Thursday, March 11, 2010

I need a good “Cool Runnings” pun

Now that things have settled down in Saints-Land, I've returned from the French Quarter and put my top back on and my beads away. And it's not time to fill in my failure of a March Madness bracket yet. And the Lakers' inevitable domination over all who cross their path on the road to victory is still like a month I've been needing some sort of sports-related thing to happen that I could celebrate and/or complain about. And then, thank you, here comes CNN with this piece about a Jamaican manning a dogsled team in the Iditarod race. A Jamaican! So wacky. So, you know, Fire pon Babylon of course, but also fire pon animal abusers. (The Iditarod, by the way, started as a way for freight to be transported across Alaska, and even though technology has progressed and there are superior methods for moving things now, people still like to strap harnesses on these poor, sweet beasts with their friendly eyes and wagging tails, and then call the whole thing a feat of human endurance. Also, there's the fact that Palin exists. Goddammit, Alaska.)

Newton Marshall is the musher (real word? unclear) being profiled. “Hey, mon! ... I'm from Jamaica. I'm running the Iditarod!” is a quote they attribute to him but it's so cringe-worthy that I'm suspecting it comes from Jason, a CNN intern who listened to East of the River Nile a hundred times in high school. The fact that animal cruelty knows no geographic bounds is not lost on me, but for now can we just focus on the wonderful fact that Newton Marshall is the most Jamaican of Jamaican names I've heard in quite some time? Add a General, a Saw, or a Banton, a Ranks, and it's a proverbial wrap. Barrington, Aston, Alton, Horace, Augustus, Coxsone; they all have those fancy names that make them sound like they're members of the House of Commons.

Additionally, randomly and comically, the Jamaican dogsled team is “financially supported by Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville cafes.” Uh, hold up? Hold up! So even though the Jamaican dogsled team is made up of rescued strays, even though they make the dogs run for 9 hours straight while in training,
even though Sir Newton Marshall is content being a human novelty of color in a world of grizzled Caucasoid types and that makes me embarrassed for him, Jimmy Buffett being behind this somehow gets me on board, full-throttle. Jimmy Buffett, FYI you guys, sleeps on piles of cash and isn't a businessman; he's a business, man. Concerts, restaurants, a casino, tequila, the Miami Dolphins' field, a dogsled team--Jimmy is the Jay-Z of yacht rock.

I am legally required to post “Margaritaville” at this point in the post, since the rhythmic pattern was ingrained in me as a child born to Caucasians in suburban southern California, I know all the words forward and backward, I hear it and suddenly I am eating a mayo sandwich on my way to a tennis match in my Top-Siders. Join me please, white people, in celebrating one of our most beloved community anthems.



I'd also like to sneak this in, a Jamaica-related piece of photographic beauty. I just saw this pic of Jimmy Cliff today, as Time did a photo feature about 2010 inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Just too dope not to share.

[John Van Hasselt / Sygma / Corbis]

Tom Browne - “Funkin' for Jamaica.”




Anonymous said...

Dogsleding is not animal cruelty. Get in the game. And oh, it's not easy to get anywhere here in Sweden without "dem". So, gwaan Jamaica.

Anonymous said...

Okey, after a bit of investigating i'm willing to change my mind. The race seems kind of cruel. But joysleding is not. My dawgs loves it!