Take A Look

Take A Look

Take A Look ft. Ashraf Rushdy (From the album ‘Reach Out‘)

Music produced by Streets By Night.

Get in touch with Streets By Night through TWITTER and email: streetsbynight@gmail.com

The following post uses this song as a catalyst to spark a potential discussion between you and the people around you:

How to eat the media pie:

If the media was a pie, how would it taste? Would it be nutritious and delicious, like the pie from Nanna’s house? Would it be made with love, joy and great care? Or would it be made with some other ingredients? Let’s take a look into this pie before we munch the night away singing sweet nothings to our love handles while dancing on aloof rainbows in the uninterested sky.

Before we begin, let’s test your ability to ‘Take A Look’:

This video is a great way to show us how much we can miss on a daily basis if we are not looking!
If you could deliver a message to a large amount of people in a short amount of time, what would you say? “I love you mom!” might come to mind OR “Follow my twitter!”. But what if you could take time to craft this message and deliver it directly to 11 year olds all around the world. What now? Would it be meaningful, inspiring, crafted to help these young minds be empowered to reach their fullest potential? OR Would you mold their minds into believing a lie? Some food for thought I guess…

Some thoughts gathered from a few voice notes from my brother Ashraf Rushdy who features in my song ‘Take A Look’:

“These habits, certain actions, expectations or behaviours, that are oppressive, without realizing, to ourselves and those around us, and what we learn to do in society, are robbing us of our spiritual nature – like bandits. Grand scale defamation and lies make it hard to see the truth and differentiate against falsehood. Although there is great learning taking place and wonderful advancements in education: our students are not being equipped with the tools they need to navigate through the storm of messages they are bombarded with on a daily basis. Media is trying to convince our youth about what they’re focus should be through marketing campaigns that make associations of what the definition of success is or related to. This makes it very difficult for a mind to conceive of a different view of the world than what is projected onto it.”

Thanks for those thoughts Ashraf. I have seen time and time again that young people are no longer willing to follow blindly what was done in the past – I actually know a youth personally, his name is Lewis Glabush (15 years of age) and he had the following thoughts about the affect media has on our world as it pertains to greed and materialism:

“There is a necessary discussion about whether greed is a force that is established, or inherent, needing to be removed from the individual. Regardless of the conclusions fostered in this discussion, it is clearly evident and undeniable that certain factors can influence the selfish nature of the individual. The most notable force that can affect this characteristic, is the media.

Specifically in regard to materialism, the media perpetuates a standard of life that is fundamentally focused on the acquisition of items. What the individual does not often consider, is that in order to create the efficiency required to have these material requirements, such as clothing or technology, the effect on the global scale is the development of cheap labour, bordering on slavery, the destruction of our natural environment to meet the needs for metals and oil, and even wars when disputes arise over who the natural resources belong to.

Now, not only is the individual centering their life on gaining objects, which are meaningless upon death, but now they are directly creating a market, wherein the necessity for resources is so great that it causes the destruction of the world.

Although Lewis’ thoughts end with the world being destroyed…I’m not convinced that it has to end that way! If we start having conversations about these things, our thoughts will change as we understand them in different ways. Eventually our actions will be influenced by our thoughts and BOOM! Positive change occurs :D. Sometimes it really is as simple as looking a little bit closer: The other day my buddy was dancing around singing a song he clearly was enjoying. When I heard the lyrics and started laughing, he looked slightly offended “how could this guy not like this song that I am clearly enjoying?” (is what he probably thought). I then looked up the song on YouTube and found a lyric video… as we read the lyrics together we both were dumbfounded by the confusing nature of the message. Although we had a nice laugh at the obscenity and absurdity of the lyrics, what we didn’t do, was ask these questions.

From freestyle jam sessions to long discussion about the plight of our world coupled with the hope for the next generation; Oak is someone I’ve shared some deep experiences with, I asked him to join this conversation about how we can eat the media pie. Oak is from Carborro/Chapel Hill and he wrote some of his thoughts specifically related to music, the art form, the industry and ends his thoughts with some palpable questions to ponder and converse on for the months to come. Click this picture of Oak to read his thoughts!


Thanks Oak, words truly are powerful little things aren’t they!? “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can inspire a generation to change the world”…or did I get that wrong? Words make up our language, and language is what we use to communicate with each other, like “How dare you eat the last donut!” OR “That’s my waffle!” OR “I love you so much”. Words are important because they help us define our understanding of things and, using something called the attachment model, to develop emotionally.

Screenshot 2014-11-09 at 2.03.57 PMI really don’t need to say much about the above image, simply by reading these steps in human development towards becoming a healthy contributing member of society, assisting in its advancement and nurturing it’s growth, we can draw conclusions as to how the media could positively or negatively affect us. Gordon Nuefeld is a leading psychologist in Canada who speaks about the attachment model and how it affects our world. Here is a snippet from his book:

“How do peer-oriented kids keep close to their peers in the evening and on weekends and on holidays? And what about when they leave school? As we all know and have experienced, there is nothing more impactful psychologically than facing separation from those we are attached to. The resulting alarm is immense and the pursuit for proximity desperate. The motivation to close the gap becomes all-consuming. ” Gordon Nuefeld, Hold On To Your Kids

It’s no mystery that our social media sites are a very superficial method for us to connect with each other and fulfill our need to not be lonely. That being said, I think these sites are definitely being used in superficial ways and project an image ourselves that is not entirely true, it is a tailored version of us.

Baha’u’llah has said ” So pervasive and general is this revelation that nothing whatsoever in the whole universe can be discovered that doth not reflect [God’s] splendour. Under such conditions every consideration of proximity and remoteness is obliterated…”

I think that using the reflections from Gordon Nuefeld and the enlightened words of Baha’u’llah I can deduce that by attaching ourselves to God, or some higher being that is greater than us all, we can truly be freed from the sense of loneliness that is so rampant in our society and actually build real life relationships with our loved ones that are rich, deep and meaningful. This can be a powerful step towards sifting through the media because we will not be desperately searching for acceptance.

Jordan is a vlogger from Czech Republic who creates REALLY COOL VIDEOS. Here he shares with us the importance of taking a deeper look into the messages media hit us with, rather than accepting everything as good, real or true on first glance. Watch his video and join the conversation by commenting at the bottom of this page or your own facebook/twitter OR better yet, find someone you love and appreciate, serve them in some way and spark a conversation on this topic. Much love to all!

‘Take A Look’ Lyrics:

Verse 1:

So I’m walking home in the cold, alone again – blinking

“What have I done with the time that I’m given?”

Cause I’m sure now, that every moment in this life is a present,

presently I’m disconnected.

I’m misdirected by list of imperfections

I missed the lesson where they teach us how to deal with the pressures

Of living in the real world.

It’s like they want us to be stupid and blind

And shot by Cupid, in love with the lie so our lives are truth-less

They make us walk miles but it’s useless

We’re looking for a smile that is toothless.

So if you’re stuck in the formula, that’s deformin’ ya

This is my report – I am the corriner

Nothing is the way that it seems, so when they say:

“Be the best you can and fight for your dreams”

And “reach for the stars” or “shoot for the moon”

Or “YOLO, sing to this tune”…

Before you take a step you better take a look

Cause I can guarantee you man, that they’ve cooked all the books



Take a look, Take a look

It’s the crime of the century but none of us our shook

Take a look, Take a look

They kept us entertained and our brains they took

They calculate and stimulate our senses now we’re hooked

Take a look, Take a look


Verse 2:

We’re trapped by habits, and it’s strong like the sun and planets

Bandits robbing humans of their nature

Aint’ ya angry ’bout the injustice of this?

Major label libel and lies

Truth is disguised, youth is too prized

Eyes open, but trained to see

Only the colours of ‘I’ ‘Mine’ and ‘Me’

Strain to find but still blind to the ‘We’

How programmed can a human being be?

School books filled with words still empty

Whole lives on credit, every thought I have you lent me.

Can’t we drop these borrowed clothes? Admit that no one knows?

See what tomorrow holds? I’d rather than my mind overflows with ‘Why’…

Then a bunch of filler from the media pie.




Verse 3:

I’ve been around the world, seen a lot of stuff

I’ve seen a lot of people with not enough

Food to eat, and some with too much

It’s like the more I learn, the more I lose touch

Of the pulse in my heart, aware but in awe

Like approaching an art piece that’s purposefully putting holes in heart

And with these broken wings how can I soar up to God?

Odd, how did I end up feeling like I’m lost?

When I look into my soul I know I’ll always get across

Any obstacle in front of me that I normally could not.

But I’ve been looking wrong

So I’m tricked by this fake, magical facade

Now I’m driftin’, everyday I’m wishin’

That I had a compass I could hold in my position.

But I’m hold onto lies and I don’t know why listen

Take me to oneness away from contradiction.