Sunday, October 31, 2004


I never go where the Pagans go
and I neva do what the heathen do

Warrior King - Pagans

I am not celebrating no Halloween. Why? Well I hardly see the point of this holiday. What exactly are we celebrating here? I actually find it a little disturbing that we celebrate a holiday which appears to honor demons, witches and various evil beings. Now hold on I'm not going to get all Jimmy Swaggert/ Jerry Falwell on you today, although I feel that some a ya really need ta find Christ, and I know I probably shouldn't take this holiday serious but I still find its concept a bit disturbing especially since such a big part of the celebration appears to revolve around children.

Now I gine let allya know this from early; when I have children I doan want nun a dem playing no trick or treating or is good Caribbean cut-ass in all dem tail. It might not be dem fault, the missis or the grandparents might try to take dem trick or treating but since the wife and she family bigger than me an I cant beat none a dem, the children gine gotta get the cut-ass cause I aint wanta hear no excuses. No "Mummy tek me" or "granny tek me" is not a valid excuse, ya should know better than to disobey ya father. Cut ass in ya tail! Good I get that out of the way.

Anyway so tonight nuff little kids mostly accompanied by their parents will run around neighborhoods knocking on people's door at dinner time, or just after, begging for candy.

Now let me digress for a minute. Allya aint see how this holiday revolves around stuff that wont sell normally? When else during the rest of the year would you need a badly sown, tear up, rip up, outlandish looking costume or a pair of fangs? Tell me that? When else would you be buying Snickers and Mars in bulk? Who does say "boy I got a lil sweet tooth today I think I gine go buy a tonne a Milky Way chocolates"? Who you know duz do that? Wake up people! Its all marketing to boost sales in the Fall. The merchants and manufacturers say well I got this pieca ol cloth hayso dat rip up an look razzy razzy (bajan for shorn, badly worn, umm and other stuff) wha I gine wid this? Well I could throw it away or oh wait I know let me make a Halloween costume and let me make some more money. Same thing with the candy manufacturers. Those guys must love this time of year.

Anyway back to what I was saying two paragraphs ago. Tonight here in North America , I cant swear for the islands because I hearing that Halloween reach wunnah too, nuff little children will be on your doorstep expecting that you would have spent your hard earned money to get candy for them.

Now to me this notion is disturbing on many levels. First why are all these random kids showing up at my door disturbing my peace and expecting me, who really don't know them from Adam, to have spent my lil slave wages on them? What kind of example of real life would I be giving them if I really gave them candy? Why they would start thinking that you can get handouts in real life this easy and then they will all become lawless, lazy members of society expecting me to work harder to support them. That not happening at all! For the good of society and to make our youth more industrious I must put my foot down. I aint giving you a thing! Don't feel is you specifically that I targeting now. Is nothing so but I have to put my community first.

Secondly, All year long parents tell their kids not to take things from strangers, don't talk to this and that body, stay away from so and so because he/she aint trustworthy and then Halloween rolls around and all that talk out the door as they take their kids to get a pound of candy from every "Sam Pooch and the Duppy" (bajan phrase meaning everyone imaginable). Imagine that? Actually to me this is so ludicrous that I rethinking my original stance and if the missis and she family tek me children trick or treating I may have ta give them sum liks too.

I mean everyone so paranoid these days about safety. You see a little white powder on someone and people running away screaming for anthrax. Last year we had SARS and everyone walking around with face mask. You would think with everyone being so safety and security conscious that parents would want to be more careful and not take kids to get candy on the streets on Halloween. I mean seriously, aren't you putting your kids lives in danger somehow by letting them take stuff?

Thirdly, Trick or Treating is like parent sponsored begging. You usually teach your kids not to beg for stuff during the rest of the year and then make an exception on Halloween. Hello! Do you not realize how many mixed messages you are giving this child? Nope I cant condone no begging for candy because that can lead to some questionable situations with all the sick folk they got out ion this world today.

Finally, every day you hear about how kids nowadays are more overweight and less healthy than previous generations because they eat more crap and lead a more sedentary lifestyle. Instead of kicking a football on the playing field they now playing ESA World Cup soccer and got a lil computer man kicking the ball for them while they inside laying down on the couch. So you think with all these overweight, unfit kids knocking about the place I really should be encouraging an unhealthy lifestyle by giving these children candy so that when they get older and the heart disease, blood pressure and diabetes start affecting them they can come back and sue me because I encourage them in slackness. No that not happening at all! If any a dem come to my door I getting out the dog-hunter and chasing dem away. That serve two purposes; one they will stop confusing me and two them will get a bit of exercise running from me. Don't look at me like I mad, I doing it for their benefit. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. Ya neva hear dat yet?

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Barbados lost

Barbados lost in the semi-finals of the Regional One day cricket competition on Thursday. Proclaimed favorites before the tournament, mainly by themselves, the Bajan team never dominated as expected. Mind you, over the years Barbados while dominant at the 4 day version of the game has never been a great regional one day side and I can probably count the number of those tournaments they have won in my lifetime on one hand.

Still the team started the tournament confident they could win because they had won the one day tournament in 2002, lost in the finals in 2003, and then totally dominated the 4 day competition this year. They had a good warm up tour, even beating the senior West Indies squad in a friendly game, so confidence was definitely high going into the preliminaries.

To my eye, the final squad left a bit to be desired. Whilst the majority of players were the ones originally expected to be in the squad, the omission of Kirk Wilkinson to my mind was a bit of a dis-service. Why? Well earlier this year Kirk was called up to the West Indies team to South Africa, replacing one of our legion of injured players. This was after scoring a nice century in the opening round of the Regional 4 day competition and the young man was definitely on a high. His sojourn on the West Indies team comprised of him playing water boy and not getting any playing time and he came back to the Caribbean at the end of the tour in so-so form.

Since then he hasn't exactly lighted the world on fire but I question how a player can go from representing at the highest level in February to not making his island squad 8 months later. At the very least the Bajan selectors should have realized that this young man was obviously viewed as a future senior team player in the eyes of the West Indies selectors and placed him on the squad. Fair is fair in my opinion and there was at least one player on the squad that he could, no make that should, have replaced.

Sadly Barbados appears to have an over-abundance of young talent on its hand as well and youngsters like fast bowler Jason Bennett and Barbados youth team captain Renaldo Parris were unable to get into the squad. The team may also have missed fast bowlers Edwards and Best who are both out with injuries but almost every team in the competition was hit by injuries. Now would including these guys mentioned have made a difference to the results? Probably not but like I said fair is fair and I still think Wilkinson for one should have gotten a spot.

Now the tournament started as it ended for Barbados; defeat at the hands of Trinidad. Losing the flying fish war not once but twice. Barbados also lost to Jamaica in the preliminaries and it appeared at times that the entire team was not on the same page. They did somehow end up on top of the point standings after the prelims but their were various rumors of problems in the squad and the team just didn't seem to be as focused, determined or in the game as they have appeared in past years. The same could also be said for the Jamaican squad who came into the tournament quite self assured but ended up not even making the semi-finals. Well they don't call cricket a game of glorious uncertainties for nothing.

I could probably make many excuses for Barbados' losses; poor fielding, bad bowling, not batting fast enough in the semis, over-confidence, under-estimation of their opponents but at the end of the day the reality is the result still says win or loss and we loss. Not to take away anything from the teams who beat us but cricket is still just a game (blasphemy!) and the team that plays best on its day regardless of talent, hype or expectation will win. Barbados just did not do enough on the days on which they lost and at this I'm a bit disappointed.

Oh well, hopefully by not making the finals this year the Barbados team and selectors will learn from this defeat and Bajan cricket will be the better for it.

What more can I say? I see many other islanders on the message boards rejoicing not so much in the Trinidad win but in the Barbados loss. Dem no like we and we no like dem I guess. Its kind of disturbing on one hand but its not like I haven't known that the region is fragmented and animosity run deep. However, I wont generalize and label everyone from particular islands as anti-Barbados because that would be quite untrue silly on my part and again cricket is only a game. Its actually usually just extremely silly individuals with personal agendas, some bajans included, who chose to hate particular islands for whatever reasons. Its their right so I'll lose no sleep over it.

Anyway better luck next time Barbados. Hopefully you will have seen your errors this tournament and turn your weaknesses to strengths by the time the Carib cup 4 day competition rolls around.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Music Videos

The difference is kids nowadays they have the videos
rappers don't need skills to build so they don't really know
hear me yo! I'm four times on Arsenio
got 10 videos but does that help me flow? No!

KRS-ONE - Hip Hop vs Rap

I'm going to ramble today so bear with me, there may be a point somewhere. Hope you can find it. Actually forget that, I hope I can find it myself.

Anyone ever seen BET uncut? Its where the videos BET deem to be too racy to be shown during the day and evening are shown at 3 in the morning. Yes I know I should be sleeping but like Nas said 'I never sleep cause sleep is the cousin of death.'

Too racy for BET in the day you say? No you're kidding, get out of here! If you've ever seen BET during regular hours you've probably seen plenty, plenty skin so how could something be too racy? Well I wont go into detail but yes it is possible. Lawd ave mercy!

Anyway last night I couldn't sleep and got up and turned on the TV. Amidst the myriad infomercials and reruns of Chips and Batman I decided I'd watch BET uncut. Its not that I find the show actually appealing but its more a strange curiosity to see how low they can possibly go.

Anyway so far a year after its debut I don't think any artist has been able to outdo Nelly's 'Tip Drill' video for T and A content and just shear slackness, Ludacris' "P... Pop" comes in a close second though. I guess when you cant rap you have to find a means to draw attention to yourself. (sorry couldn't help myself anytime I hear the word Nelly its a reflex action to diss his untalented hide. Sorry doesn't seem the anti-hater classes are paying off) Not that I'm complaining about the video. I mean hey I'm a guy so if Nelly feels that he must re-create strip-club/porn scenes I'm not going to really be complaining now am I? Now I know some of you will say its because these rap guys have no respect for the ladies but hey what about the women in the videos, do they have respect? Also some of the videos are actually female artists so I'm guessing they have no respect for themselves either.

Oh well, anyway today I'm not here to really critique the amount of skin in the videos or their misogynistic content because its pretty obvious to the naked (pun intended) eye. Watch the videos yourself if you're curious.

Actually overall I'm old school so I'm more into the music than the videos. What I do find interesting about BET uncut (besides the pum pum shorts and bikinis that is) is that most if not all of the songs on there are absolutely totally terrible. I mean so bad that you wonder why anyone would record something that sounded so ridiculous. Mind you, come to think of it, that's not limited to only the uncut programming on BET as most of the songs they play regularly are pretty horrid. Yet these songs somehow seem to be in rotation over and over again and if you ignore most of the lyrics after a while you find yourself hypnotised and singing along with the chorus. I mean I knew it was bad when I started singing along with Chingy. I just had to quit BET cold turkey for a month after that and admit I had a problem.

Anyway I digress. The point of this longwinded rant (lawd bajans can talk nuff ya kno!) is that back in the day songs were judged on lyrics and musical content but nowadays you find more and more fare being judged on video content. A good video can make a song but does that make it a good song or only just a song with a good video? or is there even a difference?

How many great tunes are deprived the props they deserve due to the lack of a video and how many poor songs get major play because of good videos? Well I can answer that last part of the question: many many. I guess its all a matter of perception but have music videos hurt the actual musical art form? From a purist stand point I think it has. We are now more interested in the looks of the artist than their song and lets face it looks and talent do not necessarily go hand in hand so many non-beauty queen and non-GQ looking guys who can actually perform beautiful music are not getting the break unless they are exceptional because in today's music world where the video a run things, image is king.

Anyway that's about all I have to say on this topic but I do have two last observations. One, Eminem has a nice political song out there urging folk to go vote, released just in time for the election. Its called "mosh" and like I said before I'm not a big fan of his but the song has nice lyrics or I believe it has nice lyrics but I got caught up in the video so ahhh ummmm I'm not completely sure.

Two, I find there is a strange irony that after BET uncut, the show with the most slackness on BET, they switch immediately to a religious sermon. Go figure! Actually on second thought maybe its good marketing. Get all the sinners to watch BET uncut and then after hit them with the sermon. 'You there oogling those fine sisters as they gyrate their bodies to that devil music. Yes you on the couch, I'm talking to you! Are you not ashamed for viewing these women as objects of lust and desire! Are you not ashamed? Well you should be. The bible says that there is hope for even one as repulsive in his ways as you. Repent you sinner and backslider and see the evil of your ways!'

If that works collection plates will double what they pull in.

Absolutely Ingenious!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Musical Memories I

I reminisce for a spell, or shall I say think back.

Do you link music to specific memories or places like I do? Today was one of those days for me where I just kept hearing tunes that reminded me of different memories and times long gone.

Started off the day listening to an old reggae/ska cd that I just discovered amongst my collection yesterday. I had no idea what was on it as it didn't have any label or track titles so when I finally played it I was pleasantly surprised. One of the first tracks I heard was 'Reason to love';

'Love me for a reason
Let the reason be love'

Now that song is old! Its not the greatest song out there either but there is a big joke in my household about how as a toddler I didn't understand the words to the song and I made up my own gibberish to the words. No I will not tell you what my words were. Some things must remain a secret. LOL

Then at lunch I heard Louie Bega (or it is Vega)'s Mambo No.5 which I wont even bother repeating the words for. All I know is that each time I hear that song it reminds me of my time in Dubai.

Then I was thinking about all the songs that remind me of certain incidents; Brooklyn Zoo by ODB reminds me of this one fete at University where I was going crazy. Why does this particular song remind me of that night? Well because that was the only hip hop song that they played that I had never heard before. I knew of it but hadn't actually heard it before so when the vocals 'I'm a one man army Ason, I never been tooken out, I keep mc's looking out, I drop science like girls be droppin babies enuff to make a nuh go crazy!' came in I put the craziness on pause to listen to the lyrics.

Then Kette Drum by Determine and Beenie reminds me of learning to play dominoes in the basement at the ISC and how sometimes we would lock the door, keeping quiet in the dark, pretending that we had left, and once the person at the desk had gone turn back on the lights and slam more dominoes. Damn you would think I would have learned how to play properly by now.

Summertime by Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince reminds me of my first month in North America, hanging out in the D. Fresh by Red Dragon reminds me of waiting specifically for ZR #7 on the Cave Hill route on the way up to summer school at UWI back in my high school days, packed in tighter than sardines with nuff gal in ya lap. Yes boy dem was the days.

Musical Memories

Monday, October 25, 2004

New Crusade

"Blow them all away in the name of the Lord!"

So said Jerry Falwell yesterday on a CNN interview with Jesse Jackson conducted by Wolf Blitzer. Not surprisingly so far I've searched the CNN transcripts for yesterday and there is no transcript from this program so if I hadn't heard it with my own ears I wouldn't have really thought it possible that such statements could be made on supposedly informative TV these days.

I mean did I just awake in the middle ages? Wow! If this is the Christian way of approaching things God help us if any heathens gain power. Mind you when Jesse responded that it was not Iraq which attacked the US but Osama and Al Quada hiding out in Afghanistan, Falwell like most Americans found it difficult to wrap his mind around the difference and started a mini-tirade. I guess all non-Americans are the same; a threat to U.S National Security. Can you say rampant Xenophobia?

Isn't it rather sad when a 'man of God' can come on TV and spout such hostility. What happened to loving your fellow man?

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Emmitt Till

And just imagine how my girl feel
On the plane, scared as hell that her guy look like Emmett Till

Kayne West - Through the wire
Truth be told last year when I heard this line it was the first reference I had ever heard of Emmitt Till. A quick internet search led me to the disturbing story of the 1955 torture and murder of this 14 year old boy all because he had the audacity to whistle at a white woman in Mississippi.

In case you don't know the story, Emmitt, a Chicago native, was visiting family in Mississippi when he and some cousins went to a store to buy some candy. As they were leaving, Emmitt whistled at the white store owner's wife which was a no-no in those days for any black man or boy. The boys fled but three days later the woman's husband, his brother and some other persons came to the house where Emmitt was staying and abducted him basically at gunpoint. Three days later, his body was discovered with the face gruesomely disfigured; nose broken, eye loose from the socket, ear cut off and a bullet hole in his temple. He had been beaten, tortured and then dumped into the Tallahassee river with a huge cotton gin fan attached to his neck.

The town sheriff attempted to bury him quickly but his mother was able to bring the body back to Chicago for an open casket funeral. She wanted the world to see man's inhumanity to man as shown by the gruesomely disfigured face of her son.

What comes next is almost as unbelievable to us in this time period but for that era and location it was run of the mill. Two of the abductors were arrested and indicted on murder but at their trial they were found not guilty by an all white jury in under 2 hours. Later one of the abductors admitted to the press his part in the kidnapping, torture and murder but nothing was ever done to him.

Fast forward almost 50 years to the here and now. It appears that because of some work done by a young black filmmaker, the FBI and US Justice Department may be looking to reopen the Emmitt Till case. From research done it appears up to 14 persons were involved in the crimes committed against this young man ... including surprisingly or not so surprisingly as the case may be a number of black men.

Even though justice has never been done some good did come out of this case. It gave a lot of impetus to the civil rights movement and while just whistling at a white woman may have led Emmitt Till to his death 50 years ago, today Tiger Woods can marry one and its not really an issue. Lots of black men should be thankful. Its like Biggie said 'Things dun changed".

R.I.P Emmitt

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Dreaming on

This one has the potential to be long. Actually I'll just make it two.

Last night, this morning, I dreamt that I was running. Not being chased this time but just running like I was in training for some event. Well lets see, I can remember as far back as being in some sort of jail and trying to convince my cellmates that we were better off standing united than quarrelling amongst ourselves. Next thing I know the dream switched and I was on the Bay pasture running along with possibly my cellmates. Not really sure who they were but there were quite a few people there. So there I was not running but not as in seeking to escape, but running for fitness or training. Not sure how it tied into the jail scene but its a dream its not supposed to make sense.

Went home changed clothes continued running some more , ran through some familiar streets then down Beckles road which seemed normal at first but when I got down by YMPC (home of Fidel, Matrix, former home of Campbell, Big Bird, Collis King for you cricket fans) I realized that I had passed a whole series of orange cones in the street and there was a big length of thick barbed wire stretched across the road which I nearly tripped over. Actually the plan had been to just cross Beckles road and go into the other side of the area and continue running but for some reason, intuition or just plain fear, I decided it was better to stay on the side I knew better.

Anyway, I tried to turn through the street above (do you guys know the concept of above and below?) YMPC but there was a huge truck about 20m up the road blocking the street. Oh yea I should let you know I was running down Beckles Road towards Bay street at the time so now you can get your bearings although when I say 'above' I'm still referencing from the beach going up. So really 'above' should be 'below' if you reference from the direction I'm running in but if you were to ask a local then 'above' would be the way I referenced it. Confused yet ? Good. You got to love Caribbean directions right?

So on this street above YMPC there is a older lady standing there debating how to get pass the truck but she couldn't find a way. I'm not sure what decision she made in the end as I quickly left and just decided I'd take the street below YMPC (the one where the Blind Workshop is located with Bailey's Clinic at the corner). I proceeded down this street which opened up in great condition but around the curve by the Blind Workshop it suddenly exhibited great upheaval. The nicely paved street disappeared and all that remained on the left of the street was a thin, not entirely flat stony path above a gully whilst the rest of the streets width was a mossy, very uneven surface filled with weeds and huge broken stones. It looked like a bomb had hit that part of the street. For some reason I decided to scramble over the huge stones still running at points.

Further down the path I encountered houses and there I saw Q an acquaintance from primary school. He too appeared to have been running as he sat on his step drinking bottled water and sweating. Now in the real world I know Q lives or lived in the opposite direction to where I was headed by that's the real world. So I sat for a minute and caught up with Q and asked how his family was doing and what had become of some of our other acquaintances.

To be continued

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Subway travels

My infrequent trips on the subway are always quite the experience for me especially when they occur during rush hour.

Today's trip was quite interesting. Its the beginning of the evening rush hour or more correctly the evening rush period, since rush hour is closer to a 3 hour span than an hour, and the subways are crowded but not yet packed to capacity. That means that all seats are occupied but the aisles are still not completely crowded.

However, one lady sits alone. She came into the subway, placed her fancy Yves Saint Laurent bag down on the seat next to her and took out a book with which she became immediately quite engrossed . Well pardon me I guess she paid two fares, one for her and one for the bag. Now in 99% of cases with the subway as packed as it was someone would enter, say excuse me and make her move her bag. However that was not the case today. It was the weirdest thing watching as folk who obviously wanted a seat stood and didn't say anything to this lady.

Now I was sitting and normally I'll give up my seat to a lady or the elderly especially if I'm not going that far on the line but today they were some ladies standing close to my seat and although I really wanted to get up and give them a seat I refused because there was a perfectly legit seat with a bag in it and no one was attempting to sit there. I'll be damned if I'm standing and an inanimate object rides in more comfort than me.

Anyway, I thought that this was truly phenomenal and then as my mind is apt to do I began to think what would have happened if it was my bag in the chair. I'm almost 100% sure someone would have made me move it.

But then again no one usually wants to sit next to me in the subway. Subway rule number 265. Any seat immediately next to a black man not wearing a suit will remain empty for as long as possible or until all other seats are occupied. Trust me on this one if you haven't noticed it already because I've observed this phenomena for years. I swear its enough to drive any brother to have feelings of inadequacy but oh well its not my fault that the average subway rider still has subconscious fears of people like me.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

$47 Million gone!

that buck that bought a bottle coulda struck the lotto
Nas - Life's a B....

Of course the above quote makes the assumption that gambling isn't as cruel a mistress as alcohol which isn't necessarily true. Case in point; Big Daddy Cecil Fielder one of the premier home run hitters of the 90s before it all became about McGuire, Sosa and Bonds. Now here is a dude who made earnings of $47 million just from hitting a baseball alone. Ok he fielded too but if you've seen Big Daddy in the field you know he was getting paid to hit not field.

In case you are not familiar with his on-field accomplishments in 1990 he became the first player to hit 50 home runs in 13 years, and he also led the league in RBI for three straight years. Not shabby accomplishments in the world of baseball I must say.

So how is it that the man who not only made 47 million but also seemed to invest some of his money in businesses is now completely broke six years after playing major league baseball? Well the answer is one simple word; gambling. It appears homeboy had a serious gambling problem and over the years lost pretty much everything he owned. Fielder is currently on the lam hiding from creditors and even his wife who is seeking to divorce him (talk about no romance without finance).Isn't that pretty sad?

Actually this isn't the usual way most celebrities and athletes lose all their money. Usually when I think of broke celebrities I think of guys who went spend crazy once they got the cash; buying numerous vehicles and ridiculously gaudy jewelry or homes with heated marble floors and basketball courts in the kitchen, that sort of silliness. Then before they knew it they were filing for bankruptcy. That is a problem which is seen quite a bit with athletes and entertainers where someone who was previously poor becomes suddenly rich and just gets carried away with spending on the material items they didn't have whilst poor. Now while some of us may find that behavior sickening it may not actually qualify as a sickness the way gambling can be considered. Well in most cases anyways.

One usually thinks though that gambling is the opiate of the masses. A dream like approach to getting rich fast. A way for the elite to keep us poor working stiffs thinking we have some shot at gaining access to their world if we are lucky instead of facing the reality that we will never reach that point. Its all about getting that one big win to get to a level where we can be comfortable. So why would a dude with the riches already want to gamble them away? Most of us wish we had that sort of money and I'm sure if we did we might spend a bit foolishly buying the chinchilla underwear and matching socks but hey we probably wouldn't be out there gambling at least not the large sums he was. Plus at the end of the day we'd still have the chinchilla underwear and matching socks to show for our money spent ...if that's any consolation.

We might play a little bingo, still buy a lotto ticket, maybe even go to the casino every once in a while and blow a hundred dollar bill but we're not going to be losing 47 million. Well at least I know I'm wouldn't.

So yep I feel a little sad about the addiction that Big Cec' had I just hope this is a warning to folks out there. (could this ending have been more lame!)

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Me shifty?

Shiftee, Low down dirty and grimy, shiftee

Onyx - Shiftee

Sometimes its really interesting how people think of you isn't it? Today was one of those days where I discovered what someone thought about me and it wasn't really that pleasant. Actually its not like I actually care but it was rather hilarious when all of a sudden out of the blue the person called me shifty.

It might have been worst if I thought that the person actually knew anything about me but I just found the whole situation just hilarious.

Seriously I laughed for a good 1/2 hr but then I got serious and thought whoa do I give off some aura of shiftiness that I'm not aware of? Do I have to change my wardrobe to rid myself of this shady aura, start using a different aftershave, walk backwards into the sea? What?

Oh well I've been called worst.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

The Punisher

After watching this movie last night I've come to the conclusion that the name is less about the movie's plot than the role the movie is supposed to play on the viewer.

Its not like the potential is not there for a "high octane", explosive movie its just that the writers and producers failed miserably in giving us something watchable. Think about it man watches family get killed and is almost killed himself. He returns months later to get revenge on those who killed him. Simplistic storyline yet ripe with potential for serious action and mayhem in a Hollywood blockbuster. What more could one ask for. Its been done to death already but still.

Now what does Hollywood do? They give us one of the slowest action movies every made and made it about 2 hours long. They set the scene quite nicely in the first half hour but after that they just bumble their way around as 'the Punisher' takes his sweet time going from one boring encounter with the enemy to another. Even the final showdown is disappointing. 30 or 40 bad guys vs the Punisher. I'm not looking for realism here. The Punisher with his revenge filled mind vs these lackeys as he goes after the number 1 badguy would have been totally cliche but lets face it action movies are about style vs substance and given the lack of substance and style of the first hour and 45 minutes why not go out with some style. I mean Blade wasn't the greatest of movies but that last showdown with Wes Snipes and the vampires was flippin amazing. So what happens in this movie? The Punisher blows up three quarters of the guys straight off the bat leaving him only a couple to deal with man on man. BOOOOOO!

Anyway enough of this blog before it becomes slow and 2 hrs long like the movie. Whoops too late. Sorry

Friday, October 15, 2004

Crazy crimes

There's a war goin on outside, no man is safe from
You could run but you can't hide forever
from these, streets, that we done took
You walkin with ya head down scared to look
You shook, cause ain't no such things as halfway crooks

Over the past few months there have been some interesting attempts at crimes here in Toronto. In the big city usually one becomes accustomed to the murders, robberies and the like. Its pretty much par for the course in North America and compared to most American cities (read US cities) we are pretty safe crime wise. However recently there has been a string of attempts at disturbing crimes.

Actually if I think about it, it started last winter when the Police closed a city park which was frequented by many dogs and their owners because one dog had become sick after eating something found in the park. I actually didn't pay much attention to that crime since it really only affected a few dogs who got sick and I think one or two may have died. It was a bit unusual but I just thought someone who hated dogs and was crazy just let things get a bit out of hand. Police investigated and found some sort of poison but never made any arrests. Of course it could have been worse if you think about it because some small kid playing in the park could have taken up the poison and put it in their mouth and then ..... Wow don't even want to go there.

Then late this summer someone found an industrial razor connected to a piece of wood buried under a beach volleyball court. After a bit of searching police found about 15 more of these devices. Now that was very disturbing to me because if you saw the size of these razors you know they would have done some serious damage if someone had fallen on them. And it wasn't like this device was something you could buy in stores. Someone sat and put the razor into the wood deliberately and then buried them under the sand. What kind of person is that deranged? Again police searched found the devices but up to today no arrests have been made.

Then a few days ago there as a report that someone found pieces of glass superglued to the monkey bars and slides in a children's park. Sick isn't it? Apparently it was a teenagers prank because police actually have charged a 15 year old with this crime and is looking for his accomplices.

Add to that in recent prosecution of street gangs in court it has come out that at one point they targeted innocent bystanders just to throw police off their tracks. Its all a bit disturbing isn't it. Another sign of the last days you say or the moral decline of society. Whatever it is it doesn't make one seem safe here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Just lose it

Slim Shady
Hotter than a pair a twin babies
in the back of a Mercedes truck
when the temp goes up
to the mid 80s

The Black Entertainment Television (BET) network banned Eminem's new video for his song 'Just lose it'. Why? Well Eminem apparently steps over the line by making fun of Michael Jackson in his new video and as we all know Michael Jackson is to be defended with the most ultimate ferocity by anyone black or anything black owned despite any discretions real, alleged or imagined on his part. After all the Jackson's are said to be the "first family" of North American blacks. Its true I heard that on BET one night. Ok, I will now need a minute to silently cringe before continuing. Those of you feeling to barf go right ahead.

Mind you I haven't seen this video in which Eminem supposedly 'crosses the line' but lets see hmmm Eminem has ridiculed in past videos Britney Spears, Cristina Aguilera, Moby, the sacred Elvis and a host of other musicians and persons in the entertainment industry. He has also parodied American vice president Dick Cheney and world's most wanted man Osama Bin Laden and BET played all of these videos without complaint. They were all 'in rotation' without any apologies which means that these videos were seen over and over and over and over and .... You'd get my drift if you ever watch BET.

So now Eminem targets Michael Jackson and has a video where he is dressed as Micheal seated in a bed with young boys playing around him and suddenly he has crossed a line. So lets see, calling fellow artists gay, prostitutes and the like is not crossing the line, dancing around as Osama Bin Laden is not crossing the line but parodying Michael Jackson is? Do you see the line clearly here?

I know I don't.

So why is Michael a topic not to be talked about? Wait a minute, wait a minute, doesn't BET also air a show called Comic View where on any given day any comedian could have two or three Michael Jackson jokes? Oh but those comedians are usually ...And Eminem is ..... Whoops shouldn't say that out too loud now should I.

Ok well I'm not the biggest Eminem fan so far be it for me to defend him. His lyrics are ok but he is starting to repeat himself plus Chino XL did the same types of raps for years, with might I add better punchlines and delivery but never got the props from the mainstream. Then there is his thing with the Source (memo to wack rappers: be like Benzino and start your own magazine) and his alleged dissing of black women. Oh yea like a thousand rappers a day don't use the same words he used. Please! Anyway all that is to say Eminem isn't my favorite rapper by a longshot, not even in my top 25 most likely but I really believe that BET's banning of his song is a double standard.

Why play all his other controversial stuff prior to this and now get all righteous about his Michael parody? Is it pity because the poor Jackson family, (the word poor being dipped in extreme sarcasm before I placed it before Jackson) who have had so much trials and tribulations this year what with Janet's Superbowl exposure and all? Or is it because all blacks must join together and show solidarity with our black no wait a minute light skin? white? no albino no pale brother Michael? Pardon me I feel the need to cringe again.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Captive in the Concrete Jungle

Also known as how being in North America changes West Indian folk.

Where do I start? Ok straight to the point. I honestly don't know many West Indian folk who came to North America on their own and don't have some horror story about dealing with their family already settled here.

Teenagers, small children, young adults, older adults almost everyone who came here from the islands alone and were told before they came that 'oh such and such cousin or uncle or auntie will take care of you and look out for you' only to end up way over their heads in drama with said relative. Why is that?

When I first came here I thought it was just bajans but talking to persons from other islands I've realized that it happens amongst all of the other Caribbean nationalities as well.

When one comes to a new country leaving the familiar to embark on a new life one does not need unnecessary issues to deal with. The average West Indian will go to a country or city where he knows someone or has family already living in order to make the transition a bit more bearable. (Lets call the person newly arriving the new immigrant and the person who was here for a longer period the prior immigrant.) Its already a trial for the new immigrant dealing with the racism, cold, strange manners and antics of the new country without having to deal with family drama. They expect that the camaraderie that they are accustomed to in the Caribbean will be the same here in North America. The prior immigrants here will look out for you and get you settled and on the path towards that adjustment to big city life in the cold or not so cold of North America depending on where you're going to reside.

So why is it that this ideal never seems to reach realization because of some unforeseen drama. That cousin, auntie, uncle, friend isn't how the new immigrant remembers them from at home, they've changed or they made promises to the new immigrant when he/she was considering where to go to study, immigrate, work that they now are not keeping. They were so easy going when you met them whilst they were on vacation back home now they are so mean. They said 'yea doan worry 'bout it man, I got everything sort out, you can stay wid me and I will look out fa ya. All you got to do is worry 'bout getting the plane fare to come afta dat ya covered.' That and other likely assurances are given so what happens?

When the new immigrant got to the country he/she found a completely different story. The prior immigrant/relative nit-picks, cusses, even abuses the immigrant over some issue real or imagined until a wedge is driven in their relationship. On top of dealing with the culture shock of being in most cases a minority in North America, the poor immigrant has to deal with family drama. He/she is suddenly a burden to the prior immigrant. How did that happen? What happened to the sense of community , the feeling of family, of looking out for each other? It suddenly evaporated didn't it.

Why? Here is where I introduce the concept of captive in the concrete jungle. I cant take credit for the phrasing, one a me sistren gave me that term today, but it basically means that the environment of North America erases the small town, small country behavior where one looked out for one another. Family and friends once tightknit are now in the concrete jungle and take on the mannerisms of its captives. Individualism overwhelms the family and community mindset. The new immigrant comes here expecting their family to be as nice to them as they remembered or as their other family told them they would be or as they pretended to be on the phone. Sorry! You were hoodwinked,....bamboozled.....Led astray.....Run amok to paraphrase Malcolm!

Your parents may have raised their siblings or your uncle may have paid the school fees of his nieces and nephews back home or this person may have shared a pair of pants with your brother growing up and ate at your table every day but don't expect that sort of family togetherness here.

North American life stresses individualism (not a bad thing if you were always a really individualistic person like me) so suddenly you are a burden on that relative. They can't wait to get rid of you, put you out of their home, get you to return home, stop you from calling them all the time, just get you out of their hair someway by hook or crook. Here its every man-jack for himself.

I was going to make a point about the unfamiliarity of distant relatives but it doesn't reinforce this blog so fill in the gaps yourself. Actually I will make that point regardless of its impact on my thesis. The point is that its impossible to actually know how these things will go because usually their has been limited interaction between the parties prior to the new immigrant arriving. Lets face it just cause its your mother's sister or father's cousin you are going to be interacting with in this new setting doesn't mean that they are going to be like your mother or father as the case may be. We are all individuals. Also even if there was a lot of interaction in the Caribbean setting the North American setting is completely different and influences the interaction once the new immigrant arrives.

Does this mean that the North American environment is responsible for bringing out selfishness in the individual? Was that selfishness always evident in the person's behavior but never really noted or did it never emerge until they reached this country?

I'm not sure but I do know that many of us West Indians come here with hopes and dreams but aware that there is a struggle to fulfill them. The only thing is we didn't really expect that part of the struggle was going to be dealing with our own kinfolk.

Of course some folk come here and they don't know what to expect or they expect that its going to be a lot easier than it actually is. In this case, the prior immigrant may be upset with the behavior of the new immigrant and strike out at them in an attempt to make them realize that they aren't back in the Caribbean anymore. In most cases though regardless of the mindset of the new immigrant the interaction with the prior immigrant is tense and filled with awkward situations.

Maybe it helps. Maybe it toughens us up for survival in the concrete jungle but maybe it also turns us into captives who will one day repeat the same cycle. Whatever it does one thing is for certain it destroys a part of our upbringing; our community spirit. Its every man for himself and survival of the fittest I guess.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Vulgar Language and Lewd Dressing

Read Here

And since that link is usually terrible in loading here is the actual story

Students of the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies who use vulgar language and dress lewdly have been publicly chided by a senior tutor. Dr Bradley Niles warned that the campus was no place for vagabonds, foul-mouthed people or those wearing indecent attire.
It is not a place for vagabonds, people with foul mouths or foul tongues, people who constantly use nasty language on campus, or persons of lewd or indecent manner of dress who have no self-respect and are an embarrassment, he said.

Speaking during the School of Continuing Studies graduation ceremony in the Teaching Complex on Saturday night, Niles said that in his 25 years at the university, he had never encountered the kind of language he heard over the last three to four weeks in the Student Service area.

It is absolutely indecent and vulgar, he said. He then thanked the students from the School of Continuing Studies for their appropriate dress during their programmes.

Speaking to the DAILY NATION, he added that the way he had seen some students dressed served only as an embarrassment to their lecturers and classmates.

I find this rather interesting because as far as I know Universities do not exist in a vacuum and their students are coming from a community or society in which the university resides. So why is this professor trying to hold the University students to a higher standard than that which the society that spawned the students is held to.

don't get me wrong I understand his comments and his wish to have his institution be an example as such to the society. I guess his belief is that if the University gets the best minds then the best minds should behave in a manner befitting their status and potential. That's all fine and good but should the student's behavior not also been seen as only the effects of a society where the standard of dress and behavior have deteriorated. Should we not be addressing the slackness of dress and the speech of society in general?

Thanksgiving is over

Make it through another thanksgiving. Alcohol is good!! How could I have forgotten to give thanks for that yesterday? Oh yea I was drunk. :-)

Your mission should you except it (yeah like I have a choice) is to get through Christmas now. Thats right around the corner isnt it. Oh wonderful!

Sunday, October 10, 2004

random lyrics

Random stuff in my head at 4 in the morning

Now yo yo, whattup yo,
time is runnin out
It's for real though, let's connect politic - ditto!
We could trade places, get lifted in the staircases
Word up, peace incarcerated scarfaces

Check these non visual ......, with tapes and a portrait
Flood the seminar, tryin to orbit this corporate
industry, but what them .......... can't see
must break through like the Wu, unexpectedly
Protect Ya Neck, my sword still remain imperial
Before I blast the mic, RZA scratch off the serial
We reign all year round from June to June
While ....... bite immediately if not soon
Set the lynchin, and form the execution date
As this two thousand beyond slang suffocate

I creep like a thief,
no doubt the man's swift
I'm more magnificent than Lee Van Cliff
You stand stiff and got the nerve to let your man riff
[We know where to run]
And start flakin' like dandruff.
C'mon son my steelo's tight
Cause by far I'm the best producer on the mic
On the right, analytical conceptions
With precision and leave lyrical incisions.

Always sendin you down,
perpetratin what you consider a image,
to me this is, just a scrimmage
I'm feel I'm stone,
not cause I bop or wear my cap cocked
The more emotion I put into it, the harder I rock
Those who pose lyrical but really ain't true
I feel"Their time's limited, hard rocks too"

I'm destined to live the dream for all my peeps who never made it cause yeah,
we were beginners in the hood as five percenters
But somethin must of got in us
cause all of us turned to sinners
Now some, restin in peace and some are sittin in San Quentin
Others such as myself are tryin to carry on tradition

Saturday, October 09, 2004


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in Toronto. Cant say that I've ever been a big fan of this holiday actually. There are a couple of reasons for that actually. One reason is that its not a holiday that I was exposed to as a child growing up in Barbados so I'm still trying to become accustomed to it. The other reason is that its a holiday where alot of family events are stressed and seeing that most of my family is hundreds of miles away I'm forced to go spend time with other people's family which annoys the hell out of me.

No lie, got to face the truth. Thanksgiving gets all under my skin and I really despise this holiday.

What more can I say? Its bad enough I don't get to see my family for more than three weeks a year anymore but to actively have to spend time with other people's families and pretend I actually like it just pisses me off like you wouldn't believe. Ok so I'm being selfish that doesn't mean my feelings are no less real right. Sigh!

Actually I'm not big on Easter or Christmas either and I have the same issue there too. Forgive me if these holidays bring my feelings of loneliness or missing my homeland and my family more to the surface than other days but that's just how it is. So f' it all! I'm glad for the days off from work but as for the actual celebration I could give a damn.

Ok that's a bad note to end on. I'm thankful for friends, family, health and that God has continued to spare my life so I'm not completely bitter or not capable of acknowledging the holiday. I'll be happier when its gone though. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Friday, October 08, 2004

The Big P

So I was chatting about the Tiger Woods blog with my wife and she told me that I don't know anything at all about women. Not one thing she say. She told me that my entire post flawed because I miss out on some things.

For one ,she say that what I say may be partially true but the one thing I am forgetting is that sometimes women are looking for the man with "The Big P". Look! Before I go any further get ya mind out of the gutter now cause my wife is a decent Christian lady so get that out ya mind one time now. Alright?

But seriously when she had first tell me that my mouth open wide wide and I was in shock repeating to myself "The Big P?" Cause all of a sudden I thought either (a) she got an outside man that I aint know bout (b) she want a divorce cause she got an outside man or (c) I have to start investing in some of those herbal enhancements, supplements, or something of the sort. Lawd ave mercy!

Anyway I think she see the look on my face and she rolled her eyes, chupse and tell me "no ya idiot, the Big P...... Potential!". So I said ok I know that was what you were talking about because I had to play it off like that was what I was thinking all along.

So she went on to explain that I was a bit mistaken. Sometimes the fellow doesn't have to be rich, rich or big up, big up sometimes a fellow can get a chance from a woman based on his potential although some women I aint calling no names say that they done with that potential business.Right Jammy :-)

Now, whenever I hear the words potential one person always comes to mind. Carl Hooper the former West Indies captain and batsman. Why? Well from 1986 when he started out playing Shell Shield I was hearing about how much potential this man had as a batsman and I remember watching him play real sweet in England in 1995 and we were still talking about his batting potential. And he was playing up to a few years ago for West Indies and I was still hearing the word potential bandied around with regards to his play. But you know what? The man never fulfill his potential. Maybe he was bogged down by all the talk of his potential and it got to his head and he couldn't handle the pressure. I'm not sure about what happened but what I'm sure of is that the man could have been great but he did not fulfill his potential.

However back to what I was talking about. The big P..... Potential. Now to me this "big P" thing is entirely fascinating because its like women plan ahead. Its like investing in stocks and bonds. Buy low, sell high, make a profit! Guys don't usually think that way. We don't usually see a woman and say well she fairly ugly now but she got potential to be good-looking so I will tag along with her for now so I can reap the sweets later. Or I never walk past a fellow and hear him telling his buddy well she aint got no breasts now ....but she got Double D potential. Never know one fellow who say so yet! We go in with a what you see is what you get attitude. Nothing so don't cross our minds when we checking out a woman so I have to give the ladies kudos for being about the investing and the long term.

Actually that is where alot of gender disagreements start. Why, because woman see potential and want men to change to fit this potential while men just see what is there at the moment and expect things to remain the same but this is an argument for another blog.

Another thing about potenial is that whenever I hear the word I still think that it is short hand or woman code for "potential to make money". So when I hear a woman say that a fella got potential I read that as saying 'he gien got pieca change in his pocket later on.' Its just sounds to me like the woman is thinking "let me get in on the ground floor while this man still struggling and is unaware of his worth and with any luck and some nudging on my part cause woman love to nudge, just like if I had bought Microsoft in the 80s the stock on this guy will go up and I will get in on the riches."

Now I've been told by women that such is not what this potential thing means but when I hear it that is what I usually think. They say that it might mean that a fella might clean up nicely and make himself presentable as a mate, or it might mean that he might be a nice man to be the father of your kids because he wont run out on you or he wont cheat or he will take real good care of you and even if he don't end up as no big up, big up he will still make enough to make you comfortable and you can fall in love with him.

Now I can or could live with this Potential explanation except for for one thing. I see many respectable fellows going to school studying hard and trying to make something of themselves and women passing them by like they got SARS or leprosy or something contagious. Then you turn the corner and all the rude boy, drug dealer, bad boy, felons in waiting types have four and five women running round them. Trailer Load a girls like Shabba say. So what is the meaning of this? Explain that one to me. What potential does these bad boys have besides the potential to get locked up? How come a fellow that could be the next Einstein and potentially genetically engineer a piece of cement to taste like chicken and solve all the world's food problems and win a Nobel prize cant get a woman but a man that knocking around the corner looking musty and getting chased by the police for 25 crimes can have 300 women?

So I ask and my wife say if she had look at my potential before she marry me she would have realized that I had potential to be a "good pieca idiot" and she woulda leff me out. She say she think that unfortunately I really living up to my potential because I clearly clueless when it comes to women. She say I aint consider the "Danger Factor" of the bad boys. So my head hurting me now, too much information to deal with and factor in, I done with that.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Voting and Crime

Just a really short blog today. I'll be back to deal with the fallout from my last post later. :-)

This is actually a question. I guess I'm starting to get caught up in US politics (sorry BeautifulTalker). Anyway the question is this. What is the rational for not allowing persons convicted of a crime to vote in certain states? I can understand not letting persons currently in jail vote but if you've already done your time why withhold your voting rights? Also is the US the only country that does this? Inquiring minds want to know so holla at ya boy!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Tiger in the place is a bam bam

Not Tiger the dancehall artist from the late 80s early 90s. I'm talking about Tiger formerly Elridge Woods. Yea don't think I forgot ya real name son.

Anyway as everyone in the free world knows by now Tiger is probably at this minute on his way to get married in Barbados. Hooray for Barbados! Free press is usually a good thing. Of course all this talk about Barbados and the rich and famous marrying there will now lead to more rich and famous visiting, then wanting to buy land, then the land prices going up even more and a poor local son of the soil like me not being able to afford even an outhouse. Cuhdear!

So my whole blog on Tiger got totally messed up today. This morning I woke up and was ready to drop some serious issues in regard to Tiger's marriage to whatever she name; the Swedish nanny. No I wasn't going to go into the whole inter-racial thing or why there is a perception that black men when they reach a certain level seem to feel the need for white women on their arm. Hey that is the perrogative of Elridge and whoever else wants to do that. I ant got no problems with that. In fact when I get rich and famous and Halle Berry, Gabrielle Union, Sanna Latham, Mary J Blige and all dem gal so already accounted for don't hate me when I marry Jessica Alba. Oh wait a minute she mixup mixup so she don't really count. Oh wait another minute I already married too, I almost forgot. Oh well you know when you rich and famous you have to change spouses, its a given.

Anyways what I was going to rant on about though was Tiger marrying this nanny. The woman is a nanny, a domestic, the hired help. What is he doing? Hold on now, don't cuss me yet. I'm, not saying she is beneath him or anything so......well not directly anyways because social status should not play any part in love. But my issue was why is it that a man like Tiger with big money,class, prestige and all sort of big willy-ness will marry a woman who ant bringing nothing to the table besides a pretty face BUT (and this is a big ol butt like LL used t rap about) say the roles were reversed and it was a rich woman in Tiger's position. That rich woman wouldn't in most cases even chat with the hired help. She could be lonely, lonely, lonely and talking with her girlfriends every day about how there ant no good men left out there, all the good men gone or gay or married or in wheelchairs or does talk Chinese language that she don't understand. Meanwhile Fred the Butler might be there walking around next to her every day looking real real nice in his uniform press crisp with his shirt tail tucked in and his face clean shaven and smelling sweet and is a smart fellow that given half a chance would give her a good conversation and be real nice and care for her and treat she like a queen. But no all she seeing is the uniform serving her drinks while she chatting with the rich crowd and not the man and in the meanwhile she complaining about how the good men more scarce than pork in Saudi Arabia.

So I was going to talk about that but then I realize that the girl is a model so that trumps the nanny aspect. My wife sit down and laugh at me because she know I was warming up to let loose, run amok if you will on the women but finding out that the woman is a model was like the security frisk me and took away my AK-47 and ammo and now obviously I cant go on about her nannying.

BUT (and this but so big it is a budunkadunk) she didn't know I find another gun, recharge the ammo clip and I still firing because I just had a thought on how to save my argument.

So here it is. Tiger (a man) meets the nanny (a woman obviously not of his riches, status etc) when she was nannying (remember that tune nanny wine down low?) and he check her out, talk to her then found out she is a model and they hit it off and bram two or three years later don't look but they are getting married. Everyone follow that?

NOW say it was a rich woman lets call her "Leopardess" (cause she cant be tigress cause that is the Swedish nanny). Now say the situation switch up and "Leopardess" see a young fellow at a little high society function as a security guard. Do you really think she is going to cozy up to this fellow and find out that he is more than a security guard he is a fellow with potential trying to raise some money to put himself through lets say Law school. You think Leopardess was going to do that? You feel she would even notice this fellow? No she is going to see him and dismiss him one time and go on chatting with the friends about how there are too few good men out there left. I lie?

So after all of this lotta long talk and illustration with Tiger and "leopardess" the point of the matter is why is it that men will give any woman a chance but women all about this status thing with the fellows. How come women wont give a poor fellow with potential a chance like how Tiger do the Swedish nanny.

Ya see the double standard?

Monday, October 04, 2004

Bye Carlos

Yesterday was the end of the season for perennial doormats the Toronto Blue Jays. It was also probably the last game that first baseman Carlos Delgado ever plays for that team.

I hope against hope that Delgado will be back in whatever new uniform the Jays decide to change to again next year in a misguided effort to get someone, anyone to buy merchandise from a franchise which has been terrible for almost a decade now, but I know its very unlikely he'll be here next year.

So this is my small tribute to Carlos Delgado aka the best slugger ever to wear a Blue Jays uniform and currently one of the best and most underrated players in Major League Baseball.

Carlos, you made you big league debut just as I was learning this silly game baseball so I learned as I watched you hit those effortless homeruns and you grew on me. You would be a superstar if you played in the US just look at what a trade has done for Shannon Stewart and Shawn Green. You should have won the MVP a few years ago too but again you're playing in Canada so no one knows you.

I don't know you personally but in interviews and in your game you seemed quite humble despite the mega-bucks you were making. Yes, I do hold you personally responsible for Rogers continual raising of my cable tv bill in order to pay your enormous salary and I don't think any athlete is worth what you are making but hey if they were stupid enough to offer you the money why shouldn't you take it.

At bat you appeared to be a natural to me. You made those long home runs look effortless like a six by Viv Richards or Dwayne Smith. 100 RBIs came with ease to you every year, except this one where you missed a good chunk of the season due to injury and still ended up with 99.

I also respect your political stance; your small protest against the Iraqi war by sitting in the dugout at Yankee stadium this year instead of standing when God Bless America was played. Your stance against weapons testing on Vieques off your native Puerto Rico. You are obviously a man of substance so I give you your props.

Anyway before I get mushy I bid you a fond farewell. I'm sure you will still be great next year and maybe you'll get some recognition playing in the US. Oh and unless you turn out to be an idiot like Kobe or Vince I'll remain a fan regardless of where you play.

Thanks for the memories.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

So now we are illiterate?

Caribbean Born students most at risk

So exactly how was I supposed to interpret this statement:

"Board officials concede the existence of the literacy test as a graduation requirement raises the possibility that the dropout rate among black students will rise still further."

So does this mean that black students are illiterate especially the ones coming from the Caribbean? As far as I know the Caribbean has always been a region that has boasted highly about its literacy rate. Also if I can set the record straight, contrary to popular belief, people in the Caribbean don't live in huts and wear grass skirts. Got it?

So does literacy now mean the ability to speak without an accent? This is Toronto 3 out of 4 people have some sort of non-north American accent. Does this make them illiterate? If I say 'tree' instead of 'three' or a Jamaican says 'bwoy' instead of 'boy' does this make us both illiterate? What the ?

That said I willingly admit that I think black students are not doing as well in Canadian schools as they should be and since the majority of black persons in Toronto are of some sort of Caribbean descent (this statistic will probably change in the next 5 years) then there is some truth to the gist of this article but that doesn't stop me from being offended when I read the silly statement above.

So why aren't black Caribbean students doing well in Canadian schools? Well for one I think that many teachers here have some bias towards black students. I cant prove it as thankfully I never went through the Canadian school system until University but from discussions with others who have I came to this conclusion. This appears especially true when those Caribbean students live in certain poorer areas of the city. I believe the teachers go into those schools with preset biases against the students. The "look at where they are from no way they will ever amount to anything so why try" syndrome. So the teachers don't try and the students can sense this and it in turn affects their performance.

Also in some cases students from the Caribbean come here with a higher level of education for their age group and are forced to do remedial classes because of their accent or just because their parents or guardians are not aware of how the system works here. They then end up bored and then they goof off and fool around and before you know it a promising future is down the drain as they give up on formal education.

Now that I have taken the system to task let me also deal with the parents. There is an onus on black parents to make sure that their kids put in the effort in the education system. It is not enough to be satisfied as parents that you can put food on their plate and clothing on their backs although this is an important aspect of rearing. Parents must find the time to check on their children's performance in school. Go to parent teachers meetings, if that's not possible because of your work schedule make sure you still get some sort of rapport with the teachers so that you have an idea of what the children are learning and what is expected of them.

Also instill in the child the importance of education. Very very important this is. To me it appears as if previous generations of black parents stressed this education value to their offspring more than this generations parents. Maybe its because a lot of this generations parents may have gone through the system and found that they did not achieve as much as they hoped and maybe they believe it is a waste for their kids to try. I would completely disagree with this theory. Nothing beats a trial but a failure I always heard.

Now If you look at the plight of Caribbean immigrants and their offspring in Toronto it appears to me that advances have been very slow. I would even surmise that since the 60s when the first Caribbean immigrants poured into Toronto and Montreal things haven't really changed. We are still struggling with few of us advancing. Other immigrants have come since us and built stronger communities in less time. Why is this? While a lot of blame must be placed on the system that still treats us in some cases as second class citizens and fears us as they have declared us murderers , thugs and villains we must also look within ourselves.

Do not say the system is biased and then do nothing. Try as you must to counter and battle to change this bias. Doing nothing but complaining or accepting what occurs just plays right into the hands of those that would forever view us as second class citizens. It does nothing to help our plight. To quote Outkast and Goodie mob "You got to get up, get out and get sumting how will you make it if you never even try, you need to get up, get out and get sumting, cause you and I got to do for you and I."

Recognize that the revolution will not be televised.

Saturday, October 02, 2004


Isn't it funny how everything goes full circle?

Back in the day it was all about creating the perfect fruit and vegetables and having the biggest chickens and cows. All sorts of research money was poured into increasing the yield of crops and the size of animals. It just looked great to the customers to see these unblemished items, which stored for longer periods, in the supermarket or greengrocer so we strived for perfection. Gene splicing, new steroid laden feeds for animals, improved pesticides, all this and more was done to achieve these outcomes.

And now.......

Now we've gone full circle. Its all about back to being natural. Organic produce its called. Animals fed with natural feeds, fruits and vegetables raised without any pesticides, non genetic engineered foods. Its not all about being so perfect anymore as we realize that the perfection we sought came at a price and some of the food we were producing while great to look at may not have been as good for us as the stuff produced previously.

And so in Toronto the organic keyword has been applied everywhere. Every week new stores spring up offering so called organic foods. So what's the difference between these organic foods and the normal stuff we have become used to in the big city? Well to be honest I haven't really ventured to try the organic stuff here yet but going into the organic fruit and vegetable places I've noticed that the produce there smells stronger and sweeter than the non-organic stuff. It actually reminds me of the buying produce in the market in Bridgetown back in the day.

Friday, October 01, 2004


just a lil freestyle for all y'all so check it;

Sometimes the power of the pen is mightier than the sword
sometimes to be intrigued we must really be bored
sometimes insane theories come from a sane mind
and sometimes you must be cruel to be kind

sometimes I wonder why I be writing in rhyme?
never profound always down to earth
way past my prime

sometimes it just seems that life aint worth a dime
and sometimes its clear I done lost my damn mind

sometimes sometimes actually feels like forever
especially those times sometimes be dark like the weather
sometimes bad stuff seems to happens to good people
that's why sometimes my goal is just to be evil

Sometimes I can solve any problem except those that are my own
so sometimes I actually sit and wish I wasn't grown
sometimes I wonder "what happened to my life?"
but then sometimes I stop, remember someone else's strife

and think

sometimes we can be so narcissistic
that sometimes we really aren't being realistic
sometimes complicated stuff is actually simplistic cause
sometimes life's passed you by
and somehow you missed it

sometimes I struggle wait! No make that most times
so sometimes I fight no scratch that replace with all the time
sometimes I lose but most times we tie
and sometimes I squeak one out and somehow get by

so sometimes I'm going for gold and really striving
locked in battle sometimes but still somehow surviving
and sometimes I'm just left all bereft
cause sometimes I think I just bored y'all straight to death