Real Change vs The Illusion of Change

After the murder of George Floyd, we saw an immediate push by many commercial businesses to say, “Hey, we’re not racist.” The messaging was swift, visual, and pulled at the heart strings. Exactly what an advertising campaign should do in order to keep the orange-daylily-flowerAfrican American consumer spending money with their company. All of these companies sending this message of redemption, became very suspicious after a while.

What were they really after? Was it really all about the spending? Where they really looking out for the African American community or was this another PR stunt by companies that realize that a large portion of their revenue comes from Black and Brown people. What was it that made these companies feel compelled to put forth such an effort to make sure that they were seen by the minority community?

The sad part about this effort is that it doesn’t truly reflect the type of change that is needed for African Americans in some companies. Policy and procedure changes are what will matter in the long run. Not catchy slogans and saying, “We should have done better, sooner.” If these companies really want to show that they are truly on the right side of history, they will evaluate their hiring policies and their strategies to make sure that everyone has an equal opportunity to advance within.

Another sad part of all of this is the way some white Americans are reacting to these changes. While many white Americans totally get it and are having the hard discussions in order to help themselves understand better, other white Americans are maintaining that they aren’t racists despite participating in a racist mindset. Many white Americans don’t realize that being racist doesn’t only mean wearing a sheet and burning crosses. Having a racist mindset includes the willful inability to understand that another group of Americans have the same right of expression and access to opportunity as they do. Some white Americans may not want to believe it or admit it, but some of them are happier when African Americans are quiet, passive and agreeable. Why else would some of them keep saying, “He should have complied,” even though it has been shown that unarmed African Americans are still killed by the police.

There is no telling what will happen in the distant future. The way this country is going, rolling off a cliff seems mild. Will there ever be a time when all people are happy in this country? No. Someone will always be unhappy or feel unheard about something. Prayerfully, people will stop being so irrational about Covid-19 and begin to wear masks and keep social distancing.

One would think that those who are having a hard time with African Americans demanding justice after years of oppression and/or being compliant with Covid-19 safety precautions, would be willing to consider the reality of what is happening in private, if not publicly. People who have been comfortable for a very long time in this country with their privilege, have to adapt to the change that is coming. If they don’t wish to repeat the failings of their forefathers, all they have to do is crack open a truthful history book.

After all, they say, “Hindsight is 20/20.”

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Stormy on the Horizon: The Porn Star and the #Metoo Narrative

These are just some thoughts that came to me during and after Stormy Daniewhite_chrysanthemumls interview on 60 Minutes which aired on March 25th 2018 on CBS.

Like many people, I waited and watched the latest fiasco from this Administration where the clown is in control. I wondered, as it relates to the #Metoo movement, how the new revelation from Stormy Daniels, changes the narrative for women who find themselves in peculiar situations going forward.

I ask this because Stormy said, “I realized exactly what I had gotten myself into. And I was like, “Ugh, here we go.” And I just felt like maybe – it was sort of – I had it coming for making a bad decision, for going to someone’s room alone and I just heard the voice in my head, “well, you put yourself in a bad situation and bad things happen, so you deserve this.”  — Source: USA Today.com, Transcript.

To me, that was a loaded statement and for some, may have deflated the air out of the #Metoo balloon. Stormy said out loud, what so many have thought, about some of the women who have found themselves alone in hotel rooms with men who they would later say, sexually assaulted them.  The very same men who were married or who had a reputation for making sexual advances or using sex as a tool, to control the careers of women.

Many folks have quietly asked themselves about some of the choices made by some of these ladies who now refer to themselves as victims. Such as, “At what point did you realize that it wasn’t a good idea to go to a hotel room alone with a married man?” Or as she said, “At what point do you realize what you’ve gotten yourself into,” and acknowledge the expectation.” Don’t get me wrong – there are some sleaze bag men who lie about being married and lure women into sexual situations, just as there are men who are coercive and aggressive about getting women into sexual situations.

Does her statement, “Out,” some of the women who have claimed victim status? In the interview, Stormy said she was not a victim. Stormy said herself, “This not a “Me too.” I was not a victim. I’ve never said I was a victim.” Stormy’s story starts out just like a lot of the women we’ve heard about. She even goes on to say that she did NOT want to have sex with him. This is also what many women have shared in the same situation. Another kicker is that, like some of the women who have found the courage to come forward, Stormy herself says, “I didn’t say no.”

To me, this interview opens a can of worms for some of the women who are jumping on the #Metoo wagon. I wonder if lawyers will now reference the interview to argue in court, against women who call, “Foul play,” after a roll in the hay with men that they really didn’t want to have sexual intercourse with, but did anyway.

Will the #Metoo movement turn around seek Stormy with the intent of convincing her that she really is a victim. Will they point out to her that because she rationalized having to go through, with having sex with Trump, that her thought process was flawed? Or will they show her that believing that she, “deserved it,” for putting herself in the situation, was just another way that women devalue themselves.

I wonder will there be silence on the issue.  I can’t be the only person who was intrigued by what Stormy said and how her experience will impact the #Metoo movement. What will be interesting, is if the #Metoo movement, has created its own subculture of men and women who are cautious about speaking out because they don’t want to be perceived as anti-woman, insensitive to women’s issues,  or bullying the movement.

Lastly, if it is Stormy Daniels who ultimately destroys the Trump presidency, what message will this send to the entire world? What message will our boys and girls take away from this? In a time where women are fighting for equality and respect, will the actions of one Stormy Daniels, take us back to the Garden of Eden, where a woman was blamed for messing it up for everyone.

 

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Some Disconnected Thoughts – Wondering Who Truly Benefits from the Movements of Rich Women

orange-daylily-flowerI get it. I get the reason for the theme, etc., the “Metoo,” movement and, “Time’s up,” but there is something about it that makes me uncomfortable.

Something about it that feels disingenuous.

Maybe because I see and read about the children and women, on a daily basis, who will never be heard of  – those individuals who don’t have the benefit of a Hollywood name behind them as it pertains to who really benefits from these movements.

This isn’t for the countless women, men and children, who had NO CONTROL over the situation where they found themselves sexually and/or physically abused. No – not at all.

I am however perplexed about how many messages we are sending when we elect to wear black in solidarity of women who are sexually victimized, but at the same time, wearing dresses  that are inviting the same thoughts to be aroused, that are being fought against.

Some may say that a woman should be able to wear what she wants without reprisal. That is true. It’s equally true that women also need to take some accountability for how we are perceived and the decisions we make.

It is so unfortunate, but we can’t have it both ways. We can’t dress a certain way and expect all people to take a leap and view us as captains of industry, professionals, and serious contenders in our chosen fields.

If we want men to consider us for more than our appearance, it’s up to us to help them change that perception, by presenting more for them to consider. Think about it; People can only respond to what you give them.

Starting to wonder will it become a “Thing,” to have a story of abuse to get your name out in front of the pack. And better still, if you don’t have one, what stops women from creating one to gain attention.

I also wonder will this open a door for women who really hate men, to exact their vengeance for feeling so oppressed for so long. The sad part is, it’s not men who they should be angry with, but those women who have never seen themselves empowered through their own eyes, but have utilized and assumed their power through men (i.e. those women who voted for Trump despite evidence of his being a sexual predator).

It’s interesting to me that no one, from where I have observed, have called out those women who elect to use sex and their appearance to get ahead. I would imagine that they now find themselves in a peculiar place as now they will be expected to show their real talent. No more will they be able to tempt a man into a certain predicament and then cry, “harassment,” when she doesn’t get the promotion or that raise.

This may not go over well, but will this also apply to women who sexually and or physicallt abuse and harass, men and women? Hmm? Or is this just a man thing.

My Grammy taught me that it is for a man to ask and a woman to deny. That message taught me that our ability to deny, begins long before a man even asks. It told me that I as a human being, a woman of African descent, have power, that no other human being has granted me. It also tells me that I have a responsibility to wield that power responsibly, with humility and dignity.

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When The Redux Becomes A Redon’t

Creativity must be on a permanent vacation in Hollywood and NYC. There’s definitely a problem, when the night-time line up on TV in 2017, is the same as it was when I was a child.

Battle of the Network Stars? To Tell the Truth? 100, 000 Pyramid? A Rosanne Reboot? Now, a Dynasty Redux!

STOP! Please, just stop the madness. LOL! MY MTV

Anything older than Will & Grace is just a flat-out, “NO!”

Is TV really a reflection of how bad things are in this country? That we need to be lulled to sleep and pacified by manpulating our memories of how it used to be, in order to keep us from seeing how messed up things really are right now?

Too late! We already see the horror show that is unfolding daily around the Beltway, with a cast of toxic monsters that would put Godzilla to shame, and just keeps growing.

Hollywood is supposed to be the land of new and fresh ideas. Kinda like the Guf for TV shows. Newsflash! The Guf is empty! Does this mean we are about to experience the apocalypse of Network TV as we know it?

Where is the new Flip Wilson? Where is the next Shonda Rhimes? Where are our next Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil and Saladin Patterson?  Where are the next Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder? Where are the new writers who can come up with something that’s funny, excites, uplifts, and educates, but does not offend?

Too much to ask for, right?

So what’s next? Do we rally against the machine to get new meaningful TV Shows? Thereby ushering the next wave of mind numbing drivel, that only promises to program us to be less watchful of our surroundings, and a government that is supposed to be working for us, instead of against us. 

All TV isn’t bad. Some of it is pretty good. We just need to be careful of what we permit our cerebral cortex to digest. Don’t forget, it was Reality TV that tickled the gray matter of the walking brain-dead, who eased that train-wreck into the Oval. (Pun intended).

For now we’ll hold on to the Rachel Maddow’s, the Joy Reid’s, the Dave Chappelle’s, the Stephen Colbert’s, and the Keith Olbermann’s of the world, to ensure that we are informed while we’re laughing.

It’s not called programming for nothing, Beloveds.

Cue the music to, “The Courtship of Eddies Father.”

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The Political Game: Whose Really Getting Played?

2da68ea10ca5c4eae59e1212cbf1d611Here we are in this space and time and feels like something out of an episode of, “The Twilight Zone meets The Walking Dead.”  The only problem is, this is real life or as real as some will permit to be. How exactly did we get to this place where a Reality TV show host/producer, has now become the leader of the United States of America? No matter how many times I say this in my mind, the vomit almost escapes me, and the puzzle pieces refuse to connect to become a picture that I recognize.  

Who is really behind all of this and who all are the real players? 

I’m real clear on the Republicans and Dixiecrats. They can try to deny it, but they hate everyone who doesn’t look like them, or think like them, and they pretty much want all poor people to die, as evidenced by their behavior during these past eight years with the ACA. Another tell for these so called politicians, is their rush to destroy the ACA after tricking their constituents, by tapping into their little racist hearts by calling it, “Obamacare.”  

Sometimes, I’m curious about Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and all these Democrat Senators who say they care about the people. 

Bernie had to know that there was a large group of people who wanted something different, and who didn’t particularly want Hillary as their candidate for President. He also had to know that there was a possibility that running against the party pick, would split the vote, if people were really angry with the DNC choosing her and not giving him an opportunity. If Bernie supposedly cared about the least of us, why would he run and risk it all? 

I mean at the very least, if Hillary would have won, we wouldn’t have Captain Twitter in the Oval, about f*ck it up for EVERYBODY. Efforts could have then been made to unseat Hillary in 2020, with someone who we all wanted. 

I wonder about Hillary because if she is aware that there are certain deficiencies in her likeability, why is she taking the risk to lose the Whitehouse? And who are these folks who are providing the polling data? Do you mean to tell me that at no time did anyone in the DNC say, “Hey, ya’ll (giggle) – We forgot about the, “Middle aged, beer bellied, angry white guy-who is afraid of women, black people, Muslims, and gays,” vote.  

How do we go from David Axelrod brilliance to Barney Fife stupidity?

I bring this up because, there were several opportunities that could have turned this around, but none of them were taken. I didn’t see Bernie or any Senator come forward and stand with Sheila Jackson Lee a few weeks ago. In 2000 during the Bush selection the house members stood up and challenged the electoral vote.  Not one Senator came forward. As a result of that non-action, many young men and women would die in a war that was waged all because of a lie told by the Bush Administration. 

 Here we are in 2017. The same thing has just happened. Not one Senator stepped forward to help. So what does that mean now for the sons and daughters now serving in the military? What does this mean for the average person walking down the street?  

Even before this person becomes President the people are already aware that this person is a liar and has no ethical or moral compass. The people who are concerned are already aware that this man is unstable. 

So, once again I ask. How the hell did this happen and who is minding the damn store? 

What’s the point of these Senate Hearings with all these fire ball questions if they’re just going to pass them through? Is this simply all drama for the masses? What was all that recount jazz about Jilly-Jill?  

Another thing that is concerning me, is why do these blasted liberal sites insist on hyping people up to believe that they can actually do something to change our impending doom?  

A guy has already set himself on fire in protest.  Nothing remotely funny about that.

I guess the dumb white women, who are afraid of their own genitalia and who voted for that crotch grabber, and the racist, Obama hatin’, slack jawed, sloped faced, lowbrow, drooling,  knuckle draggin’, toothless, inbred yahoo’s, aren’t the only ones who got played.  

Yes, my frosty little latte sippin’, tree huggin’, “We are the world lovin’,” gotta save the whales and the dolphins, P.E.T.A., on speed dial, kombucha drinkin’, sushi eatin’, Snowflakes, you got played, too…LOL.

Mississippi, Got Dammit, we All Got Plaaayed!!! – “Play On Playah-Play on Playah.”

The one thing I am certain of is,” We the People,” play a huge roll in all of this.   

If we all decided for whatever reason, to unplug from the Bullshit, it would all crash faster than two hillbillies fightin’ over a jug of moonshine.  

Maybe we should all just take a step back, and just see things from a different angle.

Things may not be what they seem.

Hmm – this is a lil’ too deep for me.

Bye, Felicia – whoever you are.

 

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Truth618 5.0: We’re Here.

Well, here we are at the eve of a monumental moment in my life. It was my intention a year ago to write about the exploration of so many new things that I thought I was going to ponder.orange-daylily-flower

That clearly didn’t happen.

This past year has been great for me personally. Yoga three/four times a week, has helped me process a lot of what I couldn’t write or say. In terms of the bigger global picture, this past year has been totally sad and ridiculous. Seeing that baby washed up on the shore just broke me to pieces. It reminded me of the photo of the baby with the vulture standing by. This past year has been rife with some of the most hateful people in the spotlight. And to top it off, President Obama will be leaving office (insert sad face).

Some may say, “Well, just focus on yourself.” The truth of the matter is, it’s hard for me to do that. It’s hard for me to just focus on myself when there are people in the world who are hungry, homeless, and in need of some type of care that they either can’t afford, or that just isn’t available to them. It’s hard for me to just focus on myself when there are children who are being mistreated for no fault of their own. It’s hard for me to just focus on myself when there are people in the world who are innocent, yet are pushed from their homelands because of the greed of a few.

This year has taken so many icons of my youth that it’s difficult to have a totally happy disposition for the year in general. Prince pretty much defined my teenage years. Purple Rain came out when I was 18. I danced to David Bowie as a youngster. Muhammed Ali was always a part of my existence. Maurice White and Earth Wind & Fire always played on our local radio station.

As I had shared in a prior post, so many sad events made me just shut down and look within for answers. I wasn’t searching for answers to solve global problems, I was searching for answers to explain why these horrific things were happening, when we are supposedly in an age where things are SUPPOSED to be improving.

The question I pondered was, “How can I not become like these people who are so mean and nasty. How can I avoid being one of these people who says one thing and does another?”  Am I talking about being perfect? No. Absolutely not. I’m talking about how I can avoid bringing more hatred and misery in the world by my daily actions.

One thing I can do, to conduct a periodic self-check, is to concentrate on the many things I have learned over the course of my life thus far, and apply them.

And what exactly have I learned?

Whelp, I’ve learned that for the first ten years of my life, I was just getting used to being on this earth. I was a kid and didn’t know anything but Andy Panda, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, The Flintstones, and School House Rock.

The second ten years of my life, I was trying to adjust to the changes within my body. I discovered boys, the sting of love, wondered why adults were so miserable, and just wanted to be FREE to roam the earth, live in The Village, sip wine, contemplate the deeper meaning of life and write poetry.

The third ten years of my life, I thought I knew more than I actually did. I thought I knew what I wanted, and called myself putting my life on a schedule to achieve these things.

The fourth ten years of my life, I knew exactly what I wanted and didn’t want, however, I also came to the realization that, I wasn’t willing to make the sacrifice for some of the things that I THOUGHT I wanted.

I’m at the start of the fifth ten years of my life and I am really excited. For some reason, I feel as though I am starting all over again, but this time with answers to questions that plagued me as a young adult.

Fifty is not what it was years ago. I’m not saying this because I am, but because of what I expected fifty to be, isn’t happening. I thought I would be exploring retirement. No. I’m actually thinking about going back to school and switching careers.

Despite the crappy condition of our world, personally I feel very optimistic about my future.

Will there be sadness? Yup. Can’t have life without it.

Will there be pain? Yup. But suffering from it, is an option.

Will there be disappointment. Yup. If I don’t listen to my intuition and utilize what I’ve learned, wisely.

Will there be moments of uncertainty? Yup. But, that is what God is for.

I’ve learned that we all have purpose and that there are definitely three types of people with purpose, in the world – those who bring good, those who bring destruction, and those who stand for, and do absolutely nothing. The choice as to which one you become, is yours.

I’ve learned that saying that you love someone,  isn’t a casual gesture. It has to be followed up with proof.

I’ve learned that family is not defined blood. True friends are not friends at all, but actually your family of choice.

I’ve learned that forgiveness is a sacred act and doesn’t have to be afforded to all who have hurt or betrayed you. For some people, saying “Fuck you,” and walking away is sufficient.

I’ve learned that as much as you may want to, you can’t trust all people. Some people will stare into your face and lie TO you AND lie ON you.

I’ve learned that no one loves you more than God/Your Hight Self. Your parents are a close second.

I’ve learned that there are people in this world who do mean you harm. They eventually show you. You just have to believe them.

I’ve learned that losing a parent changes you and can cause you to feel as vulnerable as a child.

I’ve learned that if there is something that you don’t like about your life, you can change it. You just have to be willing to get up off the comfort zone couch, and do it.

I’ve learned that sometimes, three year-old children have better insight to life than thirty year-olds.

I’ve learned that a five year-old, can sometimes see more good in you, than you can see in yourself.

I’ve learned that romantic love really isn’t supposed to hurt your heart. If it does, it’s not love. Trust me on this.

I’ve learned that leaving a relationship can sometimes save your life.

I’ve learned that sometimes people hurt your feelings, because they too have been hurt.

I’ve learned that it’s always smart to truly embrace self evaluation, and love yourself enough, to want to improve at any age.

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Contemplation: Walking Through A New Door.

I wanted to write this past year about what I thought was going to be an amazing year of exploration and inspiration.

It turned out to be none of that. Not that my year was bad. The total opposite. It’s just that so many things have happened that caused me to go inward and reflect as opposed to being able to express it through writing.

Instead I am observing a world that appears to not learned from the tragic mistakes of the past.

The world feels as though it is closing in on itself and it will implode because of the hatred and violence that seems to grow and is evident every day.

In 18 days I will cross a new threshold.

I’m still very excited. I still want to explore new aspects of my life.

Just wondering how.

Same Hatred; Different Day.

I recently re-read Left to Tell: Discovering God No Decent CityAmidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilbagiza. Other than the obvious message of forgiveness, several things struck me harder the second time around. The first of many things that alarmed me while I re-read the book, was that the world hasn’t evolved much as it relates to our getting better, with being better to each other as human beings.

There still exists in the world, this terrible, horrific energy, that says it is necessary, for some people to bring about suffering and harm to other people, for the sole purpose of achieving some type of gain.

No!! Nothing is being gained here by hurting another person.

That type of logic is the byproduct of systematic oppression, which can lead to mental illness – it has to. Why else are so many people who are oppressed, so confused about what is really going on. Why is it that some groups of the oppressed, can’t see the bigger picture? Why can’t these poor souls see that when they fight against the next man, or try to take from the next man, who happens to be in the same or worse predicament, that they are only doing the bidding for those who are wielding the so-called, power.

When will people learn that we, most of us, are all under a system of oppression, and that harming each other, only benefits those who stand to profit by our harming one another?’

Don’t believe me? Go read the REAL history of the Tutsi and the Hutu. These two tribes did not always fight. Go read about WHO started the fighting and HOW it started. Who benefits by these two tribes murdering each other?

Who benefits from all of these atrocities world wide?

Hmm?

If we examine what went on in Rwanda in the 90’s, and what goes on around the world today, nothing has really changed. In fact, in many instances it has only gotten worse. All we have to do is look around at the last 15 years to see what has deteriorated right before our eyes. Sure, Rwanda had the mass killings and ethnic cleansings, but what the hell do you call Chicago? What do you call the murders of Sandra Bland,  Rexdale Henry,  or Samuel Dubose? What do you call the murder of a 12 year-old boy, by a grown man who swore to “protect and serve?”

When I set out to write on this blog, I said that I would be challenging some thoughts or some old ways of thinking.

One of the things I have consciously decided to stop saying is, “How Did We Get Here?” We get to a place, any place, the same way we get anywhere; one step at a time. We just didn’t wake up and find ourselves in the midst of these situations or in the midst of a person like Trump. This, like everything else throughout history, happens slowly over time and with our passive consent.

None of this is an accident. We’ve come to these situations and a person like Trump because corporations  know how to feed the base desires in all of us. They know how to get some of us to respond. They’ve found ways to pacify and sedate us when necessary. Some of our behaviors have even changed as some of us are being socialized through the media. Where do you think that information goes when you click on something you, “Like”? (And Facebook just gave us more buttons. Why? Because we asked for them (that’s that passive consent) LOL.  And why did we ask for them? Yep. You see where this is going.)

Every so often I beg people to watch an episode of Frontline called The Persuaders | FRONTLINE | PBS. This episode now 11 years old WARNED US about the power of marketing and advertising and market research. It’s  not too late. Go see it and rethink what is happening right up under our noses.

This country was dumbed down and continues to be, slowly but surely. Survivor, Big Brother, Housewives of Wherever, Jersey Shore, and host of other reality shows prepared the masses to be at ease with having our privacy violated. How you say? They made those who watched those shows willing voyeurs. Sure it was entertaining at first, but what has it done to our humanity. We’ve definitely become more desensitized to violence and inappropriate behavior. We’ve been shown people being murdered right in front of our eyes. And what exactly did we do about it other than march down streets holding signs? We don’t spend more than a week mourning the most tragic events. Do you remember what happened on June 19th 2015? And how long we paid attention to what had happened?

Consider this. It’s 2016 and we have to ask people to stop killing us and  each other.

Trump and people like him have always been here. He didn’t just emerge from a mud puddle. We grew him like a plant. Just as Hitler was grown  by watering him, Trump and others like him are growing. We also grow the other weeds that are destroying everything around us by our refusal to pay attention. We are growing the hatred and watching what that hatred has produced, come out of the shadows.

At some point years ago, in the midst of the war, I bet a member of the Hutu or Tutsi quietly wondered, “Who started this and how did we get here?”

We only need examine history to realize where we are and where we’re headed.

If we’re not careful and do nothing, we too will end up fighting each other like the Tutsi and the Hutu and wondering how we got here.

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Getting Nowhere Faster Than Ever

At what point did we really start lose our humanity in recent history? We have so many examples of where humanity went wrong but for some God awful reason we keep doing the same things over and over again.

There is no shortage of examples of human beings being hateful and harmful to other human beings.

Really digest these words;

A man said that he could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and not lose any voters.

A man and others had knowledge that water was poisonous and let the people of a city use and digest the water.

People running for public office tell bold face lies.

A police officer kills a man in broad day light on camera who was unarmed and not charging him.

A police officer kills a 12 year-old within seconds.

A child killed a grown man while he was walking his dog.

A man walks up to a police officer in a car and starts firing on him.

These things are really happening. What exactly are we doing about the things that are going on around us? It’s as if a horrific movie is on a loop and we constantly see the bad parts of this movie.

Every day just seems to get worse.

No matter how many times we try to paint a better picture to balance the scales something just seems to be tipping those same scales in a way that just says we are going nowhere as a human species and we are getting there fast as hell.