POPPIN TAGS, POPPIN BOTTLES: THE IMPACTS OF SPENDING MORE THAN YOU HAVE.

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“When trying to stunt hurts your bank account.”

All my life growing up, I used to hear how everyone was popping tags. Now that I am an adult, it’s popping tags and popping bottles. Totally fine when you Sean P Diddy Combs or Jay Z. But when you’re the average Joe, you can’t afford to live this way. Especially considering the average American makes less than $50,000 in a year. Meanwhile, living the popping tags and bottles lifestyle requires you to have at least ten times the $50,000 salary. And when I say ten times, I mean ten times after taxes. Hell, even the people making that amount of money tend to go bankrupt. Well, why are we killing ourselves to fit into our social circles.

One reason has to do with how we see ourselves. Kanye West stated in his lyrics from his song It All Falls Down. “I got a problem with spending before I get it.” “We all self-conscious, I’m just the first to admit it.” The self-esteem of people who seek validation from others. We buy things to hide the internal. As well as the external, so we go broke if we have to, to fit into circles. Another reason we live above our means is finding a potential mate.

Yes, it sounds crazy to spend money with the hopes of landing a date. But in a world where outer appearance is so judged, we don’t want to give people any reason to reject us. We take Instagram photos with hashtags that dont remotely represent the lifestyles we really have. All to gain the attention of the one we like. Yet when we get that person it becomes more work to satisfy them further. So, you go even further into debt to keep up something you couldn’t afford in the beginning.

But, there is another reason we fake popping tags and bottles. Sometimes you fake it until you make it. In today’s society, the idea of you having money is just as big, if not bigger than having money. Perceptions shape so much of who we are, that we would rather gain likes or follows via social media, than cultivating an audience for financial gain. For example, some young girl always posting photos of herself on some beautiful tropical island with the hashtag #livingthelife, #vacay, #funinthesun. People will follow off the idea that she actually is living a life that doesn’t really exist. Now, there is another side to this madness.

You have people with the money, who make more money off of showing off their lifestyle. For example, professional athlete Floyd Mayweather Jr. boasts his lifestyle on a daily. Even going as far as calling his promotional company, The Money Team. So, seeing the lifestyle and the company name, it allows people the opportunity to see that in order to do business with Floyd, you better come up with some big money. Because we’re used to throwing it away. It’s unconventional, but believe it or not, it actually works with some people.

In the end, people will always live a life higher than what they can afford. Trying to keep up and validating ourselves with tangibles is what we do. As long as we have a culture of spending via our music, film, television, and social media, we’ll always be in a race that will lead to a negative financial impact on our lives.

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SHE LOVE ME, SHE LOVES ME NOT: WOULD YOU LIE ABOUT YOUR ATTRACTIONS TO KEEP A RELATIONSHIP TOGETHER?

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“I’m not into you, but want to keep this going.”

Growing up, I always thought getting cheated on would be the biggest heartbreak. Or even getting rejected by a woman. But in my opinion, the biggest heartbreak would be someone dating you or even married to you that are really not in love with you. Do the person who thinks they are loved know they are not loved? And if they are aware there is no love, how does it make that person unloved feel? I can’t imagine how hurtful this is for someone to walk through life thinking their significant other really has no interests in them. Are there any signs of this? Or, why would you stay with someone you’re really not that in to?

One reason some people decide to stay is because the person is everything they want in a person. Yet that person is not what they truly want out of a relationship or marriage. You have all the right qualities of the other person I want. But, I’m going to stick this out because what if I end the relationship and can’t find another you. Then I am stuck wondering if I should have left you. But isn’t that selfish to the person who should be able to go look elsewhere for someone who really wants them? Now they’re stuck wasting their own lives because you’re being selfish. It’s best to just walk away. But if someone is everything you want, what is the reason for not being into them.

Well, let’s put in context what everything you want in someone means. This usually involves all the emotional attachments. Yet the physical attraction might not be there. And women are more apt to stay with a guy she is less attracted to just because he has other qualities she likes. But if you ask her is she physically attracted to him, she’ll say it’s not all about the looks. But that’s not the question you asked. You asked are you attracted, not are you only into the looks of a person. It’s hard for her to say yes because ecstatically, you might not be that pleasing to her. But she’ll make the excuse that you have other qualities.

That editing system that we have keeps us from being honest. Yet deep down inside, you’re really not into that person. You stay for reasons outside the physical because it’s a good fit for you; usually financial stability. But if you’re not into that person, you’re robbing them of a potential life with someone else. On the other hand, some people stay because they think it hurts the person more to be honest and leave. In the end, the one being led astray always deserves honesty. Because staying and stringing them along is ultimately the worst feeling.

YOU CAN TELL A LOT BY THE SHOES ON A MAN’S FEET, REALLY: NOT IF YOU LOOK AT MINE: HOW WE JUDGE APPEARANCE.

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“The outer is not all what it seems.”

Man judges those by means of the outer, while God aims to understand the heart. Makes sense considering that man does not know the heart so we have to get to know the person to understand their heart. How do we get that point? Well, it involves first opening up ourselves to wanting to meet new people. That usually involves looking at a person and thinking to ourselves. “Hey, they seem like a pretty interesting person to get to know.” “They’re very well put together,” and that’s where we judge the most. We want to introduce people into our lives who carry themselves in a certain fashion. This means, how do they talk, dress, physical appearance, and hygiene factors.

Now, how does this apply to myself. I usually don’t make that good of first impressions. You have to get to know me for a while before you really get close to me. And it has nothing to do with me being a mean person. It’s just that I am not overly extroverted. I am more so analytical than I am verbal. So you may misread me because of the energy that I give off. People who know me find out that I write become shocked by such an action. They think to themselves, “A person with little to say has so much to write.” A lot of me not saying much is because when there is nothing to say, I typically don’t say much. I am not one who talks for the sake of talking. I believe it can become quite aggravating.

Well, what about the way I dress? When I am headed somewhere nice, I always go out of my way for such occasions. But on a normal day to day basis, especially on warm spring/summer days, I sport a t-shirt, jeans, and some nice boots. I am quite the plain dresser, yet I like things that make you stand-out. Which is odd that I like such nice things, yet would rather not be the center of attention for my attire. I love fast luxury vehicles, yet if I had the money I’m not sure if I would make such a purchase. I love riding the NYC subway or walking throughout the city. A luxury car places too much unwanted attention, but don’t get me wrong I love them.

Judging from the physical aspects of myself, I love being active. Could you tell that from the way I dress, no. Like I said before, on a day to day basis, my dressing style is plain. When you see people who are into athletics, you generally see it. Every time they come around, they’re wearing Nike or ADIDAS shoes, shirts, hats, or pants. Sometimes they’re even so into the brand that they have to get the accessories as well. In the end, judging a book by the cover is what we do. It’s not about being mean, it’s survival. Our perceptions are at times wrong, but it’s what has kept us alive on this planet for so long. Our ancestors from thousands of years ago needed to use their better judgement so that we could be here today. If not, man would have died off a long time ago. So we are designed to thick twice before we engage in conversation or bring people into our lives.


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YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT: BLACK PEOPLE AND OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE POLICE

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“Why we fight.”

The Black community and the law enforcement have been at odds for decades in this country. But, unless you live among the problems, it’s quite hard to fully understand where it comes from. It’s easy to point out through the history with slavery and Jim Crow. But this goes far beyond those points in time in history. Are there any other issues that lead to this tumultuous relationship? I can name a few reasons as to why the police and the Black community have a history of bad blood. And not for reasons that we tend to talk about in the news.

One of the reasons has to do with the ethnic makeup of the police. Black and White people in America have had this history of mistrust in this country. That history goes back a few centuries that has gotten better, yet still exist. So now you look at the police and it is not a reflection of the community in which they’re serving. And to add to it, you have this Black community, and an all White police department. So old wounds are opened, even if the police are good cops. But why do the police themselves have issues with serving in these communities. It has to do with the police officers not living in the environment.

A lot of these cops who are White not only don’t live in the community, but they didn’t grow up here. For most of them, these are typically young White men, who grow up in neighborhoods totally different than the ones they’ll be policing. Not just the ethnic, but the cultural landscape is typically different than where they grew up as well. From the style of dress to the vernacular of the people who live in the area. And on top of it all, the attire has typically been criminalized. So guys are coming in with already their own mindset of the people that live there. But, there is another reason as to the issues between the police and the Black community.

Another issue is the fact that people within these communities never admit it, but tend to take issue with White authority. You may ask, what does that mean? Well, perception tends to cause a lot of problems. Because a police officer may state to someone in the community to do as you’re told. But how it’s interpreted, is seen as racially condescending. Is it that, most likely not, but that comment goes from zero to sixty fast. Because the officer sees it as not following authority, but the individual sees it as subversive racism. When these are the thoughts going through someone’s mind, it’s a wonder more incidents don’t take place.

In the end, there can’t be a society where the law enforcement and the community it protects is at odds. The police are not just community protectors, but are also first line of defense in case of a terrorist attack. So there has to be some form of coming together so that people and the police are not at odds.

THE CITY IN THE SAND: UTILIZING WHAT WE HAVE TO BUILD WHAT WE NEED

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“We need it, but what is the cost?”

The United States of America has so much land, yet we only utilize a small portion of the land. A large volume of the country’s population is concentrated to a few locations. Those people are mainly in our major cities. But what about the land we don’t use? Is there any use for this land? I know we have a lot of preserved land out west. But, is there any way to make some of this land into another city? Whether it’s a small city or even the building of a major city. What are some of the places we could build? Well, let’s first observe why we might need to build another city.

The United States economy has been having problems with job creation. My thought would be, what about building another major city. This would Related imagecreate not only jobs in the country over a long haul, but will also serve as another city for tourism, infrastructure, and connecting major cities to cities for growth. The idea I had in mind was the desert in the western part of the United States. Like I said before, even though land is preserved, maybe there is a way to build around this land. I just see the land not being utilized as counterproductive. But where in the west; deserts are wide and vast in the United States.

A suggestion I had was around the area of Death Valley. This wide desolate land that is vast and arid with little room for life to exist, could be a potential site. This would mean building massive infrastrRelated imageucture just to build water resources alone. What about the roads and the commercial as well as residential real estate needed to be built? Is there such a plan that would work for the building of a city? Are there any protest that could arise from the building of a civilization in the desert? That’s why I said around the region of Death Valley.

Now, what could a desert city look like in the future? I have sought out pictures via Google imaging at what a desert city could potentially look like in the future. A few images I noticed that commercial and residential properties Related imagecould be built into the landscape. For example, office buildings could be constructed into large rock formation or dug out of cliffs. The photo is of a potential building for a city built into the formation of the landscape. This means hundreds of feet dug down and hundreds of square miles out. Giving the impression from the sky that the landscape looks like every other desert landscape, yet a city lies beneath. Another pro of building such a city in the desert would be the use of solar panels for energy conservation. The solar energy in a death valley region could really save on energy cost.

In the end, there are many possibilities to building out west. There are even room for growth as it pertains to vegetation. Solar panel farming has grown in popularity which could also aid in growth for a civilization. But, there may be quite some time before we see a building to the scale I see for a city. You still have to get around the governmental policies put forth to protect such lands and protestors upset about the building on lands. Until then, we have to make due with what we have; hopefully that will change.

A COLOSSAL COLLIDE: DALLAS COWBOYS VS. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

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“The Super Bowl to settle the score.”

Growing up in the state of Wisconsin, the Green Bay Packers influence reigned supreme. But for me, it was all about the Dallas Cowboys. People used to say all the time, “You from Wisconsin.” “You never even been to Texas, how are going to route for the Cowboys?” But I was a fan of Emmitt Smith since childhood. In addition to him, Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders, and Troy Aikman. It was and has always been about Jerry’s Cowboys since I was young. So when they made the postseason this past 2016 NFL season, memories started to reemerge. Yet with the memories came once again the heartbreak of losing in the first round.

And what happened, in the end the New England Patriots won another NFL Super Bowl. Now the question remains, who will return next season and who do you want to see in the big game. Me personally, I want to see the Dallas Cowboys match-up against the New England Patriots. Hopefully Tom Brady comes back for one more year of his career. Now you might ask, besides them being your favorite franchise, why Dallas? Well, New England and Dallas are tied in the record books for NFL Super Bowls with 5 each. Dallas has a higher winning percentage of Super Bowl Wins, while New England has more Super Bowl appearances (in more recent history). And both teams are the two most valuable teams in the NFL.

Tom Brady is going to be 40 years of age his birthday and Tony Romo could be coming up on the end of his career, with Dak Prescott taking over soon. They both have fairly young and good running backs, while boasting a superb receiving game. On the defensive side both teams have the talent to stop offenses and a tightly knit special teams. And let’s not forget the team owners, Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft, both whom are very accomplished men, on and off the field. So where do they go from here? It’s not as easy as what teams you want to see, but who plays the best. In all, there are 30 teams in the NFL, and everyone has a chance of winning. So not just my team, but whose to say the Patriots will repeat.

In the end, my hopes having me itching for the beginning of next season already. Even with the NBA going on as well as the MLB starting next month, I already miss football. As for now, I will continue to ponder about the mind at all the possibilities for next season.