Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Changing of The Guard: On Edward Seaga's Resignation

EDWARD SEAGA (Eddie, the Breeda, the one don, Mister "sing a sankey"), yesterday afternoon via a press release , announced he would be relinquishing his hold on the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leadership at its annual conference in November this year.

After speaking to the many people I know who circle the political arena, I can safely say this comes as a shocker to most people. This ladies and gentlemen is the signalling of the end of an era(more like epoch), the ushering of a newing political fair, ladies and gentlemen hear ye hear ye... this day is the first manifestations of the changing of the guard. The Jamaican political landscape will no doubt see some sort of shifts.

The battle against the Peoples National Party and within his own party has seems to have taken its toll, the one army has been gunned down. The sudden revelation, after one too many publicized internal debates, internal squabbles and the creation of JLP member factions(the reformists, the G2K etc), seems to point to the real possibility that the man that has shown real fortitude and sticktoitiveness(to put it mildly) was forced by circumstances to put his guns to the ground and relinquish his badge.

The young pups have been nipping at his heels for too long now and no matter when he opted out of his role as party leader it was going to happen. There are bound to be endless post mortems in the coming days, this being one of them. The constant washing of dirty laudry in the public arena and media has been the JLP's undoing.

The questions that loom in my mind now are how will Mr. Seaga bow out... will there be fanfare, will he still be in the public spotlight, will he continue to make contributions to his party, and the questions go on. Personally I can't wait untill Sunday to see John Maxwell's take on the matter in the Observer. Beyond all said however Mr. Seaga's departure has granted the party the chance to patch up and come again and try to come good. They have been afforded the opportunity to alter how they are perceived and to alter Jamaica's political sensibilities.

And so when the final sankey has been sung, the candle has been out, the last market ooman wid ar scandal bag has sold her very last... the seeming end of an era.

Reel Life: Flim Review- Spider-Man 2:: Just tooo wicked

Great motivations, characters and essentially great villain make a vast difference in any story or movie. The first “Spider-Man,” was good in my opinion but a bit lacking eh.

His costume was too off, and the character lacked sufficient motivation, Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin got boring long before the finale. The special effects are taken to newer heights and so the villain’s history is much richer, creating more believable motivation, in the second installment, which affords Alfred Molina the chance to play and develope an interesting villain.

In “Spider-Man 2,” Molina plays Dr. Otto Octavius(who later become Dr. Octopus or Doc Ock- as J.Jonah Jameson said in the flick what a coincidence "a guy named Octavius ends up with 8 arms" hmmmmmm), an egotistical scientific genius backed by Oscorp. Neither he nor his ego poses no threat to anyone until later in the movie, when his theory is put to the test, thats when everything goes horribly wrong in a lab accident. When the mechanical tentacles get grafted to his spine becomes, and he loses his wife as well, she is what seems to ground him as a character, after this he submits to the dark side of the machine he created.The doctor’s good intentions become a tad bit warped, by the logic presented to him by the grasping tentacles.

Molina, is apt for the part in his look and he tackles the character well, he never over acts or seems to goof up the part, he keeps the movie rolling, especially whenever its hero Spider-Man or Peter Parker, threatens to bog us down in his sorrows. As Peter Parker, Maguire spends much of his screen time in constant indecision, trying to lead some semblance of a normal life and woo Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) but succumbs to his sense of responsibility.

The villain’s predicament is inextricably linked to the hero’s dilemma. They’re both at odds with themselves, they both have a twisted 8 legged commonality and they both relish the opportunity to escape their normal selves and demonstrate power. Doc Ock has a more colorful role. The first film showed us what Spidey can do and hence gave Octavius the advantage of novelty as well as improved CGI.

Sam Raimi, who directed the first “Spider-Man,” deserves a drink, I would personally buy him one if I met him, he manages to integrate the spectacular and the romantic once more. Especially effective is the emotional finale to a runaway subway sequence; Spidey’s fans get a chance to show their appreciation for him, as they bravely stand up to Octavius. As for Mary Jane, she’s acquired another boyfriend while making the big leap to becoming a New York stage actress, and Dunst revels in the chance to make her more conflicted and vulnerable.

Unfortunately, the ending suggests that the Green Goblin will be back for the next installment, oh noooooo, please we want VENOM...

Monday, June 28, 2004

Reel Life- Flim Review: Harry Potter-Prisoner of Azkaban

ZZZZZZ, Hmmm, yawn oh the movie is over, gee I didn't even know. What an excercise in boredom.

Like most other film series, “Harry Potter” just doesn't get better. The now internationally renown Warner Bros. movies of J.K. Rowling’s best-selling fantasies have become darker, gloomier and lessy funny over a period of three and a half years. This show diverges from the fun that Dobby brought to the last.

The third installment, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” is the least satisfying to date. At 145 minutes, it is also the shortest and somehow manages to seem like the longest ever. This one is also a bit divergent from the book... which I'm not clear is a good or a bad thing... making the movie longer may have continued my boredom or it may have included better aspects of the book. The picture has a grimier feel with duller, and realistic(gloomy london) colors. This plummets the audience and the film in a reality, as opposed to the flights of magical fancy that the first two took viewers on. Personally I have beef with that corny rasta dead dread head crap on the bus... hmmm once again using my Jamaican culture to make wholesale commercial garbage. During its final and ever so predictable third, the script script toys with the paradoxes of time travel and the mystery of déjà vu.

“Azkaban” opens with Harry the 13-year-old boy wizard (Daniel Radcliffe) being tormented by the vile Aunt Marge (Pam Ferris), who insults his dead parents (“bad blood will out”) and announces that she’d like to send him to an orphanage. Although he’s forbidden to use magic at home, Harry can’t abide the verbal abuse. He punishes Marge by transforming her into a helium-like balloon that escapes into the sky. All the exposition is dealt with briskly. The two major scenes – the pub talk and the Syrius Black revealled – move quickly(thank the lord). But yet it all seems to lack a certain zest and appeal, one is not brought into or enthralled in Harry's world at all, hmmm no escapism here.

Anyway the kids are getting big, the girlies are getting busty and before we know it Harry Potter may well be Harry Pothead or some magical British version of "Dawson's Creek"(shudder).


This article is a counter article pertains to the article by Mark Dawes which speaks of the Rastafringe. The Article is masterpiece of articulation that lacks any sort of objectivity and makes no explicit declaration of the writers biases but they are all too clear.

The article takes aim at the attenuation of Haile Selasie's divinity. This claim he substabtiates with a interview of people with locks at a concert. This an excercise in the fallacy of hasty generalisation as this small sample of locked people are not necessarily Rastas or can they represent the entire Rasta community, especially seeing they are apart of a community outside of Jamaica. Next, no authority on the matter seems to have been consulted.

The article takes a decidedly Christian stance and seems to be afflicted with the usual Christian dogma. It seriously implies that Christianity is right and Rasta is wrong, which seems a bit of a paradox, because Rasta and Christianity share an very similar origin, and most criticism that can be levelled at one can usually be levelled at the other. There is also a critical flaw in the writer's premise, not everybody with locked hair is a Rasta and Rasta is not the beginning or the end of locks. He also assumes again that Rasta is one homogeneous body, and every single person shares the same belief, he fails to give the due given to Christians to Rasta, just as Christian share varying ideas and have various denominations so too does Rasta have varying ideas that vary from house to house. So even though they have a commonality (especially beyond just locks) so too do they have differences.

So in closing I think the article is an unfair treatment of Rasta and gives the impression that Rasta is a threat(particularly to Christians), and worse yet has no concrete system of beliefs.

To read the gleaner article: From Rasta to Rastafringe
published: Saturday | June 12, 2004
by Mark Dawes, Staff Reporter

Summer 2004: Something like a progress report.

Oh well, the sun as with everyother summer seems hotter than the summer before and somehow at its hottest. In Kingston or more precisely in St. Andrew (although even though technically St. Andrew is rural and not Kingston everyone in both areas see it that way, they think they are more urban the entire Island so I call them the Twin Island Republic of Kingston and St. Andrew, seperate from Jamaica)the sky is hazey, the lawns are parched and range from hues and shades, usually a pale green to khaki. I've had a great fill of common mango, to the point where they now litter this campus, everywhere are yellow dots on the khaki carpets that used to be lawns. If one is bold enough to venture into the more commercial areas of the Liguanea(Li Gwan Ia) plain, its a hot bustling cauldron of hustling newspaper sellers, taximen and beggars. At nite on Preston Hall at the campus... August town never ceases to amaze me with there perpetual feting and parties... they play nites and nites without end. The music is good though, the only place yuh can catch a good few Dennis Browns, Jacob Millers and vintage Sizzla. The nite skyline towards the Blue Mountain side on occasion will have a forest or bush fire... the phenomenon once known as the lyme seems to have diminished on teh campus and is but a rare occasion. Beasts(caucasians) litter the place, doing god knows what.

Hmmm and that seems to be my summer thus far.

Dispelling A Notion: Jamaicans and Language

Hmmm as your regular Jamaican on the UWI campus, I am constantly assaulted by colleagues who must either mock, question, jeer or insult Jamaicans for our use of English or lack of it. One of the most popular attacks is on the adding and subtracting of "h". Mind you no one attacks Trinidadians for minusing "r" (eg. Gyul and not girl) or other islanders for mixing up "r" and "w". And when the French add or drop "h" it is ooh too sexy eh. My usual response is not that cynical but to advise them that one we speak a seperate language "patois" fully functional and developed as opposed to trying to speak English and not succeeding. It also gets on my nerves when Jamaicans say we speak bad when people speak patois... this only speaks to ourself hatred and the fact that we loathe anything we create. What it is, is that we are a bilingual society eh. Not a nation of illiterates. So cut us some slack eh. Next time you see that "yute" talking Patois, don't tell him "im chat bad" but if you must say anything ask him to speak standard English, or he'll make the wrong associations. Finally to dispell this myth about Jamaicans and English and just language in general it ought to be interesting to note that Jamaica won the "CARIBBEAN PUBLIC SPEAKING CONTEST" who would have thought it. We the language barren pariahs, win a speaking contest... it comes oh so much as a shock. It was won by one Hixwell Douglas who was not the first Jamaican to win but his victory makes it the second consecutive year that Jamaica has won. Hmm so much for that story about bad speaking Jamaicans.