Posted by Just Jamaal Saturday, October 31, 2009 0 comments

You ever give much thought to how your actions may affect not only your life, but also impact the lives of those around you? What if it were really true that everything you did was interpreted by the universe and some sort of reciprocity was sent out to revisit you at a later date? Or is the universe just some chaotic jumble with no rhyme or reason? Do things just happen and that’s it? If you’re religious, you may tell me that God really is the shaper of things to come and it is God’s will that will dictate tomorrow for you and everyone else according to his/her/it’s plan.

If Karma is not just a concept and instead a reality, I always find myself thinking…"well, I must have done some pretty foul shit in my life..." Me? No, I’m the good one. I’ve never even considered doing anything grimy or dirty, much less DO any of them.*

But really, when things seem at their worst, when it seems as if that dark cloud just keeps following you no matter where you seem to be, it's then that you sit there dumbfounded trying hard to recount what it was that you’ve done to deserve THIS shit. What goes around comes back around…right?

But who decides the severity of it all? Who decides that my little transgression(s?) involving liberated goods when I was…younger, means that I should suffer through short money, ghetto problems, & debtors stepping firmly on my nuts? Or was that particular transgression not what caused that effect? Can a brotha get a chart or something? Before you tell me about how God doles out fair consequences for our actions and it is he/she/it that decides these matters…I mean really, God has nothing better to do than to mess with my head and my life?

How You Would Be Treated

I suppose we really do know the difference between wheat is right and what's wrong. Well, I'll speak for those with some common damn sense, because there are those of us that still can't tell the difference between an ear and an asshole. But we won't discuss them here. Not to sound overly passive (although I tend to at times), but maybe the answer really is in treating others how we'd want ourselves to be treated. That becomes so clouded when someone treats you foul. The question arises whether smackin someone with a doo-doo stick in retribution creates that universal ripple that will ultimately smack you back. Most times I don't want to think that far ahead, it makes my head hurt. At the same time, I'm tired...tired of wading through layers and layers of crap and I know most of it is of my own doing. Maybe we as humans just have this necessity to make sense of everything, even when it doesn't make any sense. Or maybe I'm just a wierdo-fuck-up that doesn't know any better. I know others have already decided on which I am, but I haven't made up my mind yet.

In truth our own personal quips and reality form the basis of morality that we operate from. It is based on these values (or lack thereof) that cause us to do what it is that we do. I used to think that was really simple, because I thought I was a good guy that looked out for the people he cared for, but recently, I've noticed there are still quite a few ugly pieces of my soul that haven't been cleaned up. Sometimes it can be complicated and the same experiences in our lives that pointed us toward kind and good behaviors also nourish the bits of bad that we allow to run loose and unchecked. So the trick is in keeping the good and pruning away the decay.

I remember some years back when I was in a bit of trouble, about 4 months behind on my rent, about to make it 5...utilities, and all breathing down my neck, as a matter of fact, they'd already turned off my lights for the weekend. My vehicle was dead and I was walking to work as a part time fast food knuckle head...shit was bad. I was talking to this older dude who was trying his best to give me some lessons about life...and like most knuckleheads of that age, most of it sounded like the teacher from Charlie Brown to me..."Whoah, whoangh-whoangh, whoah, whoah whoangh..." But a little of it sunk in. What I remember most was his telling me that no matter how deep the whole you find yourself in...the only way to get out is to start climbing. And that doesn't mean it will happen in one day...it may take you a while, but as long as you continue to climb, you'll get yourself out of it. Perhaps, in the end, that is the best way of dealing with this Karma question. Because right now, I still feel like I'm in a hole...but I can keep digging it deeper and ignoring the fact that I'm in a damn hole...or I can start climbing. Doesn't mean I won't slip and give up a little ground from time to time...but the goal remains the same...to get out of this hole.

I'm glad we had this talk...aren't you? Npw, about that $5 you owe me...

Be Easy

Note* If you know me personally and may or may not have been with me when unfortunate things have happened, I will whole heatedly rebuke you as if your name was Lucifer and you were making the nasty with Medusa on the back of a three headed serpent beast.

Is it me?

Posted by Just Jamaal Monday, October 12, 2009 0 comments

What is it about my people that makes me swell up with pride and shake my head in disappointment at the same time?

I'm a Domesticated Knee-Grow, that I can accept. I'm not out in them streets slinging heat or meat like tomorrow's not coming. I'm not sure why that would reduce my credibility as a Black man, but for some reason, there are those who think you have to fit the stereotypical model in order to be counted. You know, cuz that's just what Black people do.

Not this Black Person.

I live in a pretty typical ghetto city, USA. There are many ghettoesk things that occur in my neighborhood. There are the loud ghetto barbeques with the drunken brawls that ALWAYS ensue. There is the Puerto Rican family across the street that just moved all 700 living family members into the 2 family building. There's the BeBe's running around the neighborhoods destroying other peoples things and doing other general BeBe ish. It's a ghetto. So when my neighbors 2 doors down decide to detail thier 10 year old Hondas on the block while blasting the latest genocidal anthem...because, you know, it's what
Black people do, I say the hell with what Black People do.

I have grown tired of searching for legitamite black blogs about issues that I can relate to only to have the latest bullshit glamorized for the sake of entertainment. I like to cut up too, but there should be a line.

There are numerous examples of Black people fitting an unflattering stereotype. What's worse is that to many, these images, modes and expressions are completely acceptable. It has become quietly endorsed and thus allowed to be and even embraced.

The Domesticated Knee Grow will not glamorize the BS. I won't write about senselessness for the sake of entertainment.

It's too easy, but totally devoid of substance. Unfortunately, we've come to a point where substance is frowned upon. It's considered boring or too much work with all the reading and thinking and sobering realities. We'd much rather escape and not think about the real world.

Sometimes we try so hard to escape from the pains in our lives that we are also bailing on the good, treasured, shining aspects of our lives until they fade and there is nothing left but the escape. The act becomes the drug that we yern for. So we sit and turn ourselves off and allow the television or our computers to remove us from our struggles. The bafoonery is funny, the violence is real and relatable, the images become desirable, acceptable, and can slowly replace are own values. We are being told a story of which we are not the original authors, but we have taken up the job of retelling this story, to ourselves, to each other and to our children.

Well, as a Domesticated Knee Grow, I'm going to go ahead and draw a line in the sand.

I will not report on the new Trick Daddy anything.

I will not discuss Beyonce & Jay Z's relationship.

I will not be reviewing the latest Little Wayne gentrification anthem.

I'm simply not interested in any of these things, and have grown tired of searching for good underground blogs to read and only finding the same formulas that mimic what successful white bloggers have done. Can we discuss why we find these things so captivating in order to find the answers & move to a better tomorrow? Maybe it's late and I just need to get some rest. Maybe I'm just overly romantic and optimistic right now. Maybe it's not me, maybe we just need to do better.

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In The Air Tonight...

Posted by Just Jamaal Thursday, October 8, 2009 0 comments

Something has been hanging in the air since I got up this morning. I don't know what it is...but it's been following me. It has me paranoid and tense like something is coming, but I don't know what it is. You ever get that feeling?

I keep getting the feeling I'm at a crossroads. Maybe that's my problem...I keep comic back to the same place because I haven't don't what I need to do to get past this spot. I'd really hate go come back the next life as a cockroach crawling around the same spot over and over because I just wasn't smart enough to get it, even if I did have my own show and a little change in my pocket.

*quivering at the thought*
What happened to you? You used to be beautiful, baby....

Sobhowbdo you break the mold? See, i've found it a mistake to just do different ish willy nilly. It usually ends in less than desirable ends. Just ask Christina...

Just changing up usually leads you to make some messed up decisions, which leads you back to the 'Why the eff did I do thats' which ultimately makes you feel better about doing the same old ish. Thus the cycle continues.

I wonder if this is how my parents felt during Regan. Scared to loose what you have but knowing something isn't right.

I've been thinking a lot more lately, not a lot of talking or doing, just thinking. I don't wantto make any rash decisions, and it always seems like there is too much riding on it. But is there too much riding on this to do nothing at all?

Perhaps I just need to change the air. I think I'll go do that now.

Y'all be easy.


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All Up In My Pockets

Posted by Just Jamaal Wednesday, October 7, 2009 0 comments

I wonder if it all really is just a set up. Like the purpose is to stretch me so thin that it becomes easy to poke holes in me. There's no more room for any more hands in my pockets...all the current ones have me by the nuts anyway.

I'm at another auto shop, trying to get the truck inspected and passed. I'm tired of getting tickets on it. Since 5 knows where it's parked now (that's right, they are eff'n with me at the rest), they've been rolling by hittin a brotha up like they were Bobby and I was a giant rock. Crusty lipped, hoofed swine. They hit me up 2 nights in a row last week. Came out to that little orange you-owe-us notice under my wiper this morning. $40 bucks a pop ain't cheap.

Let's see, who else is in line, Oh, my electric company, my gas company, my landlord. Did no one ever inform them that we are all God's chil'uns and we're supposed to help one another? You know it's bad when I pull out the God card and I'm not even the slightest bit religious. Matter of fact, I wouldn't be surprised to have lightening hit my crib right now, travel through this computer and fry my fingers into those little burnt 7-11 taquito rolls that they never change out.

As always, I'm on the hustle for more dough. But it's different being a domesticated knee grow. I can't hustle like I once did. I have to care about what might happen and shit. So if anyone knows any rich old lady's looking for a new cabana boy, or well off at home Moms looking for a yoga instructor, hit me up. I won't rock the gay nut huggers, but I can whip up some breezy drinks and bend you into a pretzel. IJS.