Sunday, April 14, 2024

THE AL GILKES COLUMN: Bitter with the sweet


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Two things galvanized my attention over the past week. One was the gripping first presidential debate in the United States. The other was, of course, the exhilarating ICC World Twenty20 World Cup semi-final victory in Sri Lanka by our own West Indies team over the mighty Australians.
Together, these two unrelated events produced a classic bitter-sweet oxymoron effect.
On the bitter side, we saw the odds-on favourite, the champion, Obama, in a world heavyweight title defence, standing flat-footed in his own corner, hands hanging limp at his sides, his entire head and upper body exposed, allowing Romney to pummel him into a political pulp.
On the sweet side, we saw the underdogs, reminiscent of Muhammad Ali at his best, moving like butterflies and stinging like bees as they out-batted, out-bowled, out-fielded, out-witted, out-danced and convincingly out-knocked the Australians from the tournament.
However, I doubt if I would have slept much last night because of the anxious, nerve-wracking state in which I was anticipating today’s West Indies return to the ring, this time in an intense Brock Lennar/Triple H style wrestle with Sri Lanka for the World Twenty20 title.
The chief reason for my anxiety would have been acute awareness of the constant up-and-down, hopping ball performances of our team in far too many years and in far too many tournaments. Nevertheless, that concern apart, and the fact that West Indies are at a distinct disadvantage playing against the host team before a partisan crowd monstrously supportive of their own, I am putting my money on Darren Sammy and his men.
I am so confident that they will not let us down this time that I have been on YouTube playing the PSY Gangnam Style music video over and over, learning all the moves so that when Chris Gayle leads the team into their victory dance, I will be up in front the television with hands, feet, head and body moving in sync with theirs.
Surprisingly, although I have reservations about our Friday cricket conquerors, I have no such fears about Wednesday’s debate loser. I have every confidence that Obama will return to rip up Romney when the two meet again in the final debate and will also go on to be returned to the White House as the 45th president of the United States although, of course, not the 45th different person to hold that post.
So tell me something. Since Barbados is already in pre-general elections mode, just awaiting Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to clear his mind, clear his throat and clear his hand to ring the bell, do you believe we will have televised debates this time around?
I would pay anything to see a debate between the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader Owen Arthur. But it has nothing to do with how the latter would perform. Rather, I would pull my pockets for the sole purpose of hearing the former putting forth in his unique style of delivery in his favoured big-worded, classical use of the English language.
• Al Gilkes heads a public relations firm.


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