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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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Not a Fete

This is not a fete in here/ This is madness – David Rudder

The hard part of an early morning walk around the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain’s open green space, is not the thick exhaust fumes from the cars speeding by on the roadway, nor the 70 per cent-plus humidity, even at 6am, that, after 200 metres, has you sweating like you’re swimming; no, the hard part is figuring out which of the people you pass are crazy.

A lot of early morning Savannah people are, no doubt, crazy about fitness; but many are just plain firetrucking crazy.

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Routine, My Ass!

THEY CALL IT a “routine” colonoscopy; as if it could be part of your everyday routine to eat and drink nothing but black coffee or clear soup for a full 24 hours, then take a massive overnight purge of the few specks left in your digestive tract, and then, first thing next morning, lie butt-naked on your side, in a brightly lit room, awake, for 45 minutes, while a man in a gown you never met inserts a six-metre tube into the wrong end of your alimentary canal.

If that’s “routine”, what in Hell would a non-firetrucking-routine colonoscopy be like?

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