Friday, September 18, 2009

Celebrity abuse

Given the fact that in one week Michael Jordan gives a tirade of a speech at his induction into the basketball hall of fame, bashing all those people whom he figured were out to get him.

And in light of Serena's uncalled for behaviour on the court at the US open, and let us not forget that great display of humility by Kanye West; can it be fair to say that a good many celebrities lack humility and all that goes with it? (forgiveness, compassion, understanding, etc)

Not saying don't lose your cool, but it sure looks childish and ugly when you behave a certain way.

Glad I'm not a celebrity of some sort. Then I'd lose myself.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Manners

So...one thing I have noticed among various cultures is the use (or misuse) of manners.

I was born and grew up on what the rest of this planet considers a 'third world country' in the Caribbean, what most would consider a simple life.

Now it can be debated till the cows give milk that we aren't a third world nation anymore, and that we as a country are making strides to 'first world' status. And at the opposite end there are those who would argue for dear life that we will never leave our 'world rating'.

But there is one thing I hope to never see change on our little twin isle republic. It's our manners. Not everyone has it, but most citizens regardless of race, creed and religion say 'Good Morning', 'Good Evening', 'Excuse me', 'Thank you', 'Take Care', etc.

Not all, but most. Complete strangers pass by my street everyday and tell me hello. Isn't that the 'normal' thing to do? Shouldn't that be the standard world-wide? You see someone passing you by, you look them in the eye and say 'Good Morning'.

That's what I grew up knowing - telling people hello. If this country is so backward by international financial and social standards, then how come we West Indians know our manners?

Like I said, not all of us have manners, there are many hooligans running around in this place. But what's wrong with telling a stranger hello, it's a matter of acknowledgement and respect. Or at least so I thought.

Over time I have met genuine, decent people from all walks of life, from various countries. Now I don't know if it's a cultural thing, or if it's the fast pace of life in a big city or what. But I do know that the rest of the world can afford to learn a thing or two from the Caribbean.

Telling a stranger hello doesn't mean you want anything from them, it's just that; saying 'Hello'.

I hope we never lose that here in Trinidad, I actually enjoy telling strangers 'Good Morning', it makes me feel like I'm human. Aren't we all still human?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A & E: Arts & Expression

I'm not a fan of that word 'entertainment'. It always seems as if that word implies that people are boring creatures that need to constantly stimulated visually or otherwise they lose interest and wither away. So people need to be entertained and stimulated by the TV, the radio, the cinema screen and by artists.

I must admit at times when I'm out having a good time I enjoy myself to the point where I can say that from a consumers' view I was 'entertained'. I understand what it means for a host to entertain guests. But still, I just hate that word from the point of being an artist myself. I don't feel I have any responsibility to 'entertain' anyone.

I know people figure most musicians/artists' sole purpose is to entertain them, that most people get irritated by art they can't understand, that the average citizen instantly gets annoyed by music he/she dislikes or is unfamiliar with, when out at a pub/club/live music venue.

But if I may suggest something, it would be this: Most musicians/artists/dancers/film-makers write/create pieces of work that we, ourselves believe in. We create because we want to leave marks of our craft around, long after we're gone, so that people can appreciate it for what it is - art, expressions of opinion, thought, something that will challenge the average person to think differently.

Thats all we really want, not to entertain you, but to express our opinion on some subject matter so that you - the average person, the viewer/listener/consumer can be enlightened in some form or fashion by our work. If you 'get it', then great. If you don't get what we're trying to say, well thats great too. But we never signed any agreement to entertain you, certainly not for any price you paid at the door. We signed a mental agreement with ourselves to work and create a subject of work that we would be proud to call our own, because we love what we do.

And we publish our work - be it in live performances, recordings, drawings, films, theatre, dance so that we can share what we do with you - the world. We hope you understand what we aim to express through our art. But please don't expect us to entertain you.

There's a huge difference between an artist (in all its' fashions) and an entertainer

I humbly hope one day that A&E will change from Arts & Entertainment to 'Arts & Expression'