Archive for the ‘Antigua’ Category

Music Wednesday

To continue the trend of sexy music I will share with you some Caribbean songs that get the waistline moving. All old favorites, mostly slow dance songs dripping with memories of deep dark corners at house parties and village clubs. Hope you enjoy!

1. Beres Hammod.- No Disturb sign.

Quintessential sexy song, a must play at all Valnetines Day Dances and on all Love Monday request lines

 

2. Burning Flames – Workey

As soon as the opening notes to this song are played Antiguans worldwide start to wine. It may be our 2nd national anthem ūüôā

 

3. Crossfyah- Wet Me

I’m in a party mood, man I behaving rude!

 

4. Healing- Lady Saw and Beenie Man

High school garage parties say what! Daddy used to be at the gate for me at midnight on the dot, along with lots of other parents back in the day. Ahh the 90’s ūüôā

 

5. Degree- Hold you Tonight

Antiguan men aren’t big winers – gangstas don’t dance- so this was mostly us girls screwface winin’ up ourselves.

 

6. Tanya Stephens – Big Ninja Bike

This list would not be complete without Tanya. Big Ninja Bike me say

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Fyah Links

Quick Friday round-up.

1. It’s election time in the US so that means that it is election coverage time all over. I really have fundamental issues with the existing political system and feel that it is inherently rotten. This pure fyah article by black girl dangerous¬†¬†totally underscores how I feel about elections and politics and voting and our so called democratic choice. When elections happen in my neck of the woods, I fear that I will have to really convince myself to vote and I don’t want to have to do that. I would really rather not be around.

2. Lupe Fiasco recently tweeted that he is going to retire from rap due to feedback he has gotten for his newest video for ‘ Bitch Bad’. I have never gotten into Lupe’s music but I heard good things from friends and knew him to be among the more conscious few artists that got noticed. I personally didn’t really like the song or the video, but it is a conversation starter and a welcome addition to the video rotation for what it is trying to do. I kind of thought that some bloggers went in pretty hard on him and his¬†representations¬†in the video/song and I can understand that he would take it personally. Is he too thin-skinned? Are social commentators too hard on those that are trying to make an impact? Do we dissect the obviously problematic music as much?

3. ¬†The region was represented today at the 2012 Paralympian Jamol Pilgrim from Antigua. The runner took part in the 100m heats this morning. Even though he didn’t place, this is a fantastic feat for the region and Addfyah wishes him all the best in the future.

my struggle with violence

A month ago a parent of a preteen asked me if The Dark Knight is excessively violent. I emphatically responded, “not at all”. I rewatched the movie a few days later, a movie I’ve watched many times ¬†I was near dumbfounded by how violent the first 10 minutes were- the gun violence, the criminal activity, the language, the betrayal… I have pretty much accepted how desensitised I to violence I had become but I didn’t realise it no longer registered. I thought I was of the “oh that’s not scary, I’m not jumping out of my seat, or covering my eyes” garden variety instead that garden variet had a side effect, instead of being unimpressed by the violence, I just no longer think of it as violent. Looking at it with the eyes¬†¬†of a parent made me much more sensitive to the level and amount of violence throughout the movie.*

I struggle with violence. It’s not that I’m inclined to violence… at least I don’t think so. I had the compulsory and thankfully short-lived physical altercations with you my younger sister¬†until she got taller and stronger than I was. In primary school, I may or may not have had¬†instigated a few tussles with boys in my class¬†that got them into more trouble, since I ran in tears to teachers.¬†Following pre-adolescence, I cringe in real life when I see people get violent, but I almost crave it in my entertainment. Sports, or soap-opera esque sports do not count, those are presented as real. I mean for the cinema experience I tend to enjoy violence. I can’t handle the romantic comedies, or anything too real which leaves out drama, so give me the action and I’ll take it in most forms- straight up, with comedy, thriller or maybe even some suspense.

But this is a problem. Why? B/c clearly I am allowing myself to be co-opted by the glorification of violence in media that makes us less likely to notice, be affected by, and respond to violence that we experience. witness, participate in and practice in our every day lives.

One of the few Independence celebrations I attended in Trinidad, was the Military Tattoo Exhibition. This may have been my first mistake, but was baffled me was how many children there were. It was clearly a family, and child friendly event. The marching displays, the bands… those were fine. However, the tactical displays- the reenactment of the “jokey bad boys” in the hills or on the block who had to be “dealt with”. Who were advanced upon with such care and precision. The dramatic portrayal of the “jokey badman” being tear gassed, shot, hurt and killed was met with delightful screams by the thousands of children present. This is a problem.

As far as I am concerned it’s not enough that the “good” guys won. We know enough about police corruption, policing of the poor and working class worldwide to know that often it is never quite as clear cut as the good and bad. But far more troubling than that is the fact that those same screams of delight come when adolescents watch movies where the “bad guys” win and outsmart whatever the law enforcement may be. We may think we’re glorifying law and order, but in fact the true focus, the true glow is around the violence and winning, regardless of what side you’re on… and I’d argue, what methods you use.

Whether our boys and girls look at officers jumping out of helicopters and think, “that bad!”, or they play Call of Duty and boast about their body count or beg their parents, older siblings and cousins to carry them to a movie they should be seeing, or stay up past everyone in the house to watch it even though they are not supposed to,¬†imitate mobster characters they see on tv, or real-life dons they see on the block they are becoming more and more desensitised to the violence every day.

We/they are more likely to:

  • look at a song like this and say it’s just a song as opposed to recognise the violence both implicit and explicit in it
  • not be alarmed when we see a man assaulting a woman on the street**, or we might be taken back but never think to call the police
  • ignore our neighbour excessively beating their children on a continuous basis, b/c that’s private business
  • hear about police violence in our region and turn the dial without a second thought
  • watch the wreckage and debris in other parts of the world as the results of violence and dismiss it as life in “those parts”
  • be quiet.

I am not advocating censorship, ¬†I’m not saying ban the music, ban the video games, ban the movies etc. I am however advocating critical engagement. We need to encourage ourselves and our children not just to recognise that it’s make beleive, but were it to be believed, it would have real effects on people’s lives. We need to talk about the fact that it is violent, what the messages are behind the violence, why we think they are so, and why we are so complicit with them. These are not easy conversations that I propose but they are certainly necessary and continuous ones. We can no longer afford to see violence and dismiss it so quickly.

Shout out to all the people taking action out there:

* Reason #452 not to have children: Too much hard work

** Please don’t tell me they were fighting, he was hitting, she was cowering.

fyah links- jumping through the islands

Going regional this round.

The Caribbean athletes did¬†phenomenon-ally¬†in the Olympics. Special shout-outs to Kirani James and Lalonde. This the first time in a long time I’ve been unable to watch the games without getting worked up. I worry that my jadedness may ruin the simple things that I enjoy, but professional sports as a metaphor for capitalism is far too much at the forefront of my mind to enjoy it the way I used to.

Antigua, this is wholly unacceptable. I understand that there is a fine line to dance here surrounding censorship but I do think lines need to be drawn when it comes to endorsing violence. I spent a lot of time being excited about the various carnivals, but this song and the defence of it really soured my mood.

Guyana, I do not know how the protestors in Linden make it out every day.  300% rise in electricity in areas with such high unemployment. It makes me wonder if I would be on the line. What would stop me? What would put me there? I do think seeing Andaiye there may have shamed me into action. In this part of the region, especially with my class privilege there  are so many things I take for granted. Knowing that things are expensive and complaining about it while still being able to pull out the cash or swipe the card. When/ if they day comes I can no longer do that will it then seem to me more likely that I too would join that march?

Grenada, make your sole aerial and support this incredible campaign to support goat farmers!

Make a nice salad for yourself Nevis style, or some nice breadfruit cake* (never heard of this one).

Not regional but I’m pretty excited about this book. Maybe we should start a regional one, or a woc one. Black when used in an American context always seems a tad myopic.

The Ground Glass Collective has just put out a wonderfully, new beautiful set of pictures.

*So happy to see Caribbean Vegan back on the scene.

makes the people come together- Carnival round up

I promised a while back a carnival music post. It’s festival time in the region! I was going to post about all the winners of soca monarch so far ¬†followed by larging up the women competing in islands where the competition hasn’t been held yet. Then I started to search for women competing and low and behold I’m beginning to side with Destra, Denise and Fay-Ann have been saying for years is true: there are so few women (competing) in soca b/c the the industry is not supportive of women. I’d never taken their position too seriously, after all, they are staples in the industry. Shameful analysis I know… this is what happens when lyrics of rum, wine, jump and wave are in my head, I’m not as sharp as I should be. So I dedicate this post to the facts, competing in soca as a women cannot be an easy road, it must also be pretty lonely. Thank you Calypso Rose and the many others for helping pave the way.

Fya Empress in St. Vincent: Rum Please

Sergie in St. Lucia: Ah Drunk

Interesting theme between songs one and two.

Shout out to the women competing in the soca monarchs in Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados and Grenda.

Tizzy in Antigua & Barbuda: Give it to Me

Nathalee in Barbados: Good Wukka Man

Nekoyan in Grenada: Miss the  Plane

Wishing everyone a safe, enjoyable and exciting carnival!

*Relevant side note: I’m not feeling any of these songs in particular, but I’m sure if were in the country having the music pushed at my non-stop on the radio, in the bus, in the car I’d have clearer favourites.

Music Wednesday

It’s Summertime and the vibe is nice, music is all around and there’s a party every weekend. Here are some of my¬†favourite¬†summertime jams.

One of my picks from Antigua Carnival 2011

Old School Dancehall vibes

Another Carnival tune, this one from Barbados

A very short list, too many tunes to narrow down. What makes u wanna do the body wave during the summer?

 

 

Three things I will be trying

It’s still early in the year so it’s still about fresh starts and I decided to share with the fyah family a few things that I am going to try. I started thinking about this post as things I want to try but then getting a tattoo got crossed off the list so I am left with things I am going to try.

1) Audio books.

I know, I know, there is nothing like the feel of a paper back and I enjoy browsing my personal library and remembering when I read certain books. I am attached to my books and DO NOT LEND them to anyone for fear of not getting them¬†back. Fast forward to 2012 and I just don’t have the time to commit to reading¬†and¬†enjoying books like I used to. I keep buying books and¬†haven’t¬†gotten around to reading them and it makes me sad. A good friend of mine told me that he was in the same dilemma until he started audio books, you¬†listen while doing chores, in the car, at the gym and he gets through a book a month. I¬†haven’t¬†read a book a month since forever and would be happy with a book every three months. I actually downloaded Ayaan Hersi Ali’s Infidel (another paperback that ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†taunts me from my bookshelf) and I shall be loading it onto the phone tonight. I will let you know how it goes.

2) Agenda Keeping



Sounds simple right? Every year I get a brand new day planner and haul it around in my bag and ¬†it becomes a place where I stash bills and paper and random phone numbers and does nothing to help me organise my life. I’m ¬†really gonna try to check it daily and use it for reminders and meetings and birthdays and stuff.

3) Learn about caloric intake

Not in the stressful, depriving and annoying way, but to be knowledgeable about how food works as fuel for my body and all that good stuff.   I would like to know more about carbs and protein and fibre and aminos and sodium and all the other things they talk about on TV.  Trust, pizza will still be my favourite food and there is always cake in my fridge for a reason but  I was ashamed to realise that I know more about what fuels my car than what fuels my body. No bueno . As they say you only have one body so you better take care of it.  I wonder if I can figure out how many calories in a nice plate of ducuna, saltfish and chop-up.

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