Tag Archives: sethandray

Antonio “L.A.” Reid: Charlie Rose Interview

24 Jun

Ray: If I could choose any job in the world, it would be the one belonging to Antonio “L.A.” Reid. Although I remember hearing Andre 3000 mention his name in an old Outkast song, I never knew who he was until I considered a career in the music business. But after hearing terrible song after terrible song on the radio and stupid video after stupid video on television, I became uninterested in pursuing a career in the music business. However, I must say that after listening to this interview he brings up a lot of the same feelings I once had in college. Anyone looking for a behind the scenes career in music should definitely know about L.A. Reid. He’s pretty inspirational:

Part 1

Part 2

To Spit or Not to Spit on Christopher Columbus’ Grave.

22 Jun

Ray: As a youth in the United States public school system, I was taught to view Christopher Columbus as the great Spanish explorer who boldly set out to prove that the world was round. I was even given a neat little phrase to help me remember this fact about Christopher Columbus should any questions about him appear on a pop quiz: “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” And that was it. That’s all I knew about Christopher Columbus. Well, that and the fact that every second Monday of October, we as a nation celebrate Columbus Day. The kids love it.

As as adult and one who is passionate about the truth in history, I have to come to understand a completely different Christopher Columbus than the guy I thought I knew all my life. As it turns out, Christopher Columbus wasn’t even close to being the first person to proclaim that the world was round. That credit probably belongs to the Greek philosopher Pythagoras who came to that conclusion almost 2,000 years before Columbus. So now that that’s out of the way, what’s next?

Well, Columbus didn’t exactly set out to prove the world was round. Like most people who are inspired to do great things, Columbus needed money. He convinced King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella of Spain to finance his trip so that he could bring back gold and spices from Asia. In return, he was to receive 10% of all that he found, governorship over any uncharted islands he discovered, and the prestigious title of Admiral of the Ocean Sea. How’s that for incentive? So with Spain’s backing, he set off into the sunset with the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria.

Here’s where things really get messy and made me question the quality of our education of history in the United States.

When Columbus reached the Americas (expecting Asia), he was greeted by the Arawaks of the Bahama Islands. Without going into detail of the Arawak people, I think this excerpt from Columbus’ log paints a great picture of his reception and his thoughts:

They… brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawk’s bells. They willingly traded everything they owned.. They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features… They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane… They would make fine servants… With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”

I don’t know about you, but that was NOT the Christopher Columbus I learned about and celebrated since I was a child. But these are his own words! As soon as he discovers that these are peaceful and welcoming people, he plots to overtake them and enslave them.

With that said, in just a few years, the Spaniards killed hundreds of thousands of Indians on Haiti, the Dominican Republic (both of which were once refereed to as the island of Hispaniola in those days), Cuba, and the Bahamas. In fact, during the Columbus conquest, a young priest from Spain who was present at the time named Bartolome de las Casas, gives a very unique report on what happened. His account is so chilling that I will give you a few passages to consider:

… Two of these so-called Christians met two Indian boys one day, each carrying a parrot; they took the parrots and for fun beheaded the boys…

… mountains are stripped from top to bottom and bottom to top a thousand times; they dig, split rocks, move stones, and carry dirt on their backs to wash it in rivers, while those who was gold stay in the water all the time with their backs bent so constantly it breaks them; and when water invades the mines, the most arduous task of all is to dry the mines by scooping up pansful of water and throwing it up outside…

After each six or eight month’s work in the mines, which was the time required of each crew to dig enough gold for melting, up to a third of the men died. While the men were sent many miles away to the mines, the wives remained to work the soil, forced into the excruciating job of digging and making thousands of hills for cassava plants.

Thus husbands and wives were together only once every eight or ten months and when they met they were so exhausted and depressed on both sides… they ceased to procreate. As for the newly born, they died early because their mothers, overworked and famished, had no milk to nurse them, and for this reason, while I was in Cuba, 7,000 children died in three months. Some mothers even drowned their babies from sheer desperation… In this way, husbands died in the mines, wives died at work, and children died from lack of milk… .and in a short time this land which was great, so powerful, so fertile… was depopulated… My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature, and now I tremble as I write…

Funny how they never mentioned that in 3rd grade when I was making stupid Thanksgiving ornaments.

Of course the story continues, millions of indigenous people die in the Americas, and today we have McDonalds and the Super Bowl. Don’t get me wrong, I love the United States and all its flaws very much. But it breaks my heart to think of the atrocities against mankind and the environment that we have been committing on this great land since the Europeans settled here.  For a “civilized” people, those Europeans were a bunch of money hungry, blood thirsty, Godless savages and it is unfortunate that many of their severe character flaws still linger on in society today.

You can’t change history but at least it should be fairly represented. Knowing what I know now, I cannot let my son grow up thinking that Christopher Columbus was some noble adventurer who discovered America. The truth is, he was none of that. He was Hitler with a sail boat. I just thought you should know.

Hank Johnson, You’re an Idiot. Please Step Down.

2 Apr

Ray: I usually don’t blatantly disrespect our honorable members of Congress, but when a Congressman does or says something this stupid, it becomes my civic duty to call it out. See Hank Johnson, Representative of the 4th District of the Georgia. WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE VOTING FOR??????

This fool is worried about GUAM CAPSIZING. Nuff said. Get him outta there before he proposes/votes on any more important legislation.

First Person Shooter’s Disease!

2 Apr

Ray: This speaks for itself

Musée du Louvre

12 Mar

Ray: Americans are known for being pretty ignorant of anything that goes on outside the Unites States. Fight it as we may, it’s pretty true. I’m willing to admit that I knew nothing of Musée du Louvre until I saw Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons. There was a scene when the main character was running around Paris looking for a key object that may have been buried under a glass pyramid. The pyramid looked so intriguing in the movie that I had to look it up. Thus, Musée du Louvre.

According to several sources, the Musée du Louvre is the most visited museum on earth.  It truly is a glorious museum with over 35,000 pieces located over 650,000 square feet. Besides that fact that it holds world famous pieces like Leonardo’s “Mona Lisa”, the other thing that intrigued me was the building’s history. Musée du Louvre was originally a fortress built by French king Phillip II in the late 12th Century (sometime between 1180 and 12oo). However it was the famous King Louis XIV who first decided to use the fortress as a place to store collectibles. Finally, Musée du Louvre became a museum during the French Revolution to showcase the nation’s treasures.

Anyways, I’m sure you can find out much more in person. I just wanted to pique your interest. See you in Paris!

Healthy Text Messages from Em

25 Feb

Ray: My close friends know that eating healthy is a very difficult challenge for me. I look for inspiration anywhere I can find it. One of my best friends is very health conscious and even runs marathons on a regular basis. I recently sent her a text seeking advice on how to build healthy eating habits. Here is what she texted me back.

Em: You have to train your body to want to eat healthier. Habits are made from repetition and creating new habits can feel foreign or awkward. When you eat healthy, you feel refreshed and energetic. When you want something sweet, eat a fruit. When you want something salty, only eat a little bit. Avoid eating saturated fats and eat between 5-6 times a day (3 meals and 3 snacks). Your biggest mean should be in the morning and don’t eat less than 2 hours before bed. Focus on your goal, visiualize it, immerse yourself in your goal and things will happen to get you there. Be your own competition. Also, carbs fuel, protein builds muscle.

You can also learn how to go to a drive-thru and still eat healthy. Pick Subway over McDonalds and pick tea over Coke. Skip dressing but add cheese and eat half the fries. Eat what you want, when you want to so that you won’t feel deprived and overcompensate when you eat.

Keep trail mix in the car, a protein bar and vitamin water can help you until a healthy choice is in sight. Eat yogurt and cereal as a snack. Also, you need lost of greens. Season them well and you’ll start to crave them. Soon, you’ll hate fast food and you’ll get sick if you eat it.

The Meaning of Life According to Jason Williams

25 Feb

Jason Williams

Ray: Jason is a really good friend of mine. I’ve known him for about 15 years. He has a very interesting view on many things and wanted to share with the blog his thoughts on life. So here they are…

Jason: Why am I here? To be or to not to be? Is life meaningless? These are just some of the questions that have perplexed man throughout the ages.

I remember back during my senior year in high school in Bible class, our first semester was covering the meaning of life. To make along story-short, my teacher asserted, “Your lowest point is your greatest cathedral”. In other words, when one is in the mist of adversity, and hardship it induces humility, willness to learn, and growth. So think of some of the low points you’ve experienced in life that have elevated your level of thinking and contributed to your well-being.  Did life become much more meaningful? Did you somehow call on a higher power? When you are stubborn,close minded, and just caught up in living, you miss out on the bigger picture. But a “low-point” circumstance can give you a glimpse of it.

There is a song called, “Riddle” by Five For Fighting. The whole song is conversational and asks the philosophical question: what’s the reason for us being here? I find it interesting in the bridge where  he sings, “Were all we got in this bouncing ball and I love you free…”. Basically, we are duty bound, if you will, to serve, and love each other because we’re all we got. That’s a given. How can we except to love and submit to something greater than ourselves if you cant love someone who our your equal? Thus the importance of humanity.

Contrary to popular and dogmatic belief, I don’t think God is proactive or consistently intervening in our existence. I like to use the following analogy: Think of God as a Software programmer and the entire universe as a computer. God writes millions of programs, giving each it’s own unique functionality. The catch is, God just lets the programs run and figure out its purpose. To break things down, we are all programed or preordained with a destiny and a purpose. It is our duty to seek and find that which we have been encrypted with. We must help out other programs to find their way, by showing them love, compassion, and what we have learned. All programs are very similar, so once you figure out how your programs functions, you can help the next one. Starting to get the picture?

At any rate, we must tap into the universe and synchronize with our programs(destiny), for this is what brings meaning to life. As much as we are here to serve a higher power, we are also here to serve each other. When man kind works together, things become meaningful.

Riddle by Five For Fighting