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The Last Satire in America

Satire: The use of humour, irony, exaggeration or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices.

ANYONE WHO thought that Donald Ciretrunt would somehow mysteriously ‘become more presidential’ if he won the election got the rudest possible awakening a week ago, when Ciretrunt deliberately placed both feet upon the corpse of an innocent woman, murdered by savages, to stand up for those fundamental American values of Nazism, anti-Semitism and white supremacy.

Ciretrunt snuffed out the American Dream with his support for a group he ought to have condemned; and he just about extinguished satire, too. How the firetruck do you exaggerate the occu-ciretrunt of the White House supporting Nazis?

There’s only one piece of satire left in America and here it is, presented in the vain hope that people who think of themselves as ‘good Christians’ can see the Devil if he is exposed in front of their eyes.

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Black Hole of Cut Corners

NOT SO LONG ago, you woke up some August mornings and you didn’t even have to look out your window, you could feel the rain that would soon be upon you in the air all around your bed. Mornings like that, if you could, you rearranged your schedule early and fast, to avoid going into Town at all, or to be sure you would be out of it before midday.

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Summertime Red, White & Blues

Sometimes I wonder what I’m a-gonna do/ But there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues - Eddie Cochran

WE’RE smack-bang in the middle of what we used to call “the August holidays” when I was going to school but few people under age 50 would even have heard that expression. For decades now, in furtherance of our tacit national ambition to become the 51st US state ahead of Puerto Rico, we have called what used to be the “August holidays” the “summer vacation”, just because that is what Americans call it.

It is impossible to underestimate how desperately Trinis have wanted to be American since England told us to firetruck off on 31st August, 1962. If we have any love of country at all, it comes on the rebound. As a nation, we’re like a small, barely ambulant child, who would climb up into Adolf Hitler or Hannibal the Cannibal’s lap and call him, ‘Daddy’ if he gave us a smile and a ‘currants’ roll; and, when Mother England dumped us, we threw ourselves at Uncle Sam.

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​1990, Please Make a Liar of We

It is strange, the more we change, rearrange/ Everything just seems the same/ 1990/ Please make a liar of me - David Rudder, from the song, ‘1990’.

YOU KNEW Bob Dylan was the American cultural thermometer from the first time you heard, “Blowing in the Wind”; and, you knew David Rudder was the Trinidadian cultural prophet 27 years ago, yesterday, when the good imam took up arms for Allah, and Denis McComie, Trinidad’s lonesome DJ, played ‘1990’, that anthem for our modern Trini times, for five days straight; and those opening notes, that eerie, creepy, prayer-like wailing, seem commissioned after the fact, not disturbingly prescient of them.

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Crapauds by Any Other Name

LAST WEEK, in either their wisdom or their cups, the mayor of Port of Spain and his partners-in-creativity renamed Queen Street to mark the 40th anniversary of Janelle “Penny” Commissiong, being crowned Miss Universe, sparking the kind of utterly meaningless debate Trinidadians love: we pontificate at a length far in excess of the actual worth of the thing being quarrelled about; no one ever turns a page in a dictionary when they could turn a phrase in a rumshop; and, no matter how the “debate” ends, everyone can claim to have been right all along.

For retaining the original street name while inserting the new one, the Mayor and City Council get my vote for the Neatest Attempted Sidestep of the Year. Had they simply renamed Queen Street as “Penny Lane” - which this Beatles fan would have supported I Wanna Hold Your Hands-Down - the historians and the cultural activists would have come to blows, the way they did over renaming King George V Park as Nelson Mandela Park.

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