Kyle Borland

Storyteller and strategist at the intersections of cannabis, branding & communications, justice, and Urbanism.


"The Blunt" is a weekly perspective published by Kyle Borland (#ThirdCultureQueen) on Fridays for #TheCriticalCourt's review.    Subscribe for his weekly pass of third culture perspective and sass: 

To say I have thought about growth a lot the past two years would be an understatement.

I'll be 25 in less than two months and I can feel the last of the postgrad cobwebs falling aside as I grow into my professional heels. At different points in the journey, I’ve tried to communicate what was going on in my head, but how could I articulate something I was still figuring out myself?

My whole life can be easily broken down into increments. Times, places, people...all distinct and unique, but utterly temporary and easy to define. What I have found incredibly difficult to do is finding a sense of self in all of this turbulence.

It never sat well with me to be called a cynic. It doesn't tell my whole story. Who decides? When does perspective become negative? Is situational discomfort more important than unjust reality? If the world continues to prove you right, then are you cynical or surrounded by filth?

I have always been on the end of other’s criticism. Whether it was my size, my voice, my stature...I have always been one who seemingly invited the critique of others. You don’t become this sharp from rubbing up against smooth surfaces. However, this friction did contribute to the perspective I hold so dear today.

More than that, I have been able to see that most people mistake an observation - your voice sounds gay, so you must suck dick - for critical thought. In their defense, our country does not prioritize critical thinking. To the contrary, we grew up in generations where being “too cool for school” was the aim and jocks were the demigods we were meant to idolize. Why think when you can watch them run? Why ask questions when you can enjoy the status quo?

As someone who has looked into the mouth of the establishments of different regions, I know how intoxicatingly comfortable it can be to revel in complacency. God, it feels good to do nothing and bitch, doesn’t it? We all know it does. But, at the end of the day, we have work to do.

No, I don’t mean your paycheck. I mean this damn Union my mental health and stable childhood were sacrificed to. Granted, I am who I am because of my imperial life, but that doesn’t change that it was hard enough that my brain is still coping with what was happening. The sobs and aches from the memories I should easily be able to recall but the backgrounds shift too quickly to get a glimpse.

On some days, the weight of the people I have been is dragging me down. The lives, the faces, the acts, the wrongs, the loves, the losses...I find myself inspired and defeated by own my mind every day. Maybe it’s Catholic guilt or maybe my Irish side has some Celtic Fae DNA, but I was blessed early in life to know I can’t lie. When I do, I get caught. When I hurt someone, they say something or it comes back to me ten-fold.

When I look back, almost all those times I thought I was getting knocked down for my “evil,” I was dodging a bullet or being put back on the path I needed to be. I’m not meant to be in anyone’s Establishment because they’re all broken from their lack of critical thought.

Enter: the Critical Court (aka you).

For now, there’s no ask other than reading and sharing my newsletter and providing feedback (if you want to). It’s the beginning of the #ThirdCultureQueen brand that I’m hoping to build out even more in 2018. Having a loyal court who keeps me in check and, hopefully, shares/contributes their own thoughts and articles will be instrumental as I refine my crazy.

In 2017, I came to terms with the words that define me: Blunt, Imperial, Queer.

In 2018, I plan to show those words define America.

Until next Friday,

Third Culture Queen

“Third culture kid (TCK) or third culture individual (TCI) are terms used to refer to children raised in a culture other than their parents' (or the culture of the country given
on the child's passport, where they are legally considered native) for a significant part of their early development years.”


The Imperial Docket

Smartphones Are Weapons of Mass Manipulation — (MIT)

‘Tiny House Hunters’ and the shrinking American dream — (Curbed)

John Kelly and the Language of the Military Coup — (New Yorker)

Why is SF the state’s worst for black student achievement? — (CalMatters)

New Saudi $500B mega-city will be listed publicly, crown prince says — (Reuters)

21st-century Hollywood: Silicon Valley is world’s trend capital — (The Guardian)

A New Theory Explains How Consciousness Evolved — (The Atlantic)

The independence movements around the world — (Axios)

The US Needs a Department of Infrastructure — (CityLab)

Welcome to the Xi Era — (Sinocism)


Never high enough for this:

Majority Of White Americans Say They Face Discrimination — (NPR)

Russian pop star murdered as part of Chechnya’s anti-gay purge — (Gay Times)


Way of the Whigs