Flashback Friday: Troop

Troop is a late 80s/ early 90s R&B group originally from Pasadena, California. TROOP is an acronym for “Total Respect Of Other People”. The five members were, Steve “Random” Russell, Allen McNeil, John Harreld, Rodney Benford and Reggie Warren.

The group has had five number one singles and ten top ten singles on the Billboard R&B Charts. They released five albums, which include three certified gold and one certified platinum album.

 Troop is most notable for a series of number one R&B hits, including two popular cover versions of songs such as “All I Do Is Think of You” and “Sweet November“, originally performed by, The Jackson 5 and The Deele respectively. They also had number-one hits with original songs such as “Mamacita” and “Spread My Wings”.

When people talk about the best R&B groups of the 80s/ 90s Troop is often forgotten, which is a shame because they were a very good group.

Troop – All I Do Is Think Of You

Troop – Spread My Wings

Do you remember Troop?

The freedom of not giving a f**k!

Last Saturday I had a short presentation to make for work. It wasn’t anything too involved. It would only take 10 minutes or so. But, it was going to be in front of about 70 people.

I hate public speaking. I mean I really hate it. Or maybe it’s the lead up to the public speaking I really hate. Whichever it is the result is I get really stressed out in the days leading up to having to speak in front of people.

So, all last week I was stressed. In the beginning of the week I felt the stress but wasn’t really aware of why I was stressed. As the week went on and Thursday came around I was keenly aware of why. On Friday I was really feeling it.

Mind you, I was fully prepared. My little presentation hardly even required much prep work as it was on a subject I’m pretty versed in. Did that stop me from having a real bad case of nerves? Nope.

The girlfriend was great. She reassured me. And in those moments when she did the stress washed away. But, soon after, when her encouraging words were only a echos in my head, the nervousness returned.

On Saturday I woke to a bad case of nerves and pouring rain. Oh great. We’ve had a really dry winter here and I’d been wishing for rain for months but why did that wish have to be answered just then, I thought.

I had breakfast. Got my cheat notes together. And prepared to go.

Then something amazing happened. I thought to myself that in the larger scheme of things this little speech I had to give didn’t really amount to much. I remember thinking that in 20 years if someone brought it up to me I more than likely wouldn’t even remember it.

And, that’s when the magic happened. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I just stop giving a fcuk! All that stress gone. Just like that.

The girlfriend drove me and we enjoyed the coziness of all the rain and talked about getting back home and hunkering down and watching a movie. Fun! I didn’t even think about what I was about to do.

She dropped me off. I went in. I was third to speak. I listened to the two speakers before me. And, when it was my turn I calmly walked to the podium. I gave my little talk. After I asked if anyone had any questions. A few people had some. I answered them.

And I was done!

I hung around for a bit after it was over and spoke to a few people and then I left. The Girlfriend was waiting for me in the car and we hauled azz home!

Oh the wonderful freedom of not giving a fcuk!

 

 

Does public speaking stress you out?
Have you learned the art of not giving a fcuk?

Mr. President, is that you?

I’ve noticed that when governments run by dictators fall they usually fall in a matter of days or weeks. I wonder if the opposite is true of democracies? Do democracies fall very slowly over time? What are the signs that a democracy is falling?

When a democratic government spies on all of its citizens, is that a sign? When a democratically elected president assassinates citizens, is that a sign? When corporations become people, is that a sign? When banks are allowed to crash the economy and make billions while average citizens suffer, is that a sign?

I’m not sure of the answer. But, I do feel that we citizens of the United States are less free than we were a decade ago. How can you be free when you have no privacy from the government? How can we be free when corporations have more power than the people to control government. We citizens seem to have become an after thought. The government only seems to seek our approval at election time.

Maybe this stuff has always gone on. Maybe we just have more information now.  But, even if these things have always gone on, don’t we owe it to ourselves to act now that we know?

What do you think? Is the American democracy falling? Are we less free?