Sunday, November 25, 2012

Walmart - America's Economic Disease

In the wake of Black Friday and the hoards of consumers that flocked to Walmart and other retailers by the millions, I just can't keep mum any longer. There is an epidemic of greed, ignorance, and sheer apathy for the politics in America. The DUOPOLY running Washington is ran by money - money from lobbyists and the top corporations of America - people who can't get enough of it because it boosts their ego into stratospheres unknown by the common man. And there are people out there that are MORE than aware of it; people with more power than the common man: Buddy Roemer's Reform ProjectGary Johnson 2012 Presidential CandidateLawrence Lessig, founder of Harvard's Center for Ethics and Professor of Law who has written many a book, article, and essay on the subject and his resume will blow your mind for the better, and the list just goes on and on. People are out there but they can't be heard. Why? The media, for starters - owned by the largest corporations in America (here's your visual). And those who do have loads and loads of money to purchase the power simply don't. Why? Because they either work for the said largest corporations or are content to live a wealthy life and lack complete remorse for the means to their wealth, ethical or not (I believe most forms of extreme wealth lack ethics to some degree, microscopic or macroscopically speaking). Celebrities don't do us a solid either. They just go around and spend, spend, spend - write songs about "bitches ain't got money like me" and ALL FOR WHAT? What an empty life, if you ask me. But there are some out there that truly do not relish in all their disposable income - people like Angelina Jolie. She's someone who fights for what's right and puts humanity before wealth. In short, there is someone I truly admire to the sun and back. He's been a constant figure in my life for not only entertainment but also as a person who just takes his craft to the limits and never disappoints because he does it out of love. I've recently written him a letter on Facebook and now here in this post, which I plan to tweet out to him. I even sent him a PSA via YouTube regarding the nature of this letter. Here goes...

Dearest Justin,
I know there are a million tags, hashtags, and videos out there that feature your name. But when you YouTube search "Justin Timberlake Walmart," my video comes up on the first page. It's something I'm proud of. I love you and your craft to the sun and back. But I urge you to better inform yourself. Many people feel like celebrities just get so caught up in their lifestyle that they aren't always aware of the world in which the rest of us, the 99% of us, live. I saw you helped out New Yorkers after Hurricane Sandy and have held yearly golf tournaments in Vegas in part with Shriner's Children's Hospital. I know you have a HUGE heart; I've followed you since the beginning of *NSYNC religiously. But this is something that you have done and I am not tolerant of - associating with Walmart. It's not just another place to shop. It's gnawing at the very heart of America and destroys our economy DAILY. I know it's not your responsibility to call out Walmart - but I don't know if you realized the platform you have in this world. You've done SO much in such a short span of time: conquered the music scene, held your own in feature films, killed it on SNL and with Jimmy Fallon's Late Night Show. You can still do more - and let it be through humanity, for the sake of America, the land of the free that you belong to and the place you call home. You can be the start of a collective of people coming together for the prosperity of America. I already associated with Buddy Roemer, Gary Johnson, Lawrence Lessig, and Ron Paul. We need an alliance of AMERICANS outside of the political duopoly to make a change. If Michael Jackson and Marvin Gaye were still alive...I can only wonder what kind of world we'd be living in and what message they would help put out. 
Much love - I don't expect any type of reply. I just want you to be aware.
Jennifer Green

It's time to WAKE UP, America. We've got so many opportunities for change that we don't realize are possible until we go looking for them. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I DON'T wanna be a BILLIONAIRE, so freakin' bad...

I don't want to be a BILLIONAIRE because I know better. Pure and simple. My ego is doing just fine without a ton of Ben Franklins to throw around like confetti. Nevertheless, there is a demographic of US citizens out there that can identify with craving money as if it were the only drug worth abusing. With songs like "Billionaire," where Bruno Mars croons in the chorus how badly he wants it, (which bee-tee-dubs is sung with more class than most rappers in this day and age) it's simply a vainglorious culture aversively indentured into a country we live in. Money is sought after for more reasons than good at present day. Most people don't realize how much blood, sweat, and tears have gone into making our great US of A as grrrrrreat as it is today (minus the evident recession). The milk-carton missing obscurity here is that exponential good comes from hard work and NOT by cutting corners in life as needed. Must we really be excavating the past to understand this concept? Not necessarily. Which leads me to my next quandary: Ever think, "I wish today's generation would stop acting so entitled and actually work hard at something?" Well I've got jusssst the lesson plan to get them thinking about working harder: How to become rich and famous. *Cue the evil laughter* You heard me. I think too many some people are so disillusioned by the media's constant portrayal of celebrities and the pseudo "good life" that they can't help but wonder "what if that was me, living out my dream?" So let's give them what they want! Bruno Mars and every damn rapper on the planet has got their mind on their money and money on their mind for SOME reason...! 
A nice dose of dreams-meets-reality could be the spark to a wicker that feeds straight into their young minds that otherwise might be too far out of reach from positively igniting. The possibilities are endless:
  • Have a career day of sorts where accomplished people from the community reach out to act as American Idol-like judges for potential career aspirations - and I'm NOT referring to solely entertainment careers because obviously, we all do not live in NYC, LA, or Miami. If a student thinks they want to become a doctor, let them be interviewed by a doctor who knows what to look for in future med students. Talent agencies - what better, more cost-efficient way to recruit new talent? With representation from many fields, students can better gauge what their futures may have in store. 
  • In the classroom, take time out of the core curriculum to do case studies on celebrities. And the more relevant the better. I think a prime example would be Jay-Z, no obvious career explanation necessary. However, he has built an empire to the tune of having a personal net worth of $150 million dollars. It's more than easy for everyone, media-biased of course, to become naively infatuated with the glitz and the glamour of Hollywood and its key players. But Jay-Z, for all that he's accomplished in his life, could not bother to stay in school and earn a diploma. Granted that school is not always a viable option for every young mind, why do we settle for that? I think everyone can spend the time to earn at bare minimum a high school diploma. Recently, the state of Florida's barometer of academia, known to Floridians as the FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test), changed the requirements for the math and reading sections, making them harder in a simultaneous effort to bring children up to national standards for their grade level. The fact that children who do not pass this test will be held back a year or have to double-up on their english class the following year is a disheartening prospect to wrap your head around, yet it makes a valid point: Why are we settling for less? Surely exceptions should be made for students with learning disabilities; however, I think it speaks volumes for those who do fail these tests. What are they lacking in their life to succeed? Is it supportive parents or lack there of? Are they just gifted and bored? Jay-Z sure as hell didn't have an alluring start at life by any means - surrounded by drugs and violence at an early age. He's not alone in his upbringing either. There's obviously an educational gap that fuels the fire of today's youth to simply give up on school. Yet what celebrities fail to realize is that they unintentionally inspire a generation to go for the long shot dream because Jay-Z is so on top of his game. What they don't know DOES hurt them. So let's show them why he did what he did, because he certainly wasn't formally taught how to rap. 

With other countries out-doing us, THE UNITED STATES, in education we only further set ourselves up for failure if we allow this to continue. We all have gifts that we can contribute to making this world a better place, as hippie-esque as that may sound. But if we don't use them, they not only go to waste but can take us down a road we don't deserve. Today's youth needs more than just parents to be on board with meeting the educational requirements imposed by state school boards. They need real-life interactions with people who can offer their "two cents" into what it's like to be a grown-up. And by having more of these interactions in their daily life, I believe many benefits unforeseen will be reaped *Ahem, curbing the increased sexuality of today's youth that appears to be budding out of control without regard to personal well being*. But that's another blog post that I shall save for another time ;-). 

To wrap it all up, I beg the question, "Do you really want to be a BILLIONAIRE if it means growing a company to such a massive extent that you lose touch with the entry level workers who are the legs of the money churner you've created? Become the very people at the top who only care about how much they take home every year and less about the company and why it was founded?" 

And now, let's take this down a few notches :). With no intention to cliché my blog with American Idol name dropping and artist shout outs, Kris Allen just released his sophomore effort and I can't get enough of this song: Teach Me How Love Goes. A suitable song title for a blog post such as this, don't you think? (I'd love to ramble off some Alanic Morissette lyrics about now...)

Friday, May 25, 2012

There's a first for come lose your political virginity today!

Have you ever had an idea just strike you like a bolt of lightning? This blog, and potentially my career, is all about shedding light on my lightning bolt (as if lightning really needed my help with illumination).

First and foremost with most FORE!, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jennifer Green and I believe America is crumbling at the seams from which it was founded upon --- and I shall begin by quoting the Preamble to The Bill of Rights :

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

I must give credit where credit is so righteously due: Our fourth President, James Madison, had the right idea in being the person who, for lack of a better metaphor given his gender, gave birth to what we know as The Bill of Rights. 

My point to this lesson in history is two-fold: 
  1. It just takes one person to ignite a fire. Where would we be today as a Nation without the vision and brilliance of James Madison? Ponder that.
  2. We, as the Youth Factor of America, have just as much potential to make a change. 
I think it's safe to say that until you reach a certain age and have attained enough life experience, to what degree varies per person, that the majority of today's Youth is misguided and baited by the political extremes.

It's no wonder, really. We all are raised by families that have a certain value set; some political philosophies entail a religious influence and some are just adopted as a way of self-proclaimed family wisdom. Some say "My parents are my heroes," and they rightly should be if they have helped your individual path blossom with exponential support and guidance. Other views are attained during the first few years of college life. We all come to political fruition by some means. 

However, we all are capable of thinking for ourselves. Independent logic leads to innovation. Within the boundaries of common sense, I think our Nation can only benefit by those daring to dream harder and better (faster. stronger. You're welcome, Kanye). 

I would like to see more of today's youth politically engaged, starting in high school. Sure, we all have taken the required history courses, but what they lack in enthusiasm from the students is APPLICATION. How can we take these historical references and turn them into something relevant for today's trying times and frustrations with not only the Government but also the numerous Industries that are tainted with Greed and Corruption? I'm not just highlighting the headline-making Wall Street either. Obama is certainly onto something in noting that Healthcare and the Pharmaceutical Industries are raping us monetarily. Cost efficiency isn't their objective as long as they can keep charging the public exorbitant (and in this case, it should be spelled exWHOREbitant, because frankly, they whore us out to dry) rates that simply are not affordable to everyone. 

As underlined in the Preamble quote above, in 1789 they were on to something by stating, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added. We should have the right as citizens to challenge our Government and its corruptive ways. We can ratify OUR RIGHTS  and influence Congress to create laws that punish those who play with our money like it's a game of Monopoly --- like they've got nothing to lose since we are the pawns! (I'm usually the thimble, for no real reason, it's just cute.)

I am reaching out to those who want to learn more about Politics without feeling like they're being sold on the Republican's views or Democrat's views solely. I will openly admit that I didn't take an interest in Politics until I learned about a man named Charles "Buddy" Roemer, who is running for President 2012 as an Independent candidate. His main objective is getting the Big Money out of Politics. 

If you are confused as to why he would make that his sole focus, follow the logic here:

If you think about it, 
MONEY leads to WEALTH. 
WEALTH leads to POWER. 

This is a key issue that no Presidential candidate, except for Buddy Roemer, is willing to run on. 

But I digress. I'm not here to sell you on a Political Candidate or a Party. I'm here to provide logical information and get you on board this political party cruise to help boost our country's morale to stand up for what's right and tackle what's wrong with avengeance. 

Stop by again because this blog is all about the relevant MUSIC of today! I love music waaaaay more than I love politics; however, in an effort to grow as a person, I want to combine them as a way to get more people informed.