Archive for September, 2009

I’m laid out on the floor

I tried to write a song about you

But I punched a hole in the wall

I take a look in my yearbook

Above your signature reads

“I’ll really miss you, don’t forget to call”

I didn’t wanna forget about you and miss you so much

So I thought I call you everyday

Just to keep in touch

But now you’re acting all different 

Don’t even care about how am I doing

Not even a little bit

I know you’ve been busy

But you know that’s irrelevant 

That’s no excuse for you to act like 

You don’t know who I am

What I ever do wrong?

I really don’t undestand

And I’ll never know why

Because I’m trying to forget about you

And put you out of my life

But a part of me

Feels like it withered and died

There’s was that something we had

That I wished it’d never end

And that was the time 

You and I will were still friends

Recently, I had a epiphany when I was tossing and turning in my sleep. I thought about how I had been single for over a year and I was contemplating if love even existed. Trying to find the right girlfriend for me was damn near impossible. Whenever I got close to entering a relationship, my self-doubt would trigger insanely and I would back out. Then I realized love and hate played a major part in my relationship ordeal.

The idea of love and hate is very complex but can also be simple at the time. I believe ideas such as love and hate can be defined, are present and can be manifested given the appropriate situation. I believe love and hate are systematic processes. I believe love and hate are the result of an active mechanism. This active mechanism is known as Emotion Stimulate Response.

We can define love and hate as the result of Emotion Stimulate Response (ESR). ESR is a three-part process where love or hate can exist and be manifested. The first part of ESR is the object (any object or thing) that triggers or stimulates an emotion in a person or thing as the subject. This part is called the Emotion. Note that the Emotion can be a positive or negative force. The Emotion can embody or represent various feelings. Feelings such as anger, fear, rejection, disgust, happiness, bitterness, sadness, compassion, identity, obsession, desire, lust, ambition, curiosity, greed, companionship, willingness, tranquility, jealousy, determination, excitement, security, warmth, hope, trust, completion and all the abstract things which the subject can possibly feel.

As a result, the subject is emotionally stimulated leading to the second stage of ESR. We can also refer to the subject as the Stimulate.

Following these feelings, the subject is compelled to perform a certain action in order to acquire or maintain those feelings or reject them. This third and final part of ESR is known as the Response. This is when either love or hate comes into play.

There are two types of ESR. One ESR produces love and the other correlates hate. These two types of ESR are known as Constructive Emotion Stimulate Response (CESR) and Deconstructive Emotion Stimulate Response (DESR). CESR is what we usually associate  with the idea of love. DESR is the device that usually pertains to hate or the device that harbors hate. However, that doesn’t mean CESR is good and DESR is bad. Both types of ESR are good and will be explained in further detail.

In CESR, The object triggers or stimulates a positive Emotion in a subject (The Stimulate.) The Emotion will embody or represent a positive feeling. For example, say the Emotion represents a positive feeling such as happiness. Once the object stimulates that Emotion of happiness in the subject, the subject may make a commitment or perform a certain action to attach itself to the object so that it can be emotionally stimulated by the object constantly. This third and final part is called the Response. Thus the Stimulated subject connects with the Emotion-stimulating object by making a Response. Hence all three parts of the ESR synergize and come together, we can refer to it as CESR. CESR is the device that enables love to exist and be manifested. Imagine it as a generator that needs all its components to be connected so that it can provide some sort of power that represents love.

Note that CESR can happen instantly or can act as a catalyst. Sometimes it will happen gradually. It  will take a certain amount of time before the object can stimulate an Emotion or a Response can be made; until then CESR is not completed. It can be reciprocated or not. CESR can happen as a result of various situations. But it can also be antagonized, disrupted or eradicated by a decisive factor. CESR can happen between two or more people or forces. It can happen between a man and woman, a mother and her child, a musician and music, it can happen between Jesus Christ and His followers, it can even happen between a person and an inanimate object and so on.  

All three parts of CESR need to sync and constantly synergize so that love can exist and be manifested. If any of the three parts of CESR is absent, love will not be able to exist.

I guess that’s why I’m still single. I haven’t come across any girl that stimulated me in a positive way that I’d respond in order to connect with her or vice versa. 

A clear example of CESR happened not too long ago. I talked with my friend Nicholas who is currently in a serious relationship with his girlfriend Michelle. Things are going really well between them. I asked Nicholas if he had any positive Emotion when he saw or met Michelle for the first time. He confirmed. I then asked him to list or recall as many feelings as possible from his Emotion. He told me, “I felt awestruck, you know? I saw her and I was amazed, excited I felt attraction and I was kind of happy.”

In this case, Michelle is the object that stimulated the positive Emotion. Emotion that stimulated feelings of awe, amazement, attraction, excitement and happiness in Nicholas, who is the subject or Stimulate. As the recipient of these feelings, Nicholas was compelled to make a Response so he could maintain those feelings. Nicholas therefore made the Response by getting to know Michelle, communicating with her, asking her out, buying her gifts and making her his girlfriend.  Thus Nicholas successfully connected himself with Michelle who is the object stimulating emotional Response. This is a prime example of CESR synergizing and love begins to exist. CESR works as long as Michelle is able to stimulate the positive Emotion in Nicholas.  Nicholas must also constantly maintain the positive Emotion by making a Response in order to stay connected with Michelle as the object. It is only in this systematic process CESR is able to generate  love . The love which Nicholas has for Michelle

Humans are able to love and we definitely have the ability to hate. When we think of hate we think of all the worst things and all the negative ideas associated with it. However, what we don’t think of is the rationale behind it. This is where Deconstructive Emotion Stimulated Response (DESR) comes into play. It has the same three-part process as CESR only this time all the three parts do not synergize or come together but are detached or disassembled.

Hate results from DESR when the object stimulates a negative Emotion in a subject (The Stimulate.) The Emotion will represent a feeling that is undesired by the subject. As a result, the subject will make the Response by trying to detach itself from the object in some way in order to get rid of the negative Emotion and lose its connection with the object.  Unlike CESR, the three parts are not connected but need to be separated so hate can exist and serve as the stabilizer.

Hate in a general sense is not good but the hate resulting from DESR is actually a good thing pertaining to the subject. The subject needs to harbor some kind of hate to avoid the negative Emotion. Thus DESR is the defense mechanism that drives us to hate for our own purposeful reason.

            For example, my friend Jessica absolutely hates spiders. She would shriek in terror if she ever came near one. “I can’t stand spiders; they’re so scary and disgusting.”

 In this case, spiders are the object that stimulates the negative Emotion in the subject. The negative Emotion represents feelings of fear and dread. Since the feelings are negative, Jessica will have no desire to sustain or maintain those feelings. She will want to suppress or reject them. In order for DESR to happen, Jessica must make a Response. So I asked her what she would do if she saw a spider.  

“Oh my goodness, I’d freak out big time if I ever saw one, I’d try to kill it or run away screaming my head off,” She said.

As a result, Jessica’s Response is to panic, kill or run away from any spider if she ever encountered one. She makes this Response so that she won’t feel the fear or panic stimulated spiders. Once she makes the Response, Jessica is detached or separated from the spiders so she can suppress or rid herself of the negative Emotion. Thus DESR functions as an emotional stabilizer. It helps Jessica break her connection with the spiders by suppressing the negative Emotion Stimulated in her. Once that happens Jessica is able to harbor the necessary hate for spiders.

The ESR is a daily part of our lives and is the medium that helps us connect to whatever we hold dear or reject the things we despise in order to justify our own motives.

Whether it is the love of family, friends, a significant other; something that is an essential part of our lives or the hate of spiders, ESR is the device that helps us convey or demonstrate our love or hate of those certain things.

In conclusion, ESR is nothing short of but the actual representation and embodiment of all kinds of love and hate.

Kuuku De-Graft-Duncan (09/21/2009)



He's got a big ego...

If you got Kanye West and MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) in the same sentence, be aware it’s a recipe for disaster. If Kanye West had a middle name it would be controversy.

 One of hip-hop’s attention-grabbing and biggest icons is at it again and has the media in a frenzy. It seems as if Mr. West has dug a grave for himself and his music but he’s definitely up to something. This is another one of those moments West could add to his collection of overly sensational outbursts.  

On September 13, Taylor Swift had won her very first award at the 2009 MTV VMAs. It was an incredibly special moment for the talented country pop singer but it was short-lived. Swift’s graceful acceptance speech was disrupted as West stormed the stage and  snatched the mic from the debutant winner. Then all hell broke loose.

“I’m sorry, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time, one of the best videos of all time!” as the rapper obnoxiously projected out onto the stage. There’s no doubt that West’s crazy stunt on stage was disrespectful, disgusting and inexcusable. 

However, West couldn’t care less if Beyoncé won or not because there is a hidden agenda in all of this. To tell the truth, I’m not surprised at all. In one single moment, West stole Swift’s deserved spotlight and diverged all the attention away from MTV’s award show which was also a tribute to the late Michael Jackson (Gosh, how many more tributes could there possibly be?)

As a result, West catapulted himself to the top of the latest events. As of now, he’s become one of the leading trend topics on Twitter and there are countless status updates bashing and praising West on Facebook. He’s the one making headlines, not Taylor Swift and that is exactly what he wants. 

West already issued an apology to Swift but  the damage has been already done. This is not the first time that West has done something like this. Anything this shocking  is usually an attempt to promote his work and flaunt his over-sized ego.

On November 14, 2004, the hip-hop artist hijacked the stage in similar fashion at the American Music Awards (AMAs) claiming he should have won the Best New Artist,  

“Upon hearing he has lost the Best New Artist award to ‘redneck woman’ Gretchen Wilson, West storms out of the AMAs in a show of protest. He later tells reporters, ‘I felt like I was definitely robbed, and I refused to give any politically correct bullsh–ass comment … I was the best new artist this year,'”  according to an article from

It’s a clear sign that West has a sore-loser complex. He will parade on any other artist’s accomplishment any chance he gets, forcing all the focus onto himself and his music.

After hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the Red Cross organized a fundraiser for Hurricane Relief. It was going well until West opened his mouth that caused more chaos on an already critical event.

“Back in 2005, the rapper felt entitled to the best album award at the Grammys, so he issued a very brazen warning during a pre-show interview. Then in 2006, Kanye had an onstage outburst when he didn’t win at the MTV Europe Music Awards. But, the incident that may top them all is Kanye’s outburst during a 2005 Hurricane Katrina fundraiser concert, when he stated that ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people,’” reported.

No doubt the rapper was entitled to his opinion but I feel as if that controversial statement somehow overshadowed the good intentions the Red Cross had.  Once again all eyes were on Kanye West and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

 In September 2007, Kanye West staged a rivalry with friend and fellow rapper 50 Cent prior to the simultaneous release of their respective albums in a desperate attempt to boost marketing sales. They aggressively used the media to their advantage. They taunted each other on late-night shows and acted out their “beef”  on award shows National Public Radio reporter Christopher Johnson reported.

I  think I’ve figured it out. An already established artist like Kanye West is so obsessed with the attention from the media. He has an insatiable urge to constantly be on top and doesn’t care who he offends or hurts to get there.  

He may be an obnoxious  and an inconsiderate rapper  but know that is typical Kanye West. Either love  him or hate him. After all, he’s got a big “uh uh huh egoooooooo.”

Swine Flu!

Swine Flu!

This is definitely one of the tritest topics to date and I feel like shooting myself for bringing it up. Generally speaking, there is not a lot that no one knows about this crisis.

Nevertheless, it is an issue that is significantly current and one that has been antagonizing  America for awhile now. I just want to address some serious misconceptions and ignorant attitudes that have surfaced.

Meet H1N1 Influenza but it’d rather go by the infamous name of swine flu. The new menace that’s been making headlines along with other sore issues like health care reform. Not to worry though, at least there is a more rational and long-term solution for swine flu than health care reform.

The only problem is some people are not aware of the urgency or the need to control this new pandemic. It is not about propaganda or trying to have people living in fear. It may have the same patterns and symptoms as the regular flu but if anyone thinks that that’s all it is, they should seriously reconsider. This is the flu reloaded, coming back in its biggest and “baddest” state waging another war against mankind and the scary part is that it could win.

Swine flu is a mixture of the avian and human virus that causes a new strain in an infected pig. The new strain is the result of the avian and human viruses mixing with each other’s RNA. Once the new strain is formed, it can be transmitted from a pig to a person.

     “The pigs are important, but they’re a little bit of — if you’ll excuse the expression, a red herring because this particular virus is not a pure swine virus. It’s one-third human virus, one-third bird virus and one-third pig virus. And the ability of this virus to make itself into new shapes — it kind of shuffles itself like a pack of cards with different viruses — is what causes new viruses to emerge, and that’s what starts pandemics,” according to epidemiologist Dr. Susan P. Fisher-Hoch from the University of Texas School of Public Health.

There’s no doubt that swine flu has had a major impact in the U.S. There are many cases of schools closing down, a friend or roommate that had to be quarantined and children dying.

Another reason why swine flu raises massive concern all over the world is because our relentless army of scientists can’t really pinpoint or come up with a strategy to defeat the virus.  That is why it’s such a big deal because they are yet to predict the strain of the flu. There are mixed theories and calculations that the virus may mutate or remain stable. Ultimately, they are frantically trying to solve a pandemic puzzle.

“A single person gets infected with more than one virus at the same time. Those two viruses — which are quite different — get into the same cell. Each virus has eight little pieces of its genome … and when it gets in a cell it takes it coats off, and out pops its eight little pieces. Well if you’ve got two viruses in a cell, now you imagine yourself sixteen little pieces … eight little matching pairs, and then shuffle it like a pack of cards, and you come out with eight and eight, and you will see that you’ve got some different combinations.” Fisher-Hoch said.

Basically, the virus has made a shift in influenza. This happens every year with a “drift” which are tiny changes in the virus that require a new vaccine every year. However, the virus has taken a completely different shape which is called a shift.

“A shift results in a pandemic, and that’s what we … haven’t seen since 1967, so we were kind of overdue for this — it used to happen every ten years or so, and we haven’t had one for 30 years, so we really are overdue.” Fisher-Hoch added.

No kidding, swine flu has been planning and waiting for a long time to carry out its evil plot and is doing so with a vengeance. 

As of Sept. 4, 2009, there have been 33,902 cases and 593 deaths in the U.S. and more than 254,206 cases and at least 2,837 deaths worldwide due to the H1N1 virus according to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO.)

In July 2009, Federal health officials told Congress would be available to produce a vaccine if necessary. It’s nothing to think twice about, the vaccine is necessary.

“ One choice already is made: The U.S. government has spent $1.15 billion to buy enough vaccine to immunize the entire U.S. population against the new flu. If the government makes the decision to go ahead with a full-scale vaccination program, it would be the largest, fastest vaccination program in world history,” an article from WebMD

This is no joke. This is not just another casual and regular flu season. The U.S. government and various medical organizations around the globe are constantly working hard and breaking serious bank to keep this  dangerous  menace at bay. If anybody happens to be exhibiting symptoms of the flu during this season, chances are that they might be prone to or carry swine flu. No need to freak out though. The virus is easy to avoid or survive if common sense and preventive measures are taken.

There’s no need to go into detail what those preventive measures are. After all, swine flu is not a lot that nobody knows about, right?

No, not again, how can this possibly be? It is too hard to grasp and nobody can actually explain why a very dark cloud suddenly reigns over Blacksburg, VA wrecking havoc with the most unimaginable tragedies. It is almost as if these tragedies happen in a routine pattern desperately trying to break the spirit of the Hokies.

             It all started with a seriously troubled and delinquent Cho Seung Hui, a Virginia Tech (VT) student who massacred 32 people with a 9mm and .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol. Then in January 2009, VT student Xin Yang had her head slowly cut off with a kitchen knife at the Au Bon Pain student café. The culprit was none other than her fellow student and close friend Haiyang Zhu. This shocking news had VT reliving the mass nightmare that happened on April 16, 2007.

“Once again we are challenged as a community to offer support to one another as we process this recent event. Once again we will rise to the occasion,” VT President Charles Steger said in a public address.

Active Campus Crusade for Christ students Heidi Childs, 18, and David Metzler, 19, are now the latest victims of the unfortunate events that have struck heartache once again in VT.

            They were shot to death 15 miles from campus at the Jefferson National Forest according to a police report. Adding insult to injury, investigators also claimed that the shooting was random and no suspects had been named according to an article from the Roanoke Times.

Recently, some friends of mine told me that VT is a terrible place and is cursed. They blamed security for the mass shooting and speculated that a lot of VT students must have an urgent concern for their safety now. I don’t blame my friends for saying such things. I also thought that VT was a haven for tragedy and that it had some major security issues.

However, I realized the tragic events have nothing to do with security actually. I believe these tragedies stem from individual cases of deteriorating mental health.  

Cho Seung Hui was a ticking bomb waiting to go off during his time at VT. It was inevitable the mental wires in his head short-fused.

Fellow students and professors from the VT English Department were aware of Cho’s sinister and anti-social behavior. They also noticed the overly dark and violent material evident in his work.

“Cho, who has been described by classmates and teachers as brooding, withdrawn and silent, also left a rambling, angry, multi-page document in his dorm room. He wrote at least one bomb threat that police found, as well as a novel and some disturbing poems and plays,” according to an article from the Washington Post.

In addition to that, Cho had to undergo mental health counseling for his disturbing plays and the reported cases of stalking two girls against him. Don’t forget the infamous video he sent to NBC. Cho tried to justify his motive for killing by depicting himself as a modern martyr. With the image of a pistol in each hand held high serving as his instruments of judgment. Somewhere along those lines, it is clear Cho had been mentally unstable for a long time.

I’m also certain that Haiyang Zhu must have lost it big time when he decapitated Xin Yang. Zhu wrote on a Chinese-language blog that he had been so frustrated over stock losses and other problems that he contemplated suicide or murdering someone according to Sky News. So frustrated, that he hacked off Yang’s head with a kitchen knife. If that’s not mentally twisted, I don’t know what is.

Now someone has murdered Childs and Metzler, two people who devoted their lives to follow Christ and tried to make a difference in other people’s lives at VT. They were good kids and the death of this innocent couple is hard to fathom.

VT was unlucky to suffer at the hands of normal individuals who became mentally unstable and were a danger to society. Therefore, security is not at total fault and can’t be necessarily blamed. In fact,

  “Many colleges and universities in California, and around the nation, are forcefully tackling issues of security and mental health during summer orientation seminars and greet-the-frosh gatherings with parents and new students before regular classes begin.” The LA Times reported.

 Most colleges and universities now have new emergency notification systems such as the text-based notifications Liberty faculty and students receive on their cell phones and e-mail. They also offer extensive mental health and counseling programs.

On a higher note, VT are reunited more than ever, people continue to show support for one another and are doing everything they can to help its student body recover from these horrific tragedies. My condolences and prayers go out to the Childs and Metzler family.