Monthly Archives: June 2009

Michael Jackson – “Gone Too Soon”

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MJ

Invincible

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I am left almost “Speechless” by your death. A “PYT” that could “Heal the World” but not “The Man in the Mirror”. Were you a “Smooth Criminal’, a victim of your “Human Nature” or “Off the Wall”? Maybe you told yourself it was, “Another Part of Me” and lived life “With a Child’s Heart”

michael-jackson

With a Child’s Heart

Many of us would “Say, Say, Say” what we wanted but never asked “Will You Be There” forever? Did we ever ask whether you were really “Bad” or whether something in your “HIStory”, something “In the Closet”, had damaged you and would still make you “Cry”, would make you want to “Scream” to the big bad world of grasping fans to “Leave Me Alone”!

Life is not “Black or white” though and whatever else you were, you were undeniably a “Thriller”. But while you made so many millions sing, “I Wanna Rock With You”, I don’t believe you ever really knew how many genuinely wanted to say to you, “You Are Not Alone”, I am here with you.
You brought three children into this world but it seems you seem to want them to believe, “They Don’t Really care About Us”. Maybe you felt we only wanted “A Little Piece of You” and hid “Behind the Mask”. Although you always kept an “Unbreakable” public façade no one is “Invincible”.
I hope that sometimes, at least “One day in Your Life”, you were truly “Happy” and your soul was as light as the “Butterflies”.
Your time has come to “Ease on Down the Road” and you’ve sung your final “Earth Song” “For All Time”. I will always “Remember the Time” when “You Rock my World”. I“Never Can Say Goodbye” because I will always miss “The Way You Make Me Feel”.

MJ2

Ease on Down the Road

August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009

R I P

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Zionomi’s “ghetto” video

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Lucian Vibe. ( http ://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NBf6cxjPZQ ) This is the link to the newest, and first I believe, video from Zionomie, the already well-known reggae artiste. He’s rocking a fresh musical genre, let’s call it reggae-soca. It’s a captivating style, partly because its a refreshing change but also because the roots, the base, is so familiar.

The characters in this video are so Lucian (definitely the MADDD kinda girls that make Gros Islet Friday and the wanna-be Jamaican fellas) Check out our big-time producer Kurtie, looking HOT! Is that a spliff in his hand? Amazing how a video can look sooooo GHETTO, without crossing the line into being nasty.

Something about the video, the authenticity, the rawness, is still compelling and makes it worth watching.

LUCIANS! Big Up! Looking forward to lots more.

News Editor Suspended Indefinitely

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A news editor has been suspended indefinitely and the perennial debate on journalistic integrity and the people’s right to know is currently on again in Saint Lucia, following the broadcast of a threatening news item.

In the wake of an early morning raid in the city of Castries on Sunday June 14, Helen Television System (HTS) aired a news item that featured several young men, some masked, making threats to defend themselves against any further action by the police. The news broadcast on June 15, was quickly followed by a wave of public opinion, with many people of the opinion that the broadcast was in poor taste, encouraged criminality and undermined the rule of law. Many were of also of the contrary opinion that the people had a right to know what is happening in their country, that it was the media’s job to be a conduit for such information.

In short order Saint Lucia’s Internal Security Minister, Minister of Justice and Minister for Information and Broadcasting met to discuss whether any laws were broken and what action, if any, should  be taken against HTS as a result of the broadcast.

That same day, Tuesday June 16, it was announced that HTS news editor Clinton Reynolds had been indefinitely suspended. A Daher Broadcasting Service (DBS) newscast reported that Reynolds was of the opinion that he had met every standard for good journalistic practice.

Opinions on Reynold’s choice were also split among the media fraternity. Speaking on the DBS news, experienced media practitioners such as former head of the Saint Lucia Media Association Jerry George, Editor of the Mirror Newspaper Guy Ellis, and Freelance journalist Ernie Seon, expressed different views on the matter.

Subsequently, Police Commissioner Ausbert Regis stated that in this HTS news item- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtctdrkCXJI&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ehtsstlucia%2Ecom%2FHTS%5FNews%5FVideo2%2Ehtml&feature=player_embedded -that the video was admissible as evidence in court and the police would make every attempt to identify the individuals making the threats.

While Reynolds awaits his fate, the repurcussions of his actions continue to resound.

(JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITY – Common elements include the principles of — truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability — as these apply to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent dissemination to the public. Like many broader ethical systems, journalism ethics include the principle of “limitation of harm.” This often involves the withholding of certain details from reports such as the names of minor children, crime victims’ names or information not materially related to particular news reports release of which might, for example, harm someone’s reputation. Wikipedia) 

 

(Posted to Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) members)

Has the System Failed Women Again?

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In case you haven’t heard, “the system” has yet again failed our young women; this according to people both in and out of said “system”, who made the re-revelation this past week as the nation grapples with two cases of violence involving three women. Sadly, the real reason for the plight of these young women has been ignored as we hurriedly point fingers at the most convenient culprits.

The reasons for blaming “the system” seem pretty clear. From her story Juliette Morissette appears to be a poster child for the failure of justice in Saint Lucia.

At fifteen, Juliette’s mother said she found her sleeping at the home of a man. While staff of country’s health care system apparently did not report the case of statutory rape, neither did Juliette’s mother, family, neighbours, teachers, pastor, priest, or friends. Not even counseling or psychiatric help appeared to have been sought for Juliette.

But many of us know from experience that seeking help does not mean one will find it, as in the case of the unnamed accused teen murderer of Ciceron. This intelligent young girl “should” be in an accelerated programme in one of the best schools, she “should” be on the way to a bright future. Yet she is incarcerated, with the prospect of long stretch of imprisonment or life-time criminality.

However, like her victim, who was also labeled a troublemaker, she only came to the attention of “the system” because of familial neglect. The lack of proper social support structures also ensured that efforts within “the system” would not save her or her victim. They were too much trouble for hard-working, going-beyond-the-call-of-duty teachers, priests too busy baptizing babies of unwed mothers or civil servants trying to keep costs down in the ministries.

The police and justice system also failed Juliette when after having the guts to have the police arrest her partner who bit a hole in her breast, her nerves failed when it came to prosecuting the case.

Juliette’s state of mind as a victim of statutory rape and long-term spousal abuse was not taken into account Although all over the world it is acknowledged after years of research, that such victims, whether women or men, learned or uneducated, rich or poor; tend to be afraid of, or protective of their abusers.

Even when we heard of her back-and-forthing in front of the mall before facing her abuser, many refuse to even consider that she was in a state of mental chaos, battling fear and/or indecisiveness.

When she finally faced him and he delivered that first cutlass lash, Juliette’s attacker ran away on realising he was being watched by KFC staffers. But he returned to continue to attack her when no one took action. Was it “the system” at fault then? Is it the system that allowed the number of slashes to fall on her in broad daylight, disabling her and almost making her a fatality; which she may still become?

Juliette has walked a road of escalating brutality which most of us accept as just part of some relationships and no cause for outside concern or interference. Now her last clash with her abuser, boyfriend and father of her three children, has finally made Saint Lucia speak out on her behalf….too late!

However the accused teenaged murderer of Ciceron is getting no sympathy from the public and neither is her victim. As this 13-14 year old is the perpetrator and not the victim of violence, the public has anticipated the appeals for pity and is having none of it, failing to ask what has caused her to reach that stage and what can be done to reverse her slide into villainy.

Again, despite all the evidence from the rest of the world that shows many criminals can and have been rehabilitated, Saint Lucia remains stuck in the eye-for-an-eye mentality, cleaving to the word of the Lord as interpreted and fed to them by pastors, priest and ministers of all stripes who have their own agenda. 

While we are ever-ready to “tie your waist and pray”, we  should remember that we have all been given physical and mental abilities as well as the capacity for empathy and love, which can help us surmount the hurdles facing us on earth. Zacchaeus saw Jesus and saved his soul not by praying but taking decisive action. The abuse of women, neglect of children and of pridefulness of men may just be our “Sycamore tree” that we have to find a way to climb in order for our nation to see the way forward.

“The system” after all consists of all of us, and when “the system” fails, so does each and every one of us.

Published in The Thursday Voice Newspaper, June 18, 2009. Online at http://www.thevoiceslu.com/

NG Soca Stage Explodes for Carnival 2K9

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New Generation (NG) Soca Stage was launched in impressive fashion last night, June 13, 2009. The heavy hitters were all there, soca artistes, managers (Jackie’s work is never done), carnival band leaders, sponsors reps (WLBL your Piton and Heineken guys need a rest), CDF officials, the rights infringement guys (was that a copy or an ECHO?)  and of course the media and PR people (Agnes Francis  Co. holding it down).  

However with a very nice turnout at Samaans Park, the night naturally belonged to the fans. For a tent and an event that a few years ago were considered an impossibility, NG Soca Stage did its founders proud last night.  Both the new and old generations as well as everyone in between were represented at the first real soca explosion of Carnival 2KWine. With a banging sound system, flying confetti, flashing stage lights display, and yes smoke (Ricky T – las parfemè mwen!), NG took their game north.

The performances too spanned the range of soca. Nicole D, Kakal and SirLancelot among others, went back to the past to remind the crowd of their creds.

Being a Lucian I have to take Alpha’s word that his new band rocked the start of the show, heating up the crowd for MC Pringles and the horde of artistes that followed. The “Superman” MC was almost too much, as he had the crowd eating out of his hand, practically overshadowing every artiste.  

But the powerhouse that is Ricky T, dreadhead Ila man, flashy Platinum George and the sweet voiced TJ, showed they know how to run a crowd.

Despite slamming tunes, some artistes were really hard pressed to hold the crowd, as much of the audience seeming to already have their favourites. Q-Pid was even outdone by her guest artiste Grenadian “Baby Killa” and an impromptu performance from a winer man that (heee…) ended in a crash of lights.

The June 14, early morning end to the show was quite peaceful though. While the massive security/police presence may have something to do with that, there was really no need as, although it was shouted out throughout the night, not one patron could seriously say, “I want my money back!”