Monday, September 29, 2008

LABOUR (a working title)

i've been wrestling with thoughts and words, phrases and pictures in head....trying to wrap my head around the reality of dismembered children and the reality of it happening in jamaica, more than once, in quick succession......i know i have to write it down tell it, rant....but this birthing of distress is not yet fully dilated.....i wait, in labour, patiently, each contraction more painful than the last, and i wait, to give birth to this tightening in my chest, heaviness in my soul...i wait...i wait...will the words, poem, rant, come before the next child dies?

Monday, September 22, 2008


**So I was watching TVJ on Friday night and they broadcast an episode of one of my favourite shows, Girlfriends. The episode was preceded with the usual PG rating announcement and visual. I’m such a fan, that even though I had seen this episode before, I settled in to watch it again.
The episode included the subplot of a Japanese woman in the restaurant where Lynn worked being a source of interest for William, we later discover that she’s in fact a lesbian and attracted to Lynn. To my bemusement, every time there was dialogue that related to her attraction to Lynn, the sound was muted. This was also the case when the spurned William mischievously advised the woman to roughly squeeze Lynn’s breasts as a way of revealing her feelings. Later, when she followed Williams’ instructions the TVJ logo was flashed on the screen until the moment ended, and again much of the dialogue was muted. The screen was also blacked out again at the end when Lynn takes her revenge by telling a gay man to make a physical advance to William.

I became distracted at this point by the ridiculousness of these efforts, and the inherent hypocrisy. Was the lesbian storyline the issue? Were the mutings and blacking out of images supposed to make people feel less offended? Perhaps it would have been easier to simply not show it. The blatant hypocrisy is that TVJ transmits far worse images in the videos and music it broadcasts, as well as some of the movies and other series it shows repeatedly and consistently.

But then I reminded myself of what else is commonplace in my country: schoolchildren are having sex on teachers’ desks, in taxis, and under stairs while their classmates watch and record, but our Minister of Education insists that condoms being issued in schools is not the way to go; our dancehall entertainers can sing the most lurid and vulgar songs about sex, infidelity, multiple partners, killing gays and lesbians, but are arrested only when they use ‘indecent language’ on stage; many of our radio stations blast vulgar and adult lyrics on the air with the ridiculous band aid of bleeps that most often don’t work; where is the Broadcasting Commission in all of this? And, of course, there’s my favourite: “NOT IN MY CABINET!” Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica Land We Love……**

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Abeng in Beijing
By fabian thomas

Torrential rain
Ahead of the world
From Sherwood, Trelawny
This 6' 5" sprint anomaly
Stamped his sunshine-bred supremacy
Shattering red, white & blue ascendancy
It was bound to spark controversy
An some almhouse chat from the IOC
Oh I see
The real issue is
How dare he?
Dis lickle black bwoy
From di land of wood & wata
Him too outta arda
They hoped he would falter
Now dem waan test wi yam an cassava

Like lightning-lit
Torrential rain
Took it to dem
Then danced barefoot
While the world watched
He danced for us
In a language they did not understand
Like the abeng of old
They could not decode
Bad min a go meck
Some a dem explode
Oh say can you see?
Dem cyan chat to wi
Did you see the untied lace?
Dem a go tiyad fi si Usain face
Hol' on, my bad
Let me correct what I said
Dem a ago tiyad fi si
Di back a Usain head!