Miss Lou would be proud, or turning in her grave.

Everyone with an internet connection (and even people without) has heard of Clif-twang Brown, the Mavis Bank spokesman of Youtube popularity. Mr. Brown’s claim to fame is his rather unusual accent, recently made into a song (yes, a remix) by DJ Powa from the University of Technology. Basically, de man twang like a professional.

Twanging is a popular concept in Jamaica, and the art of rounding up one’s mouth to achieve the most proper articulation of the Queen’s English is an age-old tradition. Louise Bennett and Joan Andrea Hutchinson, guardians of J’can linguistic heritage have commented on our attempts to “talk proper” with often hilarious results. Why should Mr. Brown be any different?

Because human dignity is flouted when one man is made a laughing stock by an entire nation (and even other countries) for speaking honestly and passionately.

You can’t deny that Mr. Brown takes his situation very seriously, and while his impassioned twanging was good for nine days’ worth of laughter, a line has to be drawn when he is invited on national television for the sole purpose of making fun of him. TVJ deserves more than a slap on the wrist for that little stunt, but they seem to have gotten away scot-free.

In the end, Mr. Brown got his bridge. And thanks to one man speaking out, at the risk of sounding cliche, everyone can cross it.

Pax.

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