All over the world, people dance in the New Year. If the US Ambassador who has just demitted office is right, then the population of Guyana is one of the youngest in the world. He said more than half of Guyana is under 25.
As a columnist writing for thirty years now about Old Year’s Night, I used to suggest what type of songs you can dance to in ushering the next year. But that was from a time when that kind of music was in vogue. I remember suggesting Sarah Brightman’s “Perfect Year,” which in fact is about one year passing into another on December 31. I can recall advising readers to dance to Barry White’s phenomenal instrumental tune – “Love’s Theme.”
Those are songs I love lustily. But I don’t think any DJ in any part of the world tonight will play those types of music that once dominated the seventies and eighties. Whatever type of music they air, they must know that Old Year’s Night is about romance and romance is about love and love is the priceless instinct that keeps civilization alive. So whatever song you dance to in bringing 2019 into being, let it be a romantic moment with someone you love and a person that loves you.
In this life, one has to enjoy oneself. Tomorrow waits for no one and the sweet bird of youth will never return to cheer you up. You will never see that bird again. And if you want to see it, then you will end up as the recurring tragic figure in Tennessee Williams’ maudlin plays. In this country, life is never guaranteed. This is a very unstable country and unnerving uncertainties hang over it as we enter into a brand new year.
If there is any reason to have a superb experience of enjoyment in Guyana at Old Year’s Night, then, it is this evening. We have entered a period of tenseness and a neurotic waiting game. A majority of Guyanese will be enjoying wonderful abandonment tonight and they will say they don’t care about the political anxieties hanging over Guyana because they are not interested in politics.
It is just deadly misleading in any country. Take the US, it has untold numbers that have no interest in what goes on in Washington DC. They just live their lives. But politics can disrupt the American peace any moment. What if an international crisis brings on an American invasion of another country? Then the US will be at war and war affects an entire society.
If 2019 begins in constitutional crisis and the main players show reluctance to dialogue and there is an adverse feedback into society, then migration becomes the main consequence. People will leave. Good friends we have, nice people we meet, talented Guyanese that the country needs will leave.
Political confrontation since 1957 has been Guyana’s nemesis. I get emails from people quite often who tell me that they are in their seventies and they left with their parents since the sixties and seventies and since their departure, Guyana appears to them to be the same troubled land.
I have been writing since 1988 in the newspapers of this country and I cannot think of an instability that unfolded during the holiday season that threatens to dampen the spirit of Old Year’s Night. I hope this doesn’t happen tonight.
Guyanese are nice humans that deserve the best that life has to offer. I have seen countries that were more deprived than us taken off and leave us behind.
In my honestly held view, I don’t think the political crisis that we have at the moment will deter citizens from enjoying pleasure and leisure tonight. It is what happens the next day. But fear of what will happen the next day will play no part tonight. But there is a monster that will be out early on Tuesday morning – horrible driving.
Will we read about tragic accidents in the newspapers in their Thursday edition (assuming the newspaper as usual will not print the day after New Year’s Day)? I hope not but there is a wild animal in Guyana that I see every day on our roads. He is called the crazy driver.
We began with the democratic trend in our population – a majority being under 25. With young people being so young, the tendency for machismo to run wild in the early morning of Tuesday January 1, 2019 is very much a strong possibility.
I end on a brutally frank note. I always say if you drive insanely, hurt yourself, not innocent people.
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