Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fakin' Fronts, Perpetratin', and Disingenuous Behavior: It's All About Hypocrisy.

Gangstarr knows the deal. "Take it Personal" is callin out all you suckas. 

I'm not a big fan of people who don't mean what they say. Now I don't mean when you make a mistake and say one thing that means another. I'm talking about hypocrisy. Preaching one thing and doing another. 

A lot of people wonder why the young generation is so jaded; so cynical. A certain percentage are that way because it's a growing trend and the popular thing to do. Those who are actually jaded, are that way because of all those lying "righteous politicians", the religious leaders who lie, cheat, steal, and do immoral things, businessman who steal our investments and retirement funds, musicians who sell their soul to be mainstream successes, misleading infomercials, home equity loans, star athletes on steroids, and the startling uncertainty of the American dream. 

Hypocrites in high places may be unaware of their powerful influence, but it truly is remarkable how much proverbial stock we purchase in influential people. One false move and you really can break a person's heart and through that disappointment it can possibly shape a person's life. 

So as a result maybe if people kept their integrity, we'd be better off. More people would vote, trust in big corporations, safely believe in their local religious establishment, have access to more quality music, not waste  money on stupid diet plans and Jack LaLanne Power Juicers, believe in our favorite athletes and quite possibly believe in the American Dream. 

Or not. 

The choice is yours. 

The object is to enjoy life. Not leech from the very existence of the human race. 


Metafizics Theatre Presents: The Wackness

The Wackness was awarded the Audience Award for Dramatic Film at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.


  • Ben Kingsley as Dr. Jeffrey Squires
  • Josh Peck as Luke Shapiro
  • Famke Janssen as Kristin Squires
  • Olivia Thirlby as Stephanie Squires
  • Mary-Kate Olsen as Union
  • Method Man as Percy
  • David Wohl as Mr. Shapiro
  • Jane Adams as Eleanor
  • Talia Balsam as Mrs. Shapiro
  • Aaron Yoo as Justin
The Wackness is a coming of age story that many and possibly most people can relate to. When I first heard about this movie and the lead actor being Josh Peck, I definitely raised an eyebrow. How serious could a movie be with the fat kid from such Nickelodeon programming as the movie "Snow Day" and the show "Drake and Josh"? Why should I waste my time? 
It all takes place in New York City, circa 1994. The peak of the golden age of Hip Hop. Luke Shapiro (Josh Peck) is a high school senior getting ready for graduation and his first semester of college. In the meantime he trades pot for psychiatry visits with his mentor/psychiatrist, Dr. Squires (Ben Kingsley). At the same time, Luke has a serious crush on Dr. Squires's step daughter, Stephanie Squires (Olivia Thirlby) whom is pretty well known at school. Luke is not the most popular kid in school and is awkward in most situations when it comes to speaking with Stephanie. Luckily for Luke, all of her friends go away for the summer and she chooses to hang around with him. Every lame kid's dream.
During the long hot summer, Luke and his parents go through a financial crisis that requires him to put the burden of provider squarely on his two shoulders. With an ingenious idea to make money quickly, we're taken on an adventure that spans an entire summer. The old school 90s soundtrack is heavily laced with nostalgia and is incredibly thematic. This movie is for those who have been heartbroken, the hip-hop heads, also Rock aficionados, people looking for a little culture and enlightenment, and especially those not looking for a traditional Hollywood movie. 
I learned a lot about myself from the movie. I definitely identify with one of the best quotes in the film: 

"So that was all bullshit right? All that stuff about embracing your pain, making it a part of you? You can't do this, you can't just give up. Life is hard and it's full of pain and what-not, but we take it cause there's great stuff too. And we can do it cause we have friends- because we have each other" - Luke Shapiro 
 I implore you. Come learn a little bit about yourself. Take a look in the mirror. You might finish the movie, a different person. 
Oh yeah, and Method Man is a Jamaican drug dealer. Watch it!


Friday, January 7, 2011

Where Did The Quality Go? (OG vs Retro)

Poor Buggin' Out. His OG Cement IVs would fetch upwards of $1,000, if he kept 'em in the shoebox. 
Like any upcoming business, there is an initial business model. A plan of what they want to accomplish as a company and how they will do it. But to be a successful business, you have to understand when the business model has to change and adapt. Inflation rates, cost of production, differing trends, all contribute to why a company would alter a model. 
After doing a little research, on the subject. I recently examined Nike/Jordan's business model. As a young consumer, we want the most bang for our buck. That means quality. Nowadays, many sneakerheads complain of the slowly degrading quality of Nike/Jordan's product. For a good minute, I was one of those people with a complaint of my own. But when I stepped back and looked at things from a businessman's point of view, I saw why they shifted. 

Nike established itself as the pinnacle of quality and technology at the forefront of athletic equipment back in the 80s and 90s. The purpose of their sneakers were for athletic usage, so they were designed as high quality training equipment for the sports enthusiast. But because of the onset of Hip Hop music in the 80s and 90s, sports gear including footwear became part of the everyday culture and fashion. 

As sneakers continued to disappear from store shelves, consumers realized that if they didn't purchase more than 1 pair of their favorite kicks, they may never get the chance to wear them again. At that time, the idea of "retro-ing" a sneaker wasn't conceptualized yet. Thus creating the sub-culture of sneaker collecting.

Around 1994, Nike started introducing the first retro editions of earlier Jordan Models. It was the first time, enthusiasts were able to collect models they weren't able to purchase years prior. (correct me if I'm wrong) Nike did its market research very well. They knew of their product's popularity amongst the Hip Hop crowd. Because of this sheer fact, they knew most people who bought a pair, were not going to use them in a full 82 game season, like Michael Jordan himself! The collectors and sneakerheads alike would buy a pair or two, maybe keep one on "ice" and wear the other one occasionally to turn a few heads. The game has changed. 

With that being said, as a smart company, Nike/Jordan's original model does not fit with how the actual product is being used. It has shifted from a "Performance-first" product to a "Lifestyle-first" product. Therefore, it's only right that they hold back on the materials. Especially since, fine Italian leathers only increase the cost of production and the price the consumers pay. 

I read an interesting take on this issue from 

"Reality is, though a lot of things have changed since the OG products, but in general one thing has not, price. Foamposites dropped originally for 200.00. Over 14 years later, they are still 200.00. Minimum wage has been raised multiple times, prices have increased on everything from a gallon of milk to your college tuition, however this Nike release has stayed the same. For example, using a standard inflation calculator, a shoe that cost 145.00 in 1997, would now cost nearly 195.00. That would be a pretty hefty jump. Some Nike products have increased in price, but I would guess that over 75% have stayed the same, or even gone down for Sneakerheads because of options such as more footwear sales and options such as outlets. In 1997, the OG air max 97 was 145.00. Years later, Sneakerheads now cop air max 97′s on Friends and Family sales and Employee Appreciation hook ups. The point is Nike has a cost to swallow in some way. They are selling you a shoe in 2010 for the same price or even at as much as 50% less. Either they give you an OG Quality Jordan VI with OG quality materials at a MODERN PRICE adjusted for inflation (200.00 a pair) or they give you a decent retro version that you can actually afford and serves a purpose for the OG price. Now I know many Sneakerheads will say, “give me quality,” but I’m telling you if they say that, smack ‘em, ‘cus they are lying to themselves."

 So can we really fault them for the shift? Not really. You be the judge, being a businessman sometimes means you have to take a loss in order to win in the long-run. If you think about it, if Hip-Hop culture never influenced the sneaker business, would the quality still be at OG levels? 


To illustrate the difference is the above video. Is the visual difference between the two pairs enough for you to not buy a brand new one?

At the end of the day, everyone has a different preference. Of course, I love and value OG over Retro, all day any day. But its just business, if you don't want a pair, don't buy one. After doing my research on the topic, I do understand the business aspect behind it. I'll still buy a retro once in a while. When I have the money of course!