Gustav takes region by storm!

I was reading Janine Mendes-Franco’s blog on Global Voices online earlier today; she did a round-up of blogs in the region about Gustav and you get a sudden sense of being part of a community–the Caribbean. I suddenly realized for instance that if we had been paying attention to what was going on in Haiti and the DR during Gustav’s onslaught there we really should have been better prepared and known what to expect when he changed course and came here.

But no, in the first place we were lulled into thinking that like the PNP last year Gustav would definitely “nah change no course” and then when he did we still thought oh its just a storm, not even a hurricane and so on. For instance i first thought he was a pussycat rather than a roaring lion and if i had been paying any attention at all to what went down in Haiti, if i’d read their blogs for instance, i should have known better.

We suffer from insularity at the best of times, but to continue to be insular in the worst of times is asking for trouble. I for one am going to think regionally in addition to locally and globally from now on…

ok now for something completely different: Check out these videos of my co-workers at the University of the West Indies watching the Olympic 4x100m final on that glorious day, was it just last week? Just call us the SALISES screamers…it was the second best thing to being in Half Way Tree…

Such a Natural Mystic…

There is something so newborn and fresh in the air after a hurricane leaves—don’t tell me Gustav wasn’t a hurricane when he visited here; it’s like insisting someone is 19 when they’re turning 20 tomorrow. The atmosphere seems to have been cleansed, purged of all the humid, hot and evil vapours that have been oppressing us for months now. A zephyr-like breeze whispers idle threats and the sun sparkles as it shines on the moist landscape. The riddim track to Marley’s Natural Mystic is blowing through the air.

This is life reasserting itself after having tossed off a tantrum to remind us who’s in charge. Too many people can’t enjoy the beauty of this moment; they have been storm-wrecked and can’t put the pieces back together again. On the other hand most of them are old hands at navigating hostile weather whether from the elements or the lopsided social system that always has them on the receiving end of bad Karma.

Many more will have to suffer
many more will have to die
don’t ask me why…

And no, we can’t just send them some good Karma, a la Facebook. A helicopter is plying back and forth rescuing people marooned in the middle of Hope River in Gordon Town. Marooned in Hope? Hopefully not Obama’s fate now that McCain has trumped him with Palin. The woman looks like a closet dominatrix, doesn’t she? She almost doesn’t look real. More like something out of The Avengers or Charlie’s Angels. Can you imagine her presiding over the White House were something to happen to McCain?

No Sir, give me Obama any day.

Going back to the Olympics for a moment wasn’t Dayron Robles, the Cuban hurdler great? i wish i could replay the footage of him, headphones on, warming up by rhythmically and effortlessly climbing back and forth over the same hurdle. I thought it was great that he insisted on wearing his usual glasses or spectacles rather than contact lenses or some fancy name-brand pair of racing glasses. A more unlikely looking athlete you could not hope to find. Dayron Robles, the anti-athlete, doing it for the nerds! If you wanted to personify the limber, indomitable, insubordinate, swimming-against-the-current Cuban spirit you couldn’t hope for a better poster boy. Between Robles and Bolt the Caribbean certainly expanded the vocabulary of Olympic stardom!

As you can tell I’m somewhat scattered post-Gustav. Our resourceful Cuban neighbours are probably being besieged by him now. They are far more competent at moving their people out of harm’s way so this creeping hurricane probably won’t damage them too much.

In lieu of having anything worthwhile or truly meaningful to say let me leave you with this inspiring video of Bob Marley’s Natural Mystic fom jahlivejahlove

A High Wind in Jamaica

He’s been here a few hours now. i don’t mind him; he’s a gentle soul compared to Emily and Dennis. Or Ivan. Ivan was terrible.

It’s been raining and gusting for some hours now, at least four or five. but we’re lucky, we have water and power so i can amuse myself on the internet and watch tv if i want. Barack is to speak shortly and i guess some people are all agog about that.

It’s not all as upbeat as i’m making out. There’ve been a few casualties–motor vehicle accidents some of them. A Police Inspector has been shot in St. Mary. A 50 year old man was killed while belatedly trying to prune a tree. i know all this from Nationwide Radio. Radio in Jamaica is the best. and Nationwide is arguably the best of local radio. Digital radio FM 720 in Kingston. The brainchild of Cliff Hughes, an old hand who has revolutionized local media, N’wide is my lifeline during these disruptive and distressing weather events. There’s something very comforting about having your favourite journalists on duty, keeping you company as it were, through the rough times. Emily Crooks and Hughes babysat us through Ivan the Terrible. Don’t know what we’d have done without them.

everytingkripsy left a hilarious note on the youtube video Hurricane! in my previous post:

I know unu a get prep for the storm and everyting but a wah yu a do wid so much kerosene!! mine unu blow up the yard.. lol.. good luck

Well, everytingkripsy, a kersene a run ting when di power gone; anyway, mi gone a watch Obama do his ting. till soon folks.