“Monday” a poem by Tylonn J. Sawyer

Image

Sometimes to make it through………. you have to go to extreme measures

Set fire to every photo  you’ve ever taken

Drink until God’s leaves your head

Put your fist through every mirror you see your reflection in

Never listen to music again

Never paint another picture

 

(Completely disconnect)

 

Smile…………… but never let there be anything behind it

Be empty as a void

Dark as the abyss

Smile……… but don’t you dare let there be anything behind it

Speak with an even tone

Carefully plan out every chuckle, every pause

Appear present, but never really arrive

Don’t ever arrive

Tell them you agree with everything they say

Hug tight like you’ll never embrace again

Use every muscle but the heart

Be a magician

Always give the illusion of love

Smoke and mirrors are appropriate tools

Dress in synthetic skin

It’s the only way you’ll survive in this atmosphere

Read the papers………. you’ll have something to talk about

Know a little about a lot

Never a lot about a little

That way they’ll believe your smart

You only know one language

So speak it well

(James Carol III)

 

 

Do these things to make it through

Extreme measures

Fake is the new real

Honesty an out dated policy

No one wants the real you

They won’t except the real you

They rather nail you to perpendicular pieces of wood for your candor

Never tell a lie

Rather……….. be dedicated to a delusion

Believe it like you believe the earth is flat and what goes up will stay there

Find peace in being pretentious

Find hope in being a heretic

It’ll give you edge to walk on……….but always afraid to jump from

Sometimes to make it through……

………you have to go to extreme measures

-Fin

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Frank Ocean: Channel Orange (Album Review and Social Critique) prt I & II

Artist: Frank Ocean

Album: Channel Orange

Style: R & B, Urban Alternative, Soul, Hip Hop, Nu Wave

This artist could go on tour with:  Outkast, N.E.R.D, Cee Lo Green, Gnarls Barkley, Janelle Monae’, Neco Redd

(I)

Greetings beautiful people

Since Frank Ocean released his groundbreaking mixtape “Nostalgia Ultra”, last year, I’ve been waiting to hear a full length album from this artist.  I found “N.U.” to be cool and unexpected in his sample choices, but simply amazing in his lyricism.  I am still pondering the songs “American Wedding” and “Strawberry Swing” to this day.  Imagine some modern, possibly future age, black, indie, sci-fi film, put to song.  Weird, I know, but f*cking brilliant at the same time!  Yet with “Channel Orange”…..I’m thinking……maybe a new musical genius has manifested!

A genius is someone embodying exceptional intellectual ability, creativity, or originality, typically to a degree that is associated with the achievement of unprecedented insight. 

Yes I said “genius”!  It may be a bold or italicized statement, but I feel there is some validity in using it to describe Frank Ocean and his current body of work.

See verse 1 of “Bad Religion”  which just happens to be my personal favorite

Taxi driver / You’re my shrink for the hour

 Leave the meter running / It’s rush hour

So take the streets if you wanna / Just outrun the demons, could you?

He said “allahu akbar”, I told him don’t curse me

“But boy you need prayer”/ I guess it couldn’t hurt me

If it brings me to my knees / It’s a bad religion    

How poignant and distressing these lyrics are, yet superb, all at the same time when backed by a lovely string section and rolling drums.  These are the kinds of lyrics artistic, smart, and emotional people write.  They also are the kinds of lyrics artistic, smart, and emotional people understand.

It’s clear that Ocean is a story-teller, but attempts to break with convention.  On songs like “Sweet Life” and “Super Rich Kids”, Frank Ocean paints a picture of his perception of privileged California life, first as a spectator and then as a participant.  I loved this parallel. Actually it may not be fair to say that he paints a picture, because I’m not seeing him as that kind of artist.  I’m thinking more of a video/light installation.

On the album’s 9 minute and 53 second, magnum opus “Pyramids”, Frank Ocean takes us from war-torn ancient Egypt to the strip clubs of today.  How he crafted a tale of Cleopatra’s (metaphor for women) rise and fall is stunning!  The beat moves from epic battle cry to a dollar raining 808 bass driven track that will keep you listening.

In all honesty, this album is so well written, each song deserves its own review.  Highlights that people will probably listen to the most are “Thinkin Bout You”, “Pink Matter ft Andre 3000” for obvious reasons, and the previously mentioned “Sweet Life”.

I have nothing bad to say personally about the project in accordance with my taste, yet I do know the public.  I don’t see any real pop hits that would appeal to the commercial single serving appetites of these young people! This music, while only $9.99 on I-Tunes is way too intellectually and emotionally expensive for the masses.

Also listening to the craftsmanship of the words and arrangements, it’s clear that Mr. Ocean has been influenced by Prince.  What I feel makes this a good thing is that Ocean has learned to craft poetic storytelling much in the same way Prince did on “Little Red Corvette”, “Sign of the Times”, “Purple Rain” etc.  I mean craftsmanship in terms of “high quality” not emulation.  Where I feel some learning will take place is that Ocean has yet to translate his song writing into the type of cultural mantras that Prince was able to do in the 80’s.  Yet rest assured I feel it is coming.

This is definite recommended listening from Mr. Sawyer for anyone looking for music that is appealing to both the ears and the intellect.

So that concludes the review of the album and now I’m going to talk about the elephant in the room.

(II)

I won’t recap the beautifully written note Ocean posted on his blog essentially coming out of the closet.  I want to focus on this being the first time (to my knowledge) a black man in popular music has blatantly admitted his homosexuality, much less at the start of his career.  Surely you realize how this was a big risk this was and a few years ago would’ve surely been career suicide.  We all know about Little Richard and Luther Vandross, but while it was obvious, neither of them said it. So with all the acceptance and love Ocean is getting, at least it shows how our society has progressed some in the way of letting go of old negative ideas.

(***Side note:  My opinions on this matter will refer to black gay males in the entertainment industry.  I exclude women, because it’s clearly more socially accepted for black women to identify with being gay or bi sexual than a black man in the entertainment industry.  As evident by Janet Jackson, Meshell Ndegeocello, and Nicki Minaj to name a few: End side note***)

I and one of my best friends discussed this situation and both acknowledged how brilliant we thought this move was.  I mean first the rumor when the reviewers heard the lyrical content of “Channel Orange”, then the letter Ocean released to the public, then the Jimmy Fallon performance of “Bad Religion” and finally surprise releasing the album a week early!  F*cking brilliant! #1 album guaranteed!  Other stars should take note on how to turn controversy into triumph.

Last week after the release of the letter, I saw a post by the “OUT Music 1,000 Strong Campaign”.  The post stated , “I support Frank Ocean for the politics of the Out music movement, however I still hope for the day when us TRUE Out music artists can come into the game as ourselves from the jump…”

 At first I didn’t think much of the statement, but after a while it just kind of sunk in and it bothered me.  I see the Frank Ocean situation as a big step in gay politics, considering the influence the entertainment industry has on public thinking. I am aware there is still a ways to go; yet sometimes we should celebrate the steps we’ve made and not attack or add inference just to be contrary.

In all honesty Frank Ocean never claimed to be straight or gay.  He is a song writer and doesn’t get paid by other people to express his sexuality.  He gets paid to write songs that people want to listen to and will buy.  Like a good professional he waited until his own personal project to reveal these things, which really he didn’t have to…..  the album is that solid.

Frank Ocean is not part of the OUT music movement, in which I have found many of its artists to be very dogmatic in their expression of sexuality.  When I listen to music by straight people, I don’t hear them so focused on expressing their heterosexuality that it gets in the way of the music.  When listening to a lot of OUT Music artists I find this to be the case.  Songs about being gay and gay love, and gay rights, and gay, gay, gay!  So while I dig and appreciate music that gives gay people a voice, I wish more gays focused on training that voice, writing better songs, and developing a more appealing image for public appreciation.  Much like my thoughts on blacks downing Obama, I feel gays (in a subtle caddy way) downing another gay artist, who just made the biggest stride for gays in the entertainment industry; need to snap out of it.  I’d much rather they look at Ocean as an example of how to be better artists and then maybe others can break through from the jump.

Be blessed people

Till next time

Yo brotha

Ty

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The Flaming Lips + Erykah Badu: = WTF! Art and Responsibility!

(Art)

Art is a term that describes a diverse range of human activities and the products of those activities, but here refers to the visual arts, which cover the creation of images or objects in fields including painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and other visual media  –Oxford University Press

 

Greetings beautiful people

So if you’re hip with urban sensibilities then you’ve probably seen the video by The Flaming Lips and Erykah Badu collaboration for “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”.  As a visual artist, with very liberal views on what I like and taste that border on the grotesque at times, I will say this video was one of the most visually unappealing things I’ve seen in a while.

My friends and I use the term “doing way too much” to describe that which we find to be over embellished.  That’s exactly what this video does.  As a glutton for punishment (you know I like that sh*t!), I’ve watched the video multiple times, to see if it’s my narrow minded view of art that prevents me from digging it.  I mean it’s got nudity, glitter, blood, and semen!  I should love it right?  No.

I don’t dislike the video because of the disturbing images or anything of that nature.  I find that I dislike the video because two black artists, who should have known better, participated in this.  I’m referring to Erykah Badu and her sister Nyrok.

To refer back to my “Race Blog” a while ago, there has emerged a new media blitzkrieg on the image of blacks over the last few years.  If you are black and conscious, then you’ve seen it.  If you’re black and not conscious, then you have still seen it!

I feel we have to be careful, especially now during an election year, of the images we as blacks put out in the media.  Now while my personal work deals with conveying images of black strength and beauty; I don’t feel all people should share my artistic sensibilities.  Yet I do feel everyone should be responsible and own the image they convey to the world.

Looking at this video I was disappointed that Erykah Badu even considered doing this project, with the treatment that was proposed to her.  I’ve read that she’s been going back and forth lately with Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips about the video.  From what I’ve read and the things she’s posted via twitter/other social media, she doesn’t seem to be taking ownership of any of her participation in this work.  Sure, I know her sister did the nude scenes with glitter, blood, and semen, but Badu suggested to the band, that her sister do this!

Now while I think Wayne and his band are nuts for this video, I do agree that The Flaming Lips didn’t hold a gun to Badu’s head and make her or her sister do this.  To be frank, these women became the new Venus Hottentot!  They became women claiming to make art, when really they were put on display in the worst ways any women can be portrayed, especially a black one.  I mean come on!  You don’t even see that much semen in porn movies!

This was not a good look for Erykah Badu.  Yes I know her sister is partially to blame, but her sister is not the star, she’s just the body double in this case.  This video represented Erykah Badu!  Not even The Flaming Lips really!

So here is the thing:  As an artist, I feel 100% certain that Badu and The Lips had the right to make this video.  I am 100% certain that this is art!  Does the video have meaning?  I think so.

Here is my interpretation:  “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”

It looks to me that this may be a film about a virginal experience.  Erykah is in the tub being the image of purity etc.  When she stands up nude and slaps herself with glitter at one of the crashes, I feel that’s her thinking the sexual experience will be cosmic or out of this world.  The glitter represents the stars, cosmos, etc.  When the blood comes, I think this is to represent, what maybe a real life first sexual experience is.  It’s often times, pain, and blood.  It’s not the romanticized version we see in movies.  Then finally with the semen, this is an over done interpretation of what sex really is.  In its simplest terms it’s the exchange of bodily fluids.  Those are my thoughts about the video’s meaning.

To digress, yes I feel this is a serious work of art that is valid in all the ways that makes something art.  Do I feel its high art, in terms of modern taste?  No.  I find it quite tasteless and seem to be created for shock value.  I also feel it’s a video that further degrades the image of the black woman.  Erykah Badu come on!  We got to do better and find more creative ways to be edgy without being ridiculously subversive.

The last time Badu started a trend, damn near ever sista I saw, started rocking head wraps and curtains for dresses.  The last thing I want to see is women (much less out of shape ones) thinking it’s cool to go around naked slapping their asses with glitter, red #5, or that creamy icing they put on top of Cinnabons (ooohh Cinnabon!)

So in conclusion….yes I think the video is a work of art, but an irresponsible one!  Any artist who believes they are not responsible for their audiences experience is either lying, ignorant, or a f*cking idiot.  I don’t feel The Flaming Lips or Erykah Badu are either of these things.

Till next time

Yo brotha

Ty

p.s.

If you haven’t seen the video and enjoyed being disturbed, then here you go http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/videos/id.10550/title.the-flaming-lips-f-erykah-badu-the-first-time-ever-i-saw-your-face-nsfw

The God in You? Really??

Greetings beautiful people

If you didn’t know; your comrade in arms Mr. .Sawyer believes in God.  More specifically I’d say the Christian perspective of God.  For my non believer friends, I know the idea of a virgin giving birth to the flesh incarnation of the Supreme Being sounds like a good Ridely Scott film plot.  This contributes to my continued belief (sci-fi buff).

The idea of Christian mythology fascinates me, and challenges me to think of new, creative, and at times logical ways to justify some of my beliefs.  I have yet to figure out a way to justify Moses spitting the Red Sea and leading his people out of Israel in any scientific terms.  Give me time. I’m an artist and a creative one.  I’ll come up with something lol.

With that said, while I share this belief system with millions and millions of people on this planet, I find that I disagree with a great deal of contemporary Christian beliefs.  The one I will focus on for this blog is the idea of free will.

Most Christians believe that we as humans have been given free will by the creator to do what we will with our time on this planet.  This is the reason the Christian concept of damnation is possible.  If you do bad things, then you go to Texas….or hell, whichever is worst.  If you do good deeds then you go to heaven.   I’d say the ideal of hell seems to have universal themes strung throughout it, where as the concept of heaven is different for everyone.  For some people it’s 40 virgins awaiting you.  For others, it’s pretty lights, clouds, and vegan meals.  Whatever your concept of heaven or hell, we believe as Christians that we have free will, and our actions, while alive, will determine which one of these two places we will go to in death.  By the way I didn’t forget purgatory, it’s just not that relevant to what I’m about to get into.

I mention the above things in context of a compliment I paid someone, who gave all credit for his accomplishment to God.  Now, rest assured when I accomplish something good, I always give the lord his praise.  I thank the lord so often, I’ve stopped entire conversations with 17 plus people to say personal grace and thank him for a meal.  I get the concept of praise. After all, what deity doesn’t want to be thanked and worshiped?

Yet the thing is, in all my gratitude to the creator, I’m not so indoctrinated in this belief system that I believe that “I” don’t have anything to do with any of my accomplishments.

I can thank God for giving me innate talents and potential, but it was me who choose to practice, study, and refine these talents.  I can thank God for the opportunity to do good things like sharing what I know with students, yet I’m the one who does hours of prep and research to help my students out.  When I paint something I like, I can thank God for the opportunity to do what I love.  Yet I’m the one who chooses to stay in the studio for hours working at it.

 

Back to the compliment I gave my friend.  I told him to take a little credit for himself, and another person told him not to, and that he was a vessel for the lord.  Hmmm.

I’ve heard of demon possession, but never God possession, which I think is a great concept! Do I believe it?  No, but I might be wrong.

The idea of being a vessel for anyone or anything is too close to “Invaders of the Body Snatchers” or Beyonce’ fans.

I do believe God creates opportunities, movements, circumstances for us to do beautiful things on Earth; yet I also believe the average person is “good” and if given the opportunity to do good deeds, they will.  It’s challenging to think this way in this harsh world, but I do.  I have faith in man, in spite of how f*cked up we are.

Look I am all about praising the lord.  Give him credit!  Give him the glory!  Amen! But let it be known beautiful people.  That while I believe God, GQ magazine, and Mac make up made you all beautiful, I truly believe it’s “you” that keeps you remaining beautiful!

It’s great to thank the lord beautiful people, but please give yourselves some credit too.  You are Gods greatest creation.  The fact you can do so many amazing things, is what makes you the greatest!

Until next time

 

Yo brotha

 

Ty

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Sick, Tired, and Tacky

Greetings beautiful people

I hope this message finds you all well and in good spirits.  The end of the school year is winding down and it’s been pretty busy at my job, which has prevented more in-depth blog post from yours truly.  Children are very time-consuming, even when they are not in front of you. lol.  In any case, I’ll move on.

I was in the hospital almost all last week stricken with a random virus.  I had a headache for a week prior to that and finally decided to go see what was going on in my head.  After giving me an MRI, the doctor concluded that all the demons and monsters in my head are accounted for, so no trouble there.  Then the spinal tap!  Not talking about the rock band!  I’m talking long needles in the spinal column and pain!!!  Then the virus was found!

So after days of being blasted with antibiotics and Novocaine  ( insert Frank Ocean song) I am out to wreak havoc on the world at large!  HA HA HA!!!

Jump back before the hospital:  I have a few paintings on display at “Affirmations LGBT Center” in Ferndale, MI.   It’s called the “Group Pride Exhibit”  and is quite an interesting show.  If you get the chance, please check it out.

Jump ahead to yesterday:  I received a 3rd invitation to show art, in 6 days.  So hopefully that’s 3 additional exhibition opportunity’s.  Yet as I looked in my studio, I noticed that everything is either out at an exhibition, or sold.  Great feeling, but Ty…..get yo ass to work!  In spite of illness, I have to constantly remind myself that Jay-Z is hustling at this moment and so should I.

Things that concern me:  People! Get yo style game up!  I find the older I get, the more I pay attention to etiquette.  I’m tired of going to events with people who completely ignore the rules.  I went to a play last weekend to see a friend of mine perform and was appalled at what some people had on.   I mean t-shirts, hair not done, old sneakers….what is this foolishness!?

We are grown ass people!  Get it together.

Guys: Put on blazer with the jeans.  No blazer?   Try a button up!  Get a haircut!

Gals:  No dreads?  Then damn it, you betta have that hair done!  Try a dress; they make them especially for you!  High heels are a favorite of mine, but I know many of you rebuke them in lieu of these new tacky flat sandals.  Hey, whatever!  Oh, and by God!  Beat yo face!  If you don’t know what the reference “beat” means, then get a gay friend immediately!  You need it!

My disdain for my people down dressing is at an all time high.  I noticed it first a couple a months ago at my friend Phoenix’s album release party.  This was a real classy event where people showed up with back packs, sweats, Chuck Taylor’s and a host of other foolery as attire.  Epic fail!  Get yo style game up!  Leave the back pack at home, we don’t do college libraries.  If you don’t care how you look, at least care about how your fucking up the feng shui  with your tackiness!  STYLE PEOPLE!  Dress it up and sit yo ass down!

Things I recommend:  Marvel: The Avengers Movie (So entertaining), Patrick Ian Polk’s new movie The Skinny (realer than real), Nora Jones “Broken little Hearts” (Such an amazing album), green tea…relaxing.

Things you should run from:  Contrary people…really?  You don’t like anything?  Any man who says he’s a feminist, O’ God!

That’s random enough for now, take it easy beautiful people.

 

Yo brotha

Ty

 

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Blacks, Whites, Bullets, and Bullshit: The Race Blog

Greetings beautiful people

I’ve been wanting to write something since the murder of Trayvon Martin, but my thoughts are extremely vast and time hasn’t allowed me to sit down to cement my opinion on the matter until now. Also with many things dealing with race in America, there is a level of complication that accompanies such a discussion. This isn’t just a blog about Trayvon Martin, but rather my acknowledgment of racism.

In the instance of Trayvon, we have what I see as a case of racial profiling, stereotyping, and paranoid vigilantism. I don’t think Zimmerman is a racist. I don’t think he killed Trayvon because he was black. I think he did it because he has a brain poisoned with societal images of young blacks as thugs. Also, I believe he killed Trayvon because he’s nuts. Neither one of the latter reasons justifies what he did. He murdered an innocent teenager plain and simple. He should be jailed and have to stand trial in a court of law for his crime. We all know that didn’t happen and probably won’t.

I seldom, if ever, address any racial or political issues in my art or writing because I’m usually concerned with, what I see as, more important aspects of the human condition. I’m also a member of a culturally diverse crew. I love people regardless of race, religion, class, sexual orientation (yet bad taste in music…I’ve lost some good friends over that) but I can’t deny that I stereotype people as well. My friends and I have our “coffee table racism” that occurs when we are around each other. We all know the stereotypes, and right or wrong, it’s something we can express within our circle with the knowledge that our humor is irreverent and we don’t offend each other.

Every day I go out into the world; I am so aware that I am a black man, and wonder what that will lead to. Maybe because of the path I’ve chosen in life, I find myself in professional situations, with people who never look like me. I work at a nonprofit and I am the only African-American administrator and the only man. I teach college at my Alma mater and aside from my mentor, who is soon to retire; I’m the only African-American who’s taught in the art department in over 30 years. When I disagree with someone at work, I later hear stories from the person I disagreed with, of how upset I was. When in reality I could care less, I just didn’t agree. A sigh is perceived as a scream. Not wanting to do work outside of position is seen as lazy.

These are just a few examples of what I mean when I say I’m constantly forced to evaluate my place in the world as a black man. Some people know what I mean, and some don’t. Yet keep in mind, it’s not just the majority I have to deal with when it comes to these issues. From my own people I’ve been accused of talking white or listening to white people music. How many times have you heard this one? “He/she speaks to so well!” Really?! How am I supposed to speak? So either you end up too black or not black enough. To many blacks I’m preaching to the choir.

Since the Trayvon Martin murder, the already deafening whisper of racism is becoming more public. Sure racism existed years before this incident, but think about the development of social media. All these new social sites developed over the last several years, have help to mainstream the archaic banter, we thought was dying out. It hasn’t died. It’s just needed a new system of communication. Man can weaponize anything…even twitter.

Look at all the racist rants in response to “The Hunger Games”. How about the comments when “Awkward Black Girl, won an award of excellence for being a great web series? Then closer to home, a Livonia Michigan teen named, Andrew Vandenbussche who commented via twitter on the death of Whitney Houston by stating, “Whitney Houston is dead, well one less nigger in this world. #getting closer”. It’s getting to the point where there is something every day! I can’t watch the news; it’s just too much.

Facebook, twitter, myspace etc, are all used to spread the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Black people you aren’t exempt. I hear more negative comments about Barack Obama from blacks than any other race. I’m tired of it! I don’t know how many times I have to tell you he is not black Jesus! He is just a man, and less than that, a politician. I have publicly expressed my disappointment at Barack Obama’s lack of following through on some of his campaign promises, but let it be known…..I’m proud to have a black president.

Just because he won’t grow dreads, rock a dashiki, and join you in your vapid tirade about the system, doesn’t mean he deserves your shit. In the interest of promoting solidarity amongst my people, I say that when the leader of the free world looks like you, damn it, you better support him. After everything blacks have gone through, do you really have the nerve to publicly bad mouth him, and further show just how un-unified we are as a people? You hypocritical, crab in bucket, bastards make me sick! Yet and still for all my vaunted disdain at your actions and thoughts, I love you.

I hope one day you get it. You’re a new revolutionary? Not at all. Barack is the new type of revolutionary we need. Corey Booker is the type of revolutionary we need. Kehinde Wiley is the new type of revolutionary we need. Kara Walker is the new type of revolutionary we need! Every black teacher who inspires a child or young adult is the type of revolutionary we need.

In this new digital mainstream atmosphere of public racism, it’s clear that the enemy isn’t afraid to speak their mind. Yet to be cliché, “Actions speak louder than words!” Be about progress and love. Turn away from the anger and be that something greater, that the enemy can’t touch. Continue to stand up for what you believe in, but make sure you don’t contradict a message of solidarity by tearing your brother or sister down. Just as Trayvon, hoodie and all, has become a symbol for the injustice that continues to be inflicted upon blacks to this day….Barack is equally a symbol of what we can achieve when thoughts are put to purpose.

Till next time

Yo brotha

Ty

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The Unnatural Response to a Natural Beauty or maybe Perms make some People Nice

Greetings beautiful people

Being annoyed at the public and media paying attention to that which is most superficial is like being annoyed at a baby that cries for its mothers breast.  It’s what they do.

We live in a society of the vain, conceited, super superficial, and worst.  Anything that means the least, seems to attract us the most.  We live in a twisted world, where there is no freedom from the latter.  Those who believe themselves the most righteous are often the most guilty of these (so called) negative traits.  It has been my observation that only homeless people and small children are free from the burden of vanity.  The homeless, because they dress for survival and children because they have poor taste in fashion and grooming.

This blog has been precipitated by a discussion I had with someone over how media and social network members frantically adorned Viola Davis’s hair choice at this past Oscar ceremony with tons of attention and praise.  This seemed to annoy some individuals, who with their most oppressive sense of self righteousness, thought that everyone should discuss her Oscar performance rather than her hair style.  Now considering I’ve been hearing about Viola’s performance since last Summer in just about every media source, one might figure that was enough.  Also considering her recent stylistic “upgrade” (the wig at the Golden Globes was the worst!) , we might think that some attention should be given to her hair and dress, but noooo!!!  Let’s stop being our image obsessed selves and not mention a black woman personifying a natural beauty during a platform, when everyone else is being anything, but natural.

Viola says, that she was tired of people talking about her image.  Bullsh*t!  Stars love that!  That’s a line fed to the public from a publicist to give the illusion of humility.  America’s number one gross national product is the entertainment industry.  Like any industry, it has standards that it must abide by in order to sustain itself and put out the best possible product.  You have the occasional person who pushes the envelope, but if they are hot enough, then they will become the new standard.  A new product to be judged, mass produced, and sold to the public.

Is a woman having natural hair something worth talking about at the Oscars?  Yes.  The reason I am correct is because it happened!  The reason I know this is correct, is because it got under the skin of people who looked just like Viola.  It pissed off some individuals who tried to convince us that it wasn’t worth talking about.  They want to make you believe that image isn’t everything.  Some individuals speak with such a harsh and sharp tongue about the twisted portrait that is our society, when in reality that same society is just a Dorian Gray like portrait of themselves.  I acknowledge the vain monster I can be.  

I just wish some of these judgmental natural hair meeting attendees would as well.

Viola Davis was gorgeous at the Oscars and her performance was good in the movie was well.  There.  I’ve spoken about her talent.  Now you can get off of the social media sites complaining about our superficiality and get back to picking your fros. locking your locs, twisting your twist, or brushing your waves like I do….cause just to keep it real, I am natural hair brotha myself.

That concludes my rant beautiful people

I apologize for the lack of blogging, but I’ve been painting, teaching, and working for the kids!  Ty loves the kids…lol.

till next time

Yo brotha

Ty

Down and Updates!

Greetings beautiful peopleImage
 
I hope this blog finds you all in good spirits and that this year has been more pleasant than the latter.  If last year was awesome, then let’s hope it continues.  This is the first time, I’ve sat down I’ve sat down to share my thoughts in the last few months.  There are many things I’ve had on my mind and for the sake of time time and my patience, this will be a random thoughts/ catch up blog.   
 
Art:
I’m currently participating in 3 art exhibitions simultaneously, and I must say, that while it’s taken a lot of time and hard work, it feels good to have my art out there and being viewed by the public.  I’ve found that the artistic community in Detroit is full of wonderful and welcoming people, and I hope to make many new friends as this year progresses.  
 
Now one might ask, yo Ty!  You’ve been out of grad school since 2003, why the f*ck you just now showing work!  My reply, after a punch to their throat would be, that this is the first time since moving back to Detroit in 2004 that I’ve had the time to consistently paint.  For the past few years I was working a 9 to 5:30pm job, that was corporate,  high stress, draining, and was basically the place where dreams went to die.  Last April I was laid off and left broke with nothing but time to look for a job and paint.  So that’s what I did.  
 
After months of painting and looking for a job, in September, I ended up with a descent little collection of paintings & drawings, finding a job with an organization that focused on arts-infused education and additional college teaching gigs.  Somewhere in that time span like 20 or so other horrible things happened, but at least some roses grew out of all that sh*t.
So here we find Mr. Sawyer is an okay space appreciating the blessings and still living through some curses.  That’s the way life goes, I guess.  
 
Music: 
Amazing music out right now.  
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Esperanza Spalding ft Algebra “Black Gold”.  Man! This song just does it for and makes me feel rejoice in my blackness and feel all the corny sh*t it suppose to make me feel..lol.  Nevertheless, the musicality and the vocals are disturbingly good! 
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Madonna ft Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. “Give Me all Your Love”.  The song is just ok, but I love the video.  Madonna has put out better dance tracks than this. Yet there’s something about Nicki in a cheer-leading outfit and M.I.A. (the queen of anti consumerism collecting that pay check) both in blond wings dropping it like it’s hot as the request of Madonna that just gets me going!  
 

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Azealia Banks “212”:  My friend and resident deity James Carol III, put me up on this one.  This girl is a beast of a rapper and she can actually sang!  I watched some live YouTube performances, and she has pipes.  Her music is extremely subversive, but in a way that Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, and Niki Minaj, just isn’t.  There’s nothing remotely PG about her music, so check her out with cautious ears, if you ain’t ready to hear that raunchiness!
 
Misc: 
The next person who tells me that I put too much sugar in my coffee or says, “Want some coffee with that sugar.” should be destroyed.
 
I believe there is a such thing as stupid questions, usually asked by stupid people.
 
I worry about the world being in left in the hands of this new generation of idiots.
 
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Janet Jackson is thin again…YAY!!!!
 
Till next time
 
Yo brotha
 
Ty