Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I miss di shot

Dont usually reprint my blogs but since most of you havent been reading me since I started this one is from about 3 years ago. And since this week is Caribana and I've now got a professional looking DSLR camera (which shoots faster) I'm trying to redeem myself for this one. So here goes:
Anyway sorry I digress, so these nice looking young ladies are going past me and there are a few of them with Caribbean flags including one rather stunning beauty with a Bajan (that's short form for Barbados for the uninitiated) flag who I focused in on. Ok she maybe wasn't that stunning, (she was rather good looking though) but after what happened next forever in the stories I will tell in the future she will always be the best-est looking girl I ever did saw. I will be singing her praises with hyperbolic terms of exaltation, extolling her to the highest degree, her aura will be raised to mythical proportions. A girl who would make Halle Berry look like Whoopie as my man Big L (R.I.P) would say.

Now there she goes again the dopest Ethiopian
and now the world around me is just moving in slow motion

So guess what happens next. The sista with the Bajan flag is passing by and another beautiful lady with a Jamaican flag (although not as beautiful as the angel with the bajan flag) is pulling her along when she, the bajan flag girl not the Jamaican flag girl, sees me with the camera and stops. Hallelujah! Could it be? Is she stopping to pose for lil ol me? Nooo! Yess! Nooo! Really! Me? Whoa! She is actually posing for me. Oh man if I ever had any doubts about there being a God in heaven. Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah! No more singing the Pharcyde's passing me by cause she's the one who didn't pass me by.

Oh man, I'm on cloud 9, I have hit the jackpot! If I don't take another shot all day and even if I don't get to follow the Vincy truck then to actually have this girl pose for me just makes my day, strike that my week, my month even my year. This is the coup de grace, my shot heard around the world, my crowning glory. This was the photo in the future I'd be showing my kids, my grandkids, everybody saying can you believe what happened to me out of the blue and can you believe how lovely this young lady is.

So quickly, in the next few seconds, I manage to steady my hands and I set up the shot. Ok Jdid, steady now. You definitely don't want this one to come out blurry like the ones the night before. This shot must be perfect. Perfect girl, perfect shot, I'm focused, the camera is focused, we become as one, man and machine blending into the perfect element. The camera's lenses combining with my own eye's lenses to form a cybernetic entity. Coming together for a common cause for the betterment of mankind. (alright too much hyperbole I'm getting carried away) Ok here it comes, everything is good, homegirl is in the center of the picture, I double check everything is straight and I depress the camera button to take the shot. I hear the double click meaning I'm good to go and I depress the button fully and snap what is possibly naa scratch that what is definitely the greatest shot I have ever take in my life. Hey I'm easy to please what can I say. Oh happy day!

I say a heart felt thank you and 'God bless ya girl' and the girls are off. I was happy before but my heart is all a flutter, I'm positively giddy. Giddy as a schoolgirl well as giddy as an emotionless android like myself can be anyways. Yea I have emotion issues but that's a whole other blog.

Then I look at the picture and it all falls down like a Kanye West song.

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There on the left is the Jamaican flag girl, quite beautiful in all rights but wait what the? Nooooooooo I scream! Whyyyyyyyy? Where is my bajan flag girl in all her exquisite beauty? Nooooooo!

Yo where that big headed woman come from to block my shot! Cheese on bread DEN! I utter various unprintable words. A who de one bleep bleep big red frizzy headed woman and where she came from to block my shot? My perfect shot in ruins! Ruined I say!

Bajansistren had been standing next to me and I show her the photo and she laffin at me, I show the wife she laffin at me. Everybody enjoying my misery. Cuhdear. To have it so close to your grasp only to have it cruelly snatched away.

Totally offset the rest of my day. To think I had the best-est girl in the universe to take a picture of and that woman head block out all trace of my girl. See dat, life just not fair.

Not only that but homegirl had already disappeared down the route and so I was left there with only a memory and once again a brother's singing a variation of the Pharcyde's Passing me by. Damn!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Delivering mail while black

You were put here to protect us but who protects us from you - Krs-one

Dear Police Chief Blair.

I am disturbed by your recent comments regarding the racial profiling case against your officers which was just recently heard by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. After the Tribunal ruled in favor of an innocent black postal worker, you were quoted as saying that the ruling, that your officers were guilty of racial profiling, set an "impossibly high standard" and that the decision "sets a standard that's new, that can't be met" by any reasonable, fair-minded officer.


Lets examine the facts of the case. Your policemen were in the upscale Toronto neighourhood of Bridal Path investigating cut telephone lines and looking for suspects described as white, eastern Europeans seen in a car. Along comes black postal worker Mr Phipps, (and he ain't light skin that you could say they mistook him for white) walking with his mailbags. Please note that Mr Phipps was wearing his standard issue mailman's uniform and as noted before carrying his mailbags at this time. The officers saw him speak to a homeowner, which postmen are known to do on occasion even when they don't have mail for that particular household. Your policemen then trailed him because he didn't actually give that homeowner mail and he crisscrossed the street again something postmen are known to do when delivering mail from home to home. They questioned him and then they asked another white mailman to confirm that he Mr Phipps was in fact a mailman even though the uniform and the heavy mailbags should have given that away already.

I mean either your officers are complete imbeciles or this is racial profiling Chief Blair.

I mean if a black man clearly identified by his uniform, doing his job cannot get the benefit here of not being thought to be somehow up to no good and to have criminal intent what hope is there for us non-uniform wearers who might just have happened to pass through a certain neighbourhood where your staff think we don't belong? Seriously how fair minded was it for your officers to accost Mr Phipps like this?

Are your officers generally fond of stopping letter carriers? Had they never seen a mailman before? Do they ever stop white letter carriers? Are you implying that perhaps Canada Post should only assign white mail carriers to Bridal Path and other affluent neighbourhoods to avoid any possible further misunderstandings because blacks in these types of neighbourhood are suspicious?

And I'm not trying to get involved in the Prof Henry Gates incident here although actor Jeffrey Wright does do a lovely op-ed with regard to that story but that's the U.S, this is a Toronto. Problems similar but not exactly the same so lets just deal with Toronto and its police and their relations with us minorities here.

I mean I understand you have to show some support for your officers Chief Blair but this case is about as blatant as racial profiling could possibly get. Even Stevie Wonder could see this.

And I truly believe a man of your position wading into this fray should pick and choose his words carefully. I understand the blue fraternity's culture and ethos dictates that you should support your boys but really their actions were totally unjustified and inexcusable.

You want to know why black people don't trust the police, why the black community is so skeptical with regards to our lawmen? Why there is enmity between the two camps? Search no further than your own words that this ruling sets an impossibly high standard. How is the standard impossibly high when a man doing his job, showing all the outward signs of doing his job, dressed in a uniform clearly showing that he belongs to a specific organization and has the tools ie mailbags for the job is harassed by your officers and assumed to be a suspicious character/character of interest?

What the average black person reads into that comment is that policemen think its alright to profile us, even when the evidence is exceedingly overwhelming that we are law abiding, hardworking, minding our own business, stand up folk like Mr Phipps. We say well if a guy like Mr Phipps can be targeted like that what about the average black man or woman; ourselves, our friends, our sons and daughters? Is the average black person safe from profiling if they happen to be visiting a friend in a neighbourhood that doesn't have many black homeowners?

No wonder the black community barricades itself off.

Your comments make us say well the chief seems to support racial profiling so you got to watch your back with these policemen. Those comments do nothing but advance the feelings of mistrust between the two groups. Instead what was needed here from you, Chief Blair, were comments to try to foster some sense of camaraderie, some feeling of empathy for our situation. some statement which while probably false stated that this was not a normal occurrence and was just a mistake on the policeman's part, some reassurance that you don't have us squarely with a bullseye painted on our backs.

But instead we got a closing of the policeman ranks. A statement that while not overtly us vs them in nature still subconsciously says the same thing.

Mi shame say you a say what you a say, Mr Blair. Mi had ya class different. I've lost some of the respect I had for you.

Your respectfully

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


5 long weeks without garbage pickup in the City of Toronto. Thankfully the real summer weather naa reach and likely not to it seems, so the place aint smell up to high heavens yet. Still, 5 weeks man, that is a long long time in garbage days. Litter spewing forth from tie up trash cans all over the streets downtown, heaps of rot and buss up plastic bags, a mix and mingle of smells emanating from all around and the city requisitioning people nice nice park space as temporary dumps.

The place not right at all.

And the Union and the City officials like dey mekkin mock sport about all this thing. I aint hear bout them talking, I aint hear bout them unionizing and arbitrating and negotiating and wukkin round the clock to mek sure we city get clean up. No uh uh, dem play like a dirty city aint a certain prelude to an unhealthy city when the rats breed big and get feisty and get up an stage a coup an de leptospirosis lik we down or dem unhealthy garbage fumes round people house where they close to dumping grounds mek all dem pickney sick. Chupse! What allya know bout epidemic and nuff illness? Looka this is a serious ting!

But no, the Mayor hiding in plain site, sneaking through back ways, using special codes and side doors into he office to avoid picketers at the main entrance and ting so. Confrontation man, confrontation! That is not only a Bob Marley album name ya know? Deal wid de case. That is ya job, why we vote you in, what we put ya there for. Not to slink in back doors like a common thief.

Some man full a big speech but dey backative weak! Look it up Mr Mayor if ya dont understand.

And the strikers blocking people from throwing way two bags a garbage, mekkin we suffer and antagonizing we at the temporary dumps, like we is the body to blame for the industrial strike. Like we stop allya from having ya extra payout on ya sick leave even though none a de rest a we working stiffs dont get no benefits so sweet. It duz be use sick days or lose dem, nun a dat accrue them til later and if ya dont use them get paid for them business. I tell ya wunnah got it real sweet boy real real sweet.

Allya realize dis is still recession right? And that jobs scarce and belts to be tightened?

But I know allya cant last. 5 weeks on the strike line aint easy at all. 5 weeks without pay even worse! Any gains ya get from a lil wage increase wunnah dun wipe out wid dis 5 week strike. De City government trying to wear wunnah down. And they succeeding. I hope allya come to wunnah senses though, and I mean both Unions and Government, before I have to swim through the garbage to get to work punna morning.

And wunnah know wunnah affecting the economy too cause nuhbody aint gine pun no restaurant patio to sniff the garbage on the streets and why would tourists peoples want to come up here for all the summer festivals (Caribana included) to walk bout in filth? Allya best to be careful. Wha even CNN reporting that the place stink already.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Courtesy the Toronto Star

I dont usually do video but thought this was worth sharing. Actually I was searching for the photo that was in the Star this morning with the lady on the ground surrounded by photographers but this is even more interesting with the video.

The background is the lady in the white top on the ground is the aunt of a gang member found guilty of murder yesterday. The other lady (maroon top) is the mother. I could probably launch into a whole diatribe on why this is so wrong on so many levels but I havent researched the story thoroughly.

All I will say is its sad. Wish that we didnt have to see scenes like this played out in the black community.

Monday, July 13, 2009

WI vs Bangladesh

The real tragedy isn't that the once mighty (a long long time ago) West Indies team was beaten today by bottom of the rung Bangladesh. You can excuse that given that the team calling itself West Indies for this match was made up of has beens, never was-es and rank newcomers who had been pulled together at the 11th hour when the regular team went on strike.

Call them scabs or whatever you want for crossing the picket line they still went out and tried their best and managed to be competitive which is more than you can say for the regular West Indies team sixty percent of the time.

No, The real tragedy is that two sides which should have the best interests of West Indies cricket at heart and work together towards getting our team back to the top have somehow in recent years found a way to always manage to screw over the game and embarrass the West Indian public and fans on numerous occasions.

I've lost count of the number of attempted strikes, most called on the brink of a test series by the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) after talks with the WICB have broken down, that have occurred recently and while both sides innocently try to play the victim it is us the cricket fans who are forced to suffer.

From one perspective its actually somehow reminiscent of my childhood playing in de road or on the cow pasture when a bats owner might get vex when he got out and would pick up bat and go home finishing the game prematurely and leaving the other children just hanging their heads, hangs in pockets standing looking stupid, wishing they had their own bats and cricket equipment. Own way team quits field over dispute or in this case just decides not to play cause they want a better deal.

And who's to blame? I mean its a given these days that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is incompetent. The public is well aware of that fact. Numerous changes in personnel seem to have done nothing for its professionalism or its outlook on the game but at the same time the Board is not the only guilty party here. WIPA is just as guilty if not moreso for holding the great game for ransom, picking up their bats and going home, especially with their penchant for last minute seemingly out of the blue strikes.

And I not calling no names but lets look at this thing from another angle too. WICB presidents have come and gone, WICB CEOs and management teams have come and gone, Team captains have come and gone and the problems and somehow WIPA president Ramnarine still remain. I aint saying its his fault but hey if you looking for commonality in all the disputes well.........

As I said somewhere else appearance counts a lot in the business world. Its not just enough to be right but one must also appear to be right. That's where good PR comes in. Not saying that WIPA is correct in this impasse but WIPA definetly doesn't do good PR. Threatening to strike at the 11th hour, just before an international series is to begin, giving the general public little notice about your issues and the reasons for the strike isnt good PR and it doesn't win you fans. It just makes you look like petulant children forever playing a game of brinkmanship.

All told though, I'm not really surprised. No one really cares about the game or the fans unless they stop paying to watch games. Its all about the cash these days and one can see it from the lackluster on the field approach by the players. Not that players shouldn't be fairly compensated but at the same time, it would be nice to see some effort, grit, determination and perhaps a sprinkling of love for the game shine though. Oh and some pride. We used to have a proud team when we were on top what seems like a long long long time ago. They wanted to win, they cared about winning, they realized what winning meant to the West Indian public. Not so anymore.

Now West Indies cricket just sucks. Go on with your strikes and disputes, alienate the few remaining fans you have why don't you. Keep it up and you soon wont have any kingdom to fight over.

Thank you WIPA and WICB for killing our cricket. You're both doing a bang up job! Keep it up.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Why ask

Does this happen to you too?

For some strange reason folks just approach me to ask me directions. I'm not sure why exactly but apparently I must look like someone who knows where he is going or where he is.

Anyway the messed up thing is that lately folk have been coming up to me asking me directions but then when I give them a response they pretend to believe me but then two minutes later I see them asking someone else for directions.

Kinda messed up I say. Why ask me for directions if you dont think I know the way. And its not like I give them bad directions. If I dont know the answer I'll tell them but when I give you an answer I'm 100% certain of where I'm telling you to go and I think I convey this quite well with no hesitancy in my voice. So what gives?

Maybe they dont like the directions I'm giving them. Maybe I should give people false directions and tell them that something is right around the corner when it really isnt.

Whatever the case its really a bit aggravating to have folks ask you for directions, then two minutes later completely ignore them and ask someone else.

Next time, I'm just going to lie and say I have no idea where so n so.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ice Cream


Excuse me hon, the Don mean no harm, turn around again
****** backyard's bangin like a Benz-i
If I was ziggy, you'd be spotted like Spudz McKenzie

Ghostface off Ice Cream

Or as the bajan saying goes An eyeful is sometimes better than a bellyful.

Barack boy ya best be careful cause when Michelle see this picture wuhloss lol

Chupse juss tell she ya married not blind.

ps: thought it was funny that this was the photo the Toronto Star decided to run on its front page today too. I wonder what dem trying to imply.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


A groundbreaking study, to be released today, estimates that about one in four black, single parents and households on social assistance face moderate to severe discrimination in Toronto's tight rental market. The same is true for South Asians.

Read more here.

Everytime I read about one of these studies I think to myself well whats groundbreaking about this? Its just a waste of time and money to prove the already known. Then I read the comments responding to articles like the one above on the Toronto Star's website and realize most Torontonians truly are clueless to the discrimination that persons of color and those on the lower end of the wealth spectrum face in this community.

Maybe they just live with their heads in the sand or maybe they just accept all the stereotypes and the scary news items they see every day in the media about those that don't look like them. Maybe they're all we are the world and Kumbaya and think we live in a post-racial world. Well newsflash that post-racial crap is b.s. I don't know what they actually think but what I do know is that renters bias is all too real having faced it in the past myself.

And I'm not alone, in fact forget a one in four most of the black folk I know can tell you a story or two about renters bias. How the apartment suddenly was rented when they showed up for a viewing because the landlord didn't realize they were black when they phoned or how they suddenly needed to book an appointment when they walked in to see a place even though someone else they knew had checked the place out the day before by just walking in off the street or and these two happened to me personally, my girlfriend's potential apartment ended up being apparently already rented when she showed up with me (scary black dude that I apparently am) in tow (even though I wasn't going to be living there) or how one landlord told me and I quote "his Jamaicans don't cause trouble".

This is everyday life. We dont like it, but it happens. We get angry when it happens, we complain, we get ignored but we minorities, persons of color know it happen. And we deal with it and we survive. We cope, we grow thicker skins, we gain a knowledge by experience of what kinds of landlords will discriminate, we look where we think we'll be accepted and ignore other areas where we know we'll be discriminated in and end up in mini-ghettos, we do what we have to do to get by.

And its not like so many on the Toronto Star's message board surmise that we aren't rented these apartments because we're on welfare or we destroy property or we're bad neighbours and have loud raucous parties or we have bad credit or we default on our rent and then the landlord has hell to evict us. Most of us don't get a chance to disprove these stereotypes because we aren't given a chance. We don't even get to see the apartment let alone rent it. Or we get to see it but unless the deal is consummated on the spot when we return or call again the place is gone (which is why when I was looking at places I learned to walk with my cheque book ready to close a deal on the spot). It starts and ends at the beginning, with a judgment call made by those with the power based on our non-Canadian accents or our non-Canadian skin tones. Nope its rented, or we wont rent it to you, meaning sorry we don't want your kind here now go away.

Just cause your racism isnt the in your face stuff the US faces doesn't mean everything is hunky doory up on your doorstep. It does still exist. That's the real. Toronto I wish y'all would wake up and realize that instead of living with your heads up your proverbial butts.

Friday, July 03, 2009


and dem thought Nipplegate was a issue.

Back in the days the worse thing ya had to worry bout was seeing Mommy kissing Santa under the mistletoe or maybe a fella might try an sneak into school wid a Playboy or something so but now

A local teacher accidentally put pornography into a DVD that was meant to be filled with school memories from the past year, and nobody caught the error until after it was sent home, shocking parents and students alike.

De woman gone an put pieca one of her own sex tapes on the children tape. Well I guessing I know what will be the top memory for them children for the past year lol.

You imagine you turn on the dvd to show you parents memories of jungle gyms, innocent plays and recitals, and running bout the schoolyard and all a sudden um cut into dem sorta big people things with your teacher giving new meaning to the phrase wham bam thank you mam! Wha dat wud traumatize even big people cuhdear.

Well even if this teacher doan get fired I hope she remove themselves from the vicinity of them traumatized children. I know if I did a parent and I did see dat I couldn't be in nuh sorta parent teacher meetings widout looking at she a certain way. And ya dun know discipline gone through the door in class too cause some day teacher say something an some igrant lil fast chile gine put she in she place bout that tape and hush she up one time bram.

an how come nuhbody din notice this thing on the tape though? I mean we is a people that see janet nipple fa 1/2 a second a everybody din see um, how come them din see however much of the teacher porn did on the tape cause i sure um was more than six seconds.

But ya know I been discussing this sex tape business. (No before wunnah ask wunnah cud search high and low there aint no Jdid sex tapes knocking bout and there never will be cause i aint embarrassing myself nor looking to traumatize nun a wunnah. In fact I feel if I ever was to do something so I wud traumatize myself too. After seeing that, I might gotta guh join a monastery and tek a new vow of chastity or something. cuhdear)

But what is the thing wid everybody mekkin sex tapes these days? Um is because digital equipment suh cheap? Or um is that everybody fancies themselves some sorta porn star? Is it that we are a nation of voyeurs? Or is just that people aint got nuh sorta common sense cause if ya mek it chances are ya gine mislay it at some point or the other and then bram embarrassment galore.

Well unless ya is a celebrity and then um will mek ya a superstar like Paris, de Kardasian girl or Ray J.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Happy Canada Day

So July the 1st is/was Canada day. Besides being in the middle of the week which sucks for holidays , we in Toronto are in the grips of a city workers strike which affected quite a bit of festivities including parades and the like. Well whatever!

Was having some deep thoughts though. Is why we duz call Independence day up here Canada day? I mean the fourth of July, American Independence day dont be called no U.S.A day and I never hear Independence day in places like Barbados or St Vincent or Jamaica called Barbados day or St Vincent day or Jamaica day. So wha um is bout Canadians that they cant settle for a simple Independence day?

And then we was discussing it today after we went to a Canada day thing today and say well is how come at a Canada day celebration they sing O'Canada but them also duz sing God Save the Queen. So I say well is cause the Queen is still head of state which mean well are we really independent cause early this year when the political parties was having them bassa basssa and parliament came to a standstill who um was that had the final say on whether we was gine have an election or PM Harper was gine stan in power? Um was the Governor General. And who is the Governor General. Well um is Michelle Jean but who she is? She is the Queen representative. So in essence the Queen up in Buckingham palace still run things in Canada so nuh wonder we aint calling it Independence day.

Oh well.