Friday, March 30, 2007

Support Barrington!

Barrington Irving, a 23 year-old born in Jamaica and raised in Florida, is attempting to make history by being the first person of African descent, and the youngest person, to fly around the world solo.
Click here to follow Barrington on his world flight adventure!

Rihanna's a 'Good Girl Gone Bad'


Rihanna has to be one of the hardest working women in the music industry today. Although she could still be considered a newcomer to the music scene, since 2005 she has racked up an impressive number of hits and awards. On June 5th, she will release her third album in two years, Good Girl Gone Bad, and yesterday she released the first single off that album, Umbrella, which features none other than her boss, Jay-Z.

Click here to go to Rihanna's page on the Def Jam site and listen to Umbrella. Though it didn't have me grooving from the first note I'm sure it'll be a hit, 'cause everything Jay-Z touches tends to turn to platinum. I don't know how I feel about the title of the new album though...after Music of the Sun and A Girl Like Me , Good Girl Gone Bad sounds like she's going to be dropping the F-word and singing about stealing girls' boyfriends. We'll see.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Noel flips his lid

Noel Lynch (left) with sprinter Donovan Bailey

There was always something about Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch that intrigued me. I always had the impression that underneath his designer suits beat the heart of a man who was, as a friend of mine would say, "straight hood". He always struck me like a guy who, if he felt insulted in some way, would back his Saville Row jacket and sucker punch a brother.

Well, he didn't punch talk-show host David Ellis, but he delivered a TKO to the "Brass Tacks" programme last Sunday by walking out on the show. I didn't hear the programme myself but according to media reports Lynch blew his top after a question was raised about his alleged rise from being a "virtual beggar" to millionaire status in recent years. Before then he had also engaged in a heated exchange with hotelier Adrian Loveridge about low CWC bookings.

To give him his due, David Ellis is a brave man. Wave a red flag in front of a bull and prepare to get trampled. The comment was offensive, though. I sincerely doubt Noel Lynch was a "beggar" before getting his ministerial pick. He might not have been able to buy $5,000 suits but still...

Anyway, despite his understandable abhorrence (his word) at Ellis raising the topic in a public forum, Lynch was a bit of a diva about the whole thing. He refused to sit in the same studio as Loveridge, who isn't exactly Government's #1 fan, and then he went on to link the framing of the emailed question to criticisms by people who were "against the idea of people like Owen Arthur being Prime Minister and Clyde Mascoll being a key political figure because of their social backgrounds".

See what the PM has started? This "poor boy from Benn Hill" foolishness is pervasive. Nobody sees the PM and Mascoll as poor men now. Nearly everybody was poor back then anyway, I'm sure even the same David Thompson whom they're trying to hit at with this comment. And all of these guys are fat cats now, so it beats me why they're trying to endear themselves to the less fortunate in this way. Poverty isn't quaint, trendy or cute. Get over yourselves, politicians!

Rihanna is Kids' Choice

Rihanna will join other megastars such as Ciara, Queen Latifah, Chris Brown and at this Saturday's Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards.
Click here for more on the awards.


Friday, March 23, 2007

Fulfilling the emancipation promise

On Sunday, March 25, the world will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the trans-atlantic slave trade. Slavery itself would be abolished nearly 20 years later.

As we people of African descent grapple with the significance of the day, let's remember the millions of men, women and children who were forcibly removed from their homes and shipped across the Atlantic to help build the "New World".
One out of every three persons didn't survive the trip.

We were reduced to a 'tabula rasa', a people whose origins were erased. Unlike other enslaved people who were able to practice their customs and religions, we were prohibited from doing so openly and therefore the world of the coloniser became our world. But without roots, a tree will fall.

There are many persons who say, why rehash the past? Slavery is history, let it die a natural death. Some honestly believe that to dwell on the past is counter-productive; others hide from the reality of slavery out of embarrassment and shame. We've allowed the brutality and racial polarisation of that period to permeate our psyches, and we've been dragging that insidious, virus-like shame with us from century to century, from generation to generation. Two hundred years after slavery we have made some progress, but we haven't yet fulfilled the full promise of emancipation. Hiding from our past is not the way to fulfill it.

Since an apology for slavery is unlikely to come, and any reparation for the suffering of our ancestors would be immeasuarable, it is up to us to come to terms with our past and to forge a positive future. We owe it to coming generations to end the cycle of shame. Remember, we are the children of kings and queens.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Mid week mix

Look who's back in town. Rihanna was spotted at the Grantley Adams Airport a few days ago.

She also was spotted recently hanging with her boss Jay-Z (far left) at a New Jersey Nets basketball game...

and she also did a photoshoot for VIBE magazine. Why is the poor child in a bathtub with a swimsuit on? Leave the grown folk poses alone, Rih-Rih.

This one's nice though


Cricket has had its share of scandals, but the Bob Woolmer "suspicious death" case is gearing up to overshadow everything else in the 2007 World Cup. Rumours are flying left and right about how the former Pakistan coach died. The local organising committees have been planning for years for this event, they've run scenarios and brainstormed, but they never could have contemplated this Hitchcock-like drama. My condolences go to his family, who must be extremely bewildered by this turn of events. As for the Pakistan team, I'm sure it will be a while before the tarnish on their image has been erased. I feel they're going to have a tough time filling Woolmer's post...

It's official, the apocalypse has begun. Banks are using sex to sell their products. What the heck I'm talking about, you ask? In recent weeks the Bank of Butterfield has been running radio ads for the over-50 market. One features banter about a woman flirting with a younger waiter, and in another a son teases his father about attracting younger ladies. The father responds that women like men who are confident in their future. Thanks for making women sound like gold diggers, Buterfield Bank! You all listen to it and tell me if I'm over-reacting.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Politics + cricket

Well, well, well. Only a week away and so much to blog about. Where to start...

Thompson arriving at Parliament

Last Wednesday, the budget started off typically. Prime Minister Arthur delivered his Budgetary proposals. On Thursday, Opposition Leader David Thompson gave his reply and the other 28 members of Parliament began their comments, ranging from poetic ramblings to piques of temper. Then on the last day, the Prime Minister gave his closing remarks, during which he took the usual opportunity to embarrass the Opposition (usually the Leader) with evidence of some past misdeed.
Well, that's where the event took a twist. For once Thompson not only defended himself, but clean bowled the PM in the process! This really must be an election year. Thompson's showing some spunk. He must be vex because the PM showed him he too knew about Families First...

Pakistan's former cricket coach, Bob Woolmer

They don't call cricket the game of glorious uncertainties for nothing. Ireland and Bangladesh are minnows no more, having defeated Pakistan and India respectively. I still doubt they'll make the final, but you never know. And all the drama isn't occurring on the field either. Pakistan's coach Bob Woolmer passed away suddenly in his hotel room in Jamaica, and in St. Lucia some members of England's team were disciplined for partying it up there. In related news, Pakistan's capitan Inzaman Ul-Haq resigned following the defeat and England's vice captain Andrew Flintoff was sacked and dropped for the recent one-day against Canada. Flintoff nearly drowned when he "toppled into the water after a late-night drinking spree".
Well, well. Seems like the ICC should have devised a "good behaviour" campaign for the cricketers along with the ones created by the LOC's for the natives hosting the matches.


Friday, March 09, 2007

Weekend wrap - Oba Married + Hal Gollop's not too smart

I'm most annoyed. After staking out several key websites for over a week to get any news about the Oba/Marion wedding , the main day I was away from the computer news broke! Ah well, them's the breaks, as they say. Congrats again to the newlyweds and expectant parents.
For one of the news stories on the February 24 nuptials click here
Maybe I can get my hands on a wedding photo...

Philip Moseley (left), the new president of the Barbados Turf Club, presenting the coveted $4.4 million Mega 6 cheque to attorney-at-law Hal Gollop.
Photo: Daily Nation

A rapper once sang 'Mo money, mo problems', and somewhere out there a young man nicknamed 'Curly' can probably attest to that. Despite assurances from lawyer Hal Gollop, no one believes that he won the $4.4 million Mega 6 lottery. Maybe because he protested too much?
To give him his due, Gollop was trying hard to protect his client's privacy. Seriously, can you imagine the amount of calls and visits Curly would receive from "well wishers", "friends", businesses and sycophants? All types of con artists would be trying to part him from his cash. I don't blame him for trying to remain anonymous.
That being said, I don't think Gollop did a very good job of pretending the cheque was his. His comments just weren't adding up. And after reading his letter to the Editor in the Daily Nation yesterday, he more or less revealed what we guessed all along.
Curly boy, best of luck. Take good advice and spend wisely. Live your dreams for all of us!

One less star is shining in the comedic firmament with the passing of British actor John Inman, who played the role of 'Mr. Humphries' in the long-running BBC comedy 'Are You Being Served'. Inman died yesterday at age 71 from Hepatitis A.
For more click here

Have a good weekend all.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Interracial love

Several high profile interracial couples have been making their mark in Hollywood and the international arena. Here's a little photo gallery I assembled, courtesy of

Actress Halle Berry and boyfriend model Gabriel Aubry

Star Wars creator George Lucas and girlfriend Mellody Hobson, Financial Advisor to Good Morning America

Singer Seal and model-wife Heidi Klum

Grey's Anatomy actress Ellen Pompeo and fiance, record producer Chris Ivery

Actor Taye Diggs and wife Idina Menzel, Tony-winning actress

Top golfer Tiger Woods and wife Elin Nordegren

Grey's Anatomy actor Justin Chambers and wife Keisha (they have 5 kids!)

Slavery alive and well

Hi all, hope you had a good weekend. Yesterday I finally watched the Oscar-nominated movie Blood Diamond and it was terrific. Sad, violent but terrific. Man's inhumanity to man never ceases to amaze. While I was still pondering on the themes of the movie (you know a movie is good when you remember it the next day) I received an email from a relative which I felt I needed to post. Here's an edited version:

In this year 2007, the bicentennial of the abolition of slave trade by the British on March 25, 1807, I was of the opinion that slavery was something of the past, a shameful brutal act perpetrated by some human beings on others but no longer a part of our moral or cultural landscape.

So I thought. Until last week when I read Francis Bok's , Escape from Slavery, an autobiography of a young man who had been a slave for ten years in the Sudan, African's largest country, until he was able to escape and gain asylum as a United Nations refugee in the United States of America on August 13, 1999.

It is a shocking read. Slavery and slave trading are still contemporary phenomena. Francis was captured in southern Sudan as a seven year old when Arabic Muslim slave raiders rampaged through the marketplace near a small village called Gourion, killing most of the men and taking the women and children to be slaves in the north of the country. For seven year old Francis, it was a brutal experience. Not only did he see adults being chopped to pieces , he saw the limbs of little children lopped off when they cried too much on the journey north. He was taken to the home of his captor and beaten into submission as an animal is tamed into doing what its owner wants it to do.

Francis tells the story of his ten year captivity as dispassionately as can be expected for one who has gone through such a horrendous experience. The story is an eye opener. Slavery and slave trading though technically not legal anywhere in the world today are still widely practised. Not only does it still exist in African countries ,such as Sudan, Mauritania and Niger but guess what, according to Anti-Slavery groups in the United States and Britian, there are more than 27 million , repeat- 27 million people, being held in slavery today.

And don't think for a moment that modern day slave trading is just relegated to Africa. It is suggested that slavery today exists on every continent on the planet , including South America, and North America. That means that there are slaves today in Brazil, United States and Canada. Greater numbers exist in South-East Asia.

Maybe you already knew all of this. But for me this is a shocking revelation though I now recall reading a newspaper article a few years ago in Barbados that said there are people living in slavery here on this little island. This is not metaphor or hyperbole. What is being said is that there are people (and I am not talking about marriage) living in bondage: held against their will , working for other people and not having the liberty to leave their situation. If they try they are usually threatened with violent or other coercive measures to keep them in their submissive situation.

I suggest that everyone read this book: Francis Bok ( with Edward Tivnan), Escape from slavery, New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 2003 ISBN: 0-312-30624-5
There is also a website for information on contemporary abolitionist activity:

It looks like the battle ain't done and maybe some of us will have to pick up the baton from William Wilberforce, Thomas Clarkson, Granville Sharp, Frederick Douglas, Sojourner Truth, William Ogoode , John Graves Simcoe, Mary Ann Shad , Harriet Tubman, Colonel Bussa, Samuel Jackman Prescod, and a whole host of others who believed like Tubman that slavery was the "next thing to hell".

Francis Bok came to the United States and after a while was enticed to tell his story by an organization called the American Antislavery Group. In doing that he got to meet a whole host of American activists and politicians on both sides of the political divide including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Condoleeza Rice, Coretta Scott King, Rev. T.D, Jakes and President George Bush.

In 2003 when the book was written Francis Bok was 23 years old.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Who wants to be a millionaire?

Somewhere out there, a lucky person (don't know yet if they're Barbadian) has by now collected their cheque for $4.4 million dollars. Does that make them the richest person in Barbados? I doubt it, but they're a heck of a lot richer than most of us! Whoever you are, here's my advice to you:
(1) Tell as few persons as possible.
(2) To remain anonymous, pace the way in which you change your lifestyle. If you move out of a cramped housing unit and into a sprawling mansion on three acres in Sandy Lane, people are gonna talk.
(3)Likewise, if you go from catching a ZR to rolling in a Benz...
(4) Remember who your real friends are. If someone has never lifted a finger to help you in a time of need, they are not your friend.
(5) Spend your money wisely. Investment is good. A world tour with 50 of your closest "friends", maybe not so much. Remember, the cost of living is going up and you don't know how long you have to live, as my granny used to say.
(6) Help a person in need. This could be through a charity, church or just that struggling neighbour down the road. You'll feel good.
(7) Remember that money and class are mutually exclusive. Just because you have money doesn't mean you can be excused for having no social graces or manners. Check ya self.
(8) Having money does not make you better than anybody else. You got lucky, that's it.
(9) Don't leave if for the kids to fight over. Enjoy some of it for yourself.
(10) For heaven's sake, make a will. Or better yet, give the children their share upfront and kick them out the nest.
(11) Buy me this house. What? You didn't think my advice came for free, didja?

Have a great weekend all!
Photo: Cove Spring House, St. James (

Congrats to the Arthurs

Prime Minister Arthur sure knows how to make history. Last August, he became the first Prime Minister to marry while in office. Now he's the first PM in office whose wife is expectant. Will he be the first leader of a political party to reclaim a Government for a fourth time, while his wife is delivering a baby? Time, as they say, will tell.