Monday, March 26, 2007

Gaea - Goddess of the Earth

Gaea cries, raped and abused,
Forceful penetration impeding her foliage,
Invasive marauders thrusting and pumping,
Emitting lusty, guttural moans as Gaea is used.
No artful foreplay for her pleasure,
Gaea screams - cries remain unanswered,
Her pain disregarded and irrelevant,
As her rapists affirm their existence,
Spewing filth and ejaculating cancerous pollutants,
Seeping through Gaea’s vaginal core,
Decaying and corroding Gaea’s mantle,
Deteriorating her outer crust
Embodying itself through her wounds.
Evident contusions and discolorations
Unrestrained throughout her being,
Gaea’s abrasions and cries for help evident:
Stunted growth and lack of fruition;
Depleted, infertile famine ridden planes -
Charred remnants of her beauty,
Congealing among barren landscapes,
Chaos igniting amidst her foundation
Annihilating Gaea’s peaceful existence,
Depleting her oxygen - the root of her growth,
Eroding and wilting her terrain.
Waste and rot - Gaea’s colourless existence,
Limbs razed for inanimate structures,
As Gaea remains trodden, stampeded,
Scarred, embittered and under siege.
Vengeful, Gaea vows to unleash her wrath,
Dormant power misconstrued and misunderstood,
Rage prominent through her psyche,
Overwhelming emotions to spite invasive species,
As caustic and scarred, she cries.
Gaea cries torrential, monsoon waters,
Breathing, gusting hurricane forced winds,
Quaking and writhing disastrously,
Prepared to reap destruction in her wake.
Gaea cries, emitting torrential gusts
Stabbing and freezing her abusers in their tracks;
Gaea cries until, dehydrated,
Gaea can cry no more –
Barren, arid and desolate emotional drought;
Unforgiving Gaea; abused Gaea;
Emotionally unable to recover from her
Physical and emotional defilement.

‘Fro / March 14th, 2007

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Handicapped Facilities

So, I read this article in the Cayman Net News today, which evoked a sneer of the lip and a flip of the finger in the general direction of the so-called powers that be. And it was not my pinky.

I laud the paper for trying to highlight the plight of the handicapped on our Islands, though they should not limit this outcry to those who are unable to walk, but extend this study and / or commentary to the blind, deaf, and other disabilities. I will keep a skeptical eye out for follow up articles detailing the completion and nature of the improvements, but I will not hold my breath.

When my family realized that my big Sis was slowly losing her ability to hear, we searched high and low for resources that could provide us with sign language classes. I was flabbergasted to note that this was an almost futile endeavor. Begs me to wonder where and what the Islands do with the handicapped, but for the required token handicapped restroom and parking space, especially for those like my big Sis, who were affected later in life. She is not in a position to attend the Lighthouse School to learn the ABC’s of sign with the primary aged kids. There are no TTY telephones for us to communicate immediately via phone, and it seems as if the telecoms companies are not even giving these a second thought, as they are not marketable and expensive to implement. And of course, there is the public sensitivity (or lack thereof) that is also to be dealt with.

I once watched with revulsion as a sales clerk spoke harshly to a patron that could not speak, when she could not understand what the patron wanted. I have watched with disgust as able bodied people have parked in designated handicap parking, running to do their errands with no shame. I can remember back in the day when Caymanian families hid their handicapped relatives away like a shameful secret. I have witnessed more than one occasion when individuals have spoken impatiently and aggressively to my sister when she was unable to hear them, and asked them to repeat their statements. You know that the I and I was not going to tolerate such disrespect to my Sis!!! Hmprh! I am vex again just thinking about it!! We also need to sensitise our children from they are in the womb not to stare and point when they see someone who is different than they are.

Needless to say, my environment needs further education and enlightenment as to the sensitivity and the plight of the handicapped. The fact of the matter is if buildings and sidewalks are not properly outfitted for handicap access (and this includes Braille signage) then we are taking away the ability of those with special needs to be independent. This would do nothing to erase societal misconceptions and prejudices as to the abilities and intelligence of those with special needs.

“We would encourage occupiers of older buildings to modify them to accommodate disabled people,” says the good Minister. What the fcuk??? “Encourage”??? Who the hell wants to voluntarily spend money to outfit a building for those in the minority?? I would think that the government would see fit to provide the occupier of the older business with a mandate to update their facilities within a giving time frame, as a matter of public policy!!! But, I won’t get too stressed, as it is evident that common sense is indeed not common.

Lets see if said government is quick to update the handicapped facilities on the waterfront based on the complaints, interviews and special needs of the transient cruise ship passengers on the waterfront, as opposed to setting island wide standards that will ultimately benefit their people. I wait with abated breath.

On that note, I shall now exit.



Monday, March 19, 2007

The Evil Stepmother

[Excerpt from phone call to Sonny in Barbados]

‘Fro: Your Granddad is getting married
Sonny: [Shocked] Really??? To who???
‘Fro: His girlfriend, I guess.
Sonny: Wow! I didn’t know that ol' people were even attracted to each other!
‘Fro: [Brekking up wid laffter] Wha’??? Wha’ kind of thing is that to say???
Sonny: I didn’t mean it like that, Mom!! I jus’ thought they saw each other as we see them, you know, ol’ and wrinkly and stuff…

From the mouths of (obnoxious) babes.

So, my old fart of a father, pushing seventy if there ever is a day, is getting hitched to a young hussy who is more than twenty years his junior. I guess it sounds more scandalous when we mention the twenty year differential, but when I break it down to say that she is forty three, it does not sound as scandalous and illicit.

The news spread amongst his five chillun like wildfire, and immediately, a fambily caucus was convened at the closest house of choice. We had visions of a scantily clad wench donned in blood red lipstick, plotting to milk our father of his Trump-esque fortune, which drove us to immediately research and assess the nature and legalities regarding said holdings. It was so jokey, especially when we realized that the status quo will remain: there are no holdings. But it was the principle of the thing, and the drama was quite exciting.

Anyway, after meeting with Daddy, and organizing a sit down with the hussy…who was not really a hussy after all, but a well meaning woman who is apparently in love with the old fart, I have come to realize how this can now complicate my once relatively uncomplicated life. She is another dynamic that we chillun must now consider, because much as we would like to deny it, she will now become a part of our lives, distant though it may be. I had never factored a possible third party interloper affecting the matriarchal and / or patriarchal standing in my fambily. Us against the world, spearheaded by my divorced parents. Now, another individual has the potential to affect policy and procedures within my family, as they also have access to my Daddy. Sigh.

But, from general observation, it does seem as if the conventional family is almost extinct. Sonny has a stepmother and a ‘half’ sister, and (god forbid!) should I marry and have a child / more children, he will in effect have two families. Sigh. Shifting social conventions and the redefinition of societal norms. A sociological debate that is well served with a cold beer.

Anyway, Dads is getting married in Jamaica next month, and the gang a we is all flying out to wish him our continual love and support, as good chillun do. Coincidentally, the chillun (but for the newly baptized lamb) can also get on wild and wassy and take in some Jamaica carnival festivities. I just hope that I can suitably remove the hangover, mud and paint from J’ouvert, to be able to pull myself together to look suitably dainty and delicate for the wedding. No one should ever critique my ability to multi-task.

On that note, I shall now exit.




Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Ten Commandments

So, I was doing my Sunday reading of Friday's Caymanian Compass, when I came across a small classified ad, listing the Ten Commandments. My initial reaction on seeing the ad was a sneer of the upper lip, and I proceeded to turn the page. Then, intrigued, I paused and made a conscious decision to read, absorb and break down the Commandments from my cynical societal perspective. I wanted to assess each Commandment symbolically, taking into account my relatively limited scope of many of the horrors and evils that pervade many societies, in addition to the positive and wonderful things that happen today that are never worthy of sensationalist press. Now, as an additional disclaimer, it should be noted that formal practiced religion and the concept of blind faith and I have a very distant and pessimistic relationship, but I have a lot of respect for biblical writings and interpretations, and am open to teachings of almost any denomination and faith. I’m just cool like that. I will also write on the premise that the Commandments are still applicable, as some denominations have deemed that they were ‘revoked’ by God, because of the murder of his son.

Now, hereby lies the Ten Commandments as broken down by ‘Fro, standard life teachings - moral and common sense - as taken from Exodus 20:1-7 (drum roll here).

1. Thou shall have no other gods before me.
Note the lower case reference to ‘gods’? This notion in itself is practically non-existent, as money, status and power appears to be the ultimate god, ruling and controlling mans interaction with man. On this note, will later reference the powerful impact that the money god, has on the practice of all other Commandments. Additionally, as we move towards globalisation and there is more interaction with other cultures and religion, societies are continually faced with conflict and confusion surrounding this Commandment. Hinduism, Sikhism, Wicca, Buddhism (some traditions), Agnosticism, Atheism, Humanism, etc. These religions worship many Gods, a different single God, two deities or no God.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in the heaven above (edited for content – look it up yourself)
So, what does this say for all the posters and debates raging about the blond haired, blue eyed Jesus; black Jesus, Jim Caviezel, pictures of Jesus on the Cross, etc? What of the religious bookstores that sell and profit from these items, (tying this back to Commandment #1)?

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
Scrap this one as it applies, as blasphemy is the order of the day. Society has reduced this to a ‘lesser evil’ in the grand scheme of things, something that appears to not even be noteworthy. I can remember as a child, taking the Lord’s name in vain was a HUGE playground transgression, whereby other kids would tattle or threaten to tattle on you if you did. We did not understand the origin or nature of this transgression at all times, but we knew that it was something baaadddd……

There are some things that I just do not mess with, out of some deep internal fear, and respect. I have a co-worker, that continually bellows "Jesus Christ!" each time that she is upset, and I cringe each and every time that she does.

4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy
Which one? Religions are in conflict if it should be Saturday or Sunday. The Cayman Islands have enforced a drinking and dancing law and a Sunday trading law that prohibits dancing on Sundays, as a measure of the powers-that-be enforcing Commandment #4 on its society. At 11:45pm each Saturday night, all clubs and bars are to cease and desist with the sale of alcoholic beverages, and all patrons must exit posthaste: Sunday is coming. Therefore, we ensure that we get as many drinks in as possible, when we hear the infamous “Last call to the bar”. Get drunk, drive home, and wake up to go to church on Sunday. On Sundays, we island natives can go to a local bar, and drink to our hearts’ content, to the tune of ‘soft’ background music, which must be played at a certain decibel, so as not to reduce the possibility of conversations while we sip or gulp on our drinks. It is illegal to dance in said establishment. Supermarkets are also closed on Sundays. Therefore, we cannot take or drunken selves to the grocery store after we leave the bar. Go figure.

5. Honor they father and thy mother
But do our fathers and our mothers honour us? Absentee fathers; microwaved babies; baby used as a baseball bat; drowning children in bathtubs; giving toddlers marijuana; murder suicides; incest…and the cycle will perpetuate itself.

6. Thou shalt not kill
Except: when fighting for oil; land; enforcement of religious doctrines; suffering from PMS; self defense; inheritance; eye for an eye. Societies have become so desensitised, that murder and death seems to be the order of the day, even manifesting itself in the games played by our children. Legislation and case law seem to be on a role for excusing every form of murder: they were abused; they are mentally incompetent; they are just children. We seldom weep and mourn, nor lobby and take to the streets for radical change and outcries against the atrocities that we commit against each other, except in the days of old when young and old, male and female used to gather in streets and yards to lynch black people for perceived wrongs, or when village inhabitants gather to stone young women for adultery or if they incited men to lust by showing their eyebrows. Sigh. Oh, for the good old days!

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery
Ha! This is the norm more than the exception! Wedding vows are transient at best, as interchangeable as our shoes or socks. I don’t even need to comment on this one anymore. Refer to Commandment #10.

8. Thou shall not steal
See comment on Commandment #6, and tie this back to Commandment #1 and the worship of money and status.

As a side note on white collar theft or embezzlement from organisations, I was also intrigued by the fact that most published convictions for embezzlement in the Cayman Islands seem to involve single mothers, between the ages of 25 and 35. I would think that this would be worthy of some form of impact study, in order to evidence the wheres and whys. This was further highlighted for me when a young lady was sentenced after embezzling funds to support her on-line gambling addiction (see commandment #10 to follow).

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor
Except in instances of false identification, due to the fact that all black and Asian people look alike, or if thy neighbour is taking the fall for breaking commandments #8, 7 or 6; or if you cry out that a random black man car jacked you and drove off with your kids, inciting a possible public lynching of a random black man like in the god ol’ days. Refer to commandment #6.

10. Thou shalt not covet they neighbour’s house. Thou shalt not covet they neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour’s.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s oil, and incite war, terrorism and famine by baring false witness against thy neighbour, in a bid to obtain said oil.

Pertaining to the above, I was recently curious as to why gambling was deemed a ‘sin’ as it seemed to be self inflicted harm to the gambler and relatively harmless. I was intrigued to note that gambling was a form of coveting. I will not even mention church raffles at this point, and will have a little talk with DV when he gets back from Vegas next week.

So, in the grand scheme of things, this one can also be tossed out the window with the baby and the bathwater, because coveting is the norm, more than the exception. Newspapers, tabloids and MTV Cribs repeatedly punch us in the face with the fact that we are unworthy and poor in comparison to superstars and mega millionaires, driving us to implants, botox, liposuction, weaves, robbery and pillaging on a daily basis. Coveting thy neighbour’s wife’s ass has led to Commandment #’s 9, 8, 7, 6, 4, 3, and 1 being broken without a second thought.

In conclusion, for those of us with non-spiritual inclinations, even if we should take the religious aspect out of these life rules, they are wonderful guidelines under which we should live our lives. Maybe we should all reassess and reconstruct these moral teachings in order to live good lives and further strive to be good, happy and content human beings.

Therein lies my Sunday sermon. I shall now step down from my soap box, and exit on that note.



Monday, March 05, 2007

Excess Baggage

So, I have been contemplating the concept of ‘baggage’ recently, and the extent to which we consider and assess the crap that has somehow managed to Velcro itself onto our souls from the ghosts of relationships past, as we traverse the rocky airports of life.

All we bitter and negative women who have been stepped on, trod upon, shit upon, shall we stand up and say aye? All ye bitter men who have been err….well…you know…whatever, you can stand up and say something too.

As I am contemplating my baggage and what it entails, it also begs me to consider those that I have baggaged against, that is, circumstances where I know myself to be someone else’s baggage. That ex-friend of eleven years who pissed me off in Barbados. The Ex-Boyfriend that I stopped calling and did not give my forwarding address when I did not know how to end it. The list can go on and on…

In order to appease my vapid inner ego, I would like to think that my relationship interactions would classify me as designer Louis Vuitton baggage, rather than a cheap Eastern Avenue suitcase, but, who knows? I have no intention of conducting confirmation research to assess my baggage worth, because the people that I have affected might not give me the answers that would make me feel better. That Ex-Boyfriend might want to bitch slap me right now, for all that I know.

But, as I am considering my inner designer baggage, I must humbly conclude that they might not be too extensive in the grand scheme of things, all things being relative. I may not be charged for over weight. Therefore, good boys and girls traversing this airport of life, the ultimate lesson to be learned is that we must take care in our interactions with one another, because when you step on my foot and I cuss you, we become each other's baggage, and for all that we know, this negative turbulence may result in cancelled flights.

On that note, I shall now exit...