Fake CEOs

8 05 2008

Quite some time ago, Stuff Educated Black People Like offered a post on Conferences (this post has since been inexplicably removed from the site). I railed lightheartedly upon this post in my now-infamous Master’s Degrees post. I can’t believe that during that tirade I failed to mention the single most offensive part of attending a motherfucking conference:

Meeting a bunch of self-proclaimed executives.

Anyone that’s ever attended any networking event of any kind has been victimized by uncountably many idiots passing out business cards that list their title as:

  1. CEO
  2. President
  3. Chairman
  4. President and CEO
  5. His Majesty and Liege Lord of All Surveyed By His Eyes

They will give themselves these titles even when they have no employees, no partners, no elected officers, no board, and (very commonly) no fucking revenue. This is what makes entrepreneurship such a giant pain in the ass – you’re bound to meet other entrepreneurs out of necessity, a good 90% of them will introduce themselves with one of the bullshit titles above, and for some reason the cops have the nerve to arrest YOU when you stab them in the eye with the free letter opener that came in your conference bag.

Figure 1: That black dude wants to kill everybody in the room

What’s amazing about this phenomenon is how ironic it is. People give themselves the CEO title in an effort to sound important, wealthy, and powerful, but at the same time they (should) know full well that anyone running around telling people they’re a CEO is the exact opposite of all of these. Real CEOs don’t make deals and connections at a fucking minority business conference, you fucking asshole. They make deals on the yacht of some rich guy named Sven who signs your $20 million contract while snorting coke out of a hookers navel.

These fake CEOs are the same ones that pull up to the club in their entry-level luxury car (BMW 3 series, Mecedes C class, Infiniti G35, Audi A4, etc.) while wearing their Banana Republic jeans-and-blazer combo in an attempt to delude themselves/others into thinking they’re wealthy…when in reality they’re just one missed paycheck away from losing their shirts and getting kicked out of their shared apartments by their greasy-haired roommates. Ironically, most chicks don’t see the reality for what it is and they actually fall for the bullshit of the fake CEO. This system of positive reinforcement is exactly why the fake CEO continues to exist and, by extension, is why my blood is always at a rolling boil.

Aside: CUFFS

As a reaction against the behavior of the Fake CEO*, I developed and currently live by a system called CUFFS – Condoning of Ubiquitous and Ferocious Financial Spite. CUFFS is a program designed exclusively for up and coming (or already-came-up) men, and serves a threefold purpose:

  1. to demonstrate that indicators of wealth are often (and usually) misleading
  2. to demonstrate that people who do not feel the need to exhibit displays of wealth may indeed be the wealthiest of all (it should be noted that certain white people, Jews, and Arabs have been doing this for decades)
  3. to promote humility among the financially successful, or those on their way to financial success

Practically speaking, CUFFS involves controlling and minimizing superficial displays of wealth and class, such as cars, clothing, gadgets, speech, and other outward facing items – so people who actively subscribe to CUFFS are said to “be wearing CUFFS**.” The oath of the CUFFSman is as follows:

  • I shall evermore shun symbols of wealth and class to the greatest extent possible, insofar as doing so does not interfere with building further wealth

The qualifying clause in the oath is important, because it permits CUFFSmen to a.) own smartphones (needed to check bidnass-related email on the go thereby building wealth), and b.) own well-appointed homes in good locations (making property more attractive to renters so the CUFFSman can accumulate multiple properties over time instead of always selling his personal residence as soon as he gets tired of it). It’s also important because it allows me to be a hypocrite and get away with it.

For those esteemed and highly principled folks looking to wear some CUFFS themselves, here are a four practical ways to get started:

1.) Start using public transportation. Hop your ass on the subway or bus and let somebody else do the driving while you spend your morning commute reading, working, or disciplining other people’s children.

Figure 2: There are at least 60 kids on this train in need of a beating

2.) Buy a shittier car. You don’t have to drive a Gremlin to wear cuffs – you just need to own a regular car that does not exude wealth. You can even buy a new car. Nearly any Honda or Toyota will suffice for those testing the waters of CUFFS. When you’re ready to dive a little deeper, pick up a used Saturn or Kia. When the bottom is in sight, grab something fucked up like an old deuce and a quarter with holes in the floor. When you finally reach the bottom of the abyss, sell your car(s) outright and start running everywhere.

Figure 3: This might be pushing it a little

3.) Sell your jewelry. Jewerly is for girls anyway, and it makes you look like a fucking asshole. With the exception of wedding rings and class rings, pile up all your precious stones/metals sell it on eBay, or stuff it in a heavy duty sock and go around town beating Fake CEOs bloody with it (Homey the Clown style) until the cops catch you. Then sell it on eBay.

Figure 4: This could, and probably should, be you

4.) Alter your dress. Don’t throw away your suits, because you’ll need them to make more money. But make sure you wear those suits as infrequently as possible. Don’t dress like a hobo; you just want to look good without wearing anything that says “I PAID $60 FOR THIS T-SHIRT!” The master CUFFSman will buy from high-end places infamous for having their pompous logo shamelessly emblazoned all over their garments (Armani is a great example), but will ONLY buy those few items that carry no indication of the designer at all. All the expense with none of the reward, and for no apparent reason. That is spite, and that is the true essence of CUFFS.

Figure 5: Again, don’t get fucking carried away

* This is also a reaction against in-your-face intellectuals and people in general who display an utter lack of humility

** ‘Wearing Cuffs’ also works on a metaphorical level for men, because subscribing to this philosophy will significantly restrain your ability to attract women, and will cost you more pussy than you could possibly even begin to imagine.

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93 responses

8 05 2008
Nonaia

Hmmm — not as good as the rest — C-

8 05 2008
Seven

After reading the post, I thought for a moment that you lived in Atlanta. I was just out Tuesday night for the Celtics/Cavs game and the establishment was exploding with fake CEOs. The blazers, Ed Hardy gear and smell of cheap cigars almost made me throw up in my mouth. I applaud their inner entrepreneurship (I think), but damn if all these fools own businesses why jis unemployment so high in the metro area?

8 05 2008
Knatural

First, fuck Banana Republic. Second, I hate you for posting at 3:00, I don’t care that you’re ‘busy’. As far as CUFFs – never thought to name this practice, but it makes sense. Look at Bill Gates’; dude is worth $60 billion and never has a decent haircut. Michael Kors and Simon Cowell wear the same uniform everyday and are worth millions!

8 05 2008
heavenleiblu

Geezus, Gawd, don’t ever stay in Atlanta, too long, chris, lest you are willing to be blamed for a new wave of crime affectionately titled The Atlanta CEO Murders.

Re: CUFFSmen(and women!)- LOVE THEM. Too bad they’re to few and far between, here. Bunch of ol new money assed, ain’t used to nothing negros.

8 05 2008
maya

Re: first poster – if you can’t say anything nice…STFU because you aren’t a regular poster anyway.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

LMAO @ “entry-level luxury car (BMW 3 series, Mecedes C class, Infiniti G35, Audi A4, etc.)” – THAT IS SO TRUE. My eyes fell out when I read that part.

And yes, clearly this all comes down to the never-ending dichotomy between “old money” and “new money” and anyone with sense knows “new money” is obvious as all hell. I went to high school with LOTS of kids whose parents were PAID and I swear you’d never know that shit ’til you actually got to their houses, and even then, the decor was so understated that you’d have to know what you were looking at in order to appreciate it. (Not) coincidentally, they were Jewish.

8 05 2008
Nonaia

You don’t have to be a regular poster to know when a post sucks…you have to be a regular reader dumbass.

8 05 2008
maya

Grr. I hate when people don’t read AND THEN try to play me. *sigh* I’m not concerned about the frequency at which you read the site, but the fact you bothered to comment (something you don’t do regularly) only to say you didn’t like the post is corny and, in a word, rude.

You’re probably the person who send that dumbass email to Chris. LOL.

Moreover, the fact that you didn’t like this post as much, suggests that you’re probably one of the people who go around flaunting money you don’t have – i.e., subject of the post.

8 05 2008
Dom

How about Warren Buffet? That dude is the Master CUFF. He tops Forbes’ list as the richest man in the world, but he still lives in the same house he bought in 1958.

I want to be like him when I grow up!

8 05 2008
lola gets

I found it absolultely hilarious that you had a pic of Homey the Clown in this post. Too funny!

L

8 05 2008
Ethel

[After looking up Warren Buffet]…I wonder what folks think about Warren’s CUFF-ability and the fact that he was born in the mid-west. I’m on the West Coast and SURROUNDED by fake CEO’s in ‘entry level luxury cars’. [They’re not fooling anyone!]

I just assumed that alot of those types were born on the coasts and succumbed to the pressure of one-upmanship…but you can’t base a theory on one guy born in Omaha.

Well…you can. But it would suck.

8 05 2008
Merri Lee

FUCK THIS POST! I’m important, dammit.

8 05 2008
Funkyblackchick

I also love when a fake CEO hands me a homemade business card! Oh and don’t let me happen to view the website that’s printed on the card and it’ll look like something a 5th grader designed.

8 05 2008
Muse

Wannabes are pretty irritating and do the most flashing at these minority conferences. When I get a business card and someone is a CEO I start asking detailed questions regarding their business and it tickles me to the core when they are stumbling over their words and trying to come up with a cleaver way to explain why they are broke and still working the regular 9 to 5. There is nothing wrong with a little struggle because all entrepreneurs have to start somewhere, but I hate when folks front about how well they are doing in their business.

What drives me nuts is when I see these broke wannabe sporting obnoxious designer labels and flashy cars. Ironically the people who dress flashy and wear their money are often the ones in the most debt. This type of behavior is rather common in LA.

8 05 2008
Uncle Ruckus

Yeh can’t blame a dahkie fo tryna pretend he’s somebody when he ain’t nobody. Nobody gon’ let him be somebody so he gotta say he a CEO (he might not even know what that stand fo). Besides that, you nevah seen no fake White CEO because they all is CEOs and the best in the business. Damn dahkies always tryna get in on the White folks happiness. Yuh can’t make yuselfs bettah by woikin hard because you won’t get nowhere and you can’t make yuselfs bettah by pretendin you bettah than ya ah so…wait what am I talkin ’bout? GO STEAL SOME PANCAKE BATTER!

All Praise the Lord White Jesus

Amen

8 05 2008
Merri Lee

On the real though….

*if you are a small business owner, your title should just be “Owner”

*I was mad she took down the “Conferences” post! I loved her bit that people love the conference bag, so they can wear it out and feel important. I just got back from a conference, and there was a guy carrying around a pharmaceutical promo bag. For Valtrex. In 5000 font.

* Figure 2 = so true

* i love the CUFFs. I’m irritated by small business owners (ok, salon owners) who are making bank but are practically bankrupt because they only wear designer clothes, have a BMW, and rent a crappy apartment with a 60″ plasma. Downsize for real wealth, punks!

8 05 2008

this is too funny… I hate conferences and I also hate fake CEO’S. I never had a clever name to call these idiots, and now I do. I hate it when they hand me their card and lick their lips. They have to include some where in the conversation how much money they make.

Where are the normal GUYS!

8 05 2008

I am sooo not a fan of signature purses by, ANY designer. I like a nice leather bag with a a little character.

8 05 2008
Muse

Ne’ I totally agree with you which is why I refuse to sport anything from Louis Vutton. All the ghetto broads have turned that designer label into crap. I enjoy high quality classic pieces where the designer logo isn’t exposed for the world to see.

8 05 2008
shabooty

fuck cuffs cause im trying to print pussy like paper.

8 05 2008
Esquire

The owner of my firm dresses like shit and Im convinced is color blind and an unhealthy obsession with wranglers. But he also has a beach house, a lake house, two planes, a boat load of money. When I bought a new car, he asked me if he could buy my old one to drive around town in, despite the bumper hanging off.

I love how posers assume that if you dont flaunt, you aint got.

***secretly mad at Chris for making us wait so long. Dont you KNOW I use this site to keep from killing several white people all day long????

8 05 2008
Knatural

Yeah, a ginormous TV in a 600sf apartment? Bass-ackwards.
Ladies I agree: Purses or clothes with the designer’s name/logo plastered all over it are SOOOOOOO irritating. Sometimes I even hate when the name is inconspicuously displayed on the buttons/trim/pocket because I don’t want to seem like I’m advertising where I shop or how much I spent. Sometimes if someone asked where I got something, I say it’s a gift and I don’t know. It’s ok to splurge/treat yourself but damn.

8 05 2008
Merri Lee

^^ I love shabooty’s asinine comments. I don’t know what the hell that means, but it’s the funniest sh!t I’ve seen all day

8 05 2008
letinstar

i love the fake ass ceo’s that have on their business card “president, ceo and partner”…yes, some actually go there…i love honda’s and when the opportunity presents itself, i will have another accord…she was the best car…my last car was a nissan altima which is in phoenix because i refused to drive it from phoenix to boston…so i take public transportation which has it’s ups and downs but i can atleast read my free newspaper…

8 05 2008
ajlovesya

Dont forget the shades and the bluetooth so that everyone knows just how important they are!

My favorite: visiting a website that says “Website coming soon!” What kind of CEO are you?

8 05 2008
Esquire

When will the little DBs and Cs and Lvs and MKs stop?

unless the designer is paying me to wear it, Ill pass.

8 05 2008
Merri Lee

letinstar (20:55:42) :

i love the fake ass ceo’s that have on their business card “president, ceo and partner”…

LOL! WTF kind of partner do you have when you’re a sole proprietorship? The guy who works at Kinkos?

8 05 2008
Dom

Even worse than the purses with the logos are the knock-off designer purses with the FAKE logo all over them! I’m cheap, ut I will never be that proud of being cheap Lol!

@Letinstar I have the accord but I still ride the T to work. Arn’t you mad the “Now” went under? I dont like the “Metro” as much.

8 05 2008
letinstar

@ merri lee…working at kinko’s has it’s priveledges..

@dom….i’m very sad that “now” is no more… i sure didn’t see that coming…i like the “metro”, but “now had better horoscopes…lol

8 05 2008
letinstar

i swear i need a spell check…priveledges=privileges..

8 05 2008
PrettyPiscesGirl

“Né said:

I am sooo not a fan of signature purses by, ANY designer. I like a nice leather bag with a a little character.”

Thank you…I abhor these damn bags now. Once all the hood chicks got into them (real OR fake) I was DONE. I sold all mine on eBay…thereby increasing my net worth LOL. I was always a fan of classic, understated leather bags too…and now I indulge my purse fetish by shopping at Marshall’s…thereby KEEPING my net worth at a reasonable level!

8 05 2008
Cheekie

Dom – Even worse than the purses with the logos are the knock-off designer purses with the FAKE logo all over them! I’m cheap, ut I will never be that proud of being cheap Lol!

Okay, I’ve been lurking at this site forever, but this made me come outta lurkdom! Hell yeah! This is one my BIGGEST pet peeves. If you can’t afford the damn designer bag, buy a regular one! I’d rather wear my regular ol’ “cute” purse than get caught trying to flaunt what I don’t have. Ugh! Stop going to that beauty supply on the corner to buy a Coach purse where the “C’s” emblazoned all over the purse look like “O’s”! Stop it now!

8 05 2008
Merri Lee

@Cheekie – COSIGN!!! Why are people paying for an obvious Chanel knockoff, when a real joint from say, the GAP, costs the same damn price?

8 05 2008
Muse

I am guilty of loving Hermes Kelly bags…They are timeless pieces that actually increase in value.

8 05 2008
Merri Lee

Muse, if you have the $15K lying around to buy a Kelly bag, than I’m really not mad atcha.

8 05 2008
Muse

LMAO. Please. I wish and I would have to be a millionaire to drop 10k on a freaking bag. My mom as a nice Hermes collection and I borrow her bags on a permanent basis LOL.

8 05 2008
Knatural

I hate big, abysmal Grandma bags! I refuse to carry my whole life around and dig for an hour for a pen. I actually avoid carying a bag in most instances. *I am way too easily annoyed*

8 05 2008
Mr. Smith

There was some play-conference meeting at school where a bunch of educated adults (and me and my asian friend) went to view this conference to bring in new professors. Of course,the focus tried to be on the white dudes and the white lady, because the only black dude wasn’t tenured, was afraid to get fired and was quiet about his opinion. So when I got to ask my question I asked “Yeah how come brotha man over there isn’t tenured when he’s obviously the most logical, intelligent and competent of the entire board?”

I got a round of applause, and no answer. Of, fucking, course.

8 05 2008
Mr. Smith

Oh I’m back from my brief hiatus by the way

8 05 2008
Sister Toldja

Purses bore me to no end. I mean, they are pretty, but so are other things (ahem) that have no worth in my life. I just want some thing funky and cute, I don’t purse worship. I blame Sex In The City for that bullshit. Not that I can’t appreciate a nice bag, but sheesh.

Alls I got to say is that this Goodnight Moon face bitch was observing at my job today and I couldn’t blank out on my students like they deserved and I now have pent up agression.

8 05 2008
Muse

Wow Sister Toljdja I’m shocked.

I LOVE purses and shoes…They can make or break an outfit in my opinion. I try and avoid trendy crap though. There is no point in spending a lot of money on cloths or accessories that will be out of fashion within a few month.

8 05 2008
Knatural

Shoes, YES. They can make or break an outfit, but will not break my budget 😀
Money should definitely be spent on classic, timeless pieces such as coats and shoes. But never faddish crap.

8 05 2008
Sister Toldja

Muse, I still like to look cute! And I like clothes and makeup and all things girly. But I am a little more bohemian and thrifty with clothes and accessories now, you know? I am sure the older I get and the swoller my pockets are, I will upgrade. But I can’t EVER see me spending $15k on a purse, no matter what. I am too much of a hippie for that! I could do so much other shit with that! Like, give me the $500 jawn and let me spend 14 on some textbooks for one of this horrible-ass schools. Or a tummy tuck! 😉

8 05 2008
Keden

Maya, I don’t think the original poster was trying to be rude. Seemed like she was just giving a heads up that she didn’t find this to be strong content is all. Perhaps Chris might appreciate some feedback on content 🙂

I’ve never met any Fake CEO’s and haven’t really had anyone try to brag about their non-existent success to me.

I do know many guys and gals who quite like their luxury goods. I recognise, some genuinely like the quality of these luxury goods, while some just prefer them as status symbols. To each their own, I guess.

8 05 2008
Merd

If I had 15K I would buy a new “gently used car”.

8 05 2008
Admiral Furious

CUFFS… HAIL.

I HATE FAKE CEOS!!! HATE EM. But it brings me pleasure to watch their pompous asses struggle as I continue to thrive. Then they hate me.

In the mean time… I would push the living hell out of a BMW M3. Entry level in class… but far from entry level performance.

8 05 2008
Merri Lee

Keden (22:47:31) :

Maya, I don’t think the original poster was trying to be rude. Seemed like she was just giving a heads up that she didn’t find this to be strong content is all. Perhaps Chris might appreciate some feedback on content

Good point. We’re only @45 comments, instead of the usual 200+. But this isn’t as controversial as calling a certain presidential candidate a lying cunt.

8 05 2008
Knatural

Good Point Merri Lee. Or, maybe many of the commenter lack the humility to understand where The Author is coming from? Maybe a bunch of faux CEOs read this blog?

8 05 2008
Nonaia

Thank you very much Keden, it seems only very few people here don’t jump to conclusions.

Not like my suggestion is going to make a difference, but maybe Chris shouldn’t be posting everyday if that is going to have an effect on his posts — post when you want instead of being pressured.

He’s a big boy, he can take it 😀

8 05 2008
Dom

LOL @ all the posts going Waaayyyy off topic by the time I get to the comments!Fake CEO—>Fake Purses!

Nonaia, I have a feeling Chris is about to refer you to the FAQ page, although you just might be right. This blog is a huge committment to make. While I still think this post is funny, I wouldnt mind seeing top quality ish only 2 or 3 times a week.

Letinstar, the ‘scopes were on point, but they’re the EXACT same ones the print in the Herald. I cant complain too much…

8 05 2008
Seven

@ Muse- I’m with you on the purses and shoes! I could truly waste a lot of hard earned money shopping the day away :-), but I totally get what Sista is saying; I’m saving for a house. No new Coach or whatever in my future for while and I’m cool with that.

9 05 2008
zoso

Hrm, I really like this post. It’s applicable whether male or female. I just started buying my dress shoes at payless (I’ve size 11 feet and started my first internship…). I hate clothes with obvious logos on them and don’t care for fancy cars. In fact, I’m hunting for a new car now and have narrowed it down to a mazda3, honda fit, or hyundai accent/elantra. Perhaps I can qualify for CUFFswoman in-training status.

9 05 2008
zoso

Oh and if anyone can point me to any quality books on personal finance, not the rich dad poor dad series, I’d be much obliged.

9 05 2008
^Nanaia

The best books are by Dave Ramsey, check out his website and one of his books. I loved ‘The Total Money Makeover’.

9 05 2008
Quirky Cutie

I like this post, but it probably called a few people out 😉 Anyway, black people need to go from hood rich to trying to be rich. With the exception of a car or house, if you don’t have the equivalent in the bank, you probably shouldn’t be buying it. With that said, any designer is OK, except for Tommy and Hermes. I have too much pride to be spending money on a designer that doesn’t want black people to wear their stuff.

I’ll buy designer for the quality, but not with any sort of logo. On a side note, forget about the MK/LV/Coach logos on bags, why are chicks sporting the matching bag/belt/shoe combo? That just gets me dizzy…

9 05 2008
Quirky Cutie

@Zoso, ‘Smart Women Finish Rich’ by David Bach is good…he has a whole series too – ‘Smart Couples Finish Rich’ and others

9 05 2008
Muse

I want to clarify that I do not drop my whole paycheck on designer gear. In fact most of my money goes into investments. However I do have an appreciation for high quality luxury goods and occasionally I do treat myself considering that I work very hard and I’m debt free. I don’t think it is a problem for anyone to splurge a little bit if they work hard and their necessities are taken care of. Buying nice things does not preclude someone from acquiring wealth. Wealth is about how you manage your money, not what you spend on it. We all have our guilty pleasures that we splurge on.

9 05 2008
Muse

Quirky Cutie, I agree with your statement. That is why most Americans, not just Black people, are in debt because they are living beyond their means. Also buying a house doens’t necessarily guarentee wealth. Most Americans get tricked into believing that buying a house will make them wealthy. Having a house is a good tax incentive and provides some stability, but if your house is worth 500K and you have 480K in mortage then what do you really have to show for it?

9 05 2008
Angry v3.2b

Whoa whoa whoa, Chris! Let’s not hate on the Infiniti G35, sir! I mean you yourself said you once were the proud owner of a Lancer Evo…you add two options to it and you’re sitting at an MSRP near the price I paid for my G35 out the door!

I see where you’re going though – with the whole living above your means idea. Plenty of people are guilty of this…and there’s no fix for it, really. Just remember that you tried to help them and that when people claim you aren’t “giving back to your community” you won’t feel bad about it.

9 05 2008
Quirky Cutie

Muse, you’re right, having a house doesn’t guarantee wealth which is one of the main reasons the economy is in the shithole it’s in now. However, if done resonsibly, aka you have a decent down payment and can afford the monthly payments (regardless of interest rates), then you’re golden. Afterall, a house isn’t just an investment, it’s also a place to live. And it kinda helps to own your place if your neigborhood is getrifying so you don’t get kicked for someone willing to pay double your rent.

9 05 2008
nappyhead

@ Quirky Cutie
It’s even funnier when the matching bag/belt/shoe combo is a knockoff. I’ve seen two instances where someone’s Gucci “G’s” were sideways eights. Another where someone’s Louis Vuitton “LVs” were actually “YWs.” Funniest shit I ever saw!

9 05 2008
nappyhead

I understand where Chris was going with this post. I swear… if I had a dollar for everytime I pull up to an apartment complex and see Mercedes’ and Hummers, I’d be rich!

That mess makes no sense! Why not invest the “money” (you know they had to take out a ginormous auto loan AND had to have their mom cosign) into something permanent and stable, like a house? Or a condo even? As long as I have a stable place to live, I have no problem taking metro everywhere (like I do now).

9 05 2008
Laurel

I loved the post. Chris oughta start a movement.
I’m a cheap, cheap azz person. Granted I will DUMP some cash on travel. If I have $15k to burn I’m going somewhere exotic for three weeks.
If more middle class black folks concentrated on building real wealth we’d have more power — and credibility. I cannot tell you how many times guys driving a massive SUV and wearing a huge diamond stud in one ear will try to talk to me and I have to literally bite my lips to keep from laughing. They just don’t know how foolish that stuff looks. I think anybody one generation away from poverty should not be in any Mercedes — unless it was a gift. Sheesh, spend the money on a good private school for your kid.

9 05 2008
Quirky Cutie

Yeah, if you’re going to care about logos, then make sure you care enough to get the right one!

9 05 2008
HeavenLeiBlu

@ Laurel, I hear you on spending the money on education vs a “status symbol” vehicle. Although I have nothing against private schools (other than that time back in the day when I begged not to be sent to one w/a bunch of obnoxiously rich white kids, but anyway), we really need to stop feeling like we have to do that in order to get queality education for our kids.

When are we going to start holding these public schools ( and the communities they’re a part of, of course) accountable? We bitch about rising property taxes, but then spend more money than to cover tuition at a private school, often not even in the community where we live. If we keep sending our kids off to private schools, and out of our neighborhoods, we’re telling our local government and the schools that it’s okay for them to continue cycling a bunch of dumb assed, unlearned kids out into the world. Somebody needs to force their hand.

9 05 2008
Muse

How are you going to hold public schools accountable? The reality is that public schools in low income areas will not improve unless the government makes drastic changes. That is why I support private school vouchers because parents regardless of income should have a choice in where their kid get educated. Perhaps if this were to occur it would force public schools to step up to the plate. I went to private school all my life until High school. Lucky for me, the public I attended was one of the best in the country. Unfortunately the amount of funding a public school receives is based on the income taxes of the area. Therefor a public school in a low income area will not have the same amount of funding as one in a high income area that has access to endless resouces to help their students.

One way to change education in public schools is increase the salary of the teachers. A lot of bright individuals who would be great educators are turned off from teaching because of the pathetic salaries. What is the incentive to be a teacher when that individual can go into investment banking, consulting, mangement etc making triple the salary? Our society needs to do better when it comes to our teachers if we expect changes in our kids.

Also parents…..parents need to take some damn responsiblity because at the end of the day your child is your responsibility.

9 05 2008
Laurel

I agree with you, Heaven. But I’m definitely too selfish to risk sending my kids (when I have them) to a public school in the average American city.
I went to one of those dreaded high-ranked-99.9%-white private schools (the racism damn near killed me) however in college there were some kids from public school who kicked my butt grade-wise so I know it’s possible for public schools to do a good job.
I don’t have a lot of faith in government (especially w/r/t how poor people are treated). So I don’t think they care too much about the messages we’re sending them.

9 05 2008
letinstar

@dom…i don’t usually read the herald…now i will pull up the website, just for the horoscopes…thanks for that bit of info…now i can know how my days are going to be, again!

9 05 2008
J.dot

Good post. I didn’t know so many people commented here. This is mad popular. Anyways, conspicuous consumption is an epidemic in the black community. As others have noted ATL is full of fake ceo’s every other person has a record company/car wash. People need to stop. What exactly are all these black business conferences and why do people go if they are networking with fake ceo’s? At least at grad school conferences we recognize that we are broke and kick-it anyway. Better to be pretentious about education than about expensive cars. lol

9 05 2008
mari

WOW, this CEO thing is TOO TRUE. a guy at my school is on this ish…his ‘business’ card had about as much info as he could fit on there; name, contact number, DOB, blood type…and what was pictured on the right hand corner of the card? what else, but a stack of $100 bills spread out. he gave those to people. seriously.

this blog makes me die laughing just about everyday! the comments section is just as entertaining as your work chris! y’all keep it lively!

9 05 2008
Lauren

Funny! Since moving to DC I’ve met a lot more pretentious people who don’t have anything to back it up with. Good job

9 05 2008
HeavenLeiBlu

@ Laurel, Believe me, I see where you’re coming from.

@Muse, I see your point too, and perhaps “holding the school systems accountable” is a poor choice of words, when what I mean is the local government that is responsible for funneling the money and resources to the schools in the first place, as well as the school boards themselves.

Teachers have been decades overdue for salary increases, and you damn right that parents need to be responsible for having a hand teaching their kids in the first place, and reinforcing what they’ve learned in school.
I’m not totally against a voucher program, but for a low income family it still has challenges.

For instance; hardly ever does the use of a voucher include the child’s transportation to and from the school of choice. Perhaps they might allow a subsidy to get the child there on public transportation, but that’s about it. Of course, lots of parents are willing to ( and actually do) take their children to school whether by a personal vehicle or by public transportation. But what about parents and children to whom a school bus is godsend, because their work schedule conflicts with taking their child that is too young to take public transportation on their own? I know I know, do what you gotta do to make it work, but for a low income family that’s already struggling, there’s not much flexibility in that.

Assuming the parent(s) DO have their own transportation, theres still the distance/time/schedule conflict issue, but also, GAS. In my ‘hood, gas was 3.70 on my way home tonight. Call me a pessimist, but I doubt it’s going down anytime soon, if at all. That’s a real issue that working class families are dealing with right now. I don’t own a car, and I only drive when I have to take my daughter somewhere inaccessible via PT, when I’m going out of town, or have a lot of errands to run that would probably leave my hands too full if I relied on public transportation. 3 years ago, when I first moved to ATL, I drove all weekend. Would have probably driven all the time, if I didn’t hate to pay for parking. Now? Sheeeit. The only reason I’ll be driving these next few days is because I have graduations to attend out of town. I used to grit about riding MARTA, but since gas moved past 3.20, I ride happily.

I just feel like something needs to be done so that we do’t have to leave the communities we choose to live in, for our children to to have quality education. Shit, if I’m paying taxes here, I want to see my money working. I don’t care what level of gov’t the change needs to begin at; I’m willing to put in the work to make the changes. If we just run off to somewhere else whenever we’re faced with things we don’t like, the right kind of changes will never occur. This mess that’s going down in Clayton County with their school system is an abomination. It’s at a crisis level now, only because nobody took the system to task. Now, when losing accreditation=plummeting property value in an already terrible market, peeps wanna get their hackles up. Shameful.

9 05 2008
Angry v3.2b

“That mess makes no sense! Why not invest the “money” (you know they had to take out a ginormous auto loan AND had to have their mom cosign) into something permanent and stable, like a house? Or a condo even? As long as I have a stable place to live, I have no problem taking metro everywhere (like I do now).”

That’s still making an assumption about someone’s situation that you don’t fully know or understand – maybe that person prefers to rent because they move a lot? Maybe they prefer the cheaper cost of renting in order to afford nice things for their home and in order to afford a nice car? Maybe they worked hard to save up enough money to get what they wanted?

All I’m saying is, just because you yourself have a different idea of “success” doesn’t mean you should knock other people. Now when you’ve got the brand new single mom that has a fresh weave and brand new manicure/pedicure, but her newborn baby is wearing nothing but a diaper while wrapped in a beach towel, there’s a problem. But just because someone likes to indulge in a car more expensive than a Toyota Camry doesn’t mean you should hate on them.

And yes, I take offense to that because I myself own an “entry-level” luxury car, which, if you were to sit in it, would assume that it’s far from entry-level. Manage your money right, and you can get whatever you want.

Like I said, don’t make assumptions. And even still – why worry about what someone else spends their money on? They’re not spending your money, so who gives a crap?

9 05 2008
edwardiangaiety

Money isn’t the only issue, it’s also commitment. I read an article in Newsweek a few months ago that said new teachers rarely last more than three years before they either move on to another profession or, transfer to a more prestigious school. And some teachers transfer to private schools because they’ll have more control over their curriculum and teaching style. While I agree that parents need to be on their children, they don’t get it at school because teachers don’t want to deal with unruly, undisciplined children. Apparently, there will be a teacher shortage in about five years or so, because the pool of students becoming teachers is growing smaller and smaller. In fact, the situation is so acute, school districts have been recruiting teachers from overseas. People need to fight in the trenches for education, and it’s not happening. And judging by these fake CEOs, the priority for most people these days is to go around the system (which requires dedication and perseverance) and fake success.

9 05 2008
benjie

i didnt read the whole post yet
but when i scrolled down and looked at the pics

…grr @ fig. 5
on a trip to nyc for a concert in 06 i saw a homeless black man with that sign.

*sigh*
the man steals everything huh?

now back to reading the post.

9 05 2008
dynamicdiva

All I am saying is I hate seeing people walking around with the blue tooth. That seems to be a stable for “Mr.CEO”! Or I guess I should say I hate when people are trying to conduct business while talking on their phucking blue tooth! Dude, you aren’t important and I could care less who you are talking too!

9 05 2008
Lolo

I completely agree with your CUFFS program, it’s another iteration of the LA “producer” con. It’s alright though, they put more money back into circulation by buying all that stuff.

I used to work for a fledgling company that had a CEO, CFO, COO, two VPs and me, the secretary. Pissed me off when I would be filing/typing/mailing/sorting/tabulating/WORKING and the phones would ring while all the execs would sit and stare at me. After a couple of months of that I just looked right back at them while I continued actually working.

I think that Buffet is just frugal aka cheap, ala Scrooge McDuck and although I’m envious/offended by tacky displays of money there’s something equally tacky about insisting that keeping the surrounding decor 70s era fugly is somehow morally superior. It just means that you have no esthetic and your soul would be just as happy with clowns on velvet if it were the right price.

9 05 2008
imaG

I’m CEO of anythingblack.net lol. I get no money.

http://www.anythingblack.net

9 05 2008
Shine

@zoso I just wanna give a shoutout to other bigfeet women. Payless does right by us even though you gotta go back every 3 months. Also ninewest (actual stores, not in Macys). And I have to mention my pet peeve of finding fake names/logos on stuff that should not have them. Like Gucci pants or shoes. I got some nice pretty much sneakers from ninewest a few years ago when fake logo sneakers were all the rage. They had the ninewest logo on them but it was ok b/c I could wear them to work without people thinking I was wearing sneakers. I miss those days, I can’t find any sneakers like that anymore.
Welcome back Mr. Smith. I was wondering where you got to. Now to continue reading the rest…

9 05 2008
Tamara

You know, I’ve been able to “live” like this for 4 years in college and people still think I’m rich, cause I SAVE my money and can afford to take a nice vacation every now and then.

@Maya, love why are you picking fights with people ALREADY? too damn crunk for your own good.

I’m all about riding public transportation, but after i saw this (http://www.worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshhk22mHA84nS8ARaT1), I’m gonna have to give it the side eye more often.

9 05 2008
Shine

Just to say something about the education thingie. I’ve been in public and private schools (we degentrified an old white person neighborhood and the public schools were being racist to my older brother so my parents plucked us out into private school, where I had a racist teacher, so we were plucked to another private school, which was great until my youngest brother came along and sucked up all the tuition money, back to public school where more black people kinda alleviated the racism and stupidity-kinda) and I’ve volunteered as a mentor at a several schools, mostly in poor black inner city neighborhoods. And as much as you say the govt needs to do things, teachers etc the number one factor in public school is parental/community involvement. That is the difference between suburban schools and city schools. Parents are always in the schools in the suburbs demanding stuff, helping out, giving things (which is the one difference that is more difficult to overcome) and they have a superactive PTA. What pisses me off is while I’m in school working my ass off, I still have time to give 1 hour a week to help my little Billy Badass (or more time usually) which makes a huge difference in both the kid and the classroom. And then I do stuff like take the kids on a special trip (somewhere free like the park) and try to drop them off at home and the parents aren’t there because they’re hanging on the corner. Or my kid gets suspended and stays home all day with his mom watching soaps. My thing is, if your ass is at home all day, even if you got no money and are “disabled” then you can help out your local school but coming up there at least one day a week and just being in the classroom. Even if its just to keep the kids in check. You don’t have to teach. Just walk the anklebiters to the bathroom once a day and it makes a huge difference in the quality of education the kids get just by freeing up the teachers time to teach the kids instead of reigning them in. And a lot of the kids can get a good education if the parents stay on the kids ass and the schools. Schools listen to parents who complain more than school boards. I kinda don’t like the idea of vouchers because those parents who use them and their children are the type that would benefit a struggling school because they are involved in thier childrens education but I am not really against it because you have to get the best education for your kids.
Sigh, I knew one day I was going to go on a tirade about inner city schools on this blog. Somebody please help Dee-End and Uniqua.

9 05 2008
Tamara

ugh, I used to talk to a guy that was a fake ass CEO, dude would stay spending $700 on some ugly Gucci shoes and “pop bottles” at the club EVERY WEEKEND, but ultimately always complain about how he was working to pay bills. Then he’d turn around at me talking about how I’m rich cause I take nice vacations every now and then…

But you have no passport.

I like to call my style of living “jet-setting on a budget,” Luxury items are always going to be there. There’s always going be Mercedes, Lexus, BMW, etc. It’s not going anywhere, I’m young I can wait. Thank God my parents taught me about investing and I have nice portfolio.

It’s not about being “rich,” it’s about being wealthy and making smart choices. But you can’t tell your cousins that, cause they just hate hate hate.

And I don’t mind public transportation even though people like this make me give it the side eye….

9 05 2008
Scipio Africanus

I’ve been a CUFF at least since halfway through college. Correction, I adopted that mentality at that time and applied it once I started working (5 years ago.) I love it because it allows me to feel superior to the benighted masses while appearing to be humble at the same time. Part of me feels sorry for ostentatious types. Like they don’t realize they’re mentality screams “NEW!!!”

9 05 2008
DJStylus

Whenever I meet a fake CEO I fall into a dream state where I imagine doing this with their business card.

NOWHERE is this worse than in the entertainment biz. That’s why I can’t fuck with the industry side of hip-hop anymore.

Regarding CUFFs, I’ve actually been car-free for over four years. I saved so much money that I eradicated all my debt. The only problem with this is that a lot of black folk (especially ostentatious, worker drones with delusions of grandeur, pressed to be at The Park ass kneegrows) want to treat you like a leper if you voluntarily decide not to own a car. Fortunately for me I long ago lost the desire to holla at educated, pretty but vapid 20-somethings, which allows me to laugh at them as I ride away on my bike. And my lady shares my interest in reducing one’s carbon footprint.

9 05 2008
Mrs.Epps

hahahahah Fake CEO’s too funny and so fucking true. Reminds me of a story… I know one well use to know one. My brother from another mother who happened to be a 26 yr old blue eyed ultimate macho-man white boy, my roomate as well. It would be to funny watching his ass get dressed and acting all cocky and a pompous ass in the mirror when I would fix his collar. He actually wanted my to be his “Wingman” well “Wing woman”. I figrued hey…he can buy me drinks and shit and I can socialize with the guys at the bar. I found it odd how he wanted me to be his wingwoman rather havign one of his friends do it. He told me because I was an A+,very intelligent, beautiful young black woman that would make any 1/2 ass white girl in the room give you the stink eye. HAHAH So i would go out with him tot he bar every saturday laughing my ass off sometomes pissy ass drunk at him tryna bring girls back to our house with wack ass pick up lines. And to make a long story short…he never got laid…and now spends most of his time paying off old bills and in credit card debt. I told him to stop buying girls drinks so much and buying some many damn clothes that he will never wear… but nope he didnt listen..now he’s back at his parents house trying to start up his business in the card game industry…SMH

9 05 2008
Merri Lee

A-men Tamara! I went to college with a guy who didn’t seem to grasp the concept of a student LOAN check, and spent all his “extra” money on Gucci sneaks, Armani gear, pimpin out his Honda. He still stunnin, all the while complaining that he doesn’t get paid enough and that the loans are killing him. WTF?? I like a luxury now and then (look out spa – here I come!), but I do not need to impress anyone with my gear.

10 05 2008
zoso

@DJStylus, I would LOVE to ride my bike everywhere. Since I’m still in school, I can only ride it to campus and places nearby. One problem though is that US roads typically aren’t made with bicyclists in mind, so it’s pretty dangerous. There are a few bicycle deaths a year in my city from drivers simply not paying attention.

Also, there’s crap for transit in FL (completely unreliable to boot), so I have to use my car to go to work/grocery store. Unfortunately I gotta get a new car but hopefully with the increase in gas prices, transit will be upgraded nationwide (or simply constructed…)

@ Shine, thanks for the shoutout. A couple friends have feet nearly half my size! Sometimes it’s annoying being the only big-feet woman about, particularly when shopping. So thanks for pointing out 9 West!

11 05 2008
Deon

First off, for your G35 comment… Fuck you for that! I wish ill upon you, Chris. I got my Infiniti for it’s reckless speed and police-evading maneuverability (essential for a black man with dreadlocks)… not it’s fake CEO symbolism (or female inhibition-lowering abilities). Besides, the shit just looks good. Everything else was spot-on. Keep the good stuff coming.

13 05 2008
vitazza

Ha fake CEO’s!!
CUFFS is a beautiful practice… how many up and comers do we all know who land their first official position and run to buy that “Door Stop” of a C190 class Mercedes…..? Could I at least see a SLK??? I personally think it is easier to buy used a decent quality car cash, purchase the ugliest home in the most desirable well established neighborhood, and leave the jewelry to a sensible singular spectacular piece. Understated wealth is always best. Crazy overstated Bling Bling is for Hollywood and Broadway!!

13 05 2008
mrspen

as always, spot on. it’s been good to be away and catch up on all the good stuff.

SEVEN–HAHAHA! Atlanta is the ANTI-CUFFS area.

14 05 2008
ph2072

I fucking HATE fake CEOs. I used to be friends with one – the same muthafucka who I mentioned in the “restaurant snob” entry. Muthafucka still lives at home with his parents, yet he stays stuntin’ and lyin’, acting like he has it made. Fake CEOs are such lying dirtbag snake social-climbing-wanna-be losers.

15 05 2008
Bush Babee

Love the Ninja pic. It’s killing me.

20 05 2008
Merri Lee

What kind of job title is this??

22 05 2008
Jhocolate

The Fake CEO you refer to is also called the Dallas Douche or the $30K millionaire

http://www.dallasobserver.com/2007-11-29/news/douchebags-in-the-mist/full#comments

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