Tag Archives: Carlos Castanada

The trouble with Gerry (not his real name) the Petty Tyrant (aka Karma is a bitch!)

No petty tyrants

I am so mad I can’t sleep.

I’m literally writing this post at 2:34 am Thursday morning.

To be honest, I’m probably more disappointed than I am mad.

But I’m mad.

Why? You ask?

Because the world is full of petty tyrants.

And unfortunately, I’ve had a run-in with one that has my stomach in knots.

If you know me, you know that I’m an easy-going person.

I’m pretty unflappable.

I’ve dealt with ’nuff PTs in my day, and come away unscathed.

But this one here…

Indulge me, if you will, and let me spin you a yarn.

I believe in paying it forward, and for the past few years, I’ve been working with several not-for-profits, helping them to build their digital and social media chops.

One not-for-profit (which shall remain unnamed because we still work together in spite of said PT) has been the recipient of a lot of my attention.

The great thing about them is that they serve kids.

Hundreds of thousands of kids.

And like most not-for-profits, they are somewhat behind the times.

A lot of their current programming is steeped in the old school.

So from day one, my objective has been to bring them (kicking and screaming if need be) into the modern age.

At the end of the day, if you’re an organization that serves kids, it behooves you to offer programming that speaks to the increasingly technological world in which these kids live.

To their credit, most of the organization has been willing to change, in order to get with the times.

But not Gerry (not his real name).

Who’s Gerry?

That’s the petty tyrant.

Just so we’re clear, petty tyrant (an expression coined by Carlos Castaneda), refers to individuals who simply live to frustrate, exasperate and annoy others to distraction.

They’re two-faced backbiters and gossips.

Your modern day hater.

Now Gerry (not his real name) is new to the mix at this not-for-profit.

Before dealing with him, we had run several programs with the kids.

Based on feedback we’d received from kids in our previous programs, we put together a new program that the kids (in our initial session) really responded to.

But somehow, between this first session (held last Thursday) and the second (which would have been held today), Gerry (not his real name) put the kibosh on the entire program.

Just like that, a program for which numerous individuals invested countless hours to bring to life, has been deaded.

Over some straight BS.

Mind you, Gerry (not his real name) has been trying to throw salt in the game for a hot minute.

My strategy for Gerry (not his real name) has been pretty consistent.

I deal him with kid gloves.

He has a fiefdom, which he guards jealously.

Any threat to his authority is dealt with by excising it from his fief.

Prior to dealing with Gerry (not his real name) I got the 411.

I was regaled with tales of his treachery.

Apparently there were a host of individuals, no longer working for said unnamed not-for-profit, who owe their untimely departures to Gerry (not his real name).

In fact, Gerry (not his real name) is currently engaged in smear campaign against a new target, another one of his colleagues.

But that’s another story for another time.

Since I don’t work for the not-for-profit, I took the intel about Gerry (not his real name) under advisement.

And since Gerry (not his real name) wasn’t particularly discreet about his scandalous behavior, I figured it wouldn’t be long before he was exposed for the wretched snake he was.

You’re only going to be able to get away with talking shit about folks in your organization before there’s a target on your back.

Karma is a bitch!

Anywho, Gerry (not his real name) has apparently trained his sights on our program.

And now the 13 kids signed up for it are going to be extremely disappointed when they find out that its been scrapped.

That’s really what has me up in the wee hours of the morning venting to y’all.

I could give a fuck about this Gerry (not his real name) fella.

We all have to deal with petty tyrants in life.

It’s the fact that he’s taking away something very valuable from these kids that has me all up (literally) in arms.

Our program teaches real world digital skills, an area in which this not-for-profit is woefully deficient.

Our instructors – Ivy Leaguers, computer geniuses, music and entertainment industry veterans who work (and have worked) with big dawgs: think Kanye West, Cee Lo Green, Jay Z, Beyonce, Mos Def, Common, and the list goes on – were essentially giving their services away, to make this program happen for these kids.

And Gerry (not his real name) is throwing away an opportunity for these kids to work with people and projects of this caliber.


Why indeed.

To hear Gerry (not his real name) tell it, the logistics behind our running the program were proving too difficult to manage.


But who knows why petty tyrants act the way they do?

All I know is that I’m going to try to get my program back.

For the kids.

Fuck Gerry (not his real name).

His treachery is (eventually) going to catch up to him.

Like I said, karma is a bitch!

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Stephen Chukumba says: “Kudos to Hotel Rivington. Last night was a blast!”

I had a blast party hopping last night at a rooftop soiree in the Hotel Rivington.

Well I wasn’t really ‘party hopping’ in the traditional sense, but rather hopping from people cluster to cluster within one party.

It was a chore I had to do with my girl Flora Vaysanova, of FonLabs, who told me it was some ‘interactive’ function. ‘Chore’ because the last ‘interactive’ function she invited me to was straight Snorelax. But I’m down with the FonLabs clique (Sup D. Holla atcha boy), so I generally accept Flora’s invites (and she’s got the company card-can you say ‘expense it’).

When she told me I had to ‘dress nicely’, and not repeat the ‘100% Negro’ t-shirt incident, from our last outing, I was legitimately frightened about the night that lay ahead and the square set I was sure to run into (again). How long would I have to endure the ‘so what do you do’ query or offered response?

Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised to run up on the fly ensemble on the Rivington rooftop.

As soon as I hit the door, I spotted my girl Flora. I weaved effortlessly through the well appointed guests to her, and was promptly introduced to the two folks she was speaking to at the time. I’ve forgotten both of their names but they were with a cool company. The one led with ‘so what do you do?’ and a chill ran down my spine. I quickly extricated myself. If our paths are meant to cross again, they will. But for now. I’m out!

Disclaimer: I write this freshly home from this shindig, so it may be VERY stream of consciousness. Don’t hold it against me, but let me know what you think, when I’m done.

I resume.

From Flora I ran into Paula Moss (formerly of LA currently of NJ) and Judith Davis (formerly of Hearst, currently with Conde Nast), two fine sistahs perched by the hotel’s rooftop hot tub. I had my Red Bull on ice  and we chuckled about Commodore 64 word processors and Paula’s niece and nephew’s wonderment at seeing a corded push-button telephone.

Judith challenged me to tell her what the acronym WWD stood for (Women With Digital?). She was an (the?) editor for WWD and I stumbled around in my mind searching for the answer to her query, until she finally relented and told me ‘Women’s Wear Daily.’ Flora, who had joined us, knew this, of course.

I told her it was a fluke and I was going to poll everyone at the party to see if I was in good company with my ignorance. What do I know? I am man! Although I never guessed the actual name of the publication, Judith was, nonetheless, impressed with my ability to make an apparel connection and figure out the ‘Woman’ part without assistance. Thank you very much.

Flora whisked me away from the quizzing duo to meet Carlos and Jessica.  Carlos, a sculptor who counts the BET award trophy as one of his designs, elocuted on on the properties of mescaline and acid. Jessica, who provided therapeutic mental relief for stressed executives, delved into the metaphysical depth of yogis. I asked if they had read Carlos Castanada (to let ’em know I got down with the astral projection), before I was introduced to Luis for the first time (Ahem, pay attention).

After allowing me to dabble with Carlos and Jessica, I was introduced to Zach, who is on the verge of launching an online original song creation tool and social media portal. I can’t remember the name of his service (neither of us had cards to exchange), but Zach gave me the elevator pitch. Essentially, with a simple online interface, users can browse lyrics and beats submitted by aspiring and established artists and producers. Select one artist’s hot lyrics, combine it with another producer’s sick beat and BANG! You’ve created your own song.

The site would allow users to shoot the song to their friends, who could, in turn, share it with their friends (and so on, and so on, and so on…) If the song gets love and goes viral, folks cop it, and the revenue generated is split between the parties. Monetizing UGC…I love it. Plus, the service gives artists and producers a way to flip their shit! Hotness.

Oh, you’ve got beats in the can? Park ’em here and let’s make you some money!

Oh, you think you can spit? Prove it! How many people copped your verbs?

Digression. Sorry

Zach introduced me to Mike, a partner in the venture. We spit about the law, contracts and developers. And then to Luis. That’s twice. We talked application developers and sponsored research with top tech graduate programs, MIT, Carnegie Mellon.

From there, Flora redirected my attention to Jesse (short for Jessica, that’s two) her (Jesse’s) cousin’s wife (who’s name I can’t remember) and Vanessa. This trio was abuzz about how ‘chics be hatin’ on each other. (Of course) I joined in the merriment, offering ‘She think she all cute, don’t she?  She ain’t hardly all that!’ (in my best La’teesha) to which (fuel having been added to the fire) the buzzing began anew.

Jesse broke down the ‘hair weave’ hater…’That’s probably not even her real hair. Umm hmm, I can see the tracks. THAT’S a weave!) Fred’s wife dropped the ‘not-a-real-blonde’ hater…’You can tell she’s not a real blonde, look at her roots. She needs to touch that ratty shit up!’ Vanessa searched for answers..’What’s that even about?’ What is that about indeed, Vanessa. Indeed.

Now since they were all cute (honey, ignore this part), I heard the voice of victims (and not vain assailants), so it was hilarious to listen to them share their genuinely offered perspectives. We talked candidly about the fact that dudes just don’t deal with each other on that level (unless they’re bitch asses) and how annoying it must be. We commiserated on the (sometimes) wack dynamic of female on female interactions.

Before I could complete my thought, Flora grabbed me once again, to introduce the Dominican massive. Literally, it was a massive Dominican posse. They were at least seven deep, and had taken over one whole corner of the roof. If you include Luis (who I was again introduced to in this DM-sweep), Fred Tom (cousin to Jesse, married to the cute chic who’s name I can’t remember), Zach and Michael, they were almost a dozen strong. Throw in the chics with them, there were 14.

I hit ’em all up. I was introduced to and gave pounds all around, but all I’ve got right now is Buddha (not ‘Booty,’ as I called him initially…no-homo!) and Mike…It’s a wrap for my memory right now- gotta work on that.

And they came to party.

Bob Marley dude.

Again, I digress.

Fred Tom (I fucks wit’ Fred Tom – if ya wit’ me stand up!) and I, joked about being the father of girls, and what that REALLY means to be a dad (all my NRA card carriers throw ’em up! Lic’ a shot!) Dude had me dying. I was laughing so hard, it felt like I had been to the gym, busting it out with my trainer. I’m saying, my abs were burning B.

When I recovered sufficiently, we shot the breeze about the mobile industry and the digital space in general. We ended up figuring out that we might could do a lil’ bid’ness, and I was once again, introduced to Luis (that’s 4, if you’re counting), who said he would shoot an NDA over.

Luis (who I now felt like I knew intimately since virtually everyone here introduced me to him – did I say he happened to be the host?) had me doubled over recounting the story of the fly Asian chic. Apparently at his last function, there was this modelesque Asian girl who rudely barged through Luis and his set (without even an ‘excuse me’) only to walk her fly ass smack into a clear glass wall (she mistook as the route to egress). She completely fell out (she hit the wall full stride) and rolled around on the ground in pain, and (I’m sure) sheer embarrassment.

The next thing you knew, there were 15-20 pointing onlookers (as opposed to the original 8 she had insulted with her lack of home training), who were all now hooting and hollering loudly at her sorry state of affairs. Cries of ‘That’s what you get with your rude ass!’ and ‘Oh Shit! Did you see that?!’ To make matters worse, there were allegedly all kinds of ballers and industry cats in the cut.

Hello Insult. I’d like to introduce you to injury. I think you make a lovely pair.

My stomach hurt. My ribs hurt. My jaw hurt. Clearly fucking with these cats was hazardous to my health. By 10:42 (got there at 8, nice little run), I though it appropriate for me to bid all a fond farewell, and hit the bricks back to Jersey.

On the way home  at the PATH station at WTC (parked the Jeep in Hoboken), I ran into Kelvi. Now Kelvi’s a kid I’d been mentoring through my fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, since he was in seventh grade, while I was at RU. I’ve been running into casually since I left New Brunswick and we spent the time waiting for the train caughting up. We were so engrossed in conversation, that he followed me back to Hoboken, and I dropped him off in his little gated community (2 stops off the GSP from me).

Kel was the reason I’m getting home at 1:45. If I hadn’t bumped into him, I’da been home by 11:30, easy. But it was well worth it. For 33 (to my 39), the kid had some good sound perspectives on life and we vowed to up the pace of our interaction and dialogues.

Since I’d promised Judith that I would blog about this night (and there’s no time like the present), this post is probably populating your email at 3:52 a.m.

Now I’m off to bed (my homage to those passionate FBers who religiously sign off with that lil’ ditty).

Was I babbling incoherently?

I’ve given only the most cursory review of this post, so feel free to drop me a note and let me know whether this stream-of-consciousness blogging is any good.


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