By now, it is a restatement of the tiring obvious. But when presented by those distant from the ugly fray, it takes on added sharpness, while ramming home our blessing and our curses. From oilprice.com came this headline on April 6, “Political battle amidst world’s most spectacular oil boom.” Boom and bust is the perpetual day-to-day norm here in regular Guyana.
In the dry language of an uninvolved foreigner, we are reminded of how we waste our heritage with the draining political prodigality that hangs Guyana out before the whole world for the pathetic place that it is, which it may be doomed to always be. That is, unless we-leaders, supporters, and citizens-resolve powerfully and unswervingly to give up something to get something. To get to somewhere, other than where we are trapped and try to trick and torture one another, with what could be our sorry destiny.
The article spent some time telling us and plastering in our faces (unintentionally) all the disfiguring things that we know so well about ourselves, but do nothing about: no confidence furors, delayed elections, sectarianism (a proper substitute for local racial voting patterns and outright racial and racist instincts), corruption again, and the routine of the rest now so familiar, so sickening.
As usual, both the opposition and coalition were taken to task and flayed dispassionately for their failures. We here in Guyana react casually nowadays to such scorching reminders of our political, social, and individual depravities. We have heard them so much, at the local level that it is now like water on a duck’s back. Tell us something we don’t already know! Is now the broad representation of our dismissive indifference; indeed, our now characteristic acceptance of the way we have always been, and our stoic determination that they stay the same way. It is almost as if there is more than mere resigned acceptance of our fate and circumstances. It is as if we welcome it and we thrive on it.
There is a passage in scripture that says, “there is nothing new under the sun” that whatever it is, it has been there before. Well, what we have has been with us forever, and it is killing us a little piece at a time. This makes us look imbecilic, and leave us standing naked and backward, and utterly retarded, before a bewildered world. Those people, those citizens of Guyana, have been given so much, but all they can do is make bigger fools of themselves, by emphasizing the worst angels in their nature.
So, the foreigners make fun of us, as they wonder how to help us out of our miseries, how to help themselves from our weaknesses. A pitiful people we are, who must be rescued from our endless orgies of self-destruction. And still we refuse to care, to condition ourselves to our domestic realities that warn: there is no progress, no success, as a collection of numerous diverse peoples should we insist on going along in this farcical and failure powered manner.
Still, we plough ahead senselessly, without care or concern in the world. It is a world that laughs quietly at us, at the total waste of it all, of the pearls that nature (or that power from above) placed before us, and with which we do not know what to do with ourselves, but splurge our national patrimony in passionate and paralyzing dissensions. We foam at the mouth, tangle our feet, fall on our faces, and then rise up to repeat the cycle all over again.
No society can succeed with the baggage of such viruses that make the most hideous wretches of us. According to the analysis, lifting costs (operating) for Guyana is about $10 a barrel, (breakeven around $35) which means that production could still continue and “assumed to be enough to weather adverse conditions.” That is the helpful economics of Guyana’s oil spectacular. In the interim, “the immutable demographics” of our politics consign us to each other’s throats with a dagger in one hand, and a shovel in the other.
The latter is to bury thy neighbour. This is the sum of our fears, follies, and failures. But on those, we are immovable.
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