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Why I Bought a Cinema Camera — Unboxing the C100 Mark II

With so many affordable 4K options in the DSLR & Mirrorless market, why buy a cinema camera?

After years of contemplating what camera I should own, I decided to buy a cinema camera.

DSLR’s cameras have been an amazing low-budget option for aspiring filmmakers for the past decade. Especially with Technicolor’s FREE Cinestyle profile ‘hack’ that gives your Canon T3i  more dynamic range for a film look. More recently, Sony has been killing it with their affordable mirrorless cameras like the Sony A6300, boasting specs like 4K video resolution and slow motion 120 fps in full 1080 HD quality. S-Log is also a flat profile similar to Technicolor’s cinestyle that allots more room for post-production color grading. All for under 1,000 dollars. So does this render cinema cameras like the $3500 dollar Canon C100 Mark II with only 1080 60/fps obsolete?

Hell no.

Specs aren’t everything.

Look. I’ve gotten my hands on plenty cameras. From as humble as an Olympus T-100. To the Canon C500. Especially the top-notch iPhone’s F/1.8 lens with 4K 60FPS and Slow motion at 1080p 240 FPS. Sound fancy right? Already better specs than the dusty old $20,000 dollar C500 that only lets you record n00b frame rates of 30fps and no 4K. Womp womp. But specs aren’t everything. There’s a lot more science to image quality than just resolution. The 4K craze has been a marketing ploy to sell everyday consumers things they don’t need. Worse than when people obsessed over megapixels in cheap digital cameras. I cringe standing in the middle of a Best Buy seeing people awed by these on-screen 4K vs 1080P comparisons on 50-inch televisions… and seeing that the major selling difference are things like saturation, HDR, sharpness, and a whole bunch of other things that aren’t even pixel resolution. Looking at 720p footage of your favorite movie shot on film will look infinitely better than if they shot it in 4K on an iPhone. For obvious reasons.

As an online-based video content creator, having a 4K camera is about as useful as a bachelor’s degree is to a magician. It looks better on paper than it does in practice.

I can zoom in 4x while editing without losing quality. That’s about my only noticeable perk when using a 4K camera vs a 1080p one. For big-time cinematographers that screen on IMAX, it makes a huge difference. But here’s the thing. Big budget productions just rent cameras anyway. Being a poor filmmaker means the choice to own a camera is a commitment you should take as much time as you would to decide to marry someone. Buying a camera body only to sell it for half the price in a year or two is not resourceful at all. Especially with the rapidly growing technology and planned obsolescence that encourages consumers to treat pieces of equipment like stale chewing gum. I’m young yet old school. I want something that will deliver for a long time that feels good.

Yes. The feel of a cinema camera does make a difference.

And size and weight of a cinema camera. The light, run-and-gun feel of DSLR’s are a game changer for small filmmakers. Especially when you don’t want to spend thousands on steadicam and gimbal stabilizing devices. Cranes. Sliders. Rigs. Gear is usually cheaper when it’s used to handle lighter cameras. But there is such a thing as too light.

If you’re a fan of the handheld look, you will have less control and more shakes when your camera’s body is the size of your palm. Things feel a bit flimsy and definitely sketchy when you rent heavier cine lenses or even telephoto lenses for Sony’s mirrorless cameras. In extreme weather conditions, I don’t want to feel like the wind is about to blow away my camera. And all the physical buttons on a cinema camera allow me to skip the hassle of touch-screen nonsense in the cold. Audio and video ports right on-camera just make life easier during both production and post for a one-man crew. Cinema cameras are built for video. As opposed to being photo cameras that just so happen to have great video menu settings. So of course the practical limitations of DSLR and mirrorless cameras tally up heavily.

Credibility.

Saying you have a cinema camera has a similar effect as saying you have a 4K television. It just sounds and looks better to clients when you are shooting professionally. I’ve seen astounding results delivered on a Sony A7S II and the Canon Mark III for both commercial and film. Sure. It’s about the sculptor. Not the tools he uses. But that doesn’t stop clients from asking, “What kind of camera do you use? Does it shoot 4K? Should we rent a RED?” And to be fair, there is a significantly more noticeable difference in Sony A7S II vs RED dragon footage than the difference between 4K and 1080p. Behind the scenes photos look way more impressive to the standard consumer’s eye when you’re selling yourself as a cameraman. It’s always about the look. Including the look of the person behind the camera.

Without a doubt, you can make a great film on an iPhone. You can make a great film on anything really. It’s the impact of your story on your audience that determines the greatness of the film. The gear is just there to make it easier for what you are trying to achieve as practically as possible.

It always boils down to your personal needs. The Canon C100 cinema camera is what I need. I can count how many times I would really use 120 FPS slow motion footage. And my target audience isn’t watching 4K footage on their smartphones on the train from work. But they can definitely tell the noticeable difference in dynamic range.

Here’s the LINKS for my cinema camera gear:

Also check out this great video about picking a new camera:

Logan Paul is the Mascot of Selfie Culture

Logan Paul Suicide Video. The media’s new scapegoat for a worldwide sin.

Let’s be real about the Logan Paul Suicide Video.

Selfie culture existed long before the term “selfie” was a thing. Documenting everything from violence to natural disasters to famine. All in the name of “awareness.” But were we really unaware that these things existed? There’s a fine line between news and entertainment. But they’re not mutually exclusive. Gossip is both news and entertainment. As well as controversial sites like Best Gore that pride themselves in spreading the good news about all the dangers in the world. To spread awareness.

Do we need more ISIS beheading videos to know they happen? A month’s worth of footage of trapped bodies under cement after an earthquake? 17 Years’ worth of media coverage to know how bad 9/11 was?

Why are you even watching a video of me reacting to Logan Paul’s reaction to death? There’s articles everywhere to read what happened. But you want my opinion. It’s entertainment.

Was Logan Paul wrong?

Well. Duh. We can unanimously agree that Logan Paul’s actions at Aokigahara were disgusting. However. He is the low hanging fruit when we have a conversation about what’s wrong with humanity. This is the perfect moment to see ourselves in his tremendous flaw.

Plenty can guess what happens in a place called “Suicide Forest.” We know what content we will indulge in when we read a headline like, “Youtube Star Logan Paul Captures Suicide in Vlog.” But we still click anyway. Morbid curiosity? Mind numbing entertainment? Who knows.

Everyday tragedies have become a spectacle for us to indulge in. Even when someone decides to end their lives to get away from it all, the very same kind of person they’ve loathed is in their face with a camera to make sure everyone can see them against their will. The privilege of being able to capture a moment has made us desensitized to this same moment. Then addicted. Obsessed over capturing everything before the memory fades. A birthday boy on walking an endless winter, clamping onto the ribbon of a helium-filled balloon. Paranoid that he won’t even feel when it slips between his gloved fingers. He can only watch in awe what he couldn’t feel. The balloon our fleeting humanity.

Why I Quit Youtube

To quit Youtube isn’t an easy transition. But it’s a necessary one.

I quit Youtube as a primary video platform after ten dedicated years of grinding. Since before getting paid for vlogs in your room was a thing. My following watched the 11-year-old that made paper guns. The 15-year old-ranting about pet peeves. The 17 year old making amateur webisodes action-packed with martial arts in the hood. The 18 year old satirist comedy sketch director. The 20 year old political ranter. All life transitions loosely documented through videos on my channel.

However, it never really sat right with me whenever I was recognized on the street as “That Youtube guy.” Especially after the Youtube Ad-pocalypse, I thought to myself…

Here I am– basically an ambassador through my content, pushing all this traffic to YouTube for them to reap all the financial gain. I’ve gone viral quite a few times. I’ve even been on Pix11 News for my viral chopped cheese video. All of this monetized traffic was going to Youtube. While I struggle to pay my section 8 rent in the hood. And although Youtube pays a percentage to creators for their content, being branded as “that famous Youtuber” isn’t very empowering when you look at Vine’s demise. A mere reflection of Youtube’s inevitable doom. When Vine died, most Viners died. When Youtube dies, the Youtuber dies. Unless you…

Quit Youtube and seize the means of your own production.

There’s a lot for content creators on Youtube to complain about. False Content ID. Soft censorship. Demonetization. Views magically disappearing because of years of an unfixed bug. But at the end of the day, Youtube is a private company and they can do with their money as they please. It’s their platform. The only thing you can do is threaten to quit Youtube. And unless you’re someone as big as Pewdiepie, that’s not a big enough threat to make Youtube change their ways. There is always the next big star. But there is always the next big platform. Facebook freebooting has had content creators scrambling for solutions after they released their native video player. And the amount of traffic and shares Facebook video gets is ADDICTING. Naturally people started to just freeboot their own videos and post to Facebook. It feels better to see your video get 10,000 shares in a week on Facebook than to slowly watch Youtube’s shitty algorithm forward your video to a mere 5,000 out of 100,000 subscribers(and make $0 because you’re not ‘family friendly’). Wanna know what feels even better?

Having your own website.

It can get pretty expensive having a native video player when you’re an independent video maker like me. Youtube is a free platform that doesn’t charge you for any video space. They just make the money back easily with ads. If they wanted to, they could just pay you jack shit. Facebook does it. It doesn’t halt creators from constantly uploading content on Facebook. There’s an entire culture of Instagram comedians & models that rely on external sponsorships from apps like Brandbassador and hired commission work. The truth is, Youtube’s terms of service is subject to change without notice. It’s their site. We can complain about how they treat the creators that fuel their money all we want. They’re not obligated to make us comfortable on their site. So investing in your own brand and keeping all the glory to yourself is one of the most empowering things you can do. Not easy. But necessary.

And simply more professional. As opposed to sending someone a Youtube link to your director/actor reel, you can send clients to YOUR website. It adds value to your name to have your own platform. “Youtuber” doesn’t have to prefix your name any time someone talks about you. And you won’t be scrambling to find the next best thing when Youtube dies out.

Having your own platform is hard work. But it is at least more rewarding than working for days on a piece of content only for Youtube to block your video in some countries just because you said a dirty word. 

 

Harlem Gentrifier Silences Mister Softee Ice Cream Truck

Or at least she tries.

First they came for our chopped cheese.

Now they are coming for Mister Softee? You can’t be serious.
This new harlem resident AKA gentrifier complained that Mister Softee’s ice cream truck was too loud. This is an iconic staple of New York City in general. She really tried to call the police on this man doing his job. The weaponization and threat of force is continuously used by these invaders trying to redefine the pace of the hood.

What’s the Big Deal about Almonte’s Nails?

Almonte joins Black Girl Politics to talk about Masculinity.
Of course, Almonte’s nails are a crucial point.

That’s the most concerning thing about masculinity, right?

It comes up at around 34:14

Even in the most casual, day to day choices like Almonte’s nails or tucking your shirt in, your masculinity is constantly challenged.

Almonte talks about being “otherized” even as a cis straight male by his cishet peers growing up in elementary school for wearing a messenger bag.

Do children even have a sexuality before they’re even thinking about sex? From birth we are bombarded with ideas of sex conflating with other dynamic ratios like masculinity:femininity , manhood:womanhood ,  etc. These challenges to your identity come from people all over the political spectrum.

Right wingers ask, “Are you gay? Why would you paint your nails if you aren’t?”

Leftists will ask, “Are you androgynous or agender? It’s great to see you reject the idea of gender.”

We constantly allow ourselves to be defined by these labels as if we weren’t the ones to create them in the first place. Even things as rigid as labels are fluidly defined according to how society changes. Otherwise, being called a bundle of sticks wouldn’t have been considered a slur if I had been in elementary school in 400 BCE.

So why does Almonte paint his nails?

Because he wants to. Nothing more nothing less.

 

 

 

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PS: Real Men Suck Dick.

Gary V Hiring Slaves– Ahem — Interns. He’s Hiring Interns.

Are you looking forward to Gary V hiring you? Your pay is $15.

Yup.

Look. I love Gary Vee. He’s the best motivational speaker leading this generation of entrepreneurs. But what could possibly justify paying someone McDonald’s money for video work?  He’s looking for dedicated young folks with the skills to create videos but, you know… young and ‘inexperienced’ enough to pay crumbs. The saddest part is that people would be STOKED to work with him. And that’s the exact issue with Gary V hiring young interns that would do anything to breathe the same air as him.

The problem is much bigger than Gary V honestly. Brands do this all the time. They gain a large audience and use their notoriety to exploit fans for cheap labor.

Keep it a stack. You would love work with big names like Jay Z, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga just for bragging rights.
At least your resume looks good(even if your bank account doesn’t).

Young creatives are just looking to get their foot in the door and establish some credibility. Getting paid crumbs can be overlooked if it means being able to hone your skills with their favorite celeb. Especially since being young usually means having less financial responsibilities like a mortgage or paying off a house. We even see this exploited when the social dynamic ratio of celebrity:fan is not so polarized. Example, videographers have to lower their prices to compete with the young cats unknowingly devaluing the market by doing extremely cheap work. I’ve been there; working entire music videos for 30 hours of shooting + editing for $150 commissions.

Popular brands continue this ageist tradition of targeting younger, impressionable creatives with too much ambition for their own good. It’s cheap and it works in a practical sense.

Look. Capitalism has never claimed to have the moral high ground. It’s up to us to take a stand and not engage in things like this.

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.

[Transcript]

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.

Rey:

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.

Ro:Bars

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.

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