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Tax Madness; this is our fault


Sitting on this plastic throne under an open night sky, Prime Time News in the background, my mind drifts. The opposition minister bickering, I laugh to myself, he has some good points. Makes me wonder if he would be as critical were his party in power. The tax axe, that’s what the reporter calls it. I think how sad it is that this childish display is the only way Jamaicans get any true insight into the truth of our affairs. Politicians fighting on national television, they wonder why the international bodies don’t take us seriously. I have more diplomacy in my little finger.

Perhaps the worst part of this whole fiasco is that the Jamaican people themselves lay in wait of a rescue, like an unattractive victim. It’s ugly, almost as ugly as this situation. Truthfully politics is ugly all around the world, getting more horrid looking by the day. Politicians are now grotesque smiling fiends with crossed fingers behind backs in every single act. Sometimes I wonder if there is a sincere bone inside any of them.

Jamaica fifty, a sick joke, very sick.  Infecting the minds of the people with the idea of a growing utopia while a seething hell brews beneath our feet. I myself have spent a great deal of time attempting to ignore the festering wounds of the treachery wrought by the leaders we entrusted with the responsibility to represent our best interests. The law of attraction doesn’t mean squat here. Imagining these overlords mean us any good when it is clear as day, is useless.  They are merely out for their own, with a rabid hunger to fill their greedy, bottomless pockets at the cost of the lives and well-being of people. Human lives clearly have no meaning to them; they do not feel any remorse. It is exactly this useless hope in them that has led to the mutation of our democracy, into a slimy, unidentifiably ruthless creature.

In place of a functional hierarchy, we now live in a terrifying structure  where the heartless droids are free to do all manner of evil while we as a people sit and complain under our breaths, powerless to riot. This is a nightmare.

That is exactly what they are now overlords, having the power to dip their hands into the accounts of the poor and hardworking citizens of this country, to fill a deficit that their mismanagement has led to. Some may say it is not their fault, that it is beyond their control, hmph, rubbish. They might be right about one thing, it is no longer their fault, it is ours, we allowed it to get to this point, we gave these sleazy untrustworthy heads of state the power to impose whatever order gets them off. Don’t think for a moment they don’t enjoy this.

Conspiracy theorists speak of how impossible it may be for a sincere politician to have a successful career, that the system breaks them before they have a chance to affect a change. This is a dreadful conclusion, it should be as hard to stomach as that cigarette I had earlier, like smoking vomit.  Yet here we are, no boycotts, no riots, and no marches. The problem with these conspiracy theories, the thing that pisses me of, is the idea of a bigger power pulling the strings, leaving the smallest fry free of judgment. Personally I hold all of them equally responsible. How ruthless do you have to be to blatantly rob a people of their own hard earned money against their will?

Taxes, what a guise. Someone recently said in the gleaner that it’s clever. It’s not, it’s completely idiotic and plain as day, its extortion. Most of all its disrespectful, and I personally take offence. Am I to believe that these people are taxing us for our own good? An insult to my intelligence. You’re in power, it’s your job to find another way, not ours, that’s how I see it. If you can’t then maybe you’re not fit to run my country. They want our money, as if the billions already taken over the years do not suffice. No, they want our livelihoods, our souls. These so called ministers are really after our souls, ironic.

It is not enough for me to withdraw my money from the bank and stash it under my mattress, no. They’ll ensure the only way we can get paid is via the bank. Of course the banks are in on it, why not? They have no feelings, they only speak cash. Banks are supposed to be built on the idea of integrity and loyalty, what a facade. Easily allowing our heads of state to dip their filthy greedy hands into our lives, our security, our means of survival. What’s next with these people? Mass beatings, murders, martial law? You know why we have so many police patrolling our streets, not for our safety, for theirs. They’ve always known this was going to shit, that’s why they keep recruiting our sons and daughters who have no better opportunities. Mad, hungry dogs on leashes.

What about the journalists, who should be hungry to stomp on this obviously growing madness taking place in these times? Reporting on Vybz Kartel being beaten in prison by  Sean storm, wasted press, save for a few. This has me questioning priorities. Chances are this article won’t even be published in any local newspapers. Most of these media houses won’t have the balls to publish anything seriously critical. So here I sit with gritted teeth as I consider the helpless spiral we have allowed ourselves to be cornered into. I wonder what happened to the mighty Jamaican spirit, what happened to all that power, the visage of violent, sporadic, no nonsense ruthlessness we enjoy on an international level. Are we so helpless now? This really is, all our fault, but it’s their doing.

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Blog Post #48: Reasons you Cant 9-5 a Creative Mind {Rant}


This is a subject that has been bubbling inside me for a couple months now that I have purposely tried to avoid, but to no avail. There is a place for understanding and there is a place for speaking for your rights. Rights we a talk bout now, from a strictly opinionated perspective.

Is my career and its success forever to be judged by its net worth, or the amount of money it generates for me? Can we not move past this obsolete and dated way of thinking yet?  Its 2014! What about modernization? Is it only our possessions that are modern and not our minds? Lets really think this through and in the meantime put some context into this fire that is being burnt.

I’m a writer, hello my name is Gladstone Taylor. No I didn’t go to school to study this, I’ve been writing for over eight years. No its not a hobby, it is art. I work on alot of projects mostly as an independent writer, I’ve been published in local newspapers, magazines, international papers, I’ve done artists bios, press releases, interviews, scripting and the list can go on and on. Yet for the traditional person, particularly in this situation, parental units, tend to feel like our endeavors as aspiring artists mean nothing if we are not chugging the right cashflow or material benefits. Is like the only way you will recognize my success is if I come park up Lambo in the front yard. This might seem like a simple case of persons not being understanding, but really it is a tyrannous mindset that needs to be discarded from our society if we are to move forward with a changing world. Stop telling me that I am only worth money. In these modern times we must identify that if we as the youth are to build a significant legacy or wealth, it has to be built from the ground up and no one is going to pay us to build our own wealth. So while we are working to build these empires, in a tough, “cut throat industry” , we don’t need the people who should be supporting us to be doubting our every decision simply because they not see the immediate monetary value in it. These things destroy our peace of mind, make us frustrated and restless, and you know what happens when you frustrate a creative person? They rebel. So its a cycle of fighting, fighting the business and fighting those who should be supporting you. It needs to stop.

 

Reasons you Cant 9-5 a Creative mind.

-It just doesn’t work.

 

Ideally, a creative mind has a very unique perspective that may not exactly be traditional, because of this simple fact, it does not and will not ever operate the way a system as static as the one we live in does. It is not that we are not realistic, but we are different and without accepting this difference there is no way to progress toward a healthy relationship with a creative. Because in your mind, that person isn’t just different for thinking differently, but afflicted and dysfunctional, and so you feel the need to mercilessly impose your understanding of functionality. You people need to wake up and see that the world is too big to think that you could ever be the only right person, or that there is only one way to think a single thought. Open your eyes, for your own good, because its not going to work with these youths nowadays. They all know that life is way too tough to be living it for somebody else. Whenever an ignorant traditionalist tries doctor a creative mind by showing them a more “Practical” way, or simply imposing their own contexts on another completely different human being, they are taking away their freedom, sucking away their life force by preventing them from expressing their true selves. Its a travesty and it needs to stop. Parents, Guardians, Relatives, People, support your youth’s dreams and stop killing them with doubt and scrutiny. Without the dreams of our youth, this nation will not see a future.

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The Heretic


As the lotus flower blooms atop my head
I seek to perceive beyond the perception
Underneath my soul
Where all that Gold
Lies, they told
Molding our minds like
Dough be the paramount
Cash Rules Everything Around Me(cream)….

Money puts the fear of God in you
Money puts the fear of God in you
The fear of God
The fear of God
The fear
God
Makes THINKING a sacrilege

Subversive introvert verbiage
I maintain…regardless
The rich do not fear God
They fund him.

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What’s really Real?


I find a slightly mad comfort lately in asking myself “what is real?”, a question posed to me by a friend of mine, Julian “King Biggs” Morrison, in a recent conversation. I suppose that is what is so exciting about the times we are living in. Society’s definitions of real are slowly being broken down as the western world enters its newest paradigm shift. We can discuss the phenomenon that is the paradigm shift for hours without end, but what it means for the concept of ‘reality’ is that it is too fluid to be one absolute thing, especially at this time. I was standing outside recently when the sun had just set below the horizon, with the western half of the sky bright and the eastern half dark. It seemed perfect symbolically, two different realities fighting for dominance both present in a single space. Ironically these two realities existing in the same space, may casts aspersions on traditional reality itself as a static structure. How can this be the only reality, when another one is right there staring you down? Now you have to choose between the two realities, or you can accept the fact that what is Real changes. Ironically most people can follow this reasoning when applied to life as a fundamental concept, but when applied to the social context, reality is too eerily static. Contesting what a person has known to be real all their lives is an attack on the psyche, based on our social engineering. Changing what a person as known to be real all their lives is a psychological phenomena, so much so that an untactful change can cause mental trauma and/or urge severe self defense mechanisms. Just like Morpheus said in the matrix, some people are so dependent on the system being real, they will fight to keep it that way, paraphrasing of course. Its almost like, being raised on oranges as the ultimate fruit, then coming to find out that banana is the ultimate fruit. So it’s two things vying for a position that is singular in nature. In the end, can you still believe in THE ultimate fruit when it is confronted by a different fruit that is ultimately better? If you asked me what is real, I could only be sure enough about one answer, this moment.

WIR

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Tried and True Review


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The biographical work Tried and True, published September 2011, launched November 2011, written by Gavin Hutchinson, more fondly known as Dutty Bookman is a recount of his journeys. After graduating Campion College in Jamaica, Dutty being pressed by his parents went abroad to pursue tertiary education in the field of rocket science. Subsequent shifts in his vision lead to him transfer to the humanities department at the university he was attending. Upon completing university his sights were immediately set on Jamaica, the prodigal son returned. His return signaled the beginning of the transformation of his “livity” which, his book, Tried and True presents to the reader in an original authentic way.
Dutty’s astoundingly intuitive recollection of his journeys to a higher existence, was not only well written, but intently written. He has carved a niche for himself in Jamaican literature and blazed a trail to inspire others with the same aspirations and callings. In his lighthearted, easy to read, yet mystical recounting of his experiences, he speaks of his shift to a more spiritual and revolutionary lifestyle.
The reading of this book for me has been long overdue, especially since I have been following and supporting the movement for a while now. However it was only very recently that a dear friend of mine blessed me with the opportunity to borrow it. Just as he told me, I was hooked from the very first chapter. This wasn’t just to say the story was interesting, but it was also skillfully written as to leave the reader complacent in the reading process.
My experience was quite unique, because I experienced it in an inside out manner. The calling, the awakening, the conscious revolution, it was all making sense and coming together like a puzzle in the form of this book. One thing that I recognized with Dutty very strongly was his advocacy for youth oriented development. It is this strong purpose that leads him to commit to preserving his experiences so future generations can benefit. This I believe was his purest intention for composing this biographical work. In my personal opinion there was and still is a great need for what Dutty has done with this book. The path of a revolutionary can often be a very lonely one, but this book provides, some hope, inspiration and instructions for the growing revolutionaries. This book is more than just a book; it is an investment in the future, the future of this country. Dutty Bookman has admirably invested cultural wealth in the future of Jamaica.
“I was writing for the benefit of future generations and did not mind that people of my own generation might possibly consider me to be insane”
-Dutty Bookman
It is this bravery that has paved the way for young writers like myself to be more confident in the pursuit of the scribe’s call. This book comes highly recommended for all revolutionary in thought, but for readers in general, may it add as much wealth in knowledge to your life as it did mine.

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Sheri and Castro; A conversation about Communism and Jamaica {Part 1}


I have always maintained that travelling is one of the most beautiful ways of expanding the human consciousness. It wasn’t up until recently though that I got a glimpse of a more practical insight into the subject while talking to a friend.She was describing to me, a very recent visit she made to our Caribbean neighbor, Cuba. What was impressed on me as she told her story, was too valuable to simply keep to myself. So I decided to conduct a sit down interview so that my readers could also partake in the sharing of the experience. The interview was documented in two parts.

GT: First off describe your experience to me.

SB: The experience was some amount of what I expected based on what I know about “communism” but at the same time based on the persons that i was around you know, it kinda, brought up alot of questions, it brings up questions. Overall, its a good experience, I learned alot, I’m more interested in communism and just more interested in the system that we have and political systems, but Cuba was cool.

GT: What were some of the disadvantages of the culture in comparison to Jamaican culture?

SB: One of the things that i find is that as ,much as persons would work hard because of how, there’s a disparity in terms of how much you actually get to survive or make money in that sense. Cuba has what dem call rationing where no matter who you are in the society you get to eat, there’s a specific amount of food that each person in that country gets per day or per week or whatever and that is supposed to keep you alive.

GT: wow that sounds radical.

SB: Umm, it, in way it is, because no matter who you are, if you are a doctor, if you are a bicycle man, if you are a homeless man, you get that. That is first off. Now the next part of it is that if you are a doctor, no matter how good you are as a doctor, your basic pay is like chicken feed, like likkle bit a money. So you’ll find people who are doctors going to hospitals with holes in their shoes, not being able to go anywhere but go work, come home, eat. That’s their life. Then you have a next person now who might be a taxi man, left high school, who didn’t work hard in the beginning getting much more money than the you, the doctor. Because he usually has to interact with tourists, so his quality of life is going to be very different from a doctor. So in essence the pyramid of elitism, or hierarchy is turned upside down.In a way that is good because it kinda levels out everything but then it doesn’t because somebody who is doctor might have a child who decides that I’m not going to do anything with my life and not be much, because the government will take care of me. So what you might end up with is less persons that are educated and professional to drive the society.

GT: Right, so there’s no drive to contribute anything to society.

SB: Right, that is what’s happening now a lot of young people are going into the black market to, you know, feed into the tourism. Being a doctor isn’t anything really special fiscally. One of our translators, her son is a doctor and he’s very depressed because he really cant do anything but go to work and go home. That’s it, there’s no real reward in studying for years and honing that skill

GT: Do you think Jamaica would do well to emulate our Caribbean Counterpart in regards to their communist regime?

SB: I wonder if that is even possible, because capitalism is very strong here. What I’ve learned is that capitalism is very strong and based on the age we live in where information is not something you can hide anymore. So everybody knows what’s going on in America and what’s going on in Europe, and everywhere in the world so its hard to keep information from the people. But one of the things I think we can definitely emulate from our neighbors is education. Their system is very different from ours. Education is not just free, but free for everybody up till graduate level. Their education system is top class. Their health system is also top class and cost free to citizens. The transportation system is very interesting, it just, it takes you way back inna di day. Because what you have is, you have donkey carts, bicycles, cars, buses that are old trucks and you have regular bus and that is how people get around. Most people don’t own a car, there has always been a regulation that not many people can own cars, you would have to apply to the government for the opportunity to own a car and that takes years. What happened last week is, the Cuban government decides to allow people to purchase cars, and opened a car dealership.

GT: Yeah I saw an article about it online.

SB: Yeah and the prices were like double triple what’s its supposed to be. At the same time, I agree with it, everybody doesn’t need a car. Look at Jamaica everybody have a car, you have one home and two three cars, and at the end of the day you on the road and you cant get where you’re going because, traffic everywhere. Jamaica is too small to be having these problems, but you know that’s the aim, you haffi get cyaar, dat a di mission everybody haffi get cyaar.

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Stay tuned for part 2…

Gladstone Taylor

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Making Spirals out of Squares


When I think to myself lately alot of the things that I thought mattered, truly doesn’t, for example the idea of being a writer. I think in my search to find my purpose or my contribution to humankind, I probably developed an obsession with the title of writer because of the fact that it was my chosen means of expression. All these years I thought I’d been cultivating myself as a writer and my writing style, when truly I’ve been cultivating myself as an artiste. When I think about it now, art is art, it is life, you can hear it, see it, smell it, taste it, feel it and in this case read it. It takes me back to a conversation I was having with one Mathew McCarthy, expressing to him my appreciation for his work and what it does and trying to explain how I was irrevocably taken by visual art itself, he listened intently and nodded the whole way seeming to know exactly what I meant before replying “Bwoi Gladstone, its the same ting yaw man, its all the same thing”. It being the art, made sense and it was true, it resonated, but of late certain modes of thought have caused me to revisit the sentiment in a more extreme way. Creativity and art is in no way normal, it is natural and organic but if it is art it is abnormal. Of all the things art is, it is not bound, it is structured but not bound. Writing is not an art, but art has to be read, so it is written. Nowadays, my life is art, between musicians, producers, vocalists, visual artistes, art managers, photographers, videographers, performance artistes and the list can go on. Point is, at some point one begins to wonder does it even matter? Not to bash anybody’s craft but I think, all creatives need to acknowledge that what they are doing is greater than themselves as individuals and greater than the idea of segregation. Having come to terms with that greater purpose, I think I’m a better Writer for it but a more comfortable Artiste. Now I just want to art everywhere and everything. #LetsArt
This new mode of thought is centered around my mental campaign, Making spirals out of squares. Spirituality teaches us to its furthest extremes to let go, let go of alot of the things we are hanging onto as absolute extremes and to transcend them connecting with the Buddha, the Zen, the purest man, true peace. I hope you will join me in this mental campaign, Making spirals out of squares.

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