Friday, 28 May 2010

In Other News

Today begins the highly anticipated "Memorial Weekend."

Since my last post many rumours have been circulating concerning America's presence in the Caribbean country of Jamaica, as people wonder why one man--Christopher Coke--is worthy of so much trouble and media attention. Being as open as I am, I can say that some of these theories are harder to believe than others.

Still, I am not writing today about the situation at hand, though I am sure you can understand that since the event is right in my backyard I am very much affected by it. Nonetheless, those who are abroad can only watch and wait as the events unfold. In the meanwhile, I will update accordingly. (I'm a little happy about it because it gave me something interesting to write about.)

This weekend I have all intentions of enjoying myself fully. Many of my friends are coming in town for the holiday weekend and most of them intend to party, party, and party some more. Of course, as my new year's post indicated, partying nonstop is not my favourite thing to do. I much prefer to take advantage of the fact that everyone is in one place and have some sort of game or kalooki night and maybe spend a day at the beach if the weather permits.

I've noticed that the weather has been insanely bipolar all of this week, but I am hoping the rain can hold up for the weekend. Last night we had a mini-hurricane which started very sporadically after an otherwise sunny blue-sky day. Just the same, after dimsum with my cousin the day before, we decided to waste some time by walking around in the mall a little.

When it was time to leave we noticed that the great flood was outside. Being the badass person that I am, though, I vowed to go and get the car for her since we left the umbrella in there. Needless to say, I was soaked; and my poor little feet slopped through the inches of water beneath me.

I was never one to be afraid of water though, after all I am a swimmer.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Exhaustion of The Subject

Evidently there's still much controversy about whether or not the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) should be fighting this war in Kingston. However, buses that were sent into Tivoli Gardens yesterday for "innocent" people came out empty. Instead, the people adamantly displayed their phones--which were allegedly taken from them by gunmen as ransom--and expressed the fact that they were not held as hostages in the community.

U.S. broadcasts showed even a dog with a cardboard sign saying "We will die for Dudus" as people stood around and demonstrated, comparing Coke to Jesus Christ. I personally believe that JDF is doing a good job. So far the numbers show 25 dead and 211 detained--women & children alike. To some it may sound like too much, to others too little; but at the end of the day history shows that out of revolution comes change.

Unfortunately, innocent people almost always get caught in a war. Many wars have been fought across the planet and some Jamaicans are advocating aggressively because 25 gunmen died? Wake up! They have all collaborated to fight against the security forces, so I say kill them all. As one person wrote, we cannot afford for them to regroup. Perimeters should be set outside of the hot spots in an effort to capture those who have escaped the onslaught. JDF should also have an unlimited access to weaponry and ammunition; it is absolutely unacceptable that these men should be running out of bullets in the middle of a war.

Bloodshed is never something to be proud of, but it is important that we remember that all those who remain in the battle are there by choice--worst those who are firing back at the security forces. The "innocent" who were given the opportunity to leave the area, vowed to stay there and defend Coke until the end. So be it.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Seriously Though?

I am appalled at what is going on in my home country and the international attention is detrimental to our tourism sector, which is all that the previous political party has left us with.

Ever since the extradition papers were signed by the Prime Minister (PM) for Christopher "Dudus" Coke, Kingston and Saint Andrew residents and onlookers have been on the edge of their seats.

The entire Kingston area was put on lock down sometime last week for "precautionary reasons." Everyone was sent home and all businesses closed. Yesterday the US navy arrived off the coast of Jamaica meanwhile JDF and JCF headed to Tivoli Gardens to face a stand-off that has extended into today. About an hour ago the Government declared a state of emergency for both Kingston and St. Andrew. Evidently, all gunmen have barricaded themselves inside Tivoli Gardens, joined forces against the police, and are planning to launch coordinating attacks against security forces.

Would you believe all of this is over one man? The blatant and embarrassing ignorance of majority of the people in my country never ceases to amaze me. To know that they are willing to take down the entire country just for one man is disgusting!

If you ask me, they should just blow up all of Tivoli Gardens. It may sound cruel, but logically thinking I can assume that all who remain there are either foolish beyond my understanding, or are a part of the entire ordeal. What better opportunity than now to kill all of the high-risk gunmen in the country at once?

Furthermore, it will give the upcoming gunmen a chance to think twice about the life they want to live and which path they decide to travel.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

That Never Happened

I wish there was a way to just get rid of a memory or an event that you'd rather not remember.

I've been trying to think up ways to get over a regret or a mistake by learning from it and then immediately clearing it from memory. I feel like I've made many mistakes and have done many things I am not proud of. Often times I found myself putting other people's wants, needs, and interests before mine only to feel used and worthless in the end. If I could go back, there are so many things I would have done differently. But I can't; and they happened.

Now I spend plenty of time thinking about what I have done. I think of all the things I have said, all the people I have hurt, all the people who have hurt me, and I don't know where to put it. I've been told that I need to learn to let go, and I made it a priority to do just that. I spent most of my day yesterday clearing out my sentimental drawers. I threw away things I was holding and keeping for no reason; got rid of pictures and reminders I shouldn't have had so long to begin with. Yet still, I don't feel any lighter. The weight of the past still brings me down.

I think a lot about what would happen if I became rich and famous. Would all the scum from my past resurface? Would people from all over come out & say things to bring me down? I wonder why I even have skeletons to worry about in the first place. As human beings we live to sin and make mistakes. Why am I ashamed of the life I've lived? Why did I spend so much time doing things I never truly wanted to do? When did Meisha's happiness come in to play?

I need to learn to love me before I can love & be loved. I've spent years trying to convince people that self-confidence is key, and ironically enough I have none. I don't feel wholesome in myself & my accomplishments; in my relationships & my achievements. I always feel like I fall short of my goals and intentions and have no one but myself to blame. The sad part is that I've never had a problem accepting the role I play in any and everything if I had one, and I'm always the first one to take the blame.

I'm thinking maybe there are plenty of pluses to getting amnesia and I wish there was a way to induce it. What I would do to be able to forget some of the people I've met, the things I've done, and the feelings I've felt. I had hoped that by ridding myself of all physical manifestation of an event or time period I'd also rid myself of the emotional baggage. Life doesn't work like that though. It's up to you to learn what you need to from an experience and then leave it in the past where it belongs.

The universe has yet to create a reset button.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Cry For Help

It seems as if every day I hear something new about the country I call home and it is almost never anything good.

The beautiful island of Jamaica declared its independence from Britain in 1962 and, after the first decade, has been struggling to do something productive. Though still a commonwealth of the Queen, the more recent Jamaican politicians have over the years proven themselves incapable of providing the country with a stable government, a safe environment, and progressive changes. Jamaica is the third most populous English-speaking country in the Americas, behind the US & Canada, and has almost nothing left to its name.

Politicians, largely for their own short-term benefit, have sold out most if not all its monetary industries to countries in Europe & Latin America, the US, and Trinidad. Rich men in said countries have invested in large amounts of land where they build luxury hotels and condominiums like RIU and The Palmayra--places where the average Jamaican citizen cannot afford to live nor vacation. Not one hotel in Jamaica is owned by the Jamaican government and none of the proceeds from the privately owned hotels go to our country, but instead to the already wealthy investors or countries.

They have also managed to sell out all money-making industries and have created a dangerous environment that has put a damper on the once dependable industry of tourism. Further, the tourists who do go to Jamaica are filling the pockets of those private companies that build all-inclusive hotels and expensive attractions, and transport the tourists directly from the airport to those places, where they stay for their entire vacation. Though the most popular resorts of Sandals & Beaches are not owned by another country, they are still under the management of one man, Gordon "Butch" Stuart, to whom all proceeds go.

Since 2006, statistics show a decrease in unemployment, an increase in agricultural and tourist industries, and an overall growing economy. The biggest problem, however, as it has been for years, is controlling the crime rate in the more metropolitan areas. For years Jamaica has been at the top of the list for countries with the highest crime rate. As taxes increase and citizens inadvertently use more money than they make, it is no wonder the crime rate has significantly increased. An estimated 60% of highly educated Jamaicans live abroad--a pattern that increases along with the crime rate and low pay. Most Jamaican University graduates are faced with not being able to find a good paying job worthy of their degrees, if any at all. There are no job opportunities for those highly educated citizens, which explains the great brain drain the country has been experiencing. Now, young adults are leaving right after high school and heading to the US, England, and even other Caribbean countries.

More recently I was informed of yet another problem; water shortage. Jamaica "the land of wood and water" is without the latter. Residents in the metropolitan area in Kingston have been placed on a water timetable. The two main sources, Mona Reservoir (capacity: 809 million gallons) and Hermitage Reservoir (capacity: 393 million gallons) are both less than half filled to capacity, leaving the capital with running pipe water for only four hours in the morning and four hours in the evening. It is not out of the ordinary for someone to wake up in the morning, turn on the pipe, and have nothing come out. Those who are more fortunate have tanks, and those who are not have buckets. During those 8 hours those less-fortunate residents make it a point to retain as much water as possible so that they can wash their hands or take a shower if necessary.

Imagine that. Something as simple as waking up and heading to the bathroom to brush your teeth is a problem to people all over the world as it is not only Jamaica that is having a water shortage. This is a serious problem. Jamaica already owes IMF billions of dollars in debt, and were ordered to sell the country's airline, Air Jamaica, before any more money could be borrowed. The process of desalination, which is the only alternative, would cost millions of dollars in energy and in the process itself; millions that the country does not have. This water shortage has forced some schools to close early on some days and completely on others and has also forced them on some occasions to buy water for $20,000 per truck load.

One a more international scale, Jamaica has been in the news for a man by the name of Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, the head of the Shower Posse and allegedly one of the world's most notorious narcotic kingpins. His extradition was ordered by US officials in August and the request has since been denied by the Jamaican government. This has "indirectly" resulted in the revoking of visas from many of our popular Dancehall artistes, which has since been a topic of great discussion. Both countries remain strong and steadfast in their positions; leaving critics to debate the rumoured connection between Dudus and the current elected party. Meanwhile the relationship between the US and Jamaica, and quite possibly other US-allied countries, continues to deteriorate. My opinion on the matter will remain reticent and impervious; however, I do believe that the line needs to be drawn somewhere.

Reducing crime starts from the top down; be it first a notorious kingpin or a crooked politician.

More along a domestic spectrum, all government school teachers are now on their second day of strike. The government allegedly owes them billions of dollars too and they have decided to make a scene of it. There is no doubt that this is not the first time the teachers have been on strike, and I can't say that their strikes have ever been successful. However, today marks the second day of schools being closed because of justifiably disgruntled teachers, meanwhile the students countrywide are supposed to be preparing for the very important CXC and Cape exams.

Something needs to happen in Jamaica. Too many weapons have been smuggled into the country, too many politicians are in it for personal reasons, and too many people are suffering.