Of Songs and Savings

Of Songs…

Last Friday when I first listened to the official song of #Jamaica50, I was completely disappointed with the production, more so with the mega fanfare surrounding an [in my opinion] incoherent and incongruous tune that I decided was not worthy of being used for such an important occasion in the history of my island home. At the time I, along with thousands of other Jamaicans I am sure, was unaware that another song had been presented in October of 2011 by then Minister Olivia Grange as the official #Jamaica50 anthem. Learning this fact compounded my disappointment and shame. Because I am yet to hear an [acceptable] explanation from Minister Lisa Hannah or a member of her team, I am left to assume that this, along with the change of the logo, was yet another one of the mandatory tribally motivated changes that Jamaica faces in cycles of 4-5 years or longer.

Every election season, Jamaica goes on ‘stand-by’ and depending on the results, we either slowly resume the program or take a few steps back and start on a new leaf. With a change of administration there comes confusion in every ministry and public agency- a lot of reassignments and firings take place. I was truly hoping that plans such as the well-crafted Vision 2030 symbolized a breaking of this cycle but I am beginning to doubt. I am yet to see a leader who has risen above personal political ambitions and tribal thinking and put the affairs of our nation first.

600px Flag of Jamaica.svg Of Songs and SavingsIf this administration could have ‘removed the green’ and carried out such a brazen act of disrespect for the very flag we recognize as a symbol of our country’s natural resources, strength, and hope; why am I surprised that the mere gift of a song, requiring significant effort in performance, production and writing was trampled on, disregarded and discarded. Minister Hannah, you owe Jamaica and Mikey Bennett’s team that worked to produce the first #Jamaica50 song an apology, if not an explanation.

…and Savings

It was also on Friday that I came across the story of a television personality, one Miss Lauren Dunn, who was robbed of the privilege of being a member of CIBC First Caribbean International Bank for having remarked on twitter, via a foursquare check-in, that she was there to ‘rob the place’. “How incredibly funny and ingenious,” she must have thought as she blessed the universe with these words. Ms. Dunn is now in disagreement with the bank over whether she was notified before they closed her account. She insists she was given no notice while CIBC holds that they didn’t close her account until the following month.

This is very bad publicity for both parties – I am especially skeptical of joining that particular bank because of the accusation that they ignored the agreement with the customer and closed her account without notice. As for Lauren, it is senseless of her to be attempting to resolve this through social media – I am especially disappointed that in a blog post on the matter entitled “5”5 Inches Tall, weighing in at 130 pounds, Loud Mouth & Drama Queen1, she tried to use stereotypes to prove her point. I am ‘feministically inclined’, so most ideas of limits on what women, especially, are capable of will not sit well with me. My advice to Ms. Dunn is that she should seek legal counsel, gather her evidence against the bank and try to get some form of recourse for the abrupt termination of her ‘US'[LOL] account2.

‘Joke to you is death to me’ goes the Jamaican proverb; I can only hope that this incident will encourage others to act more responsibly on social media.

Walk good until next time,


  1. I copied the title exactly []
  2. Jamaican dollars aren’t worth much these days []
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  1. Posted June 18, 2012 at 2:48 PM | Permalink

    You know to this day i still havent bothered to try and listen to these songs everyone has been talking about… and this is the first im hearing about that CIBC thing

    • Karee
      Posted June 18, 2012 at 2:55 PM | Permalink

      Wow Brady! I admire your out-of-itness.

  2. Jason
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 7:03 PM | Permalink

    There is a dangerous precedence being set which could hurt the ministry. Not everybody that contributes to the work of a ministry in particular one like Culture does so for profit, for various reasons. Many are past staff, artisans, retired staff brought back because the knowledge and skill they have is extremely rare, some just believe in the work being done. You willingly forgo payment but you at least expect the time effort and skill put into your contribution to be respected and you often do it on that basis. Verbal agreements with a state agency being totally disregarded once under new management is unacceptable particularly in a case where the result is a product arguable worse than the original. This can be one of two things a lack of understanding of the job you are asked to do or worse, understanding your job but totally disregarding what you know you should do. In either case a re-education of those in charge is needed.

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