Introducing Pod Squadron

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (aka Florida) I ended up really getting into the Star Wars Franchise. If you ever talked to me, I’d probably have much more to say about video games or comics, but Star Wars was my science fiction / fantasy outlet.
I never mentioned it much, but I ended up starting a group on Facebook to talk about the franchise, and it got really good. A lot of my friends ended up joining and discussing all things Star Wars. Fast forward some time, and people that knew me from my group suggested that I help jumpstart a podcast.
That’s how I met up with the guys at Pangeekery. 
So now I host the podcast with Chinese Pirate, Hot Nerd Girl, and Kaleidoscope Creature, and it’s created in conjunction with the Pangeekery Network.
You can find Pod Squadron on all the major channels including YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever you get your Internet fix. 
We’re currently going following along with The Mandalorian. If you have something to say about that, let me know!

– Mr Benja –

ADD Podcast 009 – Pandemic Level Energies w/ Raphael Phillips

If you don’t know, Raphael is one of the more interesting friends I roll with. We speak about a number of things, including social media, leaving Facebook, sales/marketing, art development, design, and therapy. It gets wild.
NOTE: Please excuse the audio. We had to get the recording done, but the information in the podcast is well worth it.

– Mr Benja –

Pod Squadron?? Wait… Benja’s Hosting a Star Wars Podcast

The Pod Squadron Podcast Is Here

* Here’s The Backstory *
Earlier this year, I was reading up on Star Wars news and finishing up the first season of The Mandalorian. I was a bit late on it, but season 2 was coming out and I was feeling good about Star Wars.
You see, I had gone through the tumultuous period known as the Sequel Trilogies Arguments. Regardless your feelings on those films, you likely thought it was a tough time to be a Star Wars fan. Things got testy. It was weird.
But I’ve been a Star Wars fan since…forever, and some YouTube comments and  aren’t going to ruin my joy. So I kept my private Facebook group going (want an invite?), and embraced all things Star Wars again. 
I suppose my enthusiasm and knowledge got someone’s attention, because through this I ended up getting invited to do a podcast with some of my friends.
* Here’s The Podcast *
I’m currently putting our podcast out on the different podcast channels and building something that’s bigger than Star Wars. I’m hosting with theater producer Andy the Chinese Pirate and social maven Tracy the Hot Nerd Girl. We go live every week on Twitch. We also have other guests that show up from time to time. Currently, we’re following the releases of The Mandalorian episodes and will continue on to other things after that. If you’re keeping count, that means we’ve got three episodes completed. 
We need your support, so be sure to subscribe on YouTube or wherever you check out podcasts.

– Mr Benja – 

It’s All A Game (A Theory of Mine)

Someone took this picture of me at an 8Bit Cubist art show several years ago. It was at a time when I was working hard on my dreams and LITERALLY losing my hair over it. I had to tell myself that although I can be serious, I was just developing games and making interesting images. That line of thought turned into me telling myself that it’s just a job, it’s just a phase, IT’S JUST A GAME, and so on. This wasn’t to dismiss anything, but to put it in proper context. Over time, the logic morphed into a way of looking at life. I wanted (and needed) to channel my personally serious energies in more beneficial ways to me. That’s why I’m so adamant when I say that my art is not about games… but life. 
So while this year has brought us elections, environmental concerns, economic challenges, riots, health concerns, social challenges, and whatever else gets thrown on that pile, you still have the choice on how you play the game. So even IF this year is fucked, the question is: WHAT DOES THAT MATTER TO YOU? There are still positive moves that you have left to make. Start a podcast, connect with family, learn some new technologies, read a book, learn how to cook, do a pushup, or whatever.
Things will be okay as long as you are okay. That’s how perceptions work. And when I say “Be Okay”, I do not mean be complacent, accept weakness, deny reality, or co-sign bullshit. I am saying that most of what you are actually stressing over is a product of your own creation. The game is going to play out however it plays out. You make the choices you can and never underestimate that power.
Well. I hope this helps someone.  I’ve studied this for much of my life and have just now started to really put it into words. Along with my journaling and social media, writing these things has helped me to communicate and focus my feelings into tangible output. It’s the least I can do.
Let me know what you’re up to.

– Mr Benja –

I Painted A Non-BLM Street Mural

Last week, I got the opportunity to work with the Crenshaw Imperial Plaza to create a street mural that spelled out “COMMUNITY”. I’m actually not sure how they came to that decision, but when I was brought on, it was clear they wanted something in the spirit of the letters that have been recently used to spell out BLACK LIVES MATTER. While we were painting, a lot of the people that came by kept asking what we were spelling out. Many of them were expecting a BLM mural like they’d seen on the news, but were mildy surprised that we were doing something different. At least one person replied with “Good!” I didn’t know their motivation, but I thought it was amusing.
This kind of project was a new one for me. Being out in the hot sun on hot concrete and sniffing industrial-grade paint was new for me. My legs and back were hurting from trying to navigate the proper stance to lay down the art. At some point, I had thoughts about what Michelangelo must felt creating the Sistene chapel ceiling. Of course, that was on another level. This must have a been a laugh to someone like that. New respect for public art.
Out of three artists, I was responsible for the ‘COM’ portion, Artist Marie Jose did the ‘MUN’ and Vanessa Rivera came through with the ‘ITY’. You can find their links at the bottom of the post. If you’re in the region, be sure you check it out.

Marie Jose – www.mariejose-art.com/shop
Vanessa Rivera – https//linktr.ee/vjrivera

– Mr Benja –

ADD Experience Podcast 008 – BenjaCon 2020

The San Diego Comic Con was always a special time for me. The networking, sights, sounds, events, friends, hype, new reveals, etc. were all very transformative for me. SDCC (along with other conventions) became a thing, so I’m starting a loose initiative that I will continue to add to over time called BenjaCon. This is the story of that venture.

– Mr Benja –

RIP Chadwick Boseman

Just as I was saying that we need heroics, I hear that actor Chadwick Boseman passed away earlier today after fighting with colon cancer. Like many, I know him most from Black Panther, but he played many classic roles such as Thurgood Marshall, James Brown, and Jackie Robinson. What impressed me about him is his ability to connect with such a wide range of people even without compromising his morals. RIP, King. — The following information comes from Variety : 
“Boseman was born the youngest of three boys and raised in Anderson, South Carolina, by his mother, who worked as a nurse, and father, who worked in a textile factory. When he was a junior in high school, Boseman wrote and staged a play about the shooting death of a basketball teammate, which turned his life towards the arts. He studied directing at Howard University, where he was mentored by Phylicia Rashad.
After moving to New York, Boseman was a part of the local theater scene, and began landing guest roles on shows like “Law & Order,” “CSI: NY” and “ER,” as well as a series regular part on the NBC mystery “Persons Unknown.” Boseman’s first big break, however, came when he was cast in “42” to play Jackie Robinson, the first Black man to play in Major League Baseball.
Poignantly, Boseman’s death is on the same day as Jackie Robinson Day, MLB’s annual celebration of the pioneering player.”

– Mr Benja –

LinkedIn Wasn’t That Fun For Me. I’ll Try Again.

Alright. Because I clearly need one more social media outlet to concern myself with, I’m getting back into LinkedIn. I didn’t like it a while back, but supposedly, it’s where you can get good networking going on.  I think it was all of the random people contacting me about a “job”. 
But now with all the splintering of social media (which is fine), I think I’ll jump back in over there and start making headway. Maybe I can spice it up over there.

– Mr Benja –

ADD Podcast 007 – 2020 Part 2

So…I’ve split up 2020 into two parts. The first part where I thought things were happening one way. The second part is where I realized that everything was changing. You’ve got to keep updating and making things better. For me, that includes this podcast. 

– Mr Benja –

Disney Plus Has No Free Trial – I Guess I’m In For a Month

In order to protect my time, I usually jump on a streaming service to check out their free trial and cancel before things get too deep. I have to do that because I can get sucked in pretty easily. Well it seems that Disney Plus has gone the way of HBO and has pulled their free trial. (It’s only $7/mo without the Hulu and ESPN option.)
This basically means that they’re confident enough in their brand that they don’t need any slick offers to get their people subscribed. Being that there are so many die-hard Disney fanatics (or Star Wars, or Nat Geo, or Pixar, or National Geographic), it makes sense.
No free trial also keeps people from jumping on to watch all the Star Wars movies and The Mandalorian in one week before jumping off. I see what you’re doing, Disney.
I’m saying all this because I’ve been thinking about brand, and Disney came to mind in a very real way. Now I need to go work on my brand before I start plowing through this content. 
Do you have Disney Plus?
What would you get it for?

– Mr Benja –