The United States of America is currently “The Divided States of America” according to TIME. How did we get here? Part of it has to do with emotion. Much has been made about the role of emotions in the most recent presidential election. They played an important role in shaping a massive populist movement headlined by Donald Trump, one that underscored the need to retain some semblance of a ‘greater’ American past in which its foundational promise as a nation to be open-minded and big-hearted is not made.
Over the course of the past year, I have heard several people say that they thought my columns were “angry” and wondered why I never wrote about anything “happy.” I have never really taken offense despite the fact that the comments were meant to be a critique of my writing and the approach I typically take. It has taken me years, but I have learned not to listen to what others want to see from me and instead solely focus on what I wish to see from myself. It’s not that I don’t take suggestions, it’s just that there are some that I don’t find necessary to listen to especially when it has to deal with the amount of “anger” in my pieces. The reality is that there is a lot in the world to be angry about. This isn’t necessarily to say that I am always angry, but when I’m provided a platform in which to speak freely, I am obviously going to voice my criticisms in the hopes that it can help make someone consider a new perspective.
Flaurst: The desire to seize that blessed moment of first laughter and experience the gift anew in the form of a second, equally genuine laughing experience. You won’t find this word on Google anywhere, at least not in the way I’ve used it. Coupled with “glithering” from my last column, I suppose I’ve been in an inventive mood lately. Quite frankly, that’s the only mood I’ve been in, as far as writing is concerned. I’m not bereft of emotions, mind you.
Kendrick Lamar’s follow-up to 2012’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city was perhaps the most anticipated album of the year. It seemed impossible that Lamar could equal the accomplishment of his perfect debut. Instead, he blew it away in scope, ambition and depth. Across 16 tracks and nearly 80 minutes, Lamar burrows into complex issues, using his dexterous voice to produce an astounding variety of tones and emotions, from anger to false bravado to introspection to drunken sobbing. The music itself is a history lesson in modern African-American music, blending jazz, funk, soul and classic hip-hop into one omnivorous, fluid sound.