He Lived A Long 77 Years

Jose Vilson Jose 10 Comments

You ask me if I’m OK, and I say yes. I’m OK in the knowledge that, the day after I found out Luz and I have a baby boy awaiting in her womb, my grandfather passed. It was a Tuesday when I saw my boy’s penis through black-and-white live-action screens, exclaiming “YES!” in relief that I finally found out a whole lot more about the fetus occupying her space for …

RIP Jaime Escalante

RIP Jaime Escalante, Famed Math Teacher

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

It is with regret that I report about Jaime Escalante’s passing today. He was 79. He lived his life inspiring all types of people within the education system, but with little money left to treat his terminal bladder cancer. I am amongst that number of people who he inspired through the seminal work about his work, Stand and Deliver. Certainly, I don’t base my knowledge entire on a movie starring …

Superman Dies

No More Heroes

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

Last week, the whole world found out that Guru a.k.a. Keith Elam of the world-renown hip-hop duo Gang Starr had (ostensibly) died of a recent heart attack he suffered the day before. Entertainment bloggers reported it. Wikipedia reported it. Celebrities who are usually in the know said it. Then, I typed up a dedication to the man, thinking these three had become relatively credible sources. Ten minutes later, the news …

Heath Ledger

Augmented Reality

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

In the latest edition of Esquire Magazine (yes, I read Esquire, at least once a year, particularly their end of the year specials), Stephen Marche has an article entitled, “A Thousand Words About Our Culture: Aren’t We Enjoying All This Death A Little Too Much?” In it, he analyzes this idea of celebrity death, its permutations, significance, and manifestations in 2009. In general, his point is two-fold: we make celebrities …

Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze Goes Ghost (RIP)

Jose Vilson Jose 6 Comments

As many of you heard by now, sources have confirmed Patrick Wayne Swayze’s death a few minutes ago, to the shock and chagrin to many of the people who follow my writings in various information sources. While I find myself semi-numb to the idea that famous people have died left and right, I grow rather irritated with the idea that Patrick Swayze died. It’s not because it feels like some …

2Pac In Backwards Hat & Chain

Against All Odds

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

Today will mostly be remembered for 2Pac Shakur’s birthday. The once and still prolific MC carried on a legendary life, evidenced by his persistent legacy and demigod status within multiple communities. He constantly ranks amongst the most profitable dead celebs, and his style continues to pervade some really popular MCs. People like me were also captivated by the man’s intelligence and his allusions to some of the most sacred and …

Biggie and 2Pac

Even Pac and Big Wished for Better Dayz …

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

I wrote this sometime in October 2008, but for whatever reason, people who I sent this to never actually published it. Some of the stuff I wrote in the original blog I’ve edited to fit my more informed views now, but the message remains the same. Please read and discuss below. Also, for more Biggie goodness today, read here for a posthumous letter from the BIG man himself, courtesy of …

Ruben

A Eulogy for Ruben (If There Ever Was One)

Jose Vilson Jose 25 Comments

“I often wish that I could save everyone, but I’m a dreamer.” – Scarface, “Smile” Ruben, As one of my first students, I remember you as a portly one. Always dressed in funky colors, and had style for days whenever you weren’t in uniform. Never really in a gang, but had a tag name (think I didn’t know about that, Trons?) I’m almost certain, though, that you wouldn’t get into …

african_king

The King’s Labor of Love

Jose Vilson Jose 10 Comments

Who gets to say their real last goodbyes? Late in August, right before school started, the week that my mentor and friend left to another school for a more prominent position as a math coach, one of the eternal spirits of the school, Mr. N, died, and in surprising fashion. With the vast changes in our school, Mr. N’s death rung like a four-alarm blaze across those who worked at …