Sunday, June 20, 2004

Random Musings of a Lonely Dog

I'd like to start this post of by saying thank you to everyone that actually takes the time out to read this journal of random thoughts that I call a blog. A special thank you goes out to the contingent of Jamaican Bloggers [Dr. D, Madbull and Yamfoot and others who never comment] that are nice enough to indulge in my "brain farts" and leave me insightful [and sometimes downright slack ;)] comments that I enjoy reading...y'all remind me of the unique and colorful nature of Jamaicans!

You know folks, I think that I am long due for a visit home. To be honest, I haven't been home for a year and that was to bury my grandmother, so you done know seh it wasn't under the best of circumstances. OK, you wondering why I'm suddenly sounding so sentimental, right? Well, I guess it started today when I was driving around and listening to some arbitrary radio station. Suddenly, I hear Sean Paul on the radio after listening to Creed and Nickleback [American D.J.s need to learn how to organize the music like <> our Jamaican selectors!]. At any rate, I was groovin' to the Diwali riddim that forms the backbeat for Get Busy [not advisable to do when you're driving on the Interstate at 70+ m.p.h. on a windy day!].

Well, after the song finish, I suddenly hear Britney Spears song Everytime [like I say, some of these American D.J.s have issues] cutting into the Diwali riddim. Now, I don't really care about Britney too much--she's not my favorite artiste and I would certainly not spend any money on her tin can music...matter of fact, I wouldn't even tek di music if it did free! However, I must say that the damn song move me to the point where I shed a tear [shhh, don't seh a word!] How pitiful is that?

After careful analysis, I realize that the song had nothing to do with me shedding a tear...the somber tone of the song was sufficient enough to put my mind in a pensive state where I suddenly became homesick for no apparent reason. I've been in this country for the past six years now and, since then, I've gotten used to the culture, but I just never fit in because I can never be part of a world and a society that I was not born into. On the flip-side, not being in Jamaica for vey long periods of time causes one to lose touch with the country and the subtle caveats that make our lives so rich and exciting. So, in a word, I often feel like a man without a country just existing within the social and political constraints that govern your interaction with others around you, but never feeling quite comfortable.

Over the years, I've met other Jamaicans here and when you ask them the inevitable question of "are you planning to go back to yard after you graduate?" the standard answer is "dat pit? you mussi mad, I woulda neva go back deh even if dem did gimme a million trillion dolla!" The irony of it all is that these people were generally on the track team and had received the bulk of their training in Jamaica and, as such, I could never understand how they could be so harsh and disrespectful to the country that had fed, clothed, educated, and trained them for the 20+ years of their lives! They would do everything to set themselves apart from being Jamaicans...they'd never speak patois, they'd pick up an "African-American" accent [a la Merlene Ottey], they'd dress like African-Americans and become a part of the "struggle". Funny enough, even though they tried so hard to disassociate themselves from the mother land, you'd be so surprised to see how they would pick up their Jamaican heritage when they knew it could get them something or they needed to impress someone! Now, please don't take what I write to mean that ALL Jamaicans that go overseas to study or work become like this small subset of people that I talk about here...In fact, I've also met many other Jamaicans that are as patriotic to the core as the day they were born!

My whole point is that it's hard to keep it real in a world where you can never totally fit in anywhere and that is the point where you have to look at yourself outside of the context of the place that you currently reside in and determine WHO you are, because when we get beyond the smoke and mirrors an asshole in one culture is the same asshole in any other country is; whereas the kind, good nature of a person will easily emanate through the cultural, physical and temporal boundaries. Ironincally, I found this article in the Gleaner today that spoke about the need to have stronger ties between Jamaica and it's overseas nationals, so I guess others are thinking in the same direction as I am, which makes me plenty happy!

I would like to leave you, my valued readers and friends, with my new credo:
"F*ck the critics, slosh the fakers and the haters--100% Pure Jamaican no artificial flavors or additives."

{arf,arf}

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