Most Jamaicans have a very odd sense of history. We do not see our history as continuous, but instead as a set of discrete points on an an every decreasing timeline. There is Nanny’s guerilla war, Sam Sharpe’s rebellion, Emancipation, The Morant Bay Rebellion, then Independence, Bob Marley and then finally whatever was in the newspaper yesterday. And not a thing in between.
So when I read Carolyn Cooper’s latest post “Jamaican Men Love Oral Sex” I believed that I would be getting some sort of Lacanian-psycho-fucko-analytic-Foucaultian-polictical power-structure-rude-boy-garrison-politics-hypermasculinity critical theory analysis. Hey, some people collect stamps, I like to decipher post-structuralists. Everyone has their thing.
Sadly, none of that was present (guess I’ll have go get my Frederic Jameson…). See, the long and short of it is that some Jamaican men (claim they) don’t suck pussy. Not only do they not suck pussy, they will publicly ostracize, if not outright beat, anyone who has been confirmed to be eating under the sheet (Note’: People are starting to tell these person to fuck off.). I refer to these “gentlemen” in plural is because they will not make a move on you unless they have four or of their tight pants wearing, skin bleaching, eyebrow arching buddies to back them up.
Unfortunately, these “gentlemen” are, for all intents and purposes, the cultural trendsetters. This fact, combined with our myopic view of history, makes us unable to see any alternatives to our present situation by using lessons from the past.
I remember listening to Mutabaruka, a few years ago (back when I thought Jamaica could become a better place). That particular night, he had a mento artist who had a big hit back in 1955. The name of the song? Night Food.
Here are some sample lyrics:
The room is dark
She said, ‘Come and eat
This night food is very warm and sweet’
I said, ‘Lady, there’s no knife and fork
And how can I eat food in the dark?’
She said, ‘This food needs no knife and fork
How can a human be so dark?
The food is right here in the bed
Come here, man, make me scratch your head
I think its safe to say that you don’t need to be Jacques Derrida to deconstruct them lyrics.
Of course, when Alerth Bedasse was pressed by Mutabaruka as to the meaning of the song, he came up with some mealy-mouthed excuse as to it being about cold food being left in the fridge for too long. I supposed he had to use a similar excuse back i 1959, when Willis O. Isaacs, the Minister of Trad and Industry, finally got around to creating a nontroversy about his song.
Well, at least back then the national government might have had been taken somewhat seriously. Today, instead of government, the church, or another legitimate institution to uphold social mores, we have a some ridiculous looking bleached face monkeys to keep us nigras in line. I guess this what we deserve for ignoring our history. One must see the irony of a country responsible for creating two of the most powerful black cultural movements having its ideas of masculinity and culture dictated to it by androgynous, deracinated, apolitical skin bleachers. The more things change.