7.02.2008

What the BomboPussyRaasClaat?!?!?

Ohisashiburi ne! [Long time no see] Summer is bomboclaat here!!!

Yet another year has passed hallmarking my first actual year of independence living in the land of the rising Sun and I am proud to say that I have survived 23 years so far on Mother Earth. I made it against all odds when the chips were down and my back against a wall yadda yadda yadda...

Alas, a trip down memory lane was not the exact purpose of this long needed post.

Today, as I sat in my class watching this old movie called 'Platoon' (about the American Troops in Cambodia starring Charlie Sheen, Forest Whitaker and some other pretty good actors) I was hit with a fierce reality. It's something that I've speculated on for some time but today as my students sat and watched this movie with every other word coming out of the soldiers mouth being either cocksucker, motherfucker or some other obscene expletive I finally realised that in Japan my claats mean nothing.

In essence, the word pussyclaat [i.e. cloth for the vagina] is not even remotely as insulting here as it is in Jamaica. Because the truth is that it's the emotion and intention behind the word that gives it its fuel. It's the meaning that the speaker places on the word and the meaning that the receiver applies to its usage that makes a word offensive. Telling someone over here to suck their mother would probably result in blank stares while in Jamaica it could, and probably would, get me shot.

I know... I know... this is not revolutionary thinking here, but it did have me wondering. I've often pondered on the pivotal incidents that make Japan such a peaceful society and Jamaica a ...well...not-so-peaceful one. Maybe, just maybe, it has to do with an infernal hatred within the Jamaican people which gives birth to such harsh phrases intended to jab at the heart of their enemies.

Descending from the days of slavery, Jamaica as a nation had to constantly be in defense of its independence, and now of its culture, and as such we use these words particularly through our music to "gash a fire" on our external oppressors.

Japan as a society was never subjected to the inhumanity of centuries of brutal slavish oppression, so it's no wonder that they are able to maintain such a docile existence (and immunity to Western curse words). There is no ongoing struggle to establish themselves as a nation because they are and have always been Japanese for longer than they can remember.

Jamaica, on the other hand, is a fairly newly established nation (not even 100 years old) and this is evident in our constant struggle to define ourselves within a chaotic global environment. Even now my country is being chastised for it's views on homosexuality, not to mention marijuana. All the while the "superpowers" continue to impose their principalities on us.

Why is it that nations are incapable of surviving independent of each other? When did live and let live become kill or be killed? It's this never-ending divide and conquer mentality that has gotten us to the state in which we're in now. Men now leave their homes to fight a war in another country, taking more lives than they can ever give. Everyday people suffer and die because, after centuries of struggles for equality, the rich still get richer while the poor continue their decent into poverty.

But what happens when they hit rock bottom?
What happens when all the subjugated people of the world finally decide to rise up in solidarity against their oppressors?

When that shit hits the fan everybody gets sprayed. And if that doesn't that make you want to cuss some claat, whether bombo pussy or raas, I don't know what will.

I-N-I
Nadya Dee