Welcome to the seventh edition in the series of the Water Cooler – appears every Sunday on this blog. This feature will highlight what’s hot, topical and up for discussion.

Here we go.

Politics

Reggae music is very popular worldwide and whilst it is known for its Rastafarian culture, Jamaican reggae artistes are also known for their homophobic attacks in their music. Recently, Mark ‘Buju Banton’ Myrie – popular international reggae performer met with gay advocates in the United States of America (USA) to have dialogue on his violent lyrics targeted to the gay community. Back in Jamaica, because of its homophobic culture, Jamaicans were lamenting and began to hate Mark ‘Buju Banton’ Myrie because of his meeting with the gay community. Some claimed they would not be listening to his music, while others were just disappointed. Yesterday in the newspaper here Sunday, October 25, 2009 an article declared the church finally agrees with the reggae performers; they support reggae acts who express their negative opinions on the gay community. However, the international gay community should know these facts about the operations in Jamaica – by no means it is perfect. Jamaicans claim to be a Christian society; with this the country sees a high murder rate – third in the world. No Jamaican is safe these days, not even tourists who are caught in the cross fires sometimes. In the entertainment industry rising reggae talents wanting to make an impact locally sing songs that incite violence towards the gay community and songs that sexualize young children. By doing this they become instant celebrities being played on radio stations and television programmes. Politicians get in the act as well bashing gay people even in the House of Parliament and some may bash gays to get votes. You see, the Jamaican society is not as educated as others, they are ignorant and are caught up defending Christian values but on the other hand the outcry against other crimes are not expressed with such disdain. No one living in Jamaica is shocked a 5 year old is snatched, raped and killed. Killing people and depriving legal abiding citizens on their rights have become so routine that you wonder who is next; praying you are not.

For Jamaica to change, it will take a new generation, one that is educated and see the world like a global village – accepting diversity. I share with you a perfect example, Barbados. Barbados is a Caribbean nation, 99% literacy rate, first world status and they accept fully people from different orientations.

In the House of Parliament, they have raised the issue of Charter of Rights – someone told me it includes fundamental rights for all WoW- and nowhere in the document have politicians on both sides acknowledge that they will be discussing the issue as it relates to one’s sexual orientation. Instead they have both offered early statements signaling their stance on the issue which they have ignored in the bill. Last year the Prime Minister of Jamaica declared in a BBC interview that no gay cabinet member will ever serve the Jamaican people under his leadership, while the Leader of the Opposition statements justified the position of the government. Politicians in Jamaica do not care about the Jamaican people, they are a set of corrupt, inefficient group whose main aim is to divide so long as they remain in their positions. They could not care less about the thousands of people who are affected by this decision. Instead to secure their votes they ensure that Parliament does not debate gay issues and they pander to the ignorant masses to get votes. Historically Jamaican voters do not vote on issues. Voters in the USA vote on issues such as health care, economic stability, securing the border, Foreign Policy – Wars in Iraq etc. Nooooo! In Jamaica for a politician to win, you better fork out the cash to fill those mouths with chicken, curried goat and lots of beer if you can give cash, then you are the big man able to represent the Jamaican people. Corrupt politicians run for new posts all the time, it’s the norm!

So the only, well not the only solution but the most powerful solution is to hit the artistes where it hurts most and its in their pockets. Fight and keep them from performing in your cities – the ones who support for the mass killings of gay people.There are local artistes who are trending on a new path one that does not incite violence, only if more will follow and they have been but there are a few bad apples still.

There is no way in 2009 that we can condone people supporting those heinous actions.

Inspiration

After several months of unemployment my quests to search for a job was drained. I was disappointed in myself because I think that I am an astute hard worker who would be a great asset to any firm. Realizing the reality that my small network failed I became uninterested in the professional workforce exploring entrepreneurial opportunities that could come my way. Although they are still open I landed a job recently.

I observed days after starting to work that it will take a few days or weeks to get into a work routine. It took a while because I was home doing nothing for months. Going from unscheduled days to a minute by minute schedule, reporting to a superior I became flustered because I was not in the frame of mind to work.

After weeks in my new job I have recognized that I may not be enjoying this job. Keep in mind that I am not lazy or have a bad attitude on the job. It will take a toll on any employee who doesn’t have job security or even a scope for growth and improvement. I have been approached by other firms for new employment opportunities. Although nothing is in black and white yet, I am excited!

I can understand anyone who at this moment is unemployed. I have not celebrated my employment yet because personally I do not consider myself in a real job yet. I hope when the other opportunities materialize I can. For those who are unemployed, stay focused by applying, remain motivated and patient, things must change.

Mine took six months to, your time will come.

One advice, please keep your mind active. Read a book, read newspapers online or even read works in your particular field. Employers want you to be on top of things as you step through the door. I’m just saying!

Photo of the Week

A 70-foot female blue whale that officials believe was struck by a ship is seen washed ashore on the Northern California coast on Oct. 20 near Fort Bragg.

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