Heavy Logix.

Lateral Thoughts on Life.

The Secret to Success by Jim Rohn.

This article is by Jim Rohn and published here in memory of him. He passed away Dec 5, 2009.

Do you want to achieve your most important goals? In my opinion it gets down to two simple words, “easy” and “neglect”. People often ask me how I became successful at the early age of 31, while many of the people I knew did not. The answer is simple: During that 6-year period of time (age 25 to 31), the things I found to be easy to do, they found to be easy not to do. I found it easy to set the goals that could change my life. They found it easy not to. I found it easy to read the books that could affect my thinking and my ideas. They found that easy not to. I found it easy to attend the classes and the seminars, and to get around other successful people. They said it probably really wouldn’t matter. If I had to sum it up, I would say what I found to be easy to do, they found to be easy not to do. Six years later, I’m a millionaire and they are all still blaming the economy, the government, and company policies, yet they neglected to do the basic, easy things.In fact, the primary reason most people are not doing as well as they could and should, can be summed up in a single word: neglect.

It is not the lack of money – banks are full of money. It is not the lack of opportunity – America, and much of the free World, continues to offer the most unprecedented and abundant opportunities in the last six thousand years of recorded history. It is not the lack of books – libraries are full of books – and they are free! It is not the schools – the classrooms are full of good teachers. We have plenty of ministers, leaders, counselors and advisors.

Everything we would ever need to become rich and powerful and sophisticated is within our reach. The major reason that so few take advantage of all that we have is simply neglect.

Neglect is like an infection. Left unchecked it will spread throughout our entire system of disciplines and eventually lead to a complete breakdown of a potentially joy-filled and prosperous human life.

Not doing the things we know we should do causes us to feel guilty and guilt leads to an erosion of self-confidence. As our self-confidence diminishes, so does the level of our activity. And as our activity diminishes, our results inevitably decline. And as our results suffer, our attitude begins to weaken. And as our attitude begins the slow shift from positive to negative, our self-confidence diminishes even more… and on and on it goes.

So my suggestion is that when giving the choice of “easy to” and “easy not to” that you do not neglect to do the simple, basic, “easy”; but potentially life-changing activities and disciplines.

To Your Success,
Jim Rohn

Credit Statement to be included in Reprints:

This article was submitted by Jim Rohn, America’s Foremost Business Philosopher. To subscribe to the Free Jim Rohn Weekly E-zine go to www.jimrohn.com Copyright © Jim Rohn International. All rights reserved worldwide.


December 6, 2009 Posted by | current news, Lateral Thinking, non fiction, Psychology, Strategy, success | , | 2 Comments


A great interview is, to my mind, and as the name suggests, an inter-view. It’s not just one person presenting their view and ignoring the other but rather an exchange of ideas. A conversation that informs and entertains the viewer. Like a beautiful dance it seems effortless when really done well.

People will have various opinions about who is the best interviewer and what the perfect interview looks like but for me Larry King is the King. Larry King manages to always get the best and the most interesting points out of his ever fascinating guests. Amazingly he does it without the badgering and paparazzi style used by others. He is not a sensationalist, he seems
genuinely interested in his guest’s viewpoint. The guest is always the star of Larry’s show.

Oprah is also quite an amazing interviewer, but she imposes a lot more of her personality and ideology unto the interviews. Her viewers of course love that, but to me it can be a serious weakness. For example when she interviewed Tiger Woods she was visibly disheartened when he made his “Coblinasian” remarks. Instead of staying objective and probing deeper into his mind set I think she wanted to end the interview right there. Oprah’s journalistic ability to go for the jugular is not to be under rated though. Oprah made Mike Tyson cry, need I say more ?

One of the best interviews I ever personally saw was at the Calabash Festival, in 2009, when Pico Iyer was interviewed by Paul Holdengraber. The men obviously knew each other well and that enabled them to have a free flowing conversation that was a delight to watch. Holdengraber was like a Maestro, a Matador guiding the more powerful Bull, he was humble in the role of interviewer, yet he knew just how to elicit from Pico Iyer, some of Pico’s amazing experiences and insights into life. In the interview Iyer described how his home had once been burnt down and how it freed him from the limitations of writing from his copious notes. When my hard drive crashed recently I got much inspiration from remembering his positive attitude even in the face of severe loss. Pico Iyer, who is now famous as a travel writer, (and for himself interviewing the Dalai Lama), said a lot of things that were meta-physical, his points hit home, for me, on various levels of understanding. For instance he said that you get from a place, what you carry there. Simple comment yet quite profound.

Ian Boyne is probably Jamaica’s best known interviewer, aside from his long running TV show Profile, where he interviews top achievers, he also has Religious Hard Talk, where he holds debates with people of all kinds of spiritual backgrounds. He also does interviews for the government broadcast shows of JIS and he writes in the newspapers regularly. Clearly he is a
master of time management but for me his interview style was in former years quite annoying. He would always have a very interesting guest but I would be frustrated at his insistence on asking them uncomfortable questions instead of focusing on their path to success. Also Mr. Boyne at times would seem to be trying to cut in on the guests spotlight as if trying to show off that he was well read and he sometimes had an apparently condescending manner. Happily this has changed as time progressed and in his more recent interviews Mr. Boyne has always allowed the guests to be more expressive. He is a great interviewer especially for his ability to find interesting guests and for his consistently professional manner.

Winford Williams is quite good with his show On Stage where he has interviewed a wide range of musicians and singers. I like the humble approach he uses, like Larry King, where the guests are allowed to express themselves freely. Winford does seem to like stirring up conflicts though, for instance his show was in the centre of the Beenie Man / Bounti Killa beef.
Winford himself is always calm and professional and he’s had some amazing interviews over the years. Guests like Ninja Man and Billy Ocean as well as Sean Kingston and Fat Joe and Air Supply. Simply an amazing list of great interviews.

Ninja Man is probably the most entertaining local interviewee. He always uses the local patois, and he has some amazing insights on topics ranging from music, to social reform, to marriage, to religion. He once went toe-to-toe with Emily Crooks, a top journalist trying to embarrass him and he beat her at her own game. Ninja Man’s life story has been full of amazing events which he recounts in a humorous way.

Ninja Man is one of the greatest “clash” deejays to ever walk the Earth. One of the few clashes he didn’t win took place at Sting, in 2003, when Vybz Kartel punched him down before he got a chance to show his ability. This pre-emptive strike was reminiscent of Israel in the Six Day War. It is with Gaza however that Kartel is identified. The punch was to be just one
of many amazing steps on the journey of the man born Adidja Palmer. Vybz Kartel. Emperor of the Gaza Empire.


Vybz Kartel

Every day the newspaper uses Sex and Violence in their headlines to sell. The society buys it, hungry for more, but yet the same papers,and the same society, point fingers at artists like Kartel when they do the same in their music.

Veteran journalist Cliff Hughes, realizing that Kartel is the most influential artist in the country, tried initially to pin the heavy burden of the country’s extremely high crime rate on the slim shoulders of the Deejay. Being a father himself  “Addi di Teacher” said simply that parents are responsible for raising their own children. He said his job was to make music and make it as well as he could and that for moral advice and correction of society’s ills we would have to look elsewhere.

Kartel has always been a master of words but on this night he revealed the man behind the words. A real man, not a misogynistic cartoon. The playful moments shared by Hughes and Palmer in the Kartel recording studio were a hilarious joy to watch.

“Addi di teacha” was also “Addi di daddy” , he was a son, a brother, his older sister is a real school teacher  and is still praying and trying to convert him to Christianity, he is a citizen of Jamaica. He has to face the problems common to many Jamaicans, like being turned down for a Visa.  Kartel had questions he could not answer, he was not trying to appear perfect. “Next interview mi will answer dat one Cliff”, he said when asked if he was monogamous.

Kartel began the interview wearing his trademark shades. He was defensively shielding off a hostile world. He said it was a media backed conspiracy that was holding him up as a symbol of violence and moral decay. He felt like he was just a Gladiator fighting to the death for the amusement of bigger, hidden powers. Later, as the interview progressed, he dropped his glasses and revealed the sensitive intelligent eyes. “When the gladiators die they will be replaced by other Gladiators”, he said.

The society had better listen. Listen not just to the songs. Listen to the Man.

Don’t just view, scapegoat, and point fingers. Inter-View. Exchange ideas, Learn and Grow. Kartel said his songs are a mirror of the society. His songs will change when the society does. The direction we go in will depend on how much we listen to each other.

November 14, 2009 Posted by | blog, current news, Lateral Thinking, non fiction, Psychology, Strategy, success, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Stuck in Customs.

I am gonna be celebrating my birthday in a few minutes. To be more precise, in a few minutes it’ll be my birthday.

Then again people have already been wishing me a Happy Birthday on Facebook from all around the globe and I just realized that where they are it’s already been my birthday for awhile now.

From their perspective it’s already October 12. Columbus day, my Birthday. Truth is most of what we think is reality is just a perception, a way of seeing, or even worse, just a dumb habit.

A perspective. What time of day or even what day is it anyhow ? It depends on your perspective.

Columbus thought he had discovered something when really he was just lost. A perspective shift makes you a loser or a Hero in your own mind.

The older I get the only thing I know for sure is that I don’t know squat.

Some people avoid all this Birthday hoopla and hype by living in a way where it’s like their Birthday every day of the year. Life is one big continuous party for them.

Some people want a surprise party thrown for them every year and they go through extreme histrionics pretending they were all surprised and squat.

( As I get older I realize it’s best to say squat rather than er..well…er… squat. )

Yeah, so anyway, they act all surprised and stuff, yet you and I know this happens every year and they could not possibly be surprised by it anymore.

Some people don’t celebrate Birthdays at all. Jehovah’s Witnesses say it’s a pagan practice which should not be followed. Others just see it as a waste of money or prefer to be anti-social. Like Scrooge at Xmas. Some just hate being reminded that they’re now a year older.

In my own mind I see myself as one year wiser. Survival is granted to the fittest and smartest and by surviving one more year I am proving myself wiser than many. I only hope that in the coming year I live more instead of merely surviving though.

I feel alive when I am creating. That’s why blogging first thing on my birthday was important to me. Even if no one else reads this crap… I mean this squat… at least I feel creative and thats something.

In my long life I’ve learnt that your own trivial and fleeting happiness isn’t trivial at all and  if you can find Flow experiences and enjoyment grab it with both hands.

That’s Life.

Surviving is like getting lost. Living is like Discovering the New World. Anything in-between is like being Stuck in Customs.

I am gonna be Habitually Creative. Then again Creativity is said to occur when you break habits so by being Habitually creative I’m actually not creative at all. I am so dull I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate my birthday than by blogging ?

It’s sad. I need to change how I see things. I’m like a frustrated photographer who suddenly realizes his photos are not cutting it. They don’t snap, crackle and pop. The boring minutiae of Life is not sharp and memorable enough.

The photos of the great Trey Ratcliff, or the awesome works of Courtney Chen, are more like how I want my Life to look. Not like some cheap cell phone snapshots.

First though I’m gonna get some sleep.

Oh yeah almost forgot to tell myself.

Self , Happy Birthday !

Sorry Self there will be no surprise parties this time but we will break some old habits and celebrate all year.

Let the Champagne Flow.

October 12, 2009 Posted by | blog, Lateral Thinking, non fiction, philosophy, Photography, Psychology, success, suicide, writing | 7 Comments

Splenderously Crumby World

This strange, hump-backed, looking fellow is Harvey Pekar and he’s actually one of my heroes.

Harvey Pekar
Harvey Pekar really loved collecting stuff. At one point he collected comic books and then later on he began to collect rare Jazz records.

This somewhat obscure hobby led him to meet Robert Crumb. Crumb had a love of rare Jazz music also. Crumb was also beginning to become well known as an underground comic book artist. Crumb’s adult-themed art work impressed the normally cynical Pekar.

Through reading his friend’s material Pekar began to realize the immense untapped potential of the whole comic book medium. Sure the medium had it’s full range of masked superheroes but Pekar felt there was a huge range of stories still waiting to be told.

“Comics could do anything that film could do,” Pekar realized. “And I wanted in on it.” he said. However it took Pekar some time to decide just what he wanted to do. “I theorized for maybe ten years about doing comics,” he says.

Pekar laid out some stories with crude stick figures and showed them to Crumb. Crumb became the first artist to illustrate American Splendor.

American Splendor was a groundbreaking series of Comic Books. The comic documents daily life in the aging neighborhoods of Pekar’s native Cleveland, where Pekar worked throughout his life (even after gaining fame) as a file clerk in a large Veterans Administration hospital.

American Splendor basically chronicles all the everyday events of Harvey who is a kind of everyman character. Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff seems to be the basic theme.

It’s laced with a realism and subtle humor that reminds me of Woody Allen or Seinfeld at their best.

Pekar gets material from anything at all. For this reason I think bloggers (especially those that write about anything like my Blogfather Madbull) will really enjoy learning more about him and his work.

For example Pekar would write about things like “How do you pick the best line to join while waiting at the Supermarket ?” or he might ponder his own name and write about what happened when he looks up his own name in the directory (and who hasn’t done that ?).

He also wrote interesting pieces about movies, books, politicians or music
he liked.
For samples click here or visit


More poignantly though he wrote about his personal battles with Cancer. Later on as he got famous and appeared extensively on popular shows like Letterman’s Late Night Show he wrote about that new found fame also.

A recent movie about his life presents an easy way to learn about him. In the movie entitled “American Splendor”, Pekar finds love, family and a creative voice through the underground comic books he creates. Along the bumpy journey, he meets, marries and falls for Joyce, an admiring comic book seller.


The movie also shows the real life Harvey and his friends in some revealing snippets that enrich the heart-warming film. Be warned this film may even make you cry at a few points and will certainly make you laugh at many points.

It gets my highest recommendation, when you see the story of my hero Harvey you will be inspired too and you’ll realize it’s really a Splenderously Crumby World, full of Unexpected Possibilities.

September 21, 2009 Posted by | blog, Book Reviews, comics, fiction, humor, Lateral Thinking, Marketing, movies, non fiction, philosophy, Psychology, success, super power, writing | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Shake You Down.

shake you down
I know you think I’m just another album in an old record store but I’m not. After all how many albums talk to you like this ? Huh ? How many ?

I see you come in here, looking at all of us, the old eighties music Albums and I know what you’re thinking. Rick Astley and the Purple Symbol, over there, couldn’t care less about you, but I’m different.

They want you to just forget but I need you to remember.

I’d like to rip some silly thoughts out of your head right now. Get Envy out of there. I’d like you to stop envying people, you see on tv and read about in magazines, and those you hear on the radio. I’d like you to realize that nothing ever comes easy and whatever a man  achieves in Life he’ll have to answer for on his own.

Who says he’s a success anyhow ? Suppose he never got to be the war hero he was destined to be. Do you even know the truth ? Suppose instead of fighting the war he’s addicted to drugs with names you can’t even pronounce. Suppose the singer with the movie star looks and all those top Billboard hits never got a chance to raise his own child.

Imagine if the Star had a son, who cried daily , just hoping to talk to his Dad.

Dad was busy, busy making music and well…just Imagine. His son told the other kid’s at school he was the son of a Star but they never believed because the son never even had the Star’s last name. Do you still envy him ? It’s sad man but it has to stop.

So, I’m gonna steal your brain. Too much envy in you, it needs to stop.

Like your friend from the old neighborhood who you were envying the other day and saying to yourself “He’s so lucky. He has the perfect marraige and a great business”. Would you still envy him if you knew he had AIDS or even just plain old Diabetes ?

Work with what you have to get what you want. Start right where you are. Right here and right now.

You little punk. You want the glory and can’t handle the pain. It’s a package deal, you all signed the contract before you were even born. You little weasel face, it’s too late now. I think you’re going to remember, most people forget conversations like this. Just don’t envy anyone for their contracts that’s what makes me angry.

Fulfill your purpose. No time for envy. Don’t make me angry.

You think you’re tough ? You think you can handle it ? I’m gonna rip out your brain.

You can’t walk a day in his shoes and you don’t even want to.

I want to rip your brain wide open. Yeah and first thing I’m gonna take out is that Envy.

Yeah that stupid envy , that stupid belief that you can claim another man’s glory without feeling that man’s pain.

If you want glory go get your own. Blood, Sweat and tears. Experience the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Do it for yourself.

I want to Brainjack you. You can’t stop me. But I’ll see how you do with your contract first. Stop being a punk and be a Real Man or else I’ll be back and I’ll tear your Brain wide open. Live your own Life or I will Shake you Down.

August 29, 2009 Posted by | Beautiful Women, blog, fiction, Lateral Thinking, Psychology, song lyrics, Strategy, success, super power, writing | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yin Yang, Taichi, The Ultimate.

This symbol is commonly called the Yin Yang symbol. It’s also known as the Taichi or the Ultimate. It shows black and white combining and interacting to create a single whole, a circle. Within the black there is white and within the white there is black.

 Taichi, The Ultimate, Yin Yang.

Taichi, The Ultimate, Yin Yang.

This symbol is used to represent anything in which forces apparently oppose each other and then merge to become one. Anything and everything from Business Strategy, Poker, Warfare or  even Sex has been explained using it.

There are actually at least Four important Laws of the Universe explained by this symbol.

Law of Balance : For good to exist there must be bad. High exists because there is low. All things that exist have an equal and opposite counter balancing force in reality.

Law of Extremes : When a force is carried to its extreme it becomes it’s opposite. Bright Light can blind you and likewise Complete Darkness can blind you.

Law of Karma : All things are affected by all other things. What goes around comes around.

Law of Change
:  Things are dynamic, the only constant is change.

Although various schools of Martial Arts tend to emphasize one or two of these Laws all are actually worth understanding deeply.

Softness is not Weakness !

Law of Balance for example is clearly shown in Aikido wherein we often see the Hard attacker neutralized effectively by Softness and purely defensive moves. In fact the attacker’s own energy is used against himself.

Many black belts possibly fear fighting a white belt more than one of the intermediate ranks. The white belt is completely unpredictable whereas the intermediate level fighter makes attacks that are easily foreseen and thus thwarted. Also, at the highest level, the highly knowledgeable realize just how much they don’t know and are therefore open-minded, like babies. This illustrates the Law of Extremes. In some styles there is even a belt above black belt which is a black belt with a white edge symbolizing this cycle.

The Law of Karma is the reason most styles emphasize that they are to be used only in Self Defence. To do otherwise will only attract doom.

The Law of Change is also clearly understood in many martial arts schools.Perhaps this Bruce Lee style JKD logo is worth looking at here.

Arrows showing change.

Arrows showing change.

The arrows try to show that it’s not a static or stagnant reality but a constantly changing and dynamic situation, fluid and ever moving.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” said Lao Tzu.

Understanding the Ultimate Symbol is a good place to start but remember to keep moving. Never stop.

August 29, 2009 Posted by | chess, Lateral Thinking, non fiction, philosophy, Psychology, sports, Strategy, writing | 1 Comment

The Stonecutter.

There was once a stonecutter, who was dissatisfied with himself and with his position in life.

One day, he passed a wealthy merchant’s house, and through the open gateway, saw many fine possessions and important visitors. “How powerful that merchant must be!” thought the stonecutter. He became very envious, and wished that he could be like the merchant. Then he would no longer have to live the life of a mere stonecutter.

To his great surprise, he suddenly became the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and power than he had ever dreamed of, envied and detested by those less wealthy than himself. But soon a high official passed by, carried in a sedan chair, accompanied by attendants, and escorted by soldiers beating gongs. Everyone, no matter how wealthy, had to bow low before the procession. “How powerful that official is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a high official!”

Then he became the high official, carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair, feared and hated by the people all around, who had to bow down before him as he passed. It was a hot summer day, and the official felt very uncomfortable in the sticky sedan chair. He looked up at the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected by his presence. “How powerful the sun is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be the sun!”

Then he became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone, scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers and laborers. But a huge black cloud moved between him and the earth, so that his light could no longer shine on everything below. “How powerful that storm cloud is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a cloud!”

Then he became the cloud, flooding the fields and villages, shouted at by everyone. But soon he found that he was being pushed away by some great force, and realized that it was the wind. “How powerful it is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be the wind!”

Then he became the wind, blowing tiles off the roofs of houses, uprooting trees, hated and feared by all below him. But after a while, he ran up against something that would not move, no matter how forcefully he blew against it — a huge, towering stone. “How powerful that stone is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a stone!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a stone!”

Then he became the stone, more powerful than anything else on earth. But as he stood there, he heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into the solid rock, and felt himself being changed. “What could be more powerful than I, the stone?” he thought. He looked down and saw far below him the figure of a stonecutter.

This is an ancient chinese parable. This version of it is found  on pg.118 of a book entitled “The Tao of Pooh” by Benjamin Hoff. The book presents various ideas of Taoism using characters from the “Winnie the Pooh” stories.

August 26, 2009 Posted by | blog, Book Reviews, fiction, Lateral Thinking, philosophy, Strategy, success | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


A close friend, who knows that I like comics, asked me recently to remind him of the name of a particular character. The character, he said, used Sound to create powerful energy blasts that could knock out his opponents. He couldn’t tell me any more about the person but kept assuring me that I would remember the name, even though he couldn’t. I felt like Joseph being
asked by the Pharoah to remember the Pharoah’s dream.

I was drawing a complete blank and really wishing my friend could tell me some other details about the character for me to stir my memory. Anyway we continued to talk about other things and I pretty much forgot about this Unknown comic book character.

That night while idly surfing the net I suddenly felt like Archimedes in his bathtub. Eureka !I screamed as I remembered exactly who my friend was thinking of.



Banshee !! I screamed. An appropriate response.

Banshee was an Irish criminal who fought the X-Men, with his Sonic powers, originally, but later became an X-Man himself.

Banshee joins Prof X.

Banshee joins Prof X.

It made me reflect though on the powers of the mind. We have so much things stored in our brains and for so long just waiting for a chance to Scream at us. Our subconscious is working to ferret out information we need even while we’re focused on other tasks.

That same night, while reflecting on the power of comics, to entertain and teach, I thought of how comics really combined the best of both books and movies. I had a strange and strong desire to read this old Superman comic that had published a letter of mine, when I was a teenager. Amazingly I found a copy of the letter and then had a desire to read the comic I was writing about in my letter.

Superman #22 published my fan letter.

Superman #22 published my fan letter.

I did not consciously remember any of the story but on reading it again I realized that the villain being fought by Superman was named Silver Banshee. (This fight happened in issue#17).

Silver Banshee didn't brush her teeth.

Silver Banshee didn't brush her teeth.

Amazing, my mind had being trying to tell me that there was more than one Banshee character and reminded me of things I could not consciously remember anymore. My subconscious or  intuition was guiding me straight to the information like a homing pigeon flying back to its home.

Banshee. It seemed more than coincidental that there would be two different characters with such a name, one created by Marvel to fight the X-Men and the other to fight Superman in the DC Universe. Since both characters were from Ireland, in the various stories, I wasn’t that surprised to find out that Banshees are actually based on an Irish Legend.

In legend a Banshee is always a woman ( apparently the Marvel Comic writers forgot that).

Banshee in Marvel Universe.

Banshee in Marvel Universe.

Historically it’s believed that in 1437, King James I of Scotland was approached by an Irish seer or banshee who foretold his murder at the instigation of the Earl of Atholl.

A Banshee is a woman who appears to foretell someone’s impending death usually by singing, wailing (hence the sonic based comic villains) or even just by appearing and washing the blood stained clothes of the person soon to die.

In legend a Banshee is definitely a bad omen, when they open their mouth it’s worse than a bad case of Halitosis it means someone is going to Die.

X-Men versus Banshee.

X-Men versus Banshee.

Luckily in my case seeing the Banshees just meant that my memory was Subconsciously stronger than I even knew.

August 25, 2009 Posted by | blog, comics, fiction, Lateral Thinking, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Think before you Ink.

I want to show people that I’m unique, different, talented and creative.

I know what I’ll do, I’ll get a tattoo just like everyone else.

Ridiculous isn’t it ? But this type of “Heavy Logix” and reasoning seems to be getting more and more popular.

Once tattoos were a fringe art or fad, a rarity seen mostly at Carnival sideshows  or worn by the Yakuza but now they are definitely mainstream with every superstar, and athlete in the NBA, carrying at least one and all their fans following suit.

Yakuza, Japanese Mafia.

Yakuza, Japanese Mafia.

Jamaica as usual is catching on quickly to the trend and just about everyone seems to have a tat and want two or three more.

I’m not likely to ever get drunk or brave enough to have one done myself. These things are both painful and permanent. If I was getting one though I’d choose an Adinkra symbol.

Nyame ye Ohene

Nyame ye Ohene

The symbol I really love is Nyame something-or-other. I like it’s symetry and it’s meaning and the fact that it’s from Africa rather than European. I’m surprised more people aren’t using these symbols from Ghana as they’re very interesting and beautiful with a lot of meaning too.

Other tattoos I tend to like are the so called “tribals”, abstract designs with a bold forceful appeal.

Tribals use an Abstract Flow.

Tribals use an Abstract Flow.

I also like the Yin Yang symbol and variations of it. Another interesting tattoo idea is to have so called Ambigrams as a tattoo. These interesting Word-Art designs were made popular in the Novel ,Angels and Demons, written by, Davinci Code, author Dan Brown. He even named his famous hero after Ambigram artist John Langdon. Rapper Method Man for instance has an Ambigram tattoo that reads Death from one side and Life from the other.

Death or Life ? Depends how you view it.

Death or Life ? Depends how you view it.

Whatever you pick to be your tattoo please choose wisely. Laser surgery is a painful and expensive process and never looks as good as no tattoo at all.

Nowadays Every Body has a story. Literally.



Tattoos have been one of the most consistently popular searches on the net and the industry spawns books, magazines and laser surgery (to remove tattoos)  as well.

While some feel it’s against their religion others make their tattoos carry a religious significance.

Before you Ink please Think.

August 10, 2009 Posted by | blog, current news, humor, Lateral Thinking, non fiction, philosophy, Photography, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Marcus Garvey and the Unconquerable Soul.

Jamaica has a lot of Public holidays and on August 1 we celebrated Emancipation Day. This is our most recently added public holiday and while the vast majority, like myself, welcome any chance to stay home from work, some feel the day was granted just as a politically expedient move by our first “really black” Prime Minister to make people remember him, (and his Emancipation Park), in a good light throughout all generations.

Others have more interesting reasons for not being ecstatic about the extra day from work. Author Marlon James for instance doesn’t get the concept of
celebrating Emancipation day.  He recently said, (on his Facebook page), “Had we kicked butt, shed blood and dropped like genocide on a couple hundred planters then yeah, I can celebrate that. But why am I celebrating “You were handed Freedom because of the already declining West India interest day?” ”

His comments were certainly thought provoking and immediately led to some interesting replies such as this one from Damon Mills, “You know, if there’s a pack of wolves chewing on your leg and suddenly and of their own accord they wander off because they suddenly remember they prefer elk meat and they heard there was a joint nearby where the elk hang out, you’re still allowed to be pretty happy about it, even if you don’t have the macho satisfaction of having fought them off using just a can of Lysol and the ignition key to a 1977 Buick Skylark.”

That one really cracked me up but Fragano Ledgister took a stern and
historical approach by saying “Marlon, ( remember all this banter was on
Marlon James’ Facebook page)
that some of my ancestors were *property*
down to 1834, and that at midnight on the first of August they ceased to be,
matters a hell of a lot. The mechanics of the process, including the Baptist War, was complicated and included the decline of the old West India interest (part of the overall decline of the old landed interest that  accompanied the rise of industrial capitalism), but it also involved active resistance by the slaves themselves. Please don’t come with that “house negro” thing either. Household slaves were a small subset of non-field slaves, and much more under the thumb of the owners than the true agents of the maintenance of slavery, the drivers (who were slaves).”

Mr. Ledgister’s comments seemed a bit stiff and verbose to me, perhaps too
politically correct,  and I was actually glad when Marlon James replied in his typically highly irreverent manner, “That’s another thing. It’s the one day everybody tries to be deep by saying “but are we really emancipated?” The answer is yes, you jackass. If you have the time to ponder quasi-existential questions without a whip coming straight for your backside it means you is free. Do we know what to do with freedom? That’s another story.”

It all got me thinking what really is Emancipation ? How should we use our
Freedom ?  Is bantering on Facebook really the best use of our time ? If that
brings us happiness  could anything really be better ?

The Emancipation Park has engraved, in one of the walls near the
controversial statues, the following words, “Emancipate yourselves from
Mental Slavery “. The line is taken from a Bob Marley song and Bob took it
from a Marcus Garvey speech. Marcus Garvey more than anyone else thought about the question of how Freedom should be used. He knew what
Emancipation was all about.

Lesson 1 from Garvey’s writings for his School of African Philosophy says
simply “You must never stop learning.” Garvey believed in the need to uplift
ourselves and to do this we would have to think powerfully. “Anything you are going to challenge you must first know about it so as to be able to defeat it.”, he said. In this same lesson he urged that we read widely and keep knowledge up to date. He also encouraged the appreciation of Good Music and Good Poetry, for the same reason, they can elevate your thoughts. Read a Chapter from the Bible everyday and quote from it  he advised.

Garvey advises us ” Always have a thought. Make it a beautiful thought. The
world is attracted by beauty either in art or in expression. Therefore try to read, think and speak beautiful things.”

Garvey then ends this first lesson with  the following poem

by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Many modern readers are familiar with the last lines of the poem because the classic  “Think and Grow Rich”, a self-help book by Napoleon Hill, uses “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul” as a motivational tool to encourage the reader to take charge of his or her life.

Garvey was  aware of many New Thought ideas and showed his forward thinking by choosing a poem that still has influence on modern business. Just recently I listened to Brian Tracy, a leading motivational speaker, talking about Goal Setting, and he used this very poem in his presentation.

The author of “Invictus” knew what he was talking about from personal experience. At the age of 12, Henley became a victim of tuberculosis of the bone. In spite of this, in 1867 he successfully passed the Oxford local examination as a senior student. His diseased foot had to be amputated directly below the knee; physicians had announced that the only way to save his life was to amputate.

Henley persevered and survived with one foot intact. He was discharged in
1875, and was able to lead an active life for nearly 30 years despite his
disability. With an artificial foot, he lived until the age of 53. “Invictus” was
written from a hospital bed despite Henley’s condition.

Maybe Damon Mill’s comments were way more than I first suspected as they came back to mind as I read this on Wikipedia.

For me Emancipation Day provides a chance to reflect on the advice of the powerful prophet Marcus Garvey and for that I’m very grateful.

August 3, 2009 Posted by | blog, current news, humor, Lateral Thinking, non fiction, philosophy, Psychology, song lyrics, Strategy, success, think and grow rich, writing | , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments