Archive for February, 2013

Everyone wants to know why our society is the way it is. Do you know what is the cause of many problems? Well it may just be about COMMUNITY. We have become a society isolated from reality, especially on a ground level. Regardless of how rational we may seek to be, we are creatures of emotion (and dreams) at times. This not only influences our thoughts, but is crucial in understanding who we are and how we interact with one another. This is the first step in what it takes to Construct a Community:

It takes a village to raise a child. Communities have been warped by development rather than being improved by them. Cops and Robbers has been replaced by Call of Duty (Popular Video Game Series), face to face dialog has been replaced with online chat, we have found everything that we want at the convenience of isolation. This is not a rant against the Internet, this is a highlighting of the importance of Personal Interaction. We see too often this disconnect between each other. Aristotle said “Man is by nature a social animal.” Being unsocial is not a natural to man, but rather accidental. The word anti-social is used to describe many but in actuality takes on a much more serious meaning than we throw around. There are usually those of like nature who would be inclined to flock together in some way or at some point. Encouragement in physical activity, or simply social activity is an integral part of a child’s development, and for adult life in maintaining a sense of place in society.

Further now into our self imposed isolation, in a style true to Wordsworth’s Expostulation and Reply, rather than read for theory and feel for experience, we read for all and leave the feeling to those who went before us. While this is something that we see working towards more knowledge (which it is in its own respect), this is not experience as in our experience. One may read all they want about how it feels to go running, explain what muscle fatigue feels like and how a cramp affects how you move, but someone would not truly know the feeling in its entirety unless they feel it. Using a less than physical example, you can read all you want about a sunrise over the sea and see all the pictures, but only when the breeze has kissed your face and you see the reflection of the sun coming up over the horizon would the emotions connected to such a beautiful sight be realized. Knowledge is not what connects us to the world around us, it is what explains it, and Wisdom is the fusion and understanding of both Knowledge and Experience. This is an important step in getting people in touch with the world around them and each other. We need to go back to learning where learning meant to educate through academics alongside life experience.

In the end no man is an island unto himself, and this is the very essence of the formation of society. We all need each other for more than just commodities, but for our own need for a sense of community and our place in being part of it. A feeling of meaning and worth as part of a bigger picture. This is something that all can relate to in its benefit to us in feeling wanted/needed and making others feel the same way, all towards Constructing a strong and stable Community.

Carnival Collapse

Posted: February 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

Welcome one and all to our Banana Republic, where the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ is about to take place. Seeing as the tourism rate is at an all time low for the season, anyone reading this is likely to be a returning Trinbagonian. In case however you have missed some years celebrating for reasons of being productive and keeping yourself out of debt/financial burden, here is an update. Our Culture over the years has been ‘updated’ via the new lords of the festivities. Carnival until further notice is now Owned by Promoters, Made in China and Powered by Vice. This being the situation, is what we have now really Carnival? How much longer will people stay with powder in their eyes before they realize what is really going on? Read on, ‘this one goin’ an Fog up de place!’

First of all, at the risk of uttering a Taboo; the tagline of ‘The Greatest Show on Earth,’ needs to be re-accessed. Tourism in Trinidad is at a low and getting lower during this time. Crime, stale ideas, empty expansion of bands (i.e. in size only), and of course less covered every year. Where is the culture and great show in what is now a 2 day street fete? Get drunk, take a wine half naked (if even that covered), and chip to a new song that sounds more like a continuation of the same song for the last 4 years. Where is the Mas? Where is the culture? Where is the creativity? Those that blame it on the World Economy, would do well to read the reports from various Carnivals all over the world, from South America to North America to Europe, which are all growing bigger each and every year, making a show similar to our Ole’ Mas, but stepping it up with an amazing displays of moving art big and small the likes of which we have never seen. While our depth in thoughts of what makes Mas shrinks, others grow, and we lose out on our culture and our tourism in the process. 
Now that the bubble has been popped, we find more air pockets designed to keep us from bursting out of the illusion of the Carnival benefits, namely economical. The Government spends in excess of $100M yearly on the season ($125M in 2012), which consists of our tax dollars. How much can a tourist, especially with the decline in this area really bring into the country? People who sew costumes bawling because of the outsourcing of costumes to China, and food vendors getting an opportunity but under pressure because of ‘big name’ vendors getting exclusive contracts in fetes. All while Alcohol distributors making enough bulk sales to run their corporations 10x over, and Promoters make enough with jacked up prices to retire at any given time off of a couple of parties. The odd seasonal job of a security wuk, food/drink promotions, and piping a beer here and there, provides some drops of relief for some, but overall does nothing for our economy on the whole. The long and short, this is the season for the Rich to get Richer, and the poor to be bamboozled  into emptying their wallets for pursuit of a distraction from life.
Now on that point; What are we trying to distract ourselves from? Life Hard? For many yes, but a hard life here is still relatively easy. We have the warmth of the island and it’s people, including a diverse culture. Trinidad has the 2nd most amount of Public Holidays per year in the world (as of 2012). We celebrate every religious holiday, lime often, and fill our bellies on every occasion we get a chance. War, Famine, and Revolt is a far off notion for any here, with the sun kissing us and the sea caressing us. I doubt this is a reality that people who truly value what they and we as a people have would ever want to escape from.
What we have now is not Carnival. The love and unity is replaced by “Me, Me, Me!” Jump up together as one is now a contest of who can climb to the highest highs and wine their waste for all to see. And where now is Calypso which is the voice of our people for so many years? Moved to a day where it clashes and is ignored by those who are not avid fans. What is to become of Carnival in the future? Provided of course that it still exists right now. We have talent here, we have imagination, we have creativity. We have love for each other of every creed and race. We have the wool pulled over our eyes by those who make millions selling vice packed and labeled as “Culture.” Culture in Trinidad and Tobago is on a razor’s edge right now. We can either choose to fight for what is just and save our culture, or sell our souls to the glamour and flair in hopes of perpetuating a false ‘escape’ and the 15mins of fame mentality wherever it may lie.