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RICHARD PRYOR, the great American comedian-philosopher (to the extent there’s any difference between those titles, for black Americans, or Trinidadians of any shade) once warned that, whenever you go to the hospital, you should always take some piss. “The first thing doctors want,” said Richard, “is some blood. And the second is some piss. You always have the blood – but you never have the piss”.Read more
TO WRITE a breathtakingly original newspaper column you’ve got to steal the best ideas you can and, in 1999, I stole one of the best from Robert Steinback, then of the Miami Herald. At the start (or end) of every year, Robert wrote a column of predictions for the coming year and considered the accuracy of the previous year’s predictions.
Robert’s predictions were entirely serious, because he lived in a First World liberal democracy but mine could not be because I lived here; indeed, some of my predictions are included only to make you laugh, while others are deadly serious and would make anyone weep; and the perennial Trinidadian challenge remains to distinguish fantasy from realityRead more
THE MURDER of journalists in the Paris office of French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, by people who believed they were doing God’s work, has forced us to contemplate something we might not have: should we support the right to publish material reprehensible in itself and offensive to some? Or should we respect sincere, deeply held and, to the people who hold them, unquestionably holy beliefs?