Peter Dean Rickards

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Have you ever noticed that when something insane happens in full view of the general public there are always a lot of people who stand around , shake their head, and ask each other a bunch of rhetorical questions about that insane thing?


Questions like: How did that happen? What made them do it?
Invariably, if there's enough controversy around this insane thing, the media reports on it and does its best to answer those pressing public questions.


You can't blame them really (the public that is). Humans are naturally curious animals after all, and even worse, there are those among us who actually use phrases like: "How can we change for the better if we don't understand what happened in the first place?"


I have always hated people like that. They usually buy bad music and think people like Carolyn Cooper are "deep".
Added to the this equation is the fact that the human race is a divided one.


We are split long colour lines, class lines, cultural lines, and in some cases, will divide from others if they don't keep their body odour from becoming offensive.


I, for one, openly admit a real prejudice towards people who do things like this:


As a result, it is pretty impossible for the people in the media (particularly the ones who need advertisers) to explain some of the reasons for things like 9/11, the Columbine massacre, the latest mass suicide or the reason why those guys beat the shit out of that truck driver with a brick during the L.A riots.


With the Internet , however, the media has become much more varied and consequently, much more confused. Now, instead of having to listen to news reports of the latest shootout downtown', we can simply turn on a computer and listen to intercepted radio transmissions of taxi drivers discussing the action live.


Indeed, anyone with the basic equipment can become ‘the media.'


Of course, this could be perceived as either a good or bad thing since there are those people who believe that the media has certain ‘responsibilities' to the general public.


Responsibilities such as ‘balance' and ‘sensitivity' to special interest groups , particularly along religious lines (which by the way includes the ‘religion of culture').


So what does all of that have to do with www.afflictedyard.com?

Well, firstly, we are not necessarily interested in any of all that. Essentially, the things we will present here are-technically speaking-a microcosmic version of the media except we are the only members on the board of directors and don't really care about advertisers and the ‘responsibilities' associated with being a corporate media outlet.


Our purpose then, is just that- our purpose.
Our perspectives are at once expressed culturally (Jamaican/ North American)as well as individually. At the very base, we are only interested in a good laugh. We mess with everyone and everything. We were those kids who laughed when the space shuttle blew up. We were those guys who got thrown out of class for laughing at the class retard.


We live for those special media moments ( as long as it happens to someone else).


Sometimes we do things that some people will never find funny and occasionally we do things that many others might find somewhat amusing .


Either way, we really don't care what you think unless you're going to pay us and even then we'll probably still make fun of you behind your back.


We are Jamaicans living within and without cultural control.
We are at once proud nationalists and harsh critics of our country of origin.


A country known for its extremes. A place packed with originality and creative energy that continues to flourish despite the current socio-political state that has removed the personal pride of many.


An island filled with beauty unsurpassed and ugliness that would make a rat puke. This is the Afflicted Yard. A place of extremes where you will see life as we see it.


Watch it, or change the channel.