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MY OLD PARDNER, Maxie Cuffie, the current Minister of Public Administration and Communications, made headlines and pulpits with his ministry’s official Easter message and it really was no miracle. In what we must call his wisdom, Maxie entrusted the preparation of said message entirely to a Pentecostal pastor, which is like the Blood Bank putting a Jehovah’s Witness in charge,Read more
HIGH COURT JUSTICE Mira Dean-Armorer this week awarded a man $700,000 in damages for libel because he was called a homosexual on the radio; at those rates, I can’t hardly wait for someone to label me a lesbian live on air; if a male being called a homosexual cashes in at $700K, a male being hailed a lesbian ought to be good for a cool mill.
With luck, I could be called a lesbian by Tony & Dale, hosts of the most dependable morning drive-time radio show in a nation that has more radio stations than police ones. Tony & Dale stand out from what we must call their competition in many ways. First, they are capable of speaking Standard Caribbean English which “y’un’stan’, Dog, make them mo’ better than all them other one, Horse, y’un’stan’?” You would think that being able to speak plain English would be a job requirement for radio announcers in Trinidad but you would have wasted a think.Read more
I’M ON FACEBOOK; I’d rather not be. For writers, it can be a good way of disseminating work and it’s definitely useful for finding people. Last Christmas, I reconnected with an old friend from the English boarding school we left in 1976. I’m in Barbados, he’s in Minneapolis, we haven’t seen one another since we were 17 and, through FaceBook, he makes me laugh, and think, as much, today, as he did in his gallant old days in Fairwater House. FaceBook is great for that; for everything else, it’s crap.Read more
IF YOU REALLY want to depress yourself, walk over to your bookshelf and pull out your tattered old Penguin paperback of Old Sir Video’s first travel book, The Middle Passage, and read the chapter on Trinidad – assuming people in Trinidad have bookshelves at all, far less a copy of a 50-year-old book by an eighty-year-old firetruck we’d all rather hate for all time than contemplate for even a few minutes.
It can depress you almightily but, if you substitute, “the soca” for “the bands” in the text below, Sir Video’s 55-year-old paragraph could have been written this morning: “Port of Spain is the noisiest city in the world. Yet it is forbidden to talk… In restaurants, the bands are there to free people of the need to talk. Stunned, temples throbbing, you champ and chew.. In a private home as soon as anyone starts to talk the radio is turned on. It must be loud, loud, loud… There was no guiding taste because there was no taste. In Trinidad, education was not one of the things money could buy; it was something money freed you from. Education was strictly for the poor…
EVEN THE NUNS who ran my primary school, who knew they could whip anyone into any shape, knew better than to try to teach small children during the last period of the school week, that Friday afternoon time slot in which even well-behaved kids went stir crazy. Instead, wisely, they constructed the ruse of “library” class: reading story books.Read more
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