Sunday Meditation: Dominic James, PNP laziness, Inaction with Prayer and Oh Etana...
As usual, the week that went by was eventful and thought provoking in almost every aspect. We had the sudden passing of a St. George's student, Dominic James during a football match, The People's National party "settling in" after their internal elections and Jamaica's second city of Montego Bay is currently in the process of killing itself. And we get to Etana, whose recent interview on the Entertainment Report has ruffled the feathers of every rooster and hen in Jamaica. Have a shower, find a comfortable spot, grab your favourite beer/wine and have a read.
Tuesday, September 20 was to be like any other Tuesday. There was work to be done and school to attend, the day would be hot and insufferable and if we were lucky we would get a shower of rain in the afternoon to keep the temperature; but not so much rain that we were not able to see the showdowns scheduled in the afternoon in the ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup tournament. With over 20 matches scheduled, it was bound to be an eventful day as persons came out to support their high schools who each sought the Manning Cup title and bragging rights for a year. But tragedy struck when 17 year old Dominic James collapsed on the field and was later rushed to the hospital but died soon after. His death came as a shock to many but to none more than the youths of Jamaica who had to stop and ponder the fragility of their own lives. For a young man in the prime of his life dying so suddenly was heart wrenching but even more so by the fact that questions linger around his death. Why wasn't an ambulance present? Could a defibrillator have saved his life? Why do people insist on sharing that video of his final hours on social media? Questions we may never have the answer to, but they seem to have put renewed vigour in persons getting the most out of life and ISSA putting more emphasis on preventing such senseless deaths from occurring once more. A reactive move as usual but one that is most welcome.
People's Lazy, Bitter and Fool Fool Party?
The People's National Party has always in my book been the perfect Opposition party. They bicker and nitpick so much that it kept the Jamaica Labour Party on their toes on what they would be complaining about, finding even the smallest flaw in a proposed plan that we and keeping us Jamaicans in the know about the flaws of said plan. The Jamaica Labour Party on the other hand were a poor opposition in my humble opinion, seemingly more intent on cannibalising each other rather than holding the PNP to task on their every move. Yet these days the roles seem reversed, the Jamaica Labour Party enjoys somewhat widespread support and engages regularly with the people. Andrew Holness seems to be reading straight from Barack Obama's reelection campaign handbook and has made himself highly visible through social media and regularly posts updates from both his professional and personal life. This is in stark contrast to Portia Simpson Miller's hands off, "missing in action" style that most persons despised during her rule. There is nothing wrong Mrs. Simpson Miller's style of leading, just the wrong time to be using it. Jamaica is currently so deep in debt that we could sell the island to the Chinese and still be in crippling debt. In times like these, the leader needs to be highly visible, be seen working on their behalf, leading from the front and working on the people's behalf. The JLP has began portraying themselves as united and cohesive unit moving in sync with each other -though the security ministry is still a mess but more on that later.- These days the PNP is in the process of attempting suicide and though those are strong words, I find no easier way to put it. The loss of the General Elections was blamed on both Peters; one for his relentless quest on the current Prime Minster's mansion and the other for not formulating a proper campaign plan. This was followed by an inquiry as to why they lost which concluded that a lack of a proper manifesto/proposal along with arrogance and discounting the articulate minority added up to narrowly give the victory to the JLP. But it seems bad tidings came in droves for the PNP for they were wrapped in another scandal of Trafigura proportions as news soon broke that some senior members of the party were robbing the cookie jar blind with US$20 million dollars contributed by various entities for elections being relocated to their personal coffers. With fingers being pointed everywhere, the internal elections were held and a resounding middle finger was given to anyone who called for renewal in the party as the entire leadership was returned unchanged. No one expected Dr. Karl Blythe to win, he was more of a space holder than a serious contender, but perhaps none felt it more than Lisa Hanna who went the full 100. Allegedly spending over $2 Million dollars with ads at even Prime Time, a section notoriously hard to book for even the wealthiest of companies. After the ballots were counted, she received the least amount of votes with Dr. Fenton Ferguson, he of the 'those aren't real babies' quote tallying the highest. Shocking? yes, surprising? You obviously haven't experienced Jamaican politics if you're asking that. If we backtrack a few years, this was the JLP, rudderless and without a leader; the infighting would made Supreme Ventures a mint if we were allowed to bet on it.
Pray and Forget
Montego Bay, Jamaica's second city is currently in a state of civil war. It is a war that takes no prisoners and requires blood sacrifices everyday in order to sate whatever demon resides there. 15 murders over three days, school buses being shot at as students go to school, the police powerless and the citizens shaking their heads as they wonder who is next, the government pleads for their help; they receive....prayer. Ahh prayer, the poor man's refuge and strength, his shelter in a storm and a cornerstone of our deeply religious society. Prayer is so deeply ingrained in our society that no function can be stated without it and every man and woman knows at least 2 Psalms that they use as a prayer. But I have a problem with prayer or rather, those who pray. Whenever you need a job, do you pray and sit staring at the sky waiting for a job to fall from the sky? No you send out your resumes and form connections while you hustle in the mean time. If you are ill, do you sit at home waiting for the healing hands to grace your sickness? No, you get your ass to the doctor and try to get help. Yes, you must leave everything to the Creator but he has provided avenues for you to experience his goodness. So explain to me why in all the wisdom that God has given to us as humans, do you believe that praying and doing nothing will help our situation? I'm not saying to grab your nearest Superman costume and fly around trying to fight criminals. That would be stupid, funny but stupid. I know there are churches that have their outreaches but so many more have become complacent in sin that it's laughable. Your own bible says go to the masses yet it seems as if that part of the bible is conveniently omitted. Or maybe it's the Al Miller ruling has every religious leader on edge? Odd for a country that is almost 80% Christianity but who knows? For now it seems that prayer is a comfortable form of inaction on many person's part.
Etana and the Great wall of Personal Opinion
Donald Trump is not very liked by a vast majority of persons and with good reason. The walking orange Cheeto with tiny hands has managed to insult almost every race, ethnicity, sex and country while throwing a tantrum about not receiving preferential treatment. Jamaicans don't really give him any thought except they know he will make getting a visa much harder, say no more he is on the public enemy list. But it certainly came as a shock that Reggae songstress Etana went on air and stated that she would be voting for the Republican candidate despite his offensive demeanour. But Anthony Miller seemed to sense that he had a story and left the previous topic of women and plastic surgery and her thoughts on the "Curvy Diva" Yanique and the 'Fluffy diva' Miss Kitty- she would claim that she has no problem with them as she loves their personality.- At Anthony's request, she explained that Trump had a point when he claimed that Mexicans were racist and murders and that when he said that quote he was not speaking about the entire country but about that sub group of persons in particular. The collective question marks over the population's head was almost visible and the backlash was almost instant with persons taking to social media to vent. Questions such as what about the message of positivity that she sings about? Was it all an act to get our support? Some called her a traitor while other went as far as to call her Jamaica's Ben Carson. Whoever she votes for, she definitely won't be making any tours in Mexico soon.
NOTE: It is important to note in the discussion that Etana claims that her interview was edited by the Entertainment Report to place her in a bad light. She has since done another video on Facebook seeking to clarify her statement.