Sunday, May 31, 2009

Been a while

Been sick, still am actually but whatever.

Just found out that Dr Ivan Van Sertima died last week. How'd I miss that? In case you're not aware Van Sertima was a black scholar, college professor and historian of Guyanese descent who wrote a few ground breaking historical books back in the day, the most famous of which is "They came before Columbus" which hypothesised that fleets from the Mali Empire reached the new world way before Columbus ever did.

It wasn't that well received by some scholars. I mean how dare he say others got here before Columbus plus black folks I mean like whoa! But Van Sertima used evidence found in the new world to defend his hypothesis and makes a pretty good case I'd say.

Interesting enough recently Gavin Menzies has made the same claims about Chinese fleets reaching the new world and exploring the whole globe way before Columbus in his book 1421. Pretty cool. Looks like everyone got here before Columbus doesn't it lol.

Still I got to say Van Sertima certainly made his mark on Black historical research even if everything he said wasn't agreed with. In the world of Black historians of recent times he probably up there with Cheikh Anta Diop.

I think I bought my copy of They Came before Columbus when I was in college back at the now defunct Third World Bookstore. Memories and Good times.

OK that's all for now, back to being sick again.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Apathy 2 Anger

Recently we've had some Tamil protests against the civil war in Sri Lanka here in Toronto. About a week or so ago, the protesters shut down parts of a major city thoroughfare, University Ave, outside the US consulate for a few days demanding that the US and Canadian governments do something to stop the killing of innocent Tamil civilians in the Sr i Lankan civil war which has been going on for ages.

On Sunday another Tamil protest ended in the protesters shutting down the Gardiner expressway one of the main entryways into Toronto for several hours..

Now in all fairness I feel the pain of the protesters but at the same time I truly feel that public protests don't really change anything these days. All they do is anger and upset the public. The age of the sit ins and public flag waving protests is over we need to find a new more effective ways to protest things I think.

Still you can go about your protest and you may educate the public about your issues but there is a line and when you start shutting down highways etc you are not educating just pissing off the public and really doing nothing to gain sympathy for your cause.

What the protesters fail to understand is that protests that affect the public don't really wake us out of our apathy towards anything that doesn't directly affect us, it just generally enrages and angers us. And enraging us is not necessarily a good thing. The Tamil protesters need to realize that most North Americans cant find Sri Lanka on the map and really don't care when people outside of North America are dying. This is the society we live in. I'm not saying that this is a good thing I'm just saying its the truth and the evidence proves it cause if North Americans truly cared Darfur wouldn't still be ongoing and Rwanda would never have happened. We'll wait until after the fact, until the genocides are complete to react with our sorrow and our studies into how and why things got so bad and our if onlys ie if only we had done something sooner. Check the record that's how it goes.

And protests wont change that. What protests that negatively affect the general public do achieve though is a level of angst amongst the populace when they are inconvenienced. It loses you sympathy. It starts folk seeing you as not a part of their civil society and questioning why you are doing this to them when they see themselves as innocent. Then they wonder about your cause and wonder whether if its really a just one cause surely if it was just they assume you wouldn't act that way. That's the logic that the public starts to implement.

Don't get me wrong here. I'm not anti-protest or anti-Tamil or anti anything. I just think that shutting down a highway was a bad move and that protesting on a raised highway is a bit dangerous and a bit lawless especially with the number of old folk and little kids involved. I'm glad no one was injured and I'm happy and somewhat surprised by the restraint shown by our local police in allowing this illegal occupation to persist as long as it did.

At the same time I believe that the Tamil occupation of the Gardiner probably did more harm towards their standing and the sympathy they would receive from the general public and their cause is either destined to be further ignored by the general public or just dismissed as being a general nuisance. Its a fine line between awareness and anger and it only takes so much before the insularities and the bigotry starts to raise its ugly head amongst the general public so realize that.

Friday, May 08, 2009


twit! - A foolishly annoying person

twitter - blogging for twits perhaps? or just blogging for people with little to say. I'm just asking. I mean I don't really have any beef here, I refer to twitter at various point as mobile myspace, the perfect stalking tool or a tool used to make the mundane exciting, plus I think the machine is secretly just trying to make us comfortable with giving out way too much information so it can get as much info on us as possible to perfect its artificial intelligence but whatever! Yea I watch too much Sarah Connors Chronicles so what!

Dear God I wonder can you save me.
Illuminati want my mind, soul and my body

Still it is rather interesting to watch the procession, from blogging to myspace to facebook to twitter. Now we never ever have to communicate with anyone face to face again if we don't want to or send personal messages cause we can share with everyone one time at the press of a button. That should save us time but then again we'll need more time to do important things like checking status updates and twits from the hundreds of celebrities we're following online and "friends" who we met once in a drunken stupor in a bar two years ago.

We're making more connections but less lasting ones perhaps. The word friend has been diluted beyond belief. By the way that's not saying you cant make real lasting friendships online cause you can.

Oh well enough of a rant today. I'll stick to real blogging and leave the twits alone. I just really wanted to say that I wonder if the twitter-ers realize what that root word twit means.