Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Slut Shaming

Slut shaming
What is slut shaming?
Parents not teaching their children about sexual boundaries and sex but surprise to find out that their children are having sex.
Parents not showing their children love but yet are embarrassed that their children are looking for it else where
Slut Shaming is when you don’t hold  cheaters and homewreckers accountable but yet you overreact when a single girl has sex with one or more single guy. That’s slut shaming.
Slut shaming is verbally abusing a girl who has sex with multiple single men and calling her whore or slut,when she has done nothing to you.
Slut shaming is verbally abusing a girl because she is wearing something that you deem inappropriate.
Slut shaming is calling out Nicki Manji or Rihanna for their overly provocative images, music videos , how they dress and their expression and freedom of to dress, sing, and act etc and blaming them for sexual objection when how they dress or act is not exploited by them but men by and women who cannot control themselves.
Slut shaming is preventing every woman from dress and acting the way she wants because YOU deem it inappropriate. Whether it is Nicki Manji singing Anaconda, Madonna’s Justify my love, Christina Aguilera ‘s Dirty,   Rihanna's Pour it  Up or whoever’s sexually charged song.
Slut shaming is when you deemed girls from the Caribbean and Latin America as sinful and revelers who are whinning in skimpy costumes during Carnival or Cropover.
Slut shaming is when you deem a single unwed mother as unfit but do not hold accountable cheaters who have children outside of marriage .
We all have done one of those things from time time

Thursday, October 17, 2013

"Buck The Trend"

Devin Joseph Metz

Everybody wants to feel important. We all do. Each and every one of us; but that does not mean that we always want to do something meaningful or constructive in order to attain that feeling. That's what makes a trend so versatile and widespread.
The trend is the perfect outlet for those of us who want to make an impact without actually really having to do anything arduous or unnecessarily involved. The issue with trends nowadays, however is what usually starts off as something small and insignificant quickly becomes something rather ominous and almost omnipresent contingent upon what that trend is.
I know what you're thinking: "Well isn't that what a trend is? Aren't trends supposed to start small and then catch on quickly? Isn't that the point?"
Yes. Yes it is; but just because a trend is treated as such and spreads quickly as such, that doesn't necessarily make it a positive thing.
Now I'm not here to pick on Gangnam Style or those hilarious Harlem Shake videos that we've all seen on YouTube. I'm not even here to pick on Miss Caramel Kitten's twerk videos.
*minimizes browser window*
There are a few "trends" that I am here to expound upon, however.
No doubt most of you reading this post have a Twitter account. Creator Jack Dorsey's baby was quite innovative upon its release back in July 2006 and it continues to this day to be very involved in the lives of we who use social mediums. I'd even venture to say that Twitter had garnered success, exposure, attention and revenue that may even rival if not outright trump that of Facebook. One of the coolest innovations to this particular social networking tool is the use of Twitter Trends. Per its congruence with the overall theme of this posting, the Twitter Trend performed as one would presume it would. This being true, it still captivated and attracted an unfathomable number of followers once tweeters caught on to how it primarily operates.
Twitter Trends are words or phrases that are placed within the tweet itself that serve their purpose better once the tweet is sent rather than while the tweet is being typed. Once sent, the trend is cast forth across Twitter's networking interface in its entirety; connecting all tweets containing the particular word or phrase under it when one clicks on the trend. This makes it a trending topic. From that point, a user can view any and all tweets containing the trending topic. The exception here is users who have their Twitter accounts protected, of course.
Pretty nifty, right?
The Twitter Trend is isolated in a user's tweet using a hash tag (#). The user will start the trend by typing the hash tag first and then following up with the word, words or phrase that will be used as a trending topic. Just a few examples follow for those of us who are not quite as astute:
So on and so forth. You will note that there is no punctuation or separation between the words. This keeps the trending topic intact. Had there been any separation in the words, only the portion attached to the hash tag would be considered a trending topic, of course. You will also note that whole sentences can be used as trending topics.
Trending topics were initially used for teen fan bases who are drawn to their favorite musicians or actors. Trending the person's name would place all content relative to that topic in a search worthy query once a user clicks on it. Trending topics have also been used for marketing, promotion and advertisement, political movements, fashion, food and just about anything else that one can imagine.
That imagination, man. Very dangerous thing there. As it would seem, with every new, positive innovation that surfaces, once can all but guarantee that there are some presumably looking for a way to use said innovation for malicious, unsavory means.
This is most certainly true for the Twitter Trend. Once the entertaining firestorm really caught on among the tweeting masses(those that I like to refer to as the Twitterverse), things got controversial; so controversial that Twitter was forced to take notice once it became a storm of a much denser, more pungent element. I cannot provide an accurate count of just how many trends have been censored by Twitter; but two that definitely have stood out early on are trends that were geared towards the perpetuation of ethnic stereotypes. Users who purported the trend #ThatsAfrican to elaborate on things that people from that region do (or really just anyone considered an African American at all) found that their widely popular yet highly offensive hash tag hook up was no longer available. It couldn't be used in a typed tweet either as one hoping to post the tweet with the aforementioned trend embedded would find that the tweet would fail to send. The same fate swiftly befell the once popular #ThingsDarkiesSay trend. These are just two of what may likely be two thousand malicious trends out there in the Twitterverse.
My main beef with the trend is more of a trifecta of sorts.
I like many of you am tired of seeing every single word become a trend or the overt saturation and usage of that campy Trend/Abbreviation meshing that we use so much. My biggest agitator? I thought you'd never ask:
This little annoyance is the shorthand version of the popular #OneOfMyFollowers Twitter Trend. This trend caught on when the whole concept of "Sub-Tweeting" gained heavy rotation among the Twitter community. In short, a "Sub-Tweeter" can send out a subliminal tweet regarding a user that happens to be following them using the aforementioned trend and that user's entire timeline will see it. I can't accurately express just how loathsome this is for me. Many a subliminal conversing have taken place using this trend be it in the form of wayward flirting or the issuing of verbal threats back and forth. This will call for an elaboration on all of the Internet gangsters out there; so I believe that would be better suited for another time.
The Twitter Trend like most other new innovations, creations, fads and so forth will have its fair share of biters and copy cats.
Hi Facebook. Yes. I'm talking mainly about you.
To be fair though, Facebook can't claim the entire brunt of the blame here. Many of the hash tag laden posts that we have seen therein are from avid Twitter users that either have not taken into consideration that this is something that was established in Twitter or those who have connected their Twitter accounts to their Facebook Accounts. Even Tumblr has joined in on the party along with other social mediums when it comes to the hash tag operation. It honestly has become a norm of sorts for social networks. What the hash tag has offered as far as the overall purpose of the Twitter Trend is something that other social networks have adopted and augmented in one form or another.


Staying along the lines of congruence with my angst for overt saturation, I have certain friends of mine who have even gone to the extent of using the hash tag in regular conversing; be it via text or instant messaging platforms. That was actually the sole indicator for me that this has gotten severely out of hand; and I'm not the only one that thinks so...

Just go ahead and copy the above link and paste it into your web browser. All will become clear at that point.

Not all trends are all encompassing like the hash tag trend, though. Some are actually more representative of the plight of a gender; as sexist as that may sound. Remember when this trend started?

This is the immensely obscure Duck Face Trend. I don't think this trend needs much of an explanation at all. It involves females taking photographs where their lips are poked out in a manner that resembles that of a duck's lips. I'm not sure if this is supposed to display cuteness, goofiness or some other trait in the girl that takes the photograph. I just think that it is rather weird and ridiculous to be honest. 

I did a little in depth digging(translation: I hopped on Google) and found out a few things about it.

It apparently is also called the "Myspace Face." I suppose this trend goes back further than my recognition will acknowledge. This trend is also about as old as the mid 2000's; originating in 2005 to be exact. The term "Myspace Face" was added to Urban Dictionary(I know. Really lucrative source of factual knowledge, eh?) on March 13th of the following year per it's description of "pouty eyes and pursed lips" for our female contributors to this trend. It was later dubbed the "Duck Face" per a definition added to the website on September 13th of the same year. The author of this definition simply defined it as a two lipped pout.

I have seen some of my female friends on pretty much all of my social networks participating in this trend including my Twitter followers, Facebook and Instagram friends. I'm not sure exactly what is meant to be garnered from this trend, though. I mean, it isn't necessarily cute per se; and to those who aren't necessarily photogenic(far be it for me to discern those individuals, of course), it just makes the photograph that much more disheartening to have to look at. Still in all, this trend doesn't bother me even 1/4 as much as the hash tag trend does.


Okay, enough of that.

There are much more pressing, embarrassing, rehashed, ever present, consistently scrutinized, utterly deplorable trends that I myself nor most others have really been able to wrap our heads around sensibly, to be honest:

The skinny jeans trend is so very confusing to me; and it hasn't necessarily gotten easier to understand over time as most other confusing things have in my life and times.

I'm a man of utility and progression. I like to have things in place that can aid me in future situations. Simple adjustments here and there, ya know.

When I have to remove my wallet to get out some cash, It shouldn't be an epic struggle for me to do so.

When it's time to go home from the movies or dinner, I shouldn't have to spend an extra three minutes in the parking lot trying to get my car keys out of my pockets.

When I see a short, thick woman with enticing curves, I shouldn't have to..........never mind....

The point is, if there is to be a fashion trend, shouldn't it appeal to the masses as something natural and comfortable? Does it have to look this excruciating? Does it have to look like it intentionally excludes another weight class? Shouldn't it be something all inclusive? I think so; but hey. That's just me.

This trend goes as far back as the 1950s. It was more of a sex symbol fad of sorts back then. Jeans were worn straight and slim by the likes of James Dean and Elvis. The women wore them better in my opinion, though. This is definitely true if you count Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe among some of the high profile celebrities joining in the fad. The rebellious nature of this fad carried well into the 1960s as well and was adopted as a staple in Rock and Roll fashion by the time the musical genre had come around to serve as an alternative to the Disco era. The 1980s saw spandex take a spin on the game alongside those over sized sweatshirts and colorized leg warmers. The 1990s brought back a scale down of sorts with a return of the slim fitting jeans to Rock in the form of mainstream Punk and Goth themes. The time between 2000 and 2003 could easily by dubbed "The Age Of Denim." It was literally everywhere; especially displaying its prevalence on the runways. 2004 and 2005 saw more of a defined mainstream dominance with celebrities the likes of Kate Moss and Angelina Jolie staking claim to this fashion trend.

Fast forward to nowadays and this trend is starting to look a lot less like its traditional predecessors and a lot more like something uncomfortably weird. Rappers are wearing skinny jeans along with thermal shirts, bike chains, tight jackets with zippers that will never come together as one and whatever other crazy ideas that one can throw into an outfit. While Kid Cudi can be seen as moderately mild and acceptable in his attire, What can we say for this well known artist?

This actually serves as a very adequate segue into the most loathsome of all trends ever cultivated. It is grotesque. It is distasteful. It is shameful. It is disrespectful; and it is probably more confusing than any of the other trends discussed thus far.

There are understandably some mixed signals when it comes to the origin of this trend; but it turns out that one of the most popular myths regarding this trend is just that: a myth.

The most common origin story heard about the sagging trend is that it started in prison. While that portion of information is factual, there has been very little evidence outside of a firsthand account from a prisoner or former prisoner here and there that associates sagging with homosexuality. The overall understanding for the most part about this myth is that a person sagging their pants in prison did so for the purpose of having their fellow inmates recognize that they were "available."

Further research reveals, however that if this were the case, our prison system would be a degree harder to manage across the board.

Though the trend originated in prison, it was focused around more realistic means than the aforementioned. Following the rise of inmate murders and suicides involving belts, inmates were provided loose fitting uniforms with no belts to fasten or bound them in response. Prison authorities feared that the inmates could use their belts as weapons to murder other inmates by strangulation or as nooses for suicidal means. Inmates actually had to do without shoestrings for a great deal of time for likely the same reason.

In light of said circumstances, inmates given over sized uniforms were left with no alternative but to have their pants hang below their waist. Over time it became a prevelant style that many of the inmates grew accustomed to; which is why a considerable number of freed prisoners continued to wear their clothing in said fashion.

The 1990s saw a significant spike in this trend thanks solely in part to major rappers sagging their pants on stage and in music videos. Almost over night, the style was adopted by Hip-Hop fans who were inclined to emulate their idols. Once the youth picked up on this trend, it was used in some instances as an engine of rebellion against traditional typecastings where the "good guys" were expected to wear their chosen attire neatly.

Probably more alarming of a theory than the inmate homesexuality claim is how it was consistently associated with crime. It was presumed that criminals used their loose fitting clothing to conceal weapons. Far be it for me to discern how easy or difficult it would be to hide weapons in loose clothing; especially if one concealing a firearm or any other sort of weapon would have to run at some point. Go figure.

There have been efforts to eliminate the trend outright in the form of protests, forums and of course law enforcement. The protests and forums saw little to no momentum in their ambition towards this trend's abolishment due in part to certain individuals claiming that the trend perpetuates their right to self-expression. As far as the authorities are concerned though, there were new laws adopted highlighting public indecency in an effort to stave off the rapid growth of such an infamous trend. There have even been a number of cases involving arrest and prison sentencing for sagging. In fact, a twenty year old was sentenced to three days in prison in April 2012 in Alabama. He was arrested for appearing in court wearing sagging pants.


If this trend serves as an example of anything, it shows how a fashion trend such as sagging can face considerable objection to the point where it can even be deemed an illegal practice severe enough to gain one jail time; which has an inkling of irony since this trend's origins are began awhile ago in the same place where some will eventually find themselves again for the sake of it's purporting.

The trends we adopt indirectly define us. What directly defines us is how we respond to them. Be it an article of clothing worn a certain way. An act displayed in response to what our culture exposes us to or something that is widespread across social networks at a frenzied pace, trends will impact each of us in different ways.

The best we can do for ourselves and each other, however is knowing when to ride the wave and when to buck the trend. As sure as trends will captivate and inspire, there are some that must be used to cultivate the drive essential to change said trends.

Besides, who's cooler than the person willing to stand alone?


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Is Lady Gaga Original or Is she a cheap version of Madonna?

Is Lady Gaga Original or Is she a cheap version of Madonna?

This week I am going take a break from social issues and politics and focus on music. I am a fan of both Madonna and Lady Gaga and I see many similarities between them. I am of the opinion that Lady Gaga is a younger version of Madonna.

I believed the reason that I like Lady Gaga so much is because I love Madonna. I believe Lady Gaga has copied Madonna and just adds her twist to the songs. I know most young female pop stars have Madonna has a music role model. Rhianana has said she wants to be the Black Madonna, Pink, Britney Spears, Mya, Christina A, Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Shakira have all been influenced by Madonna and even Beyonce has said that Madonna is a big influence on her but none of them have outright copied her expect for Gaga. Every time I listen to a Gaga song either the beat or the videos remain me of a Madonna song. Her publicity campaign and her costumes are similar to Madonna's expect that Gaga adds some weirdness and distorts herself in her videos .

Lady Gaga also copies Ace of Base Queen and many other artists but it is Madonna's songs and videos who gets the brunt of the copying from Lady Gaga. Her video Alejandro while it has an Ace of Base song beat remains me of Madonna's Like a Prayer and Express your self and La Isla Bonita while Born this way has the same beat cords like Express Yourself. Alejandro has Lady Gaga doing some of the same Madonna moves and wearing costumes like Madonna for example the cone bras and a black pants suit that is similar to what Madonna wore in Express Yourself and in Vogue but with a twist but you can see the how so similar the two are. Everything Lady Gaga is doing and trying to do it. Madonna has done and is still doing it for over 30 years now. Lady Gaga is around my age , so she like me and the majority of the other pop stars grew up with Madonna songs.
So it is understandable that she would be influence by the Queen of Pop and I can understand why she would even outright copy her. Madonna has been around since like 1979 when she was drummer and singer for the punk rock group the Breakfast Club and received official fame in 1982 and in 1983 with her club hits Everybody , Burning Up and Holiday ( which became her 1st international hit) and since then she has numerous number 1 hits and has influenced a whole generation of female pop artists who were born in between the late 70s and 80s and raised in the 90s and came of age in the 00s, similar to Michael Jackson ( the King of Pop) who influenced Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown Usher and many more male pop artists. So is Lady Gaga doing anything new?; no I do not think she is. Many of her fans think she is fresh and new but basically she is doing what Madonna did 25 years ago. Lady Gaga in my opinion is watered down twisted cheap version of Madonna.

Many who are fans of both have seen the copying. The music critics themselves have said so. There is what some music critics have said about one of Lady Gaga's songs Born this way “ Pop justice website pointed out the influence of Madonna songs like "Deeper and Deeper" (1992) and "Vogue"(1990).Caryn Ganz, while writing for Yahoo! Music, criticized "Born This Way", stating that the song was "overworked, overwrought, noisy, cheesy, and very, very derivative." She specifically noted the similarities to songs like three of Madonna's songs: "Express Yourself", "Ray of Light" (1998), and "Vogue".Megan Friedman from Time and Marissa Moss from The Huffington Post summarized their reaction as "mixed", due to the similarities they found with "Express Yourself ,Neil McCormick of the Daily Telegraph noted that the imitative nature of the song would affect perceptions of Gaga's artistry, since "Born This Way" was "[basically] a reworking of Madonna's 'Express Yourself' with a touch of 'Vogue , which is a bit too much Madonna for someone who is trying to establish her own identity as the, er, new Madonna “ And what does the Queen of Pop have to say about Lady Gaga? In an interview sometime  in  2012 with an ABC' co host Madonna said Lady Gaga was reductive!

I don't necessarily believe that she is reductive.
I believe Lady Gaga is trying to be the new Madonna and maybe trying to replace her. But in this fan's eyes Madonna is still kicking , last spring her album MDNA was number 1 for a few weeks in the US and probably stayed number 1 longer overseas and she filled up the stadium at the Superbowl last year and had raving reviews, so Lady Gaga needs to stop trying and stop outright copying her. The other female pop stars while Madonna may be a heavily influence on them, they don't plagiarize. People are noticing, the critics, fans of both and fans of Madonna and apparently Madonna herself! As stated I have come to conclusion of that I love Lady Gaga music because of how much I love Madonna's music. In my opinion Lady Gaga is really a Madonna wannabe but I digress


Thursday, October 10, 2013


Devin Joseph Metz

It gets harder and harder to make the right decisions in today's society. It seems that way, at least. What was initially perceived as the right decision ends up looking more like a critical mistake in hindsight. What starts out as a smart idea may later on appear to be a costly error. 

This is true in so many facets of our lives. In some cases, this truth is a stark inevitability if nothing else. What bothers me, however is this truth making itself blatantly evident when it comes to our health, nutrition and food services. 

It would behoove all of you reading this post to understand that I am not a nutritionist in any capacity. I love my unhealthy snacks just as much as I do my fruits, nuts and other assorted wholesome foods; and I won't stand around long enough to listen to a lecture about my eating habits.

Seriously. I won't. Ask my wife.

I am, however concerned about the availability of certain health foods relative to their pricing in comparison to the price of fast food items.

Speaking of our fast food items, though:

 Am I the only one around here that is tired of this disparity?

The disparity is ever apparent. That much is certain. 

I completely lament with those of us who feel slighted when that chicken sandwich, burger, taco or salad that looks so very appetizing in that shameless smattering of advertisements ends up looking like something terribly horrific once we peel back that wrapper. 

Honestly, McDonalds. This is part of the reason why I'll likely never eat those fish sandwiches from you guys; and although I have never crossed the threshold of a Double Down Chicken Sandwich, I have seen one opposite its commercial counterpart.

The only thing that looked halfway decent was the chicken; and those who have been in my company when I became ill from two different KFC establishments know that I'm even somewhat skeptical about that as well.Cheese sauce in place of a slice of cheddar and two Might-Be-Like-They-Might-Not-Be-Cooked-Oh-Well-Lets-Hope-For-The-Best strips of bacon between the two fried chicken breasts(serving as the two slices of bread, of course) and my appetite was considerably suppressed at first glance from then on throughout that day.

Suffice it to say, I'm not a KFC man at all.

I'm honestly not a love of Arby's either; and this doesn't really do much to win me over:

Like I said, I'm not a fan of Arby's food at all; but for those of you who happen to enjoy their sandwiches, aren't you even a little bit disappointed in the difference between the two?

I believe that the latter photographs are breakfast burritos from either Sonic or McDonald's. I'm gonna say it's from Sonic. Still, though: I'm confident in my guessing which one will look more appetizing to you.

Its just very disparaging to see how much care and careful preparation is put into the meals that are featured in advertisements and how much of that same work is seemingly neglected when we receive what we hope looks exactly like what is being advertised.

I've heard the back and forth about how employees at fast food establishments would incur less productivity time if they were to actually take the time to prepare our food the way that it is advertised; and I understand how that could become a hindrance. It is food that is intended to be served fast, after all; so it would take longer for orders to be completed and get back to customers. We all know what kind of problems that would create.

All I'm saying is a that a little authenticity would be nice every now and then; at least to the point where it doesn't look like they spent more time on the sloppiness of their presentation rather than the care and consideration that one would come to expect of anyone in this line of business. There are exceptions, of course. I've known a Sonic location or two to have gotten their act together for the most part. Interestingly enough, this may be why we see more people going to restaurants that sell some of the same items that certain fast food establishments do; so I'm sure that those places won't want to hear that fast food has made a turn for better presentation.

Think about it: Outside of your favorite Mom and Pops deli, dive or burger and shakes place to sit and eat, if some of our most recognizable fast food chains actually increased the presentation of their food items by say........40%, I'd venture to guess that more people would frequent these places more than they already do. Sure places like McDonald's, Popeye's, Burger King and Taco Bell have an enormous influx of business as is; but they would be so much more prominent if they were to spruce up their presentation slightly.

That's just my vantage point on this though.

A much more egregious disparity in our culture as Americans, however is the blatant differential in prices between healthier, fresher(especially organic) foods and those questionably cheaper, often times sketchy fast food items that we consume.

Our loved ones, our community and even our own government in their own implicit ways implore that we as Americans should take better care of our bodies. They say that we should eat more fruits and vegetables. Stay away from processed foods. Avoid the trans-fats. No MSG. Stay away from this fast food that we fund consistently for you to partake of. Go green. Go organic. Eat fresher foods rather than those full of preservatives.

As crazy as it all sounds, they're right. We should do all of these things and more. 

So wherein lies the issue?

Living is expensive; and that isn't a recent development. It costs to stay housed, it costs to have transportation to take advantage of, and it costs to protect our bodies from the elements. What shouldn't cost as much as it does is our health and promotion of healthier living along the lines of our food choices.

Scrutiny will exist no matter what; especially in our society. There will always be someone ready and willing to scrutinize. Criticism may likely live forever; and that is surely apparent when it comes the judgment we receive in response to our choices regarding what to eat.

I'm sure that a large amount of the time, we didn't choose that double cheeseburger with curly fries and a large soda just because we had a taste for it. Its definitely an economical issue to some degree. Keep in mind that we are talking about disparities here. That disparity will force those with a less than adequate income(which is pretty much a majority these days) to make the cheaper, quicker, more cost convenient choice rather than going for the healthier choice most times.

The price of that meal from a fast food restaurant in comparison to the price of some of our basic food group pairings such as certain foods containing the necessary grains, proteins and other healthy nourishing nutrients is considerably unbalanced; and this doesn't even delve directly into organic food yet. The prices on fresh produce or meals and processed foods made without certain preservatives continues to increase; driving families further away from what should be available at a decent rate while simultaneously driving them closer to a ill fated yet somewhat substantiated frequency of fast food consumption.

So what if you aren't one to consume a lot of fast food? You're no doubt cooking more, right? If you're anything like me or anyone that I know, you aren't necessarily always cooking with preservative free ingredients. That just isn't always "financially responsible" in frequency; especially with the ever growing difficulty to sustain some semblance of comfort in a working class society. This results in the purchase of foods that may still taste good but are laden with preservatives and additives that vary contingent upon what the item is because said foods are more affordable than those void of preservatives. 

Organic food likely comes to mind right away, doesn't it?

Now don't get me wrong. This is not a stab at organic food at all. As a matter of fact, I can't get enough Silk in my diet. Absolutely love it. The issue here is that for something so wholesome, natural and good for your body, one would presume that the demand for these goods would match the availability("price") of them as well. As I have stated before, outside of some of the dishes and foods that are shelved under the "organic" label that would probably scare people away whether they were affordable or not, there is a pretty sizable list of organic foods that most of us would love to regularly partake of that are simply too high in cost to warrant anyone purchasing with any routine frequency.

You guys know the joke: 

Go to your favorite supermarket with $100 and you may have a full basket; but do the same thing at an organic food market and you might walk out with a full bag.

Plastic; not paper.

Just one.

I believe there's more truth to that joke than some of us would like to acknowledge.

Also, I'm sure that most if not all of us knew this already; but store bought organic foods don't keep as long as foods processed with preservatives and additives. Therefore, these foods must be consumed a lot earlier in their shelf life than most other foods; which inherently contributes to the issue of money spent vs. money wasted when a lot of these products that are purchased for a higher price must be thrown away.

So let's even say that you're the person that loves your fast food, doesn't shy away from processed ingredients or meals or any of that but you do like to snack healthier.

The sad truth is that you may still incur the same issues illustrated previously.

Cheetos are a staple among snack food enthusiasts worldwide. Although a spotted majority may be fully aware of Barbara's brand all natural snacks, I doubt it eludes the shadow that Cheetos casts over it in popularity, though. Both snacks boast the trendy "0 grams of trans fat" indication on their respective packaging. Both boast that real cheddar and other natural ingredients are used in the making of their products.

Here are the differences, however:

A 9 1/2 ounce bag of Cheetos will run you either close to a dollar in cost or no more than $1.08(thanks a lot, 9 cent Louisiana State Tax) at most grocery stores including Walmart. Of course, it is packed with preservatives to hold intact all of the milk and cheese cultures used in the processing of the snack itself.

The same size bag of Barbara's brand snacks will cost over three times as much, however. What's even more alarming is that a size smaller in ounces will still cost close to $2.50 per bag. Of course aside from the trans fat proclamation, Barbara's snack food boasts that it has no cholesterol and is completely vegetarian.

Giggity, Vegans. Giggity Goo.

If nothing else is apparent here, what is seen is that it even costs to snack healthier. This is a huge problem. We are told to promote healthier eating in order to preserve and extend our lives. We are told that we should make healthier choices when it comes to our body and what we choose to put in it. We are then presented said healthier choices with prices that only serve to frustrate, depress and sicken us further than we already would have been with our daily regimen of fast food and preservative laced meals and snacks. 

I just want a little more authenticity when it comes to choices that we are given an opportunity to make. If that sandwich is advertised in such a neatly prepared fashion, one shouldn't look puzzled at our expressed dismay when we peel back the wrapper on a sloppy, visually unappealing mess after receiving our order. We shouldn't have to perspire with painstaking angst when deciding if it would cut into our rent or utility money should we decide to make healthier food choices this pay week. If we want to promote a healthier culture, why not decrease the price on quality produce and even some of organic items filling in the shelves of our markets? At least then, everyone would have a chance to show their true nature. This way, everyone would have the opportunity to make a fair choice void of circumstances regarding cost and expense.

I think that there are many of us out there that would love the opportunity to display our authenticity. We just don't feel like we're being given a fair enough chance to do so; regardless of what mass producers, distributors and marketers would have one believe. 

We want things that are as advertised. The fact that this desire even needs to be expressed consistently serves as a reminder of just how far we are from the efficient, fully aware society that we would like to believe we are.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

"Soap Box And Ceiling"

"Soap Box And Ceiling"

Personal enough to ask off this ride,
Thoughts seeping out that I usually hide.
Call it pride and say that you're over it
And I'll still air it out until I'm over with.
I'm years past done with concealing.
These days, with pen in hand
If I'm sitting alone, just say "He's dealing"
And abstain from future page peeling.
Lord knows I've done my fair share anyways.
Paranoia settling in on my bad days
When I refused to talk but had words to say
While you were busy working on a new display.
That's when stomachs start churning
Over discoveries concerning
people I wouldn't grab the hose for
If I were there when they were burning.
Learning the extent of interaction:
Actions motivated by ill fated passion.
The traction it provides is deadly.
So I shy away if you previously led me.

Desire the provider
For those fashioned as liars
And the cloak will itch
And the eye will twitch
And the lip will quiver
And it will deliver.
Eminent acceptance against futile resistance
complete with quarters closed around distance.
All in the feelings,
Months since the reeling
And the last thoughts before rest
Hang from this ceiling.
My reflections clumped together
Reminiscent of wet tissue
bring me to a point
where I begin to examine every issue.

Is it honestly a trust issue
If I only trust God?
What about the lust issue?
What if fate just missed you?
What if faith isn't enough?
Does a wraith appear and such;
Telling us to go ahead
Just because it's getting rough?
Is there something rude about fortitude?
I have so many questions
And even though we earn the answers,
we never really want the lessons
Until forced to face depression
and hardship borne of transgression.
Truth will run rampant like infection
Through those trying to avoid detection.

A grain of salt for those
Who "know that I won't get to Heaven."
Can't hide their faults;
Especially if they know nothing of number seven
And we're all far from completion,
But we love to compete when
Questioned about our faith.
No challenge or dire straights.
Not rubbing it in your face.
Not stating any demands.
Not looking to alter plans.
Just wanted to understand
How things that affect the family
And eventually the home
Can lead to headline tragedies
when some are left alone.

Some couples still feel alone:
Married by tradition
But marred in their willingness to spar;
Steeped in their war of attrition.
Recalling times when I would listen
To words from family members.
I wondered if they were still smitten
Or if their hearts were ever tender.
Aunt would say she wants
a man that stands strong
But turn around and disrespect
any man that chose to stand alone.
Uncle fashioned himself
as a king upon his throne
but if womanizers rule,
one would section off his zone.

I see a little of myself in my relatives.
Some of it I'm proud to have.
The rest I'd love to give back.
Struggled to keep myself intact
But I'm demure amid my peers.
Learned to conceal fear
And absorb those tears
Before I grab my gear
And I think but never look twice
When it comes to my vice.
Agitated but speaking nice
When friends ask me for advice.
I'd like to reciprocate.
I want that shoulder to lean on;
But when treated as magistrate,
it gets hard to acknowledge peons.
Not peons for my means of advancement
But for their willingness to ignore
What I swore I said before.
Do you listen anymore?!
Do you care that I implore
or just like to hear me talking?
If I reach deep in your core,
then I'm sure you'll just start walking.

I've got more to say.
Kept my ink pen steady.
Just open up a window
if the atmosphere is heavy.
The air is thin and therapeutic.
Listening to music and breathing hard
Both from my lack of oxygen
And because I'm thinking hard.
Swore I'd never play this song again.
Barely friends. Just some things.
Can't remember when. It was just a fling.
I can't eat these lies.
Eyes well and my heart still swells.
Some days in paradise are pure hell.
Our past in my face with a fast pace
Grazed with grace and I can still trace
Every single moment.
Sitting here alone with
Contrition and atonement
That I wish you would've given.
Don't know how much is forgiven
But at least we're both still living.
Privy to precious moments in divinity
And our favorite unspeakable obscenities.

That's what remains of our memories.
Two pages in and I'm lost again.
Might just take a break
And pick up the pen after.
Documented the smiles
And reminiscences over laughter.
Went through all the wiles
And anger that I've splattered.
I'll keep this book open.
I need to add some chapters.
A clear vision of the sky
Hangs high above the rafters.
If the ceiling is made of glass,
Then it will surely shatter.
Just sit my notebook to the side.
I still have some life to gather. †

Written By: Devin Joseph Metz

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder/Self Image

 I  often  wonder  why  we  as  women  put  so   much  emphasis   on beauty, makeup  and  how  much  we  weigh. It  is  like  we are  obsessed  with  it   and  do not realized  that  beauty  is  really  in the  eye  of  the  beholder.   Not everyone  can be  a supermodel  like Elle McPherson,  Christie  Brinkley   or  Naomi  Campbell.   I often  wonder  why  do  we  want  to  try  the  latest  diets,  hairstyles  or  makeup  and  then i   realized  that we  are  following    celebrities  and  other  people  from  Hollywood.  Is  it  Godly   to  be  focus  on  beauty, have  we    forgotten  that  we  all  are made in  God's  image?   Why are  we  aiming  to  look like   Mariah  ,  Nicki  Manji  and  whoever   is the  flavor  of  the    week .   Why  cannot  not  aimed  to be  like  Deborah, the  3  Mary's, Esther, Ruth, Hannah   and  why cannot  we    look  at positive   real women  to   admire and copy  them.
What is  beauty? According to  the  Webster  dictionary   beauty  is "the quality of being physically attractive,the qualities in a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind" .

Beautiful Young Girl

So with this  definition I can assumed  that anyone  can  be  considered  beautiful  once  they  give   pleasure  to  our  senses or  our  minds.   We  shouldn't be  held   by  Hollywood's standard's  of  beauty.

   Some  years  ago   I was just watching this Cover  Girl  ad with the actress Drew Barrymore and realize that women and especially young girls are bombard with images of women with make up, size o and who has had  work done on their bodies. I have nothing against makeup because i wear most times but i just realize that the images we as women get are that you put on some make up and all your problems will go away. We live in an age where the media shows celebrities, actors , singers etc with long straight hair, skinny and long legs. There is little diversity from the media on portraying how real women look and are. Not everyone can be a size zero but I digress.  Not   everyone  has  the  time  to  go  to  the  gym,  Not everyone has  the  money  to afford  personal  trainers, chefs or  even go  to  expensive  health  restaurants.

I have notice that because of those images on television, cd covers , magazines etc women and young girls have become self loathing. Women are now trying all kind of diets, buying the latest outfits and clothes that maybe Mariah Carey, Madonna or Halle Berry wore. Women  are  becoming anorexic, bulimic or suffering from any weight issue or disease and becoming overwhelming unhealthy. Young girls don't have the self confidence because of what they see  and what they are experiencing. Many young girls are being bullied or being made fun because they not the size zero or 2 like the popular girls in school or they were braces or and they don't fit the general consensus of beauty.   They  are  bullied  because  they  not  the  most attractive  girls  physically  or  they   do  not  fit   society's  standard  for beauty.

We have women damaging their bodies and skin by having botox or, bleaching  or  lightening of   skin and  spray tanning themselves not realizing g the effects of these beauty enhancements would do, tans and bleach  can cause cancer, botox can go wrong. we as women should forgot those media images and forget those celebrities and have more love for ourselves and realize that though those famous women portray themselves as perfect they are not and its all smoke screens to make the world believe that they are perfect.

Society has to change its perception on what is beautiful and what is great self image. we have to be careful of who we call beautiful, we call fat. There should be more diversity in the media, in magazines etc of how a woman looks not just the tall, skinny, long legs, long hair women that we see but we should we have a more diverse group not all of us are skinny but we are curvy , few extra around, short etc, We need to see more women of different sizes,, textures so that we don't have the case of girls having a bad view of their selves and their body image.

Why  can  we  stop focusing  on  physical  beauty and  focus  on the  inside, why  don't we celebrate   the  female   lawyers,  female  doctors, female   inventors,  why can't  we  focus  on intelligence  and  how  someone  treat us  not  the  physical because  when  all is   said and  done  your  physical beauty fades  and  all  we  have  left  is the  inside.    Girls and  women  need  to  focus  on   what  God  has  called   us  to   to  be   Godly women  and   focus  on  what  is  pleasing  to  him.
 Women  with  a good  self  image   have  the  power  to change the  world!

Lets all forget about the Hollywood stereotypes that we are bombarded by and just love our selves for differences.  Let  us  focus  on   raising  women who  love God  and  want to please  him  not vainity and things  that  fleets away.Lets  focus  on  raising and encouraging more  female  doctors, mathematicians,  biologist, chemists, teachers, therapists. Let us  embrace  the female  intelligence and  kindness and  not  on how   a woman look
Beauty is  in the  eye of  the beholder !  we  all are beautiful in our  own way.  We need to realize  this but  I digress!

Portrait of a Young Woman

I  know  its  hard  to throw away  society's  definition  of  beauty  because  we are  bombarded  by   these  images. I understand  because  I am one  of  these girls  that's insecure   about  my  weight and  beauty and   I often think  ways  that  i  could   change my looks  maybe  have  longer  hair, have  lighter  skin, be  taller, be  thinner. But less  I focus  on   this  culture's and   Hollywood's  sterotype  of what is beautiful,  the  more i focus  what's inside.
It  is the  inside that counts  not  the  outside!  Beauty is who  you  say and what you see  not  the  media but  as   always  I  digress

As  Madonna  says  " Everyone  wants  to go  Hollywood"