Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Tuesday Afternoon Philosophy Society Meeting

Interviewing a group of chickens as they were palavering on my fence...
Welcome to Tuesday afternoon Montego Bay semi-suburbia...

Poultry Palaver

More Poultry Palaver

So here it is folks as, we get the official word from our fine feathered friends here who have chosen to tell Yannick in a world exclusive interview the answer to one of the most trying philosophical conundrums and paradoxes of all time "Who came first, the chicken or the egg?"

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Just another day in the life... of MoBay's most wanted and haunted...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


It is 1:21 am Thursday morning... repetition, yes I know. I'm thoroughly high on DPH. The other day I realised DPH is fairly unique to Jamaica... I had made the strange but assinine assumption that it was a universal or at least a Caribbean particular... anyway I glugged some of the bottle in a desperate attempt to escape the hysterical sneezing brought on by the mold, "junjo" and dust in my room, that has been wrecked since the rains... the paint on my ceiling is falling off... unto my bed, cobwebs abound, junjo everywhere... chi-chi a nyam weh mi steps... seeing it is made of wood... but I digress. Back the DPH... I feel woozy, drunk, light and happy when I have no reason to be...

I have no idea why this post is titled vitruvian yan. I just thought the pun on my name would be nice. The DPH has dried me up... my tongue is dry, my nose (yaaaaaaaaay!), my eyes and skin. The cold front and cold breeze, washing MoBay is absolutely wonderful. I wish the weather were always like this, not the icebox hell that the USA is, and not the tropical paradise sauna that JTB whores us to be. But a moderate engaging temperature that makes more inclined to be out and about... the sun saps me so regularly and easily these days. And imagine I would never tire in the sun, 7 or so summers ago.

Monday, November 21, 2005

THE MONTEGONIAN :: On the issue of Jah Cure

On the issue of Jah Cure
(article from my weekly column, published in The Western Mirror on

“When you go into court you are putting your fate into the hands of twelve people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty.”
~Norm Crosby

”A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.”
~Robert Frost

“This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice.”
~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

“Although the legal and ethical definitions of right are the antithesis of each other, most writers use them as synonyms. They confuse power with goodness, and mistake law for justice.”
~Charles T. Sprading, Freedom and its Fundamentals

“It's strange that men should take up crime when there are so many legal ways to be dishonest.”
~Author unknown, quoted in Sunshine magazine

I have come to the realization that the issue of Jah Cure is a contentious issue in Montego Bay. I have been accosted on several occasions by people concerned by my portrayal of as an innocent party amongst other things too good for a “dirty rapist rasta” (to quote one woman). I have even been taken to task on the issue by my dear mother, who by the way is my biggest fan. To be honest I had intended to follow last week’s “Neo-Montegonian Invasions” article with an article titled “Who is a Montegonian” but I’ve come to decide that my stance on Jah Cure (whose real name is Siccature Alcock) and matters pertaining to the issue of Jah Cure took greater precedence. I had considered shying away from this topic seeing that it had placed me in such a hot seat, but in some way I would like think that I am not a coward and as such I am stepping up to the plate and clearing the air. So as I do this, I would ask my gracious readers to bear with me and come to the table with an open mind, as well as note that the opinions expressed in this column are my views and not that of The Western Mirror.

First and foremost I have always hailed Jah Cure as a talent musician and Montegonian. It is my honest belief that most people have allowed their prejudices to Rastafari, Flankers and all the other repressed to communities and subcultures to colour their judgement. I have never ever made the claim that Jah Cure was an innocent man, and if it is that he is a rapist as he has been convicted and duly punished for, he ought to be given a chance at rehabilitation and redemption like any other man. The point of prison isn’t vindictive incarceration and public vengeance, but due punishment and rehabilitation. So if he has sung songs that impact nation, is he to continue to be punished indefinitely?

We as a people must also learn to separate, a man from his message. If Jah Cure is a rapist does that mean he cannot speak truth and make meaningful songs? I might remind everyone of an analogy I once heard in a movie (the name of which eludes me), it says “even a broken watch, tells the right time twice a day;” that is to say if a watch stopped working at 2 o’ clock and says 2 o’clock forever, it must be right at 2 o’clock twice a day even if it isn’t working. I find it also the heights of hypocrisy, that many would neglect to see the wrong side of many other people’s actions yet come down so harshly on a man who says he is trying to make a change. Many are willing to still acknowledge that both accused paedophiles and child molesters Michael Jackson and R. Kelly as good musicians yet will not do the same for a local talent. I go even to remind many that Michael Jordan was accused of being a compulsive gambler, yet his moral indiscretion won’t prevent them from seeing him as the greatest basketball player ever. Bill Cosby a great black activist and proponent of black wholesome family and positive values did have illicit sexual rendezvous while married, yet undisputed that he has greatly contributed to the black ethos and human condition. So why are we so unforgiving of our own?

Prior to Jah Cure’s rise to prominence, the issue of his charges were muddied and made unclear in a massive puddle of speculation, vicious rumours and blatant lies. I for one had been told he was on gun charges, murder charges amongst many other things. I was even told by my aunt that she heard from the always anonymous “friend” (as so many Jamaican’s tend to have when spreading rumours) that he was put away due to strong confirmation of DNA evidence, only to do some factual investigation and find out there never was any DNA evidence a fact later confirmed in a Gleaner exposé on the Jah Cure case. I have also become aware that many Montegonians dispute the plight of Jah Cure without real knowledge of what took place. Now if anyone is really interested in examining Jah Cure’s case objectively I recommend reading his early interview by Julian Smith at http://www.jahworks.org/music/interview/jah_cure.htm and his reflections in the Sunday Gleaner at http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20050904/news/news5.html , the arguments put forward by the victim can be read at http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20050828/lead/lead2.html . I implore and beseech everyone to thoroughly peruse the information and try to draw rational and objective conclusions of their own. I personally believe that there are discrepancies (especially the fact that the victim never saw her attackers face).

The truth of the Jah Cure’s case however will always lie amongst the victim, Jah Cure and God. It is on this note that I close my arguments. I would also like to re-state my position that I do think Jah Cure is a talented musician that has risen from Montego Bay, whether he is a rapist or not is still a matter I cannot definitively tell anyone, I will maintain though that I do not think his trial was fair and that he is a victim of the prejudices of society, and whether or not his trial was fair does not change whether he is a rapist or not. I am not trying to justify Jah Cure or absolve him, I just want people to see beyond emotional judgements, “suss” and hear say. I rest my case.

By Yannick Nesta Pessoa
B.A. in Philosophy
Webpage: http//yahnyk.blogspot.com
E-mail: yannickpessoa@gmail.com or yahnyk@hotmail.com

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Another Old Poem (circa 2001)

Spinning / Spitting

Open words,
And broken letters,
Pouring hearts,
And bleeding eyes,
The nights are long,
My body is cold,
Memories of a dark tomorrow,
Tie us twogether.

Sometimes deceipt,
Is exposed on a paper receipt,
Let us not subject this germinating love to defeat.

An Old Poem of Mine (circa. 2000)

The Wandering Jew

I wash the dried salt and saliva from my face,
I hope the scent of my sin will wash away,
I look out the window,
And see the world by night,
Pastel designed in mellow moods and tragedies,
Stars sing of memories,
Backdropped by late night ghetto fm melodies,
Harking to age old malodies,
I search the sky for a north star,
And wonder if the stories are true,
Is there really a wandering jew.

Yannick Nesta Pessoa
Copyright (c) Yannick Nesta Pessoa (MMV)

Sunday, November 13, 2005


November is the cool month, it carries what is left of the frigid winds that have traversed the Atlantic and made probably its dying steps into the Caribbean. Make no mistakes about anything, Jamaica is still a hot country, but in November, it's just not as hot.

November and December is a time I take for some reflection, for some strange reason the end of the year carries a meloncholy and redolence. I guess it is the looking back at the year that has passed. This year 2005 the Chinese year of the rooster passed faster than the speed of life this year. It seemed like only yesterday, I was bumming and bunking it out with DJ, traversing Kingston via an ailing, red 91 Toyota Camry, and wrapping up a somewhat, celebrity/stage appearance University career, at the "prestigous" UWI. I had made peace with some of my mortal enemies, had an unrival entourage that were the life of campus. What can I say.

Following this vibe, the redolence and all, I think I'll recant some more of my UWI life that took place round about these times.

UWI: Year 0ne, Semester one.

My time at UWI began with some hiccups of course, but I eventually settle at A. Z. Preston Hall, where my presence arguably start as a stir... to say the least, I made few friend there initially owing to the fact that I was perceived as cold, unfriendly and evil as well as potentially Devil worshipping (laughable). Anyway my campus career was much more impressive and eventful. I commandeered the "Arts Tree"... hmmm I'm getting ahead of myself aren't I??? I must make some geographical information become transparent.

Flash back to UWI 2000: The Songs that were running the place were "Chrissy D's" "Here Comes the Rain Again" and "T.O.K.'s" "Chi-Chi Man Car". The Dance that was running the place was ofcourse the "Screechie", dances were few and far between they weren't a weekly phenomenon and the weren't issued out every three days. Bogle was the only real brand name dancer on the scene. Crown Plaza had an excellent club called CLIMAX that soon closed. Sizzla was on the cusp of his first evolution, the one that saw him morph from the sublime and subliminal sleep hit that had raked up the underground and dabbled on the mainstream with "choon"(tunes) like "Praise ye jah", "Babylon gi dem a ride fi dem money" "Row Missa Fishaman" and ofcourse the dancehall mainstay... BLACK OOMAN and Child, into a more diverse and primetime DJ that quake the Dancehall scene forever along with people's impression as he belt items like "Get to the Point," "Fuss Ting Ooman haffi gimmi pumpum" etc... Another signature feature of that year was Black Chiney's mixed CD number 5 I believe, also dubbed CD KILLER... that changed the state of selecting and producing in Jamaica in more ways than I care to remember...

Long before KFC existed of a real students' union, when the club there was known as SHADES, long before the was a HILO BASIX or a Scotia Bank, when HUMANITIES was called ARTS, when the trees in front ARTS office was small shade in a veritable dust bowl. Joe Periera was still ARTS dean. Aggrey Brown was running CARIMAC... UWI had just introduced online registration, school had not yet become a fashion parade or a try out for REtv and HYPEtv, Whaddat.com was a new phenomenon, social were secret break away fetes in common areas and rooms, reading room fetes were the thing, campus was alive in some sense or more in retrospect to the droll routine and factory template character types you encounter their now...

Now that things are in perspective, the truth is in that first year I met real and colourful characters that are indelibly etched in my mind forever... meet the host:

Kadene Headley - now this "ooman" is something else. To say the least she has quite the imagination, she walks between her imaginative world and ours. She showed me what real Kingstonian people are like. Not the uppity uptown, twingy twangy types that end every sentence with "still." Really and truly I find it hard to describe Kadene but to sum her up... he made my first year. She was always making life explosive, I remember a time when she had gotten her bad man friends to chase Garth round the ring road... Kadene was a sociopath.

Natoya Brown - The consumate hot uptownish brown girl of Kadene's crew. I dubbed her EyeCandy... I had had a crush on her for a short time. However between Natoya and Kelly, I was never to live any, any, any faux paux down. They were the constant reality checks in my life. Ofcourse I have to thank God for the fact that they had my back for the most part.

Kelly Durrant - This young lady was the real vibes of the crew. She was witty, sarcastic, mad, and had the most tom boy real life experiences of everybody, with the exception of me of course. Kelly always did look sort of birdy and was the 'A' student. Really I don't know how she managed to live such an adventurous personal life, keep Kadene in check, gimmicks me, par with Natoya and still study.

Kadiesha - Hmmm a trip, I'll leave her alone. Except that I will remember the flex to RAS Beer Vibes and her and Kurt's attempts to trap me at her house.

Kurt Hall - To be honest, I hated Kurt initially because he was too goody 2 shoes hero boy type for my flex, Kadene and crew's KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOUR, but eventually I would like to think I broke him out the mold just a little bit. Especially taking him out of his white girl phase.

Renee Wong - a strange and sometimes moody, but cute, half chiney girl wid a cock batty, weh mi did lust after most of my academic career. Eventually another RAS proved more to her liking, I guess accents gives you an edge in the business.

Roxanne Burton - the pretty pretty philosophy teacher, that soon became a mainstay and another grounding figure in my academic career. If I had been one for the teenage movies and teacher puppy love routine maybe I might have had a crush on her. Ok I fib... maybe I actually did but... that's not the point.

Thaz pretty much it for my host of characters... I somehow feel that I haven't done them much justice in this short synopsis, but somehow I can't capture my memories and bind them to words tonight...

But back to November... I find that this is the time of year that everyone opts to reflect, I believe in a very subconscious way. Mainstream dancehall hits take a small back step and the backdrop music that fills my night are the likes of Dennis Brown and Barrington Levy, Dennis Brown "Revolution" or the baseline of it with small audible snippets of the actuall song is what is actually making its way from what ever distant dance is going on and filling my night. Trodding through the town, the "ever hype" cars take a break from Kartel and Busy Signal, and back track to the days of Scare Dem Crew and Monster Shaq... (longtime mi nh hear Round Head and general Degree). The street side bars, commonly labelled something 'tavern', 'pub' or 'lounge' take it even a step further really dig up the old rockers with the Jacob Miller and Fred Locks and Eek-a-mouse, you'll even hear the mento and ska era. Now a days, I even passed a small corner shop on Dome Street and heard a pleasantly plump lady harkening back to the days of "Greetings from the UK" and "The Desmonds."

Anyway folks I won't bore you too much... "Lilly Moe"


THE MONTEGONIAN {My Weekly Column}
(published in The Western Mirror: 12/11/05)

We're the middle children of history.... no purpose or place. We have no Great War, no Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives.
~From the movie Fight Club, about Generation X

The world is filled with strange paradoxes and lots of ironic situations. General perception of Montego Bay is that it is a resort town, devoid of any of the other cultural facets of life, and is shunned by Montegonians particularly the younger generation as dead end zone for growth in all spheres of life. Montegonians are not the only ones that think so, Kingstonians and those in the “Sunshine City” Portmore, tend to hold this view as well. Here is where it gets paradoxical and a tad ironic. If Montego Bay is so dead end why are our businesses and spheres of life in the city slowly being infested with, non-Montegonians, especially those of a paler or lighter hue? Let us see… maybe because Montego Bay isn’t such a dead end after all.

MoBay is facing an invasion, an invasion with little or no resistance. Residents of the city have, through lack of vision, creativity and will to persevere have handed business opportunities and fiscal development over to an influx of opportunity seeking set of neo-Montegonians. They come from all walks of life really, but the largest chunk of them seems to be Caucasian. It dawned on me in the early summer when my friends and I went to the movies out by Fairview. I had gone to the six o’ clock movie and was surprised to see a huge crowd of white people that seemed Jamaican. To be honest I never knew so many of the fair set of our “many one people” lived here. This idea came back to me after reading Gleaner writer Melville Cooke’s Thursday column on September 29, titled “In search of the great white(you can read it at: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20050929/cleisure/cleisure3.html). In it he discusses the mysterious nature of what he calls the great white; he claims they are some what elusive, he does not know where they live, where they come from, or which hospital they go to. I find this to be the same with the so called Montegonian great whites, but that is just me, I haven’t done any research. Maybe I’ll hand out questionnaires soon.

Somewhere something went wrong when the founding fathers of the city were assembling the beginnings of this city. It would seem no one foresaw the education boom and the information age. So we are stuck it seems in age where there are a lot of under-educated and disenfranchised Montegonian youth, who have opted to leave the city in the hands of anyone who is half interested enough to take it. And by God they are! Montego Bay’s vanguard is not of Montego Bay, a serious paradox and irony that needs to be addressed.

Strange enough these days, I am beginning to see a lot of Kingstonian faces in Montego Bay. They are popping in what was once considered non-profitable jobs for an undiversified market such as the second city. These things range from, very high end professional graphic design, multimedia and studio producing to more traditional realms of artistic pursuit, such as painting, writing and photography. I would really like to know what is it that prompts so many to come to Montego Bay and not only broaden the job scope but also steal those already here for Montegonians. I also would like to know why is that Montegonians lack the vision to take what is ours. There are jobs here, yet one of Montegonians’ major complaints is the small job market or lack of career opportunity. A wise man once said only the fool is thirsty in the abundance of water.

By Yannick Nesta Pessoa
B.A. in Philosophy
Webpage: http//yahnyk.blogspot.com
E-mail: yannickpessoa@gmail.com or yahnyk@hotmail.com

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Life in Paradise... the seasons change, the shift from summer to Christ's Mas is evident in the air. The days aren't as hot and are actually even glazed in a languid, even sexy sun light... the air is different, the smell redolescent, this is the air of x-mas' I've known before, probably some atmospheric shift owed the North East trade winds. Everywhere is the scent of fresh paint and drying concrete... in fine Caribbean tradition, like some strange clock work, everyone is tending to their house a spring cleaning and sprucing up of sorts. Oddly enough as seasons change, the Seasons riddim is riding the airwaves just the same... and in some near distances I am sure I am hearing "Far from Reality" Natural Black's big single on said riddim.