Friday, 30 August 2013

The things we do for a cheap laugh

[Content warning: violence against women]

When I was but a wee Mar, I used to think that old people knew a lot of sh*t. As soon as we could read, which, thanks to my mother, was way too early for human people, my mother (same one as above) would make us watch the news, and read the paper, because she thought it would make us smarter and better people. (She also made us wear watches for this same reason. All the Most Serious People wore watches and looked important. Besides, how could you take over the world if you didn't know what time it was?) And when I would watch the adults on TV running countries and having ideas, I would think "Man, they know a lot of stuff. That looks like thirsty work. Thank god they're in charge!" This admiration lasted for about nine years of life here on earth, after which I realised that old people were just as stupid as the rest of us, and we were all screwed.

That isn't to say that I don't respect age. Lots of old people know stuff (and I use 'old' here relative to my own age, so that at 9 old was oh, say 21 and above. Now, old is old-old. Proper old. I'm at that age where when someone dies at 68 I say "oh my! And so young!") and are interesting and brilliant and the best story-tellers. The other day I was sitting in a salon and an old lady started telling me some things about her life, which included the unveiling of her travel diary with an entry from 19howlong that said something resembling "Just got off the train at Scarborough where I've come to be fitted for new petticoats", along with "Did not go to Church today. That should keep them talking at least until next Sunday." The woman who sat in her seat after she left pretty much just played Candy Crush the entire time, so you can see how the old lady was the highlight of my day. But I have found that old people who are wise and interesting are so because they are wise and interesting - not because they are old. Yes, the passage of time has allowed them to accumulate more lessons and stories, but they could only have learnt those lessons in the way that they did and been able to distill and transmit this information in useful ways if they had a certain degree of self-awareness and insight to begin with.

So what am I on about? The last time I commented on something this guy had written, I actually got strange hate mail from people admonishing me to respect my elders, which I find a hilarious concept. Of course, in general interactions with friends and strangers, we should all be respectful of each other, and in particular of older people, who merit a bit more care, and patience, and kindness, I feel, than may come readily to our natural, boorish 21st century selves. But the notion that someone could be rude, or bigoted, or nasty or wholly insensitive in the expression of an idea but deserve some kind of honour because they have so far failed to die has always been a puzzle to me.

To wit: this guy again.

Last week, a woman named Carolyn Forde was beaten and killed by a man she knew while at her workplace in Bridgetown. This after the late-July murder of another woman, Denise Clarke, for which a man was held and charged, and the May killing of Brenda Taylor-Belle by her 'estranged' husband. In response, many individuals and groups, among them the National Organisation of Women (NOW), have called for legislative reform and enhanced police action to address the fact that some of these women were killed despite repeated complaints of earlier violent incidents to police, and despite having sought and received restraining orders against the offenders. Richard Hoad's take on the situation is as follows:

In the wake of recent attacks on women, National Organization of Women (NOW) president Marilyn Rice-Bowen wants to fast-track legislation mandating more timely police intervention into domestic disputes.

Sounds good. At the first report of violence, a rapid response team will rush in, cart the man off and go their way.

And that will achieve precisely what? Unless a man is locked away for life, not even a restraining order can stop him coming back to renew his mischief. Besides, it seems many women prefer to live with abuse rather than end a relationship. Won’t such women be tempted to hide their abuse in the future?

The language 'recent attacks on women' makes it seem as if gnomes are hiding in shrubberies tossing acorns at unsuspecting victims while they hang the washing. Likewise, the notion of violence against women as 'mischief' tries to neatly and playfully (!) obscure the fact that what we are talking about here is the murder of human beings. And it's unclear the point of this argument: well restraining orders don't work anyway. Men who want to kill (this, is, apparently, the 'mischief') will find a way, so better to do nothing? Further, women prefer to be beaten and killed than end a relationship, because what? Then you have to figure out who will keep the X-box and delete him from Facebook and that is sooo not worth it? The point is, guy, that by your own admission, what we have in place is insufficient to protect women, and moreover that women may be afraid to end relationships with abusive partners because they fear they will be killed. This is why we need not just more effective legislation and law enforcement practice, but supporting institutions that will protect women who make the decision to leave abusive relationships.

Then, for good measure, we get a bit of the old, not at all tired "don't get me wrong, I think hitting women is bad! I love women! Love them all up and down...bow chicka bow bow. Am I right, guys?"

I abhor the idea of a man striking a woman. To my knowledge, my father never hit any woman. Instead he taught us seven boys a simple procedure for approaching the opposite sex, to wit: gently place your hand on her knee. While making circular motions with the fingers, recite: “If you are a lady, as I take you to be, you will not laugh nor smile if I tickle you on your knee”. If she did laugh or smile, the implication was she wasn’t a lady and you could move upwards smartly.

Actually, I must have missed some other part of the instruction as I ended up getting very few girlfriends, and only one wife, compared to my brothers who got several of each.

So, from the word 'instead', I can gather that there are two ways to engage with women - beat them or screw them, the latter not necessarily with their express consent. We get a lot of this in response to the brutalization and murder of women in the Caribbean: a lot of this 'women aren't to be beaten; they're to be looked after' rhetoric that translates just as much to ownership and objectification as intimate partner violence does. What are you doing hitting her? Did you know she has a perfectly good vagina in there that you can have for your very own? We also get a lot of collective nervous laughter, like this mess of a column, reflecting the notion that this problem is, ultimately, about the man-woman thing. Crap. We're doing a shitty job of protecting half of our population? Quick! Someone tell a joke! Preferably about sex. People like jokes, they like sex. Sex jokes will save us!

The jokes haven't really worked here so far, but here comes more of the sex:

But we have to go even further back to understand what is happening here. You women have something that we need. Not “need” like a new car or a cell phone, but “need” as in food or water. Only more so.

You have the lock, we have the key. You have the carriage, we have the horse. Admittedly, some horses are a bit small for some carriages but we try our best. The bottom line is, you fulfil a need that nothing else can.

What is apparently 'happening here', according to this genius, is that women must be prepared to hand over sex in exchange for the promise of security. That is, men have a reasonable expectation of a hole to stick their dicks in when the pressures of life get them down, and if 21st century women insist on actual bodily autonomy and personhood, then they need to declare this to society, that is, if they expect not to be...murdered.

NOW needs to come clean and explain women’s new position. If marriage or a relationship no longer entitles a man to a little thing, say so. If it is your right to horn [horn = 'cheat on'; explanation mine] a man for commercial or other consideration, say so.

Women: be reasonable. All you have to do is explain to us going in that your bodies are your own and that we are not entitled to it at our whim, and we may not kill you. I say 'may', but, you know, I can't promise. The larger problem here is that the piece seeks not only to identify these apparently perfectly logical reasons why men kill women, reasons that are, of course, the fault of women, but also to narrow them down to one thing: sex. And it fails to address all the entrenched issues that allow such violence to persist.

Let me explain something to this eminent elder: mentioning in an offhanded way that 'hitting a woman is wrong' a couple times in a piece that amounts to an extended domestic violence apologia does not absolve you of responsibility. And that responsibility is to use your platform - if you are going to bother to discuss the escalating trend of intimate partner violence against and murder of women - to treat the subject with the consideration and soberness that it merits. "It's just a joke" doesn't work here simply because it isn't a joke. And the pervy uncle bit is old. It's a sheer and ineffective cover for a lazy argument that is not only offensive to women - in particular the women who have died - but to men. It presumes not only that men are irrational beasts led only by carnal urges, but worse, that you are content to remain so. And I know a lot of men for whom you do not speak. We get it: sex sex giggle. We're ready for some actual, original thought, now. Give it a shot.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Those who bash women for 'delaying motherhood' are hypocrites, don't understand human reproduction

Having reached the advanced age of mid-thirties, my attention is called quite often to articles and opinion pieces in the news regarding us stubborn, career-driven harpies who refuse to reproduce until we are good and ready, only to find that after the witching year of 35, things aren't so easy. Your eggs are old, lady! Give up and get a cat. Serves you right, anyway. The Daily Fail is full of these types of pieces - 'personal interest' stories about some poor 40-year old woman who would give up all her success, designer shoes and non-essential organs if only she could go back and have a kid at 20. Or worse: a woman who did manage to have children after 35 or 40, but is now too old and decrepit to chase them up into trees or stay awake during Mommy and Me.

Now I can't be strictly sure that there are more such stories than before, (since when I was a wee sprinbok in my twenties concerned only with non-procreative sex, drugs and rock-and-roll, and that f**king career, I likely would not have noticed them anyway), but from all the apocalyptic yelling going on about it of late, it would certainly seem as if humanity is in decline: no one is having any babies, and the end is nigh, and it's all your infertile fault, thirty-something lady. Except, not so much. In the US, where much of the yelling is happening, infertility rates are on the decline, and not because more people are having fertility treatments; this latter statistic has remained flat since 2002. In the UK, adult infertility numbers are being linked more and more to male infertility, with "male factors now accounting for 30 percent of fertility problems - the same as female factors". Even in Europe, where falling fertility rates (ratio of live births in an area to the population of that area) since 2008 are being flagged as alarming, they are closely linked in the research to the economic recession. That is, countries like Spain and Greece which fared among the worst saw the sharpest decreases in fertility rates, while those with better performance recorded no change or even increases. In other words, it's less about women's 'selfish choices' (whatever those are) and more about real or perceived and/or future financial constraint. Even the Daily Fail is forced to admit the relationship between financial situation and reproductive decisions. A similar argument can be made in Latin America and the Caribbean, where fertility rates are in fact falling, though in general not yet having reached the below replacement levels of 'developed' countries. The region as a whole still reflects Bloom's 'demographic dividend' - with an economically active population that is greater than the dependent population - but this may not last much longer, particularly in the Eastern Caribbean. Still, high levels of migration in the working age population are more likely behind this than Caribbean women's refusal to have children.

And this new debate, if not presented as willful non-compliance in the business of populating the earth, is presented as emerging wisdom to fill some gap in knowledge: women have simply had the wrong information. Hey ladies, I know you thought you could wait forever and carry out your own, selfish lady-business before reproducing, but nuh uh, missy, NEW RESEARCH shows you're about to expire. As someone who has owned a uterus for over thirty years, let me say this: we know. I'm not saying that every woman everywhere is in possession of an identical body of knowledge. In fact, we know this not to be true, which is part of the reason sharing information on sexual and reproductive health and access remains important. But a high percentage of the target audience for this blame-a-thon - professional women with tertiary or advanced technical education - already. Know. They are all too aware of their declining fertility. This is one of those cases in which knowledge on its own cannot translate into action. In simpler terms: even armed with this information, what would you have them do? Certainly not run out and fall pregnant by some random, which itself attracts its own brand of she's-a-witch vilification, and is the basis of much urban legend. Everyone knows someone who knows someone whose dressmaker's neighbour's domino partner was tricked into fatherhood by some desperate thirty-something. Always something with these women - either they're 20 and poking holes in condoms to trap a cricketer (cause we all know how deep cricketers are rolling), or 30 and going off the pill so their boyfriend will marry them goddamit, or 40 and having one night stands with friends/strangers, then spiriting away their sperm. Tricky tricksters.

The thing is, every reproductive choice a woman makes at this age is criticized.
Happily child-free? You're selfish and just want to keep your flat belly and boozing ways.
Unhappily child-free? Your fault. You used to be selfish and just wanted to have your career, flat belly and boozing ways.
Child-free, single and trying to conceive? Hoor! Children are for couples. And what about your poor, fatherless child? Single mothers are everything that's wrong with the world. You're selfish and just want to have a child to love you.

Herein lies the hypocrisy. And even had they had this knowledge earlier, before it was Too Late, the same applies.

Me explico. Growing up in Barbados, getting pregnant was the worst thing you could do. Not just as a teenager, but anytime before you had secured your place as a DoctorLawyerBankmanager. I'm serious. The Worst Thing. Teenage or 'early' pregnancy was blamed for all the ills of society, directly or indirectly. Boys are under-performing in school? Teenage pregnancy (and girls' sexuality). Never mind that the boys' (teenage fathers') asses are sat in classrooms while the girls are the ones run out of school with pitchforks. The dubious problem of society losing its morals? The dubious explanation of teenage pregnancy. Drowning at Miami Beach? Teenage pregnancy. Winston Hall escaped from jail again? Teenage pregnancy. And so on. It doesn't matter what issue is at hand. Invariably, in any meeting anywhere on the island, someone is going to raise his hand confounded that we are four minutes into the session and no one has brought up the scourge of teenage pregnancy.

None of this was lost on the generation of women now in our mid-thirties. In the Caribbean, for children of the working class, education - and I'm not talking just high school I'm talking first or advanced degree - is the handful of magic beans. You had better get it and stick with it until you can prove to people that your family is officially out of the working class. So for women, pregnancy is to be avoided at all costs even into your twenties. Of course, people get pregnant in their early twenties and are not made to wear a scarlet A, but it is hoped in general that you get your papers before you get your pickney. And then there's the whole wedlock business. I noticed growing up that the least Christian of Caribbean people could utter the phrase 'out of wedlock' with the highest amount of reverence - for wedlock. The single mother business was nothing to be admired, so there's another delay. No babies yet. Get your papers, get your husband. And this is what I mean about how reproduction works. In general and for most of history, for a heterosexual woman, if you want a biological kid, you find a man. He has the rest of the genetic material required. One cannot just grow a baby by sheer force of will. So this emphasis on the selfishness and willfulness of women is just silly. Are we supposed to be selective in partner for all other purposes save for that of reproduction? It seems to me the place to be most selective.

At lunch with an older woman friend recently, I saw a man she knew say to her, in disgust: "Why don't you go and get your children? What else you waiting for?" She said, without hesitation, "I going when I leave here. Where they selling?" And that's really the point. Apart from the inappropriateness of commenting on a person's reproductive choices, have we forgotten the several variables involved? Some of which we have all actively enforced throughout that woman's life cycle and until this point? I can't help but consider that in small societies such as ours, we see women who have 'opted for' marriage and/or children by 35 as well-behaved, and we are pleased. Whether that has meant a great, old-fashioned love and family story (I know some) or settling for marriage to some less-than-adequate (in her estimation) dude so babymaking could ensue, or something else, we can more readily live with a woman who has accepted misery as a cost of motherhood, than with one who has, for whatever reason, not chosen motherhood at all.

Most readers could guess my private and public position: child-free by choice? Ok. Child-free and trying at 39? Ok. Adopting? Surrogacy? Platonic co-parenting? Whatever. Not only are the success stats not as dire as the flailing people suggest, but there are several paths to happiness.

But what strikes me is that just as a generation of women hits 35-44 and are grappling with their reproductive choices, we are now, conveniently, getting over some of our puritanism just enough to discover that in fact, 'early' pregnancy is not the worst fate that could befall a woman and society. No pregnancy is. I tell you. If it isn't one thing - and by 'thing' I mean false set of values based on nothing but ascribed to all - it's another.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Not-so-live blogging the 12th Annual AWID forum

This month, representing both my day job and WHAN, I'm off to the AWID (Association for Women’s Rights in Development) International Forum on Women’s Rights and Development in Istanbul, Turkey to present as part of a panel with other Caribbean women. This year's theme is Transforming Economic Power to Advance Women's Rights and Justice, and my segment will look at enhancing opportunities for women's economic participation, particularly in emerging and own industries. Happily, the conference also brings together some of my homies from another network of which I'm a member, The International Working Group on Gender, Macroeconomics and International Economics, which will be presenting special, toolbox sessions on gender and economics. Reunions everywhere! A reuniopalooza. I just made that up.

So a few of us are blogging the 4-day meeting. I'm sure some of the others will be live-blogging. I can make no such commitment. But I will be covering the sessions I attend, and sharing some of the emerging research and ideas, as well as linking to the other blogs. I'm excited! Are you? Yes. Yes you are.

Saturday, 10 March 2012


The first time I read GOOP, I laughed like Mehcad Brooks was tickling me. It was for the same reason that I love to watch Barefoot Contessa. I enjoy people who are fabulous to the point of being preposterous. Ina Garten floats delicately through her Hampton home casually referencing (because we should all already know) the importance of using only "very good vanilla" or "the best truffle oil you can find". If you can't get your cardamom pods freshly fertilized by only the most discerning mountain goats in the hills of Nepal, you might as well just burn your kitchen to the ground now and allow yourself to perish in the blaze. There is no point in going on.

As a real person from the Third World, I regard these folks with glee, and not as much judgment as you might think. I love interesting recipes and fancy things, and am currently enduring a self-imposed shopping fast to arrest my acquisitive nature, but surely one does not absolutely need two pieces of perfectly snipped Spanish chervil to garnish the side of one's Sunday frittata. You could pluck a couple pieces of Aunt Rhoda's fern and we would be none the wiser. So I have once or twice found myself staring at a GOOP article saying out loud - apparently to Gwyneth Paltrow but really to no one - "Gwyneth Paltrow, A Perfect Murder is my guilty pleasure (in part because you just had to have your character speak in perfectly-lisped Castilian Spanish so we would know that even though you seem boringly American, you are in fact well-travelled and severely interesting.) But you are a ridiculous person."

Still, Ina and Gwyneth have and know their audience. There are similarly ridiculous people out there (actually, Ina is not that ridiculous in substance. I make her food all the time. One manages to overlook the condescension and just go ahead and throw in the very mediocre vanilla) and others who aspire to be similarly ridiculous. Presumably, all the fancy people congregate in these and other fancy places and barter very good vanilla, cardamom and chervil. But when I open a modest little Allure magazine and Donna Karan's "10 Things Every Woman Should Have" begins with "Haitian craft", not even Alfre Woodards's psychopathic son could inspire such chortles. Here's the entire list:

1. Haitian crafts. This turned out to be the least absurd of the list, although at first it seemed hilarious. It suggests that we should all try to make active, social choices through our consumption, and that one way to do so might be to support companies that invest in and help create markets for the products of artisans in developing countries. Noble, if oddly specific.

2. A bodysuit. Donna starts her day by wearing it to yoga and then "adds and subtracts layers as the day goes by." A bodysuit. They should have named this article "10 things Maybe Four Women should have if three of them are Beyonce".

3. Art to call your own. There is some text here about being married to a sculptor. I haven't met my sculptor yet. But I know a guy who carves fallen twigs on the beach and sells them to tourists.

4. A yoga mat. You can lay on it and consider how much you hate yoga.

5. A sanctuary. This I can agree with. Women tend to be disproportionately burdened with care responsibilities in addition to academic and professional commitments. Having the space to regroup is important, even if it's just alone time outdoors in the fresh air. Of course Donna Karan's sanctuary is Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos, which she calls her "three-hour Bali". know...fresh air or that.

6. Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Body Lotion. This one has her name in it. My. How curious.

7. Cashmere scarf cozy. For $2000 from Donna Karan stores. Curiouser still.

8. Essential oils. Ok.

9. Green juice. Ok. And no thanks.

10. A belt bag. It frees up her hands and she can feel it on her body. If I'm trying to feel anything on my body, Donna, it's not a $1695.00 glorified fanny pack from your store.

I know this is Allure - a glossy whose business is selling crap. But who is Every Woman? Reading this article prompts me to again wonder who magazines like this are writing for. Is it all aspirational? Are we all spending our bus pass money on the March Allure each believing that all the other women reading it have bodysuits on under their jackets and we are the only losers who don't own Haitian craft or cashmere scarf cozies? (Interestingly, the average woman in Haiti is clearly not even being counted as a woman. But at least if she were, she would probably already have item 1 covered.)

Of course, the simple answer is that the entire industry is absurd and built on hyperbole. A 'steal' would be a $500 feather for the hair if a 'splurge' is a $12 000 fascinator. And 'every woman' means 'every woman whose lifestyle can support our recommendations and whose interests mirror ours, or who wishes she fit into the latter categories'. Still, one can't help but chuckle at the earnest tone of the GOOPs and the Allures in their pretense that we're all in this together. Or at least we will be when some of us return from wintering in Bali.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Aftermath of Hurricane Tomas

Hurricane Tomas has just passed this region, and after having weakened, is projected to regain strength as it moves towards Haiti. From all reports, St. Lucia seems to have been the worst hit in the Eastern Caribbean, and the below video contains some footage of the damage. Many are missing, 14 have been confirmed dead; the destroyed roads and bridges and damaged hospitals mean that transportation and access to basic services are compromised. In terms of the scale of disaster, and compared with some of those we have heard even in recent weeks, this may seem less severe. But in a country the size of St. Lucia, these effects are not insignificant. The entire country is affected and all State resources have to be mobilized in recovery. Aid from other countries is key.

One hesitates to utter the name Haiti in the context of another natural disaster, but communities there are right now bracing for a potential hit from the hurricane; this in the midst of a cholera epidemic and the continued insecurity of tent dwellings which offer no protection from strong winds and rains. Calls to evacuate seem redundant.

I say all this for one reason: perspective. This past weekend was an uncomfortable one. There was a point when the winds reached their highest at which you realized that you were dealing, after all, with a system of nature - there were no guarantees; anything could happen. We had some damage and several people have been displaced as a result. Following the coverage on television, it was difficult to watch the helplessness and disbelief of some people who had lost homes and important possessions: farmers who lost the livestock or crops on which their livelihoods depend; parents with no idea where their children would sleep that night.

But there is helplessness and vulnerability, and then there is discomfort. Losing your home or livelihood makes one vulnerable. It's a significant loss. Losing electricity and water temporarily are uncomfortable; perhaps beyond uncomfortable if there are essential medicines that need to be refrigerated, or if one has small children. But I feel like we need to understand the concept of 'worst-case scenario' here. I was never one to go in for the Olympics of Suffering: it is all relative. I'm not going to tell someone who has lost two limbs to count their blessings because they might have lost three, because where would it end? Things could always be worse. Quite literally, always. That fact doesn't make the current situation any less of a challenge. But yelling and throwing tantrums because you've lost your cable and internet access are a little beyond the pale, I think. This is not to scold, just to encourage us to have some appreciation of what disaster actually and potentially means. It means that while we expect a certain level of service and response in the best of times, a sense of entitlement does not really fit the context of hurricane aftermath. It is the reason airlines promise nothing when bad weather hits. There is the understanding that even as the State, public-private and private sector companies have a responsibility to those they serve to mitigate disaster and provide relief, these very services are often themselves challenged and their resources diminished after this type of event. While making our concerns clear, we should respect and understand that - bearing in mind that the hurricane may very well have levelled the offices of the public utilities buildings. And who would we be yelling at then?

Still, I think the yellers are few, and even then, one understands the place of frustration from where it might be coming. In general, though, we've been putting our heads down and getting on with the repair in our groups and communities. Looking ahead, we will have to extend that approach to St. Vincent and St. Lucia, and, wherever the hurricane leads, continue to support Haiti in their recovery.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Strippoween weekend is here again

Our friends over at What's the Idea raised the question, and as it's Friday and my brain is now on gentle cycle, I'm stealing developing the discussion. So yes, agreed: Halloween is irrelevant to us in the Caribbean. I hardly think that's even an argument. Is it harmless fun? Perhaps. Assuming we consider fostering meaningless, wholesale cultural appropriation "harmless". This isn't hip-hop music, whose origins we can trace back to our own, and which even in its current form we have adapted and given our own unique stamp. Or even Valentine's Day, which has its naysayers, fine, Hallmark holiday, blah blah, but surely a celebration of love and affection can never hurt, especially in a society where we are becoming less patient and more aggressive. (Yes, I'm looking at you, man in the obnoxious Transformer truck who honked at me for letting an old lady take her time to cross the street rather than deciding she had had enough time and running her over.) We're talking about a holiday that has little usefulness and even less imagination. And even were I given to letting the whole thing slide, it's the lack of imagination that really does me in.

If you want to tief the people dem holiday, fine. Go for it. But at least put some effort into it. How many sexy nurses and sexy police officers and sexy Big Birds does one need in a Halloween party? Can someone not wear a shell and some antennae and really high platforms and go as a giant African snail? Or a red plastic bag and go as...well...Red Plastic Bag? Can we not make the thing at least slightly culturally relevant? Or, if you must do sexy because you're going to the club and no one is going to want to slow grind on a mollusc, maybe a sexy school meals server? I once went to an Independence Day fancy dress party in a little, yellow, tank dress under wraparound banana leaves and everyone could tell I was a conkie. It isn't hard.

But we seem to have borrowed (well, not borrowed because we seem not to want to give it back, ever) not only the holiday itself, but the obsession with making everything about women's bodies on display, and any imagination costumes might show suffers as a result. Small clothes are great. I love them, as appropriate. But if you forego them on one occasion, you'll still be sexy tomorrow, and you'll still be sexy underneath your real costume. And we'll know it. We believe you. Your sexy is safe. If you are going to participate in this...'holiday'...unless you are actually going as a stripper, please feel free to make the whole exercise interesting and entertaining. Your butt cheeks will still be there to shine at a later date.


The photo above is meant to be a women's costume for Brian, the dog from Family Guy. Brian is, in fact, a dog, not a cocktail waitress with a picture of a dog on her dress. Notice what the men's version of the costume looks like - fancy that: a dog.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Prime Minister Thompson

Prime Minister of Barbados, David Thompson, has passed. Even in the midst of the political discord of past weeks, the country remained resolute in its well wishes to the Prime Minister and his family, and so this moment seems in some ways surreal. One's first thoughts are to his wife and daughters. Two other Prime Ministers have passed while in office in my lifetime, PM Thompson the first in my adult life, which gives quite a different perspective - less of official mourning as Barbados loses a state official, although of course there is that sense - more of consideration of the man as a politician, a thinker, a father and husband, a Bajan who served his country. My thoughts are with his loved ones.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Your name! Just what I always wanted!

This dude here? McLean? He wants to give me his name. Apparently that is the prize for me picking him up when he was down and being able to do a hell of a Catherine Zeta Jones in Entrapment impression and whatnot. Never mind that I already have a name that I may want to keep. Ah branding. The ultimate expression of love and affection.
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