10 January 2008

Here's a Jamaican Joke!

I'm getting tired of all this serious stuff that's been on my blog and I thought I would share a joke that made me laugh. It is written in the Jamaican patois and makes full use of the Jamaican swear words so if you get offended (in the style of Martin Willett) f**k off!!
No seriously - I'm going to lighten up and try and forget those theists who irritate me as they do things like spend their time 'grooming' children to convert them to their made-up belief systems by buying them chocolate and 'candies'. I'm sure I will continue to have great conversations with those who believe in the supernatural (some of the comments I receive from people I cannot publish as most want to have private conversations with me - thank you!) and my main aim is to share views - full stop. But I want to talk about other things and I thought it would be good to break the seriousness with a joke I read recently.

Anyway, here's The Jamaican Lawyer Joke:
In a recent trial, a Mandeville prosecuting lawyer called to the witness stand his first witness, a grand motherly, elderly woman named Miss Ivy.

The lawyer approached her and asked, "Miss Ivy, do you know me?’’

She responded, "Why, yes of course me know you, Mr. Williams. Me know yu since yu was a likkle pissen tail pickney, and wata big disappointment yu is to yu fambily. Yu is a ole liard, yu cheat pan yuh wife, yuh chat people bizniz, and yuh red-eye, grudgeful and licky-licky. Yu tink yu is a big shot now but yu no realize seh yu will never amoun to nuttin more Dan a Two-bit paper pusher! Yes, me know yuh very well alright!!"

The Lawyer was stunned! Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, "Miss Ivy, do you know the defense lawyer?"

She looked over at the defense lawyer and replied, "Of course, me know Mr. Bradley since him was a likkle bwoy too. Him lazy, and good-fe-nutten, him boasy, and him always a gwaan like him white. Him caan build nuh normal Relationship with any ooman. Fe him law practice a di worse eena Jamaica. Him chat nuff, him a ole teef, him dutty and narsty. A tree different ooman an four man me hear seh him a grine undah covah, an one a di ooman dem a fi yu missis (points at juror member)!!
Yes sah, me know him well."

The defense lawyer almost died of embarrassment.
The judge ordered both counselors to approach the bench, and in a very quiet voice, said, "If eeda of you rassclaat bastard arks har if she know me, a gwine lock up oonu bumbo-claat eena jail fi contempt!."
Funny! If you don't understand certain words - leave me a message and I will translate them so you get the giste! It helps if you understand the Caribbean psyche at least.

05 January 2008

The Hillary and Bill Clinton Show?

So Bill has leapt to his wife's defence after she placed 3rd in the Iowa caucus - what a surprise! Methinks it smacks of 'payback time' as stained blue dress and cigars jump into my mind.
She is now steadfastly for change and is a 'problem solver' - now it would be far too easy to pick at Hillary and denigrate her for having stood by her husband at a difficult time in their lives and so I won't spend too much time on that.
But, Hillary Clinton appears to me, as a British woman, as a consummate politician and for her husband to laud her with a quote attributed to Tony Blair, of all people, smacks of desperation and a lack of strategy.
How can anyone respect politicians? How can anyone happily go along to vote for any of the candidates wheeled out by corporate capitalists? Bear in mind the puppets pushed are usually those who will do the bidding of those who hold the moneybags. Is this democracy? Is this what a modern democratic society insists on?

Will Barack Obama win the Democratic nomination? In one sense I hope not. I suspect that America won't elect a black man as the figure-head of the nation - 'we're not ready' - just the same as it wouldn't happen in the UK. Maybe either of the other main contenders will at the last minute take the lead and win and then ask Barack Obama to be the Vice-President.
I think this might be preferable due to the economic recession which has started to hit the US. If you become the President after the Bush administration then you have to deal with the complete chaos left behind by an incompetent administration who has messed up the economy, reduced scientific advances, particularly into green alternative forms of energy and on top of that single-handedly created an environment where the rest of the world seems to be hostile even to the sound of an American accent. As the President you get it in the neck when you realise it is impossible to clean up the mess in the time given - as Vice-President you don't get smeared with the same stuff as you learn from the mistakes of the President and then you make your bid again next time round. That's what Barack should do. Don't get the job when the shit is hitting the fan - let it lie low, let someone else have a go and then you go again.
Do I expect that any of this will make any difference to the world? I suspect not.
Is the US ready to elect a person who happens to be defined as 'black' as a figurehead in such a polarised society?
Imagine that.

01 January 2008

Time For...Critical Thinking

I have a question.
When are black people going to start to be rational? When are black people going to, en masse, throw out all those tired old scriptures which bring negative, old outdated traditions which stifle and intimidate? When are we (I hate to use we when talking about race as there is only one race and that is 'human' - just humour me) going to realise that believing in a 'god' or 'gods or even one that I hear more and more, 'universal conciousness' is not promoting progress.
I listen to the news, read newspapers, magazines, and lately I have been reading a few blogs to get a giste of what the general views are out there. I have also tried to look for sites written by or about black people who are rationalists, free-thinkers and/or atheists. I am saddened to report that there are too few references to the above.
I'm tired of listening to Oprah pretending to present a balanced view of what a 'non-believer' or 'skeptic' is. I'm tired of Dr Phil, who has one of the most patronising manners in the history of television, make references to god and 'being spiritual'. I'm tired of the Pope, Benedict XVI (or Benny 16 as he is known in some circles) popping up in the news media with some crass comment about the social ills - this from the catholic church (let's not go there at this moment).
I'm tired of reading blogs about how black people are 'angry' yet skim down the text and you read some lauding of 'what god has done for me'. Arrgghhh! Please, People, please! Let us get a grip. Let us empty our minds and start using some critical thinking skills. Let us focus on what evidence we have for anything we believe. It is not only important but crucial for the development of our species. It is not okay to teach our children to believe what we believe just for the sake of it. It is not okay to pick up a book and believe every word it says because it tells you to do so. Doing that is called two things: laziness and ignorance. Both things lead to extinction.
If you have a child and teach him/her to believe without thinking, you are not doing the best for your child. It is a bug-bear of mine but I think if you are drawing up some resolutions or plans to change your life this year then you could do worse than add 'critical thinking' on your list of must do's. But please don't take my word for it! Check things out for yourself.
Carl Sagan has a Baloney Detection Kit which you would do well to print off and read often - and maybe even share it with other people who you think might benefit from this kit. You could buy 'self-help' books but I have yet to read anything which puts it in a nutshell like Carl Sagan. Save your money and click on the above link.
I don't expect everyone to think like I do but it would be nice if we were having a discussion that we followed the critical thinking path. Some people could perceive this as boring and no fun but is it fun when we are promoting ignorance and passivity when charlatans are conning you out of your hard-earned money each week? Is it fun when people are refusing to use condoms because the church says so? Or refusing to vaccinate their children against preventable diseases such as polio because the church says so? Or discriminate against gay people because the believers have scriptures to back up their bigotry? Is it fun? Is it fun when black people are killed because they are considered Hamites and there to serve as 'it says so in the bible' and therefore are born to be slaves with no rights?
The saddest part about the whole fiction-as-fact history of belief is to consider how much farther humans being would have been if we had dismissed religion and theism as concepts many hundreds of years earlier.
Start today.