Archive for October, 2012

POST HURRICANE RAMBLINGS

Posted: October 26, 2012 in Random me stuff
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First and foremost let me give thanks for personal safe passage through Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy. We were not unscathed here with a long time ceiling leak leading to a small section of the ceiling falling in. Also the majority of trees in my backyard are no more as some serious serious breeze accompanied the torrential rains from our dear friend Sandy.  Also, we must take time out to those who did not fare so well during and after the disaster. Where there was loss of life, severe loss of property, where there are those who are stranded and for those without regular amenities like electricity and water we spare a moment and a thought for you all and hope that which can be restored be restored and where life was lost we pray for those who are now bereaved.

All of the above being said the passage of Hurricane Sandy has evoked SEVERAL pet peeves of mine and i am going to TRY to maintain my composure enough to speak to some of these pet peeves/random rantings. so here they go in no particular order…

  1. WHEN WILL PEOPLE TAKE STORM WARNINGS SERIOUSLY – I don’t know if it was because Sandy moved from tropical wave to Hurricane relatively quickly but i get the feeling and it is not a new feeling that TOO MANY people refuse to take storm advisories seriously. “We are a last minute people” is such a rubbish explanation. When the people say evacuate just do dat nuh. When you here of a storm do your shopping before the the day the storm supposed to reach. are these things really that much to ask.
  2. “HURRICANE WARNINGS ARE A CONSPIRACY BY SUPERMARKETS.” REALLY??? – i hate this argument. Look, if we get a warning that a storm is coming and it doesn’t come. WHY ARE WE UPSET? yes i too like some excitement but if we are so blessed to avoid the worst doesn’t mean the warnings are not serious things.
  3. WATER vs LIGHT DEBATE. – whilst i must confess i did engage in this debate quite fervently before and during Sandy, is this debate really necessary. I personally would prefer being able to bathe vs writing this blog but to each his own. WE ALL CAN AGREE TO VOTE THAT WE PREFER HAVING BOTH AT OUR DISPOSAL.
  4. “SANDY” JOKES GET LAME QUICKLY – honestly probably it takes less than a day before teasing  persons who share a name with the storm. GET OVER IT.
  5. DEROGATORY STATEMENTS NOT COOL/GET TIRED QUICKLY TOO – calling a storm a ho, whore, dutty gyal or telling it some lovely words about its mother get yawn worthy instantly. Also I notice a lot of females using these derogatory remarks and I thought to myself these same girls would be roasting men who called them or any other woman these names but that’s an argument for another day.
  6. WITH RESPECT A HURRICANE SHELTER IS NOT HOTEL FOUR SEASONS –  I want to trod lightly with this one as persons who have to go to shelters are really in a bad state but i wish they would not expect too much. advisories went out as to what to expect at the shelters and what one should bring. why the need to beat dutchpot cover saying “nobody nah do nutten fi we” right after saying you turned down food. also lamenting that there are only desks at a shelter that is a school doesnt spell sense to me. The mere fact that a shelter is needed suggests a sub optimal situation. let us accept that reality
  7. “I AM SO DISAPPOINTED NOT EVEN BREEZE MI GET” – cant even write too long bout this one to how mi vex. As i said earlier I love the excitement of a hurricane provided there is not too much damage but I keep that to myself especially when people die or left homeless. Think about that before publicly declaring sadness that you never felt any effects.
  8. Last but not least… I hate JPS as much as anybody else but come on man. You know what is electricity? You want the people dem keep on light during a disaster and turn it right back one after? Really? Jus ignore the over 200 downed light poles and wires Mr JPS  I need to scroll up my Twitter timeline. SMH. No light is very annoying but lets exercise a little good sense. I pray we all get our light quickly but think about the whole situation before filling up the internet with more mother compliments for JPS. and while we on this light topic, When I celebrate that my light has returned why would you think I am showing off on you? Mi glad bag juss buss jeez. badmind is not a good look my friends dont wear it.

Again to one and all blessings and I hope we as a nation can return to normalcy soon.

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Every October we Jamaicans proudly celebrate National Heroes Day. And every year like clockwork certain topics of conversation arise. These topics range from interesting to downright controversial.

Some of us want to talk about why more is not taught in schools about our heroes (esp the philosophies of Marcus Garvey). Others want to talk about which hero is the greatest/their favourite. Others want to condemn the take over of heroes day by all inclusive parties and perceived drunken raving. The more controversial of us want to advocate for the deletion of some names from the slate of national heroes.

Whilst I am far from that controversial (well maybe just for the purposes of this piece), the issue that has been gripping my mind for about four or five National Heroes’ Days now seems to be societally controversial as well. What has been bothering me is the seeming social consensus that the list of national heroes is closed.

Bring up the issue of persons who you think could or even worse SHOULD be accorded the nation’s highest honour and one risks being seen as having committed the worse act of blasphemy.

This notion of there never ever being another national hero in Jamaica is really troubling to me. But before I delve further into my argument for more national heroes (extant or future).  Let’s deal with some facts.

According to the National Honours and Awards Act 1969 Article 6(2)

Subject to the provisions of subsection (3) the
Governor-General may by instrument under the Broad Seal
confer the honour of National Hero upon any person who was
born in Jamaica or is, or at the time of his death was, a citizen of
Jamaica and rendered to Jamaica service of the most
distinguished nature.”

Now there is no further elaboration as to what exactly constitutes “service of the most distinguished nature” , so what do we do. Maybe we can glean what is expected of a National Hero. Leader of a Slave rebellion, Maroon leader, Advocates for the rights of the newly freed, Renowned pan-africanist and pro-black philosopher and political leaders at independence  Far from doing any of them justice, the previous phrases encapsulate this notion of service of the most distinguished nature.

So, has anyone in the history of Jamaica beyond our 6 heroes and heroine met the Criteria for the highest honour in the land. I don’t wish to get into the back and forth on this aspect of it but it is my humble opinion that at the very least, a plausible case can be made for a few persons. Persons I unapologetically place in the ballpark of such an honour  include The Honourable Robert Nesta Marley, Dr The Honourable Louise Bennett-Coverley and most controversially The Honourable Usain Bolt. Agree?

My gripe is not so much with persons who have been slighted. My gripe is if I wish to be the next Jamaican National Hero it should not be seen as a delusional aspiration. If we as Jamaicans cannot aspire to the highest honour of the Land then where are we going. Are we saying all the major contributions to Jamaica’s  development have been made already. THAT CANNOT BE. We as a nation still have a significant way to go and we need more national heroes to rise up to help this process along.

So on this special National Heroes Day in the 50th year of Jamaican Independence let us all aspire to work towards the upliftment of Jamaican society so much so that somewhere down the line we can be honoured AND NOT NECESSARILY WHEN WE ARE DEAD!!!!

shalom.

SAD

Posted: October 4, 2012 in Politics/Current affairs

I’ve sat for about a week and a half now trying to muster up the drive to write a blog on how I feel about the current state of Jamaica. I also busted my brain for some profound soul stirring title but to be honest all that resounded in my mind that the situation is just sad.

How did we get here? No really, how did we get here? Can two consecutive months really be so ridiculously different?  Paradox is a much used word but really can we step back and look at how catastrophic the fall from August to September (and the first week of October).  I was listening to Ms Barbara Gloudon one day on the radio and she summed this up quite eloquently “the joy of august has been replaced by the horror of September”. Black Green and Gold and their friends Gold Silver and Bronze have given way to an increase in the red of bloodshed and a deep societal darkness.

Thus coming back to the title, I AM SAD.  My heart literally weeps and the events of the past couple weeks have made me physically sick at times as well as emotionally distraught.  The cause of my sadness is not as black and white as it is for so many of my contemporaries.

First and foremost, what in the world would convince a man to rape a woman let alone two women and top it off with three little girls. I cannot fathom the sheer evil and/or mental illness that could really make a human being do that and live with themselves. My mind still has not fully grasped what really went on in Irwin St. James. Add to that the open secret of the degree to which incest and/or carnal abuse has become prevalent in our society and it just boggles the mind. WE ARE IN A DARK PLACE.

We move from the depravity being wreaked on our women and children to our society becoming one big mafia movie. I know this will not be very popular but I must remain true to myself. Jungle justice pisses me off. I can put it no lighter than that. I AM AS UPSET ABOUT THESE EVIL ACTS more than several of these would be Tony Sopranos, but gathering up an army of citizens machetes knives and stones in hand and killing anyone who we THINK might be involved CANNOT be the answer. No civilized society can operate this way. I hear the argument about the state not doing enough and that is very true but even if that is a REASON it is not a JUSTIFICATION and those two concepts are far from each other. No matter how aggrieved we are and rightly so if we allow ourselves to be drawn down to level of evil of the perpetrators HOW ARE WE BETTER THAN THEM. Murder is evil, rape is evil, paedophilia is evil. If we allow ourselves to be dragged down to that level of evil all we will end up with is a never ending cycle of evil. So the fact that in at least two recent cases jungle justice was brutally meted out and the fact that most people I have come across are in full support of these instances and are still calling out for more blood again just solidifies for me that WE ARE IN A DARK PLACE and I am really, really sad. Let me not even get into one teacher being mobbed and killed over a car accident and another being beaten in full view of her class of primary school students. It all is just so sad.

How do we move forward though? This must be the hardest question ever and to be honest I am not sure where to go. It must be a change in mindset which is probably the hardest thing to do in life. As a society we need to come to grips with the fact that in large measure we are violent, whether we actualize it or not we are very accepting as a people of violence. We must change that. Every person must develop a moral conscience and check themselves. Evil is evil and we can’t keep blaming wholly the evil of some people on the ineffectiveness of the state. Personal responsibility needs to be taken by us the citizens.

Also the criminal justice system needs to be overhauled. I hear persons clamouring for harsher penalties for egregious crimes and I agree to an extent but that makes absolutely no difference if we can’t catch any criminals and/or create strong enough cases to take to court.  Also if we can’t clear up the back log of cases in the courts so that cases take 4 years to complete then we are going nowhere.

I still have faith in Jamaica, my Jamaica still one of the best and most beautiful places in the world but in all honesty, September 2012 represents the first time my patriotism and unwavering defense of Jamaica took a serious hit.