Category Archives: Current Events

The Dopeness that Is Louie

louisck5 290x300 The Dopeness that Is Louie

When you have lived a significant number of years on this Earth, you come to a few conclusions:                                              

People complain about being delayed on a runway for 30 minutes before eventually taking place in the miracle of flying.  A cell phone call takes longer than a millisecond, and we become frustrated.  This is despite the fact that the call is going to a tower miles away or to a satellite in outer space.  You just have to give it a second.  At that point, you realize that everything is amazing, and nobody is happy.

Kids, albeit cute and innocent, get on your nerves.  And sometimes, you may cuss them out in your head for saying, “Eww,” when you are trying to give them bubblegum-flavored medicine… the same bubblegum flavored medicine that 70% of kids across the world would shoot or machete you for.  As a white child, you just can’t say, “Eww,” to bubblegum flavored medicine.  This is especially true for little, white girls who live in America.  Most of their clothes are made professionally by kids their own age.  That’s not to say white people can’t complain, but black people get to complain more. Contrary to claims in the comment sections of Fox News & CNN articles, slavery did not end 400 years ago.  And even when slavery ended, everything wasn’t just amazing immediately after the fact.  Black people with gray hair may remember times when they could only use certain toilets and water fountains. 

When you take all of that into consideration, white people have it made. Now, I’m not saying white people are better.  But being white, well, clearly is better! White people can travel back to any time in history and have it made.  Black people wouldn’t be able to travel past the year 1980.

You also come to the conclusion that deer aren’t cute.  They’re annoying.  You realize the difference between girls and women.  And it dawns on you that Cinnabons aren’t the healthiest things to eat. 

These are a few reasons why Louis CK is one of the funniest comedians out there. 

The Jetsons

The Jetsons The Jetsons

Just when you thought Facebook was on stage four of the five-stages of the social network life cyle (RIP Blackplanet, College Club, and Myspace), ol’ Zuck had a trick up his sleeve to further delay the inevitable.  *Recently it was announced that Skype will be integrated into Facebook, allowing users to make video calls to their friends.

*This move by Facebook was a direct move to counter the announcement of Google Plus.  Google Plus is Google’s new social networking product, which has been getting pretty good reviews even though it hasn’t been officially released yet.

What does this mean?  Video calls and chats will become more common than voice calls.  We’re officially in the age of The Jetsons.  Now that we’ve arrived, what are some ways that video chatting can contribute to the greater good (or evil)?

1)     Long distance relationships – People have already been using Skype, but Facebook has 750 million users.  With the ability to video chat on a whim, an extra 6 months to a year can easily be added to the expiration date of a long distance relationship.

2)     Online dating – It’s no secret that people use Facebook to hook up.  Now, you can actually talk to someone face-to-face before ever deciding to meet up.  By next year, the term, “virtual first date,” will be heard and used everywhere.

3)     Cheating – There is a dark side to the force.  Nuclear energy can be used for a lot of good things.  It can also be used to annihilate entire cities in the form of a missile.  With that said, please believe that people are going to use video chatting to cheat and creep around on their significant others.

4)     Employment – More and more companies are using social networking to market, recruit, and hire new employees.  Looking to relocate to a job in another state?  No problem.  We can interview you via video and still have the same experience as sitting face-to-face.  Just don’t stand up and let us know you’ve been sitting in your draws the whole time.

5)     Fan Interactions – Celebs could hold contests where the lucky fan could win the opportunity to chat face-to-face with their favorite celebs.  This could definitely be a good marketing tool to promote a movie, album, single, book, etc.

What are some other ways that video chatting on Facebook could help or hurt?

Tackling the Jobs Issue…

job seeker button 300x300 Tackling the Jobs Issue...

The economy is, and has been, the most important issue in America for the past 3 years.  In 2008, jobs were being cut left and right.  No one seemed to be hiring.  Things looked dire.  In 2011, one could argue that companies are hiring.  Yet, unemployment numbers haven’t improved as they should.  Some employers argue that taxes, revenues, and losses are contributing to lack of vacancies.  Contrarily, some employers argue that there are indeed openings.  The problem is that there aren’t enough skilled applicants out there to fill vacancies.

Somebody is lying.

Considering the latter, how do we approach this problem?  Americans are more educated than ever before.  In 2002, it was reported that 80% of Americans are graduates of high school or higher, compared to 75% in 1990 (http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2002-06-05-education-census.htm).  Here’s a newsflash:  It’s 2011, and more folks are getting degrees.  Colleges are reporting more incoming freshmen than ever.  Tuition costs are skyrocketing.  Getting a degree is sexy now.

So where are the jobs?  The cost of living isn’t going down anytime soon… or ever.  What’s the solution?

There is saying about Harvard:  Colleges train students to look for jobs.  Harvard trains students to create jobs.  Personally, I believe there are two solutions to the problem: Jobs training and Innovation.

Considering innovation, we need more entrepreneurs.  Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, the heads of some of America’s biggest, most successful companies are college dropouts.  Does this mean we need more college dropouts?  Certainly not.  But if there are more people in college than ever before, being groomed to look for jobs, then that means there are less people looking to create jobs.

Considering jobs training, colleges need to look at preparing students to enter successful careers in the workforce.  This means equipping students with skills that hiring managers are looking for in potential employees.  Here’s a hint:  Knowing how to use Microsoft Word is not a skill that sets you apart from other applicants.  For most hiring managers, it’s an assumed skill.

What skills, then, would be considered crucial for someone to land at least an entry level job in today’s market?  Here are a couple:

Computer Literacy – We’re in the technology age.  Most employers are no longer even taking paper job applications or resumes anymore.  Everything is moving online.  If you have trouble creating a Google account, then you might have trouble filling out a job application online nowadays.  Computer literacy, at the least today, involves fundamental competencies in using a computer for word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, and navigating websites.

Soft Skills – Employers are looking for people who work well on their own as well as in groups.  Can you give a presentation to a small group if need be?  Do you have good verbal and written communication skills?  Do you have a positive attitude?  Employers aren’t just looking for good workers, but also good people.

What other skills would you say are crucial to the workforce?  Though needs vary from job to job, what are some skills that are mandatory, yet transferable, across the board?

Does Facebook = Autotune? Maybe…

facebook death 300x221 Does Facebook = Autotune?  Maybe...

 

Thinking that Facebook is forever is like thinking that AOL was the be-all-end-all of the Internet.  Eventually, everyone will use something else.” – Entrepreneur Max Salzberg (via Cnn.com)

Myspace… Friendster… College Club… Blackplanet…

These are just a few of used-to-be-popular social networking sites that have gone by the waste side.  If history tells us anything, it’s that Death has a Google account.  It looks like Facebook is next on his list.

But why do social media sites become less popular over time?  Are they “played out?”  Are they any less innovative? Do they fail to change with the times?  Twitter allowed us the ability to microblog and send updates in 140 characters or less.  Facebook then introduced the “Status Update.”  When you actually look at both sites, Facebook actually has way more features.

The real question is perhaps this: Is it simply that we eventually become bored with what social media sites have to offer?

Looking at this question, it would appear that in today’s society we are slowly, but subtly being conditioned to upgrade.  A new iPhone comes out every 1-2 years.  Windows XP is the equivalent of Windows 95.  Pentium III processors, ten years ago, could get you by just fine.  Today, they could barely let you use Photoshop, watch a movie, and pay a bill online.  Do you still go to Yahoo to search for something?  How long do you think it will be before Xbox 2 or PS4 are on the shelves?

Perhaps that’s what is going on with Facebook.  Despite privacy concerns, Facebook has as many features and users as ever.  But maybe we don’t care about new features.  Maybe my Gmail suits me just fine, and I don’t care for Facebook email.  Maybe I’m tired of being tagged in photos for Jordans, Jordan heels, and fake red-bottoms.  Maybe relationship statuses only matter to 19 year olds and not 29 year olds.  Maybe I can control all of these things, but I’m just tired of the service that allows me to control all of these things.  Maybe, just maybe, I want something new presented in a newer format… even if that something new is something that I already have.

And all of that could mean, just maybe, that I have conformed… Jumping through hoops not to be part of the status quo, so that I can be part of the newest-latest.

Maybe, just maybe, we should choose what works best for us, and stick with that.

Microsoft to Buy Skype

skype logo large 650x287 300x132 Microsoft to Buy Skype

http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/05/10/yes-microsoft-is-buying-skype/?hpt=T2

Microsoft is about to buy Skype for $8.5 billion.  What changes could we see?

– Skype incorporated into the Kinect, Xbox 360, and future gaming consoles

– Windows phones will have the potential advantage in mobile video chat

– MS products such as Office & Lync will have better options for video chatting and conferencing

Cool Things: Pandora Adds Comedy

Pandora RadioLarge 300x300 Cool Things: Pandora Adds Comedy

http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/web/05/04/pandora.comedy.mashable/index.html

“Pandora has expanded from music to jokes with the addition of 10,000 comedy clips from more than 700 comedians to its Internet radio service.”

If you have the Pandora app on your smartphone, then I recommend Chris Rock, Louis CK, Jim Gaffigan, Donald Glover, and of course Kevin Hart.

Bin Laden’s Death Should Be Celebrated…

Americans Celebrate BinLaden Death 300x169 Bin Ladens Death Should Be Celebrated...

Osama Bin Laden is dead.

When news spread Sunday night about Bin Laden’s death, video started circulating which showed Americans celebrating his death.  In D.C., Americans gathered in front of the White House.  In New York, Americans took to the streets in jubilee.  Survivors and families of 9/11 victims cried.  Chants were shouted in patriotic unison.  The national anthem was sung.  But more than pride, there was an overwhelming sense of relief. 

This is the reason why Bin Laden’s death should be celebrated.  It’s a relief.  There are those who feel uneasy about the excessive celebrating.  There are those who may feel the celebrating was hypocritical for those who consider themselves Christian or religious in any way.  The fact of the matter is that Bin Laden declared war on the United States of America.  He declared war on western civilization.  He declared war on any sympathizers of America, including other coutries that were predominantly Muslim.  He took credit for the U.S. Embassy bombings of 1998.  He took credit for the 9/11 attacks.  He killed thousands of people, including many Muslims.  He was a murderer. 

The death of Bin Laden is bigger than Bin Laden himself.  The death of Bin Laden is not the death of terrorism itself.  The death of Bin Laden in itself is the death of an ideal.  It is the death of a symbol.  In a sense, it was closure.  And the act of celebrating is a projected demonstration of the sense of closure that Americans have been seeking for ten years.

Sometimes, when you read a book, you may re-read it many times over.  Sometimes you get stuck on a particular chapter.  You may find yourself losing sleep, eyes heavy, from searching for meaning.  Sometimes you just want to finish the chapter so that you can rest… knowing that you’ll pick the book back up the next day to start a new chapter and search for new meanings.   

We know this isn’t the end of the book, but it is the end of a chapter.  We can rest… for now.

What Have You Done for Me Lately?

Michael Eric Dyson 241x300 What Have You Done for Me Lately?

Apparently, Barack Obama hasn’t done enough for black people.

Black leader intellectual, Michael Eric Dyson, in a talk in Iowa last week, made a comment about President Obama’s lack of dialogue on race:

“What difference does it make to have a black president? Maybe not a damn thing. Maybe it’s worse than a white president, ’cause he won’t even talk about race.”

Dyson continued, “I love him, but I will not be silenced.  I’m not asking you to speak up (for black communities) ’cause you’re a black man. I’m asking you to speak up ’cause you’re the president.”

*First of all, if you’re somewhat familiar with Michael Eric Dyson, and have ever heard him speak (whether in person or on tv/radio), then you probably know this “talk” was full of all the Dictionary.com Words of the Day from January 1, 2011 through February 17, 2011.   If you’re also familiar with Dyson, then you know that black leaders intellectuals like him believe that anything black, or race related, is their bailiwick.  But that is neither here nor there….  I receive the daily Word of the Day from Dictionary.com, and I just wanted to use, “bailiwick,” in a sentence.

Back to Dyson, he’s earned his title as an intellectual.  He’s a tenured professor at Georgetown.  Last time I checked, that was a pretty decent school.  Being that Dyson is an intellectual, he should know that politics is a way harsher game than the lecture circuit which he frequents.  A few points:

-President Obama, in some circles, is viewed as a Nazi Socialist who wants to ruin America.  His every political move is challenged and questioned.  Some people don’t even believe he is an American citizen.  Despite undeniable proof of his citizenship, these same people still believe his mama paid the State of Hawaii to cover it up.   He has professed his Christian faith numerous times, yet people still believe he is a Muslim (like there is something wrong with him being a Muslim).  Even during the 2008 campaign, a simple sign of support, affection, and “I got your back,” with his wife was lauded as a “terrorist fist bump.”  White Whitmore fear is at an all-time high.  Yet, you want him to stand up and speak more about how black folks can’t catch a break race when white people overwhelmingly voted him in?  That would be political suicide.

- If Dyson would recall, one of Obama’s shining moments came in 2008, in the wake of the Reverend Wright issues.  Obama gave one of the most impressive, moving, and insightful speeches on race in recent memory.  If you go back and read that speech, Obama not only started a dialogue on race, but he sparked a dialogue on the idea of a post-racial America.

- Just the mere fact that Obama is the first black president has done more for black people since King and the Civil Rights Movement.  When teachers and adults tell black kids that they can be anything in the world, including president, then they are no longer selling a dream.  It actually happened.  And if it actually happened, then it can happen again.  Black kids now have more to aspire to than rapping, singing, playing sports, or acting.

- Barack Obama is the president of the United States of America, not just black people.  With that said…

How about we focus on getting him re-elected?  Follow me on this…

Everyone knows that President Obama is seeking re-election for a second term.  The Rethuglicans know that they have no viable candidate who can beat Obama right now.  During his first term, Obama has had to govern from the center.  In other words, he’s had to walk on eggshells and concede on issues he really believes in for the greater good.

Now imagine a black president in his second term, with no possibility of being re-elected.  If Obama is re-elected in 2012, then I’m predicting 2016 will be when he goes on his When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong tour.  He’ll be unfiltered.  He’ll be on his way out of office.  He will have the platform to say and do all the things he has always wanted to say since 2009.  Us black people might even get reparations checks out of the whole thing!  Who knows?  I just think that by 2015-2016, we could get this version of the president.

So my plea to Michael Eric Dyson is simple:  DON’T MESS THIS UP!

What do you think?  Should Obama talk more about race?  Is Obama doing enough for race relations?

Settling the Crackhead Issue

tumblr lafarzu3oE1qa2iui Settling the Crackhead Issue

Crack is wack… unless you have self control.

Charlie Sheen, in a recent radio interview, has been quoted as saying that people should stay away from crack cocaine, “unless they can manage it socially.”

Of course! It all makes sense now:

Whitney Houston
Bobby Brown
Tyrone Biggums
Former D.C. Mayor Marion Berry
Robert Downey, Jr.
Courtney Love

And countless others… They weren’t addicts!  They didn’t have a problem!  They were all just socially inept!

This doesn’t settle the issue though. There is still unfinished business left on the table. Yes, here at The Cool Table, we will answer the age old question: Does doing crack one time make you a crackhead?

After reading what Charlie Sheen had to say, my answer is this: If you are able to try crack one time, and only one time, then you are obviously more than capable of managing it socially. So, it doesn’t make you a “crackhead.” It just makes you “crackish.”

But that rule is limited to only trying it once though. That’s the rule. Trying it twice, even 1.5 times = crackhead. One time = crackish.

What say you? What would you say is the crackhead threshold? icon smile Settling the Crackhead Issue