Fraternities and Sororities

6 06 2008

Just to begin: I know this post is a bad idea. I know that a good 90% of my readers are members of Greek organizations. I also know that I don’t give a shit. With that said…

Last night I wound up on StuffBlackGreeksLike. The June 5th entry featured an angry email (I like anger) from some indignant chick demanding her picture and comments about her be removed from a previous post that was apparently a literary suplex of her moral character. I was naturally intrigued by what was said to make her so angry, so I read on to the post in question – something about ‘Making Ghosts.

Figure 1: Stuff Black Greeks Hate – This Chick

The ‘Making Ghosts’ post is the most insanely cryptic thing I’ve ever read, which is impressive considering that articles like this one make perfect sense to me. Strange proprietary words like ghost, perp, yard, line, and BGLO were scattered casually throughout the page as if the author and those in the know were tacitly thumbing their noses at those who were not.

But the reason this enraged me wasn’t because I had no idea what was being talked about. It was because, while reading it, I couldn’t help but imagine a bunch of 9 year olds who’d formed a secret club beating up on some chick who was ‘pretending’ to be a member. There’s honestly something very…juvenile…about the whole ‘treehouse’ juju surrounding fraternities and sororities (which for brevity’s sake I’ll simply refer to now as GOs – Greek Orgs).

The biggest gripe I have with GOs is that they claim to be social organizations while their very existence relies on practices that are fundamentally anti-social: secrecy, exclusivity, rivalry, and other things that appeal to sociopaths. Many GOs make inordinate demands on the time of their pledges during a time when students are most likely to drop out, and when it comes to black GOs I simply think they should know better and be more socially responsible. Then, of course, there’s the fact that shit like this happens:

Figure 2: …..Why?

Since I was genuinely curious, I figured I’d look around on Google for a list of benefits of joining GOs as told by Greeks themselves. After 4 minutes of groundbreaking research…I couldn’t find much benefit, especially for people that don’t have a socially awkward nature. The top benefits listed were:

  • You get to meet new people (I fail to see why you need a GO to do this)
  • You get to participate in community service activities (I fail to see why you need a GO to do this)
  • You may get to live in a frathouse (So what?)
  • You get to treat new pledges like shit once you’re a member (ok, psycho)
  • You participate in ‘secret’ Greek events (I’ve crashed several of these so-called secret events, which always just turned out to be a barbecue or house party or some shit instead the Priory-of-Sion-type goings on I was hoping for)
  • Stomp Dancing*

This pales in comparison to what I view as the downside of joining a GO:

  • During your pledge period, you typically have to kiss the asses of people who don’t even deserve respect from their own mothers
  • Your pledge period has a very good chance of fucking up your freshman year, particularly if your major demands more than a pulse to succeed
  • You often have to learn intricate and inane rituals, codes, speech, handshakes, and other childish bullshit
  • You often have to adopt tiresome rivalries with other GOs for no other reason than “it’s tradition”
  • Elephant Walk
  • You have to attend national or regional conferences where you meet a bunch of Fake CEOs, douchebags with master’s degrees, and other people that God is chomping at the bit to wipe out with a second flood
  • After you graduate, you have to fish the oceans of your soul for reasons that your GO is still relevant to you, or anything at all

Figure 3: The only fraternity that ever mattered

*Even I’ll admit that Stomp is cool. If, however, I catch my son Stomping, I will murder him. Stomping is an intricate, coordinated dance that takes a fairly long time to learn to do well…and it’s all time my boy could have and should have spent studying or wrestling grizzly bears. I’ll be damned if my boy is going to be flipping burgers with his degree in ‘general studies’ because he wanted to “stomp like an Iota”

Vince Carter

5 06 2008

For anyone that hasn’t heard about this, Vince Dumb-Fuck Carter donated (recently, I think) $2.5 million to his old high school in Daytona Beach to build a new athletic center.

Vince and other hyper-wealthy dumbass professional athletes all over the country just loooooooooove to give ridiculous sums of money to schools, usually predominantly black schools in shitty neighborhoods, which is a great thing. Unfortunately, they almost invariably funnel the money into athletics which is just about the most retarded and irresponsible thing I can think of*.

Figure 1: Moron

Athletes donating money to athletics is stupid for at least three reasons

1.) Athletic scholarships (typically) lead to people majoring in something useless. I’ve been cursing the black emphasis on high school athletics** for years, and always get the argument that athletics are the road to college scholarships. Ignoring the main macro-level flaw in this argument (the fact that even in college athletics, there aren’t anywhere near enough slots to accommodate all comers), I’ll offer this one up: way too many people going to colleges on athletic scholarships are majoring in useless shit: communications, psychology, english, etc. Once they graduate, they do virtually nothing with these degrees…except in some cases pile them on (there are some motherfuckers running around with THREE english degrees.) Personally, I’d rather my children had an associate’s degree in auto mechanics or HVAC repair than a four year sheepskin in communications***.

Aside: Useless Majors – Read this before you get indignant

My stance on these majors is complicated. I tend not to have a problem with these majors when they’re used as a stepping stone to, for example, a law degree or a graduate degree for someone to become a teacher or professor. I do have a problem when people use these majors to ‘find’ themselves or just coast through school, because I believe these are luxuries that, at the moment, only white people can afford.

Here’s a tip: if you don’t know what the fuck you want to do with your life, major in something useful like math or engineering or business just to hedge your bets, and pick up the useless-but-interesting shit like philosophy or african-american studies as a minor. That way when your lost and confused ass graduates, you’ll actually be taking a decent amount of money from white people that you can reinvest into your community. Be a producer, not a consumer, goddammit.

End Aside

2.) The most reliable studies show the odds of success of any person who wants to become a professional athlete at about 1 in 50,000. 49,999 out of 50,000 pro-athlete hopefuls, after having their dreams curb-stomped, are going to have to fall back on something else, and it for damn sure isn’t going to involve athletics.

Figure 2: Would you bet your livelihood on finding this needle?

3.) You don’t need expensive athletic centers to produce top-flight athletes. Extremely talented athletes are going to get good no matter what. You don’t need futuristic weight equipment and state of the art basketball courts – good old fashioned shitty dumbbells and barbells and old ragtag hardwood courts have been producing superstar athletes for decades. If the law of diminishing returns had a leg, it’d be kicking Vince Carter in the ass for the next ten years.

Listen well, black athletes – WE DON’T NEED HELP IN ATHLETICS, GODDAMMIT! Black people need ACADEMIC help. Donate the $2.5 million to teacher salaries to attract more talented instructors and reduce class sizes, or to buy new and updated textbooks, or to fund study abroad programs so black kids can see some of the world. Put the money into private tutoring or remedial education in impoverished neighborhoods. Pour the money into state of the art libraries or computer labs. Use it to set up an academic scholarship fund.

But the last damn thing we need is more athletic centers. It’ll have more and more black children chasing a proportionally shrinking number of slots in professional and college athletics, leaving them with nothing to fall back on when 99.998% of them fail.

Figure 3: We don’t need Globo Gym to be able to do this. The Slave Trade took care of that.

I’m sure there are some people thinking “but it’s Vince’s money! He can do whatever he wants with it!”

I disagree.

When you make $18 million a year in salary and endorsements to put a ball in a hoop, Karma insists that you have a responsibility to the greater good. Given how insanely lucky and blessed you are, you have an obligation to lift up others around you – and though it’s wishful thinking, I hope this obligation is one of the first things President Obama signs into law. Yes, it’s Vince’s money. Yes, it’s his to use as he pleases. Yes, he has the right to turn a blind eye toward or remain ignorant of the real issues facing black children.

But having the right to do something doesn’t make it the right thing to do.

Figure 4: I hate myself

*Except, of course, for the life-sized bronze statue of Vince Carter commissioned to be placed in front of the gym. It’s being paid for by Vince’s asshole of a mother, who is too much of a selfish bitch to put that money to better use for the greater good, like maybe a new science lab or library renovation.

**Notwithstanding it’s value as a tool for keeping kids, particularly boys, engaged at school (in an academic capacity or not) and off the fucking streets.

***These careers are not to be slept on, especially if the person going into them is ambitious and entrepreneurial. I have a cousin who owns a five bedroom house with a pool, tennis court and full-sized gym, a Viper, an immaculately restored Corvette from the 1950s, has three kids, and a wife who doesn’t work. My cousin is a plumber.

Master’s Degrees

2 03 2008

Let me preface this post by saying that I absolutely encourage black people to become as educated as is necessary.

With that said, fuck a Master’s Degree. One of the most annoying things about black people is that many of us, as soon as we break the Bachelor’s Degree barrier, become shamelessly full of ourselves. Ever met a black person with a Master’s degree in philosophy, political science, social science, or any other discipline in that vein? IT’S FUCKING HORRIBLE.

You cannot have a conversation with these people unless it’s about something socially or morally relevant. If you try to talk about pop culture, or television, or mountain biking, or anything that’s actually fun, they’ll look down their fucking debt-ridden noses at you like you’re some irrelevant clod who “just doesn’t get it.”

Oftentimes, the newly minted Master of Bullshit will change his or her appearance – adopting dashikis and wearing their hair naturally* are two of their favorite choices. Immediately following this, they will start distinguishing themselves from other black people in conversation – referring to themselves as ‘educated’ black people (much in the same way that white people distinguish themselves from rednecks, Asians from FOBs, etc.). Then it’s only a matter of time before they’re participating in Poetry Slams, shopping at Farmer’s Markets, and formulating the image of their ideal mates based on TV shows like ‘Girlfriends’…and the transformation from ‘educated black person’ to ‘insufferable douchebag’ is rendered complete.


Figure 1: They think they’re better than you

To intercept the educated black people who will probably begin hating on me immediately: no, I am not some ignorant fucking thug who’s writing this blog because I stole your computer. I am not a person ‘on the outside looking in’, who is just angry because he can’t be like you. I have a bachelor’s degree from a well-respected school and graduated in the top 10% of my class with a real degree (Computer Science), and I did it in a scant 7 semesters. English and Philosophy majors paid ME to tutor THEM in classes in their own majors. Goddammit I hate the liberal arts…I’m getting off topic.

One of the things I hate about attending conferences is the inevitability of meeting these damn people. If I could trade the ‘networking’ part of these events for a good 4 hours of being waterboarded, I’d jump at the opportunity. But since that’s never an option, they will see me dressed well with my hair cut and perhaps speaking Edubonics**, then assume that I, like them, am just waiting to wax knowingly about the political issues of the day. I’ll usually be polite and indulge them, but the truth of the matter is that I’d much rather share a good fart joke than my opinion on the humanitarian crisis in Kenya. Being an engineer by training, practicality is a big deal to me – and to that end, a fart joke is far more relevant (I fart all the time, and frequently enjoy the farts of others) than Kenya (which doesn’t affect me at all).

But somehow, because I wanna talk about flatulence instead of Africa, I’m not as good as Mr. or Ms. Master’s Degree. Yea? Well to that, I offer Figure 2 in closing:


Figure 2: Has 3x my education and 1/3 my income

*I’m a big fan of natural hair on a black woman, but not when you use it as a symbol of your megalomania

** The King’s English peppered with sayings like “go ‘head!” and “no doubt” that are distinctly black but fall short of being off-putting to white people. Black people use Edubonics to prevent being labeled an Uncle Tom while asserting their intelligence