Bob is Just Musician
You want see the light,
yuh call di electrician
You want “people-ticks”,
yuh call Politician
Some people think
Bob is just Musician,
Turning Trench Towns into Hope
Like some kinda Magician
But I and I
As a profit
Not Just for Blackwell
But a Real Prophet
The Healing of the Nations,
For all the youths,
Of all generations.
All creeds and colours,
Of all dispensations
The answers for all occasions,
For each and every Questions
If yuh play the Right Bob
& Listen to the Natural Mystic
Blowing through the ears.
Written by Mark J.B. Bowen.
© Mark J. B. Bowen 2014
Had a strange dream recently.
I was in some form of “Heaven” and it was occupied by “Athiests” when I asked “God” why ? He explained that the absent “Christians” were only doing good in hopes of a reward, so they were not really worthy of that reward, while these “Samaritans” had done kind deeds with no expectation of “Heaven” and therefore deserved a higher one.
I’d like to encourage all my readers to become more aware of your strengths and focus on finding ways to make use of them. This is the theme of the book “Now, Discover your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham(http://twitter.com/mwbuckingham) and that book provides a good starting point.
After doing the tests provided along with that book my main strengths were identified as :
Strategic —I naturally create alternative plans and spot relevant patterns and issues.
Ideation —-I generate and express ideas easily. Also able to synthesize apparently disparate phenomena.
Individualization—–I quickly recognize the unique qualities in every individual.
Input——–I love to collect information and store it in my brain.
Intellection —— People strong in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.
As simple as this process is it can be very powerful.
Traditionally most of us have been focused through the educational system on our weaknesses and the correction of various flaws but the current trend in Human Resource management at progressive organizations is to harness your strengths and maximise those. The example given in the book is Warren Buffett. He was able to capitalize on his rather unique strengths and maximise them and the rest is as they say history.
It will soon be time for the Greatest Show on Earth to take centre stage once more.
The World Cup of Football. FIFA, the international fraternity of Soccer playing nations and the sporting federation with the most member countries will stage their spectacular event, held every four years, for the first time on the continent of Africa. South Africa plays host to the 32 countries vying to hoist the treasured cup.
I will now make a stab at predicting the results and giving some basic info on the teams in each group.
For the initial stage of the competition the teams will be divided into groups of four teams each. These four teams will play a round robin among themselves and two top teams in each group advance to the next stage. Various seeding and selection processes have been done to minimize the chances of groups from the same region meeting each other in the first round.
Group A comprises host nation South Africa, Mexico, France and Uruguay. I’m actually upset that only two of these teams can advance. Host South Africa might sadly become the first host nation in history not to advance to the next stage. Mexico is my pick to make it out of the group second.France will win the group I expect. Past Champions Uruguay are quite a talented team but they tend to get too emotional and play very rough. I just hope that they don’t damage the Mexicans and the French too much with their ugly tackles.
Group B features South Korea, Greece, Nigeria and Argentina. I anticipate some incredible matches from this group but eventually when the dust settles I expect Argentina to win the group followed closely by Nigeria. The well coached Greeks and the hard running Koreans are going to have a rough and short tournament this time around.
Group C will be easily won by England over the USA with Algeria and Slovenia boarding the planes to watch the rest of the tourney at home.
Germany and Ghana are my choices to top Group D. This group also features a tricky Serbian team and the hard working Veteran Aussie Socceroos who could hopefully pull a surprise or two.
Netherlands should easily win Group E and I expect Cameroon to benefit tremendously from the South African home crowd support and also make it out of the Group. Japan and Denmark will display their respective styles of play but the lack of star quality and inability to surprise will tell in the end.
Defending champions Italy are expected to find a way to win the Group F ahead of strong defensive unit Paraguay. New Zealand and Slovakia will be leaving shell shocked but wiser.
In Group G North Korea is likely to get hammered by three of the best attacking units in the World. I expect Brazil to top the group ahead of Ivory Coast and sadly Portugal featuring the highly paid Ronaldo are likely to come up short due to defensive gaps that Drogba and the Brazilians will surely exploit.
For the final group,Group H, I am hoping that Spain and Honduras overcome Chile and Switzerland.
Moving into the Second Round all the games are now very exciting. If my predictions for the Group stage pan out then we’ll see a matchup between France and Nigeria. I expect the French to win out here by at some stage putting Cisse on the field instead of Henry. Henry has lost a step or two and lacks the confidence and killer instinct that made him so formidable in the past. Nigeria’s team is not quite as deep as the French and by this stage of competition they would have some injuries or sending offs that will prove fatal against the Fighting Cocks (as the french team is known).
Game 2 will be Argentina versus Mexico. I think Messi will be forced to show why his entire nation is counting on him because the Mexicans will prove a difficult opponent to finish off. It will require incredible dribbling skills to create the key opening. Argentina will find a way through.
Game 3 England versus Ghana I expect the English to prevail. Ghana’s team is powerful but I think England is ready to go all they way this time round.
Germany versus the USA my crystal ball says the USA will actually win this one surprising most. Landon Donovan becomes a World wide hero after this.
Netherlands will easily dismantle Paraguay in Game 5 but they will suffer from some serious injuries and a few cards by the time it’s over.
Cameroon become the African Heroes when they snuff out the Italians in Game 6.
Brazil barely squeezes past Honduras in Game 7 making some wonder if they are really watching Brazil or did the Hondurans swap jerseys before the match.
Spain versus Ivory Coast presents another upset to the World Order when Ivory Coast smashes Spain in Game 8.
The Quarter finals, Netherlands versus Brazil and after throwing everything at the Brazilian defence the Netherlands finally win due to a goalkeeper lapse by Brazil. Brazil is red carded in the second half and a key Dutch player seriously injured.
France versus England and the French team which looked ominous so far gets a severe test from the English. Cisse scores early for the French but Lampard fires from outside the 18 to equalize at the edge of halftime. A cagey defensive second half results in many fouls and yellow cards.Rooney makes the difference with one moment of brilliance in overtime after an otherwise lack lustre game. England wins.
Argentina loses to USA. Messi is marked out of the game and the rest of the team fails to sparkle. Donovan is brutally fouled after finally unlocking the Argentine defence. His replacement scores the winning penalty kick.
Cameroon versus Ivory Coast, the first All African clash, sparks a great degree of interest, but neither team has their full compliment of players due to cards recieved in earlier rounds and they seem nervous. After a fairly boring game Cameroon scores one more goal totally against the tide of play. Drogba and Eto’o exchange shirts and smiles in a photo sent around the world.
Semi finals :
Netherlands lose 4-1 to England a dazzling display of attacking artistry Rooney doing what Gasgoigne did at Euro 96.
Cameroon beat the USA on penalties after Donovan skies one and a Damarcus Beasley sidefoot shot is easily stopped by the Cameroon keeper.
Finals — Cameroon versus England and after an early goal by Eto’o it’s England all the way. England wins 3-1 in normal time.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!
The Holy Bible says that God himself rested on the Seventh day, after creating Everything.
Getting up early is not my normal weekend routine. Normally I try to grab as much sleep as I can but this Saturday, the sabbath day, was different. After work, or any physical creation, there must be a mental rest a recreation, a recharging of your batteries. This weekend, instead of sleeping late, to re-energize, I was going to my version of Mecca, to Colin Channer’s creation, the Calabash Festival, the magical magnetic melting pot, with the St. Elizabeth beach providing a beautiful back drop, a place where authors from around the world would read and discuss, samples of their work and then sell and sign books for appropriately awestruck fans.
I was already somewhat peeved though. I had intended to go to the festival from Friday and even took time off from work. Only to hear, at the last minute, that the bus ride, I had booked, and paid for, was cancelled, due to a lack of customers. Perhaps the free day was a blessing in disguise though as it allowed me to rest and recover fully from the flu I was fighting all week and now I felt a whole lot better.
I was peeved also because I’d overslept and was running late, hurrying now, scrambling, to meet the bus without even taking a bite to eat. I often go without breakfast during weekdays but it seems like my stomach knew it was a Saturday and was already growling as I turned into the parking spot where the bus was supposed to be leaving any minute now.
No bus was in sight. I was glad that I had not been left behind, or arrived late, but peeved that I had not eaten any breakfast. Being too early is almost as bad as being too late.
I sat next to two older ladies on the edge of the small group that would be my fellow travellers on the Journey to Jake’s in St. Elizabeth.
They responded politely to my “Good Morning”, and continued their apparently conspiratorial whispered conversation. I could overhear their conversation and even smiled at times as one lady described her daily stresses at work and the friend added her bits of wisdom and positivity. As they talked to each other more travellers began to arrive.
A car came up and the driver had a smug smile on his face as he waved hello to us. Behind his smile I could read the thoughts clearly, “See, I told you is pure uptown Brown people going to this thing”. His companion, a dark lady, seemed afraid to come out of the car as she looked at me and the ladies near me like we were predators eyeing her for our next meal. We were all Brownings.
I understood their thoughts perhaps because I had many of their fears myself. I was beginning to think it was a “Browning” bus trip too and was afraid of that. I actually think of myself as a black man, which is kind of strange
since everyone around me sees me as, “Brown” , or they even sometimes treat me like my worst nightmare, “White”. In Jamaica everyone is described by a racial segmentation that defined them. To be Black on a Browning bus would be as incongrous as a White at the local dancehall. I was reading the mind of the driver and his female companion but really I was revealing only my own prejudices and baggage. I had travelled light just a notebook, a book I was reading, about Ancient Chinese Strategy, and my camera, which was tucked in my pocket. But the colour baggage was always with us Jamaicans and it is oh so heavy.
Other cars arrived and dropped off more fellow travellers. One group of four, two guys two ladies, seemed to be young professionals on vacation from the UK and they stared at us all like we were idiots. They appeared Black.
Probably their minds were White though.
The lady from the first car now seemed emboldened enough to emerge from her car and it turned out she was wearing a very sexy pair of shorts and had incredible legs perhaps that was why she was reluctant to emerge from
the car. It wasn’t Brownings she feared it was me. A man.
I was the hungry predator she was wary of. Her boyfriend, or whoever the guy that dropped her off is, seemed really amused and happy not to be joining her for the trip and waved at us all as he drove off.
I scanned the group, trying to see who else, may be, what I now, had the temerity to, think of myself as. Who else was a Writer ?
A quiet expressionless lady sitting on the patio section seemed a likely candidate. She was obviously observing everyone as I was and making sharp mental calculations.
Two more attractive dark chocolate women arrived and sat right beside me they were dressed in the latest designer wear but not very friendly as they spoke only to each other. A tall brown guy who I knew from UWI camera club days arrived with his girlfriend attached to his ribs.
One of the Brown whisperers now asked me if I’d been to Calabash before and I let them both know it was my first trip. Same for them they said with smiles. They were virgins too. I found that somewhat hard to believe but managed to keep my doubts to myself. I was interested in writing I said. They seemed genuinely interested about my writing and waiting for me to say more but I had nothing much to add and they soon returned to their whispers. A friend of theirs, another Brown lady, but of Indian descent, joined them both and raised the volume of their conversation just as the bus arrived.
It was big and green and fully air conditioned. Great. There was no doubt we’d arrive in comfort although we were now heading out later than planned.Being too early is almost as bad as being too late. Would we reach Jakes, the location of Calabash, in time ?
Bob Marley, Bobby Fischer, Bruce Lee and Michael Jackson. The lives of these four men make me call them Dragons of Destiny.
These men seem larger than life, Immortal. Their accomplishments and the patterns of their lives and Unbridled Creativity seems completely unbelievable and there are some interesting parallels in the way they lived and even died.
I’ll contrast and compare them around the following themes ;
Blended Bloodlines — Look at the mixed racial heritage of each.
Forged in Fire –Exploring their childhood family life.
Prodigy — Discuss early signs of their future greatness.
Discovering their path — How they became focused on the path.
Following the path to the Summit — How they became the best.
Flying after reaching the Summit — How they continued to push the limits after being the best.
Mysterious Death and Burial — Describes the end and mysteries surrounding each of their deaths.
Descendants — A look at the Legacy and Heirs left behind to continue.
Immortality — Dragons never die.
This is basic outline for an idea I’ve had for awhile now and need to actually write.
As I remember especially remember Bruce Lee, who died on this date, I commit myself again to remain inspired by these Dragons.
If you’re in the mood for hearing Michael Jackson’s song’s in reggae version ( and who isn’t) here’s a list of some of the best “covers” ever done;
Normally they say “The King is Dead. Long Live the King” for even as we mourn the passing of a great leader we acknowledge that his heirs have potential to do great also.
Today Michael Jackson the King of Pop Music The greatest performer who ever lived died and there will be no other like him. He was, whatever his flaws may be, unique.
The King is Dead.
Somehow it’s like saying that gravity no longer exists. Something in the very fabric of the Universe has shifted.
The King is Dead.
His music and Dance moves will Live Forever.
Rest in Peace Michael.
Instead of blogging every day I’m here training and working on my chess strategies, when I can, because I was invited recently to take part in a prestigious tournament called the President’s Invitational. It’s the first I’ll be playing chess against human opponents in a while and I am likely to be the lowest rated player in the event. This means I’ll be the guppy swimming among the sharks and everyone will see me as Lunch.
Anyway the invite was quite an honour and a big surprise so I actually feel like Al Pacino in the movie Godfather 3 when he says, “ Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in !”. Chess is like an addictive drug calling me back. They’ve pulled me back into the Chess Mafia but now I have to show that I am still strategically potent or it could be quite embarassing.
While I was in my strategic “Godfather” mindset and trying to figure out my strategies and actually wondering if was crazy to even enter, against all these top rated and fearsome opponents, the USA Soccer team scored a stunning upset, against, the top team in the world, Spain.
Seeing the highlights of the game and reading about it online after ( I sadly had to be working while the game was going on) was really a motivating object lesson, a timely reminder that a well executed plan will always be effective, especially against an opponent unwilling or unable to adapt quickly.
Colonel John Boyd had developed his OODA loops to try and explain battles like this. The lesson had already been made clear in the story of David and Goliath and in the fights between Holyfield and Tyson but it’s a lesson worth repeating.
The lesson could be called the Godfather of all Strategic guidelines and no matter how many times I watch Boxing, or play chess and poker, or read the Art of War by Sun Tzu I can’t seem to put the essence of effective strategy any simpler than this;
“There is only one principle of war and that’s this. Hit the other fellow, as quickly as you can, as hard as you can, where it hurts him most, when he ain’t lookin “, Sir William Joseph Slim.
So effecient. Very effective.
“We’re happy with the result and we know we’re going to have our work cut out to get anything out of the final.”“We knew we had to pick and choose our moments to go forward,” a member of the American team said after the game. The Americans did this very effeciently. In fact they only made four shots on the Spanish goal but two of them resulted in goals while the Spaniards failed to net any even after a dozen shots were taken.
Rankings and Ratings don’t mean much it’s what you do on the field of battle that creates victory.
Instead of just being a guppy, swimming away from the sharks, in a frantic bid to survive, I am actually thinking about how yummy sharks will be to eat. I’m like a Pygmy dreaming of eating a few elephants. A crazy Guppy sharpening his Teeth.
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