My ears have a love affair with podcasts. As an avid talk radio listener, podcasts put all my favorite shows at the touch of an icon. The Internet of Things allow my ears and brain to dance together to the words of intelligent, humorous, awkward, and beautiful stories and ideas. I jam out to the below podcasts. Continue reading CHARLES versus PODCAST MANIA (PART 1)
There was once a stonemason that lived an average life… One day in the midst of the summer, he loaded some statues unto a carriage… As he gazed at the carriage, he thought to himself, “I would love to be a simple carriage driver! All day just riding around on a carriage.” The All in hearing these pleas responded back by saying, “My son, I see you are not satisfied with the occupation I gave you. You feel as though you labor too hard, but I will grant your desires because of your loyalty to me.” In a blink of an eye, the stonemason was controlling the four most beautiful steeds on this planet. As the rider told the carriage driver to slow down and stop by the market, the stone mason said, “I enjoy being the carriage driver, but what a life it would be not to worry about nothing, but shopping.” So, the All laughed and said, “Now, my son, you wish for luxuries of unseen and unheard proportions? I will grant you this wish because you are a loyal servant. And any servant as loyal as you deserves to be a lord upon his own kingdom.”
The stonemason woke up from a sleep drowning in the finest silk bedding from India. He looked up and saw that the brass clock on the marble bedroom mantle fireplace. “Oh, my God. I’m a Lord in a king’s court!” As he sauntered through the ivory hallways, he wondered, “What will I do, today?” So, he summoned his carriage, and went shopping in the marketplace. As he shopped in the marketplace, he overheard people saying, “I cannot wait for the King’s ball tonight.” So, he found the finest of fine attire for tonight’s formal event.
As night fell upon the Earth, the stonemason marched into the ball with a pinch of arrogance on his sleeve. He knew he was the best-dressed suitor in the King’s hall. As he was boasting to a beautiful young lady about his rise to lordship, the trumpets sounded throughout the castle. The King stepped into the silent hall. All eyes fell upon the ground because of the fear and respect the aristocrats had for the king. The mason whispered to the young lady, “my beautiful lady, why do you glare in awe at the king? There are many men with his wealth or wealthier than our lord the King.”
She replied in a hushed voice, “Sure, there are men wealthier than the King. But, none have or will be as powerful as the King. The King has no need for wealth because he is the absolute of power. Even the wealthy must pay their respects to him. Or, they will be relinquished of their wealth. So, my dear lord, it is not your wealth; however, it is the prestige you demand that is respected within the ranks of those that are already wealthy. Only, the poorly rich concern themselves with wealth. It is the wealthy that concern themselves with less tangible items such as power, happiness, and even freedom. Wealth just grants us that luxury.”
Then the stonemason said, “Lord, please grant me the happiness of the King. It is not the luxuries after all. It is the intangible things such as power.”
“Now, you have seen the way. For it is not your wealth, but it is your attributes as a man that will give you heaven on earth. Wealth just allows you focus on gaining those attributes. For I see ‘I’ in you, so I know you already possess some of those attributes stonemason.” As the stonemason left the ball, he noticed something peculiar. All the heads of the aristocracy were bowing before him. He called for the carriage and a caravan of carriages came to his side. “My lord, where are we off to tonight?” asked one servant.
“Take me to the sea, I desire to see a sunrise this morning,” said the stonemason.
As, the carriage halted by the sea, the mason saw birds flying overhead. Not one bird bowed down to him to show respect. On the contrary, all these fowl looked down upon him. “Oh, how great it must be to have the luxury to seek only the necessities of life. These birds have no power over man, yet they do not care for rank among us. It is as though they live freely without all the hang-ups.”
The All answered, “my son, it is only man that has hang-ups of grandeur, prestige, and power. For natural creatures life is the only hang-up. Man has separated himself from nature, thus becoming unnatural or abnormal. I will allow you to enter the natural world. Son, you have learned to crawl, walk, and run. Now, you will learn to.”
The stonemason interrupts, “Fly! I’m flying. I cannot believe it! I can go anywhere in the world and no one can stop me! Nothing can stop me!” Then a storm struck, it took the bird (stonemason) by surprise. The wind kept blowing him around. He did not know what to do. All he could do was contemplate death as a creature of the sky. He was ready to escape this storm. “God make me something stronger than this storm. Show me the definition of true strength,” yelled the stonemason.
God transformed the stonemason into the North Wind. Oh, how great a feeling to actually dominate all creatures on the face of the planet. He illustrated his power on all creatures, big and small. They all knew of the powerful winds coming from the North that caused all creatures to hide in fear. As the stonemason blew in all directions, he noticed he could make everything move, except one thing. He tried and tried, but he could not make the rocks nor mountains move. He said, “God, you have allowed me to be all these wondrous and powerful creatures. I even asked you to make me the most powerful. Your answer was the wind. But, I have learned you are wrong because the wind is not most powerful. The wind cannot move mountains or the heaviest of rocks.”
God answered, “That is true, but I did not know that you would not mind being a rock… The rock is the pillar for my heaven. They form out of the earth and stretch all the way to the heavens. They cannot move because, if they were to move it would cause the heavens to collapse.”
The stonemason pleaded, “Make me one of those pillars. For the wind cannot shake the pillars of heaven.”
God said, “Are you sure? Once this transformation happens, you cannot change again?”
The stonemason responded, “Nothing would make me feel better, except showing you my appreciation by holding up your ceilings until eternity.” The All granted the stonemason this final wish. As the stonemason transformed into a large rock, he told the All, “thank you for making me the strongest object of your creation. Now, I know how life truly can be, besides being a weak little stonemason” A month past, when a large carriage picked up the huge rock.
As the rock (stonemason) could not believe someone moved one of the All’s pillars, he felt a heavy chisel tear into the side of him. The stonemason saw ‘The Truth.’ As his son carved him into a statue of his former self. His son screamed, “God, this is in honor of the greatest stonemason that ever lived, my father. You took him away one day in a carriage led by beautiful horses. I hope this beautiful statue of him will bring him back and bring peace to his soul.”
As I watched the local “dough” boys parade through the club in all their “hood” fashion, I giggled about how absurd African-Americans have bastardized a once proud culture. We were from a culture of not having much, but being able to work alchemy of making the little we had into something elegant and classy. It may not have been the best clothing, books, cars, furniture, or any other material possession, but we sported it with dignity. African-Americans maintained an air of class. We did not sloppily saunter in public view. Our swagger was that of the most high.
Yesterday, I watched many young men project the image of young ragamuffins with their hollow bravado trying to court young ladies, which are ignorant to the definitive of manhood. These young ladies believe African-American men must hold the values of the glorified street soldiers created by self-hating entertainment images. Even worse, we have the audacity to exploit these negative images for financial gain. I’m from the generation of stereocasting (stereotyping and typecasting) whores. It pains me to watch perpetual ignorance prevail among African-Americans. In the club, I watched ignorant men enchant ignorant women under the guise of manhood.
Have African-Americans succumbed to such a pitiful existence. When is criminal activity ever a good thing. I know there are many African-Americans elevating beyond the negative racial stereotypes, but the vast majority seem to condone the behavior. I just want to know when will grown African-American men transform back into the charismatic aristocrats that littered our history and took center stage during the Harlem Renaissance?