© Michael Schmelling
A prehistoric bird that used his wings as a weapon, a book about the lost world of Kingston’s Chinatown and the newest face of dancehall, Vybz Kartel – these are the topics of three Jamaica-related news stories that I came across last week that I would like to share as a nice Sunday reading.
Bony Wings That Went ‘Pow! Smack! Whomp!’ by Sindya N. Bhanoo
New York Times – January 6th, 2011
An extinct bird from Jamaica used its wings as a powerful clublike weapon, according to a new study.
Pao by Kerry Young – review by Ian Thomson
The Guardian – July 3rd, 2011
Young, the daughter of a Chinese father and a mother of mixed Chinese-African heritage, came to Britain in 1965 at the age of 10. Pao, her zingy first novel, lovingly recreates the Jamaican-Chinese world of her childhood, with its betting parlours, laundries, fortune-telling shops, supermarkets and (business being a hard game in Jamaica) gang warfare.
Vybz Kartel: Beyond the Pale by Eddie Houghton
The Fader – June 28, 2011
Mirrored shades, the partly metallic smile created by his braces and a physique that is fit but skeletal all contribute to a look that is distinctly cyborg. In recent photos, Kartel looks like a film negative of his 2002 self, but up close the bleaching effect doesn’t make him look white so much as it gives his complexion and facial hair a reddish Malcolm X/Satan cast, making his tattoos stand out luridly.
Best served with Wildlife!’s guestmix for Jubilee‘s »Fireworks« show on Brooklyn Radio: