Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ode to Curtis

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingDamn why'd they have to go and kill Curtis on 24 last night? Why why why! And in an episode airing on Martin Luther King day too. Damn damn damn!

What can I say? Yes I know he is/was just a TV character but Curtis was so much more.

Ok some background. One good thing about 24 is that unlike some of the other TV shows out there it has given us some memorable black characters. President Palmer and his wife/ex wife Sheri and CTU agent Curtis Manning all stand out. President Palmer's sister portrayed by Regina King also seems to be blazing a new trail in season 6 as a memorable character herself. (by the way does everyone besides me think that her boyfriend on the show played by Harry J Lennix look like Barak Obama?)

But every memorable black character seems to get knocked off. Sheri got taken out in season 3, President Palmer got assassinated in Hour 1 of season 5 and now Curtis gets taken out in hour number 4 of season 6.

Its been tough to see good black folk get killed (on TV).

Don't get me wrong though, 24 hasn't been all good for the brothers and sisters. Me and bajansistren had a running joke early on in the show's life that anytime you saw a minority character (aside from the Palmers) they wouldn't last more than 2 hrs. Anyone remember the black female cop that helped Jack in season one? yep she got taken care of swiftly, same thing with Lou Diamond Phillips' character etc etc. So minorities in law enforcement positions just weren't making it in the show until Curtis. (ok Tony Almeida was an exception and he was sort of like Slater on Saved by the Bell where they kept his ethnicity totally on the low till they fired him (tony) and had him talking Spanish and watching soccer).

So when Curtis showed up as a CTU agent in season 3, my expectations were low. I figured he wouldn't last three hours but somehow he survived. Then in season 4 when they had his ex, played by Aisha Tyler, work as a traitor I figured Curtis was done for cause they would somehow find a way to blame the brother for her handiwork and fire him. Either that or he'd get himself killed. But he survived. Survived season 5 too and I got accustomed to seeing Curtis, the stoic, by the book, without any emotional range (sort of like a black Ben Affleck) black Captain America, ask not what your country can do for you type that he was on the show and thought hey maybe he is invincible like Jack.

Alas I was wrong.

Curtis died in Season 6 hour number 4 last night. Shot by Jack Bauer.

But yes for the three seasons he was around it was nice having Curtis. He was a solid bit character. They never developed him too much beyond that until it was time to kill him but he was still cool to watch. He got shot, he shot back, he obeyed orders, he played by the rules, he was a prototypical soldier, and always cool, never flustered, at points the antithesis of Keither Sutherland's Jack Bauer character.

Which is why it was so difficult watching him go out in such an uncharacteristic manner last night. Disobeying orders and getting shot by a colleague? Who writes this stuff? Curtis' actions were definitely not in line with his character. Jack might do something like that but after three seasons of watching Curtis I'm pretty sure he wouldn't go out like the punk they played him to be last night.

I mean if they needed to get rid of him couldn't they just have had him get blown up in the nuclear explosion that they set off which was probably the biggest event of last nights episode to most people, except me cause the biggest event to me was Curtis' death.

Its just wrong and I could probably go into a "well if they had to kill off a black character this person would have been better to knock off" speech but I wont cause well first off I could go on and on about this show and secondly its all just a big TV show.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Phones galore!

One of the things, I wont say whether good or bad, about not visiting a place for a few years is that you get to see distinct snapshots of its development. As opposed to our usual vantage point and a perception of change as a gradual process you instead see change as if a fairy with a magic wand instantaneously made things happen. Snapshots, before and after pictures; where once there was an open field there is now a huge structure imposing on your vision, where once there was an old building it has now been spruced up and modernized etc.

Before and after shots, what was then and what is now. Well that was how I saw things on my recent trip to Barbados (got like three more blogs about the visit actually) as it had been a full three years between visits. Me own mudda nearly disown den!

Anyway what can I say, over the holidays I discovered that there had been a myriad of changes in Barbados since my last visit. Development and progress they call it. Not that I was expecting stagnation or regression or anything like that but some of the changes caught me a bit off guard as some were a bit unexpected. Still its all good! Lots of new housing developments even though land prices through the roof, road expansions and potential flyovers being built, interesting demographics changes (in my opinion anyways and no I aint talking about Guyanese immigrants), airport looking nice even though the P.A system still sounds terrible, even one of my favorite places in the world Kensington Oval getting a makeover "fa cup". Everything "fa cup" as the locals there might say! World Cup that is!

But and this is a big ol bodunkadunk type butt. BUT the major change that stood out to me more than anything during this visit, something that wasn't around in 2003, is the increased prevalence of cell phones. And when I say increase I mean like increase to the power of 100.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingCheese on bread den! Cell phones like water bout de place. And no don't take this as a well Barbados is a third world country, a mere dot on the map and people should still be talking on a piece a string tied to two snow cone cups comment. This is a comment saying I am just shocked at the dramatic increase and prevalence in cell phones in Barbados when I consider what I saw in 2003 where a mere fraction of the population mostly business folks had them and today where everybody and their grandmudda got one.

Not only that cause in Toronto I'd say there has been a cell phone explosion as well although maybe my seeing it done gradually hasn't awakened me to its extent but to me comparing cell phone usage in Barbados to that in Toronto based on my non-scientific analysis and observation it just seems like Bajans use cell phones more than people in Toronto.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingEverybody got a cell phone to their ears or checking a text message den! If you see three people in Bridgetown then one out of the three is having a conversation on their cellphone and as my friend said the other two just waiting for theirs to start up ringing.

Do you know how much I wish I had shares in the cellular companies Digicel or BMobile? Forget IBM, Microsoft and Google stocks, cell phone company stock is where its happening Bim. I would be able to retire all like now if I had gotten in at the start. Dem fellas must be getting rich, rich, rich.

Then I stop to think about it and say ya know what I'm not surprised by this change though. Why? Because the technology now exists and the average Bajan like to talk nuff nuff nuff! See how I duz write alot on my blog and wunnah duz complain that I long winded? Well the average bajan like that except instead of writing he or she duz be talking!

I lie?? Cheese on bread boy bajans too like to hear the sound of their own voice. We duz always got an opinion and a comment for every situation. Ya will never meet a speechless bajan!

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingIn general we love to talk and specifically bajans too like to talk on the phone. Lawd ave mercy! Look in Barbados the government could raise gas price, electricity price, water rate, food prices could go through the roof and people might grumble a bit but as long as they can talk about it on the phone and the call in programs everything safe. The fellas will survive. But let dem ever start talking about metering home phones again and you would see disruption, unrest and riot starting up in the land.

So yea I not really that surprised when I think about the prevalence of cell phones in Bim. The influx of affordable (actually this is an assumption as I have no idea what rates are like but considering the amount of phones it must be reasonable) cell phones giving the ability to converse, chat, gossip, talk nuff long talk without having to be restricted by wires and cables to being in one spot, to be mobile and speak must really have been a revolutionary moment in the history of Barbados.

p.s: I will now get cussed by every bajan I know while every other Caribbean person will say that is true I neva meet a quiet bajan yet. :-)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Build & destroy

First off big up to my man and his wife who had a baby boy last week. May God's blessing shine upon you all. Jdid's going be an uncle.

Ok on to our regularly scheduled blog.

Baby/Toddler toys are something else. First off it seems like at least 80% of them come with music, to stimulate child development they say, which is kind of cute at first but then it drives you completely crazy as you hear the same song repeated over and over and over and over again.

That's why I like the toys (for my son) where you can switch from the continuous nursery rhymes or classical music to just playing simple notes. Just bang on it and it makes a note. Leaves much more room for creativity. There is one toy my son has which has sound effects like drums, trumpets and even voice samples and let me tell you I've been getting my Pete Rock on with that joint. Word is born I'm going to be the first hip hop producer to make a hit song with samples from baby toys. Actually the more I think of it I probably wont be the first lol. Oh yea and I occasionally let my son play with it as well. What? I teaching him to share, I trying to teach the chile life skills leave me alone. chupse!

But yep I'm trying to actively stimulate the growth of young minds by playing with my sons toys and teaching him how to play with them. Mind you he has a mind of his own and just bangs away at them as he feels like. Oh well he'll figure them out as we go along. Or maybe we can just form a rap group and I'll be the DJ and he can be the rapper. Well it aint like most rappers rhymes any better than nursery rhymes these days anyways so he might got a shot.

Actually on another whole other toy front he has gotten a whole bunch of blocks for Christmas (memo to gift givers. Daddy umm I mean my son wants Lego next ok. I'm just playing don't tek me seriously.). Oh man are blocks fun! I've been getting my Leonardo Da'Vinci on with the blocks and I'll show you some photos of my constructions.

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What ya think? The first two are mine and the third one is my wife's. Note how symmetrical, uniform and nice looking her's are compared to my freestyle crazy what the hell was he thinking constructions. Hmmm I never knew blocks were physiological tools. lol

Still I know all y'all fascinated by my designs and want me to rush over and design your new homes right? right?

Of course I don't think my son fully grasps the whole concept of blocks yet cause everytime we build all he does is knock them over. Just let us put two blocks on top of each other and he immediately rushes over and knocks them to the ground. All my wonderful creativity down the drain bram on time.

Hmmm oh well I guess there is money in demolition so hey cant blame him.

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And he is having fun with them and learning stuff so its not a waste of time. Of course first things first must teach him to put away the blocks after dadd...ummm I mean he's finished playing with them.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Fete Church

How would you like it if this scenario went down? Funky fresh dressed to impress ready to party. Its old years night and you come out to get your groove on. You reach the spot and the dj get up and say "well ummm looka I already spin my new years set this afternoon so instead a music look I got this fella that gine give you all a lecture on the influence of hip hop and dancehall culture in the late 20th century. Alright? Good. Check wunnah lata."

How you would feel about that?

Well if you know how that would play with you then you can imagine how I felt when I went church old years night and the preacher aint preach and we aint even do nuh prayer business just a big lot of song and dance. Chupse!

But the clues were there that this was going to be fete church. Which clues you ask well let me break it down for you.

(oh for the record this wasn't my usual church just someplace I got invited to.)

You know you are at fete church when you have to pass through a metal detector to get into the service.

You also know you are in fete church when somebody gets on the stage and say "we ram packed and security aint letting in no more people tonight."

Fete church is also when you see nuff people wearing their fete clothes at the church (cause they probably going to a real fete after church). From the time we reach and was outside I see some women in some tight fitting, revealing, shiny glittery things and was wondering if we at the right venue. Let me tell you people I never see so much cleavage in church yet then! Almost mek a fella repent and commit himself to becoming a church regular.

Then when the sing-speration aka the worship in song lasts like a hour and a half and you only sing 3 songs in that time period and each song only had two verses and a chorus then you know that you are at fete church. Meanwhile people in the back doing choreographed dance moves and ya know that if it goes on long enough a cipher will break out.

You also know you at fete church when the salutations not only consist of amens but people cheering loud loud loud like is English soccer or a dancehall show and you wondering how long before people start throwing up lighters or whether anyone would notice you out of place if you join in and let go a "yeah yeah!!" or a 'bo bo bo!'

And of course if the service was about 70% creative dance with people running up and down the aisles with flags and streamers and girls on stage feeling like they belong to the Alvin Ailey troupe then ya dun know you were at fete church.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't like criticizing the church but I'm old school about church. I feel certain things like fetes and church should be kept separate. If I did want to go feting old years night I would have gone feting but since I decided I'm going to church I feel that church should be church. Yea its supposed to be a celebration and all that but still don't overdo it with the song and dance business. Ok maybe that's the way to get the young people through the doors and get a big congregation and collect a big offering but that aint really church.

I feel if you go to a regular church service (as opposed to some sort of special program) somebody should preach and somebody should open a bible and read a scripture lesson. Dem right there is two fundamental things man, fundamental. Read a scripture, give muh a sermon. It don't have to be a half hour or hour long sermon. Could be just 5 minutes but you should have a sermon. Am I asking for too much?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy New Year!

Happy new year to all my blog fam. I'm just back from two weeks in sunny Barbados.

You just got to love Barbados. Its the only place where someone will give you directions like these.

"Ammm so after ya pass the roundabout ya will go up the road and pass about three churches on the left hand side a de road. Once ya pass them churches look out fa a blue Suzuki swift and turn at the gap after that."

Needless to say we got lost.