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

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​Judge BC

[Announcer’s dramatic voiceover] With apologies to Judge Judy Sheindlin, you are about to enter the imaginary courtroom of Judge BC Pires. The people are invented but their attitudes and stupidity are real. The moral dilemmas are immense. The social problem is mighty, but not so huge that it can’t be satirised. This is Judge BC!

[Cut to shot of a good-looking, fair-skinned man, Dr No-Q (for “No-Qualifications”) walking to the plaintiff’s lectern. Behind him is a light-skinned, bespectacled man with fuzzy hair and the kind of moustache that used to be called a womb-broom; let’s pull a name out of a hat and call him, oh, something arbitrary and obviously invented off-the-cuff, like “Comrade Wesley Gibbings”.]
[Announcer’s voiceover] Dr No-Q is suing Comrade Wes for damages for malicious aggressive disrespectful slander, deprivation of free speech and the right to equate opinion with fact. Comrade Wes reported Dr No-Q’s Facebook post, “Wearing Masks Will Give You Covid AND Gonorrhoea”, as dangerous to public health.
Judge BC: Dr No-Q, you are a doctor?
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​OB & BC

OWEN BAPTISTE, the man who gave me my first job in the papers, died last week but I opted not to write about him last Friday, not because I didn’t have anything good to say about him, but because I would have to include something that was, for me — and even more so for him, perhaps — pretty bad.

At least at first glance.
I wouldn’t want to hurt to his wife, Rhona, and his son, Simon, whom I always liked far more than I liked him (and, perhaps, with good reason; of which, more, infra).
And then Judy Raymond, who may have given me my last job in the papers, if we can’t come out of covid19 and Great Depression 20/21, wrote on Monday about the man we all called OB (many only behind his back,“Mr Baptiste” to his face).
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​A Carnival of Film

THOUGH I’VE never been and still am not an official part of it, I’ve been a friend of the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival since the first one in 2006, because I think it’s vital that we see ourselves, not just Bruce Willis and Denzel Washington, on our own big screens. For most of the first 14 festivals, I’ve done either or both of a roundup/intro and/or a “film of the day” like today’s, recommending strong films.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I was also a member of the first jury that awarded a cash prize and wrote the judges’ report and, since Jonathan Ali, then the festival’s editorial director, bounced his great idea for it off me five years ago, I’ve been the mentor to the Youth Jury. I’ve also been invited to serve on the programming committee twice, first in, I think, 2009, and again this year.
With five days inclusive left of the festival and space already running out here, I’ll jump straight in. Because I won’t risk prejudicing the youth jurors, I won’t recommend their films in competition, other than to say they are all good and you should watch all and decide for yourself. The Youth Jury films are: Avatara; Choosing Destiny; Isla Sirena; K.I.N.G; Mortenol; and Yellow Girl & Me.
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Fantasy BC FC

A Fantasy Premier League Advice Column for the Bottom 999,999,999K

LAST SEASON, 7.6m wannabe football club managers took part in the Fantasy Premier League of the English Premiership, in which any football fan with an email address and more ego than football knowledge, can pick an imaginary 15-member squad comprising two goalkeepers, five defenders, five midfielders and three forwards, all drawn from the real-life Premiership, no more than three players from any one club, one free transfer each game-week.
The fantasy — or, more honestly, “pretend” — mangers have a £100m budget and fantasy players’ costs reflect their real-life value: Spurs’ striker, Harry Kane, is £10.5m, but Southampton’s Shane Long is £5.5m. Arsenal midfielder Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will run you £12m, but you can get Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante for £5m. Wolves’ defender Ruben Vinagre is £4.5m, but you have to fork out £7.5m if you want Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold. And would you pay £6m for Manchester City’s Ederson when you could get Brighton’s Mat Ryan for £4.5m?

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