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Stupid Firetrucking Americans

BILL MAHER’s HBO show, Real Time, is the most crucial television in the world now. A funny guy, a jokester, a man who became rich and famous by being a total smartass, Bill Maher may be recognised, in the future, as the most serious person in America right now. He could carry the title of ‘the Conscience of the United States” but I prefer to think of him as the grain of sand in the oyster that might yet turn the American Left into a pearl. And Bill has had one thing going for him ever-since, as we say in Barbados.

Bill Maher has always known that Americans are stupid.

They are. This is not opinion, but fact.


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God Help Dominica

THE AMERICAN NATIONAL Rifle Association and every religious person anywhere in the world share an illogical approach bewildering to a rational mind, cleansed of either pro-gun or pro-God brainwashing.

An insane man opens fire with the kind of weaponry you have to be a member of the SAS to get in Britain (but which you can buy over-the-counter at Wal-Mart), kills five dozen people and wounds 500 in nine minutes of murder & mayhem – and the NRA seizes on it as proof that American gun-ownership laws should be relaxed, so that Americans have a chance to defend themselves against just this kind of attack. (Up to my time of writing, the NRA had not actually issued a statement but I’m using them as an umbrella under which all the gun crazies find shelter.)

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Rain of Terror, Reign of Error


IF I HAD what lawyers call, “an insurable interest” in the Trinidadian Minister of Works, I’d take out a term policy on his life. This rainy season could prove both his own guava season and proximate cause of death. Nothing can be done to stop the rain Trinidadians have, for generations, done everything possible to increase the likelihood, frequency and intensity of floods. Not even God can turn back a century of bad decisions. Read more

Rum & Coax

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 10 July 2013.

My wife bought me these excellent memory-improvement tablets; of course I keep forgetting to take them, indeed, have actually taken to throwing them away (making up in deviousness whatever I’m losing in recollection) so she won’t notice that the level of pills is not being depleted. One way or the other, though, the bottle and the game will soon be up; but I do have what I think would be a foolproof excuse: I forgot.By a tangentially linked process—I wouldn’t say I remembered them—the memory pills did get me thinking about those prescription drug TV ads that run in the most expensive primetime advertising slots. (Pharmaceutical companies can afford them; they’ve forgotten more about profits than Donald Trump will ever learn.)


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​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 ever-shrinking portion of my follicular endowment requires depressingly regular attention. Washing my hair every Saturday is like mowing the lawn every week in dry season: you can do it, but why would you go to all that trouble for so little effect? It’s like a fat person drinking Diet Coke: dude, you’re not fooling anybody.

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