Saturday, March 2, 2024

THE LOWDOWN: Yute soup


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Times are rough. We need to get “In tune with Froon”. The PM has been advising schoolchildren, and today we’re throwing in a few lessons from life to back him up.
Next to my land run two parallel roads leading to Morgan Lewis Beach. One is a solid plantation rock road. The other is a dirt track formed by horse riders. Like the “broad” way in the Bible that leadeth to destruction, “many there be which go in thereat”.
Nothing wrong with that. Dirt bike riders, mud jeeps and even Suzuki vanners like the excitement of skidding around and nearly getting stuck, or getting stuck, in slushy mud. Lesson one: it’s a free country. Choose the safe or sticky way.
Lesson two: take responsibility for your actions. Don’t expect somebody else to pull you out when you choose to drive or swim in a risky area.
Lesson three: You don’t need many possessions to be happy in Barbados. But if you want something, work equals money, money equals purchasing power. Don’t stand around expecting free handouts from Government, your parents, stealing or selling illegal drugs.
Lesson four: Pay your debts. No matter if you become president or prime minister, you look bad if anyone can say, “That guy once owed me $20 and never paid.”
Those are obvious. We should also try to correct our youth before they reach the law courts rather than after. Everyone knows who is peddling drugs, stealing or getting drunk every Friday and having their money taken from them. We need to save them sooner.
It’s been a busy week with more lessons all around. Saw Sir Charles Williams being interviewed on YouTube. He and I have completely opposite philosophies – he spent three fortunes to get a pretty wife (the new hairstyle rocks, Lady W!), a fast car and a fishing cruiser. I’m happy with an occasional smelly red herring, a 1966 tractor and a view of the ocean.
But you must admire the man. He dared to dream, dared to invest, dared to risk, dared to ignore experts. And rather than Sir Charles’ life story being “living proof that if you have the money, anything is possible in the Caribbean”, it shows that dreams can come true if you work hard, are very lucky and keep a pet sow pig in the house. That is lesson number five.
Then there was the Royal Wedding. Simply beautiful. Just watch Kate’s smug anticipation of things to come. She knows he could become a future ruler. Most rulers have 12 inches.
Ralph Gonsalves showed true statesmanship. His people favour retaining the monarchy; he was there to represent their wishes. As did Sir Clifford for us – a man for all seasons.
Two and a half billion tuned in to watch around the world, two and a quarter million just to see them kiss. The monarchy seems in better shape than the university, where carping critics abound. They need to read The Ineffectual Intellectual by Wicky P. Dia, who asks “In these times of di-versity, is the concept of a uni-versity obsolescent, if not obsolete?”
Lesson six: Beware of those who produce little (some say nothing since Oliver Headley) but seek to pull down.
Next, Osama bin Laden, a sick, unarmed man shot twice in the head. Sounds like murder.
Terrorism, randomly killing innocent people, is simply wrong. It cannot be justified.
But how can Americans rejoice at bringing “closure” to the relatives of those lost in the 911 attacks when just two weeks ago an American court set free Luis Posada Carriles, the CIA-employed terrorist responsible for blowing up Cubana Flight 455 off Barbados in October 1976, killing all 73 on board including the Cuban gold medal fencing team, 11 young Guyanese students and five North Koreans?
Do their families not also deserve “closure” by extraditing Posada to Venezuela to face his 73 counts of murder? Or is our lesson seven: different strokes for different folks?
By the way, for those who asked, the grandbaby has a David Estwick face, full and round. Maintains a stony silence on most subjects like Froon. But in other departments, he’s all Cousin Jack. Somebody bound to beg.


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