Thursday, February 29, 2024

EVERYTHING BUT – The cat’s miaow


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COURAGE is increasingly rare among our politicians – and quasi-politicians. Witness the shameful exclusion from the Oistins Fish Festival ceremony of Lady St John, and nary a word of prior notice to the goodly woman.
Turning a blind eye to the ignobility of this deed, an Oistins Fish Festival committee member simplistically submitted that “there comes a time when you have to make changes to brighten an event”; that’s all; the Heritage Village wasn’t enough.And the creator of the festival, who has delivered the Founder’s Day Speech for the past 34 years, didn’t need to know. Bad manners of national proportions!
And then the festival chairman, trying a thing at being politically correct, offers a non sequitur in the guise of a lame prediction that Lady St John just might get to deliver her traditional speech next year. Well, Mr Dan Carter has next year secured in a trunk, and Lady St John just could be interested.
If this isn’t violence against woman, I don’t know what is.
Why did the Oistins Festival have to be spoiled by inane and cynical political posturing? It doesn’t belong to Christ Church alone; it is for all Barbados.
But that kind of callous disregard is not the province of festival chairmen alone. Some politicians, too, think they can say and do whatever they like (not say and not do too) by virtue of being elected to Parliament. Some even come to think that making it as MP translates to being bright and being an expert on all things to all people.
Even more of them believe that what they utter has been inspired – divinely or not – and that they need not prepare or recheck before pouring forth to us lesser mortals. Which would explain the plethora of mumbo-jumbo and balderdash spewed from the Honourable Chamber and on TV and radio.
Parliament can’t make an elected member a highly intelligent representative any more than a ballpoint pen can make a newspaperman a great writer. All the stellar politicians I know were bright before they went to Parliament. 
No doubt about it, mediocrity, incompetency, insensitivity and delusion have now become the standard-bearers for excellence. I have seen in my time the most mediocre and incompetent pushed up the ladder – by people of similar mould.
This is often the meeting ground of politicians and mediapersons. Both groups are notoriously insensitive and delusional; and one doesn’t believe it has to think, while the other doesn’t see the need to learn.
Politicians and radio and TV announcers – or whatever they are called nowadays – speak atrociously in public with no respect for correction. They lay waste the English language, for them, with aplomb; for me, with indecency. Yet, letter writers and radio call-in freaks shower these perpetrators with praise, as though they were the cat’s miaow – clearly a case of the ignorant being evaluated by the more ignorant.
Then you have the perpetually discontented pushing an agenda. They argue about the merits or demerits of Rihanna, based on a video in which the singing star leads around by a leash a man on all fours. For that Rihanna is the devil incarnate.
Well, excuse me! Bajan women generally have had their men on leash every day all day for a very long time. And hardly anybody complains; least of all the collared men, who are advised daily and nightly against violence on women.
When we have arguments – for they have sunken from debates – in the office these days, it is not about the world tomorrow, or today; or about philosophy; or vision; or semantics. It is about who have been bleaching their faces, if said Rihanna can really sing (mostly put forward by Beenie Man fanatics), if Jennifer Hudson should get liposuction, if Rock Hudson was as sweet as Elton John is, and the like – the asinine and the unimportant.
We have become a nation of cynical political posturers, bungling politicos, the johnny-come-latelys who don’t mind their manners, mash-up-and-buy-back advocates, airwaves polluters, and a media without the guts to say it.


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