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Holy Firetruck!

ONE THOUGHT goes off in my own mind every time some crackpot Muslim jihadist explodes himself: that mofo just blew himself (and innocent bystanders) to bits gleefully, to rush to Heaven and reap his reward of 72 virgins; 72 virgins! As a reward! As Robin Williams (I think) said, Anybody who thinks 72 virgins is a good thing clearly never actually had one. You could accurately call the jihadist mindset a firetrucked-up perspective. Read more
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Supermarket Plantation

BRAND NEW YEAR, walked through door of Barbados branch of big box retailer and walked back in time to same old-same old - but I mean really old version of same old. Remember old joke of pilot announcement to passengers on plane to apartheid South Africa: “We are about to land in Johannesburg; please set your watches back 300 years”. Walked out of modern liberal democracy of car park and into sugar plantation that still defines everyday Bajan commercial life; half-expected see James Drax, major 17th Century pioneer sugar plantation by time we left; or escaped.

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New Year's Dazed and Confused

FIRST DAY of the year and Y’Boy remembering when he did first go away to the Cold and find out that white people’ country doesn’t have Old Year’s Night, them does have New Year’s Eve. That-self is one of the answers Y’Boy would give, if he ever had was to ask himself, like he does ask other people every week, “What is a Trini?”: “A Trini is somebody who celebrates Old Year’s Night, not New Year’s Eve”. Some people wouldn’t see no difference, but Y’Boy – and, Y’Boy suspect, most Trinis – would nod they head, and chuckle to theyself, and winks at one another: Y’Boy done know he never had as good a time at the best New Year’s Eve party in Foreign than he had at the worst Old Year’s Night in Trinidad.

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​ Trinis Fall Apart

Turning and turning in the widening gyre/

The falcon cannot hear the falconer/

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold/

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world –

WB Yeats, The Second Coming

EVEN BY Trinidad’s day-to-day norms (which would amount to certifiable insanity anywhere else in the world), even in this very “special” place, where men pee at midday into the road, women carry their newborn babies to all-night Carnival fetes and motorists don’t hesitate before driving the wrong way down 500 metres of a one-way traffic system, the country went crazier than usual this week.

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Find a Party

YOU CAN tell you’re a Trinidadian in many ways but the most reliable indicator is that you arrive everywhere a day late and a dollar short – and it’s been that way ever since the people who used to tell us what to do left our shores, and left us high and dry. (It’s also true of most of our West Indian neighbours: from Jamaica to Guyana, we’ve destroyed any semblance of civilization we had.)

Now things were never rosy for almost all of us. The earliest inhabitants of these territories fared the worse, being actually killed off swiftly either by European diseases or the Europeans who brought the diseases here. In Dominica and Guyana you may find pureblood Amerindians but most of the people pretending to be Caribs in Trinidad could more legitimately claim to drink them.

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