A Carlin moment for sure: garbage in, garbage out.

What is wrong with these politicians? Navel Clarke says hoteliers tiefing the tips from hotel workers. Well, everybody shoulda’ know dat already, right? But, if you is a senator, an you goin’ make a federal case out of the issue, you have to do more than just mek big speech; you have to show and mek yuh case. Well, I thought it was commonsense (ok, so its not so common, apparently) that you don’t spout off at the mouth until you have the evidence to support what you claim. But no, not in Jamaica. Not in our senate. Here, we feel quite free to level all kinds of accusations, with nothing to base it on, but somehow expect that we are going to be taken seriously just because we say it. Because, at the end of the day, its how we draw attention to ourselves isn’t it? We don’t give a damn about the actual issues. In the end, all of that chest thumping just casts doubt and aspersions on a perfectly important issue on which to debate and to act.

Next time Navel, hire a research assistant and have that person go put together a report based on all the studies done on the Jamaica tourist industry to find out how exactly the situation go. Don’t depend on hearsay and speculation. Otherwise, you look like a serious jackass.

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Visual Violence

June 30, 2008

That picture in today’s Flair just took me places. Here is the letter I just fired off to the editor.

To whom it may concern:

Any thinking person will recognize that the Jamaican media takes a gratuitous and perverse pleasure in serving up images of violence to us on a daily basis. Amping up the emotional responses of citizens is what you use to sell newspapers and get readers. No matter how immoral and unethical such practices, you continue. The most recent rendition of such unethical practices is reflected in the FLAIR story about someone’s achievement at shooting guns. Mind you, this is the second such story in one week, in a day and age where our days and nights are constantly terrorized by guns. Context doesn’t matter, apparently. Here we are celebrating the very weapon and skill that is also killing us. The irony is not lost on the readers.

But the story goes one step further. We don’t get a lovely smiling picture of the person who has excelled at this sport. No, that would not assault the senses sufficiently. What readers find when they open the newspaper is an expertly photographed gun being pointed at them. The experience of opening the newspaper itself on this Monday morning is one akin of violence. Apparently, at some point the Gleaner decided that its readers needed to stare down the barrel of a gun; again, the visual metaphor is not lost on us.

Even if your readers think nothing of guns or the sport under discussion, the poor choice of photograph has managed to demean the value of the person’s achievements with such cheap visual tricks. In my mind, as in the mind of many others, the young man is now a gunman like every other.

Published in today’s paper is a strong uncompromising statement by Danville Walker on the murder of Douglas Chambers.  Danville’s message to those so invested in the status quo: when yuh a dig grave fi me, mek sure seh yuh dig one fi yuhself.

But, watch and listen this week as the chattering classes equivocate and ask Danville to backtrack and qualify his statements.  

Read as the media try to spin the story to increase our paranoia and to divert attention from the lack of investigative journalism which has inadvertently contributed to the blossoming of corruption in government agencies.

Should Chambers’ death ever be properly investigated, the depth of the nastiness that has been JUTC will rival any pit latrine. And the name of every smaddy whe’ involve fi call out dung a Half-Way-Tree.