Hear I Rant Jamaica

Put our collective energies to better use

I received a recent email urging me as a Caribbean athletic fan, to register discontent with NBC for the delayed broadcast of the men and women 100m finals.
Now, I’m a track and field fan, and no fan of NBC. But I’m not one to lend my voice to hopeless, illogical and minuscule causes. It’s clearly basic, economic logic. NBC paid multi-millions for the USA broadcast rights to the Games and they will want money jingling in their pockets.
According to a figure I have seen, an average of 30 million people watched NBC primetime each night since the Games begun. There is no way NBC will put a feature like the 100 meters in the morning when less than 20% of their audience are watching. That’s not what their advertisers pay big bucks for.
Jamaicans self-interest in the 100m, reflects only an insignificant % of viewers (which would be made even smaller by those at work) as against what NBC had same night. If our logic was to take hold, every small interest would have their sports or nationality on live. That not only would that be chaotic, but NBC would lose their proverbial shirt.
As individuals, if we were hosting a for-profit event, we wouldn’t be holding it on Wednesday morning, 3am, would we? So why begrudge NBC’s financial interest?
We all do foolish things under the euphoria of the moment (see above). Mine, in a previous blog, was to exclaim that Usain’s win was bigger than Michael Phelp’s achievement. It clearly isn’t.
The writer also made the point of American jingoism of which I’m highly sympathetic. The NBC from somewhere in the 1980s or ‘90s, started to take an extremely nationalistic tone to their coverage, even though they knew that a lot of smaller countries bought feeds from them.
It’s not difficult to predict that other countries with broadcast rights will follow suit if they have not done so already.
But many Jamaicans in America act surprised every time American jingoism comes to the fore. May I remind those that are citizens, that by the oath they took, they are Americans and are obligated first to the triumphs and tribulations of this country. Unless of course, like PJ Patterson and Daryl Vaz, their oaths of allegiance means nothing.
There is feel-good propaganda value in the Games and Americans will
juice it the best they can. Americans are not gonna watch certain sports and they are not gonna feature sports where their athletes aren’t doing well. Granted, they go overboard, but others need not buy into it.
In a subsequent email, the writer in arguing his point said, “I believe we can effect some change as to how the networks produce and air these programs, considering that the US is one big melting pot. Sitting passively and complaining to each other is not the way. The networks have to hear from us.
That is the object of my campaign. Getting people, especially our Caribbean people, involved in the process of effecting change by taking action”.
These are all nice pretty words, but no bredrin, you won’t affect change on this issue with the NBC, and as for America being one big melting pot, you are sipping some mighty hallucinogenic kool-aid there.
As for Caribbean people taking action, I wish those wanting to protest NBC, had brought that same fervor to the ‘wet-foot, dry-foot’ policy particularly as to how it affects the Haitians, immigration issues on the whole especially as many Jamaicans are locked up at Krome Ave, the illegal invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and a slew of other policies that affect our own, and our birth countries economic well-being.
The Olympics are only once-every-4-years diversions, nothing more. Pick and choose your battles wisely.

About the author


Writer, photographer, artist. Have been doing all three for some time. More about myself and my art can be found at http://www.louisdavisart.com, and http://www.broward.org/arts/publications/cq/2008/winter08/cq_winter08.htm