Editorial | Shaggy without Sandz
It's perhaps invidious to make a direct comparison between the two. We do so nonetheless, but only to emphasise that Jamaicans are capable of producing good outcomes, especially when we employ serious thought and planning into our ventures.
First, though, we think it appropriate to acknowledge those Jamaicans, individuals, major enterprises, NGOs and community groups who work assiduously, in various ways, to improve the lives of this country's citizens, especially those whose existence would, without the support, be imperilled. Among the more consequential of these projects is that of the entertainer, Shaggy (Orville Burrell), who annually leverages his international celebrity to raise money for the Bustamante Hospital for Children.
This year, his target was the equivalent of US$1 million, which was to be raised primarily from the sale of tickets for the show Shaggy hosts at the grounds of Jamaica House, the office of the island's prime minister. This year Shaggy had among his "friends" performing at the show, the rocker Sting and the Haitian-American singer, Wyclef Jean.
Things ran smoothly. Thousands of persons were able to drive to and from the event last Saturday night without creating traffic gridlock in the city. There was a designated place for parking, which was orderly and efficiently managed. Police officers were on the streets in the area around the venue to ensure a structured flow of traffic.
This is in stark contrast to what took place on the Palisadoes Road, the single route into and out of the Norman Manley International Airport, on New Year's Day. Attendees of a beach fete, called Sandz, parked as they pleased, and impeded traffic for several hours. In the event, several airline crews and hundreds of passengers were delayed for several hours. As a result, many flights were delayed or cancelled. Some will argue that the Shaggy and Friends show benefited from the Palisadoes debacle. It may have. However, this is not the first year that Shaggy's show took place.
Contrast in professionalism
A hallmark of all of them is their professional management, including patrons' parking and traffic flow. It no doubt helps that Shaggy's effort has a semi-official patronage as a not-for-profit event held at a prestigious venue.
But more important, in our view, is Shaggy's sense of quality, which includes the overall experience he leaves with his audience. In that event, nothing is left to chance. Planning clearly takes place in fine detail.
That's a lesson for Jamaica.
Venesha Phillips: In the likeness of the Donald Trump
Venesha Phillips, the People's National Party (PNP) councillor in the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Council (KSAMC), reminds us a lot of Donald Trump. She is a physically big person and she is a regular on social media.
Speaking of Donald Trump reminds us of another of the explanation, though not necessarily evidence-based, of why dinosaurs became extinct. It was because a meteor struck the earth and killed them off. Rather, that argument goes, their bodies grew too large for their brains.
Donald Trump is a big man.
But back to Ms Phillips, who is at the centre of another controversy for comments she made on a social media platform. When she recently lectured the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Member of Parliament, Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, on decorum and restraint in her Twitter comments, we thought that Ms Phillips might be over the worst and was turning a new leaf. And with maturity would come an end to the vulgar, crass partisanship to which she is prone. We were wrong.
It is one thing for Ms Phillips to crudely criticise her party colleagues for failing to purchase tickets for Shaggy's charity show. Her expletive-charged whinge about the space left to Labourites, with whom she had to share the venue , is quite another.
Does Ms Phillips reflect the best of the PNP?