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THE LOWDOWN: Saying a word or two


Richard Hoad

THE LOWDOWN: Saying a word or two

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Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. The name Crop Over can be traced to the 1780s. It has history. It has pedigree.
Maybe I misunderstood him, but if Market Vendor is suggesting that we change the name to Carnival because we grow less sugar now, I disagree.
Sugar made this country. And if, God forbid, you want to see what Barbados would look like without it, visit two side-by-side plantations, one with sugar cane, one without.
By the way, Carnival means “goodbye to meat” because that is what Catholics did in Lent. Could that be relevant to a Bajan Kadooment in August with endless flesh on display?
And what an array! I used to think Solomon went a bit overboard with 1 000 women. But looking at those Crop Over bands, I could comfortably do with 1 500. Beautiful women!
Yet all B.C. Pires could see was “the same bikinis, beads and feathers we’ve all been falling asleep watching for 20 years now”. Why, B.C., why? Why rip apart a festival where the people of a little country come out to enjoy themselves?
Nor was it all pork this year. Stiffy put sheep in the limelight. His song made people happy. It inspired a “sheep dance” where the guys pretend to pull reluctant girlfriends by a rope.
Last Monday a youngster from my area named Shemar showed how to wine with Lamont’s sheep and goat as well. Shorey Village was rocking!
So what is Admiral’s problem with Stiffy’s sheep? Is it not Trinidadian enough? Back off, man, and let people enjoy what they want.
Three down, two to go. Thank God Popsicle won the crown! One member of the crowd who walked out in disgust at the results last year wasn’t leaving this year. She was prepared to do violence if there was a repeat.
Nor was she alone. When it was down to the last two, a vocal patron managed to get 23 F-word adjectives into one sentence describing his feelings about the judging.
Last year’s judges should face trial for crimes against humanity and inciting civil unrest. Killing a few thousand people is one thing; massacring an entire country’s culture is another.
Fortunately, Popsicle came with my kind of calypso: simple, Bajan, witty. I feel, however, there should be at least 20 points extra for putting licks in politicians. And Kid Site, Ronnie and AC should have placed higher.
Let’s face it. Our democracy consists of one vote every five years. We put politicians in, they seldom fail to disappoint. Calypso licks are our only satisfaction in the whole process.
And if Sir Denys Williams says the law would have to be changed to give calypsonians “qualified privilege” to comment without the stupid nit-picking by the NCF, then let’s do it.
Which brings me finally to Ricky Jordan. He claims the two “thoroughbred” calypsonians who sang that Freundel wasn’t saying anything have been “silenced”. Yet whenever their songs hit the radio, listeners crank up the volume.
Unless Mr Jordan figures the judges “silenced” those who dared criticize the PM by marking them down. That would be nonsense. Points can’t be deducted because someone doesn’t like the message.
Be realistic, Ricky. You can’t come to an electorate after four years in office with the sole claim that you got REDjet into T&T and Jamaica. We have good land being left idle, murderers un-hanged, elderly people being killed in their homes, while our murder laws now have no teeth – a country craving action.
PM Stuart got a rough deal being thrust into a job he probably never wanted. Many of the critics who, according to you, “ain’t saying a word” may be cutting him some slack for now.
But his overs are running out. And there aren’t many runs on the board.
Two late ones: Plastic Bag is king whether he sings or not. Check out his Eggonomics chicken recipe. The mother-in-law did it this weekend. Proper!
While the wife put a li’l too much thing in her hair this time and it’s come out kinda red. If RiRi can’t make the show, give me a call.

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