Saturday, December 24, 2005

Tea Time On The Devil's Verandah

As the last hours of 2005 reel off the clock and the year of the rooster comes to a close, I ponder upon odd questions that just trickle into my mind from nowhere... questions like, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO THE GUY HARVEY FAD???

Once every corner of Jamaica was filled with people in t-shirts with marlins, dolpins and an assortment of fish on their shirts all courtesy of a caucasian I am sure (cause if it was a black man so many Jamaicans wouldn't wear it)... by the name of Guy Harvey...

you remember don't you???

So anyway... here is everybody's friendly neighbourhood Rastaman... trying to creep into the hearts and minds of the many... scheming on how to take over the world yet again with more diabolical plans... if you have any good plan for taking over the world as well please submit them to

You are also probably wondering about the title of this post... oh well it is another abstract title I have had milling around in my head. I plan to use it for one of my upcoming books.

Aspiration Area Don 2006

Another abstract title to tickle the minds of the many...

This posting is a psychotic interlude from my boring articles that the Western Mirror has been so courteous enough to publish, as part of my Brainwash and Unlearn Jamaica Programme.

First I will give you all my current reading lists and listening list as to allow you but just a glimpse into the mental realms of a Young Jamaican Megalomaniac(copyrighted MMV).

However I would like to speak on the maddening hours that happen to be x-mas eve, and the eve of x-mas eve. Here we are downtown MoBay... streets flooded... people, cars, music, noise, voices, cacophony, birds, wind, rain... the world is topsy turvy... children, ice-cream, confection, rum, smoke, scribs and clappers, retail wholesale... the world according to Christ has gone insane... in a celebration of one man more than 2000 years passed has decided to forget the man and move with a commercial plan...

Anyway current reading list...

1. LOLITA by
Vladimir Nabokov
synopsis: "Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins..." (big line from the book) Despite its lascivious reputation, the pleasures of Lolita are as much intellectual as erogenous. It is a love story with the power to raise both chuckles and eyebrows. Humbert Humbert is a European intellectual adrift in America, haunted by memories of a lost adolescent love. When he meets his ideal nymphet in the shape of 12-year-old Dolores Haze, he constructs an elaborate plot to seduce her, but first he must get rid of her mother. In spite of his diabolical wit, reality proves to be more slippery than Humbert's feverish fantasies, and Lolita refuses to conform to his image of the perfect lover.

2. THE STRANGER by Albert Camus
synopsis: The Stranger is not merely one of the most widely read novels of the 20th century, but one of the books likely to outlive it. Written in 1946, Camus's compelling and troubling tale of a disaffected, apparently amoral young man has earned a durable popularity (and remains a staple of U.S. high school literature courses) in part because it reveals so vividly the anxieties of its time. Alienation, the fear of anonymity, spiritual doubt--all could have been given a purely modern inflection in the hands of a lesser talent than Camus, who won the Nobel Prize in 1957 and was noted for his existentialist aesthetic. The remarkable trick of The Stranger, however, is that it's not mired in period philosophy.

The plot is simple. A young Algerian, Meursault, afflicted with a sort of aimless inertia, becomes embroiled in the petty intrigues of a local pimp and, somewhat inexplicably, ends up killing a man. Once he's imprisoned and eventually brought to trial, his crime, it becomes apparent, is not so much the arguably defensible murder he has committed as it is his deficient character. The trial's proceedings are absurd, a parsing of incidental trivialities--that Meursault, for instance, seemed unmoved by his own mother's death and then attended a comic movie the evening after her funeral are two ostensibly damning facts--so that the eventual sentence the jury issues is both ridiculous and inevitable.

Meursault remains a cipher nearly to the story's end--dispassionate, clinical, disengaged from his own emotions. "She wanted to know if I loved her," he says of his girlfriend. "I answered the same way I had the last time, that it didn't mean anything but that I probably didn't." There's a latent ominousness in such observations, a sense that devotion is nothing more than self-delusion. It's undoubtedly true that Meursault exhibits an extreme of resignation; however, his confrontation with "the gentle indifference of the world" remains as compelling as it was when Camus first recounted it. --Ben Guterson

synopsis: In Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees, 14-year-old Lily Owen, neglected by her father and isolated on their Georgia peach farm, spends hours imagining a blissful infancy when she was loved and nurtured by her mother, Deborah, whom she barely remembers. These consoling fantasies are her heart's answer to the family story that as a child, in unclear circumstances, Lily accidentally shot and killed her mother. All Lily has left of Deborah is a strange image of a Black Madonna, with the words "Tiburon, South Carolina" scrawled on the back. The search for a mother, and the need to mother oneself, are crucial elements in this well-written coming-of-age story set in the early 1960s against a background of racial violence and unrest. When Lily's beloved nanny, Rosaleen, manages to insult a group of angry white men on her way to register to vote and has to skip town, Lily takes the opportunity to go with her, fleeing to the only place she can think of--Tiburon, South Carolina--determined to find out more about her dead mother. Although the plot threads are too neatly trimmed, The Secret Life of Bees is a carefully crafted novel with an inspired depiction of character. The legend of the Black Madonna and the brave, kind, peculiar women who perpetuate Lily's story dominate the second half of the book, placing Kidd's debut novel squarely in the honored tradition of the Southern Gothic. --Regina Marler --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


5. SMALL ISLAND by Andrea Levy
synopsis: Andrea Levy's award-winning novel, Small Island, deftly brings two bleak families into crisp focus. First a Jamaican family, including the well-intentioned Gilbert, who can never manage to say or do exactly the right thing; Romeo Michael, who leaves a wake of women in his path; and finally, Hortense, whose primness belies her huge ambition to become English in every way possible. The other unhappy family is English, starting with Queenie, who escapes the drudgery of being a butcher's daughter only to marry a dull banker. As the chapters reverse chronology and the two groups collide and finally mesh, the book unfolds through time like a photo album, and Levy captures the struggle between class, race, and sex with a humor and tenderness that is both authentic and bracing. The book is cinematic in the best way--lighting up London's bombed-out houses and wartime existence with clarity and verve while never losing her character's voice or story. --Meg Halverson

And now to the listening list:

1. Barrington Levy's - Vice Verse Love
2. Bounty Killer's - Who send dem (remix on the Nas' "if I ruled the world" riddim)
3. Jacob Miller (Every song)
4. Tupac's - Changes & Until the end of time (Just cause they are every gangster's anthem these days)
5. Biggie's - Notorious Thugs
6. Johnny Cash's - Hurt
7. Junior Gong's - Jamrock Album
8. Don Corleon's - Seasons riddim
9. Eddie Fitzroy (any song I can find)
10. Bob Dylan's - All along the watchtower
11. Lenny Kravitz's - Fly Away
12. Sarah Mclachlan's - Sweet Surrender
13. Bush's - Glycerine
14. Shawn Colvin's - Sunny Came Home

I'll now leave you with the words of a great man who is sometimes mad... "I am the Lion in Daniel's den" and "In school I learnt nothing, yet still come out to something, yet people grudge me for like mi do dem something, when I haven't done dem anything."

Hold a meditation on all of these things till the next posting all you lovely people...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

My Mobay Christmas Wishlist: A letter to Santa

published in THE WESTERN MIRROR wednesday december 14, 2005

My Mobay Christmas Wishlist

Dear Santa,

Rumours abound, some claim you don’t visit the ghettos, others contend that you do but, you only deliver, Mach 10’s, “Zigzags”, 9mms, Introtechs and maybe some “scribbs and clappers” for the kids. Worse yet I hear it is that you don’t put Rasta men on the roster for anything in the big bag. Some people have gone so far as to claim that you aren’t even real. How preposterous! There is even a rumour that you have elves working at the Parish Council, though I am told that they only wear there green suits when it is election time. I won’t swear I have been good this year, but I have tried Mr. Clause Sir, I really have. As you should be used to by now St. Nick, I’m writing because like the 6 billion other people on the planet I have a few small requests for Christmas. There are a few presents that you could give us here in MoBay, I hope it is not too much, and if so maybe you could delegate some of the work to those elves.

  1. Could you fix the roads out by Flankers in its entirety? And when it does get fixed in its entirety could you see that there is proper drainage there, so that you won’t need to fix the road by March. It would be a big help to Montegonians and even easy some of the traffic. No doubt, you would make many of the tourism interests happy as well, not to mention Horace Peterkin who probably has hell to reach to the branch of Sandals out there.

  2. I won’t ask you to stop all the crime in the second city, but maybe you could drop off a feasible and reasonable crime plan at the St. James Parish Council. Maybe then they may take up the issue of crime in this town with some zeal, if they know that a popular Caucasian has some interest.

  3. Can you get rid of all the bleaching creams that people seem to be using to damage their skin these days? As a matter of fact maybe you could through in a dash of self esteem and black pride while you’re at it.

  4. In spite of the vicious rumours that people have spread about you, I ask the you not be spiteful or bare any ill will towards the third world and actually drop off some useful presents to the street kids that beg at the stop lights and every fast food place. I don’t want to press my luck but if it isn’t too much, maybe you could find there parents and enlist them in a good school or just prompt the state agency that deals with such ill-fated children to be more proactive in carrying out their duties.

  5. I hate to go back to a topic but I don’t think I was thorough enough on the roads in request 1. But I must ask you to find some good drainage solutions for MoBay. The phenomenon that is flooding is getting far too common in the city. I would never like to see a repeat of what happened in October ever again. Also could see if you sort out whatever the hell is going wrong out by Bogue during rush hours, the insane lines of traffic cannot continue much longer.

  6. I would also like to think that the majority of Montego Bay would appreciate you providing the local government with an employment plan. I hope that this isn’t too much to ask of a man who flies the global in just one night. We need an employment plan that will not only make people aware of job opportunities but will help create some.

  7. My last plea is probably a trivial one but it is my final wish none the less. I don’t know how you will accomplish this but, is it possible that you could find away to broaden and expand the entertainment arena in MoBay. I tire of hearing people complain that Montego Bay is boring and that they have nothing to do or nowhere to go.

Mr. Clause I know this is somewhat of a tall order, but they say miracles happen at Christmas time. So I beg that you try and give Montego Bay these small favours as our Miracle for the Christmas. Your time and consideration is greatly appreciated sir. My many, many thanks in advance.

Yours Truly,

Yannick Nesta Pessoa
On behalf of the citizens of Montego Bay.

p.s. could you get those little green elves down at the Parish Council cracking for the New Year? Thanks.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Article for the Western Mirror published Dec. 10

Christmas and Mobay: Season of resistance and rebellion

There has been only one Christmas - the rest are anniversaries.
~W.J. Cameron

From a commercial point of view, if Christmas did not exist it would be necessary to invent it.
~Katharine Whitehorn

Roses are reddish
Violets are bluish
If it weren't for Christmas
We'd all be Jewish.

~Benny Hill

Christmas is the season when you buy this year's gifts with next year's money.
~Author Unknown

The Christmas season has come to mean the period when the public plays Santa Claus to the merchants.
~John Andrew Holmes

We must not seek the child Jesus
in the pretty figures of our Christmas cribs.
We must seek him among the undernourished children
who have gone to bed tonight with nothing to eat,
among the poor newsboys
who will sleep covered with newspapers in doorways.

~Romero December 24, 1979

Jesus was not born on December 25. The Christian liturgy chose that date in order to give a Christian meaning to the Roman feast of the unvanquished sun. The pagans of the Roman Empire celebrated the sun's rebirth during the longest night of the year. That midnight was considered as the starting point of the sun's march, which then began to overcome the darkness. It was easy for the Christians to substitute Jesus Christ for the sun and to make the birth of Christ, Sun of Justice, coincide liturgically with the pagan celebration of the birth of the sun.
~ Author Unknown

Well… the year is winding down and as is tradition the world is moving to a more reflective and mellow state. People are probably seeking to call loved ones; whoever is in “farrin” is probably breaking their neck to reach home. Some households will be graced with the proverbial “barrel” from England, Cayman, Uncle Sam or whichever other destination Jamaicans usually head in search of better incomes. The remittance dollars are surely rolling in, and Western Union is making a killing, not to mention the various other cambios. Some people are eagerly anticipating their bonuses and of course TVJ (or JBC the name that refuses to leave my mind) should have “Greeting from the UK” in full swing (What would a Jamaican Christmas be without it?). Mr. Chin and Kin straight out of Hong Kong probably are starting to see their accounts at the bank reach the size of King Kong as they peddle cheap wares on every street, corner and lane. Montego Bay’s downtown is a hive of activity, legal and illegal. Aristocrats, pick pockets and all those in between take to the streets. St. James Street, Barnett Street, “Bottom Road” a.k.a. Gloucester Ave. and Harbour Street, are prime territory. As the 25th of December draws nigh, these streets will see boundless human traffic.

However Christmas has a darker more ominous side. Historically and Biblically this is a season of serious bloodshed. If one is to take in the “Book of the Maccabees” one will see that December is the time when Jews (Jesus’ people) were oppressed by Alexander the Great’s successor Antiochus. He killed some 40,000 Jews and destroyed God’s temple. The Jews celebrate “Hanukkah” as the time when the Maccabees recaptured the temple after many more years of war with the Greeks and Syrians. Montego Bay is not unfamiliar with bloodshed in the Christmas season, seeing that MoBay was the site or focal point of the last great slave rebellion in Jamaica; what is referred to these days as the Christmas Rebellion.

As Christmas a historical season of blood shed draws closer, the murder tally for the island continues to alarming levels, and the murder tally and levels of crime in Montego Bay and St. James reach never before seen levels. This is truly a sad irony, this city the site where Sam Sharpe and some 500 other slaves died after the Christmas Rebellion to set us free, we now turn on ourselves using our freedom not to progress, but to kill each other. And the contribution to a sorrowful history of bloodshed in this season continues; as only Sunday night at “Carwash” (one of MoBay’s “hypest” and “vibesiest” street dances) on Harbour Street (a few yards from where Sam Sharpe died in a struggle for betterment) we unleashed our savagery on each other and someone lost their life. This tyranny of unrelenting killing will no doubt continue even on to and through Christmas day.

For those who have forgotten the Sam Sharpe and the Christmas Rebellion, let me remind you. Sam Sharpe was the main instigator of the 1831 Slave Rebellion which began on the Kensington Estate in St. James and which was largely instrumental in bringing about the abolition of slavery. Sam Sharpe became a leader of the native Baptists in Montego Bay using religious meetings (which were the only permissible forms of organised activities for the slaves) to communicate his concern and encourage political thought concerning events in England which affected the slaves and Jamaica. Sam developed a plan of passive resistance in 1831, by which the slaves would refuse to work on Christmas Day of 1831 and afterwards, unless their grievances concerning better treatment and the consideration of freedom were accepted by plantation owners and managers. Sam explained his plan to his chosen supporters after his religious meetings. They then took the plan to the other parishes until the idea had spread throughout St. James, Trelawny, Westmoreland, St. Elizabeth and Manchester.

On December 27, 1831, the Kensington Estate Great House was set on fire as a signal that the Slave Rebellion had begun. A series of other fires broke out in the area and soon it was clear that the plan of non-violent resistance which Sam Sharpe had originated was impossible and impractical. Armed rebellion and seizing of property spread mostly through the western parishes, but the rebellion was stopped by the first week in January.

An awful reckoning followed. While 14 whites died during the Rebellion, more than 500 slaves lost their lives, the majority of them as a result of the trials that followed. Samuel Sharpe was hanged on May 23, 1832 in what is today known as Sam Sharpe Square.

I have friends that argue that the crime we see today is some sort of rebellion, but I seriously disagree. A rebellion rises against a system of oppression, what we have here is guns rising against black people by other black people, not the system; we have strangely become our own oppressors. I’m sure Sam Sharpe turns in his grave or where ever he lies, and I’m sure he hisses with pain at the step of each murderer and evil doer and black oppressor that steps through his Square in the heart of city. I’m sure somewhere between the honking taxi horns, choir of chirping, the music, and all the other cacophony in the Square he can be heard screaming and howling.

By Yannick Nesta Pessoa
B.A. in Philosophy
Webpage: http//
E-mail: or

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Montego Bay Young Fresh Minds Wanted

published in THE WESTERN MIRROR, Dec. 3, 2005

Montego Bay: Young Fresh Minds & Intellects Wanted

"I love argument, I love debate. I don't expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that's not their job."
~Margaret Thatcher

"It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it."
~Joseph Joubert

"If you can't answer a man's arguments, all is not lost; you can still call him vile names."
~Elbert Hubbard

"Fear not those who argue but those who dodge."
~Dale Carnegie

"The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it."
~George Bernard Shaw

"Use soft words and hard arguments."
~English Proverb

"The more arguments you win, the less friends you will have"
~American Proverb

"It is impossible to win an argument with an ignorant man"
~Author Unknown

Meet Montego Bay’s most wanted, the Montegonian, no small irony there. The title I intended to work both ways, more intellects needed in a brain drained to the point of almost desert like dryness in our city and also seeing that I do consider myself young and bright, and now wanted, the title I do believe is most apt. It seems the issue of Jah Cure has put me in the hot seat. It has also seemed to inspire debate as well as Mr. Donald Watson to start a ‘blog’ similar in fashion to mine. I am most honoured to have been the centre of all this attention. This kind of public debate is good for Montego Bay I think, it is due time that we have public forum, ideas and intellectual combatants come to the fore, as Montego Bay will never be boosted to the forefront of development without some sort of intellectual machinery or body to carry it there. So cheers for the sparring of ideas and thoughts. However it is not my intention to turn the Western Mirror into a cursing match.

…And now for my actual rebuttal. Mr. Watson does strike me as a man with an agenda, I hope his real intention is actually defending the victim, if so then he has ascribed himself a noble but unnecessary task, but I will cast no aspersions I’m going to solely tackle the points. Let me say my intention is never to offend the rape victim, I send her all the blessings I can. Mr. Watson however contends that I say free Jah Cure, never in anyone of my articles have I said this, he is making a claim that is not real, and if he is aware that he is making an unreal claim then that is intellectual dishonesty on his part. So Mr. Watson, please get your arguments together.

Mr. Watson also makes the assumption that conviction means guilt, it is common knowledge that the judicial system has convicted innocent men before. A court conviction means that a man is found guilty it does not mean he necessarily is guilty. We also know guilty men by virtue of loop holes or subversive tactics like buying judges and jurors to escape conviction. So the legal system is necessary but not infallible, it like everything in this world has its flaws and has been wrong before. As it pertains to Jah Cure, I contended that the case has discrepancies, which means the court may or may not be right, that does not mean I am saying he is innocent. I HOPE THAT IS CLEAR.

To answer Mr. Watson’s question, if whether or not other popular artistes became rapists I would support them? Well Mr. Watson there are other convicted artistes that are rapists, Zebra (a serial rapist at that) being one such artist, but I was no fan of his work, so I can not ascribe him any redeemable qualities, nor can I hail him as a Montegonian. But if he was a talented musician I would acknowledge his talent as I have done with Jah Cure. Ancient Monarchy also known as Frisko Kid has been alleged to have raped, but I appreciate some of his songs and as such will acknowledge his work. And I would like to re-iterate that acknowledging the work of people is not the same as approval for their transgressions and misdeeds.

Now Mr. Watson also touched a nerve when he makes the proclamation that I have embarrassed myself in front of my readers I suppose. Mr. Watson let me say that you and your small circle of friends are nowhere close to being my entire readership or the Western Mirrors readership. So if it is you think I have embarrassed myself you may very well be in the minority, also people’s disagreement with stance or position is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. In fact I think it may actually be noble and honourable to stand up and state one’s opinion on an issue that may leave you unpopular, granted I think this topic has not left me unpopular.

The reason I have not gone to ask women about this topic Mr. Watson is because I have a sister, a mother, aunts, and many women enough who disagree with me on the topic. And the opinions on the large majority of people, who have not even studied, investigated or know the truth of the case is not of interest to me. Also even if the overwhelming majority of women did say that they think that Jah Cure is whatever undying evil you Mr. Watson are convinced he is, would not necessarily make that the truth. Let us not forget that just a millennia ago the majority of the western world and thinkers thought the world was actually flat, but that never made it so. So sir the opinions of people will not necessarily make Jah Cure truly guilty.

As for the remix of Jah Cure’s song, a good bit of wit, but it does nothing real to add substance to the argument. Also I hope you Mr. Watson know the victim and have consent to champion your cause. Here is to peaceful disagreement, and hopefully we can agree to disagree. May be we can have drink and laugh this topic off one day. Till next week.

p.s. Next week I tackle Christmas in MoBay

By Yannick Nesta Pessoa
B.A. in Philosophy
Webpage: http//
E-mail: or