Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Da Capitalistic Saints

Bueno, aqui estoy ya en Brooklyn, Nueva York. No more Pura Vida, nomore "que buena onda", no more latinamerica vibes. I am staying in Brooklyn where lots of hip hoperos are hanging out. There are all kinds of humans (not many elders, alot of youths) walking around this area. This place seems like the capital of bling bling...

Ok... last night, I went to da Manhattan island to see one of bling bling cultural ceremonies. Da location was somewhere around 42nd St. in the middle of da concrete jungle. This calitalistic saint named Busta Rhymes was giving his cultural ceremony to da members of this calitalistic bling bling community. And I wanted to see and feel the scene. But, you know what, we could not even get in the line...

It was around 10-11pm... we assumed it was still early. But when we got there, a road infront of this club was closed by one of those bling bling SUV (que wow... da power of a capitalistic saint closed a public road, is it that easy in Manhattan, as long as you take g$$d care about it?) . So we walked around to the other side of the road. There, what came our eyes is lines and lines of humans waiting to see thig saint. I think it was somewhere between a couple hundreds to a few hundreds of people standing outside hoping to experience Busta Rhymes offerings.

I checked out those people. Interesting, da majority of these people were black people. I saw only a couple of Asians' groups, and a bit of seemingly so-called Hispanics. All these people were wearing da winter version of da traditional bling bling clothes (da style progresses as we age). After staying there for a while, we figured that we would not make it inside da club. So we left there.

It was pity that we couldn't get in, nos falta de preparacion. But it was really interesting to see how much cultural influence this capitalistic saint holds. I could feel this saint gets lots of respect from bling bling community around here NYC. A balance of demands and needs. It's a lovely phenomenan of global culture.

Monday, December 19, 2005

un foto de mexico

This photo was taken by my field advisor Kornelio. He lives in a straw bale house in a mountain outside of Mexico City. He shared with me lots of knowledge about straw bale costruction, and he gave me a chance to experience whats like to build a wall with mud by bare hands. You know what... mixing mud, putting it onto the wall... so much fun. And my hands felt soooo.... somewhere between gooood and high... almost like massaging human's body.

Monday, November 28, 2005

bling bling religions

To continue talking about the relationship between bling bling culture and religions, I would like to add a couple of voice of my friends.

One of my friends, David Gardiner Garcia, left a comment on my blog the other day. I think it is so true that those bling-blings and those in high positions in their religions are the same. Wearing fancy clothes and showing off what they have earned is probably one of our fundamental humans desires to feel that we are someone. It would be atually interesting to cruise around in a bling bling Lexus or one of fancy German cars with 20inches rim or higher, showing off what I have and see the people's reaction... until I get bored of just showing off... then time to move on: be responsible for what you have. People want that stuff. They and we want to reach where we are someone who effects people. So, in the end, MTV stars and religions' VIPs are the same, but are in different form... just like Cuba and the US... appear to be the different but based on the same principle: ruling the mass.

The other day, I also received an email from other good friend Adrian, who has been deeply into a sustainable development and organic farming. He told me that the one of majoy differences between religions and MTV is that MTV wants you to buy their friends' commercial products whereas religions just want you to have faith. I thank him for giving his opinion. Yes, it is so true that is how the world is turned around: desire. Desire to be better, to feel we make progress for both inside and outside, and to eventually feel confident enough to survive in the world. Our desire has created what we have, confront, and have to live with today.

There are so many things we don't want to acknowledge and take in. But they are also important part of what we call life. we can't deny them. We better live with them. I have been working on acknowledge, overcome, and live with what I think of the shady side of my characteristics.

I often talk about bling-blings because they are achievers and the evidence that humans' volition could be actualized and be effective on people. How many of men could reach where they are? Having sexy ladies shaking their ass and having some respect from men... fame, power, respect, sex, and feel good about yourself... those things are simply what men want. It is matter of if you are ready for it... and can handle lots of sexy ladies at the same time... Can you?

Look at religious art, of Hinduism, of Christianity, of Buddhism, of any religions... eros is expressed in very nice ways. Having naked angels around the saint of Christianity is the same picture as Snoop Dogg having what he calls bitches shaking their ass naked. Very same. Many Westeners talk good about Buddhism. ...I know some people always want something new and different. Maybe so... buddhism has something you want in the world... they parhaps have more patience, if you compare it with the agressive characteristics of monotheism. But again, to me, the same. As long as there is a man-made system maintained by the humans, there will be a contradiction. Dealing and enjoying those irregularities is part of quliaty life, I think.

So, what do we want? I think we want to enter the world of new value while keeping the teachings of our getting-old already published religions. So many youth seem to be ready to take their roles in the exciting upcoming era. Yes, we are consuming what some call stupid stuff. Yet it is also a lesson for many of us to really learn what is important in life. And the thing is that what is important in life varies according to individual's interests and belief. It is like a preparation for an excursion.

Power has been the force to make a decision in the world, throughout the human history. While the main force has been weapons and fire arms, sub-force once was nature, god(s), religions, diplomats and politics, and now is economy. But there has been always a stream that takes over the previous force. MTV can be the next sub-force that can "help" people. Yeah, let them do their business. We do what we got to do.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

ed Religious Shift from There to MTV

In my old blog, I've posted a little bit about one example of global youth culture. In that post, I've made a link to the article which kind of concluded that pop culture icons have become like religious figures for many global youth. Today, I'm going to talk abit more about the relationship between religion and pop culture.

Yeah, MTV IS making big $$$ and getting some respect, but do we have any idea how much $$$ and power the little square inside of the city of Rome holds? In Latin America, Christianity is the power. it's so obvious. In Central Mexico, churches are everywhere, sitting on top of a ruin of Aztec temples. Look at them, so many people on their knees for the Virgin Maria. (I've heard that most of Africa now is also taken over by the "fastest-growing religion". Yeah, it's a part of the power game. It's sad in a way though. Ganbatte, Hang in there, those human-rights/pacifism/Red-Cross/UN people who are warriors for their sake.

Both of them, MTV and monotheism, seem to me the same. They both are perhaps based on the same principle: entertain their followers by providing them imaginational and visual story telling materials, such as the Bible, the Qur'an, and MTV PVs, that can possibly make them identify themselves. They both use different methods but the same concept, carrying out their intentions to make us believe that we can become what they want us to be: "good" believers and consumers. It's kind of snob to say, but in reality, we need these kind of "good" people to self-support our globalizing society... I'm sure I will be the one of those good too, at some point in life.
Anyway, monotheism's strategy is pretty clear: to expand its territory to probably "rescue" them and in return recieve faith and big bucks. I mean $$$$$ (have you noticed the quality of decorations inside any famous churches? It's art, of gold and blood, and you can tell so much $$$ and effort in it). So, then, what's the role of MTV? As many of Monotheism supporters have no idea what actually they mean, those working in the music industry and MTV employees probably don't know what the hell in the universe they are really creating. I think what they have been for us is showing a new form of religions or religious-like phenomena. It's connected with what they call spirituality.

In reality, we the humans do emulate others, regardless of the variation and depth of our own faith. We can't deny this. We all had experiences when we were little kids, teenagers, or even now, where we emulated something and/or someone.
In relationship with God, through already published forms of religions, the saints and the goddesses are like messagers, interpreters, and moderators. But that is all about your imagination and the matter of believeing or not. On the other hand, for the new generation, the global youth, visible things are easy to accept. We can see the updated saints and goddesses named Nelly, 50 cent, Snoop Dogg, Madonna, Britney Spears... you name it. In religions' history, there are thousands of traditional stars; Krishna, Santa Barbara, Kannon, ...you name it.

Yet, those traditional stars don't do anything directly to us. They come to our mind through imagination. But the updated stars do directly effect us. One of the updated form of teachings is called a concert. We can physically attend their ceremony, a concert. One of the current star's ceremonies is called The Up In Smoke Tour 2000, featuring Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Ice Cube, Nate Dogg , Xzibit, Warren G, ...People who attended their ceremony had great time, being encouraged for their future. It is ery direct, so that the followers could easily identify themselves.
Also, one of the most updated goddesses, named Nelly, now has his own foundation called P.I.M.P. Scholarship to help out youth. Other updated saints have similar ideas for giving back to a community. Curtis "50 cent" Jackson and David "Yong Buck" Brown from the G-Unity Foundation, Inc. too have educational approaches to support the local youth. This has become a custom. (well, some say that the reason updated saints give away $$$ for their "good" is because of the tax deduction) Through the academic and educational approach, they are directly "rescuing" people, especially the youth who will be decision makers tomorrow. Religions suck up your $$$ but never give you $$$. Religions restrict you before give they you hope. MTV stars don't restrict you, they show you what they have. After all, it is your choice.

We can actually see the attention of youth has been shifted, from religions to pop culture. (now it makes me wonder if religions back in the old days was seen as pop culture... I'm sure there wasn't a lot of entertainment hundreds of yrs ago) This tendency of the shift of power may threaten those who believe in traditional stars. So-called conservative parents have expressed their fear against the upcoming shift. Yeah, the shift. We are young, flexible, and live in the globalization. "...But first, you and I got to unify. Stop the nagativity. And control our creativity...", said KRS-ONE, the other latest goddess, in 1997... wow that's already 8 yrs ago.

Friday, November 18, 2005

spirit driven body

For those who believe in intangible things in life and go for your own personal exploration, the modern world we live in is a very dynamic place to achieve your tasks in this life. I've been witnessing lots of pieces of evolution, in people, in music, in academia, in global environment, in anything... as such physical existence is temporaly. So many things in the world are rapidly changing, it is so exciting.

There are a couple things that are tangible evidences of the evolution we can share. I have a friend in Los Angeles, California, USA, who has his pinky toe attached to unsual place in his foot, and the size of it is so small and has no joint. He said becasue he has been wearing shoes all the freakin time, besides when he is in bed (which means approximately 60-70% of his lifetime so far has been with shoes... dang), there has been no need for his tiny pinky toe to grow. Now, his pinky toe has no function, he can't move it. I wanna see his children's toe fingers maybe after 20yrs... to see how the physical evolution progresses.
Also, one of my friend's daughters, who are in their early 20's, they both don't have wisdom teeth, never happened to have them. According to a dentist, normal huamns are expected to have 32 teeth. But some of young generation today only have 28 teeth. Did DNA or Gods or whoever whatever decide no more wisdom teeth? These are examples of the evolution we can see.

Now, talking about "spirit driven body". It actually is uneasy to explain... I've been working on a way to find out how to properly share this subject with who I have connected with... Hmm, some people say it is love, some believe it is energy, some define it is volition, some refuse it exists, some don't even wanna think about it since it doesn't bring them money right away. Whatever is fine, it's your choice.
But I believe it is a some sort of intangible force that drives us, or greatly effects our choices in life. We gotta be aware of it. So many events happen in life, take it seriously as signs and messages in our life. We can find them in our relationships with your family, friends, lovers, enemies and competitors, co-workers, pets, neighbours, mountains, rivers, lakes and ocean... everything and everywhere. In fact, so many humans all over the world are working on and acualizing it..., by religious practices; very mysterious, by scientific methods; oh so practical, by loving and being loved; yeah having quality sex takes you to somewhere higher, by singing and/or dancing; emotional approaches... so many people, so many experiences... that's how the world is turned around, no?

Hmm, check out these two movies I recently watched and made me think alot;
in English, "What the #%! Do We Know?" and "Crash",
en Espanol, "Y Que #%! Tu Sabes?" y "Alto Impacto"