Eyes and Ears I - consumerism I can support...


As the snow falls and I realize I've got no eggs, nor toast (starve or face the arctic tundra?) I'd like to share a a few recommendations for consumption, that is, if you decide to spend money in the near future - I'm going to call these entries "eyes and ears" as my top picks for dropping dollars are almost always for your reading or listening pleasure:

1. Pick up the Adbusters March/April 2008, "The Collapse of Cool"

I wrote a piece last fall to the effect of consumerism is killing culture and popular culture is often no culture at all, just some contrived manifest of market imperatives... this issue of adbusters is along the same lines, but tracks the historical evolution of cool and its recent demise.. as always there's some brilliant commentary on economics not to be missed, as well as as gripping excerpt from Henrig Allen's book (banned in France upon release) The Question, recounting his torture.

I love adbusters because it is the anti-magazine; the general convention around magazine publication is not to create profound message to attract readers, but to attract readers in order to "rent eyes to advertisers" a direct quote from my business of magazine production teacher (everytime he repeats that line my heart falls just a little.) You'll find flipping through the pages of every single issue of adbusters that something is missing, can't quite put your finger on it, but as you move from poignant commentary to issue-driven articles, you realize that the unusual absence is surprisingly fulfilling, pleasing even, freeing almost, allowing you to contemplate each new idea - all this content, never obscured/blurred by ads, your thoughts uninterrupted by false messaging... can you imagine? Sidenote: Sarkozy in France is proposing the elimination of ads in public television and Chavez in Venezuala has banned ads in public spaces, no billboards, no looming logos, no nothing... can you imagine?

2. Check out Corneille and all four albums at

This music, this sexy, black, french soul is KILLA - well worth the purchase, the newest album is entitled The Birth of Corneille. Bonus: he's Canadian, yessir! Yesterday I caught the video for 'Viens' on Bravo (which speaks volumes). You can listen to this track at, scroll down to the last track. The chorus translates roughly "Come, let's tire each other out a little"... whew. no words.

If you're a man and you gotta a fine lady passing through your place this evening, go to the link and you've got some very sly ambient sound that will work in your favor... or at least would most definitely work if I was that lady... I think that's the safest claim I can make publicly. Besides lovemaking music, the album is political and poetic, touching and pleasing to the ear and even if you don't speak french, the melodies are lovely, familiar, yet original.

So you don't literally have to buy either of these, listen to Corneille online or blow into a Chapters and leaf through the adbusters, but if you did purchase both, I assure you, you won't feel dirty afterwards ('cept maybe if that cd works in you favor later tonight!).

I think the snow is taking a brief pause - I'm going to "profit" by rushing out for my eggs and toast!

If you're under the snow, courage. If you're on the roads, drive safe. If you're somewhere warm, come get me!!! please!

lovelovelove jams

What to do, what to do

Last night I was literally tipsy... let's just leave it at that, certain individuals know this and may divulge if asked, but I will go no further, not here. You wanna know? Holler, give me a call, I'll tell you bout the red wine.

I will say I was at a wicked event, My City, My Story. A group of young photographers showcased their art - all very talented. Highlights include red painted africa on black woman's back, lil black baby boy getting off his tricycle looking vexed, very pregnant woman half dressed in a bboy stance, a mess of nike, addidas, puma shoes... some great pics. I think they may be up at the Parkdale Drink (west of Queen and Dufferin on Queen) for a minute, it's well worth checking out.

(please note I love parkdale to the fullest; wedged between a mad house and a rehab/detox center, it is low-income and "ghetto" some say, but it was my first neighborhood in TO and I will rep dem streets til i die, wanna fight about it? We could fight about it, I'll throw down...)

But the crowd... this young, ethnic, artistic community in Toronto is so damn cool, so good looking, so stylish - me a tell ya, me cyan lie - one fine-looking bunch.

So friend, I believe I signed in with a singular purpose: explain the header/banner words at the top of the page. I don't know if it requires complete explanation, but I'll give you some of the significance around hanumanji...

Lord Hanuman is my favorite deity in Hindu mythology. I went to a Sai Baba temple (recently vilified as a cult!) for years and years with my mother when we first immigrated to Canada (she was looking for the sounds and feel of a Trinidad pooja) and as a result every sunday was spent at the temple, an entire afternoon, beginning with a sort of sunday school where we learned the values and morals in ancient scripture and stories, followed by prayer and at the end of the night, mummy and i would head over to the Hare Krishna temple to catch the tail end of service but all of free dinner for all who came to worship - prayer requires sustenance, folks.

Hanuman comes to the rescue of Lord Rama whose wife Sita has been stolen away by the evil demon king Ravana - long story short, Hanuman only finds his power when he is called into the service of others. My sweet mumma gave me a little book on Hanuman when I was home in Vancouver recently and the writings on his significance really moved with me, helped me understand why I was so drawn to this monkey character as a child and reminded me of the person I'd like to be.

Hanuman's story teaches that "however well we render service there is always more to do and that life's greatest adventure is in the doing." Greene, Joshua. Hanuman, The Heroic Monkey God. Mandala Publishing, 2003.

Bless, jams



Presenteeism is defined as the act of being physically present at work although mentally absent.

I have found this phenomena to be surprisingly widespread in office work places, people have all kinds of ways of avoiding work... i mean hey, it's 2:48pm and I be blogging.

By day, I "work" in the dizzying and illusive world of finance... money flows around the planet everyday, liquid, transient, in phenomenal quantities and "consulting" is an economic offshoot that really has little role other than to explain the ins and outs of that money whizzing past you, which they can't cause the market simply does not operate as they teach in Economics 101, ceterus parabus, latin for all other things being equal. All other things are increasingly unequal these days, not just where dollars are concerned but also access to rights, opportunities, respect, freedom, life, security, peace... and with those inequalities on the rise, isn't it funny that somehow we all come back to money - I'm taking repatriations here; saw a BBC clip on Tuvalu, islands off Japan that span 20,30,40 feet wide and are disappearing due to climate change and the inhabitants are suffering with heavy rainfall and flooding (which leads to some very fundamental development issues including access to clean drinking water, rise in waterborne diseases, etc.). Here this - the government of Tuvalu is demanding repatriations from developed countries who have contributed to (or caused?) climate change through nasty emissions and industrialization and all that good stuff - not a joke, they are asking that a fund be set up at the UN as they require enormous capital to rebuild their shores and address recent damage to ecosystems and infrastructure. I believe that some indigenous groups in Northern Canada have recently made similar claims as herd migrations and their natural habitat in general have been adversely affected changing temperatures, rising sea levels and flooding due to heavy rain...

I studied poli sci and int'l rels and I tell you, there's nothing more that I love than a good grievance, not that I enjoy injustice, but I love when people react and rebel and articulate what they are owed as human beings - beautiful.

Whaddya say black people, should we get back in the game? Maybe it's not too late, but then again, climate change may be too current, too cool (excuse the pun) to compete with...

Perhaps people of excessive privilege (significant consumers and contributers to climate change and therby alienation, destabilisation and oppression worldwide) are over-saturated by guilt to the point of numbness and apathy? Or maybe I'm being naive to assume their collective consciousness is disturbed by the enormous waste of getting their tropical produce in January (or the general inhumane fallout of western consumption and market laws - think subsidies - around the world) or by rising gas prices or failing public school systems or the death of the news... maybe they're laughing over the futility of hope and change up in their ivory towers, big belly laughs, fat from expensive french cuisine and the sedentary lifestyle of a flippin lush.

Maybe slavery just isn't as marketable, not as gut wrenching after all this time... any ideas? a catchy phrase? a fresh new motto?

speaking of slavery, i gotta get back to work!

be easy, jams


what comes at the beginning of something big?

Evening friends,

I have expressed nothing but disdain for the new advent of "social networking" sites, but after skirting with the idea I have set up this blog... big tings fe real... "Why?" you ask yourself, well plenty of reasons, to rant, release, express, but also to share (and perhaps be held accountable?) and to start writing regularly. At the end of 2007, I made the very philosophical (and very onerous) decision to create more meaning in my life in 2008. So this is part of this bigger journey and I will use the technology to record it, to post manifestos/hypotheses/revelations/concepts I scribbled in journals for years and generally shoot the "ish" on whatever moves me... which is most everything... hmm..

Livity/love you're wondering? Well, sometimes I am cynical, sarcastic and judgmental and other times I am full of praise, affection and faith but I would like to cultivate a level of tolerance and love regardless of the situation that cannot be shaken... hence livity/love.

Below is a piece I wrote at the end of last year which will give you a glimpse into my "real scene" - the latter term I use often but the depth of the trini term is lost in this hemisphere - the real scene is your the most honest description or explanation of wha gwaan - wait, is this jamaican patois lost on you? you know, wha gwaan, as in what's going on or what's good... check it out, seen?

I must say I'm quite excited bout this, how bout you?

lovelovelove jam


I have stories… I tell you, plenty stories, real stories. But I think a part of me finds it easier to tell them as opposed to write them. This could be the reason why I have hoarded an unfair amount of unfinished notebooks, journals, and diaries… something to do with the ease of telling, a touch of humor here, an exaggeration there, separating myself from its truth, from my truth. It becomes like hearsay, more like some alleged claim, something retold... a familiar blanket, soothing in its cadence, words from my mouth dissipating into the air, released… good bye. Not like word on a page. Concrete. Evidence. Staring back at me. Taunting; hard edges in black and white.

I haven’t written for some time. But I continue to accumulate notebooks… now they taunt me, mock me with their presence, on the table, by my bedside, waiting – waiting for what? Inspiration? A push? A giant leap? Towards? Myself.

You see I planned a path, or thought/think I did, and followed it straight – went to class, wrote the exams, scored high. At this time – life happens all at the same time, doesn’t it? – at this time, I cozied into another path or joined my path with another’s rather. But that doesn’t always work. So after years, I opted out. I got out while others close to me delved deeper… now I feel I am trying to re-build, grow, nurture a fledgling course that is genuine and myself…

Do you know change can sometimes make a whooshing sound, like a gust of wind, blowing up around you, taking things with it, leaving a quiet with the emptiness. Emptiness has no direction. It just stays where you are. Begging for purpose and meaning, passion and hope, begging for feeling nowhere, everywhere, anywhere.

And now, I am alone with myself. I am beside myself. Wondering why. What happened when. Tracing my steps back to the place where I began, maybe five, six, seven, eight years ago, when I began asking these same questions. Who are you? What will you become? What will you choose? Asking myself consciously and unconsciously, implicitly and explicitly. Considering lessons to learn, unlearn, re-learn. Deciding what kind of person I’d like to be ideally. Coming away from an experience with a sense of what to take away (understanding, peace, and forgiveness) and what to leave behind (regret, shame, sadness, anger, and pain). Or at least, trying to do these things…

Then almost becoming consumed with self-reflection, not to the point of vanity, to the point of paralysis really. At times feeling an enormous pressure to deliberately think a certain thought in order to make reality my thought materialized – can you imagine that? Trying to think deliberately… don’t imagine it as tedious, superficial things; I mean big, big, big things, thoughts, truths, plans, ideas… constantly, questioning and debating their validity with myself… but in truth, to afraid to live, to do, to enact anything really risky, really out there, really me… madness. Isn’t it?

Still looking for external affirmation, are we? Am I? No. Just looking for some truth. Some concrete truth to hold onto. Some eternal, real, honest truth.

This life, every experience is wrought with love and goodness, hate and badness, but only if you feel it – if you can bear to feel it. If you are brave enough to feel it. Sometimes, I am. Other times… other times, I am afraid. I am afraid to mess it up, do it wrong, make it worse… fail. Be embarrassed. The real question is the origin of this fear. That is the real question. One cannot overcome what one does not understand… right?

Sunday, December 30, 2007