Saturday, August 30, 2014

There But For The Sake Of Education Go I!

Joe Hunt and Isaiah Page
Congratulations to my nephew Isaiah Page for entering a new phase in his life, college.  He is attending SUNY Delhi to become a full-fledged auto mechanic; they have a well recommended auto mechanic program and a very nice-looking campus on the north edge of the Catskills and close enough to the Finger Lakes.  I will miss him terribly as he is like a son to me, but I hope that this gives him the opportunity and the independence he needs to thrive as a young adult in a changing economy and changing world.  Were it me, I would grasp this with both hands; learning a trade is not the most direct way to wealth or even comfort, but it is a solid enough base from which you may launch your dreams from without having to struggle inordinately.  I have in recent years taken up electrician work to refurbish a foundation that began in art, and while I have certainly not abandoned the prospect of being a recognized auteur (certainly not!), I have come to terms with the fact that I have to be a self-made wealthy person if I ever do become wealthy, and for now the trades afford me the best opportunity to build wealth without being obligated against my will to causes or authorities I do not support or who would otherwise manipulate and marginalize me or the things I believe in. Is it a pipe dream?

No. Simple as that.  Others have realized their dreams working as hard as I have, and I hope to follow that to my own success.

But this is not about me, but about a boy with simple plans and bigger dreams.  I wish you the best, nephew, and will continue to be in your corner as we fight our way to the top. 

Uncle Joe, Uncle Chyll, College Man and Mommy

Monday, August 25, 2014

"If you ever wonder why most black folks don't smile in their pictures, it's simple... we're vaguely annoyed. If you have to ask why that is, then know that a lot of it does have to do with you."

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Look At All This Dust

I used to eat at this Mickey Ds when I worked in Brooklyn no more than two years ago from this date.  Though I now eschew McDonalds (and never particularly cared for the service at this one), finding it waiting to be replaced by an 11-story condo building is rather disquieting... Photo Credit: Gowanus In Your Face 
In my ongoing efforts to distance myself from social responsibility and being a leader of my community as well as a respectable adult of the human species, I'm taking time to update my blog.  Yes, blog.  I know few people actually do this sort of thing anymore because you have Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr and such, but I think hat's just why I need to do this.  I've always been the sort to distance himself from the crowd. Why, I remember in kindergarten I used to go outside and lie on top of the Snoopy house they had set up in the kindergarten playground, just like Snoopy would; meanwhile the rest of the class was inside doing whatever the scheduled group activity was (I dunno, nap time? Learning to read? They really needed to learn to keep up as far as I was concerned...) 

If this makes me arrogant, well then so be it. If you've read my past posts, you have a strong idea where that comes from. I guess that statement goes more for the random people who might be coming over here from Facebook after reading some of my status updates indicating that I was leaving Facebook, or replacing my profile with a link to his site.  I would suggest reading some of those past posts if you really want to get to know me, because they can be rather open about my thoughts.  I tried doing that on Facebook and got a lot of nothing for the most part.  If I really wanted that (and that's debatable at this point), why not do it somewhere I don't necessarily have to worry about the post being lost among millions of other voices straining for space on a limiting platform that will randomly censor me or redirect my personal information for its own interests? Maybe because doing so will require more work?

I've never been afraid of hard work, just working for nothing in return.  So I guess I have to make up a reason. How about the semblance of freedom? Unless I'm financially independent (which seems almost like a contradiction in terms), I'm not free in any capacity to do what I want.  But I am free to do what I wish during the times I'm not laboring for someone else's benefit and my meager recompense. I suppose I should assign an emotional value to that as well, as that would be the main impetus of my continued effort to purposely distance myself from social media. I'm not very social to begin with.  I know HOW to be sociable under certain circumstances, but not extroverted.  It's very draining, physically and emotionally.  I get headaches just thinking about it, which is often when I'm not doing anything challenging that will be of great benefit to me and maybe mankind (and being social is not the challenge I'm looking for, so there). 

I'll tell you what, I'm not going to be one of those people that fall off the grid entirely because they hate civilization or they committed a crime and have to live off the land until the heat is off. If anything, I am generous and engaging when the right subject is broached.  I'm just tired of all the noise.  You know what I mean, the noise.  I'll sit in my cyberspot for now and repost some of the content that interests me from Facebook or other places I visit throughout the day, and every now and then I'll throw in my own two cents.  That's about all I can do for now.  I don't have anyone that can inspire me to deconstruct the box I live in when I'm feeling like this, so I'll have to invent mind games or distract myself from my own thoughts with other's thoughts that I feel like processing without it having to be constantly crowded on me.  I don't like crowds, even when they pay.  But that's none of your business, right? >;)

Keep diggin' the dream, readers.  Sometimes you have to redirect and refocus in order to achieve.  I've never given up, even if you don't see me around.  I'm just digging in a different direction or straightening up the place.  For now.  

Monday, December 23, 2013

Home...?

I lived in a  apartment building that had "interesting" qualities; not the least of which were the number and size of rats that came to visit now and again.  There were also various neighbors in the building and on the block who kept things interesting; the elderly Korean War vet who always grabbed my arm to say hi and tell me stories about his days on the front; always emphasizing that on the front and in the heat of battle, our blood was the same. There was another guy who my niece and I called "Big Pun" because of his immense girth; a really nice guy who was also a community advocate and gave a lot of advise on tenant rights, my buddy James who lived with his wife and two kids in a green house two doors down; time and time again he would come to my window and call for me: "Yo Will! Yo Will!" and if I was home and answered the window, he would always say, "You wanna buy a MetroCard?" And there was Lisa, my next door neighbor... le sigh...

I wish I could say it was one of the nicest places I lived in, but it was quite the opposite.  I had no idea what i was in for when I moved in; fresh faced from the suburbs and transferred from community college to complete my film degree at Hunter. If the drug busts, gang fights, crack vials, booming radios, cringing neighbors (especially the ones from other blocks who all wanted to quarantine the block from the rest of the neighborhood) weren't an indication, then certainly the rats were.  These were rats that let you know that the stories you heard about New York City rats were not necessarily apocryphal.

I'm sure this street was one of the nicest places to live at a certain time in history, but these days it reflects a lot on what happened to the Bronx in general when the decay and withdrawal of industry (and jobs and the urban middle class in short order) ravaged the borough, leaving emotional scars across the board that lingered for generations. 

I recently found out that an organization decided to build a facility to house and service folks who were both homeless and mentally ill.  The link is to a PDF newsletter from Postgraduate Center for Mental Health introducing the new Lyvere Street Residence. The facility has (or will have, I haven't verified it's existence or completion yet) forty-eight units with many modern amenities and a courtyard that's said to be it's centerpiece; something the whole community will be drawn to.

It replaces the little shack that housed a big drug nest, as well as the green and white house my neighbor James, his wife and two kids lived in. I can still hear him calling out and asking if I need a MetroCard.

And to be honest, I don't really know how I feel. I can't help but sense some sort of irony in it all. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Mo'Tasm


I love to fiddle with Photoshop among other things, and this was one of my recent doings.  I've had this idea for a while, but only recently was able to find pictures good enough to work with. I'm actually surprised that no one had thought of this before; Mo's cutter and its propensity for breaking bats seems to lend itself perfectly to a Phantasm reference, ya think?

I'm thinking of making posters and t-shirts out of this one... if it's popular enough, we'll see.  Sure would love to get Mo's take on this.

This actually has led to project requests; the results of which I will post at a later time.  I will also post some past projects I've done for commission or as doodles.  If you hasve a special request, send me a personal message and we'll talk. >;)