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​We Jammin’ Still

55 YEARS of so-called Independence and I wouldn’t mind us not being able to do even the most basic stuff for ourselves that minor cities all over the world have mastered, like running a ferry service between two small islands, paving a road properly (with a firetrucking Pitch Lake!) or appointing a judge or Cabinet minister, if we could at least think for our firetucking selves.

If we thought for ourselves, we would, in time, find ways of overcoming, or at least facing, our challenges.

But we don’t think for ourselves: our mental activity peaks at making either excuses for or whipping-boys of ourselves. The Catholics – Devil bless ‘em – invented two complementary ‘sins against hope’: the sin of despair and the sin of presumption. The sinner in despair loses all hope of God’s forgiveness or his help in getting to heaven while the sinner in presumption trusts in his own power to save himself or presumes God will forgive him without any repentance or good works on his own part.

Newspaper columns and social media posts, in the run-up to today's Independence holiday came in two broad stripes: one cheering and one jeering section. The jeering section, the sinners against hope, with their litanies of woe about Trinidad & Tobago, are at least closer to the reality: that we have almost terminally firetrucked up our own place.

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A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box

If it had not been picked a couple o’ months ago, BC on TV’s preferred instalment of BC on TV’s all-time favourite film (The Godfather Part II BEST FILM OF THE DAY, 1.25pm FoxClas) would certainly have got the nod; even with The Godfather taken out, as it were, it remains very difficult to pick the “top” three from what is probably the best Sunday for quality film choice in years.

Today’s Number One Film:

The Usual Suspects, 4.50pm Fox Classics. Watch this if liked The Sixth Sense, Unknown or The Magician of Lupin. One of the best thrillers ever made, this extremely clever whodunit featuring a genuinely stellar cast – Gabriel Byrne, Benicio Del Toro, Kevin Spacey, Kevin Pollak, Chazz Palminteri (and a Baldwin) – has more twists than a family pot of spaghetti.

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Another One Dusts the Blight

DEBBIE JOHN is gone and another thread pops in the fraying old rope I know as Trinidad. Cancer. She was only 61. Funny, but I always thought she was much more than just two years older than me; she was probably just far more responsible and grownup.

My memory gives me (but I am often forced to give whatever it is back) that she was my first features editor back in 1988 (and it could well have been the other Debbie, Jacob), when I moved from the legal department of the Board of Inland Revenue to the newsroom of the Trinidad Express, a move that made my earnings plummet as much as it made my wellbeing rise.

It’s nice to imagine DeeJay sauntering into some great newsroom in the sky, where the coffee is always piping hot Hong Wing and the soft drink vending machine gets the Diet Coke frosty cold, and the assignment is always to cover the Tribe band launch or the Chaud champagne dinner.

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A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box

For those who did not get in on the ground floor, AMC offers a marathon screening of The Walking Dead beginning with S01E01 @ 9am; hard to top for the zombie lovers. Like last week, crime-thriller lovers can enjoy a rare screening of A Perfect Murder, the very good Michael Douglas update of the Hitchcock classic Dial M for Murder, even if on a ‘lesser’ movie channel (6pm LMN). It’s THE-day at BC on TV, with the titles of all three picks starting with the definitive article.

Today’s Number One Film:

The Sixth Sense BEST FILM OF THE DAY, 11.58am/midday HBO Signature. Watch this if you liked The Others, The Shining or The Usual Suspects. One of the greatest endings in cinema fits one of the most original American horror films since Wes Craven’s groundbreaking A Nightmare on Elm Street.

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The Last Satire in America

Satire: The use of humour, irony, exaggeration or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices.

ANYONE WHO thought that Donald Ciretrunt would somehow mysteriously ‘become more presidential’ if he won the election got the rudest possible awakening a week ago, when Ciretrunt deliberately placed both feet upon the corpse of an innocent woman, murdered by savages, to stand up for those fundamental American values of Nazism, anti-Semitism and white supremacy.

Ciretrunt snuffed out the American Dream with his support for a group he ought to have condemned; and he just about extinguished satire, too. How the firetruck do you exaggerate the occu-ciretrunt of the White House supporting Nazis?

There’s only one piece of satire left in America and here it is, presented in the vain hope that people who think of themselves as ‘good Christians’ can see the Devil if he is exposed in front of their eyes.

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