Thursday, August 30, 2007

Caribbean Film Festival

I was ecstatic when I received the schedule of events via email, as these opportunities so rarely come our way. I feel culturally starved. I am referring to the Caribbean Film Festival, now on at the Harquail Theatre, with offerings from Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Cayman, Trinidad, and St. Lucia. I take any opportunity that I can to take in an event at the Harquail. Such a lovely treasure for the Islands, and yet, in my humble opinion, so inefficiently utilised. I always feel like a creature of the arts when at the theatre, often wishing that I am able to sip on some rum or wine whilst comfortably seated and taking in a production of choice.

Anyway, I digress.

The film Festival was postponed after the passage of Hurricane Dean, and unfortunately, two weeks of movie and / or documentaries from around the Caribbean region are now condensed into one week, with two shows per night. Each night, I am therefore forced to make a difficult movie choice, when I would love to see them all.

Last night DV and I went to see the sub-titled Haitian film, “The President Is Dead”, a two hour jaunt into the lives and love of Dao, a superstar Haitian musician, and Nina, the independent and strong willed woman who tamed him and allowed him to confront his lifestyle choices and the disease that was rapidly eating away at his mind and body. The show hinted at some of the issues impacting Haiti - poverty; corruption; voodoo and the AIDS crises, all without a documentary feel, focusing instead on the continuation of the film’s plot, by incorporating twists and turns along the way.

Tonight, we went to view the Jamaican documentary, Life and Debt. This film made me really wish that I could have sipped on some rum or wine whilst taking in some powerful food for thought. The film documents the impact of globalisation on the Jamaican economy, and the methods by which the United States and other superpowers affect(ed) everyday life in Jamaica, with an abundance of information from which to gorge within one hour and ten minutes. These include the dictatorship of the IMF; the Jamaican Free Zone (or what I call the “Sweat Shop”), and forms of Economics 101. When the credits rolled, I wanted to stand up in the theatre, raise my middle finger on high, and scream “Viva La Revolution” whilst grabbing a machete. But, alas, my revolution would not be televised as my Sonny was present. Therefore, I will continue with the underground movement. Join me?

Tomorrow, I look forward to taking in the Cayman Islands’ offerings, “Swallow”, directed Frank E. Flowers, and “Galore”, directed by Tim Kelly. For once, I don’t have that isolated feeling associated with being at a Calypso concert where every other island gets a shout out in song, but mine. We are fully into the mix this time, and I am going out to support my bredrens!

Tragically, each night there has been such lackluster attendance for such a wonderful event celebrating the lives and talents of we Caribbean people. Ironically, as I leave the Harquail on closing and drive pass the Cinema, I can only sigh as I take in the saturated parking lot and the long lines at the ticket window. This in itself speaks of the impact of globalisation and our continued lack of support for our own.

So, peoples, if you are based on the island, free up some time and go check it out, nah? Call the CNCF for the film schedule and general synopsis of each film, to aid with your movie choice. Shows are 7:00pm each night at the Harquail, adults $5.00, $3.00 for children.

On that note, I shall now exit.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

How's The Weather Up There...?

An air of expectation hangs over the island, as worry furrows the brows of those bent on preparation. Ivan (the "Rat Bastard") has left his mark. Even if I have some sense that Dean may be a passing silent fart, (all things being relative), my expectations hang in the balance, as I know that I am, and will always be, subject to Mother Nature’s whims. She can be a real mercurial bitch when she is ready. Here I am, living it up in the month of August, falling back into my sense of complacency that the Rat Bastard had disrupted when he passed through my life, and then, Madame decided to humble me with the threat of Dean. She has dispatched another one of her Enforcers to remind me of her far reaching capabilities, especially since my kind have abused and neglected her in so many ways. She is now bent on vengeance.

Yet, as I track each breath of movement from this probable usurper; as I battle my way through the lines of the supermarkets, and coordinate the purchase of items for me to batten down the hatches, and to live in relative comfort should I need to take refuge, I know that I am not alone. Dean and his whereabouts dominate the topic of all conversation, as we all get ourselves into a state of preparedness. Supermarkets are packed; cars are moved to higher ground; information is being disseminated like wildfire; plywood and shutters are being off loaded and inspected at individual residences…and it all gives me a strange sense of detached pride for my island and its peoples. Ivan was a hard lesson learned but, we learned our lesson. No one wants to be caught off guard again.

And, more humorously, everyone is a weatherman. We can discuss vectors, air currents, projected paths, latitude and longitude, and Caribbean geography better than the crappy reporters on the weather channel, with a Caribbean flair. Weather is watched more vigorously during the season, than a pervert watches porn. Everyone has a story to tell as to how the Rat Bastard has impacted their lives, some with an entertaining and dramatic flair. We now wait to see what Dean does.

And on that note, I shall now exit. Happy flicking birthday to me! Depressed



Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Songbird (Sonnet)

Larynx versed to emit soothing cadence,
Poised and isolated from the daily rigors,
Music the sultry solace from savage ambivalence,
The songbird croons with passionate vigor.
Feathers supposedly unruffled by life’s torrential gusts,
Chorus to blend harmoniously with the howling pitch,
Immune to despair, dismay, distress and disgust,
Sensuous duet, only Mother Nature can exhibit.
Perched perilously - vulnerable, fighting tumultuous odds,
Crooning copyrighted lyrics for public consumption,
True representative for the call of the Gods,
Timbre resonating soulfully as Deity’s articulation;
Morosely, eventually defiled as pollutants erode its core,
Wheezing, critically out of sync, the Songbird will sing no more.

...and on that note, I shall now exit.




Monday, August 06, 2007

L, M, N, O, Pee...!

So, during my recent sojourn to the Club with DV, whilst sipping elegantly on the aforementioned Cosmo (my 3rd) and ruing my pending bathroom break, I was disgusted by the fact that the seemingly dainty, well clad, sweet young ‘ladies’ were in reality, a herd of nasty heifers! It was astounding! They were perfumed, made up and elegantly garbed, and yet, they left fecal matter in toilets, stuffed sanitary napkins in the toilets, did not flush, randomly dropped tissue on the floor, and left faucets running until water overflowed! Backside (pun intended)! You leave your yaad for a couple of hours and you have to dump, so???

Sadly, this issue is not limited to the female restroom at this particular club, but the sad fact is that this is often the scenario with female restrooms in general. Even at my place of employ, so called professional women must be reminded via signage, not to flush sanitary napkins, a lesson that was imparted from grade school. This is the norm, and not the exception, as these signs are evident in restrooms in bars, malls, restaurants, and other office buildings.

I was once asked what I would do if I could spend one day as a man. My sophisticated response:

1) I would be the recipient of fellatio 2) I would pee standing up.

I would pee in corners. I would pee in bushes. I would pee on light poles. I would pee out my car window. I would loosen my wanker (and I am positive that I would be well endowed) and piss all over the place, STANDING! I would have conversations while I peed. I would water gardens with my pee, all for the glory of peeing where and when I wanted to, and not being relegated to the prison of a nasty public toilet, and needing to wipe when I was through. Shake and go. Sigh. The scars that live with me from playing mass during Carnival, and no toilets were in sight! The scars that live with me after being at a concert or fete, and having to use a a public restroom or, God forbid, a port-a-loo! I need therapy!!

My Mom had always theorized that women were either divided into toilet-squatters, or toilet-sitters. I am not sure if there are associated psychological assessments to the squatter / sitter personality, but, at least she indicated that there was a division. The aforementioned toilet psychologist had always trained me to be a squatter, regaling me with tales of germs infesting my ‘poony’ or my ‘tush’. To this day, rabid fear keeps me well perched over the alien toilet, as there would be hell to pay should I ever sit (or collapse). One positive result from this has been the development of very strong leg muscles, though squatting has become very difficult with the onset of my arthritic knees. Nor did I ever believe in the sitters’ concept of lining the seat with tissue either, as 1) the tissue also has rancid public germs 2) the rancid public germs will infest the entire tissue, from the time that it is layered on the seat and seep into my backside. My mother’s lesson lives on.

So, fellas, the moral of the story is that the next time that you are out at a social event, looking for viable candidates from whom you are to obtain potential notches to your bed posts or possible wife, girlfriend or ‘other’ material, go and take a peek into the ladies’ restroom at the end of the night. Review each stall. Interview your potential candidates as to their toilet etiquette (or lack thereof). Maybe this will give you with some valuable insight as to the caliber of women that are frequenting said event, and whom you are taking to your yaad.

Though, of course, should you ever see an elegant seductress adorned with a big afro puff, elegantly sipping a Cosmo, she is, of course, excluded from this sweeping assessment Devil .

And, on that facetious note, I shall now exit.