View
Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
UWI Author(s)
Author, Analytic
Cooper, Carolyn J.
Author Role
Presenter
Author Affiliation
Department of Literatures in English
Paper/Section Title
Rasta castle: Subversive word-play in the lyrics of Peter Tosh
Medium Designator
n/a
Connective Phrase
In
Editor/Compiler
n/a
Editor/Compiler Role
n/a
Proceedings Title
2nd Conference on Caribbean Culture and Festival of the word
Date of Meeting
January 9 - 12, 2002
Place of Meeting
University of the West Indies (Mona, Jamaica)
Place of Publication
n/a
Publisher Name
n/a
Date of Publication
n/a
Date of Copyright
n/a
Volume ID
n/a
Location in Work
n/a
Extent of Work
n/a
Packaging Method
n/a
Series Editor
n/a
Series Editor Role
n/a
Series Title
n/a
Series Volume ID
n/a
Location/URL
n/a
ISBN
n/a
Notes
n/a
Abstract
There has emerged in recent popular discourse in Jamaica a revisionist reading of Peter Tosh's wordology that attempts to contain the potency of his subversive use of 'bad words' within the narrow ambit of political correctness. Tosh's deliberately provocative use of profanity is thus adulterated. Conversely, the paper argues that Tosh's 'bad words' can be read metonymucally as signifiers of the griots's contestation of the downpressive discourses of the ruling elite in Jamaica. Profanity, for Tosh, lay not so much in the word as in the politics of exclusion which the legal system perpetuates. Indeed, Tosh, in performance, often transformed 'bad words' in order to keep the pretence of peace. For example, the neologism 'rasta castle' contains the damning power of its unspeakable 'bad word' progenitor, 'r**s klaat.' This process of euphemistification allowed Tosh the freedom to chant down Babylon in words that simultaneously concealed and revealed his critique of the hypocrisy encoded in a legal system that dares not truly name the obscenities it prescribes.....
read more