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EVERYTHING BUT – That’s showbiz!

Ridley Greene

EVERYTHING BUT – That’s showbiz!

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THE ONE THING that this uncomfortably growing number of Rihanna critics must get into their tough skulls is that the internationally acclaimed Bajan lass is in show business.
She is not in the ministry, and therefore accountable to a bishop, churchgoers, or hypocrites. Neither is she in politics and answerable to a political leader or a fickle electorate. Rihanna has a career to further boost and should reasonably be allowed to get on with it without all the carping from the envious and goody-goody on every iota she says and does.
RiRi is a superstar in music; not the Prime Minister whose every action we believe we should know and approve of, if only because of the great influence he has over our lives. Rihanna must be left in peace to savour her extraordinary ascent from obscurity to universal stardom. She deserves it!
We now have this madding crowd, clothed in ashen morality and pale righteousness, pontificating about the merits and demerits of Rihanna’s latest music video: the five-minute feature Man Down. A raped girl, in reprisal, shoots her molester. But revenge is not so sweet after all. The avenger is filled with remorse.
Man Down is an exercise worthy of more intelligible discussion than most offered so far. How does one regain one’s self-worth once one’s dignity is defiled? What is the appropriate punishment for a rapist? How does one redeem one who rapes? What is the worth of violence? An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth? How much must one sacrifice to be forgiving? Is remorse a useful tool?
These are issues Man Down begs us to reflect upon. Instead we have the impromptu and sporadic firing from quasi-intellectual and critical guerrillas.
Where are all these indignant moralistic people when CBCTV is tiring the eyes every evening – and on marathon weekends – with the licentious Days Of Our Lives? Do they cower from the preponderance of intrigue, conspiracy, lies, incest, adultery, obeah, rape itself, and, yes, murder? Where are they? At home – watching all of the same and enjoying it!
Then there is the occasional swipe at Rihanna about being an ambassador for Barbados. For crying out loud, the young woman’s mission is to project Barbados in her world of music and showbiz. She is not into diplomacy and political damage control. Nor is she into saving souls. Well, not yet. Who knows?
Which brings me to another disturbing note. Bishop Dr John Holder has confessed that the church – the Anglican Church, he must mean – is not as relevant in the community today as in the past. What has caused the rector to be so diminished in the sight of the community?
Quite obviously neither the church nor rector is without blame. Most rectors have no idea where their parishioners actually live. These ministers believe parishioners should come to church if they want salvation or unction; not be visited by them.
The rector might still have some “standing for miles” if he would walk or drive through the district he is supposed to be serving. It is the only chance the church has of recruiting new disciples.
Why must the Anglican Church be in any search for “new models of ministry” – whatever that means – and “new ways of doing old things”? The church needs to begin with just doing the “old things”.
Since I left the community of St Barnabas, under Rev. O.C. Haynes, I have never been visited since by a minister, nor ever saw one walking through a community I lived in. I have been awoken and cajoled by Jehovah’s Witnesses; and have seen them in droves – as at general election campaigning; but that doesn’t count.
If the Anglican Church wants to return to the status it once held among God’s children, its leaders first have to acquire people skills: they must step down from this intellectualism and interpret the Almighty simply in the ordinary lives of their charges.
The Anglican Church just can’t leave it up to Wesley Dear, Lucille Baird and Ferdinand Nicholls!