Thoughts Round-Up 9/8/22 — Blueberry Green Tea Redux, White Peach Tea, Black Panther, Punk, Katamari Damacy, How Tim Pool Lied His Way To Online Fame

I miss Glen Ford.

In case you’re unfamiliar with him, I thought I’d write a quick tribute to him and how his work affected me.

Glen Ford is one of the founders of Black Agenda Report, and one of the few on the black left with a critique of Obama from the very start. Sure, a lot of know about Adolph Reed’s 1995 pinpoint crystal ball critique of Obama. But there’s something special about Glen Ford’s critique.

Glen’s critique of Obama begins with his critique of Cory Booker in 2002. In that critique, he highlights a new type of politician brewing. A black democrat who can speak to the people while having the same politics of a republican.

In just two sentences, Booker managed to stimulate the Right’s erogenous zones by mentioning three of the phrases they most love to hate: “race-based,” “entitlements,” and “distributing wealth.” This guy is good, very good. He speaks two distinct languages — one to the people he wants to elect him mayor of Newark, the other to the financially endowed, whose mission in life is to resist redistribution of wealth to race-based groups that think the poor could use some entitlements.

Politicians who appear to be for the people but serve corporate elite interests secretly is no new invention. But packaging all of that into a black man competently is a whole new thing. Race can have a huge effect on elections, with whites voting to keep themselves in their perceived racial authority at the expense of any political analysis, and black voters who often end up voting in a cynical defensive manner to protect themselves from the former.

Glen Ford saw Cory Booker for what he is from a mile away, and he knew that even if Booker failed to go beyond New Jersey, a new Booker would be on his way.

Fast forward to President Obama, a black democrat who bailed out the elite in the most generous manner possible, deported immigrants from south of the border en masse, oversaw further pillaging and subjugation of Africa, bombed Libya with the assistance of NATO and destabilized it so badly that Libya now has literal slavery, and now his vice president who co-signed and assisted in those disasters is now president, further extending his reign of neoliberal terror.

Republicans probably seethe in envy thinking about what Obama got away with that they wish they could. It was Glen Ford who helped me understand this, once mentioning in a debate with Michael Eric Dyson that “he is the more effective evil because he is able, being a Democrat, to accomplish more of that right-wing agenda than the Republicans ever could.”

Whatever video you can find on YouTube or articles of his you can find on Black Agenda Report, best believe you find a timeless rigorous political analysis from Glen Ford, who will be missed.

And to the regular content:

Tea

Harney & Sons Blueberry Green Tea

I have to apologize to this. I wrote previously that I couldn’t make this taste good and had to just cope with the fact I probably wasted my money on it. I was brewing it wrong. With green tea, you steep it for a short amount of time, sometimes even short as 30 seconds in hot water or you risk burning it and ruining the flavor completely. After steeping it for far shorter, I see the vision. It’s not bad. I admit I was wrong.

Old Barrel White Peach Tea

I brewed some of this to be adventurous and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. I had to circle back and make another cup. I ttied it with both honey and agave sweetener and it was banger after banger. A nice soothing sweet flavor that I definitely recommend.

TV:

Black Panther

Honestly, my thoughts on this movie aren’t special. But I want to set the record straight, I’m tired of the thing in superhero movies where the main villain has a point and instead of addressing the point head-on, the writers make the villain do something fucked up and unrelated to said point so the audience concludes, “yeah he killed a bystander so I guess him saying corporate greed is bad shows how extreme and bad it is to have that opinion.”

That’s what this movie does with Killmonger in my opinion, who says some vaguely Pan-African sounding shit and the writers make him mindlessly violent and abusive to women to negate whatever he had to say. That combined with the CIA white man having a role as a minor protagonist and not an enemy like how the CIA is in real life to black people, I can safely conclude Black Panther is what it is, an entertaining movie with some light anti-revolution propagandistic aspects that you would expect from Disney.

One of the funnier things about this movie discourse wise will always be both Hillary Clinton feeling the need to tweet about it to look “hip” to the blacks, but also her comment about “agreeing with the message” in the movie. What message, Hillary? Explain

Music:

Punk — Young Thug

Favorite Tracks: Stressed, Contagious, Fifth Day Dead

Punk is by no means the perfect album or even the close to one of Thugger’s best albums, but I really enjoy it, I think it showcases a more mature Young Thug (Mature Thug? I’ll exit now, sorry) who actively thinks about his relationships with people and and seeks stability with what he has.

On Stressed, T-Shyne assists to vibe I speak of and delivers a verse about not only struggling to get by, but about how stress through the years affects his relationships with people and ability to trust.

Later on the album on Contagious, Young Thug sings soulfully about wishing realness and genuinely friendship was contagious. Even on Livin’ It Up, a song about relaxing and enjoying life, Thugger flips the mood a bit at the end of his verse, talking about how his girlfriend’s suicidal feelings makes him look past the more toxic aspects of his relationship.

So much of the album fits the theme of a troubled man looking for stability in a life that has probably gone by too fast, it makes me a little sad looking at those themes and seeing Thugger’s present state with his freedom in jeopardy.

Overall, I like most of this album, though I think it could have probably done the same thing with about half of the songs, especially with the Doja Cat one removed.

God I fucking hate that song.

Video Games

Katamari Damacy — Reroll

Katamari Damacy is one of my favorite games and a brilliant implementation of one of the most ridiculous ideas for a game on a paper — a game where you roll as much of your surroundings into a ball as you can to replace the missing parts of the solar system that your dad fucked up while playing tennis. Everybody got that one dad who plays tennis and fucks up the solar system.

Ugh, sorry. Be right back guys, dad just yeeted the moon again.

I enjoyed this game back when I first played it on the PlayStation 2, it’s great to see it remastered and re-released on the Nintendo Switch. It still has kinda clunky controls, but this is not a competitive extreme rolling game, so whatever pains come from said controls can be overlooked.

Can I talk about the music? Bangers. Que Sera Sera sound like Frank Sinatra came back to life and made a song about rolling people up into a ball. Lonely Rolling Star is a clever love song about a woman waiting for her lover to come back …rolling to her one day. The Moon and the Prince is a disco-funk(maybe?) song from the perspective of your character hopeless rolling around and apparently…growing as a person.

The soundtrack is so weird and quirky but all of the songs fit the theme of the game and it makes replaying the levels feel good, I love listening to these songs while I’m rolling around like a fucking idiot.

I wish I could experience more Katamari Damacy games, but eventually this franchise got milked to hell and the original creator ended up bored with making video games for a bit and decided to make parks for kids instead. Recently he said he’s returning to making games though, so here’s hoping he makes another banger like this game.

Documentary

How Tim Pool Lied His Way To YouTube Fame

If you want to watch a little Documentary or video essay or whatever, I recommend this one. It tells the story of Tim Pool’s dumbass trip abroad to create some kind of weird anti-immigrant narrative that no one cared about except Nazis that he fraternized with.

Tim Pool’s such a stupid moron and the most open grifter, I don’t get how people watch him now. I actually watched early Tim Pool career, back when he was a guy livestreaming the Ferguson protests. I remember him talking about how the protests were peaceful, I literally watched the police teargas him and protestors on live stream, and he seemed like a guy committed to whatever journalism he appeared to be doing.

But I guess none of that pays, and now he’s Nazi-adjacent Trump-supporting moron that rails against protestors and does a podcast with some of the dumbest people imaginable coming on as guests to make everyone lose braincells. Sad.

Thanks for reading!

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