In the last few days, I’ve been relieved to see that Jamaican bloggers are finally coming out of the woodwork about the Red Stripe situation. This is going to be a continually updated collection of links:
Stunner’s Afflictions: “I would love to see other sponsors in corporate Jamaica as well as the media, take a similar step to curb this ugly trend that our great Dancheall music has developed. By doing this they will be sending a message to these artistes and to their producers who are equally responsible, and cleanup our great, powerful, culture defining Dancedall music.” One commenter ponders the hypocrisy of an alcohol company taking the moral high ground, while another just reflects on how much less traffic there could be.
Yawd from Abroad: “This decision by Red Stripe in my opinion, boils down to pressure from the government and foreign ownership plain and simple, and I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but don’t say you care about the violence in lyrics when you sell Red Stripe on every corner on the island. More violence happens in the street than in the dance hall. We have a saying here in the US, don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining, translation: Don’t say you care about violence when it’s really your bottom line and reputation you are attempting to protect.” Commenters discuss the problems with dancehall being the only lucrative form of expression and the previous blogger engages in some debate here.
The SNWMF Forum: Message board for the Sierra Nevada Music Festival. “this seems to be more of a national choice because they are still sponcering shows in the usa. which meks it more obvious this is not a jamaican company anymore, it has divsions.”
The Gleaner, Jamaica’s other major paper, finally has an article about this: “Despite standing to lose an estimated US$2 million in value as a result of cancelling its headline sponsorship – according to a highly placed executive – Red Stripe said that it could no longer place its reputation “at risk” by being associated with events where violence might be promoted.” Granted, later on in the article it is revealed that Red Stripe has spent around $400 million in previous years (divide by 7 = $60 mil each?).