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Blue Scholars' Bayani

Mad different from their live, band-backed show, but still tight. It's nice to have my hands on it a month before it comes out nationally. Hopefully, when it drops, its publisher, Rawkus, will help it get the recognition it deserves. This shit could be a crossover hit if it just gets enough exposure. If the Seattle hip-hop scene is going to break nationally, this is the level its albums will have to be at.

Though it's pop friendly, Bayani stands as an artistic move forward for Geo and Sabzi, both of whom show growth in their trade on this disc. More importantly, the two have exhibited greater synergy with each new release. Their latest record has an expanded sound; each track sets its own tone while remaining consistent with the whole of the album. As has been pointed out in local reviews, it doesn't entirely abandon the boom-bap sound or leftist principles that made the Scholars local heroes. There are a few party tracks that could be bumped by some frat boys without much thought, sure, but most of the tracks hit hard, with an explicitly radical and populist bent.

Which brings me to another point. I think it's awesome that so many young kids in Seattle are receptive to such an openly political group. And I'm glad that the Scholars have the courage and conviction to express their ideals and problems in music. A lot of celebrities are activists, but not so many of them tie their careers to their beliefs. The Blue Scholars are happy to do both.


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-Calling a person a 'front runner' before votes are counted is just plain wrong.  Calling one a front-runner after some votes are counted is slightly misleading.  The race isn't about who the media thinks is ahead, and it is only indirectly about who gets the most votes.  What really matters is accruing the most delegates.  In the race for a major party's nomination for POTUS, the guy with the most delegates-who-will-actually-vote-for-him-at-their-national-convention is ahead. If no delegates have been awarded, there isn't really a front-runner, no matter what polls might say.

-I doubt the primary process will hurt the eventual Republican nominee for POTUS all that much.…

Pointless Ruminations on the Absurd

The world around us is in no way required to conform to our expectations, beliefs, or desires. Rather, it is all but guaranteed to disappoint us, at least once or twice a lifetime. The loftier (or more deeply felt) our ideals, the more this may be true.

When we accept this incongruity and are keenly aware of it, but cannot change our thinking, absurdity steps in. The world no longer quite makes sense. It is untethered from rational or moral concerns, adrift in a bizarre joke told by no one.
Desire for normative order is often irrational and misplaced. Placing ethical constraints on amoral matters makes no sense. Yet these appear (sometimes, seemingly) inescapable conclusions. Hence the sensation of absurdity.

We can apply these incongruous demands to anything and anyone. But this is not a universal philosophy. It is a philosophy of the self, a diagnosis.

Magical Unrealism

The same men who say global warming is a hoax, Obamacare has been failing for eight years, and abstinence-only sex-ed works are also convinced even basic gun control is an impossible and useless approach which would only make us less safe. These are also the dudes most likely to tell you black and brown folk have it too good, Obama is a secret Muslim born in Kenya, and Sharia law is being forced on American legal systems. I wonder if there's some sort of overarching thread or theme to all this.