Trash Talk: New Year, Same-ish Trash

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Accurate…

2018 marks the beginning of a slightly more polished version of Trash Talk. Consider this semester the start of Trash Talk season 2. We had an awkward and rough go of things in the first season, but now we’ve sorted out most of the kinks.

As we enter into a new semester, time slot and year of the show we want to list a few expectations we have for the show:  Continue reading “Trash Talk: New Year, Same-ish Trash”

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Kendrick Lamar and Top Dawg Entertainment To Produce ‘Black Panther: The Album’

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2017 was easily a successful year for Top Dawg Entertainment.

With SZA’s rise to stardom with her debut album “CTRL” that as an album, showcased a woman’s growth throughout to becoming an individual that is more independent and requiring less validation from others. Many of the songs did very well on the charts and SZA is now on the forefront for the label with great potential to be a great artist. Also with legendary artist: Kendrick Lamar dropping his 4th LP: “DAMN.” that solidified the artist’s ability to delivery from all forefronts of Hip-Hop. “DAMN.” was easily his most successful album in terms of sales to date with many tracks such as DNA, LOVE, and HUMBLE charting very high on the Billboard Hot 100. The way Kendrick was able to appeal to a more mainstream audience without sacrificing his quality of music was incredible.

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A laundry list of what to do during your winter break

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(Above: not shredding the gnar.)

 

So, the 2017 fall semester is coming to an end. Many of us call Chicago home, while a good group of UIC students think that they are from Chicago but are really from the suburbs (such as myself).

After spending about four months at UIC, it is definitely nice to take a break and come home for the holidays to spend time with family and friends. Winter break officially begins on December 16th, 2017 and ends on January 16th, 2018. You might have some apprehension regarding not knowing what to do during break.

As do I.

Because humans really like to read lists, I have compiled a few things that will hold you over until the spring semester.

1. Get a job, you lazy bum. I recommend the seasonal positions for Mobile Sales Consultants at Best Buy, Cart Attendants at Target, or even working for the Pavilion at UIC. Maybe even sign up to be a lifeguard at your local outdoor waterpark.

2. Go snowboarding and SHRED THE GNAR!!!

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Sea Stories V – High School Sweethearts and Best Friends

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I made it to my bed (or rack, as it was now called) the night of the Moment of Truth. My division was sleep-deprived for 49 long hours. I’m pretty sure I saw the utensils at the galley swing-dancing in front of me; that’s how tired and cracked I was. In the 49 hours I had been at Great Lakes Recruit Training Command, my division got off those coach buses in the middle of the night, we spent hours getting our gear issued, getting our hair buzzed off, and going through hours of paperwork. On top of that, we ate 5 times at the galley, we spent time cleaning the head, (bathroom) we spent time stenciling our gear, and we received initial medical checkups. It was due time for sleep. The recruit division commanders were giving us 8 full hours of sleep, and our new temporary home was at the USS Red Rover. (It’s not actually a ship. It’s just a building named after one). Lying face up in my rack, I thought about my last day, right before the Navy.

 

I wanted to cry for her to see, but I didn’t as well. It was strange.

 

It was only that evening we were watching Silver Linings Playbook. We cuddled and hugged each other until it was time to leave. We didn’t watch Ant Man with her parents that night, either.

It was only that afternoon we were sitting on the balcony of her house, reading some book about palm reading. I didn’t agree with her choices of what I was in a hand. It was only that morning we went out for breakfast, and we had one of our last meals together. At least the last one I spent taking her out. We switched cars to her driving after breakfast. I felt pretty happy in her arms.

“I love you.” She said back to me, parking the car in my driveway. “I shouldn’t say that, but I don’t know any other love like you. I wish we had more time, too.”

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Throwing Dynamite Is Not A Good Idea

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One of the priests at my church had the craziest hunting story. Hunting in and of itself is already wild enough:

 

I had just bought a new 2016 Jeep Wrangler. My friend Dave, my dog and I were out hunting in Northwestern Wisconsin, around the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse area. We were pretty far into the woodlands as well. Deer season comes around at the end of the month of November, so by this time, the ground was covered with snow, and the air was frigid.

Nearby our hunting grounds was a large frozen lake. We toted our shotguns still loaded, actions open, however. Driving my new Jeep out onto the ice, the three of us wanted to take a break from sitting in the deer blind (camouflaged tent in which you wait for deer to come around) and spend some time ice fishing. Normally, you would use an auger or an drill bit to drill through the ice. After creating a conservative hole, you can then begin to fish. However, Dave had another idea to create a spot where we could ice fish.

 

Dynamite.

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23 Unorthodox Ways To Spend Your Thanksgiving Break

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The classic Thanksgiving dinner. Photo courtesy of Delish.com 

And now for something completely different.

Thanksgiving break is a magical time for the students of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Those two long days off that we are granted for this holiest of holidays are for many an opportunity to finally return home after several months of intense studies and reconnect with their families.

This break is also an exciting time for families of freshmen in particular, who get to see that wide eyed and enthusiastic little kid they dropped off at the beginning of the semester return as an unrecognisable bearded freak.

Sometimes though, this break can be very overwhelming to those who want to get the most out of their time away from the shackles of this intellectual prison. The thought of even losing a minute of their finite break shakes them down to their very core.

So, out of the goodness of my heart; I have compiled a list of not one, not two, but 23 unorthodox ways of spending Thanksgiving break. Fair warning though traveler, for some of the items on this list may be seen by some as “purposefully silly” and they “shouldn’t be taken too seriously because they’re jokes”… Continue reading “23 Unorthodox Ways To Spend Your Thanksgiving Break”

The Loneliness of Being a Gay Man in 2017

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Learning to Fly with Broken Wings and Learning to Love with a Broken Heart


I’ve oft discussed this phenomenon on my radio program (‘Trev,’ Wednesdays from 8:30 – 10:30 PM CT on uicradio.org and the mobile app Radio FX, also soundcloud.com/trevshow), one in which LGBTQ+ youth in particular struggle to fit in with a group that truly meshes with their identity and damaged sense of self. You see, the one thing that truly unites queer people is a certain level of damage. This damage can arise from a variety of sources and circumstance.

Paradoxically, gay men in particular find very little difficulty attaching themselves to individuals physically, sexually or romantically. What results is a very isolated and unstable foundation of support. Placing all bets on a single, extremely flawed individual is a sure fire way to return not only to the loneliness with which one was accustomed to before, but in fact an even deeper, darker sense of isolation. One fraught with the always-difficult transition from companionship back to solitude. The transition in and of itself is not one containing smooth or stable components.

The underlying issue is that, by their nature, gay men are, frequently, incredibly damaged. Indeed the basis of a romantic, male, homosexual relationship is one between two parties who haven’t been shown much love in life and yet are expected to somehow know how to do it. The results speak for themselves. I do not think it is a stretch to say that the extremely high rates of suicide among queer youth can be directly traced to this sort of all-or-nothing level of support.

See, when a heterosexual goes through a breakup, there is an entire community of support waiting for them in the wings. Mom, dad, sister uncle, all universally relate and empathize with the heartbroken straight boy. Conversely, homosexuality, even now, is something that at the very least isn’t spoken of among even the inner-most core of a family structure, even if it isn’t vocally opposed. Adding to this is the media’s frequent portrayal of happy, fulfilled gay couples (primarily white and male in nature).

The overused cliche of puberty is one of a caterpillar turning into a beautiful, transformed butterfly, which older butterfly creepily comment and make advances towards, but that’s besides the point. (These are the butterflies who could end up violently splattered on the grille of a car without even a modicum of remorse on behalf of literally everyone. Good riddance, you pervy rainbow moth). Gay puberty features significantly more bumps along the way.

Imagine, instead, of a caterpillar in its cocoon being ripped from the branch, stomped on repeatedly, and somehow managing to emerge, broken, but alive nonetheless. This damaged larva begins its post-transformation existence with broken wings, attempting to the best of its ability to assimilate into the life and culture of its peers. Often failing to do so, a fellow damaged monarch approaches it and offers, at once, a sense of familiarity, unity and aid. Finally, someone who gets it.

Instead of insects, imagine that damage lies within the heart of a human being. A heart that has faced dogma and violent opposition of its own kind. Mothers, grandparents and “friends” alike. The heart of a young, gay man is one that has been stomped and bruised since its inception. While it continues to beat, through lens of judgment and basic survival, it fails to empathize with those even within its own community. Infidelity, internalized homophobia, and all sorts of destructive behaviors are fueled by an overwhelming sense of self-hatred and guilt. Things that are not intrinsically or naturally a product of its lifestyle, but rather the environment with which it so inefficaciously tries to perform. A gay man is a butterfly with broken wings trying its best to fly. A gay man is a human with a broken heart, trying its best to love.


Trev Richards is host of the weekly talk program Trev on UIC Radio; Live, Wednesdays 8:30 – 10:30 PM Central Time. Follow/listen on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, iTunes and SoundCloud

Can I Overcome My Introversion For One Night?

Have you ever had a trait of your personality conflict with an activity?

I had a paper due this week for my psychology class, Theories of Personality, where I had to describe my personality using three traits. One of the traits that describes part of my personality well is me being low on extraversion, which is introversion. This past week I also bought a ticket for UIC’s Homecoming Dance, because my friends peer pressured me to buy it. How are these two things even remotely related?

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Sea Stories III: Angry Filipinos

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(By the way, I’m going to begin to use stock photos from now on. What, you think you can take photos in basic training? By the way, these girls look about excited as I was. Even I’m impressed with their enthusiasm.)

The Petty Officer rounds us up, not unlike cattle. Wide-eyed, matching the looks of the individuals around me, we all sternly follow this strangely dressed man down by the departure gates of O’Hare airport. I almost forgot my bag in the USO office; it’s a bit redundant to say, but that would have sucked big time.

It was strange. O’Hare was an airport that I was so comfortable with. From the departure gates, I could see all of the terminals and check-in booths and rent-a-car stations that I remembered from when I was younger and I would be going on family vacations to wherever around the country or world. I felt pretty old now, and I just turned 18.

We were instructed to sit down on the floor of the terminal and to “shut the f*ck up”. I say that in quotes as I do not use sentence enhancers lightly. The guys in charge of us really did have mouths like sailors, and that scared a few of us. I thought it was hilarious.

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