"This is my father's choice,
O what a world of vile ill favour'd faults
Looks handsome in three hundred pound a year!"
Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor, III, 4
BACK in those days, three hundred pounds a year was more than a tidy sum, and a man, even with ill-favoured faults, looked really handsome if he was earning that amount. That woman's father chose a suitor for her, and she wasn't too pleased, but his monetary worth sort of smoothed things over.
Money does have a way of equalising people. It makes ugly men handsome,
big-belly men look slim, it makes smelly, boorish, uncouth men appear to be bathed in lilac and have the manners of proper gentlemen. Money makes short men seem tall, and ignorant men appear educated and smart. It even makes cruel men seem kind and benevolent.
Money equalises people as it smoothes out the wrinkles of poverty and uplifts the lives of many. This fact is not lost on women, and that's why they have a professional bias when it comes to choosing men.
Now, you're going to question what I have to say as, for some reason, women do not like to admit that they only want a certain type of man, not only for themselves, but for their daughters too.
Outwardly they may not admit it, but secretly, every women has a professional bias when it comes to choosing a partner, and that's what we'll be exploring today -- right after these harassing, or admiring, responses to Harassment or Admiration.
As a young, attractive woman, I love to be admired and secretly enjoy it when men call to me on the street. I dread the day when I grow old, lose my looks and no one admires me anymore. There is a line however, and I can't ever appreciate the lewd, vulgar, sexual comments that some men make. I try to ignore most of them and put it down to ignorance on their part. But when even my educated co-workers make them, I find it doubly offensive, for I think that they should know better. I do enjoy being admired though.
An admirer who compliments the opposite sex may not necessarily be a harasser if it is done in a quiet, respectful way. It becomes harassment when the action is continuous, boorish or disrespectful. If the admirer then touches the other without consent, it becomes a more serious charge of assault. It matters not that the woman dresses provocatively. One can always stare in admiration without resorting to harassment. My wife jokingly complains of me harassing her all the time, but does not resist or object. If I inform my doctor that I do not wish to be touched where the sun doesn't shine, and he does, that's assault in this neck of the woods.
Lawyer, doctor, Indian chief. That's whom every woman seeks as a partner, lover or husband. Mothers tell their daughters, "Make sure you marry somebody of substance and not any worthless man." That means a man of a certain profession, and thus began the genesis of the professional bias. Even schools used to have this bias, as they put more emphasis on the traditional grammar subjects as opposed to the technical subjects. Everybody wanted a bank or office job but shied away from woodwork or metalwork.
Up to recently a lady friend of my wife asked me if I couldn't find a nice, decent man for her. "I want a man who will love me and most of all, be faithful," she said. She then asked if I didn't have any brothers, which I deduced to mean that I fit the bill, but since I was already taken, then my clone would do. I get that a lot.
When I told her that I knew I nice taximan who would fulfil all her requirements, I saw her jaw drop and her countenance change. "Er, I was thinking of someone a bit more lofty, of a higher calling," she explained. And therein lies the problem, for in her eyes and mind, a taximan would not be suitable for her, even though he may be honourable, noble, faithful, and would love her forever. He wouldn't even get a foot in her door, wouldn't have a chance of a snowball in a sauna. Professional bias in full flight.
I have heard of a man who was courting a young woman, only to be chased away by an irate mother who berated him for daring to darken her doorstep. "How dare you try to talk to my good, good teacher daughter, you look like a bullfrog, shoo, get away." That's a true story, folks. Professional bias brings out the beast in some women, and their purple prose speweth venom.
But what are the choice professions that ladies set their sights on? The number one, I'm told, is the doctor. It's every woman's dream to marry a doctor, and many medical practitioners can have their pick of women, I'm told. In fact, many women may not even care if he has bad bedside manners, as long as she's the wife of a doctor.
Doctors have told me though, that they prefer to marry female doctors or nurses, as only they would understand and appreciate the rigours and time consumption of the medical field. So any woman who has that bias had better attend medical or nursing school.
Pilots are also high on the list of professions that many women lean towards. Some just love the uniform, while others dream of the free trips as they fly away to far off places to go shopping. The prestige and glamour go hand in hand.
But a woman has to be trusting if she marries a pilot, for they are often likened to modern-day sailors. And you know what they say about sailors and any port, or girl, in a storm. Plus there is a reason why where they work is called a cockpit. Still, there are pilots and there are pilots, and I know some decent, faithful ones.
Somehow this professional bias does not lean towards members of the constabulary, and women have vocalised, "No sah, I don't want no policeman husband, me too fraid." I naturally assumed that they meant that it was the dangers of the job that turned them off.
Now members of the clergy hold a special place for some women, and being the wife of a preacher does have a certain prestige. But even though some women seek such a man, others are turned off by the constant goodness and refusal to sin. Most women do like a little 'cowboy' in their men. Plus, a preacher is always catering to others, always giving advice, comfort and solace to strangers, much to the neglect of his own household. Even though they say, "Parson christen him pickney first", many wives feel neglected. It takes a special woman to be a preacher's wife.
Some women have a bias towards schoolteachers, although not so much anymore as in the past, when that profession was more respected. He has to be at least a principal, though. It's the same for policemen, if they do choose one, he has to be at least a senior superintendent and not a corporal.
So, because of this professional bias, thousands of men have a hard time getting a so-called quality woman. No taximan, no conductor, no bus driver, no prison warder, no cesspool emptier, no security guard, no garbageman has a chance with them. These women with this professional bias would rather be alone than change their ideals. It's only men at the top of the pyramid who they desire and all others will fall short.
The lofty professions bring a certain prestige, money and power, and women are drawn to power, which they say is the greatest aphrodisiac. How a women can sleep with an old, portly, ugly man just because he's of a certain profession is a mystery to some people. Men of a certain profession have no problem getting choice women, and when I gave my theory why, and equated my findings to another type of woman, I was roundly admonished by some females who took great offence. "What are you equating us with?" I repeated my findings that no young, pretty woman marries an old, poor man, and I stick by it. Women are practical, but they do have a professional bias. Now what bias does a man have? More time.
Did you know that this month of August has five Fridays, five Saturdays and five Sundays? This will not occur again for the next eight hundred years, they say. If you're weekly paid, be happy. If you're weakly paid, it doesn't count.
Once again I marvel at the numerous reports of people leaving their laptops in their vehicles and having them stolen. "They broke into my car and stole my laptop with all my class notes." Boo hoo. I have no sympathy. When will people learn? It's a constant cry on the radio call-in shows. A young lady suffered this fate, and when I asked her why she left her laptop in her car, she tersely explained that she couldn't very well lug it around with her. She was almost angry at me for asking. Clearly she prefers to have her car window broken and her laptop stolen. I don't get it. I must have been born on a different planet.
A woman's professional bias
THE National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) kicks off its 40th anniversary celebrations today with the opening of a retrospective exhibition.
"The task we have set ourselves with In Retrospect: Forty Years of the National Gallery of Jamaica is to tell the story of that story, examining with a critical eye the role the NGJ has played in establishing how Jamaican art is understood," explained Dr Veerle Poupeye, executive director of the NGJ.
"The exhibition consists mainly of key works from our collection and features artists as diverse as John Dunkley, Edna Manley, Ebony G Patterson, Isaac Mendez Belisario, Mallica 'Kapo' Reynolds, Albert Huie, Barrington Watson, Eugene Hyde, Karl Parboosingh, Leasho Johnson, Carl Abrahams, George Robertson, David Boxer, Laura Facey, Maria LaYacona, Petrona Morrison, Omari Ra, Cecil Baugh, Matthew McCarthy, Everald Brown, Norma Rodney Harrack, A Duperly and Sons, Osmond Watson, Renee Cox, Marlon James and Colin Garland."
The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue publication with essays by Alissandra Cummins, Annie Paul and Veerle Poupeye.
As it presently stands, the National Gallery is the oldest and largest national art museum in the Anglophone Caribbean and its reach was further expanded recently with the opening of National Gallery West at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre.
When the original 262 paintings and sculptures from the Institute of Jamaica collection arrived in 1974, the Gallery inherited a set of artworks but not a cohesive art history and thus it became part of the NGJ's mandate to articulate a Jamaican art history.
Since then, the gallery has told the story about Jamaican art through several exhibitions and publications, through major donations and debates that have surrounded the National Gallery from its earliest years.
Today's exhibition opening coincides with the Last Sundays programme for this month and the gallery will be open to the public from 1:00 am to 4:00 pm.
The In Retrospect exhibition will continue until November 15, 2014.
National Gallery celebrates 40 years
THE Caribbean Film Academy (CaFA), an organisation based in Brooklyn, New York, is aiming to promote Caribbean folklore through its new Studio Anansi Films.
Guyanese Romola Lucas, who co-founded CaFA in 2012, told the Sunday Observer that Studio Anansi Films will expose short and feature-length dramas as well as animated films and documentaries using the fledgling Video-On-Demand (VOD) medium.
VOD is CaFA's latest venture. The company currently shows Caribbean productions on its CineCaribés film blog and through its monthly CaFA Film Nights screenings in Brooklyn.
"One of the organisation's goals is to provide exposure for film-makers and an outlet through which their work could be shared within the region as well as worldwide," Lucas said.
Some of the films CaFA has shown to date are: Better Mus' Come (Jamaica), WAR Stories: Walter Anthony Rodney (Guyana), The Coming of Org (St Lucia), Hoghole (St Vincent), Auntie (Barbados) and Noka out of Trinidad and Tobago.
Lucas said film interests from Dominica, St Lucia, Jamaica, Trinidad, Carriacou, Guyana, and St Vincent and the Grenadines have signed on with Studio Anansi Films.
She hopes the site will spur demand for Caribbean films and help make the region's industry financially viable.
"With the growth of sites like Netflix, Hulu and the number of films on iTunes, it is evident people, including those in the Caribbean, are consuming more and more content online. We hope the platform will be a convenient way for viewers to access Caribbean film content while online," she said.
AS a teenager, Kevin King had big dreams of being a basketball player. That all changed after he went through his father’s stash of vinyl records and ended up playing them on a turntable.
He has long given up hopes of shooting hoops. Today, he is known as Kevin Crown, one of the top disc jockeys in the tri-state area of the United States — New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
“I started as a DJ as a hobby but after listening to my father’s records my interest in music developed. I was also a dancer and I would gravitate towards anything that had a beat including soca, dancehall, reggae and hip hop,” Crown said in an interview with the Sunday Observer.
The 30-odd year-old Crown was recently in Jamaica, playing two nights at the Fiction Fantasy club in Kingston to celebrate businessman David ‘Squeeze’ Annakie’s birthday. He hosts the Friday Night Madness programme on New York’s WRTN 93.5 FM, which is owned by Annakie.
Though he is immersed in Jamaican pop music culture, Crown was born in Flatbush in Brooklyn, New York to Grenadian parents. His ties to Jamaican dancehall are solid.
He once operated a sound system and hosted a feature film called How Fi Dance Reggae, in which he interviewed the influential dancer Bogle. He has built an impressive résumé as a DJ, spinning discs at parties for celebrities such as Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx and the Wayans brothers.
Crown also has a small role in the low-budget drama Jamaican Mafia. Though the hip-hop/dancehall radio and club scene in New York has got increasingly competitive, Crown says he never looks over his shoulder.
“I really don’t care what my competition is doing, I do me. I focus on the people who come out to have a good time. I never pay attention to other DJs; I love what I do and I focus on that. It’s that simple
DANCER and choreographer Jessica Shaw cannot remember a time when she was not dancing. Being the daughter of choreographer Paula Shaw allowed her to be exposed to the art from a very early age.
“My mother sent me to study ballet with Elizabeth Samuda from about age three and I have not looked back since,” the 23-year-old related to the Jamaica Observer.
Twenty years after she was introduced to her first ballet class, Shaw is now the ballet mistress at L’Acadco, one of Jamaica’s foremost dance companies. The dreadlocked performer told the Sunday Observer that it is pointless to disregard her mother’s influence in her chosen path.
“For as long as I can remember she has been choreographing for the JMTC [Jamaica Musical Theatre Company] and Father Ho Lung and I was always tagging along with her to rehearsals. At one point I was referred to as Paula’s Little Shadow as I was not only holding on to her every move but was also giving instruction and correcting the actors and dancers when they weren’t doing the choreography quite right.”
She however quickly grew out of her mother’s shadow and stepped into her own spotlight. Five years ago a chance meeting with the L’Antoinette Stines — the artistic director of L’Acadco — reaped major rewards, as she was asked to join the company.
“I was performing at an event and afterwards she came up to me and complimented me... I was ecstatic. I had always admired her work so it was the best of both worlds colliding, I chose L’Acadco and L’Acadco chose me.” Shaw describes the early days with the company as culture shock.
As she now had to learn Stines’ signature technique L’Antech, which she explained utilises every part of the body — quite different from the training she had received over the years. “It was a little hard getting used to the technique, but over time I have gotten to appreciate it.” And what’s it like working with Stines?
“She is such a dynamic person that it takes some work on the part of dancers to keep up with her mind. She will walk into the studio and demonstrate something and we are like ‘what is that?’ It challenges us to stay on our toes and I believe that is what makes L’Acadco the dynamic company that it is today,” explained Shaw.
This young graduate of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Performance and Choreography. She describes her personal dance style as being contemporary athletic.
“The best way to describe it is swift movements in a free-flowing form, pretty much like water,” Shaw stated. Of the local dance scene, Shaw has nothing but high praises.
“The dance world is growing rapidly. We are heading in the right direction, and putting out good work.
We must however be more exposed to what happening in the wider world. Bring the expertise to Jamaica so more local dancers can be exposed, as opposed to just a few having the opportunity to go overseas and experience.”
IN a 2002 interview with the Jamaica Observer, Uzziah ‘Sticky’ Thompson spoke about the lack of session work for percussionists in contemporary reggae.
“Nuh whole heap a work nah gwaan, a computer ting a run the place now,” he said. “Only one an’ two man will gi’ yuh a call.” Thompson, who died last Monday at age 78 in Florida, played on countless hit songs during a 50-year career.
Those hits ranged from ska (Little Did You Know by the Techniques); rootsreggae (I Need a Roof by the Mighty Diamonds); pop (Genius of Love by the Tom Tom Club, Pull up To The Bumper by Grace Jones) and contemporary reggae (One Bright Day by Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers).
He was part of a long line of outstanding percussionists who served Jamaican pop music with distinction. Others include Denzil Laing (father of Tony); Noel ‘Scully’ Sims; and Herman ‘Bongo Herman’ Davis.
Denver Smith, maybe the best known of the new wave of reggae percussionists, hailed Thompson as “the mystical percussionist".
According to Smith: “He was just different and always made me want to listen, watch, and learn without him having to say much. He only gave me a smile here and there, until that day when we ended up in the same room to work on Mind Control, Stephen Marley’s Grammy-winning acoustic album. It was then that he gave me his blessing as a real percussionist with a few words and a smile when he heard something he liked.”
The percussionist and horn player had major roles in ska, rocksteady and roots-reggae. The advent of computer beats in the 1980s cut their time in modern Jamaican music as many producers looked to lower costs. Clive Hunt is not one of those producers. He still calls on percussionists.
“I use percussion on every song I produce. Being a producer that produces live reggae music, the tracks are not complete without a percussionist,” he said. “Last week, for example, I used Bongo Herman and I played percussion on two new songs.” Smith’s first major gig was touring with Luciano in the late 1990s.
Since then, he has worked with acts like Jimmy Cliff, Shaggy, Etana, Damian Marley, Christopher Martin, Tarrus Riley, Dean Fraser, Jah Cure and Gentleman. He says not many producers are as open as Hunt whose own career began as a horn player.
“Recording sessions are sometimes hard to get since the era of technology and gadgets. We are sometimes overlooked by producers who do most of their music with computers but we do get sessions,” he explained.
“When we do, we represent and show that we cannot be replaced because we have the sound to capture the soul of a song as the great ones did back when music was live.”
Percussionist Uzziah 'Sticky' Thompson, known for playing on numerous Reggae classic over his 50 year long career passed away on Monday, August 25th.
Words by LargeUp Crew, Photos by Sherwin Dyer
Machel Montano dropped by Miss Lily's Variety last night to kick off Labor Day Weekend in NYC with a special edition of The LargeUp Sessions on RadioLily.com. This was no ordinary radio show, though: More like a stage show or a fete. Trinidad's soca king literally took over our weekly radio program from the moment he stepped in the building, leading singalongs, playing the cowbell on a bottle, and breaking down his new album, The Happiest Man Alive, for the capacity crowd gathered for the M Store Pop-Up Shop. Dozens more who couldn't get inside lined the streets around Miss Lily's, watching through the windows.
Words can't even begin to explain the vibes that ensued from the moment Machel walked in the room. Fortunately, we've got pics and audio of the whole thing! Listen to the full program below, and scroll through for more pics. And look out for our upcoming LargeUp TV webisode featuring Machel in NYC.
LOS ANGELES, USA (AP) — Cee Lo Green has pleaded no contest to one felony count of furnishing ecstasy to a woman during a 2012 dinner in Los Angeles.
The Grammy-winning singer entered the plea during a brief court hearing yesterday. He also entered a special plea in which he maintained his innocence in the case.
Superior Court Judge Mark Young sentenced the 39-year-old singer to three years of formal probation. Young said Green, whose real name is Thomas DeCarlo Callaway, will be allowed to travel for work.
Green entered the plea just before a preliminary hearing, which would have disclosed potential evidence against him, was scheduled to begin.
Prosecutors rejected a rape charge against Green when he was charged with the felony drug charge in October 2013. His attorney Blair Berk has said Green had consensual sex with the woman he gave ecstasy to during the 2012 dinner.
Hip-hop rallies for Michael Brown
NEW YORK, USA (AP) — Chelsea Clinton said yesterday she is quitting her job as a reporter at NBC News, citing increased work at the Clinton Foundation and imminent birth of her first child.
Bill and Hillary Clinton's daughter had been working at the network since 2011, sporadically doing feature stories on people or organisations doing public-spirited work. Politico magazine reported earlier this year that NBC was paying her US$600,000 a year.
"I loved watching the Making a Difference stories about remarkable people and organisations making a profound difference in our country and our world," Clinton said in a statement posted on her Facebook page. "I am grateful NBC gave me the opportunity to continue this important legacy."
She was initially hired to do stories for Brian Williams' Rock Center newsmagazine, but that programme was canceled. Her work occasionally appeared on NBC's Nightly News.
Two Clinton stories that aired in January were on education programmes targeting the underprivileged. She's done stories on a school programme for jailed teenagers named after Maya Angelou, an Arkansas tutoring program and a restaurant chain that donates leftover food to the needy. Her last story appeared on August 1.