Seasoning

It has me quite troubled; Dancehall, which has become the most popular music and culture in the Jamaican society is still not accepted entirely by the middle and upper class social groups. It has extended across the globe via the Internet and has contributed significantly to the GDP of the country, but why does there seem to be a blatant disregard for this particular music and culture? This was quite recently observed at the Rio Sports Gala and Awards ceremony on October 14, 2016 where Spice’s performance was cut for some, still, unknown reason. The actual performance is not what I call attention to, at the moment, but the back and forth pointing fingers series that occurred after. Through social media, Spice expressed her regards to the issue stating ‘I’m not bashing these lovely dancers who I love dearly, but they were dressed in short shorts and bra top on stage wining and a skin out. Girls wining on man back it up and all, but I wore a dress and it was inappropriateOr is it because I’m not from ‘uptown’, it wasn’t OK for me to sing my own song but they could dance to it? I wonder what they expected me to sing …Prior to the event however, as the producer of the event Lenford Salmon, noted that Spice was one of the artistes the athletes wished to see perform. He also asserted that it was Spice’s DJ that was the issue as he was unaware of whether or not the CD, to be used would work. Spice, later noted that these were all lies as the DJ played straight from his laptop and did not use any CD. While these were taking place on one hand, Spice’s performance itself was facing criticisms from persons around the island, as being inappropriate for the event. But the fact is the audience asked for SPICE so why not expect SPICE in all her forms and the only way we know she cooks up a show?

Maybe, I share this view given my history of growing in a lower-middle class environment but I can’t seem to see it otherwise. Spice’s performance involved her most recent songs-Panda, So mi like it and Indicator, all of which she edited in a way to fit her audience. Note to Spice: It obviously made no sense you performed in a ‘clean’ manner because it was still considered to be slackness. The performance needed some seasoning: pepper, garlic, onion as well as some Maggie All Purpose. The nationwide criticism via social media has shown us that the Victorian Age, where women were considered agents of piety, is still lingering and the culture of the lower class is not considered culture. It has also hinted to us, that even through embracing their objectification to statues of sexual lust through the patriarchal system women are still being scrutinized with such regards. But if Dancehall is then not considered culture, and culture is generally the way of life of a people…is this implying that the lower class are not considered to be people to the ones who govern and exploit them? Such an irony here when Spice tries to add the seasoning and everyone retaliates, but slave masters have been doing it for centuries and even after freedom it’s still a strict code of the Jamaican morals and values.

Sources

Duhaney, N. (2016, October 18). We didn’t cut Spice’s set:Organisers claim innocence after artiste’s shocking outburst. The Star. Retrieved from http://jamaica-star.com/article/news/20161018/we-didnt-cut-spices-set-organisers-claim-innocence-after-artistes-shocking

Francis, K. (2016, October 18). Hypocrites” says Spice after Gala saga. Irie FM. Retrieved from http://iriefm.net/hypocrites-says-spice-gala-saga/

My Space

There’s a general idea surrounding the study of Geography: the geographer should be able to know places and understand the human and physical aspects of a space and how these attributes interact within and outside that space. As a geography student, I feel profoundly useless. I have come to understand the Global Positioning System and I have also been able to take into consideration, my surroundings. However, when it comes to finding a place in that same ‘surrounding’, using Google Maps, I am sent a mile or two away from its actual location. What validity did I give to this app on my phone to allow this deception? The fact is, it is a technological device and like other perceptions surrounding this issue, the various steps taken to design this software should have been able to provide accurate results. And that’s what we do as humans, because its inanimate, we associate some level of perfection to technology as much as we do nature. Our reliance, our trust, is therefore placed in the device rather than our senses. Does the scientific method still count in this era? A time in which people become so attached to the virtual realm that we fail to fully make use of our senses. Well there goes the empiricist…and there goes our senses but, do I exist?  Where stands my intellect? IN CYBERSPACE.

HOWEVER did I experience this unfortunate event because I’m in the Caribbean, a developing region, or was this just a normal random error in the use of the GPS system on the cell phone? However, when we take a look at Google Earth locations seem to be more precise than those of an actual GPS device, as well as the GPS software on a cell phone. Also, the representation of the surfaces of developed countries, such as London and the U.S.A are more detailed than those of the Caribbean and other developing countries. This shows that, despite the wide range of people that are able to access the Internet and utilize its resources in the Caribbean, we still have a far way to go in the advancement of technology and representing our space in the virtual realm. There has always been a contestation in owning a space as it relates to Caribbean culture. How can Caribbean people identify themselves as one in a space that integrates global cultures? There is no boundary, there is no law to separate populations on this new Earth so how does the Caribbean folk project themselves in this dimension as a distinct entity when we face this same issue in the physical/non-virtual world? This wrangle of space and identity in the context of the Caribbean has always been and will seemingly continue to be our reality. Should something be done about it? What can be done about it?

What am I?

I know who I am, maybe not entirely but to a great extent. But what am I? Am I an object or am I a being. To those who can TOUCH me know that I exist in the tangible form, but what about those who only see me or converse with me through the virtual realm? They only think they know the physical, but all they know-to some extent- are my thoughts. My thoughts that can change as much as my corporeal self. The world calls me a human but what am I to ME? A flower is a flower because society calls it so, but does the flower know that it’s a flower? Does society know that it doesn’t think if itself as a flower? Does society know whether or not it can think at all? There is the physical and non-physical self that formulate the ‘me’ called a human. So often I’ve told myself that I am ME, for there’s only one ME; the self that I am: the body,actions,emotions, beliefs and thoughts that contribute to what you and I see, hear and read in this and other spaces across and within the earth’s atmosphere and surface, that belongs to no one else but me. But what is me, outside of the things that constitute the nature of me?

Equilibria

A man dies today

A baby is born tomorrow 

Where there is happiness

Somewhere there is sorrow

 

Everything in nature is beautiful

So why focus on the bad?

For some reason, even the sunset

Makes our hearts sad

 

But even in death we see the sunrise

And the fruits the rain brings

The shadow follows the light

Its the balance of all things

 

 

Spawn’s of Anancy

The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout

The itsy bitsy spider’s web begins to sprout

The itsy bitsy spider has connected more than a million heads

The itsy bitsy spider created an adhesive thread

The spider’s web is quite a masterpiece. Davinci must be smiling, even more than his Mona Lisa, at this evolutionary creation. But so many others must be turning in anguish, weeping and still rebelling. For we all love Anancy until he’s gotten the better of us and even when we’ve become quite familiar with his traps, we still fall as victims into his web; so it connects us all. We’re all addicted to something on this earth, so why scorn a drug addict when in the end we’re all equally capable of dying from our own mistakes?

There’s a world outside the physical, controlled and used by the physical, that the physical and non-physical should take caution in entering. Our subconscious prefers a perfect world, but the reality is there may never be. Many escape the monstrosities of their physical existence only to be trapped in Anancy’s web of deception, each thread leading to and connecting people of different planes (3.2 billion to be exact). So trod carefully in this unknown realm for all that glitters is not gold. Anancy’s eggs are always eager to be cracked so they can spin you in their web of lies. These are the predators of the web and the weak will become prey.

Scamming is a fraudulent scheme used to make quick profit. Scammers are masters of deception, the descendants of Anancy and we cant seem to get enough of them spurring mainly from the Caribbean and Africa. They achieve their goal buy preying on their victims’ curiosity and credulous nature, leading into a bitter sweet ceremony of the two participants. The most prevalent seems to be the lottery scam in the Caribbean, mainly in Jamaica where victims are lead to believe that they have won the lottery and should pay a fee before collecting their reward. This is mainly done through phone calls or via e-mail and some may even request credit card or bank account information for ensuring payment and according to the U.S Embassy in Jamaica, other forms of this scheme exist including an unknown caller who claims to know your family and neighborhood, callers stating an urgent need for money as they have lost theirs and those that may ‘pose as government officials or lawyers claiming that you must pay for their services to assist with your case, reclaim your scammed funds, or protect you from criminal prosecution.’ This shows that just as any other phenomenon, the act is capable of evolving.

The fact that such activities occur mainly in cyberspace, makes policing more difficult since it usually involves the young and ‘tech-savvy’ population. 200 deaths in Jamaica alone have been linked to scamming and over 1 billion U.S dollars have been taken from Americans by Jamaican scammers. Montego Bay is a social disaster in this game of mischief. Anancy must be living a prosperous afterlife. 

The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout

When will the rain come and wash the spider out?

Sources

Browning, E.S., & Shoulak, J. (2016). The Jamaican Lottery Scam:How it works. Retrieved from http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303290904579276641843872458

Drash, W. (2015, October 8). CNN. Retrieved from http://edition.cnn.com/2015/10/07/us/jamaica-lottery-scam-suicide/

Embassy of the United States (Kingston Jamaica). (n. d.). Lottery scamming. Retrieved from https://kingston.usembassy.gov/service/scams.html

Statista.(2016). Number of Internet users worldwide from 2005 to 2016 (in millions). Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/273018/number-of-internet-users-worldwide/