By Aazim Jafarey

20,000 units.

He squinted at the number, rubbed his temple, and re-read the directions.

This Challenge is simple: write a short creative fiction piece, no longer than 2,000 words, about a post-apocalyptic dystopia.

He didn’t know whether to sigh or laugh. “Simple,” the prompt promised. True enough, he supposed. If you sought 20,000 units in his society - and, of course, the 99% of citizens who had the misfortunate of having not been born into a historically successful clan yearned deeply for such a sum - you would find few opportunities as enticing as a quick foray into fiction. A…

A few reflections on being vocal in the workplace.

I’ve been asked a lot why I feel the need to be so candid and vocal about diversity and inclusion, social justice, and other related topics.

While these questions sometimes stem from simple curiosity, I often sense hidden sentiments in how they are posed. Two main themes consistently emerge: irritation and fear.

The irritation typically comes from those who most benefit from our current status quo. These are the kinds of folks who recognize that injustices exist and enjoy envisioning a world in which everyone is equal and no one has to feel isolated or alone in their workplace.

These individuals often have great intentions but are usually unable (or unwilling) to accept that racism is not a topic that can be compartmentalized. They are happy…

My 100 favorite projects of the last year; no order, just aesthetics.

My 100 favorite projects of the last year; no order, just aesthetics.

My 100 favorite projects of the last year; no order, just aesthetics.

How YouTubers are tapping into a need for authentic content.

When Donald Glover released his mercurial music video “This Is America” earlier this year, I had the luck of catching its upload in the first few minutes.

Like millions after me, I danced along with Donald for the first thirty seconds, then dropped my jaw in astonishment when he stretched behind his back, pulled out a gun, and shot the man sitting in front of him in cold blood. Once the beat dropped and the background dissolved into chaos, it was clear the video was destined to be an instant internet phenomenon - and, sure enough, the next few hours…

LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner’s blueprint for meaningful connections.

At first, you hear the embers crackling beneath the black screen. Then, two men appear; and a fire, of course, sputtering loudly, orange glaze gleaming against the night.

The man sitting in frame left calmly hits a cigarette. You know him already. From Even Stevens to Transformers, rousing green screen speeches to drunken tirades against Las Vegas police — why, that’s Shia LaBeouf, and he’s a celebrity. Sure doesn’t look like one at this moment, though, as he absentmindedly scratches his armpit and asks his screen-mate a question.

“You ever been, uh, camping with strangers?”

“Nuh-uh,” responds the bespectacled man…

A long look, because it shouldn’t be short.

For the rest of this post, I’m going to just throw in random art I like, ’cause why not?

Boy, it’s been a week.

I waited to take a stab at writing this because I’m naturally soft-spoken, and that’s taught me that in a room full of chaos, the louder voices will drown everything out. But, everyone eventually needs to breathe; and when there’s silence again, when panic turns to pondering — that’s when to jump in.

Of course, I don’t want to talk aimlessly. I wouldn’t speak unless I thought I had something to say. Here’s why I do, in bullet points because that’s easiest.

  • I have a more contextualized perspective on Kanye West’s mind than most people who don’t know him (and…

My 100 favorite projects of the last year; no order, just aesthetics.

Beats, rhymes, and life from the past week.

— Projects —

Åazim Jafarey

i have an idea

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