whether his dad calling someone a “beaner” is okay ,however? Stuff can really make a difference. At the very least make people question things they’ve been taught to believe from a young age. As a species, we need these voices from the outside. We need to be able to compare and contrast out experiences cause, otherwise, that’s all we really know. You wonder why motherfuckers are refusing to wear masks or calling BLM a terrorist group or thinking gay people shouldn’t have the same rights as everyone…it’s often cause they can’t see past their own nose when it comes to experiences. Trust, if any of these people had a gay kid , had a son killed by police for nothing, or got covid, they might start to reevaluate their stances. At least i would hope they would. Which is why it’s so important to expose people to all walks of life as much as you can at a young age. Perspective is everything. For me, one song by a rap group I had hoped was gonna rap about fucking bitches turned out to be a door opening to help me understand social inequality. Everyone just needs that door. Man, I hope some of these fuckers find a door soon.