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News Article
Cable Bahamas: Living Up To Promises
Cable Bahamas: Living Up To Promises

"When I got my first television set, I stopped caring so much about having close relationships." - Andy Warhol

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Event
Get Charlie Movie Encore and DVD Release
Get Charlie Movie Encore and DVD Release

Wednesday 14th August 2013  8:00 PM

Get Charlie Movie Encore and DVD Release August 14th and 15th in Freeport at Galleria Cinemas Freeport at 8PM. The wait is over! Back by popular demand "Get Charlie" the feature length film written and produced by Collage Entertainment is back in theaters for an encore viewing along with it's DVD release. Grab a friend and come out to watch get Get Charlie - it's suitable and enjoyable for ALL ages and on your way out don't forget to pick up a DVD to keep the laughs rolling at home. See you there!

Get Charlie Encore Movie DVD Release


News Article
It's time to get rid of the television

Imagine a home without a television. Imagine having more than a month without watching any television or even going to the movie theater. Imagine having teenage children with no interest in watching television. Imagine having just one entire day when all televisions in the country will be off. Do you think we would survive?
While the television provides positive information and has become a meaningful part of our everyday existence, it is not imperative that we spend all the time we do watching the news or our favorite television shows. Do you realize that many people who watch the news channels hours every day become cynical, angry, skeptical and even physically ill. Too much of the news can drive you crazy.
More than 15 years ago I proposed in an article that each family have a television blackout month. I stressed that too many families are being dictated to by the television. They allow their children to freely watch anything at anytime. The hooked-on-television children spend very little hours gaining meaningful rest and sleep at the most appropriate times. In many homes, school-aged children stay up until the wee hours of the morning watching television. They fall asleep tired and drained, only to be awakened by another dosage of TV stimulation.
A 2006 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation states that 74 percent of infants and toddlers watch TV before the age of two. With on-demand services, 24-7 cable kid channels, and heaps upon heaps of baby-oriented programming, we now have constant access to media that specifically targets very young children. So there's more TV than ever, more warnings than ever, and certainly more confusion than ever before.
The problem I have with indiscriminate television viewing is that it is one of Satan's most powerful tools that he uses to infiltrate the mind with all kinds of unhealthy thoughts, images and actions. Too often children are prematurely introduced to subjects that they are not emotionally or intellectual ready to understand. These messages are repeated over and over teasing the child's curiosity and oftentimes changing behavior. Even adults are being affected negatively with the overdose of television, and especially violent television.
A 2002 study about television and violence revealed that watching just one hour of television a day can make a person more violent towards others, according to a 25-year study. In some circumstances, TV watching increases the risk of violence by five times. The new research indicates the effect is seen not just in children, as has been suggested before, but in adults as well (Allison Motluk, The New Scientist).
It is my view that if we have less television viewing in our nation we would have less violence. It is time for another television blackout.

Types of television
blackouts
o Marriage blackout. During the first year of marriage, it is ideal that a couple does not own a television. They should spend time interacting, bonding, spending time together, growing as friends and lovers. Television has a subtle way of attracting us from valuable functions and events in our lives. Sometimes we find excuses to watch a show because it is so educational or meaningful, but in reality it does not add anything to the healthy development of a young marriage. A solid foundation must be laid early in the marriage for intimacy, friendship and sharing. The couple must enjoy spending time together before they spend time in front of the television.
o Childhood blackout. It is important for parents to understand the powerful effects of television on the minds of their developing children. Do not place your young infant in front of the television alone while you do something else. Ideally, it would be best to avoid having a television in the home. Because of the addictive, luring and tempting nature of television, I am suggesting that parents with young children do not have television in the home during the first six to 10 years of the child's life. Children also need to learn how to play and interact, communicate and develop self-governance. Great harm is done when, from birth, television becomes a normal part of a child's life. It does not matter how educational the television program is. Parental involvement cannot be compared to any information or knowledge gained from television watching.
o Crisis blackout. Often a parent may need to take away the privilege of television viewing because of disobedience or poor academic performance. Sometimes families would find it most helpful when there are serious family conflicts and crises to keep the television off. Often the television is used as coverall. It gives one the feeling that the pain is over, but when the television is turned off the pain surfaces. Keeping the television off forces the family to deal with the situation.
o Scheduled blackout. As the family begins to grow, the parents may want to purchase a television. This is fine. However, the television should not be treated like the refrigerator -- it is only useful when it is on.
o National blackout. What if we had one day in our country just three hours when every television is off (stations do not broadcast) and every one takes the time to share, show kindness and interact positively with each other? We can call it national television blackout. More next week.

o Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist. Send your questions or comments to barringtonbrennen@gmail.com or 327-1980 or visit www.soencouragement.org.

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News Article
Death, Grieving, Healing: In Memory of My Father, Curt Whachell

My father passed away at 87 years old on March 11th, 2013. I'd seen him twice this year before a visit just one week prior to his death.  He was doing so well those first two times, that the last time I saw him, was when it finally sunk in that my father was actually going to die. Until then, I naively never felt it possible.

I'd always felt blessed that all of my loved ones were alive around me, while so many families deal with sudden deaths, accidents and sickness.
The whole idea of death and dying waited until now to visit my psyche.

My father lived a full and rich life. I have no regrets regarding our relationship, and have no thoughts or words left unsaid to my father, as we had a relationship...

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Event

Thursday 15th August 2013  8:00 PM

Get Charlie Movie Encore and DVD Release August 15th in Freeport at Galleria Cinemas Freeport at 8PM. The wait is over! Back by popular demand "Get Charlie" the feature length film written and produced by Collage Entertainment is back in theaters for an encore viewing along with it's DVD release. Grab a friend and come out to watch get Get Charlie - it's suitable and enjoyable for ALL ages and on your way out don't forget to pick up a DVD to keep the laughs rolling at home. See you there!

Get Charlie Encore Movie DVD Release


News Article
'Pocket Rocket' coming to The Bahamas for the first time

KINGSTON, Jamaica - It's hard to imagine that Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the darling of the entire Caribbean, has never stepped foot on the sunny islands of The Bahamas.
This May, she intends to change that by taking part in the inaugural International Association of Athletics Federations' (IAAF) World Relay Championships, and the compact World and Olympic Champion is looking forward to the trip.
Winning four of the past five sprint global titles outdoors in the 100 meters (m), and by adding a 60m indoor title this year, the Jamaican national record holder is unquestionably the number one female sprinter in the world right now. Inclusive of relays, she has eight global gold medals since her OIympic debut in Beijing, China.
Her coach Stephen Francis calls her the greatest female sprinter over 100m in the history of athletics. With the hardware she has racked up in just a short period of time, it would be difficult to dispute that. In short, no other woman has done what she did, particularly in the 100m over the past six years. Still, the 27-year-old petite 'pocket rocket', as she is called by her many fans, remains as humble as ever, while still focussing on getting better.
"I'm driven from the inside and from certain circumstances what happened in my life. I don't pay attention to where I fall in history. I just want to continue to get better, and leave the sport better than I found it," said Fraser-Pryce. "I'm reserved. I try to stay away from being looked at as number one - just try to remain humble and grounded. Even after I won the three gold medals in Moscow (2013 World Championships), when I got back to my room, I was like, 'how am I possibly going to top this'. My husband says that I never enjoy anything, but enjoyment will come in time. I just want to continue to get better, and ensure that other young athletes could see that you need to work hard and you need to stay grounded and focussed to get to the top. The sky is the limit."
Fraser-Pryce leads by example. After pulling up to her morning workout last Thursday in her Mercedes jeep, she turned on her Bob Marley music through her head phones, and then engaged in an intense training session.
Francis, the head coach of the Maximizing Velocity and Power (MVP) Track Club, has the ultimate confidence in her.
"Stephen is a wonderful man. He looks rough, but inside he is soft-hearted," said Fraser-Pryce. "I admire him for the fact that he believes in me so much, and I believe in him as well. It's a two-way thing. For you to reap the rewards, you have to pay attention to the coach. I've always listened to him. He has not guided me wrong.
"I just want to continue to pave the way for the young men and women in our society. There is many more to come from Shelly-Ann. I still want to run 21 seconds, and I still want to go under 10.7, so I am still set on working hard, being grounded, and just trusting God to give me the strength and the health to do the things that I need to do."
Fraser-Pryce has personal best times of 10.70 seconds and 22.09 seconds in the 100 and 200m respectively. The 100m time is a national record for Jamaica. The world record in the century, her best event, is a blistering 10.49 seconds, set by the late Florence Griffith-Joyner 26 years ago.
"If I told you I didn't think about 10.49, I would be lying, but I'm one of those persons who believe that in order for me to think about a 10.49, I would have to get to a 10.6, and I would have to get to a 10.5," she said. "As it stands now, I'm not even at 10.6 yet. Until I get there, I try not to focus on the 10.49.
"I definitely believe in my heart that I'm a 10.6 sprinter, but nothing happens before its time. I just have to continue to work."
Fraser-Pryce said that she's very competitive when pitted against her rivals such as American Carmelita Jeter, but she's friendly as well.
"When we are competing against each other, we would walk past each other and don't say anything, but when we would have finished, we would stop and have a conversation. I would tell her that I admire her and she would say that she admires me, and stuff like that," said Fraser-Pryce. "It's a healthy rivalry. I like running against the U.S. They have been dominant for so many years, but we (Jamaica) are here now, and we have much more success to come."
Fraser-Pryce said that when she first started winning races, she discovered what her potential was, and how much better she could be if she continued to work hard.
"I knew what was expected of me," said Fraser-Pryce. "It's very hard to stay at the top, but you just have to keep working.
"I remember first walking through the tunnel at 'Champs' (Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association Boys and Girls Athletics Championships), and being nervous. This shows how far I have come in the sport. I understand and analyze someone's start, technique, and the amount of power they are getting from the blocks.
"At my first 'Champs' I was very excited. I made final and finished seventh. The adrenaline was flowing, but after the race I was excited and proud. The Olympics has shown you that you need to be calm and relaxed. 'Champs' has paved the way for a lot of us, and for me, it taught me how to handle certain situations."
Coincidentally, 'Champs' wrapped up on Saturday at the national stadium here in Jamaica, two days after the interview. Fraser-Pryce, who represented Wolmer's Girls at 'Champs' during her high school career, even provided a bit of commentary during the five-day meet. Whereas full-time commentating as an analyst is quite possible once her athletic career would have concluded, Fraser-Pryce said that she highly doubts that she would go into coaching, because she sees the stress that Coach Francis go through on a daily basis, and doesn't know if she can go through the same thing. For now, she's just enjoying her time commentating at 'Champs'.
"Champs is just awesome. I really love it and can't help but to make noise. I'm one of those fans who get my nails done in school colors. I'm big on style, and I focus on what I like."
Fraser-Pryce's animated style has translated right over into her senior career. She is always seen on the tour, or at big meets, with an assortment of hair styles which separates her from the rest. As a matter of fact, it was at her hair salon, Chic Hair Ja in Kingston, where she gave the interview to reporters last Thursday.
"It's not just that I love hair, I have a passion to create jobs," she said, vowing to bring in a barber in short order as well. "A lot of young men and ladies in Jamaica have degrees and are sitting at home because there are no jobs. If I can create a business so that other persons can get employment, then that's healthy for me and for Jamaicans."
Despite accomplishing it all outdoors over the past six years outdoors, this year could have a special meaning in Fraser-Pryce's career, in that she has already won the world indoor title in the 60m in her first year running indoors, she could run in the Commonwealth Games for the first time, and she is expected to be competing in the inaugural world relays in what would be her first trip to The Bahamas.
She spoke about how excited she is to be coming to The Bahamas.
"I have no idea of what The Bahamas looks like, but I can't wait to experience the culture and enjoy the championships there," she said. "I like the beach, not so much to go in the water because I can't swim, but just to sit on the beach and drink a martini and chill.
"I just hope that Jamaica fields more than one team because we have the depth. I'm not a huge fan of relays because there is always some controversy as to who will run what leg but this particular event should be a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to it, just going there and getting it done in The Bahamas. Relays are always exciting, and being a part of this first championship is very huge. I would love to be there to see what unfolds."
The world relays is set for May 24-25, at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.
At home in Jamaica, Fraser-Pryce's typical day is inclusive of her early training session at 6:30 every morning, taking her five-year-old niece to school at times, dropping by the hair salon, going to the gym around midday, getting a massage if needed, and then back for a second workout in the evenings. At times, she would have photo sessions, shoot commercials, and watch a movie if time permits. Her favorite TV shows are the Jamie Foxx and Steve Harvey shows.
As for her Pocket Rocket Foundation, it is geared toward assisting student-athletes in getting scholarships for secondary and tertiary level education.
"We're just trying to alleviate some of the stress and the problems that they face," said Fraser-Pryce. "When I started high school, I was blessed to have a woman assist me financially. She saw something in me that I didn't even see, and started to fund my education, my books, my lunch... everything.
"At that point, I didn't want anyone to feel sorry for Shelly-Ann, but she showed me compassion and love in so many ways and that in a way made me obligated to do the same thing to other athletes who are coming from impoverished situations. They are here, and a lot of their parents can't afford to send them to school so that they could become better individuals."
Fraser-Pryce's foundation gave out seven scholarships to deserving student-athletes last year.
"It has been really remarkable to see the progress that they have made, especially in the school area," said Fraser-Pryce. "We don't just hand out the checks, but be there for them emotionally as well. The foundation has given me a platform to cause a change for young Jamaicans. I just hope to get more sponsors to come on board so that we could give out more scholarships. These young kids are talented and bright.... they are just unable to pay their way through school."
On two of her tattoos, one on each wrist - one has the word 'hope' on it, and the other has the word 'faith' on it.
"I'm big on faith and hope. Everything that I hope for in life, I have faith that God will provide it for me," said Fraser-Pryce. "I still have a lot of work to do to get where I want to go. I understand what hard work does. I just have to remain dedicated and put in the work."
Apart from track and field, Fraser-Pryce said that she has grown to like football and cricket, but has an appreciation for all sports.

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News Article
Choose ye this day

Dear Editor,
 
Kindly allow me the opportunity to tread where angels dread to tread on a matter of national security.  Let me get right to the point.  The Bahamas must not be politically naive to assume that the Chinese are here out of purely humanitarian or economic goodwill.  I dare to suggest that the underlying, not ulterior, motive is military and neither humanitarian nor economic, and certainly not religious; though we can begin to look forward to an
ever surreptitious move to
introduce Chinese religion in our tertiary institutions of learning.
Let us face it, the Chinese do not need the Bahamian economy for the sustenance of theirs.  The trade imbalance shows that.  The Chinese could find many other more destitute countries to allocate humanitarian resources if it was all about Chinese altruism.  It is all about North America - this we must know and it is this knowledge that must guide our Bahamian-Chinese policies and our apparent unfettered receiving of Chinese 'cookies'.
In the Little Mermaid, Ariel, the star-dazed teenager foolishly and selfishly assumed that Ursula the witch was interested in Ariel and Ariel's agenda, in Ariel's world.  Ariel certainly suffered from delusions of self-grandeur.  But Ursula was connivingly quick, at the critical moment, to enlighten Ariel that it was not she (Ariel) that Ursula was after but her father - King Triton (the bigger fish).
The allusion to this Disney movie is only referential and does not seek to brand any government.  I read with humor in The Nassau Guardian recently the move of the government to "dramatically simplify(ing) visas for millions of Chinese tourists".   The dye is being cast and the bait is being laid, not conspicuously, not overtly, but covertly and in clandestine manners under economic and humanitarian gestures.  The Chinese are coming.  And America is watching in politically, perhaps militarily, astute ways and is cautiously and wisely silent for now.
Nations of the world are watching, while yet receiving a Sino-like invasion of goodwill gestures, financial and social engagements from this  'atheistic' nation; this nation whose military and economic might is potentially frightening.
We must know that it is our inevitable destination that one day we will be caught in the middle of 'a something' between China and the United States of America.  When, what and how high the stakes, will be our moment of epiphany.  And how we choose could be our Waterloo.  But know that one day the piper will demand payment and we will have to 'choose ye this day'.
 
- Alastair "Dr. B" Basden
 

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News Article
Reflections from Rome

"... the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain."
- Khalil Gibran

I was fortunate to have spent this week in Rome, en route to Switzerland. During this Italian sojourn, I visited numerous prominent historical attractions that many only read about in school books, view in movies or see in tourist brochures. During my entire stay in the Italian capital, I was frequently reminded of Khalil Gibran's observation that often we more deeply appreciate our own environment from a distance. Accordingly this week, we would like to Consider This... what are some of our reflections from Rome that help us to more fully appreciate the small country that we call The Bahamas?
Europe is very different from North America. And like the United States, the countries within Europe are as different from each other as are the different cultures, ethnicities, conventions and idiosyncrasies of the individual states that form the American union or even the different islands of The Bahamas.
Immediately upon arriving in Rome, the often expected difficulties that one could anticipate with border control were non-existent. There was no sense of immigration paranoia about foreigners that one sometimes encounters when traveling abroad. It was refreshing to experience such a welcoming and relaxed, almost nonchalant, vetting by immigration officers at the airport.
One of the earliest observations was that virtually all automobiles in Rome are very small - best characterized as either compact, mini or miniscule. The absence of large vehicles was extremely noticeable, as urban residents either use scooters as a primary means of transportation around the capital or the fairly reliable public transportation system of buses and trains. It is said that there are more scooters in Rome than automobiles, the result of both skyrocketing fuel costs combined with the ease of parking in public places.
One quickly appreciates that Italians are Euro-centric, with little concern about what's going on in the Americas. The majority of people I engaged about the state of affairs in Italy expressed a disappointment with the quality of Italian life since joining the European Union, primarily because of the adverse impact on the level of salary and wages and the replacement of the Italian lira with the euro in 2002.
Watching the news on television offered another perspective of and discernible difference in Italian life. Apart from the limited number of English-speaking channels in my hotel, it was obvious from the channels that were available that Italians are not inundated with CNN or other American media as we are in the Americas. Rather, Al Jazeera, Euronews and BBC World are viewed with greater regularity with those news services presenting a more balanced reporting of world news, again with greater interest and focus of what is taking place in Europe, Africa and Asia. For example, while scrolling the news channels, the latter broadcasts focused more on diverse international developments whereas CNN International, while reporting on selected international developments, provided more American news.
Notwithstanding claims about Italians' apathy to politics, I got the distinct impression that this is not a completely accurate assertion. The Italian Parliament, which is comprised of more than 600 deputies in the lower house of Parliament (the Camera of Deputies) and more than 300 senators, seems to be very active and engaged. While visiting the Italian Parliament, I observed several organized, albeit rancorous, demonstrations in front of the Camera of Deputies. I was also advised that this is a common occurrence, that Parliament meets regularly and that there are always organized demonstrations outside by Italian activists.

The church and history
There are certain realities that transcend national boundaries. Citizens here express disappointment about the level of taxes imposed by the Italian government, including personal and corporate taxes. There is also a value added tax (VAT) rate of 21 percent on goods and services (10 percent in restaurants), which some observe has significantly contributed to the high level of domestic prices. Another common feature of this society is the number of people seeking alms, although it appeared that more women engage in this activity than we are accustomed to seeing.
During a visit to Vatican City, one could only marvel at the enormous impact that the Catholic Church has always had on Italian culture. Historically, more than 16,000 people visit Vatican City daily, although since the election of Pope Francis in March, the level of daily visitors has increased to 25,000.
Although Rome has a population of four million, the streets of this city felt safe for walking, both day and night. Security in Rome is provided by a ubiquitous police force particularly in the city center, including regular uniformed officers, and the elite Carabineri. The regular army is even present in some places. Of course, the Swiss Guard protects Vatican City.
I visited the usual tourist attractions, including the Trevi Fountain, Piazza di Spagna (the Seven Steps), the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Castel St. Angelo, the Forum, the Coliseum, the Church of St. Peter and Paul in Chains, and the Vittoriano Monument - a large white marble edifice in Piazza Venezia, which was erected to commemorate the unification of Italy in 1861. Wherever you go, you will find that residents of Rome have a tremendous sense of national pride about the role that Rome has played in the history of civilization.
Italians have every reason to possess such pride, having regard for the enormously incalculable contributions that Rome has made to the development of politics, academics, culture, the arts, jurisprudence and civil society.
The resurgence of the appreciation for the importance of the Roman Empire and the Italian Renaissance is visible on an international scale as well. These time periods were recently featured in films beginning with the movie "Gladiator", other Hollywood productions of Dan Brown's "DaVinci Code" and "Angels and Demons" and recent TV series such as "Spartacus", "The Borgias" and DaVinci's "Demons".
Rome is a city of contradictions and ironies. During the Roman Empire, Rome led in the persecution of Christians, including the crucifixion and beheading of Sts. Peter and Paul, respectively, along with many other Christian martyrs, but it is also the city which ultimately became the center of the Christian church and the establishment of the Vatican as a separate and autonomous state and the seat of Catholicism.
It is also ironic that the some of the most beautiful churches in Rome were built with stones that were taken from the Coliseum, where Christians were executed, and from the pagan temples of the Forum where the early polytheistic Romans worshipped. It is equally ironic how many previously taboo pagan practices, rituals and customs were amalgamated or absorbed into the Christian church, particularly during the reign of Constantine, the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity.
Although we do not enjoy the millennia-long historical perspective of all that Rome has to offer the world, we in The Bahamas should also be proud of our accomplishments as a young country. From its earliest days, settlers both black and white demonstrated a robust resilience against great odds. They were able to survive by coaxing crops from the barren rocks of our islands. They withstood storms and starvation for centuries and created the vibrant society we call The Bahamas, complete with a rich culture, vigorous democracy and promising future. Certainly there are many exemplary episodes in Bahamian history that we can be as proud of as any Roman. All we have to do is make more of an effort to learn our own stories.
My recent visit to Rome provided not only a deeper understanding of the city that I visited nearly 20 years ago and of its contribution to humanity, but also a richer appreciation of Gibran's observation that "... the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain."

o Philip C. Galanis is the managing partner of HLB Galanis & Co., Chartered Accountants, Forensic & Litigation Support Services. He served 15 years in Parliament. Please send your comments to pgalanis@gmail.com.

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News Article
20 QUESTIONS

Artist Jessica Colebrook answers this week's 20 Questions from Guardian Arts&Culture.

1. What's been your most inspirational moment in the last five years?
Besides watching the emerging personalities of both of my daughters, I would say the most inspirational moment I had in the past five years was watching God truly move in my life and answer prayers of about 10 years ago.

2. What's your least favorite piece of artwork?
My least favorite piece of artwork would be the two tile murals that were in the departure area of the old airport. Gosh, I really hated those!

3. What's your favorite period of art history?
The Renaissance Period.

4. What are your top 5 movies of all time?
Coming to America, Clash Of the Titans (1981 version), Ghost, What's Love Got to Do With It, Scream and The Lion King (that's six).

5. Coffee or tea?
Coffee.

6. What book are you reading now?
"Mother, Stranger" by Cris Beam.

7. What project are you working on now?
I am working on my upcoming "Mother and Daughter 3" exhibit scheduled for May at Hillside House as well as ACE 3 "My Flamboyant Bowls and Cups" scheduled to open in October at Doongalik Studios.

8. What's the last show that surprised you?
Can't say at the moment.

9. Saxons, One Family, Valley Boys or Roots?
Valley Boys for sure. My husband (Carlos) is a Valley and I have grown to respect his position and love for the Valley Boys over the many years we have been together, and so I pledge allegiance to that group (for the time being).

10. If you had to be stranded on one Family Island which one would it be?
Abaco for sure.

11. What's the most memorable artwork you've ever seen?
Adrian Arleo's "Turtle/Transitions", 2009.

12. Which artist do you have a secret crush on?
None really.

13. If you could have lunch with anyone who would it be?
Adrian Arleo and Oprah.

14. Who do you think is the most important Bahamian in the country's history?
Sir Lynden O. Pindling.

15. Who is your favorite living artist?
Adrian Arleo.

16. Sunrise or Sunset?
Sunrise.

17. What role does the artist have in society?
Artists bring life to just about everything. They preserve history and at the same time create history.

18. What's your most embarrassing moment?
Can't recall.

19. What wouldn't you do without?
Spending time with God first thing in the morning.

20. What's your definition of beauty?
If God made it, it's beautiful. There so much beauty in everything, even the bad!

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News Article
The media and our society

Dear Editor,
First, let me state that in writing this letter I wish to make a few suggestions that I believe would help stem the tide of the social and moral decadence that has become so pervasive in our country and has reached every level of civil society regardless of age, gender, social status.
There is an old Japanese proverb, which translates to the English as "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil". It has been my observation that the culture of gangsterism, oversexualization of our young people, and the rampant materialism in the modern Bahamas has manifested itself within this proverb. I believe that there is a direct link between mass media and its influence on the general public. One would just have to turn on the radio to one of the popular stations and listen, not to the music, but the ideas systematically repeated within the music, 24 hours a day, six days in the week. The ideas constantly repeated include: casual sex without any social or long-term responsibility; the glorifying of a criminal lifestyle; thoughtless consumerism; rapacious capitalism; poor dietary spending.
The cinemas are just as culpable in this effort; where one mass media outlet affects the general public on what it hears this media outlet affects it by what it sees. In fact, there is an adage that says "a picture says one thousand words". These moving pictures or images visually demonstrate ideas which may not be beneficial to a society which teaches social responsibility and moral restraint. Any perceptive watcher or listener has to wonder the long-term effects of these messages on a community.
If I am not mistaken, there are agencies that regulate mass media in this country - i.e, URCA and the Bahamas Christian Council. However, I truthfully do not think that their efforts have been impactful; considering the movies still being screened in our theaters and allowable music played over the airwaves.
On the other hand, there are people who would defend mass media abuse with claims of freedom of expression. However, this freedom should be reasonable and considering the outcome of its effect we have gone far beyond the scope of reasonableness.
I would like to make clear that I am not the "thought police" but I do know that some ideas resonate in the minds of the young and the uniformed. It is within the public interest of any country to fetter some of the expressions propagated through our mass media which negatively impact the collective consciousness of our society. I would humbly suggest that an independent investigation be done on the effects of commercial mass media on the psyche of Bahamian consumers.
Next, one should look at possible ways in using mass media to propagate positive messages. There is an immediate tendency to slip into an argument of mind control or brainwashing. However, we should resist this temptation. All mass media propagates a message, whether it's in buying a particular product or accepting a particular political agenda. In America, mass media has been used to create a specific culture for its own people to follow. Unfortunately, this culture has been globalized and imposed on people it may have been never intended for.
Thirdly, I would urge our government to institute legislation that would seek to prevent the proliferation of questionable media content (including cable, satellite, and the internet). I believe that through the law one can condition behavior.
Lastly, we should investigate other governments' mass media usage, outside of the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The country of Nigeria uses the film industry known as Nollywood to promote family values laden with cultural themes. This is unlike the wanton violence, promiscuity, and drug abuse common in Western media programming. I understand that people have the right to make up their own minds; however, there are many persons within our society who find it difficult in differentiating entertainment from reality. They live out the pathologies of what they see and hear in media.
In conclusion, I would urge you who may have the power to help usher along the wheels of change to seriously consider these suggestions. We would render ourselves negligent if we idly stand by, receiving all the privileges of this country and ignoring all the obligations to which, as proud citizens, we are all responsible. God bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
- Cohen P. Davis

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