Where’s the body of ev­i­dence?

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

NOT A thing was wrong with Spice’s per­for­mance at the tribute con­cert for our ath­letes. Her body lan­guage was rather re­strained. She ad­justed her moves to fit the fam­ily event. Spice’s per­for­mance wasn’t even PG – parental guid­ance sug­gested. And it most cer­tainly was not X-rated.

True, Spice’s dress was pep­pery. The flesh-coloured lin­ing cre­ated the il­lu­sion that her flesh was ex­posed. But it was not. Sex­i­ness is of­ten about ap­pear­ance mas­querad­ing as re­al­ity. I’m so sorry for men who dis­cover in bed that the sexy bomb­shell they thought they had se­duced is ac­tu­ally a col­lec­tion of com­pletely false body parts. More trick than treat!

False hair, false eye­lashes, false fin­ger­nails, false breasts, false bot­tom! What else? False shape! All the pounds of very real flesh tightly com­pacted by Spanks. The body tak­ing a se­ri­ous spank­ing! More like mur­der­a­tion. I can just imag­ine the re­lief when the Spanks fi­nally comes off and the body is re­leased from the sti­fling con­trac­tion. It must be ab­so­lutely or­gas­mic.

MUS­CU­LAR GY­RA­TIONS

So what’s all the fuss about? It must have been Spice’s lyrics: “Mi know mi good-good an mi body just a wine an a . . . boom­boom-boom.” If you think about it, these lyrics are an ex­cel­lent theme song for our ath­letes. That’s ex­actly what they stren­u­ously train for. To be good-good!

And the bod­ies of our top ath­letes just a go boom-boom­boom when dem tek off an a run down di gold medal dem. Of course, un­like Spice, the ath­letes not win­ing un­til dem done win. Dem head­ing straight ahead for vic­tory. But just think of win­ing as a sym­bol of the body in top form. The ath­lete in full con­trol of his or her mus­cu­lar gy­ra­tions!

Plus, there’s a strik­ing sim­i­lar­ity be­tween the skimpy ath­letic wear sported by women on the track and dance­hall dress. Those run­ning shorts look a lot like b***y riders. Ob­jec­tively speak­ing. The fe­male form on beau­ti­ful dis­play! Just think of how the Wil­liams sis­ters have per­fected the art of mak­ing de­mure ten­nis wear look ul­tra sexy. And the ath­letic shorts worn by men are also very re­veal­ing. View­ers get an eye­ful of the length, heft and firm­ness of barely con­cealed body parts.

SIN­FUL SEX

For many up­tight moralis­ers, the real prob­lem with Spice’s per­for­mance was her unashamed cel­e­bra­tion of her body. The rhyth­mic left-right move­ment of “this thing round a back ya” is as pre­cise as in­di­ca­tor lights. In­de­pen­dent sus­pen­sion! Fun­da­men­tal­ist Chris­tians be­lieve that it’s a sin to take such plea­sure in one’s body. And sex is noth­ing but a nec­es­sary evil to make ba­bies.

So is pure wicked­ness for Spice to go on stage and revel in the fact that her body good­good and it a boom-boom­boom. The moral ma­jor­ity were full of right­eous in­dig­na­tion. They worked them­selves into a frenzy in our lo­cal pa­pers. A pi­ous Ob­server ed­i­to­rial on Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 20, ‘When not to ‘Spice up’ an event’, came to an un­sur­pris­ing con­clu­sion:

“The real point to be made, how­ever, is that not ev­ery per­former is suited to ev­ery event. One size doesn’t fit all. While some Ja­maicans are quite happy with racy dance­hall lyrics or even slack­ness in the pri­vacy of their homes or cars, they don’t ex­pect it in church or at of­fi­cial func­tions.”

But this time, Spice didn’t do “racy dance­hall lyrics or even slack­ness”. It’s not as if she per­formed the raw ver­sion of ‘So Mi Like It’. That video has at­tracted al­most 65 mil­lion views. It is not for the faint of heart. Crit­ics of­ten con­demn dance­hall artistes whole­sale with­out lis­ten­ing to what they ac­tu­ally say and do on par­tic­u­lar oc­ca­sions. It’s a knee-jerk re­ac­tion.

DE­PRAVED LE­GAL SYS­TEM

Then this cock­sure dis­tinc­tion be­tween pri­vate plea­sure in slack­ness and pub­lic con­dem­na­tion at ‘of­fi­cial func­tions’ goes straight to the bot­tom of the hypocrisy of our so­ci­ety. Talk­ing about sex in pub­lic is evil. But pub­lic crim­i­nal­ity is not. The real slack­ness in Ja­maica to­day is not a DJ big­ging up her body. What is truly ob­scene is our de­praved le­gal sys­tem.

In the­ory, it works ac­cord­ing to long-estab­lished rules. One is in­no­cent un­til proven guilty. The prose­cu­tor’s job is to pro­vide cred­i­ble ev­i­dence, gen­er­ally col­lected by the po­lice, to prove the de­fen­dant’s guilt, be­yond rea­son­able doubt, to the sat­is­fac­tion of the jury. Some­times, the pros­e­cu­tion fails be­cause the de­fen­dant is, in fact, in­no­cent. Or in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence is pre­sented. Or the jury sim­ply re­fuses to con­vict de­spite cred­i­ble ev­i­dence.

In prac­tice, our le­gal sys­tem doesn’t al­ways work ac­cord­ing to the rules. Wit­nesses for the pros­e­cu­tion are of­ten in­tim­i­dated, paid off or both. High-pro­file ‘in­no­cents’ can crim­i­nally walk free. And low­pro­file vic­tims of the sys­tem are as­sumed to be guilty un­til proven in­no­cent. If they’re lucky!

I sup­pose we could launch a na­tional ‘Poor Peo­ple’s Lives Mat­ter’ cam­paign to draw at­ten­tion to the in­equities in our le­gal sys­tem. But who or what is go­ing to pro­tect protesters? The same forces against which we are protest­ing? Hardly likely! Prover­bial wis­dom tells us that we must leave cer­tain peo­ple to God. S/He will ef­fi­ciently dis­pense jus­tice in due course. But we re­ally shouldn’t have to de­pend on long-term divine in­ter­ven­tion. Jus­tice for all Ja­maicans, rich and poor, ought to be hu­manly pos­si­ble here and now.

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