Some legendary characters live on in literature and will live on as long as civilization accepts the value of literature. Faust is treated in Germanic culture the same way Shakespearian characters are in English life. Dr. Faust (remember the invitation to the Day of Appreciation to showcase President Jagdeo addresses him as Dr. Jagdeo) was not satisfied that he had it all. His mundane desires were insatiable.
Dr. Faust made a covenant with the Devil. He willed himself to the Devil in exchange for eternal power. The Devil didn’t turn up himself but sent a representative, Mephistopheles.
The moral of Dr. Faust’s life is old as time itself. Virtue is less important than lust and one will sell one’s soul just to have power and wealth. Over the past four hundred years, the legend of Dr. Faust has appeared in numerous books, films, plays and operas. The latest production is a Russian movie which won the Venice Film Festival last week for best entry
From this German tale, we get some interesting adjectives often used in journalism. “Faustian” and “Mephistophelian” mean evil and devilish. Come Friday, Faustian politics, Mephistophelian mentalities and Shakespearian characters will be on display. The event is named Day of Appreciation in honour of the sixth executive president of Guyana, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo.
The drama of Dr. Faust mirrors the journey of the fourth executive president. Bestowed with power that he never dreamt of in his wildest imagination, the Guyanese rags-to- riches figure expanded his imagination and ambition to destructive levels. Mephistopheles in the Guyanese context wasn’t one representative from the devil but several. There is the construction man, the pharmaceutical man, the hardware man, the supply-of -autos man, the New York mortgage bank man, the trawler man, and the spy equipment man.
For many opposition politicians, commentators and media operatives, the Guyanese Mephistopheles is Roger Khan. A little note is important at this moment before we forget. When Mr. Jagdeo became President in 1999, the PPP published some notes on his youthful politics and informed Guyanese that he created history by being one of the youngest members of the PPP joining the PPP at age fourteen. No one in the opposition at the time commented on the fact that the PPP’s youth arm only allows membership from age sixteen. But maybe they made an exception for Mr. Jagdeo.
It doesn’t seem that Mr. Jagdeo rose rapidly from the lower ranks and became a well known name to the premier PPP leaders. Dr. Roger Luncheon, testifying in court, told the court that he first met Mr. Jagdeo in 1992. Of course, that is the date that the PPP came into power and became the administration. In the eighties onwards, Dr. Luncheon was one of the big leaders in the PPP.
If Mr. Jagdeo joined at age fourteen and rose rapidly from thereon, and Dr. Luncheon only met him in 1992, then it is safe to conclude that prior to 1992, Mr. Jagdeo was hardly visible to the top guns in the PPP. I hope someone clears up this contradiction if it is a contradiction.
Back to the story of Faust and Mephistopheles
The Day of Appreciation couldn’t come at a worse time for the travelers to the National Stadium on Friday. The WikiLeaks cables are published and tall tales abound about Mephistopheles that put Dr. Faust in serious trouble. As you read the WikiLeaks disclosures, the entanglement of Faust and Mephistopheles become pellucid and incandescent.
Faust wanted power, Mephistopheles offered it, and the soul of Faust became a bargain. Just in the real German legend, Faust exchanged his life for Mephistopheles’s magic, in the Guyanese context, Khan became the man with the wand.
Faust isn’t going to miss Mephistopheles number one at the Stadium on Friday afternoon, the other Mephistopheles will be there. And they will sing praise to Faust. There will be no mention of the pact with the Devil. Not a word about the destruction created by this pact – the vast wealth the other Mephistopheles created from their rendezvous the past twelve years with Faust.
No mention of the “Bulky Guy” who cried when his American visa was revoked. Not a word about the crime monster that has devoured the subjects of Faust in a land called Guyana. As the dancers gyrate to the hits and jams of the night, a gargantuan shadow of the real Mephistopheles will rise from an American jail and cover the National Stadium.
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