What is your Background?

Yo Ren


Tell em where you from!


Straight outta Compton, another crazy ass nigga

More punks I smoke, yo, my rep gets bigger

I’m a bad motherfucker and you know this

But the pussy ass niggaz don’t show this

But I don’t give a fuck, I’ma make my snaps

If not from the records, from jackin or craps

Just like burglary, the definition is ‘jackin’

And when illegally armed it’s called ‘packin’


Damn that shit was dope!

O’shea Jackson / Lorenzo Jerald Patterson / Andre Romell Young / Eric Wright


Today I learned that “packing”, in our weird and wonderful times, can have another meaning for those claiming to be trans male. You can even “pack and play”. I wonder what do the woke brigade and the purveyors of vagina scented candles make of N.W.A. or Niggaz Wit Attitudes?

Are they taboo?

People can get easily offended. I have a t-shirt like this and it does from time to time attract attention usually from black people.


People can be very concerned about where people come from and what is their background. I can say with accuracy that I have not been employed by a recognised organisation for more than six weeks in the last seventeen years. My background is as an unemployed person who did some private teaching of “A” level physics and chemistry for about five years. I have been retired for a few years now and live in rural Brittany.

If I were to apply for a job, this is what a prospective employer would see first listed chronologically on my CV or application form. Anything else is “ancient” history.

In academia it is customary to say who your Ph.D. supervisor was, as depending, this can give an aura of kudos.

We did a course “Ph.D. to Professional” at Cambridge University when asked to introduce themselves they all said, “I am in the Bloggs group” and then some extremely jargon laden title about their Ph.D. subject. Their identity seemed to be tied to the research group supervisor. I had never heard of any of their supervisors as I am not a biologist, so it meant nothing to me.

But just like for the guys from Compton, it seems important to have a “rep” in modern society.

Because I lead an itinerant childhood when people ask me where I am from. I tend to pause. “Nowhere” is a tricky answer. They don’t really want chapter and verse, so I say Cardiff, even though I only lived there for my first two years.

One cannot say. “I am an individuating identity cleaved off from and out of the source of all life. I am incarnate here on the physical plane to learn. Thence to follow the journey of the prodigal, home to my father’s house from whence I came.”


If somebody asked you, what is your background and where are you from, how would you answer them?

Would you give a short off pat socially-conditioned answer?

Or would you endeavour to answer what, in truth, is a very probing question?

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