It is day #WholeHeap of a drought here on Mary Seacole Hall at UWI Mona, Kingston. The drought is actually Kingston wide, but I am allowing myself a bit of self-centredness in the first paragraph because this post is all about doing away with my
first-world third-world problems mindset. Bigger things are happening than my lack of water. Like . . .
1. Gabriel Garcia Marquez passed away.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez (author of One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera, and whole lot of other books but those are the two that spring readily to mind) died two days ago and was honoured in this piece by Esquire. One of the quotes I loved from that article has so much punch:
Courage did not come from the need to survive, or from a brute indifference inherited from someone else, but from a driving need for love which no obstacle in this world or the next world will break.
-Gabriel Garcia Marquez
And then I was especially moved to read One Hundred Years of Solitude before my next birthday because the writer started off his piece by saying this:
I wish I could re-create the sensation that surged through me when I first opened One Hundred Years of Solitude at the age of 22. It was like looking at stars for the first time from an untouched spot in the middle of The Amazon or The Sahara. You realize in moments like those that the world offers a much deeper and more vivid experience than you could’ve possibly imagined. You’re in God’s mind.
Which is exactly what I hope for every time I pick up a new book. I don’t always get it, but it doesn’t stop me from searching.
2. Jamaicans continue to make fun of masculine rape (and Lisa Hannah continues to be oblivious).
This cartoon in the Jamaica Observer was printed in relation to the closure of the Alpha Boys Home and based largely on some inflammatory statements from Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hannah.
Red for Gender published this online article in relation to the cartoon and Minister’s Hannah’s unjust words (featuring full-length quotes from her speech), but I fear the Jamaican society is just going to continue being blindly stubborn when it comes to anything concerning sex or sexuality.
Minister Hannah effectively declared that the Home was being shut down because boys are raping boys and the Jamaican public effectively responded by laughing at the idea of boys being raped.
This discussion might not be bun-and-cheese worthy, but it is so, so necessary. The Sisters of Mercy who run the Boys’ Home are understandably aggrieved, as are the past students of the Home.
My country, my country, why do you forsake me?
3. The eternally brilliant Peter Philips is taxing bank transactions.
Minister of Finance Peter “Fish-Face” Philips is charging us to access our money so he can cover Jamaica’s growing debt problems. It was bad enough that we had bank fees (did you know First Caribbean charges $160JMD for each withdrawal?) but now we are forced to cover the government’s illegitimate spending habits. I try so hard to love my country and then they pull something like this.
There’s an online petition going around calling for Minister Phillips resignation, demanding that Prime Minister Simpson-Miller sack him, actually. I can’t say it will be very effective. Our government has a remarkable ability to ignore the problems of the people (except our curry goat and beer fixes come election time).
This is the same woman who recently refused to review Jamaica’s anti-buggery laws because “they don’t affect the majority of Jamaican people”. Nope. Just the poor, uneducated, at-risk young men who can’t be legally raped under our current justice system. But of course they don’t matter. (I have ranted about this before).
It’s usually easy to forget my own (relatively trivial) problems by turning to the Internet for news but I always need cheering up after.