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Anthony Bourdain: Parts Uncut

TRINIDAD WENT WILD over the episode of CNN presenter Anthony Bourdain’s show, Parts Unknown, that revealed parts of Trinidad some of us would have preferred to have kept unknown – particularly the handful of Trini Syrian/Lebanese around Mario Sabga-Grey Goose’s dinner table with Bourdain for a Middle-Eastern meal in the West.

In three shameful minutes, two of the self-declared leaders of Trinidad’s Arab community scuttled and sank, with their loose lips, the entire Trini Syrian-Lebanese ship. The public reaction was so intense, the old Mario was forced to put down his Grey Goose-and-coconut water long enough to apologise for being drunk, rich and self-important – as if that description doesn’t apply perfectly to all of Trinidad’s ruling sector, regardless of ethnicity!

Indian and African Trinis felt deeply insulted by what fell from the lips of Super Mario and Peter Gorged-on-Power and it wasn’t the raw kibbie, but the raw sentiments.

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Que Sera, Lara

Ten years ago, almost to the day – Friday fell on the 27th in 2007 – I wrote this about one of the most distressing events in West Indies cricket; ten years later, it’s much easier to see it as one of the major – perhaps the first – stepping stone to where we are now, with Louis XVI fiddling while Rome burns, to mix examples from the past that aptly sum up the future of West Indies cricket.

FORMER West Indies captain and still world record-holding batsman Brian Lara (whom everyone apart from the West Indies selectors expected to hang around for at least another six months or 47 Test runs) timed his announcement of his retirement from international cricket as immaculately as his exquisite late cut, given the current position of West Indian cricket

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Press Release Me, Trini Jihadi

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,

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Gay Pay Day

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.

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A Joint for Mr Biswas

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

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