Stephen B. Aranha @sbaranha
I celebrate #Thanksgiving the old-fashioned way; I invite everyone to an enormous feast, after which I kill them and take away their land.
It is interesting how large 1 Million Naira sounds when you don’t have it, and how small it is when you do.
Adidja A. Palmer @iamthekartel
Tek ppl fi fool. Paid informant n anancy story while unu siddung in a Parliament bout unu waan lock up man fi sing crtn dancehall song. Smh
One man talks carelessly and it becomes an indictment on the nation? Una go school at all?
Yes it is! “@anniepaul: Wondering if the ‘una’ is equivalent to the Jamaican ‘unno’ meaning you plural or you all @StNaija”
@StNaija @anniepaul both of them are from Igbo Unu–you, collective.
Came across the photo above recently on Facebook courtesy Vasant Mote (second from left) on his left is my Dad, Samuel Paul, who would later become director of the Institute. He has no memory of when this photo was taken. IIMA as the Institute was called was set up in collaboration with the Harvard Business School and its campus was designed by the renowned American architect Louis Kahn. I’ve written about this in an earlier post but was minded to do so again today after reading the following article: What makes IIM Ahmedabad among top 39 elite B Schools in the world. Apparently according to the article:
The Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad has found a place in top 39 elite Business Schools in the world named by MBA employers, according to QS Global Business School Report 2013, which also ranked Indian MBA graduates as the world’s most academically distinguished.
Diana Thorburn Chen: An apology is not necessary. What is necessary is for Jamaicans to have an honest conversation among ourselves about why we are turned back so often from our neighbours’ doors. But that would require us doing some soul-searching and talking honestly about how our actions bring on these reactions. Highly unlikely, so we will keep up the facade of indignation over and over again as until we face the truth nothing will change.
VERITAS also thought that Jamaicans needed to open their eyes and look within…
We are hypocrites too. When CARICOM member Haiti was struck by that devastating earthquake recently, and many Haitians turned up at our borders, desperate for admittance and “free movement”, we demanded the government send them back. Many of us were angry any money was even spent to accommodate them for the period they were here. Is it that free movement only applies when we want it?
What really troubles me about all this is the nagging feeling that most of us are angry because of our false sense of pride. We have always been a proud and, as one of my colleagues pointed out, reactive people. Trinidad’s exercise of its sovereign authority hurt that pride and so we are now reacting. If we are honest with ourselves, we have always harboured the unhealthy sentiment that Jamaica is the best of the Caribbean, a capital of sorts, and therefore we have behaved accordingly entitled. That is the source of our pride. Many of us are incredulous because we deem Trinidad a “spec in the sea” and “two likkle fi even be a country”, an “insignificant” country should never seek to disrespect Jamaica, right? We took the same stance on Mugabe’s comments on Jamaica. Meanwhile, the United States rejects us in droves every single day and we sit pretty smiling at that, with little more than a peep. In our quest to satisfy our wounded pride, we have gone as far as accusing Trinidad of “badminding” Jamaica for our achievements. I admit myself baffled at that argument, because we have such precious little to ‘badmind’. We are on auto pilot, veering on the edge of a political, economic and social abyss, who would ‘badmind’ that? Pride aside, how about we accept the fact that statistics are not in our favour? Most countries have instituted visa requirements against us because we do not have a good track record for international conduct and behaviour. We have to accept that; the bad mek it worse for the good. It is unfortunate, but true. Let us put our pride aside and accept the realities.
Click here for more.
Then there were those who still thought Jamaicans had been wronged:
Michael Andrew David Edwards Whatever the reasons, the treatment as described is unacceptable; they wouldn’t accept it from us
And others who imagined the worst case scenario:
Nicholas Laughlin: I find myself thinking it’s a good thing Trinidad and Jamaica don’t share a land border.
Oh Nicholas, the very thought makes me shudder. But honestly i do have to ask: how can a population that has no qualms about turning away neighbouring Haitians when they arrive on Jamaican shores in dire need be so self-righteous when 13 of theirs are shown the door?
It was just a few weeks ago that I was on a radio programme with some of the head honchos of local TV/Cable TV programming arguing about the broadcast locally of NBC’s programme The Voice. I was trying to explain that the era of ‘exclusivity’ broadly speaking was on its way out and that perhaps buying the ‘exclusive rights’ to broadcast a popular American TV show, then thwarting your viewers by not broadcasting the show live because you think you now have a captive audience might not be the way to go in the future.
The head honchos were most indignant at the very suggestion, pouring scorn on it and making out that I was 20 years behind the times when it was clearly they who were out of the loop. Haven’t you seen what’s happening to traditional media, I asked. Haven’t you noticed what’s happened to the distribution and consumption of music globally? Haven’t you been following the death of huge newspapers all over the world? Why do you think TV’s going to be immune from these trends? Oh no, said they, I didn’t have a clue what I was talking about.
Well, less than a month later here are some news stories that prove my point. Of course they’re mostly about media in the USA but have no doubt, the winds of change are not going to leave Jamaica unscathed, much as our media heads would like to think so.
It makes me laugh to see the two local newspapers offering subscriptions to their digital editions at a measly 20% discount when the New York Times is available at an introductory rate of 99c for a month. Quite frankly the difference between them is comparable to that between a Rolls Royce and a Lada so no prize for guessing which one I’d choose if I have to pay similar rates for both. The NYT is US$3.75 a week, the Gleaner is $2.99 a week and at JMD$ 1,248.00 per month the Jamaica Observer is similar in range to the Gleaner. For the $3.75 a week I can also get 100 articles from the NYT archive per month, an incredible value in itself. Neither of the local papers offers any such incentive. I’d be curious to know what their digital subscription figures are. Joke ting dat as they’d say here.
Anyway, have a look at the articles below. The first one is a real gift with all sorts of graphs and table and statistics measuring the decline of traditional media, the other one covers the departure of top US TV host Katie Couric from the ABC network to Yahoo, that stalwart of new media. It’s a sign of the times, let’s hope our head honchos either get with it or we get new head honchos who ARE with it. Soon.
Well, how are these media outlets going to sustain themselves you might well ask, if they’re not able to charge subscribers? Other more creative ways have to be found of building a subscription base, as the third article demonstrates. Using a wildly innovative model based on the concept of property ownership, an unapologetic real estate trope, NSFWCORP rapidly increases its subscriber base by offering customized plans of ownership at different rates. Another example of mass customization, an organizing principle that is coming to rule the day.
Finally, a little brawta or extra, sent to me by @marciaforbes on Twitter, a piece on ‘triple-play revenues’, new kinds of bundling arrangements that represent the future for media subscription models.
TV Is Dying, And Here Are The Stats That Prove It
The TV business is having its worst year ever.Audience ratings have collapsed: Aside from a brief respite during the Olympics, there has been only negative ratings growth on broadcast and cable TV since September 2011, according to Citi Research.Media stock analysts Craig Moffett and Michael Nathanson recently noted, “The pay-TV industry has reported its worst 12-month stretch ever.” All the major TV providers lost a collective 113,000 subscribers in Q3 2013. That doesn’t sound like a huge deal — but it includes internet subscribers, too.
Broadband internet was supposed to benefit from the end of cable TV, but it hasn’t.
In all, about 5 million people ended their cable and broadband subs between the beginning of 2010 and the end of this year.
We’re at the beginning of a major historical shift from watching TV to watching video — including TV shows and movies — on the internet or on mobile devices.
This is going to hurt cable TV providers.
Nearly 5 million cable TV subscribers have gone elsewhere in the last five years. The number of cable TV-only subscribers remaining could sink below 40 million later this year, according to this data from ISI Group, an equity research firm (at right).
Jamaicans are considerably incensed over Trinidad and Tobago’s refusal to grant 13 of their compatriots permission to land in that country. The subject has dominated the talk shows as well as social media ever since the day the 13 were sent back. This isn’t the first time this has happened, in fact news reports said that over the last three years at least 1000 Jamaicans have been sent back from the twin island republic. An Observer article provides details of what is promising to blow up into a diplomatic row:
On Tuesday, 13 Jamaicans, including an 11-year-old girl and a man who is married to a Trinidadian woman, were denied entry upon arrival at the Piarco International Airport in Port of Spain and were sent back to Jamaica the following morning.
Immigration officials at the airport seized the Jamaicans’ passports and ordered them to sit on a hard bench all night before shipping them out of the country, despite the fact that the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) allows for free travel between countries by Caribbean Community nationals.
The move by the Trinidadians is also a direct breach of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and defies a recent ruling by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which handed down a judgement in favour of Jamaican Shanique Myrie who had sued the Barbados Government.
Myrie was refused entry into Barbados on March 14, 2011, was detained, subjected to a dehumanising cavity search, and deported to Jamaica the following day.
Reactions from social media and local newspapers give some idea of the outrage this has caused:
The fact that 13 Jamaicans from one flight were deported needs to be addressed by the tt government before we end up with a xenophobic backlash from Jamaica.
Diana Thorburn Chen
There are already FB fliers circulating calling for a boycott of all T&T goods & services.
Xenophobic backlash in full force already
Signs of the xenophobic backlash are fully in evidence. The following is from the Observer article quoted above:
Jamaican George Lopez said Jamaicans can use their purchasing power to hit the Trinidadians where it hurts most.
“The only thing that works is the economic embargo. Don’t buy their goods, don’t give their children jobs. The Government won’t do it, so the people must,” said Lopez.
“I am going to remove my money from any financial institution that has ties to the eastern Caribbean. I have long boycotted them, my family and friends also, from the 1970s. They are racist,” he charged.
Lopez said Trinidadians’ hatred for Jamaicans go way back to the 1960s when the Alexander Bustamante-led Government voted against a Caribbean Federation.
“There is a retention of hatred. It is the small island mentality. Jamaica is a continental mentality. I won’t go there (Trinidad),” he said.
Meanwhile on Twitter my good friend Grindacologist was gnashing his teeth and muttering under his breath about any Trinidadian musicans coming here:
wait till kes the band try come round ere again…a worries…
all di one machels montanas…
goin mek dem sleep pon di tarmac…
when a jamaican gets killed in trinidad dem all try deport the corpse…
Stay tuned to this spot for further updates on this contentious issue.
A good friend left the following response on my Facebook page where I had posted a link to my previous post on Afrofuturism, the Studio Museum etc. As I didn’t explicitly get his permission to repost his comment here I won’t name him but he raises some compelling points. While I might agree with some of them I think the main thing is that Afrofuturism is about fantasy, a fantasy of shedding a troublesome past as the two tweets by @StormSaulter indicate. By no means is it a substitute for investment in scientific research or a so-called scientific outlook. So I don’t think the existence of what we call Afrofuturism is at the expense of scientific inquiry or even a placeholder for it. In fact it’s the opposite, an artistic impulse that is futuristic in orientation. Anyway…what do YOU think? Is it a ‘timewank’ to borrow a phrase from Irvine Welsh or is there more to it?
Thanks for heads up on the show. It would be interesting to read whatever texts accompany it to see if at last anyone has finally put forward an articulate, intelligent thesis of what exactly they mean by Afrofuturism beyond inchoate mentions of computers, Octavia Butler, and Africa.
Of the tweet excerpts that you reproduced in the blog there’s only one seriously intelligent line, and it isn’t from the Afrofuturists. It is from Greg Tate where he asks: Well, what isn’t futurist about being Black in America? That’s the first brick of theory at long last, the first spark of serious philosophical thought. The rest is humdrum rehashes of anecdotes and George Clinton.
The fact is that futurism (as most Afrofuturists appear to still understand it) without a serious culture of scientific adventurism is like the proverbial faith without work: it’s meaningless and dead. And, the other fact is that African cultures, no matter where they are, have yet to embrace scientific inquiry let alone adventurism. So, the science fiction remains fiction without a chance of transforming into fact the way Western science fiction consistently transforms into fact, and the utopia is nothing but dystopia.
In my thinking only Tate’s twist in the tale promises to open up a meaningful philosophical platform for defining and understanding the idea of an Afro futurism: one that isn’t about “I’m interested in using gadgets and looking weird, so, I’m an Afrofuturist”, but broaches the comprehensive philosphere of a culture that survives on dreams.
It’s interesting to wear Fula robes and kaftans (not even Dogon) and plastic sunglasses and perform alien descendants of Dogon astronomers visiting Earth. It would be even more interesting for people to emerge from within the culture(s), that is, African cultures be it in the West or on the continent, who have the mindset to invent Google Glass. If you see what I mean. Otherwise, to me the futurism stuff remains mostly a pitiful, mannerist “our ancestors built the pyramids” give me a break, quite frankly.
(PS. Notice the peculiar dissonance between European Futurism–Russian, Italian–which was about dynamism, speed, ascension, the future, and streams of Afrofuturism that seem to be about the past, the Dogon, alienation, hurt memory, or at best, mere consumerism, and hardly about ascent or the future!)
Well, as I said, some cogently argued points there although the rage is perhaps misplaced. The following tweets articulate some of the reasons for the fascination with Afrofuturism:
Storm Saulter @StormSaulter
–nowadays deep seated issues of race, class, slavery etc. are mashing up with modern life and expectations of what life should be
–it’s refreshing 2 imagine a future where Afro culture/style exists in highest beauty w out always connecting it to a painful past
Ytasha Womack @ytashawomack
–The imagination spurs creativity and scientific inquiry alike #afrofuturism
–triggers the imagination & helps many see beyond convention.
The first time I heard of Afrofuturism it was from Camille Turner (@Afrofuturist) who was helping Honor Ford-Smith with her Rest in Peace murals project. She introduced me to her short film, The Final Frontier, according to her “an ongoing performance that chronicles the voyage of African Astronauts, descendants of the Dogon people of West Africa who have returned to earth after 10,000 years to save the planet.” Check it out.
There’s quite a tradition of Afrofuturism in Jamaica. The inimitable Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry is possibly the coolest alien the world ever hatched and he’s from here. check out his video below. It’s unclear if this is a spontaneous ad for Guiness but among other things the goblin of dub raises a toast or two to Dublin.
And then, improbably enough, there’s Bunny Wailer. He who hated flying in airplanes, navigates cyberspace on his flying carpet in grand style.
I should mention that the occasion for all this reflection on Afrofuturism is the current exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem: The Shadows Took Shape which i sincerely hope I’ll get a chance to see.
The Shadows Took Shape is a dynamic interdisciplinary exhibition exploring contemporary art through the lens of Afrofuturist aesthetics. Coined in 1994 by writer Mark Dery in his essay “Black to the Future,” the term “Afrofuturism” refers to a creative and intellectual genre that emerged as a strategy to explore science fiction, fantasy, magical realism and pan-Africanism. With roots in the avant-garde musical stylings of sonic innovator Sun Ra (born Herman Poole Blount, 1914–1993), Afrofuturism has been used by artists, writers and theorists as a way to prophesize the future, redefine the present and reconceptualize the past. The Shadows Took Shape will be one of the few major museum exhibitions to explore the ways in which this form of creative expression has been adopted internationally and highlight the range of work made over the past twenty-five years.
The exhibition draws its title from an obscure Sun Ra poem and a posthumously released series of recordings. Providing an apt metaphor for the long shadow cast by Sun Ra and others, the exhibition will feature more than sixty works of art, including ten new commissions, charting the evolution of Afrofuturist tendencies by an international selection of established and emerging practitioners. These works span not only personal themes of identity and self-determination in the African-American community, but also persistent concerns of techno-culture, geographies, utopias and dystopias, as well as universal preoccupations with time and space.
Last night there was a Shadows Took Shape Panel Discussion with Naima J. Keith, Zoe Whitley, Alondra Nelson and Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid) that was live tweeted making it possible for me to follow the proceedings from here. Check out the tweets below to get a sense of the event.
Studio Museum Harlem @studiomuseum live tweeted most of the following:
“How would you define Afrofuturism? Conversations about race and technology.” -Alondra Nelson
“Afrofuturism wasn’t originally about an academic lockdown. It was a collage of hip hop, sound, and tapestry.” -DJ Spooky
“People were bored. In the 90s the art world barely knew how to use a computer.” – @djspooky
“Whether you’re a dada-ist or a futurist you’re interested in new portals.” – @djspooky
“I loved Octavia Butler’s book, Kindred, so much that I wanted anyone I dated to read it first…” @alondra jokes.
“I took my name from “Nova Express” by William S. Burroughs.“ – @djspooky
.@djspooky highlights the influence of dancehall music in the Carribean on the course of electronic music.
“I loved anything that had an alien!” – @alondra
“People have a selective memory when it comes to slavery. There was no future.” – @djspooky
“Well, what isn’t futuristic about being black in America?” -Greg Tate
“The idea that the robots will uprise and take over goes back to slavery.” @djspooky
Thanks to @DukeU we can all access some of @alondra’s #Afrofuturist texts through Dec 21st. Visit: bit.ly/afrofuturism
“What’s wrong if it’s only afro? It isn’t about excluding other people. It was about carving out a space.” -
Panelist @djspooky offers a healthy critique on the exhibition recommending that there be more music.
Alondra Nelson @alondra
In the green room @studiomuseum with @djspooky @naimajoy and Zoe Whitley #afrofuturism… instagram.com/p/hAAdIQSZS2/
For those who may not know, DJ Spooky’s mother is Jamaican. He did a residency in Kingston at Roktowa earlier this year where he talked at length about his mom, his work, his music. Can’t reproduce that now but here’s an excerpt from an interview where he makes the Jamaican connection more than once:
DJ SPOOKY: Everything I do is all about the mix; social, political, economic, it’s a deconstruction of all the crap the 20th century has left behind. I really think that mix culture is that deep. It reflects so much of what is best in humanity, what makes people relate to their fellow human being. I guess you could say I’m a musical idealist.
RIOTSOUND.COM: When you were young your mother owned an international fabric business and you were able to travel a lot; how did that affect your outlook on music and Hip-Hop in particular?
DJ SPOOKY: My mom’s store was called Toast and Strawberries; I used to spend afternoons there after school. I’d play soccer with my high school’s team and then ride a bike to my mom’s store and do chores and whatnot. Then I would take a break and listen to records. I never really got into TV that much; I just liked to listen to records a lot. That made the transition into DJing [easy]. I started producing tracks when I got to college as a way of passing the time.
My dad passed away when I was 2 years old and I checked out his records as a way of getting to know him. My mom wanted us to travel a lot so we wouldn’t get caught up in this whole American trip of race; black, white, whatever. We had German exchange students and Nigerian exchange students [and others] stay at our house, so I was always open to people from different cultures. That’s what Hip-Hop is about to me.
RIOTSOUND.COM: You got a new double mix CD out that features a variety of tracks from the legendary Jamaican label Trojan Records. How did you go about picking out the music for “In Fine Style: 50,000 Volts of Trojan Records”?
DJ SPOOKY: As far as I’m concerned, Jamaica has been part of Hip-Hop from jump. Everything from MC battles to DJ battles to sound systems, Kingston had it all. America was caught up in disco fever when Kool Herc showed up and switched the soundtrack. I pay respect to Herc and I pay respect to how dancehall helped shape what we know as Hip-Hop.
On the compilation I went through a lot of my records and found different versions of classic tracks; stuff like Desmond Dekker’s “007 Shanty Town” that Special Ed sampled or Lee Scratch Perry’s “Disco Devil” out take from Max Romeo’s “Iron Shirt” which Kanye West sampled. 50,000 Volts of Trojan Records looks at the intersection of Hip-Hop, sampling, and different production techniques. I just want people to connect the dots.
RIOTSOUND.COM: In your view, what are some of the most important values of Jamaican sound system culture that contributed to Hip-Hop and to the growth and evolution of music in general?
DJ SPOOKY Let’s put it this way, the sound system situation is a kind of musical democracy. Some people get to vote with their styles and others get to vote with how they respond or don’t respond to the different performers. There’s so many ways that I think this kind of way of presenting shows flipped all the usual performance issues of the day. At the height of the Beatles era people were just going to shows to see the band. The Jamaicans flipped that and made people go to shows to hear records. What could be weirder? I think you have to realize that today, most of the groups you hear, you hear because you checked out their record first, and then went to see them. That’s another gift from Jamaica.
Yet another gift from Jamaica is Small Axe editor David Scott’s interview with Orlando Patterson. This small excerpt, discussing Patterson’s “Toward a Future That Has No Past,” is directly connected to the subject of Afrofuturism though the term is never once used. Check it out:
How interesting! But I don’t want to let you off the hook so easily with that, because I remember reading An Absence of Ruins as a student at university in the late 1970s and feeling that I could identify with Alexander Blackman—with the sense that even as he is playing himself (as the Trinidadians might say), he is watching cynically a society play at being a “society.” And that perception, I think, is incredibly acute, and as relevant today as it was in 1967.
It was partly that, but I think Alexander Blackman was an archetype not just of Caribbean blacks but also of blacks generally. I was thinking of the black experience; I was thinking of blacks within the context of Western civilization. How is it possible to survive, to build a meaningful tradition, within the context of a very dominant Western culture? I was thinking of the whole question of what had been achieved, and whether it was possible or not to accept the nationalist answer “Back-to-Africa”; I began to see the dilemma of where you go from this very catastrophic past—especially if you’re not into Negritude, or Eddie Brathwaite’s interpretation. So that novel was more of a broader novel about the black condition than just the West Indian one.
It’s interesting that you put it that way, because in that very brief passage that I just read—”A being deprived of essence, a willing slave of every chance event”—one notices its deliberately paradoxical character. The passage notes the power structure, that he’s not merely devoid of essence but deprived of essence. He’s both a willing being and an enslaved being. He’s caught in a web of paradoxes.
And that, of course, is a very powerful philosophical trope, which is behind that Sartrean dictum that “existence precedes essence.” You may be deprived of essence but you still have an existence. It’s like a pure existential state, which I was trying to argue and which may well be the basis of a viable way of survival. I have an essay, which I wrote not long after I came here, “Toward a Future That Has No Past,” published in an odd sort of journal, Public Interest, in 1972 (it was the most radical thing that Public Interest ever published).56 The argument there was that precisely not having a past may be a liberating condition. We’re the people of the future. That was the theme. I linked up the West Indian experience with the black experience all over. So I was thinking in broader terms, even though I was using Jamaica, obviously as the site for the novel. “Blackman,” as the name [End Page 169] indicates, is about black people and the black condition. So I found working through existentialism very valuable then, in that you didn’t need an essence, you didn’t need a tradition, you didn’t need the bourgeois sort of anchorage—that, indeed, in the world in which we live, it may well be that you have the possibility of starting from scratch and creating a world for yourself.
So Alexander Blackman is an attempt, then, to create that kind of figure.
Yes. And by the way, I saw jazz as very much a part of that, as the most successful model. I seem to recall having an argument with Brathwaite about that. Because where he was seeing it in terms of continuities I was seeing that the spontaneity of jazz was only made possible because you weren’t trapped in tradition.
But it’s interesting because the challenge, I suppose, is to create a fictional figure that is both essenceless and simultaneously creative. And Alexander Blackman turns out himself not to be a creative character. He wanders around London lost and adrift at the end.
Right, that is the end, but it’s also the beginning. And it’s sort of simply saying, let’s forget about the past; forget about any essence; just start in this moment to create. And there may be advantages to that. That last paragraph of the novel was deliberately written in a more poetic way to almost suggest a sort of spontaneous kind of [John] Coltrane expression. So it was not creating something out of nothing but creating something out of chaos.
It’s not as if there was no past. All of your work is preoccupied with slave past. There is a past, but there is no continuity.
Right, but there’s the knowledge and weight of the past. There is, in fact, a kind of continuity, the continuity of problems and chaos—a continuity of discontinuity.
David Scott. “The Paradox of Freedom: An Interview with Orlando Patterson.”Small Axe 17.1 (2013): 96-242. Project MUSE. Web. 22 Nov. 2013. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
And finally check out Gemsigns, a novel by Stephanie Saulter (yes one of film director Storm’s sisters):
Humanity stands on the brink. Again. Surviving the Syndrome meant genetically modifying almost every person on the planet. But norms and gems are different. Gems may have the superpowers that once made them valuable commodities, but they also have more than their fair share of the disabled, the violent and the psychotic. After a century of servitude, freedom has come at last for the gems, and not everyone’s happy about it. The gemtechs want to turn them back into property. The godgangs want them dead. The norm majority is scared and suspicious, and doesn’t know what it wants.
I’m sure I’ve only scraped the surface of this fascinating subject. If you have anything to add please do so…I respond to all my commenters…Over the next few days i’ll probably add to and refine this post, so do check back!
The UK Guardian carried a story on the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and its new slogan which doesn’t immediately resonate either with them or me–Jamaica Get All Right. As the Guardian points out its a slightly dodgy slogan grammatically speaking. Reminds me of the Jamaica Broadcasting Commission’s Transitioning Digital campaign; I don’t actually remember the slogan correctly anymore merely that it was fundamentally ungrammatical. Mercifully the powers that be seem to have realized this belatedly and ditched it. Anyhow here’s what the Guardian had to say on the new JTB slogan:
Earlier this month the Jamaican tourist board unveiled a new brand identity, ditching its previous slogan, “Jamaica – Once you go, you know”, and replacing it with the far more succinct, albeit grammatically obtuse, “Jamaica – Get All Right”. The new slogan is currently being launched around the world; last week the tourist board rolled the world’s largest stress ball into New York’s Times Square and on Tuesday a twitter campaign ran to the tune of #getallright.
For more click here.
As an exhortation to the country itself it might work…for the Lord knows Jamaica does need to ‘get all right’. It seems to be suffering from a malingering degenerative disease that we would all like it to snap out of. But as a slogan for tourists? Do you think it works?
The following tweet by one of my favourite writers @Sidin amused me this morning: “No Country For Editors.”
His epigrammatic quip came in the wake of the third resignation/firing in a month of a top Indian editor: first there was Siddhartha Varadarajan of the Hindu, then there was Hartosh Singh Bahl of Open magazine and today the sensational ‘recusal’ of Tarun Tejpal, the founder editor of India’s number one investigative, muckraking magazine–Tehelka. The first two are widely believed to have been politically motivated, but the Tejpal case is a different kettle of fish altogether. The prominent editor is accused of having assaulted a junior journalist not once but twice, according to reports, suggesting she comply with his desires if she valued her job. The assaults are said to have taken place in a hotel elevator in Goa where a team from Tehelka was working on Thinkfest, a forum started by the magazine.
Early reactions suggest that Tehelka might try and treat this as an “internal affair” with the Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhury dismissing it as “an untoward incident.” The problem with this is that Tehelka is now behaving exactly as the targets of the numerous stings it has become famous for do, being evasive, euphemistic and tight-lipped. “I don’t know how this concerns you…I don’t think you can ask me these questions,” Chaudhury is reputed to have said in response to a reporter’s probing queries. Will Tehelka editors ever have the moral authority to demand answers from public officials and others in the wake of TehelkaGate?
The following tweets speak for themselves–Let’s see what tomorrow brings. I hope the young woman in question has the strength to recover from all this. She has been very brave to come forward and talk about what happened. It would be great if other women who have experienced similar traumas, either at the hands of Tejpal (surely this wasn’t an isolated incident) or others, would step forward now and make their stories public. The brave young journo wouldn’t feel so lonely then.
nitin gokhale @nitingokhale
#Tejpal episode. All that we in the media accuse others of, on display here: double standards, fake morality, refusal to submit to law.
Sidene Wengerkut @sidin
…You live by the broad brush. You die by the broad brush.
I was just getting ready to write a rare pro-Police post, after listening to Police Commissioner Owen Ellington on one of the morning programmes; he was describing in detail the gang structures the police are trying to dismantle and what a Sisyphean task they face. Listening to the calm, rational voice of Commissioner Ellington I actually wondered if sometimes we aren’t unfair to the Police when we protest so vigorously against their unnecessarily life-threatening tactics. Then I listened to the 5 pm news on Nationwide Radio and found myself seething with rage at yet another wanton, vicious police killing.
Two 16-year old cousins in Hanover were riding a motorbike when police ordered them to halt. Afraid because they weren’t licensed to ride the bike the boys took off with the police in hot pursuit. Having blocked them successfully after a chase the police are alleged to have beaten them to a pulp. How dare they disobey the Police? This would teach them to do such a thing again. Well if there’s one thing the Police seem to excel at, its the application of violence to hapless youths (not the apprehension of real criminals judging by the 5% conviction rate for murders and the rising number of kidnappings, robberies and murders we hear about daily). So soundly were the boys beaten that one of them succumbed to his injuries yesterday and the other remains critically injured.
Tell me how this is acceptable Commissioner Ellington? How can you expect the rest of us to sit idly and watch this brazen brutality continue? If the police involved in this boy’s death are allowed to go unpunished aren’t you sending a message to other cops with no respect for human rights, especially the rights of the poor, that they have a license to behave like this? how many other youngsters will meet their deaths at the hands of uncontrollable policemen? Why are none of them ever found guilty and punished?
I’ve met so many really good police men and women over the years. Especially officers, some of whom are or were students at the University. I’ve always been amazed at how civil and considerate most of them seem. But where are they now? Why aren’t they speaking up when these atrocities happen? Why aren’t they stopping them? How much longer will this wanton bloodletting be allowed to go on? If you, the good police, don’t put your collective foot down you surely will be considered to be aiding and abetting in some of the most inhumane policing tactics in the region. Please. Say something. Do Something. Stop the killing.