“Rip van Winkle, wake up!”
The last few days of Tessannetasia have been like a 20-year sleep, allowing me to forget about the other Jamaica that was there before I looked the other way and tuned into The Voice for two straight nights. Now, I have to get back to what some would prefer us to focus on all the time–“serious news”, they call it. So, what did I let myself lost sight in Jamaica?
- Crime, especially murders (some 1,100 and counting).
- Road accidents (300 deaths for the year is quickly approaching).
- Minimum wage increase (from $5,000 to $5,600 per 40-hour work week, as of Monday, January 6, 2014. Also, effective January 6, the minimum wage for industrial security guards, will be increased from $7,320.40 to $8,198.80 per 40-hour week–a 12 per cent increase, during a period when inflation has risen about 18 percent). IMF programme (US$30.8 million disbursed to Jamaica).
- The PM’s travel schedule (with or without fatuous justifications from PNP politicians). I heard that she gave an interview to a local TV channel, so her relative silence with regard to the local media is no longer an issue: Jamaicans love nine-day wonders.
- Vybz Kartel’s trial goes on. What’s new?
- The Cuban light bulb scandal goes on. What’s newer?
- Bad roads (Thank you Tessanne for making their “worst” condition an international issue :-)). Thank you Ministry of Works for taking the point.
- Trinidad (Who’s still boycotting?). Their central bank just downgraded its growth forecast from 2.5 percent to 1.5 percent for 2013. Surely not because of you know what?
- West Indies cricket (Can they win a match?).
- Who is Clovis ridiculing?
- The Jamaican dollar’s continuing decline.
And beyond our shores?
- Santa “is white” (I heard it on FoxNews, so it must be true). I guess that means Megyn Kelly believes he’s real (he is a man?).
- The Chinese are on the Moon. What does that mean for its environment and possible development options. Intergalactic logistic hub up there?
- The UK has been battered by “severe weather”, with wind gusting at over 70 miles per hour. So severe that football matches have had to be abandoned or suspended mid-kick for weird things like hailstorms. What’s the world coming to?
Some people have taken the whole Tessanne-winning thing and seen it as a glimmer of hope in an otherwise dark time. How could they be so crass? Of course, what we all need is more despair and signs of insensitivity towards each other. We all need a good dose of more grief. Who has time to smile at someone’s wonderful achievements when they could be poring over the obituaries of persons’ lives snubbed out callously?
Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat/Please do put a penny in the old man’s hat/If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do/If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!