They say the young people dem done with Facebook. The crowd is older, less cool. Certainly the young people in my life hardly ever go on and so my position of maternal macoist is compromised.
But I am still an avid FBer. And maybe that has something to do with being far away and needing the Caribbean energy in the 24/7 kind of way that one gets on FB. But that energy comes in all kinds of waves.
Today I lucked into two posts, both generationally-specific. From the brief one-liner, I understand that friend Marsha (actual friend) went to a back in times school fete. She used FB to express her annoyance that the DJs played some ‘bun out batty man” music, from the nineties I suppose. She was calling them to account, implicitly asking them to use their privileged access to be more thoughtful and intentional about what they played.
What followed (and is ongoing) is so interesting. The responses are a good guide to the changing cultural atmosphere. The DJs accept that bigoted, violent and homophobic music is unacceptable even as one of them cautions that Caribbean music is chock-ful of discriminatory attitudes and especially against women.
This is a point. As much as I love Sparrow, some of his songs have become indigestible to me. Much in the same way that I cannot watch Casablanca (with all of its intelligent wit) and feel comfortable with Elsa asking about the ‘boy’ playing the piano.
With the modern day soca, I have to convince myself that the lyrics are saying something more complex than the plain meaning of the words or otherwise the music is soooo sweet that the rest of my body will be moved, overcoming the objections of my brain. For example, ‘Too real’ by Kerwin Dubois is all about a woman’s backside. But I reach for a more romantic reading, imagining that he is singing about social chemistry, about that special fleeting frisson that happens in carnival fetes between women and men unknown to each other perhaps but culturally connected. I imagine that Kerwin is singing about carnival magic. Bumper becomes a metaphor. Yes, well.
Today I am reading one of the many biographies on Bob Marley and remembering how intelligent and poetic all of his music was, not some, all. Is the state of Caribbean popular music another manifestation of the failure of imagination and rigour of post-independence education?
I will tell you all about the second post tomorrow.