Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Leftovers

Congratulations Ole Miss Rebels!
We beat the Gators 31-30

Katie Couric
CBS News

Gov. Bill Richardson (D)

AristoEndorsement: Obama for President

The presidential election is upon us, and it is crucial that we have a president in office who can implement innovative ideas and bring a new approach to politics. I believe John McCain represents more of the same and is not prepared to propel us into the future. The economic crisis, our role in the global political system, and the fight against terrorism requires a nuance approach. I disagree with John McCain on a variety of issues. I don't think more trickle down economics is the way to fix the economy. We tried it. Under President Bush, the wealthy received tax cuts, and they received these cuts as the economy continued to decline. It did not prevent the inevitable. Under President Bush (and prior to last week, John McCain shared this traditionally conservative fiscal platform), our financial institutions and corportations operated without regulation and oversight. Thus, they were freely able to play monopoly with taxpayer's money. Now, they want us to fund a $700 billion bailout. That's not very republican. What about traditional principles of a free market and capitalism? It seems pretty hypocritical. When your average citzen makes bad decisions, the government doesn't bail you out. Republicans would argue that this scenario is socialism. However, asking those same people to bailout CEOs is to protect the economy and to try to solve the financial crisis. And therein lies the catch 22 for the republican party. They are having an identity crisis as they are unable to cohesively define their party platform. The Republicans NEED a break, right? It is time for the Democrats to take office. The political pendulum is in the democrats' corner.
I also disagree with John McCain's approach to foreign affairs. This cowboy-no blinking-chase em down to the ends of the Earth attitude cannot be the role of the president in these times. There is a fine line between strength and foolish pride. To suggest that Obama's idea for meeting with our enemies is a bad thing is irresponsible. We have to build up allies and at least working relationships with hostile countries as a means of destroying terrorist cells opperating within those countries. At least if we can come to an accord with some countries, we can get to some terrorist groups. Of course, this will not work in every case, but again, we have tried things one way, and now it is time for a change.
Senator McCain's views on domestic issues are also equally archaic and reflective of the old days. This rhetoric of wanting to overturn Roe v. Wade is ridiculous. I completely disagree with the traditionally conservative stances regarding social issues. I don't think we should legislate from the Bible and I don't think that we should micro manage the moral compasses of American citizens. The freedom of expression and thought are fundamental rights that the government should never infringe upon. How one chooses to express themselves, speak, live their life, or pursue their happiness should not be statutorily regulated when it is not infringing upon the rights of anyone else.
Some people criticize Obama supporters for not really knowing why they support him. Well, I am informed of both candidates' platforms and I have made an educated choice based on reason. After that, yes, there is an undeniable emotional component attached to the notion of our first black president taking office. However, he should be elected because he is the best man for the job. Like Chris Rock said, the first black to do anything was that simply because he or she was better than everybody else. We know their names: Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Jackie Robinson, Frederick Douglas, Thurgood Marshall, Oprah Winfrey, and now Barack Obama. John McCain and Sarah Palin don not represent change. They offer a similar message that we have heard before. It is time for a change, and we cannot afford four more years of the same policies that have led us to this critical point in history.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Aristocratic Adventures: Debate Week

The 2008 Presidential Debates took place on the Univeristy of Mississippi Campus. It was a historic moment during which our nation's first African American candidate, Sen. Obama, battled it out with Senator John McCain. I was able to witness all this live and in person. I started off watching this debate in CNN's correspondant spot in the debate hall in front of Candy Crowley. Later, I moved down to the floor to get a closer glimpse of history in the making. It had been a long week, culminating in this moment in which I could lay witness to history in the making. I personally thought the debate was a bit flat. Especially in the beginning where it seemed as if they took the time to argue the fundamental difference between a republican and democratic as it relates to fiscal spending. I found that discussion fruitless. In light of the drama this week and the economic crisis, I don't know how convincing either candidate was in addressing the $700 billion dollar elephant in the room.

But, I don't want to talk about the debate itself so much as I want to reflect on the wonderful week I had as a CNN runner. It was an invaluable experience and I got to meet a lot of really awesome individuals. It was incredibly thrilling and fast-paced. There is so much that goes into what you actually see on television. I got to meet Susanne Malveaux, Candy Crowley (pictured above in the middle), Bill Schneider, Ed Henry, and Dana Bash. In addition to the CNN crew, I saw (and occasionally met) Katie Couric (gorgeous in person, a stunner), Tom Brokaw, Shepard Smith, Sean Hannity (but, he is really terrible), Andrea Mitchell (NBC), Bill Richardson, John Kerry, Rudy Guilliani (I know that is not how he spells his name but he, like Hannity, is awful), and Madeleine Albright (wow).

It was really crazy. I would just stand around and all these people would just pop up like anyone else walking around. I have to say that Candy Crowley (CNN senior political analyst) was incredible. She is so accomplished and intelligent and yet in person she is very warm, kind, and like family. We actually got to talk alot, and I instantly bonded with her. I just wanted to talk to her. I didn't want anything from her or to steal her attention, I just WANTED to talk to her and hear her thoughts on things going on in the world. We talked about family things, politics, and a brief mention of Anderson Cooper (a good friend of hers). She also was kind enough to write a note to my mom in the little debate booklet I got in the hall. She wrote, "Barbara, you have a really terrific son. I know I will see him again doin really important stuff." I got her contact and several others in CNN, and I am going to check in with her from time to time because she is a really great person. Candy rocks!
I really enjoyed the experience! I took so much away from the internship and I think I may have made some new friends. It was already a dream come true to work with CNN, but to be able to have this experience, meet all of these incredible people I watch on TV, meet politicians who have helped to shape our country, and to witness the first African American debate at Ole Miss was more than I could have ever thought of. I am so motivated and assured. I got compliments from people who don't give them lightly. I know that I am on my way. I have already claimed a little bit of what's in store for the future. I didn't tell Candy Crowley and Susanne Malveaux good-bye, I told them that I would see them later. And I will!

I didn't expect to be actually in the Ford Center for the entire debate. It was a last minute pleasant surprise. It was hinted at, though. After one of a few conversations with Candy, she had told a one of the CNN people that myself and Brantley (one of the other interns) should have a media pass to get into the debate, because as we joked earlier, "what Candy wants, Candy gets." In the end, our supervisor got us in to the debate with our media passes. Earlier in the week, I was able to get a photo in front of Obama's podium. I didn't even realize that he would be at that one either.
In all it was an awesome time! And I here there were really good times to be had in the Grove yesterday. I am really proud of my school and all the great things that our happening. I have been able to do so many great things in taking advantage of everything this university has to offer. Now, I understand that quote that is in Union stair well about how one "never really graduates from Ole Miss."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Aristocratic Style Hall of Fame: Billy Dee Williams (1974)

Billy Dee Williams
He defined cool in the 1970s and exhibited a confidence and swagger that predated Diddy. He had a commanding presence and impeccable style. He was the orginal Aristocrat

Aristocratic Thoughts: Poli-Ticking Me Off

1. The traditional conservative platform has been predicated upon the principles of "small government." Implicitly, this means de-regulation, less government oversight, and by all means never taking money from the rich to fund social iniaitives. Yet, has it not been these traditionally conservative ideals that enabled these financial corporations to plat monopoly with taxpayer's money. And now, that same party (and its present head -- President Bush) have concocted a huge bailout in which we will take taxpayer's money to take to save the economy. Sort of like we have taken huge amounts of taxpayer's money to fight "evil" and "terrorism" in a war, apparently "a mission from God." I believe the Republican paty thinks everybody, including members of their own base, are stupid. Sure, there needs to be a "bailout," but let's not give CEOs a comfy ride. According to conservatives, tax money should not go towards helping individuals, right? Hypocracy is not aristocratic.

2. Now, Sen. McCain, in attempt to put "country first," has suspended his campaign to go back to Washington and help solve the problem. But the fundamentals of the American economy are sound, right? And now, he is for government oversight and regulation. Moreover, Senator McCain has asked to postpone the debate that is scheduled to take place tomorrow night. That's right, the millions Ole Miss has spent will have been for nothing. I don't know why the debate would have to be cancelled unless Congress plans on meeting all night Friday. Shouldn't a president be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. This is Senator Obama's point. And he has said that he will be in Mississippi on Friday for the Debate. Plus, it was actually Obama who first contacted McCain about issuing a joint-statement. Senator McCain took the opportunity to make it seem like he took the higher road. He seems to be caught in between the proverbial rock and a hard place. If he suuports Bush's proposed bailout, he loses ground as a maverick and reformer. However, if he doesn't make a grand show of heading back to Washington, then he is not putting country first. I wonder where McCain thinks the money from any bailout would come from? In McCain's plan, he has asserted that he will cut taxes. If anyone thinks that taxes won't go up, they are living in a fool's paradise, especially if this bailout goes through. Also, I happened to catch a little of Fox News yesterday, and there were reports coming from McCain's camp that they think the scheduled first VP debate should be the first presidential debate. After cradling Sarah Palin and continuing to limit her speaking to controlled scenarios, the Republicans again, must believe we are all dumb. They do not let he speak freely or allow the press to ask her questions. The very idea that people would say now that the first VP debate should be the presidential debate is absurd. McCain camp's tactics are so brazenly obvious.

3. Governor Palin went on a tour and continues in her refusal to talk to the press or have any uncontrolled moments with them. Or maybe I should say that she is not being allowed. But of course, that would be sexist wouldn't it? Has there ever been a VP nominee with so much heat surrounding her, so much to answer for, and who has gotten away with not talking about it. And even in the interviews she has had, she comes off nervous, unsure, and in some cases clueless. The Republicans are quick to call sexism at any mention of topics that Palin herself has submitted for public scrutiny. She discusses her experience with the PTA, being a hockey mom, and mother as credible work experience qualifying her for the job. We don't talk about McCain, Biden, or Obama's experience as a father that would qualify them so why do we even discuss Sarah Palin's experience as a mother as credible experience? And even if you were to go down that road, her daughter is pregnant with the baby of some silly teenaged boy. If you were to scrutinize her "mother qualifications," she did not have good judgment. If her parenting skills are synonymous with her policymaking, then she does not teach her kids sex education and demands that if they get pregnant, they should have the baby at all costs. Fortunately, I believe the magic is gone, and people are beginning to re examine her credibility.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Aristocratic Adventures: CNN and the Road to Debate

AristoLife: Indoor Cycling

I have been teaching an indoor cycling class at the university's Turner Center for a couple of years now. I personally never thought that I would ever instruct a high intensity cardio workout. As someone who was a little heavier growing up, I could never run long distances at all. I lifted weights but I never added sufficient cardio training to the routine. In reality, true fitness incorporates strength training, flexibility training, and cardiovascular training into every workout. So, while I was in Mexico, I really started to do a lot of cardio. I had already began started taking cycling classes before I left, and so I kept that up in Mexico. However, on top of the weight training and cylcing, I had to walk everywhere I went in Mexico. I walked and walked. In addition to the walking, I ate healthier. The authentic Mexican diet is very rich and can be very natural as they often times cook everything from scratch (at least my house mother did) and there is not a lot of processed chemicals. At any rate, I leaned out a lot and have kept up my workouts ever since. I generally believe that a healthy and fit body is prepared to face the world. Regardless of what your career path may be, you cannot do your job justice if you are not "taking care of home." And home begins with you, and it begins with a decision to take control of your personal health and your quality of life. It is to hold yourself accountable and to formulate a plan to help modify your diet and exercise activity (or lack thereof) so that you can live your best life.
Aristocrats lead an Aristolife...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Aristocratic Living: Van Buren Village

Van Buren Village
Oxford, MS
Who would of thought this small country town would begin to sprout elegant residential living. Van Buren Village is just one of several new upscale condos in Oxford. These are just one of many reasons why Oxford is becoming an increasingly popular place to retire.

Aristocrats: Jada and Brantley

Jada and Brantley
Oxford, MS
At the Ole Miss v. Vanderbilt game

Friday, September 19, 2008

Anniversary of the Jena 6 Protests

Talk show host Michael Baisden and the Rev. Al Sharpton in Louisiana during the Jena 6 protest. Regardless of your opinions of the two, the protests were successful in demonstrating the courage and mobility that still exists within the African American community. Although I do believe that we need new leaders to tackle modern challenges, I respect the work Sharpton and Baisden do in bringing awareness to certain issues and sparking a lot of conversation and heated debate.

On the Rise: Brantley Sanderson

There are individuals content with conformity, and then there are those who strive to break the mold. Brantley Sanderson is not content with being just like everyone else and this is evidenced by his various involvements at the University of Mississippi. As a member of the university Multicultural Affairs Programming Support Committee, he spearheads activities and events aimed towards bringing diverse groups together. Brantley is able to vacillate between different groups with ease. He does not do so in vain, but with every encounter, he seeks to come closer to a deeper understanding of the human condition. Though we all want to believe that we can meet individuals without first acknowledging race, Brantley is one of the few individuals I have met whose race was not the first thing to register. It was only after a few months of getting to know him that I realized he was white. He is eager, determined, and always looking beyond his present. If you haven't met him, then you should definately get to know Brantley Sanderson.

Aristocrat: Mary Warner

Mary Warner
Oxford, MS
"Classic, stylish, timeless"
Mary Warner gets it. There is something so authentic and real about her that shines through in every aspect of her life. As soon as you walk into her house, you know she lives there. She appears to be comfortable in her own skin and I find that very endearing. She is a class act.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Waltz on the Square: Oxford, MS

Waltz on the Square
Oxford, MS
Great food in a nice upscale environment. It is a great alternative to the bars or fast food.

Aristocratic Adventures: Reflecting on Mexico

I took this photo while I was studying abroad in Queretaro, Mexico. It was an amazing experience. I had no idea how dynamica and fascinating the Mexican culture was before I arrived in this historic city. Moreover, I was in Mexico during an important election year. The country had been under a single party dictatorship for 71 years. In 2006, that party, PRI, lost its denomination over Mexican politics (seemingly). Mexico's presidents hold office for six years, and I arrived in 2006. This was the second "free and fair election" since PRI lost its power. I attended political rallies and protests. I even got to see the Neo Zapatistas hold a rally in support of socialist party PRD. I was also able to see the country's current president, Felipe Calderon, while he was campaigning in Queretaro. I am fluent in Spanish and so I was able to understand all his politcal rhetoric. It was fascinating to see how similar politics work in foreign lands. Gifted speakers make promises they cannot guarantee all for votes. No small wonder that many Mexican presidents studied at some of the United States' ivy league institutions.

I took this photo while on a trip to Mexico City, the LARGEST city in the world. This picture was shot from inside the ruins of Aztec capital Tenochtitlan. The photo captured the large cathedrals in the distance. But if you look closer, the picture is an illustration of what took place hundreds of years ago. The Spanish and their Catholicism came to the New World and overtook the indigenous tribes to eventually build up their society on top of the Aztecs. This was the story across the Americas: Europeans brought disease, death, and ruin to these native inhabitants disguised as good will and God's word.

God loves, man kills

Aristocrats: Nicole and Tangala (9/17/08)

Nicole and Tangala
Third Year Law Students
Oxford, Mississippi

Ole Miss for Obama Rally

I was sent an invitation to this even via Facebook so I will just post what the organizers wrote:

Come on out and join us for a night of food and music in support Barack Obama. Music will feature Garry and Cedric Burnside, and many other musicians from North Mississippi. Food, libations, dancing, and hope for our country will be there all night long! The rally will feature an open mic for all who wish to give words of inspiration for the next President of the United States. The admission is $10.00 with all proceeds benefiting Ole Miss for Obama and the Obama Campaign. Food and drink extra. Cash only. Directions:From Oxford, MS: Take Hwy 7N across Tallahatchie River Bridge and pass Betty Davis grocery on the left. Just after the BP Station on the right, turn left on Hamilton Chapel Rd., and turn left on Old Oxford Rd. (at 3-way stop). Foxfire is the only entrance on the left.From Holly Springs, MS: Take Hwy 7S about 13 miles pass Wall Doxey State Park, turn right on Hamilton Chapel Rd., and turn left on Old Oxford Rd. (at 3-way stop). Foxfire is the only entrance on the left.

The contact email is

Sunday, September 21, 2008
5:00pm - 11:00pm
Foxfire Ranch
1465 Old Oxford Rd.
Waterford, MS

Trash This: 'Soulja Boy Tell Em' is not Hip Hop

"I remember when I fell in love with hip-hop..." These words start the movie Brown Sugar. In the film, hip hop and it's progession, evolution, rape, and redemption were juxtaposed with the relationship between the movie's main lovers Dre and Sid. In the movie, Dre finds himself working in the recording industry where he struggles to sign talent that is both marketable to the mainstream public and true to and respectful of hip hop's origin.

Now, here's the thing. Much like the black and white Bentley photo, art is in the eye of the beholder. Such is the case with hip hop music. Now, I am not presuming to be the preeminent aficionado of all things rap. I merely believe in looking closer, and looking to the deeper meaning to lyrics. I am trying to get a story or a lyrical illustration of some deeper meaning behind the words. Outkast raps about real issues, as does Lupe Fiasco and occasionally Lil Wayne. And sometimes I recognize that some rap is just about having fun and it doesn't have to have a meaning (or even include proper use of the English language) like the Yin Yang Twins. But there is a fine line between fun and buffoonery. Some artists walk that line, and some completely cross over to minstrel territory. That is to say, there is a point when rap music becomes offensive and disrespectful. Not offensive in the obvious meaning, but offensive in its brutal assault on the art form and creating a stark image for the American public.

We have started to produce, package, and sell processed meat to the public. And then we get surprised when America gets high blood pressure. That is to say these popular images can often begin to define a race rather than be a funny snap shot of the few.

Some of this rap today is not hip is hip-pop. There is no artistry or unique and groundbreaking style that goes into the creation of this brand of rap music. It is processed meat that will not stand the test of time. Years from now we will look back and realize how stupid we all looked doing the "crank dat" dance.

This is not aristocratic, THROW IT AWAY.

Aristocratic Style: Get this Look

This is a good look! J. Crew is the go to for classic American style with an array of cardigans, sweater vests, trenches, knit ties, and blazers. J. Crew can take you from The Grove to the weekend get away to South Hampton (or Gulf Shores, LOL!).
If you don't want to pay the J.Crew prices though, many retailers are selling vests like the one seen here. And you can find khakis and oxford shirts anywhere. Wear this, and remember, confidence looks good with anything. So power up the swagger.

Aristocratic Health: Snack on This -- True North

True North is a new brand of snacks. They are really great snacks to keep to snack on throughout the day or to have in the kitchen. I prefer the Almond clusters, as almonds are one of the best nuts you can eat (they are great for your health, research it online).
If you want a good substitute to greasy chips, salty cashews, or chocolate bars, these are the snacks you should get. True Aristocrats live well, and that includes a healthy diet.

Aristocratic Style: Wear This -- Leather Bomber by GAP

I try to be perpetually well-dressed. At any rate, people often compliment me on my style so I thought I share what I think you should be wearing. This leather jacket is evokes Billy Dee Williams in the 1970's. It's cool, clean, and will never go out of style. If you count your pennies, then it is always best to invest in coats that you can wear for years to come. You can wear this with a jacket or layered with a cardigan and oxford shirt as seen here.

One's personal style is as important as your professional resume. First impressions are lasting, and you give off an immediate character description based on the way you look. The way you dressed will be how others will perceive you. Wherever you go in life and whatever you do, you want to be sure that you are impeccably dressed for the occassion.

Now, the final thing to remember is the most important thing. Whatever you wear will more often than not look good with confidence. This leather bomber is very aristocratic. Rock it!

Government Bails Out AIG

So the the government will be "loaning" AIG money so that they do not fall under which would have potentially resulted in an economic meltdown. It's not that any one president is ever responsible for the entire economy but it is consistent with the Republican platform to deregulate financial institutions and to limit government oversight of some of our esteemed financial institutions. Perhaps this all started with President Clinton, but somewhere along the way, lenders and the general Wall Street fat cats started a game of monopoly using Americans' hard-earned money. And now, we are seeing the result of the liberal granting of loans to people who couldn't cash a dollar. Regardles of who you are voting for in the upcoming Presidential election, it seems likely that some groups' taxes will have to increase to pay for the financial mess we are in.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Aristocrat's Pic: The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight is in a league of it's own. I was completely taken in with the story, the tension, and the underlining commentary on human nature. It's the only one of the summer comic film I instantly wanted to see again. It is the first comic movie you can seriously hold out as an Oscar contender. Chris Nolan is brillant! The Dark Knight raised the bar in such a way that if any of these movies had come out after it (including the Spider Man and X-men films, which I enjoyed accept both third part installments) they probably would not have made as much money.

Gov. Sarah Palin: A Bible in the Purse and Gun in the Back Pocket

Governor Sarah Palin was successfully able to rejuvinate the Republican party with enthusiasm and excitement. Up until her selection, McCain had by many accounts, ran a slow campaign that failed to present a message that could successfully materialize with the American publican, and more importantly, his own base. Enter Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin can be described as "anti-Hillary." She is the conservative, right-wing translation of Hillary Clinton. She is pro-gun, pro-life, pro-Iraq war, and holds tight to traditional conservative principles in economics and government oversight. She is charming, attractive, and captivating. In oratory, she out-shines Sen. McCain. Whether you agree with her or not, Gov. Palin can hold an audience.
Thus far, the media has focused on meaningless distractions like Palin's daughter's pregnancy, her "sex appeal," and her witty snipes at the Democrats. I don't think that Palin's daughter is a large issue. These things happen, and it is up for the family to deal with family issues. However, I do want to point out two obseravtions. (1) Governor Palin was against providing funds for sex education programs in Alaska's school system and she is against abortions in all cases accept when the mother's life is in danger. There is apparent contradiction here. You want to eliminate a woman's right to choice as well as create barriers to programs that could potenially curb the need for abortions. I don't know how much I understand the rhetoric. In my opinion, the pro-life platform is political pandering. It is a manipulation of the people's good will and common sense. John McCain has expressly said that he woul appoint strict constructionist judges who would in turn overturn Roe v. Wade (I saw and heard it myself). Listen, at the end of the day, Roe v. Wade will not be overturned. Why? Because we all know who is having abortions in this country. Minorities tend to have the babies, regardless of the circumstance and whether or not they are in a position to properly care for a child. In addition, there is a question of affording the abortion. I went to private school and I know how it works. We knew what was going on when someone would all of a sudden disappear to go have a pregancy "taken cared of." Even if he appoint strict constructionists Justices, the Legislature would fix any attempts to absolutely abolish abortion. But strict constructionsit justices do create other problems. I will save that rant for another post.
(2) My second observation speaks to us as a nation. I wonder what would the media and public have to say if Michelle Obama had an underage daughter who was pregnant with a baby whose father was some thug, street-tuff with an absurb Myspace page which he used to display his ignorance. There is an undeniable double standard. If this was the case there would be a discussion of the Obamas' parenting skills and whether or not that spoke to their qualifications to be the First Family.
Gov. Palin has provided a much needed jolt to the Republican party, but there are so many unanswered questions. And perhaps that was the point. Perhaps when we talk about Palin or lipsticks on pigs, we are distracted from discussing the things that really matter. The truth is, there are two people running for President. This fight is Obama v. McCain. In the end, it may be more of a negative when your running mate begins to garner more attention than you. In the longterm, what seemed like a savvy move might prove more destructive to McCain's campaign.
But I guess we'll see how it all plays out.

CNN: A Dream Nears Fruition

The presidential debates will take place at the University of Mississippi on September 26. There is a broader discussion and reflection I have about the historical relevance and importance of our nation's first viable African American presidential candidate debating at the university in light of it's own history in the large fight for Civil Rights. However, of a more self-centered opportunity has come to my attention.

No, I never dreamed of playing basketball. But I did always want to work for CNN. I remember as early as 11 years old, I would have to wake up early to get ready for day care. I was a military child, so everyday I woke up at 5:30 or 6A.M. to get ready to go to school. While I ate breakfast, I would always watch ABC World News. And during this time, Anderson Cooper was the anchor. I don't know why, but I was always intrigued by world affairs and political developments worldwide. Not only from a governing standpoint, but I enjoyed hearing about news happening around the world in all these locations that I could only dream of ever visiting.
It is amazing how things work out because I think that I have always had this goal of being a political new analyst in the back of my mind. I didn't major in journalism at Ole Miss. But I did attend the Croft Institute for International Studies in which I studied political and economic transitions particularly within Latin American governmental systems. I studies abroad in Mexico during an exciting and important election during which I got to see the current president Felipe Calderon deliver a campaign speech. At this point, I was fluent in Spanish, and it became apparent to me that politics is the universal language. The rhetoric and empty promises were in the same tradition of American politicians. At any rate, after Croft, I entered law school. I don't think it is coincidental that I ended up staying at Ole Miss just long enough to see the debate.
I don't want to speak too much about it now, but there are many things happening leading me to believe that my time is now. And I am finally going to cash in on all this hard work. So I say all that to say, you REALLY can achieve your goals. If you are determined enough and you work hard enough, you can reach your destiny. I know that what is developing has been years in the making, and I am excited about the future and what is in store.

The Aristocrat's Manifesto

This photo sums up the theme for my blog. For some observers it may imply some level of elitism or some personal aspirations of achieving substantial wealth. To some, the picture may elicit intrigue for other reasons: merely the car;s design, nice cars in general, and the quest for the finer things in life. However, there is so much more to notice. To a special few, they notice the cobblestone streets the architecture of the building beside the car, and the sheer elegance and beauty captured by this black and white photo. Photography is an artform in that it seeks to tell a silent story. It challenges us to channel our imagination in translating the details of the photograph into some material thought or concept. It is of course all subjective. Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, and this photo may translate differently from individual to individual. Does that make one's interpretation more or less special? I have spent the first quarter of my life coming to terms with the traditional institutions that help to mold us as individuals and my individual identity. We grow in the image of our parents, our churches, our education, and our social groups. And at some point there is a breakthrough, and we begin to develop an identity distinctly ours. That is of course if you seek that. Some are satisfied being safely nestled in the lifetime care of their parents, religion, and friends. And for some, there is a desire to break the mold. The truth those who are 'different' realize it from a very early age.

If you are like me, you always felt unsettled in a lot of settings. As an adult, I have stopped trying to explain or conform. I enjoy being different. I realized my identity once I stopped looking for it, and once I stopped looking I realized that it was there all along. I view this photo as more than an expensive car. I see and acknowledge all the work that went in to the construction of this car, the architecture of the surrounding location, and the meticulous attention to detail that went into capturing the light so that it captures the right angles of the car.

I am different not because I choose to be, but because I don't know any other way to live. That is not haughty or boastful, that is comfort and contentment. I am an imperfect being and I will never be perfect. But I constantly strive towards being a little better person each day. I want to be the best person I can be, and I want others to achieve the best life and identity they can achieve. "Aristo" means best in Greek. And so with this blog, I want to display a lot of the best things in life; art, music, style, culture, love, friendship, and family. And because I think that you cannot appreciate the best without examining those things that fall short of perfection, I will discuss politics, apparent social contradictions, all the "isms," and some of the ugly that perpetuates on Earth. All the while, I want to challenge your paradigms in the same way that mine our challenged everyday.

This but one step in my mission, and the best is yet to come.