Saturday, January 5, 2013

Face to Face with One-Track Minds.

Telecommunication technology is revolutionizing the world in ways that are  mind-numbing. The speed and accessibility of high-tech information covering the globe is knocking at the doors of nations that have suppressed their people for hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of years. But human minds and emotions are sticky things. Humans do not like challenges to traditional thinking, so many will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the new world.This is inevitable because the world is going through an unstoppable wave of human development and it cannot be turned back. It is like a tsunami of unthinkable velocity, and so those who are fooling themselves into thinking that traditional tendencies could stop the change they abhor are in for a shocking encounter.
 Technology in communication is ripping the covers off other things too, and the cracks and crevices in the thinking of our people are surfacing. Here too, people have lived undisturbed inside these crevices and they are stunned to imagine that there could be anything wrong with being there. Holes do feel like safe places to hide from the turmoils of life, but truth when ignored is dangerous even for those who live inside of cracked-thinking.In the United States of America, for instance, the cracks are being pried into by the media who are asking the American ultra-conservative politicians  some discomforting questions about their traditional beliefs and practices that go contrary to  what is today known about how the real world works. The conservative politicians are squirming in their crevices, causing conservative governors like  Governor Christie to squirm, and almost scream in discomfort when asked his thoughts about evolution and the age of the earth. To these very natural modern-day questions from alert journalists (according to a new your times article entitled New Rules for the New Year)  Governor Christie  fumed, "None of your business", and "I am not a Scientist, man".
 We have not yet been so touched by such deep challenges to our traditional beliefs in the Caribbean,perhaps because we do not produce anything here designed to change the world in any real sense. We have the sun, sea and sand, and these do not require much thinking to maintain, so I predict we will remain, to a large degree, snug in our crevices as the world changes around us. Many of us will glare awe-struck at the changes and  pacify ourselves with the well-worn, awe-inspired expression, "well- Jesus is really coming for his world for true".
I live in a part of the world where people think they are helping  and doing humanity a favour by forwarding holy writings to people like me and others who are unlike I am on our smart phones. Not long ago I received one of these forwarded notes, telling me a story of a young lady who was walking in a dark alleyway and encounterd a stranger in the darkness. She prayed to God for his protection and bravely walked on pass the stranger. Later that night she heard the news report stating that the stranger had raped and murdered a young lady who had passed that way a few hours before she did. She learned that during the interrogation, the man revealed that another young lady had passed him in the alleyway but he did not interfere with her because she was accompanied by a stranger.
 Now, I am expected by the sender of that forward to say praise the lord, and to stand amazed in the presence of the stranger of Galilee. Instead my mind took a swerve and did what any intelligent person aught to. My mind began asking questions; not whether the story was true, but was the man intoxicated or high on drugs when he saw the stranger walking with the girl? Didn't the raped and murdered girl scream to the highest heaven and pray to the very same God that the  one who escaped simply whispered her prayer to?I have no doubt that if she was a Caribbean female she did just that. Why didn't God simply sweep up the man in a whirl wind and slam him into the earth?
But of course I think too much and should not be asking any questions at all. I am simply expected to avoid such thoughts because the forwarded message is about the goodness of God, and I am a awful man for  choosing to think just as I would about any thing else. It is quite safe and acceptable to think when other matters are put before me, but once my smart-tech phone, in an age of smart technological development and learning places these things on my screen, I am expected to have a one-track mind and simply whisper a devotional "amen".
I know the appropriate quotations which follow the readings of articles like this: In the last days men will be so wise that they will become  foolish, and the foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of men. I have no response to those who are incapable of alternative thinking while in the comfort of crevices, in the midst of an increasingly enlightened and changing world.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Explanation by manufacture when needed

It has been quite some time since I have posted any of my thoughts  on this blog. Not that I have  stopped thinking blogs; I have simply been expending those thoughts at other forums. But because I am one who loathes allowing opportunities of any sort to pass by un-grasped, I have decided that I will use every available opportunity to make my feelings, opinions and views known on this blog which is accessible to me.
Since I last posted any blog, I have expressed many thoughts through other writings and speaking opportunities on radio and elsewhere. I have written about carnival in St.Kitts, my home nation. I have traveled to Barbados where I put the finishing touches on one of my books, and I have expanded my small business,Caribbean Examination Preparation Institute. I have developed a new plot to energize the drama groups that I founded and manage, namely, Poinciana Theatre Productions, Laugh Entertainment and Act Alone Edutainment Enterprise.
 Much of what I think and write is outside the main stream of thought in the Caribbean, but I think it is essential to think outside the  trap or traps, that  keep us, as a Caribbean people, living far below our potential and capacity to be happy and free.I am not one to convince myself that I am happy when I am not, nor am I one to deny all evidence that I am really not free.
The strongest bars that restrict us are those around our minds. I have chosen to shake and challenge such bars because I am not afraid to do so. I write much about religion because it is my view that it has been used to frighten, subjugate and exploit millions across the globe, but particularly, Caribbean people, and particularly our female folk who are mainly responsible for shaping the minds of Caribbean  children.
 Some may argue that religion has also helped. They point to the admonishion against evil practices and destructive habits.
Perhaps it has helped, but that is due more to man's ability to develop methods of survival than his willingness to seek evidence of hard truth. Man is a feel good creature. He wants stability and peace that make him feel comfortable and safe. This is a basic tenant of human nature, and it is no miracle that religion emerged.  I have argued elsewhere that it would have been a greater miracle if (given the nature of man) religion, in some form or another, did not emerge among human kind. Religious people argue that this is an indication that God has placed a desire for a supreme being inside man- a god-shaped vacuum, thus his search for a god; but all this does is show  how easy it is for people in authority, (something religion freely tosses up) to supply so called answers, or reason for explaining away the psychology of human nature by glibly coming up with an answer.This is done quite a lot in religious settings because religion lends itself to this type of magical supply of answers and reasons for the, as yet, unexplainable:We don't understand it so it must be god.
This, I am afraid, is the extent of the reasoning capacity with which I, as well as millions of my fellow Caribbean  brothers and sisters were raised with, and dared not challenge, because it come from an authority who has access to the source of supernatural revelations which we challenge only at the expense of having our one immortal soul damned and doomed through all eternity in  a furiously flaming furnace. A frightening prospect indeed and so we behaved.Is this helpful? Did it make us behave? Has it kept us on the pathway of decency and moral behaviour? I am sure some of this resulted in good. Was it the only way this could have been done? We don't know because we dared not attempt to find out.We would first have to find out if any of what they taught us was reasonably and rationally sensible, logical and accurate and thats's the problem right there.

Am Back

I am calling this piece Am Back because it has been quite some time since  I have written a single thing on this blog. I am back with a pledge: I will not stay away as long as I have again.
 Writing is my life. It is a hobby that I am obsessed with. I write about anything and sometimes my writing upsets people because  I am not afraid to  go against the norm. It appears to be within my nature to do so. I do not adhere to the status quo and the conventions of the times.I simply say what is on my mind and the way I see it.
 I write about issues of concern to me, whether those issues be about politics, religion or other issues of human experience and behaviour that interest me.
At the moment I am thinking about tattoos. They are turning up everywhere in the Caribbean, particularly on the skin of our beautiful, well shapes, healthy Caribbean women. They are nearly all  stretching out in some room somewhere off the beaten path, baring their breasts  and their bottoms, and allowing some dude to tattoo their behinds or somewhere close to their nipples.
Why these lovely women are doing this  to their bodies I simply cannot know. It is a mystery to me.So much so that while on the lovely island of Barbados over the Christmas season, I saw a trio of nice-looking ladies walking through Independence boulevard where they have the massive, but splendid monument to Errol Walton Barrow, the father of Barbadian Independence. Mind you, this monument is not in his home village of St. Johns like the bust of  The Honorable R.L Bradshaw in St.Kitts, where if the nation wants to see it, we have to catch a bus and go for a long drive deep in the rurals to see a full scale statue of the great man. No. the Barbadians have placed their national hero in the city of the nation, but in St.Kitts we feel that just because Mr. Bradshaw was born in St. Pauls Village his monument must be placed in St. Pauls Village. But it is a free country so we are free to place monuments to our national heroes wherever we want to. It is ironic that C.A Paul Southwell was born in Dominica, but his bust is at the industrial site in Basseterre instead of some village  across the sea.
 So the young ladies were passing through the Independence boulevard and I compliment them for not having tattoos on their skin, a rare sight these days.It then dawned on me that this tattooing thing has become so prevalent that it was quite possible for them to have tattoos in places I was not able to see. Such is the nature of things today.
 These women tattoo images of animals and flowers, both of a heavenly and  an earthly nature. Who am sorry for are those ladies who tattoo the names of their boyfriends on their behinds. Women well know that Caribbean men are known for one thing and one thing alone, and that is, moving on, and yet they lay on a strange bed or mattress that hundreds of other women have already stretched half naked on, and let some man, whose name they cannot even pronounce, tattoo their present man's name on their breasts and backsides. I want to suggest that any Caribbean woman reading this blog right now who is thinking of tattooing the name of your present man on your behind, legs, belly or breast, ask the tattoo man to tattoo a few columns,  including date and year in each column because, bet your life if the man you have now is from anywhere in the Caribbean, you will need the next column for the next man  when you are doing your next tattoo, because Caribbean men and love are like the Caribbean sun. In the morning they rise in the east, but by evening they are setting in the west.
 Happy tattooing.