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Jun 12, 2020    From the CEO

En Masse


What is ‘Wrong’, right ‘Now’, with ‘This’ En Masse

Guys, is it just me, or are you also grieving somehow? Or are you angry? I was once lost but now I’ve found….myself. Are you ready for this?

When ‘This’ started – I understood that in life – you just cannot have one without the other. You can’t be a pessimist without being an eternal optimist, you can’t be a disruptor without being an innovator, you can’t value freedom without knowing true fear, you can’t be a direct marketer without being curious about behavioral psychology, you can’t want word-of-mouth marketing without understanding that graffiti is communication. What is wrong with The Now is that the masses are wrong, about so much, and there is This Much at stake.

You cannot be forward-thinking under this guise of progression. You cannot say you understand anything systemic and then think you can show “solidarity” in one day with an expression that took two minutes to create with no respect for independent thought. Because that takes both a will and a very strong want.

Everything Wrong with America is also everything Right about America.

Only in America can you be your true self, and despite all odds, Make It. To be progressive has always meant, to me, understanding that all those that succeed ‘in spite of’ are the real ballers, and the only way to right a systemic wrong is to reduce the ‘in spite of’ volume. But right now, under the guise of Progress, you’re going to add Nostalgia too? Before this, anyone that knows me knows that there is one crowd I do not understand: The people who like to re-enact the Civil War. And History is my favorite subject thanks to a professor at The University of Austin at Texas, and it was because of my him, that I know the power of storytelling and its ability to unite people. Look at anyone and everyone from MLK to JFK, and you will see that there is bravery in a true wanting to understand, and you knew they were having conversations in order to.

What is the opposite of futurism? A yearning for the past, and not of the Pharcyde kind (because that’s my tribe). It’s the yearning for the scary part of nostalgia that had everything to do with control and absolutely nothing to do with freedom.

What I am witnessing now truly is sad and I am grieving. I find strength in knowing the enemy is still one and the same. The enemy is housed under everyone I’ve ever called a Poser, and it looks like hypocrisy, inauthenticity, and it feels like a crime. You know how when you hate it makes you feel ugly? Well, what is worse is when someone is ugly on the outside and ugly on the inside (you cannot do “The Double Ugly” ok people?). However, the worst crime of all is Artifice.

You cannot tell me you are progressive in thought and also tell me about A Life, Mattering when it is empty in thought and hollow in feeling. If you love this country, you will have mad respect for those who willed it enough to make Something for themselves. And you know where that Will comes from? Something inside you, that makes you not just want to prove something to yourself, you need to prove it to yourself. Only when you have that can you ever understand what risk is. Only with knowing what it’s like to be poor can you tell me you have fear. And if you weren’t ever poor? The king of all friendships, hiring requirements, and mutual respect is Curiosity. You will poll everyone you know and their mother if you don’t understand something. And you will risk your ego.

And guess what else? Something systemic is not fixable on-demand. Besides killing all my brain cells, you guys are taking my second favorite emotion (the first one being dread), embarrassment, of the cringe-ing for someone else kind and seriously giving it it’s own global sound system. By the millisecond. So posers are now the makers, and they’re the most productive of them all. Right Now.

If you have ever thought about the difference between a job title and knowing enough about human behavior to emote the weight of responsibility, you’ll have respect for Tupac who said it wasn’t about race. His will came from his very real fear of being poor. Because you are robbed of thought when you are hungry and do not have food, and you are robbed of thought when you are talked to and at, but never included in a conversation about yourself.

When you understand how information is distributed, you can understand how word-of-mouth works when you don’t have a phone in your hand. It’s amplified and fear-based. If the head of your household ever ruled by guilt, you definitely know fear. If you were not born into a religion, you will definitely understand the weight of ‘severe consequence’ means. Does anyone ever get to the truth without a will to understand?

Only then do you understand you cannot erase – wait, no even worse – show what you call ‘solidarity’ with an empty image and a tagline to brand something you just should not? Are you kidding me? All Lives Matter. Every person of every diverse thought you are housing under One. Color.

Is ‘This’ really happening? Because guess what guys? This Is…Heavy. Why?

We are witnessing The Slow Death of The American Dream. Those that value creativity over memorization know the power of what it takes to make a dream happen. It takes A Lot. What is at stake is: Freedom of choice. Independence of Thought. It is not a lot of big words. If you are scared to ever lose having the freedom to make a decision, I think you follow. That possibility that somehow, you could live an authentic life and make it worth it by increasing those fleeting moments of happiness that make Every Life worth living for, IS The American Dream. Even when it comes with so much innocence and so much facade, it is worth The Struggle.

Right now, everyone housed under progression has never been a mass of so many I call ignorant. Guess what? I will not let you make me hate. Guess what else? I’ve never seen a bigger enemy to my earned American Dream than the ignorance you are enforcing with your artificial outrage. And my anger? It is a privilege. No one deserves to be this Educated and this Ignorant without sacrifice. Just like you have to earn respect, you have to earn trust. So before you ask your boss something you can just Google, try knowing that you have to emote before a Conversation can Start. Folks, we have Not Started and You Posers Under the Progressive Flag are Holding All of US in the United States of America UP. I will not let you without saying something simple: Everyone, no matter what class, color, gender, race or class is diverse in thought, both ignorance and bliss and smart and funny and dumb exist in one race you are singling out by color and THAT is just Not Right. People think it’s funny that I get Christmas (oh wait, should I have said Holiday?) cards from Uber drivers. I’m actually proud. Because those conversations I have with strangers are for some reason, the stories I hope will be shared when I am no longer here. Those stories include me learning there is no race that is free of ignorance – one from Haiti, one from Nigeria – and in my own family, Independence of Choice is so Precious they fly 20 hours to go to Taiwan and vote for…Democracy. Here’s all I am asking: If you don’t know what I mean, ask me. I’ll tell you everything and more. When in 2019 you had a very real sense that your right to privacy just might be A Big Lie, it was because you thought you had a Right to. I do and did too. I was born in America. But don’t you dare cheapen The American Dream for me when I saw my grandparents so proud to become American citizens. I will not let you rob me of that.

I’ve never seen a facade so empty in feeling. Do not guise it under Progress. For all my homies that think “of thought” when they hear “the word” Diverse, guess what? You, and now We, are not alone.

May the National Conversation please begin? I want to live the dream again. I want all of us to get back to living. And I want all of those who have to send their kids to school in order to eat to know that in 2020, we all went through it together. And to believe in The American Dream is to Never Give Up on the Hope that Someday WE will do Something Big, together. Until then, do not cheapen all those that put all their eggs in one basket in order to live in a country where tolerance is celebrated. Because stealing and bullying on this national platform we are giving what I can only now call Privilege is truly disgusting to every human going through This, feeling despair. Don’t rob my daughter, my friends, my family and everyone I love and admire for their strong will and their successes ‘in spite of’ the advantages we see in what we call New Media when it is so easy to say “I will never know what it feels like to have had less than another person in America but I’d love to hear it from them, in their own voice.” When we all can say that we have a chance to turn 2020 around, into a story I can tell my daughter. Let’s all please make ‘This’ worth it.

Let Your Curiosity Take Control