Heavy Logix.

Lateral Thoughts on Life.

Inter-View.

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

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.

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

Soboltious !

Soboltious

The awesome performance of Usain Bolt in the 100m finals recently requires a new word to be coined.

Soboltious.

His display was simply “Soboltious”. The new word means Sublime, perfection, it contains elements of what the Japanese call Shibumi or what the Italians call Sprezzatura. It’s poetry in Motion. Unbelievable Brilliance that appears almost effortless.

Soboltious !

Soboltious !

Second place finisher, Tyson Gay ran the race of his life, his astounding time of 9.71 seconds was a new American record and suggests to me that his complaints of a groin injury were really just a devious psychological ploy.

At this level at least 90% of the battle is psychological and Asafa Powell, who usually falters in that department, by coming third also performed at his best.

Asafa Powell.

Asafa Powell.

The Master Psychologist Bolt however was Soboltious.  Bolt eased through the 100 m heats, clocking the fastest ever pre-final performance of 9.89 seconds with such ease that he almost appeared to be jogging.He made it look easy through all the heats and then false started in the semis (I personally believe this was intentional). This false start ploy took away the
only weapon that might be used against him by his slower
opponents and completely threw off  Tyrone Edgar of  the UK who false started after and thus missed the final.

Jamaica has a rich sprinting tradition.

Jamaica has a rich sprinting tradition.

The final was the first time Bolt and Gay had met in the season, and the American ran 9.71 seconds, 0.02 off Bolt’s world record run in Beijing. However, Bolt finished some distance ahead of Gay, improving the world record to 9.58 seconds to win his first World Championship gold medal. Taking over a tenth of a second off the previous best mark, this was the largest ever margin of mprovement in the 100 m world record since the beginning of electronic timing.

Such stellar performances cause ignorant skeptics to suggest that he is on drugs but this really only shows their ignorance of Bolt’s early success. He was a sprinting prodigy, at sixteen years old, Bolt had reached times that the great Michael Johnson did not register until he was twenty.

His rivalry with Tyson Gay is just what the sport needs. In fact Tyson Gay did us all a  favor by showing that Bolt is not super human and if the  “Lightning Bolt ” ever gets complacent, he not only can, but will, be beaten.

Bolt finished behind Gay at Osaka.

Bolt finished behind Gay at Osaka.

Their rivalry is not new. Previously finishing second to Gay in the 200m of the 2007 Osaka World Championships boosted Bolt’s desire to run, and he took a more serious, more mature stance towards his career ever since.

Under the guidance of Glen Mills, Bolt achieved the feat of being the first sprinter, since Donald Quarrie, to hold both 100 m and 200 m world records simultaneously and the first since the introduction of electronic timing to do so.

Bolt’s new personal best of 9.58 seconds in the 100 metres is the fastest ever legal time. Bolt also holds the second fastest time of 9.69 seconds. Tyson Gay recorded a time of 9.68 s at the 2008 US Olympic Trials, but was aided with a tail wind of 4.1 m/s, exceeding the legal limit of 2.0 m/s set by the IAAF and nullifying its inclusion as a world record. Obadele Thompson’s run of 9.69 s in 1996 is also not recognised as it was aided by a 5.0 m/s tail wind.

“Sobolious” is a word with no known meaning, probably first used by the Jamaican Dancehall performer L.A. Lewis in a radio interview with Barbara Blake-Hannah.

la lewis

Bolt’s performance though is Soboltious !

August 17, 2009 Posted by | blog, current news, dancehall, non fiction, Photography, sports, Strategy, success, super power, writing | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment