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...


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.


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.