Editor’s Note : The views expressed below are not my own. Javed Jaghai returns to Veritas with his take on Jamaica’s current political realities. Read. Reflect. Comment.
Jamaican politicians may be terrible leaders, but they are masters of political strategy. They understand our culture very well. They know how to appease us, they know how to mistreat us (and get away with it), and they know that we are familiar enough with each other to privilege loyalty and character over intellect and effectiveness.
Our past and present politicians must be held responsible for the state of Jamaica today. By the time the stalwarts who have served since my birth die, their obituaries will tell of how long they served and how dedicated they were to public service but will say nothing of how poorly they governed.
Jamaica is a very small island with a correspondingly small population. The interconnected webs of social and familial ties breeds familiarity, which, I believe, violates and degrades traditional means of guaranteeing accountability. We trust our elected representatives and we continue ‘fi gi dem a bly’ even though their record of accomplishment speaks volumes to their incompetency. When they consistently perform less than satisfactorily and especially when they fuck up, we excuse their ineptitude with superficial considerations like their so-called ‘good moral character’ and ‘commitment to the community’.
If ever a straw broke a camel’s back, that straw fell this afternoon. The Office of the Prime Minister of Jamaica released what may go down in Commonwealth history as the most unfortunate statement on behalf of a Head of Government; the office of Mrs. Simpson Miller purported to be “concerned” for the safety of the Prime Minister. Fair enough. The worrying aspect of this development is that there is no security threat, in the standard sense, to the Prime Minister. Instead, the OPM released this dubious statement after members of the media sought a response from an ever evasive Simpson Miller. In her now characteristic attempt to dodge the media, and their relentless pursuit of information, the Prime Minister was apparently struck by a microphone. It is regrettable that the PM was struck, but the real issue is why was she running? The real issue is why hasn’t she consented to sit for an interview having taken office 15 months ago? When one considers the PM’s abject refusal to face the press, it leads to one devastating conclusion. If a leader cannot face the country unscripted, or by some accounts not even scripted, it brings the competence of the leader into serious question. The Prime Minister has now resorted to the lowest possible denominator, hiding. It is shameful and unacceptable. Since taking office, the PM has repeatedly told the nation that “time come”, time come for removing the Queen as Head of State, time come to take appeals to the Caribbean Court of Justice, time come to put country above party etc. I think the Prime Minister must now reflect on her own inability to lead the government, indeed the country; time come to step aside. Time come Portia, time come.
JA$99.57 to US$1.00. This is the talk of the town in Jamaica, the death of the Jamaican dollar. As the dollar veered dangerously close to the cliff, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Portia Simpson Miller, has generally remained silent. Taking her 19 member Cabinet with her, the PM has frequently retreated, to find solutions – presenting little results. The country waited for 14 months for an IMF agreement, public sector workers saw their salaries frozen, parliament has failed to act on important pieces of legislation, the national debt continues to hit breathtaking highs, while the standard of living continues to hit devastating lows, crime continues to pose a significant threat, with even the Security Minister allegedly being robbed – just to name a few of our challenges. As Jamaicans grow restless and the calls echo louder for the PM to either resign, take a salary cut, cut the size of the Cabinet or simply practice what she preaches, one young Jamaican, Nick Cobran, has come to the defence of the woman many call “Mama”. He cries foul, dismissing the criticism as unfair and “severely partisan”. He has agreed to share his thoughts with Veritas. Here he is, in defence of Portia.
It was election season on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies and the battle lines were sharply drawn. As usual, the spotlight focused on the post of President, contested by the social media front runner, Jamie James, and his opponent Terron Dewar, and the post of Cultural & Entertainment Affairs Chairperson (CEAC), contested by six candidates. The focus of that race would fall on the incumbent Miguel ‘Grammazone’ Reid and his closest challenger, Gabrielle Curling. This was a peculiar campaign, marked by heavy rhetoric, inferences of sexism and heavy social media organization. It soon became clear that the message was vote Jamie in and vote Grammazone out. The results would stun the student population.
The Prime Minister of Jamaica, Portia Simpson Miller, recently came under fire for implying that the Leader of the Opposition is an enemy of the state. Many felt the PM displayed poor judgement and reckless abandon by likening a creature of the Constitution of Jamaica to a terrorist. In her characteristic arrogance, the PM refused to recant – maintaining that she simply posed a question and the Opposition Leader need only answer. As I reflected on the incident, I couldn’t help but set the comment against the backdrop of the current state of Jamaica – an exchange rate of $JMD95 to $USD1, 14.1% unemployment, a broke Students’ Loan Bureau, the 9th year of public sector wage freezes while the PM maintains a 20 member Cabinet – the second largest in the history of Jamaica (Michael Manley named 23 Ministers in 1976) , a near $3 million salary increase for herself, numerous consultants and advisors to the tune of $100 million, brand spanking new SUVs for her ministers, IMF negotiations in shambles and I could go on and on – I can’t help but ask, who is the true enemy of the state?
Editor’s Note: The views expressed below are not my own. Javed Jaghai makes his debut on Veritas discussing the burden of homophobia on gays and lesbians in spite of their contributions to national development. Read. Reflect. Comment.
As described in a recent front page Gleaner report (“GAYS WREAK HAVOK”), a small group of maladjusted gay men in New Kingston are now infamous for their lawlessness. “Well-thinking Jamaicans” commenting on the issue are alarmed for “If Jamaica becomes more tolerant of homosexuality, THEY will wreak havok on OUR nation because this is how THEY behave.” This “us” versus “them” dichotomy implies that all gay men are miscreants. Furthermore, it discursively locates ALL gay Jamaicans at the periphery of the boundary of citizenship.
Editor’s Note : The views expressed below are not my own. Karen Lloyd (@Mz_Karizma) makes her debut on Veritas dealing with the issue of rape and the unfortunate perception that sometimes it is the woman’s fault. Read. Comment. Enjoy.
What did my vagina ever do to you? Yes I know my short skirt titillates your senses but that’s no invitation for sex. There is no invitation until and unless I explicitly engage you for those purposes. I am not inviting you for sex when I am skimpily dressed nor when I accept an invitation to your house after a date.
Slut shaming is the act of calling a woman a slut because of how she acts, what she wears and her choice and number of sexual partners. This is socially dangerous as it leads to the legitimization and acceptance of sexual offenses against women. It is much easier to see rape as acceptable when we deem the victim as ‘loose’.
Slut. Whore. Harlot. She called it on herself.
Editor’s Note : The views expressed below are not my own. This is the fourth installment in the guest posts series. Written by Brandon Allwood (@BrandonAllwood), it discusses the impact, or lack thereof, of Kartel’s absence from the local music scene. Enjoy.
There is hardly a Jamaican who can say they don’t know Vybz Kartel. The one-time protégé of dancehall superstar Bounty Killa, Vybz Kartel dominated the dancehall scene for years with lyrically lethal songs and commentary that barked at the heels of societal attitudes.
Kartel has won immutable praises from music fans who simply cannot resist the urge to litter the skyline with ‘gun fingers’ and lighters or stake their claim on the dance floor whenever his infectious rhymes emanate from speaker boxes. As Kartel navigated the murky waters of dancehall, it soon became clear that the self-proclaimed dancehall hero was in a class of his own.
His hold on the dancehall scene was firm and a seemingly never-ending stream of singles kept flooding the airwaves… not that music lovers complained. Yes, there are those who refused to enjoy songs from his catalogue when they sided with any one of a number of artistes Kartel engaged in musical brawls with—but his screaming fans outnumbered the ‘anti-Kartel’ community by far.
Editor’s Note : The views expressed below are not my own. We continue the guest posts series with @Nasylum’s take on the dreaded Friendzone. Enjoy.
Seeing people lament about the friendzone as if it is some punishment meted out unfairly or straight up curse the evil beings who dare classify them as “just a friend” is a source of great annoyance for me. Apparently, once someone is nice (in their opinion, let’s get that straight) to you and willing to do sweet or considerate things for you even when you do not ask, you become obligated to partner up with them or at the very least, “dash out” (that is, have the sex. Yes, I said “the sex”. It’s how I talk. Deal”. I do not want to tell you that you are a self-entitled individual who really is not ready for a relationship with a human being besides yourself so I won’t. But you are. Oops, I told you. The first step is acceptance. You’re welcome. Now let’s move on to helping you on the road to recovery.
Editor’s Note : The views expressed below are not my own. This post is the second in the series of guest posts I promised. A few days ago you got the female perspective on what women need. This offers the male perspective on what men need. The post was written by Jermaine Thomas (@jt_ninja). Enjoy.
Now before I tell you all to take his penis firmly in your hand, and stroke it in a circular fashion, turning clockwise three times then three four counter-clockwise, back then back then light punch (get over heeerree!) it’s imperative you know… I won’t be telling you that. I know you might expect sex tips overall, but in truth, a lot of men’s behaviour is a direct response to the way a lot of women are. So, oddly enough a lot of this “How To Please A Man” will be “How To Make Yourself Ready To Please A Man”. So, for the duration of this post, stop “overmedzing” and just take everything I say at face value. Like a man.
Editor’s Note : The views expressed below are not my own. This post was written by Kristina Neil (@LickMyKris). She explores the delicate issue of sexually pleasing a woman. This post kicks off a series of guest posts. Stay tuned as I seek out different perspectives to bring to the blog. Enjoy.
“Her quivering lips awaited his with anticipation so palpable and thick a knife could slice through. He pressed his thick dick into her heated quim, simultaneously stopping her cries with his mouth. He mounted her lithe body and she was lost for him.”
Sex, as I have come to understand through my expansive research since the age of 12 on this quaint little tool known as the internet (Seriously, it’s adorable), is quite possibly the most convoluted, dynamic and exciting physical activity it has ever been man’s brilliance to discover. The complexity with which it is associated, has transcended and progressed throughout the ages. From the conventional missionary to croaking “lizard lap” or….”roast duck” (I’m not sure what that is but my first thought was cunnilingus with Bar-B-Que sauce).
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 82,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
After two crushing defeats at the polls, the 69 year old Jamaica Labour Party has found itself at a crossroads. The party’s newly minted leader, Andrew Holness, has found himself caught between the agenda of the past and a desire to move boldly into the future. The party finds itself divided and fractured, with various segments peddling their personal ambitions – there is even talk of a coup to over throw the top echelons of the party. As all this unfolds, one can’t help but wonder if the party of Sir Alexander Bustamante has once again lost its way and whether it is doomed to repeat the sins of its troubled past. The most heinous of all these sins was the constant attempts to oust Edward Seaga.
The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) has taken the decision to ban “lay preaching” on all its buses, according to the company’s Managing Director, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin. The decision has proven controversial as many christians have condemned the move as an attempt to “secularize the country” while “denying people their right to freedom of religion”. Many have gone so far as to suggest that the JUTC is seeking to prevent “the spread of the gospel”. It appears to me that an assumption has been made on behalf of all JUTC passengers; that assumption being that we all want to hear preaching on buses. Let me be very quick to point out that nothing could be further from the truth.
At 67 years old, the current Prime Minister of Jamaica, Portia Simpson Miller, is undoubtedly on the final leg of what has been an extraordinary political career. This quaint girl from Wood Hall, St. Catherine has defied all odds and now holds the highest political office in the land, complete with the styles and privileges. However, the career spanning some 30 years is fast drawing to a close, and political watchers and those in the People’s National Party are most certainly keenly interested in who will replace Mama P. Some conservative estimates venture that the Prime Minister will leave office as soon as 2014, perhaps sooner. The question then is, who will succeed Mrs. Simpson Miller as leader of the PNP? It’s not the ‘P’ you might think, at least I don’t think so anymore.
There are groups on Twitter, little pockets, that like nothing more than to belittle and tear down people. These groups, one in particular, operate like sheep. Usually one starts some drama and the others join the cause, harassing and tormenting people who might not even have offended them. Try talking to them about it, they will tell you that they’re just standing up for their friends. My question is, should you stand up for your “friend” even when the friend is wrong? More importantly, should you stand up for the friend when the friend is tearing down someone who is just like you, only bold enough to be their true self? Or is your self hatred so strong you feel the need to project it on others? Let’s address these groups. (more…)
The Gaza is such a wonderful place. From the majestic causeway, rising above the pristine waters of the Caribbean sea, to the sweet song of mosquitoes singing lazily by your ears; who could deny the beauty of the Gaza? That most wondrous place in Portmore, St. Catherine has given Jamaica some of its best dancehall talents. The Gaza is a place where stars are made. Who could forget being taken to the Ramping Shop? Who would dare forget the thrill of wearing a Clarks? Or the absolute pleasure of jumping in the benz punani and taking it for a ride? Such fun times. In more recent times, Tommy Lee has invited us to ancient Greece, to the era of the great Greek warriors, the Spartans.
I’m always amused at the indignation Jamaicans demonstrate whenever the truth is spoken about our nation’s realities from beyond our shores. You will remember my defence of Rihanna’s “Man Down” video, and its depiction of Jamaican culture and society. This time I’m compelled to agree with Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe, in his recent pronouncements on Jamaica, at least in part and in principle. While there were sweeping generalisations in the 88 year old’s comments, we should not be quick to throw out the baby with the bathwater. There is a certain truth behind his statements, inconvenient though it may be.
I believe art is one of the most powerful forms of communication, mobilisation and ultimately, indoctrination. I’ve always been mindful of the influence of music, particularly dancehall music, on the young and impressionable minds of our society. Those who have been following my blog for some time now would know my personal objection to “The Gaza Empire” and most, if not everything it produces. The latest “talent” the Portmore based empire has produced is the now infamous Tommy Lee. Since the incarceration of their god, Kartel, on murder charges the fans of Gaza have consistently repeated the refrain “Free Werl’ Boss”. When it became evident that the wheels of justice would turn desperately slow for the self styled “Werl Boss”, his fans craved a saviour for dancehall, a rebound figure to continue the influence and impact of the Gaza, that task fell to Tommy Lee. His methods have proven even more controversial than those of his boss. Of all the themes available, why choose a demonic one? And is that really “art”?
A relationship should be based on trust. We often hear how important this concept is to a successful relationship. Usually that trust leads you to feel secure enough to discuss anything, explore anything that will allow you to add ‘spice’ to the relationship, and this often includes sending explicit pictures. However, this practice intended to be an intimate act between lovers has been turned into a public spectacle, intended to extort and embarrass Jamaican females. This gave birth to the website JA Girls Exposed. One of my followers on Twitter has found herself “exposed”, pictures she sent to a guy she was dating posted on a website for all the world to see. By all accounts, she is popular on Twitter, a stunning young lady, comfortable with her body and her sexuality. She wants you to hear her side of the story, to tell you about her personal anguish and sense of betrayal. We will call her VC. Here she is, in her own words.