26 July 2009

My Apologies

I'm sorry for my absence in the blogosphere but I've been away working, and I generally think too hard into doing posts. So if I feel something isn't up to par, I don't post it. :/ I will however get back on my game and do better. I'm going to have trust my gut, and trust that you want to see as much of what I see, and not just the glamourized things.
Peace & Blessings til we meet again!

11 May 2009

Robert Nesta Marley OM - Rest In Peace


You departed 28 years ago, but your memory lives on in ways you would never imagine. You put Jamaica on the map; you've been dubbed Man of the Millennium, Exodus was the Album of the Century, and One Love the song of the Millennium. You lived your life to the fullest and created quite a legacy to show it. If I could take one thing to live by, out of the many you've uttered...I'll go w/ what you said to Ziggy these 28 years ago; "Money Can't Buy Life". Bless up to the big man, your words will live on....

Redemption Song... my fave :)





Ode to Bob Marley by Mark Johnson...





Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds...

10 May 2009

Government gone tax crazy!


Walking thru half way tree the other day I hear police sirens blaring down the road. I look up to see two empty trucks zooming down the street, followed by two trucks filled w/ gun toting police grinning from ear to ear. Where were they heading? They were heading to the garrisons [eagerly hoping] to fill the empty trucks w/ peaceful protesters. What are they protesting you ask? Oh, they're just against the Ridunkulous list of items that will now be taxed by our governing body ...the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP). Twas some twenty years ago that the same JLP blocked roads, and protested against the then governing (PNP) to impose the same taxation.

With these new taxes will come more suffeRaTion, yes I said SuffeRaTion, for the Jamaican people. Especially the poor less fortunate ones who are struggling & hustling everyday to make ends meet. I will give you a list of the things that are now being taxed...Thanks to Danyell for sending it to me. It kinda long still, so you can read it if & when you bored @ work :) I'll shorten it a bit though...

LIST OF PREVIOUSLY TAX-FREE ITEMS NOW SUBJECT TO GCT

Agriculture
1. [Animal feeds (excluding pet food) reinstated as zero-rated]
2. Hog wire, mesh wire and barbed wire.
3. Self propelled agricultural equipment, agricultural tractors and agricultural implements
4. Irrigation equipment and any other agricultural goods and equipment which the
Minister may approve by notice published in the Gazette.
5. Fishing apparatus, gear, boats. engines, equipment and parts therefor.
6. [Fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, plant growth regulators, nematicides,
rodenticides, veterinary preparations, and molluscides’ reinstated as zero-rated ]
7. [Insecticides for agricultural use’ reinstated as zero-rated]

Health
(a) All drugs used primarily in the treatment of asthma;
(b) diagnostic reagents used for the testing of dextrose in the blood and glucose, protein,
ketones and pH in the urine;
(c) any of the following -
(i) topical antifungal preparations
(ii) scabicides and pedicuticides;
(iii) anthelmintics;
(iv) haemorrhoidal preparations in ointment or suppository form;
(v) analgesics and anti- inflammatory agents;
(vi) surgical gloves, including disposable, sterile and those made of latex rubber;
(vii) cough and cold preparations
(viii) antacids;
(ix) band aid;
(x) anti- histamines;
(xi) preparations for acne and eczema;
(xii) olbas oil, vaso constrictors, vaso dilators and other drugs used to loosen congestion;
(xiii) ophtalmic drops and washes;
(xiv) antiseptics and disinfectants;
(xv) simple single constituent medicines packaged in small containers used for first aid;
(xvi) rubbing alcohol;
(xvii) bay rum.

Any –
(a) medical, dental, surgical, ophthalmic or veterinary instruments or components;
(b) [‘orthopaedic appliances, surgical belts, trusses, splints and other fracture
appliances, artificial limbs, eyes, teeth and other artificial parts of the body, hearing
aids, other appliances which are worn or carried or implanted in the body to
compensate for any bodily defect or disability, canes and crutches designed for use by
the handicapped and eye glasses and contact lens used for the treatment or correction
of a defect in vision on the written prescription of an eye care
professional’ reinstated
as zero-rated.]
(c) laboratory appliances (including electromedical apparatus) and apparatus used for Xrays or radiation from radioactive substances;
(d) water quality monitoring equipment and seals and equipment used by health care
personnel;
(e) parts and accessories for any of the foregoing (except in respect of items in (b)).Medical and surgical prostheses including surgical implants and ileostomy, colostomy and similar abilities designed to be worn by human beings.
5. Artificial breathing apparatus for individuals afflicted with respiratory disorder.
6. Any medical equipment approved by the Chief Medical Officer.
7. Bandages and gauze.
8. Goods which are acquired by or on behalf of a private hospital.
9. Supply of services by a private hospital.

Books, Newspapers and Education
10) brochures, pamphlets and leaflets for religious purposes and books other than
schoolbooks and booklets
(b) newspapers journals and periodicals, whether or not illustrated
(c) children's picture books and painting books;
(d) maps and hydrographic charts and similar charts of all kinds, including atlases, wall
maps and topographical plans, printed globes (terrestrial or celestial).
11. (a) Stationery and educational apparatus and equipment (including those used for
games and physical training) for use in a private educational institution.
(b) school buses which are purchased by or on behalf of a private educational institution.
(c) Goods purchased by a private educational institution.
Miscellaneous
12. Sports equipment (including clothing) specifically designed for use in the following
sports -
(a) basketball;
(b) boxing;
(c) cricket;
(d) football;
(e) hockey
(f) netball,
(g) table tennis;
(h) track and field;
(i) volley ball;
(j) dominoes;
(k) badminton;
(l) cycling;
(m) golf;
(n) lawn tennis;
(o) rugby;
(p) softball;
(q) squash;
(r) swimming.
13. Goods acquired by or on behalf of the Boy Scouts or Girl Guides Associations of
Jamaica or any other youth organization.
14. Insurance payable in respect of buses used for public passenger transport.
15. Any payment of agency fees, commissions or other similar payment to a person who
does not reside in Jamaica, in respect of arrangements made by that person for the
transportation of goods to or from Jamaica.

Energy Saving Devices
16. The following lighting equipment -
(a) compact fluorescent lamps and ballast;
(b) fluorescent tube fixtures and tubes;
(c) circular fluorescent lamps;
(d) fluorescent ballasts;
(e) high intensity discharge fixtures and bulbs.
(f) fibre glass panels for sky lighting.
17. Automated, electronic or computerized lighting control systems including occupancy
sensors and photocells for such systems.
18. Solar panel' and tubes for solar water heating systems.
19. Solar cells designed to produce electricity from the sun.
20. Apparatus or machinery designed to produce motive power, heat, light or electricity
through the utilization of renewable sources of energy, for example, sun, wind and water.
Coverings and Containers
21. Coverings and containers designed for the packaging of agricultural goods or
supplied to a manufacturer or producer .
GOODS PREVIOUSLY EXEMPT FROM TAX
22. Coffins.
23. Freshly squeezed fruit juices.
24. Ice
25. Marl, sand, gravel, stone and top soil (to be taxed at 12 1/2%)
26. Processed cheese packaged by a manufacturer in tins of 1 kilogram or more.
27. Margarine
28. Black pepper.
29. Instant coffee.
30. Tea.
31. Chocolate- flavoured drink mix.
32. Matches.
33. Toilet paper.
34. Oral and dental preparations including toothpaste, denture powder and denture
fixatives.
35. Soaps including medicated soaps.
36. Synthetic detergents.
37. Laundry bleach.
38. Floor polish.
39. Disposable protective bed pads.
40. Tomato ketchup.
41. Mosquito destroyer.
42. Insect sprays.
43. Computer Equipment
SERVICES PREVIOUSLY EXEMPT FROM TAX
44.The following operations:
(a) the installation in any building or structure of systems of heating, lighting, ventilation,
power supply, drainage, sanitation, water supply, fire protection, air conditioning,
elevators or escalators
(b) the internal cleaning of buildings and structures so far as carried out in the course of
their construction, alteration, extension, repair or restoration;
(c) painting the internal or external surface of any building or structure.
45.Transportation of goods within Jamaica.
46. Services rendered by an undertaker in relation to burial or cremation.
47.Activities for which an admission fee is charged carried out by any cultural
organization .
48. Services rendered free of charge to members of a business or professional
organization, the members of which pay a membership subscription.
49. Services rendered by a charitable corporation or charitable association or a service
club, or a home for the aged.
50. Repairs to agricultural equipment, tractors, implements, and aircraft and vessels used
in international transportation.
51. Services rendered by a registered trade union
52.Services rendered under a contract of health insurance and life assurance
53.Services rendered by an attorney-at-law in relation to criminal matters and litigation
concerning the liberty of persons.
54. Services rendered by a corporation as defined in the Registration (Strata Titles) Act in
pursuance of the powers and duties specified in that Act.
55.The provision of cold storage facilities for foodstuff.
56. Aerial spraying of agricultural crops.
57. Services rendered in relation to the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act.
58. The management of a superannuation scheme.
59. The rental or lease of land used for agricultural purposes or as a building site.
That's all folks! The taxation crisis had began... Thanks for coming thru. Me appreciates & me likeee :D

18 April 2009

Living Legends


Last night during a case of what to do, where to go, some friends and I ended up @ the Redbones Blues Cafe to take in some live music. The line up however, was not any ordinary thing, this was a night to behold legends.

Earl "Chinna" Smith [one of the most noted and best guitarists in the reggae recording industry] had us in his hands during a hearftfelt solo. Willie Lindo [veteran producer, guitarist and engineer] was dropping bass worthy of a skank or two. Kiddus I of Rockers fame charmed the stage with his soothing voice and captivating performance. The backing band was like none I've ever seen. The percussionist was in charge of @least three instruments, but whether he was tapping the triangle, or tapping the wind chimes, he made his job seem like the most important out there; so much emotion! The drummers could literally put you in a trance. I've danced w/ actual African drummers, but am more apt to becoming entranced at the hands of a Jamaican drummer...eyes closed, body feeling the boom, and the most! The roots on horns [whose name I didn't get :( ] was phenomenal, standing ovation type stuff. Since you guys missed this great acoustic set, I recorded a bit for you...sorry in advance for the low quality, I do what I can :). Btw, Chinna is the guitarist sitting in all white...and the lighting was that beAutiful orange hue.


Easy Skanking Acoustic Session
video


Kiddus I 2009
video

Kiddus I 1976

More about the venue and artists:

Redbones Blues Cafe

Earl "Chinna" Smith

Willie Lindo

Kiddus I

Rockers

16 April 2009

Home is where the heart is?


Driving around downtown last week I pulled out my camera while parked. Reason being; I noticed what appeared to be homeless kids chilling @ the pier. I gathered that they were homeless b/c they weren't wearing any shoes, and they looked like they were congregating to take their bath in the polluted Kingston Harbour.

The kids, who appeared to be between the ages of 14-18, looked fairly happy. That eased my sadness just a little so I just took pictures of them as discretely as I could. These are the people I want to save...






04 April 2009

Life & Debt... in Jamaica

This documentary, released in 2001 is educational, interesting, and [for me] extremely upsetting. It is an eye opener that you will not regret watching. I will leave my thoughts about the inaccuracies and injustices in the comments section. Enjoy, and please leave your views. :o)




I hope you were enlightened, now lets talk about it...

28 March 2009

Yu a guh laugh til yu belly buss!

Oliver Samuels, Jamaica's #1 reigning comedian, has been gracing film and stages locally and abroad since the early 70s. Often described as Jamaica's Bill Cosby, Samuels brought laughter to many Jamaican homes on Friday evenings w/ his series Oliver At Large. After being on local TV for more than a decade; the series was cancelled and placed into syndication, at which time it began airing overseas in Brooklyn, Miami, and England. Samuels continues his work by touring overseas between spring and summer, and doing stand up locally during the rest of the year.

Hailing from St.Mary, Oliver has been a leader in the community by lending his talents to noteworthy causes like Food For The Poor, Rose Bank All-Age School his alma mater, the Swift Purcell Boys' Home in Claremont, St. Mary and children living with HIV/AIDS.

The clips below are just a small glimpse into his Extensive body of work which can be found on Amazon.com, Fattvideos.com, and other obscure "googleable' websites. I'm confident that you're Really going to enjoy these clips. To my foreign viewers I hope you can decipher the patois :)... and to see the other two parts of this episode leave me a comment and I'll fix it up for you!

Til next time, peAce and walk good...








24 March 2009

We A Rockers!

Rockers, one of the Best films to ever leave Jamaica's shores was directed by Ted Bafaloukos in 1978. I was introduced to the film 30 years later by a friend, and was ashamed for not knowing it even existed, but I figured...better late than never.
Originally set to be a documentary, it evolved into a film depicting the reggae culture @ it's peak. It captures the true peaceful essence of the Rastafarian culture in the opening of the film, and gradually tells the tale of the emergence of recording industries in Jamaica. Horsemouth, a drummer living in innercity Kingston plans to make some extra money selling and distributing records. He buys a motorcycle to carry them to the sound systems around the island, and the film takes us along that journey.

The beautiful patois spoken by the well noted reggae artists, complimented by the authentic shots of Jamaica, make this movie a classic. "Horsemouth", played by Leroy Wallace was filmed w/ his actual family in his [then] own home to maintain the true essence of the film. Below, is ONE of the hiLarious clips from the movie. I recommend that everyone google it, purchase it, and cherish it while watching w/ your fam, the homies, and the massive and crew. Enjoy!

22 March 2009

A Girl like Me



In my quest to find material to speak to Jamaica's youth, I'm led to various sites or told to google certain things by my friends. I googled this video this afternoon and was both sad and happy about the girls' views. I'm happy that clearly there are some who are growing up w/ self love regardless of the images and stereotypes thrown @ them. I also was saddened that the younger children have not yet been enlightened. There is however, hope. The youngsters who conducted the doll test are now put in a position to erase the stigma attached to colour and teach about the varying shades of beAuty. Hope you enjoyed! Let me know what you think... :)

19 March 2009

Each one Teach one


Since my return home I've been giving my time to various High Schools until someone gives me a job. The schools that I've volunteered @ are mainly in the inner city communities and I've noticed a disturbing trend; bleaching of the skin. So far, my topics have ranged from Respecting Self & Others, Values & Attitudes, to just conducting devotions. During one presentation, I asked a group of 14 yr old girls for examples displaying a lack of self respect. I got the "normal" answers like promiscuity, premarital sex, stealing, vulgar behaviour, and....bleaching. There was a particular girl in the class who is evidently a "bleacher" who said; "Nooo, bleaching nuh inna dis, dat nuh have nutten fi do w/ self respeck". The class erupted in laughter.

My reason for concern on the matter is, on a daily basis I've been seeing light and dark brown bodies walking around w/ pink faces, sometimes necks if there is extra cream to spread around. *lol*. The individuals go as far as getting their eyebrows and hair dyed black to create a better colour contrast. The unfortunate thing is they aren't getting lighter, they mainly look bruised. Their skin appears to have been stretched so thinly across the face that if it were to be pricked, it would snap and bleed everywhere.

As the below link illustrates, this a "trend" that isn't going away anytime soon. Parents are passing it down to their children, who are taking it to the schools, thus affecting a wider range of our nation's youth. Not enough is being done to address the issue of self appreciation, we turn our heads and shun people who are sometimes born into it, and we perpetuate negative images of beAuty. Let us do more to be inclusive of all shades and textures by educating the community @ large that beAuty does not lay in the complexion of your skin or the texture of your hair; but on the inside of our hearts.


The Bleaching Epidemic


16 March 2009

A day Wiser

During a family visit this weekend I was introduced to my sister-in-law's grandfather, an octogenarian. As I sat across the table from him, I stared and listened in awe as he (methodically) rambled on about the marvels of 2009. This began from a song blaring from a cell phone as it rang. He started; "Telephones, I remember when I first saw one".

He began to tell me of his youthful days when the light in his home was provided by oil lamps, and recalled the men who would come and light the street lamps @ night. His face lit up when he told me about his move to Kingston, when he for the first time saw a light bulb. The way he said "light bulb" is equivalent to the way men today say "March Madness". It was an exciting time for him, he recalled tram cars and train stations which are now a thing of the past in Jamaica, and exclaimed about the uproar caused from the first sighting of an airplane. As a result of the plane's altitude, no sound was heard, so everyone came out into the streets exclaiming that "God was coming". After the third day of this happening, one man said "oh, that's a plane". He was resultantly taunted and called a blasphemer (among other things), until the plane descended into the newly built airport where everyone was able to see the frame.

In the hour long conversation we had; it wasn't exactly what he said, but more so the way he said it, and the expression on his face that left an impression on me. He was able to convey his thoughts and feelings in a manner that took me to the days he spoke of. He had a concerned look on his face for the upcoming generations, as we spoke about the fact that society has become so modernized that we no longer appreciate the small things. We complain when there is a power outage, even though 64 years ago, residences operated w/o electricity. We gripe over an email taking 30 seconds longer than normal to load, even though we used to wait two weeks for a physical letter to arrive.

I left his company w/ hopes of one day being as patient and wise as he. Though ExTreMeLy thankful for today's technology, I am more appreciative of the relics of the past...*I must purchase a Walkman soon!* Being in his presence I was reminded that it is a privilege to age and experience the wonders in our ever changing world, and reminded of the necessity for elders. I hope to one day be a valuable "old" asset to the community as he was to me...

Ashe'

12 March 2009

Equality = Eventual Peace

So I'm really perturbed today. I woke up w/ the intent to write about self image and love, but was rerouted to the topic of love for others. I watched a clip of a prominent Jamaican who migrated to the US because she felt unsafe in the country of her birth. She is a lesbian who was raped by a dozen men who wanted "to show her what a real man feels like". I posted the clip on another profile and received comments from a lesbian friend, and a straight friend. The dialogue felt healthy initially but in the end I walked away from it feeling like my views weren't heard. There were still derogatory comments made in jest, which negated everything I said, and had the power to offend the lesbian party of the conversation. The "when in Rome" premise was offered up as a statement to let the gays know how to "behave" in certain environs, i.e. Jamaica. Basically; they must act accordingly in order to not bring unwanted attention to themselves, and dare not make us heteros feel uncomfortable. I've lived a life where I've seen varying forms of discrimination, and it seems we go to the bat to chastise racism and classism, while descriminating against things that may not affect us directly. I'm not trying to be Captain Save'em, I'm just trying to bring about change that will allow the children of the world to grow up w/ a little less hatred, and a lot more love.

PeAce

11 March 2009

Greetings to Yaad & Farin

So, I have a few things on my mind that I think need to be said. Hence this blog. I will touch on things from my daily life that affect &/ effect me in some way, shape, or form, whether it be good or bad. Reason being; it's affecting someone else too. I want to be a voice that spotlights things that need to be changed or celebrated. I am very tangential, and tend to ramble but hope that my true thoughts and feelings will be conveyed through the chosen medium. I hope to entertain while enlightening, don't plan to offend (we'll see how that goes), and am working on my comedic skills. Feel free to comment openly & honestly in order for us to have much needed discourse.

Ashe'