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EVERYTHING BUT . . . – No proper job


Ridley Greene

EVERYTHING BUT . . . – No proper job

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WELL, HERE WE ARE into Yule, just past Independence Month in which certain prominent elements have been less than patriotic.
We were regaled through the better part of November – by organizers who should know better – with the romanticism of Dobby Dobson that climaxed at the Wildey Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex on Sunday night. A Jamaican legend doesn’t cut it for me as any headliner in Barbados’ Month of Independence.
And topping that, in the month of Barbadiana, was all the hoopla about the 2009 Hennessy Artistry show’s exhilaration, the launching pad propaganda for the 2010 exhibition that promises “to leave patrons in awe” this weekend at our National Stadium.
And who are the headliners? If you guessed Beres Hammond, Cocoa Tea, Gyptian, Hezron and the like, take a grand bow. If you figured out the extras are the unheralded “crème de la crème of Bajan reggae artistes and dee-jays”, you may genuflect even lower.
But why am I complaining about this “international concert that highlights the global mixing of all genres of life”, an event that seeks “to mix people, music and culture into one”, whatever that means? This weekend the “mix” of people will be reggae artist, reggae artist and reggae artist; the music “mix” is going to be reggae, reggae and reggae; and the culture “mix” will be natty dread and Bajan copycat.
Well, one voice was heard to say the show was the organizers’ way of giving back to the community.
Would they consider giving us back our Month of Independence – and stay away from Christmas too?
Then there has been Beenie Man (out of tune), aided and abetted by Edwin (clearly in tune), all November long, now into December, pushing LIME’s impatience for offering Christmas service. The all-I-want-for-Christmas jingle lyrics will ring irritatingly in my ears, I am sure, until Easter. That couldn’t have been LIME’s intention.
Sadly, many of us do not even feel gulity about the fact that we are understanding and accepting of these cultural penetrations of our custom and space – our Barbadianism; or that the unsuspecting among us could be so lured into a stupor of inappropriateness.
Truth be told, inappropriateness for many of our Barbadian people has become a pastime; for some of my media fellow folk an avouched career – the best of which is a discontinuous never-ending practice.
I know a certain politician who exudes wide stretches of smiles when it is appropriate – actually he grins – and he knows it’s fine, for all the possible photo op there may be.
A man of immense willpower he can also suppress anxiety, sympathy and sorrow in public, evincing the grin when it is inappropriate – like at a burial, or near a collapsed building; and he is not aware his smile is malapropos.
Calypsonians come onstage too lamenting the hard times with lyrics that, if read prior, could cause one to shed a tear, get angry, or just thank God for one’s blessings, but the bards of inappropriateness gyrate with such gaiety, energy and aplomb that audience members are forced to think of nothing more than getting back home with their spouses. The message might be sound, but the method of communication incongruous.
Ironically, many of the people who have been pushing Christmas music in Independence November won’t even bother to play it any more in this very December. Don’t take my word for it. Check out the Christmas parties starting this weekend. One jolly fellow or two might give you an instrumental Yule tune as you sit at dinner; but don’t hold your breath when it comes to dance time.
Li’l Rick’s Guh Down in yuh tail! Becoming I’d say!
And as if you hadn’t already noticed, Christmas parties in Barbados are now Crop Over fetes replayed; you’ll be lucky to dance to an oldie. And the bellweather of this unbefitting new custom is the “popular deejay”.
But why am I ranting? It is unseemly. I forgot this is the month of goodwill and cheer!

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