George Davis | I swear I've given up
I am struggling to think about how I can influence change in the psyche and behaviour of present-day adults so I can assist with safeguarding the future for my child and other people's children.
I recently got a taste of the future and it sat sour in my mouth, a flavour putrefied by the example being set by persons masquerading as adults. I attended a daCosta Cup match between Paul Bogle High and hosts Seaforth, and my ears, sensibilities and sensitivities are still bruised by what I heard standing on the touchline.
Now, I've worked at all the major football grounds in this country. At Drewsland, where Waterhouse play. At Effortville, the home of Humble Lions. At Catherine Hall Sports Complex, where Montego Bay United play their televised games. At Edward Seaga Sports Complex, where Tivoli Gardens are based. At the Compound, home of the Stars of the East, Harbour View, and, of course, at the Tony Spaulding Sports Complex, home of the 'Junglists', Arnett Gardens.
Believe me when I tell you that at none of these venues, located in some of the toughest communities in this country, have I ever heard the quality of swear words and cursing that I heard from supposedly good countryfolk in St Thomas. Imagine the nastiest combinations of the words 'mother', 'vagina', 'referee', 'your', 'out' and 'suck'. These combinations were being strung together and spoken by many of those in attendance.
Now, when I say many, you may conclude that I am talking only about the adults in the crowd, especially the men. You would be wrong. I'm talking about those in trousers, skirts, skimpy shorts and those in frocks. I'm talking about women old enough to be my grandmother, men old enough to be my grandfather. They all stood by each other inside the packed venue, pulling the nastiest phrases from their mouths like a selector spinning tunes at a fÍte during Dream Weekend.
Like so many of us, as a child, I never dared curse a bad word within earshot of any person older than myself. It would mean serious trouble when that report reached my home. But nowadays, adults cannot demand or expect any respect from children.
In the crowd on Sunday, big women laughed when boys told the referee about which body part of his mother he should crawl back into. Big men appeared deaf when young girls stood beside them and questioned whether a particular player had eaten too much 'panty pudding', as she sought to figure out why he was playing so poorly.
I raise this incident to ask these questions: What kind of society exists now and what kind will develop in the future when these adults speak the same nasty language as youngsters who could be their children? And what kind of reality should we brace for when these rotten youngsters today produce children of their own? How will the society cope? And it will not be an 'us and them' situation.
The children who are not exposed to this and the adults who conduct themselves responsibly will live in the same society as the rotten ones. There is nowhere to hide. So how will the collective cope? I was on interview duties at Arnett Gardens one Sunday when I witnessed a performance from a well-dressed woman that is seared into my consciousness.
I know some people hate stereotypes, but the woman looked genteel and respectable. Well, imagine my shock when the match started and the woman started cursing the referee. For every call made against her team in the game, she would invite the poor man to drink and slurp from various orifices on her body, wondering aloud whether he had a special relationship with the opposing players. This continued all game.
I have witnessed a crowd at Barbican Field immediately start commenting on the private parts of a female referee the moment she blew the whistle to start the game. What was astonishing is that the lady had yet to even make a decision in the game, let alone a mistake, and the abuse came raining down on her. With children within earshot. Sadly, I don't know how to purge this scourge. The future is bleak. Selah.