Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Jamaican Exclusivism

Why does everything in Jamaica have to be just so exclusive it is essentially counter-productive? I happen to love the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and a dream of mine is to get the chance to see them perform live. I just heard this morning that the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has arrived in the island to perform at two venues, one in Mandeville and the other in Kingston. What bothers me is these performances are to be held on the 13th (tomorrow) and the 17th of September. Talk about short notice. An event of this calibre should have been advertised the minute it was conceptualised. I understand the space constraints that we have with no venues available here being capable of ideally accommodating a performance of that nature.

I would have been happy to go to both concerts had I known about it earlier and had the opportunity to plan for it, but such short notice makes this event irrelevant (to me at least). What has "got my goat" or my "jaw tight, tight, tight" is the fact that the inner circles of which the organisers and planners are members knew about it all along and were able to get those who they think are more deserving of such a privilege the opportunity to see them perform (whether they appreciate it or are able to relate is not what we are here to discuss). What really upsets me is that we have evidence time and time again that the real creativity and the real movers and shakers in our society are not who we consider the "people of substance" but regular Jamaicans with talent.

I believed and have seen enough evidence to conclude that such practices of cronyism and nepotism stands only to water down an art form or a practice or whatever, if the determinants are solely because you know somebody or "have clout" then having talent is "neither here nor there." This stands to stifle creativity and water-down quality. It is essential that we integrate all of society in whatever practices we may have, wider exposure presents a greater talent-base from which the best can be selected - I need not point this out because this is common-sense, but then again, the decision-makers seem to be devoid common sense and as a country we will only suffer for it.

Those who plan and organise these things wouldn't know talent if it hit them in the face wearing a T-shirt that said "I am talent." It hurts to see some talentless people hogging the spotlight just because they "know people" or " have money" when the people with real talent are left to languish in poverty and non-exposure. Jamaica would be so much better if those who deserve better were given exactly that!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thirsty Goats

Saw these goats this morning obviously under the morning heat taking a drink at a leaky standpipe. Over 66% or two thirds of the water treated by the National Water Commission (NWC) is unaccounted for by way of various factors - goats and leaky standpipes, illegal connection, and an archaic distribution system. O.K., let's break that down for the more obtuse among us, the NWC knows it treats e.g. 1 million litres on any given day over 666,000 litres of that water that they spend money to treat and distribute goes to waste. Put another way, for every $1 million they spend on distribution $666,000 is wasted. That's our money down the drain consumers must demand better.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mugabe being Moogs...

This is indeed making a mountain over a molehill. Leave Mugabe alone!!! The man has the freedom (obviously) to do and say whatever he wants. Before I go any further, let me put things into perspective. Our champion of African Nationalism the esteemed Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has made claims that Jamaica is (notice the quotation marks) "a country of marijuana smokers, where women are now taking charge since men are always sloshed" (a way cool way to say stoned, in my opinion). He went on further to say: "while marijuana is illegal in Jamaica, citizens are free to smoke and that men are always drunk, while universities were full of women." Well, being Jamaican and trying to be frank and unbiased let me ask one simple question - is the man lying?

We are all champions of the "Freedom of Speech" Ideal until somebody says something that "mash wih corn" the right and proper way. Bear in mind youngsters - there is no true freedom to do anything, we are fooled into believing that living in a state that has laws, once we are not "shackled" then we are "free." Fallacy!!! The law is indeed a shackle (nice segue into something totally unrelated to the issue - I should have been in politics). Anyway, there is some truth in what the man says or it deserves some looking into at least. Before we get upset examine what was said and see if there is merit to it. The truth a go hurt them and the backlash from Moogs' remarks is evidence to support that claim.

Remember the Human Trafficking Claim the US laid against Jamaica? Everybody (and dem dog) who was anybody was hopping mad or at best offended, then when the dust settled and we were all distracted by either the ignoble distinction of being murder capital of the world or the fact that we had a government in absentia, though they were right there in Gordon House, there were more committees on Human Trafficking set up than you could shake a stick at, or more aptly put - than there are fishes in (eh em) the aforementioned "House". Well, any well thinking career criminal knows never admit right away, give it a few months.

It is not the unflattering remarks that were passed that hurts, it is the fact that they are so truthful and strikes well home that we are offended at the fact that someone has pointed out the bit of dry snot (booger) that's in our nose so ostensibly that its not what was said that hurts, it's how its said, where its said and in what context. Well, that is to be expected from a man who is known for not mincing his words, he doesn't hold down his mouth when he is talking. I'd rather hear the truth from a man like that than hear words of obvious "adulation" from the most eloquent of speakers.

Let me point out one thing, when last have all of you people who are shooting down Mugabe's comments really walked down the streets? When last have you really gone to UWI, UTech or NCU and seen what really takes place there? Are we totally oblivious the "sloshed-out" men who are always "digging-out" there hand middles and the pubs on every corner packed to the rafters with strong able-bodied men? There is in fact some truth to what Moogs has said. We are just hurt that it took a loudmouth the likes of Mugabe to point it out. Had it been one of the more affable World-Leaders like Obama or any less unsavoury personality we wouldn't have had a problem with them. But it seems to be cool in international circles to whale on Mugabe the minute he opens his mouth, because of his allegedly racist and misogynistic actions in the past .

I am blessed to be part of a dying breed of Jamaicans, the educated male, I have heard Moogs' exact sentiments relayed in other quarters by other individuals who are less-unsavoury like Carolyn Cooper and Glenda Simms without the same backlash as those met by his. It obviously is not a matter of what was said but who said it and where and in what context. As Jamaicans you have to have your heads buried in the sand to not be aware of the truth (that may or may not be stretched a bit) that is inherent in these remarks. Apparently, we [Jamaicans] never like when someone points out our flaws so ostensibly. It does hurt like hell as the truth often happens to do from time-to-time.