I've spent more time posting on OPB's (Other People's Blogs) in the past week than here. How about I share some of my recent blogcapades with you?
Political Murder, Homophobia and Jamaica
- One running debate is the recent murder of Steve Harvey, a Jamaican AIDS worker who was also it seems a gay rights activist of sorts. I found out about the news last night on Wayne&Wax. For those who need cultural references, this is akin to the murder of Jean Dominique or more recently Jacques Roche in my view.
- I am having trouble grappling with the homophobia "crisis" in Jamaica. So I've been asking around on Wayne&Wax but also at The Former Jamaican, what exactly is behind Jamaica's reputation as a homophobic society? Why Jamaica and not Trinidad, Barbados or even god forbid Haiti? (Yes, yes, I know that label is the last thing Haitians need right now.) Really. I understand about colonial and post-colonial causes, a tendency to interpret the Bible too strictly (or make up stuff the Bible never said) and of course tourism (one source Haitians often cite as a source of AIDS) but aren't all of these ingredients present in other Caribbean societies? Again, why Jamaica? Are there really more instances of anti-gay violence there or is anti-gay violence under-reported in other Caribbean countries?
African-American, Right, Left and Center
- I also discovered Craig Bardo's website. Craig manages to poke ridicule at the left, the right and the center while also calling himself a "black conservative." Is that possible? Yes, quite so and his blog is living proof. I don't endorse anything political these days but I think it's good to dot all i's and cross all t's from time to time, especially when you're of african descent and an American. (Particulary hilarious btw was his post titled Pimp My Community, dated Dec. 3.)
- Craig reminds me a little of Debra Dickerson, author of The End of Blackness in his vivid expression of the disorienting frustration with politics and politicians --left, right and center -- many feel. Except she calls herself a centrist if I remember correctly. (I know she qualifies that with a directional suffix further pulling her one way at the detriment of the other but I can't remember which. I don't think it matters either.) Oh and Craig is a little less angry-sounding than Debra to be fair since he does not on top of everything else have to contend with what many call the "angry black woman syndrome." What is even more interesting is that some self-proclaimed socialists and other stereotypical liberals are avid posters to Craig's site and yet you don't sense an ounce of tension between them and Craig. Just polite disagreement here and there. Very evolved. (Sadly, all comments to Craig's blog have been erased since he subscribed to Haloscan so you will miss out on some of that.)
The Last Gong
- More to come soon on why my scholarly interest in Junior Gong may be dissipating at last. Or is it that although I still think the music is great --it is, really-- I am no longer all that sure that Junior Gong himself as a social phenomenon is all that interesting. I am prone to phases. I reserve the right however to later disagree with myself on this new state of semi-warmth. And OPB's do have something to do with it, as you'll find out soon.
homophobia - jamaica - haiti - steve harvey - chris bardo
debra dickerson - junior gong
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Craig (not Chris) is part of a circle of bloggers, from Minneapolis, who are odd couple friends.
You might also like to check, Craig's friend since childhood, whose blog he contributes to. They see the world so differently, but have an agree to disagree close friendship.
Speaking of OPBs. In the future I'd like you to write an introduction to Haiti, on my blog, as a guest columnist.
I found this article from the Village Voice offered a fairly useful perspective on the Jamaican homophobia issue:
Hi Renegade, Hi Georgia,
Thank you both.
"homophobia"-- as you hypnotically call it-- in jamaica is easy to understand and explain: jamaicans, unlike much of the rest of the word, has retained enough common sense to know what is unnatural and perverse is unnatural and perverse. simple.
Interesting little post. I don't think we kill or hurt that many gays in Jamaica, but we sing (or DJ mostly) about it a lot, maybe more than they do in the other islands. Thats my opinion, but I don't have any statistics to base that on.
I like blogging, too. In my opinion your blog is much better than my. I am waiting for your new posts.
Thanks OK. Sweet of you to say.
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