Many people love butting heads. I say that not because of Brazil 2014, where footballers head butting each other has come into vogue, even between two Cameroonian team mates.
But, butting is also a good metaphor for how issues are addressed. My eyes focus on Jamaica most days and I heads and horns locked, wresting each others from side to side. Think of any recent ‘hot button’ topic: Brendan Bain-UWI/CHART, Jamaica Constabulary Force-INDECOM, 381 megawatt project-Minister Paulwell-Office of the Contractor General, repeal of buggery laws. The butting need not be mutually started, but by its nature, once butting starts it tends to be met with rebuttal.
On sexual topics, Jamaicans have a few extra problems. They like to head butt, but anything involving butts causes many Jamaicans to squirm. Probably, the last thing a Jamaican man wants associated with his name is ‘head butter’. The potential confusion is so wide that the man may well scream for help. But, what tends to happen is that the butting starts early and if the topic of the butt enters the conversation, then ifs and buts get no space, but butts are all that people focus on and they butt each other mercilessly after that. Huffing and puffing, they may well take a pause, but will be butting about butts in no time at all.
One of Jamaica’s main newspapers is currently letting its obsession with butts get in the way of serious balance in its news coverage. They are not into buttering up the audience, but they have gone overboard and leave no butt unturned–if that is a phrase to coin now. If, occasionally, they would say to themselves “but”, then their own butts would be in a better place and they would perhaps feel less need to keep focusing on others’ butts. But, they don’t.
Thoughts of heads, butts, butter, and better are not likely to make them feel comfortable, even though better use of their heads would let them see that they need not go butting into people’s business so much. Instead, they try to butt us into accepting that, but for them, the world would be in total tatters. But, they keep ramming us with their butt obsession.
The butt is not what is used in reasoned debate. If you sat on yours and butted less with your head, you’d often end up in a better place. But, your head rules your heart and you become a butter. Clonk! Though adults tend to do it, it seems so childish. It fixes little except a sudden rush of anger and is often followed by deep regret, and maybe a deep cut.
Looked at from the distance of Europe, I can see Jamaican butts everywhere. No, madam, it’s not a naturist site. Heads are locked and not much real talking is going on. “Hrmph!” “Grhh!” Seems that those are the popular utterances. Sex education material in some private schools seems to be the latest issue for butting, and again butts feature in the ‘concerns’. It’s resulted in the loss of the head of Jamaicans for Justice, who resigned. She’s out on her butt. But for her, where would Jamaica be in addressing certain ethical issues?
That’s how things go on that sunny little island, that foreigners think is so cool and laid back.