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Friday, June 19, 2020

The Brave New World

The Civilizing of Racist White People

We are indeed at a crossroad in history. Racists whites have a simple choice: Either to continue to live in their false, alternative universe, or to come into the real world they have been running away from.

Make no mistake about it. Apologizing is relatively simple, as all school children know. Regarding the reasons for the criminal act and the false constructions you deliberately and wittingly put up to justify your crime, demands a refreshing act of civilizing that forces you literally to be “born again”, and in so doing to denounce that which you see in the mirror.

No wonder the Church has great difficulty here. It is the grand, all inclusive confession beyond and fundamental to all others. Indeed Revelation begets Genesis.

We must continue to hold that mirror of history and humanity up to them until and even after they can hold it up for themselves.

Mirrors must be the new public statues. Mirrors. Just mirrors.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Don't Stop The Canival

We Playing Masks

It’s been a long time some women don’t always want a man winking-up behind then at carnival time. Long garling time. I have known this since I was a little boy. With so many females in my family I didn’t have to peer like my friends to see and study them. Women were always in my face; on rising in the morning and at going to bed at night. And don’t talk about the many times I had to go outside to see why our dog was barking nonstop. Some wayfaring stranger fearing he would lose his whey for the night would be whistling to signal his coming. She was not going outside tonight. Carnival time.

It’s been a very long time that I have been watching women; big Christian women especially. Some of them were wont to carry my vulgar, wanton, cursing cousin’s name to granny. The way they retold the school-cursing story, that they didn’t witness, under the hill, when school was over, teachers out of sight, and nonfat dry milk powder all over the road, told me how much they wanted to be free like her. Carnival.

They waltzed through our unhinged gate with their equally unhinged minds, uninvited, as guardians of village morality. They staged up themselves in our yard like my Amazon cousin. Dead center. Sometimes to the left, near the sugar apple tree. One hand akimbo; the other at an obtuse angle in the air. Almost like flamenco dancers, before my granny. Even grandfather, Pythagoras, got up off his hypotenuse. These square ladies. These square ladies whom I thought knew only of square dancing. They wanted carnival.

They came to the picnic. They claimed they didn’t want to dance. So what on earth were they listening to the music for; and shaking your feet? They liked to watch. All day long they chatting chatting, chatting, drinking ginger beer, eating cake and sugar cake and licking ice cream; as if I didn’t see the aliquots of white run. And they had the nerve to send away poor little me to buy sweetie to suck away the scent. Three hundred and sixty five beaches and they don’t want to swim. They can’t swim. They just splashing water on their bodies, adjusting their bathing suits and asking each other if it’s tight, tight after getting wet. Carnival again.

And what about the tall, bespectacled elegant one; the parson’s sister? Remember that Sunday after church when she walked to the bus with her body in elliptical motion? Broke her shoe’s heel my foot. I couldn’t swear in church but I almost swore she deliberately prized off the heel. Any heel can break off just so and look so, and happen while she was sitting in church? She didn’t even go up for communion. At least she was honest. And she was even more honest at a funeral a few days after. Some longtime friend asked her how she looked so good, so happy and contented; and begged for a portion of her secret potion. She said it was her faith in the Lord. She should have stopped there. No. Funerals can resurrect the dying truth. She went on to say that everything was for Jesus. Now. Now. The good Lord must have plenty mercy for real father, to give to so many of us; and a sense of humour too. My little ears clean, clean, clean. I heard somebody whispered to somebody else that she was so right. Everything was indeed for Jesus for true. Apparently or reportedly, depending on if you saw or you heard, some young man ( not poor little me) was ravishing her night after night whilst she was bawling Jesus; Jesus. Jealousy is worse than witchcraft. And they want to stop the carnival.

This Jesus echo came to mind again many years later. Women must have a rabid sense of humour to endure some men. There I was, professionally, well really and truly professionally, and not alone, in the room of a prostitute that served as the blood collection area for taking samples from just under one hundred women of the night. Yes. I know. A dear friend said I should be careful with my preposition; although he had mistakenly said proposition. This hard work on a Sunday was in the early days of HIV. Never before or since have I seen a greater density of pictures of Jesus Christ on a wall. Jesus wept. Who were you going to call in remembrance? And I was so stupid to ask, as twilight descended and some early workmen ascended, why the light in the room was so dim. The bilingual female interpreter glanced quizzically as me. Dim-witted idiot. But I got one back. She didn’t get the pun on the tip of my tongue; sorry; on the tip of her bilingual tongue. Carnival again.

And what about those women who think it is their heavenly duty to harbour and berth deadbeat men who only come into port when the tide is high? Flooding their room with insipid water that stains up their frocks like dropping, dripping juice from hanging, concaving green bananas. It cannot be that half a man is better than no man at all. Will you continue to say this when you are halfway into your grave? Six foot distancing with a broken jar, a twisted nose, a black-eye, two black-eyes actually, a dislocated shoulder (again) and a knife cutting away thin slices of your life; free at last from his life, from your life and from the lives of your pickaninnies. Sometimes a woman just wants to breathe and not breed. You can’t stop the carnival.

This year we playing mask. Six feet apart is good distancing. She can wine-up in peace, finally. It’s a long time they planning this. I remember as a child seeing big, hard men dancing six inches, and closer, behind women and the women pushing them off. And instead, they calling poor little boys like me who revered them in the village. But now they were in town, dancing up. And when the little children suffered and did come on to them, they smiled, asking if this was the little boy for so and so that grew up so big. And they gone again; darling; darling. Carnival.

The things little children see and hear and believe. We really thought Mr. Benwood Dick was a lovely old gentleman with a bent wooden leg. Poor man, we thought. Our sister should help him across the road to his house. And what about the lady who was called Miss. Rounders. We thought she was really a good player of the game, rounders; until she quietly told her handy man to wet his hand and wait for her. Our English teacher had just taught us the meaning of homophones. So, was it wet or was it whet? The unbridled joys of being a handyman. Carnival come.

The word homophone was spoken very softly. Bright young children showing off was frowned upon. But we saw and heard everything. One lady was warned by another to be very watchful of her newfound lady friend, who was renowned for, among other things, cursing badly, with bad words to boot, in public, even on Sundays evenings, respectfully after the evening’s Gospel Hour program on radio. It was deftly suggested that if she and her new friend were to fall out, her so called friend would not hesitate to put her tongue on her. It is said but not written that at the reception of that warning, the lady’s cheek went from as black as a berry to as red as a cherry. Don’t stop the carnival.

Some men have sex on their mind all the time. All the time. They see sex when it’s not remotely present. Switching channels remotely; like a TV; if you get the TV drift. Their mind and body can stretch to near breaking point. Man goes into a pharmacy. At the cashier he sees all the sexual aids, extensions and supplements that will complement and compliment his performance. The cashier is simply doing her job, professionally, smiling and being courteous. He buys a pack of condom. He asks for two packs instead of one. She puts up two fingers to verify. He reads something in the two fingers that is totally absent. He thinks her two fingers are very far apart. Is this a signal? No. The music in the store is Air on a G string by Johann Sebastian Bach. Is this a signal? No. Her name is not Joanne. There is no sea in Sebastian. She is not coming back with you to Darkwood Beach for your carnival with the tropical air caressing her G string. Leave the woman alone. Don’t stop her carnival.

Some women just want to have fun. Plain, adult rated unadulterated fun, all by themselves. Six feet apart in this time of Covid-19, sanitized hands, playing mask, is perfectly fine for some of them. So please. Don’t stop the carnival.

Sunday, May 10, 2020



And to think that everyone’s mitochondrial DNA is derived from the mother, who got hers from her mother infinitum...(whether you are male or female).

Take this back many genomic generations ab initio and it begs at least two questions:

1. Is God a woman!

2. Did Eve come first?

3. Or even if Adam did come first, with his maternal mitochondrial DNA from God, was it the woman in God that sent Eve onto him?

Sorry, 3 questions!

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Father Son and Holy Proteins

In His Image

By Lester CN Simon-Hazlewood

If DNA is the Father molecule and RNA is the Son molecule then the central dogma of molecular biology says that instructions from the Father can be transcribed onto the Son, the messenger, who can then by translation send that message onto us, proteins.

And if by reverse transcription the Son can become the Father, can we protein beings not only exist in the image of the Father but through his Son, inform the Father?

And if again, some 98.5 % of our genome is truly not involved in protein synthesis (and supposedly not involved in {“reverse”} protein prayer ) but rather that 80 % of this “dark genomic matter” is concerned with architectural planning, genomic blueprinting and regulation of the expression of the word of DNA, then heaven must be a place where most of the heavenly energy is expended not directly on us but indirectly on ensuring that heaven is in good, constitutive order, presumably for us.

And so, finally, if all of the above is true then the central dogma of our existence on this earth must surely be, not necessarily to pray incessantly but rather to use our “dark, latent, silent energy to ensure that like in heaven, our planning and blueprinting and regulation of life on earth is in constitutive tolerable order.

That then is truly heaven on earth!

Friday, August 3, 2018



It’s my birthday. I am reflecting on my 67 years of life on earth. Reflection at this age is mixed with looking forward; and so my thoughts immediately went to my favourite, deceased uncle. He taught me two important lessons.

Lesson one: Doing what Jesus did will help to find you a place in heaven. My uncle preached that he should go to heaven because if per chance they made an error and he descended into hell, all he had to do was to call up to Jesus and remind him that he, my uncle, was a carpenter too, and tradesmen should look after each other; a sort of union thing.

So what about all those who did something or try to do something that Jesus did, will they be able to get the same passport into heaven? Those who give you cheap wine, as if they made it from water; those doctors who think they alone can heal the sick; those pathologists who raise the dead by taking the body from a lower to a higher tray in the morgue; those school bullies who take away your lunch of bread and salt fish to feed a multitude of school children; those who have to walk on water when the heavy rains come; those who are anointed by prostitutes on and off Popeshead street.

Lesson two: Addiction comes in all forms. When his drinking was destroying his liver and swelling his feet, I was silly to try to show off my medical student knowledge about the effects of alcohol. After my dissertation, he calmly directed my attention to a plant in the house and, taking me back to one of my duties as a child, reminded me that plants need water. My tears were almost enough to soak the plant. We should all have plants inside and outside the house.

Can it be that you learn your most memorable lessons early in life? If so, what lessons did I learn from bullies in school? They will never stop until something drastic, more drastic, happens. For example, when you are confronted one night by two of them, you surprise them, and yourself, by thumping one of them in the face, and pushing the other one into the gutter. And run away to fight another day.

But why did they do these seemingly strange things? Like; put a piece of bush on your shoulder and dared you to brush it off! It was not my bush so I didn’t want to touch it, even though it looked freshly plucked and clean. But it was my shoulder; given to me by my mother and father. Was I a breech birth with troublesome shoulder delivery? Confused, I stood still, shoulder square and broad, lest the bush fell off, in the blowing wind (with no answer).

So now, at a certain workplace, some nearga will put glass bottles on the property on the shoulder of the grassy knoll , where vehicles can park. And I am suppose to remove them? That this will happen to me one day, decades later, is what my school bush-bullies were trying to teach me?

And too, they will waltz up to you, three or four of them, as if they knew that the waltz is in three-four time. Then they commanded me to touch my button (“If you think you bad”). Now, this was more serious and confusing than the bush on the shoulder. With all the hand washing my school clothes had to endure, my granny, with her aging body but seemingly microscopic eyes, will regularly sew buttons onto my shirt. Why then should I interfere with my granny’s handy work, other than when putting on and taking off my shirt? Plus, I did not think I was a bad person, who had to do bad things like touch one’s own button on the command of someone else.

So now, again at a certain workplace, the same place, some nearga will deliberately park their vehicle behind mine, in such a way, and so close, that I cannot move. They refuse to drive around the building to find trouble-free parking waiting for them. They must the descendants of the button bullies, now telling me to get in my vehicle, my very own vehicle, and reverse (“If you think you bad”.)

Growing old has it virtues, the single most important one being, no longer in my younger, more effervescent days, I am a little calmer; I think. I take almost all matters with a pinch of salt; or I do away with the salt altogether and drink more water. My birthday coming always at Carnival, water will serve me well in the Burning Flames after passing through Hell’s Gate. I am not a carpenter.

Sunday, June 3, 2018


The Counterpoint of Classical Music and Black People.

Recently, black musicians playing classic music have attracted the attention of more than a few people. Actually, and factually, we have been playing this genre of music since the 1820’s, with black musicians and composers to still learn about and celebrate. Ambivalence seems to ransack the thoughts of both musicians and listeners. A true counterpoint exists. And as in any counterpoint in music the independent parts are also interdependent.

The typical, negative reaction of most blacks to classical music is largely based on two factors: The mere sound of the music, and, probably more important, the historical relationship between Europe and Africa and the Caribbean.

So what happens to a black listener or musician who falls in love with classical music? How do you react to those whites and blacks, and voices in your head, telling you it’s not black people music, so leave it alone? Do you note that classical music ranges in style from baroque to "classical" to romantic to modern, with sometimes razor-thin separation, if any, between traditional classical music and jazz in the modern style of classical music? Do you counter by reminding them of all the genres of music blacks have given to the world, or do you walk away and deny the genuine emotions you feel, and ask why are others denying what must be the same emotions on hearing, at least some forms of, classical music?

It may just be that a black person, listener or musician, has to live a bipolar life. A life in which you understand and value the contributions of black people to music on one hand, or in one head, and, on the other hand, or in the other head, notwithstanding the history of Europe, or standing with a constant reminder of the history of Europe, you do the same valuation of European classical music.

But how can you live such a crowded, maddening life without seeking to find “that tune”. That tune that has never been played. That tune that some refuse to hear. That tune that says until and unless Reparation is seen as a civilizing principle and process, for whites and blacks, to the actualizing end, dissonance will ravage and consume the counterpoint. And that is not music.

Monday, July 31, 2017

It's Carnival, Baby!

Midsummer Nightmare

Dr. Lester Simon-Hazlewood

A long time ago in the land of Nti, the Arn festival of emancipation was celebrated by taking off one separate article of clothing every day for twelve consecutive days. To prepare for the festival, some folks dressed heavily, donning thirteen pieces, whilst others made no such stuffy preparations and gleefully, at the drop of a hat, started doffing their hats, their shoes, ounces, pounds and hundredweights of makeup, wigs, weaves and other hair pieces, over-wear, wear, and underwear, and even layers of their beautiful, black skin. Others just took off altogether and left for the neighbouring lands of Uda and Unda.

On the sixtieth anniversary of the festival, the king summoned all the minstrels to his palace. Some singers were also kings and queens of the land in their own musical realm; and musicians were regarded highly as the main custodians of culture. Some musicians played music that made people start to dance, stop dancing, and start to dance again; again and again. This led to some of them deployed as traffic wardens dressed in red, amber or green, to make drivers slow down, stop, and start again; again and again. They also played special music to stop drivers using their cell phones in traffic.

The most difficult task these warden-musicians faced was getting drivers to be kind; to say thanks to other drivers who were kind to them, and to be wary of weary passersby trying to cross the road. However, some of these passersby, old and young, were very cantankerous, an assumed native characteristic, and oftentimes told the warden-musicians, who were mostly horn players, that they, the musicians, were going to get a real, good blow…. in a certain, basal part of their anatomy.

At the meeting at the palace, the king announced that this anniversary was very special; that there should be no nastiness, not even from Queen Ivenus, the loved one; that the land needed special music and special songs and especially, special dances. No longer will emancipation mean taking off one’s clothes. Instead, emancipation will mean from now on, and forevermore, respect for each other. There was a long, deafening silence, so quieting one could hear the wailing waves of dead ancestors coming from the bed of the middle passages of the Atlantic Ocean.

The silence was broken by a silly musician, actually a comedian masquerading as a musician. Some often asked what was the difference between the two? He reminded that being respectful can be dangerous, even fatal. He recounted how his brother, a Rastaman, had ventured into a cowboy saloon in the Wild, Wild, West; and on pushing past the swinging, saloon doors, greeted the cowboys by hailing, Jah! May his wandering soul, emancipated from his bullet-ridden body, shredded to pieces, rest in peace. After the token laughter, the comic-musician didn’t tell them how the police said they had so much respect for the first, real Rastaman in Nti, Ras King Nki, that they respectfully locked him up innumerable times; seeing how he had plenty locks.

Being minstrels, they all tried to impress the king and queen with tales of misbegotten respect. Like the one, told after a festival many years ago, about the respectable, hoity-toity woman who didn’t want to dance in the middle of the road for all to see. Instead, she danced and danced, respectfully, round and round, behind everyone’s back, until she ended up dancing on top of her stepmother’s grave. Sadly, the stepmother had been buried at sea.

Some minstrels were not pleased with the new decree and wondered aloud why respect and lubricious, emancipatory dancing had to be separated. They reminded that respect begins at the bottom. A plump, maiden minstrel, of good background stock, as they are wont to say in the land of Nti, was not at all amused. They laughed at her and made her feel so badly, she had to retort. She reminded them how disrespectful many songs were of women, as if all women were descendants of Jean and Dinah, the English ones, and Rosita and Clementina, the Spanish ones.

She pointed at one musician in particular and told the gathering how he had tried to interfere with her, as they are wont to call it in the land of Nti, and how she refused his advances and told him what to do with his unrequited love. Now they all wanted to know what she told him. School children say, as they are wont to say in the land of Nti, that after he told her she was being obstinate, she advised him to go home, take a shower, drink a rum, lie in bed and, with a novel, sardonic double entendre, “Wet you hand and wait for me”! Even the nubile queen roared and choked with laughter, until her head fell off and landed in the king’s lap. No one made any jokes about the king giving back the queen her laughing, choking, fallen head.

The oldest musician showered bounteous praises on the female minstrels, until he was reminded that he had fallen victim to the mango juice legend. Again, school children had it to say that legend has it that whosoever washed their face with mango juice and went to sleep will fall in love with and become addicted to and tied to, as they said in Nti, the first thing they saw on awakening. So, who tied the red cow in the pasture next to his house? He quickly hid the Red Bull drink in his hand. And that was the clean version.

Then the king’s seer, Oma, addressed the gathering. A broad hush brushed across the floor. The ceiling dropped a few metres to meet it. Quiet filled the room as the walls drew closer. One musician thought of calling on the group, Air Supply. Surely the sage will have something sagacious to say. After all, school children say, he was the most learned man in Nti. They say whilst studying for degrees at the University of Timbuktu, he took Kelvin, Celsius, Fahrenheit and Centigrade too. By this time visitors to the palace, who had come from far and farther and farther still, had joined the assembly. Oma proclaimed emancipation, like reparations, to be a two-way civilizing act. And one minstrel whispered to another that to repair past damages, and with due respect, they will no longer play mas on Redcliffe, Market and High Streets, or any other one-way street.

And so it became that for that festival and thereafter, all the music and dancing were played on two-way streets. Then the visitors, some of whom were colonizers, went back to their homelands and told their kings and queens including King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, that carnival, emancipation and, most importantly, reparations all meant respect for all humanity including oneself. And they all lived and danced happily ever after.