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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Its about Sex baby

Here are some thoughts

1. Caribbean men have some of the highest rates of prostate cancer because the traditional view of the prostate check, ie the finger up the ass check, is that it is well ummm homosexual. I always tell guys that the only time they need to be worried is if the doc has both hands on their shoulder and they getting probed. Then my friend its time to reevaluate your fears. So many rather suffer death than having their ass fingered, to put it brutally. Its particularly prevalent in macho man territory, Jamdown.

2. The amount of money which passes hands for sex in the Caribbean is much higher than people think. We dont have classic prostitution except in the bigger islands. The communities are too small and most of the time where there is prostitution its done by immigrants. However the case of bartering for sex is definitely there. In countries with disparity in income it doesnt take much either.

3. Homosexuality. Fact is in most islands you live in small communities where the gays (I dont like what this word was converted into) are well known. We grow up with them, play with them, party with them, lime with them. They are in effect, us. Then at some point once sexuality becomes a dominant theme of morality as defined by religion, they become this evil thing. Except.....many of the 'gays' in my country are literally captains of industry and some of the best know contributors to the social and cultural fabric of the country. So many people walk around softly softly not wanting to offend most of them because of their power and value to the country, and making hypocritical noises to frighten those young people who have real dilemmas. Cue: confusion. Lesson - If you have enough money you can bugger all and sundry and even get a front seat in church. If you aint - Fire Bun you.

4. Talk about sex in the Caribbean is almost taboo. Well not enjoyment. There is talk about abortion (its evil), Aids (get tested and wear a condom), morality (its best having it with your spouse and then no condom needed - ie the Church position), abstinence (if you aint married abstain - or masturbate regularly which is my advice). But is there talking about good ole sex enjoyment. Oh no. Meanwhile, the reality is that people want some...all the time. Even those going to church too.

Have some great sex today. Even with yourself.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Catching up

Three posts in One day.

Some random thoughts.

On Comrade Ralph and his Caribbean utterings. Caribbean unity is an elusive thing. The committment level of Caribbean people to Caricom et al is pretty low.

Much of that is driven by business, which has maintained a protectionist stance based on the fact that many mediocre businesses are thriving because of lack of competition. Island by Island there are numerous monopolies who thrived because of coincidence rather than excellence. Were the Caribbean fat cats in each island expansionist in their regional view, Caricom would be a success long time ago. But still everyone is happy in their little fiefdoms.

The other driver is ignorance. The situation in Barbados with Guyanese immigrants is one case in point. Rather than trying to understand and debate publically, the ability of more Barbadians to scale from working class to middle class in a country which CAN support this, the Bajan press has concentrated on demonising Guyanese immigrants, who ironically are coming in because they are willing to do low wage work, which is a natural condition of capital investment driven economies. Foreigners love paying low wages as part of their overall investment package. Therefore the Guyanese become essential.

Why shouldnt there be free movement of Labour and people. WHy shouldnt Dominicans or Antiguans consider going to farm or mine in Guyana and selling precious metals on the global market.

Can you imagine a set of small islands enforcing work permits on countries closer than most cities in the US and Europe.

What gives

And as for the musings on a regional judiciary. The only reason Caribbean people still trust the Privy Council more than its own judiciciary, which of course is a mockery of the whole independence of most of those islands, is this. Caribbean parochialism at every level has convinced all that the same buddy buddy system of governance and business will hold true at the highest level of justice.

The people are not wrong either. However it is time to take the leap or continue to be held in chains by fears.

Reality Check

Standing in Victoria Station straight off a Gatwick Express train I started wondering what was wrong. All around me there were signs of mad panic. People were flying around, melee, confusion.

Luckily it wasnt a bomb scare or an attack by a mad person with a gun.

It was just rush hour. I lived in England for 13 years, most of which I didnt use the underground tubes (trains) for more than 20 minutes. I even used to drive to Birmingham to and from, rather than take the train. I fall into the bracket of wasteful Caribbean man who prefers chilling in his own space. I accept that.

But this rush hour thing really shocked me. We dont rush around like this unless a serious hurricane is coming. These peeps do this every morning just to get to work on time.

Which beggars the thought. If humans are not naturally efficient and time driven then do we all have to implement a mental rush hour to perform ? I dont think so. But obviously some of these people are just highly paid guinea pigs. And they keep on stressing themselves for no reason, just to get to work on time.

As someone who strives hard to be successful, even when i lived in England my contracts over the last 5 years stipulated that I started work at 9. I would budge on salary quicker than I would of my time comfort. Call me lazy but it never affected my standard of living.

Maybe I really needed this reality check to understand why chasing success is often a myth.

Take it easy

Just returned from Barbados. I both admire and am afraid of Barbados.

Barbados represents the ultimate in first world mimickry. Its a beautiful little country with some of the hardest working people you can find. Its economy and living standards are first world, and its stability as a nation is great.

I admire all of those. Barbados has shown a capacity to absorb foreign direct investment to the point where it is attractive for foreign dollars to be in Barbados because foreigners want to holiday there, they want to live there, they want to even die there.

I get the sense that Bajans tolerate this success carefully. Its like the butler who takes shit all day because he knows he gets paid higher than even some white collar workers elsewhere and that he lives large. But deep down, he doesnt want to be a butler anymore.

A black bajan middle class may emerge, one that has landowning power. But right now they are as happy as any mid income family guy in Surbiton in the UK or Westchester in the US who really wishes he didnt have to wear a shirt and tie to work and wants to be free from being part of a robot working environment with team talks and quarterly targets.

I havent seen the balance yet. Maybe Martinique reflects it better. An island laissez-faire buffered with some colonial visitors and French patronage to give them enough income to continue being laissez faire in a great setting. Les Antillais rarely wear suits as a matter of fact.


Its funny when you think of it.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Mimic Men

The Caribbean in many ways is in a state of flux. This hasnt got to do much with its size. Have a look at Singapore for example. The argument about slavery is a good one, in that slavery fractured the societies of the Caribbean, but we are like many peoples able to choose a new path for ourselves.

or can we.

There is a routine failure of thought in the Caribbean. Indeed we continue to mimic other peoples routinely, with the idea that we can simply transplant the effect of their systems on their own lifestyles, to ours.

The contempt ordinary Caribbean people have for thinkers is something we dont notice. Caribbean people (even transplanted) appreciate work which has a definite wage or reward system. You dont meet Caribbean philosophers unless you want to apply that to the musings of an old fisherman on a Friday night after he has had enough spice rum to allow him to speak openly.

Its economists are barely contrarian, usually fitting in with convention. Its politicians, the most brazen of prostitutes, available for the highest bidder, and convincing the populace that giving scholarships, constructing roads and building a school constitutes a grand plan.

And its population....migratory, transient and ready to seize another identity.

There is another way of course, but mimicking is easy.