Boxing Day Leftovers

It’s December 26, and the neighborhood has been sunk in soporific mode since morning. Some Kingston citizens will no doubt rouse themselves from the post-Christmas Day torpor later today and toddle off to a soca party or dancehall session, and the noise level will rise. But for now…it’s “as you were.”

Having just dined on leftovers (which always seem to taste better than the original meal) I came across a few tidbits – or “odds and sods” as we used to say in the UK – which often rise to the surface on Boxing Day. Some ridiculous, some troubling…

  • There was the Annual Christmas Cake Fight at a specific Kingston supermarket, known to many. This emporium sells a particular Christmas cake (a regular dark fruit cake Jamaicans are very fond of), which is much in demand because of its flavor and value for money. If you put this cake in your trolley and take your eye off it for a second, it will disappear while your back is turned! Well, things got heated on Tuesday this week, when some women got into a tussle. According to one report, things got nasty. A police source said: “A man called in to say that his wife was bitten by another woman in her breast and it sink way down. After that, they called back and said that the police shouldn’t bother to come because they resolved the matter by themselves.” I wonder how they resolved it.


  • Global warming – or burning? Meanwhile in Bournemouth, UK sunlight refracting through a snow globe in a Bournemouth shop window ignited some fake reindeer food (!) and fake snow and set the place on fire. Oops.
One angry Frenchman.
One angry Frenchman.
  • And on the English football field, the “sexy Frenchman” and Arsenal Football Club striker Olivier Giroud suddenly flipped and head-butted a Queen’s Park Ranger during today’s Boxing Day match. Of course, Nedum Onuoha went down as if he was pole-axed. Gee, thanks Olivier, a red card was just what we needed. Arsenal struggled on to win, mainly thanks to two little dynamos, Alexis Sanchez (masterful) and Tomas Rosicky. Elsewhere, Emile Ivanhoe Heskey, who will be 37 years old very soon and has had a checkered career, scored a goal on his debut for Bolton Wanderers, commenting afterwards, “I was a little bit surprised…” Weren’t we all.
  • A YouTube video from an Islamic group calls Jamaican dancehall performer Sean Paul a "devil's advocate" and a "disbeliever."
    A YouTube video from an Islamic group calls Jamaican dancehall performer Sean Paul a “devil’s advocate” and a “disbeliever.”

    Some bizarre news emerged today. The charming and popular uptown bad boy and dancehall singer Sean Paul Ryan Francis Henriques (Sean Paul for short) has received an online death threat via YouTube from an Islamic militant group – it’s not clear who they are affiliated with, apparently. The group doesn’t like him performing at a New Year concert in the Maldives. The Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb invited Sean Paul, it is reported. So he must be a “major disbeliever” too, despite the group’s assertion that the Maldives are “100% Muslim.”  At this point it appears the concert will go ahead, but we shall see whether SP will be there.


  • Gully Bop pointing to his shortage of gnashers.
    Mr. Gully Bop pointing to his shortage of gnashers. Seriously, though, missing and decayed teeth are widespread among impoverished Jamaicans who cannot afford treatment, causing great suffering and ill health.


    Back in Jamaica the dancehall scene, seemingly craving for something new and exciting, has been agog about a new deejay called Gully Bop for the past few weeks now. Mr. Bop is due to perform at the annual Sting stage show tonight and one hopes that he will manage OK (patrons at this show are prone to throwing bottles at those who don’t meet with their approval). He became popular through one or two YouTube videos, I understand. Meanwhile a visiting dentist from New York has offered to provide Mr. Bop with treatment for free. “The fact that Gully Bop is a lyricist, we would want to design a partial denture or denture that he could get used to quickly, so that his lyrical flow is not affected,” one of the dentist’s colleagues observed sagely.

  • And the negative forces have been busy over the holidays. They never take time off. The Turkish President has decided to lock up a bunch of journalists and a sixteen-year-old boy has been put behind bars for insulting him. But… “Nowhere in the world is the press freer than it is in Turkey. I’m very sure of myself when I say this,” says President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. I’m not sure that anyone else is sure.  Elsewhere in the world, Egypt’s censorship board has banned the film “Exodus: Gods and Kings” because of its “historical inaccuracies.” But quite honestly, can one regard the story of Moses as historical fact? (Please don’t bash me, fundamentalist Christians!) Is that a good reason to ban a film anyway? Vladimir Putin is worried about the cost of vodka and has declared NATO as a major military threat. I think he didn’t have such a good festive season – and he has canceled his ministers’ holidays, so they must be miserable too.
  • Sandra covers her head with a cloth to protect herself from the public gaze at the Buenos Aires Zoo. (Reuters)
    Sandra covers her head with a cloth to protect herself from the public gaze at the Buenos Aires Zoo. (Reuters)

    But closer to home, delightfully, an Argentine court has ruled that a 29-year-old orang utan named Sandra, who has been trying to avoid the gaze of human visitors to a Buenos Aires zoo for twenty years, should be granted some legal rights. Sandra’s lawyers argued that she is a “non-human person” and want her to be transferred to a much less restrictive environment in Brazil.  Good luck, Sandra.

  • The beautiful Aziza Brahim from Western Sahara was born in a refugee camp, survived the civil war there - and sings very sweetly.
    The beautiful Aziza Brahim from Western Sahara was born in a refugee camp, survived the civil war there – and sings very sweetly. (Photo: BBC)
  • An unexpected Christmas Day musical delight was a BBC World program “Africa Beats” (only half an hour long, sadly) which featured, among others, Tumi – a poetic rapper from South Africa; Aziza Brahim from Western Sahara, born a refugee in Algeria; the gentle Songhoy Blues, who fled from Islamists who invaded northern Mali; and the awesome Lala Njava, who sang in a stunningly bluesy voice about the destruction of the rainforest in her native Madagascar. You can find clips of these wonderful musicians on YouTube.
  • Among the many images we were bombarded with over the holidays, the one below from the West Bank struck me as ironic. If you want to go through some more 2014 photos, Time Magazine’s Top 100 photos are worth looking through; brilliant photos but mostly quite depressing. Let’s hope that 2015 will be a year of sweetness and light. Somehow I doubt it will be.

Meanwhile, it’s back to the leftovers… I’m heading for the fridge.

Palestinian wearing Santa costume hurls rock at Israeli soldiers during clashes in West Bank. (Photo: Abbas Momani/AFP)
Bitter irony: A Palestinian wearing a Santa costume (and a gas mask) hurls a rock at Israeli soldiers during clashes in the West Bank. (Photo: Abbas Momani/AFP)

9 thoughts on “Boxing Day Leftovers

  1. Hi Emma,
    Love you Blog: Here is my little feedback on one of your article: Sadly, Mr. Gully Bop is one of many victims to the new two Jamaica, the have’s vs. haves-nots, the lawless vs. the one in hiding, and furthermore the educational divide where only few who have access to the subjective view from some of local papers. As a result, a fraction actually unaware of the socio-economic issues.

    Glad I found you.


    For the push back. I get it, it’s everywhere, poor Americans, British, and other places, but I am speaking for my heritage today.

    As to Sean Paul’s issue, [Interested} But I’ll leave that to the Feds here: We can handle if he gets on stage or not.
    See links to one of my recent argument posed in a letter to Santa out of concern for my roots.


    Although I have reason to break off my marriage with the Island, I cannot get a divorce: So, I have to try and speak up with the platform I have and hopefully one day we all can be back under a cool tree as that’s what mom looking forward to, but the headlines recently does not provide much hope for now..
    I am now watching you, so keep up the informative work ……
    Happy New Year!


    1. Thanks so much for reading my piece and I am glad you enjoy my blog. I have not done much research into Gully Bop’s background. But yes, you are absolutely right about the divided Jamaica. I fear he may become a victim, if he is not already, of Jamaican class attitudes. As I noted, the media seem to find it interesting and amusing that he is getting new teeth, but poor Jamaicans simply cannot afford dental treatment…and it is painful when Jamaicans watching an economically disadvantaged person speaking to the journalist laugh at the way he/she speaks or looks. I am glad to hear that you have not given up on Jamaica, because many good things are happening and there are many good people here trying to set things right… Please continue to comment – and please contribute in any way you can to the island’s sustainable development (emphasis on sustainable!) Wishing you also a happy New Year!


      1. Hi,
        Thank you for replying. That is why I started a scholarship fund, and hoping to find a few people there who can locate one or two students that could use an extra book, or a tuition assistance. The other part is , since I have an avenue to write about some of the issues not only in Jamaica, but globally, it has been my quiet way of giving back.. Both of us aware that the media will not address some of these issues there because as you’ve noted the pride lives on……Again, thank you for what you do. It takes lot of work to keep these things up running and especially for me who is always on the road in 20% weather with work.
        See links when you get a chance… Lots of good stuff on the blog… Not a plug.. they are free… 🙂

        I am even willing go to the prison(s), and conduct workshops so they can keep the criminal mindset at minimum. Have a safe New Year!


      2. Thanks again – I will take a look at the links and I applaud you for your desire to give back. Yes, well put – the pride lives on! 🙂 If you want to go to the prison you could link up with Stand Up For Jamaica, which has a great program going there. Wishing you a safe and very happy New Year!


      3. Thank you, and please send me the link. Also, any programs you see where it can make an impact for the right reason, please feel free to toss it my way, and if and when you get a chance to check out my profile, and mission, please share it with any of your circle -like-minded folks. Collaboration is the key!

        Have a safe and prosperous New Year!
        I knew I found a diamond when I ran unto your page. 


  2. Erdogan becomes more deluded by the day. Ever the true democrat, he changed the Turkish Constitution just to stay in power. We off to see Exodus in 3D later on this afternoon. It’s got some mixed reviews but I love a biblical epic and I won’t fret too much about the historical accuracy of the plagues of Eqypt, the parting of the Red Sea or the burning bush. Happy New Year!


    1. Isn’t it sad. I seem to recall you had an inkling of this kind of behavior while you were still living there. I am not sure the Turkish people are going to take it “lying down” though, so he should be careful. Wow, I would love to see Exodus in 3D. Although I don’t believe in any of it, I am a bit of a sucker for biblical epics myself. Good stories – but “historically accurate”? I doubt they ever were! Enjoy your New Year festivities and all the best to you both…


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