Two Ex Googlers Can’t Replace the Bodega

Especially not with an App called Bodega.

With a bodega cat as a logo.

While not having actual bodega cats.

Paul McDonald and Ashwath Rajan are creating an app that will allow to you open a vending machine via smart phone and contain all the things a bodega needs. Of course don’t actually call it a vending machine. Otherwise, this wouldn’t be news.

How much audacity can these yuppies have? How can business owners do so much research to satiate their hood ambitions yet be so out of touch with their target audience? Columbus syndrome; that’s how. Culture hijacking at its finest. The west calls indigenous tribal culture savage yet wants to retain the aesthetic by using dream catchers and headdresses as fashion statements. These ex googlers’ marketing campaign insinuate that bodegas are obsolete and outdated. In the same breath they base their entire aesthetic on them.

Technology is a great thing. In its own lane.
Here’s why the Bodega app won’t replace actual Bodegas:

They set themselves up in a niche that excludes the hood.

  1. You need a charged smartphone.
  2. You need to have internet data/wifi on that smartphone.
  3. You need space to download this app.

Smart phones are supposed to remove steps from your everyday life. Not complicate it. There is a reason why Apple is so popular despite not having a lot of specs their competitors have. Simplicity. Ease of access. This app cannot eliminate  traditional bodegas for the same reason Uber can’t eliminate the old school hailing-down-a-cab. There are certain parts of New York City culture you simply cannot eliminate with fancy new gadgets.

The culture of walking into a bodega to two familiar faces– the clerk and the cat– simply cannot be replaced by this lifeless machine. This machine cannot make my chopped cheese. Not my salsalito turkey. Not even a bougie ass mozzarella panini. My abuela will not be downloading this app. The sex workers and drug dealers on my block definitely won’t be downloading this app on their 2nd track phones.

Say what you want about the lumpenproletariat, but sex workers and drug dealers are major patrons of the Bodega. The hood may be poor. But we are not broke. You need our money? Get the marketing right. And respect your jaw.


How Much Truth Are In ‘Facts?’

Are facts created?

The truth has constantly been molded by our historical and political circumstances. The method in which we search for it, measure it, and interpret facts is constantly tainted by our own biases. In a world where there are haves, and have nots, those with money can fund whatever research is launched and control the distribution of information. The internet has created such an overabundance of information. #AlternativeFacts is a symptom of desperation. The masses are tired of being fed curated versions of the truth by the elite.  Anything that sounds remotely against the status quo is a breath of fresh air.


Ro: Real talk we live in a world where everyone has the breath to speak their mind but no patience to fill that mind with any type of knowledge.

Sho: Shword. It’s infuriating when people want to give their opinion about things they don’t even bother to study.

Ro: Facts, B.

Sho: Or the lack thereof.

Rey: But I mean, what makes something a fact?

Ro: Statistics. Data. Unbiased research.

Rey: Everything is biased.

Ro: Not numbers, tho. Numbers don’t lie.  

Rey: But humans lie about numbers.

Ro: I mean if I say your height is 5’11 right now, you gonna tell me that’s not a fact?

Rey: Depends on who’s measuring me and how good of a job they do. And what you consider to be a “good job” is also circumstantial of your own perspective.

Ro: Nigga measure this di–

Sho: Alright alright. We get it humans can just get the facts wrong. But opinions are ENTIRELY subjective and aren’t evewn held to a standard of correctness. Opinions are very passive.

Rey: If that were true then opinions wouldn’t ever be controversial *Ahem Trump* and everyone would just not care. Opinions are just as impactful as facts. The opinions we deem valid are usually things that are logically expressed. Two people can express the same opinion in two different ways and it’s presentation can make us agree with one and disagree with another. This can also happen with facts…

Sho: How?

Rey: Example. Black on black crime. Sure Blacks kill each other. In what context? You got the what. Where’s the Who, where, why, and

Ro: HOW sway

Rey: so I guess you can say it isn’t the facts themselves.. But the presentation and OBSERVATION of those facts. Opinions are subjective, sure… but facts are mere universal observation and speculation. Doesn’t tell the whole story. How people FEEL about those facts.

Ro: Your opinion doesn’t matter in the eyes of facts. Everyone is about their feelings nowadays and that’s why we can’t come to a general consensus and solve anything.

Rey: It is only through feeling and empathy that a fact can be universally understood. An  opinion can be based on facts. So opinions and facts aren’t mutually exclusive. Opinions and facts compliment each other more often than not. Logic is merely showing a perspective that ties facts together. If everyone has a different process of logic when analyzing the same facts… and come to different conclusions, doesn’t that mean logic is just a more structured version of an opinion?

Ro: You not about to tell me logic is just a fancily worded opinion.

Rey: Oh, but it is. Or just the road to the destination of a feeling. It all boils down to how people feel about something. Calling it a fact is only an elitist idea that glorifies the mob mentality while those that disagree are marginalized. Every fact has been, is, and will be defied by someone.

Sho: That’s a big extreme.

Ro: Yeah, bullshit. Fact is the core element. It’s the seed that creates the roots that are opinions.

Sho: And the tree that grows is reflective of…?

Rey: The vibrant colors of feelings in the mass consciousness. Some green. Some orange. Different shades of green and orange. All leaves and part of the same tree we are all responsible for nonetheless.

Ro: That can’t exist without the rigid fortification of the trunk–fact– and the branches– obs ervation. Leaves fall fast and sometimes even the branches. But not the trunk.

Sho: Unless there’s catastrophe. What about the soil that can change how the tree trunk grows? Facts can be manipulated by extreme conditions. Like the pervasiveness of propaganda and human error.

Ro: Yes, The wind blows and the leaves… feelings of humans… change with the seasons. Feelings are too volatile to base your knowledge and wisdom on.

Rey: But a fact is merely how most people feel.

Sho: Or what most people observe, when it comes to numbers. I mean that’s kind of what the scientific method is. Multiple people observe something and record it and you do that for several trials. Credibility is built by frequency of observation and a general consensus. If you want to call that the “Collective feels” then… I don’t know I guess?

Rey: Ah, yes the scientific method. The very thing we’re ironically taught as the gospel that’s even holier than religion.

Ro: Oh please there’s nothing spiritual nor paranormal about science.

Rey: Hey, we don’t know that yet.

Ro: As long as it’s not proven, it’s not there. Period.

Rey: Have you proven that it’s not there?

Ro: That’s not how burden of proof works. Have you proven that I won’t slap the shit out of you in 2 seconds?

Rey: Well I don’t know if you will nor if you won’t.

Ro: Say I won’t.


Sho: Aaaanyway. While Rey’s view on facawts might be a little too discrediting of empirical evidence, I see his point. We should be questioning of absolutely everything.

Rey: Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see.

Sho: Edgar Allen Poe.

Ro: Edgar Allen Poe was also a White supremacist holocaust denier that used that very same quote to say that there were no gas chambers and that the jews were lying.

Rey: Bullshit. Do you have receipts?

Ro: No, but I FEEL like that’s what he would have said. Do you have any proof that he WASN’T a White supremacist holocaust denier?

Rey: I see what you did there. Except that was a poor example since Poe died much before niggas were even allowed to read his material… so he couldn’t have possibly denied a holocaust that hadn’t even happened year.

Sho: Ro’s point is that while facts are just universal observations, there is still such a thing as credibility. If 10 people jump off a building and they all died. The 11th person is most likely gonna die.

Rey: Likely, yes. Absolutely? We don’t know. And his survival isn’t dependent just on the records of past events. There’s too many variables that are everchanging. Weight, Height, Weather, is someone walking by? Will he fall on a car? Which limb hits first? Science is only reliably recorded when you have control of most of the variables. The major flaw of science is that we usually don’t.

Sho: Sure but even a “most likely” is a hypothesis created by the factual information of how many people died jumping. Credibility is what allows us to be grounded in some sort of truth… or an illusion of truth depending on how you see it.

Rey: Even the idea of credibility is heavily pervaded by sociological structures like White supremacist patriarchal society that dictates what scientific discoveries are deemed more undeniable.

Sho: TL;DR English please.

Ro: White boy run shit. White boy is often believed as being the holder of truth before anyone else. We get it. We still have agency.

Rey: Haha “Agency.” That’s rich. Your autonomy… your freedom of choice stretches only as far as what you’ve been taught to choose.

Ro: You can choose to find more information outside of what you’ve been taught.

Rey: What cave are you going to run to find these new commandments? White supremacy and patriarchal ideas pervade the entire world. You can’t just CHOOSE what to believe.

Ro: Says who?

Rey: Says psychologists… you know since you don’t believe me unless I give you some sources of credibility… Some White psychologists said it if it makes you believe me more.

Sho: It doesn’t make me believe you more just because they’re White but it definitely solidifies your case only because these are people that study to specify in psychology.

Rey: Ironic that I use that when you look at the dark ages of psychology… women diagnosed with hysteria and thrown in asylums, schitzophrenics given lobotomies, and don’t forget the whole dismissive nonsense Freud said that basically attributed female promiscuity to having “daddy issues.” To this day people use that to dismiss the grievances or struggles of women. Many sciences that were proven ridiculous are still widely believed and even resurfacing. You can’t tell me facts aren’t easily twisted when you look at these genius videos that prove the earth is flat on Youtube.

Sho and Ro: WHAT

Ro: Aight my nigga we can respectfully disagree but I can’t have a conversation with someone that’s clearly on K2. Don’t tell me you believe that flat earth shit. Now you just lost all credibility.

Sho: Well… Not really, you can be stupid about one thing and smart about another.

Ro: Check your ableism

Sho: I have ADHD. INTERNALIZED ableism… thank you very much.

Ro: Anyway, no I don’t believe the earth is flat. What I meaun by genius is that these pseudointellectuals aren’t exactly very pseudo at all. It takes a peculiar type of genius to twist the slightest of facts that are universally known and create 5 hour documentaries to prove something that was debunked centuries ago.

Sho: I mean damn… Was it really debunked then if it’s so easy to reprove?

Rey: I’m telling you. Stats and facts aint where its all at.


Rey: At the end of the day people believe what they believe based on manipulation and feeling. People were convinced negroes were subhuman. Based on these facts and bones analyzed by credible scientists… A fact we learn today can be disproven tomorrow.

Sho: Hmm… I still think opinions need to be held to some sort of credible standard, not just by some White scientist but by everyone. Democratically.

Rey: As long as marginalized people have their voices drowned out, there will never truly be any kind of democracy. How often do you hear about a scientist that was a trans person of color?

Sho: Very often actually.. Social sciences especially. They just get called SJW’s.

Ro: I suppose the cognitive dissonance is amplified when people don’t “look” credible.

Rey: And we all know what you mean by “look.” There is a lot of new information. And it’s hard for people to take in and let go of what they previously felt.

Sho: It’s true, what you’ve been taught all your life is mostly a lie. Even ones based on stats without context. Black on Black crime statistics, Asians being most intelligent, Gay men & trans folk being more likely to rape, Deadbeat dads, the population of intersex people,…  Your children will prove you wrong and your grandchildren will prove them wrong. How open to these new facts will you be when the time comes?

Ro: Well if it can be proven–

Rey: What is proof to you? Even DNA evidence can be and has been falsified… more often than you think. Black people have been going to jail for it for a long time. Because some authority figure dictated the story. Scientists lie. Officers lie. Especially when you have a whole town that’s scared because you haven’t caught a killer who’s been on the loose for months.

Sho: That sounds like a story for next time.

Ro: Facts.

All: East Side Harlem Reppin.


Digital Blackface: The Imaginary Phenomenon

Are White people using Black emojis and GIFS as a form of Digital Blackface?

The better question is probably; are White people using Black emojis at all? Sure we have seen the usage of gifs that contain Black people. But writer Victoria Princewell from BBC claims that White people are deliberately using gifs with Black people to appear more sassy or aggressive in their comment reactions. Whenever White people use gifs of famous entertainers that happen to be Black, it is the 21st century equivalent of minstrel shows AKA Digital Blackface.

Cultural appropriation and tokenism is most definitely a thing.  Especially when analyzing the appropriation of AAVE(African American Vernacular English) or Ebonics. The “Cash me outside” girl that has found huge financial success imitating the linguistics of Black Urban America. Phrases like Yass. It’s Lit. Finna. On Fleek. Fasho. And we can’t forget when Snapchat featured a stereotypical 4/20 filter of Bob Marley

However, BBC’s Digital Blackface is a shot in the dark to coin a new buzzword. One they can monetize for shock. Black entertainers find no issue seeing everyone references their performances in GIFS everywhere.

The Famous Chopped Cheese Video That Sparked Controversy

Almonte sparks controversy, simplifying the conversation surrounding gentrification with his famous Chopped Cheese Video.

The chopped cheese is a New York City staple monumental to the city’s urban culture. When food tourism company Insider Foods gave a tone-deaf review of the sandwich, it hit too close to home to ignore. They’re not the first to be insensitive or bastardize the culture surrounding underground foods and pretending that “no one knows about it.” Taco Tuesdays. Sushi Cones. French-owned Cambodian spider restaurants. These tell-tale signs of gentrification have worried locals for years. Insider Food’s Chopped Cheese video was the last straw for Almonte.

Almonte reacts saying ‘this is how it starts.’ Hipsters and yuppies–middle class transplants from the Midwestern states– run to enjoy the hustle-hard urban aesthetic of the hood. Simple things like cheap food and rent entice them to flood to places they’re overqualified to live in. Financially privileged and oblivious to the existence of the poor, they call the price of a chopped cheese a “steal.” The irony of callingit a ‘steal’ foreshadows the thieving nature of Columbus syndrome, a plague coined by Spike Lee to describe a plague of visitors claiming to discover a cultural element locals have indulged in for years.

Hipsters Invade Harlem after the Chopped Cheese Video

At first glance, Insider’s viral Chopped Cheese video sending an influx of tourists seems to be something that would boost Harlem’s local economy. However, kids who would look forward to buying the chopped cheese po’ boy sandwich now face the reality that the prices may skyrocket now that a bunch of White middle-class yuppies will walk in the store bragging about what a “steal” it is. The commodification of edgy underground perks that ‘no one knows about’ becomes an overpriced tourist attraction that business owner’s can exploit at will, leaving locals out of the loop.

‘It’s not supposed to be revolutionary. It’s a f*ckin sandwich.”

But is it really just a sandwich? The chopped cheese video’s sharp rise in popularity has turned what was “just a sandwich” into a symbol of our fleeting culture. Bourgeois Upper East Side stores will soon make their new-and-improved organic, gluten-free, non-GMO chopped cheese on a panini and replace the Arizona with a Naked juice.  The bodegas filling up with White people that treat the Hood like a sideshow at the carnival is a mere microcosm of gentrification. Something as simple as a chopped up burger on a hero has now allowed people to understand gentrification on a smaller, simpler scale. Even a year and a half later, the chopped cheese video continues to resurface in the complex conversation of gentrification.

Man Stabbed for Nazi Haircut FAKE

The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question.

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