Archives For January 2004

i don`t really talk about my children here, because i don`t think it`s appropriate, but it`s not so much the measure of impropriety, it`s the fear i have for them.

i would kill anyone that anyone that tries to do them harm. i`m not an especially violent person, no matter how much i rant here. it`s just an outlet, i vent and i move on. when it comes to my children i make no bones about it, i will kill someone.

i`ve said before and i reiterate, i firmly believe that children should be dressed their age. i`m liberal in a great many aspects of my life but i`m perfectly willing to go medieval to protect my children. i think anything two consenting adults chose to get up to in their own company is fine.

however pedophilia is the most depraved and appalling of sins in my book and i`ve been reading this new york times article and i`ve had to take it in stages of because how badly it upsets me.

All the girls I spoke to said that their captors were both psychologically and physically abusive. Andrea told me that she and the other children she was held with were frequently beaten to keep them off-balance and obedient. Sometimes they were videotaped while being forced to have sex with adults or one another. Often, she said, she was asked to play roles: the therapist`s patient or the obedient daughter. Her cell of sex traffickers offered three age ranges of sex partners — toddler to age 4, 5 to 12 and teens — as well as what she called a “damage group.“ “In the damage group they can hit you or do anything they wanted,“ she explained. “Though sex always hurts when you are little, so it`s always violent, everything was much more painful once you were placed in the damage group.

what kind of depraved, damaged human being would find sex with children desirable, there is no rehabilitation, there is no counselling, these people have to be eliminated, plain and simple. there are some people that would blame the lack of morals in society today, but i don`t i think something is fundamentally wrong with these people.

these are the people i fear.  i worry about them everyday, if i could lock my children away in a tower until they were of age i would. but we`ve taught them as best we can, how to say no, what`s an inappropriate touch, not to go anywhere with anyone they don`t know, but reading stuff like this you wonder if it`s enough.

i know their situation is not even vaguely similar to the children in the article but that something like that happens in the world everyday is enough to fill me with dread.

addendum: a pair of interesting looks at the original NYT story, here and here

it`s monday, you`re probably struggling through your day,

here is the cure to what ails you, take a couple of these and leave a comment.

i should warn however, that these are in no way safe for a work environment. use with discretion.

i love music. i`m a fan. i can`t say i never played air guitar, but i was more prone to play air`bass.

my fantasy job in the music business would be sound engineer however. i love good quality sound where you can hear the individual components contributing to the overall harmony.

most of my music collection is on my laptop, 20Gb of mp3s that run the gamut from metallica and tool to ella, miles, nina and the duke to wagner, bach and beethoven to fatboy slim, moby and paul oakenfold to stevie and marvin to slick rick and missy to johnny cash plus a large collection of soundtracks that allow me to indulge in my musical eccentricities.

i`m a child of the 80s, so i grew up with the big hair bands and the popular music of the era, but i also had a  large brit pop influence. we had a six hour countdown show every saturday, the host was a british expat and would cover billboard pop and country as well as the british charts. i remember getting my first `job` in the early 80s so i could buy a radio to listen to the show. my mother didn`t want to listen to six hours of `that noise` every saturday so she struck a deal with me, if i was willing to do the chores i could get my own radio. i did and for years whatever i was doing on a saturday i was locked on to it.

but that wasn`t the be all and end all of my musical education, on sundays my mother would go through her fairly extensive record collection and introduce me to a variety of things. we had a record player where you could stick in five lps at a time and as one finished, the other drop onto the turntable.

bob marley, miles davis, ella fitzgerald, marvin, aretha, the sounds of motown, soundtracks from the sound of music, my fair lady, singing in the rain. i would be on the couch reading while my mother made lunch and the records would play on. when i got to high school and everybody was `discovering` marley and the conscious lyrics, i was amazed, because the first bob marley record i`d heard was punky reggae party which was pretty much a party song.

i also spent a great deal of my formative years at my aunt`s house and her children were already in their late teens by the time i was aware of music, so i had their musical influences as well, abba, hendrix, pink floyd.

added to all of this was the music i discovered on my own, prince, metallica, doug e fresh, run dmc. my basic rule of thumb for music is that i was willing to give it a listen, not for the lyrically quality a lot of the time but for character of the music. it`s how it affects me on a visceral level.

i can`t make a blanket statement like a lot of music today is shit, but it certainly lacks a lot of charm and character, i don`t listen to much of today`s r&b because when you`ve been weaned on the classic most of the stuff out there is just a waste of studio time. it`s formulaic crap and that tends to go across the board.

the mass commercialisation of music and shorter attention spans have lead to mass production, it`s not art any more it`s about what sells. take it inagadda da vida, it`s a 17 minute drug and alcohol fuelled opus. in today`s three minute airplay ready market it would have never gotten made. same thing for concept albums, yes there is there`s the new outkast double album but that isn`t norm. in the 70s, a band wasn`t a real band until they`d done a concept or experimental album.

even though metallica has become the bane of music downloaders everywhere and became in my humble somewhat soulless and unoriginal after the black album did a magnificent piece of work with s&m which features them play with the san fransisco symphony orchestra, it`s an amazing piece of work and shows a level of creativity that is notable absent from the industry.

god i`m just going on. and i haven`t even covered the local music scene. my hands hurt and i`m hungry, so i`m going to stop here and continue later.

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and we can nibble on a wall or two even.

i hadn`t planned on posting again for the day, but this required getting off my chest.

i just had dinner delivered. pizza. hawaiian. the delivery guy asks “are you going to eat that?” i look at him puzzled as to why i would order something, pay good money and not eat it. the bewilderment at his question was obviously showing on my face, he adds, “there`s ham on it”

and it dawns on me, my hair. right.

since i moved here i`ve come to realise that in jamaica, rastafari holds the patent on dreadlocks or something equally insipid. this is not the first time it`s happened.

ok let me back track, if you don`t know according to what sect of rastafari you belong to, you don`t:

eat meat at all

eat swine

eat salt

eat food prepared by a woman menstruating

i`m sure i`ve missed some but it basically changes depending on who your talk to.

on with our story. yes, on with our story.

i went to burger king one day for lunch and order a whopper with bacon and cheese, again the question, “you sure you want that?” i shrugged it off.

but in the last week, i`ve had to answer the same question posed to me by various people i interact with on a daily basis. the conversation goes like this:

“are you rastafarian?”



“are you christian?”

“no. i don`t deal well with organised religion”


“so why you have your hair like that?”

“because straw… [insert odd look here] nevermind, i made a decision to grow my hair, a social experiment, a statement…”

“oh ok”

and the conversation usually degenerates from there.

i have to laugh or i`m going to cry, as i said last week, assumption is the mother of all fuck ups. dreadlocks does not a rastafari make. i`ve never been a vegetarian, i eat pork. lots of it actually, as often as i can.  i`ve been growing my hair for eight years and will probably cut in two years. i haven`t made a decision about that yet. so i can safely say. i predate revlon rasta trend by about at least a good two years. and while i`m on the topic about assumptions people make about me because of my hair which i forgot to mention last time, i`m not a some jacque st. john caribbean stud either, but that`s the subject of a whole other post.

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the joy of pain

January 24, 2004 — Leave a comment

i`m feeling the need for ink.

i`m ready to finish my back. actually i`ve been ready for months but time and schedules never meshed.

if you`re squeamish, i suggest you stop reading now.

ok, then, onward, be forewarned there`s some odd, possibly disgusting stuff later on.

my first really tattoo was the 13″ sun on my left shoulder. it took three sittings of about three hours each. i sat there on the chair in the upstairs balcony of darren`s [my tattoo guy] in st.james, a suburb of sorts of port of spain.

i was muttering the bene gesserit mantra and crushing my friend sam`s hand. the pain was intense, i have never experienced anything like it, before or since, even with the volume of work that`s been done on me to date.

darren likes to ink me cause since my back i just sit there, no flinching, no bitching. he joked about making a how to video with me, i sit and read, watch tv, basically just let him work.

that`s how it works, i go to him with an idea and he just run amok, with the exception of the orubus on my right arm, everything else started out with an idea i had.

i  have to say i like the pain, not the immediate pain while i`m getting inked but there`s a point just afterwards when your skin is raised, the sheer sensitivity of the skin when even the slightest breezes invokes a reaction.

not that kind, get your mind out of the gutter.

then there is the smell. it`s fresh blood, ink and torn flesh. it seems to evoke some sort of reaction from the dark recess of my reptilian brain. i like.

this is supposed to be my final major work, no more after this, but getting inked is addictive, the pain, the smell. i think i said it before when i did my left arm and since then i`ve done my right arm and started this major work on my back.

i know i`ll probably end up doing something else. but there is a degree of trust with darren that i`m not sure i`ll be able to find with anyone else. which means i`ll probably have to pay him a visit before i leave to join vic.

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welcome back

January 24, 2004 — Leave a comment

question of the day or week in this case

If you were offered a commercial (90-SECONDS) spot during prime-time television to SAY or PROMOTE anything you wanted, how would you use this time

choices, choices, choices.

i would promote tolerance. for religion, for sexuality, for ethnicity, for our fellow man. think about the affect on you before you judge.

a lot of the worlds ills could be solved with a little more tolerance.

a pouch on a kangaroo?

January 23, 2004 — Leave a comment

i got a call from the embassy today. i was told that my packet had been sent off sometime close to when the letter i received was mailed. the date on the letter is november 25 but only arrived on my doorstep in january. the postmark on the envelope is december 23.

i found out is that the packet is being sent APO, which means it leaves santo domingo [the processing centre for caribbean applications] is sent to DC and placed with all the other mail for barbados, average turnaround time 6, meaning that it should arrive sometime next week.

aaah, the joys of bureaucracy. the wait continues but now i have a better idea of the time frame. it looks like i should be joining vic in early march [says a prayer and does a little happy dance.]

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there is a cycle of arousal i go through. it`s not that i don`t always want vic, it`s just there are times like now that the need reaches a fever pitch.

my skin tingles with the thought of her, i can almost smell her and at times i do, only to realise she`s not there. as with almost everything else with us, the cycles intertwine for us.

this was supposed to be our week, vic was supposed to arrive here yesterday to spend a week. things didn`t work that way and with everything else, it is for a purpose. the plans for this week were made before the letter arrive, before the need to buy a ticket of my own.

but that brings up a new sets of wants and desires. it`s been six months. six months with a longing as constant as the tides. six months of soon, soon, soon.

masturbation is more of a pressure release valve, than a true pleasure. but there some, the shared ones, the ones inspired by emails and ims and text messages and remembrances that just for a moment seem to come, at least marginally, close to the intimacy we share.

yes, it does mean something.

i`m taking it easy this morning, i should be getting bathing and getting dressed about now, but i`m still sitting around at home, not quite ready to go to work. i`m going, but not just yet.

i have a familiarity with machines that is frightening to a lot of people. i should define machines, electronics in general, computers specifically. they hold no fear for me. clocks do not blink 12:00 on my watch, no pun intended.

if pressed i will read the manual, but generally i can just work it out. i`ve been around computers for damn near a third of my life. the first computer i ever used was a commodore 64. way back then with monochrome screens and data stored on tape, with games that had more in common with choose your own adventure books than the carefully rendered stuff that is so common today.

i graduated from there to apple IIes and programming in basic, cobol and fortran. the advantage to attending one of the most prestigious high schools in the country is that you`re on the bleeding edge of technology, we had a computer science programme before term became common knowledge in the rest of the country and had the resources to back it. and little ego maniacs like myself doing the classes.

in the one move that i will always regret i dropped the class, because and i quote “they can`t teach me anything i don`t already know”. the thing about going to that school is the over inflated sense of self worth you`re imbued with from the very first meeting.

“you are best and the brightest in the country, blah, blah, blah” this is not something you say to 200 boys just entering puberty.

i digress.

me of the superego dropped the class but i still hung around the computer room and help with examination projects until i discovered the joys of womanhood and got up to all sorts of mischief that young men are supposed to at that age.

i wasn`t away for long, i left school, permanently eventually and sought out jobs. i had a fairly long, even at that point experience with computers and technology and because my mother`s insistence that i find something to do while waiting in the office for her, the ability to type.

got a job as a data entry clerk and then discovered the mac, and got another job as a type setter. stop me if you`ve heard this before or you can skip it if you so desire.

in the good old days, not everyone could afford a laser printer, so you would set your type in one of the thirteen faces available, put it on a diskette and send it off to a service bureau. aaah the heady days. i found my niche. i learned about design on the job, i took the manuals home, i learned about print and how it works and i carved my name in a new field.

i grew along with an industry. people started coming to me for advice about machines, i read. i read everything i could put my hands on, this was my field and i was determined to be the best i could. it wasn`t about the news technology, it was about getting what you had to work for you.

actually it was about the newest technology that you`d lust after and hope you could convince your bosses to buy. and if they did, hope it was super-ceded by something newer and shiner in six months.

less than 10 years ago, i convinced my then employers that we need more hard disk space and that we should by a 540Mb drive for storage. keep that figure in mind, we have flash media with almost that capacity, your average cd, holds more information than that.

they paid close to US$1000. and that wasn`t excessive in those days, how far we`ve come. i`ve see the first cd burners, that would only burn the media of the manufacturer, we`ve come full circle with the new generation of DVD burners. for $1000 you can get close to, what, a tetrabyte of storage now?

technology is obsolete almost the minute it comes out the door. but i try to keep up, i used to be mr. beta, the minute it came out it was installed on running on my machine. i tried the public beta of os x, hated it, but the final product came out, i was there running it, longing for the day when i could give up the classic mac os.

i could wax rhapsodic about the mac os from system six to the present and the last truly good version of windows was 95 but i wont.

i`ve seen them come and go and i`m comfortable with them all, new technology will continue to emerge and hopefully i can continue to stay somewhere close to the edge of it all

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i`m still on the presentation high.

we came, we saw and i kicked much fucking ass. the presentation was a resounding success, i reworked the original imagery, changed the font and it was hit.

time for the roll out, photography, location, models, props all that good stuff, for it to be ready in two weeks. i think we`re good to go.

and did i mention i also found time in all of this melee to redesign the cover of one of their magazines and blew them out of the water with that as well. this after the alpha male manager said they didn`t need our help.

that`s why his boss called and asked us to do the work anyway.

i so fucking rock. i feel good. i found my focus today, just need to keep it. i have another project that was back burnered for a while time to bring it back on stream and kick some more ass.

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