Tuesday, November 29, 2016

2016 Trumps

It has been a year of major upheavals: the immortals died and the inanimate lived. I should not even have to name Prince or Muhammad Ali but the fact being that I haven't before, anywhere, means I now must. The year is ending and without lying I could say that I have learned that the fat lady usually sings her final song at the end, translated i can't let the events of the year kill me, I must make it to the end.

Then came the campaigns and the elections, the day itself a whole other being in its 24 hour highs and lows, and the results and the analysis. Life happens.

I aged as I tend to this year. i hit a nice age I feel. There was also love this year which says nothing of next year. And an accident, not one and the same, or still not sure.

It draws to a close and this year I promise to embrace the impending seasons with a winner's attitude.

#goodread



Eric Weiner writes for BBC Travel on Portugal's culture of sadness.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Friday, September 30, 2016

Love Notes

                                                                         

Dionne Warwick sang "what do you get when you fall in love", among her answers, a boy with a pin to burst your bubble and she said you also get enough germs to catch pneumonia. I think it was silly Deniece Williams who sang "love oh love stop making a fool of me". What Is This Thing Called Love by Alexander O'neal says love 'takes control of everything I do and say". Without many words Dee Lite, friends of my friends, asked "What Is Love?" I have heard it said to be a "many splendored thing". Only a fool breaks his own heart said Sparrow and even before he got tired of love Neyo was sick of "love songs". Im not in a relationship but I am in love.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

#favourites

From the Secret Garden. The original cast recording is also very good!

Friday, July 15, 2016

No Advertising Here Too!


Cool Nights, Gillian Moor's new concert series at Kaiso Blues Cafe, is back for its third monthly edition! She'll be playing some of her original songs in a full set.

This month’s featured guest is writer Barbara Jenkins, whose debut short story collection, Sic Transit Wagon, was published by Peepal Tree Press to glowing reviews in 2013. 

Barbara has delighted literary audiences with her stories, but at the July 22 show, she will also read from her brand new novel — and to a different type of audience. 

“It is a real joy to be invited to read at Cool Nights,” says Barbara. “I’m looking forward to sharing excerpts from my latest work with an audience that is new to me.”

Gillian says she has always been moved by the wit, grace and wisdom of Barbara’s storytelling. she says she is so happy the Cool Nights audience will have a chance to hear her work adding that Barbara's writing always gives you something unexpected. Gillian promises an unforgettable night.

Join us at Kaiso Blues Cafe, 85 Woodford St, Port of Spain, on July 22nd, from 8-11 pm. 

Showtime is 9 pm. Admission $100. More info:760-4655

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Real Men - Joe Jackson

Take your mind back – I don't know when
Sometime when it always seemed
To be just us and them
Girls that wore pink and boys that wore blue
Boys that always grew up better men
Than me and you

What's a man now – what's a man mean
Is he rough or is he rugged
Is he cultural and clean
Now it's all change – it's got to change more
'Cause we think it's getting better
But nobody's really sure

And so it goes – go round again
But now and then we wonder who the real men are

See the nice boys – dancing in pairs
Golden earring golden tan
Blow-wave in the hair
Sure they're all straight – straight as a line
All the gays are macho
Can't you see the leather shine

You don't want to sound dumb – don't want to offend
So don't call me a faggot
Not unless you are a friend
Then if you're tall and handsome and strong
You can wear the uniform and I could play along

And so it goes – go round again
But now and then we wonder who the real men are

Time to get scared – time to change plan
Don't know how to treat a lady
Don't know how to be a man
Time to admit – what you call defeat
'Cause there's women running past you now
And you just drag your feet

Man makes a gun – Man goes to war
Man can kill and man can drink
And man can take a whore
Kill all the blacks – kill all the reds
And if there's war between the sexes
Then there'll be no people left

And so it goes – go round again
But now and then we wonder who the real men are

Sunday, January 3, 2016

My new word....

Writing a blog for me is therapeutic in that I get to express myself....its also internecine in that what follows can be myriad things. This is why my new word is internecine...it means injurious to both parties in a conflict. You may think there is no real conflict but freedom of speech comes with a price in that its a right we all have. I may not write for comment and I say that perhaps because it is negative comment I fear. The point is always made that what it is is constructive criticism but it means control someone exercising control of us and what we do by judging it so its half of one six a dozen of the other or in a word, internecine.

Another example of the internecine is the relationship between traditional media and social media. More and more we are seeing stories generated from posts on sites, Many have led to criminal charges being laid against individuals. What is the harm in this? It seems to me that citizen journalism 2.0 can now lead the news and its as if the media have given up its standards in the interest of presenting what is popular at the expense of what is in the interest of posting.

Abuse is more systemic than can be captured on social media for one thing and is a natural second step to now seek such material as it is seen as good material. Yes I know presenting reality is what news aims to do but we have done nothing to earn this access...who says we have a right to it...are rights being violated if you film me knowingly doing something wrong...what if you encouraged me to do it? So while crimes have been exposed through social media posts the fact is that its an under legislated medium perhaps and hard to police as well making in my mind the relationship between the two internecine. This could perhaps be better articulated but its just a word thing in the end.

Internecine is technology and religion both being sustained. Technology tells me to have it means I am a modern citizen while a belief in Christ makes me more akin the the people of the Bible who fought spiritual battles all day and resisted the trappings of the false heaven of wealth and acquisition as seen among the powerful at the time. This is particularly interesting to me as it is the premise of a book I read by DH Lawrence, Apocalypse. It says in essence that the Book of Revelations was written as a warning to rich men, the King of Kings reigned supreme and vengeance is for those who do not believe. As a Christian we are told that He did not give us a spirit of fear but for some it is the fear of God that keeps us faithful....internecine?

There is a lot that falls in here in my mind. As one friend puts it 'familiarity breeds contempt' well it can and maybe because I believe it does...how many of us grow in love? Even most romances seem to fizzle....the break up seems the norm suggesting that getting to know someone may not mean growing to love them even if it means continuing to love them if that makes sense?

There are things that I could say to explain this seemingly, even to me, ad hoc post but none may be necessary. Life and death may also be seen as internecine in some way.

More Ms Cole!


RIP Ms Melody!


Natalie Cole has died. I heard it mentioned on the radio yesterday and was immediately saddened. We may have come to associate fandom with its extreme expression like crying and pulling at your blond hair when you see your favourite idol, I am not of that. But I am a fan of Natalie Cole.

I can't help but say that some of us have long denounced the idea of 'monarchy': we shun dynastic inheritance that precludes some from achieving the pinnacle of greatness, that place on the throne. Well in my mind the very place that inverted that has as well appropriated it quite well in that we now have thanks to them, The King of Pop, The King of Rock and Roll, The Queen of Soul, a couple Queen B's and a host of other royals. The fact is the entire court of Uncle Sam is of blue blood, trust me.

I came to like Natalie Cole before I came to hate the rights of succession now seemingly owed to the kids of great actors and singers. Its as if through lineage these offspring have improved on the talents of their parents and are here to command an even greater place in the world as leaders, most of them wealthy already. I believe Natalie Cole was a real talent though and a woman of grace despite her much reported on drug use.

It was in the early 90's while I lived in New York than I would again fall in love with her having had a fond memory of her hits in the late 70's into 80's. It was at a night club called Sugar Babies. It was at  restaurant that was at the time called Sugar Reef, a colorful almost gawdy little spot where the best of the best at the time gathered on a Monday night to party hard and sweat.

There would also be performances...drag performances. One night the gorgeous and effervescent Lambert, stage name Ebony Jet, performed the song I posted above. To my memory it was lip-synced to perfection even the difficult scatting towards the end seemed more exciting to me that night than anything. I went on to buy Ms Cole's Best Of because of that night and it featured many of her songs, many of which I loved.

I have a thing for female vocalists, I have noticed, most of my favourite songs have been sung by women, for what it's worth Natalie Cole is naturally among them.