Saturday, July 25, 2020

Branded Black as Means of Commodity by Jacques Fleury

Branded: Black as Means of Commodity Modern day black commodity, a derivative market of slavery… Black body; Black culture; Black branding; Fetish objects of capitalism?! Devalued laborers as fraught consumers, Filling the coffers of their oppressors. In history’s vault…as Cedric Robinson wrote in Black Marxism: “To be black was to have No civilization No culture No religion No place No humanity Worthy of consideration.” In the cacophony of this capitalist country, black men were detained in their disparate But imbricated roles, Like a run of toppled dominoes…Cast as commodified bodies, Disparaged workers and thronging consumers looking to escape their shame, By wearing labels bearing someone else’s name…Today that is their game; Yet still they use their style and swagger In protest and in search of a new maneuver, as they watch the usurpation of their culture Scattered along the margins of the society which excludes them; Their humanity and masculinity secondary to their race in a capitalist society Whose primary ideology is the working male body; but black men’s souls become darkest at the Crossroads of patriarchal privilege and racial repudiation; That is to say…a real man must work matter what! But that work is hard to come by especially when that man is black! But as commodity they can “be like Mike” like professional athletes like Michael Jordan; That is if they’re willing to see their remarkable ability commercialized… Successful blacks used as tropes To sedate and tantalize, elevate and emphasize, The promise of success for those blacks who are marginalized… But history manifested in our memory has taught us that tropes are in fact Like the black characters in a horror movie…they are usually the first to get the axe! Simply put black liberation is our collective investment But as capitalist commodity it compels our collective divestment! Blacks need not succumb to being branded as “worthy” By capitalist elites who place no “worth” on their humanity.


Chain Letter to America: the One Thing You Can Do to End Racism: A Collection of Essays, Fiction and Poetry Celebrating Multiculturalism by Jacques Fleury

Monday, July 20, 2020

Doug Holder interviews novelist Nick Antonopoulos

Nick discusses his new novel "Slender Notions" “I have nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.” – Jack Kerouac Kerouac’s words were never more timely than they are today. We are living in a period of confusion, unrest, injustice, and absurdity. We need laughter in our lives as a way to combat the day-to-day drudgery of modern life. Debut author Nicholas Antonopoulos explores this theme in his unflinchingly unapologetic debut novel, Slender Notions. Leo is a hard living aspiring writer cut from the Kerouac cloth. He has a secret heroin addiction to cope with the inanity of his life in suburban Massachusetts. Leo bides his time with drug-addled trips to the Zen Monastery and pilfers the works of Henry Miller along with his idol, Jack Kerouac, from the local bookstore. At a poetry reading in Boston, Leo meets Cole, a divorced man on the brink of a mental breakdown and a streetwise homeless man named Zanzi. Together they devise a perfect plan to combat the struggles of their lives: The Laughter Challenge. The men decide to completely give into hysterical laughter. Echoing the words of Henry Miller, “To make the world laugh is one thing; to make it happy is quite another.” Leo and his new friends want to start a revolution from stoicism and austerity to pure joy and prove that laughter truly is the best medicine. While their viral video of mass laughter propels Cole to guru status and new found fame, Leo and Zanzi wonder if madness really is the path to happiness and why unbridled joy and silliness are stigmatized in a society riddled with anxiety and depression?