Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bhutto dead

Why does it seem like something tragic is always happening just before or after Christmas every year?

The murder/assassination of Benazir Bhutto today in Pakistan is tragic but hardly surprising in my mind. From the time she returned to Pakistan a few months ago she has been in danger. It started just after she landed in Pakistan when militants tried to blow up her car in a procession. An attempt that killed over 160 persons but failed to harm Bhutto.

This time they got her though. Shot through the neck and then a bomb. I guess they weren't taking any chances.

This comes at a time when the country prepares for general elections on January 8th with Bhutto having been one of the main opposition leaders trying to wrest control from current leader and some might say dictator Musharraf. Her death is sure to throw the whole country into an uproar.

Last week Bhutto spoke out on the religious schools in her country which she claimed were making killers out of children. I'm sure this probably didn't go down well with some of the radical elements in her country. Bad enough that a politician is making those statements, bad enough that the politician is seen as pro-US and pro-western but even worse that its a female politician probably.

Got to wonder why Bhutto who previously held the presidency only to be forced into exile returned to her homeland in the hopes of regaining power. She was literally marked for death from the get go so was it bravery, stupidity, idealism or hunger for power that made her put her life in jeopardy for a chance to lead a country with such a fragile stability?

Whatever it was it cost her her life. RIP.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

Wishing all of my readers and fellow bloggers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. In case you want something more to read check out my Ol Time Christmas post from two years ago. Blessings!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

More than Culture

I kno mi roots n culture (murderer!)
Shabba Ranks - Roots n Culture

The facts are this: A Mississauga father strangled his 16 year old daughter Aqsa Parvez to death last week. The media pounced on the story because the two had apparently been arguing over whether the Muslim girl should wear her hijab or not.

It became a story not about domestic violence or child abuse but rather a story about how
cultures clash or how some immigrants can't integrate into western society or basically those evil Muslims.

I tend to disagree somewhat with the media's coverage.

To me, assuming that the hijab was part of the issue since I've read other stories that say it was just a fraction of what the arguing was about, its more a story of a child who challenged her parent's rules and a parent whose reaction to that challenge got out of hand. There was a cultural aspect because of what they were allegedly fighting about but this story could have played out exactly the same way in other cultures or religious families.

So to me I just see the media's reporting as sensationalizing the story to get us to fall for that "evil Muslim" or that look how different these immigrants are from us angle that they would like us to always believe.

Yes the killing was unique because a Western raised non-Muslim would probably not be killed by a parent over a hijab but he/she might have been killed or attacked over dating someone from what was perceived as the wrong ethnicity or race, over wearing something that the parent considered improper or even not wanting to follow the parents religious beliefs. It has happened before, it will happen again. Its the same thing just no hijab involved.

The problem is that our society likes to categorize incidents involving minorities. One drug dealer of black or Caribbean descent becomes all black men sell weed and carry guns and are in general dangerous. One Muslim father who went way too far in disciplining his child becomes look at these Islamic folk. See how they behave and why cant they just assimilate to the dominant culture. Its a reinforcement of the fear of the unknown and the different. Different means scary in these parts and these stories reinforce this.

Somehow the positives never get distributed that evenly do they?

To be honest when I first heard the story my thoughts were look how teenage rebellion can go wrong. Look how she play she disobeying the old man and the man get ig'rant and kill she just so.

Teenagers can get on your last damn nerve regardless of their culture and some parents do see red when they think that their child is disobeying some fundamental tenet of their law. As a West Indian I've heard plenty of stories of parents who would throw at or lash their kids with whatever was handy including shoes, clothes irons etc if the kid disobeyed them or as we would say in Barbados "feel dat duh big" or "get too big for he/she boots".

I'm not saying that's right I'm just saying that is/was how it was. I've head similar stories from other cultures.

The facts are parents need to discipline kids. They don't need to throw stuff at them or choke them to death or indeed get violent to do it but they need to exert strong discipline. Everyone does this differently and sometimes stuff gets out of hand as it apparently did with Asqa and her dad. Don't get me wrong its a dreadful story and her father deserves full punishment because parents should protect their children not kill them.

But its a story that's not unique to any culture or religion as some media outlets would have you believe. No need for cultural or religious labels this is simply a tragedy.

Rest in Peace Aqsa. What a sad way to go.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Church Shooting

I guess one isn't safe anywhere these days.

I'm referring to the folk who were killed in a church in Colorado yesterday.

What I find interesting though is that the gunman was shot by a security guard at the church. (OK disclaimer I really haven't followed all the info on this incident particularly closely so forgive me if I'm wrong but the reports said the gunman was shot by church security.)

Whoa! Hold up! Did I miss something? Since when Church had security guards? I neva been to church with security guards have you? I mean I know earlier this year I mek joke about fete church but security at church? Armed security at church! Fa real?

Blouse n skirt!

Church must really turn into bashment. Wha kinda rowdiness a gwan at church that dem need security guard. OK so it did come in handy this one time but church shootings are not a norm are they? I reminded of that Shaggy's recent Church Heathen song. Maybe next we will see dress code at church. Actually hmmm that might not be such a bad idea. Make it so number one.

I'll leave it there though and not make any comments about these watered down mega churches and their self-help Tony Robbins style sermons.

All I have to say is things ruff when church have armed security. Wow!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bye Bye Garbo

I must commend Raptors General Manager Bryan Colangelo for the job he's done with the team over the past season and a bit. Via his personnel moves he has been able to get the team to some semblance of respectability and an Atlantic Division title. Good job!

A significant part of that revival has been the influx of European players onto the Raptors roster.

As an aside though when you think of the invasion of European players into the Raptor ranks you have to at least grudgingly give credit to former GM Rob Babcock for starting the trend by picking up Jose Calderone, Uros Slokar and Roko Ukic a few years back. The flood gates however didnt officially open until Colangelo arrived two summers ago and picked up number one draft pick Andrea Bargnani, free agent Jorge Garbajosa and made the trade with San Antonio for Rasho Nesterovich.

And it has not been a faulty plan. Actually to be honest it was a great move on the Raptors part. Not only because the European players are highly skilled and usually well trained but also because unlike some of their African-American counterparts they have no issue with playing in Canada.

The Raptors over the past have been burned considerably by several myopic US basketball players who grudgingly came but skipped town as soon as possible, complained about playing in Toronto as if we were a third rate Mexican border town, complained about raising their family in Canada as if we were located somewhere behind the old Iron Curtain or who forced management to overpay for their services just cause they were going to be an hour outside the good ol US of A.

In light of that drama it has been a pleasure to have European professionals here who actually want to play here and help build up a good franchise in a cosmopolitan North American city like Toronto.

But if the problem with American players is their wish not to play professionally outside their home country the problem with European players is their wish to play for their home country's squad during the NBA off-season. Even at times when it may have a detrimental effect on their performance for their professional team, the one that actually pays their huge salaries.

Case in point: Raptors and Spanish forward Jorge Garbajosa.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketGarbo as he is affectionately called made what can only be described as a bad call this summer. (oh and I called it twice. Here and here. See even a broken clock can be right sometimes.)

He broke his leg late in the last NBA season. Doctors at that time told him it would take approximately six months to rehab properly. Garbo four months later played for Spain in the European Championships against the advice of Raptors doctors who still thought that he needed surgery to correct parts of his damaged leg. Fast forward to yesterday and it has now been announced that Garbo will need to have surgery after all and in all likelihood will miss a significant portion if not all of this season. (Oh and I also read that he had indeed been practicing with the Spanish squad for up to 5 weeks before the actual Eurobasket tournament begun)

Now I'll admit that I'm upset with this. Been upset with it since I first heard he was playing in the FIBA Eurobasket tournament this summer instead of sitting it out to rehab for the NBA season. Look I'm not adverse to a player wishing to represent his country but Spain had already qualified for the 2008 Olympics and this Eurobasket tournament was about nothing more significant than bragging rights. To me it made sense if you were coming off an injury to play it safe and sit out the summer tournament so you could be 100% by the time NBA training camp rolled around.

Maybe Garbo had a right to be skeptical about the Raptors doctor's diagnosis and go against their advice. Professional teams do try to protect their investments and in the case of NBA teams there has been much fuss about international players who play a full NBA season then rush off to play all summer for their home countries. When do such players get a chance to rehab and relax and recharge one wonders? Still if a player thinks he can handle it and its necessary I say more power to him ......once he's are healthy.

Garbo was however by no means injury free and should have sat out this summer's tourney with a view towards being 100% in the fall. The biggest clue to the injury and how it was coming along may have been the fact that the Spanish federation and Garbo had to take out an insurance policy which cost them an exorbitant one million dollars for three months coverage this summer in order for him to play in the Eurobasket tournament. If the insurers thought he wasn't a big risk to reinjure himself or was close to full rehabilitation why was the premium so high?

It seems pretty clear that a never fully healed Garbo rushed back to play in Eurobasket 2007 and in so doing risked his rehab maybe even damaging himself further.

I honestly would like to think that he would have had some more regard for the franchise that pays him and the fans that cheer him here in Toronto and not have rushed to play this summer and then not even last a full month into the NBA season.

Like I said in my previous blog in reference to Garbo back this summer "Now you'll probably get to Raptors training camp and fall apart within a month of the season then have surgery and miss the entire season. All the while being paid by the Raptors. That's to me is like you have just dealt a b* slap to the entire Toronto fandom collective with your actions. Boy and they complain that home grown NBA players are childish, haughty and own way! I do hope you stay semi-healthy so we can trade you but alas I know that wont happen. Enjoy the season on the sidelines."

Damn I wish I had been wrong.

Guess this just goes to show that athletes can be idiots regardless of where they are from despite what some folks may think.

There are terms written into players contracts forbidding them to ski or ride motorbikes or engage in other slightly dangerous hobbies that may injure them. Maybe there needs to be terms written in forbidding injured players from playing in tournaments that can cause them to lengthen their time on the injured list. Or just clauses about using common sense to determine what events to engage in during the off-season.

Personally I think Garbo owes us Raptors fans an apology. Maybe he owes the franchise some money too but for sure he owes us an apology for risking his ability to play for the Raptors leaving us a weaker team in his absence.

ps: In terms of responsibility why isn't Garbo getting more heat on this? Vince went to his University graduation the morning of a playoff game but returned to play in that game and was widely pilloried as letting down the team. Garbo plays all summer on a bad leg and then comes to the season injured. He has let down his team too. Actually in my opinion more than Vince did. Shouldn't he be hearing it from the fans for letting us down?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Forget me not

Today was Thanksgiving in the US but here in Toronto it was the first day of winter. Not officially mind you but seeing as today was the first winter storm of the season to hit the City of Toronto and the snow actually stuck around for more than an hour I declare it the first day of winter.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketIts also the day when the collective memory of the city draws a blank. Huhhh! The day everyone forgets.

Happens every year but yet when the temperature drops and that white fluffy stuff falls from the sky or worse yet the hard frozen pellets that make everything slippery fall for the first time for the season its like our brains rather than our bodies are frozen and we forget how to act in winter.

We forget how to shovel snow properly. The TTC forgets how to run buses on a schedule. Drivers forget how to drive in bad weather and the accidents pile up on the highways. Some folk forget that you need proper footwear for this weather and that you cant run or walk as fast as you would when the ground isn't all slushy. Some drivers forget that they cant be speeding on the roads as they will splash pedestrians. Some pedestrians forget that they shouldn't walk near the sidewalk's edge if possible as they will be splashed by crazy drivers.

Lots of memory lapses today. GO-trains forgot their schedules, business forgot to raise the heat for their staff in their offices. Folks forgot what they did with those gloves and that scarf and those boots and that jacket. The body forgets what it feels like to be bundled under the heavy layers of clothing keeping you warm but weighing you down.

The collective "Duhh what was I supposed to do here again" struck again today.

Friday, November 16, 2007


I take a bite out of crime
wash it down with some juice.
East Coast - Das Efx

Sigh its going to be hard to stay retired.

Read about the Barry Bonds indictment yesterday. Well its about time isn't it! Took them only 4 years to finally get the info they needed to indict him. Day duz run til night ketch it ya hear.

Well its good to see that our law enforcement folk have got their priorities set straight. Time to get that scumbag and menace to society off the streets. Society is going to be so much safer. Maybe he can be cellmates with that other despicable athlete and criminal Mike Vick. The world will be a better place and we can all walk around singing Kumbaya and holding hands. Om!

But wait a minute Bonds isn't a menace to society, the scumbag part could be argued though.

I woke up this morning to a female radio announcer with a bit more than a little glee in her voice celebrating Bond's indictment. Finally he gets his comeuppance she basically said. Apparently his arrogance and disdain for the media was her argument for why he needs to be punished. Without directly saying it I interpreted her words as its time they wiped that smugness off his face and took him down a notch. Who does he think he is? Time that surly attitude was dealt with. Take that you despicable criminal!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketBut I tend to look at this a bit differently. Bonds is neither war criminal, despot or genocidal maniac as much as the media would beg to differ. He hasn't killed anyone, he hasn't robbed anyone, he hasn't stolen anything (besides arguably the home run crown from Hank Aaron and that's for Major League Baseball to decide) and he isn't any sort of violent offender, unless you count him putting a beating on baseballs.

Yet here he is facing 30 years in jail for allegedly perjury and lying about taking steroids. Damn. That's like getting publicly stoned for allegedly lying about stealing a cookie.

Look its not like Bonds is the shoe bomber. Its not like Bonds lied about supplying arms to the Contras or he lied about disclosing state secrets to the enemy. Put this in perspective. Even John Walker Lindh only got 20 years in jail for fighting with Al Quada against American forces!

Bonds allegedly lied about whether he, himself, one man took steroids or not. And while taking steroids is apparently a crime he's not currently under threat of punishment for the actual deed but rather about lying about the actual deed. He faces 30 years in jail for a crime that in the most part effects him more than it does society.

I know some folks disagreed with my argument against the Mike Vick case but this Bonds case reminds me a bit of that. Its just with so much real crime and threat of crime out there is this really a big deal? I mean its not like Bonds was even a distributor of the steroids. He just allegedly took them and allegedly lied about it. Big deal! Who has he hurt besides himself? Oh yea and the American past time baseball.

How much law enforcement hours in the past four years do you think have gone into dealing with this Barry Bonds threat? Sometimes you would think the cat was Al Capone or some other mob figure.

Look I hesitate to use the words witch hunt here and I truly think Bonds can be an ass more times than not but just like that announcer's glee on the radio this morning I cant help but think this is more about knocking the smile off the face of a smug son of a .... than about any sort of justice. If Bonds was a nicer guy, like for argument sake say Mark Mcguire, aside from having more public opinion on his side the question is would Law Enforcement be going after him as diligently as they are now?

Guess we can only surmise.

A fact though is that Bonds has been labeled difficult (y'all know what I mean), he's not the smiling jolly sound bite giving star athlete and it could be argued that some of this again I hesitate to use the word persecution is about a negative perception of him.

But then I guess bad guys can finish last sometimes.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Dun that

Time to put this blog to bed. Nuh setta long talk no drawn out farewell tour. Thanks for the support to all who read, commented, emailed. Hopefully it was interesting while it lasted. Met some good people made some new fam, new friends (and I mean friends not in the facebook friend way). Good to see an increase in my Caribbean people representing.

Peace and one love.


ps: I do reserve the right to come back occasionally and write some crap here if I feel like but for the most part its all over.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Ok a few stories that caught my attention.

- The MinnesotaVikings fined one of their players for missing a game two Sundays ago because he had to attend the funeral of his grandmother. His grandmother who raised him as a kid. Damn that's cold.

- While I feel for Kanye's lost I just think its so senseless that she died during elective surgery.

-kid gets killed for brandishing a hairbrush. damn! reminds me of that Michael Moore skit where he said black men shouldn't carry dark colored wallets

-Man in India marries a dog. No no no, fa real I mean a actual female dog, no fa real no insult the man marry a real mutt. Seriously. Ah hell no one will believe me anyway.

-Remember the judge who sued the dry cleaners. I blogged about it a while back. Well he lost his job. Cuhdear!

-Black girl suspended for purple hair. Good for her, she feel she name Prince or what. Oh wait he had purple rain not hair my bad.

-Michael Jordan's divorce is costing him 168 Mil. Van Dammmmm!

Seriously there was more but I cant remember where it went. Oh well enjoy.

Friday, November 09, 2007

You must learn

It seems to me that in a school that's ebony
African history should be pumped up steadily, but it's not
and this has got to stop
See Spot run, run get Spot
Insulting to a Black mentality
A Black way of life or a jet Black family
So I include with one concern, that
You must learn

You must Learn - Boogie Down Productions

Oh man, I dug in the crates for that quote today. That song is about 20 years old.

Black Schools. Its all the talk now in Toronto after this article appeared a few days ago. Now I'm pretty sure this was on the table a few years ago and I blogged about it back then as well but I just can't find that old post so here we go again. Oh and my thoughts might have changed in the ensuing two years so in case you find it don't hold any old posts against me.

Anyway black schools or rather 'African centered alternative schools' are in the news here in Toronto with suggestions that we institute some of them to assist in keeping black kids from flunking out.

My thoughts are all over the place on this. Its quite a volatile topic actually.

First off though, just to get it out of the way, and I might lose some friends over this, I'll say that I cant support African centered schools being funded by the provincial government. I give the same reasoning I gave for not supporting John Tory's faith based schools. I just don't see why the government should foot the bill here when the regular public schools are already suffering from lack of funding. As a taxpayer, if I wasn't black I'd be pretty pissed at having to pay for this special interest group's schools. Sorry that's just my opinion on the funding.

If Black sorry African centered schools are needed I say lets get the Afro-Canadian community together and do this privately. There are privately run schools for other special interest groups why don't we get together and do this too? Alternatively some ethnic communities have their Saturday school where kids are taught their heritage and the language of their ancestors. We could get together and do something like that. I'm all for West Indian school on Saturday. Ya need a teacher, I'm there son! I even have some friend dem that volunteer to teach how to chupse, give cut eye and slam dominoes.

Naa but in all seriousness maybe Saturday school might be a way to start. Teach the children about their heritage and give them some self esteem. Its a start.

Now back to the issue. The fact remains there is an issue with black kids performance in school here. They just seem to under-perform their peers and drop out at an alarming rate. This under-performance though cannot be viewed in a vacuum. One has to take a look at the socio-economic and other factors affecting these youth. As one commenter said on the Star's page we already have black schools ie schools in neighborhoods where the majority of the students are black so why not try getting them to work first before trying to have a separate new African centered school.

Now a bunch of thoughts run through my mind at this point.

(1) Our public schools in general are not up to par. Hence one would expect that the public schools in the more depressed areas of our society would be even more so under par. This is probably a factor in many black kids under-performing.

But the under-performing also seems to cut across socio-economic boundaries in the black community too. That is disturbing. That says maybe there are other factors at work here. Maybe the system is broken. By the way pardon me if it seems as if I'm making an elitist claim that poor kids will/should do worse in school. I don't subscribe to that belief at all. I'm just arguing that schools in the poorer parts of the city are probably more run down and badly run than schools in other parts of the city and this might lead to the skewing of statistics showing that black students perform worse than others.

(2) Third grade teacher reading and talking about I knew he's amount to nothing
Definition - Talib Kweli

I've heard enough stories about black kids being thrown into special ed with the quickness , a hell of a lot quicker than similarly performing kids of other races. I've also heard of smart black kids being streamed to the technical areas and being told not to think about going to university because teachers have this built in bias that says black kids are only good at certain subjects and athletics. There seems to be some sort of systemic racism in this school system. Is the issue then about curriculum or is it about perception of the students?

(3 or is this 2 1/2)Now from my own recollection and experience and I'll admit I was forced to really think about this after some of the interesting comments traded with Clarabella over at JahWorld a few weeks back I realize how really important teachers are to learning. You can be the smartest dude and if you go into a class with a piss poor teacher or a teacher who doesn't motivate or impart energy to a topic, or a teacher who has already reached the conclusion that you will be a failure before you've said or written word one in that class, it will affect you negatively. No doubt about it. Especially at a young age. My own experiences and those of others I know bear that out without question.

In the case of black kids here in Toronto and elsewhere in North America I think some teachers come into the system with these pre-conceived notions on black folk in general which they quickly apply to our younger generation. They believe these young black men and women have no future that doesn't include drugs, guns, rapping, sports or a job on the lower end of the paying and talent spectrum and either consciously or subconsciously these teachers tend to nudge these kids in those directions. Its like that passage from the Autobiography of Malcolm X where he tells his teacher he wanted to be a lawyer when he grew up and the teacher tells him that's not a realistic goal for a black kid. That was like 60 or 70 years ago but the same thing is still occurring in our school system if not as openly and blatantly stated.

(4) There is also a case for a fear of black youth. In my opinion all youth need a strong hand to keep them on an even keel. I think some teachers are afraid of being strict with their young charges especially when they are black. Fear of a black planet you can call it and you know what some of these young black kids know that their teachers and society in general fear them and use it to their advantage to get away with all sorts of lawlessness. I could site example after example of that from just riding around on the bus on the way to work in the morning. Can't blame the teachers singularly here for not trying though as it does appear that the rules enforced by the school board also leaves some of their hands tied when it comes to discipline. All that to say that lack of discipline in school has an effect on the black black youth in schools.

(5) And lest it seem like I forget the parents let me just say they are far from blameless. That discipline mentioned in the previous point must start at home. Parents also need to stress the necessity of a good education. Not sure what happened between my parents generation and mine but somehow I think the parents of this day and age don't emphasize education to their children enough leading to some slack behavior by our children. Some argue that the parents are busier now and have little time to impart instruction to the kids but to me I really don't see them being any busier than our parents. I think that's just a weak excuse.

Also parents have to stay involved in their children's education. Not only in making sure they do their homework but parents should also try to build a rapport with the teachers. That's one way to get the teachers to realize hey this kid has people pushing him, supporting him, people who love him, people looking out for him. Sometimes I think that makes a difference in teachers interaction with the students.

I could go on about that but will leave it there.

(6) Now some people say this African centric school thing is voluntary segregation. They say we work hard hard for integration of schools and now we saying we want out. Plus we living in a multicultural society. Dem issues we trying to hide our children away from still going come back and bite them in the tail later in life.

Well maybe later in life is better than earlier. Maybe they need a strong set a guidance from early without the added systemic racism. I can site the case of black West Indians who went to school in the Caribbean before immigrating here. I think we have a different perspective on things and handle and view racism from a different perspective than folks who had their primary education here. We also seem to do better in some cases too. But maybe that's just a general thing cause you cant look at our education i the Caribbean and separate it out as an individual thing. You have to look at it within the context of the different society we grew up in. Not only were the schools different but so was that society.

(7) The proponents of these African centric schools don't seem to be saying its the overall system including discipline, teachers, teaching environment that needs changing etc they are saying our kids need a new curriculum. If you say that then you are saying our kids are somehow different in the way they learn. If you are arguing this then can you really argue against someone non-black oh lets say a James Watson who comes out and says black people are different and then goes on to say derogatory things about us? Yes I know I'm stretching a comparison here but its not that big a stretch.

(8) Going back to the Star's initial article on the proposed schools Donna Harrow one of its proponents stated ."For us, it's important to try something else," said Harrow. "Many parents from the Islands or from Africa, they've actually gone through an Africentric way of teaching" back home which includes using mentors from the community. "It's building up students' self-esteem by showing them that there are other black people in the neighbourhood who are successful, who are doing well and who will care for them in a supportive manner."

Now my question is why cant the mentoring and the building up of students occur in a regular school setting? Why cant black professionals , university students be brought in to give speeches to some of these kids. From personal experience I remember we had two programs at University back in the day (big up the old WISA crew) that tried to bridge that gap between black university students and black high school students and brought in successful entrepreneurs and professionals to show these kids what was possible. It was on a small scale granted but isn't it possible to keep doing similar things like that without having a separate African centric school?

In conclusion I still digesting the issues and I think I've missed a few things but there are lots of things to think about here. I think we have to look closely at the root causes of these black kids failures before proceeding. The school cannot be analyzed without looking at the society in general. That doesn't mean necessarily that we do nothing about the schools when we find they aren't working as is. It just means be wary of thinking that African centric schools will have a great impact if that's all that's changing.

I'll leave you with a passage that I read this summer.

But the little boy listening to Buntin, who sit down there telling every boychild who come in that he, the child, is a prince, showing where it say in the Bible ... Ethiopia shall stretch forth her wings unto God and Princes shall rise forth out of Egypt.... Have Reggie coming home walking straight and tall without the goods I send him for, telling me he is a prince. But as I tell Reggie, and I will tell this to anybody, this ain't Egypt. And you could come from all the kings and queens of Egypt and Ethiopia put together, you still have to eat, you still have to get a job, and if you don't want to dig dirt for a living or pick coconut on Richardson Estate, you have to learn what they teach you in school.

The Wine of Astonishment - Earl Lovelace

Monday, November 05, 2007


They say signs that the end is near
I wonder can I walk a righteous path holding a beer
Resurrection - Common

Is just reality.....

Yesterday while channel surfing I caught a glimpse of one of the newest reality shows entitled Shot at Love. In case you haven't seen it (and I really couldn't recommend that you go out of your way to watch) its sort of like the Bachelorette but with a twist. See the bachelorette seeking love in this case is one Tila Tequlia, apparently a pretty popular personality on myspace, who is bisexual. So instead of this being a straight case of Tila looking for a man, she is looking for either a man or a woman.

Lawd come fa ya world!

Reality TV! Sigh! Now I wont get on my high horse and play like I don't watch it every now and then. I did watch Tyra's Top Model and the Amazing Race and I'll even admit that I watched last season's College Hill once I realized it was set in the Caribbean but I mean seriously I just don't get this whole Reality TV thing sometimes.

Has anything ever been so aptly misnamed before? I mean just call it shows without SAG actors and be done with it but there is very little reality in reality TV.

Ya know what too? Its going to be sad if those Hollywood writers go on strike cause the networks will beat us till we're silly with new reality shows. All I know is that if the writers go on strike my DVD will be getting a serious workout cause I not looking to watch all this reality sillyness. I can watch one episode or so every few months cause is preferable to watching grass grow but not me and that on a regular basis.

Still back to this shot at Love thing. Every time I see them push the boundaries with the slackness of these reality shows I keep going back to Arnold and that 1987 Running Man movie.
How far fetched is it now that we've seen Dog the Bounty Hunter and Scare Factor and Cops and shows like that for us to see the day when we'll be seeing them execute folks on TV. Yea I'm making a bit of a leap but that leap isn't as big as it was once upon a time.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Wicked Selector!

ya say ya number one wicked selector
Sound Boy Bureill - Smif n Wesson

I tried writing a blog about DJs a few years back but it just got way too long. Just found the draft maybe I'll post it some other time. I just cant help myself from gushing about music and by extension a good DJ. Actually one of the reasons I quit going to clubs back in the day was cause the new breed of DJs just couldn't cut it , pun intended. I know good dj'ing and when I hear a bad dj it just drives me to distraction. I just start getting agitated and wishing that someone would reenact the KRS Prince Bee scene on that DJ.

lik wood mean forward the gunshot mean rewind

But anyways I feel a long winded tirade coming on so I'll strive to keep this short. A good DJ can sell you on a tepid song, they can sell you on an artist and they can sell you on a lukewarm party. And I'm not going to get on my high horse about vinyl vs. CD or mp3 this time but lets just say a DJ has to know what to play, when to play it and how to cue it up. Those to me are the key components along with blending and scratching and if you got that down then you can and will be able to rock both turntables and the crowd.

Soun bwoy time is longer than rope but tonight tonight we gine cut ya throat

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketA good DJ will make you remember a song, make you remember when you heard it and what the jam was like when he was playing it. Thats a good DJ. I can still remember the first time I heard Brooklyn Zoo in a jam, I can still remember the first time I heard Lauryn come in with 'Its funny how money changes situations' , I can still remember the first time I heard a DJ cue up Take it Easy by Mad Lion. It wasn't just about the song it was about how the DJ introduced it.

Sending kids back to the lab for more practice the only way they'd win is if we battle to see who was the wackest.

A lot of cats these days do not know how to blend songs, how to play a snippet to get the crowd hyped before you bring it in, how to scratch it in, how to slowdown or pick up the tempo so the song blends flawlessly with the preceding tune. Nope instead a lot of DJs get their hype men to shout their little ad-libs at the point where they are doing a terrible job of matching the records and bringing in the song. I personally cant stand that. Ok I'll let it slide if you do it once or twice but every single song come on man, that ridiculous.

In the event of a real emergency, You would have been instructed
On which jams to play, And how loud to blast your radio and now....

As a dDJ you also have to know when to play which jam. I find a lot of DJs these days after struggling for a bit will finally get the party warmed up but then 5 songs into the jam they kill the vibe by changing up the tempo or the genre. If you are killing calypso and the floor is packed don't switch to rnb so quickly. If you are playing dancehall and the place is ram do not switch to house or dance music. If you got a nice old school hip hop session going you could try to slip in something new maybe just maybe but dont bring in three crunk songs when we're waiting for Erik B for President or Aint No Half stepping. Dont do that! I aint mad at you wanting to play CeCe peniston but yo dont play that after flipping Bounty's Poor People Fed up or right after Spragga Benz sings "No bwoy can play Dolly House wid me gal". Oh no no no! See if the crowd is feeling you and continue the vibe. I know sometimes you want to clear the dance floor so the club can sell their 5 dollar watered down rum and cokes but let the people dance for a bit man. Just chill.

It's a certain special skill, that takes much practice. I got it good; apparently you lack this.

Its all about getting a cetain rhythm. Ya gots to have skills. Just because you can find a song on limewire or napster or 1000 songs by that reasoning does not mean you're a DJ. I could go on but I'll leave it there. Lets just say take the game seriously and practice. Stay in your room and blend some tunes together, figure out what goes with what, work on those sloppy scratches, learn how to feel the tempo of the record how to match those bpms. To all the real DJs much respect. The frauds get your game right.

The turntables might wobble but they wont fall down

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Boy big people duz unfair little children. I remember as a child being always told things like "why you in such a rush to grow up for?" and "school days is the sweetest days ya know" or "the youth is wasted on the youth". Rubbish all rubbish, well maybe not that last one. It was all a concerted effort to brainwash you as a child into thinking it could get no better.

All rubbish!

Y a know why it is rubbish? Is rubbish cause when you are a child ya duz get unfair, taken advantage of. That thought came into my head today when the misses drape the chile in a bright orange pumpkin outfit to go off to daycare. Cuhdear! Poor chile ain't had no say in it cause he mudda think he look cute.

And then it all came flooding back to me. The hundreds of times that my parents unfaired me as a chile making me wear all sorts of so-called cute outfits which had me infinitely embarrassed and probably added to all the issues that I now have as an adult.

Two particular items of clothing stand out in my memory. The first is a pair of shoes. My brother over in the states sent me these shoes; brown suede with these translucent, almost see-through, honey brown plastic soles look like somebody stick a piece of amber onto the bottom of the shoe. What can I say it was the late 70s and maybe these things were in style somewhere or maybe he got them from 'pimps r us' or something but I really really disliked these shoes. My mom on the other hand thought they were just 'darling' and wanted me to wear them at every turn.

Now back then you know as a growing child ya didn't have no big set a shoes so for school I had a main set of typical black leather shoes that I would wear to the bone until it was time to get a new pair. If something happened to those shoes they would get sent to the shoemaker who would hammer a few nails in the heel or repair the sole. If you couldn't get the shoes fixed then the back up shoes were the same brown suede pair I mention originally cause school in Barbados was like a posh club up here in Toronto; no runners. Dare you wear that pair of Chucks or Kangaroos (raise your hand if you old enough to remember Kangaroos) to school. They would send you back home.

So sadly when my black leather shoes were in need of repair or replacement I would be forced to wear these pimp of the year shoes to school. Now to be honest looking back the shoes weren't that bad. In fact now I'm pretty sure they weren't that noticeable but back then when I was forced to wear them it felt as if someone was pointing a spotlight at my feet and everyone was looking and secretly snickering behind my back. These shoes had me so self conscious. Days when I wore them were the slowest days to ever pass by, it was as if time was on lunch break holding a two hour lime in front a Cave Shepperd and just wasn't feeling to work those days.

It would even affect my actions. I would go out of my way to try and disappear on those days. It was one of those get me out of here, Scottie one to beam up type day. I hated these shoes.

Man, the day that those things no longer fit my feet was one of the happiest days of my life.

Anyway I wont even mention the other piece of clothing that I hated. All I will say is this whole childhood is the best time of life thing should come with some fine-print about how parents duz tek advantage of ya and ya duz be living under a tyrannical regime.

Still what can ya do? I am a parent now so I guess I might as well get mine back and get in on the unfairing my children part. Hmmm I wonder where I can find a pair of pimp of the year shoes for this yout.

Friday, October 26, 2007

NBA preview

Yes its back, finally! The NBA regular season starts on Tuesday night. Its been a long time well at least in my opinion

Ok as I usually do every year I'll make some not so great predictions based on my feel for the game at the moment. They all make sense to me at this point in time but usually 4 months down the line in hindsight a few are slighty questionable ie dead wrong! But me neva claim fi name Miss Cleo or fi ave crystal ball so without further ado here are my predictions:

- The East will be a better league than the West in this coming season. Yes the elite teams in the West; Dallas, San Antonio, Phoenix are miles ahead of the Eastern teams but after this summer's comings and goings the West now has more scrub teams than the East. Shall I name the West's scrub teams? LA Clippers (Without Brand they are weak), Minnesota, Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, and if Kobe gets traded add the Lakers to that list.

- Don't count out New Jersey as Sports Illustrated seemingly has by predicting they wont even make the playoffs. Ridiculous. New Jersey is Boston without Garnett but with better supporting players and a team that has experience in playing together.

-Houston's biggest opponent is themselves. If Mcgrady and Yao remain injury free this team joins the West Elite. Houston is a force this year. Actually addendum to this I can see Dallas dropping out of the West Elite.

-GAP (Garnett, Allen, Pierce) is overrated and expensive. Hmmm sort of like the other Gap, who knew.

-Isiah doesn't last the season as coach cause again his team has too many players who need the ball to be effective. A glut of star players or used to be star players does not a champion make. Go ask the 2000 Trailblazers.

-The Raptors will make playoffs but wont win their division. Well actually I hope they do but gut feeling says they wont win the division. The Raptors win or lose on the strength of their point guard play this season.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket-Chris Bosh will be spending at least two weeks on the injury list. Garbajosa's leg doesnt hold up to December.

-Miami will not make the playoffs. Shaq is no longer Diesel more like Diesel fumes and the supporting cast is terrible. Without an effective Shaq, Wade just becomes a poor man's Kobe.

- Atlanta will still suck! Memo to GM: Trade some of the young talent for a few veterans.

-Charlotte will still suck just less than they did last year.

- Dont expect consistency from rookie Kevin Durant.

- Jermaine O'Neal is the big trade in February.

-Kobe will not last the season in LA. Actually Kobe might not even begin the season in LA. Phil just dissed him. He's alienated his teammates more than usual with his off-season mouthings. I think he's gone. Possible destination Chi-Town but only if they can get away without giving away Deng for him. I'd pitch a Gordon, Thomas, other scrubs deal if I was the Chicago GM.

-Orlando and Milwaukee are the dark horses in the East. Watch them carefully.

- Cleveland struggles this year. They might not even make the playoffs if they cant re-sign the flopper and that other guy. Last playoff spot in the East comes down to Washington and Cleveland if my above mentioned dark horses get going.

-San Antonio are odds on favorites to repeat but they seem to have a tendency to let down the year after a championship. As much as I would like to see them repeat I don't see it happening. I'm predicting a Chicago vs Phoenix finals with Phoenix winning it all so that they can finally disband the damn Suns squad.

All predictions can be upset by injury to critical players but thats my story and I'm sticking to it.

The trash heap has spoken Nyeah!

I cram to understand

The weather made a sudden change this past Tuesday. It wasn't unexpected though cause we've been fortunate to have had summer like temperatures all the way down to mid-October. Global Warming I guess. Thanksgiving Day (three Monday's ago) it was actually above 30 degrees Celcius, one of the warmest if not the warmest temperatures ever associated with that time of year.

So we been basking in sunshine and nice weather until last Tuesday when all a sudden the rain start pouring and the temperature drop by a good 15-20 degrees.

I always say this place don't have no proper temperature transition at all. One day ya in a t-shirt the next day you in a sweater and long johns bundle up shivering. That is why people duz get sick and by people I including myself as I hayso struggling with a cold again. Cuhdear!

Anyway one of the things that duz intrigue me about this time of year is how people dress. It cold but not yet winter and sometimes there is a tendency for it to be windy. Some people though seem not to want to give up on summer so even though it raining they walking around in their open toe shoes or short skirts. I cant understand that at all. And even worse is when you see someone in a short skirt or short pants and then they got on a thick thick jacket and sweater. So what they trying to tell we is their legs dont get cold or what? I cant understand that one.

Yesterday I see a fella dressed appropriately; long pants, shirt, leather jacket. Only thing was my man although wearing the jacket had the shirt unbutton down to his navel (like some of them old fellas back home in the Caribbean) showing off his hard bony chest. And when I say hard and bony I mean de man chest did look juss like a jucking board den. And it was cold and windy where I saw him too. Just cant understand the logic.

Maybe he was trying to impress somebody.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cholesterol Minded?

(sorry stole that title from some cat on okayplayer)

What I want you to do is count to ten.

Nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two

On one, you will be asleep - one

I cant wake up -KRS-One

I really hope I'm dreaming.

Hear that sound? Its the sound of hip hop's death knell. Hip Hop is indeed dead!

When I checked my email this morning and saw that KRS-one was going to be on Celebrity Fit Club I was a bit taken aback. So much so that I started to write a rather dismissive missive (yes that rhymes) called 'Fat's gonna getcha' in response to the news but then I stopped. Actually you can do some really cool parody stuff in this regards with some of his song titles; Cholesterol Minded, Fat's gonna getcha, You must Burn (those calories), the Fridge is over.

But I digress.

Krs-one, the Teacha, the Blastmaster (and for any of you aspiring Krs-one dissers remember blastmaster does sort of rhyme with fat bastard just in case you ever need a cheap shot in a freestyle battle) a hip hop icon is going on celebrity fight club? Author, Guest lecturer at Universities around the world, Founder of H.E.A.L and the Stop the Violence Movement, the Temple of hip hop organization. The cat has done it all.

You must learn, My philosophy, Boom Bap, Hip Hop vs Rap, Outta Here, Criminal Minded, Stop the Violence, Self Destruction, the Emcee, Love's gonna getcha, Jack of Spades, Still #1, South Bronx, The bridge is over? One of the greatest freestylers ever, a legend in concert! And as an aside let me say that one of the coolest movie scenes I've ever seen is that one in Clockers when the lil kid with the gat in the paper bag is rolling up on his bicycle while Outta here is blasting in the background. Wicked!

Ok I'm resisting the urge here to just blast the Blastmaster about this whole celebrity fitness thing and its mainly cause I used to really respect this guy. It wasn't just the music, it was the image. Krs has always been unorthodox, he walks to his own beat, he can be dismissive, he can be arrogant, he can make lofty claims and contradict himself, but aside from his music, he seemed to be a man of principal. I respect that cause in today's society its hard to find people who have principal!

Wont say I've always agreed with everything he's ever said. Actually he lost me way back in the days with the black drug dealer song (wow was that like 93 or something) and since then I've always questioned much of what he says but still I had respect for the cat.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketHe also lost me with some of his recent comments regarding 50's new album being better than Kanye's, his adding Lil Wayne and Chingy to his Stop the Violence Movement and his bigging up some of these new cats who are clearly crap but like I was arguing with my boy yesterday maybe there is method to his madness.

Now I'm clearly a jdid old school loving hip hop fan. I honestly aint feeling 99% of what these cats claim is hip hop these days. I can't seriously listen to the ay bay bays and superman's and that other stuff without nostalgia for the old days and fear that the future and indeed the present are both dimmer than a 20 watt light bulb.

However that's me I'm set in my ways, that's how it is. However my argument over Kris' recent actions was that maybe just maybe he realizes that each new generation puts a different spin on its music and that maybe the way to impart knowledge to these young cats is to reach out to them instead of always criticizing. Maybe that was his plan. Not sure its going to work with these knuckleheads but I was trying to not be harsh on my man and probably being somewhat of a Krs apologist especially since I now realize he's doing tracks with G-Unit. Maybe that explains the 50 Cent comments (what are the odds that Krs joins G-Unit?)

Anyway I also realized my issue is not that Krs is overweight although for a man who claims to be a vegan and once rapped strongly against meat (The cow doesn't grow fast enough for man, So through his greed he makes a faster plan, He has drugs to make the cow grow quicker, Through the stress the cow gets sicker, Twenty-one different drugs are pumped,Into the cow in one big lump, So just before it dies, it cries, In the slaughterhouse full of germs and flies) way way before it was cool to be vegetarian you would have thought that he would have taken better care of himself. Naa cant diss the bredren cause he packed on the pounds. Happens to the best of us. He's overweight, he recognises he has a problem he's dealing with it. Kris has had a hard year too and maybe Marley's heart attack was a wake up call so props for trying to do something about the fitness.

So no that aint my issue. Plus to be honest I really don't think he's that big. Bigger than before but still. Naa my issue is not that he's tackling his problem its how he's tackling it; on a reality show joint on Celebrity Fit Club.

Way I see it if you've got a problem handle you business but yo you're telling me that you cant hire a personal trainer or dietitian and do this on the low? There are tonnes of ways to tackle this problem and it doesn't have to be public. And if you wanted it to be public and make a statement maybe about blacks and obesity still no reason to go on a reality show with b and c listers. Helll this show is just two steps away from Flavor of Love man.

The only reason to do this in a reality show format is cheap tawdry publicity and that Kris is definitely not a good on you. So shame on you sir. Bad bad move.

Oh well maybe this is strange twisted payback for throwing Prince Bee off the stage back in the day.

Of course we gotta pay rent, so money connects, but uhh
I'd rather be broke and have a whole lot of respect
It's the principal of it,......
For those who pose lyrical but really ain't true I feel
"Their time's limited, hard rocks too"
Time's Up - O.C

Monday, October 22, 2007


Ever notice how obeying rules isn't an issue to some folk until they are on the receiving end?

For example Saturday morning I'm a pedestrian at an intersection with a bunch of other pedestrians. Advance green goes and the left turners go. The walk signal says Don't Walk but yet these two lady pedestrians are trying to rush across the street trying to slip between breaks in traffic causing what I think of as a nuisance to drivers. Fine.

They need to cross the other way as well. Turning traffic goes first then signal says walk. They step out, one last car trying to beat the signal but failing miserably almost hits one of the ladies. She start cuss and gesture about how the man not following traffic laws and I just find this hilarious cause just two minutes before it was her darting into traffic who was probably causing drivers to cuss. But it a juss go to show that people don't think bout nuttin but themselves.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

less intelligent

I was all set to post about this whole Glamour magazine issue with the assistant editor (now former) who dissed Afros and dreadlocks. In short though nothing here is surprising. Folks always have issues with black hair. Accept it. I do wonder how they were able to hide this from the Glamour editor for two months though? They are doing their best P.R now to distance themselves from the rogue editor who made the comments as well they should but damage has been done.

That said I thought that this article was a better use of my blogging time. Check it here.

One of the world's most eminent scientists was embroiled in an extraordinary row last night after he claimed that black people were less intelligent than white people and the idea that "equal powers of reason" were shared across racial groups was a delusion.

Sigh! Is it just me or has this year seemed like the year that racial tension and racism have jumped back into the spotlight? Hanging nooses, torture, Jena, lots of questionable comments. Not that things were great but I guess it just seems like blacks have been attacked left right and centre of late. The 60's must be wearing off.

I seriously think that the civil rights movements gains are being eroded and alot of it is because black folk have gotten too complacent and lackadaisical. We've always had to work harder to prove ourselves don't forget that. Now the closet racists are jumping out the woodwork because we're getting sloppy and we haven't built on what we gained. We take alot of stuff for granted. Go talk to your parents or grandparents if you don't believe me. Ask them about some of the shit they dealt with back in the days.

Actually maybe you wont have to ask cause the way things are going we'll be experiencing that stuff again sooner than we think.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


I got now I don't care who got next

I've have the double whammy of not having enough time to write and also having a bit of writing block. Just having one of those 'is this blog worthy' type of episodes where I second guess everything that pops into my head. But I figure the only way to blog is to jump back on the horse and try to find something to talk about.

I considered speaking on Fiascogate but I only found out about that yesterday. I do have strong opinions on Fiascogate though so maybe I'll type a few sentences on it. Without going into the whole story (if you really are interested check the link) I believe that Lupe Fiasco (hence Fiascogate) is wrong here. Yea I may be one of those elitist hip hop fans who will look down on him cause he doesn't know TCQ's Midnight Mauraders but at the same time I sort of understand how a kid his age shouldn't be expected to recite that ode word for word. The issue to me though is his response. He almost sounds like he thinks its cool not to know Midnight Mauraders. Its never cool to not know one's history at the very least he should know that material in the context of what he does and what that album meant back in the day.

Even if he didn't though all he had to do was plead ignorance and sound contrite and we might have let him slide assuming he promised to study up for next time. Instead dude is taking the offensive arrogant position. Not cool. He cant be given a free pass cause as someone said if it was a solja boy or webbie or young joc who said what he said we would all be condemning them as stupid and mindless and giving this as an example of why hip hop is where it is right now.

That said I still loved Food & Liquor and look forward to The Cool.

Anyway hopefully tomorrow I'll have something worth reading to write about.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Shady Business

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and I ain't talking about Jeru.

So today is provincial election day. As I'm leaving home this morning I discover two of a certain political candidates' signs on my front lawn. OK it was the Conservatives. What the hell? They weren't there last night and I certainly didn't give them permission to put them there. Isn't their some law against that crap?

I mean at least the Liberals had the decency to call me up a week ago and ask for permission to put up signs on my lawn. I politely declined their requests but these other dudes how dare they! Which of you jackasses thought why don't we just randomly put our signs on someone's lawn without asking for their permission? They did it all up and down my street too. Unsolicited signs? Really. Did they think that would influence the owners of these properties to vote for them? If anything this probably pissed off everyone in the neighborhood and lost some potential votes cause the party's not even in power yet and already they're ignoring the wishes of the common man and trampling on his rights.

Ah he's just a common citizen, joe public, lets just put signs all over his lawn without his permission, why should we care what he thinks. Yea that bodes well for my voting you into power! Aren't you the same dudes who are always pushing your tough on crime stance with the public? Yet here you are committing a crime by putting these signs on my property without my permission.

Like I said in the previous election post, y'all need new strategists. No wonder you lost the election.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

News Brief

- Well well well Marion Jones admit that she took steroids. Oh me oh my! Poor Oba. So will the US treat Marion like Canada dealt with Ben Johnson. Will her Beliezian heritage suddenly take stage front and center?

- Anyone watching any of the new tv series this season? I've surprisingly found myself watching a tonne of them; K-Ville, Life, Journeyman, Bionic Woman, Back to You, Chuck. What can I say? I don't think K-Ville and Journeyman will last. Life is my favorite but I think that wont last either. Bionic Woman has potential plus its good to see that Isiah Washington was able to get a job after the whole Grey's Anatomy fiasco and Chuck is kind of funny even if the premise is ridiculous. All in all I don't see a runaway hit like a Prison Break, Lost, 24 or Heroes amongst this bunch but they all have potential. Oh and its good to have a sitcom like Back at You to watch again. One can only watch so much 1 hr dramas in my opinion.

-I discovered the Secret Blog of Patrick Manning the other day and its hilarious. Somebody need to do one for Owen. It wont be me though. For all my non-Caribbean friends Patrick Manning is the current Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago and if that name Trinidad doesnt ring a bell that would be the place Jay-Z filmed his Big Pimping video.

-I'm also occasionally writing over here, just for fun and because.

-What can I say Facebook has grown on me. To be honest the whole linking to 3 billion 'friends ' doesn't really move me and I could care less who my 'friends' are 'friends' with but it does have some stuff I can work with. I kind of like the groups aspect of the whole operation and the discussion boards. I can see some potential in that. Been checking out some posts on my high schools alumni group and bringing back some old hilarious memories that I had completely forgotten. I still feel one should be real careful with ones personal stuff on that site though and I still wonder is how come every other girl on there have up some sexy photo as their picture.

- Yes the Isiah story shouldn't really be news and yes he lost but tell me am I the only one here who sees parallels with the Clarance Thomas case back in the 90s and not just that their last names are both Thomas.

-Every felt like your thoughts were bugged? I came up with some great reasons why MMP (mixed member proportional) representation which will be a referendum item on next week's election ballot was a bad idea. Wouldn't you know it last Sunday at Word on the Street someone gives me a flier opposing MMP and my exact ideas are all on there. Sons of ! I think the dentist put some sort of bug in my head or something.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Silly Season

Two party, but ah de same sad song dem a play
Poor people money lean back and rockaway
Dem raise everyting from oil to Craven A
So how dem no raise up everybody pay
Emergency - Vybz Kartel

Yes silly season is amongst us here in Toronto with next Wednesday, October 10th, being provincial elections. As with the silly season everywhere , the atmosphere is alive with the sounds of soon to be forgotten promises being thrown left, right and center. (Still sadly elections in Canada are so much more boring that elections in the Caribbean. We know all a dem a lie we can at least get some jokes out of it.)

What can I say that I haven't said before? For years now Government has been failing the people of Toronto and the GTA, an area which without stretching the truth I'll readily call the economic engine of Canada. Will a new provincial government change things? Not bloody likely!

Still I wanted to say a bit on this election actually more so a bit on the Conservative party of Ontario's efforts to get elected.

Now it would be way too easy for me to blame the Conservatives for all that ails Toronto. After all amalgamation and the downloading of social services to the cities were their babies and years later the city is still shell shocked by that double whammy. Former Premier Mike Harris was not idly called 'the Knife' after all, in fact he might have been better off co-opting Kordell Stewart's 'Slash' nickname when one really looks at his impact on the GTA and the many social and educational programs which were eliminated or pared down to within an inch of their life during his regime. Want to know why transit fares are going up almost every year you could probably put the blame on his downloading transit funding to the cities too.

But to their credit, the Conservatives have tried and in some sense succeeded in distancing themselves from the Mike 'the Knife' days, ably assisted by the short term memory of the masses and the unkept promises and inept management of current Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty. A new, kinder, gentler more inclusive Conservative party seems to be the angle that they are pushing for this election. And a big part of their resurgence has been new Conservative leader John Tory. (Guess he was born to be conservative with a name like Tory.)

Now I'll admit I'm not really a big fan of the Conservatives but John Tory gets props for at least attempting to make them more palatable to the denizens of the urban areas. Not sure if I blogged about it (but I thought about doing so anyway) but Tory is the only provincial leader I've seen around the city, formal functions aside, since the last elections and not only that but the places I saw him it was like he was actually reaching out to caucuses like visible minorities who are generally ignored and neglected by the Tories. Must have something to do with his Toronto background. He did after all run for Toronto Mayor back in 2003. (In hindsight, if only we had known that Miller wasn't strong enough to successfully lead this city.)

The thing is there is a fine line one must walk in politics. History has shown that. Appeal to the wider masses to get those swing votes yet maintain the loyalty of your core constituents. Alas in this present campaign Tory has failed to do that.

If he had only just kept a solid platform, done the usual we'll cut taxes, we're more trustworthy , we wont (openly) tief ya money like the Liberals, Conservative party thing, then given the performance of the incumbent Liberals he stood a chance of wresting away the reigns of power. Instead in what has got to be a monumental error on the scale of Bill Buckner,World series Game 6, 1986 Tory has in essence thrown it all away, gambling on what wasn't even an issue before the campaign started. (Not that throwing it away is necessarily a bad thing seeing as some folks like me still remember the Mike the Knife days and ain't about to let the Conservatives wipe that from our memory anytime soon.)

Still Tory has given us a classic display here of what not to do when you are running a campaign. So many issues to deal with; power, health care, hospitals, education, money for cities, transit, employment even the tried and true conservative bedrock of being tough on crime. Does he choose one of those as his focus? Nooo! What was the big issue my man decided to tackle; government funding for private religious schools.

Cheese on bread den! Look whoever are his advisers they just need to be fired right away.

Ok so maybe that wasn't supposed to be his big issue, maybe the media blew it out of proportion but just mentioning that opened a can of worms from which Tory has been unable to untangle himself. That issue is effectively sinking his ship.

Look, first off its an issue where he was clearly pandering and bad pandering at that. The Conservatives were trying to make inroads into mainly the Jewish (I'm allowed to use that word without claims of anti-semitism right) vote and the recent immigrant Muslim vote. Fine I admit trying to make inroads in those caucuses isn't a bad idea. Only thing is private Religious schools? Really? Come on now! Everyone else is going to get upset about this issue. Everyone!

Proposing this was just a bad idea from the start. OK so maybe it started some questions as to why we have a Separate Catholic school board here which receives public funding (long story legacy thing, involved Quebec at one point blah blah blah) but aside from opening that discourse just a bad bad idea.

For one, the existing public schools are seriously underfunded. Is why you think all them lil pickney a try sell chocolate raisins and almonds at Yonge n Bloor on evenings to raise funds for school project? Schools aint have no money! Programs been cut, some public schools struggling to maintain the basics. Now you're saying I want to take the existing financial pie which is less than sufficient for the already funded schools and cut into it even further to give money to private religious schools? Umm no, you're potentially going to lose votes from every parent who sends their kid to public school. Think about it man, think about it!

Also take into consideration that a large part of your core caucus as Conservatives has always been the rural mainly Christian conservatives (as opposed to those hippie downtown liberals) who more than likely send their kids to a public school in Kenora or St Thomas or Manitoulin Island or some other small town in Ontario. These folks will not be happy, and rightly so, losing funding so you can cater to a few special interest groups with your private religious schools idea. OK, so they may have a few Christian schools that may benefit but for the main part their number is probably insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Outcome loss of votes.

Then, in this day and age, one of the first things most folk think when they hear privately funded religious schools are Islamic Madrasahs, or more distorted schools teaching jihad and preparing the next generation of terrorists. Hey, they are just Islamic schools but blame the media for all the negative press on Madrasahs.

Now think about it. I mean its bad enough someone or the other in the U.S is always going on about Canada being a haven for terrorists but now you want to give them more fuel for the fire so that they can distort the facts some more and claim that Canada is the devil next door full of Al Quida in waiting ready to run across the Rainbow bridge and pass the supposedly lax border security and do crazy damage in the US. Plus its not only Americans who think that way. Alot of folk up here will believe that we are funding schools that teach jihad. Plus many folk will have issue with those schools cause they separate genders in the classrooms as well. All sort of problems with that line of thinking but that is what you'll have if you go through with this.

Not a good idea John, not a good idea.

And to top it all off, is not like you even check whether some of the people who you thought these religious schools would be benefiting like the idea. In fact in a Toronto Star recent article many folks of certain religions were saying that basically they prefer public school cause all the cultures and religions can mix. Most votes loss there John.

Even some of your candidates been backing away from you on this issue. Their constituents have spoken and said we just don't like this idea. John you going to end up like Robinson Cruseo on an island without even a Man Friday.

So how do I say this politely? John you messed up ...... bad, real bad.

And now a week before the elections you're back peddling to say now that you wouldn't force the public to fund private religious schools if elected but you would have a referendum on the funding instead to see what people want. Sorry guy flag on that play. Loss of yardage repeat down (Had to get in a football reference since he was the CFL president back in the day). YA digging a bigger hole for yourself! Dude this thing might not just lose you the elections, it might even lose you party leadership.

I don't really know what to say to you. All I can think of is pray, boy pray. Pray long and hard and ya might throw in some fasting in there too cause fa right now as the ol people used to say it look like you goose cook.

Monday, October 01, 2007

I didnt mean to

I really wanted to give him something. No honestly I did!

He came up to me as I crossed the intersection, said he just got released, had just done a 18 month bid and needed Go-train money. 'I just got out the Don bro and now I gotta be on this corner begging for change.' he said with a tone that left unsaid a certain feeling of damn I cant believe this ish is happening to me.

Now I ain't going to pretend like I can sense b.s better than the next man but somehow this young man's claim rung true with me. It might not have been but he didn't look like a hustla, something about the eyes.

And really yea I wanted to give him something but the only problem was I had absolutely no change on me. It was Monday, I brought lunch, and as far as I remembered all my change was on the dresser at home and all I had was one twenty in the wallet which has to last me for a while.

Wasn't going to dig into the wallet in case there was some loose change caught in there either though. I got one rule when dealing with panhandlers; the wallet must not leave the pocket. I might give you anything that's loose in my pocket but no way am I taking out that wallet. I ain't saying this guy would steal it from me but that's the rule, I ain't taking no chances. Next thing I know you're not satisfied with my loose change or you spot a 5 or something and be asking me for more than I can afford to give. That nuh mek it.

I told him the truth; I would give him if I had but unfortunately I had nothing in terms of change.

He turned, disappointed and I moved on.

He stuck on my mind for the next few minutes though. Damn why of all the days would this guy ask me for change when I had nothing going on in my pocket. As Kurtis Blow would say these are the breaks. I actually considered changing my path back to work to avoid a second meeting with him. I was all set to go down a side street when something said naa man you cant do that. He's a brother and how can you not take care of a brother. If you another black man doesn't even want to give him change, why should you expect the next man to. Plus I thought to myself you know giving different circumstances what that could be me there begging for the change.

So I stopped in a convenience store on the way back, bought something small, broke my bill and headed back to work hoping I'd run into ol boy again. This time I had change, this time I'd do what felt right to me.

Got back to the intersection, stopped, scanned all four corners but no sign of him. Must have moved on. Damn!

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I've changed my mind. I actually think that Mrs Browne-Sanders is going to lose her case against Isiah and the Knicks. Earlier I thought she had a slam dunk case that was going to really tear apart the Knicks and bring down Isiah but now......

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketWell that ain't to say her story isn't the truth. I wont get into a judgment call cause it seems like its a classic case of he say she say (I heard it through the gravevine, no static got an automatic , too much of anything can make you an addict). However the Knicks have really closed ranks and paraded a slew of staff who have done a number on Browne-Sander's credibility, professionalism and abilities. Mind you most harassment cases go this way but lets just say I think any jury would probably have a bit of doubt now regarding her claims. Also didn't help that this one former intern that Browne Sanders claims slept with Knicks player Stephon Marbury against her wishes came out and said the sex was consensual. Could be a case of big business just buying off or scaring folk into testifying for them or could not be. That said I think she loses the case and Isiah continues grinning.

Yesterday's Toronto Star had an article about Asian-Canadian fishermen who have been recently assaulted up near Sutton (about an hour north of T-dot).

"Typically, young adults drive around in the middle of the night seeking out Asian fisherman standing near piers and bridges. Then they'll push them into the water and sometimes steal or damage their fishing gear."

OK I get it, country folks ain't got nothing better to do right? Ever heard of cable?

Look no matter how they talk about this, its racist plain and simple. Then the police are apparently taking this lightly. That just plays really badly in terms of the image of that community. Plus, they actually have a name for it up there....nippertipping. What the hell? You think folks are animals that you can just randomly walk up to them and throw them in the lake. You think they find this funny? You think randomly assaulting someone in general is funny?

One guy is in hospital because of an incident related to this but they're trying to play it down as oh just a random assault. Come on admit it was racial motivated and deal with this.

And in other actually rather ironic news since I just decried racism against Asian-Candians (and I stand by that stance), China is a racist state ain't it? Makes one wonder why so many Caribbean nations are in bed with these guys. Feel sorry for this yout though.

"The detainees included 22-year-old Joslyn Whiteman, son of Grenada's ambassador. One witness said he saw police grab Mr Whiteman and beat him repeatedly, despite onlookers crying out, "Stop! He's a diplomat!" According to the South China Morning Post, Mr Whiteman spent the night in a hospital with concussion."

It sure is going to be interesting to see how next years Olympics plays out. Maybe we need a new Jesse Owens.

Oh and before I go, I knew there was a reason for this blog. Anyone catch Bill O'Reilly's comments about his visit to a black restaurant in Harlem? Apparently he couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between this black run restaurant and others in the city. Dude commented "There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, '[Expletive], I want more iced tea!' . . . There wasn't any kind of craziness at all."

You know I knew O'Reilly was an idiot but I just think this comment is interesting cause you know he's not the only person who thinks that the only way black folks can communicate is through swearing. Mind you it doesn't help when David Banner goes before congress and swears in his testimony (of course I don't see the point to hearings on rap, I never heard any hearings into violence in Hollywood movies and they make lots more money). Blame the media, blame rappers, blame BET, blame whoever but there are a lot of misguided beliefs about black folk in this society. And its sad. No wonder nooses are back in fashion down south and Chinese are kicking our asses. How long till Cross burning catches on again?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Public Service Announcement

gal in a de punny printer! by far!
punny printer - panhead

Memo to all women:

There is an upper size limit to those of you that can successfully wear pum pum shorts and look good. Its just a fact accept it!

Like the white lady Friday, who weighing in at oh lets say somewhere from 195 to 220 on a 5 foot 5 frame got on my bus that morning. She din no young yam either so she should have known better than to be wearing those short, short white tight pum pum shorts and the green even tighter shirt that was barely covering her rather circular, protruding stomach.

Now don't get me wrong I not dissing the lady cause she was big. No not at all. Au contraire, in the right clothing she could have looked decent maybe even quite fetching actually cause she wasn't an ugly woman and there was something rather mesmerizing about watching her run ,with a swiftness belying her girth, across the road with parts jiggling in slow motion trying to hail down the bus driver. Or maybe mesmerizing is the wrong word to use there but I couldn't take my eyes off her cause I was really frighten that something was going to jiggle loose or dem tight pants were going to split as she sprinted and she would have embarrassed herself when the whole outfit buss off by the bus door and expose all her particulars.

And then ya know what? After she had successfully gotten onto the bus without mishap, now moving even closer to my line of sight so I could really see just how ridiculously tight the pants were, in fiddling in her bag for her bus tokens she dropped said tokens and something else from her bag.

Well to paraphrase Paul Keens, who tell she to do that? Next thing I know the woman bending over facing me. And I, the one day I didn't sit near the back of the bus cause I say I had too many bags and getting out before the station and didn't feel like lugging things all the way back there, silently screaming as I seeing what I aint suppose to see cause I don't know her like that, close close up to my face like I have high def, IMAX three-d, objects in the mirror are closer than they appear vision. Lawd ave mercy!

So now she bend over and her bottom staring at we and we can see things print out and colors of things underneath and what not and I there wondering to myself is what kinda space age, super tensile strength material dem shorts mek out of that stopping all dat from popping loose at de seams?

I don't know boy but I hear some loud snickers from the back where sitting were three lil force ripe young gals about 14 or 15 in too much makeup, including one who was juss juss talking two minutes before about how "her ex boy friend really knew how to work it". Lawd ave his mercy talk about jaw drop. cuhdear

But see what I mean? When you wear them sort of things like pum pum shorts as a big woman and I mean that in terms of both size and age and ya don't look decent or at least good , ya duz get laff at by even little pickney.

So as a public service announcement to that lady and others like her please, please, oh please use some discretion in dressing. Everything don't look good on everybody.

Now if you'll pardon me I'm still screaming silently inside wondering if jucking out muh eyeballs wud help, so I going to my therapy session. Oh the horror, the horror!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Coming of Age

Need to get this written.

First off let me say that I've always believed that there are some things that you just have to experience to understand. For women, natural childbirth comes to mind as one of those things, for men getting hit in the groin another. I've always also thought, well always being relative to my having experienced/currently experiencing them, that marriage and parenting are two of those things that you have to experience in order to really understand. Well maybe not understand but lets just say until you've experienced these things for yourself no matter how much you think you know you probably really don't know.

And don't get me wrong, I'm not relating marriage and parenting to the pain of a kick in the groin although sometimes well .......... and I'm also not saying that you cant relate or you shouldn't have your opinions on both issues if you haven't personally experienced them yet. No God forbid! Not me I wouldn't say that. I'm just saying there are certain experiences that undergoing them just gives you insights that you wouldn't normally have without the actual experience.

Oh and don't read this as some attempt to get y'all married or to tell wunnah to go out and get pickney. I've never been an advocate and I mean that not that I don't enjoy them both (some of the time at least0 but I'll be damned if I'm the brother to be extolling the virtues of these things and then have somebody stupid go and get a child they cant afford to raise or go and get married cause I say so and it end up in a divorce. No star, you got to know for yourself what you getting into. Looking at what other people have don't mean you going to get the same. Follow pattern Kill Cadogan (old bajan saying). Remember that.

Anyway, I remember as a child hearing some people saying stuff like 'this chile gine gimme enemies'. At that time I never really understood what that meant and maybe in truth I'm still misinterpreting that statement but after the crap me and my wife have been through in the past two weeks with regards to our son I think I have my own perspective on that phrase.

I always found it weird that my parents remember details of things related to my childhood from way back involving negative situations where they think I was being singled out, mistreated or 'unfaired' as we would say in Barbados, or where they basically thought things shouldn't have gone as they should. And years later they still take those incidents so personally too. Strange I thought, y'all needs to chill.

Meanwhile as far as I was concerned some of the incidents I barely remember actually happening or my recollections are basically culled from the stories being told but the stories could as well be episodes of my favourite TV series cause to me I'm just seeing everything from the third person.

Some of the incidents I view as rather trivial now because I think I turned out OK (my opinion certainly not others) despite them happening but my parents still manage to get mad heated anytime they come up in conversation. I never could understand that ..... until now.

Now I understand why parents take their kids ish so personal. Now I understand why parents if they don't remain calm can go off on soccer refs or teachers or well just go off in situations.

I can handle my own personal beef. Experience just teaches you how to handle stuff. Hell I usually just laugh off most of the crap I go through cause I know I can handle it. But when it comes down to my child.......

Yea ummm I think I gine have some issues.

I don't think I've ever had a more miserable two weeks and been as utterly pissed off as I've been lately with the drama I had to deal with. I've basically been trying to be outwardly unemotional about it cause well I'm usually an unemotional dude and I'm also the person who has to be the logical unemotional one and steady the ship. Its my role I accept it, it is what it is. But still there were some points where hmmm well boy lets just say if I had two big rocks certain folk would have gotten their head buss open! Trust me!

Naa that aint my way still but lets just say its difficult to be cool in certain situations. Look, I basically withdrew from society (and yes that included email and msn) for the last two weeks cause I know I wasn't good company and something I might have taken in jest a few days before was fittin' to set a brother on some World War Hulk ish. (Actually if I communicated with you this week beyond hi you must consider yourself a true friend and one of the inner circle.)

But anyways lets just say I understand my parents a lot better now and its because of this experience. Without it I might be able to sort of grasp the concept but its so much more real after experience. I understand a lot better that whole protective instinct and that whole ready to mess someone up because of my child thing. The whole drawing a line in the sand, the whole circling the wagons, the whole gladiator stance with regards to your progeny.

As it is I think its going to be one of those situations that my kid when he's at an older age is going to be like so this is a big deal how exactly but for me....... Yea lets just say that this chile gine gimme enemies fa real. And he could be a teenager, an adult, maybe even 50 years old and as long as I'm living and I'm not senile I aint going to forget this shit either and I'm still going to take it personal and I'm still going to have that urge to throw two big rocks at certain people. Word!

PS: don't ask for more info, its the Internet and I said what I had to say. Leff it there.