Monday, April 22, 2024

THE LOWDOWN: It’s make or break so stay awake


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Superstition, described as “supernatural causation”, is mumbo jumbo nonsense like “black cats bring bad luck”. Any married man can tell you that all cats, regardless of colour, eventually make you see hell.
Causation is an interesting study, however, and we must distinguish between coincidence, superstition and natural causation.
For instance, if a politician appears to exhibit a millionaire lifestyle not long after becoming a minister, that is pure coincidence and no reason to suspect impropriety.
Consider, on the other hand, the case of a man whose wife took him to see a psychiatrist.
“He insists on wearing that horrible purple jacket everywhere to keep away elephants,” she said.
“But there aren’t any elephants within a hundred miles of here,” the doctor pointed out.
“Thank you, doc”, beamed  the man, “you see how well it’s working?”
That, for me, is the acid test. If it works, it isn’t superstition. For instance, in nearly 24 unbroken years of doing this column, I have never submitted one dated Friday the 13th. I use the 14th instead. Similarly, I make sure the digits in the word count never add up to 13, like, say, 733 or 724.
Some may consider that foolishness. That is their business. The point is, many columnists who probably took no such precaution have fallen by the wayside while I’m still here.
One of my sax heroes, King Curtis, got stabbed to death at the height of his career, Friday, August 13, 1971. We once played at a Black Friday dance. Pure misery. They didn’t allow alcoholic drinks. The amps broke down. A row erupted as we passed The Garrison going home and the whole band broke up right there.
In short, I don’t mess with no 13s. Left to me, we would go straight to 2014 and done with that.
However, we must make the best of 2013 while expecting the worse. It is the Chinese Year Of The Black Snake and good and bad are predicted.
Right off, it started bad. Took the family as accustomed down by Heywoods to eat a midnight pizza and watch the fireworks display out to sea. Not one lousy starlight.
But then things got better. Sabir Nakhuda and family turned up on New Year’s afternoon with some most welcome samosas, both animal and vegetarian. His wife is the best samosa-maker east or west of Gujarat. Sabir is soon to launch his book on Indian migration which is not called From Suitcase To Suburbia as I thought but rather From Bengal To Barbados.
Other notable visitors over the weekend included Joe “Johnny” Tudor, tanking up on goat’s milk, and former governor of Florida Charlie Crist, once mooted as possible vice-president to John McCain. Also got a call from Mr Lashley, a Bajan who worked for many years at the British House of Commons and rubbed shoulders with Blair and them boys.
By the way, the Burke Christmas lunch at Kevin and Lisa surely was the best food tasted this century and maybe the last.
All right. New year. Election to be tackled. My greatest fear is a Bees landslide. They are yet to tell us if they will persist with the Greenland landfill folly. Or whether they will again risk a referendum after their shameless trick question was exposed. Having a Barbadian head of state does not mean we must have a republic.
And then there’s the economy. Will there be wholesale selling out of our sovereignty for short-term success? Will agriculture and food security be sacrificed to satisfy the money grabbers? Will we be further strangleholded into a West Indian community that does everything possible to sabotage our products while we give theirs free access?
I understand some Bajan consumers are rejecting anything with sodium benzoate, MSG or Trinidad on the labels. A laudable effort but probably futile.
Alas, I am in no position to offend anybody. The Dems put some body blows in me last year by underselling my goat’s milk and will give no assurance that the same thing won’t happen in 2013.
If it does, we may as well pack up and call it a day.
So 2013 could be a make or break year for governments, farmers and our beloved island on the whole. I intend to lie low and hope it soon passes.
• Richard Hoad is a farmer and social commentator.


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