How to Be an E-Sports Caster

A few weeks ago, I met up with and covered an event with Justin Varghese, an E-sports broadcaster in the local DFW scene. I followed him around, interviewing him and his broadcast partner, Nebtune. They operate as JV and Neb for the E-sports company Tourney Locator. Follow the duo as the broadcast weekly events through the company’s official Twitch stream!

Below are images of the magazine spread I created from that experience. Let me know what you think below, even if you hate it.


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The boiling of the Democratic stew

It only takes a few minutes of watching MSNBC or FOX to see that the Democratic Party nominations have gotten to that awkward stage right before matters get ugly. Both candidates recently began tearing at the viability of the other in an escalating Cold War of words. While I’m in favor of sprinting toward the finish line, at what point does the image of the eventual nominee begin to suffer?

For a duo of campaigns that originally served as a contrasting foil to the opposition, the present is bearing a closer resemblance to the 2016 Republican mudslinging party. While Sanders is far off from calling Clinton a “sniveling, low coward”, and Clinton won’t be attaching “Lying” to Sanders nametag anytime soon, both candidates bear risk in allowing the competition to get too out of hand.

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, right, speaks, as Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton listens, at the NBC, YouTube Democratic presidential debate at the Gaillard Center, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

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No, you’re not a misogynist if you don’t like the new Ghostbusters trailer.

It’s been four days since the new Ghostbusters trailer dropped and reactions couldn’t be more divided and vehement. This reboot comes to us 32 years after the first time we were asked ,’Who ya gonna call?’.

The new production features an all-female quartet of Kristen Wiig, Melissa Mcarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones as the titular team of scientists dedicated to cleansing the big apple of paranormal activity. Take a look at the trailer if you haven’t already caught it.

The day after the trailer dropped, the internet was ablaze with comments.

While some will point to sexism as the reason behind some of the criticism, and others will say the film is pandering to the social awareness of the millennial generation. But before you make your judgement on the movie, I implore you to watch everything that made the original trailer so much fun to watch.

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Why I’m voting for Hillary Clinton (Part2)

I wrote this as a sequel to a post from earlier this week on my other blog. That one was for class, but this one dives further into racial motivations behind supporting the Clintons. Please check out part 1. 

I hear a lot of confusion from people my age when they hear that I or any other black person is voting for Hillary Clinton. Go ahead and get your jokes out of the way now, because I have a lot of explaining to do.
One of the first things I hear is, “Why would you support the Clintons? They have done the black community no favors and have labeled your young as ‘Super Predators in the past’”. So let’s talk about that.

In the above clip, Madam Clinton makes reference to the rise in youth gang rise, specifically implying that minority children were to blame. In the video she called them ‘super predators’ incapable of empathy who needed to be ‘brought to heel’. This, of course, is problematic because of the dehumanizing nature of Hillary’s word choice. Yes, it was vicious and condescending, but it was also 20 years ago. No, I don’t support the rhetoric. And yes, she has apologized since.

Twenty years ago the nation was in the midst of a crime epidemic in its major cities, affecting many minority neighborhoods in particular. I don’t know if you know this, but the 90’s were rough for the black community. As a community we were still feeling the effects of the crack epidemic AND watching members of our community succumb to AIDS/HIV. The consensus was that the streets needed cleaning through tough legislation that a MAJORITY of Americans – regardless of color – endorsed. At the time, Bill Clinton’s tough on crime rhetoric was deemed necessary by society. And for a time, inner city minority populaces prospered from these reforms. Neighborhoods were made safer with the unintended consequence of prisons overcrowding in disproportionate populations. It was a double edged sword that both protected members of the community and targeted others – but it was needed at the time. There goes one point to Clinton from the black community – cleaning up our streets. Clinton administration legislation made it so that a young Kendrick Lamar didn’t get shot through his own front window while watching cartoons and eating cereal. As somebody who once came home to a yellow tape outline where somebody died on my front porch as a kid, I can tell you about the violence that can precipitate in lower-income minority communities. I’ve also been the subject of unfair racially motivated targeting.

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The Pros and Cons of a global community

Culture and arts have always had an entangled relationship. The arts exist to document, celebrate and critique the culture of a given society. The same relationship exists between news and history, news being the conduit through which we remember historical events.

Now the point of this blog isn’t to throw around banal platitudes from atop a perch, but rather to share a lens with whoever should be reading. It’s to combine elements of the above, drawing from urban culture, internet humor and music. All of which will be brought to you from atop my personal soapbox.

Globalization has the melting pot effect on culture. But like any sort of stew, ingredients of larger quantity can overpower the taste of lesser inclusions. Take American culture, example. Globalization is the reason why kids in North and South Korea can eat Big Macs and stream The Interview on their iPhones. But what can the average American tell me about Korea besides Kim Jong-un and Gangnam Style?

I’ll be waiting in the comment section for that deep insight on Korean culture.

The biggest fear many have of globalism/globalization is the adoption or assimilation of culture which can have the negative effect of washing out individual culture in favor of a globally subscribed one. This is something I like to call The Walmart Effect.

Outside of the realm of very specific needs, why would anyone forgo the convenience of Walmart when buying general items? Instead of a going to a butcher or a florist, Walmart provides a convenient and general selection of similar goods. The price of that convenience is the death of the majority of specialty shops. It’s harder to survive in a Walmart world. The same can be said for global culture. As we move towards a stronger global identity, individual contributions will be lost in their inclusion.

The antecedent to this is the power of influence or strength of ingredients if we’re using the melting pot analogy. Countries in developing markets are becoming consumers, no longer selling their goods to be leeched on by the global economy. This increases their stock in the global market and influence in culture.

But none of this answers if Globalization is a “bad” or “good” thing. The answer to that comes from the intention of the inquirer. I personally look forward to a global community commenting, liking and contributing to the same beast. But I also believe in preservation of diversity.

Let me know how you feel in the comments.

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RePost: Homophobia in Hip-hop

*Caveat: I wrote this awhile back on my other blog and I was vibing with it so I thought I'd repost it here.*

For awhile, hip-hop and homophobia lived in the same house. They shared friends, as Hip-Hop openly shouted homophobia out. Rewind back to 2003, Hip-Hops prototypical homophobic anthem, “Where the Hood at?”.

“Man, cats don’t know what it’s gonna be
Fuckin with a nigga like me,
Last I heard, y’all niggas was havin sex,with the same sex
I show no love, to homo thugs
Empty out, reloaded and throw more slugs
How you gonna explain fucking a man?
Even if we squashed the beef, I ain’t touching ya hand
I don’t bunk with chumps, for those who been to jail
That’s the cat with the Kool-Aid on his lips and pumps
I don’t fuck with niggas that think they broads
Only know how to be one way, that’s the dog”

X criticized homosexuals in the urban community, most notably cross dressers an those he deemed to not be “hood enough.” Today DMX would be languished for those same lyrics on all sorts of major new outlets.

The landscape of hip-hop/urban culture has changed radically in my lifetime. That was 10 years ago. Just last year, Frank Ocean, an R&B artist who admitted to his first love being a man, won a Grammy. And nobody batted an eyelash when he walked on stage to claim his prize.

The point is that the ill-fated marriage between Hip-Hop and homophobia failed horribly. Artists are treated as such, and aren’t subject to questions over how “hood” they are.

It’s a wave that started with rappers like Kanye West, criticizing the culture and Drake, opening up on topics that were taboo, like fear, vulnerability and emotional pain.

But none of this means that hip-hop itself is resolved on the divisive issue of sexuality. While few would openly be homophobic in today’s urban music culture, there are still negative attitudes present.

Two years ago, recording artist Chris Brown was allegedly involved in analtercation with Frank Ocean, reportedly calling him a “faggot”. The subsequent brawl that left Frank with several lacerations is one of those ugly blemishes I mentioned earlier.images

These things happen when culture changes before the individual attitudes that contribute to it do. However,in order for a culture to change, influential minds have to champion the cause so that others pay attention.

Macklemore is a example of such. 12 years ago when DMX was barking into microphones, he couldn’t have imagined that a white rapper would top the charts with an anti-homophobic anthem of his own.

Although controversial, his forward thinking album, The Heist, with Ryan Lewis progressed the conversation about personal liberties and acceptance of all. In fact, the album won a Grammy last year. Evidence that Hip-Hop may have for once and for all deleted Homophobia’s number from it’s phone.


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Abroad in Italy.

For the past two months, I’ve been abroad in Italy. For all things concerning this, check out my new blog.
It’s more of a personal blog for my travel logs and other things that come up. I don’t always feel like doing a full length article, so this new one is more for blurbs about my experiences.
I’ll still be updating THG, but the new one is my main focus for now!

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