Thursday, 13 November 2014

Kim Kardashian is a Marketing Genius; She sold sand to the beach and we all bought it

If Kanye West thinks he is a Musical Genius then his Wife is a Marketing Genius.
Think about it? During ‘The Fappening’, celebrity women’s bodies were snatched up on social media faster than when a child throws a completed deck of Pokemon cards in the air in a school playground and shouts “Scramble,”; frantically, immaturely and with little regard for who gets hurt in the process.

PLEASE click here to go to my New website to continue reading this article: Kim Kardashian Is A Marketing Genius; She Sold Sand To The Beach And We Keep Buying It…exism-women-face/

Antoine Allen

"The three 3 c's  of life; choice, chance and change. You have to make the choice, to take the chance, if you want anything to change"

Many Thanks to Actor Lee Night  for Proof Reading; following him on twitter at @TheLeeKnight
Hair Guru Nia Akpa of Nia Knows Hair (click here)

Friday, 8 August 2014

Most annoying question people who don't work in a office get asked! Why don't you have a "proper" job?

What is a job? You could simple say it's something that earns you an income i.e. money. However, some people give more weight to some jobs over others. Deeming some professions as not being "proper". Leading people to judge you. Leading people to underestimate your intelligence. Which can often lead you to doubt your path, your dream and yourself!

Who decides this jobs hierarchy?...
A Politician could say well i run the country. 
A Lawyer could say well i keep you in check.
A Doctor could say well i keep you both healthy.
A architect could say well i designed the building we are having this debate in. 
A Builder could say well i brought those designs to life.
A Policeman could say well i protect all of you and this building.
A Journalist could say well i told the people about this meeting and all of you.
An Actor could say well i entertained you when you finished work. 
A teacher could then say well i taught every single one of you.
In the end our jobs have a synergy, where each enables the other. Where each fulfils a need or a want in human society. We all have a role to play.

To us the life of creative and non-officer/9 to 5 workers is one of ups and downs. Its sitting next to the phone, email and Laptop waiting for that casting, audition, play, booking, shoot, film role, press launch, etc etc.

Society judges us by titles and superficial things. Often people see pictures and assume/Stereotypes about you. 
Most of us are more than just our job. 
Most of us are more than just our level of education. 
But people assume because you don't wear a suit everyday or work in an office that you don't lead a "proper" job or you lack intelligence. Yet a lot of the most intelligent, opinionated and eloquent people I have known never set foot in a university or don't own a suit/ nice dress. 
Some careers follow unconventional pathways of chasing an aspiration whilst trying to survive. This leads you to do the odd job that often is not your dream but enables you to keep pursuing your dreams. 

Whereas, some people lead lives where they are simply happy; they don't have expensive cars or money to waste spraying alcohol on each other but they do go home each day satisfied. 
Whereas others work in jobs they dislike but it provides them with the income to do the things that make them happy or buy the things that do. 
Finally, some people's dreams are achieved before others; they work in a job they love. Plus, the pay enables them to also buy/do the things they love. They are a minority in the work place! 

They say "do what you love and you will never work a day in your life"; however, most people don't get a chance to do what they love. Yet, it doesn't stop people from pursing those dreams and hope to do what they love one day! 
This is the nature of man; "horses for courses". We each do what best suits us. What best fits our worldview, hopes, dreams, commitments and confidence. 

To the the dream chasers...

It's a non linear employment; self-employment, Self drive, Self improvement and Self belief.

It doesn't follow the 9-5 monotony of regular employment.
It doesn't follow the i hate Mondays routine.
The waiting for the weekend routine.
Or the " i hate my job because in my heart i know i gave up my dreams to play it safe" routine.

It is the the last reason that is the provocation for the judgment. People who have achieved their dreams straight away or have given up on them often lack the empathy for those still living or chasing their dreams. They don't understand that to land that big job of consistent employment, you have to survive whilst waiting. So yeah, sometimes they may see you on the street handing out leaflets, samples or dancing in an unknown artists music video. They forget these bills aren't going to pay themselves. They forget that we much like them still have responsibilities and obligation. We are just the same as them; trying to survive and be happy. Except our survival is to enable us to keep chasing that dream. Keep applying ourselves every minute of everyday to "making it". So we can write that Facebook status or tweet "Finally landed, booked or got signed for the.... ".

I say what happens to those people if they lose their job? If they tie their self worth so tightly to their profession? Do they cease to be a "proper" and "worthy" person if they unemployed? Or is it as i believe, that we are more than the way we make money. We are more than the title on our CV. Or in my opinion all jobs would be unworthy when compared to those who teach our children(education professionals) or help us when we are sick(medical professionals).

So let us start valuing the dream, the ambition and the courage of people. 

Dreams and ambition come in many forms; some are complex and lofty. Some are simply having a home, family that loves you and enough money in your pocket to survive and then some. Courage can be pursuing that dream to reach the mountain top. Courage can also be excepting that you have to put your family over personal ambition or glory; not settling but accepting your role as the hero of your own household. We all make courageous decision in what we do in life. Let us respect each other's journey.

For the dreams and the believers; keep chasing those dreams. Sometimes you reach your destiny in record time. Most of the time you hit speed bumps along the way. You trip, you fall but it is up to you to get up and continue. Don't let temporary defeat knock your confidence in everlasting glory. Don't let a lack of support make you forget that your own spine, your own legs and your own mind are strong enough to carry you to your goals. You have the power to turn dreams into reality; be patient, be dedicated and keep believing!

That's all i have to say about that. 

I found this poem that Erykah Badu reads at the end of window seat:

"They play it safe are quick to assassinate  what they do not understand

They move in packs  ingesting more and more fear with every act of hate on one another

They feel most comfortable in groups less guilt to swallow 

They are us 

This is what we have become 

afraid to respect the individual"

A single person within a circumstance can move one to change 

to love herself

to evolve"

So, What's your opinion? is your job worthy? are other people's jobs less worthy? What is your dream? 

As usually feel free to comment below. All discussion is welcome!

Antoine Allen
"The three 3 c's  of life; choice, chance and change. You have to make the choice, to take the chance, if you want anything to change"

Friday, 6 June 2014

Sharing Videos of People caught being racist only makes problems worse!

Every so often, some unfortunate black person manages to be confronted by someone/people, so at ease with being racist, that they are willing to be filmed doing so.
This footage then spreads around the internet like wildfire. Trending like the numerous people caught on British transport to the current video from America of a Woman berating and using the 'N Word' at Black man in his car; whilst her kids play in the background. And the latest example of Chelsea Fans Stopping a Black Man in France from entering the train

It gives everyone an opportunity to make a nonverbal statement. 

Black people can say "look see i told you; people are still racist!"

White people can say "oh my god, i am not racist i shared this video and i am appalled". 

Then a few days later everyone goes back to living there day to day lives. Day to day lives that for some include their ignorant views on immigration, sharing of BNP literature, their inability to comprehend "non-blatant racism" and even go back to using the N word themselves or at least sharing the various memes that use is it so frivolously. Herein lies the hypocrisy of black and white society in general. 

It is far too easy to condemn the obvious whist ignoring bigger issues:
  • Issues like the lack of diversity in the media and television; name 5 current shows with a strong ethnic minority cast or positive portrayal? 
  • Issues like the glass ceiling within universities and the work places, that perpetuates a circle of inequality and social segregation. 
  • Issues like the growing ignorance in race relations; how many white people could define white privilege? How many black people could give an adequate explanation of why the N word use is ok for them and not for others? 
  • Issues like the racism within football grounds; If the Premiership/ Football League hired more ethnic minority referees then you would see the true extent of racism in football).
  • Issues like 'Black face' returning to schools and fancy dress parties; how many black people have actually explained why black face is offensive? How many White people are willing to listen and learn?   
  • Issues like the growing hatred of immigrants and muslims; Did you hear about the White Man March?
  • Issues like Hip Hop's proliferation of the use of N word and its impact on black and white relations: Isn't this the same week that Justin Bieber said the N word? Wasn't it just last week, that footage of Jeremy Clarkson say it was mad public?
  • Issues like the treatment of Aboriginal peoples; How many people shared of watched John Pilger's Utopia?
  • Issues like Donald Sterling; not once did he say the N word but what did he do? He displayed a mindset that showed his true feelings. His feelings that came from a person in a position to hire and fire. In a position to deny housing. In a position to influence. Not the blatant but inconsequential racism of a random woman with little to no influence in society. 
  • Issues like the growing divide and silence between races. People are afraid to talk about racial issues. However, those that are unafraid often make misguided or propaganda led statements. Why is it so hard for us to just ask questions of each others culture, likes and dislike?
Football fans like most groups of men act in unison. They hide behind the anonymity and security of the group setting. How many of these men would attempt to stop someone getting on to a train by themselves? Or sing such chants? People show their true colours in the freedom afforded to them when surrounded by like minded people; one need only look at the average Britain First post. 

Thus this video and the many others like it is not surprising to me; nor should it be to you. Nor should it be even acknowledged above issues that pay far for impact on people's ability to progress through society. 

N*ggers in Paris

The question then becomes how can i be as appalled by its use when Jay Z and Kanye West put it as the key word in the title of their song? Well I still can and i have made a video on this before. 

But when rappers and other members of the Black community use the word so much; i actually feel sorry for White people. Not those who would be using it regardless. Not those who would be using it out of hatred. But what of the impressionable "White kid"; who grows up listening to hip hop. Maybe has a few "black friends". Maybe they even do not correct him/her when they say the word. Maybe he/she is repeating it from a song or a film. Either way, that repetition said to the wrong person may end in an awkward or even violent confrontation. 

But that all said, i won't be sharing this particular video because it isn't anything new. Or anything worth sharing. I've been called a N*gger in real life and countless times on internet. None of which killed me. The problem becomes when people's actions are as strong as that word. People with power to stop you getting a job, university place or are supposed to protect and serve you. Or the people who throw the word with a punch, knife or some other weapon. 

It becomes difference between the blatant and the institutional racism. The difference between subjective and objective violence( Zizek's theory on how subjective violence merely distracts us from everything else that happens continuously). 

We already know about blatant racism! Black and White people already know there are a minority of racist white people. Just as there are minority of racist people from every race. But whilst pointless issues distract society, real issues go unshared. 

Why? because people might actually have to speak to each other. That is the problem with today. There are no picket signs. 

No "No blacks, dogs or irish allowed signs", 
No blatant segregation lines,
No Apartheid,
But to go with that there are no Martin Luther Kings, Malcolm X's, Rosa Parks or Nelson Mandela's. No one to speak for black people or even to promote discussion around issues. Mistakenly, Rappers have become the spokesperson for black people in popular media. Last time i checked, there were more black people who weren't rappers/hip hop artists than were. At no point did i elect Kanye West as my spokesperson....

WE as society. We as a humanity need open debate and discussion. People should not be afraid to talk about race. Black people should not fear being called sensitive or angry. White people should not fear being called ignorant or racist. We still need to learn more about each other's cultures and perspectives on the world.
Or all the progress we have made will continue to drift away with each coming generation.

With that all said; i always say judge videos by the comments that following them. Often issues can be truly understood by the comments of people who have witnessed the story. In this case, the mass condemnation of these thugs actions were pleasing!

What's your opinion? Do you think there is enough discussion on race relations?
What was your reaction to the video in question?

Comment below

Antoine Allen

Saturday, 3 May 2014

The hypocrisy of a sick world...

A man works at a factory and everyday he takes a wheelbarrow home.
Each day, he has to walk past a security guard. 
Each day, the security guard looks in the wheelbarrow and then lets him pass. The security guard suspects he is stealing something but he just can't spot what it is. 
After 50 years, he says to the man 
"look, i am retiring today, i won't tell anyone, what have you been stealing?"
"you promise not to say?"
"yes i promise, i have caught a guy stealing a pen for his daughter's homework, a few guys taking bread for their families to eat and even one guy taking tap water to clean his clothes... but you i just couldn't catch. Either you are the most honest man here or the most ingenious... "
"ok well, i have been stealing wheelbarrows all this time. I have a whole business now. I don't even need to work here."
"arghh, well too late now, have a nice day"

Sometime we look so hard for the hidden agenda, the cabal, secret organisation and conspiracy; that we miss the bigger picture and we miss the obvious. We end up demonise a man trying to survive and idolise a man exploiting the system and bleeding it dry. 

The obvious is...
We pay and respect people who entertain us more than people who educate, heal and keep us safe.
We pay politicians each year to cut jobs and keep us inline and in our places, instead of preparing us to free ourselves from this cycle of mediocrity, inequality and depression.
We fear people living the same struggles as us, with the same lack of power and think they are the ones taking our jobs.
We abuse drugs and alcohol more and then wonder why we have to wait longer at the hospital.
We support those who seek to divide us, more than those who will unite us around a common goal and struggle.
We seek headlines to show how the world is against us and then complain how the media is nothing but negativity. Forgetting that the media is a reflection on the way we perceive ourselves and our reality. 
We sit and watch other's live out fake realities on tv and then wonder why our own lives seem so boring. 
We cheer millionaires on luscious grass pitches playing with balls. 
But Jeer at Fireman, Teachers and Transport/Public Services workers striking; so they can get better pay and protect their pensions.
We say somebody should do something and forget we are somebody!
We applaud style over substance and wonder why there won't be anymore "i have a dreams"
Why? because a dream won't fit into 144 characters...

Here is why i think education is failing society and not teaching people what they need to know.

Antoine Allen 

What your thoughts? Are we living the dream? Comment below 

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

What if the gender roles of society were reversed? This film depicts the sexism women face

In a world, where the perceived roles and socially acceptable behaviour of women and men are reversed; this french film explores the sexual inequality and harassment that women face.

The film tackles the stereotypical interactions between men and women. The language we use when conversing with each other. Whereby a compliment can soon turn to vulgarity. The offering of a helping hand can be seen as a perceived assumption of a woman's 'weakness' or inability to help herself.

However, the most eye opening and poignant theme of the film, is the role clothing plays in gender politics. How the perception of what is and isn't provocative differs from men to women. For instance, the perception in clothing or lack of clothing is first portrayed in joviel manner; with  a 'woman' enjoying a toplesss run in the sunshine. Many Men and myself take this simple summer activity for granted.

However, in the sweltering heat the 'man' is harassed for wearing shorts and slightly unbuttoning his shirt. Even after being sexually assaulted, the blame is attributed  to the 'man's' clothing. With his own wife stating his clothing is too provocative rather than rightly blaming the criminal intentions of his attackers.

Clothing is symbolic of the different judgements Men and Women face. Whereby a man is free to express his confidence or inhibition with his own body through a lack of clothing. Whereas, a woman is unjustly judged on what she wears and the reaction it could provoke. A women becomes a prisoner to what the masculine society deems is acceptable for her to wear.

What are you thoughts? Is this a fair reflection of the difficulties women face? Is there still a masculine world or is there now more equality?

Comment below you opinions.

Here is the film

For more stories and discussion topics like this, check out the other posts.
So good luck on your journey. Enjoy every step of this amazing life!

I always say the Three Cs of life are choice, chance and change; YOU have to make the choice to take the chance, if you want anything to change.

Antoine Allen

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Don't be ashamed of being happily Single. Might be the best status for you; here's why!

can't be bothered to read? click here for audio version
Valentines day, Birthdays, wedding invites, double dates and romantic movies; all just a reminded that you don't have a boo, bae, bf, gf, lover, snuggle bunny... 

You feel upset. Somewhat of an outcast on facebook, as everyone post pictures of their partners, their holidays and what they received from their partners. Namely girls boasting about the amount of flowers their guys were willing to kill, to express their love for them! 

You begin to look at your own empty flower pots; pinning for some roses, that will only wilt with time...

But what do you have? You have just that; time. Time to find someone? Time for someone to find you? But most importantly time to find yourself! 
They say opposites attract... 

To an extent, yes but really we are attracted to people who share our interests. People we can share a laugh, movie and meal with. How long will the sharing last if you don't have one similar interest ie complete opposites. 

However that isn't the question here. Question is how do you find someone who shares your interest or even an opposite; if you do not know yourself!

So, being single is an opportunity. An opportunity to find yourself. An opportunity to use that heart ache as fuel for your new journey; much like the story of Sam the 70 year old bodybuilder.( all kind of gains come when you are single!)

An opportunity to work on the person you always wanted to be. An opportunity to achieve those goals you set yourself. An opportunity to find love for yourself.

They say you can't fully love someone else, until you learn to love yourself. Often it is our lack of content and love for ourselves that makes us feel we need someone else to validate our existence. Someone else to let us know we are beautiful, intelligent and worth loving. YOU need to know you are beautiful. Feel it inside of you and appreciate it when you look in the mirror. Or your lack of love for yourself will only be a burden on your new relationship.
We have all been in those relationships, where we find someone has become emotionally draining. At first they say "you are so strong" and we say "i can be strong for the both of us"  but week, month or years go by and our strength has been drained by their constant negativity. Khalil Gibran says
"Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. 

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow."

So use your time being single to make sure your own cup is full. Make sure the roots to your tree are strong enough to take care of themselves. Then you will enrich your new partners life rather than be a burden upon them.

I am no Khalil Gibran but i say a relationship is like a rainbow; Do not search for the rainbow, as you most likely will not find one. Even when you think your world is nothing but rain storms and cloudy days; keep looking up. One day that sunshine is going to shine in your life and you will forget those miserably days. However, until that time you need to find the sunshine within yourself. Be your own source of light and inspiration. This will allow you to be ready to marvel at the splendor when you finally find yourself that rainbow. Yet, understand it takes both rain and sunshine to make a rainbow; there will be good and bad days. Just say dedicated and patient.

So don't go out searching for love. Find yourself. Find the things you love to do. The places you love to go. And you know what? the funny thing is; along the way you will find people who share your interests. The stranger thing is; you will most likely find that person you weren't looking for. As you were busy finding yourself, they were busy finding themselves. You found each other!

You found each other at a time whereby you both were enjoying something you love to do. It will be the first of many things you share together!

One day that new sunshine in your life is going to look at you like they have been waiting to find you the whole of their life.

If you take one thing from this post, let this be it. To love, is to be open, to be open is to be willing to receive, to receive is to be willing to lose, to lose is to be ready for pain. But when ready for pain you can embrace happiness, when happy you fear no loss, for what you have lost is only fraction of what you have received. When you're open to life, you will love it.

Want to share this post... but know your friends are to lazy to read it all? i have a video version of this post now.... check it out

For more stories and inspiration like this, Click on my other posts below:
  1. Feeling lost? Remember these words
  2. No one is perfect, but why do we follow people whom we say are perfect?
  3. Why Do You Keep Making Bad Choices? And How to stop! 

So good luck on your journey through life. Remember to enjoy every step of this amazing life!

I always say the Three Cs of life are choice, chance and change; YOU have to make the choice to take the chance, if you want anything to change.

Antoine Allen

Follow on Twitter/Instagram @AntoineSpeakson