EVERYTHING BUT . . .: Just come up!
ROBERT?“BOBBY” MORRIS IS?SO RIGHT! We like to dismiss things Bajan, and ever seek to embrace the models of others. Historian that he is, he should know.
There is this tendency these days to look down on the way we used to speak, particularly formally and when in company; on how and what we used to sing; and how we dressed.
Take this increasing and pernicious practice these days that has grown out of the contempt for proper dress. Young men – and too many old ones, who are trying desperately to get back their groove – keep walking around exposing their boxers, or briefs, some of which seem like delicate undies, many of which are stained, and/or faded.
It is a grossly unpalatable picture of the young dude continually grasping his pants and private parts to keep them all from dropping to the knees.
Ever since questions were raised about the relevance of the “colonial” shirt and tie, men have progressed to stripping at and from the rear. In fairness to males, women are laying it bare too. Actually, they are getting thinner and thinner with their clothing.
Luscious legs, callipygian assets and voluptuous breasts are a man’s daily diet on the streets of Barbados; in the bars; and even in the church.
An old preacher once shared with his congregation that the church’s younger female members’ skirts were going further and further up, and the top of blouses was going lower and lower. It was for the pastor a torturous happening Sunday after Sunday, having the purview of this sartorial contraction from the pulpit.
But he took comfort in the notion that by the time the hemline and neckline of his daring female church members had met, he would not be around. He might have missed paradise. Poor fellow!
The conservative man of the cloth suffered no such trauma with the males of his congregation and had no misgivings either of their accepted couture. At any rate, since jackets were a tradition or a requirement of the spouse, the men were all forced to tuck their boxers into the shadowy linings of their tweed or mohair.
Outside of church young men get back at preachers like our old friend. They walk about with erect backs quite bare, just waiting for their trousers to fall to the ground.
It is a fad. So it just might pass.
Really, young man, there is deep comfort and a sense of self-worth to be derived from dressing properly.
We need not the American Model of colour-covered flat male butts being fanned about the place!
I am exhausted carping about how our music is treated. Some of it has a two-month window in which a great part is dissected, mutilated and dumped by the end of Crop Over.
And, every effort is made by those who should know better, and by those who wouldn’t, to confine our emotive folk music to the NIFCA stage and Independence Day. These batterers of our cultural music, with knowledge, or devoid of it, inflict such savagery on our natural sound, or natural air, that the average Barbadian now rubbishes Bajan folk music.
We like the Jamaican Model. And we dare to pontificate on heritage!
As for how we speak, for all the highly degreed community we have become, we are worse now in the structuring of our English language, in its use for description and colour, in the employment of its literary devices; and grammar is a bother, while green verbs give us distinction.
Outside of the alleged formal and standard English employed in these disgusting times, we don’t even understand or appreciate the rhythmic dialectal communication of our grands and great-grands.
But how can we, when again we go for the Jamaican Model, the Black American Model, Any Other Model?
Let us look into our culture’s eyes and get our culture to smile back at us. By it we might indeed reach the deeper truths about our Bajan humanity.
We will discover, I am sure, that there is more to our culture than plain wukking up!
l Ridley Greene is a Caribbean multi-award-winning journalist.