For too long the term Carnival Mentality was used in a very derogatory manner to describe the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. When someone is described as possessing a Carnival Mentality it means that person is lazy, carefree, unproductive, promiscuous and prone to smiling too much while having the ability to enjoy oneself in the most genuine of ways. It meant the person or country with this mentality can achieve nothing meaningful in life even though they showed true signs of real happiness. I might have agreed with this statement several years ago but I can’t anymore.
Trinidad and Tobago is now a world Carnival powerhouse and to do so requires the country to be productive all year as such an event can not be created in a couple months. Carnival involves so many people from nearly all sectors effectively planning and producing in now what seems like second nature to the country.
The organizational abilities to pull off one small all-inclusive fete are tremendous much less the big ones like Beach House, Brian Lara, Moka and UWI. The Carnival big bands like Bliss, Fantasy, Harts, Island People and Yuma are now million dollar companies operating throughout the year and survive and grow using prudent and innovative business skills and not laziness as previously advertised.
The musical talent which Carnival produces is nothing short of mind boggling and I wonder if it was not for Carnival would there be so much young people taking pan, guitar, keyboard and violin lessons in Trinidad and Tobago? Machel Montano and Machel Monday is now a worldwide phenomenon which not only shows off musical talent but professionalism both on stage and behind the scenes. This is not a one man show but it involves hundreds working in sync towards the goal of perfection and a properly working sound system. This concert is nothing short of exceptional in terms of planning, organizing and enjoyment.
The Carnival Mentality has now given rise to the growth of the fitness and health obsessed in Trinidad and Tobago. These individuals are increasing in numbers yearly. The obsessed and not so obsessed now frequent gyms and reduce bar visits and hence drunkenness simply to look dynamite in a carnival costume. Sadly, this does give rise to highly egoistic people with a craving for tight clothes and loose eyes.
Carnival also drives the detractors to buying more books and it has produced a few book worms who are hopefully more beneficial to society than the scantily clad but the world needs the scanty just as much for it gives life purpose. The bookworms and noise-phobic make every effort to avoid the hedonist who revel and ogle at the revelers. It is only because of this Carnival Mentality they can now boast about their sense of moral superiority. You always need the bad to make the good look and feel better.
Without Carnival and the new Mentality it produces we would be just be another island in the sun selling rabid boredom to the rabidly boring.
The point is not if it’s good but if it’s good enough to plaster PSY into the South Korean and World Hall of Musical Fame. I think ‘GENTLEMAN’ is nearly as deep a song lyrically as ‘GANGAM STYLE’ and I hope the world will also find the new PSY song as moving. For those who do not remember of tried to forget ‘GANGAM STYLE’ was the song that caused nearly everybody, especially North Koreans, to admit that the world is not as serious as it looks.
Today was too good to pass up the opportunity to photograph the rain to help prove that it sometimes rains needles and pins. I used a tripod to hold the camera and a mango tree was positioned at the back of the rain. The photo was shot on location in Trinidad and Tobago using a Pentax K-7 fitted with a Pentax 50-200mm zoom lens at 1/80s and f6.3.
Pastor Stewart is one of the funniest bits of local or even foreign humor in my opinion. With over 1.5 million views on Youtube, I am not alone. So while we wait for the Partnership to move mountains or even tiny molehills to make people happy, the diversification started without much fanfare from the powers that be – I Am Santana – The Movie – now showing at a T&T IMAX Near You
This 1999 photograph provided by Chrisitie's shows the Rhine river by German artist Andreas Gursky. Titled "Rhein II," the chromogenic color print face-mounted to acrylic glass was sold for $4.3 million Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, at Christie's in New York City, setting a record for any photograph sold at auction. (AP Photo/Christie's, Andreas Gursky)
WTF! exclaimed akalol. “$4.3 million US dollars for a photograph!”
I was not complain only surprised that someone paid so much money for a photograph in these uncertain economic times. I also wondered why this photo. Was it the camera – Pentax, Nikon, Canon, Olympus, or Sony that some like to pointlessly argue? Was it taken with film or digitally recorded on a super-fast Sansa SD card bought from Amazon? Was it a scene that can never be captured again? Did the Rhine evaporate since 1999? Was it the 81 x 140 inches size since size does matter despite claims by the unfortunate that it doesn’t? Would the answers to any of these questions affect the price? I doubt it. If the photo looked the same but was a picture of the Caroni River and not the Rhine would the photo even fetch a price? It might if the photographer was Andreas Grusky, photographer of Rhine II and who ” is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential photographers of his generation.” I never heard the name Grusky until this week but thanks to Google I found out he is quite famous despite never doing weddings.
All I can assume is that the photograph called Rhine II fetched that record price since it was considered “art” by those influential ones who know what art is, or at least pretend to know. Works of art are works of creativity and the photo above is creative to some and probably represents more than just bands of grass, road, grass, water, more grass and then dull sky. One can only assume this photo represents something very deep to the buyer and hopefully even the photographer but to the average blogger, looking at this low quality small photo, it simply looks kind-ah-nice.
Long before Anya Ayoung-Chee made Trinidad and Tobago proud for a third time, there was a Trinidad postage stamp from 1847 selling for around US$29,999.00. The stamp features the paddle steamer called the Lady McLeod which sailed between Port of Spain and San Fernando from 1845 to 1854. This rare stamp can be bought on eBay from a seller based in New York if you are interested in boosting your collection. Like all collectibles, its value is based on what collectors are willing to pay which is determined by how rare an item is and the condition of that item. The price of these collectibles are somewhat subjective but not as subjective as the price placed on works of art by those with money.
The intense buzz around the guitar world lately is that Montenegro-born Milos Karadaglic is the new guitar hero of the classical guitar world, replacing the late Andrés Segovia, Julian Bream, John Williams, and Christopher Parkening to name just a few. Milos has bolted to prominence only months ago with his first album, Mediterráneo. With his youth, plus good and trendy looks, Milos has the potential to make the Classical Guitar a more popular instrument among young people, just as the violin is once again. Already the non-classical guitar groupies are somewhere between deep awe and envy of Milos. Milos is only 28 years old, has First Class Honours and a Masters degree from the Royal Academy and now a Meaker Junior Fellow – whatever that is. In theory, Milos should be a stuffed-shirt and a nerd but he comes across as anything but.
Young people have always strived for cool in their music and cool was, and still mainly is with pop. It is very rare that a performer of classical music has even approached cool but Milos, just by the luck of looks and amazing talent due to passion and dedication, is coming across as a hip and super-talented character – Vanessa Mae was mildly popular with her renditions of popped-up pop and classical music on violin assisted by her short skirts and pretty legs.
The pop world is too crowded with transient and superficial talent and with the young mind being distracted easily, it is doubtful that something as intense and intellectual as the classical guitar will gain much of their attention for very long, Milos or not. I think if Milos ever releases an album of classic rock standards such as Stairway to Heaven, Bohemian Rhapsody and Hotel California, he will be even more popular in the real world but this will no doubt offend the classical one.
Miloš won two prestigious Gramophone awards on October 6th in London and he is being taken seriously by the classical music world.
Angelina Jolie wants to world to know via tattoo Quod me netrit me destruit or What nourishes me, also destroys me
A well placed tattoo on an average or good looking woman can amplify her sexiness in the eyes of a beer-drinking man in more ways than a micro-bikini alone can. I like tattoos on women but find the ones that are too large or take the form of a short story or GPS coordinates take away from the woman’s sexiness. From my observations, a sexy woman should have no more than three or four small tattoos, of which one should be above the ankle, one on the bikini line and the other two should only be visible to that special someone or gynaecologist.
Megan Fox likes people to read her back and side
Angelina Jolie and Megan Fox are two sexy and heavily tattooed celebrities who may not be as popular as they are today if their skin was virgin. Gone are the days when a sexy female celebrity can maintain media attention with talent alone. The modern day female celebrity must come up with ways to defend and maintain her sexiness using modern tools such as leaked sex tapes or other forms of nudity. However, the commonness of leaked tapes has caused celebrities to rely more on ancient tools such as bikini-line tattoos and body piercings. To constantly remain in the news, celebrities, via unnamed but well placed accomplices, leak information to the media and bloggers about hidden body piercings that were done at the dead of night by a famous piercing artist known as “Lobes.”
Angelina Jolie GPS tattoo says something very specific plus or minus 20 feet
Angelina Jolie, apart from going high-tech with tattoos of the GPS coordinates for the birth places of her children, has a bikini-line tattoo which says “Quod me netrit me destruit.” Maybe she was targeting priests and Romans with that one. Megan Fox has a tattoo just below the bikini line which says “Brian” but being a man, I thought it said “Brain” as a man’s brain usually resides below the bikini line. Why would the sexy and in-demand Megan Fox want to condemn herself to only one man is a mystery to me. On the bright side, the world is full of Brians and I am sure Megan Fox knows this.
In keeping with the competitive nature of celebrity sexiness I am giving the reader the opportunity to vote for the Best Tattooed Female Celibrity:
Megan Fox appeals to Brian and all men's brains
Megan Fox's ankle tattoo says so much with very little
Rihanna can be described, according to Wikipedia, as aBarbadianR&B recording artist and songwriter. She can also be described as talented, sexy, infinitely better than Chris Brown, and able to sell more than 15 million albums and 45 million singles worldwide so far. This latest song with Eminem is strangely addictive despite, or is it because of, Eminem’s foul mouth. For this festive season of good will to all men and especially pretty women, Eminem – Love The Way You Lie ft. Rihanna is stuck in my head like bun-bun at the bottom of a pelau pot. I can be heard humming this song all day even in the bank, while in the shower, or driving through floods of unknown height. The lyrics suggest that Eminem is still a bitter man either because he is bitter or bitterness sells. Based on the lyrics from Love The Way You Lie, Eminem’s world is still not a happy world. Eminem, for those who don’t know him, is a modern-day, depressed poet with lyrical talent that will only be too apparent scores of years from now. Here is a sample of why he will be considered great in the future:
Just gonna stand there And watch me burn But that’s alright Because I like The way it hurts Just gonna stand there And hear me cry But that’s alright Because I love The way you lie I love the way you lie I love the way you lie
I can’t tell you what it really is I can only tell you what it feels like And right now there’s a steel knife In my windpipe I can’t breathe But I still fight While I can fight As long as the wrong feels right It’s like I’m in flight High of a love Drunk from the hate It’s like I’m huffing paint And I love it the more that I suffer I sufficate And right before im about to drown She resuscitates me She f&*%%$#ing hates me And I love it Wait Where you going I’m leaving you No you ain’t Come back We’re running right back Here we go again It’s so insane…..
Krishna Bhatt, who I only know briefly through email – I assume it is Krishna Bhatt the author who emailed – asked me to say a few words about his book, The Underclass Lover, and I am happy to do so.
The Underclass Lover is a collection of short stories and I started the first story, The Underclass Lover, late last night. I have to admit it is a very well written story and an interesting one. All the stories are based on the complex social and political developments taking place in the contemporary Nepal. I had to check the meaning of the word underclass since I wasn’t sure my intuitive understanding was the correct one. It seems I was mainly correct and if you are in doubt Wikipedia has a good definition here.
The Underclass Lover is 180 pages long and published or self-published by WingSpan Press. The book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It is available in both paperback and Kindle from Amazon but it is strangely not available for Barnes and Noble’s eBook reader, Nook.
These stories unravel the complex social and political developments taking place in the contemporary Nepal, which is trying to come to terms with the violent Maoist war that continued for more than a decade, which a tenuous ceasefire arrangement has put on hold presently; and the carnage that eliminated the whole family of a ruling King. The characters often struggle to live with the dual psychology of the people and their own ambiguity – rendering most of the situations and contents of their life farcical. This book complements the previous successful debut book of Krishna Bhatt: City women and the Ghost Writer.
Here is a brief excerpt from The Under Class Lover:
Pasang also knew that one of his customers was actually a mistress and not a tenant of the landlord of the house she was living in, who also was an actress and acted in television dramas, in very small roles. Since the landlord’s wife had caught a very debilitating disease, she was not able to fulfill the demands of her well-built husband, who exercised everyday and looked half her age. So there was the young actress in their lives, living in the ground floor of the house without paying any rent. The actress did not become a wife of the landlord, though she was living in that house for almost a decade now. In fact, his wife has cleverly warned the landlord not to marry the actress as it will invite a property dispute among them and he too may end up losing some of it. The actress, being a migrant into the city, at least had…
Hindu temples in Patan, capital of one of the three medieval Newar kingdoms - Wikipedia
Most people are not afraid to get scared and some even will pay money to do so. With all the recent talk about the new movie, Paranormal Activity 2 and how people are jumping several times and several inches during the movie, I decided to make a list of some of the movies, I found scary. Scary doesn’t always mean jumping at every bang or appearance of an ugly face, but it means being afraid to sleep with lights off at night for weeks or months after viewing.
Some of the best movies ever made are scary movies, but you will never find most of them being nominated for, much less winning any mainstream awards. Maybe the movie world still think boring an audience into a coma is art. I know people who went to see scary movies due to office peer pressure and faked bravery by sitting with their eyes closed or looking at the vibrating head of the person in front of them for the entire movie. Those people are known as wimps and should be exposed for what they are. I like scary movies because it takes my mind away from the scary parts of daily life. Things like slow moving traffic in the Beetham, the price of tomatoes, or seeing a rapidly aging Colm Imbert on TV.
I made a poll to select the scariest movies ever made, the results of which will be used for nothing in particular except fun.
Fear of Corruption (FoC) – pronounced eff.oh.see and not the way you are saying it – has taken over the country and if it is allowed to continue we will get nothing done but in an honest and transparent manner that will make everyone happy but miserable. Once FoC is allowed to go unchecked the not-so-hidden and personal agendas of sleazy news editors and Opposition cronies will take precedence over the good of the country. FoC is now too common in countries where millions and even billions were stolen by briefly trusted big boys of Government. Because of this trauma experienced by citizens, the replacement big boys are scrutinized by the public and the media with an even more powerful magnifying glass but regardless of the magnifying glass, those suffering from FoC will always see what they want to see and what they want to see is the misleading but attention-grabbing headlines of those newspapers with plummeting readership as true.
Fear is contagious. You can catch it ~ Neil Ggaiman
People with FoC are usually unable to see the facts. It doesn’t matter what the money is being spent on or even if the transaction is as transparent as good quality see-through underwear. That is the way of the real world and it is a world of being damned if you do and damned if you don’t. So what should trusted public officials do to help reduce FoC? The only way I see that FoC can be reduced is by doing everything out in the open and doing it morning, noon and twice at night. Once that is done the public’s FoC will end.
Devil is the first first in a series of movies called theNight Chronicles.M. Night Shyamalan is the brains behind this endeavor which will have both its loyal friendlies and hostiles. Devil is directed byJohn Erick Dowdle and written by Brian Nelson. The story comes from The Mind of M. Night Shyamalan who, according to recent reports, is being laughed at during the showing of the Devil trailers on the appearance of that statement. I assume this laughing is an attempt to ridicule Shyamalan for reasons that might be trendy. Maybe people are laughing because they feel his film making abilities has declined steadily sinceSixth Sense. I don’t know about that but Shyamalan’s movies have be making millions ever since and his recent “failure,” The Last Airbender which has grossed US$290,000,000 worldwide so far (DVD sales not added). Airbender cost US$150,000,000 to make plus US$130,000,000 to market which is hefty by any standards. On the other hand, Nicholas Cage’sSorcerer’s Apprentice cost Disney US$160,000,000 to make and and maybe more than half of that to market but has only managed US$200,000,000 worldwide. I am not sure how accurate budget figures are for movies as the public pronouncements about movie budgets are used as a clever marketing tool to woo dollar-centered audiences. What it seems is that Shyamalan is also able to generate large revenues from a loyal negative following and in the world of celebrities, a good negative makes as much money or even more than the typical, boring positives alone.
The picture above doesn’t even come close to telling the full story as to what was going on around as the photo was being taken. Just minutes after the shot there was an extremely heavy downpour with lightening and thunder that became the norm in Tobago the weekend – sorry nothing more dramatic was happening. It was cat and mouse with the rain and I can’t recall ever experiencing so much bad weather in the island. Anyway, this was my first outing with the Pentax K-7 and while most people were reading one of the late Stieg Larsson’s popular, sexy, summer-reads, I battled with the K-7 user manual and Magic Lantern Guide. I am not complaining since getting to know your new camera is one reason people buy new cameras they may or may not need.
I like the K-7 as the learning curve is nice and steep. The best photos I took so far with the K-7 are portrait shots of people who will never permit me to post their photos, so I have to post landscapes with blown out highlights that would make a tolerant histogram cringe. The photos were shot in Adobe DNG RAW and processed with Adobe Lightroom 2.5 which I am learning to use with one of Scott Kelby‘s many books.
The price and time are about right to get a Pentax K7 DSLR. Yes, it is still pricey at US$800, but when you consider that in May last year the K7 was introduced at US$1300, an $US800 price is a deal but still not a steal. It’s the same camera plus two firmware upgrades. It is the same camera that now has scores of reviews by both real and self-proclaimed experts to judge from. For me, to move from a Pentax K200D to a K7 is what the simpleminded call a no-brainer. An easy choice.
Shot with a K7 - pentaxforums.com
Having invested a poor man’s fortune in Pentax lenses and one Metz flash, I decided to consider upgrading to a K7. So what will I get from a K7 that I didn’t have with a K200D besides bragging rights? The most obvious is the ability to shoot movies at a reasonably high quality of 720p at 30 fps. The K200D was built before the days that DSLRs had a movie mode (Sony DSLRs still don’t shoot movies, and this has puzzled many a blogger for many months). I will get a few extra mega pixels, 14.6 vs 10.2 but that is not a deal breaker. The Pentax K7 has more exposure zones, 77 in all, which makes for more accurate exposures. DSLR owners love to tell others that their camera exposes accurately but say little as to why their photos still suck. The Pentax K7 has a nice 3-inch LCD display and also supports live-view. The K7 is weather sealed with 77 seals, and I suppose the reoccurring 7 in the specs gave the K7 its name. Weather sealing is not to be taken lightly especially if you are the type of semi-pro that shoots in the rain or shower. Similarly priced DSLRs from Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Sony are not weather sealed and require its owners to walk with Ziploc bags or beach umbrellas when shooting in adverse weather. Pentax claims the K7 has an improved auto-focus system and its image processor has also been vastly improved. The Pentax K7 has a penta-prism viewfinder as compared to the less bright and cheaper penta-mirror types found in the Pentax K200D, Nikon D90 and the Canon Rebel EOS T2i. For the DSLR owner who has migrated from savoring camera specs and moved to photo composition, the K7’s viewfinder coverage is 100% and not 95% that the similarly priced Nikon and Canon don’t boast about.
Will the K7 produce better images than the K200D? I think it will. Will the K7 make me a better photographer? Only time will tell.
The reason for the drop in price of the K7 can be competition, and possibly the release of a newer model soon. If there is a replacement for the K7 I am sure it won’t be cheap, and it will be some time before it becomes affordable to the masses of droolers. Pentax is not for everybody since it is hard to convince first-time DSLR buyers they should ignore celebrity-hype marketing and instead invest in good photography books and a camera made by Pentax, the company that made the first Japanese SLR in 1952.