The melody from the theme song for CARIFESTA 2008 sung by our youthful Lisa Punch, is excellent. It was played incessantly, and rightly so, before and during the festival; and it still lingers in my ears. From a poor opening, “casa-casa” as we say in colloquial speech, it nevertheless ended on a beautiful note. No doubt, the Carifesta event did provide a well deserving period of respite from various forms of violence and hardships: fatigue, tribulations, pain, stress and loss.
Foreigners, along with those Guyanese who came home, enjoyed the peaceful and friendly atmosphere of our dear land and her people with their trademark hospitality; which, by the way, I think the time has come to examine in a critical way as against the way we treat each other.
If only for the coming-together, a sense that we are one while the real fusion remains an illusion, the event was deserving, which leaves many Guyanese very optimistic that they would finally be treated and accepted in like manner by other sister CARICOM states.
I find many of the “Super Show”’ performers, with few exceptions, rather monotonous and infinitum “Put up yuh an!” (hand) “Raise yuh an!” “Jump!” “Leh meh hear yuh scream!” the disgusting start-and-stop two lines singing — “Reeel!”Suh meh she!” And every Guyanese artiste and DJ was a reborn full-blooded Jamaican. It was nothing short of self-bastardisation — as ‘Natural Black’ was more Jamaican than a Morgan Heritage!”
However, the performance of the Anguillan bands was refreshing, very creative, and reminded us of cool soul, rhythm and blues — real nice and original. But all of that is behind us now. It’s over, and now we must pick up from where we left off to face our reality.
Today is the 5th Oct., sixteen years post 1992. In spite of all the Govt. propaganda and rhetoric from ministers, the small man is taking a beating, caught up in a stranglehold.
The VAT, like a vampire bat, continues its relentless pressure, coupled with the rising increase in everything. Government officers have become brutal extortionists, ‘ripping’ off the ordinary working man dreadfully with exorbitant charges way above the regular prices. So bribery is the order of the day.
The cost for low income earners, not to mention single-parents, to send their children to school is almost prohibitive, transportation is a killer, text books are not less than $2,000, lunch/snack is a headache, light and water bills up the pressure, and living becomes a nightmare! According to Peeping Tom, there are a great number of bad things that are happening in Guyana…., widespread corruption and poor governance; nepotism seems paramount and well entrenched, with astronomical salary. Yet nothing is being done, except much mumble and grumble from different corners and quarters, and it appears as if people are satisfied, too weary or just contented to hustle – “fight fuh self”, which is a lot of what we are seeing, catch what you can.
But I sit and ponder, and in reflection see pictures from the dead past. Though tough, sometimes dreadful, and even woebegone, there was never such apathy and resignation as appears today. And this all because there were quite a fine set of effervescent and formidable activists of all sorts who courageously were in the vanguard and maintained a militancy that kept the Government uneasy and gave a sense of hope to the masses who depended on them for motivation.
Then I couldn’t help thinking: “Where have all the flowers gone?” Why, after 16 years, do I still feel the same? In my mind’s eye I see the crowd — Indians, Africans and other minorities in protest – across race no one can doubt the constant and annoying opposition the Burnham/PNC got from the black people. And I am not saying that Indians should do the same just because, no!
There must be palpable evidence, justifiable reasons, but they need to match them (blacks) by standing up against the administration on the question of right/wrong, of fairness and (in) justice for the sake of a better Guyana for all. But it is dear to me that there are no more fighters/ radicals with any sort of revolutionary zeal left, among us.
Those who were somewhat militant in the PPP of yester year are no more so inclined and see things from a different perspective; the wrongs of yesterday can be seen as correct today! With the exception of Freddie Kissoon and Tacuma Ogunseye whom, even though on a number of issues are at variance with each other, there are not many from the old school who we can identify in taking radical positions/views whenever there is gross and absurd abuse or miscarriage of justice in one form or another. (Where Kissoon is concerned, I think he finds himself in an unenviable position, since he is conveniently favoured, depending on which ethnic camp/leader he shows in good or bad light) I am thankful to Nigel Westmaas for enlightening me in his article “Grounding 40 years on” – S.N 5th Sept. 22 about Walter Rodney’s caustic expression in describing most academics of his time as “static parasitic creatures.” It is so glaring and fitting today more than ever; in fact most of today’s academics are more brazen and bombastic in their materialistic grad. Yes, too many things are amiss and it’s clear to me that we will have to invent a new breed of revolutionary intellectuals who are not just content on being mere sycophants and ‘static parasitic creatures’, but rather possessing some degree of moral integrity and a fighting passion for challenge and change. The late Paul Newman had a motto they should adopt. “If you do not exploit your success in order to improve things in the world, then you are really wasting it,”
Jul 17, 2019The CWI Level One Coaching Course is scheduled to commence tomorrow, Thursday 18 July 2019, at the National Stadium-Providence. The course is expected to involve the participation of former...
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