Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Scientists predict that in a few decades, we may be able to select from a "catalogue" what our babies will be like before they are born. We could choose ethnic facial features; adult height and body shape; intelligence; which diseases they will be resistant to and much more.
What could go wrong? A lot. We could biologically design ourselves into extinction.
First of all, consider that parents may want their off-spring to be tall, slender, athletic, and cheery (blonde?). But that common portrait of the optimum human-type as promoted by popular media may not be conducive in changing environmental conditions.
Darker skin allows livability in extreme sunlight. Smaller, more compact body designs require less food during famine. The list goes on.
Genetic variation allows selected creatures to walk through the gauntlet of daily life. Dangers that hinders one individual, another individual could dodge and escape to continue the bloodline. Thus, when you roll the genetic dice, it may be best to resist the urge to tilt the table; instead, trust random mutations for filling the gene pools with many varying characteristics.
Surrender our embryos to natural selection (within limits, of course). Embrace each child's strengths and weaknesses when they emerge.
By choosing what are considered to be positive traits today, could doom the human species by limiting our adaptability to unforeseen conditions -- like drastically rising sea levels or an accidental virus that targets tall, athletic people.
Having webbed feet, a short statue and gills to breath submerged under seawater may be drastically more important than the prowess to deliver a backhand in tennis. Or dribble a basketball.
From a biological standpoint, diversity is an essential condition for the survival of humanity.
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Ridiculous wealth built on the backs of people foraging for scraps of garbage. Is this dystopia? Or only "Things to Come."What is the future of our communities? Every major urban center on our speck of rock and oceans orbiting a middle-aged star is expanding and has both affluent and struggling components. Populations are diverse yet increasingly more segregated -- but not only by race. The poor hate and envy the rich. The rich ridicule the poor who never inherited money or were not blessed by rare opportunities to accumulate wealth; yet, it is the poor and disenfranchised who provide vital assets: muscle, innovation, culture, inspiration, as well as livability of the spaces inhabited by all people.
You would be surprised at what human ingenuity in desperation conditions can achieve. The Egyptian Pyramids were not built just by Pharaohs; working class people constructed magnificent monuments with the guidance of a few brilliant minds wishing to celebrate their society and strengthen their beliefs as well as feed their families.
It is ridiculous to exclaim that all wealthy people are grotesque parasites who suck out the essence of human activities simply for greed and the need to add more splendors into a few personal collections.
Yet, all great civilizations will face their doom unless a workable compromise can be achieved.
Friday, July 13, 2018
Migration: A Human Right
Heartless military-style community policing, ridiculous barricading of natural geography, weaponizing borders has become acceptable in Trump's 21st Century Dystopia American Nightmare. This is a dire result of our idiotic and cowardly political landscape that encourages a madman to rule the country.
Some aspects of AFROFuturism suggest that we should abandon culturally biased hate to restrict human movement and interaction.
We should progress to a properly administered, humane immigration policy. This would be healthy and increase prosperity for newcomers and existing residents. Routes of free and unhindered migration should be established and protected.
There is nothing wrong having an (monitored) open border with friendly countries.
Other continental regions around the world are embracing free transfer of people. The African Union, the European Union, and other places are easing the pathways for individuals to work, gain citizenship and prosper in places where they were NOT born. There is no logical or ethical reason to stop populations of people improving their lives as well as enhancing the economy of several nations by moving from one place to another.
Political tyrants for their own personal gains (or insanity) demand the control of people. In fairness to the current system, there currently are open borders: for white people. Brown people need not apply.
This is the challenge for AFROFuturists: expose the hypocrisies and build worlds that equally embrace all people via books, music, and art.
Thursday, March 29, 2018
AFROFuturism roars and is prominent in the Black Panther movie that has dumped huge buckets of green on Marvel Comics and the Mouse.
But what benefits go to Black communities around the world who celebrate this movie? What do we really gain?
Better StoriesGrowth is essential to a good story. T'Challa is a very different and more enligtened person by the end of the movie. Thus, we need writers who genuinely understand the Black experience to make screenplays palatable to moviegoers. Old stereotypes will fade, hopefully. A new generation of creators from all cultures will gain ground with new ideas.
More People of Color will be Earning Paychecks in Hollywood
Movie producers, writers, and directors will require black super villains and heroes to dance on the big screen to entertain us. This will sell tickets, overpriced popcorn, and fruit-colored sugar water. Also, the technicians, artists, musicians, caterers and thousands of other support staff can take advantage of a flood of films whose AFROCentric stars will open opportunities for others to get a piece of the pie.
AFROFuturism can encourage all of us regardless of skin color, religion, social status, etc., to create a better future. Because, at the root, we are all African. Thus, Black Panther is a representation of all of us.
Monday, March 19, 2018
(Excerpt from Stafford Battle's Book New African Fables for Adults on Amazon . . . )
Nat Turner's Secret
. . . . I scanned his aura, he was truly Black Mage, the legendary practitioner of the African mystic arts. His thick, wooly beard was salt-pepper gray. His perfectly manicured Afro was jet black; his hair framed his face like a majestic royal crown -- at least once a week he groomed his fro with a minor incantation to keep a perfect oval shape and bright sheen. He wore a pinstriped business suit, pink shirt accompanied with brown gator-skin shoes. In his right hand was a polished oak walking cane.
Obviously aware of my mental scans that he could have easily blocked, he said aloud, "There is always a shotgun house involved in the swamp. Front door/back door. One window. Two rooms. No indoor plumbing. Piss in the bushes. Squat behind a tree. A green candle always burns in the center of the front room. Watchers are everywhere. Some good, some evil. Send your soul to hell or to New Jersey, just for fun." He chuckled. "Before we go into battle, tell me more about yourself."
"As you know, I am an orphan. But you would not call me ordinary," I said. "My first Nubian guardians recorded me into the digital annuals as a young, slender woman named Abebe. That observation was only half right. For a few days each month, I am female with the ability to conceive daughters; I can deliver a baby in the appropriate time span, if I chose such a lengthy burden. Some months, I am a functioning male for a day or two, able to sire sons. My appearance hints that I am approaching 30 years of age despite the fact that I have lived as an adult nearly twice that long -- or longer, I am not sure. Most of the time, I am just a neutral. I am a damn good fighter when I am neutral. No emotions. But my conjuring is more devastating as a female. The few moments when I had been involved in a firefight as a male are only a blur in my mind. I don’t remember much – just the shocked expressions of my teachers as they crawled out from underneath the rubble that I had caused. Buildings had been toppled. Steel girdles bent. Stone crushed. Some conjurors described my gender transformations as apocalyptic. I may be the only person in this universe with such abilities."
Mage my mentor paused to take a deep breath. " I will need your special talents. I wagered with a Hell demon that I could save the life of Nathaniel ‘Nat’ Turner."
I frowned and said, “Turner’s deceased -- been stone cold dead for more than a long time.” Few normals knew, that Turner was a skilled practitioner when he initiated his slave revolt. I was told that Nat Turner was a hothead, untrustworthy. He willfully disobeyed recommendations from the joint council. Nat with his band of freedom fighters murdered a lot of white folks along with some Blacks who hesistated to join him. The white citizens of Virginia caught, then hanged him. Hundreds of innocent Blacks were accused wrongly then hung as a result of Turner's actions.
Mage said, "Nat is still alive -- sort of. Chained. We will free him. He’s probably anxious to continue his mission.” Mage was broad shouldered, handsome, supremely confident. Again, I remembered online rumors that he had a large harem of women who willingly gave everything they owned to him. My spine prickled. He said, "Demons always cheat when they proposition you. I used such chicanery to my own advantage."
He zapped an annoying mosquito with his cane. The energy blast gouged the trunk of a large evergreen tree draped with choking vines. Smoldering ash flakes filled the clearing but luckily there was no bonfire to alert the enemy. The smoke chased away the insect hordes. Mage scratched his beard. He asked, “Are you male or female, today?”
I stopped. I took off my extra-large, red, black and green "Vote Obama" hoodie. I hated bras. I never wore them. Then I pull down and removed my silk gym shorts. I tossed my red-striped, Tuesday panties at Mage. He easily caught the token with his walking stick. I stretched to let him get a full view of my present body. His probing eyes made me tingle. His thoughts made me a little horny. The warm moist wind felt good on my trim stomach, shapely thighs, full, succulent buttocks. This was the way people were meant to live; not hiding behind furs or leather or cotton or needless bling. My power necklace combined with wrist bands were the only adornment I needed. Being nude also circumvented a lot of irritating questions about my unusual gender changes. In the fading sunlight, my naked brown skin became a beautiful shade of rare gold.
Mage stared. His open mouth formed a silent “ohhh”. His eyebrows arched. After a moment, he said, “I will rely on your remarkable conjure strength as a woman. Put your clothes back on. I’m not as saintly as I appear.” He handed my colorful undies to me then turned abruptly away to resume his pace. . . .
(Get the full story on Amazon: New African Fables for Adults. Honest reviews are welcome.)
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Early Star Trek aliens always looked like Europeans with strange facial makeup and weird head gear. Evidently, many 1960s TV producers predicted that white people would easily have conquered the galaxy in the future. But that is most likely very far from any reality until we actually meet space aliens.
We need to expand our view of a liveable universe that includes many varieties of people and their looks and culture.
Image what Africans would appear to be after years in space and who reluctantly crash-landed on our humble origin world. They would be very different from us. They would have thrived in extreme environments that we did not. But they would still be us.
Do we reject the seemingly Black alien person and say, "You are an ugly SOB. I don't understand your purpose in life." In those moments, we fail to see the beauty of their inner souls. Humans are cruel at times. We don't mean to be. It is survival in a brutish sense. However, as we evolve, as all creatures must do, we have to work cooperatively with our environment and other beings, or embrace extinction. This is destiny. Thus, if you get stupid with your Black neighbor or lover, remember, that regardless of what you initally believed, everyone around you is essential to your well-being. So, don't hate, try to appreciate and don't judge on appearences or hasty words. Learn to look deeper.
Happy Black History Month!
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