‘We Were Here’ is the first film to take a deep and reflective look back at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco, and how the City’s inhabitants dealt with that unprecedented calamity. Though this is a San Francisco based story, the issues it addresses extend not only beyond San Francisco but also beyond AIDS itself. ‘We Were Here’ speaks to our societal relationship to death and illness, our capacity as individuals to rise to the occasion, and the importance of community in addressing unimaginable crises.
I started watching this last week (you can watch it here), but at the time it was too hard to finish because, quite frankly, it is unnerving to see unless you know your HIV status - whether you’re gay or straight.
Now that I know I can breathe a sigh of relief, I’ve watched it all and I think you should too.
If all goes according to plan, I’ll be specialising in Public Health soon with a focus on HIV/AIDS and, in particular, its prevalence and risk factors among sexual minorities. From that aspect alone this film was awesome, but whether gay or straight it will force some useful introspection that even the best of HIV/AIDS campaigns would fail to do.
This G4S security guard will rue the day he had to apprehend this streaker who disrupted a cricket match at Kensington Oval in Barbados last weekend.
The streaker, 20-year-old-Barbadian Michael Arthur Francis Marshall, will appear in court to answer charges of indecent exposure and trespassing. The unidentified security guard gets off scot-free for fondling.
The state-run Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation in Barbados made a huge mistake last night when someone was either (i) watching porn or (ii) fucking, in its newsroom studio. The audio was simulcast with the weather report of the 7:00pm PrimeTime News.
In a statement on its Facebook page some minutes later, the Corporation issued an apology going something like:
The CBC extends deepest apologies to its viewers for the unfortunate happenings in the presentation of the weather news tonight. Be assured that this matter will be dealt with and we commit to doing all possible to ensure there is not a repeat of this action. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
I am a faux linguist who believes in the importance of preserving “nation language.” Of all such languages, I find Jamaican patois to be one of the most unique and, when spoken by the right person, one of the sexiest Caribbean nation languages one could listen to.
With that said, it goes to reason that I’d fully support the translation of the Holy Bible into Jamaican patois. Further, I think that similar moves to make mainstream literature more accessible and understandable through the use of nation language should be encouraged, particularly if the intention is to appeal to those whose literacy in English is not up to scratch. The problem is, I’m not sure that this was the intention with the Patois Bible.
In my opinion, the phonetic spellings of some words in the Patois Bible are nothing short of mind-boggling, and require the reader to possess as much (or even more) literary competence than s/he would need to understand a rendering of the Bible in Standard English.
An example from the Book of Luke is pasted below:
“ienjel” (angel)? “nyuuz” (news)? “Mieri” (Mary)? REALLY? (Rilli?!) It’s almost like deciphering a secret code.
When deciphered, it’s amazing how authentically Jamaican even I sound while reading it, but I’m willing to bet that this book presents all of the same challenges to the much-less-literate as the Bible’s modern-English versions.
So, on to my question. Is this Bible meant to be any easier for the less-literate masses to comprehend, or is it just meant to be a symbolic triumph for Patois academics? Or, perhaps, it is meant to be read for the masses by such academics? If either of the latter two scenarios is true, there really is no benefit redounding to the Patois Bible’s purported end-user.
I admit, I am not Jamaican and I’ve only lived there for three years. Perhaps some actual Jamaicans could shed some light.
No politician in this country will ever call for the repeal of the buggery laws because that would be tantamount to political suicide. Jamaican politicians are even willing to face international ridicule just to prove to the local populace that they are staunchly opposed to the gay lifestyle. “Not in my Cabinet!” Prime Minister Bruce Golding declared on the British talk show Hardtalk a few years ago. This was in response to being asked if he would tolerate gays in his Cabinet. He was chastised in the international press but many people here loved him for it.
At the last leadership debate in the lead-up to the Jamaican general elections, Portia Simpson-Miller, leader of the opposition People’s National Party (PNP), said that she had no objection to appointing gays to her Cabinet. And she went further to say that, perhaps, Jamaica should review its buggery laws which effectively criminalise men who have sex with men. This is HUGE!
Perhaps Simpson-Miller may have gotten ahead of herself and didn’t intend to speak on the repeal of the buggery law, but that is just me wondering why she’d take such a huge political risk before actually being elected as Prime Minister in the virulently homophobic island, where hatred of gays seems, prima facie,to be a societal norm.
This bold, though risky, move by Portia Simpson-Miller should be applauded as a turning point in the national and regional political discourse on gay rights. And, if successful, the PNP/Government of Jamaica would - ironically - set precedent in the Caribbean for ending legislated discrimination against LGBTs.
Who’d have thunk it?
Update:The Jamaica Gleaner’s Christmas Day editorial examines the impact of vulgar anti-gay sentiments now being spewed by the incumbent Jamaica Labour Party in the wake of this debate. Apparently, they’ve been quite effective:
Labourite this AM in Christiana: “Vote labour, bun out sodomite, vote labour on December 29th”
As Jamaica heads to the polls later this month, this supporter of the incumbent Jamaica Labour Party dedicates her vagina to Member of Parliament and Minister of Finance, Audley Shaw. Her backside seems also to sport the slogan “Vote JLP”.
In what appears to be the biggest threat to the sovereignty of post-independent Barbados, American chef Christina Curry recently debuted some fucked up alteration of the island’s national dish Cou Cou, and Bajans all over the world are livid! So livid, in fact, that they’ve taken to every conceivable social network to complain, including Curry’s own YouTube channel.
Some of the comments are so horrible that they’re being deleted as soon as they’re posted, but the general gist is:
IF YOU’RE CALLING IT A VARIATION DONT REFER TO IT AS COU COU, CALL IT FRIED CORN MEAL SQUARES. YOU JUST FUCKED UP MY COUNTRY’S NATIONAL DISH, THANKS ALOT
Further shitting on Barbados, Curry replaced Flying Fish - national fish, requisite complement to Cou Cou, and preeminent national symbol of Barbados which is revered in song, depicted on coins, passports, government logos, license cards and just about everything else Bajan - with beef stew.
This white dude is crying because he just received a one-year sentence for a hate crime in which he and maybe a dozen other white dudes beat up a black teenager with fists, feet, knives and beer bottles, even after the teen was unconscious. The highest sentence dealt for this crime was three years. The assistant attorney had recommended eight years.
There are PoC (particularly young men of color) who get more than a year for possession of marijuana with no intent to distribute, and that’s after they got seriously fucked up by the police. If this was a group of black men who beat up a white man, you can sure as hell bet they’d be getting the recommended eight years as a minimum.
Tell me again the justice system isn’t racist.
Barbados is a lot of things, but it’s not a place where a gang of racist white men can beat my black ass within an inch of death and just one of them gets three months from a conveniently-lenient (RIP Troy Davis), justice system. For that, I am grateful.
By Sir Ronald Sanders (International consultant and former Caribbean diplomat)
General elections in St Lucia and Guyana on November 28 have raised serious questions about the financing of campaigns and the unfair use of state resources by governing political parties to gain an advantage over their opponents.
In St Lucia, it is alleged that a significant portion of the United Workers Party (UWP) campaign funds came from Taiwan. The UWP was the ruling party at the time of the elections and the then leader of the Opposition and leader of the St Lucia Labour Party (SLP), Kenny Anthony, had engaged in a public row with the Taiwanese Ambassador over his blatant interference in the electoral politics of the island.
Pat Robertson on The 700 Club today said that the policy was “appalling” shows that America is willing to “violate God’s principles and to make a mockery of His laws.” Robertson even warned that God will not tolerate it and “when the blow comes, it’s going to be horrible”
To address your original question regarding violence against women: I think that if you mean rape, say rape. If you mean partner abuse, say partner abuse. But those are the predominate types of violence that women do experience. Calling it "violence against women" serves as a stronger rallying cry than "fight rape" or "fight abuse" because it brings to the fore that this can happen to any woman. It can be a useful term. It does, however, alienate the men who have experienced this violence.
Earlier today I asked whether the term ‘violence against women’ was discriminatory, and presented my views. I was delighted to read the mostly-vitriolic responses from feminists, which I’ve reproduced below for your consideration (and entertainment). All emphases are mine.
Consider this reblog part of my campaign to at least spend my energy mocking posts on a wider variety of topics, and mocking posts that are more clearly stupid. Also, my long term commitment to misandrist discourse.
Misandrist = saying “well, maybe you aren’t the most important person in this discussion”
seriously, I have a met a lot of people involved in domestic violence activism, and have yet to encounter a single one who was hostile to or unwilling to help a man who was genuinely a victim of partner violence, not to mention all the boys who grow up in homes where violence occurs. It is very much in the interest of women to remove boys from those situations, because they will become men. The underlying implication of this attempt to ungender DV is that advocates are out to harm men, deliberately or by omission, which is fucking appalling considering that it is women who are overwhelmingly the targets of violence. Any attempt to recenter men and sweep the violence inherent in heterosexual interactions under the table lest it alienate anyone (men) only serves to harm women. You can’t even be beat bloody without some fucker asking you to make room for the men, even when men are not there in sufficient numbers to need that room.
SO MUCH FUCKING WORD. GOD! YES! Male victims’ voices should be heard and seen as REAL victims. BUT FOR THE FUCKING LOVE OF GOD-DO NOT SILENCE WOMEN’S VOICES in order to prove a “BUT WAHT ABOUT THE MEN WAAAH!!!” point. It is sick, it is counter-productive, it ignores women, and it is fucking sexist. And also? Wanna know WHY men aren’t seen as real victims in the first fucking place? Because of misogyny and a patriarchal system…one that participates in shit like this. Because women are incapable of being a fucking threat and men are incapable of being real vicitims. That’s fucking why. Whenever a discussion with Violence against women comes up and some asshole (typically a dude, occasionally a woman) starts with a “but it happens to guys too..” I will tell them to fucking check themselves before they wreck themselves. Because seriously? WHAT FUCKING POINT ARE U TRYING TO MAKE?!! What? Are you trying to defend violence women face? Are you trying to erase women’s experience so you can keep the status quo? Because A) that doesn’t help the men you claim are “ignored by the evil women” and B) it does shit to combat VAW and domestic abuse period. WHY ARE YOU SO DEFENSIVE AGAINST THE THOUGHT OF GIVING 2 SHITS ABOUT WOMEN?!?!!! FUCKING WHY??!?! ARE R U A COWARD TRYING TO EVADE THE FACT THAT MISOGYNY EXISTS?!!
If these were guys ranting at a woman putting forward her views, this would be psychological abuse and misogynist raving, wouldn’t it? I am entertained by the double standard and still maintain my original views. Which chapter in the Feminist Playbook does it say that “men must not have views which run counter to women’s on the matter of gender based violence, and if they do, there should be no dialogue with them on this matter apart from a barrage of fuck yous”?