Sat | Dec 14, 2019

Mark Wignall | Looking beyond a potent B.C.

Published:Thursday | November 21, 2019 | 12:20 AM

In the early 1980s, a lady friend of mine dragged me to a party that was hosted by a well-known acting personality at the time. As I stepped down into the sunken living room, my eyes became glued on the hostess, dressed as she was in a sheer negligee and divested of all underwear.

I was there like a fool caught up in a moment of misdirected lust. The other people there – actors, actresses, dancers, singers, musicians, writers and other people involved in stage productions – were milling around, smiling and bursting out in peals of laughter. Some noshed on finger food while most were smoking up Jamaica’s best ganja.

As we left the party in the wee hours of the morning, it occurred to me that creative people regularly climb on to a plane different from the one we occupy and they have irreversibly entered dimensions that we are unaware of. And guess what. Many of us want it that way so that we can be entertained by these creatives.

Some in the society believe that the valedictorian of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA), Walden Walker, has radically stepped out of his lane and landed squarely in the crosshairs of a society always on the brink.

Too expressive

At the end of his excellent presentation last Saturday, the young man hailed up the class, exhorting the graduates to ‘Big up onnu B.C self!’ The ozone layer expanded, the ring of fire exploded and we have all been singed by global warming because young Mr Walker was too expressive for his britches.

A few months ago, People’s National Party senator, Dr Andre Haughton, a young man, dared to suggest that legislation be drafted to protect the use of Jamaican expletives in the dancehall settings. That legislation was even needed to ensure that, was foolish. Jamaican expletives is the expressive language of our people. Dancehall has become the economic mainstay for many inner-city communities.

Dancehall and Jamaican ‘badwud’ are inseparable. We know that the words reach their pinnacle in expression when it is used in anger but, in many other instances they perfectly capture two friends greeting each other or making friendly banter at a domino table.

In the various responses to Mr Walker’s last words, we have conveniently forgotten much of the power that was in his presentation.

“… Here, now, let us lift our hearts in gratitude, giving thanks to God for the opportunity to be here today and for guiding us on this journey. As this celebration marks the journey and achievement of the graduating class of 2019, I humbly reflect on our tenure through story.

“Stories beginning with dreams from which we were violently awoken, stories that stained our truth via the minds and putrid lips of those who failed to believe in us, stories that gripped us by the neck and slammed our heads underwater, insisting that we drink after being dragged to the well.”

Mr Walden Walker is miles ahead of us and some among us would like to believe that his expressive words is another drag on a society that needs major lifting up.

Before his potent B.C., he also said, “Graduating class of 2019 … With our lives before us, we must be confident in self and in the knowledge that we did not simply read for this degree, we danced, choreographed, managed, sang, played, painted, sculpted, acted, directed and drew for it.”

Walker loves the language and pulled away his restraints last Saturday. Yout man, big up yuself. Nuff misunderstanding still ahead and they will always be there.