Category Archives: YAMENTALS: just thoughts

AFFIRMATION by Assata Shakur

Thank you Assata Shakur!

by Assata Shakur
I believe in living. I believe in the spectrum
of Beta days and Gamma people.
I believe in sunshine
in windmills and waterfalls,
tricycles and rocking chairs.
And I believe that seeds grow into sprouts,
And sprouts grow into trees.
I believe in the magic of the hands.
And in the wisdom of the eyes.
I believe in rain and tears.
And in the blood of infinity.
I believe in life.
And I have seen the death parade
march through the torso of the earth,
sculpting mud bodies in its path.
I have seen the destruction of the daylight,
and seen the bloodthirsty maggots
prayed to and saluted.
I have seen the kind become the blind
and the blind become the bind
in one easy lesson.
I have walked on cut glass.
I have eaten crow and blunder bread
and breathed the stench of indifference.
I have been locked by the lawless.
Handcuffed by the haters.
Gagged by the greedy.
And, if I know anything at all,
it is that a wall is just a wall
and nothing more at all.
It can be broken down.
I believe in living.
I believe in birth.
I believe in the sweat of love
and in the fire of truth.
And I believe that a lost ship,
steered by tired, seasick sailors,
can still be guided home
to port.


Food, Inc. – Corporate takeover of your dinner table, food aisle, menu, and more…

Are YOU what you eat?

The politicians sold us out a long time ago.  They work for corporations, not the people.  And the corporations have a simple bottomline: profit.  If a few of us die (from high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, you name it) on the way to earning that profit than so be it.  High amounts of casualties are expected in a war being waged to keep foods cheap and abundant.  There is an incredible environmental and social toll to the costs of the industrialization and factorization of the foods we eat.

PLEASE take the time to watch this film for FREE ONLINE:

Food, Inc. – PART 1

Food, Inc. – PART 2

Food, Inc. – PART 3

Food, Inc. – PART 4

Watch the rest on YOUTUBE!

Facebook Killa?

I love NERDS!  Especially nerds that want to take on huge corporations David and Goliath style!  Facebook makes us think that sharing with each other and privacy invasion/surveillance go hand in hand.  But, they don’t.  There is always an alternative; especially when you care.  These aspiring young minds got together and made a network (in only a few weeks) that allows users to have the utility of social networking without the covert BIG BROTHER/data-collection tactics.  Now, that’s wassup!

1)Put power back in the hands of the people.

2) Give them options that don’t involve corporate structures.

3) Make it available at no-cost?

Oh yeah!

Four Nerds and a Cry to Arms Against Facebook


Published: May 11, 2010

How angry is the world at Facebook for devouring every morsel of personal information we are willing to feed it?

A few months back, four geeky college students, living on pizza in a computer lab downtown on Mercer Street, decided to build a social network that wouldn’t force people to surrender their privacy to a big business. It would take three or four months to write the code, and they would need a few thousand dollars each to live on.

They gave themselves 39 days to raise $10,000, using an online site, Kickstarter, that helps creative people find support.

It turned out that just about all they had to do was whisper their plans.

“We were shocked,” said one of the four, Dan Grippi, 21. “For some strange reason, everyone just agreed with this whole privacy thing.”

Read MORE…

‘O’ is for Oligarchy

'Dem bellies full, but 'dem hungry..

Taken from April 9 Austin Chronicle editorial

by Michael Ventura

The Oxford English Dictionary‘s definition cites the clunky prose of American Political Science Review: “An oligarchy is an organization characterized by the fact that … the highest degree of authority … [is] free from control by any of the remainder of the [organization].”

“Oligarchy” is a big, bad word that defines a country we still call a republic.

The United States became an oligarchy slowly, in plain sight, without need of conspiracies. A Supreme Court ruling in 1896 granted corporations more rights than individuals. From the mid-19th century to today, town councils, state legislatures, and the federal government have given railroads, steel companies, oil companies, and the like every break possible. The outcome was what most people wanted: jobs, money, progress. The U.S. had the biggest and best commercial enterprises in history. For a while, especially after World War II, Americans lived high: Our population, just 5% or 6% of the world’s total, gobbled roughly 50% of the world’s resources.

That could not continue indefinitely.

read more…

It’s not what you do, but what you learn from doing…

I just spent about seven hours in a U-Haul storage unit today.  Tiger and I have to get all of our stuff into boxes before we put it on the Amtrak train down to Austin.  Amtrak stipulations require each box to be no more than 50 lbs, so we had a good deal of shifting to do with our Tetris storage pile.  If it can’t fit into a box (no bigger than 3′ x 3′) we can’t put it on the train.  So, basically, whatever doesn’t fit into a box (of 50 lbs. of less), will hopefully fit into our trustworthy 1995 Subaru Legacy station wagon, or  it will  be staying somewhere in RI (hopefully with a friend that can use whatever it is).

As I sit typing this, my back is stiff and sore from lifting boxes, and twisting my slim-jim-esque frame in awkward directions.   I am at RISD with Aya Pogrebinski.  She is sitting next to me editing our upcoming video for “In Tha Light” (more on that in a future post).  We are close to the end of our ‘BIG MOVE.’  I am tired and excited for everything that is to come.

The ‘doing’ (see Post title) of this process got me thinking today.  For the past four months, Tiger and I have pretty much been living out of our car – sleeping on friend’s couches/air mattresses, outdoors, wherever.  We haven’t had access to most of our ‘stuff’ because it has been tucked in boxes, out of reach, in storage.  Now, we are burdened with the chore of moving it, and I am questioning why I am even bothering.  Do I/we really even need any of it?

As I lifted the last item into the storage space  today and closed the door, I realized that just about everything I was spending so much time packing and moving across country, I could really and truly live without.  So why am I ‘doing’ it?  I guess there is attachment.  I have a need to carry these things with me.  Even though it’s going to cost close to $1,000 to move it, I am working my ass-off trying to figure out a way to drag it down there to Austin.

What have I learned?  It is hard to let go of things that you manage to collect over time.  No matter what, you can always come up with a reason to keep that souvenir, poster, t-shirt, paper weight, CD, old-worn-out baseball glove.  We had a yard sale, gave things away to friends, threw stuff out, and still, there is a whole heap of ‘stuff’ to carry.  Right now, it feels like a weight.  And, I am hoping to overcome my need to hold on…..

peace and love,


Surreal and abstract…magical and supranatural…

Check out this short film/video:


Trust Your Struggle…


Last summer, Ghislaine and I were at the end of our rope.  We needed a release valve from the daily grind, pressures and monotony of life in RI, but we were pretty much financially strapped.  I don’t want to say broke, but we were barely squeezing by.  Most of the side gigs and workshops had dried up, and there weren’t many prospects.  Despite this fact, we chose to take a leap of faith trip down to Atlanta to check out some new scenery/vibes.  In the back of our minds were the bills and problems that piled, but in the front of our mind was the possibility of higher ground.  Deep down, we believed that there was something out there waiting for us if we were only ‘brave’ enough to break free from our surroundings.

So, we packed the car and drove.  Then, out of the blue, somewhere about 5-6 hours down the road (in the middle of Pennsylvania), I got a voicemail from CCRI (Community College of RI) about a job opportunity as an English instructor for the fall semester.  Financial problems/worries solved (at least temporarily).  We could now enjoy the entire trip without any concerns about what was waiting for us when we returned.  This incident was the beginning of our affirmation(s) that when you move in faith, good things happen.  We have learned to trust our inner feelings more in life, and we have been rewarded every time. With faith, all things are possible.

During our time in Atlanta, we checked out several spots.  One of the places we went to was called Little 5 Points.  While walking around the area, we passed by an interesting piece of writing on the corner of a wall on a side street of one of the main throughways.  The writing on the wall said, “TRUST YOUR STRUGGLE.”  The writing stopped me in my tracks, and I asked Ghislaine to take a picture next to the wall (see below).


Fast-forward to today (August 20, 2009).  We arrived in Austin yesterday evening, and our first stop this afternoon was a place called Victory Grill – a historic landmark of the old chitlin’ circuit.  Blues and jazz luminaries such as B.B. King made stops into this place on their way to becoming national recording artists.  In fact, B.B. King played there one night for tips on his way up to Memphis for a show.  Talk about GRINDING!  That’s right y’all!  B.B. King himself played for tips at a small chitlin’ circuit club in Austin!

We ended up hanging out at the Victory Grill for about an hour, speaking with Clifford, the current managar/chef/booking agent/everything-else at the Grill.  During our conversation, Clifford told us about the rich history of the Grill.  He also told us that a group of artists came down from New York City to paint a mural on the outside of the building last summer (the same summer Ghislaine and I traveled to Atlanta).

Guess what the name of the group was?


It turns out the group is an artists collective that paints murals around the world (the image at the beginning of this post is from Colombia — shout out to Norman Ospina!).  Not sure when they painted those words down in Atlanta, but we felt them for sure.

We no longer believe in coincidences.  Trust your struggle!