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Send in the Clown
ON THE EVE of its 29th anniversary, it’s tempting to think Trinidad simply hasn’t ever recovered from the trauma it suffered in our bloody July 27 1990 attempted coup. In truth, we got less than nothing whatever out of it (apart from the families of the people killed, who just got grief). Looking out at the rest of this crazy world from half-cracked Port of Spain today, though, Trinidad doesn’t necessarily seem as bad as all that.
This isn’t to minimise what happened to us. At least two dozen citizens were murdered – and, as I point out every year, our plight is such that we still don’t know for sure how many people died at the hands of the Muslimeen, we only have a figure we have tacitly agreed not to question any farther – and vast damage was done to the country’s economy; our capital city burned.Read more
Raymond Choo Kong, Bent
EVERY ONE OF us knows someone who has been murdered. Even within my own fairly privileged social position, I’ve had Christmas or New Year’s Day lunch with three people – brother and sister Henry & Candace Carrington and Michael Jobity – who’ve been slaughtered, like meat, Candace & Michael in their own homes. My friend, Kath, counts 18 people, including her own father, murdered in Trinidad. In Tobago, the last time I counted, seven elderly white couples had been chopped to death in their own homes, a statement of simple fact that, in a real country, would have led to a systematic hunt for what would be seen to be a clear serial killer; in Tobago, police routinely arrest and release the village cocaine-piper when they reluctantly concede that they cannot give him seven cases of double-murder.Read more
The End of the Beginning
The Book of Kenrick Part XXIX
Back in 2011, God the Uncle – my imaginary Uncle Godfrey –called me to sum up the Bible in the voice of Kenrick, a supremely confident Trini with not much reason to be confident, the kind of tess who plays cricket for West Indies in the 2019 World Cup but is still, somehow, loved and admired at home.
God hasn’t called me much lately, but he did insist that I finish the last four chapters of Genesis I’ve owed him since April 2016. In the last Kenrick instalment, Joseph forgave his brothers for selling him into slavery, since it was really God’s will that he become Pharaoh’s right hand corn man, and asked them to bring their father, Jacob, and their brother, Benjamin to Egypt. (This summation works better if, before reading, you scan the Book of Genesis, free copies of which can be found online or in hotel rooms; kingjamesbibleonline.org is my own source.)
The Twenty-Ninth Bit of the First Book of BC, called Deliverance, but not based on the film
The Book of Free At Last, called Thank God It’s Friday
(A Trini Dialect Summation of Genesis Chapters 47-50)
Then Joseph tell Pharaoh, “Watch, nuh, my old man and all my bredren-them and all they flocks and thing bus’ it from Canaan and reach by we.” And Pharaoh axe Joseph’ bredren-them, “Hear, nuh, what all-you does do?” And them say, “We is shepherd, Boss, we does mind sheep but we does only curry goat and we axing you to gi’ we ah ease here in Goshen.” And Pharaoh say, “No scene.” And them fall een.
And Pharaoh axe Jacob, which is Israel, “How many years you have?” And Jacob say, “Mankind done make he century” and Pharaoh say, “Daiz more than we could say for West Indies batsmen.” And Egyptian money fail, which mussee was the first financial crisis, and them Jew and them had was to sell out they land back to Pharaoh to eat a food and Pharaoh run a little seed for them whereby they had to give him a fifth of the crop.
And Jacob, which is Israel, start to feel little bit orf-key and he call Joseph and say, “Put yuh hand under my thigh,” which was a Biblical way of speaking-something, not a gay/incest sex-something, “and promise me all-you go carry me outta Egypt to bury me.”
And Joseph bring he two son, Man-ah-say, which was a Jamaican, and Ephraim, which wasn’t a E-frame, just a Bible-name, and Israel, which was Jacob, say, “Buh eh-eh, who them is?” And Israel put he right hand on the youth man, Ephraim to bless him, and Joseph say, “Not he, the next one, Man-ah-say, is the firstborn,” and Jacob say, “Ent? But, watch, is the young one who go blow up big-time.”
And Jacob catch a glad and he start to freestyle ‘bout Joseph chirren. “Simeon & Levi, them cruel/ Judah the lion real kewl/ Judah will hold the crown/ Until Shiloh come down/ Zebulun go live by the sea/ And Zidon go border with he/ Isaachar is a strong ass/ Dan is the snake who go pass/ Asher bread go be fat/ Naphtali ent go mind that/ Benjamin will devour the prey/ And that is 12 tribes of Israel right dey.”
And then Jacob, which is Israel, give up the ghost and dead, but on to today, he ghost still haunting Palestine real dread.
And Joseph trip and fall on he father face and cry and thing and then they had was to embalm Jacob and the wake run for threescore and ten days plus 40 days, which was like a real long Carnival season.
And Joseph tell Pharaoh, “Bossman, I did promise the old man to bury he back in Trinidad,” and Pharaoh say, “Go through hard!” And they make a lamentation, which wasn’t a lamb curry, but long tears. And they went and bury the old man and the plan was to come back in Egypt but Joseph bredren did worry that Joseph would organise to put down wuk on them, now that the old man dead.
And so they humble theyself and beg him to ease them up and Joseph, who was really the cool brother, say, “Nah, all-you doh dig nutten.”
And everybody live good for the rest of they days, like them hobbit in Lord of the Rings extended version, which the ending of III does seem to go on forever, until finally Joseph dead. And they put Joseph in a coffin in Egypt, in which part Joseph’ bredren and all them Jew did still remain, and in a serious monkey pants, too besides.
BC Pires is a latter day seer man
Cartman & Ivanka
EVEN IF FAT NIXON this week shamed the USA and our whole hemisphere by contorting himself extravagantly to be able to kiss three consecutive dictator butts – Russian, Saudi, North Korean, in that order, and with a shit-eating grin all over his face – it’s still been a great week because I collected two contenders for the Funniest Thing I’ve Seen in Years within 24 hours of one another.