There is a sense of pride I feel when I see Jamaica being David, and standing up to the Goliaths of this world. We are a tiny country with so much to lose when we speak out, reveal our hearts, our disagreements with “the big boys”.
I suffer from a constant battle with cognitive dissonance, and I suspect I’m not the only one. Nay, I KNOW I’m not the only one.
I have spent most of my professional life in this state, at war with myself, fighting with myself (and sometimes with others) over what has to be done and what I believe. On one side, I am a big dreamer, a creative being who sees every idea in its most extreme, beautiful, self. That’s the “Go Big!” side that I inherited from my parents. On the other side there is the budgeter, the realist, the cut it down to make it fit, and appease the financiers side. This is the practical side of me, it concedes to my sense of responsibility to others. I hate this side, but it keeps the lights on and food on the table. It’s a necessary evil.
I feel this way about many things in entertainment and the arts. I have always felt that advertisers hold too much power over the creatives’ lives. Which wouldn’t be that bad, if they didn’t use it to push agendas and politicise creativity. If they didn’t hold the threat of pulling funding at the mere smidge of controversy, so many things on our screens would be different. Some people’s court cases would have been seen through before they got the boot. (Yes, I am talking about Columbus Short et al.) Some shows would have either more in-depth content, or shorter episodes. (Every single reality show!) More importantly, some would end in their second or third season, while others would get to finish their story.
This makes me prefer British television to American. BBC does not cater to advertisers, it’s paid for by taxes anyway, so 5 episodes can be an entire season if that’s all they need to tell the story. They also care very little on how successful a show has been if the story has been told. It ends when it ends. No dragging it out to keep advertising dollars rolling in. Nope. This is also why their shows have 52-58 minutes of content, when American ones max out at 40-42 minutes.
This is why I love that online streaming services have grown to develop original content. Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, have piggybacked on the audience they developed with licensed content and launched their own exclusive works. Most importantly, it worked, people logged on and watched, and no advertisers needed to be consulted or convinced.
This means they could be more daring, more creative, more innovative, and most importantly more honest to their truth, without having to take corporate agendas into consideration. They were free to fly or fail in a more organic way, but the genuine interest of the viewers, not Coco-Cola or McDonalds. Their viewership goals were set by intended audience, not Pepsi’s Reach needs.
It is because of this that we get to have shows that are not softened for the masses, nor are they diluted to appease the FCC. They are the stylings of the creatives laid out in a visual banquet and they have found success. So much so that they are competing with the “Big Boys” and not just being nominated for, but actually winning awards once reserved for network and cable television. Without these streamers, Kimmy Schmidt wouldn’t get to be unbreakable, and Orange would still be fighting with Yellow to colour the sun.
More importantly, for me, in my non-US living life, I get to watch all these shows at the same time as everyone else. There are no regionally staggered releases, there is no need. I paid for the service therefore I have access to it. More so, I can pay for the service anywhere in the world, and watch the original content right there in my living room without a VPN. LEGALLY.
Online Streaming Services is a win for creatives, and a win for global consumers. It is not just the future of media, it is today’s truth for media.
I find the more muted I feel the greater my desire to write, draw, paint, or sing. I am in the need of full expression in my daily life. I must “Live Out Loud” or I will die in silence.
There. I said it. I must have my own voice.
This will possibly be the least eloquent or stylish post I ever write, but write and publish it I must.
I am committing to posting. I am committing to taking a time out for my creative self. I am committing to pondering, philosophizing, and posting.
This is me. I must create.
I don’t know how this happened,
How did it happen so fast?
Without meaning to
Our pieces became entangled
Wrapped up in one another
In every moment getting tighter.
I didn’t mean for this to happen.
Especially not this way,
For you and I to be grafted
Onto each other’s
Minds and hearts like this
So deep, so fast, so much.
You heard my voice speak words,
Yet you listened to my heart,
And still you reached deeper until…
We hit a soul note
As we sat silently together
Barely breathing, never touching.
This is not allowed, it’s forbidden.
So now we both sit away,
Far from the comfort we once shared
Away from each other,
Feeling the stabbing pains
All alone, by ourselves, in silence.
I know you know I’m sorry.
I brought you all this pain,
Sorry for bringing confusion,
For making a fleeting thought
A real possibility
Sorry, because tonight,
My I love you’s won’t even count.
(c) SCSquared, April 16, 2013
Yesterday, I went to a restaurant and had a horrid experience. The service took forever, the portion size didn’t match the price and the taste didn’t make up for it. It didn’t help that I was carb depleting. I then tweeted that I would be doing a review on this place and it would be my first negative one on the blog.
As you can see, I decided against it. Why? Well, it’s not who I am. I believe in lifting people up and supporting good things. I believe in celebrating when I find something worthy of celebration. I want to share good businesses to support like Potosi Farms and Y Not Pita. I do not want my space in this world to be tainted by tearing down others, it’s not valuable to me to do that.
On the other hand, there are persons who would have enjoyed the detailed story of how a restaurant messed up a table of 6’s orders. Sorry to disappoint you, but not today.
Keep Being Fab!
Jamaicans are talented, there is no question about that. We rise up from the dust like shiny new diamonds when you least expect it. We pop up in Global Politics, Literature, Movies, Music, Journalism and of course Sports. We participate in every sport we can imagine doing like football and cycling, even ones no one else thought we could like skiing, and sometimes ones that we don’t even teach here like “hand-egg” (American Football). Then there’s the one that would seem obvious to anyone aware of our geography – Swimming.
***This post could also be called: How Christmas Lost It’s Meaning ~ yeah, that’s how I feel.***
Truth of Christmas Past:
As a child, we did the Christmas ‘thing’ – the tree, the presents, the dress up, the breakfast, the lunch, the dinner. In truth, Christmas was the one day per year we were GUARANTEED to see each other, not work, just spend the time together as a family.
Sounds odd? My family is odd that way. We don’t do vacations, we work. We don’t take public holidays off, those are work days for us. When we aren’t working, we attend events. So just in case you thought “What about Good Friday/Independence/New Years?” understand that we were either working or fulfilling some other obligation.
So the main point of Christmas was to be together with our family.
No, I didn’t believe in Santa Claus – I tried to, but I knew it was a con. No, we weren’t big on the whole Jesus’ birth part of it either – side effect of the Rastafarian influence, Jesus born in Spring. < Yes I can write a whole post on that alone.
As I got older and started to spend my own money for gifts, I really, really got into gift giving. I love giving gifts. I enjoy finding that one thing for someone that they never knew they wanted until they saw it. I enjoyed buying music for someone and highlighting the songs on the album just for them. I enjoy writing a poem, making the artwork and framing it because you smiling means that much to me. I enjoy knowing, that I did something that made you smile.
Yes, I do have an inexplicable need to please. ~ I’m working on that though.
Adulthood Changed Things:
As I got older -and possibly more cynical- the value of Christmas changed. I not only live in the same household, but I also work with the entire brood. We no longer need that separated time to be together, because we do everything together. We sleep in the same house, work in the same office, eat almost all our meals together. That’s a lot of time spent in each others presence. Love it, but we no longer need that special time to see each other and catch up.
I then found a new excuse: Children! Yes, laughter and smiles on children’s faces light up the world and give angels wings. I had nieces, nephews, cousins, and even God-Children. Totalling 15 children under 10 years old, I was excited again. I did the gifts, the tree and even hosted Christmas dinner :) I had a reason for the season all over again.
Now all of my kiddies, have either grown up (teenagers!) or have moved to other countries. So I no longer have an excuse to do any of the things I used to do. No Tree, No Gifts, No Cooking.
So here are the non-emotional reasons for each:
I make dinner for my family too often for it to be special at Christmas and we have other dinners to attend on that day. I also have begun a new tradition: End of Summer Dinner for my closest friends & family.
If we are celebrating it as Jesus’ birthday we then are posed with the question: How do we gift Jesus? Well, He said “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40). So, if we choose to believe it is Jesus’ birthday then we should be doing charity work not creating seasonal gluttony in kids.
The Bible and Pagan history ties putting lights in trees to witchcraft and idol worship, so yeah. That’s not for me.
So do you celebrate? How? What makes Christmas special to you?
I know it’s been a while since I last posted anything, life has just kept me a little busy. It’s the joy of being a final year student, everything is happening all at once making our personal joys and pursuits sit, waiting for us to attend to them once again.
As a result of this, I have neglected my blog. I will however be completing and posting the entries I had started and outlined. These include posts about Retailers in Jamaica not dropping prices despite a revalued dollar; Steve Jobs; The Love of Food; and Classisim through the Water Crisis.
Look out for them this weekend.