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TGIF columns are in order by date from the most recent.

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​Sgt Abu’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayIt was 20 years ago today/ Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play — The Beatles

It was 30 years ago today/ Imam Abu taught his band of jihadis to play a coup mas — The BC

NOT TO MAKE too much of a song and dance about it but, it was 30 years ago today, from Friday-to-Friday — the best way of measuring anything, in the opinion of this column — that the good imam got up from his prayer mat and rose up against the state.
Thirty firetrucking years!
I’ve had sex with women that age.
Thirty years ago, today, I was in the Hall of Justice, at what was then the Bar Association’s end-of-law-term wine & cheese party, sipping rosé with lawyer friends I’d abandoned a couple of years before when I entered the newspaper world. (I went from the prestigious private legal bar to the far less exalted but much more enjoyable Pancho’s bar on Queen Street, itself a step up from the first media watering-hole I knew, the rumshop across Charlotte Street from the Express, which, because of its patrons’ penchant for hand-to-hand combat, gloried in the nickname of “Vietnam”.)

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​Pizzagate, Bill Gatesgate

IT’S NEAR impossible to declare which of today’s many rubbish, incredible, risible conspiracy theories is the most rubbish, incredible and laughable.

Pizzagate, though, must be a contender to take the deep crust meat lovers. Pizzagate adherents claim a ring of paedophiles, led by 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, trafficked children out of a Washington DC pizza restaurant, the gay- and family-friendly Comet Ping Pong.
One Pizzagate bear of particularly very little brain, leapt into his car with most of his assault weapons and drove 550km from, somehow, not Alabama, but North Carolina, to Comet Ping Pong, to liberate the hundreds of children he believed were being tortured and raped in tunnels hidden under the restaurant.
He maintained his belief in the conspiracy theory even after discovering the restaurant did not even have a basement.
Pizzagate gets a run for the idiocy money, though, from the lobotomised Flat Earthers. Yes, almost 500 years since Ferdinand Magellan proved the world was round by leading a fleet that circumnavigated it in 1522, there are enough Flat Earthers for there to be a schism in what they think of as their philosophy, with the orthodox saucer-shaped Flat Earthers being challenged by the more progressive diamond-shaped Flat Earthers.
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​New Virus Limitations, Same Old Political Ones

ALREADY I’VE SEEN Facebook posts claiming that the August 10 general election, when Trinidad & Tobago will still be under covid19 restrictions, was deliberately chosen to give the PNM government an unfair edge — but almost as many couch potato political pundits saw an election under at least partial lockdown as benefitting the opposition UNC!

Everyone seems to agree, though, that covid19 restrictions will make the election itself more difficult. Crowd size limitations will deny political parties the massive rallies. Social distancing and deep cleaning requirements will add hours to the voting process. One cough in a voting line and people will scatter. The police will force UNC supporters to wear masks, but not PNM people. Political party volunteers won’t want to risk infection to work as agents. And virtual campaigning might work for Joe Biden in the US, but which Trini will watch Kamla or Keith on YouTube when they could watch Modern Family on Netflix?
Obviously, covid19 restrictions will make the whole thing harder — but how could they possibly make any difference to the outcome?
The real curse that will damn the election next month is not covid19, the new virus, but Trinidad 2020, which operates under the same old-same old that has ruined elections since Independence. Jump high, jump up low, space out your manifesto proposals two metres apart (as Bally might have sung in this year’s remix of Party Time) but, when the dust and the droplets settle, the choice is still between the UNC and the PNM.
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​Black Lives Matter (Except in Morvant)

THE MOST REMARKABLE thing emanating from the police killing of three young men last Saturday was Tuesday’s police media release about the disturbances in Port of Spain those killings sparked. The release, which could have appeared in the Soviet Union propaganda newspaper, Pravda (ironically, “Truth”) recasts the protests, not as the understandable and entirely predictable result of extrajudicial daylight police killings, but as proof of an imaginary plot against the state, which our heroic police force, riding in like the cavalry in old Hollywood Westerns, just managed to thwart.

The release appears more to have escaped from the imagination of the Police Commissioner and desperately needs translation from CoP fantasy to harsh Trini reality.

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