The Age of Popular Culture


I believe Popular Culture is finally coming of age.

Up until the late 19th century, gaining and cultivating knowledge was limited to very small sectors of society. In western civilization (not unlike in other parts of the world), nobility and upper stratifications of societies had much easier (if not exclusive) access to sources and resources of knowledge such as universities & books, the clergy & bibles, teachers and books for reading, writing & math than the masses as especially evidenced in feudalistic societies which included chattel slavery.

Western societies were built upon this principle…a handful of people with knowledge and power versus the masses of unknowing laborers who had little to no power but were granted a subsistence existence to serve them and their needs. Some of the greatest revolutions were fought because of the significant expansion of knowledge into less privileged communities and groups whether it was The Thirty Years’ War (the European continental war between the exclusive Catholics and the much more universal Lutherans, Protestants and Huguenot), the Age of Enlightenment culminating in the French Revolution or the rise and spread of Marxism and its various forms as a reaction to the Industrial Revolution. In short, where and whenever the power base became too corrupt and significant suffering of the masses reached a threshold, knowledge in its various forms ranging from traditional literacy to more advanced bases and skills became the real weapons against the ruling class. Conversely, one can draw direct and significant correlations between societal advancement & well-being and increased egalitarianism in civilizations with broad literacy and more open access to advanced knowledge and subject matter.

As a result of and to counteract the rise of literacy in the masses as well as to defend the power base of the status quo, the limitation of advanced and specific knowledge that further cemented the power base has been either withheld from groups not designated to share in power or manipulated to marginalize groups from ever acquiring such knowledge pertinent to their advancement. These are our times. In the 20th century and in the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution, increased levels of literacy and knowledge of significant subject matter within the masses were necessary for the industries of our new world. Power, however, has remained rested in the same hands… Power structures have sought recourse and entrenchment in knowledge manipulation, the re-creation and evolvement of intergenerational poverty mechanisms (functional and subject illiteracy gave way to segregation which has given way to the commodification of economic, educational and social opportunity by race, class & zip codes) as well as through outright “state-sanctioned” physical and economic violence that is being demonstrated on a daily basis in the United States.

As the world courses through the Information/Digital Age and increasingly benefits from over two decades of world wide web phenomena, the power base is discovering that it cannot control the spread of knowledge. Commonplace technological advancements increasingly make the world smaller and bring communities one has never had the pleasure of physically making an acquaintance with to our smart phones, televisions, movie and computer screens and, thus, into our minds… Audio and visual  media outlets are being used with increasing dynamism and success by empathic and knowledge-sharing groups. They are now becoming intractable in their ability to significantly function to the benefit of communities despite obfuscation tools such as Fox News and multifarious tabloids. They are, thus, incessantly and successfully whittling away at the current status quo.

Five or six  years ago, I came to a significant realization while researching various topics, ranging from climate change to the commodification of opportunity structures to the need for new societal well-being measures (GDP vs new social progress indicators) to poverty’s effects on children’s brains on the neurological level which I call the “light switches” effect. All of the tremendous amount of research and data out there that was being handed down and around in scientific communities would sometimes make it to governmental and non-governmental organizations but seldom to a mass media outlet. Pertinent and significant knowledge, developments and conclusions were being screened out and “silenced” doing not only researchers but humanity a great disservice. Significant books were being written and were only fleshed out in very small circles. I thought then, “What if all of this data and research could make it into the hands of ARTists of every ilk and they functioned as transformative links to society at large…?”

I have since been ceaselessly amazed to see certain topics and issues dear to me and our communities be not only raised and addressed by important figures in our popular culture but, in some instances, contribute to the resolution of gross injustices that have been carried out upon us. I have seen athletes and recording ARTists effectively raising awareness and creating alongside visual ARTists, print media and academic ARTists to cease the injustices suffocating us all. I am grateful for the synergies that are continuously arising and collaborations that are bearing unprecedented fruit. These synergies are working against history and Standard Operating Procedures that have been created and used to blatantly as well as, subversively, thwart real and significant change. Although these are very painful times, I am looking forward to observing the continued expansion of already existing synergies and the co-creation of others which seek to educate and expand knowledge within our populations at large via Popular Culture. It is so desperately needed.

I would like to leave you with a few of my personal favorite films and shows. They have already resonated within various communities and have shown the positive effects of the educational and informative role Popular Culture can play:


Disclaimer: I cannot in any way choose significant works from recording ARTists. I deliberated for hours and songs just kept coming! There have been and are way too many out there to do justice which shows how truly important they have been!!

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P. E. A. C. E.

P. E. A. C. E.

Peace is more than the absence of war.

Peace is generally narrowly defined as a state in which there is no war with little thought given to the true depths of this term mainly associated with weapons, bloodshed and displacement, many times with eternal peace in death and sometimes with emotional peace of mind.  But what is peace?  Peace lies in personal and societal physical security and the recognition that one’s life, dignified existence and dreams are acknowledged and of value within their immediate environment and society at large.  Peace means the absence of fear and need.  Peace is found where the fulfillment and satisfaction of all things that make human beings whole are met…being loved and enjoying the dignity, beauty and grace of existence.  Peace is comprised of those conditions and states which many cultures consider universal human rights.

We are always so quick to define peace as the paradox to physical wars, which it is.  We, however, rarely stop and think about what war is beyond the oversimplified version of physical and verbal conflict.  We are at war not only on a literal battlefield but also when our basic needs are not met or when we have that gnawing feeling that no matter what we do our dreams can only be achieved by luck, the grace of the universe and superhuman capabilities and exertion.  With this in mind, the majority of Americans along with the majority of the global population are at war with the systems that systematically obstruct their basic and universal human rights.

How can a society be at peace where many, as a matter of birth, race, zip code and circumstance, are entrapped in a cycle and system that exists to sift out the “greatest” within minority communities while allowing for widespread and fuller opportunity from birth onwards in historically-privileged white communities here in the United States?  Superhuman capabilities and feats are not yet a requirement to escape impoverishment for the great majority of the latter community although recent demographic trends reflecting the demise of the middle class are beginning to show that the poverty paradigm is rapidly expanding its reach into these communities.

This subversive war is fought via a poverty paradigm that plants the seeds that sow deeply-rooted and intergenerational social and economic injustice in groups without political and economic power.  It rages against the human dignity of people in marginalized groups and is created as well as recycled by racial and class stereotypes, profiling and indigent conditions caused by economic injustice.  It is omnipresent and oppressive and its only goal is to maintain a permanent underclass much like the caste system in India.  Such social stratification promotes the perfect breeding ground for a socio-economic underclass whose cheap labor can be exploited at will and at the behest of corporate boardrooms, investors and shareholders.  It is modern-day slavery and the plantation is nationwide as well as global.  It is passed on from generation to generation.  It kills well-being and prospects for individual peace, thus, societal peace.

Peace cannot be attained in environments where social and economic injustice are par for the course.  The United States is the only highly-industrialized country that broadly generates and replenishes its poverty paradigm with legalized & moralized malfeasance.  And as long as social and economic injustice are expected and welcomed components of our society, we will not work to eliminate it.  Other highly-industrialized nations have long replaced their purely capitalistic models with enlightened social market economies and are currently seeking to further secure individual and societal peace within their borders while we are busy chasing corrupt police to bring them to justice.  We here in the United States have lost sight of the big picture.


P. E. A. C. E.

Peace is knowing that you and your family will not go to bed or wake up hungry.

Peace is knowing that you have adequate and permanent housing.

Peace is knowing that you and your loved ones can attain any level of education or vocational educational training you desire and it simply comes down to you and your efforts, not your zip code or your bank account.

Peace is knowing that you have to schedule six weeks of obligatory vacation annually.

Peace is knowing that if you or any of your loved ones fall seriously ill that high-quality medical treatment without deductibles will not bankrupt you and that your government, health insurers and employer (if employed) work together to ensure that you do not return to work too early and compromise your health. Further, peace is knowing that your premium will not be raised because it is a fixed percentage of your income per government laws and regulations.

Peace is knowing that you can travel anywhere in the city or country at nearly any time of day or night and not be afraid of the police or people with guns. Moreover, peace is knowing that your country’s police force is comprised of officers who have had a minimum of 2 1/2 years of stringent training and know the laws of their country.

Peace is knowing that your neighbors, city and government value your well-being because they recognize that your individual well-being affects everyone.

Peace is knowing that when everything goes wrong that your community and your government have unlimited comprehensive financial and social assistance networks in place to prevent you and your family from living in abject poverty or more fatal consequences.

Peace is knowing that even if you struggle and are low-income or poor, it does not automatically mean that your children and grandchildren will share your fate.

Peace is knowing that you can put your faith and trust in your government and officials to protect your person and your economic interests.

Peace is knowing that your children will come home from school and talk about what they did and learned.

Peace is NOT worrying about whether or not your child made it safely to school or is safe at school or could they possibly have had an unexpected or inescapable encounter with the police, school security or criminal elements.

Peace is NOT being born into a poverty paradigm that places you at a nutritional/health, educational and soci0-environmental disadvantage.

Peace is NOT scheduling appointments with psychologists or psychiatrists for you or your loved ones due to PTSD symptoms caused by ongoing violence in your neighborhood.

Peace is NOT having absolutely no faith in your elected officials or your country’s security forces.

Peace is NOT worrying about your basic or universal human rights. Everyday.

In short, peace IS trusting that your universal human rights are recognized, respected, cherished and promoted by people and institutions within your country. Everyday.



Insight into the social security system of a leading social market economy Germany: 2014 Social Security at a Glance

Update: Germany: 2015 Social Security at a Glance

Insight into a capitalist nation’s poverty paradigm The United States: IPS-The-Poor-Get-Prison-Final

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Our Congress is Robbing Peter to Pay Paul


…and it’s a losing strategy.



House Farm Bill Moves Ahead With Big Cuts In Food Stamps

Simply put, our government is opting to pay farmers not to grow food and insure not yet planted crops while simultaneously electing to cut programs that feed people who are going hungry today, will be hungry tomorrow and chronically famished when the new crops are sown.

The utter dysfunction and unimaginable inhumanity of our socio-political and economic system is profoundly and perfectly demonstrated by this bill. Ours is not a government put in place for the good of its citizens. It is apparently there to cater to the interest of those who already have power and are not in need and not to those who are in desperate need of the most basic thing, their basic human rights.

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I’m So Proud of You

Graduation from Charles Drew School of Medicine in 1998

Graduation from Charles Drew School of Medicine in 1998

I’m so proud of you Robert L. Jackson, II.

My genius of a brother lives and breathes Science. He received his BS in Chemical Engineering at Stanford, his MD from the Charles Drew School of Medicine/UCLA, completed his Post Doctoral Fellowship at UCLA in Medical Molecular Pharmacology, was 1 of 5 recipients of the prestigious Hoechst Scholarship in Neurology in 1997 and a gracious and humble 2nd year preceptor at the Charles Drew School of Medicine.

His areas of expertise, or rather hobbies, are:

  • Cheminformatics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Engineering
  • Math
  • Physics
  • Quantum Physics
  • Quantum Chemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

He has struggled greatly these past 10 years. He’s survived non-publication, questionable treatment at the workplace, shattering depression and  breakdowns. We’ve fought tooth and nail with IP lawyers, employment lawyers and therapists against his demise. This afternoon I once again learned the importance of perseverance and persistence and the power of believing in oneself. After all of the horrific struggles and obstacles he’s faced, all he’s ever wanted to do is receive academic recognition for his work and, hopefully, contribute to the well-being of mankind.

Today, UCLA copyrighted 1 of his many inventions which he put forth for disclosure and publication 6 years ago. The claim back then was his invention couldn’t work and no one could understand it although several departments associated with the lab he worked in actively sought a collaboration with him on this very project. That was 6 years ago…

Here’s to my little brother and his High-Throughput In-silico Screening, Refinement, Organization & Classification (HISROC) invention which is designed to find bio-active agents effective against cancer cells with 95% accuracy…against all odds.

I’m so grateful that you’re still here and already working on the Next One…



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Piketty’s Capital: Lifting the Veil on Capitalism & Inequality

a capital in the 21st

Due to its high demand and its subsequent “Sold Out” status at bookstores, I do not have my own copy yet. But I am absolutely enthralled by this fact as it reflects how it is resonating with the global public. For those of you who haven’t yet familiarized yourselves with its content, please click on the following links and watch the video:

Why We’re in a New Gilded Age by Paul Krugman

Elizabeth Warren Simplifies Thomas Piketty

Trust Nothing, Verify Everything by David Auerbach


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Empathic Sanity


I’m so glad I’m still sane. But it’s difficult at times living in such an insane system fraught with deep flaws that is blindly supported, upheld, defended and applauded by the majority of Americans. I believe that the overwhelming majority of people would quickly move to fundamentally change things here if they had the same or similar experiences abroad as I have… with no regrets.
It would be a wonderful thing if the American public fully understood why Germany & Co. have a large, healthy & productive middle-class! What would happen in the USA if Americans “SAW” how the middle class thrives in other countries and the paradigms used to create opportunity? Documentaries of comparative living standards, anybody? A concerted campaign “SHOWING” how our middle class struggles where their counterparts in other countries thrive, anybody?
What’s a social market economy & the social compacts that drive them? Which nations have them? What’s the net effect for the public? How does our “free market economy/society” fare against a highly successful “social market economy/society”? Who are the beneficiaries? Why are we holding on to this antiquated and destructive  economic model which other nations have long left behind? Documentary on a thriving “social market economy” vs. our “free market economy”, anybody?
I greatly appreciate all who are seeking to expose the myth of the middle class in the United States as in The Middle Class Myth: Here’s Why Wages Are Really So Low Today. The crisis, however, is not based on the lack of unions or decreased bargaining power of organized labor. It is this country’s foundation…our socio-economic system.
Interesting background resources:

You don’t get what you pay for – The Great American Rip-off: The High Cost of Low Taxes from a previous post.

2005 Spiegel article from Jeremy Rifkin: Why the European Dream is Worth Saving

Jeremy Rifkin’s The Empathic Civilization

Jeremy Rifkin’s The European Dream

Please watch The European Dream – America’s Nightmare? starting at approx. 4:55:



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Happy and Pensive Martin Luther King Day!

This is what it is about…domestically and internationally.

Never Forget

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wishing everyone a Happy and Pensive Martin Luther King Day!

Frameworks for a viable, sustainable and, thus, thriving future:

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

The Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany (Germany’s Constitution) Germany has signed, ratified and implemented all treaties and covenants associated with The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the above, which we have obviously not ratified nor implemented.

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