Daily Opinion: Social Media Is Silly for Hating on Madonna

madonna hairy

Wait, Madonna caused controversy? Are we in the 1980’s?

#throwbackthursday

So if you didn’t know, the interwebz got their collective panties in a bunch when Madonna altered images of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, and Bob Marley to match he upcoming album. Each of the pictures were updated to have a black cord wrapped around the faces of each of these icons. Of course, America is known for over-correction and people became upset. Reactions ranged from people crying “racism” to others saying it’s wrong to use their images to sell albums.

But…

She did the same thing with Marilyn Monroe, Frida Khalo, and even Jesus. For some reason, not a peep was heard from social media.

Smell that? It’s a double standard.

As a guy who many people identify as Black (though I think I’m going to stop using colors to refer to people as it’s pretty antiquated, don’t you think?), I really don’t see why some pictures are a problem and others aren’t. I get it; some of us are riding that politically correct bus until the wheels fall off. Good for them. But even the best intentions can be misguided. I mean, it’s Madonna. Pretentious as she may be, I don’t think there was any malice or evil villain-style hand wringing prior to the release of these photos.

You know, incidents like this have brought me to a couple conclusions:

  1. Collectively, people are not naturally good at processing a possible other point of view. Sure, I’m basing this on limited information, but I’m waiting to be proven wrong. This is a skill that needs to be developed and some folks are more adept at it than others. The downside is, actions often get painted as right or wrong in a person’s mind, but things are rarely that simple. Perhaps this is just cultural.
  2. The righteousness of social media is dubious at best. Social media always seems to have an ample number of opinions, but how many of them actually hold any weight? I have opinions too, but do they even matter as long as I’m not hurting anyone? What really matters are the actions we take. Therefore, social media’s opinions are nothing to me. If anyone’s opinions only motivate them to post something about it online from the safety of their home, I’m taking it with a grain of salt. I’m also fully aware of how this sounds in a post titled “Daily Opinion.” The thing is, I know my opinion is meaningless.

Whatever. I’m going to go out on a limb here and just say everyone needs to relax and pick their battles. There are much bigger and more powerful people who are doing more bigoted and self-serving things. Madonna is just an easier and more accessible target. I guess some people will settle for shooting fish in a barrel instead of going out to capture that white whale.

Peace out, party people.

Previously: It’s Okay to Let Friendships Run Their Course

Blog Growin’ by Dre – Communication versus Marketing

Andre C Griffiths

I used to post a recurring feature called My Journey Toward Financial Freedom, but I decided to replace it because my Lessons from a New Self-Earner posts cover those types of topics and more. So I decided to start writing specifically about growing a blog.

Let me get this out of the way: I AM NOT AN EXPERT. I only started blogging about five months ago, but in that time, I managed to grow in terms of views and visitors. Because I do a lot through trial and error, I figure I may as well share what works for me. So let’s get started!

I love writing, but it’s not always the best way to engage people. Not purely by itself, anyway. As a largely unknown writer and someone new to the game, I have to constantly strive to build an audience and reach people. Everyone in the world preaches about the importance of social media and, for the most part, it’s true. Here’s the thing: marketing works a lot less than genuine communication.

The internet is as cynical as it gets. When folks are bombarded with information, it gets exceedingly easy to see when people are simply trying to sell something. Why do you think companies like McDonald’s fail so miserably at garnering positive attention from social media?

I personally enjoy conversation. Therefore, I’m starting to take a slightly different approach on social media than I did in the past.

1. I’m joining specific social media communities. I live this because I get to communicate with people who have similar interests as me. I comment on other people’s posts and toss in a couple of my own. I try to have thought provoking conversations rather than selling my little blog.

2. Google+ is seriously underrated. I HATE when people act as if Facebook is the be-all, end-all of social media. It has a ton of users, but that means there’s a lot of noise to cut through. Also, I like the conversation on Google+ much better than Facebook. Join a community and give it a try!

3. Just tossing out a link to your blog post is pointless unless you have an established audience. If I need to explain this, you’re in trouble.

4. Inject your personality! If you’re going to converse with others, you should let them know who you are. There was a point when I tried to mask my personality in my writing and on social media, but I came off as dry. Screw all that. Be you! Be genuine!

So that’s it for now, folks! I’m on a mission to grow my blog and become a more established writer. Seeing as how many of my readers are bloggers too, let’s conquer this world together! If you have any advice for me, I’m more than open to it also.

Peace out, party people.

Daily Opinion: I’d Never Believe in a Million Trillion Years I’d be Writing This, but Kim Kardashian Is an Effing Genius (Maybe)

kim-kardashian-breaktheinternet

I don’t write about celebrity gossip. Ever. But today I am. Why?

Kim Kardashian.

She somehow managed to make someone who has largely avoided the light of her fame care. I cared enough to write this post. I don’t care much, but still, it happened. Isn’t that the goal of a celebrity? That’s what she is. Her job is a celebrity. You can call her a reality star if you want, but it’s the same as saying Kim Kardashian famous for being Kim Kardashian.

That’s her talent. And man, is she talented.

She knows how to make people care. Love and hate seem to have little value alone. In fact, she probably prefers a healthy mix of people who fall far on either end of the spectrum. But what about the people who don’t care? What do you do about them? You do something extreme. Sort of.

Kim Kardashian had a sextape “leak.” I personally think it was purposely done for fame (sorry Ray J), but one could argue that’s all speculation. This time she’s taken photos for a magazine, celebrating her (full frontal) nudity. This isn’t part of her shady, shameful past. This is a party for Kim. A party where everyone who loves and hates her is invited. Even the people who don’t care. You can check her out too if you want.

#breaktheinternet and all that, right?

This got me thinking, what if Kim Kardashian’s mission is to make as many people care about her so she can share some great truth with us. I mean, it’s not probable, but it’s certainly possible. I’ve wondered this about myself sometimes… what would I have to do to get my voice as loud as possible so I can share some great insight I feel I have? I do what I can on this blog and my podcast, but my voice is small. The genius behind Kim Kardashian is she is willing to go where others aren’t.

Where I’m not.

If I had her voice I’d talk to the world about what we can do to get past our BS, but I’m not willing to do certain things to get that voice. She is. She may be using it to simply earn more money, but she’s accomplished something many of us never will.

She made people care.

Peace out, party people.

Previously: Houston, We Just Landed on a Comet

Daily Opinion: YouTube Personalities Take Advantage of Underage Girls and Fans Defend Them? Sigh…

veeoneeye

A little over a month ago, word started getting out that popular YouTube personalities like Sam Pepper were being accused of having sex with or soliciting nude photos from underage fans.

Ugh…

The guy pictured above, veeoneeye, actually admits to having sex with an inebriated underage girl. He subsequently blamed this on being Mormon and not knowing the “rules” about sex, drugs, and alcohol. So I guess Mormons don’t recognize statutory rape?

Right.

Though these stories haven’t blown up on major news outlets, fans and social media have been all types of vocal. To my dismay, I’ve found that many people defend these guys. EVEN WHEN THEY ADMIT TO IT.

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!!11!?/!!^*CFOUTDXLKYTUDSI^K%ASI%Dgiuoh&TGo8675e^$%*Wsoi%D^876FDO&5deo75dpo

Ehem… sorry.

This nonsense has been going on since the first celebrity decided to dip his doodle in some young thang or smack a female for getting out of line. Fans come to their defense. And I become dumbstruck.

THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS. If this was some talentless hack like M. Night Shyamalan, folks would be ready to crucify him (I kid). But because people enjoy what these celebrities are doing, they fall victim to hero worship and defend them by any means necessary.

I’m not saying people can’t change, but to act as if the victim is in the wrong and the celebrity is in need of coddling is disturbing. They are people like the rest of us and should be treated as such. Kick that imaginary pedestal from under their feet and hold them accountable for their actions. Otherwise, this crap will continue because the behavior is reinforced.

As much as it pains me, this goes for you too, Bill Cosby.

Previously: My Election Day Vote Is “Meh”

Daily Opinion: The Slow Death of McDonald’s (Hopefully)

scary-ronald-mcdonald

In case you were unaware, McDonald’s stock is down 7% since 2012. That’s a bigger deal than it appears on the surface. In fact, it’s such a big deal, McDonald’s is toying around with automated cashiers, regional menus, DIY burgers, and a revamped management structure.

They even tried to indoctrinate the “Millennials” by rebranding their burger-slinging clown as a hipster.

Hipster Ronald 1 Hipster Ronald 2

Fail.

Mickey D’s has also fumbled around in the social media sphere, having Ronald take selfies and unleashing the #RonaldMcDonald hashtag on the interwebs. All the attempts have been met with snark. You know what? I’m lovin’ it.

Har, har, har.

It’s been a long time coming McDonald’s. You’ve done a brilliant job marketing to kids, setting up shop in poor communities, and contributing to obesity around the world. Kudos. Recently, however, newer generations are more informed and are slowly realizing this is crap food produced by a crap company that subsequently causes crappy health. It’s the reason why I think many companies that have a foundation of profit-by-any-means-necessary will have their comeuppance. People learn over time, even if that time is of an extended duration.

Here’s to you, McDonald’s. I hope your death arrives more swiftly, but if it doesn’t, maybe it’s not too late to change your ways. Stop chasing gimmicks to recapture a shrinking market and just provide quality food, good wages to employees, and actual standards. Maybe, just maybe, you can win people back by simply being better than you are now.

If not, just hurry up and die already.

Previously: Tim Cook’s Big Coming out Reinforces the Idea that Coming out Is Still a Big Deal

The Ramblings Podcast: Episode 27 – Cinnabon, the Craving for More, and Non-Voting

The Ramblings Podcast: Episode 27 - Cinnabon, the Craving for More, and Non-Voting

Cinnabons are pretty effing tasty. But at what cost? We dive into this, lack of food quality for the poor, voting, not supporting the political system, equality and more on today’s episode of The Ramblings Podcast!

Run time: 1:02:30

Download Here | iTunes | RSS Feed

Previously: Episode 26 – Reuniting with Leaf, Networking, and Using Time-Based Currency to Support Social Impact Organizations