edge

BC Pires

is a barrister by qualification (class of 1984) but, for the last 28 years, has done nothing but write to earn a living. His flagship column, Thank God It’s Friday, has appeared in either the Trinidad Guardian or the Trinidad Express since Ash Friday, 1988. He has written about film from an informed lay perspective for the same period and is as close as the cricket-playing West Indies gets to a film critic (though he refuses that label). He has written for many publications, including the London Sunday Observer and the London & Manchester Guardian. Since 2010, his personality-based feature, “Trini/’Bago to D Bone” has been appearing in the Trinidad Guardian. Since 2002, he has been the editor of Cré Olé, the Trinidad & Tobago annual restaurant guide.
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Thank God It’s Friday

​Hair of the S.O.B.

After more than two decades of writing columns for newspapers, I finally persuaded them to reprint earlier, well-received columns and give me a paid holiday in September. I think they gave in, not because of the need for a creative break I outlined, but because they knew that newspaper sales are then the lowest for the year, with people saving every penny for back-to-school costs). In any event, in my most extended newspaper holiday, ever, I’m taking my September holiday. This column first appeared on Friday 20 July 2012. IT’S ONE OF my abiding disappointments that I have to wash my hair every week. You’d think something so obviously negligible could be safely permanently ignored, like people who act on principle and not out of self-interest in Trinidad, but, no, that smattering of growth that still struggles to emanate from a small and read more...

​Who Slit Paradise’s Throat?

I’m so in love with this girl called Paradise/ I’m so sorry I lost my true love/ Somebody told me I should take some of the blame/ When I put the facts together, I hang my head in shame/ – The rock-and-roll band jointpop, from the song, “Who Shot Paradise?”TRINIDAD IS dead. After hanging on for a few decades by a few slim threads – a Minshall King of Carnival here, a World Cup Finals qualification there – the last bit of Trinidad you could love had its throat slit for no good reason in Claire Broadbridge’s bedroom in Fondes Amandes last week. Now, I admit my bias in her favour: Claire Broadbridge was my neighbour (and, at UWI, my teacher, too). In early 1969, my parents moved to Fondes Amandes, where I lived for 30 of the 40 years between the ages of ten and 50. More than half that time was spent at my parents’ home, three houses away read more...

BC on TV

​A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box

Today’s Number One Film:A Clockwork Orange, BEST FILM OF THE DAY 12.42 midday HBO Plus. Watch this if you liked Blade Runner, American History X or Children of Men. Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Anthony Burgess’s novel has the same ending as the US version of the book – and few cinefiles would argue against that last, strangely loving shot of Malcom McDowell’s face contorted dreadfully as he imagines evil actions. With staggering violence set against the backdrop of hauntingly beautiful classical music – Ludwig Van features heavily, and devastatingly – A Clockwork Orange’s bleak vision of a future in which young men run riot did not impress the critics at home in England. After a woman was attacked by a gang singing, “Singing in the Rain”, Kubrick withdrew it from general Read more...

Firetruckery of the Day

The Poui Tree Firetruckery


Over-hot and bone dry as Trinidad is today, even with the immediate slight greening of last Thursday’s single April shower, Port of Spain’s Queen’s Park Savannah still remains beautiful, at least on the edges, where poui tree leaves are falling. That gorgeous yellow carpet spread at the feet of a gnarled old tree always takes your breath away. Can there be anyone in Trinidad who does not stop and stare in wonder, and be grateful just to be alive to see such a thing? Well, yes, there are. A large group of people, in fact, and I was myself one of them, 30 years ago.

Yes, while the rest of the country is thrilled to see poui in bloom, students at the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies hate the sight. Trini secondary school students don’t make the same connection because their academic instruction runs almost to the end of the third school term in July, but, when I was there, doing my LLB in 1979, it was the first thing second-year students passed down to freshmen: they nodded up towards the Northern Range, in the foothills of which the campus sits, and warned you, “If you see the poui in bloom, and you’re not ready for exams, you’ve failed!” Even in poui flowers in Trinidad, it have fuckeries.

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Trini to d Bone

The Arima Kid - Pt II

You were doing something serious and important?But of course!Yet it was trivialized?[Interrupting] Everybody, everybody, everybody!Was that not painful?Very painful. Even my closest connections, some of my immediate family and other people would say, “Listen, man, why you don’t do something serious?” But it give opportunity! I remember we went to Cedros and there was a man with a funny face. They called him “Ugly”. He was making faces at me from the audience. People were saying, “Move from here!” But I put him on [camera] and asked him, “How you going?” And he made his funny face. He got a job just from that, what we called DEWD or Public Works. He became a personality, more than a clown. He became “Mr Ugly” instead of just “Ugly”. So it Read more...