So Far So Good

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Today was a good day in the writing world and I didn’t even write! This morning was crazy busy as I strive to finish the last minute details for my upcoming signing and tend to house duties as well. As I was preparing dinner, I got a text from my sister stating that my GoFundMe goal has been met. For those of you who have been following me, you know that I am raising money to assist with my Book Signing in Atlanta in about a week. So any who, I am very excited to see that level of support pouring my way and to know that all of the money I set out to raise is done. Not only is it done but I raised more than I set out to.

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The promo sale is also doing well so far. I set out to reach the Top 100 and according to last hour I was at #17 in the Amazon Kindle African American Historical Fiction section. So it appears I have exceeded my expectations in another area. Of course, the numbers fluctuate so this is only the beginning. I ask for your continued support in keeping me at the top as we get closer to Launch day. I also want to thank everyone who have been supportive of my work so far. All of the re-tweets and Facebook / Blog shares are monumental. As I put in this footwork on the ground, I ask for your continued online support.

Now, time for me to get my grub on.

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Oh, and BTW, The Walking Dead comes on at 8:00p CST, just saying.

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The Walking Dead

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Was so intense last night! I don’t want to ruin it for the others but all I’m gonna say is: “Is he is or is he aint?” Those of you who seen last night’s episode know exactly what I’m talking about!

OK so, below are just a two questions I have for the writers:

  • Where’s the Plague?

I don’t mean the Zombie plague; it’s enough of that going around. I mean the fly and maggot plague! With that many dead bodies around there should be flies and maggots and insects everywhere.

  • Kid Zombies?

Why are there no kid zombies! I see men, women, and even the elderly but there are no children zombies or baby zombies. Time out maybe?

  • The Smell

Again, with that number of zombies around the stench should be unbearable, but rarely do we see anyone covering their noses and mouths even when approaching new bodies. Maybe they got used to it?

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I know were all waiting for insight into Rick’s situation but don’t sleep on Morgan! This is a man filled with compassion but he is a beast. And, to all my Walking Dead Fans, did you catch what his stick represents? It’s a staff. Yup, like the one Moses had.

So anyway, which Walking Dead character are you? Just for fun.

Michonne (Danai Gurira) - The Walking Dead - Season 3, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

I’m gonna have to go with Michonne! Straight beast mode.

The Problem With Natural Hair On TV

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PHOTO: COURTESY OF ABC.

An article was recently published about the rise of Natural Hair among black women on TV. Below is the featured article. What are your thoughts?  Is there a conscious awareness connected to the sudden surge of natural hairstyles from Blacks? Do you think it matters what state the hair is in?

The Problem with Natural Hair on TV

by Taylor Bryant

“If you tuned in to “How to Get Away with Murder” recently, you know that Viola Davis has spent some screen time without her wig on. It proved not only to be a raw and emotional episode, but it displayed a rare moment: a Black woman with natural hair on a mainstream TV network.

Turn back the clock 20 years, and you’d be hard-pressed to see a Black actress with hair that was anything other than just-got-out-of-the-salon laid. Flip through the tube in 1995, and you might find: the ladies from Living Single, all with straight strands (with some weaves thrown in), the freshly blowdried ‘do’s of Laura and Harriette on Family Matters, and Gina and Pam’s permed-out hair on Martin. Fast-forward a couple more years, and there’s some more representation with a two-for-one curly appearance in the form of the Mowry twins onSister, Sister. But, even their coils were straightened later in the series. As writer, fashion expert, and image activist Michaela Angela Davis points out, non-curly hairstyles that dominated the small screen in the ’90s were very much a sign of the times. “We were in a very conservative moment,” she says. “Relaxers were easier to get, easier to use, weaves came in…and getting straight hair just got more accessible.”

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While we’ve seen Black women’s natural hair on the small screen before the present-day era — these kinds of landmark moments date back to Cicely Tyson’s ’60s role in East Side/West Side — it’s becoming more common, and the new movement has been a long time coming.

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PHOTO: COURTESY OF ABC.

What does this modern evolution look like? Actress Tracee Ellis Ross has worn her curly crown in all its glory since 2000 on the (sorely missed) show Girlfriends, and continues to do so today, as the lead actress on ABC’s Black-ish. “I’m very conscious of how I wear my hair on the show, and yet it’s the way I wear my hair as Tracee,” she told Entertainment Weekly in December. “You hire me, you hire my hair, and you hire my ass. It’s all coming with me.” And, who could forget Davis’ wig-removal scene in earlier episodes of HTGAWM, which spurred many a think piece? According to Kent Nelson, the show’s hair-department head, Davis’ character Annalise is “unmasking” herself. “The armor and mask that she goes to work in every day is coming off,” he says. It signifies vulnerability, intimacy, and a shedding of society’s expectations. Which brings us to the problem with natural hair on TV right now: Yes, there are a lot more instances of it, but the way characters with it are depicted is not necessarily positive.

Take the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, where the characters embrace, arguably, the widest range of textured styles in a series today (with the exception of Laverne Cox’s character, who, let’s be honest, would look fabulous with any style). There’s cornrows on Taystee, a short TWA style on Poussey, and, of course, Crazy Eyes’ signature bantu knots. “We really haven’t seen that many characters [like the OITNB ladies] on TV before,” says lead hairstylist Angel DeAngelis. “I think that’s why the show is so relatable and popular; because these prisoners look like people that are out there.”

Inside The Walking Dead

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I hope you’re not the kind of person to believe everything you watch on the news. At the same time, I hope you’re not the kind of person who thinks everything is a coincidence with no connection to your world. I really hope that you’re not the kind of person who lives in a box, where only certain things are capable of fitting. Everything else is, well, too far-fetched. It is too far removed from your four corners, too much on the crazy side, too fictitious. But as the subtitle states, truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

With the new season of The Walking Dead kicking off, I know that many of you anticipate being entertained. I know that you anxiously await your weekly fix. You wish nothing but to yell at Rick’s decisions. As for The Strain, your hoping the Stragoy hasn’t really gotten away. And with Halloween just around the corner, TWD is right on time. But in all seriousness these are not just TV shows. If you pay attention, very similar events are happening right here in your back yard. Unless of course you live under a rock, in which case you can stop reading now.

Otherwise, let’s start with the synopsis of each show:

The Walking Dead

1217-walking-dead-amc-3Waking up in an empty hospital after weeks in a coma, County Sheriff Rick Grimes finds himself utterly alone. The world as he knows it is gone, ravaged by a zombie epidemic. The Walking Dead tells the story of the weeks and months that follow after the apocalypse. Based on Robert Kirkman’s hugely successful and popular comic book series, AMC’s The Walking Dead is an epic, edge-of-your-seat drama where personal struggles are magnified against a backdrop of moment-to-moment survival. A survivalist story at its core, the series explores how the living are changed by the overwhelming realization that those who survive can be far more dangerous than the mindless walkers roaming the earth. They themselves have become the walking dead.

The Strain

strainA Boeing 767 arrives at JFK and is on its way across the tarmac, when it suddenly stops dead. All window shades are pulled down. All lights are out. All communication channels have gone quiet. Crews on the ground are lost for answers, but an alert goes out to the CDC. Dr. Ephraim “Eph” Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, gets the call and boards the plane. What he finds makes his blood run cold. In a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem, a former professor and survivor of the Holocaust named Abraham Setrakian knows something is happening. And he knows the time has come, that a war is brewing. So begins a battle of mammoth proportions as the vampiric virus that has infected New York begins to spill out into the streets. Eph, who is joined by Setrakian and a motley crew of fighters, must now find a way to stop the contagion and save his city – a city that includes his wife and son – before it is too late.

In both TV shows, the CDC (Centers For Disease Control) has knowledge of a zombie like virus that eventually ensues and becomes an enemy of mankind, turning them into Zombies (or Vampires). The process usually begins with a virus that produces flu-like symptoms, such as fevers, ending in death with the eventual reanimation of the corpse.

“Are you prepared for the impending zombie invasion?”

The Centers for Disease Control posed this question back in 2011 as part of an emergency preparedness program:

“There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for,” the posting reads. “Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.”

The post, written by Assistant Surgeon General Ali Khan, instructs readers how to prepare for “flesh-eating zombies” much like how they appeared in Hollywood hits like “Night of the Living Dead” and video games like Resident Evil. Perhaps surprisingly, the same steps you’d take in preparation for an onslaught of ravenous monsters are similar to those suggested in advance of a hurricane or pandemic.

While the tone is friendly, and suggests “Zombie Apocalypse” is used as a gimmick to tap into an audience already obsessed with them on TV, it would however become one of many warnings put out by The CDC over the span of a few years. The following year, 2012, The CDC and Homeland Security brought the Zombie Apocalypse back to life:

“The Homeland Security Department warned citizens on Thursday that the “zombies are coming,” and urged them to be ready for a walking-dead apocalypse, The Associated Press reported.The zombie “warning” is part of a public health campaign calling for citizens to be ready for disaster — to know to stock up on food, batteries and water, and to keep extra changes of clothes and medication on hand.”

Again, the tone is humorous and the article warns that Zombie Apocalypse is actually used as part of an emergency preparedness program to help people to be ready for any disaster. It is understood to be a metaphor for emergency preparedness while capitalizing on AMC’s The Walking Dead. But, is this true? I would certainly think so, however I also believe there is much more taking place than CDC warnings of a Zombie Apocalypse. There has also been Zombie-Like activity running alongside these warnings:

Naked Man Chews Other Guy’s Face, Shot Dead by Cops

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In May of 2012, a Miami man chewed another man’s face off:

“In a grisly attack that resembled something out of a horror movie, a naked man was discovered in downtown Miami on Saturday, May 26, in the process of chewing off the face of another man. The attacker, who had already devoured the victim’s eyes, nose and ears, growled at a police officer, who shot him several times after numerous orders to desist. The victim was left fighting for his life, with 75% of his face missing. “The guy was like tearing him to pieces with his mouth, so I told him, ‘Get off!’ ” the cyclist, Larry Vega, told Miami’s WSVN 7 News. “The guy just kept eating the other guy away, like ripping his skin.”

Two Zombie Attacks in Texas In Two Days, Zombie Plague Spreads

8133668_f520“On Saturday June 22, 2013 a man who’s friends said he was high on synthetic pot went wild and crazy. He stripped off his clothes and ran around the house on his all fours like an animal growling and screaming. At one point one of his friends locked the back glass screen door when the man went outside and the man screamed and then leaped through the locked screen door through the glass in the upper part of the door. He cut his chest and legs badly and was bleeding badly. He was scooping up his own blood with his hands and pushing it into his own mouth eating it. His friends terrier dog came into the kitchen and the screaming man beat the dog down with his fists and then tore it apart and ate it hair and all. Before the police and paramedics arrived on the scene the man had consumed most of the little terrier dog.”

Strangely enough, this exact scenario was played out for you on the world stage when an episode of The Strain depicted a man, overtaken by the Zombie virus, had eaten parts of his dog.

Second Zombie Attack Sunday June 23 , 2013, Houston Texas

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“Police were called to a house on the south side of Houston Texas early on Sunday morning and they found a scene right out of a horror movie. The first officers on the scene said that Otty Sanchez a Mexican Female and a citizen of Mexico was setting on the couch with her throat slashed and bad cuts to her hands and arms. She was screaming and when they finally figured it out she was saying she had killed and eaten part of her 18 month old little boy. A search of the bedroom confirmed this. Police were also able to figure out that the knife wounds on the woman were self inflicted and that some of them were really bad knife wounds.”

But this is just another coincidence. Maybe The CDC is using the Zombie Apocalypse as a metaphor for emergency preparedness. Or maybe not:

Face Eating Attack In China: ‘Dong,’ Drunken Bus Driver, Allegedly Bites Woman ‘Du’s’ Nose, Lips

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A woman has been hospitalized in China after a drunken bus driver allegedly attacked her and began gnawing on her face.

The woman, identified as “Du,” was driving near a bus station in Wenzhou on Tuesday when a man ran into the street, blocking her car. The man, a bus driver identified as “Dong,” allegedly climbed onto the hood of Du’s car and began hitting the windshield, according to the Malaysia Chronicle.

Du got out of the car, and allegedly Dong tackled her to the ground, where he began chewing on her face, according to Shanghai Daily. Witnesses say they attempted to pull Dong off of her, but were unable to do so.

Lollapalooza reveller bitten in ‘zombie like’ attack by stranger at Arctic Monkeys gig

“A man has been bitten in a ‘zombie like’ attack during an Arctic Monkeys gig. Ben Lenet was bitten in what police claim is a vicious and unprovoked attack on the first night of the annual Chicago music festival Lollapalooza, which drew crowds of 100,000 people. The music fan is now receiving treatment to ward off infection and HIV. In scenes similar to those on The Walking Dead, Lenet and his friends were watching the band as they were attacked as a group by the ‘zombie’ in question. In efforts to restrain the attacker, who had started choking a member of their group, Lenet put his arm on the man only for him to bite back. He turns around and clamps his teeth into my left forearm,” he told the Chicago Tribune. “He’s fully clamped, he’s coming at me. He’s ripping at me, he was trying to bite through my arm.” The 29-year-old has taken to Reddit to detail the attack and try and root out the assailant in order to try and stop any further attacks saying “I don’t want him to do this to anyone else.”

The Virus

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In the TV series The Walking Dead, the characters live in a world overrun by zombies—specifically, zombies caused by a mysterious virus that has apparently infected everyone in the population. The living carries the virus, but when someone dies—whether quickly after being bitten by a “walker”, a human or more slowly due to natural causes—the result is the same: After death, everyone is reanimated as a bloodthirsty zombie.That’s because, as is revealed, the virus is airborne.

Walker - The Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 2The principle that all living people are already infected with the zombie virus was introduced in Season 2 during an adventure to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where the only remaining CDC scientist—Edwin Jenner—informed Rick of this fact. To date, this revelation has been the central plot point in every Zombie movie / TV show since then in terms of Public Health. “Coincidentally”, The CDC is always at the forefront of combating a virus that starts by giving people flu-like symptoms before turning them into Zombies. We can go over and over again with article after article, news report after news report of people exhibiting Zombie-Like behavior in the real world. Even if you choose not to believe it, it is a fact that people are going around eating other people in strangely similar ways to the Zombies we see on TV, usually beginning from a Virus.

Ebola and The Strain

Corey Stoll as Dr. Ephraim Eph Goodweather performing tests in The Strain Season 1 Episode 2 The Box

One of the most obvious examples of fiction and its depiction of real life is the current Ebola virus and the TV show that “conveniently” just ended, The Strain. As previously recounted The Strain, according to FX, tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. The people fall into a deep sleep, like they’re dead, and wake up as a new creature.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), The Ebola virus causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal if untreated. According to WHO, the Ebola virus disease (EVD) first appeared in 1976 in 2 simultaneous outbreaks, one in Nzara, Sudan, and the other in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter occurred in a village near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name. It is a virus that gives people flu-like symptoms before killing them.

On September 24th, Monrovia, Liberia-based newspaper The New Dawn published an article regarding an unusual occurrence in Nimba County. According to the local news source, two deceased victims of Ebola had mysteriously come back to life just prior to their burials. The strange and sudden resurrection of two Ebola patients had naturally frightened local residents. The story has since then been debunked as false, however, is it really? Have any of us ever actually been over to Liberia since this happened? How do we know it’s false? Oh, I get it, it’s not American Certified. It comes from another country so surely it’s not real.

I began this article by expressing my hope that you are not someone who believes everything you see on the news. Likewise, I equally hope you are not living under a rock. There are many more people with this virus than they’re telling you there are and it is much more serious in Africa than they show you it is. In The Strain, the disease restructures the genetic make-up into that of a new creature; in other words it changes the genetic code. For this reason, the bodies cannot be buried the same way regular bodies are buried, they have to be burned and the head must be severed from the body because it is the strain disease that carries the virus. Likewise, Ebola patients cannot be buried normally, their bodies must be burned:

Ebola bodies must be cremated rather than buried, says Liberia government

“The bodies of Ebola victims must be cremated rather than buried, the government of Liberia has ordered. Hundreds of troops were sent to the capital Monrovia as fears rose over the killer virus being spread through touching the bodies – the local tradition at funerals. Fights broke out between health workers and residents trying to bury another 20 victims yesterday. A further 17 bodies have been found dumped on the streets.

It is very possible that Ebola carries the Zombie-Like Virus and this is why the bodies must be cremated so that the bodies are not reanimated.

1413502104235_wps_2_The_CDC_ran_a_social_mediThe Media

Of course the media is going to make every story attract a lot more attention for the sake of ratings, after all, this is a business. But that’s just surface information I’m sure we’re all familiar with by now. 9/11 has been proven to have deficiencies in relation to the motive behind it, the alleged “terrorist attack” thing,  but that doesn’t mean the deaths are fake. It doesn’t mean people did not lose their lives and that it didn’t have a dramatic effect on the life you live today. It just means the purpose behind their deaths is different than what is shown on the television as to why they died. Just because we know the TV shows and News broadcasts seek ratings doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pay close attention to what’s going on around us. I’m sure CNN profited off the Trayvon Martin Case (I’m sure his parents and Al Sharpton did as well), but that doesn’t mean a young man did not die. Nothing is actually irrelevant in this world.  Sure, there are lots of distractions yes, but it is not irrelevant in the full scope of things.

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Finally, the Ebola Virus looks strangely similar to The Strain virus. Or maybe this is just yet another major coincidence, I’m crazy, and the CDC’s issuing of Zombie-Apocalypse Preparedness tactics has absolutely nothing to do with the CDC’s overwhelming presence in almost every Zombie movie / TV show around today.

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Flashback: CDC warned Americans in 2011 about brain-eating corpses and said ‘If you’re ready for a Zombie Apocalypse, you’re ready for any emergency’

  • CDC spent staff time organizing a ‘Zombie Preparedness’ website and creating a graphic novella
  • ‘That’s right,’ a CDC website read. ‘I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this’
  • Tom Frieden, the embattled CDC director, helmed the agency in 2011 when the campaign went – ahem – viral
  • Frieden is the subject of several resignation demands since his agency fumbled the first three Ebola cases diagnosed on U.S. soil