I look at the year 2019, and I could write a full-length book in one sitting. It was that kind of year, when evil winds blew and parched most minds in this sick land, while leaving both further dehydrated in spirit, crumpled in substance, and rickety in outlook.
There was so much that happened in 2019 yet, at the crux, nothing really stirred at all. That is, except for the untamed rampaging beasts goaded into madness within the nation’s breast.
For there was in the hells let loose within the first third of the year by that worst of hangovers from December 2018, compliments of a witches’ brew labeled no confidence; if ever there was something called confidence in this country, it incinerated before the furies unleashed and refused to return to the bottles: of the sensible, of parliament, of civility, of that always elusive sorcery named harmony.
That last one is now history; well, at least until the oil runs out and sanity slips back in through the side door. Maybe, those living then will look at the folly of it all and exclaim with regret: what a waste! What an environmental disaster we did make of ourselves! I say this for several reasons.
Because in that same first third, I listened and read of the “fandango and tango” that were the foreseen and foregone inevitabilities handed down by judicial tribunals, who were asked to crown the rhythmic, when only the dirges of the tragic could be forthcoming.
Anybody with a fraction of a brain could have prophesied that one; the problem is that even a mere cranial fraction was absent from these politically rambunctious shores. The dirges and tragedies were what it would have to be.
And that was what came about from the spectacles of the rough cuts that made for the middle third of 2019, this most troubled of years. The Chinese were farsighted enough to call it the year of the pig. How right they were, since from a Guyanese context, the politically and racially swinish came into the ascendancy here.
First, the foreign arbiters danced to their own music, while wondering who these people called Guyanese are. That is, if they should be categorised as people in the first place. For there we were – most of us – if not “aal ah wee” – who through every succeeding ballad recorded, ended up confirming our enduring convictions over a criminal constitution, which rendered us feebler and palpably more pitiable before all.
The more we interpreted, the less we understood; and the more we discovered, the more lost we became. From in the region, the lawmen – sharp in the production of their minds, and deft in the footwork displayed – felt compelled by circumstances to pen one ‘Dear John’ heartbreaker of a decision after another. The problem was that John Politics and Johnny Guyanese couldn’t take no for an answer, were not prepared to pick up the pieces and move on.
To move on and start fresh; perhaps, a practical political dispensation, to live, not necessarily happily ever after, but with some element of self-respect. Yet, as I looked on unbelievingly, we did move on, though not in the manner anticipated. Thoughtfully and visionary, no; but delightfully craftily and sleazily, most certainly.
I say this because the final third of this lamentable year that never was, succeeded in exhuming the gruesome, but very recognisable, carcass of this country. It is one that should be buried, thoroughly sanitised with spirits, and condemned to oblivion. We couldn’t identify a chair, but everybody was laying claim to the whole house; a list forced to picking the brains of the courts, since we have none left; and the times stood up over a date revealed to the world how ramshackle and sickly we are.
When I did apply what is left of my mind, I marveled at what 2019, in its entireties, encapsulated and projected. It is really simple: the countless possibilities of petroleum. In our long offseason, we had some young students, who went to Dubai and wowed the world (that Guyana is a serious place, and not only of laughingstocks and livestock). Some athletes under the banner of the Golden Arrowhead scaled the summits and came up slightly short. And a few smart souls pondered about truth, settled for the celestial, and found sanctuary in the midst of all the madness.
That was 2019 in the splendour of the sprawling nutshell that is Guyana; of a reality that conveys the essences and exotica of people consigning themselves to lower, then still lower depths. It would be catastrophic, arguably still manageable, if that was all. Because the largest legacy of 2019 is the story of its unfinished business.
Most regrettably, it does not end at midnight on December 31. Nor on March 2nd, which only brings visions of extensions of the convulsions (and concoctions) of 2019. Beyond that landmine of a watermark, this place will go where, even the powers may not know, nor want to know. To be unpatriotic, neither do I.
I have had my fill; but rather mysteriously, I am the emptier for all of it. After all of that, I still have it in me to wish friend and foe (all) a blessed holiday and a healthy 2020. It is the best that I can do. May next year be less about interesting times, and more of prospering, peaceful ones.
Jan 25, 2020Attorney for several Cricket Stakeholders, Attorney-At-Law Arudranauth M. Gossai of the Law Firm Gossai & Gossai of Lot 8 St. Ann Street, New Amsterdam, Berbice, has written to President of...
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