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My New Daily Prayer

Art saved my life. I've also ruined my life for art. Drugs saved my life. I've also ruined my life for drugs. Women have saved my life. I've also ruined my life for women. The countless times I've fell, I've always managed to fall upwards, by His grace...And I'm only a slave to that which I allow myself to be a slave to, be it the things I love or the things that hate me. But despite my contradiction of clinging to chains, I ultimately only want to grow to a flux of freedom; and to surround my life with factors that are fresh to me...Inundatingly, so.

So if you don't want this for me, stay the fuck out my life. I feel that's best for both parties. Bad fruit only hinders the plentiful growth of good fruit. I wish you only the best on your path.

If you do wish this growth for me, then I pray it unto you as well. And let us help each other to achieve this together so that our growth is tenfold for both of our seeds. And let Us please keep one another close, if maynot in body, then in spirit, in mind, and in heart. This is now my daily prayer.

Happy Holidays from Flying Kites, and Good News!

Happy Holidays! :-)

If you are looking for something to brighten your day, I invite you to watch Brian's Story. Prior to his arrival at Flying Kites, Brian lived in the slums of Nairobi without a mother, access to formal education, and enough food to live healthily. Brian has dreamed of becoming a pilot since he could look up at the sky and imagine himself as the Captain to an airplane. Now, someone on the other side of the world Brian's never met is making that dream come true - he's going to pilot school! When Brian and I last spoke, he told me that "will do is best to not let us down." I, wholeheartedly, believe every word. He wants to pay-forward this act of kindness to someone else hoping to achieve their dreams in what seems like impossible circumstances. I can't help but think what a beautiful chain reaction: one stranger's act of kindness is impacting another person passionate enough to fulfill their dreams and help others along the way.

Imagine telling your loved ones that their gift contributed to inspiring students, like Brian. Now is your chance to make your gift even more special, thanks to the art pieces donated by San Francisco, Oakland, and other Bay Area artists. Click here to buy something beautifully unique that also contributes to making children healthier! Free domestic shipping! All funds raised go directly to Flying Kites School (visit site for more details: classy.org/kateflieskites).

WE ONLY HAVE $1,500 REMAINING to ensure all health programs are guaranteed for Flying Kites incredible students, like Brian!! Please, help us get there before the end of the new year, and give more with your gift this holiday season.

Not able to buy the art, but want donate anyways? You're the best! Donate to: www.classy.org/kateflieskites

Flying Kites


Kind Regards,
Kate Armstrong

Mantra: Hip Hop's Not Dead

Hip Hop's not dead, it's getting sicker.
Nostradamus, hot spit on hospice,
get the big picture, the game's not hospitable.
Teachers speak riddles in school to ridicule original views
tint news in cynical hues, somber faces in penitent pews.


You can tell my mind’s bent
By the red eye tint.
“Plata o plomo”
The fine print of consignment
Moment of silence
I had not thought death had undone so many, Henchmen who hold semi’s sold their souls for a penny.
That’s myopic, cost enough for cyclops to cross the River Styx
Slam dance to Van Damme delivering kicks to the liver quick.

Commission To Re-elect Nixon


Donald Trump, Richard Nixon (Credit: AP/Carlos Osorio/Photo montage by Salon)







Has this been the commission to re-elect Nixon? Is this a nostalgia for an America that is impossible to go back to? Has the populist movement been reduced to demagogic abject hate?

Let's get to the bottom line here, the real reason of what Trump's victory is symptomatic of is the fatigue and resentment against the establishment. But at what cost? Many are fearful that this election brought way to throw away marginalized people in our society. Let us acknowledge that not all Trump supporters are racist, misogynistic, and xenophobic. However, to have voted and supported him it is that very rhetoric that you have tolerated. And that is fear, not Love. You have been marginalized, disregarded by the establishment, and your values and wishes have been ignored and unheard for a long time. That does not make it acceptable to disregard others because of your fears. Tolerance and fear give way to let evil triumph. You are more; do not simply tolerate; Love.

On the other side of the coin, you have Hillary Clinton who was the exact representation of that establishment that people have grown to resent. She is part of the two-headed beast feeding into it's own demise. You have a populace that is tired of being told what to do so they spoke and wished for Bernie Sanders, values and character that spoke to them, but the DNC didn't care. They continued to ignore the people and forced Clinton down their throat. Are they stupid? You are going to put a conservative as the candidate for the Democratic party? Most Democrats can't stand Republicans. This my side is better than your side politics is part of the problem. We could have gave third parties a fighting chance and banded together, but instead you supported Trump? Furthermore, the mainstream media placing value on titillation and pay for network ratings over substance and accountability. Jill Stein ran the only campaign that wasn't poisoned by corporate money, lobbyists or superpacks and yet the media just pushed her aside as a dreamer and gave her almost no coverage. We need dreamers. I've read from 40 to upward of 60% of the country now identifies as independent. Don't believe the media, we have the power. People are fed up with this false line of divide of the one-party system.

Donald Trump may be an "outsider", but not any more so than a Ross Perot or a Pat Buchanan. He has always been a part of the establishment. But in his narrative constructed to the American people he is the outsider who fought against the establishment for them. In actuality what is even sadder than Trump being president, is that things would be little different if Clinton were elected. Everything in our society, even the presidency has been reduced down to a brand. Barack Obama was the poster-boy for “change” and “hope” but his polices were moderately conservative at best and when those sold on hope become hopeless the retaliation is never pretty. But what do Obama's shortcomings have to do with our own? Why feed into that polluted way of thinking? Trump is simply stealing truths (the system is rigged) and using double-talk to re-apply them to his own agenda. If you thought you were voting against the establishment and voted for Trump, you were lied to. Mark my words, you will soon find out that Trump's support for you is just as empty as your plight to “make America great again”. If you want to stand for something, stand by a man's character, not sloganeering in bumper stickers.

I feel such sympathy for my generation and the children after us. The younger people of this country are so much more enlightened and concerned for social justice than they are given credit for. They are so beyond stupid concepts of race and prejudice, yet they do not live in a society that values that. Thank God for the teachers who still have a truly inspired passion to teach and be a beacon of light for the youth. Young people can't transcend the system, but they can change it if they know what it is in the first place. Know this, we are not in an age that is past racism, misogyny, and xenophobia. We are a disconnected nation. Our country is consumed by bigotry and fear. Fear not, for we can be the change we want to see.

A Silver-lining here is now both major parties have to do a serious self-check and soul searching. This forces them to make a shift toward actually having to stop sitting on their hands and do something for the people. Congress needs to quit standing idly by to keep the status quo. 'The Times Are A Changin.' This also widens the door to allow third parties more of a stake in the consciousness of the mainstream. Let me say this, if you want your vote to count, vote third party. The time to fight for Love is now. Change will come from the people. No government can govern me. I'm a free man, and so are you, if you choose to be. Still, “the revolution will not be televised,” it will be recorded on some kids' smartphone. Just make sure the cops' bodycam is on when he smashes the evidence...

In life many bad things will come your way, but we will never give up. Only by continuing to fight with every ounce of strength we have in us, by tooth and nail, will we make things better. The only way that we can lose is when we give up! Together we will see this through and emerge stronger and more united. No president can save you. Don't put faith in a president; put faith in yourselves and in each other. We will always overcome, because Love has already won.

Don't fear. Just Love.



Sincerely,
Duals

Dear Metal Heart, You Are Not Good Enough



Why would I accept who you are, when you can be greater? I am using the word 'accept' loosely here, but for a reason. There has been a societal shaping that has been going on that concerns me for our future. Where acceptance used to be a form of caring, it has been reduced merely to tolerance. To only tolerate where our friends are at, or to only tolerate those that we disagree with is such a condescending perspective. It is to say I give up before living; it is to say I disagree, but I shall do nothing. I challenge Us that we push ourselves to not just tolerate, but to Love. To push ourselves to something greater. Because dear Brothers and Sisters, at no matter what point we are at, things can always be better than this. The fact that none of Us is perfect or righteous is no excuse not to reach for that. Reach for a better future for each other, so we may leave a better future for the children, and so the spiral up foreverly continues.

So this current societal shaping I speak of, the sense of entitlement that everyone is a winner. A generation where we received medals for simply showing up. If Bobby is getting first in all the races, you do not deserve the same recognition for running as Bobby. If Susie is getting straight A's on the tests and you aren't she deserves the scholarship over you. In those areas you are not as good as Bobby or Susie, that is the reality. You didn't put in the same countless arduous hours that Kobe Bryant did, that's why he's better than you. It doesn't mean he's better than you as a human being, but at basketball he's great and you're not. Hey, maybe you can bust out some sick kickflips and whoop him up and down a skatepark. But here is the reality, you showing up does not make you deserving. If your best isn't good enough, that means you have to work harder.

You even see this in workplaces nowadays, some kid fresh out of college, who is fairly smart and competent, but immediately expects special treatment and high pay at a high position. No, everyone has to start at the bottom and prove themselves. A lot of this delusion in my generation stems from social media and the immediacy of the exposure of their voice. So many people seem to now have this grandiose sense that their opinion on anything they've barely read the footnotes is gospel due to the fact they can share it online and get people to like it. This attitude of well, my opinion is just as important as (insert expert who put in massive research, countless hours, and a plethora of failures to get to where they are) because 'Trollthot_69' likes all my posts. This mentality that you don't have to do anything to be great is deteriorating our being of worth. It doesn't matter if you see yourself on top of a mountain, you still need to make the climb to reach there.

So let's get to the bottom-line here. Never be afraid to grow, never be afraid to become great. There are far too many people in this life that will lie to you, that will tell you how great you are just to “be nice.” Curse that apathetic and lukewarm type of “friendship!” This sugarcoating is not nice, and I hope you never allow anyone to limit you as “good enough,” because you are so much more. So I do not accept who you are, I will not simply tolerate who you are, I love you who you are because I know who you can become. I dare you to rise above. And I challenge you to love yourself now, not because of who you are now, but because you know who you truly are, your unfolding you in becoming, and know that you must fight tooth and nail to become the greatness you were born for.

Dear Metal Heart, who do you think you are fooling? “By hiding you are not worth a thing. How selfish of you to believe in the meaning of all the bad dreaming.” I emplore you, please let your light shine. Never tolerate, always Love...

Never Settle For What Makes You Happy

Happy Pill

All too often I'm sure you've heard the phrase “Do What Makes You Happy.” You've heard it so much by now, someone elses mantra has been sewn into your head perhaps. To be candid, it is not exactly the doing what makes you happy that is completely the problem, but however the extrapolation for it being a catch all phrase for a “happy life.” In a world full of traps, everyone wants to sell you the secret key to life. Beware of catchy mantras...

By living for simply what makes us happy is setting a very low bar for humanity. Not only that, it is a selfish, self-absorbed, and non-empathetic mindset. Why settle for happiness, when we can fight for Love? I emplore you dear reader, that you are so much more. I can sit and watch television all day and I would be very content, but then what have I given to my fellow man? I can live fully for my moments, but then what I have I given to our children's moments, and our childrens' children's way of life? Furthermore, I can go out to a a beautiful isolated paradise with the book of knowledge, completely filled with enlightenment of course (yeah, right); however what good is a light that shines on no one?

I say to you – Happiness is but a fleeting emptiness, a sensual bottomless pit that always craves to be fed. Just because we can do something doesn't mean we should, obviously. Would we allow a serial killer or a psychopath that loves to skin puppies alive to just do what makes them happy? Of course not! Certain laws are in place for a reason. Freedom that encroaches on another person's ability to be free is not freedom, but oppression. So let Us surrender to our irrational human mind's in hope for Love. Let us conquer mediocrity by dreaming for what they told us was impossible. Let us put our childish happiness aside and challenge ourselves to Love each other more and to serve each other unconditionally despite how hard this world makes it to do just that. Let Us go above and beyond happiness; For We Are More...


P.S. I hope you all who are in the Glendale, CA area on March 19th can come join me as I perform with my live band for wild music, great fun, positive energy, and amazing moments all in one night! http://www.aftonshows.com/DualsRecords Infinite Love...

Frack Not & Fracking Freak-Out Justified?

You can also find this piece of mine on the importance to ban fracking in the Independent

I decided to reshare this as this is a consistent and ongoing problem that has not been addressed enough, especially with the election before us and candidates being thrown off course of real issues in place of ridiculous exposure on Donald Trump.

I wrote this back when we (Water Guardians, among other groups) were fighting to get fracking banned in California. And it is something that we need to continue to have measures to slow down and eventually stop and transition to better ecological and more proficient energy resources throughout the United States and the rest of the world.

Frack Not


People in Santa Barbara have begun assembling to ban fracking — and it is about time! It doesn’t take a scientist to see how detrimental fracking is for the people and the environment. However, several scientists have, in fact, spoken out on the reprehensible effects caused by the exploitation of fracking by big oil companies. It has been documented in several studies and reports that fracking has caused problems such as poisonous chemicals in the water and earthquakes in areas not prone to them.

Here in Santa Barbara, a new method of steam injection is being used, which is especially prone to causing earthquakes. We are near the San Andreas fault and already susceptible to earthquakes; this dangerous practice is downright immoral and irresponsible.

In your story “Fracking Freak-Out Justified?”, one of our state senators, Hannah-Beth Jackson, speaks out against fracking and I am proud that many citizens have begun standing up to the oil companies that are exploiting the people for mere monetary gain.

Please join in and comment your thoughts on this critical issue. Please let us open a dialogue with each other on fracking and potential energy resources for the future https://www.facebook.com/dualsrecords

Cambodian Dream

So I had this dream I was in Cambodia and I was trying to send my family back a picture of this awesome view I was at, but every time I tried one of the children playing near me would run in front and I couldn't get the shot and when they didn't the camera would glitch out and invert on me...

This is pretty true to life for me. Just #LoveLife and appreciate the moment you're in. Sorry I don't take more pictures y'all, guess it aint much my style.

Thanks for your continued reading everyone :-) Be sure to subscribe on the mainsite www.growthofculture.com for free goodies and updates. And follow me on your favourite social medias @dualsrecords

What Builds Our Character More Than Failure?



What Builds Our Character More Than Failure?

Of course, no one wants to hear that their hard times are just as equal of a blessing as their great times. There are inmates in prison that would keel you for such harsh words...

But seriously, think of this – This world owes you nothing. So be it something, small or large in your perception, it is something. Anything you are granted is more than you are owed. Both parents, one parent, foster home – it matters not for you were gifted. By astronomical odds overwhelmingly against you, you were born. You were the sperm that made it. In the single planet in our galaxy beholding human beings amongst endless universe with passing meteors, black holes, and stars dying by the nanosecond, you are here. From each and every morsel you manage to manifest to your dear lips, to each human you touch, to each song you hear, to each dream you see, these are all blessings we don't deserve. Even life itself. The rest of the bullshit we face is just life.

We strive after failing time and time again. What a beastly nature. Is there any other animal which fosters the depths of insanity as wholeheartedly as humans? Despite our imperfect design we cling to notions of hope, dreams of Love. From the outside looking in at this present moment we view a depraved populace, fighting in futility for abstractions of a mind beyond ourselves. No - yet how mysterious is the double helix shape of history – both perspective of the loser and the butcher. And furthermore, in a dizzying circle of sameness, what comes is always better than what came before. Change...Sameness...Change...Sameness...Change...

Do not forget that hindsight is 20/20. And fortune telling gives you the power you give it. Death. Rebirth. Tread careful when welcoming nostalgia's rosy shades. So when you look back do you see a you, the new you has learned from and the reason behind growth, or do you see “times before failure where things were perfect.” Death. Rebirth. And herein lies your character. Despite our ridiculous imperfections and falling further than we knew there was deep, do we same or do we change? Do we acknowledge our failure so that we can change and grow? Can we still maintain hope, can we still live in Love? Death. Rebirth.

Now as we start this fine new year I wonder if you dare wander to change in a world of sameness. I wish you to wander to somehow you may wonder a deader past and brighter paths. For you are the Light which lights the way. So that we may let our hearts of joy be our guide. And our wisdom of sadness connect Us to the living. And with our best foot forward, may each endeavour to peaks and to valleys be one journey closer to Us all reaching lovingkindness.

Happy new year! May God Bless you in your continual spiritual growth ∞ ♥ …

“The world is flat. It has One side. And we're all on it.” - Adam Drucker
Alone, Together, Happy, Sad, Courageous, Apprehensive, Determined, Anxious, Granduer, Depressed
We are all connected.

Photo credit to - Oliver's Art

And If My New Song “On My Own” connects with You, Please Vote at http://bsta.rs/5a651 from now until January 14th #GangsterofLove #SpreadLove #GrowthofCulture #Hiphop #Poetry #Music

Why the Renaissance Man Is Back On The Rise

Before there is a battle of the sexes in the comments section...I mean the traditional sense of 'Man'
where Man - defined as:
A member of the species Homo sapiens or all the members of this species collectively, without regard to sex: prehistoric man.
A human being; a person

However, if you still feel the inclination to discuss the gaining social sensitivity to go out of the way to make everything gender neutral, feel free...But it should be reminded that sex is of the flesh and soul knows no gender for we are all One, right? Well, go ahead and contribute your thoughts on that...



Anyway, on to the nitty gritty of the matter at hand. Let us think back before the crash of General Motors in the Motor City, Detroit. A man could go right out of highschool and get a job at a factory and support his family decently. That is not the case anymore, there are college graduates working two jobs to pay off student loans and some even living on the streets.

We now live in the age of the 'Crash Years' (A term I coined by inspiration from Neko Case & The New Pornographer's “Together,” but most likely for certainly has several references elsewhere). From recessions to so much panic that the media plead that there was no recession, to constant analysis pointing to a double dip recession that some of our European brethren like Spain and Greece faced, to bailouts and back to panic of when and why another recession may happen it is needless to say that the economy of the States isn't that same stable rock it once imagined itself to be.

So now as we tread carefully on eggshells...
(Insert picture of seashells as a metaphor of the tides changing like the ocean's current)
Eggshells Seashells haha bad joke :p

We know that the market is volatile. To truly succeed in this day and age – no to survive – many are not only working one trade or job, but multiple. Look at social media and the internet; Myspace to Facebook – Facebook to Twitter – Twitter to Instagram...But wait! Which is suitable to your marketing type and demographic? You are business oriented and have apt networking skills so surely LinkedIn and Pinterest are up your alley, right? Although, your product may be geared toward the younger generation and Tumblr is very hot for the teen to young adult age group...For now...

More and more everyday individuals must utilize their research skills on how to diversify themselves to keep up with this now inundated and competitive changing free trade world. For instance, there is nothing I myself love doing more than creating art, whether it be new music, writing, filming shorts or what have you. However I also realize that I do not live in a time where you can just showcase great art and expect to make a lot of money, unless you get extremely lucky. This is why I also took up entrepreneurship and started working with National Wealth Center, to give me the ability to have my own independent label and create a way to do what I love.

National Wealth Center Signup

Here is some food for thought to end this note on with you, if you do not act now in our economy with so much competition, do you not think that someone else will? Like Nas said, “The World is Yours.” So go out and take it! If you want success, wealth, art, whatever it is you must act now! If you are not living your dream today to create a better tomorrow than you are fading from your dream to a history already forgotten.

I implore you, keep mindfulness that there is no such thing as “the perfect time.” You hate your surroundings, change what you are around. You don't like your job? Create a new one. Don't waste your time settling for a life not worth your greatness. You are more <3

Life waits for no man, act now, live your dream today.


If you are enjoying my Blog writings, I humbly ask that you subscribe to our mailing list on the main website http://www.grothofculture.com so that you never miss one :-)

And again, I am a struggling artist, so subscribe to my Youtube Channel where my music video will be released October 18th and give a listen to my Music if you support this independent movement, hope you heart it hard, if so a great thank you for the help ∞ ♥

-Duals (Growth Of Culture)