What I've Read:

Do you know what net neutrality is? You should. Net neutrality is basically the idea that all data that travels across the internet should be treated equally, regardless of who creates it or where it comes from, and that companies shouldn't be allowed to slow down, charge extra, or outright block certain online activities or services. It's a complex issue. When I try to explain it to friends, I almost always get a left eye twitch. The best explanation I’ve come across comes from a 9-year-old:

Pretend ice cream stores gave away free milkshakes. But you had to buy a straw to drink them. But that's okay, because you still get free milkshakes. One day you're drinking a free milkshake and you look down and the guy that sold you the straw is pinching it almost shut. You can still get your milkshake, but it's really hard and takes a lot longer.
So you say, "Hey! Stop that!" And the straw guy says, "NO! Not until the ice cream store pays me money." And you say, "But I already paid you money for the straw." And the straw guy says, "I don't care. I just want more money."


It’s a pretty big deal, and if we are at all carrying over a concept from last week, it's the idea that big corporations do not really care about you, as evidenced by the primary link at the top. So, find out where you land on the net neutrality debate... because you should definitely know where you land on the net neutrality debate.

Now, on to something else I read this week. Alt-Right White Supremacist claim Papa John's as their Official Pizza. Naturally, jokes abound here. We could first address the simple fact that Papa John's Pizza simply isn't good. You've got bad people with bad opinions sharing their bad opinions about bad pizza. You've also got an interesting thing here: In a social climate where contrasting--and rightfully so--ideas clash into this weird nebulous mass of "it's not really like that's" and "what I meant was's", some institutions do the heavy lifting for us. Many folks like to make what's happening in the NFL about everything other than what it actually is about: The glaring miscarriage of justice when police who've killed unarmed black men skate trial.

It took .02 seconds for well-meaning white folk to attempt to derail a conversation explicitly about race into something they were much more comfortable with; pointing the finger back at everyone else other than themselves. 

I don't have to debate with you on whether or not Papa John's statement was out of pocket and racist. I just have to share an article of White Supremacist cosigning it. The chips rightfully fall where they may. Now, on to what I watched:

What I Watched:

This week I learned the difference between 850 hp and 10,000 hp.

Right? Much crazier than I initially thought. I mean I know what I expecting, but it was more than that. I started researching how much goes into those kinds of engines and it really drove home the point that we're really all driving around with combustion explosions directly in front of our knees. And we're completely ok with it. 

This week I watch two amazing videos from the Rugby League World Cup as well. The first is the pre-game between Samoan and Tongan teams. It features the Samoan Siva Tau vs. the Tongan Sipi Tau. If you're unfamiliar with what's happening here, these aren't "dances". These were battle cries. And with some of the biggest and toughest guys around, I couldn't help but see a film where these movements were featured. Remember the film Apocalypto?  I'm thinking something along those lines, but with Polynesians. Man, I'm telling you, I need my own production company. We've got so much content available from People of Color to work with.


The second video from the RLWC was Fijian Pre-Match Hymn, Noqu Masu.

There's an eerie beauty to it that I just love. 






Ok, now on to what I've listened to:

What I Heard:

I curate a playlist that I update weekly called The Bow The Dip The Woo that features all of the songs that I'm currently loving.

Included in that playlist are two songs I'd light to highlight here. 

First is a group that's new to me, Lyves. The first thing that grabbed me was her itchy voice. The song slowly works its way into the beat which is steady and steadfast. Lyves employs a good use of echos and effects and it weaves together an ethereal and modern take on a new type of ballad.

Next is one of my personal favorites that has been in the rotation for a while now. It's called  Go Honey by a new group called LUWTEN out of Amsterdam. There's a theme here that I'm beginning to notice: I love steady beats. Something with a strong foundation and rhythm. Go Honey brings this quality in bucket loads. Simply baseline with a contrasting tambourine. A xylophone floats on top for the duration of the song until an Americana-sounding guitar comes in with breathy effects. You get the XX vibes, and my even a little Florence and the Machine. It's a 10/10 for me.


Alright. Made it. See ya'll next week.

Justin Smith