Quit Frontin': Stereotypes are Funnier Now

So we all know by now that progressive black people either 1) totally dissociate themselves from old colored stereotypes or they, 2) totally embrace every old negro stereotype from all of black history; to repossess and thereby own them. There are no shades of gray - only black and white.

You're only going to observe the progressive black be all uppity and politely-but-respectfully pass on the watermelon and Kool-Aid at the synagogue picnic (imagine Condoleezza Rice), "Oh, no thank you very much, but I recently participated in a luncheon and am, therefore, full from eating" or you'll witnes a whole Eddie-Murphy-as-Buckwheat routine with all the "ooooh-wheeees" and "yeeeass lawd, hows I's lubs me some wahmellens" and such (in this case, imagine one Mr. Dave Chappelle). You know exactly what I'm saying.

Oddly, I'm a mix of the two. I'll generally pass on the orange soda and grits for principle. But if it came down to it--to shock and entertain--I can be 110% black-face minstrel show. My existence is classic! You know it is!

And as we've become a nation of PC crybaby coward-patriots, we have also become a nation of liars. We lie as individuals and we lie as corporations. This became clearly apparent when Kentucky Fried Chicken (the KFC Corporation) not only stopped putting the blacks in their ads, but they actually changed their restaurant name--twice!* Colonel Harlan opened up Kentucky Fried Chicken, which brilliantly tells you everything you ever need to know: white man from Louisville sells inexpensive lard-fried chicken. Doy, blacks love it; poor people love it. So what? It's quick, easy, cheap, and tasty. This is America!

Then the company flinched in the PC '90s when they went straight three-letter name calling themselves KFC suggesting that their motto was "Kitchen Fresh Chicken." Kitchen fresh? Haha! I've been in a KFC before. Nice try. I say they flinched because the health conscious weren't going to go to KFC anyway; that move wasn't an overt capitalization on a revenue stream like this year's Kentucky Grilled Chicken! [so it must be good for you]

Then KFC dropped the "kitchen fresh" schtick, and like UPS, the letters suddenly and magically "without official representation." Then, in 2007, they started using "Kentucky Fried Chicken" in company literature again. Like anyone even cares. It's not like KFC's gonna lose or gain 10% in annual revenues by changing a name every other week. Sure a NASCAR driver (code for white) can sell a bit more chicken but let's be candid, aren't poor people and black people the corporate white bread and butter in the fried chicken industry?**

So the white, well-groomed and attired, upper middle-class, suburban advertisement family being so ecstatic that bring-home-the-bacon mom brought home a bucket of thighs n' wings comes across as, what, disingenuous. What traditions does this family have? Some kind of ironic weekly "Darkie Meat" Nite? Do they brown-bag 40s too? Do they wear coolie hats on "Ching-Chong it's Chinese Food" nite? We can go on and on....

Frontin'! Lyin'! Thievin'! Remember back when "SunnyD" and "MickeyDs" were ghetto slang terms that the corporations wouldn't touch?

C'mon, it is perfectly acceptable to put the black people back into the KFC ads, the SunnyD ads, the KooL menthol ads (magazines), and of course each and every one of the Kool-Aid spots again. As far as I'm concerned, nigga™ that shit up to the max (nigga™ as trademarked verb). Not only would it be honest marketing, it would also be funny as hell. NOTHING looks as stupid and as dishonest as white people in a magazine ad enjoying some KooLs.

In fact, and while you're at it, "Madison avenue," it is also now perfectly acceptable for Toyota ads to feature buck-toothed "Japs"; for Kosher National hot dog ads to feature klezmer party music and a violin playing rabbi (who joyfully blesses the pre-wiener eyeballs and snouts); and, for each and every pasta or pasta-industry product ad to prominently feature Tony Sirico as Pauly Walnuts, "Whoa, Tony! Looka at that spread, willya!"

Because. It's. Funny. And there's nothing wrong with funny now that Brock O'Baughmaugh is your friendly president. So as worldwide representative of People of Color (and America's Black Friend™), I grant blanket permission not only for the KFC Corporation to put black people back into their ads but for every merchant of product everywhere to use every stereotype in the little black encyclopedia of stereotypes; riff on the chicks, the homos, the spics, the nerds, and the 'tards. It's okay because this is America. Just don't wear fur, right?

To the blacks and the black elite in particular: you have to remember that all stereotypes are based on smidgens of historical truths else it wouldn't be so stingingly offensive, or so damn funny. Get past it. You're president now. Even Barack does a little shtick here and there; or, at least he did during the campaign. Now he's just boring like white people. So quit frontin'.

And to the PC liberali (code for white): on behalf of blacks, gays, the poor, children, Asians, and every other underrepresented group...c'mon, lobby yourselves up some perspective. Do us all a favor and go spend your free time ironically resurrecting something like bowing or Queens or Pabst Blue Ribbon or some shit.

Quit yer frontin'!

* Yes, this is an intentional companion to BN's SC piece. So don't even tell me I stole shit. We discussed this.
** And do I sadly need to remind you that poor and black are highly correlated?

Brooklyn Incognito, 2009

Who is this King of Leisure, anyhow?

Pennsylvania, Thanksgiving 2009

All-New The Kingdom of Leisure Launch Party

I'm back! Didja miss me? Did we get rid of all the newbies yet? Good! I missed you ('cuz I am your friend).

Welcome to the all-new the Kingdom of Leisure/middlespace/Ty Hardaway world headquarters world wide web blog launch party.

So what's the deal? Pretty much same shit: photos, videos, words, blah-blah-blah. But now with management (and crippling carpal tunnel!).

What happens next to this old, curmudgeon, half-black, Jew, Filipino, hipster, stay-at-home-dad, artist trapped in a new urbanist suburb filled with haus fraus and dorks? Hell if I know, but you, as middlespace cadets, will find out first.

We're starting from the beginning.

Buy something [here] 'cuz I am your friend.


Best Of...From 2007


For Your "Godforsaken Shingles"

Your wish is my command. Now buy some stuff: [clicky]

[See comments from last post for custom post context - photo shamelessly reposted from here]


Well Butterball® boys and cranberry sauce girls you lucked-out. Today I was going to write a scathing pre-Thanksgiving smallpox blanket day joint. I say "was" because I can't type anymore. The pain in my left wrist is too bad to type anymore. Or play guitar, or drums, or banjo, or piano. Maybe I can still hold a camera. We'll see. I have an extraordinarily high threshold for pain; a blessing and a curse. I know. I know. I need to rest it, take ibuprofen, rest, ice, rest, soak, rest, stretch. And rest. So I'll try taking the rest of the week off, OK mom? I might even deserve it. I try to be productive. I've paid some dues. I know, "Take care of your tools, don. Take it easy." But I'm not the take-it-easy type. I'm the fight-through-the-pain type. I've lots of shit to do before I give up. No time for rest. No rest for the wicked. But, my hands are wrecked from the years of your production. So Thanksgiving...
I know you don't like Thanksgiving--is it because you feel an artificiality about there being A Special Occasion On Which We Are Supposed To Give Thanks, and that's bullshit because we can be thankful any time/all the time ?? --but I hope you do have a good, albeit short, week, and a very happy Thanksgiving. - H.S., Portland, OR
I was going to write about how much I hate Thanksgiving. But my forced-break gives me pause.
I work real hard for my living But I don't celebrate bullshit Thanksgiving Sit up like some fool and eat turkey That's the day your forefathers jerked me - Ice-T, 1991
And while I 100% absolutely agree with my man, Tracy Marrow, about bullshit Thanksgiving--just ask my brothers and sisters in Wounded Knee, SD--I have a lot to be thankful for. I do. And I realize it. Aside from this so American of holidays, I thank people So, uh, thanks? Back Monday after Black Friday. Catch up with some of the old posts; they're over 5,000 of 'em (and that's why my wrist is jacked). So I'll end here (so I can go mind my shingles, TGAs, and ruined hands).
Happy Smallpox Blanket Day! Who's to judge? Me!

Analytics Sellout (This Morning in the Kingdom)

Manniyer Mark made me do the Googlelytics (Is that taken? If not, I call ™). WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?!

It's a good day for us liberal elite blue-staters, but I'm a failure in the heartland. C'mon heartland, shape up! I concede the deep south like Barry Hussein. What's up PA? Where you at? We have a lot of work to do (well, Mark does). Everyone else, thanks for giving!

Like Ray said, "Let's do this!"

Standing Meeting with Manniyer Marcos

Manniyer Mark started in with this today right off the bat (after I arrived 10 minutes late), "I have like 16 things in my mind. I'm like you now, heh-heh." What? Was that some sort of a backhanded insult?

True, I may have many, many things in my head at once but I'm always cognizant of each of these items. What the heck, man? I'm, uh...I'm. Where was I? I got the TGA!

He did his 16 things and went, "so what you got?" All I "reported" was my carpal tunnel pain.

So, let's go to the emailingsboxes:

Tell Mark that you will not stand for critiques / criticisms from people who cannot even be bothered to use the SHIFT KEY when they send e-mails.

Thanks E.E. Cummings!

How is he going to make you a one million dollars (Doctor Evil Voice) if he cannot even be trusted to properly use the English language!?!!?!?

If I can't trust you with the small things I can't trust you with the big things.


Thanks "-P" for your note but lower-case letters are the least of my worries with Manniyer Mark. The man is--and how do I put this lightly--MAKING ME WORK! How's that for hot shift-key action? Today I have a six-item list of things to do plus a pre-launch meeting on Sunday at 2:00. No football? Whaaaa! Sure, it's good to have someone make me do things but I'm, honestly, not so sure what I'm doing for this "launch." November 30. Monday. Okay! Copyright items, glossary items, ringtones, weekend guest postings, etc., etc. Oh, "monetizing & profiting."

i'm seriously about recording a theme for you. we'll get this done for you. just tell manniyer mark to cool his heels - we're going into the studio on monday.

So nobody liked my "too ethereal" attempt at a theme song. Sue me, will ya'? So "S&E" are "going into the studio" to help me out with a little funk in the trunk theme like Sanford & Son or Alf or some shit. Thank you "S&E" (but use your shift-key or "-P" will not trust you).

Oh, and a couple came in the emailings from the "FLA" [clicky 1 & clicky 2]. Thanks "FLA", but I don't know. Well, Mark says no. But we're onto something here. Maybe I'll do a whole thing on theme songs.... Oh yeah, "stick the Action Items" says Mark.
Ty, What happened to your old manager, Rick from Fresno?

-Laura B.
Yes, I had to part ways with Big Rick G. of Front Slash or Forward Slash or whatever, "Laura B." Well, our "parting of ways" is more the result of not having heard from him since around June. He made me no money and he cost me several thousand dollars in fees. Frankly, I think the guy was a pretty bad manager. Frankly, I'm getting to be a little concerned with the Manniyer too. He seems to believe that "shiny cars" and "fat cigars" will somehow be the result of this venture. I'm more looking of a way to keep doing this without having to work shifts at Starbucks.

The Manniyer is concerned with my "relationship" with Big Rick. He wants to "formalize the separation" but wants me to pay the lawyer fees. I guess I'll use that $24 in t-shirt revenue, right?

So for today I am left with my six "action items to accomplish before our Sunday meeting." He even suggested that "the launch is probably more important right now than a Thanksgiving post." Anybody know web design?

Fuck it. I'm doing the Thanksgiving post. Carpal tunnel or not.


"The World of KOL" (emailing from Manniyer Marcos)

ty, two things

1. this is a much better theme song and great lead into the show [above]...i found it on youtube.

2. as i start to see into your world, the world of KOL, i am geting scared. wow, what i have got myself into, i may not be arty enough to hang

Haha! I forgot all about that piece: Doot de doodle ee! Good find, Marcos. You're just scratching the surface of the the Kingdom of Leisure (tKoL, leading "T" mandatory) though. You have yet to meet kingdom cast members like, Karl the spy, Corey the intern, Josh Weiselberg, Preck, and Burkelee Carroll.

Tip of the iceberg.

Action Item: Theme Song

[Ty Hardaway dot com Theme Song]

So, Manniyer Marcos wanted me to "follow up on the excellent idea from the comments" and create a theme [clicky]. So I go and make one (click above) and he's like, "There's no hook! That'll never work in a million years and we only have seven days till launch!"

So that was a wasted hour.

Rain's Blues, 2007
Rain's Twos, 2007

Of Trees (again)

It is a fact that I like trees.

Exploring Your Inner Killer

Last week I threw a theoretical/philosophical question into the interweb winds (and straight into my FBI/NSA file). The question was:

Would you make a better SERIAL KILLER or an ASSASSIN?

The responses were really, really fascinating to me. So much so that I'm gonna beat this question like a dead horse (what a weird saying).

It's an interesting question because it cuts to the psychological core of our personalities; how we (hypothetically) put ourselves into difficult roles. It's how we see ourselves, really. It's a highly intellectual thread for once. It's one that gets my social psychology training all tingly like Spider-Man's special senses.

The feedback--from my friends--to date:
• I would want to be an assassin. It works better with my personality. I am not spontaneous. I plan everything. I think spontaneous people make better serial killers and planners make better assassins.

• I'm w/^^^.

• Ahhh. I like the planner vs. spontaneous argument. But, successful practitioners of both vocations never get caught. Who's to say? Unlike assassins who are typically hired to work (and are thus externally motivated), SK's typically do it for themselves (internal loci). Perhaps a more cogent argument would revolve around competitiveness; doing a job vs. the thrill of ratcheting up numbers and getting away.

• Well, I am competitive, and I do like to I'm still going to go with assassin. It's a game I'd always get to win, and I'd get the final word too! ;-) Oh, and also, I don't like to lie or deceive people, and you have to be good at that to be a serial killer:
"Hey, come into my apartment and let me tell you about Jesus" *strangle strangle strangle*
Nah, serial killing just isn't "me", ya' know?

• I can be a little bit of both. It all depends on the circumstances, and the nature of The Kill. I'm just sayin'.

• Assassin. I don't like to take my work home with me. Assassinate, go home.

• Good point, ^^^! Way to have that work-life balance. I guess serial killing would be all Type-A workaholic and stuff.

• SK's do it with soul.

• SKs have no soul. Assassins are methodical and muli-taskers. Their intelligence is high. They are perfectionists and highly skilled. The worst description for an Assassin is that they are mean. SKs are insane. Even if SKs pull off a long history of "the kill", in the long run, they are koo koo for Coco Puffs. No exceptions.

• Assassin. Everyone already said why + I am that person who carries bugs and spiders out of the house instead of killing them. The killing would have to be someone else's idea.

• See - ^^^ brings up a very valid point. A Serial Killer chooses their own victims, whereas an Assassin - well, as good as they are - they have someone above them in the chain of command telling them who to eliminate. I much prefer making my own decisions. Although, I can be swayed with reasonable data.

• Me too. I will not kill insects or arachnids unless necessary (in crib, etc.). Locus of control is important. Who's calling the, er, shots is important. But, for me it still comes down to...ratcheting up the numbers and staying clean. Think: Dexter.

• I ABSOLUTELY prefer making my own decisions, which is why this is a tough one. I am a methodical, competitive, planning, organized multi-tasker, so I could maybe be OK-ish as long as I could afford to choose to turn down assassin gigs if I didn't want to work for the hiring party for some reason.

• In the end, SKs make mistakes because they have to continue a string of scenarios. Dexter is falling apart, these days. Assassins start "anew" with each assignment. Not to mention there is big money in assassination. You are your own boss because you are a contractor. You can make your own schedule. You can, simply, say you are unavailable on any given day. Come to think of it, I have been looking for a job for months, with no success... hmmmm...

• Glass half full, ^^^! We should start a...uh, "consulting service."

• I am a great shot! Um... I mean, I have excellent administrative skills.

• Oh, and I'm a great shot too!

So while the majority of people who responded to the old pop quiz selected "assassin," I think that some of the sociopaths out there are sociopathically lying and would actually choose to be and actually execute (nopun) the serial killers job better. I believe that people romanticize the assassin role (Robert Ludlum has sold, what, 290 million copies of his books?) and stigmatize that of serial killer. One is crazy and the other is somehow dutiful to client.

But I don't see the two as fundamentally that different. Both of these killing professions require a great deal of social, physical, and emotional skill.
Social: both practitioners have to successfully and invisibly get into situations, blending and persuading but never standing out. Then you have to as cleanly disappear as you appeared.

Physical: there is a certain amount of effort involved in performing your job duties for each gig (i.e. "*strangle strangle strangle*).

Emotional: Not only do you have to lie, a lot, but, like "Ice" said in West Side Story: "Yeah, now you all better dig this and dig it good. No matter who or what is eatin' at you, man, you show it and you are dead. You are cuttin' a hole in yourselves for them to stick in a red hot umbrella and open it. Wide. You wanna live in this lousy world? You play it cool." I rest my case.
But maybe it's the motivation and goals that differentiate. So I'm leaving the question open. I need to hear more.

Me? I couldn't hurt a fly. Really. I'm a hippie, liberal, pacifist. If you shut off the power and I couldn't recharge my iPhone, I'd curl up on the floor and rock myself for comfort. And remember, I'm your friend. :)
"I expected someone like you. What did you expect? Are you an assassin?"

- Colonel Walter E. Kurtz

Just Another Manniyer Monday

Oy vey!

The phone just wont stop vibrating.

{Manniyer Mark} {Manniyer Mark} {Manniyer Mark}

I returned his "answer your phone" text with a text indicating, "Oh, I don't know where my phone is."

Yes. We are "on" for Tuesday's "standing meeting." Tuesday's tomorrow, right?

Yes. I am "on schedule" for November 30 launch. I just wish I knew what I was launching.

Yes. I have heard of Stuff White People Like. Like, who hasn't heard of SWPL by now.

Yes. We're selling merch. We've grossed $24! And Cafe Press pays out at $25. So, zero to date.

Yes. We have to "get people to tell their friends" about my site. Bring readership to 4!

Yes. I will try to get you a Washington Rednecks cap.

Yes. I will ponder your newest idea:
"what if we take the project to a whole other level, create TKOL blog to set the scene and then shoot 30 minutes shows to air on the site and on youtube. Use the neighborhood as our screen stage and characters in your life here and on the net as cast? Why create the idea and farm it out when we can start with it. Goal of one new show a month and create a follwoing?

idea, create a fake KOL club house up in the attic of the garage where we hang out and the wives dont know about it. Each of your advetures a show with a new nutty person per episode and one new TY character per show (buckwheat TY) Obamas borther TY

the premise of the show is what we are doing. The meeting to sellout and make money, but we have nothing to sell so each episode is a new idea with your life as KOL taking the spotlight"
I'm Wayne's World Priceless Banter meets Seinfeld the Willard Gentlemen's Club now.

All I wanted to post, this week, was my "
Don't Hate Me Because I Feel Thanksgiving Sucks" and my "Serial Killer vs. Assassin" pieces. Now I have to make racist characters. Don't I have a "real KOL clubhouse" already?


Suburban Triptych - Where the Sidewalk Ends

Perhaps I Never Posted Carla's Photo Before, 2007

It's the Wah-wah Sound

Ask Ty...November 20 [The Teabagger Question]

It must be Tuesday Friday, Middlespace Cadets, because I'm answering your questions
Q: Dear Ty,

I'm curious about your take on the lunacy of this "Teabagger" portion of our populace? I mean - in my opinion, they all come off as a bunch of terribly misguided and angry people - some of whom are openly racist, while others attempt to mask their racism under the banner of "Christianity" or even "Constitutionalism."

I've also started to notice how often the media is portraying them as Evangelical Wing-nuts - which, if I were a Regular Joe Christian, I would be really pissed off about. Why are we not seeing Regular Joe Christians standing up and distancing themselves from this movement? Why are they just letting these people cold-jack their ideology and dogma, and using it for overtly racist and selfish means? I know I would want to distance myself from any kind of extremism, you know?

What I mean by that, is this - The correlation I am making between Regular Joe Christians and Regular Joe Muslims is a simple one: people reacting to extremism by immediately saying things like:




The Teabaggers keep on crying that there is a "Liberal Bias" in the portrayal of their movement. But really, all I see is a gang of inarticulate thugs trying to force their agenda down everyone's throat, because they didn't win an election - kind of like the kid who gets the short end of his wished-for stick on his birthday or something. "Ma - I WANTED A PONY, and all I got was OBAMA!!!"

Also - in the spirit of Alanis Morrissette - isn't it ironic that Regular Joe Christians are starting to feel the same fear and shame that Regular Joe Muslims were feeling in the earlier part of this decade?


- The Ghost Of Thomas Jefferson (Not Necessarily Stoned, But Beautiful)

: It's Headphone Friday. So strap on and cue one of these up before you start reading. Either will fit:
Kids in the Street
The Greatest Story Ever Told - Live
Extremists are crazy, huh? In plenty of cases, the leadership of extremist groups and the followers of the leadership of extremist groups are clinically, diagnostically crazy as hell. Imagine if Glenn Beck and Tracy Morgan got gay-liberal married and had a baby. That baby would either be an accountant or the leader of some loud, ugly fringe group.

You mix any sort of mental illness with ignorance, and insecurity and you have the potential for a pretty messed-up situation. Now add The Fear that the [most-feared and oppressed group of choice] is somehow “taking over America!” (the women, the blacks, the Muslims, the Jesus Freaks, Jews, or whatever) and man-oh-man, we got ourselves a doozy. Now open the righteous umbrella of religion. Oops!

Welcome to 2010: the beginning of America’s Doozy Era. Seriously. We voted for the world’s coolest and smartest eloquent black president and what did we get? Not a lousy t-shirt or a fist bump, but we got a complimentary bag of nuts. Bitter wing nuts. It's like we painted ourselves into a corner with black-face [Ed. note: I've been waiting weeks to use that line]

So, and directly to your query, TJ (NNSBB), what is my “take on the lunacy of this "Teabagger" portion of our populace?” Shit, that’s like some automated, new-fangled fancy-ass, self-answering question there, don. These kooks are lunatics braying at the moon. But it’s not the moon that science explained is a spherical chunk of rock (now with water!) orbiting our spherical planet through the algorithms of gravity. No, these fools are braying at a liberal Jew conspiracy designed to send our babies to hell and take away guns. And the whole “fake space program” was proof too, they say. Some of these poor folk are the same people who believe that Satan had something to do with Hurricane Katrina and that dinosaurs are the product of a hoax. These ignorant rubes are all, "I need me some proof the world is flat" and stuff. Oh yeah, boo to Harry Potter too. But they are TeeVee news gold.

So when it comes to the idea that Barry Oh!® is a Socialist and a Nazi, they blindly run with that baton as some sort of "fact" when they can't even define the word "fact."And the Socialists and the Nazis—who also don’t like the president for different reasons—are like, what you talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?

And at the same time, Barry Oh!® somehow hates white people and is going to enslave them because he is racist. It’s so fucking crazy that it’s not even morosely funny anymore. I mean, to some of these kind people, our president is somehow a Muslim but the Muslims are like, what you talkin’ ‘bout, Willis? You ain’t gonna see any Hope & Change bumper stickers in the Westboro Baptist Church parking lot or on a donkey cart in Khewa.

I thought we played-out that phrase, “you can’t have it both ways” during the Clinton administration. You remember that vast right wing conspiracy. Where was the so-called liberal media then? In fact, where was the so-called liberal media during Bush's administration?

Oy! Let’s forget the media. Liberal Elitist or Fair & Balanced or whatever, the MSM generally sucks. So let’s take the media out of the discussion for now. Too maddening.

So, you are so right, TJ (NNSBB). Regular, good guy "Joe Christian" should be pissed as hell. If I were "Joe Christian," living my life, paying my taxes and wearing my Sunday Best every week, I’d be kind of frightened by how a weirdo but very loud minority of zealots are branding the faithful as idiots and kooks. I know plenty of intelligent, thoughtful, and fair people of all faiths. It is possible. It is even the norm, perhaps. As a Christian I'd feel ashamed and embarrassed of the teabag kooks (as I already do as an American).

Now take the Ft. Hood shootings. One of my first reactions was how much that crazy-ass meltdown must make regular, good guy, "Joe Muslim" feel so ashamed and embarrassed. TJ (NNSBB) is right: Ideology has been cold-jacked like a motherfucker in this, our planet's Doozy Era. I'll say it again, the only voices being heard are from the SurroundSound extremes. Turn that volume down, DJ!

I don't know if it will be an overall positive or negative long-term outcome but the extremes have made themselves the subject of ridicule and scorn (Sarah Palin and the rest). The sad thing is that same ridicule and scorn trickles down like Reaganomics never did to the people who are just trying to live their lives faithful to their gods. Just because you go to church or mosque or synagogue shouldn’t mean that 1) you hate everyone else’s gods and the people who worship in that particular manner, or; 2) that you’re a just plain crazy as hell.

The whole crazy-as-hell thing only reinforces my decision to not believe in gods or sticks or séances or the Mayan calendar or anything other than peer-reviewed data-driven SCIENCE (hello mathematics, I love ya!). No diss to anybody's religion but my science is kind of like my religion and science is whispering in my ear for me to blow anything up or pray for anybody to die because they scare me. Science already proves that we're all going to die anyway. Shouldn't our reaction be to have some fun? Enjoy the ride?

Bottom line is that we have become a mal-educated species. We developed our collective brain to a point were survival became easy. So some of us lack the fundamentals of reasoning and logic because it was never taught to us. Some of us are not able to make simple connections or perform thoughtful cognitive analyses. It's sad yet the tr00f. We've all become so ADD, paranoid, and reactionary. And in America, obese. We can update Facebook at 80 MPH on the freeway but we still think that dragons were real. So we rely on the loudest people on the TeeVee or the village to tell us how to think.

And for my "educated" extremist friends I ask, what are you so afraid of?

And to answer your question with a question TJ (NNSBB), "Isn’t it ironic?" Don't you think?

I could go on and on. I open the discussion to the comments. Have a good weekend with science.

Just a guess,


[Buy your shirt for the holy days]

Introducing Manniyer Mark

Will you look at that face? That's my business manager, Mark. I call him "Manniyer Mark" like the Dominicans at Barnes & Noble call their store manager when they're not ranting about jefe loco. Manniyer Mark. Roll the R's.

Don't get the impression from the image that jefe's angry...with me. Well, he's not really ever angry at me, but he does often get excited about "making things happen" at a pace a little more brisk than I have grown accustomed. "Artists are just too damn lazy," he says.

But that's not the angry face, or the excited face.

That is the WTF? face. Manniyer Mark was showing me the face he believed he was making one morning as he was getting dressed for work, tying his tie, listening to NPR, dreading his corporate existence, and he caught sight of me walking up the street. Apparently, I was wearing shorts, a pork pie hat, and argyle socks. I was carrying B in a backpack. Mark said, "I remember thinking, what the fuck is the deal with this guy?" Apparently that's how I look every day; unlike the other "corporate inmates."

Manniyer Mark also recalled thinking, "That guy has a style, I just didn't know what the hell that style was supposed to be. Or if it was good." Ha! Guilty. Me neither.

He reminded me about the time I walked up to him while he was working in his garage and I asked to take his photo (July 4, 2007). He agreed but was so thrown off--I took the photograph and then wandered away, as I do--that he began to kind of study me and try to figure what the deal was. And if there was any cash in it.

The rest is history, blah-blah-blah. Now he has the lawyer telling me which posts to pull (like yesterday's "collage"). Now he's telling me what "nuggets to drop" into posts and such. Check this from this morning:
hey need to metnion a few ideas:

1) try to mention the project each day in your blog to keep building the interest, what about a count down of days? But lets leavfe it vague to keep the interst

2) i think it is Ok to mention me in post but it does seem a bit much to reveal the inner deliberations and workings. this isn't about me, remember. shouldnt be childish. advice: scale back

3) do a section called "Cool Shit" where people send us cool shit for free and we revew it on the site? two conditions if they send a t-shit is has to be two so we dont fiight over it and they need to give us a free link on there site? Free Cool SHit!

All I can think of is, was he texting while driving? That's illegal now. And note that in Action Item #2 he clumsily thumbs, "This isn't about me" yet in Action Item #3 he txts that I should have people send stuff to us...for free (but I shouldn't be childish).

WTF? I should be making that face. Oh, and Mark nixed the fanny pack idea in favor of what "the kids are using":
Now I see he's emailing with my friends. Next thing you know I'll be "positioned" as the son of a Nigerian forestry minister with 85$ million US in the bank. Send your bank account numbers, kids! Oh, and Free Cool Shit too!


This Was Yesterday Afternoon

Quit Frontin' Black History Mumph

I know it's not February but I'm thinking about Black History Month. But since I historically mix February and November (and vice versa), it only makes sense to discuss today. Plus I'm feeling a little Skip Gates and decided that a hipster lecture is due.

The Wiki says that "Black History Month is a remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora." For you lowly-educated/third-tier college mopes, diaspora means "a movement of any population sharing common ethnic identity who were either forced to leave or voluntarily left their settled territory, and became residents in areas often far removed from the former." You have your Europeans to the New World, you have your Mexicans to Iowa, and the Cubans to Miami. You get it, blah-blah-blah! And then there's the Africans....

What?! Like Weezie said on the TeeVee's The Jeffersons, "Nigger please!"* Here's my chief objection: "...and became residents in areas often far removed form the former."
*I know I can't use the N-word anymore but, seriously, Weezie said that. It's a TeeVee classic and a direct quotation [clicky, go to 2:00].
Scene begin.

"Hey Kunte, I just read here in today's Gambian Financial Daily that things are really picking up in The New World of America. Perhaps we should buy a vacation house there?"

Scene end.
Diaspora? Population movement, huh? I'm not talking about Hurricane Katrina relocations to Utah or the mass Vietnamese immigration after 1975--where people's lives were saved--I'm talking about the only reason black people are in these United States, and anywhere outside of Africa, in the first damn place (and not just to be the president): Slavery, people. Slavery!

If you do your WikiInternet mathematics correctly, you'll see that Black History Month + Diaspora = Hey, darks, let's take a whole damn month and force you to remember that your black ass was somebody's property to be raped, beaten, and worked like a goddamn robot, ha-ha! We play joke! At least it's the year's shortest month. Thank G-d.

Who's in charge of designating commemorative months, anyway? Apparently, anyone can do it given such commemorations as, Better Breakfast Month (September), Audiobook Month (June), and Mental Retardation Month (March) where, in a perfect world, we'd all get to act as retarded as we wanted. I wouldn't be surprised if the KKK didn't make up this whole Black History Month bullshit just to be jerks.

I say, fuck you Slave Memory Month! I'm over it; I've moved on because Bank of America has foreclosed on your plantation! From today forward, can we stop celebrating this celebration of humiliation, please? It's just insulting, like Morgan Freeman said. [And, yes, Morgan Freeman, there is a Jewish History Month (it's in May). Oh, sorry, that's Jewish American History Month. You can sue me with a Jewish lawyer.]

I get it. I really do. I'm not an insensitive guy [he types as he quietly laughs aloud]. But we just have to take a step back and look at our national black situation. We have to put things in context. Perspective. For a while in the late 60's The Negros were all, "let's name streets and schools and civic buildings after our people too!" OK, look where that got us. Where's the Martin Luther King, Jr. airport? None, right? Sure there are plenty of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevards near airports because airports are loud and busy and planes crash near airports. The streets named after black people are generally where the poor people live. And remember the rule: black people usually are the poor people.

How many Whole Foods are on Malcolm X Avenue? Conversely, how many Harriet Tubman rec centers serve neighborhoods with stately McMansions? See? This let's-get-ours-too attitude only segregated us further. If someone tells you that you have to drive down Huey P. Newton Parkway, you're gonna lock you doors and hide your iPod before you exit the freeway.

Looking at February, did you know that it's not only Black History Month? So-called "black history" shares the month with over 25 other commemorations, like (annotated):
  • National Sweet Potato Month (yams, seriously?)
  • National Boost-Your-Self-Esteem Month (OK, now it's insulting)
  • National Canned Food Month (what?)
  • National Hot Breakfast Month (good, free hot breakfast programs are cute)
  • National Snack Food Month (to follow your free hot breakfast: HoHos!)
  • National Dental Month ('cuz a brotha gots ta smile!)
  • Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month (I couldn't have made this up)
  • Chocolate Lover's Month (once you go black...)
  • North Carolina Sweet Potato Month (again, yams!)
  • National Pudding-Snack Month (the Coz, really?)
  • Creative Romance Month (Mandingo fetish, once you go black...)
  • Canadian History Month (along with the Mexicans, the other North American niggers)
  • Native American Heritage Month (the original North America nigger)
See what I mean? This commemorative month business is crazy and insulting as hell. The biggest problem with BHM is that all commemorative months and weeks and days are meaningless. Like I mentioned, anyone with a notion can make up, promote, and "celebrate" any damn thing they want. It doesn't demonstrate any sort of Change or Hope® in any sort of real or meaningful terms. I mean, just because it's Return Sopping Carts to the Supermarket Month doesn't mean I have to do that shit. I can leave the damn cart on the lawn next to my old washing machine and my Camaro that I'm gonna fix up if I want. There are no laws or even norms attached to this commemorative nonsense.

Now that we have a famous black socialist president, can't we quit striving and assimilating and just enjoy the fact that we've arrived? Goodbye Black History Mumph, we're post-racial now.

I'm an American. Quit frontin'!


Coming Out of the Closet

Establish A Platform + Push the Platform = STFU!


Brand Solidification Opportunities

"Takes me back to the days of making decals on the copy machine at work...."
Original copy machine decal, circa 1997.

Ask Ty...November 18 [The Merch Question]

It must be Tuesday Wednesday, Middlespace Cadets, because I'm answering your questions
Q: Dear Ty,

This is more of a request than a question. But I'll put it in the form of a question, since I'm guessing those are your rules: Could you make a shirt along the lines of "It's ok, I have a black friend" (maybe with a photo of you on it, you know, for proof and all)?

Now, I know that your are not technically black, that you are a mix like all of us, but you're black enough for the "it's ok, I have a black friend" effect. You know, like when you put Michael Richards yelling the "N" word over an Obama speech, and someone says it's in bad taste, alls you have to do is point to your shirt and say "hey, it's ok, I have a black friend! (and he's ok with it, so why aren't you?)"

You might even make some dough on this one. I know I'd buy one.

-Fan in Florida
Ty: Good question and an even better observation, FiF. Funny you should mention t-shirts. Just yesterday at our "standing weekly meeting" I had to listen to Manager Mark go on and on about "merch opportunities" and "brand solidification" and whatnot. I told Mark that there's no money in merch he screamed at me that I was wearing an Achewood t-shirt and zip hoodie.

So Manager Mark was genuinely excited when I passed along your request-disguised-as-a-question, FiF. I think his txt back contained both the word "crack" (as in cocaine) and "gold mine." I reminded him of Bob Dobbs, Jr. dismal t-shirt returns but he ignored that going on about his "six pages of notes for this thing."

Ahhh, merchandising! Takes me back to the days of making decals on the copy machine at work and "selling" CDs after shows. I guess that's why we (tKoL) gave up "touring"...because of merchandising woes.

But--flashing forward to the present--and as you probably already know, FiF, I've previously dipped a pinky-toe into the t-shirt world, more for fun than for commerce: [clicky]. I did it for fun because fun is...well, fun. I was enjoying myself as an artist (until yesterday, anyway).

Here what Manager Mark had to say:
"Fun? Fun?! You've been giving it away for years and now it's time to cash the hell in. You're already a slut, so why not make a porno? Here's what I think. Your shirts suck! There's no brand on those stupid shirts, you failed to brand your product!"
Mark yelled at me. All red in the face and shit. And he instructed me to try again; he added an "action item" to my "punch list".

I do like your suggestion, FiF. Since I have basically lived my life being "America's Black Friend™" (which sounds a lot snappier than America's Half-Black Jewish Friend) I suppose your shirt makes a lot of sense. It's funny and I really don't have to do any work to get it made (punch list action item done).

So, FiF, thanks and here you are:
Mark says, "Tell 'em to check out middlespace01-07 too.

If I'm lucky, I'll sell one to FiF. To quote Dave Chapelle, "I'm rich, bitch!"

Just a guess,


P.S. Help me! I just want to make an album.


Ask Ty...November 17 [The Terror Trial Question]

It must be Tuesday, Middlespace Cadets, because I'm answering your questions
Q: Dear Ty,

What do you think about the upcoming trial of some of the perpetrators of the 9/11 attack being held in NYC, on American soil and in a civilian court?

-A Concerned Citizen
Ty: Good question and an even better observation, CC. I guess my friends on the political right are afraid that people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will somehow beat the charges and walk out of court free to eat a hot dog at a sidewalk cart and blow more stuff up. I guess if the United States somehow tries the perps "on American soil" then they'll open up another can of 9/11® on our asses. Or make us sad.

And some of my friends on the political left are like, "This way it'll be a fair trial" and "execution's not a solution" and such. Same old mealy-mouthed carping.


I guess somehow President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder are going to pull some sort of fast one on all of us. Maybe pardon the defendants or something, right right? (Get it? Right...right?) Even Rudolph Giuliani weighed in suggesting that it would be "rude" to try Khalid in New York. And my dear departed "rogue" governor of Alaska says:
"Criminal defense attorneys will now enter into delaying tactics and other methods in the hope of securing some kind of win for their 'clients.' The trial will afford Mohammed the opportunity to grandstand and make use of his time in front of the world media to rally his disgusting terrorist cohorts. It will also be an insult to the victims of 9/11, as Mohammed will no doubt use the opportunity to spew his hateful rhetoric in the same neighborhood in which he ruthlessly cut down the lives of so many Americans."
Okay, it's not much of an argument but it's pretty funny to read with that Tina Fey "youbetcha" voice going in your head, huh? All doing finger-quotes with the word "clients" and such.

Oh, CC. Who stole my country? Between the liberals calling for more transparency in how a man runs the country they voted him to run and the conservatives arguing that this same man is basically Aldoph Hitler I really don't know what to say anymore.

I have a riddle for you. What's worse than a Republican? Nothing, but the Democrats are just as bad. Not funny but that's how I feel. And that's why I am political sans party. Crazy Ralph Nader and Rickey Powell were right: they are all the same (except for that Supreme Court thingy).

So to your question, CC. What do I think about the upcoming trial of some of the perpetrators of the 9/11® attack being held in NYC®, on American® soil and in a civilian court? I think the whole thing is political and judicial theater. We all know this. Any shock about this topic is mock shock. I think...who really gives a damn? It's not like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is really gonna skate on any of the charges. It's just a hangin' party like that fool Saddam. Like who's going to be the juror holding up the deliberations? If some juror gets all analytical and thoughtful and all devil's advocate in the jury room, it's going to be all Flight 93 up in there.

So I say, Bring 'Em On® and Let's Roll®! Sure, try the bad guys here. Whatever. At least that way we can pretend that there's some sort of process. Don't get me wrong, I don't like the bad guys either and I'm glad they are off the grid, but I'm pretty tired of the yapping from both sides.

At this juncture all arguments are nonsensical (at least I understand the tepid words coming from the left -- the loons on the right? Oy vey!).

Just a guess,


Establish A Platform + Push the Platform = STFU!

Why didn't I think of this instead? [clicky]

Now I Went And Did a Thing

"You're as ADD as a cat on ecstasy in a baby mouse factory."

-Manager Mark
OK, so I made up the quotation above. Sue me for crimes against the state. But that's the point my business manager, Mark, was trying to make to me today. I mean, that was the point he was pounding into my goddamn brain when he wasn't saying "monetize" or "capitalize" or "merchandise potential." He was all Ari Gold on my fool ass. Focus! I need to "focus on my product" and blah-blah "two-year plan" and "You can't use the N-word or the F-word" for "mass appeal potential" and "ten to twenty percent" and I think I signed something or another and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....
[In my head I'm all like, "Fuck, the new Them Crooked Vultures album is good old-fashioned rock and roll bliss. Who would've guessed they rocked so hard?" As Mark was "projecting forward" and "diversifying" I was praying to the rock gods that I'd wake up with headphones on listening to "Scumbag Blues."

So good, in fact, that dropping that knowledge in a post would be a perfect product placement...and then I realized it: oh shit! I'm one of them now. I'm thinking like a greedy, money-grubbing capitalist!]
I had to go and write all that "sell out" shit and now I have standing meetings every Tuesday and a November 30 "deliverable." Seriously. I have goddamn "action items" now. Jesus almighty! I have to have a meeting EVERY TUESDAY at 8:00 in the morning! Isn't this the very same rat race from which I was escaping by being the art guy? Now I'm just like the rest of you cubicle monkeys minus the commute and the dry-cleaned clothes and the bosses and the politics and the cubicles and the jobs (and the germs--neuroses never take vacations). But other that that it's all workin' 9-to-5 n' shit for me now. You get the gist, the dream is over. Now I have to work. I'm just like you. I have a meeting every Tuesday!

Focus! I need to focus and build my platform and "follow well-established models." I have to track hits and stuff now. I was just trying to live my life (albeit in the limited unstructure of a self-customized world).
Mark: So let's set a start-up date and work backwards to meet our goals.
Ty: Oh, perfect, how 'bout January 1?
Ty: ----[images of me shoveling brimstone into a furnace while Mark drowns hooker after hooker in hundred dollar bills and cocaine]----
Looks like play time is over, guys. No more stream of conscious meandering about whatever comes to mind or emailing or the comments or anything fun anymore. It's like when you just got your playground mojo going but it's getting to be around nine o'clock in the summertime evening and you hear The Call; your mom telling you to come home for the night. Oh the crushing defeat as you slink home while the other kids have all the fun; the fuckers laughing and pointing at you and being so cool about everything. You swear vengeance then and there, "You're the asshole" you say more to yourself than aloud. It may take twenty or thirty years but you'll get 'em back. Somehow. Somewhere.

So I guess I'm left to do this thing. It's what I asked for. But what will I do? It's not like I haven't "established platform" already. I mean, what was "An Historical Record" all about? What was "I've Always Been This Awkward" for? I've mused on my stupid neighborhood. What else could I possibly do? Quit frontin'! I mean, what else is there for an odd, curmudgeon, half-black Jew house-husband living in a PC, New Urbanist community to ponder? Just because I say the things you think doesn't mean there is a market. Where is the art? What's next, t-shirts?
[Just got an emailing from Mark. "113011," he wrote. Oy vey! The crazy part is I know what that means: it is the end of the "two-year plan" and exactly two years after we "launch." Oy vey! Now I went and did a thing.]
Now I have to create a movement. Well, as my graduate school advisor once said (and that I hereby trademark as my own):
Get behind me so I can lead
Alright, I have to go pee now (can I say "pee" anymore?). Mark was force-feeding me coffee (but didn't pay for shit).


Headphone Monday

Ask Ty...November 16 [Another Sellout Question]

It must be Tuesday Monday, Middlespace Cadets, because I'm answering your questions
Q: Dear Ty,

Subject: Embrace The Dark Side

So, I'm sitting in my office after a leisure half-hour drive contemplating how the hell I ended up at this point in my life. How did a young lad from bum-fuck attain such incredible heights? No! What I was really thinking was how the fuck am I going to do this for the next 20 freakin' years! One choice is massive amounts of prescription pharmaceuticals, followed up with impenitence and weight gain. Or, I can take the road less traveled to Povertyville, USA. Neither option is appealing. Which leads to option three: capitalizes on being me.

Since, I have had the pleasure of getting to know you, I have been exploring what being me is all about. I have always felt I was one small step ahead of others when it comes to intelligence; not by much but just enough to get by on doing less than others.

SO, what if instead of doing less, I do a smidgen more? What could be the result of that? World dominance, discovery of the cure for everything, or what I really want is the financial freedom to get out of this modern day death camp.

Here is my proposal: you are obviously a talent person, who appears to have limitless ideas and skills. I exhibit an untapped potential 42 years in hiding. What if we combined efforts and embraced the dark side: MONEY. I am talking figuring out a way to cash in and than cash out of this dog show. For me that means spending the rest of my life returning to being an underachiever and watching my kids grow up. And for you? To whatever shiny bauble attracts your attention next.

Let us gather a dream team of nobodies and do the possible: create, market, and sell out!

-What Say You?
Ty: Good question and an even better observation, WSY. Seems that all of my closest partners-in-crime are about ready to pull that trigger and vota "Sí" on proposition Cash Out lately. Shit, I cannot blame or judge them. Everything being what it is nowadays and all our dues having been paid such a long ass time ago we're all like grandfathered into the lowest tier of dues in the Fraternal Order of Dream Team Nobodies.

Selling out is the new black president [clicky].

Even I was fantasizing how I'd spend a little bread if I had it, how I'd set up a "proper" studio (maybe even lease some space so I could spread out and have associates tinkering all the time. Warhol had The Factory, right?). How how much more I could produce is the key. You see WSY, the shiniest of baubles that captures my attention is me being able move from idea to execution relentlessly; over and over and over again. But how proud friends and family would be that "he's actually making money." Making money in America is the pinnacle of validation, both internal and external. Who do we as a citizenry worship more? Jesus or A-Rod. God, right? That's great an all but who would we rather be? Some dude hitting baseballs and sleeping on a mattress full of money or our lord and savior nailed to a cross? The answer is evident. It's one thing to be influential and popular, but it's another thing entirely to make some money.

Money, money, money.
America, how we need it to succeed it.
The grease in the gears.
[requisite tldr warning, squires]

Yes. I am in, WSY. If 2009 was the year to monster the fuck out, then 2010 should be the year to cash the fuck out. Doy! Long overdue and waiting for the taking.

I totally understand where you're at, WSY. I too have made a lifetime on doing just enough to get by while looking heroic and noble. I had to endure years of the "not working to his potential" bullshit in school. So I also believe that I will take pill #3 and capitalize on being me; doing what I already do. Anyone can possess skills. But who among us can walk the walk? I actually know the answer to that question. Everyone in our tr00fmob can, that's who. This rag-tag dream team of nobodies is poised to do the deed like Mr. Robert Johnson at that proverbial crossroads. Then after said deal is inked, we're going punch the devil in his shit-talking mouth. I am just so over all the bullshit. The hell we need anyone to tell us how to do a thing.

Our brand of Hope and Change (Hange™, don) doesn't come easy nor quickly. Like you said, WSY, we've rested on laurels long enough. Now we turn the knob up to 9 for a short while so we are clearly heard. We need to quit being lazy, scared, dumbasses for just a short period of our lives. That's not selling out. That's waking up. Dark side? No. Embrace the right side.

Step One

I co-created Step One back in 1997 with Dave "click-boom" Gary and Eddie "That's Ed, thanks" Barguiarena: Think Big - Be Big. What else do we need to hear from the masses, WSY? We already know who we are, and already know what we do. Now we just need to put that swagger back into our collective steps, stop letting our own bullshit get in our own collective ways. We need to stop trying so goddamn hard and let the flow come to us. It's about time.

The rest [continues in later installments] is just process. Vision trumps process. Mission Statement = Let's Make Some Money, éses!

Just a guess,


Moo from Berkeley Farms