So it is summer in NYC, and it is a gorgeous and glorious season here in the big apple. Women dress to leave very little to the imagination, the reason being it’s hot.
In the winter, when it’s 40 degrees Fahrenheit outside, people here have to wear layers – normally three layers – underclothes, clothes, and coat. So in the summer women compensate for that restriction by only wearing half a layer, plus for you ladies there are dudes running around in wifebeaters, which we call “merinas” in Jamaica. In the winter people socialize less, because it’s dark so early – 5pm sunsets. And also because it’s cold, so cold there is ice on the street for weeks after a snowstorm, melting slowly and refreezing each cold night. The skies are often gray as it rains more in the winter, and people are very receptive to the rain, because it could be worse, it could be snow.
So it’s the summer, the best time to visit New York City if you’re a tourist, the only other really good time being during Christmas. In the summer there are well-attended happy hours daily, barbecues, get-togethers and generally lots of fun. Many people go to the beaches here, however being used to the beaches of the Caribbean that is really not something that interests me, and oddly I find the same to be true for most of the Jamaicans in NYC whom I know. We also have the tradition of summer blockbuster movies, and this year has been a pretty good record with Wall-E, HellBoy II, Hancock, and The Dark Knight. I may actually end up watching The Dark Knight a third time in IMAX, it’s that good a movie. My interest of course is in the screenplay — this movie is adroitly executed but also very well-written. Such is the charm of competence, it sucks you in and makes you a fan.
Which leads me to the real reason that writing here has slowed down, competence, or really the lack of it. The realization I have come to about the current government is painful for me as I genuinely wished them well, and continue to wish them well — yet increasingly I can’t help but conclude they’re a group of absolute fuck-ups. (And that is the first time officially I’ve cursed in this space.) And I’ve been genuinely afraid of what I’ve been thinking as a result of this realization.
Why so serious? People are dying. PEOPLE. ARE. DYING. And the response of the current government had been for PM Bruce Golding to issue a statement about once every ten days saying “We’re going to confront these criminals eventually. One of these days they’ll be sorry.” The image that this action/inaction brings to mind is of a feeble old man standing on his veranda, shaking his fists, and yelling at kids after some mischief. Then finally the government issued a crime plan, after much fanfare and hype and it bombed. A more full post about the pros and cons of the crime plan will have to be made this weekend.
So increasingly my thoughts in reaction to news out of Jamaica and my criticisms are wantonly harsh, with little humor and less wit. Every now and then I read something and have a wry thought – like when Anthony Gomes has a column about decriminalizing prostitution and I note to myself that prostitution is perfectly legal in Jamaica as long as the hookers are incumbent members of parliament. But mostly I’m pessismistic about the Golding government now. Why so serious? It’s hard to not be serious. People. Are. Dying. Many meeting abrupt and violent deaths as displayed in the daily news-feed of carnage, but far too many are dying a slower and ultimately more painful death, watching their ambition withering on the vine and rot as epitomized by Olint and Cash Plus. I’ll incorporate the theme of ambition into my post about the crime plan/lack thereof. But I’d be lying if I said it didn’t affect me to see how so many talented, dynamic people who want more and strive for achievement are being damned to poverty and strife by their government and the entire political system. We are rich in resources and poor in imagination.