Friday, June 28, 2013

Damned without a degree

"DAMNED without a DEGREE" is a damning headline and has done what it set out to do, stoke the fire and get people reading the newspapers. If we are not careful we may find ourselves swept up with emotion because of how the story is crafted.

In a nutshell it has been suggested that one needs to have a degree in Theology before being allowed to pastor/captain a church.  A number of persons felt that 'man' was trying to tell 'God' how to choose His servants.  Below was my response to the criticism of that position.

"Dem teach plenty tings at theology school, likkle counselling, likkle economics...plenty tings dat ppl go to pastor for guidance with. 
Samuel was a great prophet and last of the judges. He was given over by his mother Hannah to learn the priestly ways, yet he was called from birth. Jesus chose to learn scripture and the law just like all other Jews of His time. Daniel, Shadrak, Meshak, Abednego had to learn the Jewish teachings (and the Chaldean teachings while they were in bondage) even though they were called. To be called is the beginning. There is necessary formation. 

Anointing without formation means you can preach the word, after some fervent study of the word. Formation-education without anointing means you will be a good administrator. But a good pastor is called upon to have both. The Word of God should always be enough, but He has to dispense mercy along with it because of our nature. His shepherds need to know how to lead His flock. Seek wisdom where she is to be found."

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Boston Tragedy

I never understand why people want to wipe out people even if they have offended you.  Whether they drone on or it is high pressure arguments, I just can't understand how you can make a decision to wipe somebody out.  Just obliterate them as if they never existed.  As if they meant nothing.  As if no one else cared for them, even though they may have offended you.  It's frightening the kind of cold calculation involved in planning such events and then some of us watch these news corporate snuff films, lamenting or cheering depending on which side of the field we support.  Hanging on every breaking update of emptiness to feed our enquiring minds.

I turn it off and bury my face in the wrong book to be transported into a fabled version of the story as its being written.  Stock photos, cut and hated unto screens slung with mud, because some will stick.  Reddit eyed creatures switched into action straight off the assembly line of mis-guided-nation, mis-information, mis-interpretation, mass-paranoia, mass-celebration at the creation of a narrative starring 'blue duffel bag man', as they proclaimed "it is good!"

What was the purpose? We ask. He may try to reply, rely re: the LIE, re lie, as we re try a corpse, long dead before the day the pressure was too high. And he, they, it, the product, the dead, fouled a system, a way, away, astray, that day? Three faces frozen forever: the child, the foreign graduate student, the retiree, gone 'who are we to say' too soon.  And a piece of each of us dies, because who we were is no more.  The terror within, the freedom loser, shocked, locked over smoking barrels, leaves one raging nation on this sod, divisible with artillery and justice for none.    


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Jokes on who?

About 2 months ago VW came out with an advert that raised much controversy.  It portrayed a white Caucasian dude with a healthy Jamaican attitude and a believable enough accent, trying to infuse his co-workers with positivity.  The theme was 'come on get happy' and the suggestion was that driving a VW Beetle or even being a passenger in the car would make you happy and happiness was embodied in the Jamaican spirit. It generated a flurry of responses.  VW said that they had a consultant Jamaican, Jimmy Cliff, and they were satisfied because he was satisfied with the product.  Jimmy was after all one of our cultural ambassadors.

That didn't stop people from being polarized.  The loudest cries against came from non-Jamaicans of opposite hue.  There were cries that the advert was racist, stereo-typing the Jamaican culture. Some felt that an actual Jamaican is the only one who should attempt to speak and act Jamaican so as to avoid offending Jamaicans.  Others said that only a black person should attempt the accent and Jamaican and black were being used synonymously. There was even an article that all but accused VW of "Black Face" - a phenomenon whereby white Caucasian actors would play the negro roles instead of black people, and the character was typically a caricature/stereotype/exaggeration.

Jamaicans responded that they were not offended.  Non-black Jamaicans took to the internet to protest that they were being left off the Jamaican landscape.  They launched a FB page to save the advert. There were video responses spoofs counter-actions with
1. a white angry Jamaican with weed smoking as the cause of happiness,
2. an unhappy Jamaican depressing the whole office and
3. a happy Jamaican with a German accent and mannerisms. 

Some cried mockery, others cried mimicry.  All I know is that VW got publicity they could not pay for and the advert still aired during the Superbowl.

I watched and read all of this and wondered why I was killing time and valuable brain cells giving this nonsense a second thought.  A week later the advert was forgotten and a new cry about racism was on the American news.  It then occurred to me that the same discussion is had every month on all the news networks and talk shows.  And each time commentators inflate dirigibles from soapbox heights with their opinions.  Each time I keep thinking "well this surely will be the end of it for sure", only to see it resurface like potholes on Jamaican roads.

Then it finally dawned on me.  The oppressor cannot run the race or class joke, only the oppressed!  Why not?  Because it comes across as condescending!  Think about it.  Rich can joke about rich but once rich pokes fun at poor it's considered to be in poor taste.  The poor can ridicule the poor, the middle and the rich and take that all the way to the bank!  We tell politician jokes all the time, but if we ever hear a politician telling proletariat joke then it's gonna be a public uproar.

The higher you climb in life the fewer persons you have to laugh at in public.  The cry of racism from caucas..... WHITE (damn it) people will always be ignored because history and economics have bolstered them socially.  Just like the AB blood group they can receive (comical jabs) from everyone but can only give to themselves. The thing is, I do not believe that they realize this duality.

Ruff pon dem sah!

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Checking in

Soooooooo  I'm here.  Where is here?  Indiana, USA.  Doing what?  Not what I ought to be doing! But that's a whole other story.

I been growing.  I been broken and being rebuilt.  I could complain but part of being rebuilt is that you realise that you are better for it.  So I choose to give praise.  Still working on being content but ambitious.

I took 3 months off, which is another way of saying that I am unemployed.  I am awaiting my work permit.  Subway is hiring!  So is Papa Johns.  Considered being a bus driver but in Indiana they are very courteous.  I woulda wah empty out di bus and race it down di back road dem.

I thought I would have been bored here and to some extent I am.  But I am not crying myself to sleep bored.  I haven't resorted to television moron-tainment, but I fell into the FB well of despair and am clawing my way back out.  At my worst I knew what time of day certain folks would be logging on and I became a 'like' ho!

Winter is now over and I have ushered in SPRING!  (I hope the weather folks heard me.)  I have been going for walks, enjoying the crisp air, lack of sidewalks on some parts of campus, watching the bewildered beasts of the graduati, and I am to take up planting.  Notice I didn't say farming.  There is a vast difference.  I have headed back into the classroom virtually.  I am tackling unrelated study matter to ignite dormant brain cells to recall information of the past.

There is a bigger plan with many levels.  I soberly approach each day as if it is my first, with wonder and amusement.

Dig some pics below.  Later!

pools of ice in the middle of the field

BBQ area away from smoke alarms

Rising dough for my french bread

Jamaican phonetics very misleading

Are you surprised it is a food additive?

Hotness wife inna hotness boots!

Misleading - tastier than it looks, no salt

Goes well with the boots. Trying to unite them soon

All dressed up! Thank you JoS A Banks

Recycling bin?

Clarks mi seh! She will be mine!

Not the AXE effect I was looking for

Frosty C on a gansta lean

Angel got a little junk in tha trunk

I just went inside for 2 hours, what happened?

Canvas Stations of the Cross

Custer's last stand

Healthier eating. Sound financial planning ....slept out that class didn't I

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Lessons I've learned

Sooooooo, after 3 years of running a health centre, and raising the bar at which we operate, I look back and realise that the 'elite' team only functions when I am pressing them to function.  They don't want to work so hard.  They don't care about efficiency.  They are there for the 8am-4pm (all running off at 2pm).  They like the lyme when it occurs.  They like the freeness.  But they just don't share the vision.

I didn't want to leave a legacy.  I didn't want tales to be told and ballads to be sung, but I did want to leave behind a team functioning so optimally (given the lack of resources) that any successor will be forced to step up their game to offer the same level of service.  I wanted them to be more than the cliched government worker.

I also had manic grandiose ideas of changing the face of the community people.  I wanted them to lift themselves up to a different level.  That was a crack-pipe dream!  It is almost impossible to change a fractured community of 10,000,all struggling to shine or matter in ways that debase rather than uplift themselves, 1 person at a time.  Very little stuck!  The few who learned did so just to navigate me. Support staff didn't.

I don't see myself as a rose among thistles. I don't see myself as water to parched soil.  But I did think that my brand of manure could fertilize a few arid areas.

I did learn that the job didn't come with its own dreams.  Those I had to furnish.  I did learn that I didn't have to get sucked into the system, become part of the collective.  I did learn the meaning of throwing pearls to swine.  I did learn about counting chickens before they are hatched.  I did learn about pastor christening him pickney first.

But I also learned about patience, service, seeing God in my fellow human being.  I learned how cold I could be and how compassionate I could be, in the same day no less.

So although I can't leave as a conqueror, with task bested, with flag flying high, knighted for the endeavour, excalibur sheathed, I can leave older, grayer, wiser, a different man than I came.

I have learned.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


As a doctor I am privy to information about my patients that they would prefer kept in strict confidence.  I dislike knowing people"s business, so it is an arrangement that works for me... they tell me stuff and I try to forget they told me stuff.  No harm, no foul.

However, when they piss me off, which they do a great deal, I would love an avenue to vent!  But crossing that line is serious business.  Issues of doctor-patient confidentiality betrayal is almost as bad as pulling an Anthony Weiner!

You can't tell the story with any identifiable details, including details of conditions that may be used later to help identify a patient.  You can never assume that such indiscretions can't get back to the patient.  Speaking hypothetically is just not an option either.  You can give anecdotal stories and stuff for giggles but those aren't the venting stories are they.

Dealing with human beings means you need an outlet.  Since they don't pay me enough to afford a reasonable outlet, I have TGIF and a few select friends who I trust to be confidential.  The commitment from all involved is a contribution to the Darwin tales.  Sometimes we get a little rowdy.  The musgrave madness does that to me.  That's right, I blame the musgrave madness!

Anyway, any other details would let you realise that doctors are human so I am done.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Old becomes New

So the prodigal has returned. I haven't posted anything sensible in about a year and all of a sudden I am back at Blogger, my roots!  Was just passing by and noticed that they updated the templates and they don't look half bad.  Also I am not so keen on fanciness anymore.  Don't know if this a resurgence but I can say welcome back Kotter!