None of us have to look very var for a “skilled veteran.” The problem is that we may know them, but fail to recognize their skill. These skilled vets range in age from children to the elderly, war vets to street vets, with a broad array of different skills.
On this musical episode of The Axiom Amnesia Theory, Heit & Cheri explore the idea of recognizing skill whenever we see it displayed, via their commentary and analysis of “Shades of Anger” by Rafeef Ziadah and “Hustla High” by Max Minelli.
Other topics discussed include the latest on the NYPD “shoe cop,” people basing whether they care about someone on their race or religion, Palestine’s UN upgrade, children and technology, job skills obtained via unconventional means, and more!
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- Discussion about the homeless man (Jeffrey Hillman) to whom the NYPD “shoe cop” (Officer Larry DePrimos) gave a pair of boots.
- The cop has been going around on a media tour being hailed as a great hero. Meanwhile, nobody even knew (or cared) what Jeffrey Hillman’s name was. The media eventually tracked him down. He feels that he, too, deserves some attention, since the cop is getting all of the media coverage.
- When the media did finally mention Hillman’s name, they characterized him as a criminal who goes barefoot in order to scam tourists.
- Nothing a homeless person does is a “scam” if they are trying to get the resources they need to survive. A scam is trying to make the NYPD out to be the greatest police department in the world, when we know otherwise–and using a homeless man as a prop in order to do this. We know the brutality, excessive force, and even executions they have enacted upon the people.
- The cop has been doing a bunch of interviews, saying that he is so happy that people have commended him.
- We’re not saying that the cop is a bad person, but his job is to harass people under the guise of protecting and serving the community. This cop’s net good for society is still negative, despite having given the man boots.
- We’ve heard people arguing that the cop is a good man, and that we shouldn’t be critical of the cop’s on-duty deeds. Did everyone he arrested deserve to go to jail?
- Some folks have suggested that some people want to be homeless. What an assumption to make–that a homeless person wants to be homeless! Never mind the system that works to keep the homeless out of sight.
- This whole story is about people’s willingness to embrace a “feel good” story, regardless of whether the story as told or its implications are true.
- “Don’t talk about homeless people! Don’t talk about the role of police in society!”
Song 1: “Shades of Anger” – Rafeef Ziadah
- This was an awesome piece. The decades long struggle of Palestinians for their land and freedom from the view of those affected is powerful.
- Heit & Cheri loved the way most of the piece was delivered, with one exception–the part where she talks about “white capes” harassing Black people. The sarcasm seemed a bit misplaced.
- Discussion about her repetition of the phrase “We come in all shades of anger…” It is wonderful that she acknowledges the right to be angry about the wrong perpetrated upon masses of innocent people. Far too often we are asked–and even demanded–to “turn the other cheek” and swallow that anger.
- Discussion about how she characterizes the supposed reaction based on stereotypes of her as a Palestinian female.
- Discussion about Palestine finally getting a chair at the United Nations.
- It is a tragedy when we allow the wrongs against humanity to be ignored on the basis of something like religion or race.
- Discussion about people suggesting that “This is not your battle!” in response to us sharing atrocities being committed all over the world.
- Discussion about how the outcry over Trayvon Martin’s murder was multicultural and multinational.
- Refuting the notion that because “Nobody sticks up for us, we shouldn’t be sticking up for others.” Mistreating people in the same way we feel mistreated is no solution!
- Discussion about people positioning the question “Who deserves more attention–conflicts in Congo or Palestine?”
- Discussion about the idea that people expect folks to “pick sides” as if you cannot care about BOTH Palestine and Congo.
- Discussion about people saying, “Tell us more positive things.” How can we fix what’s wrong if we don’t talk about it?
- Discussion about people having difficulty accepting the negative aspects of certain situations because they have friends or relatives involved.
- Discussion about a post that Cheri wrote on Facebook:
I know a young man who is 13 yo. He prides himself on CREATING video game walk-throughs that he posts on YouTube. BUT that’s right now, today. In ten years I see him CREATING AND TEACHING some different things.
BUT right now, he’s practicing… by CREATING video game walk-throughs. Skills learned while PERFECTING something that seems meaningless, or like a WASTE OF TIME to others can be applied to something that can be USEFUL TO US ALL.
- Discussion about children and technology. These days, when you watch YouTube tutorials and product reviews, many of them are made by kids. Their parents probably have no idea that they are teaching the world from their bedrooms!
- The world is becoming a place where you need to change to make the best use of technology.
- Would people respect this type of childhood experience if it were placed on the resume? There are some people who would!
Song 2: “Hustla High” – Max Minelli
Hello everyone (feedback)
Whoa…is this thing on?
Hello everyone, this is your principal Mr. Schnimlowski
Whoa son, that’s not called for
Okay, and now I’m going to bring you your Valedictorian
of Hustler High, Class of .211
Your Valedictorian…Max Minelli!
Ladies and Gentlemen
Give him a hand as he takes the stage
[Max Minelli talking]
I did this here to pay my respects to where I come from
The school I went to
The hardest school in America
You know what I’m sayin’
Yeah. Where niggaz go to learn trades like
Rappin’, sellin’ dope, makin’ beats
Playin’ basketball, cuttin’ hair, robbery
Shit like that
Yeah, It’s Hustla High
Now check it
The hardest school in the heart of the hood
Hustla High, where niggaz ride choppers and wood
It’s the home of the warriors, jackers, and G’s
Where the niggaz graduate and get they street degrees
And blow on trees at recess
Well respected Professers of the Grind teach these niggaz electives
And, niggaz think with a criminal head
Racin’ cops up the block during physical ed
Go to jail, you don’t fail, but that’s detention
Unless you get life, permanent suspension
They only accept dudes to pay tuition
You deal with hoes to take notes on pimpin’
Uh, look and listen if you pass it pays
Ain’t no PTA’s, just some hot AK’s
The only school that turn boys into ‘timers
Niggaz fail, but I graduated with honors
Where they hold class on the corner
And niggaz that pass recieve a thug diploma
(At Hustla High)
They teach shit that you don’t read in textbooks
The game, and they breed the best crooks
(At Hustla High)
I learned rhymin’, that’s why I flow hard (big)
Dope money and rap sheet report cards
[. From: http://www.elyrics.net .]
(At Hustla High)
Showed me somethin’ new each day
.211 was my GPA, Nigga
(At Hustla High)
Ba Ba Ba
BOOM, I stepped out, repped out, My sets up
Learnt to slang that shit that tore the projects up
(If you) test us, get rolled on
Must be got ya people mixed up, this could get ugly
Uh, don’t stand too close and don’t touch me
Momma don’t understand and my woman don’t trust me
So all I had was the streets to make
Somethin’ shake, got the hook up on some cheaper weight
I bled the block
Hid from the feds and cops
I got shit shakin’ like aftershocks
Stack my knots, went and split my cash in half
Put fifty back in the streets and gave fifty a bath
I’m a G ’bout mine, jiggalatin’
Oh what, he tryin’ to see ’bout mine? Nigga hatin’
But that’s okay, put up a dub, I got one to match you wit’
I’m a certified Hustla High graduate
It’s like I hustle for Air Max, you hustle for house slippers
Go ‘head hate, fuck it, I got paid without niggaz
They well-wishers with they fake advice
I learned not to make the same mistakes twice
Seen niggaz fall, seen niggaz change the game
Seen broads catch brains with a few of them thangs
Seen baby G’s kick doors off the frame
Jackin’ niggaz for they J’s and they piece and chain
Mane, niggaz come to learn how to get paid
Pick up a neighborhood skill and a gangsta trade
And never miss one day, perfect attendence
Pickin’ fights with fake niggaz to vent they vengeance
That’s my school, Hustla High stay fly
Stay beefin’ with niggaz from Busta High
Keep slippin’ and these boys’ll jack you quick
Look around and I bet you know a graduate
Of Hustla High
- We’ve featured Max Minelli on the show before, with a discussion about “Louisiana Sky.”
- This song makes a play on the idea of high school and getting trained on the streets.
- A lot of the “skills” in this song, people don’t acknowledge as real skills. We have been trained to value only that which come through training via academia.
- Discussion about how drug dealers are business men who require many of the same skills as people who work in corporate businesses.
- Just imagine if someone put these things on their resume.
- Discussion about people gaining skills on the street, in jail, and in the armed services.
- Discussion about the challenges of obtaining employment when your skills were not obtained and validated with a college degree or some other official certificate or diploma.
- If you have the skills, then you should get paid the same as others who have that skill, regardless of how the skill was obtained.
- Discussion about companies/businesses requiring college degrees for jobs that don’t need them. This is all part of the “pay to play” scam of education. It’s all set up so that you can pay all these people along the way, greasing the palms of corporations and government entities.
- Discussion about Max Minelli appearing in the movie “Video Girl” with Megan Good.