Well, I ain’t never been nowhere near Angola, Louisiana
Down in St. Charles Parish, where the sun won’t go alone.
But injustice is not confined to Angola, Louisiana
It can walk in your living room, as long as it’s around your home.
Gil Scott-Heron "Angola, Louisiana", from Secrets (1978)
Today’s mathematics is "balance".

Like many people I know, I am so furious about what happened and continues to happen in Louisiana that it has actually started to affect my own well being. Times like this, I remember some advice I once received:

The night the first Gulf War started, I was in college and we all gathered together (it was a small college) to figure out what we should do. Eqbal Ahmad, who was a professor, ill radical (he was both personally banned from Iraq by Saddam Hussein and arrested for conspiring to kidnap Henry Kissinger) and friend to all came to talk to us. We were freaking out and asked him what we should do and he said, in his hypnotically soft voice:

"Go home, relax, smoke a cigarette, drink a nice glass of wine and get some sleep, because you will be dealing with this for years to come, and you are going to need the energy."

With that in mind, I offer you "Life Quality Management".

Life Quality Management is a concept I developed when I was broker than I am now, which is saying something. It’s based on the idea that upgrading lots of little things in your life can improve it as much as upgrading a few big things, plus it costs a lot less.

Here are some LQM tips:

1. Make up important-sounding names for your concepts, like "Life Quality Management".
It makes them more real. If you’re stuck, you can always take a page from Francis Cress Welsing and just call everything "The [your last name] Theory On [subject at hand]".

2. Buy good bread
A cheap ham sandwich on really good bread can save your entire afternoon. Substitute turkey ham if you keep Halal or Kosher.

3. Write songs about things that happen to you.
It makes your life seem more significant.

4. Throw the I-Ching
The I-Ching (pronounced "ee-jing") is an ancient Chinese book of divination. I like it because it’s based on change rather than stasis, which is a good thing to keep in mind when you’re freaking out. Change is normal; things staying the same is what’s weird. I also like that the readings are ambiguous enough to be a good window into your own subconscious.

I prefer the translation by Kerson and Rosemary Huang, for two reasons. First, they are physicists who take the Ching for what it is and avoid all the new age crap. Second, they dump the "Ten Wings" interpretations that were added around the second century B.C. in order to make the I Ching more consistent with Confucianism. The upshot is that it’s less rigid and more Taoist than other translations, which I think is dope.

5. Listen to more Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth.

6. Use that Chinese sandlewood soap.

7. Tip well
Tipping is one of the few areas of life where you can be a big spender for an extra buck. Why the hell not just do it?

8. Have a glass of wine with dinner
Seriously, throw a glass of cheap white wine next to a peanut butter & jelly sandwich and you feel like a king.

9. (Brooklynites) Go to the promenade, look at the New York City skyline, listen to music, pretend you’re in a movie and/or make out with someone.