It has gone viral on social media. It is the talk of the town by everyone who has internet access and those who are on Facebook. At the Golden Jubilee dinner on Saturday night, guests, including the President, First Lady and everyone else were served with plastic cups and plates. Each table had a white, blue-eyed doll with a Guyana flag attached to its body. What is wrong with plastic cups, plates and the doll?
Let’s look at the first one first. In this life there is a place for everything. Once civilization exists, that will never change. Once the world exists, that will never change. Context will remain everything in life. Once a human does not recognize and observe context, that person is never going to succeed with their personal life. Some examples are in order. You cannot and should not turn up in church for the funeral service of a loved up with tennis short pants and a T-shirt.
I am not referring to the category of homeless persons. In fact, while seated in St. George’s Cathedral last Wednesday for Perry Mars’ funeral service, I saw a woman come in and she was very untidy. She looked to me to be a homeless person. Maybe very long ago in Hopetown, she knew Perry and as the years passed, life dealt her a wrong hand. Once you can afford it, you should not be in the church with short pants and T-shirt for a service. Another example is a job application.
I cannot remember his first name but his last name was Lindo. Lindo was a lawyer who applied for a teaching position in the Law Department at UG and his application was written on a half page of a school exercise book. Professor JOF Haynes threw it in the waste basket. Lindo didn’t get the job but came to UG to inquire why he was not successful. Professor Haynes refused to see him. Could the serving of paper cups and sanitary plates be justified? In my opinion, not in the context of the event.
This was the official dinner to climax the celebration of fifty years of Independence. All the Who is Who would have been invited. It was a very sybaritic affair as I noticed from my upper verandah. On such occasion, wouldn’t the affair be catered out? And would sanitary wares be appropriate for such an occasion? Let us see if we can imagine a justification. I think two factors may be considered. A caterer would not have such huge amount of ware material. Secondly, the cost of buying all the required ware material.
I would dismiss the second factor. We may not like Chinese produced goods but they make very cheap glasses and ware plates that would have been presentable. A Chinese ware plate goes around 200 Guyana dollars and the more decorative one at 300 Guyana dollars. At such cheap cost, the expense in purchasing those items could not have been a deterring factor. But why should cost be a factor when Ministers and big state officials drive expensive SUVs and the total gas bills for such people are astronomical?
Let’s look at the white dolls. I will pass on any discuss on this aberration or nihilistic caricature. It has no explanation, no logic. Why not little plastic moulds of Guyana’s map? Why not a little plastic body with two faces on it- African slave and indentured Indian? That is where we came from. The least said of this Faustian insanity the better. Next the traffic. What a jungle it was. I sat on my verandah and saw cars stuck in traffic for more than thirty minutes.
If that event was held at the Government-owned Marriot there could not have been that kind of traffic nightmare. Who lives around that area? Why should people going to the East Coast or leaving the East Coast for Georgetown have to endure that kind of exasperation just because there is an official dinner at the Convention Centre? And the spillover affected the Atlantic highway because drivers had to use UG Road to get to the Convention Centre. You had to see it to believe it. What an irony! Celebrating fifty years of Independence showed we do not know how to organize anything.
Columnist note: I would like to thank Ministers Roopnarine and Henry of the Ministry of Education for their invitation to both the official flag-raising ceremony and the jubilee dinner. I did give the tickets to people who were willing to make use of it. Never liked crowds at all.
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