Much Ado about Nothing (Don’t be no cloud on a sunny day)

Posted: January 31, 2013 in Sports & Entertainment
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Recently I’ve been having a case of “what on earth should I blog about next.” There are so many things happening globally and locally that have had me pondering but usually they represent some common theme with something that I’ve already discussed so I have kind of remained silent in the blogosphere.
In steps Dave from Minnesota (di land of 10,000 lakes, di gofer state) along with his singing companion Mr Jimmy Cliff telling the world that you should drive a VW car and “Get Happy”.

Having heard the now supposedly controversial ad about five times from different people’s computer speakers this monday in the office I decided let me see what this commotion is all about. Bwoy mi a tell yuh Mr Dave had me in stitches not to mention his boss telling poor Winston to “chill”. My second reaction was I’m sure I should be offended but this is funny as hell.

As night follows day I knew there would be some superman in a cape of political correctness that was going to chastise VW for something. And alas that something is being racist. The harshest criticism I heard came from a black American CNN contributor likening the ad to “black face with voices.” With the most humble respect I think that parallel is a bit harsh but I guess it is part and participle of the black experience in America and as such I was not surprised by this reaction.

Another CNN contributor professing to be born in Jamaica also expressed his disapproval, asking if VW tested the ad on actual Jamaicans suggesting WE would be offended. Poor fellow, clearly means well but he is so out of step with the majority of Jamaicans. Based on the public discourse in Jamaica I have been pleasantly surprised that the consensus has been that the furor about the ad being negative is much ado about nothing. We are happy for the attention. Scratch that…we are happy for some unsolicited POSITIVE international exposure. Once again it has been proven that our little rock has made an indelible mark on world culture. I hope the few voices out there in Jamaica that disapprove of the ad, particularly for the use of OUR LANGUAGE realise like most things foreigners see value in what we devalue and often profit from them more than we do. WAKE UP our language something to be treasured not rebuked.

Jamaicans are indeed a happy people despite all the negatives around us and that’s a fact that empirical studies continue to show. We are always near the top of happiness surveys. So when a multibillion dollar international company seeks to highlight something that we through our tourist board also spend millions on I find it hard to be offended. However, a deeper question may be to what extent we have oversold “No problem man” to the detriment of other aspects of Jamaican society.

Either way I think critics of this VW ad need to take Dave’s advice and TAKE THAT FROWN AND TURN IT DI ODDA WAY AROUN.


  1. Winsome says:

    Love it, well said! We have problems but we also have lush green land, sunshine and we certainly know how to have a good time. Oh the politics of selling happy.

  2. ken says:

    “Don’t be no cloud on a sunny day”….kills me…well done

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