Sunday, March 31, 2013

A call to action

Father Harvey is the kind of priest you hear questions raised about in Central America - those who were active during times of social unrest. He has been critical to Trinidad and Tobago in times of unrest like the revolution of 1970 and the attempted coup of 1990. He is a revolutionary in his own right having done a lot to make the Roman Catholic Church more relevant to Caribbean people. Some of the hymns in the official hymn book are penned by him, I am also sure many would have been inspired to write hymns through his encouragement and efforts.

            It’s Easter. In his message as carried in the media, he called for more positive stories to be told in Trinidad and Tobago. Knowing him as I do I don’t imagine he imagines as the Government does, that more positive stories be carried of the work done by the State. He is a man that stands for freedom, and I am sure too, freedom of the press. He takes on all comers though, and so it may not be a stretch to in fact imagine that he does mean even in the media.

            The media guard freedom, not for itself only but for all. The media are an extension of the population. I always say press freedom is assured by the culture of the industry, no one is hired or fired for their views, it’s an all encompassing slice of the population that makes up the many news rooms around TT. No media house can afford to take a stance aligned with a political party, it is assumed and understood by those within the fourth estate, that they serve the people and that comforts us, inspires us and keeps us focused on the tasks at hand.

            I have known Father Harvey personally for a few years. He is a man I respect. Many times while in church I would check hymns to see who wrote them, particularly if I like them. I remember crying at mass one day. It was a day when the closing hymn was Tell of my Love for the Islands. It says “tell of my love for the islands, tell it everywhere, tell all the brothers and sisters of the Father’s loving care, brothers who are seeking living in the night, sisters who are weeping, searching for the light, tell of my love to all people, live in my love every day.” This was written a long time ago in the 70’s perhaps. It’s still true today and it still makes me cry. Maybe I may want to consider the words of this esteemed cleric and tell more positive stories, if only so that I myself can stop crying. Christ is risen. Happy Easter.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


So I woke up this morning to a request for a story about the President requesting information on Section 34.  immediately I get scared.The story was apparently carried in the morning news and a fellow reporter was asking me if I had the details. She sent me a fb message cause she thought I was at work already. But I sort of jumped when I read what the big story of the day is. Having thought about though I realized that life is made hard in Trinidad and Tobago by an 'opus magnus' of morality and rectitude that betrays the island paradise we sell. No wonder we're unfriendly to tourists, I think we spend too much time being unfriendly to each other! And hasn't the Prime Minister already told the Office of the President what transpired with Section 34? It will be a fine day even after all.

I also woke up this morning to realize I created a mash-up with my brief post last night, four people saw it. I watched an episode of The Bible currently showing on The History Channel and I saw the scene where Mary and Joseph were heading to the census on a donkey when Jesus was born and yesterday being Palm Sunday the image of Christ on the donkey blended with that one. I had also just come from a very good benefit concert for St Francis of Assissi Roman Catholic church last night. Added to this the election of Pope Francis. It was just 'donkey' on my mind and so we ended up with what can now be seen below:

Happy Palm Sunday! Have a holy week! Stand up and be counted! Bless!

Its all about getting past the illusion this Holy Week. A good God would remove the sting from a minister saying he was libled when the esteemed publication, also legally advised, said it did not libel him. The funny thing is that any good journalist knows when they libel someone, of this set I am not. It is a direct attack on the media by a man who presents himself as a really good, honest person. Its like he is possibly speaking to the public that will not even find out what is libel but just interpret it as another case of the bad media in Trinidad and Tobago as the politicians are wont to say. Its like they are infallible and unimpeachable but oh the media are just so bad. So yes, let Jesus, light the way!

I will be spending hundreds of dollars on fish this week. It is a family tradition to prepare salted salmon or smoked mackerel for Easter and they are both about $50 a lb. I like to buy enough to store to cook again later in the year when it is no longer in the groceries. Imagine these things are soaked in brine, pickled fish, and cost more than steak! But I love eating it and preparing it so here's to tradition!

Be careful out there!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Crisis Management

My mother did her best. She worked two jobs for most of her life to support herself and children without much help from my father. She would not approve of this post as it puts family business out there, at least I don’t think she would approve. My life feels in crisis though and so I have to try something unusual to bring a solution. The President yesterday called for an “out of the box” approach to the nation’s problems. He also said the nation is in crisis.

            I can’t say that I don’t feel that his analysis is wrong as the indices that led to the conclusion may not be the only ones that should be considered. In his inaugural address, a histrionic call to action, Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona, spoke to issues that gauge governance. I have never felt that crime and unemployment were good measures of a society’s standing. He mentioned the former treading dangerously close to the political tenor that can embarrass a government.

            All hands are needed on deck, he said, to save Trinidad and Tobago. It is inherently flawed as it is a top down approach. Really must I feel compelled to now consider how to reduce crime when all it seems to do is determine how good the state is managing our affairs? He reinforced this belief when he said that as a nation we are one: it means our goals are shared and too our responsibilities. We may be an independent nation but I am apparently not free to determine what it is I want to achieve.

            Thinking about the speech I realised that this is what is wrong with my world, it assumes for me what is important, taking me away from what I feel is important. We count corpses in Trinidad and Tobago and no one counts the stifled souls, the snuffed dreams, the unrealised ambitions and the impossible that faces so many of us.

            Everyone is saying that the President’s speech inspired hope. I peruse the social media sites like FB and twitter and see nothing but fit-to-print reactions that hail the address as what the country needs; I am left lost for comfort.

            It’s not like me to challenge the voice of the nation’s highest office holder. I dare say this is not what I imagine my mother had in mind when she made me. I’m not sure that a lot of what I do could have been imagined by parents. I do know, though, that desperate times call for desperate measures and I know what my responsibilities are. I hope this also means that for all her efforts my mother has at least made a citizen that is not afraid to take a risk, do the unimaginable and fly in the face of authority in an attempt to make life better.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A side of politics - Legalize it

Drugs have long been a challenge for me. I remember when I used to do cocaine, around the time I was deciding to stop, I told myself I shouldn’t do it and I thought of the majority of people in the world and how they live without doing it, that was motivating. It is a part of my history though and something that will not change. To accept me I also must accept that I do drugs. I wonder what it would be like if we accepted that people do drugs? To me the rhetoric against drugs is replete with specious arguments. It has so many crippled with fear that the world does not realize all that it possibly can as many who would and can change it hide in the fear they are doing something wrong and unworthy of much. This world is ruled by fear and that is its most detrimental weapon used in the genocide of many dreams and souls. This can be developed more but I’m running late for work.

I thought this morning of the many people who are my friends and that they accept me even for the parts of me that society says are wrong and for one moment I wished it possible to make them my entire society and forget everyone else. I thought that we are Trinis too and have the right to be who we want to be, we like strippers, we like sex, we like alcohol and weed and even harder drugs than that. We may be small in number but we are citizens.

I can dream to move to another place where attitudes are different and I should if only to reduce the fear in my life but then I wouldn’t be in Trinidad and at least for now this is where I want to be. Have a great day my friends.