Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Top Four Sinfully Annoying Internet Blog Trends

Being new to the blogosphere, I quickly realized that I have a lot to learn when it comes to posting my innermost thoughts together for the world to see. It's not easy crafting my commentaries into the perfect combination of keystrokes with just enough wit and useful information to engage a human being to click my article and scroll through. I also know that the best and most successful of writers are ones who read ten times as much as they write. So I take a good chunk of my time to read and observe what's out there, what's hot and what people latch on to when they want to get their fix on the world around them. What have I found? That people are making the very action of reading content annoying, laborious and complicated!

I mean no wonder people are reading less and less! The tactics that businesses and popular blogs are doing these days almost compel a person to just go to someone's Twitter feed to find out what's going on rather than reading things at length from credible sources. Or even more shocking, gather information by talking to a human person... face-to-face! Here are some of the gut-wrenching shenanigans that I can list off the top of my head:

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ooh, A good Khutbah!

Mmm caramel! For those of you who read my "A Khutbah is like a box of chocolates" article I posted a while back, Alhamdulilah this past week I was treated to an ooey gooey khutbah with melt-in-your-mouth goodness! Brother Atif Mahmud, a Houston-area teacher and khateeb gave a phenomenal khutbah about the wonders of reading. 
He spoke at length about how we are becoming a society that hates to read, a lot of it due to the technology of all those gadgets with a lower "i" in front of it. He threw out statistics he obtained that stated that last year, 90% (I think) of people neither read or picked up a book in the last year! Atif even alluded to the Ray Bradbury novel Farenheit 451, which is a story set in the future where Americans outlaw and burn books by the thousands to eradicate learning and literacy, and said in a way things are becoming just like the story as people are reading less and less.

In the end he presented to the congregation, notably the parents, to teach their child to love to read good books. He urges those non-readers to get back into reading books that stimulate the senses and exercise the mind. In conclusion, he said that if folks don't have a desire to read and appreciate good books, then how will they have a desire to read and appreciate the Qur'an?

It was a very thought-provoking Khutbah and I just hope that the audio will be posted up sometime soon on the interwebs for more people to listen to that great reminder. It especially touched a guy like me with a liberal-arts degree in Communications and a creative writer at that to further go back to my passions of storytelling which I will now be giving people glimpses of on PhilAsify 101.

I will be posting up short stories and other bits of literature I have created and also make book recommendations. So stay tuned and take care, class!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Whacked Out News: Man you gotta cop them new Adidas Slavery Shoes! They off, I mean ON the chain!

Wow. I know the shoe industry makes slaves of us all with its outrageous prices and churning out hideous design after design but I didn't know they would be so explicit and direct about their intentions!

Adidas was all set to release a shoe that, check it, had shackles attached to the dang thing! Ankle cuffs! But then they canceled its promotion and shipment to stores after receiving tons of negative feedback from its facebook followers.

Heres how they were pimpin' these things on Facebook last week:
"Tighten up your style with the JS Roundhouse Mids, dropping in August. Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?"

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Violence and Corruption and Drugs. (Oh my!) It's just Karachi, The Most Violent City in Pakistan

PhilAsify reviews the VICE Guide to Travel: Karachi, Pakistan

Well, let me take to to the neck of the woods
of my hood, show you wat we livin' like
Walkin' like a man, finger on the trigger
Got money in my pocket, I'm an uptown n----
--"Neck of The Woods" Birdman ft. Lil Wayne

This past weekend I sat down and watched the Vice Guide to Karachi, Pakistan. For those who don't know, VICE is a Montreal and New York City based magazine and media entity known for its whacky news columns. Their style falls in the same category of Maxim, Manswers, TMZ in that it pokes fun at pop culture and world affairs and has that sarcastic, expletive-laden and blunt sort of way it conducts its journalism that guys love. 

Some of their more interesting documentaries have been travel guides to dangerous and crazy places in the world, getting a glimpse of how things operate and how a citizen can get by doing things they wouldn't want their parents to know. Their very latest series that has been posted up is their Vice Travel Guide to Karachi, Pakistan. I have a link to video 1 below and you can follow the 5 video series after the first clip ends. I do want to warn you that it's not for the faint of heart and is definitely not a brochure to the beauty of Pakistan.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Truth about Why Women and Men can't be "Just Friends" [VIDEO]

Credit to: 

I don't believe this video above is totally necessary to drive home the fact that women and men can't be just friends, but the sample of people interviewed is most certainly reflects the larger part of society and transcends race, culture and religion. It really should be common knowledge.

It's just not possible for Men and Women to just be friends. If a guy or girl has a friend that is of the opposite sex, a homegirl/homeboy or what have you and believes things will always be strictly platonic, they are fooling themselves! If not on one end of the spectrum, then definitely on the man's end.

Update (10/22/12): ScientificAmerican.com recently put up on article which gave results of a study conducted by researchers who brought 88 under-graduate opposite-gender friends to their labs for testing, asking them various confidential questions regarding their attraction to their friend. The article basically concludes that Men and Women ultimately can't be "just friends" because males will undoubtedly have urges and primal attraction to their lady friends despite having a platonic relationship. From the article: "So, can men and women be “just friends?” If we all thought like women, almost certainly. But if we all thought like men, we’d probably be facing a serious overpopulation crisis." (My Thoughts: Booyah!)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Finally, A Video Game Movie that Doesn't Suck?

I've watched my fair share of Video Game movies and like most gamer fans, I find myself horribly disappointed. Many can hearken back to a time of enjoying an epic game for hour after captivating hour sitting in front of the boob tube, immersed in the magnificent cutscenes of games like Metal Gear: Solid Snake and Final Fantasy. And while sitting there with our friends or siblings we would say, "Man, they gotta make this a movie. It'd be sooo **insert dated reference for awesome**". The highlight of a gamers life from days gone by are those times after school bonding with the our favorite action heroes the Mario brothers, Liu Kang and that guy from the Grand Theft Auto games. When we picture a Hollywood film with these amazing characters, we expect nothing less than a classic cinema experience for the ages.

But Alas, when Hollywood actually gets ahold of those button mashing masterpieces, it creates an abortion of a movie. If you don't remember (or have gone in and labotomized your memory of such godawful films) let me refresh your memory:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

How the Wrestling Industry can Rise Again!: Characters, Characters, Characters!

Note:This is a change from my usual articles and is geared towards the world of professional wrestling. I am a big wrestling fan and have loved it since the Hogan days (which sadly are still happening in TNA). I have been through the ups and the downs.I loved Wrestling before it was considered cool in the late 90s. I resented the bandwagoners who hopped onto Wrestling with the "Austin 3:16", "DX", "NWO" shirts.and became a total insider when I grew older. This article is in regards to the decline of wrestling, specifically the WWE into not being compelling television anymore.

It's no secret that the WWE is not "must-see-TV" anymore. And lately WWE isn't really doing much in terms of changing that perception aside from it's "Did you Know?" propaganda. All over blogs, forums and chatrooms fans bemoan the state of the WWE and lament all the things WWE is doing wrong and its falling on deaf ears. When news broke that the teen demo viewership is the lowest it's ever been in a long time for the WWE, that should have triggered an alarm for the WWE to get it together and reel those 12-17 year olds' back in. But apparently, WWE has become complacent, not aware that they've hit a plateau that can't be broken unless they truly shake things up in a major way.

The statistics show that kids are watching, parents are taking their kids to shows, ordering PPVs and buying merchandise but teens are tuning out from a mainstream/casual fan perspective. Apparently WWE has carved a niche for themselves like Barney, Spongebob Squarepants or the Power Rangers where the kids love it, then they get older and realize how lame the product is and either move on away from wrestling altogether or they become insiders/smart and get cynical and yearn for wrestling to be better like when they first loved it. (Hello!)

I love you, you can't see me,
I promote respect, hustle and loyalty!
The WWE Attitude Era worked because WWE reflected society at the time so people of all ages were tuning in. Jerry Springer was on top of the world, MAD TV was red hot. Movies like American Pie were big hits. And WWE took things that route with its edgy, provacative characters. 10 years later, WWE doesn't have those type of characters anymore that mimic our environment. Characters that we as human beings see in our everyday lives but in an amplified way. If WWE just did some research by looking at popular video games/TV Shows, and heck, just looking at High schools and using their findings to come up with compelling characters, it'd do a world of good.

You need arrogant douchebags, you need cheaters, you need wannabe thugs, you need bullies, you need upright guys, cool comical guys that are someone that you could "have a beer with", guys that are all business and about competition/glory/winning, backstabbers, liars/manipulators, careless partyers that just want to have fun. you need the weirdo outcast that people cant quite figure out etc. These are people that society deals with and observes in everyday life. Magnify these traits in a character and put them in a wrestling ring. Dead are the days of cartoony gimmicks where someone is a cop, a Jamaican guy that comes out to reggae or an Indian with a turban on his head. If there are characters like these that people relate to, they will latch onto them, pay to see them and spread the word and create possibly another wrestling boom period because characters are compelling and good stories can be made from them.

Who wouldn't pay to see a tremendously skilled wrestler that is also disgustingly arrogant and brash and can't lose ala Anderson Silva/Floyd Mayweather? Or a guy that came humble beginnings and shocked the world with his skill like Jeremy Lin? A controversial enigma like Metta World Peace/Kanye West? A quick-witted charismatic star like Robert Downey Jr's film characters? A no nonsense tough guy character like Denzel Washington/Mark Wahlberg protray often? The mainstream and teens flock and throw money down to see these characters.

WWE should even go into unchartered territory. Heck, have a character that is gay but not a caricature of what a homosexual is. He's a good athlete, a talented wrestler, he just prefers men and isn't afraid to say it. Other wrestlers could openly complain about not wanting to wrestle him, or tag team with him and he doesn't let it bug him. Opponents underestimate him because he "plays for the other team" and he makes them eat his words by soundly defeating them. No matter your own views, that is a guy worthy of cheering and supporting.

What has been seen by wrestling experts and journalists as the reason for the declining teen viewership is that teens need their own generations character to root for and it's absolutely true. So if they just pay attention to what teens are gravitating towards and take what appeals them and put it in the confines of a wrestling ring, they can win them back. And I'm not saying that WWE should have werewolves, vampires and wizard prodigies dominate their show. That's returning back to shallow caricatures. It's not rocket science, Vince! Create larger-than-life characters that people can relate to and support rather than stacking all your chips on John Cena.

NBA Playoffs 2012 Prediction UPDATE: Spurs Lose Series and I Lose Credibility.

So the Spurs threw away their championship chances this post-season and have been eliminated in the Western Conference Finals by the Oklahoma City Thunder, thus utterly squashing my attempt at predicting the Champions in my blog a week ago. It's all good. I didn't like them anyway (Go Rockets!)  nor was I really rooting for them (other than just to prove my point). Thought I was making an educated guess but the Thunder blasted my hypothesis real quick and pissed all over the scientific method.  

I admit it, I was wrong. I'm not Nostradamus and predicting the future is haram anyway. Let's just move on.

On a brighter note, Kevin Durant solidified himself as a bonafide Superstar, which I am glad for because he deserves it. He's proved that he can be a leader on top of being an elite scorer. I actually will declare that he has stolen the nicknames of Paul Pierce and Allen Iverson and is now both the Truth and the Answer. Kudos to KD. Also I am officially on the James Harden bandwagon! Where in NBA History has a 3rd Option been so talented that he could be a 1st option on any other team? It's sick! And with that sunnah beard of his, he might as well convert to Islam if he hasn't already! 
Fear The Beard!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Productivity Tip: Be Lazy Every Now and Then!

Since the inception of this blog, I have been a huge advocate of productivity. I make it a huge point of emphasis to get up and get something done! And this goes not just for all you loyal readers, but mainly for myself. Even though I usually don't want to, in the end it feels good to get off my lazy rear end and accomplish something: read a book, plan out my monthly budget, bust out my sneakers and do a little bit of HIIT training at the gym, catch up on some Islamic knowledge, post something on PhilAsify 101 ;).

But there are those certain days when you just gotta chill. When you make that two day weekend a THREE day weekend. Take a day off from work and relaaaaaax. Yes, my productive friends, it's good to have those days where you're just absolutely UNproductive. Where you just break from the norm of keeping that consistent exercise regimen, or writing, planning etc. Go grab that epic cheeseburger you've been avoiding! Go waste a few hours mashing buttons on Xbox Live or PSN, blow half a day on Netflix catching up on some movies you haven't watched or a TV show you havent latched onto. Nap just for the sake of napping! I assure you it's a refreshing change and a juicy reward for someone who makes it a priority to avoid these very same things so one can get things done! This is the day that you get to BE LAZY and ENJOY IT!

Friday, June 1, 2012

College: Path to Success or Path to Financial Destruction?

It seems the more I tap into current affairs, the more I feel that college is a crap shoot. It's a gamble. And for the Muslims out there, may I remind you that Gambling is HARAM! (Forbidden for those not familiar with the Arab lingo) In pursuit of a college education, you risk getting into overwhelming debt. You're practically making a bet (also haram) with those lenders that you're going to nail a job when you graduate and will have fat stacks of cash to toss at them so they will get off your back. Easier said then done couldn't be a more appropriately used cliche to use for that. Case in point, a poor sap by the name of Nick Keith. Nick graduated from culinary school with $142,000 of debt on his head eight years ago and has yet to pay much of it off. Where is he now? Homeless! Living out of a van and on disability. It's truly a sad and horrifying story which you can read in full here. Here's a quote from the article from Keith below.